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Ed Sheeran

Tauranga councillor turns offence blame back on Mikaere

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A Tauranga city councillor says offence is in the eye of the beholder and he won’t step aside because of his views on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Andrew Hollis has come under fire from historian and Tauranga kaumatua Buddy Mikaere for social media postings during the election campaign that the treaty was a joke and Waitangi Tribunal is a gravy train.

He says he has legal advice that holding such opinions is not in breach of his oath under the Local Government Act, as he is open to argument on any issue.

He says offence can only be taken, not given.

"Somebody that finds what I've said about the treaty offensive, that's entirely on them. I've said many things to many people and speaking about the treaty and speaking about the tribunal can be offensive but only if people want it to be and that's where half the problem stems from in New Zealand at the moment, that people have become let's say a little softer over the years and find offence where none is meant," Mr Hollis says.

 

He says Tauranga people are frustrated as how treaty claims and issues of mana whenua keep being raised, and they want to see an end to the process.

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