Wellington Scoop

From blogging to campaigning

Campaign launch photo by Georgina Campbell from Twitter

by Conor Hill
My mayoral campaign started out as a blog last year. The idea was to write about what could make Wellington better, particularly its housing and transport. People started taking the title seriously, so I did too. Three weeks ago I wrote a post asking people what they thought of me running. The general feeling was very positive, and a number of people offered specific help, which was very humbling.

It’s already been commented on that I don’t have a lot of commercial experience. It’s true that I haven’t had the commercial success of a Colin Craig, a Kim Dotcom, or a Gareth Morgan. Nor do I have the governance experience of a Jenny Shipley at Mainzeal, a John Key at ANZ, or a Doug Graham at Lombard Finance.

But, I think what I do have is valuable. I have a great, supportive relationship. I have a family who back me, and a supportive group of friends. All of this has already provided immense support. When I asked for feedback on whether to run, one of my friends commented:

“The fact that you are doing something about improving Wellington for the better and that you are even interested in getting feedback on how these ideas might pan out is huge. You are a good combination of being witty, opinionated & tenacious. I’d encourage you to give it a go and see where this journey takes you and I’m pretty sure some good things will manifest for the city.”

It’s very hard to write about myself, but that kind of comment made me decide to do this.

Bold ideas and strong action rather than empty statements are needed to fix our most pressing problems, which I see as affordable housing, our broken transport system, and climate change. On climate change, I have stated we should not build an airport runway extension. On housing, we should be prepared to accommodate more people in our existing communities, rather than in urban sprawl. I shall be announcing many more specific policies.

Norman Kirk famously said that all New Zealanders want for is “someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for.” We can build a city to love, with a home for all, places to work, and a future to hope for – for people and for our planet.

I shall be striving to achieve that vision through concrete action.

Conor Hill is an independent candidate for the Wellington mayoralty. This is an edited version of his launch speech from the weekend. The elections are in October.


  1. Donald T., 22. July 2019, 8:45

    Looks to be a high hill for an independent to climb when faced by the Labour party machine.

  2. Conor Hill, 22. July 2019, 9:27
  3. michael, 22. July 2019, 10:26

    Where do you stand on fixing the library Conor? A recent public meeting was told by a top Wellington structural engineer that the library could be fixed at far less cost than is being claimed by the WCC. The building also could be fixed in 3 stages, with the first stage happening reasonably quickly so it could re-open. Stages 2 and 3 could be done now or later. Meanwhile, the WCC is spending millions opening little library hubs and looking to move tons of books into storage.
    The WCC states it will not make any decisions for a year and it seems the Mayor wants to make the library another vanity project by introducing changes (adding Capital E etc) which will probably mean years of planning, consultation and spiralling costs. So, would you insist the WCC immediately follows up on this idea to get the library back up and running as fast as possible?

  4. Conor, 22. July 2019, 11:52

    Hi Michael – when I first announced I said : “I want to see an end to vanity projects such as the airport runway extension, the convention centre and the covered arena, and to prioritize the City Library and the Town Hall.”
    Over the coming weeks I will make a statement as to where I stand vis-a-vis the next level of detail. A good central library is vital for our city.

    Cheers, Conor

  5. michael, 22. July 2019, 13:01

    The full video of the public meeting about the library (including the comments from the structural engineer) is available at this link.

  6. Conor, 22. July 2019, 15:23

    Thanks Michael – I could not make it last Monday, so will be good to watch and take this into account. Cheers, Conor

  7. Nora, 22. July 2019, 16:12

    Well said re Library and Town Hall, and don’t forget how we concert goers miss the underground park as the bus service after the concerts is almost zero!
    Shelly Bay, longer runway, Convention Centre, and covered arena are all in dream land.

  8. Michael Barnett, 22. July 2019, 22:08

    Hi Conor. I like what you say you stand for and I encourage you to give it your best shot. As you subtly suggest, commercial success is not an indicator of sound leadership. You make reference to Norman Kirk. To me he was our most outstanding political leader in the years following World War II. In one glorious year (1973) he stood up and told the world what he thought. This is an excerpt from his last speech before his premature demise:
    “We live in an age where many of us are intent on sacrificing our individual reality and humanity for the superficial benefits of the consumer age. The quality of concern for others, of compassion, tolerance and understanding are being eroded by a slow and deadly process. …. We have bequeathed a world of contradiction and conflict to our children, who for too long have had to face things alone. In the past values had been taught by parents, churches, school and universities. Now young people sadly get their values from radio, television or advertising agencies…” Dominion 18 August 1974.
    Go for it Conor. I support you.

  9. Ellie, 26. July 2019, 9:59

    Anyone – almost but Lester,