February 23, 2023
Kaipara mayor trolls karakia debate
Kaipara District Council Maori ward councillor Pera Paniora is calling for Māori to attend council meetings until karakia is put back onto the agenda.
Mayor Craig Jepson started yesterday’s monthly meeting by quoting conservative American economist Thomas Sowell that “when people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.”
He then ruled out of order an attempt by a member of the public, Pere Huriwai-Seger, to say a non-religious karakia.
Ms Paniora says the mayor is breaching a compromise on karakia made after the council’s stormy first meeting.
“Given this breach of the compromise, the compromise is no longer acceptable or tenable. I would extend invitations to our iwi, to our Māori, to our community and our hapu and my whānau to come to every meeting now – they are once a month – and we will be reciting karakia until it is put back into the agenda,” she says.
A mediation will be held next Monday, where she will seek an apology from the mayor.