New Plymouth District Council Mayor Andrew Judd has joined the Māori Party.
“They’ve been a fantastic supporter of me along this whole journey, a real standout politically. Great team and I applaud them. I support them 100 per cent,” says Judd.
Māori Party Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell says he hasn’t yet talked formally with Judd but will be focussing on the Māori electorate seats first, before deciding on the list or general seat selections.
Judd came to prominence when he went against public opinion and supported a separate Māori ward in 2014. But a binding public referendum by New Plymouth residents overwhelmingly voted against the council decision and it was overturned. A public backlash forced Judd to resign from his job.
Judd calls himself a recovering racist. “We are polite with our racism but racism exists and until New Zealand Pākehā look at themselves we’ll never truly move forward with a partnership model.”
Native Affairs has more on this story tonight, 8:00pm, Māori Television.