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Elections again!

August 12, 2022

It’s been a difficult three years for Council, Wellington- and indeed the entire country and beyond.

Following the 2016 earthquake, it became increasingly obvious that Wellington’s pipes-already decades old- were starting to leak and break with increasing frequency. To add to that, the Kaikoura earthquake had thrown up new engineering issues with relatively new buildings using hollow-core technology, which meant many important buildings such as the Central Library were now unsafe for public use. Climate change meant that we were dealing with more frequent and damaging storms and heavy weather events. As well as trying to plan to better manage these impacts, we needed to plan for a growing population while lowering our carbon footprint as a city. And on top of it all, we had the Covid pandemic, the effects of which we are all still dealing with.

It’s probably not surprising that with such a lot of big issues to grapple with and diverse views around the table, that we did have robust debate and clashes at times. As Deputy Mayor, my role was often challenging, but I will say that we have got through an unprecedented programme of work to move the city forward and made good decisions in that process. I would also like to pay tribute to Mayor Andy Foster. After a difficult start, he has shown he can lead a Council with very strong and diverse views, which are not always aligned with his. He has done this with patience, dignity and respect. He has a strong intellect and is always over the issues. I’m proud of the way he has engaged with stakeholders city-wide, built strong relationships with our government and Mana Whenua partners and looked after our diplomatic community. I think he will only build on these strengths and voters could do a lot worse than to vote him in for a second term.

As for myself, after some thought, I will be standing again in the Motukairangi/Eastern Ward. Much has been achieved: fixing Seatoun wharf and a plan for other wharves, the Cobham Drive and Evan’s Bay cycleway and walkway, upgrading the Kilbirnie and Strathmore Park community centres, traffic calming and planting for the Hataitai village, a new sand court at Hataitai courts, and improvements to many parks and playgrounds-amongst many other things. However, there are still some very big issues that need to be addressed, including big picture transport solutions, and how best to deal with growth, climate change and looking after our people in a complex and rapidly changing world. I’ll hopefully be saying more about all of this in future posts.

If you have any thoughts, questions or would just like to chat, please do feel free to contact me.

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