Congratulations to Northern Ward councillor Justin Lester on being appointed the new Deputy Mayor.
Wellington Scoop have a good look at the appointment. A notable point is this:
After her learning experience with Ian McKinnon, a deputy mayor who didn’t hesitate to vote against her, one can expect that the mayor has reached an understanding with Justin Lester that his role will involve support for all her policies. Explaining her choice in her announcement this morning, she says he “showed a willingness to work cohesively with all councillors.” And in the DomPost today, the new deputy mayor says: “We can work together and balance people out.
Having another Deputy that had no qualms voting against her probably put paid to Paul Eagle’s chances, despite the many positives going to for him. The policy positions between Eage and Wade Brown wouldn’t have been as deep as they were with McKinnon, but she clearly wants a new way of doing things and wants a watertight as possible Deputy.
For Lester it gives him a huge boost in profile after a somewhat under the radar first term (in the good way). His youth will be a nice change from the more traditional and conservative McKinnon. His impressive business credentials will also help bolster Wade-Brown and Council’s general credibility with the often skeptical (and vocal) business community.
It also one ups him over Jo Coughlan in a potential future battle for Ohariu’s parliamentary seat once Peter Dunne departs. Interestingly the Dominion Post label Lester as ‘centre-Right’. Is he no longer a member of the Labour Party? Last time I heard he was still signed up.
How the rest of the Council appointments and portfolio allocations go will be very interesting, especially given the speculation Wade-Brown picked Lester in part because the new Green bloc wanted revenge over Eagle’s not so subtle support for John Morrison during the campaign.
Despite that, it’s a much better start to Wade-Brown’s term than her first. Whether or not it continues, only time will tell.
Credit to the Dominion Post for the picture. Xoxo.