Will Rotorua be next to force unelected Maori “representatives” on ratepayers?

On Thursday there is possibly a vote, pushed by Labour hack, Steve Chadwick, to put Te Arawa representatives on Rotorua Lakes Council.

It will be a very explosive issue. A few councillors and a previous candidate have created a group to oppose the move:

Six months ago, at the Mayor’s instigation, a “Te Arawa Partnership Plan” proposed to give the iwi two unelected representatives on the Rotorua District Council, plus 50% control of the Resource Management Committee and their own parallel administration. The plan was flatly rejected by Rotorua ratepayers. Council officials have since provided finance and staff to support several hui, the most recent on 14 December 2014.

With respect, we invited Te Arawa to reaffirm the principles of democracy.

In recent times the Council, with the support of the Mayor, has increasingly paid lip service to due process and pushed through numerous decisions and changes to delegations about discretionary spending. So, we may ask, where to from here?

Given the Mayor’s progressively unilateral decision making, and recent announcements, it is clear she will ram through her preferred model of representation at the last meeting of the year on 18 December, hoping that the political fallout will fade over Christmas. Such tactics would be ill advised and will most likely backfire. Many Councillors have recently come to the conclusion that this Council has over-stepped the mark with the lack of due process. The lack of authentic consultation prior to controversial near split-vote decisions is creating a legacy of division in our community. Ramming through unelected representation will push the boundaries of democracy, and once again, divide our district. Public tolerance of such behaviour is fading.

This boils down to race-based, unelected ‘representatives’ (oh the irony) being put into chairs normally reserved for elected community representatives.

Councils have become the new battle-ground for Maori activism, claiming once again that this is all part of the treaty.

It is not.

The treaty was between tribes and the crown and arguably no councils even existed back then.

This extension of so-called ‘rights’ for Maori is leading us down a path of apartheid and resentment, especially as most ‘solutions’ to solve non-existent problems involved unelected ‘representatives’ to hold the balance of power and allow them to extort the ratepayers.

The government must move to legislate this nonsense away.

I wonder what local MP Todd McClay is going to say about all this?

He probably will be relishing Steve Chadwick pushing this through as it will make his re-election a foregone conclusion.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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