WCC Candidates’ Survey – Southern ward

There are five candidates seeking two positions. Three candidates have kindly completed the Kiwiblog candidates’ survey. The candidates are:

What is the maximum average annual rates increase, if any, you would vote for over the next three years?

  • David Lee – 30 cents a day per household, based on a RV of $500,000.
  • Brendon Bonner – Given circumstances where nothing like the CHCH earthquake occurred, then I would like the maximum average annual rates increase to be no more than 3%. Clearly ratepayers are unhappy with the 4.9% rise this year. Normally I would like to see it around the Local Government Cost index figure, this year 1.9%. However I would like to at least try to get it even lower. In these hard times aiming for a 0% rise would at least show citizens that is listening – this may only be possible with a reduction in services as a quid pro quo and people would need to understand that.
  • Brent Pierson – 3%

DPF comment: Lee’s 30c a day is $110 a year. a house with an RV of $500,000. WCC says the WCC rates on that value is $2,374. So that is around a maximum 4.6% increase. Bonner and Pierson are around 3%.

Do you support the proposed runway extension for Wellington Airport?

  • David Lee – No.
  • Brendon Bonner – Yes.
  • Brent Pierson – Yes.

DPF comment – Lee against and Bonner and Pierson in favour

What is the maximum contribution ($ or %) from toward the runway extension you would vote for?

  • David Lee – It a private company, so no public money should be used for private infrastructure.
  • Brendon Bonner – Given that WCC owns 33% of the airport company then that seem like the percentage WCC should pay as it’s share of the runway extension. However given that there is a case to be made that the possible benefits would flow more to the country and the region rather than just the airport owner then WCC should vigorously pursue ‘contributions’ from other local governments as well as central government.
  • Brent Pierson – 90 million

DPF comment – Lee against any contribution, Bonner favours in line with shareholding and Pierson a $90 million contribution.

Can example of current WCC spending that you would vote against in future?

  • David Lee – The indoor arena. We already have such venues and facilities.
  • Brendon Bonner – The Island Bay cycleway
  • Brent Pierson – Not answered

Do you support four laning (through additional tunnels) the Mt Vic and Terrace tunnels at an estimated cost of $250 million?

  • David Lee – Only a Mt Vic tunnel, with the proviso of walking and cycling infrastructure.
  • Brendon Bonner – No. I believe that if public transport was made better and cheaper, then hopefully that would remove a lot of cars from the road as people were economically incentivised (saving $) to use the bus. Folks would use their car only when necessary. The rest of the time, any road trips would be a lot easier because many commuters are off the road happily sitting in their clean, green bus. That would lessen demand on the roading system – and the demand for more roads! I suspect we’d still need to do the 2nd Mt Vic tunnel and ‘cut and cover’ around the Basin. This will probably be forced on us by Wellington’s ever increasing population. However the 2nd Terrace Tunnel proposal needs a lot more scrutiny and the $250 million for both sounds like a builder’s estimate rather than a quote!
  • Brent Pierson – Yes.

DPF comment: Pierson supports both tunnels expanding, Lee one of them and Bonner neither

Do you support a change to the structure of local government in the Wellington Region, and if so to what?

  • David Lee – No – any change must be by way of a referendum.
  • Brendon Bonner – Yes. The control of the public transport of Wellington city needs to be returned to the public of Wellington city. We know best how to spend our tax dollars on the public transport of Wellington. It is unacceptable that currently this vital piece of Wellington city’s infrastructure is controlled by a committee of the Greater Wellington Regional Council and that this committee is headed by someone from Upper Hutt. It seems to be be a system set up to fail the public of Wellington – and it is.
  • Brent Pierson – No

Do you support the current closing times for CBD bars of 4am. If not, what time would you prefer?

  • David Lee – No! I support 3am, the social and economic costs of longer hrs outweigh the benefits to the bars and establishments.
  • Brendon Bonner – Yes.
  • Brent Pierson – 4 am is okay.

DPF comment: Lee supports 3 am. Bonner and Pierson 4 am,

Do you think WCC should make it a condition for any business tendering for a contract with WCC to pay their staff at least $20 an hour?

  • David Lee – No! But, it should be an evaluation criteria ie. are you a living wage employer?
  • Brendon Bonner – Yes – to me it is simply the right and fair thing to do given the cost of living in NZ today. The business tendering for the contract must be the one actually doing the work – they are not to win a tender and then sub-contract it on to a ‘cheaper’ firm and pocket any difference.
  • Brent Pierson – Yes, the “Living wage”

DPF comment: Bonner and Pierson support the living wage for contractors. Lee thinks it should be a criteria but not a requirement.

Should fluoridation of the Wellington city water supply continue?

  • David Lee – Yes! What next… do away with chlorination, like Havelock Nth.
  • Brendon Bonner – Yes
  • Brent Pierson – Yes.

DPF comment: All candidates in favour of fluoridation.

If Council had an additional 10% revenue, or $40 million, what would be your priority spending areas?

  • David Lee – $20m for earthquake strengthening fund. $10m as seed money to help startups and business activation. $10m to partner up with business to fund graduate programmes, scholarships, apprenticeship, internships
  • Brendon Bonner – Housing
  • Brent Pierson – Help homeless, beggars and community housing

Vegemite or Marmite?

  • David Lee – Marmite
  • Brendon Bonner – Marmite.
  • Brent Pierson – Marmite

DPF comment: Vegemite not wanted in the Southern Ward.


The table above is a simple scoring system of responses against my own personal views of low rates, no subsidy for the runway, four lanes on SH1, 4 am closing, no living wage requirement and pro-fluoridation.

Not a big difference between the three candidates.

The scores on policy are not the only factor in deciding how I will vote. Ability to work with others, communicate, work hard etc all factor in also.

Note Paul Eagle did not respond to the survey but from what I know of him he is a sensible and effective Councillor so would vote for him (despite his Labour candidacy).

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