Rotorua Lakes Council is looking for three people with an open mind and an understanding of Rotorua to be part of a working party reviewing council representation.

Applications are now open for members of the public interested in a place on the council's Representation Review Working Party.

The review is a requirement of the Local Electoral Act and has to be undertaken by councils every six years. Any changes would be implemented for the next local elections in 2016.

This year's review will look at matters such as the number of councillors to be elected, whether or not there should be community boards, and whether councillors should be elected by wards, "at large," or by a combination of both.


The review will not consider Maori wards as the council has already resolved not to introduce them for the next election, and it will not impact on a separate council process to consult on a Te Arawa partnership model proposal.

The working party, to be chaired by councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, will comprise six members in total, including councillors Tania Tapsell and Charles Sturt and three independent community members on a voluntary basis.

Council strategy and partnerships group manager, Jean-Paul Gaston, said there was no set job description or specific qualifications laid down for community representatives.

"However, the council will be looking for people with a good knowledge of the district and who feel they have a sound understanding of our communities.

"They would need to be prepared to approach their task objectively and with an open mind, and be able to digest and understand quite large and complex amounts of information."

Mrs Raukawa-Tait said the working party would lead an active community engagement process.

"We're looking for people interested in contributing to this important review for their community, and who are prepared to donate their time to what is a critical component of local government democracy.

"As a working party we'll be engaging with residents to hear their different perspectives, assessing the community feedback we receive, researching what's happening elsewhere, then making recommendations for the council to consider.


"Ultimately the mayor and councillors will need to formally decide on the final representation arrangements that will apply for the 2016 and 2019 local government elections," she said.

Mrs Raukawa-Tait and council chief executive Geoff Williams would select the three public members for the working party, which would make its final recommendations by early August, Mr Gaston said.

He said it was anticipated the working party would meet on a fortnightly basis.

Anyone interested can submit an expression of interest by sending the council a single typed page setting out their experience and relevant background, outlining why they believe they would be suitable for the working party, and providing their contact details.

Expressions of interest close on March 4, and can be delivered or posted to Rotorua Lakes Council, marked for the attention of Rick Dunn, or emailed to More information is available from the council on (07) 348 4199.