The Wellington City Council has apologised following the way a noise control complaint was handled against Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna while holding a kapa haka practice last month.
“We accept that we've made mistakes in this,” says Matthew Borich of the Wellington City Councill.
This comes after the school’s haka group were practicing in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday when noise control turned up following a complaint made by a neighbour.
According to the school, the officer threatened to take their guitars if they didn’t lower the noise.
“The first mistake we made was that, noise from community type events, especially cultural events, and church etcetera, when you apply the excessive noise control provisions to them, the excessive noise control provisions are a blunt instrument.”
As a result, the council will now give additional training to its employees to help deal appropriately with cultural groups.
However, the school’s initial objection wasn't aimed at the council who give the contract, or noise control, but at the noise control officer himself.
“The noise control officer in this case made statements that were unprofessional, and weren't acceptable,” says Mr Borich, but he denies the employee was racist in his conduct.
“His explanations, and the fact that he has Māori heritage himself; we're quite confident that there was no racism in this.”
The school is satisfied with how the matter has been dealt with.
Additionally they have been inundated with support from the community, and the original complainant has gone to the school to apologise.
The council plans to meet with the school in the near future.