February 27, 2023
White disadvantage claim by Kaipara mayor
A Kaipara District councillor hopes a mediation today with mayor Craig Jepson offers a way to get past a row over karakia.
Māori ward councillor Pera Paniora has laid a complaint that the mayor breached the council code of conduct in overturning the practice of starting meetings with a karakia.
Mr Jepson chose to start last week’s meeting with a quote on racial discrimination.
Ms Paniora says he’s creating unnecessary racial divisiveness by accusing Maori of preferential treatment.
“You know these comments that he’s saying could be very much flipped round, and its what we’ve been saying for the last 200 years – with pakeha privilege, with white privilege. And now that Maori are starting to get into a position where we are being treated equally, now we’ve got people like him who feel that they’re being disadvantaged,” she says..
Ms Paniora says this month’s flooding in the Kaipara district showed the systemic nature of Maori disadvantage in the area, with iwi and hapu mounting their own response because they’d been overlooked by official civil defence plans.