If you’re of Māori descent and enrolling for the first time, you have an important choice to make. You need to decide which electoral roll you want to be on: the general roll or the Māori roll. The roll you choose decides which electorate you vote in.
An electoral roll is a list of voters enrolled in an electorate.
An electorate is a voting area for general elections. Every place in New Zealand is covered by both a general electorate and a Māori electorate.
Currently, there are 7 Māori electorates and 65 general electorates.
The voters in each electorate choose a member of Parliament to represent them.
If you choose the general roll, you’ll vote for a candidate in a general electorate.
If you choose the Māori roll, you’ll vote for a candidate in a Māori electorate.
You can vote for the same list of political parties whichever roll you’re on.
If you’re not sure which roll to choose, talking it over with friends and whānau might help.
When you’ve made your choice, remember that enrolling only takes 5 minutes and you can do it online.
If you live in Gisborne and you choose the Māori roll, you’ll vote in the Māori electorate of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. The candidate who wins the most votes in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate will be your local member of Parliament.
If you choose the general roll instead, you’ll vote in the general electorate of East Coast. The candidate who wins the most votes in the East Coast electorate will be your local member of Parliament.
Every 5 years, the number of Māori electorates is worked out using results from the population census and the Māori Electoral Option.