Rotorua Lakes Council opposes application for judicial review of decision to submit Local Representation Bill

The Rotorua Lakes Council will strongly oppose an application for judicial review of a decision by the Rotorua Lakes Council to bring the Rotorua District Council (Arrangements of Representation) Bill to Parliament.

The application was lodged in the High Court by Mr Robert Lee and a first judicial teleconference took place today, 6 May 2022.

Rotorua Council of Lakes chief executive Geoff Williams said the organization would also seek costs related to the proceedings.

“As the matter is now before the court, it is not appropriate to provide detailed comment except to say that we consider it to be ill-conceived and contains inaccurate allegations and will be strongly opposed.”

The orders made by Judge Woolford following today’s judicial conference include that the Attorney General, Ngati Whakaue and Te Arawa be invited to participate in the proceedings if they wish.

Another court conference will then be held to determine what further orders or directions are needed.

A number of other scheduling orders made by Judge Woolford today relate to requirements for filing affidavits, applications and submissions.

The application for judicial review on the merits is scheduled for a day-long hearing at the Rotorua High Court on August 4.

The Local Representation Bill, which aims to establish a preferential representation model for Rotorua that current legislation does not allow, has been put to the Maori Affairs Select Committee after its first reading in Parliament.

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

This pause means that the Bill can no longer be passed in time for the local elections in October 2022, so the Local Government Commission’s decision will be Rotorua’s representation model for this year’s local elections.

ENDS

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