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Options for electoral legislation changes

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Whakatane District Council representatives had the opportunity to meet with Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta last week to discuss the process surrounding the Galatea-Murupara Ward tie and recount situation in the recent local elections.

Mayor Judy Turner and chief executive Steph O’Sullivan believe the meeting with the minister was productive and are hopeful it will lead to a positive change.

“We explained to the minister how the election unfolded, the various deadlines and legislative restraints we face, and the profound hurt caused to the two candidates, their whanau and supporters,” says Judy.

“We also emphasised that the current legislation guiding elections does not adequately address Te Ao Maori requirements.”

Mayor Judy says the minister was empathetic to the Whakatane situation and is awaiting further guidance from her officials, but is committed to taking action on this issue as soon as possible.

“We’d like to thank Minister Mahuta for her prompt and positive response to our letter, her genuine concern for our community and her openness to consider change.

“We look forward to working with her to come up with solutions that will ensure situations such as this will not be repeated.”

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