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Māori voters at Rotorua, about 1908


Māori men and women congregate outside the Rotorua courthouse on election day, possibly in 1908. From 1868 right up until 1951, voting in the Māori seats took place on a different day to the election in general (European) seats.

Despite frequent complaints about the conduct of Māori elections and the lack of safeguards against electoral fraud, Pākehā politicians and officials generally showed little interest in reform. As a result, the secret ballot and electoral rolls were not used in Māori elections until 1938 and 1949 respectively.


Auckland City Libraries, A14995

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Māori voters at Rotorua, about 1908, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated