Fisking the #Wgtn2013 Candidates – Southern Ward

The second in our ‘Fisking the Candidates’ series  where we take a look at each Ward and its candidates. As always you’ll have your own picks and observations, so please leave them in the comments below.

Southern Ward (2 vacancies)

With two incumbents, one the best rated and one the worst rated councillor, running for reelection, the Southern Ward is one of the most interesting of 2013. Aside from the contrasting incumbents there’s a high profile personality, a Green Party backed candidate, the last election’s 3rd placed candidate and a gaggle of other people all wanting one of two seats up for grabs. The Wellingtonian has also profiled the race.

Paul Eagle

Eagle should romp home on first preferences, repeating his Ward topping efforts of 2010. He’s a campaigning machine, a rarity in local body politics and he deserves all the plaudits he’s received during his first term for his accessibility, visibility and engagement.

In a way he hasn’t stopped campaigning. His unprecedented breakaway consultation in 2012 around the long term plan saw thousands of Paul Eagle branded leaflets delivered and numerous meetings held through his ward.  This ruffled many feathers and bruised a lot egos around the Council mostly because he was actually talking to people and arguably did a better job than the Council itself.

His campaigns around liquor licensing in Newtown also proved he can rally the community around a cause while attaching his name to the right side of a hot-button issues. A man with obvious ambitions for Parliament, our own northernwccwatch has picked him as the next Deputy Mayor.

Bryan Pepperell

Pepperell is like a bad smell that you just cant get rid of. He limped to re-election on the 11th iteration in 2010 worse than the 7th he achieved in 2007) and is widely seen as ineffective.

Despite that, incumbency and low voter turnout is his biggest and only asset that returns him to the council table via the second seat. 2013 will hopefully be the year he is defeated and he can spend more time filtering his fluoridated water and drinking flax seed oil.

Ginette McDonald

McDonald’s surprise entrance into the race was a real game changer and finally smashed the Southern Ward sausage fest. As a candidate she has ridiculous name recognition, has probably MC’d a fundraiser of some sort for most of the schools and many of the clubs in the ward.

Prior to McDonald running, I’d have picked a close fight between the Green’s David Lee and Bryan Pepperell (based on the latter’s incumbency and the Greens’ brand) for the second seat – that could still be possible if McDonald’s campaign is a disaster. She’s clearly trying to limit the perception that she’s a joke candidate and is going for the serious look with her campaign material. Maybe it’s too serious? Nevertheless, she’s a formidable challenger, talking about issues that will resonate will many in the Ward, and the only woman running in the Ward, which could be a benefit in itself.

David Lee

The Green Party’s first Southern Ward candidate since Celia Wade-Brown stood in 2007, Lee is a relatively unknown. His biggest asset will be the Green brand and machine that comes with it. His campaign materials are slick but relatively vague. His website doesn’t elaborate on his plans for the Ward, just general goals and reasons why he’s standing. That might be because like his colleague standing in the East, he doesn’t live in the Ward.

Despite that and Party differences, Paul Eagle seems to working with him where possible, specifically around hoardings. Lee will be a competitive candidate for the second seat along with Ginette McDonald and Bryan Pepperell.

Don McDonald

We’ve covered Don previously. I’m sure his heart is in the right place, but he wont make much of an impact, let alone be elected. His blurb and campaign materials are truly special.

Will Moore

This is Moore’s second tilt at the Southern Ward after finishing a surprising and respectable 3rd in 2010. However he’s in a much more competitive field and might struggle. Will be interesting to see if his name recognition form the last election helps at all.

Moore has one for the more humanised candidates blurbs that will appeal to a few, especially to the those not usually engaged with council matters, hippies and papatuanuku.

Brent Pierson

Pierson was New Zealand First’s 2011 Rongotai candidate, and his running the line that he “was the highest polling candidate not to get into Parliament. That’s a bit cute when you see he won 1.36% of the vote (488 votes) and had a NZ First list placing in the mid 20s. He was no where near entering Parliament. He later popped up when he fronted for the Party at a canceled meeting Richard Prosser was to hold in Aro Valley following his infamous Wogistan comments.

During the 2011 general election campaign he caused outrage at a candidates meeting when he “suggested that those who did not want to get pregnant should not have kids, adding that he did not personally agree with abortion, and suggested that adoption is a more beneficial solution”.

He shouldn’t fare any better than his last electoral outing in 2011.


With Eagle’s probable dominance, 2013 will be a six-horse race for the second seat. At this stage Ginette McDonald should ultimately triumph.

  • Picks – Paul Eagle, Ginette McDonald
  • Dark Horses – David Lee, Byran Pepperell, Will Moore


6 responses to “Fisking the #Wgtn2013 Candidates – Southern Ward

  1. At the a candidate meeting in Newtown in 2011 I said that ” if you do not want to have children do not get get pregnant ” this not what you have stated. If you are going to dig up the past, please get it right. Your coverage of candidates so far is less than poor. The voters are the ones with the power, no you.

    • All I stated is what was reported on at the time. If that is wrong then that’s unfortunate you should take that up with the editor of that news outlet. We’re not digging up the past, we’re just highlighting statements made in public, on a campaign trail, barely two years ago. It’s also just a Google search away. We’ve never claimed to hold any power and I’m quite aware that voters in a democracy are the ones who hold power. Power they’ve used to keep you from office before. All the best with your campaign.

  2. Whatever you said exactly Mr Person, it was so offensive that I remember the hall full of women erupted – shouting you to shut up and sit down!

  3. Pingback: Closing mayoral candidate statements – Get out the Vote! | WCC Watch·

  4. Pingback: Ginette McDonald – 2013 Local Election·

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