Face of the day


New Plymouth Mayor, Andrew Judd

Today’s face of the day Mayor Andrew Judd refers to himself as a recovering racist. I am glad that he has educated himself about Maori culture and history and that he cares about all his constituents. I disagree with his non democratic views on how to address what he sees as an imbalance. If any New Zealander with a Maori ethnic background wants representation on a council like every other New Zealander of any other ethnic background they can run for council. Race based positions on councils are not okay. We live in a democracy and councillors should be voted in to office.

When Andrew Judd ran for Mayor he did not tell the voters his intentions for change as he claims he changed his views while in office. Unfortunately he and his family have suffered abuse from his community because of it and he will not be standing again. Even Len Brown has not been treated as badly as this Mayor. Appallingly someone actually spat on him!

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd has confirmed he will not be standing for a second term in office – having suffered abuse, including being spat at, over his support for a Maori ward.

Judd, who was elected three years ago, said he did not want the forthcoming October election to be a rehash of the ward debate.

On Thursday night Judd told TV’s Seven Sharp that he was not seeking re-election.

“As much as I want to. I just know it will be used as a fight.”

The father-of-two said he had been spat at in the supermarket in front of his children and had seen people crossing the road to avoid him because of his support for a Maori ward.

“I’ve somewhat hidden my family and stopped taking them out to events with me.”

He also said mayors from other cities around the country had shunned him at functions.

“I’m used to having a cup of tea on my own because, ‘heaven forbid we talk about that Maori stuff with you’.”

The announcement confirmed rumours that Judd would not stand again.

Last month Maori TV programme Native Affairs’ host Oriini Tipene-Leach said the mayor had told the show he would not seek re-election, but at the time Judd refused to confirm the statement.

Judd was elected in 2013 in a landslide victory of 16,883 votes to incumbent Mayor Harry Duynhoven’s 7677.

But the mayor has been open about his fear that he had lost considerable public support over his decision to support the inclusion of a Maori ward at the council in 2016.

Last year a citizens’ initiated referendum quashed the idea, with a massive 83 per cent of the 25,338 returned votes against the proposal.

Out of 471 people who voted in a Stuff poll last month on whether Judd would get their support if he stood again, 68 per cent said he would not get their vote.

In the past Judd has said that he is a “recovering racist”.

Last December he said 2015 had been a hard year and he’d had “massive pressure” put on him to back down.

“I’ve had councillors wanting to move a vote of no confidence. I had mayors in the region message me to stop embarrassing the region. I’ve got two massive folders of strong views for me to step down.”

And he said he had had to deal with his own feelings of guilt over his “ignorance” as well as the pushback from people he cared about. But he said he stood for the truth as he saw it.










 – Stuff


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  • Brian Smaller

    And this is the problem with this type of person. Whereas someone like SB or myself sees democratic representation as colour blind – in that we would vote for the best person who we think represents our views, interests and vision for the future – Mr Judd sees things through a prism of racism. How anyone thinks that having a Maori Ward (or any other ethnic based vote on a council) will make outcomes for ‘disadvantaged’ people any better is beyond me. We all know that some local unelected leader will get the role and a nice little honorarium for their bother and nothing else will change. The position would become a nice little sinecure for someone.

    • FornaK

      Which council, and how long before the first Muslin ward is formed?
      You heard it here first on WO!

  • Aucky

    That Judd was spat at in front of his family was reprehensible but you reap what you sow.

    Stuff has a bloody cheek shedding crocodile tears over Andrew Judd’s purported personal discomfits given the hate messages that they condone on a daily basis towards John Key in their ‘opinion’ columns.

    • rustyjohn58

      Sorry can’t agree with you sentiment. Saying his treatment was reprehensible BUT… Is no different to what we hear from the left. It’s reprehensible to blow up Jews BUT if they didn’t occupy Palestine etc. Or its reprehensible to shoot French cartoonists BUT if they didn’t offend Muslims, etc the list could go on.

      There is no justification for the way this guy and his family was treated whatever his views. We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their views without fear of violence or intimidation. In his case he was elected and if the people don’t agree with his he gets un-elected.

      There should be no buts. I’m with SB on this.

      • Aucky

        I guess it depends on your personal view on life RJ. In my book spitting at anyone is a reprehensible act particularly in front of their kids. Decent people just don’t stoop to those levels.

        • rustyjohn58

          I agree with that, it’s the but he reaped what he sowed bit. To me that means he got what he deserved which I don’t agree with. Perhaps we are both misunderstanding each other. Fortunately we do that here without spitting or abusing each other’s families. Cheers.

        • XCIA

          I agree. Not only is it bad form, it is totally unacceptable from a hygiene and health & safety aspect. When I was growing up, it was deemed a capital offence by my mother.

      • Martin

        Saved me saying it, well done.

  • Dog Breath

    Judd should have known that an unelected Maori representative was going to be a huge deal and being a huge deal he should have made an effort to find out what the constitutes think of the idea. To discover through a binding referendum that 85% oppose after he had forced this through council was just asking for trouble. Had he spent a bit of time with the people he represented early in the process he would have learnt that his personal views were not going to fly and bowed out of the idea early before this became a huge festering sore. There is a huge lesson to be learnt here for those who wish to become community leaders.

  • Carl

    Harry Du-nothing will be lining up for another go at getting the Mayoral chains back around his neck. I hope there are better people that will put their name forward to stop him from getting them.

  • geoff

    Ironically Judd’s road to Damascus view on Maori has now been replaced with a racist view on Pakeha.
    Reminds of the reformed alcoholic who naively believes that prohibition is the only answer to his problem.

  • Cadwallader

    So, New Plymouth has a nerdy racist for a Mayor? Isn’t this a triviality compared to the new Mayoralty in London?

  • PaulD

    What’s the context of this photo? The background flags are the Tino Rangatiratanga flag and the Australian flag!

    • Tony

      Wrong Paull. It is the NZ flag. You can see the reddish tinge on the bottom star and the absence of the Commonwealth Star under the union flag.


  • Abjv

    The person that did the spitting could stand for mayor. There is a precedent in Auckland.

    • FornaK

      I was wondering what Phil Goff was doing in the Naki

  • Dave

    No one needs or deserves to be spat at, it’s violence and disgusting. However, it seems Mayor Judd seems to forget he is there to represents the people, and not his own feelings or his knee jerk reaction to being a recovering racist, “well I suppose if I give them a few special Maori wards, that will make amends”. I’m glad he is not running again, he is not fit for public office.

  • cows4me

    I see Howie Tamati, an elected Maori councilor for NP, sticking his two cents worth in last night calling this the tyranny of the majority when it comes to democracy. Pigs arse it is. If Tamati is calling the voters of New Plymouth racist then how the hell did he get his position on the council? The very electing of Tamati shows that the people are not racists and anyone wishing to give it a go has a good chance of getting in. Judd’s and Tamati’s problem is that they believe people should be given special privilege based on race but this will do nothing for the Maori cause other than promoting mediocrity and contemp. Something that is given over as in a case like this will simply be abused. People should stand on their merits and screw their bloody skin colour.

    • Legallysane

      Cows fo mayor??

      • cows4me

        I’m not Legally insane, besides I’m STDC.

    • Ceebee

      “Tyranny of the majority” ?

      That is democracy – majority rules, otherwise you will never get an outcome that is best for the group as a whole.

      What is being proposed by these people is “Tyranny of the minority” whereby the best interest of the whole group are subverted to the best interests of the few.

  • Graeme

    I suppose white people should automatically have place on all Maori councils too.

    • Raibert

      In proportion to the makeup of the relevant community!

  • Legallysane

    I imagine that his business (optician) has probably suffered badly and may be a major factor in his decision not to stand again. Many people, myself included, had high hopes for the guy after years of Harry Donothing. He’s basically a very decent person but for some reason known only to himself, got horribly side tracked.

  • Raibert

    Reality is this guy is a poor looser. He took a position and the electorate rinsed him. He knows he will not be elected again if he stood, so is crying wolf now. So sad, too bad never mind, sure the electorate is sighing with relief.

  • Phenandra

    I don’t hear the left howling about him having had “no mandate” on this issue.

  • Eiselmann

    Judd like so many others who embrace an idea they previously rejected become zealots, it starts to define them. That can be annoying for those who have to deal with Joe Nobody , however in a community leader it creates problems for everyone else.

    Judd needed to bring the community with him, he needed to show them that his way was better and that he still acted on behalf of everyone in New Plymouth. Being a zealot he not only didn’t do that, he couldn’t . The abuse he got was wrong yet entirely predictable, his failure is all his own, he set the agenda and he painted himself into a corner because he believed that his (revised) views were right and the viewpoint of anyone who disagreed was wrong and shouldn’t matter.

    Judd can blame everyone else ,again thats want a zealot does when their message
    fails, however the true blame for his failure is with him ,,,he was the army general who attacked the opposing army on his own while his own army stood and watched….and he likely can’t understand why his attack failed.

  • Damon Mudgway

    Democracy can be a bit weird sometimes. He’s not standing again because he’ll get wiped off the toilet seat. Simple as that. Andrew Judd has my respect for voicing his views on local Moari, but sadly the democratically elected mayor forgot he doesn’t speak for others. He was entitled to put forward his ideas, but to cry like a spoilt brat about the fact he was shot down in flames is just childish. He tried, he failed…

    And to then spew forth the drivel labelling whites racist is irresponsible and self serving, not the traits of someone professing to be the elected representative of a community. If he wants to be an activist then so be it. All he’s done is succeeded in causing division in his own backyard. Awesome stuff for a former Mayor to put on their CV.

    Finally, while I believe the man to basically be a fool, I think those assaulting and threatening him are showing their true colours as well. They certainly don’t get an appreciatative golf clap from me.

  • Catriona

    Well the good thing is that the Deputy is also resigning so ending her snout in the trough for the past 20 years or so. Duynhoven won’t get a look in either. So new blood from the existing Councillors then.