Kaipara mayor stands by decision to ban karakia at council meetings & More Trending News


Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon is looking on Kaipara’s new Mayor to rethink his ban on karakia at the beginning of council meetings.

By Local Democracy Reporting’s Susan Botting

Foon’s name comes after new Kaipara Mayor Craig Jepson on Wednesday shut down efforts by new Māori ward councillor Pera Paniora to say a karakia to begin the Kaipara District Council (KDC)’s first full council assembly, in Mangawhai.

Jepson stated at the moment he can be persevering with with the method of not having karakia at the beginning of council meetings.

Foon stated he was shocked and upset about what had occurred at the council assembly.

“It’s very important for councils and all organisations to create the right space to encourage Māori to honour the Treaty of Waitangi, to provide a space to express their culture and language.

“I would encourage the leaders of Kaipara District Council to acknowledge that and create a safe environment for all people,” Foon stated.

Paniora tried a number of instances to say the karakia to begin the assembly however every time was stopped from doing so by the Mayor.

“This is a council that’s full of people who are non-religious, religious, of different ethnicities and I intend to run a secular council here which respects everybody and I will not be veering from that. Thank you,” Jepson stated on the day in response to Paniora’s try.

She finally used her maiden speech to say the karakia.

Foon stated native authorities had a duty to think about its relationship with Māori by the Treaty of Waitangi.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta stated council assembly etiquette was for elected representatives to determine.

“I would hope that the tikanga or proceedings can be determined based on the input of all councillors who have been elected to represent their community,” Mahuta stated.

Mayor will get assist

Jepson stated yesterday he had been vastly supported in his stance, inundated with dozens of optimistic calls, texts and emails from round New Zealand because the assembly. He was not in opposition to Māori. His actions had been about creating an surroundings for all councillors.

Before turning into Mayor Jepson campaigned, as a part of Democracy Northland, in opposition to the introduction of Māori wards with out public polling first, gathering petition signatures introduced to KDC in early 2021

Democracy Northland chair John Bain stated it was not obligatory to at all times have a karakia at the beginning of a gathering. Jepson’s actions had been about democracy for all.

Jepson stated he had not been in favour of the way in which Māori wards have been introduced in, however they have been right here now and all people had to work collectively.

He stated at the moment his place on the karakia at the assembly was in consideration of how finest to transfer ahead with councillors who have been from a wide range of cultures. His actions have been neither about being anti-Māori nor faith.

“I believe in unity. We have a very healthy, multicultural society in our district. My door will always open to meeting with all, including iwi,” Jepson stated.

His actions weren’t any reflection on what he considered Paniora who was a robust, exhausting working individual, he stated.

In swearing her oath of allegiance to the job, undertaken to signify all people throughout the neighborhood.

Local Democracy Reporting Northland was unsuccessful in makes an attempt to contact Paniora, who represents Te Moananui o Kaipara Māori ward.

Jepson stated his actions have been in keeping with the platform he stood on in his profitable Mayoral marketing campaign.

Kaipara Mayor Craig Jepson (centre in red robe) alongside Te Moananui Mōari Ward councillor Pera Paniora wearing her korowai

“I am a member of Democracy Northland, which supports individuals who believe, as I do, that in a healthy democracy, all people and opinions should be respected, where one person has one vote and all votes are equal,” Jepson stated in his Northern Advocate Mayoral marketing campaign profile wording.

Meanwhile, KDC is a signatory, together with Far North District Council and Northland Regional Counci,l to Northland’s Whanaungatanga ki Taurangi, a relationship settlement outlining how councils would work with Te Kahu o Taonui (Northland Iwi Chairs’ Forum) on areas in frequent.

Te Kahu o Taonui chair Harry Burkhardt stated KDC’s Mayor wanted to give consideration to this doc his council had already signed. The doc couldn’t be modified with out session.

“For a person in public service to behave like that is wrong. For a person like that to behave like that to a woman is wrong. For a person to behave like that to a Māori woman is wrong,” Burkhardt stated.

Whangārei neighborhood chief Sue Shepherd at the moment praised Jepson for his assembly karakia actions.

“I totally support the new KDC Mayor in his decision not to have the karakia recited before starting the meeting.

Shepherd said time was money and councils did not have time to spend on the prayers of all.

She said a karakia to start their meetings was not a necessity for any Northland council.

“I do not agree with Māori having any special right in this situation,” Shepherd stated.

Attitude disappoints

Meanwhile Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua co-chair Dame Naida Glavish was “shocked” by the Mayor’s actions.

“The first question is how is this offensive to him and therefore why was he trying to sop what Paniora was saying.

“What country does he think he is in?” Glavish stated.

Te Uri o Hau kaumatua Rex Nathan was at the assembly to assist Paniora.

“We were very disappointed with the Mayor’s attitude in not allowing Pera to say the karakia to start the meeting,” Nathan stated.

When requested whether or not this is able to impression the council’s relationship with Māori he stated Kaipara mana whenua would think about the place to subsequent. They would need to sit down and work by the difficulty fairly than it damaging the connection developed to date.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) nationwide council Northland consultant and Far North Mayor Moko Tepania stated Mayors have been entitled to run their meetings as they noticed match.

Tepania stated it was 2022 and councils have been required to uphold Treaty of Waitangi rules of their areas and decision making.

Karakia have been stated at the beginning of meetings in councils round New Zealand.

LGNZ chief govt Susan Freeman-Greene stated her organisation had a brand new useful resource councils might use to assist with their Treaty of Waitangi tasks.

“LGNZ has developed a new standing orders template that recognises the responsibility of local government as a Treaty partner,” Freeman-Greene stated.

“We know this is the start of a new (council term) and many councils are in the beginning stages of working through how they work with each other as elected members, with staff and what rituals they’ll set in place,” Freeman-Greene stated.

“LGNZ is happy to support any council as it goes through this process,” she stated.

KDC has had karakia at the beginning of council meetings for a variety of years. It has offered karakia for councillors and employees to use in numerous conditions, ought to they need.

The karakia for opening meetings

Kia hora te marino

Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana

Hei hurahi mā tātou I te rangi nei

Aroha atu, aroha mai

Tātou i a tātou katoa

(May peace be widespread, Many the ocean be like greenstone; a pathway for all of us today. Let us present respect for one another, for each other. Bind us all collectively).

Kaipara mayor stands by decision to ban karakia at council meetings

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Kaipara mayor stands by decision to ban karakia at council meetings

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Kaipara mayor stands by decision to ban karakia at council meetings

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