January 15, 2019
Image: Councillor Murray Chong
New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom has distanced himself from comments made by a district councillor who says he is "ashamed" of singing the te reo Māori part of the national anthem.
Councillor Murray Chong, who has a history of making controversial comments about te reo, made the comment on a Facebook post asking people to "name a song they are ashamed of singing".
Mr Holdom said Mr Chong's comments did not reflect the majority of councillors' views, nor those of the council.
Mr Holdom said his council's focus was on tolerant and inclusive culture in Taranaki that recognised New Zealand's history and the special role of Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa.
Mr Holdom said he had censured Mr Chong for the comments, something he had done in the past for similar marks about te reo Māori .
Mr Chong previously described te reo as being "on life support" and said he had no issue with flying the Confederate flag during an American car festival in New Plymouth.
Mr Holdom was unable to say what the censure meant in practise.
RNZ via SCOOP
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