A 3 day Peace Walk kicks off today in support of New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd after his decision not to stand for council again.
Judd publicly announced he would not stand again as a direct result of abuse he was confronted with after advocating for Māori representation on the council.
Judd's ambition to increase Māori representation and the abuse he suffered as a result, was first broadcast in April this year by Māori Television's Te Kāea news and Native Affairs
Organiser of the walk Glen Bennett says what they are doing is not a protest or a march but an opportunity to “foster 'conversation' as a means of moving forward - 'Wars and legislation haven't worked in the past.”
The abuse suffered by Judd sparked a public outcry and a Facebook ‘Andrew Judd Fan Club’ page which now has over 10 thousand followers.
Over the duration of the walk a number of public forums will be held at Oakura and Parihaka Pā which in itself holds a strong and rich history for Māori on a national level.
Bennett says, “We invite everyone to walk - every footprint counts.”
The walk begins at NPDC offices this morning.