Members of a new Te Arawa board have met with senior managers of the Rotorua Lakes Council in their build up to officially starting next month.

Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board met with the management team of the Rotorua Lakes Council today.

The inauguration of the board took place in December last year and members will take part in meetings for the first time next month.

All new staff - and elected members following an election - are taken through an induction process when they join Rotorua Lakes Council. This includes a tour of relevant facilities, information about the structure and workings of the organisation and health and safety matters.


In the case of Te Tatau o Te Arawa members, their induction also included a session with executive, governance and operational staff and the mayor to discuss meeting protocols and processes.

Board chairman Te Taru White said board representatives on the council committees could have taken part in the first round of meetings for the year in March but it was decided to hold off until April to ensure they were properly prepared.

"We wanted to make sure all our members were on the same page and privy to all the information."

Mr White said today's three-and-a-half-hour induction was "very successful".
"It is more of a conversation rather than being talked at. It allowed a free flow of discussions with managers and senior executives. It was very participatory and was exactly what they needed."

Mr White said the board was looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.
"The common thread that binds us together is what is in the best interests of our community as a whole. I've said it before, we've got a good little team and now we have the right information to do our best for the challenges ahead."

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she was impressed the board had been very measured in learning council processes, protocol and committee functions before taking their place at the table.

"They know they will be measured by what they add to any recommendations that are made and they are determined to be well prepared.

"The level of questioning during today's induction session showed great levels and depth of experience, and understanding of governance, and it bodes well for maximising our opportunities as we work together on a partnership basis," she said.

The board is a formal partnership between the council and Te Arawa. Its establishment created controversy among some who were angry that unelected members would get to sit on council committees with voting rights.

The 14-member board replaces the Te Arawa standing committee, which used to advise the council on iwi matters.

The new board is made up of Mr White, Ngaroma (Mala) Grant (deputy chairwoman), Te Uru o Te Whetu (Fred) Whata, Kingi Biddle, Ana Morrison, Eraia Kiel, Gina Mohi, Potaua Biasiny-Tule, Raina Meha-Rangitauira, David (Rawiri) Waru, Geoffrey Rolleston, Eugene Berryman-Kamp, Te Mauri Kingi and Ngahuia Hona-Paku.