Voting documents will be sent out this week and Te Arawa can cast their vote on who they think should represent them on Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board.

The board was established three years ago to guide the partnership with Rotorua Lakes Council and represent the diverse voices of Te Arawa.

There are 23 candidates, some who have been on the board and others who are new, but only 14 positions to be filled.

The candidates have said why they think they would suit the different roles.

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Pan-Te Arawa Entities, one seat

Eugene Berryman-Kamp. Photo / Supplied
Eugene Berryman-Kamp. Photo / Supplied

Eugene Berryman-Kamp

I have enjoyed the last three years on Te Tatau and the Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee – a role I take seriously as it directly impacts on the strategic direction of our community. I will strive to ensure Te Arawa continues to have an active and informed voice at the decision-making table. I offer governance, business, council process and iwi development experience. I work with district and regional councils on joint management committees, so I have a sound understanding of local government and board processes. A chartered member of the Institute of Directors, I am chief executive of Te Arawa River lwi Trust and a board member on Korowai Aroha, Te Rau Ora, Pakihi BK Ltd, QE Health and TARIT Holdings.

Koeke, one seat

Dr Ken Kennedy. Photo / Supplied
Dr Ken Kennedy. Photo / Supplied

Dr Ken Kennedy

Experienced in Te Arawa kawa and tikanga, tohunga of ancient rituals, represented Te Arawa in education, cultural and economic, including involvement with iwi and hapū governance at local, regional, national and international levels.

Other governance and interest groups include Koeke o Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rangiteaorere Koromatua Council, Tikitere Trust, Te Maru o Ngāti Wahiao, Whakarewarewa Joint Trust, Te Kotahitanga o Te Arawa (Fisheries), Te Pae Motuhake o Te Arawa (Te Matawai), and Lakes Water Quality Society.

Communication between the Wise Counsel of Te Arawa Elders and Te Tatau o Te Arawa is crucial for the relationship between RLC and Te Arawa to be most effective.

Kiri Potaka-Dewes. Photo / Supplied
Kiri Potaka-Dewes. Photo / Supplied

Kiri Potaka-Dewes

I am standing as Koeke representative to ensure the voice of the koeke of Te Arawa is heard; that it accurately reflects the best interests of the koeke; and that it reaches the right bodies, agencies and governing authorities towards the development of a collaborative and cooperative working relationship. The demographic of Te Arawa and Rotorua Māori community suggests an increase in the ageing population, which means there are more elderly in our hapū and iwi and in our community. The housing shortage is obvious. Homelessness, poverty and domestic violence are also social issues impacting on our elderly/koeke community. As Koeke representative, there has to be a special focus on the plight, the condition and well-being of our koeke.

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Iwi/Hapū, six seats

Potaua Biasiny-Tule. Photo / Supplied
Potaua Biasiny-Tule. Photo / Supplied

Potaua Biasiny-Tule

One day my kuia, Cecilia Rakuraku, saw her useless mokopuna reading the newspaper. She asked, "E moko - what do you want to be when you grow up?" I shrugged, saying "I don't know". She asked, "what about politics?", I replied "what's politics?" and she said, "what you're doing now".

From that kōrero, I was encouraged to study and earn a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science that I have since used for our iwi, more recently on Te Tatau serving on RLC Operations and Monitoring Committee.

I believe our next Te Tatau board needs to proactively draw together our common kaupapa before facing council together. I want us to positively face issues of homelessness, wastewater, jobs, business opportunities and our environment.

Aroha Bray. Photo / Supplied
Aroha Bray. Photo / Supplied

Aroha Bray

Let me be your very effective Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board member into the future.

I have the ability to win the toughest of prospects because I am super driven and persistent in my endeavours to help our Te Arawa lwi.

I welcome the opportunity to be at the Board table so I can contribute my skills to the opportunities and challenges that Te Arawa currently faces.

I am someone who gets results and gets the job done. Give me a task to do and I will see it through to the end with quick effective results.

I have extensive community networks and contacts having worked full time in really good community roles, and believe I can represent Te Arawa with integrity, care and commitment.

Ngaroma (Mala) Grant. Photo / Supplied
Ngaroma (Mala) Grant. Photo / Supplied

Ngaroma (Mala) Grant

For more than eight years my role has been to co-ordinate the work of Te Arawa Whānau Ora to support families to set goals for their own futures and to make changes for themselves, their wider family and communities. Whānau have been inspiring in the changes they have made for themselves and while strategic development is a critical part of planning, this must connect to the aspirations and needs of the people who make up the community.

I have served for the past three years on the Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board as the Deputy Chair, working to further the partnership with the council to ensure that Te Arawa maintains a positive and innovative role in the development of our people, the community and our rohe.

George Haimona. Photo / Supplied
George Haimona. Photo / Supplied

George Haimona

Having grown up and worked in Rotorua, my aspirations for this role are to support, lead and continue the legacy of casting a unique Te Arawa lens over all issues and opportunities that Te Tatau deal with. I am a staunch believer in rangatahi and community driven kaupapa. I hope that through Te Tatau o Te Arawa, I can help support these kaupapa for the future. My employment background is firmly embedded in Te Ao Māori, History and Hauora.

I'm currently a tutor and facilitator of the NZ Certificate and NZ Diploma in Whānau Ora at Tipu Ora at Manaaki Ora Trust.

Utilising my knowledge, principles of honesty and transparency, I will be an advocate for Te Arawa whānui from our koeke to our taiohi.

Eraia Kiel. Photo / Supplied
Eraia Kiel. Photo / Supplied

Eraia Kiel

Eraia's many talents have stemmed from his strong foundation and upbringing in Te Arawa tikanga and culture. Being raised and educated in Rotorua, has instilled in him a strong sense of responsibility to uphold and honour the legacy of his tupuna. Solution-based thinking, social intelligence and relationship building along with a strong commitment to leadership are his key strengths. Eraia has committed over 30 years to the teaching of traditional Māori weaponry and Māori performing arts which has seen him travel the world extensively as a cultural ambassador. As a corporate facilitator of Team One International for 15 years, he was instrumental in the implementation of positive transformation across many of New Zealand's major organisations.

Gina Mohi. Photo / Supplied
Gina Mohi. Photo / Supplied

Gina Mohi

Gina is a founding trustee on Te Tatau o Te Arawa, and currently sits on the Resource Management Act (RMA) policy and the strategy, policy and finance committees for Te Tatau. She is also a Local Government NZ Te Maruata Advisory Board member.

Gina's background is in resource management and environmental planning, specialising in Māori resource management. Her focus has always been on ensuring that traditional environmental pedagogies are integrated into resource management and environmental planning solutions. Gina holds a Master of Science degree, with a double major in Resources and Environmental Planning and Earth Sciences, and is a certified Independent RMA Hearing Commissioner.

Dr Kēpa Morgan. Photo / Supplied
Dr Kēpa Morgan. Photo / Supplied

Dr Kēpa Morgan

My expertise is in the areas of papakainga and marae

development, watersupply, stormwater and wastewater engineering, iwi development, community buildings, infrastructure, footpaths and roads. Innovations include the papakainga guide, whareuku and the mauri model, which reflect my ability to empower mohiotanga in engineering solutions and produce quality results. I hope to draw on this expertise to contribute to Board deliberations. Te Tatau O Te Arawa need to address deficiencies in planning and engineering projects around our lakes. A mind-set, reflecting reluctance to adopt fit-for-purpose solutions, continues to dog Council engineering performance a decade after Council were successfully challenged in the Environment Court.

Paora Te Hurihanganui. Photo / Supplied
Paora Te Hurihanganui. Photo / Supplied

Paora Te Hurihanganui

I have been chief executive of Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa for the past 13 years. I have been influential in the whānau aspirational space by training more than 300 PATH planners nationally and guiding the development of more than 500 individual aspirational plans locally and around New Zealand. Currently I am leading the development of the first World Ancestral Games to be held in Rotorua.

I have been a part of the Rotorua police advisory board for more than 10 years, a current trustee on the Community Research Board of NZ, trustee on the Rotorua Bike Festival board and Te Arawa Waka Taua Trust and president of Kī o Rahi Aotearoa.

I have a strong interest in the wellbeing of our city and region, the environment, tourism, health and education.

Te Taru White. Photo / Supplied
Te Taru White. Photo / Supplied

Te Taru White

As the inaugural chairman of Te Tatau o Te Arawa, I feel privileged to have worked with a talented and committed group of Te Arawa whānaunga. It has been a challenge to establish a new legacy of partnership with Council amidst, at times, racist slurs. However, we rose above this and focused on doing our job - "walking the talk" and being prepared to be judged on what we do rather than what we say. It is hard to please everyone but I am proud we have stayed the distance, agreed to disagree at times but have remained solid as a team and respectful of each other. We performed well around the council table, initiated key projects such as Rotorua Reorua and have influenced positive change in the council's culture and practices.

Ngāti Whakaue, two seats

Kingi Biddle. Photo / Supplied
Kingi Biddle. Photo / Supplied

Kingi Biddle

For the past three years, I have been on the Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board, ensuring the Ngāti Whakaue voice has been heard on the many issues that have come across our table. I am committed to ensure our voice continues to be heard with every issue that arises.

Through my experiences in Te Arawa Standing Committee and Te Tatau o Te Arawa, I have gained knowledge and understanding of how council works and I am able to be effective for our people to achieve our aspirations. In terms of Te Tatau o Te Arawa, we have passed the establishment stage and now the waka is in full flight and we need experienced hands at the helm. Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa have a say at the seat of the council table and I for one am honoured to be one of the Ngāti Whakaue voices.

Te Mauri Kingi. Photo / Supplied
Te Mauri Kingi. Photo / Supplied

Te Mauri Kingi

Hei tīmatanga kōrero me mihi kia Te Arawa whānui. I roto i ngā tau e toru i a au i te Poari o Te Tatau o Te Arawa nā koutou au i ako, nā koutou au i manaaki, i opeope, i poipoi. Ā, nā wai, nā wai kua tū anō te ringa.

Ko taku tū, he tū ki te whakatutuki i ngā mahi i tīmatahia e mātau Te Pūkenga Rangatahi o Te Arawa, e mātau te poari o Te Tatau o Te Arawa.

Very fortunate to grow up knowing where I come from and being exposed to Te Arawa customs and processes. Humbled to be broomed by my whanau, hapū and iwi who keep encouraging me to pursue te "wāhi ngaro".

Rangitiaria Tibble. Photo / Supplied
Rangitiaria Tibble. Photo / Supplied

Rangitiaria Tibble

A proud descendant of Te Arawa waka, Rangitiaria completed her schooling locally and was supported by Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment to complete tertiary education, which saw her graduate from Waikato University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in psychology and Māori (Te Reo me ōna tikanga).

She has held roles which have seen her responsible for championing te reo Māori me ōna tikanga; integrating Ngāti Whakaue identity, language and culture in projects; as well as providing cultural leadership, advice and support to internal and external stakeholders.

With an enthusiasm to continue the legacy of her ancestors, Rangitiaria possesses a strong desire to contribute positively to her iwi.

Rangatahi, two seats

Danielle Marks. Photo / Supplied
Danielle Marks. Photo / Supplied

Danielle Marks

I am currently finishing a conjoint degree in Law and Social Sciences, majoring in political science and public policy. My passion for change has stemmed from my time at university participating at a governance level on a wide variety of boards, such as our Māori Law Students Association, Te Whakahiapo, and the University Basketball Club; both holding the role of secretary.

I have a keen interest in community engagement, in particular, our rangatahi and democracy. I believe this is an area that is often neglected within politics, especially local politics. My history within the motu is predominantly in the realm of environmental management for one of my hapū, Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara, through riparian planting and assisting in the nursery.

Whakaue Savage. Photo / Supplied
Whakaue Savage. Photo / Supplied

Whakaue Savage

Tupua ki te marae. Tukua ki te ao ka tau hā! Te Arawa waka, Te Arawa tangata, nei a Te Arawa ake e mihi ana. Ko taku mana he mana mō te whenua, ko taku wairua he painga mō te iwi, ko taku mauri he mauri mō te tangata.

Kai Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa e mahi ana, ko tētehi o āku mahi he taiohi wānanga e whakaako mau rākau ana.

He tangata marae au, ako ana i ngā tikanga, i ngā kawa i roto, i ngā pūrākau, i ngā hītori o roto, e pērā ana ki taku whakataukī. Tupua au ki te marae, māku e tukua i ngā mātauranga ki te ao, ki te whakatutuki i ngā wawata, ā, ka tau te hā!

Ko taku tū he ako i ngā āhuatanga o roto i teneki kaupapa, he tuku whakaaro kia ora pai ai a Te Arawa whānui, he kanohi titiro mō taku iwi.

Kahutapeka Ututaonga. Photo / Supplied
Kahutapeka Ututaonga. Photo / Supplied

Kahutapeka Ututaonga

I was born and raised in Rotorua and attended Rotorua Lakes High.

Since leaving school, I have worked at McDonalds, as a guide at Te Puia, and I am currently employed as a relief teacher at Te Whare Whitinga o te Ra early childhood centre.

I live in Ōhinemutu and enjoy spending time at our three marae in the village, helping out in the dining rooms; and attending waiata koroua, karanga and paepae wānanga. I am keen to learn how rangatahi can become more involved in iwi affairs, and am also interested in understanding how councils and government work.

Jessie-Jade Witeri. Photo / Supplied
Jessie-Jade Witeri. Photo / Supplied

Jessie-Jade Witeri

Ka huri au ki te waotunui a Tane.

Mihi atu ki te pirita, nā te pirita i piria maunga ki te maunga, awa ki te awa, hapū ki te hapū, ngā tangata ki te tangata.

Tēnei au e mihi atu ki ngā uri o te Pirita.

With the attacks on our Taiāo, the constant marginalisation of our Tipua, the challenges amongst our people ... to progress as an Iwi, means we have to be of one thought.

Kia kotahi te whakaaro, Kia kotahi te ngākau, Kia kotahi te wairua.

Land Trusts/Incorporations, two seats

Roku Mihinui. Photo / Supplied
Roku Mihinui. Photo / Supplied

Roku Mihinui

Roku was born and raised in the village of Whakarewarewa, where contributing to the well-being of the whānau and hapū in the marae setting was the norm. This was both complimented and challenged by a unique and natural geothermal environment that demanded understanding and respect to co-exist harmoniously. These experiences have provided a solid foundation for his personal growth and professional development in a wide range of sectors including forestry, tourism, justice services, social services, education, policy development, treaty settlements, agribusiness, biodiversity, environmental sustainability and freshwater fisheries.

He sits on a number of boards and his experience is complimentary to their contribution toward the community.

Tina Ngatai. Photo / Supplied
Tina Ngatai. Photo / Supplied

Tina Ngatai

I am an experienced trustee sitting on four Māori Trusts - Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, Rotoiti 15 Trust, Onuku Māori Lands Trust and Pukaingataru B12 Trust. I am also deputy chair of Te Arawa Primary Sector Incorporation (TAPS), and chairperson of Manaaki Ora Trust. I also bring knowledge of the health sector and issues facing Māori, including oral health, vulnerable whānau and addiction. I believe in the partnership values and purpose with Rotorua Lakes Council and the good that this has done and will continue to do for Māori in this community and the strengthening our relationship with our community in general. I have extensive experience in Māori land development, Māori agribusiness and the environmental, social and cultural aspects of these.

Geoff Rolleston. Photo / Supplied
Geoff Rolleston. Photo / Supplied

Geoff Rolleston

It has been a privilege to be part of the inaugural Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board.

We have focused mainly on a Te Arawa voice into the governance of Rotorua, while attempting to work in true partnership with the council.

This has provided challenges for everyone. The next three years presents a further opportunity to move towards a stronger and collaborative Te Arawa, thus providing real partnership and leadership qualities in the development of Rotorua. The current Te Arawa Vision mahi is a key kaupapa for Te Tatau to facilitate. My governance roles on TALT, TAML, NWTL and FOMA enables me to work towards building solid relationships with all stakeholders. Leadership is about the future of our mokopuna. I want to be part of that legacy.

Rawiri Waru. Photo / Supplied
Rawiri Waru. Photo / Supplied

Rawiri Waru

I, like others, wholeheartedly believe a united Te Arawa working side-by- side with Rotorua Lakes Council can only be a positive move for Te Arawa. I am standing as I believe the time has come for this generation to do their part to contribute to a brighter future for Te Arawa. Being endorsed by my elders who sit on various boards and trusts is humbling and has signalled to me that times are changing and a new fresh approach is now needed to ensure prosperity for Te Arawa and the Rotorua District. Should Te Arawa choose me, I will represent you with mana, mauri and ihi. I am currently chairman of Te Ara ki Te Reo Ki Kuirau Charitable Trust and Director/Trustee of Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust. I have also sat on advisory boards for Te Mangai Paho and Tourism NZ.