Analysis

Voter Registration Drive Finds Unprecedented Interest in Election Among Fijians in NZ

This election will see more young people voting and it could be attributed to the unprecedented interest. They are expected to influence the election outcome. The 2022 General Election features nine parties – the highest  number participating in an election. While it shows that we are more politically divided in this election compared to 2014 and 2018, it demonstrates that democracy is alive and well.
25 May 2022 16:26
Voter Registration Drive Finds Unprecedented Interest in Election Among Fijians in NZ
Fijian Elections Office staff Shital Prasad (third from left) and Siriako Raogo (right) attend to couple Aubrey Lee Wah (left) and wife Estella Lee Wah at the Hamilton registration centre, New Zealand on May 24, 2022. Photo: Nemani Delaibatiki

The final leg of the voter registration drive has unveiled an unprecedented interest and excitement among Fijians in New Zealand.

Two Fijian Elections Office teams are in NZ  for their final sweep to register eligible voters.

A two-person team began registering voters in Hamilton while the second group was in the capital, Wellington after carrying out a similar exercise in Christchurch.

In the Hamilton booth more than 100 Fijians had registered in the morning after it opened. There was a steady flow of Fijians going in to be registered for the first time or to update their voter cards.

 

Election fever

A Fijian who spoke on the condition of not being identified said Fijians in New Zealand were caught up in election fever.

“The Australians have just held their election and they have elected a new Government and a new Prime Minister. We will soon learn the dates for the Fijian election this year.  Then next year New Zealand goes to the polls.

“All these elections have an impact on us because we have relatives who live in Fiji and Australia. “There are issues like the rise in the cost of living that affects Fijians who live here, in  Fiji and Australia.”

This election will see more young people voting and it could be attributed to the unprecedented interest. They are expected to influence the election outcome.

Secondly, it  will feature nine parties – the highest  number participating in an election. While it shows that we are more politically divided in this election compared to 2014 and 2018, it demonstrates that democracy is alive and well.

People are free to affiliate with any political grouping.

It also raises the possibility that  it may be difficult for one party to win the election outright because of the fragmentation and the prospect of a coalition government cannot be ruled out.

That is why The People’s Alliance and the National Federation Party have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together and forge a coalition after the election, if the need arises to form a new government.

Votes from Fijians overseas, including New Zealand will play a crucial role in deciding the outcome.

Parties are also campaigning in New Zealand through their supporters and holding fundraising activities.

The PA has been active on the fundraising front. Next month a  big fundraiser is being organised in Auckland where The PA leader Sitiveni Rabuka will be the chief guest and tickets are selling at $200 each for a three-course meal.

It has boosted the election hype and got people talking about the real issues in this election.

Those who were asked yesterday in New Zealand said the issues included the cost of living, jobs, housing for those living in rentals, health and education cost.

As the FEO teams wrap up their  registration drive in Auckland and Palmerston North today and head back to Fiji tomorrow, they would be satisfied with results of the registration.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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