Peck responds

A couple of weeks ago NorthernWCCWatch looked at Labour’s officially endorsed slate of candidates for this year’s election and questioned if Lambton Ward candidate Mark Peck really wanted to be a Wellington City councillor.

Mark recently sent us a response to that question which is below. Good on him for engaging and providing a thoughtful answer. I’m sure he won’t mind us publishing it.

Enjoyed your comments on my redemption back to political life. I also enjoyed your conjecture, “does he really want to be a Wellington City Councillor”.

The short answer is yes. Why would one want to live in the fish bowl of public life otherwise?

You were right to say that the homeless issue is not a vote winner. Indeed, even those intimately involved with the issue, the homeless, don’t vote. It is more a statement as to who I am.

A look through my Facebook page will show that I have a variety of views. Nothing in the social area will be sorted out without a serious look at the economic and social situation of the city right now.

The council has a role to play in this. One key area needing attention is the current disconnect between the council and those affected by council decisions. The council I am sure have no wish to be thought of as disinterested in the views of its citizens but despite all its formal protocols, that is exactly how it is perceived by the good people of the city. In politics, perception is everything.

It was this disconnect and the effect of council decisions in the area of the city where I work that directly lead me to decide to run for office. While my business survived the noise chaos and upheaval, not all were so fortunate. they have closed, laid off staff and lost their stake? Who cares? Well I do. I know what it is like to stake life’s savings into a business with all that that contains.

I am absolutely determined that this disconnect will be dealt with so that people matter in the decision making processing these sort of outcomes do not happen again.

Achieving that would be a great service to the city, in my view.

Mark Peck

As we’ve previously mentioned, we’re happy to let candidates and readers submit a guest post or two if they wish. Or as in cases like this, responses :-). Just contact us.

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2 responses to “Peck responds

  1. Thanks for the response Mark – I have to say, the first thing that came to mind when you talk about the disconnect between the Council and the citizens is that your Southern Ward Labour colleague, Paul Eagle, is the Council portfolio leader on Community Engagement. I assume you aren’t having a go at him (He’s a big unit so I wouldn’t get too lippy… hehe) and that you’re working together, but if there has been a disconnect, what has Eagle been working on? What areas in particular aren’t connecting properly? (Council seems able to communicate rates bills just fine! 🙂 ) And what are your ideas for closing the gap?

  2. I saw Paul Eagle engage with the community at the Brooklyn Residents Association Annual Meeting and I certainly have no criticism of his efforts. What is missing is a genuine community development approach, one which trusts the people to engage around facts and figures about the provision of social services such as libraries and shared spaces within the constraints of limited resources. This needs redevelopment and from what I saw of officer input at the same meeting quite some re-education in these principles.

    People are not silly. They don’t happily pay rates and when presented with the facts are likely to side on balance with a prudent approach that will deliver appropriate services efficiently. It is a tricky balance but one that citizens have a right (in my view) to contribute towards.

    Thanks for the question.

    Mark Peck

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