Does the Grey District Council open its meetings with a prayer?

Alex Harris made this Official Information Act request to Grey District Council

The request was successful.

From: Alex Harris

Dear Grey District Council,

As you may have read recently, the Whanganui District Council
abolished its opening prayer after a complaint was made to the
Human Rights Commission. I'm interested in learning how widespread
this practice is, so I'd like to request the following information
under the LGOIMA:

* Does the Council open its meetings with a prayer?
* If the answer to the above is "yes", then I'd like a copy of that
prayer (or examples, if more than one is used), when the practice
was first established, whether the council has considered
abolishing it in the wake of the Whanganui decision, and any advice
the council may hold on the prayer's compatibility with both the
Human Rights Act 1993 and Bill of Rights Act 1990.

I would prefer to receive an electronic response. Queries about
this request will be automatically forwarded to me by the
fyi.org.nz website.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Harris

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From: Paul Pretorius
Grey District Council

Hi Alex
Only one meeting is opened with a prayer and that is the three yearly inauguration of the Mayor and Councillors. This is when I as CEO take the chair until the Mayor is inducted.
Before I do so, I seek the approval of members on the basis that, should there be any opposition, I will not do so. I do not use a standard prayer and the prayer is normally very short.
As a Christian, I regard it as appropriate to do so but will not force my beliefs onto others.
Regards

Paul Pretorius
Chief Executive Officer

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