Helping to get more Maori to vote in this year’s general election

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(ROTORUA DAILY POST) Maori are being encouraged to have their say at this year’s general elections after a poor turnout three years ago.

A group called Vote Maori Vote has been set up involving four Rotorua women who are actively urging Waiariki Maori to stand up and be counted.

The Rotorua Daily Post reports, Spokeswoman Christina Diamond said Vote Maori Vote was formed as a professional development course project with their work on local Maori trusts. The four women involved are all volunteers and said it was separate from their day jobs and independent of any political party. There are three other branches throughout the country.

“A big chunk of those not voting are rangatahi [young people] and we just thought with elections coming up this is relevant and something we’re all really passionate about,” Ms Diamond said.

The group was hoping to encourage Maori aged 18-34 to be more visible at the polling booths. They are finding success in engaging that age group through their Facebook page.

“We’re just wanting to get the message out there and cool it up a little, jazz it up a little bit. We’re not doing anything different but we’re wanting to break up the message for them to understand and stay interested.

“The type of people we’re trying to involve don’t want to read information like a pamphlet, they usually pick it up, put it in their car and it never gets read,” Ms Diamond said. “We want Maori to have a bigger presence in Parliament and in order to do that we need to vote.”

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