December 08, 2022
Paniora fights to defend Kaipara co-governance
Kaipara Māori ward councillor Pera Paniora says the new mayor is mounting a multi-pronged attack on his Māori constituents.
Craig Jepson is under fire for blocking Ms Paniora from saying a karakia to start the Kaipara District Council’s first meeting.
She says the initial blessing is a long-standing practice at the council and Mayor Jepson was in breach of standing orders.
He’s also looking to scrap some long-established co-governance arrangements.
“We have Taharoa-Kai Iwi Lakes Domain – that’s one of the shining examples, it’s been around for 27 years and it’s worked really well. I had to give a lot of push back to the extent he had to back track but some of our other co-governance arrangements aren’t out of the woods yet,” Ms Paniora says.
She says a quarter of Kaipara’s population is Maori, and the council is obliged to respect the interests of all its residents.
Meanwhile, Kaipara Mayor Craig Jepson said today that after an “open and frank discussion” with councillors, agreement was reached that each councillor would have the opportunity on a rotating basis to start a council meeting with karakia, statements of choice or forms of reflection.