Ngāti Whakaue leader Monty Morrison will move away from his fulltime role with the Rotorua Lakes Council over the next few months.

Morrison joined the council as the Kaitiaki Ahurea Māori in 2015 following the passing of the former Kaupapa Māori director Mauriora Kingi.

Morrison said with an eye on the future his fulltime role at Rotorua Lakes Council was coming to a natural end.

"As our partnership journey continues it is important that I help navigate an effective succession and transition for council. Refocussing my current role still allows me to support the organisation while balancing my other roles."

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Morrison will undertake a transition to a part-time kaumātua role for the council alongside his iwi leadership roles with Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa.

He was installed as interim kaumātua to Rotorua Lakes Council following advice from iwi leaders, and through the role has led and encouraged significant bicultural change within council.

"When I came to council some three years ago I wanted to help our district continue on the path that Mauriora [Kingi] had been successfully navigating with the council and our community.

"At the time I didn't know how long I would be here but now I know the time is right for me to begin this transition, now that Te Tatau o Te Arawa is well established and the Te Amorangi programme is activated and helping the council become a better partner with iwi.

"I have been impressed with the commitment of the organisation and its staff to our community and firmly believe a strong foundation is well set for the district's future."

Morrison will wind down his current full time role across the next few months and will begin the new year with his new focus.

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"I believe successful succession is planned and prepared for and I will be actively working in that space during 2019," he said.

Monty Morrison will transition away from his fulltime Kaitiaki Ahurea Māori role at Rotorua Lakes Council. Photo / File
Monty Morrison will transition away from his fulltime Kaitiaki Ahurea Māori role at Rotorua Lakes Council. Photo / File

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said Morrison provided an invaluable presence and guidance for her and the council.

"As our Kaitiaki Ahurea Māori Monty adds his careful touch to many interactions with and on behalf of our community. He is a wise head who has kept us culturally safe and makes sure the appropriate views and people have been represented.

"I know Monty has been carrying a huge dual workload since the loss of Ngāti Whakaue kaumātua Pihopa Kingi late last year, and taking a proactive path to succession is sensible for both council, our partners and Monty and his whanau.

"Monty is clearly best placed to lead his succession and I know he will do so with the best interests of our community always at heart," she said.