November 18, 2021
Rotorua council botches Māori seat plan
Te Arawa is upset at a recommendation as there only be one Māori seat on a 10-member Rotorua Lakes District Council after the next local government election.
Councillor Tania Tapsell says that’s not one of the proposals consulted on during the representation review, and iwi expected three seats, based on the percentage of voters who were on the Māori electoral roll.
She says the governance committee was trying to resolve the problem that voters on the Māori roll could only vote for the Māori seat.
It tried to fix that by having one Māori seat, one seat that can only be voted for by those on the general role, and eight at-large councillors that all voters can vote for.
“For iwi for Te Arawa here in the Rotorua rohe that was unacceptable, to give with one hand to say you can have Māori wards but to take with the other and say you can only have one, and that is the raruraru we had in our kōrero,” Ms Tapsell says.
Council still has a chance to fix it at tomorrow’s full meeting, and she’s pushing a model with two Māori seats, four general seats and four at large seats.