Tuesday 12 July
Meng Foon, retiring mayor of the Gisborne District Council, has been appointed to the role of Race Relations
Commissioner by Justice Minister, Andrew Little today.
Meng was elected on to the Gisborne District Council in 1995 and became mayor in 2001.
In March, Mayor Foon announced he would not be seeking re-election for mayor in local body elections in October.
He was and still is the only mayor in the country that is fluent in Te Reo and speaks Cantonese. He will be charged with
promoting positive race relations in his new appointment.
Council chief executive, Nedine Thatcher Swann says Meng has been a dedicated and charismatic mayor and instrumental in
leading some of the big issues facing Council and our district.
“He has provided unwavering support for local businesses and industries,” she said, “and his engagement and
relationships with our Maori communities has been extremely beneficial."
“He leaves Council in a good position with his recent advocacy for government funding from the Provincial Growth Fund
for our districts roads.
“Our Tairawhiti community and staff will miss him and I wish him all the best in this new role.
“Council are making preparations to ensure continuity until the local body election in October.”