Voters are wanting a more widespread distribution of information on the by-election for the Mauao seat of The Bay of Plenty Regional Council. There are six candidates vying for the seat vacated by the sudden passing of Te Awanuiārangi Black. Nominations close next month.
Leonie Caires of Tauranga knows there is a by-election coming up but worries that youth won't be given the right information about it.
Leonie Caires (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pukenga) says, “Making sure the rangatahi are aware on what's going on and they make the information assessable to them in ways that they can kind of engage with so just try and put their thinking caps on and figure out ways to engage with people let them know what is actually going on.”
The seat became vacant after the sudden death of Councillor Awanuiārangi Black in November. Six candidates are vying for the position, current councillor Arapeta Tahana says it would be good if the candidates have a strong knowledge of the area and tribes.
Arapeta Tahana (Okurei) says, “Also you need to be able to have an understanding of European concepts as well as Māori understanding. That's challenging in itself.”
The Mauao Constituency extends from the top of the Kaimai Mamaku Ranges to Waihī Beach in the north and Ōtamarākau in the east and is one of three Māori seats on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Josh Te Kani who voted for Awanuiārangi in the last election says he knows three of the six candidates.
Josh Te Kani (Tauranga Moana) says, “One of them is my relation Matemoana McDonald, also the brother Carlton Bidois and Antoine Coffin.”
Voting opens for the Mauao Māori Constituency by-election on the 20th of this month.