Fisking the #Wgtn2013 Candidates – Onslow-Western Ward

With John Morrison going all in for the mayoralty there will be at least one new councillor from Onslow-Western. The Greens will be bitterly disappointed they didn’t take this opportunity to get a Green presence in this part of town with plenty of liberal voters. The Wellingtonian have a good profile the ward and candidates.

Onslow-Western Ward (3 vacancies)

Andy Foster

For reasons I’ll never understand Foster regularly tops the Ward. Will probably do so again. Should retire, but wont.

Jo Coughlan

Enough people seem to know who Jo Coughlan is around the ward to get her elected. Her mayoral dreams in tatters, she’ll sit comfortably doing what she needs to do waiting for the National Party nomination for Ohariu to crop up. Wants a new aquatic centre, but also says we need to control council spending.

Her “Councillor Jo Coughlan” Facebook has not being touched since June, the website she links from her official bio going to this and she’s been relatively non-existent this term. Despite this she will probably be returned comfortably.

Hayley Robinson

Robinson is running an at times agitating (probably because it’s too collaborative for my liking :-)), yet somewhat endearingly earnest campaign for her council seat. She’s doing her homework and putting herself out there. If there were to be a mockumentary (like Best in Show) made around this year’s election – she would be a key character.

But in all seriousness, she’s doing this for all the right reasons. Her website is probably one of the most detailed of all candidates, and she has been putting in the hard yards door-knocking and actually talking to people. A competitive contender, I would say Aitken has the edge over her for winning Morrison’s vacant seat. But you never know!

Malcolm Aitken

Aitken has been out door-knocking, phone canvasing and campaigning across the ward for months now which will no doubt help his chances at claiming the open seat. His biggest liability is that he doesn’t live in the ward – will he be moving there if he wins?

Despite that (or because of that) he’s shown he’s willing to listen and take on board the concerns and issues facing residents – his campaign flier is one example of that. Probably has a slight edge over the other Robinson and Woolf to pick up a seat at the moment. One of the few candidates to have his online presence covered and using them well.

Sridhar Ekambaram

Wants greater walking and cycleways. Has run a positive campaign, even delivering his and other candidate pamphlets with Robinson.

Gill Holmes

Terribly short candidate bio, with no concrete policies or priorities, she wont fare well.

Dan Coffey

Seemingly only running to support of the Basin Reserve Flyover and nothing much else. Didn’t respond to the Wellingtonian’s quesitons for thier Ward profile. Can only assume he doesn’t really want to win. No internet presence outside the council bio. Won’t be a contender.

Phil Howison

Standing as part of one of the few tickets of people and used involved with Libertarianz. Howison wants theusual – lower rates, streamlined services, and so on. Not much in terms of policy ideas on how to achieve those outcomes, nut has an interesting idea around village hubs. Will probably do better than his Northern Ward colleague Reagan Cutting, but not enough to take out a seat. Active on Twitter, which is good.

Arie Ketel

Running because he believes he’s the answer to the call that went out “for new blood in Wellington City Council”. Even though by day he’s the Head of Graphics at Fairfax, he has a pretty average campaign graphic on his Facebook. However he has an interesting official bio, but it’s light on policy. Will probably place in the mid field.

Emma MacRae

Long time resident and local business owner. Not much information or sign of a campaign out there. No policies or issues  on her official biography. Probably wont win a seat.

Martin Wilson

Really pushing the green/sustainability message that the Greens would have had they stood a candidate. Wilson doesn’t live in the ward so he’d fit in well with their two council candidates in Southern and Eastern. Doesn’t mention anything about the Ward in his bio, or how he’d go about achieving his goals. Could be a surprise dark horse, but I doubt it.

Simon Woolf

Woolf made a major boo boo when he promised cheap drinks at an event to people who would commit to voting for him, then quickly retracted it once questions of legality started being asked. He sits on a number of community boards that tick the boxes, probably has the most recognisable name outside of the incumbents thanks to his business links. He also looks like he’s going all in with hoardings and his campaign. All that might help him get over the line, pipping both Aitken and Robinson for Morrison’s old seat.


  • Picks – Andy Foster, Jo Coughlan, Malcolm Aitken
  • Dark Horse: Simon Woolf, Hayley Robinson



10 responses to “Fisking the #Wgtn2013 Candidates – Onslow-Western Ward

  1. Thanks for your positive commentary WCC Watch. I have really enjoyed meeting so many Onslow-Western residents with such a wide range of ideas but a common passion for making Wellington an even better place. Just fyi my son starts at Otari School (Wilton) early next year. House hunting and campaigning don’t really go hand in hand but we will start again after the 12th.

  2. Totally agree with your sentiments. Once such a person standing outside the area where they lived would have been labeled a carpet bagger, and suffered a certain amount of derision, nowadays everyone is oh so P.C. The other point of note, it’s not just in Onslow-Western where this is happening, but virtually right around the City. Talk about desperate times. There’s some desperate candidates.

  3. Colin and Peter Malcolm has lived in the ward before, his son is starting school there soon and he will be moving back to the ward shortly. He is committed to the area and it is where his family’s future is. I think your comments above are unfair.

  4. I just can’t understand why Foster and Coughlan get back in. At least Foster is out and about in (some of) the ward. Coughlan hardly does anything and they both miss 1 in 5 meetings. If I missed more than 20% of my job I would be fired. I saw them at the candidates meeting in Wadestown. She was rude and ill informed. Kept having to look at her friend Foster to check answers, rolled her eyes at other people, interrupted other people and muttered (loudly) under her breath. Foster kept interrupting too and was extremely patronising and arrogant. Both clearly see the role as their right.

  5. I’m a real estate agent and have been showing Malcolm Aitken and his lovely wife property in the area. They have been looking for a while but just haven’t found the right house. As I understand it, he chose to stand in the ward as that is where he intends to live.

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

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