Days left to choose
The Māori Electoral Option runs until 2 august 2018

A short History of the Māori vote in New Zealand

Explore the fascinating history of Māori participation in New Zealand’s elections, and see how it has evolved over 150 years to become a distinctive part of how we elect our Parliament.

New Zealand’s first parliamentary elections were held in 1853 – but only men who owned individual freehold land could vote. 

This rule excluded most Māori, as Māori usually held land in common instead of individually.  In 1853 only about 100 Māori were enrolled to vote – mostly tribal leaders.

History of Māori electorates

The interactive map below shows how the Māori electorates have changed in shape, name and number since their formation in 1867. Note that only major changes are shown. Minor boundary changes also occurred between the dates in this series.

Want to change rolls?

Find out how to change to or from the Maori Roll or General Roll

how to change rolls >