Observations of a member: Maori Party and social media

Over at her blog, Ellipsister, Carrie Stoddart-Smith has some observations on the Maori Party’s social media, and its online media and interactions with new members:

….when I joined the Māori Party, I expected at the very least an automated email saying Thanks for joining  and some general info about contact information and some graphic that indicated the Māori Party were preaparing for campaign mode. But nothing, except a username and password which I’m not quite sure what to do with at the moment.

There are a number of other observations that she makes. It is well worth a read.


I don’t know much about the inner workings of the Maori Party, so I am basing the following views on my limited knowledge, and I fully accept that I may be miles off the mark, but could the Maori Party’s lack of engagement in social media be a symptom of the age of those involved in the leadership group of the party, and their lack of understanding of the power of social media? Is there a place for someone to push social media?


Recently I was looking at the demographics of Tamaki Makaurau electorate. I was shocked at how young the electorate is, and I suspect the same would apply for the other Maori seats. Something approaching 60% of the population is under 30, compared to 42% for the wider population. The median age is 24, compared to 35 for the wider population. If this isn’t a sign that their core constituency is going to be open to using social media, I am not sure what would be. I guess this is the risk of the split between the age group represented in the leadership, and the age group that makes up their constituency.



  1. I absolutely agree there has been (and still is) a big disjunct between the leadership demographic and the constituency.However, this isn’t unique to the Māori Party, Mana’s leadership are also well above the demographic they are targeting, although they have a strong Rangatahi (youth) movement. Anecdotally, at UoA, the Māori students were not consistent in who they supported, but the clear three contenders were Māori Party, Mana Party, and Labour (many ditching their support following revelations in their first year about the Foreshore and Seabed!).

    On a different note, I have received some really positive comments from the Māori Party who were incredibly grateful for the feedback I gave. And yesterday I saw 5 of the candidates start tweeting, an increase in likes on the FB page, and Sue Cullen set up a web page. They have probably left it a little bit late, but better late than never, in my view!

    • Oh I am not saying it is an issue that is unique to the Maori party, but it is a combination of that issue, plus the weaker youth wing that you talk about. There are ways to over come this, but the don’t appear to have happened.

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