I note with interest that Tauranga iwi have registered their discontent with the lack of Māori elected in the recent council elections.
In Rotorua, we don't have that problem. If anything, we have an over-representation of Māori on council.
Traditionally, Rotorua has always been well represented by Maori on council. In the days when Maori represented some 35 per cent of the population, we consistently had three or four Maori councillors elected, of the total of 12.
Today, with the Maori numbers close to 40 per cent, we have four Te Arawa Maori of the 10 councillors elected. In addition to these four, elected as a result of their own efforts, we have the unelected members of the Te Arawa Standing Committee sitting around the council table, with voting rights.
This undemocratic process of appointments of Te Arawa people to council was implemented in 2015 under the pretence of providing more involvement of local iwi in council affairs.
Then in addition to the above elected and unelected members, the Lakes council has a senior role of another Te Arawa representative under the banner of the Te Ahurei role.
Granted, under today's requirements there is a need for a strong relationship with the increasingly important Te Arawa iwi, but isn't this all going just a bit overboard?
Is it not time to have a review of the role of the unelected Te Arawa Standing Committee?
With four Te Arawa councillors, all elected as a result of their own efforts, surely they represent the view of Te Arawa on council?
Time for a change, I say, where democracy prevails.
Boating changes seems like the cart before the horse
Reading the proposal to have every boat checked that enters a Rotorua lake and its monitoring via an app seems a little like the cart before the horse.
In my time with Rotorua Lakes Coastguard and spending large amounts of time on the water speaking with people, we found out a lot of these people were from out of town and once at a lake, reception at ramps is limited so sending your details may not work and we also know that signage can be a waste of time as most people ignore it or don't read it due to their eagerness to get out on the water.
With weeds and catfish, about the only way to kill most of these organisms was with hot water, above 52C.
Hot water wash bays may be the answer but at whose cost?
Pamphlets, adverts, signage, apps - all the rubbish that goes with promoting this idea would be better spent on these wash bay options such as the Lake Horowhenua Project (but a hot water option).
Frequent users should already be using the hot wash option as the check, clean, dry option is only a deterrent and not a fix.
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