Kaipara mayor says he will now honour Te Tiriri o Waitangi, but only sometimes
Freshly elected Kaipara mayor, respecter and celebrator of all cultures and religions, has veered from his decision to ban an ancient cultural practice of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand from council meetings.
This piece was based on a true story.
Mayor Jepson hit a speed bump on his virtuous crusade for a white supremacist council when - to his surprise - people were unimpressed with him making a unilateral decision to ban the first Māori thing he came across.
Perhaps unknown to Jep, karakia is an important practice that Māori have done since time immemorial and long before colonisers brought Christianity to our shores. An opening karakia has taken place for 25 years under previous councils of Kaipara, likely due to the leadership portraying too much respect for our founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The only elected Māori for Kaipara, Pera Paniora - who is the great, great, great, great grandaughter of Parore Te Āwhā, a Ngāpuhi and Te Roroa chief who sold the land now known as Dargaville to settlers of the time - attempted to continue this practice in the first full council meeting of the season. However, Jep bravely trampled on the mana of the tūpuna of the only Māori councillor, denying her the right to perform a 13 second karakia.
After a meeting with councillors which did not include Pera Paniora, Jep has now decided his council will be more respectful of tikanga Māori, Māori practices, but only sometimes. The council will be employing a rotating system which will give each councillor the authority to choose for themselves whether to honour their treaty partners or continue to shit on them.