Tihei Mauri Ora!
Kei aku taitai huanga o tēnei waka tapu o tātau,
Te Arawa waka, Te Arawa tangata,
Tēnā rā koutou, otirā tātau katoa.
By 21 May, Rotorua Lakes Council, and indeed all councils throughout the country, may decide whether to introduce Māori wards.
The Government recently changed the Local Electoral Act, removing the ability of the community to demand a poll to overturn a council decision to introduce Māori wards. It has given councils until 21 May to decide if they want Māori wards introduced for the 2022 local body elections.
The number of members to be elected from Māori wards is calculated through a formula dependent on the total number of elected members; and the Māori and General electoral populations of the district.
If our council were to introduce Māori wards, under the current arrangements of 10 Rotorua Lakes Council councillors, there would be three Māori wards.
The final details of Māori wards would then be informed by a review of representation arrangements to be undertaken by the Council by 31 August 2021. This representation review will also determine the arrangements for boundaries and how many elected members are needed to govern Rotorua.
In early May, Te Tatau o Te Arawa will be recommending to the council whether Māori wards should be introduced. Our recommendation will be based on what our people want.
The three options Te Tatau o Te Arawa is asking its people to consider are:
- Retain the status quo (Te Tatau o Te Arawa stays, and Māori wards are not introduced).
- Introduce Māori wards, and disestablish Te Tatau.
- Introduce Māori wards, and retain Te Tatau.
Read the full pānui here.