June 10, 2020
Gisborne Council backs down on Cook replica
A protest by Gisborne Māori has forced Gisborne District Council to reverse a decision to reinstate replicas of Captain Cook’s Endeavour on the town’s main street without consultation.
About 200 people gathered outside the council chambers at 7.30 am yesterday morning for karakia before the council meeting.
Marise Lant from protest organiser Haeranga Awatea says the only councillor to turn up to speak to the crown was Meredith Akuhata Brown, who was one of only three councillors who voted against the replica motion.
"To be that voice at that table for Māoridom has been a huge challenge for her and having the amount of support she had there from all of us was a big uplifting spirit for Meredith so that's a step in the right direction for us as a people to start challenging these issues and ensuring that we support Māori sitting at those tables," she says.
The council’s operations committee voted unanimously to seek widespread community feedback about the future location for the Endeavour replicas, including consulting specifically with Tairāwhiti iwi.
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