3 Feb 2015

Council told to honour Maori identity

7:27 am on 3 February 2015

The Tauranga City Council is not working hard enough to promote the area's Maori identity, a local campaigner says.

Tauranga

Tauranga Photo: 123RF

The council is asking for public submissions for its draft public art policy to enhance the environment and to reflect the city's character and identity.

Maori art is seen in the city, including the Matariki pou on the waterfront and the pou at Pukehinahina (Gate Pa).

The council said although there was no Maori element in the plan, it was keen to hear from the public.

Pat Spellman, who wants both Te Reo and English signage in Tauranga, said the council was not showing any genuine commitment.

He said the council needed to start incorporating Maori culture into the city's identity.

Mr Spellman said the council had failed to take that step and would hide it under the camouflage that it had invited public submissions - but at the same time, he said, it was not highlighting the fact that Tauranga was a proud city with a strong Maori heritage.

Te Manu Korihi has contacted the Tauranga City Council to respond to Mr Spellman's comment.