New chums make charitable trust

Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust manager Tony Gill

Two new trustees have been voted in to join four re-elected trustees on the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust for the next three years.


But there has been a shuffle of the popularity deck chairs, with Stewart Edward, sixth three years ago, in pole position today.


The newcomers are local businessman Gregg Brown and former policeman Mike Keefe, according to a statement of provisional results announced today who respectively polled fifth and sixth.


Closing in were former Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters, former deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell and retired lakes councillor Karen Hunt, while the trust’s retired assessor of many years, Alison Perrin, finished ninth.


Gregg and Mike join present trustees Stewart Edward, MP Tamati Coffey, Jo-Anne La Grouw and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.


The Rotorua community has endorsed the previous candidates forced through the retirement of Sandra Kai Fong. who is now a Rotorua Lakes councillor;  and Beatrice Yates, better known as Aunt Bea, who died mid-term.


The trust decided not to create a by-election or to promote the seventh contender to fill the vacancy.

Gregg Brown and Mike Keefe led a strong field of prominent Rotorua citizens for the trust this year.

A total of 12,114 votes were cast in the 2019 Trust election, 25.64 per cent of 47,238 eligible voters. Online voting resulted in 14.6 per cent of the total vote with 1773 votes received online.


The percentage of voting was down on the two previous necessary elections (no elections required in 2013), at 25.64 of eligible voters. In 2010, 26.21 per cent cast votes; in 2016, the total was 28.28 per cent.


Trust manager Tony Gill says the immediate focus is now on familiarising new members with the trust’s work, as well as starting the process of defining what the trust will be collectively seeking to achieve over the next three years.


The 30 nominations highlight the “strong interest of people in the community who want to make a better Rotorua for all”, Tony says.


The trust will meet next Wednesday to agree on a timetable for future meetings.


Provisional returns:

Stewart Edward 4908, Tamati Coffey 4342, JoAnne La Grouw 4190, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait 3739, Gregg Brown 3453, Mike Keefe 3440.


Also: Kevin Winters 3201, Trevor Maxwell 2667, Alison Perrin 2564, Katie Paul 2413, Karen Hunt 2291, Jane Eynon-Richards 2226, Murray Patchell 2148, Mike Dingwall 2064, Gabrielle Thurston 2030, Ben Hingston 1916, Brent Marvelly 1814, Pauline Walsh 1491, Meina Reha 1432, Charlie Windell 1396, Watu Mihinui 1334, Jan Middlemiss 1198, Harry Chhagan 1155, Philip Macalister 944, Darren McGarvie 896, Carol Beckett 814, Gavin Long 698, Jenny Hotch 654, Adam Ellis 638.

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