Story: Ngā māngai – Māori representation

Removing the Māori seats

Removing the Māori seats

The issue of the Māori seats has divided New Zealand politicians since soon after the seats were created in 1867. This 2006 cartoon shows Māori Party MPs Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples sitting on one of the seats. Then National Party leader Don Brash (second from right) and ACT leader Rodney Hide puzzle how to shift them. Turia is shown enrolling new voters onto the Māori roll (enabling them to vote for the Māori MPs), while the general roll smoulders on a fire. At each of the five-yearly electoral options from 1997 to 2006, the numbers of Māori enrolling on the general roll declined by several thousand, while those on the Māori roll increased.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: DCDL-0004642
Cartoon by Ashley W. Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rawiri Taonui, 'Ngā māngai – Māori representation - Controversy over Māori seats', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 August 2022)

Story by Rawiri Taonui, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 15 Jul 2016