It's fair to say there are plenty of folk in Rotorua with strong opinions about the Rotorua Lakes Council, its decisions, its councillors, the way it operates. In fact, anything at all council-related.

Public engagement in local politics has been high in recent months, due to several controversial decisions.

Now those who have previously been on the outside looking in have their chance to put their money where their mouths are, and apply to be part of a Representation Review Working Party.

This group of six - three councillors and three to-be-appointed community members - will look at fundamental matters such as the number of councillors to be elected in Rotorua, whether there should be community boards, and whether councillors should be elected by wards, "at large" or a combination.


Before you get excited, be warned it will be a labour of love - it is unpaid and will involve regular meetings and work through until August.

Which will probably rule out plenty of qualified people who don't have the time to devote to the task, regardless of their sense of civic duty.

But it is a review the council could easily have just gone ahead and conducted on its own. Inviting the public to form half the working party is one way of involving community members in decisions that affect them.

While there are no set candidate requirements, the council says it is looking for people with knowledge of the district and a "sound understanding" of our communities. People who can approach it objectively and with an open mind and understand "large and complex" pieces of information.

It will be interesting to see who puts a hand up for the job.

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