Wellington City Council 2010 election

Okay, well here are my thoughts on my local Council.

Mayor

It is effectively a two person race between Kerry Prendergast and Celia Wade-Brown.

I’m voting for Kerry on the very simple grounds that I think she has done a good job, that Wellington is heading in the right direction, and that she is effective at making things happen.

Have not agreed with Kerry on every issue – especially the daft proposal to have a city wide liquor ban. But I do think she has been a good Mayor.

She can be tough, but you need this at times. For example she was one of the local government negotiators that got the Government to agree to up its contributions to sorting out leaky homes from 10% to 25%.

Celia Wade-Brown is a good Councillor in my opinion, and has run an energetic campaign. She is a Green Party member and while she has some good policies, she is opposed to the very sensible four lanes expressway from the airport to Levin.

I will be ranking Kerry No 1.

Celia will be No 2, Jack Yan No 3, Bernard No 4, Al Mansell No 5 and Bryan Pepperell No 6.

Lambton Ward (3 councillors)

Two of the three choices are very easy to make – Ian McKinnon and John Bishop. Ian does an excellent job as Deputy Mayor and is highly respected.

John would be a superb addition to the Council. He is very good at working with diverse groups of people to achieve good outcomes, has sensible instincts and is not one of those people who will grandstand or cause trouble just to get name recognition. He will lend a good strategic focus to Council.

The third choice is harder.. You have incumbent Councillors Stephanie Cook and Iona Pannett. You also have former Mayor Michael Fowler.

Sir Michael was a great Mayor, but I think his contributions lay in the past.

I have voted for Stephanie Cook in the past, despite her Alliance/Green background. She has been good with the community groups. However I think people can serve too long on a Council and after 15 years she seems to be losing her energy.

The Wellingtonian had a panel assess Councillors in July, and Stephanie got rated pretty poorly.

My third pick is going to be Green City Councillor Iona Pannett. It goes without saying we disagree on quite a few policy areas. However she was the leader of the forces against the daft city wide liquor ban, which I very much supported her on.

Being a Councillor is not just about voting on policy and spending, but also about representing and helping the community and Iona does an excellent job there. The Wellingtonian panel actually rated her the most accessible and effective Councillor – which is a real tribute for a first termer.

She also works hard for election. She knocked on my door in 2007  and did so again in 2010. I like candidates who put in the hard yards actually meeting the voters.

So Iona will be ranked No 3.

Northern Ward (3 Councillors)

I always recommend voting Helene Ritchie bottom. Over a period of around 30 years she has shown herself to be almost incapable fo working with others. She even got sacked as Deputy Mayor in the 1980s by her own team, she was so bad.

Ngaire Best is an incumbent Councillor and who I would rank 1 if in the ward.

When Hayley Wain was elected to Council in 2004 I was delighted. I think it was great that an 18 year old wanted to stand, and could get elected. And I think she did a pretty good job in her first term.

I’m not sure what has happened, but she doesn’t seem to have done well this term. The Wellingtonian panel absolutely caned her and said she was the least effective Councillor.

I feel a bit sad saying this, as I like Hayley, but I think it is time for her to have a break from the Council, finish her studies, and get a job in the “real world”. Then down the track I think she would be in a very strong position to continue contributing.

So who to support from the challengers? I like Justin Lester. He is a small business owner, has run a good campaign and seems a good choice.

Gary Roberts looks a reasonable punt also. Don’t know about him but he is a former military policeman, and head of the local RSA which I approve of.

As with all these positions, comments from locals sharing their views is welcome.

Onslow-Western Ward (3 Councillors)

Fairly simple here. I would re-elect Jo Coughlan, John Morrison and Andy Foster – rank them 1, 2 and 3 and rank Jack Ruben 7. The three Councillors are all good people, even if Andy did have a brain fart over the indoor stadium.

Eastern Ward (3 Councillors)

I would rank Simon “Swampy” Marsh as No 1. He is a great guy, who was an iconic radio figure for many years. He is one of the more creative guys you can meet, and has strong community and business links. I think Swampy would be an excellent addition to the Council.

I would also put in a good word for Amanda Nicolle. Amanda is a fellow panelist on Face Off on ZB with me, and has a passion for Wellington. She is a good peron to get things done.

The three current Councillors are all quite well known. I’d keep at least one of them on – so people should also support their preferred incumbent.

Southern Ward (2 Councillors)

I’ll just put in a plug for Seann Paurini. Seann is an old friend, and cares deeply about helping those most in need. I don’t agree with all his policies, but do know he would be a diligent advocate.

As always I recommend ranking Peperell bottom. Of course they won’t, and he’ll get back in as name recognition is what most people vote on.

Hard to judge the others on the basis of bios. Rex Nairn looks like he might be okay. Again comments welcome from locals.

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