October 13, 2013
Slim tally of Maori council winners
Maori candidates did well in Rotorua’s local body elections, but there were mixed results for Maori in other centres.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait was the top-polling candidate in the Sulphur City, followed by deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell.
First time candidate Tania Tapsell polled fifth, making her the country’s youngest councillor. She’s the great grand niece of the late Sir Peter Tapsell, the former Eastern Maori MP.
Another former Labour MP, Steve Chadwick, beat incumbent Kevin Winter to take the Rotorua mayoralty.
Her former caucus colleague, Dover Samuels, won a seat on the Northland Regional Council.
In the Far North District Council, Wayne Brown, who had the backing to the Ngapuhi Runanga because of his promise to push for Maori seats, lost the mayoralty to former National MP John Carter, but lawyer Willow-Jean Prime was elected to council.
However, an attempt to get Maori on Northland councils under the Tu Kotahi banner fell short, with none of the ticket’s candidates elected.
Former Wairoa mayor Derek Fox also failed to get his old job back, but the other members of his Team Wairoa ticket, Mike Bird, Benita Cairns and Hine Flood, were elected.
Sitting Maori councillors re-elected include Ray Ahipene Mercer in Wellington, Henare O’Keefe in Hastings, Manu Caddie in Gisborne and Howie Tamati in New Plymouth.
In the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Maori wards, Tipene Marr held his seat and Arapeta Tahana and Awanui Black beat Tai Eru and Raewyn Bennett respectively.
Tipa Mahuta and Timoti Bramley won the Waikato Regional Council’s two new Maori wards.
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