Bottom line is, nobody cares about the Pasifika vote, until it is time to vote. ¬†And they know it.
Despite big Labour majorities in the top three Pasifika electorates, voting age participation in Mangere, Manukau East and Manurewa was down and among the lowest for all general electorates.
Labour MP for Kelston Carmel Sepuloni said it had been a problem for the past three elections and needed to be “seriously addressed” for 2017.
She said young, educated Pasifika who were born in New Zealand were the key to reversing that falling turnout and to the future of the Pasifika vote.
National Party list MP Alfred Ngaro said the challenge for all parties was to recognise Pasifika voters were no longer migrants.
Most are now “Kiwis of Pacific descent” who are younger, more educated and looking to do things differently from their parents.
“There is no more traditional vote. The vote has shifted and changed and if we’re not cognisant of that, then I think we’re gonna miss the mark,” said Mr Ngaro.
Alfred Ngaro believes younger, Pasifika New Zealanders will be attracted to National’s message that individuals can aspire to more for themselves and that cultural obligations to church and family need to change.
But Carmel Sepuloni said collective cultural values were not being abandoned in the push for higher education and better jobs.
“We’re encouraged to do that for wider family and community. But if the principle of collectivism dilutes the longer we are here, will there still be that alignment to the Labour Party? I’m not sure.”
What the hell did she say? ¬†Collective cultural values and principles of collectivism dilutes? ¬†I swear, I don’t understand Pasifika talk. ¬† Read more »