Mayor tables proof of meeting
Angry scenes as council debates Maori seat hui
South Waikato Mayor Neil Sinclair produced two letters at a council meeting, which confirmed the attendance of two Raukawa kaumatua at a 2005 hui where Maori seats were discussed.
The letters were from Timana Raukawa Kaunihera, Hori Deane and kuia Ruthana Begbie.
The hui, held six years ago, was used as a catalyst for Maori not wanting a seat on council when it came up for review in council this year.
Council opted to keep the status quo and not institute a Maori seat.
According to Mr Deane’s letter there were representatives from the Raukawa Trust Board, kaumatua and the community involved in the hui process.
Instead of a seat, it was decided at the hui that Maori would get a separate Maori Advisory Committee and Maori would be appointed to committees whenever a matter of significance for Maori was debated.
South Waikato News asked Mr Sinclair through his communications manager whether this had been done. Mr Sinclair would not comment. At the council meeting, before reading the letters, Mr Sinclair recalled that in 1989 the South Waikato News and Putaruru Press combined and won community awards and he talked about his dislike of tabloids.
‘‘I realise today the world has changed and it’s far easier rather then putting news, being a tabloid and to me tabloid is tacky innuendo, insinuation misinterpretation, misinformation you can throw out innuendo, insults you can throw it out and the target is expected to do the work to refute them,’’ Mr Sinclair said.
‘‘Don’t let the facts get in the way in terms of personal attacks, derogatory comments, character assassinations.’’
Mr Sinclair then read out to the council all the dates of meetings that took place surrounding Maori representation from May 2005 to October 2005.
‘‘Cr Corban,’’ Mr Sinclair said, ‘‘these were a series of meetings you were at.’’
Cr Corban asked Mr Sinclair if he was referring to the meeting on October 12, 2005, to which Mr Sinclair said: ‘‘ Yes the series of meetings at which you were present.’’
‘‘I know you weren’t at the hui, you made it quite clear.’’
Cr Corban asked if she could speak but was declined until the mayor had finished speaking.
‘‘And so all those meetings are matter of public record,’’ Mr Sinclair said.
‘‘In fact council again decided to go ahead with the status quo that decision was reported as the public being denied a voice council vetoing public input they were wrong.
‘‘I made up a mayoral statement which unfortunately was not printed because where was the proof of the meeting.
‘‘ So maybe these letters will help.’’
Mr Sinclair then read out two letters from Raukawa kuia Ruthana Begbie and Raukawa kaumatua Kaunihera, Hori Deane.
Both were concerned that the mayor’s credibility had been attacked and wanted to assure people that there was a hui.
‘‘As chairman of the Raukawa Kaumatua Kaunihera I can assure you that consultation did occur and the Raukawa Kauma- tua Kaunihera who was represented not only just from one person but several including board members and kaumatua.’’ Mr Deane wrote.
Cr Corban then challenged Mr Sinclair on points he had raised, asking why he did not answer her questions at the last council meeting when she asked.
‘‘Thank you for sharing with us those letters, would it just have been easier to answer my questions in the first place when I asked you instead of pussyfooting around it?’’ Cr Corban said.
‘‘Secondly the meeting you are talking about on the 12th of October 2005, I was diagnosed with breast cancer I didn’t even go to those hui.
‘‘I went in for an operation and subsequent radiotherapy so you got your facts a little bit wrong there. And as for personal slanging matches, you do your fair share as well as everybody else and no it’s not good, it’s not good for anybody to be doing it but don’t you sit there in judgment and say that other people are doing this when you are just as guilty and so is Cr Shattock.’’
Cr Shattock then interjected: ‘‘ I’d like you to explain what slanging I have done please, I don’t know what you are talking about.’’
Cr Corban: ‘‘ You have done a slanging match on your radio station.’’
‘‘Cr Corban because you have brought my name into this can you explain what slanging I have done please, what did I say because I didn’t say anything,’’ Cr Shattock said. ‘‘ Well if it wasn’t you then it was him ( Mr Sinclair),’’ Cr Corban said
Cr Shattock is the general manager of Tokoroa’s Classic Hits.
Cr Shattock conducts on-air interviews with Mr Sinclair.
In the interview broadcast on September 2, 2011 Mr Sinclair said there was a hui in 2005 and explained Cr Corban’s absence from those hui.
‘‘Lyn Corban was on council in those days she certainly wasn’t at the hui because she said she wouldn’t go to any council things at marae so she wouldn’t go to that hui or the one at Pikitu.’’
Council needs 745 letters of support to run a poll asking people if they want a Maori seat.
The cost of a poll is estimated at more than $30,000.