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Independent member of review board

A leading Maori academic with considerable business experience, Professor Pare Areta Keiha, is the independent member of the board carrying out a code of conduct review into a claimed remark by a Gisborne District councillor.

Deputy Mayor and chairwoman of the review board Rehette Stoltz has said the board’s report will be discussed at tomorrow’s council meeting and she will issue a statement.

The review was launched after councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown claimed during a lunchtime discussion between two of her colleagues, one said “not enough were killed” referring to when local Maori were killed by crew members of the Endeavour in October, 1769.

Born and raised in Gisborne, Professor Keiha is pro-chancellor for Maori development and vice-chancellor learning development and teaching, and dean at Te Ara Poutama, the faculty of Maori and Indigenous department at Auckland University of Technology.

He was a member of the board of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology from 2002 to 2010 and chaired its finance and audit committee.

His business CV includes directorships on the legal services agency, Waitemata District Health Board, Metrowater, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and Port Gisborne.

He is a member of the board of the Auckland Philharmonic and has conducted a number of reviews for Auckland Museum.

He affiliates to the Turanga tribes, specifically Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Rongowhakaata.

The third member of the review board is Councillor Karen Fenn.

The review follows Mrs Akuhata-Brown’s accusation in a Gisborne Herald column that after returning from a trip to Los Angeles with a group of students who had been learning about racism and tolerance, she was present at a Gisborne District Council meeting when a conversation over lunch included the references to the killing of local Maori when Cook arrived and the alleged “not enough were killed” remark.

The accusation has angered many, with a number of postings on social media and letters to the editor calling for whoever made the remark to be identified.