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

Alex Harris made this Official Information 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 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.

Paul Pretorius
Chief Executive Officer

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