Despite having a presence on Council since the election of Celia Wade-Brown in 1994, the Greens only really gained influence over Wellington when Wade-Brown defeated Kerry Prendergast for the mayoralty at the last election. Wade-Brown with Green colleague, Iona Pannett and lowercase g green, Andy Foster, have dominated the Council in the last few years and have set the tone and direction.
After looking at the Labour line up the other day, we thought we should take look at their mates over at the Greens too. While as far as we can tell, the Green Party hasn’t formally announced its candidates yet despite the selection process happening a few weeks ago, we’ve been flicked a list by a couple of local members.
Northern Ward – no one, as the cycle way hasn’t quite reached Tawa the Greens haven’t migrated to the area yet. “Whoa man… are you saying there is like, a Northern Ward, man?”
Onslow-Western Ward – like Labour in the Northern Ward, the Greens haven’t selected a candidate but will be backing a long term councillor, in this case, Andy Foster who dresses and carries himself like a Green Party member (pretty sure he cuts his own hair). Foster has built a tight bond with Wade-Bicycle after being largely shut out by Prendergast. However, there has been speculation around the chattering classes down at City Hall that Foster has got a taste for the influence he has had and he could just as easily jump over to the good ship Morrison. But we expect he will stay tight with the Greens.
Lambton Ward – This is probably the most interesting one as the word is that the Greens have sniffed a chance to pounce and are considering standing two candidates. Iona Pannett is standing again and if Wade-Bicycle is returned, she will continue to be a dominant figure behind the scenes. By all accounts, Pannett, is the real Green power on Council, she is the Rasputin like figure that sets the policy direction and involves herself in the work of Council often rewriting and heavily editing work.
Her blurb says she champions “action on climate change, public transport, heritage, rights for people with disabilities, support for Wellington’s homeless, greater engagement with the community and working with individuals and communities within Lambton ward…” man… – nothing about Wellington’s flagging economy and looks like the inspiration for the posts by Labour’s Mark Peck.
The second candidate hasn’t been announced properly to members yet, but we have heard the Party will make its call on whether or not the candidate does stand based on how well the Party is tracking in the polls… particularly in comparison to Labour. Basically it comes down to whether the Greens think they can beat Peck head to head.
Eastern Ward – Sarah Free is the candidate apparently, but we haven’t found a whole lot about her online which we assume will be nicely fixed up come campaign time.
Southern Ward – David Lee is the candidate, and we assume he is the same David Lee that is the chair of Action for Environment Inc and if so, going by the submissions he has made over the years against things he will fit right on in there with his colleagues!
Mayor – Celia Wade-Brown will be back for round two and we will focus on this race in more detail in the coming weeks. But as we have said on previous posts, despite her regional Pommy accent, she will be hard to beat given her incumbency and the strength of her campaign team which outperformed Prendergast’s team. Of course by name Wade-Bicycle is officially an independent, but Green is her politics and she is proudly listed on the Wellington Greens website. Which is just as well, as her own website (to be re-launched later this year, presumably before the voting papers are sent out in September) is weird, with a picture of her in front of her computer screen holding what looks like a hammer. What’s that about? Fixing the internets?
2013, it’s a Green party, man.