The Green Party confidence and supply agreement would have been put in jeopardy if a watered down Let’s Get Wellington Moving wasn’t accepted, city councillors claim.
A number of Wellington city councillors have revealed to Stuff the behind-the-scenes conversations that pushed the mass transport deal over the line in council chambers.
It comes as the Chief Ombudsman investigates Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter’s ongoing refusal to release a letter relating to Wellington’s transport plans.
It is understood Wellington Mayor Justin Lester told a number of city councillors Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter and another Green MP threatened to resign if councillors did not vote for the new mass transport plan and the Government would use the money elsewhere
So City Councillors were told the Greens had blackmailed the Government that unless any major roading project was axed, they’d walk.
Lester denies the claims, which councillors say were made in confidence and breaching that by speaking out will mean repercussions for them.
Either Lester is lying or multiple Councillors have decided to lie in unison. Lester is of course an official Labour Party Mayor which means his loyalty is primarily to Labour, not Wellington.
Onslow-Western Ward Councillor Simon Woolf said he and about five other councillors were informed of the Greens stance during a private briefing with the mayor.
Woolf claims Lester told councillors “we’ve got the best possible deal we could get” and that Genter and another Green MP had threatened to resign, which would put the Government’s deal with the greens in jeopardy.
Woolf’s claims are backed up by other Councillors.
However, Lester denied the allegations, putting the “made up yarn” down to councillors having a go at the Greens and interested in publicity for the mayoralty race.
“There is no record of any conversation
Notice the weasel words “There is no record”. What Lester is saying is that you can’t prove it. Very different to it never happened.
When asked on Wednesday, if she had ever offered her resignation, Genter said, “no”.
Note the careful wording – she denies offering to resign, but not threatening to resign – two very different things.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford said Genter had never offered him her resignation
Again the focus is on offer, not threaten.
So now Wellingtonians know why they are condemned to a decade of growing congestion because the Green Party forced Labour to kill off any significant roading projects, and the Labour Mayor went along with them.