Maori in New Zealand: Voting With their Feet?

Maori in New Zealand have the right to choose whether they want to vote in a General district (with all other citizens) or in a Maori-only district. Should they wish,
they have the option to switch from one to the other every five years. The goal of this paper is to check whether they are strategic in their enrollment decisions.
If strategic considerations affect their decisions, Maori should register in the district in which they expect a closer race, so that their vote is more likely to be pivotal.
This paper gathers census and enrollment data from 2006, and electoral results from 2005, to analyze the reasons why Maori opt for one or the other roll.
Results suggest that pivotal considerations are a relevant factor for Maori population. Also, ethnic and cultural allegiances and socioeconomic status seem to play a key role in enrollment decisions.




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