Fisking the Candidates: Lambton Ward – Fowler’s Folley

No doubt a few of you will have seen this morning’s Dom Post. Logically we have decided to dedicate today’s ‘Fisking the Candidates’ to the Lambton Ward. As predicted, the contest here looks to be the most exciting of the WCC race. We have previously covered it in the Lambton Ward tag.

Michael Fowler

Today’s Dom Post leads with a cover story on Sir Michael Fowler’s bid to get re-elected to the council. Only 27 years after he left office and 42 years since he was first elected.

I think his experience will be a double-edged sword, I have no doubt he knows hows local body politics work and that he has an extensive knowledge of Wellington, but how well will he be able to slip back into the frey?

His fellow knight, Sir Bob Jones (do they hang out around a round table at the Wellington Club?) had this to say:

When Sir Michael told friend Sir Robert Jones he was considering another mayoral bid, Sir Bob had replied: “Don’t be stupid.”

“Everyone says, `You’re far too old’,” Sir Michael said.

I think there will be a few people thinking similarly. At the end of the day though, I think there is a reasonable chance his name recognition will be able to get him over the line.

Kris  Price

Still not a lot known about him, but we have discovered he has another blog. Seems like a smart cookie! Yet to be seen if he can be a serious campaigner in a crowded field though.


Adam Cunningham

There seems to be a rather desperate smear campaign going on against Adam Cunningham in the comments of a number of our posts. We are yet to see if the allegations will stick, or have any impact at all.

Iona Pannett

Iona’s pamphlet has been delivered to households around the Lambton Ward. Just as in 2007 she is a Green Party candidate using the colour blue. I don’t quite understand this. Is it an attempt at crossover appeal? Interestingly in the pamphlet she endorses Stephanie Cook for number two votes, and Celia Wade-Brown for mayor (okay, the Celia endorsement is no surprise).

Artificial Turf

A number of candidates, namely John Morrison, Marcus Ganley, John Bishop and Paul Eagle have pounced on the idea of moving the building of artificial turfs forward. Seems to be a pretty popular idea and I have no doubt they’ll get good traction on it. Unlikley grouping of candidates though!

The Lambton Ward will prove to be a tight race. There are plenty of quality candidates, solid incumbents and even a celebrity candidate. I think the only certainty is that Iona will get re-elected due to her popularity and name recognition. The rest will come down to many iterations of preferences.


10 responses to “Fisking the Candidates: Lambton Ward – Fowler’s Folley

  1. I am deeply insulted at your accusation that I am part of some “smear campaign” against Adam Cunningham. What is the point of your blog if it is not to impart information and encourage debate. Many of your stories have few, if any, comments. You should be encouraging people to give their comments and views, not attacking the few that do. For your information the debate on Mr Cunningham revealed strong support from Steve Drummond, a key player in the liquor industry as DB Manager Lower North Island (see page 8 of these submissions to Lower Hutt City Council) For the record, I have also posted on Stephanie Cook and Andy Foster.

    I too agree that Michael Fowler would make an appalling councillor. He was bad enough as mayor. During his mayoralty between 1974 and 1983 about 90 historic buildings were demolished in the central city, including the Kings Theatre (corner of Dixon and Egmont Streets). Wellingtonians had to fight to keep the town hall in 1983. Even after he left office he still couldn’t stop himself trying to destroy the city. He was an adviser to the group wanting to pull down three historic buildings on Lambton Quay (eg Prudential – an Art deco tower jewel – and South British Insurance). Thank god they lost.

    PS Quality has a ‘t’ in it (last para).

  2. No insult intended Johnny. Perhaps ‘smear campaign’ is a strong term, but given that you seem to manage to turn almost every blog into a way to remind people of Mr Cunningham’s connection to the hospitality industry, I think it’s a resaonably fair judgement.

    If I may, so far you seem to have attacked Adam Cunningham, Stephanie Cook and now Michael Fowler. May I ask who you would endorse, and why?

  3. I am waiting for a candidate to knock on my door. But seriously, I want to see some more of their policies and information before I make my judgement. I will be sure to post my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  4. It’s been interesting hearing noises from local body candidates from other parts of the country talking about improving their democracy through things like streaming council meetings over the internet. I don’t think councils should be spending a fortune on these initiatives, but I’m sure there are a ton of cheap things they could do to create a better dialogue with voters.

  5. The other major contender in Lambton is Ian McKinnon – anyone who has had any dealings with him tends to be pretty positive, and he seems to have a huge network and plenty of name recognition. So I reckon the results will be something like:

    1. Iona Pannett
    2. Ian McKinnon
    3. Somebody else who’s neither Stephanie Cook nor Michael Fowler

  6. So I’m running a “smear campaign” against Adam “pubman” Cunningham. Add to the list Dim Post, Dom Post and No Right Turn

    The Hospitality Association headed by Bruce Robertson, and Adam Cunningham in Wellington, are up to their tonsils in lobbying the Government on liquor reform. Better to have their man on the local council in the capital turning down applications from diaries and shops for liquor licenses than lobbying though. It’s even reported that HANZ are major donors to the National Party.

    Who needs to smear when the facts speak for themselves.

  7. What Richard said. And my thinking about Cook and Fowler goes like this:

    1. Stephanie Cook’s support base is in Aro Valley where she seems to be well-regarded. But the demographics of Lambton have changed a lot in the last few years, and she’s virtually invisible to the apartment dwellers and anyone outside her suburb, who make up the vast number of voters. Her media coverage has contained a fair bit of negativity (e.g. the Wellingtonian poll) so I think she’s very vulnerable to a new entrant running a solid campaign. If they make a decent showing in Aro Valley then she’s toast, no two ways about it.

    2. Michael Fowler is a dinosaur that’s completely unknown to the current generation of voters, and it appears not particularly liked by the older generation who watched him demolish half the city. He’s simply irrelevant to most of the people inclined to vote, so my prediction is he’ll pick up waaaay less than 1,000 votes.

  8. I like McKinnon but have no connection with him. Here’s some more sunlight on Mr Cunningham. The fourth estate needs to undertake thorough research on all candidates.

    I had to laugh when I read Adam Cunningham’s press release about saving Flagstaff Hill.

    “I’d been aware from the early stages that the sale by Victoria University was imminent and chose to work behind the scenes to ensure the developers considered the historic site in their plans.” etc

    He’s so cynical he didn’t even get the facts right. Massey University sold the property (16 Terrace Gardens) not Victoria. The purchaser (Boulcott Village Properties Limited) is run by one of Cunningham’s closest business partners Aeneas (Mike) O’Sullivan (co-founder of St Laurence group with Kevin Podmore) or Aeneas Edward O’Sullivan as he’s known on the Companies office public website. St Laurence owes 9000 investors $245 million dollars. It’s a surprise Mr O’Sullivan has spare cash to buy properties at the moment. Mike and his wife are also the directors of Willis Street Village, which backs on to Flagstaff Hill.

    The local residents wanted the council to buy the historic site. Ian McKinnon said he’d look into it. It’s valuation is only $820,000. They appeared before the council strategy and policy committee in June this year but it seems they were rebuffed.

    Is Adam Cunningham misleading voters on other issues too? On the ‘Elections10’ website it says he owns 4 companies, including Village Accommodation Group Ltd. The Companies office register says Village Accommodation Group Ltd has 6 shareholders: G. O’Sullivan (Mike’s partner); B. Boyer; R. Berry; J. Howat: B. Staples and PCP Trustees Ltd, whose only shareholder is P. Pettit. Cunningham and Mike are directors, not shareholders. Things must get confusing. Mike was also a director of two other Cunningham companies Euro-Trash Holdings and Euro-Trash (Oriental Bay). He is still a main shareholder in both.

    In all Adam Cunningham is a director of 16 companies, according to the register. He has shareholdings in 10. How will he have any spare time to actually attend any council meetings, let alone all the other work being an effective councillor entails such as community consultation and availability. Wellington has had enough problems with councillor absences already.

    What a choice for Lambton. Michael Fowler will knock down the last few remaining historic buildings and Adam Cunningham and his mate Mike O’Sullivan will put up something nasty in their place.

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