Wellington Scoop

A candidate surveys the candidates

by Conor Hill
We had our penultimate mayoral candidates meeting on Monday. It’s like coming to the end of a school production. Someone’s lost their voice, someone’s got over their stage fright, and win or lose, we’re all ready for the closing night party!

Despite our massive political differences, there’s a bizarre sense of camaraderie. We know what it’s like to fix up a billboard someone smashed at 7pm on a freezing cold Sunday night, or to walk up fifty steps to a post box which says “Addressed mail only.”

Also we all know each other’s lines.

Here’s what each of your candidates might say at an average meeting.

Don Newt McDonald
Don is the real star of the show. “There’s enough houses, there’s just too many people” is Don’s catch cry. While I do not for a second support his philosophy, he has a kind face, and a rubix cube hoodie. It would have been a much duller contest without Don.

Justin Lester
Justin keeps to the Metiria Turei maxim of never missing a hair appointment. The opposite of Don, he is polished. So polished that when he gets asked to put himself on a “slick and shiny to raw and authentic” spectrum he puts himself right down the raw and authentic end. Justin is heads and shoulders the best politician amongst us – he tells good stories, and he says yes to everyone.

Norbert Hausberg
I like it best when Norbert goes slightly off script: “Did all the usual things, built a house, got divorced”. Norbert is the bloke I’m most likely to have a beer with. We’re also thinking of opening a salon after jointly doing a beautiful haircut midway through the campaign.

Jenny Connie
If Jenny has managed to get through a meeting without mentioning the year 2100, it must have been the one I missed. Jenny will answer any question in detail, discussing business cases and risk management. We agree on some things (mostly transport) but are poles apart on others – the Living Wage, social housing and renters’ rights.

Diane Calvert
Almost regardless of the question, Diane will pivot to one of her two key points. Ask Diane about the dangers of 5G, and we’re likely to hear about the perfidiousness of the Beehive doing what every government has always done, and making choices about how it spends money. In this regard – staying on message regardless of question – she is probably the second best politician amongst us.

Andy Foster
Andy can tell you why and how any given park bench or bike rack was installed. But unless there is a water pistol keeping time, he’ll go over time on almost every question. There’s a whole lot of detail in any Andy answer, but almost no cut through.

I think the incumbent councillors would say I’m the most contentious candidate. And there’s probably some truth to that. I’m not happy with council’s approach to housing, transport, climate change, and vanity projects. Wellington should be building many more homes, both publicly and privately. We must hurry up and make a transport system fit for what is a city constrained by harbour and hills. Climate change has to be more than something to sound right about, we have to start acting right. And we need to fix our library, rather than having this ludicrous list of vanity projects, from convention centre to an airport runway extension.

So yeah, sometime I do give them a bit of stick. Wellington needs to get on and start making this city the very best city in the whole world. As Mayor, that’s what I’ll be seeking to achieve.

Conor Hill is a candidate for the Wellington mayoralty.

1 comment:

  1. Leviathan, 3. October 2019, 19:05

    Thanks Conor, it’s rare that a candidate can honestly and objectively set down the good and bad aspects of all the candidates, let alone themselves. Sadly I have been busy and have missed all the Mayoral debates, so I’ve got to evaluate the candidates on the basis of their advertising blurbs and the evaluations that people, such as yourself, are putting forward.

    I’m still completely undecided however. It’s a simple task to dismiss the people who you really don’t want – the joke candidates and those with political views that are 180 degrees opposed to my own – but I’m yet to be really certain about who would actually be the most desirable person to get things done. I’m down to just the top three on my list – but I can’t figure out who gets the 1, who gets the 2 and who deserves a 3. Nobody deserves a 4 or 5. Hmmmm. I’ll ponder on…