Council to oppose application for judicial review

Rotorua Lakes Council. Photo: File.

Rotorua Lakes Council will strongly oppose an application for Judicial Review of a Rotorua Lakes Council decision to submit the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill to Parliament.

The application was filed in the High Court by Mr Robert Lee and an initial judicial teleconference has been held Friday, May 6 2022.

Rotorua Lakes Council Chief Executive Geoff Williams says the organisation will also seek costs in relation to the proceedings.

“As the case is now before the court, it is not appropriate to provide any detailed comment except to say that we consider it to be misconceived and containing inaccurate allegations and it will be strongly opposed.”

Orders made by Justice Woolford following today’s judicial conference include that the Attorney-General, Ngati Whakaue and Te Arawa be invited to participate in the proceeding if they wish.

A further judicial conference will then be held to determine what further orders or directions are necessary.

 A number of other timetable orders made by Justice Woolford on Friday relate to requirements to file affidavits, applications and submissions.

The substantive application for judicial review is set down for a one-day hearing in the Rotorua High Court on August 4.

The local representation Bill, which seeks a preferred representation model for Rotorua that current legislation does not allow for, has been before the Maori Affairs Select Committee following its first reading in Parliament.

This week the Committee agreed to a Rotorua Lakes Council request for a ‘pause’ in the process. This will enable time for the council and Department of Internal Affairs to report back to the select committee on policy issues raised in the Attorney-General’s report on the Bill of Rights.

This pause means the Bill cannot now be passed in time for the October 2022 local elections so the Local Government Commission determination will be the representation model for Rotorua for this year’s local election.

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