17 Aug 2010

Two Bay of Plenty Maori seats so far uncontested

9:02 am on 17 August 2010

With only days to go before nominations close, no-one has put their hand up for two of the three Maori positions on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The council is the only local authority in the country that has dedicated Maori seats.

Incumbent Tipene Marr is being challenged by Miro Araroa for the Kohi ward, covering the eastern Bay of Plenty.

However Mauao, covering Tauranga, and Okurei Maori, which includes Rotorua, are so far uncontested.

However returning officer Cindy Butt told Waatea News that many nomination forms have been issued and someone could still come forward before the deadline at noon on Friday

Meanwhile, former Maori All Black Matua Parkinson is standing for the Tauranga City Council.

Mr Parkinson, who also captained the New Zealand Sevens, says Maori haven't turned out to vote in large numbers at local body elections, but he hopes to overcome this.