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Ed Sheeran

Te Arawa debates council structure

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Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is backing efforts to give Te Arawa a greater say in the running of the Rotorua District Council.

Te Arawa will this weekend consider a proposed a new structure to replace the Te Arawa Standing Committee, which only had an advisory function.

It has already led to one councillor stepping down as a committee chair because of his opposition to the idea, and another councillor, Merepeka Raukawa Tait, labelling critics male, pale and stale.

Mr Flavell says the previous council’s rejection of a proposal to fly the tino rangatiratanga flag on Waitangi Day was an example of the limitations of the old model.

"We’re looking at trying to have more effective Maori representation at the highest level, pretty much along the lines of the Auckland statutory board whereby there is a need that Maori have a space at that council table and all the resources that go with that and it is out of sheer frustration that our people haven’t been able to have a say," he says.

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