28 Apr 2015

'A great advocate for Māoridom'

12:47 pm on 28 April 2015

A National list MP of Ngāi Tahu descent is validating the position of a Christchurch local body politician who is retaining his seat from his new location in Whanganui.

Adrian Te Patu

Adrian Te Patu Photo: Twitter / @Te_Patu

Adrian Te Patu is a member on the Lyttelton-Mt Herbert Community Board and recently moved to his home town in the North Island.

Although the board supports him retaining his seat, a couple of board members told him that, in principle, he should be living within the local board's area.

However, Mr Te Patu said there was no law that said he could not continue what he was doing, and he had the confidence of Ngāi Tahu.

Port Hills National list MP Tutehounuku Korako said that was true and Ngāi Tahu leaders supported Mr Te Patu.

"He's been a great advocate for Māoridom actually right across his various roles, advocacy for Māori", Mr Korako said.

"And that's why in talking to a number of other leaders within the Māori community of Te Pātaka o Rakaihautū or Banks Peninsula, he is actually held in high regard."

Te Manu Korihi then asked Mr Korako if there was any concern about Adrian Te Patu retaining his seat from Whanganui.

Tutehounuku Korako

Tutehounuku Korako Photo: SUPPLIED / National Party

"No there isn't, as I say I have talked to a number of people [and] we don't have a concern with that", he said.

"Adrian is embarking on a number of other things particularly within his career, we understand that.

"We believe that he commutes [back for board meetings] at his own cost from Whanganui down to Ōtautahi to Lyttelton.

"He continues to add a lot of value where we're concerned as a member of the community board.

"I have and the people that I've spoken to believe that why do we really want to take a person away that does advocate on our behalf but also the fact is that there's a cost thing running a by-election if that happens".

Mr Korako said that Ngāi Tahu on Banks Peninsula would prefer to keep the status quo.

He said it was important to have Māori individuals such as Adrian Te Patu working in a general local community board and advocating for tāngata whenua.

Mr Te Patu has moved to Whanganui and is involved in a number of local projects, one of which is the restoration of the Whanganui Māori War Memorial that will be ready in time for Prince Harry's visit on 14 May.

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