Garner proposes Nick Leggett for Wellington Mayor


OK capital dwellers, here’s a tough trivia question for you.

What has achieved in two terms as mayor and decades on the ? Take your time, have a good think.

More cycleway campaigns, more ratepayer money for the arts and libraries and – maybe – a longer airport runway. That’s pretty much it after five years as mayor.

Now her council is embroiled in an unnecessary and expensive legal scrap over a ridiculous decision to pay a living wage to council contractors.

Simply put, the capital lacks leadership – and as a result is suffering from inertia.

Perhaps she was only ever an accidental mayor anyway, winning by just 176 votes in 2010 under the STV voting system.

Wade-Brown talks about projects still to come but hasn’t she had her time? Surely the city needs a fresh, dynamic leader. Consensus politics sounded like a nice idea but has proved a failure.

Wellington needs to come together, amalgamate the councils, and be more bold and ambitious.

The recent Local Government Commission proposal was probably  a step too far and drew strong opposition in Wairarapa and Hutt Valley. But Wellington, Porirua and maybe even Kapiti could easily amalgamate without unduly affecting communities.

And there’s already an heir apparent: Porirua Mayor . The capital needs a shot of adrenaline – and this guy can work across party lines and he supports this kind of amalgamation.

Some very good sources tell me he is now seriously considering running in Wellington.

We do not need two mayors 20km apart. It’s ridiculous.

Leggett is popular in the northern suburbs, is a finalist in next week’s Wellingtonian of the Year awards, and boasts the biggest majority of any mayor in Porirua’s history.

Wellington can no longer wait for fresh leadership. The capital needs a unifying mayor, not a flake overseeing a stagnant pond.

Even Auckland Mayor Len Brown has finally come to the conclusion that it’s time to give up. Wade-Brown should follow suit.

I don’t think Wade-Brown will seek a third term, but time will tell.

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