TODAY |

'We've got to do this better NZ' - New Plymouth mayor will continue to champion for Maori

Outgoing New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd says he will continue to champion for Maori representation in local body politics who he believes have limited and "tokenistic" opportunities.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd says he won’t be changing his mind on not seeking re-election despite newfound support. Source: Seven Sharp

Mr Judd announced on Seven Sharp last week he would not seek re-election later this year after he was the victim of several hateful, racial slurs from members of the community for his perceived favouring of Maori.

Last night on the TVNZ show, host Mike Hosking asked Mr Judd why he felt the need to campaign for a racial "quota system" in his council.

Mr Judd said democracy does not provide the "utopian" society as it is imagined "in it's purest sense".

He said there continues to be division withing society and the options given to Maori for political representation are "very, very limited".

"The reality is that doesn't happen ... Do [I] believe that Maori have a seat at the table, of course they do, and I will champion for that every single day.

"We've got to do this better New Zealand, we have to do this better for our children."

Despite the council voting for the Maori seat during Mr Judd's time as mayor it was not implemented when the New Plymouth community vetoed the vote in a binding referendum.

Describing himself as a "recovering racisit", Mr Judd has been abused and was spat on by a woman in a supermarket for his bid to improve Maori representation in Taranaki.

"I'm not seeking re-election, no, as much as I want to, I know it will be used as a fight to hurt us further," he told Seven Sharp last week.

"We need to look after each other, we need to look after our indigenous people, if we can't do that how on earth are we going to grow and become this multicultural country we say we are going to be."