Iwi hopes new council will support Maori concerns

Video/images: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Maori historian and Tauranga Moana iwi leader Buddy Mikaere feels the newly elected council will favour Maori concerns which he welcomes.

'As I read the makeup of the council now, I think there's probably a majority that would favour Maori issues and Maori concerns, so that's very encouraging.”

'I think that we'll probably have a council with a better consideration of issues like 11 Mission Street.”

Buddy also ran for council in this years' Tauranga City local body elections but failed to gain a positon.

He says 'it would have been nice to see some brown faces” on council.

Buddy thinks there is a need for Maori wards in local body elections and says this will be reconsidered next year.

During the swearing in ceremony at council chambers yesterday Buddy stood in protest during Andrew Hollis' inaugural speech.

'When he was giving his inaugural speech I wanted to him to remind him that the treaty is important and there it is over there on the wall.

Posters depicting the Treaty of Waitangi have been hung in council chambers recently and Buddy was pointing to these during the speech.

'During his campaign for the council Andrew made a number of what I consider to be very inappropriate statements about how the treaty was a joke, the treaty is past its use-by date that there's a treaty gravy train.”

The comments Andrew made on Facebook caused Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon to call for his resignation but Andrew will remain as a councillor.

Buddy says after Andrew's comments he feels Andrew is not ‘particularly rapt' with the treaty.

'It seems to me that, that does not stand well with being a councillor and that's because under the Local Government Act all councillors are required to abide by part one, part four and part six of that document which sets out how councils have a responsibility to comply with treaty principles.

'If you are saying on the one hand that you don't actually agree with the treaty that means that when it comes to conducting council business, you're in breach of the act under which the council operates.

'So therefore how can you participate in any debates on council business where there are Maori interests and Maori issues concerned?

'It makes it just about impossible because every issue the council deals with has a Maori component to it.

'I'm thinking that every time he gets up to speak that we need to remind council that this person has a conflict of interest and should not be entitled to take part in those debates.”

Earlier in the week Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said he will ban Andrew from participating in any council business involving iwi or hapū but has changed his stance and says he wants all councillors to bring an open mind to council meetings.

'I wanted all councillors to bring an open mind and an ability to debate the issues, understanding that we have a special relationship with the area under the treaty and understanding and adhering to a code of conduct.”

'My views were if Andrew Hollis wants to bring in some views which differed a mine or as you would have noted many of the counsellors, that's fine.

'The time to have those debates is here in council and not via social media where there's a whole lot of charged views and it's very easy for keyboard warriors to speak their mind.

'It's very different circumstances to come here into the chambers and debate these issues face-to-face.

'Councillor Hollis is very welcome to come in here and bring those attitudes that he's got and the ideas that he's got around that and we will debate them as we should do openly and transparently as a council.”

During his speech Andrew eluded the controversy his comments have made.

'What I learnt is the people haven't been listened to and what I'm hoping is that now there is somebody here who isn't afraid to speak their mind.

'You may have heard some things over the last few days, some people tried to shut my voice down and they're still trying to do it now but the overwhelming support I've had from almost all corners of New Zealand has been to stand my ground and keep my speaking going and that's what I intend to do.

'I've got a great deal of rough edges that need to be knocked off I'm hoping that I'll be able to learn those things during my time here.

'I certainly hope to learn from all parties and I include iwi in that significantly and I say that while I come to council not with an empty mind I definitely come with an open one.”

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use by date

Posted on 25-10-2019 13:05 | By terry hall

yes the treaty has passed its use by date, it now is a gravy train, and later generations will continue to use it to gain what they want. it should now be closed off and put on display in the museum.

What date would that be?

Posted on 25-10-2019 14:08 | By KiwiDerek

Since you have determined that the Treaty has passed its use by date, could you share with us how you picked the length of time it should last? Just a random guess, or a feeling? Should it be 50 years? 100 years? 150 years? Of course, the big problem is not the treaty but continual violations of it. How do you feel about land and other assets that was illegally or unethically seized as recently as the 1950s and 1960s? Is that past its "use by date" too?


Posted on 25-10-2019 14:08 | By morepork

I watched Buddy's video (thank you SunLive) very carefully and it is good to see someone responding in a civilized way to words they strongly disagree with. In some places Andrew would have been shouted down, then the chamber would have been burnt and the Police would have shot some protesters... Buddy has legitimate concerns, but there is an overriding factor that seems to have been missed: Andrew has an opinion, but that is personal. When it comes to doing his job he is constrained by the Law, just as Buddy pointed out. It will be good for him to have to look at issues that he feels strongly against and help to make solutions that are legal and fair to all concerned. Seeing this video gave me hope that maybe we CAN resolve our issues like grown-ups, and find proper and fair solutions. Democracy is alive in Tauranga.


Posted on 25-10-2019 14:18 | By Noteven

The Treaty of Waitangi is a living document and shall remain so into the future of this great country we call our home. It’s a shame that some can’t accept the fact that this founding document isn’t going anywhere. It’s encouraging to see the younger generation seem to be more accepting of it anyway.

Brown faces indeed

Posted on 25-10-2019 16:01 | By AuntyMinnie

If I had said this it would have been considered racist. Show respect to everybody and learn some diplomacy.

Respect and understanding

Posted on 25-10-2019 17:17 | By Potofstu

And that’s why the treaty and our own country’s history should be taught in schools.then we can all have a proper conversation.not shouting down someone with a opposing view.


Posted on 25-10-2019 18:11 | By Told you

Brown faces indeed, if I have ever heard a racist statement this is it, I thought we were one nation not white and brown, he is advocating separatism, how can we move forward with this attitude.

Get it gone

Posted on 25-10-2019 18:21 | By Honesty is the best Policy

Well i totaly agree with that Terry. They get away with alot and its no fair on others

Freedom of Speech

Posted on 25-10-2019 20:18 | By $10 Tauranga

The election of Hollis onto the council is a true representation of not only the wider population of Tauranga but as he mentions all corners of New Zealand. As Taika said "I think New Zealand is the best place on the planet, but it's a racist place". #freedomofspeech

More to our community than a treaty

Posted on 25-10-2019 22:52 | By GWHtpt

Hey Buddy how about putting effort into fixing problems with youth, crime, drugs, housing etc. There’s a lot more issues to cover here !


Posted on 26-10-2019 15:32 | By surfsup

We have seen some interesting things take place in a very short time. An elected member of council being told by the mayor he will be banned from anything to do with iwi. We have a maori vandalise items in council building and we have an unelected person telling us that the council has to ensure that any decisions taken are in line with the principals of the treaty. I struggle with the mayor taking away freedom of expression, whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant, what action would have been taken if a pakeha ripped down the pictures, and is the treaty now being used for issues well outside the original intent. I recently heard that a swimming pool on maori land is outside council rules re fencing etc. Double standards or is that part of the treaty rules as well.


Posted on 26-10-2019 22:17 | By The Caveman

the NEW council taking an interest in EVERY RATEPAYERS concerns !!!

We all Kiwis

Posted on 27-10-2019 13:22 | By Feruno

The treaty settlement payouts final dates have come and gone a couple of times. Why can't we all just live in peace. The treaty is finished, but it is time to stop the racism and segregation.

Get over it

Posted on 27-10-2019 20:43 | By Honesty is the best Policy

Well how i see it theres one rule for white people and one rule for brown people. One rule for all should be all fair. How come u can block the bridge off for a silly protest and get away with it and if us white people do it we ge aressted and fined very wrong i say. Help the homeless instead how come we go to winz for something and get turned away and u guys get what u want from winz very RONG

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