Te Roopū Māori, the Māori Students’ Association, has decided to postpone their student elections after they had almost no one nominate themselves, meaning that they couldn’t piggy-back on the OUSA election website and will have to use a paper-ballot.
Taylor Terekia, Tumuaki of Te Roopū Māori (TRM), told Critic, “honestly with the handful it was to host Huinga [the National Māori Students Conference] we thought it was too soon to expect a successful nomination period literally the day after the conference ended. No one was ready for it to happen that soon, and I wasn't going to push our students and exec just to fit in with OUSA’s timeline.”
In the past, the TRM election has happened simultaneously with the OUSA election, using their online voting portal. Last year TRM voted to separate its funding from OUSA, instead operating under the University through the Office of Māori Development.
Voting opens 9am Wednesday with paper-ballot at a single voting booth at the Māori Centre. Taylor said she wasn’t concerned that the paper-ballot would have a negative effect on voter engagement. “Those who engage with TRM will turn up to the vote because they care about who leads them,” she said.
James Heath, OUSA President, said "The shift to physical ballot might decrease voter turnout, as online has the least barriers to entry, though I don't think this will hurt the overall election results."