COLOR-Waatea logo 2016-final

On Air Now
Radio Waatea

03:00pm - 05:00pm
Ed Sheeran

Vote ban extra blow for Māori

Share to Email
Share to RSS
Share to Print





A justice reform advocate says denying prisoners the right to vote is an ongoing breach of their human rights and is a particular attack on Māori.

In a split decision last month the Supreme Court ruled the law change pushed by the Act Party on 2010 breached New Zealand’s human rights obligations, but parliament had the right to pass the bill.

Julia Whaipooti, a board member of Just Speak, says for prisoners the removal of their liberty is the punishment, and taking away their right to vote serves no useful purpose.

It adds to their disengagement with the community, which is counter to the idea of rehabilitation.

The disproportional number of Māori on the prison muster makes it a treaty issue, especially as it can affect their behaviour after they are released.

"Knowing that it affects Maori the most is something we should be concerned about because we have a problem with engaging with Māori voting already. Our numbers are quitelow and this is another tool that disengages Māori from voting," Ms Whaipooti says.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has been asked to look at the issue, and prison reform groups are petitioning parliament to reverse the change.

Copyright © 2019, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

2018 FAST 300x140px tile
Radio-S1 2019 - 300x250-Masters

Waitangi Breakfast is great Jacinda, what's for lunch and dinner?
Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury: No one could expect Jacinda Ardern to be able to fix 9 years of grotesque public service underfunding in just a year.
Waitangi Marae shows more commitment to Free Speech than Massey University
Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury: The country has been shocked and surprised at the grace of the Waitangi Marae by inviting Dr Don Brash to speak at the Waitangi Forum Tent on Tuesday.
Is it time for Auckland's first Māori Mayor?
Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury: With John Tamihere throwing his hat in the ring for the Mayoralty, Auckland could get it's first Māori Mayor.





Enter your email address to receive regular updates from Waatea News.
  • fb

On Air Now
Radio Waatea

03:00pm - 05:00pm