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Rally backs Gisborne councillor who spoke out against racism

A Gisborne councillor plans to complain to the Ombudsman about being investigated after complaining another councillor made a racist remark.

Last month Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she heard a councillor saying it was a pity more Māori weren't killed when James Cook arrived in 1769.

The councillor denied saying that and Ms Akuhata-Brown then found herself in trouble for breaching Gisborne District Council's code of conduct, which said councillors must not criticise other councillors or the council.

The issue was investigated by the council's code of conduct review board.

In a statement at the time, Gisborne District Council said two councillors were found to have breached the code of conduct, which was dealt with 'informally'.

It said the council could not confirm whether the comments were made, and said it would not release the names of those involved for legal reasons.

"I can wholeheartedly assure the community the matters related to the inquiry are in no way a reflection of the views within our organisation," said Nedine Thatcher Swann, chief executive of Gisborne District Council, in a statement.

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