Celia’s overtures to Labour

Radio New Zealand has provided outstanding coverage of the local body elections, and have provided extensive coverage of the results. Their local election news section is well worth checking out.

This morning both Kerry Prendergast and Celia Wade-Brown were interviewed on morning report (download here). It was an interesting piece, but something that sprung out was when Celia was talking about her politics…

“You’re described as left-leaning, is that a fair comment?”

“I think so, yes. I mean I was supported by a number of Labour Party members out on the campaign trail, but also my campaign team is reasonably across the board politically.”

No mention of the Greens.

This was followed by Kerry Prendergast commenting on how she is an anomaly being a centre-right mayor in a city dominated by Labour MPs.

And then there was this, posted on her Facebook page yesterday…

It is interesting that Celia is making such strong signals towards Labour. Is she simply trying to make herself look more centerist so that she feels she has a more concrete mandate, should she win? What does this mean for Leonie Gill and Paul Eagle (both of whom were first in their wards)? Only time will tell…

Regardless of who wins on Wednesday, it seems likly that Iona Pannett will receive a promotion and get Celia’s Environment Portfolio. It will be interesting to see how the council responsibilities are distributed. Given neither Goulden or Wain had any major responsibilities, there won’t be that much to go round, but the three new councillors (Lester, Eagle and Marsh) all seem reasonably talented and will be chomping at the bit to get their teeth into something meaty.

25 responses to “Celia’s overtures to Labour

  1. I’m picking Andy Foster for Deputy Mayor – and he’s certainly not Green in his politics, albeit he seems pretty sensible in real life.

  2. I think I McK will retain the deputy mayoralty, he’s clearly popular with the public and respected by many councillors. A green-labour coalition is fanciful as there’s only 2 of each out of 14.
    There’s the question about how will marsh and lester vote differently from wain and goneden. But the only real change in direction is whether the mayor changes and even then the minimal change in councillors may not be enough for C W-B to change much.

  3. It’s a good move for Celia – she’s going to need to build a left consensus and ensure that the progressive councilors work constructively. Keeping Ian McKinnon as Deputy Mayor makes the most sense, and appointing a moderate lefty as a “Chief of Staff” would make sense.

  4. Kent Dunston of the Mt Vic residents association was at the Greens ‘victory’ party on Saturday night and is also pushing Andy Foster to be deputy mayor. I would prefer Ian to stay on as it builds bridges across the spectrum but one could argue Labour would have a strong case for the position too with Eagle and Gill, and former Lab Helene Ritchie. Kent is also Celia’s campaign adviser so the role might be in the bag for Andy. Cheers Clarke Kent for the tip.

  5. I wasn’t aware that Kent Dunston (Mt Vic’s busiest body) was W-B’s campaign manager. That’s actually quite a worry. Dunston seemed opposed any change in Mt Vic. He even opposed knocking down a rotten house even though it was replaced with an energy efficient replica. I’d be interested to know if Wade-Brown has such reactionary views on inner city housing.

  6. Andy Foster was at the Greens party on Saturday too so its possible he is being groomed for a significant role.

  7. Yes, Andy was at Celia’s party on Saturday night, as was Iona Pannett, Ngaire Best and Helene Ritchie – make of that what you will when it comes to the deputy mayoralty.

    To set the record straight, while I worked extensively on Celia’s campaign (and a damn good campaign it’s been as well), I’m not the campaign manager as Celia’s more than capable of arranging her own affairs. As you would have seen from the party, a very large number of people have worked hard to get her elected and I certainly met people that evening that I never realised had also knocked on doors, put up billboards and contributed to Celia’s website. I was only one of many people who collectively eroded Kerry’s 11,000 vote margin.

    And Richard – the Mt Victoria Residents Association has been opposed to unnecessary demolitions in our heritage neighbourhood for nearly 40 years. I’m only the latest of a long line of people who have pointed out that there’s little point in moving into a character neighbourhood and then proceeding to knock down the very houses that give the place that character.

    Although Tom Scott says it far better than I can.

  8. Kent: You seriously call knocking down a house a dangerously rotten house and replacing it with the house in the link below unnecessary demolition? That is an extreme position.

    I’m still interested as to whether Celia is similarly dogmatic on inner city housing.

  9. Clarke Kent you should be very proud of your contribution to Celia’s campaign. It was a great campaign for a great Wellingtonian.
    I’m so happy that Celia has won. And not just because she’s defeated Kerry. But because Celia has an exciting vision for our city.
    Be proud! Don’t hide your light behind a bushell!
    Enjoy this week!

  10. Richard – I presume you’re one of the owners of 63 Brougham St, and so you’ll be aware of the difference of opinion between the Residents Association and yourselves over whether the house was actually “dangerously rotten” or merely a bit more expensive to repair than you would have liked. However given that you’ve achieved your goal of demolishing it, I’m not sure what the value of re-litigating the issue on the WCC Watch blog would be. I thought we had agreed some time ago that there was little merit in talking past one another on the subject, and that the best course of action was one of mutual politeness given we live in the same neighbourhood. Your call, of course.

    As to Celia’s views on heritage, my suggestion is either to ask her in person, or to consult Google. She’s on record as being one of the advocates for Rule 5.3.11 in the District Plan that is meant to protect heritage buildings in Mt Victoria – although this has been in place since she did the hard work back in 1995, so it’s not exactly news.

    For the record, Rule 5.3.11 has now been superseded by District Plan Change 72, which was voted into effect unanimously by the last Council. So if you want to get into a faux frenzy about people being “dogmatic on inner city housing” you had best be consistent and call practically every member of the new Council to account for it.

  11. Kent: I’m not one of the owners of that house. It’s interesting that you assume the owners are the only people who disagree with you.

    I’m a former Mt Vic resident who was appalled at the hassle those Mt Vic residents had to go to to build a house entirely in character with the neighbourhood. I’m not referring directly to the council plan but the comments you have personally made about that house and the dogmatic attitude you have shown to many matters in Mt Vic. I find your view that other people should have to spend large amounts of money to satisfy your aesthetic preferences somewhat annoying. Certainly the Thorndon Heritage Review found the uncompromising positions are not as universally well supported as your suggestion that people move to ‘character neighbourhoods’ to live amongst old houses seems to suggest. That the MVRA newsletter only gave space to incumbents in the recent elections is also interesting given your campaign associations and Green party membership.

  12. Richard – The reason I have the view that you’re one of the owners is simply because you’ve used exactly the same emotive language and arguments as came to the fore in the original discussions. But let’s assume for a second that you really are “Outraged of ex-Mt Victoria”.

    The Residents Association has been opposing demolitions in the neighbourhood for decades and the Council rules governing what can be torn down have been in place since 1995. So anyone who buys a house in Mt Victoria (or Thorndon, Berhampore, Mt Cook or Newtown) with the expectation that they can simply demolish it is likely to find their path much more onerous than building on a new section in Churton Park, due solely to the Council’s town planning rules. Again, this is not news.

    In the case of 63 Brougham St, the Residents Association was successful in getting the house to conform to the local streetscape by removing the two car-pads the owners wanted on the front of the property, but the owners were successful in getting the aluminium joinery they desired. And of course, they also succeeded in demolishing the original building. So like most things in life, the end result was a compromise. I certainly have the view that the resulting house fits into the neighbourhood much better than the original design, and the owners (as you’ll know) seem both happy with the house and proud of the design, which is a reasonable outcome for all concerned.

    And not to get pedantic or anything, but I’m not the editor of the Mt Victoria Newsletter (that would be Patrick McCombs), the newsletter is not the “MVRA newsletter” and is quite independent, I do run the Mt Victoria website, and I have not been a Green Party member for quite a number of years. All of this is discoverable through a quick Google search, which is why your lack of basic fact-checking is so disappointing.

  13. Kent: There are some delicious ironies in you calling someone Outraged of (ex)Mt Victoria and claiming others are using emotive language. The language I’ve seen attributed to you in your crusades against bus tunnel use, traffic light timing, brothels, flyovers and post 19th century architecture are far more emotive than calling a house with rotten structural beams dangerously rotten.

    Again, I’m not an owner of that house, all I know of it is from the Dompost, the owner’s website, your website and following it’s progress as I walked past. Frankly, given that you’ve been Gouldenesquely sockpuppeting as Clarke throughout the campaign I guess you’re just assuming I’m behaving as you do.

    And where’s this googlable link to you quitting the Greens?…or was that just a cheap shot?

  14. Google can be quite useful for ascertaining the telephone number of the local Green Party office, whom you can then ring and ask if I’m still a member … assuming anyone other than you actually cares about my political affiliations. I mean, lighten up, Richard.

  15. I see some are picking Foster – from this blog his council meeting attendance isn’t flash – (2nd to last!) – will need to improve dramatically if he’s going to help the mayor.
    Andy Foster – Onslow-Western Ward 90% attendance

  16. Clarke – just noticed your comment – I’m not sure if I would class Foster as a sensible person given his environment court appeal at ridiculous expense to the ratepayer. Having sat around the council table he had the chance to persuade his fellow councillors and put forward his views. Obviously he failed at this then petulantly threw his toys, stomped all over collective responsibility and went all legal. Imagine if every councillor did this when a decision didn’t go their way?

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