Councillor who said Treaty should be burned told to stay away from iwi talks

6:30 pm on 22 October 2019

The Mayor of Tauranga will ask councillor Andrew Hollis to refrain from participating in any council business involving iwi or hapū, following comments he made calling for the Treaty of Waitangi to be burned.

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Newly elected Andrew Hollis has been banned from iwi talks. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

The newly elected Tauranga councillor is already facing calls for his resignation.

While councillor Andrew Hollis was campaigning, he said the Treaty of Waitangi was "past it's use-by-date" and "a joke".

Local iwi leader Buddy Mikaere is a former director of the Waitangi Tribunal and said he wanted Mr Hollis to step aside.

"I think that in saying things like, the Treaty is a joke and that it's past its use-by-date and I think in one instance also saying, the Treaty should be burnt, that seems to me to be in direct contradiction of part one of the Local Government Act, and part four and six, where treaty principles are clearly something which councils needed to taking into account.

"So this guy has got a conflict of interest which seems to me would disqualify him from any participation in any council business that has to do with Māori interests because the whole purpose of those sections of the LGA is to give Māori input into the business of council.

"How can he participate on any reasonable debate on issues such as that?"

Tenby Powell said he would not tolerate the demonising of certain sectors of society.

"I can categorically tell you there will be no place for racism in our council chambers.

"Andrew has some very strong views on the Treaty of Waitangi and issues around land. The reality is what Andrew has done on Facebook is that he's come out extremely strongly on these issues. But Andrew's brand, and that which he was voted in on, I believe, is all around fixing state highway two between Tauranga and Katikati.

"I do believe that he's openly conflicted himself and brings a pre-determination to those discussions and our relationships with iwi and hapū, they're particularly important."

* An earlier version of this story said Mr Hollis had been banned from meetings, but Mr Powell said he had not banned, just asked him not to attend meetings.