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Tribute to Sir Barry Curtis

Media Release– Tuesday 14 August 2007

From Su’a William Sio, Manukau City Councillor – Otara Ward

Tribute to Sir Barry Curtis standing down after 40 years in local government

Sir Barry Curtis deserves all our praises and best wishes for a life dedicated to public service and to the people of Manukau City.

I will always acknowledge him as one Manukau’s founding city fathers being one of New Zealand’s longest serving mayors. He has worked tirelessly to serve the people of Manukau City, often taking calls from people at all hours of the day or night, never turning anyone away. He made everyone feel special and welcome to Manukau and it didn’t matter if you were a school student, the Governor General, an international visitor, or a Maori warden, Sir Barry was always ready and willing to make you feel welcome to Manukau, New Zealand’s most progressive city.

He will be sorely missed at the annual Waitangi Celebrations where he would welcome visitors from the length & breadth of New Zealand to celebrate with the people of Manukau under the Manukau sky, warmed by the Manukau sun, where we acknowledge people of all cultures & ethnicities in the Manukau way, in accordance with the protocols of mana whenua.

He has been an outstanding role model for a budding politician like myself and the young people of Manukau City. He was always quick to point out that Otara was the capital of Manukau City and for the young people to aim for the stars. Our school children from Otara loved to sing and perform for Sir Barry because he always treated them with the respect and the dignity they deserve.

His oratory prowess is un-matched by any councillor and he has a very special gift when it comes to public speaking with his booming voice and ability to recite so much about Manukau’s history. His presence always dignified each community occasion and made everyone feel so special.

I acknowledge Sir Barry’s support and love for the Pacific communities of Manukau. Everyone who has met you comes away feeling important. The old people have always said to me, ‘This mayor is a palagi, but his heart is Polynesian.’

We support your decision Sir Barry. We wish you all the best in your many years ahead. God bless you and Mayoress Anne.


© Scoop Media

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