May 18, 2021
Packer says racism reason for Stratford no show
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says the only explanation for Stratford’s failure to create a Māori ward is racism.
Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāruahine representatives yesterday told a Stratford District Council long term plan hearing the council’s decision to defer a decision had cost it the goodwill of iwi.
Ms Ngarewa-Packer says larger councils like New Plymouth and South Taranaki had opted for Māori wards, despite pressure from redneck voters.
"Stratford District Council just like Manawatū, just like Napier, are a bunch of racists. Just because they are uncomfortable shouldn't stop the journey of reclamation, shouldn't stop the journey of mana motuhake. They are in the way of progress," she says.
She says the iwi position on Stratford has wide support in the district.
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