A few of you out there are yet to vote. Obviously you’re all about to vote for me, and are just deciding on DHB candidates, who gets your second preference and the like.
Your reasons for voting for me are pretty obvious. I have the best policies on housing, transport, the library and the climate. You can trust me to work with the rest of council to implement them. The struggle is who do you give your second preference to? It’s STV and these can end up counting for a lot.
After 30 plus campaign meetings I found the choice surprisingly simple. Justin Lester got mine. He’s far from perfect (more on that later), but compared to the other frontrunners he’s a better second choice.
One of the big ticket items in the next three years is Let’s Get Wellington Moving. This is a huge 3.5 billion dollar investment central government want to make in transport, unanimously supported by city council, regional council and cabinet. Most of us want to see this going ahead in some form or other. Diane Calvert and Andy Foster favour wasting time on a talkfest, going back to the government and unsuccessfully renegotiating this huge investment. They are unlikely to have the support of council to do this. Say hi to John Tamihere for me guys, you’re off in local body fantasy land.
I haven’t seen anything approaching leadership from any of the other frontrunners. Despite having worked under 5 mayors, none have ever made Foster Deputy Mayor. Those of us who have seen him up close understand why. He will not be able to command anything close to a working majority in council. Given this, he has no hope of delivering anything major for Wellington.
Obviously Lester has flaws. Like other councillors he says yes to Wellington’s ridiculous Muldoonists who want to spend your money on expensive big business toys, like ugly convention centres. He wants everything to be unanimous, so council has moved much slower than it needed to in the past three years. He is nowhere near strong enough on climate change and housing. But he is at least moving in the right direction. He has leadership qualities, and he is across his material, being able to answer any question, often with a good anecdote.
On Saturday, I’m likely to be your new Mayor. Because I have strong and realistic policies and the skillset to deliver them. If I’m not, I hope Lester gets a second term. The other options would be disastrous for this city.
P.S: If you still need to vote, you can do so at a library a community centre, or the railway station. More information can be found here
P.P.S I didn't mention Jenny Condie above. I agree with Jenny on transport and some housing stuff. But, Condie does not support the living wage and is seen as one of the worst options by both Unions Wellington and Renters United. She also wants to set up a whole new kind of council called a citizens assembly. She doesn’t say how this would work with relation to The Treaty. If you are going to set up a new form of governance in 21st century Aotearoa, surely that must be the starting point.