Next Wellington Deputy Mayor

Stuff reports:

One of the frontrunners to potentially take over from Paul Eagle as Wellington’s deputy mayor has only been a city councillor for just over five months.

Northern ward councillor Jill Day is understood to be one of Wellington Mayor Justin Lester’s two preferred candidates to take over as his sidekick should Paul Eagle become the MP for Rongotai after September’s general election.

The other potential candidate is long-time Lambton ward councillor Iona Pannett. …

Lester would not comment on potential deputy mayor replacements on Tuesday. But sources close to the mayor’s office confirmed he was only considering Day and Pannett.

This is probably code for “The Mayor speaking off the record”

When asked for comment and opinion on the frontrunners, all other city councillors said the ultimate decision was up to Lester and they would support whoever he chose.

Although Day has been tipped as Lester’s favourite, it was clear that Pannett’s decade of civic experience made her the clear favourite among her colleagues.

Many were surprised a first-term councillor would be considered for such a big job.

None of the other councillors expressed an interest in the deputy position and most were surprised that experienced councillor Simon Marsh was not in the mix.

Simon is one of the more moderate Councillors and would be a more reassuring pick than a Green Party councillor who has opposed almost every roading project the city has seen.

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