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Ed Sheeran

Maori seats only guarantee of representation
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Labour’s deputy Leader Kelvin Davis says the Māori seats remain a vital way for Māori to be represented in the affairs of the nation, and he’d like to see them entrenched.

Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikātene has a bill requiring a 75 percent majority before any changes could be made to the seats.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has said his party won’t vote for unless it is supported by a referendum that also asks whethee the seats should remain at all.

Mr Peters says MMP has delivered a greater number of Māori MPs, but Mr Davis says only the Māori seat MPs are accountable to Māori voters.

"For me the seats are really important for us as Māori people to ensure we have our representation because if they go, there is no guarantee of representation," Mr Davis says.

He says the fact Labour holds all seven Māori seats has allowed the Māori dimension to be factored into a number of policies now going through the cabinet process.

In the Māori electoral option, 34 more people switched from the General electoral roll to the Māori roll during June, than went the other way,reversing the trend of the first two months when the Māori roll shrunk 

The exercise has drawn in younger voters, with the number of new enrolments of Māori onto the general roll almost doubling in the month to 1402, and almost 1000 signing on to the Māori roll, which is now 2114 up.

That means the increase in the general roll three quarters of the way through the option is (3948) just under 4000, well short of the 10,000 that would trigger the loss of the seventh seat.

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