Far North Mayor on why Māori must vote

“To get back up and re-indigenise ourselves and our spaces and our places, we have to participate in it too.” 

In this episode of Ohinga, the newly elected Northland mayor, Moko Tepania, highlights the importance of local body elections, especially for Māori and rangatahi Māori who have historically had limited involvement in these spaces.

He stressed that the low voter turnout among Māori is a direct consequence of colonisation and that it is vital to engage in these processes to effect change.

Despite the prevalent anti-establishment and anti-system sentiment in Māori communities, he remains optimistic that this sentiment will change as Māori see more of themselves in influential positions. 

In the future, Moko is supportive of Rrangitahi's efforts to lower the voting age in Aotearoa, ensuring that more young and Māori voices are heard and seen in these spaces; hopeful that this will bring more Māori into voting for their own friends and whānau. 

Moko also expressed his hope that his position would inspire more rangatahi Māori to step up and take on similar roles to ensure proper representation within the community.

“ I may be the first but bring on the many young ones that will now follow.”

This is part of our reo Māori series, Ohinga, created by Mahi Tahi Media, with funding from Te Māngai Pāho. Stay tuned for a new episode every week.

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