What is an electoral roll?

An electoral roll is a list of people who have enrolled to vote. New Zealand has two electoral rolls: the Māori Electoral Roll and the General Electoral Roll.

The general roll is open to all voters. The Māori roll is open to voters of Māori descent. No one can be on both rolls at the same time.

Māori roll or general roll?

If you are Māori and enrolling for the first time, you will need to choose whether you want to be on the Māori roll or general roll.

In parliamentary elections, if you are on the Māori roll, you will vote for a candidate in the Māori electorate you live in. If you are on the general roll, you will vote for a candidate in the general electorate you live in.

For the party vote, you can choose from the same list of political parties whichever roll you are on.

The roll you are on may affect the way you vote in local elections.

If you’re on the Māori roll and your local authority has a Māori ward or constituency, you’ll vote for a candidate in the Māori ward.

Once you’ve chosen a roll, you cannot change rolls again until the next Māori Electoral Option, which is usually held every 5 years.

What is the Māori Electoral Option?

Electoral rolls are made public

When you enrol, your name, address and occupation are listed on the electoral roll. Printed copies of electoral rolls are available at public libraries and the offices of registrars of electors.

Unpublished roll protects people whose safety is at risk

If you believe that having your details recorded on the printed electoral roll could threaten your personal safety, or that of your family, you can apply to go on the unpublished roll.

Concerned about your personal safety?

Who your information is shared with

Local councils use electoral roll information to compile their own rolls for local elections.

The Ministry of Justice uses electoral rolls to randomly select people for jury service.

Political parties and candidates may use electoral rolls for their own purposes, such as polling and campaigning.

Science and health researchers from the state sector may apply to use enrolment data for research.

Data for research

We do not release your date of birth, phone numbers or email address to the public.

Learn more about what happens with enrolment details

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