Rotorua's next mayor should have a "deep understanding" of what it's like to work in a community with a high Māori population, says a Māori MP.
This comes after mayor Steve Chadwick confirmed this week she would not be running for mayor again.
Waiariki Labour list MP Tāmati Coffey said inclusiveness when working with Māori communities was Chadwick's greatest legacy.
"Prior to that, there was no motivation to want to get local government involving our Māori communities like she's done.
"She worked with Te Arawa to put together a partnership and for that reason, I think she'll be remembered really fondly by our local community for the bold moves that she made."
Coffey also acknowledged "the significant investment" Chadwick had garnered with her connections to Governments "of either shade."
"A good mayor knows how to work with whatever the Government of the day is and she's been able to navigate those politics quite well."
Coffey said local governments all around the country were now implementing Māori wards, for which the Te Arawa partnership was an innovator.
"So, little things like that I think [Chadwick] will be remembered for," he said.
Te Arawa owned the lakes, had significant agricultural ownership and was looking to be "big players" in housing as that was developed into the future, he said.
"The future mayor has to be able to navigate those partnerships [and] have good strong connections with Te Arawa - maybe even be Te Arawa.
"I think that will serve them very well."
On running for mayor, Coffey said this was "not on my list of things to do".
Ngati Whakaue kaumātua and Te Arawa leader Monty Morrison said Chadwick's "bold and fearless leadership" had greatly benefited the community as a whole.
"I think it was important to be able to address those issues that are important for us as Te Arawa and other Māori from other regions living in our community," he said.
"The establishment of the Te Tatau board was one of the major initiatives completed in her time. That was despite the huge criticism and the public backlash that accompanied which, in my view, was totally inappropriate.
"She's done a terrific job."
Morrison said the relationship Chadwick developed with Te Arawa had "certainly been one of the standouts" in terms of her greatest legacy.
"The other part of that has been her ability to leverage her relationship with central government to be able to give a level of support hitherto unseen in Rotorua."
On the future mayor, Morrison said the relationships with Māori communities and central government needed to be continued and strengthened.
"The mayor needs to have the ability to set and maintain a vision, and have the energy and expertise to put that into place."
Morrison said he hoped prospective candidates would undertake "some level of consultation with the wider community" to decide what their expectations were to form part of that vision.
"I think it needs to be bold," he said.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust chief executive Karen Vercoe said while she appreciated Chadwick had been involved for many years, she was "really sad" when she heard Chadwick would not be running for mayor again.
"She has the leadership required to weave our community together, regardless of ethnicity and age."
"Personally I'm sad, and I'm sad for our people that will lose her."
Vercoe said Chadwick had been "outstanding" as mayor and hoped her replacement could carry on her work.
"I hope the next mayor will continue those relationships and continue to see how iwi bring a broad range of skills and opportunities with them, not just 'this is how we solve the social issues for our people'."
"Her difference has been significant in terms of the way she has led iwi and council engagement."
Former Rotorua Mayor Grahame Hall said it was "really important" for the next mayor to have business experience and a social conscience.
"One is not mutually exclusive – you've got to have them both."
On Chadwick's mayoralty, Hall said she had "worked very hard" as she had spent a lot of time out in the community.