The Electoral Commission wants to allow Maori voters to change between the general and Maori rolls more often.
Current law allows Maori to opt for the general or Maori roll every five years, after the census.
The results could increase, or decrease, the number of Maori seats. A change could also have an impact on the number of people in general seats – increasing or decreasing the population.
Boundaries are considered after every census. The South island population is divided by 16 to get the number of people in each electorate, plus or minus 5%.
That includes the number of people in Maori seats.
There is always some change between censuses which could put seats under or over the 5% tolerance. Enabling Maori to opt for one roll or the other in isolation from consideration of all electorates could exacerbate that.
It could also allow Maori more of a say – being able to move from one roll to the other for a by-election then back for the general election, for example.
I think Maori seats have outlived their usefulness and would definitely not be in favour of allowing people to opt for a different roll any more often than every five years when the boundaries for all seats are set.