Independent candidate for the Lambton Ward John Dow is up next on the WCC Watch Soapbox. Questions or comments for John can be left below.
Making things happen
This morning we announced the finalists in the 25th Annual Wellingtonian of the Year Awards.
Across 9 categories, 37 people are honoured in this year’s Awards and the winners will be announced next month at an awards dinner function.
As the convenor of judges for the past 7 years it has always been a very enlightening and somewhat humbling experience to read about and then hear the discussions of the judges each year as the calibre and commitment of so many of these people becomes evident.
Last years overall winner Neville Jordan grew up in a State House with a solo mother in Petone, started a business in the boot of his car and went on to list his technology company on the NASDAQ in America.
He eventually sold out for millions and is now an active Venture Capitalist helping new young businesses to get ahead and has also been a generous supporter of the arts and education in Wellington for many years.
A few years ago The Flight of the Conchords were the Wellingtonians of the Year after their success on TV in the States. Bret McKenzie was an Arts finalist last year, a category won by his mother, Deirdre Tarrant the tireless force behind Footnote Dance Company here in Wellington.
Wellington is essentially full of extraordinarily talented and capable people, many of whom are successfully connecting our city to the world in their respective fields.
They all seem to share the same great love for this city and often choose to live here despite the many opportunities they have to live overseas.
Sir Peter Jackson, himself a former Wellingtonian of the Year and Evening Post lithographer in his earlier career, is the best example of this and his business empire has had a major impact on our city in many different ways.
As the Creator and Director of the Wellington Gold Awards, recently celebrating its 15th birthday with over 800 attendees at TSB Bank Arena, I have also got to see most of the innovative and successful businesses that have transformed our economy since the late 90’s.
Once again the key contributing factor has been the quality and capability of the owners, managers and teams that have guided and driven their businesses success, often in very hostile and difficult international markets.
I really admire these people and recognise what they have contributed to Wellington is of immense value.
Last Tuesday I was able to participate in the official launch of Call Active’s Wellington branch. They are a new business to Wellington that I assisted in committing to our city and helped get established.
They have the potential to create 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs in Wellington over the next few years.
On Friday night, we finalised a 5 year agreement for St Kilda Saints AFL club to play on Anzac Day here at Westpac Stadium allowing us to build on the major success of the inaugural match this year.
The 2013 game delivered 5,000 Australian visitors and $9 million in economic activity to our local economy. It also provided Wellington with extensive media profiling throughout Australia, our biggest trading and tourism market.
I have decided to stand for the Lambton Ward in this year’s election as I realised that Wellington is at a major crossroads at the moment. We are facing a very real risk of slipping backwards economically which then affects all aspects of people’s lives.
Wellington City has some huge challenges to contend with over the next few years. I believe I can make a significant contribution to our future prosperity and community life as a Councillor with 30 years of business, major event, tourism, arts, sport and service experience and knowledge.