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Trevor Maxwell - For the love of Rotorua

Ngāti Rangiwewehi


Trevor Maxwell has been serving the Rotorua community as a councillor for over 40 years, being elected for the first time in 1977!  


As well as being a councillor he has also been a radio host, performer and a cultural ambassador. Trevor has made a significant contribution to the promotion of Māori culture and Rotorua over his career.


He was only a young man when he first became a councillor. He was taken under the wing of some of the more experienced councillors who advised him to take his time to learn and listen.  He took their advice and is now known for his ability to make good relationships with many people from all walks of life..


For much of his time as a councillor, Councillor Maxwell has been the only Maori elected official.  This was not always easy for him but his skill in getting along with people and his love of Rotorua always saw him through.


During his many years as a councillor and cultural ambassador, he has played an important role in developments such as the creation of the Te Arawa partnership and the building of the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.  


An experienced performer, Councillor Maxwell, along with his wife Atareta, led their Ngāti Rangiwewehi kapa haka group to win two National titles. In 2000, he took 48 Ngāti Rangiwewehi representatives to perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  He also travelled to many other places in the world in his role as cultural ambassador.


Councillor Maxwell has met many important celebrities, sporting figures and politicians. Most recently, he was involved with the royal visit from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Te Papaiōuru Marae.

In 2018, in recognition of his long term commitment to serving Rotorua, Councillor Maxwell was presented with the Minister of Local Government Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government.

Qualities: diligence, identity, relationships

More to watch:

See Councillor Maxwell talking about some of the highlights of his career:


Councillor Maxwell talks about his love of serving the people of Rotorua:


From Rotorua Library:


The complete interviews [video recording (DVD)]: Interview with Trevor Maxwell in 2003 (D. M. Stafford)


More to read:

Te Arawa Cultural Competitions, Rotorua, 15 March 1997: Ngati Rangiwewehi (Trevor Maxwell)


Read about some of the highlights of the visit to Rotorua by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex including photographs of Councillor Maxwell:


More to listen to:

Hear Ngāti Rangiwewehi perform at the New Zealand Polynesian Festival in 1986:


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