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

Alex Harris made this Official Information request to Rotorua District Council

The request was successful.

From: Alex Harris

Dear Rotorua 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: RDC Mail
Rotorua District Council

Afternoon Alex,

Thank you for your recent email request.

I have passed this onto our LGOIMA team who will be in response to you
in due course.

Kind Regards

Roimata Sergeant
Customer Centre / Customer Advisor
Rotorua District Council
Tel: 07 348 4199
email: [email address]

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From: Kim McGrath
Rotorua District Council

Dear Mr Harris

request under local government official information and meetings act

I refer to your request of 19 April 2012.

I confirm that Rotorua District Council opens its council meeting with a
prayer, in both Maori and English.  This has been the practice since the
Rotorua District Council was formed with the amalgamation of the Rotorua
City and County Councils in 1979.

Rotorua District Council has no intention of abolishing this practice in
light of the Whanganui decision.

The RDC prayer is as follows:

Council Prayer
Almighty God, who alone is the leader of all mankind and the fountain of
all knowledge.
Send thy blessing upon us your servants this evening as we strive to do
all things good for the betterment of the people of the Rotorua District.

May we be tolerant in ourselves at all times.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Karakia mo te kaunihera
E te Atua kaha rawa, ko koe te tohu rangitira, te tohu matauranga.
Manaakitia mai matau, au pononga i tenei po, e mahi nei i a matou mahi, mo
te painga o nga tangata o te kaunihera o Rotorua.

Takua mai kia tau, te rangimarie ki runga, i a matou i nga wa katoa.
Ko Ihu Karaiti hoki to matou Ariki.


Yours faithfully

Jean-Paul Gaston
Group Manager, Corporate and Customer Services

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