Reinvent Wellington

Campaigning for public office is the most fun I've had in Wellington legally for many years. And I've now gone onto YouTube to promote my message. I don't think any other candidate has done this, and goodness knows whether it will make a difference. But it's fun, and what's bad about that?


A video is an opportunity to talk directly to an audience at a time when they are ready to receive the message. That's important in communications. Of course you don't get the same interaction and feedback that you do in a one on conversation, or the interchange and banter that candidates will get next week at the various public meetings. But it's one more communications channel so why not use it.

My message is that Wellington needs to reinvent itself.

This is a great city but we have got issues. Number one is that right now Wellington is in danger of stagnating. The economic problems we face - slow retail sales, empty shops, falling demand for office space point to that.

But the problem is deeper. In the 1980s Wellington reinvented itself as a city of culture and events. We got a big point of difference. The council invested in buildings like the Embassy Theatre and the St James, and in events like the Sevens, film premieres and the various arts and comedy festivals. That's when Courtenay Place was born as an entertainment area.

There was a political consensus about where the city was going. But now the council has run out of puff, and there are too many personality clashes around the council table.

The creative and cultural strategy is tired. It's still useful but it doesn't deliver the big difference any more.

We need something new. Actually we need several things.

New faces round the council table would be a start, so would a new consensus on where the city is going.

I want to be part of that debate. And I want the council to engage with its citizens, with the business community, with social groups, and with the creative and innovative people who will drive our future.

We need to reinvent this city again. I know we can do it, and we must.

If we don't, then the money, the entrepreneurs and the talented will go elsewhere, and those that stay behind will be the losers.

Don't let that happen; elect councillors who are going to make a difference to Wellington.  That's why I am standing for the city council in the Lambton Ward. I want to see a city that is safe, healthy, exciting and prosperous.