Councillor Protests At “Tokenism”

A Whangarei district councillor has gone on strike from a committee in protest over the appointment of a paid, part-Maori adviser, saying he has no interest in participating in meetings with “race-based appointments.”

Councillor Stuart Bell said while he was pro-part-Maori engagement, he saw the appointment of the adviser to the planning committee, otherwise made up of elected councillors, as “tokenism” and said it was actually offensive to part-Maori.

“I boycotted [the] meeting, and may boycott more in the future, because in my opinion there is currently very little or no benefit in having race-based appointments of non-elected members on council committees.”

Mayor Mai said she was 100 per cent proud of the new appointment, and said part-Maori had a “whole way of thinking about the world, and the way the community was made up” that differed from Pakeha councillors. “It gives us a governance perspective from a Maori world-view as opposed to a Pakeha world-view.”

Councillor Bell said that he’d been elected to represent the whole community and he’s being told because he has white skin he can’t do that effectively? “We’ve been told about the part-Maori lens. But even within Maoridom everyone looks at life differently,” he said.

Racially-selected adviser Julianne Chetham said that she was not worried, saying that she hoped Cr Bell would come back at some point. It’s a learning process for us, after all, she said.

The decision to hire an adviser followed a tense debate at December’s planning committee meeting, with mayor Sheryl Mai using her casting vote to decide the 7-7 split.

excerpted from the Northern Advocate


About That Different World View

Man Caught Taking 20 x Legal Paua Limit

A Napier man has pleaded guilty to taking more than 20 times the legal limit of paua, with all but one of them being undersized. Karaitiana James Lee Nissen, 31, appeared at Napier District court and admitted taking 266 paua from Waipatiki Beach in March 2015.

Nissen claimed he had customary authorisation for the diving which was later revealed to have been obtained by an associate of his, but that permission did not authorise Nissen to gather and take the amount of paua he was found with.

Evidence presented said that Nissen had then obtained customary authorisation after being caught, but later admitted this was inappropriate and he had obtained it to try and cover up what he had taken. The reason he gave for taking about 150 paua was for a hui.

– excerpted from Hawke’s Bay Today

⊗ COMMENT
Is this an example of the guardianship and cultural and spiritual values so often trumpeted? The stark reality is that they – and their world view – are no different to the rape and pillage potential of anyone else.

Customary rights? What a load of old hooey!