As we mentioned in the last few weeks, Labour members had been underwhelmed by Lambton Ward Councillor, Mark Peck, and that he was likely to see his candidacy for the Party challenged. The internal pressure and potential embarrassment seems to have been too much, with Peck announcing to his followers on Facebook that he was standing down at the next election:
I have today informed Labour Party managers for the upcoming local body elections that I will not be seeking selection to contest the Lambton Ward, or any other ward for the Wellington City Council.
I have decided to clear the decks so that good candidates can emerge to put their hands up for selection.
I will complete my term and meet my responsibilities to the Council.
I want to thank all those who have supported me during this triennium.
By the time the term is over I will have completed fifteen years of public service and it is time to pull up stumps.
Given almost everyone who helped him campaign last time has run for the hills already, it seems unlikely the former MP for Invercargill and Parliamentary Select Committee chair will be missed down at Town Hall.
He will be remembered fondly for uh… um… being there? Most of his colleagues from his time in Parliament only seem to recall him packing a sad for not being elected to the Cabinet by his colleagues – multiple times. While around Council his packing of a sad when called out by his Labour colleague, Paul Eagle, for back stabbing and siding with the Greens seems to have been the highlight… oh and of course refusing to pay his Cafe staff a Living Wage despite saying ratepayers should fork out more to cover Council staff and contractors.
But at least Peck had the decency to pull the ripcord and go – instead of hanging around with his nose in the Council trough for decades… some of his colleagues could learn from that..
So who might fill the mighty Peck shoes?
Rawa Karetai, who co-ordinated the Greens 2013 Wellington local elections campaign, is rumoured to be entering the political fray – either as a councillor candidate, or as the Green’s mayoral aspirant.
Karetai’s Twitter claims he’s a ‘Wellington-based businessman’ – perhaps pitching himself as the poor man’s James Shaw? Young Rawa’s bio on Karetai Consulting has a client list limited to fringe political campaigns, and work experience where he’s listed as an ‘assistant’ – yet on the same site he’s listed as the ’Senior Consultant’ at the business.
I’m studying towards a Bachelor of Business Studies with a major in Human Resource Management and Management with a keen interest in Organisational Change and Development, Leadership, Strategy, Governance and Diversity at Massey University. I also enjoy project and event management, local and national politics and campaign management, I have decent media, lecturing, and workshop presenting skills and sometimes do work as a consultant.
The leap from ‘sometimes do work as a consultant’ to ‘businessman’ is a bold one for an undergraduate, and we’ll leave you to form your own judgement. Our take? He’s another wannabe politico with zero commercial experience, eager to get his hands on the $82,000 WCC pay cheque as a way of livening up life at university.
Perhaps he and Angus Hodgson could carpool back between lectures and the council chambers – with Hodgson widely expected to seek the Labour nomination for Lambton.