Wellington Scoop

Excluded by RNZ, three mayoral candidates organise their own debate

Media release from Dr Jenny Condie, Conor Hill and Norbert Hausberg
In a full field of mayoral candidates for Wellington City, RNZ have made the controversial decision to broadcast a debate featuring only sitting councillors.

Mayoral contenders Dr Jenny Condie, Conor Hill, and Norbert Hausberg have banded together to offer a counter-debate. At 12pm today Tuesday 17 September, they will livestream and record a debate between themselves, moderated by Alex Braae of The Spinoff.

“RNZ’s decision has the unfortunate effect of excluding the two youngest candidates, myself and Conor, and excluding the two candidates who are running primarily on climate change, myself and Norbert,” said Dr Condie.

In national elections the criteria for being included in a debate are reaching 3% in the polls or currently having an MP in Parliament.

“I haven’t heard of any polls conducted on the Wellington mayoral race, so there is no objective data for RNZ to justify excluding us,” Condie said.

When asked by Conor Hill why they had been excluded, a staff member at RNZ responded: “We looked at the prominence, reach and influence of each candidate’s campaign… we also drew on… news reports, informal polls, and conversations with community leaders. Those helped us figure out the top candidates.” Mr Hill has not received a response to a request to view the data referred to.

“Calvert is a first term councillor who was elected by a narrow margin, and more people voted for Foster as councillor than mayor last election,” said Hill. “It seems like RNZ just did a whip round the coffee room to decide, and now they are trying to justify that laziness.”

“It’s a nonsense,” Norbert Hausberg stated. “As the politically-neutral national broadcaster I think it’s irresponsible for them to promote only the incumbents, who already have all the advantages of being known figures.”

The debate is closed to the public. For media who want to attend, please get in touch for the location.

Dr Jenny Condie


  1. Martha Klein, 17. September 2019, 7:16

    And this is democracy? The establishment decides who gets to debate. Why would the debate be closed to the public?

  2. Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network, 17. September 2019, 11:04

    Livestream link please

  3. Benny, 17. September 2019, 11:06

    Can you please publish the link?

  4. Condie4Council, 17. September 2019, 19:41

    Live streaming on Facebook from 12pm today! facebook.com/DrJennyCondie/