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Minister welcomes election of Maori councillor

Minister welcomes election to Wellington City Council of the first Maori councillor in recent times

For immediate release
3 May 2000


The Minister of Local Government and Associate Maori Affairs Minister Hon Sandra Lee has welcomed the election of environmental activist Raymond Ahipene-Mercer to the Wellington City Council, following a by-election in the city's eastern ward.

“I congratulate him as the second-ever Maori councillor in Wellington City and the first Maori to be elected since 1962," said Ms Lee. "He joins a local authority that has significant influence on central government and which is the second largest landlord in the country."

"I first met Ray Ahipene-Mercer more than a decade ago when we were campaigning to get an awareness of Maori environmental perspectives incorporated into the Resource Management Act processes," she said. "Since then, I have been impressed by his involvement in a wide range of community activities, from his prominent advocacy in the environmental campaign to clean up Wellington's south coast to his service as deputy chairman of the Wellington District Maori Council," Ms Lee said.

Mr Ahipene-Mercer, who has Ngai Tahu and Ngai Tara tribal affiliations, is due to be sworn in at a Wellington City Council meeting tomorrow (Thursday) after a powhiri in the Mayoral Chambers of the Old Council Building (support group gathers at 8.45am, proceedings start at 9am).


Ray Ahipene-Mercer is happy to speak
with media who can contact him on 388.2366

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