Wellington – Ramallah Vote

The Wellington City Council voted 9-7 tp pursue closer ties with Ramallah, the seat of terrorist funding in the West Bank.

Wellington City Council Showdown 29 June 2023

The Wellington City Council is no longer pursuing the following:

1. Recognition from Wellington of a Palestinian State
2. Lighting up the Michael Fowler Centre with the Palestinian colours on 15 May 2024 to mark what they call Nakba Day, a pushback against the creation of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948.

However, the Council agreed in their meeting of 29 June to pursue a friendly relationship with Ramallah – the administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority which pays financial rewards to terrorists who go out and murder innocent Israelis.


For New Zealand cities or the nation collectively to formally seek such relationships while the peace process is still unresolved and while Palestinian leaders and groups still call for the destruction of Israel is very unwise. We have warnings from Scripture, first in God’s promise to Abraham the great patriarch of Israel, and then to the end-time generation living in the last days:

Genesis 12:3 NIV
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; 

Joel 3:1-2 NIV
“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, [2] I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

After an intense battle to get our full page advertorials authorized by the legal team at Stuff, which finally went to print on 23 and 24 June, after many emails lobbying politicians (both local and central government), and prayer,  we along with other advocacy groups managed to turn the council from recognition of “Palestine”. 

But the battle goes on. Please join us in prayer to turn New Zealand from this wayward course. No city in New Zealand should seek a friendly relationship with any “Palestinian” city until they have fully renounced terror and come to an amicable agreement with the Israelis. My message to the Wellington City Council was “choose your friends well” as you will see in this clip:

CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WELL” – Nigel Woodley to the WCC on 29 June 2023

The Post Report – 30 June 2023

Mayor Tory Whanau’s subsequent email

Tēnā koe Nigel

Thank you for sharing your views with me on the Notice of Motion from Councilor Nīkau Wi Neera regarding Palestine.

I know this is a sensitive topic. In the lead up to the debate on this Motion I met with members of our Jewish and Palestinian communities here in Wellington. It was useful to me to directly hear their views on this matter.

I shared feedback from these discussions with Councilor Wi Neera, and you will likely be aware that he subsequently amended his Notice of Motion.  His amended Motion removed recognition of Palestine as a state and solely focused on the initiation of a friendly city relationship with Ramallah.

This amended Motion was debated by Wellington City Councilors on 29 June.  A majority of Councilors, including myself voted to support the initiation of a friendly city relationship with Ramallah.  

I believe that Ramallah is a unique and historic city and I hope that a friendship city will enable us to build stronger cultural, social and economic links.  Wellington can benefit from these exchanges and it does not impose increased costs on the Council.

In my speech during the debate I was also clear about my respect for Wellington’s Jewish community.  They are an important part of our city and this decision does not diminish their mana. 

You can find a copy of Thursday’s minutes on the Wellington City website: https://wellington.govt.nz/-/media/your-council/meetings/council/2023/2023-06-29-minutes-council—public.pdf

Nāku noa

Tory Whanau

Mayor of Wellington

The full video recoding of the debate

Full debate in the Wellington City Council on 29 June 2023

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