Social media and web usage for the Ikaroa Rāwhiti campaign: Part I


Only this year have I seen an increase in Māori politicians joining and using Social Media and the web. Recently one Māori politician told me that the web and social media were a waste of time, as the old people have the votes and want to see him at birthdays, tangi and various other hui. My reply, while that is important as a Māori politician, what about the Māori who are on-line, those who do not visit the marae and the masses of young people who use social media and the web for their news and make their opinions from. Again, I was told it was not important.



Key facts our Māori politicians should now.

  • Māori are high users of using the Internet to find out about government information and to interact with the government and politicians, yet Māori political online presence is lacking.
  • 25% of Māori use the internet to look for information about an MP, political party or candidate.
  • 39% of Māori used the internet in the past year to log in to secure areas on government or council websites, compared to 30% Pasifika, 28% Pākehā, 38% Asian
  • Māori are more likely to use the internet to pay for taxes, a fine, or license.
  • Māori are the second highest ethnicity to use email to correspond with government, yet we have Māori MP’s who have an auto reply on their email suggesting ringing or postal mail as the best way to correspond with the MP.



Ikaroa Rāwhiti on-line presence overview

Overall, none of the candidates for the Ikaroa Rāwhiti elections have used the web to its full potential. This is a general reflection of all Māori politicians and Māori political parties.

  • 4 out of 4 candidates have Facebook accounts.
  • 1 out of 4 candidates has the most effective Facebook account for maximum coverage.
  • 2 out of 4 candidates have YouTube accounts but only one is used for the election.
  • 4 out of 4 candidates have Twitter accounts.
  • 2 out of 4 candidates have Linkedin accounts, but neither use Linkedin for their election campaigns.
  • 0 out of 4 candidates have a Wikipedia page
  • 0 out of 4 candidates have a web site.

It appears as though none of the candidates have an online strategy and are concentrating only on parts of the social media arena for their support and electoral vote. This is effectively excluding a large percentage of online Māori.


None of the candidates have their own web site nor accompanying email which could be used for cohesion of their online presence and messages, especially since none of the candidates have a particularly strong online presence for search engines such as Google. This could be a fatal flaw in communicating with the online voters who are used to a more web savvy environment.
It could also expose the candidates for online identity theft where anyone could register a web site and claim to be the candidate. For the cost of $27 per annum for a web address and a few hundred dollars for a web site or the political party using a sub web site, this could show the ugly side of the Internet.


Candidates on-line usage

(sorted alphabetically by surname)

Marama Davidson (Green Party)

Facebook: 2860 friends.
Twitter: 1273 Followers, Following 384, 1274 Tweets
Youtube: Yes but not used to advertise her election campaign and is out dated
LinkedIn: Yes but not used to advertise her election campaign and is out dated.
Party web site:
Website: No presence. Yet is available.


Te Hamua Nikora (Mana)

Facebook: 1400 Friends
Twitter: 285 Followers, Following 239, 209 Tweets
LinkedIn: Yes but not used to advertise his election campaign
Party web site:
Website: No presence. Yet is available.


Na Rongowhakaata Raihania (Māori Party)

Facebook: 1386 Friends
Twitter: 134 Followers, 286 Following, 165 Tweets.
Youtube: No presence
Party web site:
Website: No presence. Yet is available.


Meka Whaitiri (Labour)

Facebook: (Personal Account)
Facebook: (Page) 372 Likes
Twitter: 613 Followers, 1659 Following, 34 Tweets.
Youtube: No presence
Party web site:
Website: No presence. Yet is available.


1. Details accurate as of14:00 on 02-05-13 from online research. I will update any corrections provided by the candidates.
2. I have no professional, social, economic or direct affiliation(s) to any political parties. I am the great-great grandson of the late Sir Eruera Tirikatene; Great nephew of the late Whetu Tirikatene and first cousin of Rino Tirikatene. I am a cousin of Dora Langsbury of the Green Party via my Tipuna Motoitoi. I have a number of professional relationships with affiliates, members and supporters of at least the Māori Party, Mana, National, NZ First, Labour and Act. There may be others that I am not aware of, as I generally don’t discuss politics outside of this research.
3. I follow many of the Māori politicians on social media: this is not an endorsement of any of them as individuals or their parties.
4. I am writing this and future articles for the insight into how Māori politicians use the Internet.


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