The campaign is well and truly underway with the Aro Valley meeting tonight – but the question is, where is Celia Wade-Brown? Where is her campaign? I spent the weekend driving around town, and the invisibility of her campaign stood out like a pair of Nike’s at a Green Party love-in.
Last time around Celia had a highly professional and organised campaign which painted the town green… well orange, but you know what I mean. She had adshel posters at almost every bus stop and hoardings up all over town. But in 2013 there is nothing to be seen.
Meanwhile, the Green candidates, including the incumbent, Iona Pannett, have their very visible signs up – there is even a house along Oriental Bay (where else?) with three Green Party hoardings, covering Regional Council and WCC – but no Celia. Why did they not also put her hoardings up when putting the other signs up? Yes, Celia is technically independent, but everyone knows the Green machine was vital to her campaign in 2010, surely they’d want to help her out.
Celia is facing a tough contest with heavy fire coming from the centre right of John Morrison and Nicola Young as well as from the left with former Alliance Party candidate, Jack Yan, so it is odd that she has been so slow out of the blocks.
We had been told that many of her 2010 campaign team and backers (including the campaign manager) have abandoned her this time around and while we largely dismissed this as wishful thinking, it appears that there may be some truth to it as Celia appears to be more of an observer than a candidate this time.
This year the Greens appear determined to get Pannett re-elected and for Sue Kedgley and Paul Bruce to get onto Regional Council and for Sarah Free and David Lee to make a dent in their wards. But the Party seems less interested in the fortunes of Celia Wade-Brown. I think everyone assumed the machinery would get in behind her, but so far that hasn’t happened – so what is going on?
Are the Greens working together as a team? And is the Green Party putting any effort into getting Wade-Brown re-elected. Because if the Greens aren’t, then who is?