National | Debate

Another Māori electorate wants cannabis legalised

Māori Television presenter David Jones, with Green Party candidate Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, Labour MP Rino Tirikatene and the Māori Party's Tākuta Ferris.  Photo / File

A fifth consecutive Māori electorate has shown more than 50% support for legalising cannabis. The South Island's Te Tai Tonga voters are the latest group to back legalisation.

A Māori Television Curia Market Research poll released Wednesday evening has found 51% of Te Tai Tonga voters plan to support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill in this year's referendum. The strongest backers are 50 to 59-year-olds.

Some 38% of respondents are against legalisation, while 11% are undecided. The 60-plus age group are most opposed to it.

Green Party candidate Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati and the Māori Party's Tākuta Ferris told viewers during Māori Television's Te Tai Tonga election debate on Wednesday evening that they were in favour of legalisation, however, Labour MP Rino Tirikatene said he was not. The candidates did not expand on their positions.

Māori voters in Te Tai Hauāuru (57%), Ikaroa-Rāwhiti (51%), Hauraki-Waikato (51%) and Waiariki (52%) have all backed legalisation.

Last week's One News Colmar Brunton Poll found a majority of New Zealanders opposed legalisation (53% against, 35% for), while Horizon Research and UMR polls in the last two days have both shown majority support for change.

The Māori Television Curia Market Research poll of Te Tai Tonga was conducted between October 4-5, with a total of 500 voters surveyed.  Polling was by landline and mobile with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent.