Michael Forbes at Stuff reports:
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has been accused of “blatant electioneering” by her mayoral opponent, John Morrison, after she left him out of last-minute efforts to secure a football World Cup qualifying match for the capital.
Ms Wade-Brown was in Auckland yesterday, wooing New Zealand Football officials who will decide where the All Whites will play their final home qualification game in November ahead of next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
The choice is between Wellington’s Westpac Stadium or Auckland’s Eden Park.
Mr Morrison, who is the city council’s sports portfolio leader, said he had been working with Wellington’s bid team for months.
But he found out late on Thursday night that the mayor had “pulled rank” and would be leading the delegation instead of him, he said.
“She’s attempted to basically sneak around me and slip up there [to Auckland] in the hopes that she can come away with some glory, presumably,” Mr Morrison said.
“It’s totally out of order in terms of etiquette,” Mr Morrison said.
“I just hope she doesn’t unstitch the deal since she hasn’t really been involved at all.
“I hope she doesn’t stuff it up for Wellington.”
Ms Wade-Brown, who was yesterday quoted in The Dominion Post as favouring a “consultative and inclusive leadership style”, defended her decision to go.
I think the Mayor is worried that if Morrison pulled off another successful venture, it would make her re-election even tougher. So putting her ambitions ahead of the city. Sad.