3 Nov 2010

Far North mayor urges club to keep promises

8:16 am on 3 November 2010

Far North mayor Wayne Brown is urging the Taipa sailing club to build a better relationship with local Maori after last month's occupation.

A Ngati Kahu group moved onto the council reserve used by the club, claiming it had been stolen by the Crown and demanding its return.

The occupiers left on Friday but Mr Brown says he does not doubt the group will be back, and says the club should keep promises made during the occupation, such as inviting Maori onto its committee and giving consideration to making space for a waka ama club.

The mayor says confrontational behaviour on both sides was disappointing.

"I think the wearing of the masks and the lighting fires and all that sort of Tuhoe stuff is totally unnecessary, and I think some of the Pakeha people showed a complete lack of respect whatsoever for the culture of the Maori groups as well."

Mr Brown says the club has ignored Yachting New Zealand's advice to clubs to forge stronger links with tangata whenua.