Tāmati Coffey voted off Rotorua Trust

6:04 pm on 21 November 2022
Tāmati Coffey

Tāmati Coffey Photo: Andrew Warner / Rotorua Daily Post / LDR

Former Waiariki MP Tāmati Coffey has been unsuccessful in his bid for a third term on the Rotorua Trust.

It comes as preliminary results on the trust's election are published, which show the return of four out of five candidates who stood for re-election.

Last election, Coffey came second out of 30 candidates but in 2022 dropped to ninth out of 16 candidates. Voting closed on 19 November.

Coffey took to social media on Saturday to announce he had been unsuccessful, saying he had six "great years" as deputy chairman on the Rotorua Trust and was "pleased to have served the local community" and he had enjoyed meeting community groups who "keep our city alive".

"Thanks to those who supported me into this role but for me, it's never been about the trustees, and only ever about the value of the trust to the community.

"I wish the new trust all the best as we face globally uncertain times.

"Next year is general election year and I'm keeping focused on the big local issues notably, enabling more home building in Rotorua, so we can get out of motels. And ensuring our community feel safe in our city. That's my focus.

"On and up."

Coffey's candidate statement said he pledged his dedication to the trust "in exchange for your support for one final term".

Stewart Edward

Stewart Edward Photo: Andrew Warner / Rotorua Daily Post

Last term's chairman Stewart Edward was backed by voters as the highest polling candidate with 5,720 votes.

Current Rotorua district councillors Fisher Wang and Gregg Brown were also elected, Brown for his second term. Wang was the second highest polling candidate with 5,334 votes, after being the highest polling councillor candidate in the council election.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, who was unsuccessful in her bid for re-election to the council, was successful in her re-election to the trust - by 165 votes.

Mike Keefe was also successful in his second shot at election to the trust. Catherine Cooney rounded out the six seats at the table.

Also unsuccessful in their election bids were former Rotorua district councillor Mercia Yates, who came eighth, Rotorua Business Chamber chairman Bryce Heard and local businessman Brett Marvelly.

Formerly known as the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, or RECT, was formed in 1994 out of the sale of Rotorua Electricity Limited.

Sale proceeds formed the charitable trust, which had amassed a fund of about $160 million. Trustees decided future funding allocations and investments.

The Rotorua Trust

The Rotorua Trust Photo: Supplied / Rotorua Trust

In late November, Rotorua Trust chief executive Jackie McCullough said grants from the trust had "boosted" health services, education, training and employment programmes, social initiatives and sporting and culture events.

"Over the years, the trust has also been involved in capital projects, such as the Energy Events Centre, Sir Howard Morrison Centre, Parksyde, and The Arts Village."

Preliminary results showed 11,164 people voted in the trust's 2022 election, representing 22.6 percent of eligible voters, down from 12,114 in 2019.

Of the 11,164 votes, an overwhelming majority - 82.4 percent - were by postal ballot, while 17.6 percent of votes were made online.

In 2019, 14.6 percent of voters cast their votes online.

Finalised results are expected in the coming days.

Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air