New Plymouth Mayor proposes a Peace Walk

The New Plymouth mayor, Andrew Judd, is inviting the nation to join him on a Peace Walk to Parihaka.

The hikoi will run from his mayoral office to Parihaka 45 km away.

It will take place on 17 June.

Judd, who has been at the centre of a storm of controversy over race issues, hopes the a peace walk will start a new conversation about inclusion, not conflict, in a bicultural nation.

Judd announced last week he would not be seeking re-election .

He said he had been spat on in the supermarket over a proposal to  give non-elected iwi representatives speaking and voting rights on standing committees.

Other people had crossed the street when they saw him.

Mayors from throughout the country avoided him at function, Judd said.

“I’m used to having a cup of tea on my own,” he said.

It went without saying he had avoided social media for some time now.

“What I’m asking people to bring is their message of what together means, because together you acknowledge your past and together you heal your future.”

On TVNZ’s Seven Sharp presenter, Mike Hosking said Judd was “completely out of touch with middle New Zealand”.

“Sad to say I’d never personally attack him obviously but he’s completely out of touch with middle New Zealand”

“There’s nothing wrong with Māori representation on councils cause any Māori that wants to stand for a council is more than welcome to do so and you can sell your message and if you’re good enough you’ll get voted on.”

On John Campbell reported that their “Andrew Judd piece” had garnered the largest and most positive response to any news story since they’ve been on air (4 months or so).

It has been widely acknowledged Judd’s stance on Maori rights and ward representation has significantly reduced his support in the community.

The matter arose in 2014, after the New Plymouth District Council voted against giving non-elected iwi representatives speaking and voting rights on standing committees.

The NPDC then narrowly voted to establish a Maori ward seat in September 2014, which resulted in the resignation of two councillors and caused a by-election within the first year of Judd’s term.

In 2015 a citizens’ initiated referendum quashed any chance of having a Maori seat, with a massive 83 per cent of the 25,338 returned votes against the proposal.

Parihaka was the centre for non-violent resistance to land confiscations. It was sacked by government forces in 1881.


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