WCC Watch Soapbox: Rex Nicholls – Why am I standing for Council again?

Next on the WCC Soapbox is Lambton Ward candidate Rex Nicholls explaining why he wants to return to the council table. You can leave questions for him in the comments below. If you want to contribute a WCC Watch Soapbox post you can submit pieces here.

Why am I standing for Council again?

I’m standing because I, along with many other Wellingtonians, have despaired over the last couple of years at the press our Council has been receiving.

Auckland and Christchurch are the total focus of central Government while Wellington is called a ‘dying city’ by our PM. The words may have been wrong, but the sentiment struck a chord.

The newspaper of Sunday 15 September said it all. Satisfaction with Council’s performance has halved; from 61% to 31% over this triennium.

I will bring business acumen and decision making ability to Council, things that are sorely missed at present. I have passion, proven commitment, and experience – experience both in business and local government.

The three biggest issues facing our Lambton Ward are;

  • jobs,
  • saving our heritage buildings, and
  • amalgamation.

Firstly, we must return Wellington to a city where people want to live, and work, and enjoy themselves. Such cities attract talented people and investment, and investment produces jobs. Currently our unemployment is the worst in the country, our growth 14th out of the 15 regions.

Secondly, I am a civil engineer with a proven track record in saving heritage buildings. I moved the Shamrock Hotel and strengthened the old Peoples Palace Hotel in Cuba St to 100% of modern code.

On Council I will promote my rates/loan system where WCC lends on old buildings so that an owner can pay to strengthen her or his building at no risk, or cost, to Council.

And thirdly, amalgamation is inevitable. A proposal from the Local Government Commission will, apparently, be presented to Wellington for comment in February.

The process has been badly led. Let’s get it right, not just produce a quick solution. Let’s give it one more iteration – led from Wellington. I want to ensure that amalgamation, in whatever form it takes, is good for Wellington and protects our region’s powerhouse, our CBD.

Wellington has lost its Mojo. We can get that mojo back. We can once again lead the country as its most talked about and respected city.

I would like to be part of the Council that gets our lovely little city back at full throttle on the fast track.

It needs a progressive and hard driving Council to get back our momentum, to produce the environment that attracts investment, creates jobs, and makes us an internationally competitive place to live and work.

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