Increasing Awareness and Participation of Māori in Electoral Processes

What is the programme to increase Māori awareness and participation in electoral processes?

Te Puni Kōkiri invested in the advertising and community engagement activities of the Electoral Commission to boost the amount of activity planned specifically for Māori.

In addition, Te Puni Kōkiri has developed a campaign targeted at 18-29 year olds that utilises:

  • social media to increase awareness and participation in electoral processes, and
  • a small, mobile promotions team to deliver the campaign messages at local events frequented by high numbers of rangatahi Māori.

The campaign activities are designed to raise awareness and encourage young people 18-29 years to enrol to vote and to vote at the next General Election on 23 September 2017.

Why does the programme focus just on 18-29 year olds?

At the last election, only 55 percent of eligible electors in this age group, voted. The target age group makes up more than 32 percent of the total estimated Māori population – and that’s a sizeable proportion of the estimated Māori population not voting.

Why is Te Puni Kōkiri running its own social media campaign?

Te Puni Kōkiri decided a specific social media campaign - across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram - was necessary as these are the vehicles that young Māori aged 18-29 years are most drawn to and popularly use to communicate and receive information.

How was the brand ‘For Future’s Sake Vote- #FFSVOTE’ developed?

Te Puni Kōkiri undertook a process to develop and test a series of brand options for its social media campaign. For Future’s Sake Vote - #FFSVOTE, was selected as the most preferred brand by our focus groups. Participants said the brand was the strongest ‘call to action’ and those with young children said it focused on the future - their children’s future.

If the programme is impartial and politically neutral, why are some MPs speaking about it publicly?

The programme has been developed working to the guidelines produced by the Electoral Commission regarding impartiality and political neutrality. All political parties have been advised of the programme and the emphasis the programme places on ensuring political neutrality.

MP’s can talk about the programme, with the proviso they do so without encouraging people to vote for any specific parties or MPs. The Minister for Māori Development is the Minister responsible for the Budget money allocated to this programme, so he is likely to make announcements advising of progress.

How does Te Puni Kōkiri ensure the political neutrality of the programme particularly in the community engagement activities occurring around the country?

Members of the mobile promotions team have been trained by the Electoral Commission and Te Puni Kōkiri and are equipped to have conversations that make it clear the programme is not about advocating for any political party or MP. The team’s emphasis is on helping young people understand the value of their vote; how to enrol; the voting process; and the date of the next election.

Who are the members of the mobile promotions team and who does the team report to?

There are four members of the mobile promotions team. They will join up with iwi radio stations to attend community events in their rohe to raise awareness of enrolling to vote and the voting process. The team reports to Te Puni Kōkiri. For more information about the team and events occurring around the country go to:

How much did this year’s programme cost?

$5m was allocated in Budget 2016 over four years for a programme to increase awareness and participation of Māori in electoral processes. This campaign has cost $2m to plan, develop and implement and will run through to October 2017.

How will the remainder of the $5m be spent?

$500,000 will be allocated next year to increasing awareness of the Māori Electoral Option. The remainder of the funding will go towards planning, developing and implementing another programme to raise awareness and participation of Māori in electoral processes in the lead up to the 2020 General Election.

Is the programme being monitored and evaluated?

Yes. The programme will be evaluated by Te Puni Kōkiri. The findings of the evaluations will inform our work programme going forward over the next three years.

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