‘Foot in mouth’ for mayor

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

It was foot in mouth for South Waikato Dis­trict Mayor Neil Sin­clair last week when he re­ferred to Pu­taruru peo­ple as be­ing ‘‘a bit slower.’’

The com­ment came dur­ing a public meet­ing held by the coun­cil to dis­cuss the long term plan.

While be­ing ques­tioned by a ratepayer, Mr Sin­clair said: ‘‘I’m from Pu­taruru and we’re a bit slower back there.’’

Kau­matua Carle Hakaria took the floor af­ter the mayor made the com­ment.

‘‘I don’t know how the peo­ple from Pu­taruru and Waotu feel but I feel sad­dened by your state­ment about Pu­taruru peo­ple be­ing a bit slow; you know that’s not a laugh­ing mat­ter,’’ Mr Hakaria said.

‘‘ I can as­sure you,’’ Mr Sin­clair said to Mr Hakaria, ‘‘the Pu­taruru peo­ple are so big we can carry things there and hav­ing lived there for 50 years we ac­tu­ally han­dle that pretty well, can’t we?’’

Coun­cil staff as­sured res­i­dents that the is­sue was ‘‘a joke’’.

One coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tive went fur­ther, say­ing the mayor was re­fer­ring to him­self.

South Waikato News spoke to rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Pu­taruru League Club who were con­cerned by the mayor’s com­ments.

‘‘I’m an­gry,’’ Pu­taruru res­i­dent Krys­tal Dasilva said, ‘‘It was de­grad­ing and pa­thetic.’’

Pu­taruru stal­wart Mat Tai said the mayor’s com­ments were off.

‘‘He shouldn’t put the rest of us Pu­taruru peo­ple in the same box as him. He may be a bit slow but the rest of us in Pu­taruru are all good.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.