Tauranga Mayor calls for unity after tense swearing in ceremony

updated By Heta Gardiner

Things got heated at the swearing-in of councillors of Tauranga City Council.

The Council Kaumātua Huikākahu Kawe had to usher Hayden Henry out of the swearing-in formalities.

This comes after Councillor Andrew Hollis said on social media that the Treaty needed to go, that it was "a joke", and that we needed to "stop the iwi gravy train".

He stood proudly in front of the council, stating he would speak his mind.

Andrew Hollis announced, "The overwhelming support that I’ve had from almost all corners of New Zealand has been to stand my ground and keep going, and that’s what I intend to do.”

But when it came to speaking his mind to Māori Television, words evaded him.

Hollis replies, “We’re probably not gonna talk about anything today, but catch up with tomorrow or next week, because today’s a different sort of day, I’ve gotta go and do all of the stuff that I’ve gotta do today. Well, which, no, we’re gonna go and do, the thing. Thank you, feel free to talk to me tomorrow or next week. Tomorrow or next week.”

His words were opposed by Māori in attendance.

Trenby Powell, Tauranga Mayor says, “My campaign was fundamentally on, uniting a city divided, and we’re divided socially and culturally across a range of issues. And it is time now, to come together.”

There is a big job ahead for these councillors, to bring everyone together.