A new Tauranga councillor who made politically incorrect comments about the Treaty and Treaty settlements on Facebook has got the new Race Relations Commissioner in a fizz.
According to the New Zealand Herald, new Tauranga councillor Andrew Hollis said:
"There is a general feeling out and around New Zealand where every generation or so, there's another group that stands up and says our forefathers didn't get a good enough deal through the Treaty."
"And it seems to happen fairly frequently that the full and final settlement isn't full and it isn't final, and it goes on and on and on."
In a conversation with a local woman on Facebook, which got quite heated, Hollis suggested burning the Treaty.
Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon says Hollis should stand down, because "all elected members must swear an oath to abide by the Local Government Act which includes Treaty obligations".
If Meng Foon checked he would see that Treaty obligations in the Local Government Act 2002 are limited to providing “opportunities for Maori to contribute to the decision-making processes”, and not muzzling councillors from comments on Treaty policy.
Hollis, who took the third highest number of votes, joins New Plymouth councillor Murray Chong in a small group of councillors who speak freely on social media.
Chong ruffled feathers in January by saying on Facebook that he was ashamed to sing the national anthem in Maori.
As elected representatives, councillors cannot be sacked, but they can be voted out. Chong was returned to the New Plymouth District Council last week despite his views on singing the Maori national anthem.
For the critics of politically correct treatyism, councillors who exercise their freedom of speech are a breath of fresh air, and Meng Foon, in his race relations role, looks like a gift that will keep on giving.
Thank you to all who signed our petition to welcome the visit of the flotilla including the replica of the Endeavour that carried Captain James Cook here 250 years ago. We set up the petition to counter another petition to stop the visit, claiming it was racist. They collected 3235 signatures, while we have so far collected 5169. Our petition may be signed at http://chng.it/jKMjXXMwGd
We launched another petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights. We have picked up 5228 signatures to date. We need your support. The petition may be signed at http://chng.it/stXwrrtFLY
Meanwhile, our petition to evict protesters at Ihumatao, and for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business, has collected 2632 signatures. The petition may be signed at http://chng.it/xPN6P55k
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