There are nine candidates standing for Wellington Mayor in 2019.
How you should vote depends very much on whether or not you think Wellington is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction.
If you think it is heading in the right direction, then you should vote for Justin Lester.
Personally I don’t think Wellington is heading in the right direction. In fact I can’t recall a time where Wellington appears to be going so wrong.Not all of this is the fault of the Mayor or Council, but leadership does make a difference.
The top 12 problems with Wellington are:
- Long-term plans indicate rates will double over the next ten years, well beyond the rate of increase of family incomes
- The previously excellent bus network has become a disaster for many commuters. Scores of buses simply don’t show up, many services have been cancelled and the new routes are less useful than the old ones
- The rebuild of the Town Hall has tripled in cost from $45 million to almost $150 million
- The much heralded Movie Museum is no longer happening
- The Central Library is closed, and the Council seemingly has no plan for a new one. Instead we just have three smaller temporary libraries which means less chance of getting all the books you want at the one location
- There is no plan, solution or even hope for separating out the North-South traffic and East-West traffic at the Basin Reserve
- The convention centre is proceeding without the movie museum and/or a private sector partner, meaning it is highly likely to turn into a expensive loss making facility for ratepayers
- The Council has signed up to a plan to not expand the Mt Vic tunnel to four lanes for at least ten years, maybe longer
- The Shelley Bay development is bogged down in litigation and bad blood between the Mayor and Sir Peter Jackson
- The Council has signed up to a plan to never expand the Terrace tunnel
- The heart of the city, Civic Square, has become a ghost zone
- Things are so bad even the highly capable and respected CEO is bailing out and not reapplying for the top job
So for me it is a no brainer to vote for change.
Of the eight alternatives to the Mayor, only four would be significant contenders. They are Jenny Condie, Conor Hill, Diane Calvert and Andy Foster.
Conor feels Justin is not left enough. Can’t say I agree, but if you want an even more left leaning Mayor go for Conor.
Of the other three candidates I’d classify Andy Foster and Jenny Condie as centrist and Diane Calvert as centre-right.
The key thing if you want change is to make those three you top three picks. Doesn’t matter so much the order so long as they are ranked 1, 2 and 3. STV means this will help whomever faces off against Lester.
So in summary:
- If you think Wellington is heading in the right direction vote to re-elect Justin
- If you think Wellington City Council needs to be more left wing vote for Conor Hill
- If you think that We need a more centrist Mayor, not beholden to the Labour Party and central Government, then rank Calvert, Condie and Foster 1, 2, 3 (in any order)
A useful voting guide has been out out by Wellington Unions. Just rank people in reverse order to what they say, and you can’t go far wrong. Anyone with an X is probably worth voting for and a tick probably not.