A petition has been launched to have long-serving Rotorua district councillor Glenys Searancke reinstated to her previous roles, less than nine months before she stands down from the council.

The petition is being run by Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group member Jim Adams and has been endorsed by the group's chairwoman, demoted councillor Mrs Searancke.

In early December Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick asked Mrs Searancke to stand down from her role as chairwoman of the group citing a conflict of interest.

Mrs Searancke refused to stand down so Mrs Chadwick removed her as leader of the Rotorua Lakes Council Creative Communities portfolio, and as the council's representative on the Civic Arts Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust and Bay of Plenty Regional Council public transport sub-committee.

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Mrs Searancke has already stated she would not be seeking re-election in October's council elections.

The petition states: "We, the undersigned residents and ratepayers in the district, earnestly request that the mayor reinstate councillor Searancke to all positions of responsibility from which she was removed."

Mr Adams said he believed the decision was made just before the Christmas break "in the hope that it would fade from public memory".

"I wanted this petition to make it clear that it hasn't and won't until Glenys is reinstated," Mr Adams said.

Mrs Chadwick said she would not reinstate Mrs Searancke.

"This was a political decision endorsed by council in December. There will not be an opportunity to revisit it."

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The petition is supported by former district councillor Maggie Bentley.

"[This is] no way to treat a lady who has given 30 years service to Rotorua. Let her go out with dignity and honour."

Mrs Bentley said Mrs Searancke had been stripped of her opportunity to pass on her knowledge and experience to the people replacing her.

Mrs Chadwick said Mrs Searancke was free to pass on her knowledge at any time regardless of her role on council.

The petition will be distributed by members of the group who will be present at events such as this weekend's A&P Show.