Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust elected

The Rotorua community has elected four new trustees and two existing trustees to represent its interests on the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust for the next three years.

In the preliminary election results, Jo-Anne La Grouw (3688 votes) and Sandra Kai Fong (3345) have been re-elected to the Trust board, while Tamati Coffey (5125), Beatrice Yates (Aunty Bea) (3673), Merepeka Raukawa-Tait (3266) and Stewart Edward (3029) have been elected for the first time.

13,175 votes were cast in the Trust election, 28.29 per cent of 46,574 eligible voters. 1610 votes were received online, 12.22 per cent of the total vote.

Voting closed at 12 noon today <>.

Trust manager Tony Gill says the community owes a great deal of thanks to the outgoing Trustees, Paul East, Lyall Thurston and Trevor Maxwell, who have contributed a combined 45 years to the Trust and the local community.

“It’s obviously extremely sad to see them go, but we welcome the new Trust board and look forward to working with them over the next three years.”

Mr Gill says the large number of nominations for this year’s election is encouraging both for the future of the Trust, but also for Rotorua.

“There is no corner of Rotorua that hasn’t been supported by the Trust in some way, and I look forward to working with the new Trust board to continue ensuring that its funds are preserved, protected and grown, and directed to groups that have a positive impact on the community.

“The Trust isn’t just focused on today, but on developing a better future for our people, our children and our children’s children for many decades to come. To have so many want to contribute to building a more vibrant Rotorua community, where people are proud to live, work, invest and bring up their families is hugely exciting.”

This year’s election also included a non-binding referendum question to gain the community’s views on whether a maximum number of terms that a trustee may serve on the Trust should be introduced.

Based on the preliminary results, 7184 people voted that there should be a maximum number of terms that trustees might serve, while 2429 said they did not think there should be a maximum number of terms.

“At the moment, trustees are elected for a three-year term. At the end of each term, trustees must stand down, but are eligible for re-election. The Trust deed currently places no limit on the number of times an individual may be re-elected as a trustee.

“Six years ago, a non-binding referendum on the topic was held, but delivered results that were too close to draw a conclusive decision either way. As such, the Trust decided to maintain the status quo.

“The newly elected Trust will consider the topic of fixed term tenure in the coming months.”
The new Trust will meet for the first time this coming week to agree on a timetable for future meetings, and to commence the process of the election of the next Chairman. The first official Trust meeting will be held on Thursday 8 December, 2016.

The election results remain provisional at this stage, pending the counting of special votes next week.

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