Wellington City Council welcomes first female Māori Councillor

19 October 2016

Jill Day has become Wellington’s first female Māori City Councillor.

Photo of Councillor Jill Day.

Councillor JIll Day

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Mayor Justin Lester said Wellington is a diverse city and he is eager to see that reflected within the Council.

“I am proud to see this milestone - the election of the first female Māori Councillor,” Mayor Lester said.

“Wellington is a diverse city and we welcome that diversity around the Council table to ensure that all groups have a voice in how Wellington is run.

“I know Jill well and supported her during her campaign. She is enormously capable, she has strong links with her community which she has built up over many years and she will do a wonderful job as a Councillor.”

Cr Day has iwi affiliations to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and hapu, Ngati Tūrangitukua and Ngati Tutemohuta. Cr Day did a degree in biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology at Victoria University before going on to qualify as a teacher. She has also been a school board chair and President of Playcentre.

Her election to Wellington City Council’s Northern Ward will force a by-election for her seat on the Tawa Community Board.

Mayor Lester has appointed Cr Day to head the Council’s Children and Young People and Iwi Partnership portfolios.

Cr Day says: “The driving force for me is to support families who are struggling and getting knocked back by the cycle of poverty, something I see every day as a teacher. I want to get out and ensure that people, old and young, are getting the opportunities they deserve.”

Cr Day says she is also looking forward to continuing the close relationships the City Council has with local iwi and in finding new ways to connect with Māori.

“I am also keen to promote the wider use of Te Reo Māori within the Council and more broadly. I am studying Te Reo myself at the moment, so I know how important exposure to the language is on a day-to-day basis to keep the language alive.”

She says she has an interest in the environment and wants to continue the Council’s good work in this area.