October 10, 2016
Maori turn out.
There were some notable wins for Maori candidates in the local government elections despite low Maori turn out.
The country has a new Maori mayor, with Mike Tana in Porirua taking the job vacated by Nick Leggett, who unsuccessfully pursued the Wellington mayoralty.
Mr Tana, who finished as president of the Public Service Association, last month, is a senior biosecurity adviser at the Ministry for Primary Industries.
One of the most experienced Maori politicians in both local and central government, Dover Samuels, missed out on reelection to the Northland Regional Council.
Napier has its first Maori on council with the election of Apiata Tapine, the regional learning co-ordinator at EIT’s Maraenui Learning Centre.
In neighbouring Hastings , Health Hawkes Bay PHO chair Bayden Barber joins Flaxmere identity Henare O’Keefe on the council, and in the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, councilors who oppose the proposed Ruataniwha Dam now make up a majority around the table.
Wairoa voters decided by a five to one margin there should be a Maori ward at the next election.
In New Plymouth no Maori candidates were elected, but voters returned John Horse McLeod, who quit mid-term in protest against former mayor Andrew Judd’s efforts to create Maori seats.
Will Flavell was returned for another term on Auckland’s Henderson-Massey Local Board along with new member Paula Bold-Wilson, but two other Maori candidates on the Labour ticket missed out in what was a crowded field.
In Rotorua, Steve Chadwick was returned as mayor and Tania Tapsell was the top polling council candidate, with Merepeka Raukawa Tait and Trevor Maxwell also back at the table.
Mike McVicker, who the week before the election came out as a member of Don Brash’s Hobson’s Pledge group, was the lowest polling councillor to be reelected.
Willow-Jean Prime was returned on the Far North District Council.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com