Does the Hawke's Bay Regional Council open its meetings with a prayer?

Alex Harris made this Official Information request to Hawke's Bay Regional Council

The request was successful.

From: Alex Harris

Dear Hawke's Bay Regional 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: Leeanne Hooper
Hawke's Bay Regional Council

Good afternoon Mr Harris,

I am writing in response to your LGOIMA request, which HBRC received on Wednesday 18 April.

Yes - HBRC does open its Regional Council meetings with a prayer.

The customary opening of the Regional Council meeting with a prayer began 22 years ago and has continued since then. This custom was most recently confirmed by resolution at the 2007 inaugural Council meeting held 30 October 2007. That resolution reads: " The Hawke's Bay Regional Council commences its meetings with the established prayer."

The text of the established prayer is:
O God our creator
Bless us as we gather today for this meeting
Guide our minds and hearts so that we will work for the good of our community and help all your people
Teach us to be generous in our outlook, courageous in the face of difficulty, and wise in our decisions
We ask this grace through Christ our Lord

Council does not hold any information on the remainder of your request.

Thank you for your enquiry, and if you require anything further in relation to this request please contact me.

Leeanne Hooper
Governance & Corporate Administration Manager
Hawke's Bay Regional Council
159 Dalton Street | Private Bag 6006 | Napier 4142
P 06 833 8017 | F 06 835 3601
[email address] |

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