Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy says New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd is an everyday hero and is disappointed but not surprised at the negative response he has faced from some New Zealanders.
“All those New Zealanders who abused, spat and shunned Andrew need to know that their intolerance and hate says more about them than anyone else,” said Dame Susan.
“Those New Zealanders need to know they are not on the right side of history, people like Andrew Judd are everyday heroes and we need more people like him, now more than ever before.”
Mr Judd recently announced his decision to not stand again in local politics after aggressive, abusive responses to his position on the rights of Maori New Zealanders within Taranaki Council’s region.
“Andrew grew up knowing little about the half of the history of the region he grew up in and he recently discovered its history of injustice: more Kiwis like us need to not be scared but to find out about the true history of their community,” said Dame Susan.
“Every New Zealand child should be taught the history of the town and community that they live in and this starts with strong, enduring relationships between local government and local iwi.”