This letter is in response to the page 1 article [KMN, February 19]. I wish to draw concern to some untrue facts.
It reports that Ken Douglas says Liz Kelly ‘‘has lost my respect and has denigrated the role of deputy mayor’’. I attended this meeting and and the quote is false.
I recall Ken Douglas saying he was ashamed and embarrassed of the denigration of Ngati Toa and they have always been strong supporters of the Whanau Centre. He said the CEO (Liz Kelly) is a decent of Ngati Toa, and as a consequence, he’s withdrawing his support for her as deputy mayor.
I feel shocked that a white male New Zealander with no affiliation to Ngati Toa would have the audacity and confidence to make such a remark, let alone to the deputy mayor Liz Kelly who is proudly from Ngati Toa.
When did an outsider looking in, who does not understand the values and traditional practices of a Maori culture, have a right to speak of Ngati Toa in this context? If there is anyone who should be embarrassed it should be Mr Douglas.
Secondly, the comment made by Mayor Leggett ‘‘you’re not involved, so shut your mouth’’ is also incorrect. I remember Mr Leggett only saying ‘‘shut your mouth’’ to Ms Kelly and Mr Douglas adding ‘‘you’re not involved’’ as Ms Kelly protested a point of order during Litea Ah Hoi’s speech.
I thought Porirua City was a white ribbon city, clearly not if this behaviour is acceptable in our very own council chambers. Furthermore, the Pacific communities who were present at the council meeting were also not mentioned in this article, but played a significant role in this meeting as well as in the Porirua community as a whole and deserve to be acknowledged.
These community leaders were Laumemea Anitele’a Laumemea, Rev Tom Etuata and Sam Samuels. They did an excellent job expressing support for the Whanau Centre, the new name, staff and board. We stand by our report of the meeting – Editor.