We have had contact from a few people telling us about their participation in a poll by Horizon research on Wellington’s Lambton Ward. Now that a poll is happening is not particularly interesting, however, the inclusion of former councillor Chris Parkin did grab my attention – as surely that can only mean one thing? Why would Parkin be included unless he was standing?
These days Parkin is probably best known for his art collection and as owner of the Museum Hotel and its excellent restaurant, Hippopotamus on Cable St. But he did have a previous life as a Wellington City Counillor and was very close to ex-Mayor, Kerry Prendergast – whom he apparently remains tight with, acting as her quasi campaign manager in 2010 (I say quasi, as I’m not sure there was a campaign beyond a couple of billboards).
But most people would assume his council days are long behind him – so it is strange that his name would come up in a poll. His name hasn’t been floated by any of the pundits and his active political career was so long ago that he wouldn’t be front of mind enough to warrant inclusion in a poll, unless it was requested by the people who commissioned said poll.
Parkin is obviously from the centre right and is a significant property owner and developer, he also has experience on council which could be highly useful as the WCC traverses rather murky waters in the next few years. But if he does stand, it isn’t a sure bet he would be successful, he only scraped in by the narrowest of margins the last time he was elected.
With only three announced runners at this stage with the Green incumbent, Iona Pannett, Labour’s Mark Peck and independent Nicola Young all confirmed, there is definitely room for more competitors – but I’m not sure anyone expected Chris Parkin to come out of the woodwork. Although given Michael Fowler infamously tried his hand at taking Wellington Back to the Future in 2010, I guess nothing should surprise us!
If anyone has seen the results of this poll or if you hear of any other interesting names popping up in polls, let us know.