The Maori seats are becoming a bit of a joke.
They have the lowest voter turnout, were supposed to be temporary and now after the last election seemingly irrelevant when 19 Maori were elected in general seats.
About the only use I can find for Maori seats is that it parks a whole bunch of Labour votes that might make the difference in general seats like Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and East Cape and sequesters them in irrelevance.
Parliament now has more Maori MPs than ever before, prompting one commentator to question whether Maori seats were still needed.
Nineteen Maori MPs have been elected in general electorates and on party lists. Once the seven Maori seats are included, the total number of MPs who identify as Maori is 26 – up from 21 in 2011.
This means one in five MPs in the new Parliament were Maori, compared to one in seven in the general population.
The National Party’s caucus is 15 per cent Maori, including two MPs likely to be given high-ranking portfolios – Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata.
The growing proportion of Maori in Parliament was met with mixed responses from Maori leaders.Â Read more »