Whakatāne District Council is seeking a meeting with Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta to discuss what it says are flaws in the local electoral legislation.

These flaws were exposed in the process that had to be followed for the tie and recount in last month's Galatea-Murupara Ward election, according to a written statement from the council.

This saw candidate Hinerangi Goodman declared the winner by ballot, inaugurated to the council, then declared unsuccessful following a recount.

In an interview with the Rotorua Daily Post, Goodman previously said the local election processes, where she lost her seat in council after a pōwhiri and formal swearing-in ceremony, trampled on tikanga.


"As far as my people were concerned, once the pōwhiri and swearing-in ceremony was done, the deal was sealed. To take it away again goes against tikanga and it also tramples on the mana and the mauri people had placed in me to be their representative," Goodman told the Post.

"I have a problem with the lack of transparency around not only the recount process, but the entire election process once the initial votes were counted."

According to the council's written statement, Whakatāne District mayor Judy Turner acknowledged the profound hurt caused to both candidates, their supporters and whānau through the election process.

"Changes are also needed to the intersecting sets of legislation that determine when results must be declared, when and how councils hold their inaugural meetings following elections, and how close contests like these are managed," she said.

Whakatāne District Council had sent a letter to the Local Government Minister outlining its concerns and requested a face-to-face meeting with the Minister and her advisers.

Turner said of particular concern to the council was that legislation guiding elections did not adequately address Te Ao Māori requirements.

Turner said the meeting would discuss ways of making changes to the Local Electoral Act and Local Government Act so situations such as the Galatea-Murupara Ward election did not happen again.

"We believe there are some adjustments that can be made that better reflect the way modern councils, iwi groups and communities work together and we're confident of a positive outcome from this.


"The flip side, however, is that without change the turnout of voters and candidates in future elections may drop, and general engagement with Central and Local Government may also be adversely affected."