Kerry Bolton refers to this in a comment. This is more detailed correspondence; firstly an e-mail sent to the mayor and councillors by a friend of one of the victims, Vicky Cooper


Subject: KCDC Meeting 16th [25th] February 2021 assault

Good morning,

I attended the meeting yesterday from 9:30 to 12:30. I wish to report an assault I witnessed by a young man who was part of the local iwi against VC. and her husband were sitting in the back row and the man was sitting directly in front of V. When he stood up to Haka, he shoved his chair hard against Vicky’s legs using the back of his legs. V tried to push the chair off her legs but the man continued to force the chair against her legs. The Cs’ chairs were against the wall and there was no room to escape. The man continued to Haka and took over more space as he became more vigorous in his movements. I could see by the look on V’s face that she was being hurt. There was a struggle for some time with the chair, until V’s husband managed to pick the chair up and placed it on a vacant chair in front of him. She will have bruising on her legs because of the force used. The man was tall and stocky and was wearing a white shirt.

There were elderly people sitting on either side of the Cs and also next to this man, who could easily have been hurt also. I felt quite scared and I was worried that the assault would escalate. I am disturbed and appalled by the aggressive behaviour. There were many people who witnessed this. There is no place for that behaviour in council chambers. He has brought shame to the people of his iwi for this assault on a woman in council chambers.

Please provide me with the contact details of the person that is the most appropriate for me to discuss this matter further?


Yours faithfully

CC


Secondly, comment by VC;

I was pretty shocked when this happened, my Dad who is 80 this year was sitting next to me so I was very concerned for his safety.  I think the haka is an amazing thing to witness, I just don’t know why they couldn’t have moved to the front and carried out their haka.  The manner in which they did it felt intentionally aggressive.  As you said, we moved the chair onto the row of chairs in front of us when the woman stood up to join the haka, when the young lady left she had a go at me because she said the chair hit her in the head which I do not believe is the case.  I replied that her friend was smashing it into my legs and asked what I was supposed to do, she left the room with the group.  I felt very threatened and completely unsupported.

Afterwards a council staff member did come to check I was ok but proceeded to tell me repeatedly to stop yelling at her instead of hearing my concerns.  Tokenism at it’s best.

Physically I’m fine.  I wouldn’t expect any action to come of this, they will ignore it as they ignored everything we said.