Native Affairs Summer Series - I’m a recovering racist – Mayor Judd

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa
  • North Island: West Coast

It was former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd’s honesty on Native Affairs that cost him his job, when he expressed that New Zealanders were in denial about racism.

“I wasn’t taught anything that happened in our past not only here in Taranaki, in Waitara, but NZ,” he reveals. “I’m not alone in that, I was raised like that. We are raised to be a racist country as Pākeha.”

Native Affairs spoke to Judd in a story about street names in a new housing subdivision in Waitara. The local hapu recommended that the street names should reflect the area’s Māori history. But their submission was dismissed and the new streets were named after the family of the P ākeha developer.

As part of his on-going battle against racism in local body politics, Judd also made a submission to the United Nations, seeking support for the establishment of Maori wards on local councils.  His polarising views had him being spat at in public.and caused Judd to not seek re-election. But he gained national support from those who agreed with him.

“How do Māori ever get that true voice when they cant be at the table when they can't inform our democratic system,” he says.