Voter Registration closes today with same issues raised over eligibility criteria

Variations in the provisional and final results reveal the need for more training of election officials, according to the Chief Electoral Officer

At 4pm today Tuesday 18th April, the electoral roll will be closed and over the next few days the Registrars of each of the village electoral rolls, will inspect their rolls before finalising the Electoral Roll for the General Elections 2023.

The eligibility criteria to be a voter in Niue is prescribed in the 1966 Niue Assembly Act and also in article 17 of the Niue Constitution but those criteria has again caused issues for some local residents.

Zack Smith of Mutalau took to social media yesterday to share his disappointment that despite living in Niue for several years he is not eligible to vote or stand as a candidate because he holds an Australian passport. According to the law, Niueans must be 18 years old, a New Zealand citizen or a Permanent Resident for non-Niueans to qualify as an elector.

Smith said that he holds dual citizenship, as a NZ and Australian citizen but he does not have a current NZ passport. 

The issue of voter eligibility for Niueans like Zack Smith who returned to live in Niue after living abroad for many years is not new, but he is asking the candidates vying for a seat at the 18th Niue Assembly to look at changing this 57 year old law. 

For those who are familiar with the election process and the laws guiding the electoral process, this is a valuable lesson for returning Niueans, to make sure they are prepared. One way is to use the village council elections as a test on their voter eligibility. 

The village council elections are held a year before the general elections and if there are any issues over voter eligibility then people like Zack Smith will have sufficient time to get their paperwork in order to meet the criteria for the general elections.

In the meantime, the Electoral Office will soon be posting up at the village community halls the electoral rolls for the respective villages.

A Registrar is appointed for each of the village electoral rolls.

Alofi South Village Roll RegistrarMrs Valentine Mautama
Alofi North Village Roll RegistrarMr Steve Alapaki
Makefu Village Roll RegistrarMr Charles Magatogia
Tuapa Village Roll RegistrarMr Hikitogia Puheke
Namukulu Village Roll RegistrarMs Lisara Heaki
Hikutavake Village Roll RegistrarMs Tiara Tukuniu
Toi Village Roll RegistrarMs Charlene Tukiuha
Mutalau Village Roll RegistrarMrs Ketalina Poitoa
Lakepa Village Roll RegistrarMr Richard Siataga
Liku Village Roll RegistrarMs Tiara Tukuniu
Hakupu Village Roll RegistrarMs Charlene Tukiuha
Vaiea Village Roll RegistrarMrs Toe Tukutama
Avatele Village Roll RegistrarMrs Laura Ikitule
Tamakautonga Village Roll RegistrarMr Darren Tohovaka
List of Village Electoral Roll Registrars

Any objections to names of the village electoral rolls should be taken up with the Registrar for that village.

The final determination on objections in relation to the Electoral Roll will be the responsibility of the Public Service Commission as prescribed in the Assembly Act 1966.

The island will go to the polls on Saturday 29th April.

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