The council received a record 1899 submissions on the proposal. They are all available to view at www.rdc.govt.nz. Below are a selection, showing the range of views on the topic.
Against the proposal
- Alan Armstrong
I am a member of Ngati Raukawa ki Otaki living in Rotorua and I have friends here from many other iwi. Between us we make up 60 per cent of the Maori living in Rotorua. None of us have any representation on any of Te Arawa's committees and they don't consult with us, so our issue with them is exactly the same one they have with the council - being represented by others who don't consult or listen.
- Brent Frew
We have the duly elected council members to run our district and in no way am I prepared to allow extra non-elected people make decisions for me on the way my money is spent or wasted on decisions made. I am sure if people feel they need extra voices on the council then stand for election like everyone else does and not try and get in the back door. If their standing committee wasn't working in previous years then they need to look at themselves and ask why.
- Sylvia Phillips
The Te Arawa Partnership Plan would give disproportionate power to one small section of Rotorua society - this is undemocratic. I want a Maori Party Advisory Board and all others to be there to advise elected councillors who make decisions in all the people of Rotorua's best interests. I feel outraged that one sector of Rotorua society has been chosen and given completely disproportionate and completely undemocratic rights and powers. I also feel that this feedback form is biased and slanted in its wording so as to give the Mayor the outcome she craves.
- J A J van der Sluis
I believe in one race, the human race, which means everyone is equal and this proposal creates racial tension. Te Arawa have never been able to give one good reason for this proposal. The Te Arawa proposal is absolute [sic] ridiculous and to support this proposal is the ultimate stupidity.
- Max Winders
Te Arawa have elected representation on council, so why should they need to become dictators, in a democratic society? It is absolutely disgraceful that our mayor and council should have ever considered such a proposal, are we headed for anarchy? How do you remove an elected councillor who becomes a dictator? A council/Te Arawa partnership will not improve a minus zero growth rate, it will only deteriorate it further.
For the proposal
- Michael Byrne
[It] facilitates a wider range of opinion. That has to be more representative. One contentious issue is voting rights. Without voting rights committee members don't have any teeth. It would look like tokenism. I feel that the pro democracy lobby group misses the point. Rotorua voted the current mayor in. If Rotorua doesn't like her we will vote her out. That's democracy. The partnership proposal is an attempt to unite otherwise disparate groups. We should be trying to work together not to divide.
- Martyn Evans
It acknowledges and strengthens Te Arawa decision making process, it recognises tangata whenua as equal partners. A model, not based on fear but quite squarely on being inclusive. Working together, on the level is the only way forward that makes sense. Expect resentment from the fearful, it takes courage to change, now is the time to change the paradigm.
- Ian McLean
The old Te Arawa standing committee was clearly not working as a forum to resolve issues between iwi and council. The proposals made by Te Arawa and in the council partnership model are quite modest. They do not seek a seat at the "top table" of the council itself where decisions are made. Nevertheless the viewpoint of the Pro Democracy Society does need to be taken into account since it too represents concerns of a minority viewpoint.
- Marjorie Griffiths
Te Arawa are major figures within the Rotorua district and can contribute much to the running of our council. Co-operation is required by law between councils and Maori. Working effectively together can encourage harmonious relationships and continued progress for Rotorua - we all want those elements.
- Eruera Barlow
[It] will promote meaningful korero between Te Arawa and the council that leads to better outcomes for Rotorua. It will enable council and Te Arawa to identify common aspirations and opportunities to advance the vision of the Rotorua community. We need Te Arawa voices to be heard, and valued. People need to realise this whenua belongs to Te Arawa, for way too long people have forgotten who the true owners of this land are and pushed Te Arawa to the back row, although they own the land.