Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan has put the appointment of mana whenua representatives on four council committees on hold.
She made the call today following the resignation last week of Waipā Maori ward councillor Takena Stirling. Stirling resigned on Thursday following his suspension, on an interim basis, by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal of the New Zealand Law Society.
Four mana whenua representatives, known as Te Kanohi, sit on council’s Strategic Planning and Policy, Service Delivery , Finance and Corporate and Regulatory committees. Representatives have voting rights on those committees.
Interviews for Te Kanohi have been undertaken and successful applicants were due to be announced shortly. However, O’Regan said today she will hold off making appointments until a new election for a Maori ward councillor to replace Stirling has been held.
“I think it is premature to appoint Te Kanohi before we have a new Māori ward councillor in place.”
Nominations for the vacant Māori ward seat will open at the end of this month and close on April 27. Postal voting papers will start to be delivered on June 1 and voting will close on June 23.