Opinion: New trustees a big change

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What a difference a few years make.

Today we reveal the shakeup to the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust after the election which saw four new faces join the board.

Only two of the existing trustees retained places on the six person trust - with Tamati Coffey, Stewart Edward, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait and Beatrice Yates joining serving trustees Sandra Kai-Fong and Jo-Anne La Grouw around the trust table.

It's a far cry from the last elections - or lack of them. In 2013, nobody stood against the existing trustees sothere was no need for an election.

This time around there was huge interest, with 44 people standing for the six available positions.

The newly-elected trustees have a big responsibility ahead of them, especially when you consider the trust has given back $105 million to the community in the last 20 years.

One of the first things they'll have to consider is the result of the non-binding referendum on whether there should be a maximum number of terms the trustees should serve.

The overwhelming majority of those who voted in the referendum agreed there should be a limit - and I tend to agree. While trustees should be allowed long enough to successfully come to grips with the system and make changes, there should be limits.

While many of the trustees have admirably given many years - some even decades - to the trust, it is good to have new ideas and opinions on such an important trust.

Full credit to those like Grahame Hall, Trevor Maxwell, Lyall Thurston and Paul East whose roles with the trust have been instrumental in making Rotorua the place it is today.

Without the trust's help in funding, projects like the Rotorua Energy Events Centre development, the museum's extension and the development of the new dementia village at Ngongotaha may well have struggled to get the cash needed to go ahead.

It will be interesting to see whether the big change in trustees sees a new direction for the trust.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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