New Zealanders should be shocked in learning that there not official figure to ascertain the total number of non-citizens that are eligible to vote, and that cast an electoral and party vote.
Last year as of August 2019 there were almost 200,000 people with residence class visas who lived in the country. To give you an idea that is close in number to the size of North Shore, Waitakere or even one a quarter in total population to Hamilton nearing twice the size of Dunedin.
Anybody truly concerned about the Russians interfering with our election need not worry themselves with fear and can thank the fact our system is not functioning efficiently right now.
In addition to that is the lived experience of Kiwis that have found themselves in Waitakere shopping centres the growing number of suburbs around Auckland to know that it is not Russia that are spreading faster than the rabbit population.
Did you know the Electoral Commissions doesn’t record any of that information making it unclear how many of those people (the 200,000) actually voted at the 2017 General Election. Recently in a OIA (Official Information Act) request it was revealed by the Commissions on response that they were unaware what that figure was as the voting forms do not seek that information.
What we do have to draw our conclusions from is the 2017 New Zealand Election Study (NZES) that indicate non-citizens easily could have played an important role in electing the Coalition Government of the three headed monster.
The NZES is an academic study that surveyed a total of 3,445 people and the full dataset is able to be found online. What it showed was a representative sample of 2,670 confirmed voters weighted by demographic variables such as age, gender and education in a table where 7 percent said they were not a New Zealand Citizen.
Of that there were 54 percent that voted in favour of one of the three Governing parties (Labour, NZFirst and Greens.
The numbers show that non-citizens in 2017 was a sizeable bloc and the majority cast a vote towards one of those three governing parties giving evidence enough to ask a the serious question “did migrants elect our Government in 2017”.
Unfortunately it is and will always be a secret unable to be revealed now or in the future with no one ever truly being able to claim they have that answer, as a result of no information that shares that detail is available or even ever existed.
To give serious consideration in expecting non-voters to become motived or inspired enough to participate in casting a vote our political institution must give the same display of action first in providing confidence that protecting the right of New Zealand citizens is in fact those two things.
Protected, and a right belonging to us. Because facing the stark truth means accepting and understanding that many people who voted at the last election who prepare to do the same this Saturday if they have not already done so in early voting days, quite likely have no allegiance to this country whatsoever.
Right now it is not possible to truly say New Zealanders have power to choose and decide who their Government will be and what that looks like when the honest reality is New Zealanders, those who think they quite like the idea of being a New Zealander and even those who have no intention to become a full citizen but enjoy the benefits of residency, are all given the exact same power and right as us.
Makes you wonder when casting minds back to 2017 seeing National take 10 seats more than Labour on election night, who did New Zealanders, full citizens decide on, and who did the unaccounted number of residents or new comers choose?
To put minds at ease, there will be no way to answer that and know on Saturday evening or any time after either, when we learn the new Government or at least an idea of what it will be.