Tata Parata Resigns

The sudden resignation of Tata Parata just before the first meeting of the new Northern Ward Committee meeting has left the powers that be in a quandary over the process for replacing him.

Mr Parata resigned due to his extreme dissatisfaction with the selection process for Northern Ward candidates, describing it as unfair, unethical and culturally insensitive to Maori and Pacific islanders who are reluctant when it comes to self-promotion. Many have criticised the selection process. Cr Joy Baird described the selection methods as being flawed. Cr Julie Engelbretsen said the selection process had absolutely no democratic merit. Though nominations were called for and used to determine candidates, Council chose successful candidates according to their own criteria and on the basis of discussion held behind closed doors.

The question now is how to select a replacement for Mr Parata, especially given the controversy that has surrounded the selection process so far. We spoke to Dorothy Adams of Hutt City Council's Democratic Services. She plans to put two options to Council at their next meeting of 19 March

1. A candidate be selected from the list of those who did not make selection first time around. Unsuccessful candidates were Steve Ritchie, Audrey Misipeka and Peter Pedersen.
2. Council could re-open nominations, meaning that the whole process would have to be gone through a second time in order to select just one more candidate.

Ms Adams is currently seeking a legal opinion as to what is appropriate under current circumstances.