The Green Party has welcomed the release of the Waitangi Tribunal report, which has called for the legislative ban on prisoner voting to be overturned.
Green Party Justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said:
“The Supreme Court, and now the Waitangi Tribunal, has confirmed that denying these New Zealanders the ability to cast their vote on Election Day is an unacceptable breach of their fundamental rights.
“As a result they are excluded from processes that engage them in society, making their long term rehabilitation harder.
“We’ve made it clear that we will be putting amendments to the Electoral Amendment Bill to ensure people in prison can cast their vote as a means to re-engage in society.”
Green Party Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson said:
“We know that our justice system disproportionately targets Māori and lower socio-economic communities, making these rights breaches even more egregious.
“As it stands, the law bars many Māori from voting at each election.
“That’s exactly why the Green Party is urging the Minister of Justice to strengthen democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand by returning the vote to people in prison.”