How to tell a denial from a non denial

Georgina Campbell writes:

When Labour Rongotai MP Paul Eagle showed up at Wellington Mayor Andy Foster’s drinks last week, one could speculate he all but had a tape measure out eyeing up the office.

But if you ask Eagle outright whether he intends on running for the mayoralty in next year’s local body elections, he says no.

This is a non denial. All Eagle has said is he does not intend to. Intentions change. So in no way has he denied he will stand for Mayor.

Former Green Party MP Gareth Hughes is one of them, but he told the Herald he is enjoying life away from politics after a decade in Parliament.

“I have been talking to people how I can best help the city I love as it struggles with a large number of problems but I’m not planning on running for Mayor of Wellington.”

Also not a denial. All Gareth has said is he is not planning on running. Plans change.

Meanwhile, current city councillor Jill Day has joined the Labour Party.

Day found her politics aligned with Labour and she wanted to support the party’s direction ahead of the 2020 general election.

But she says she hasn’t considered seeking Labour’s endorsement for a mayoral bid.

Also a non-denial. Day has not said she won’t run, just that she has not considered seeking Labour’s nomination (at this point in time).

City councillor Tamatha Paul said she didn’t intend on running for the mayoralty

Also not a denial.

Thomas Nash said he was focused on doing a good job as a regional councillor and leading Greater Wellington’s climate work. He said he was not planning to run for mayor.

And another non denial.

Former Wellington mayoral candidate Nick Leggett isn’t coming back for round two and ruled out a bid.

Finally a proper denial. If you really are not standing, you use words along the lines of “I will not stand”. Anything less than that tends to be politicians being weaselly and keeping their options open.

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