We got a rare insight into Greater Wellington Regional Council-Wellington City Council dynamics when regional councillor Judith Aitken posted this odd statement on Celia Wade-Brown’s Facebook about her (last time I checked, fellow Labour Party) colleague Daran Ponter:
Good on Ponter for calling her out. Oh, Baby Boomer with a 100% subsided Gold Card, please tell me more about how we can’t increase public transport subsidies.
This is staggering. If you’re a Regional Councillor, you would need to have been hiding under a rock for the past few years not to be aware of the issues around public transport. And you’d expect someone who has been on the GWRC since 2001 to already be discussing issues with their WCC colleagues and community stakeholders.
Aitken doesn’t even live in the constituency area she is elected to represent (Wellington City), enjoys fully subsidised public transport with her tax-payer funded Gold Card, and is one of those local government shapeshifters, like Helene Ritchie, who get elected to both a council and a health board purely on name recognition, then aren’t in a hurry to leave anytime soon.
She should retire and let a new, fresh, and forward thinking person take her seat and actually represent Wellington City. They deserve better.