Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group looks ahead to 2019 elections

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Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers leaders Reynold Macpherson (left), Glenys Searancke, Rosemary MacKenzie and Paddi Hodgkiss. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers leaders Reynold Macpherson (left), Glenys Searancke, Rosemary MacKenzie and Paddi Hodgkiss. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

The Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers (RDRR) group says it will continue lobbying on behalf of its members and to prepare for the next local elections in October 2019.

The decision was made at its annual general meeting on Friday, it said in a press release today.

Chairwoman Glenys Searancke said: "Our mayoral candidate Reynold Macpherson and our six council candidates Peter Bentley, Julie Calnan, John Dyer, Raj Kumar, Rosemary MacKenzie, and Shelley Riach-Fischer can be very proud of their endeavours with Peter and Raj making it onto council and the other four a very close cluster, just short of the winning numbers. Reynold ran a close second to Mayor Chadwick, and indeed, without the other two main contenders, could well have succeeded."

She said RDRR would continue to write letters and make submissions on various matters to the council.

"We have some very talented and knowledgeable members in our group and those skills must be used. So for the next three years that is our focus and that will lead up to the next council elections in 2019."


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Secretary Reynold Macpherson said the RDRR ran a "low-cost consultative and grass-roots campaign".

"The RDRR team campaign attracted 41,397 votes, although not quite enough to win power."

At the AGM it was decided to retain the current committee and to meet regularly in 2017 and 2018 with a view to offering endorsed candidates in 2019, the release said.

Treasurer Rosemary MacKenzie reported the "healthy financial state of the RDRR", with membership "well over 400 and growing steadily".

"Morale is very high. Members are determined to keep challenging the actions and decisions of the current regime."

The regular meetings would ensure effective communications, attract new members, co-ordinate RDRR's networks of volunteers, and prepare the ground for the next election, she said.

When the Rotorua Daily Post caught up with some of the RDRR members earlier this month, Mrs Searancke said the plan was to be "a true ratepayers group".

"It always concerned me when I was on council we had ratepayer groups in most of the rural communities but in the city, particularly after the abolition of the wards, there was no way we could find out exactly what the city people were thinking.

"We will be championing causes and keeping an eye on things, as far as citizens and ratepayers are concerned.

"We like to think we are representative of a good cross-section of the community, not just a particular sector," Mrs Searancke said.

Mrs MacKenzie said although the election was over there were still people joining the group.

"We may have grey hair, but we're not dead yet," she said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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