Two-term Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has confirmed she will not seek re-election at October’s election.
“I’m ready to move on,” she told a media conference on Friday morning.
This is not a surprise or a decision just made. It has been widely speculated since last year that she would not stand, and had effectively endorsed Justin Lester.
Rather than announce this at the time of Lester’s announcement, she’s kept up a fiction that she is standing again, when it has been obvious she isn’t. Some clues:
- No advertising at all, except one advert in the Wellingtonian (which didn’t even say she is standing)
- Has handed over numerous PR opportunities to Lester, unlike previously when she guarded them tightly
- Spent several weeks recently overseas in junkets
She was not prepared to endorse another mayoral candidate at this stage.
At this stage! Sure. Everyone knows she is endorsing Lester. There is no surprise a Mayor endorses her Deputy Mayor. But why have nine months of fooling the public that she is standing again and not backing Lester. Treating the public like fools is not a good strategy.