Seven candidates from the Cook Islands, Fijian and Samoan communities were successful in being voted on to the group. The only two Tongan candidates nominated to stand this year, and the only Tokelauan candidate, were declared elected unopposed. There were no candidates nominated from the Niuean and Tuvaluan communities.
The Pacific Advisory Group is made up of two representatives each from six Pacific nation communities (Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tonga, Tokelau and Tuvalu), and three from the Samoan community as the largest Pacific group in Wellington.
The poll attracted around 250 voters from the Capital’s Pacific communities.
Electoral Officer Charlie Inggs says a further poll will be required to fill the remaining Tokelauan position and elect two members each for Niue and Tuvalu.
“The by-election was also announced at last night’s meeting and we’ll hold this at the advisory group’s first meeting on 5 May.”
City Councillor Sarah Free, Council representative on the Pacific Advisory Group, says she is delighted with the voter turnout at last night’s poll and the high calibre of the candidates.
“I look forward to working constructively with the group over the next three years to develop and deliver the Pasifika Action Plan. They play a vital role in representing the views of Pacific communities in the Council and improving people’s access, knowledge and involvement in the city.
“I would also like to thank the outgoing members, in particular Chair Tina McNicholas, for the valuable contributions they have made to the work of the Pacific Advisory Group over the last triennium.”
The by-election will be held on Monday 5 May. Nominations opened last night (14 April) and close at 12 noon on Monday 28 April.
The newly-elected members of the Pacific Advisory Group are:
Meremine Taiaopo Auelua
Anthony Leaupepe (re-elected)
Those elected unopposed were:
Siofilisi Ta'ufo'ou (Sofi)