Voting is now open for the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, and with a record number of nominees this year, the trust is encouraging all Rotorua residents to have their say.
Voting packs were posted today and will be delivered to all 46,574 eligible electors by next Wednesday. The packs include a candidate directory with profiles on all 44 nominees who are vying for the six available positions along with voting papers and a referendum question on trustee terms.
This year's election will be held via post, ballot box and online, with voting able to be made up until 12 noon, Saturday November 19.
Trust manager Tony Gill said a non-binding referendum had been included as part of this year's election, to gain the community's views on whether a maximum number of terms that a trustee may serve on the trust should be introduced.
"Trustees are elected for a three-year term. At the end of each term, trustees must stand down, but are eligible for re-election. The trust deed currently places no limit on the number of times an individual may be re-elected as a trustee.
"Six years ago, a non-binding referendum on the topic was held, but delivered results that were too close to draw a conclusive decision either way. As such, the trust decided to maintain the status quo.
"The trust will reconsider the topic of fixed term tenure following the election and non-binding referendum.
"We encourage as many people as possible to vote in the trust election and referendum so we can get a clear view on the community's opinion."
Mr Gill said this year's election would be the second time the trust had utilised electronic voting as an option.
"Online voting provides a simple and secure voting option, and is widely used across New Zealand by various trusts and unions.
"As our world continues to become more digitalised, the trust views online voting as a core component to its voting options.
"At the last trust election in 2010, voter turnout was only 26 per cent. This year we'd like to see as many people as possible exercise their democratic right to vote."