There's a call for all Maori to automatically be listed on the Maori Electoral roll.
The Maori Party is seeking to change the Electoral Act in a way that may see it get more votes. It has drafted a Member's Bill that MP Te Ururoa Flavell is submitting to the member's ballot today.
The bill proposes to make the Maori roll the default for Maori voters as soon as they turn 18 years old. They could choose to opt out and be registered on the general electoral roll.
Currently, Maori voters are able to choose between the two rolls and there has been a strong campaign to raise awareness about the Maori roll and encourage Maori to register for it. However, Mr Flavell believes the Electoral Act as it stands does not promote strong Maori representation in Parliament.
The Party website calculates that if all Maori were on the Maori roll, they would have 12 Maori seats.
- Newstalk ZB/ RBG News
Davina William presents today's news, including the Inspector-General's report on GCSB surveillance of 88 New Zealanders; a call for parents to get social media-savvy to cope with cyber-bullying; Oklahoma City's deadly tornado; and the arrival of Middle Earth stars for shooting Sir Peter Jackson's next instalment of The Hobbit trilogy.
From the RBG News Centre for Shine TV.
Cardinals will hold a final set of meetings, before they are locked away to choose a new pope to lead the Catholic Church.
The conclave triggered by the historic resignation of Benedict the 16th begins this week, with the eyes of the world on the 115 men who must nominate one of their own to take his place.
Three names have emerged as frontrunners - Odilo Scherer, a charismatic archbishop of San Paulo, Italian conservative Angelo Scola and Marc Ouellet, a Canadian who holds a senior Vatican position.
Meanwhile, the final touches are being put on the Vatican's preparations, for this week's papal conclave.
A special chimney has been installed on the Sistine Chapel, from which white smoke will signal the election of a new Pope.
If a cloud of black is emitted, cardinals have been unable to choose a successor to Benedict.
According to CathNews the conclave of cardinals will begin the process of picking the new Pope at 6pm tomorrow (Rome time).
- RBG NEWS/Newstalk ZB
Election day for Kenya has drawn to a close.
Long lines of Kenyans had queued since before dawn on Monday to vote for their new president. It is the first general election since the violently disputed polls of five years ago. Outgoing president, Mwai Kibaki, had beseeched the people to vote peacefully and avoid a repeat of that post-election riot, in which more than a thousand people were killed.
Despite his message, this year's ballot was marred by a deadly assault on police, just hours before polling started. Six policemen were killed in two separate attacks in the port city of Mombasa. One ambush involved some 200 youths armed with guns, and bows and arrows.
However, the scenes at other polling booths around the country were largely peaceful, with a substantial voter turnout. Early results show Uhuru Kenyatta taking the lead in the presidential poll, leading his main opponent, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 57 to 39 percent. Final results could take up to seven days to be tallied.
The tense 2013 elections are seen as a crucial test for the country. Kenyans are not only voting for a fourth president but a host of other elected positions - such as senators, governors and members of parliament.
- Newstalk ZB
Voting for the new Pope could begin as early as next week with Pope Benedict giving his approval for a conclave to be brought forward.
The meeting of the World's cardinals, to elect a new leader normally begins at least 15 days after the papal seat becomes vacant.
But it could now begin in the first few days of March.
The conclave has been overshadowed by the resignation of British Cardinal Keith O'brien over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
As a result there will not be any British representation in the conclave to elect a new pope.
Pope Benedict steps down at the end of the month, and just over a hundred cardinals under the age of 80 will be eligible to elect his successor.
-Rhema News/ Newstalk ZB/ Photo: Newstalk ZB
2013 will see the 120th anniversary of women's suffrage.
In 1893 New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote.
Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae says since that time women have made an ever widening contribution to our society.
He says as 2013 begins, it's time to recall the contribution of women to New Zealand and the many privileges we enjoy.
Sir Jerry says 2013 also marks the centenary of the last year of peace before two World Wars.
The image below is the first sheet of the giant suffrage petition signed by 'Mary J. Carpenter and 25,519 Others' that was submitted to Parliament on 28 July 1893. Suffrage leader Kate Sheppard's signature appears about halfway down the left column. The original is held at Archives New Zealand, Head Office, Wellington.
Newstalk ZB/RBG News
A strategic studies expert says an abstention vote on a bid by Palestinians to gain a higher status at the United Nations could be the sensible thing for New Zealand to do.
The Palestinian Authority is seeking the status of a 'non-member state'.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is still deciding whether New Zealand will vote yes, or abstain.
The vote happens in New York later today but Victoria University Professor of Strategic Studies, Robert Ayson says NZ would be wise to be cautious.
Listen below for the story.
Contributor: Frank Ritchie - TEARfund
Frank talks with Allan about the presidential elections and the things the candidates claim while campaigning.
Listen below for the story.
Many Christian leaders are campaigning hard this election year, but they're not backing a specific candidate. Instead, they are urging Christian voters to rely on biblical principles when they cast their ballot.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., recently partnered with the group Concerned Women for America, in a "She Votes 2012" event, targeting female voters. King spoke with CBN news prior to an event in Hampton, Va. She stressed this election is bigger than any political party.
"The party is over," King said. "This is not party time...
"We can vote our values or we can vote God's principles," she said. "And God's principles are just so very clear and that actually should transcend the political party."
Davina William presents today's top stories, including the possibility of iwi court action over the exclusion of a 'shares plus' scheme in Mighty River Power's partial float; reaction to the prospect of an independent Scotland ahead of the 2014 referendum; and the human 'Angry Birds' stunt to launch the 2013 Nitro Circus Live NZ Tour. From the RBG News Centre for Shine TV.
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