Wellington Scoop

Three new Wgtn members elected to Regional Council; Barbara Donaldson defeated

Roger Blakeley and Daran Ponter have been re-elected as councillors on the Wellington Regional Council. Three new Wellington members have been elected – Thomas Nash of the Greens, Glenda Hughes of the Wellington Party, and former city councillor David Lee.

In the Porirua/Tawa constituency, regional councillor and transport committee chair Barbara Donaldson was defeated in her attempt at re-election – a result which many will see as the consequence of her involvement with Wellington’s bustastrophe.

News from Wellington Regional Council
The progress result for the election of members of the Regional Council is based upon the counting of approximately 95% of the returned voting papers. It does not include some special votes and voting papers returned today that are still in transit to the processing centre. The outcome may change once all voting papers have been counted.

Poneke-Wellington Regional Constituency (5 vacancies)
NASH Thomas / Green elected
HUGHES Glenda / The Wellington Party elected
BLAKELEY Roger / Independent elected
PONTER Daran / Labour elected
LEE David / Get Wellington Moving elected

The voter return was 36.3%, being 49,936 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.

Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai-Lower Hutt Regional Constituency (3 vacancies)
LABAN Ken elected
LAMASON Prue / Independent elected
VAN LIER Josh / Green elected

The voter return was 39.11%, being 28,866 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.

Te Awa Kairangi ki Uta-Upper Hutt Regional Constituency (1 vacancy)
CONNELLY Ros elected

The voter return was 40.48%, being 12,347 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.

Porirua-Tawa Regional Constituency (2 vacancies)
BRASH Jenny / Independent elected
KIRK-BURNNAND Chris / Independent elected

Wairarapa Regional Constituency (1 vacancy)
STAPLES Adrienne elected


  1. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 12. October 2019, 21:56

    Congratulations and best wishes to returning GWRC councillors Roger_Blakeley & Daran Ponter, and to david lee who has made the switch from WCC to GWRC. Now, go and get those buses fixed! [via twitter]

  2. Dave Armstrong, 12. October 2019, 21:59

    Regional Council results slow in coming but Green Josh van Lier has beaten David Ogden in the Hutt so a more PT friendly council is likely. Lamason (voted with Laidlaw a lot) is back as is Ken Laban (voted against the Laidlaw bloc.) On results so far, a slightly more pro-PT GWRC. Upper Hutt regional councillor is Ros Connelly. As far as I know she has no ambition to re-design the bus network and is pro-water conservation so I’m picking more progressive than her predecessor. So we have a rather more progressive GWRC which is good news for train and bus users. [via twitter]

  3. Roy Kutel, 13. October 2019, 8:14

    Good to see such a low turnout. There’s clear support for getting rid of GWRC ‘the waste of your money council’.

  4. Gary.tram, 13. October 2019, 8:29

    I would suggest the other way around. Merge the city councils into a Wellington Regional Council. Huge savings possible. Have more local boards. Cut all councillor renumeration. Just provide say a $200 meeting allowance.

  5. Iona Pannett, 13. October 2019, 9:04

    Over the moon to see Dr Josh Van Lier elected. Well done to Josh, great to have a scientist on the regional council. [via twitter]

  6. Roy Kutel, 13. October 2019, 12:25

    Gary.Tram – local councils mean local.

  7. Curtis Nixon, 13. October 2019, 12:42

    Gary.tram – we had a referendum about merging all the city and regional councils into a super council. That failed miserably. As Roy K points out local means local.

    So what is the answer? Abolish GWRC and split its assets and responsibilities between the local councils. I have an application to do so before the Local Government Commission, and if you agree and want to show support here is the link to my petition: http://chng.it/BTPnhd9Q

  8. Thomas Nash, 14. October 2019, 8:55

    Final preliminary result is out – I am the leading candidate with 8,628 votes and was elected on the first count with a majority of 2,799. Very grateful to everyone and keen to get started today. [via twitter]

  9. Rosamund Averton, 14. October 2019, 9:00

    Accountability to an electorate bestows a responsibility on elected representatives to not only judge what may be in the best interest of its electorate but to keep themselves informed and to avoid being seduced by seemingly rational arguments that there are no alternatives to proposals put by colleagues, council officers and their advisors. Collegiality is less important than vocal and effective independence. It is a citizen’s right and responsibility to remind our elected representatives that their first duty is to speak for their constituents; and that the CEO works for, and is measured, albeit through them to this same community of interest whether they are ratepayers or not.

    All elected representatives are there to represent the people generally, not sector or interest groups. They have the power vested in them by legislation to act as City Governors on behalf of their communities. A majority vote of Council holds sway; unless that wish is distorted by the Mayor’s casting vote, and the Council’s CEO is obliged to implement that decision which will be predicated on elected representatives having received impartial advice. Ipso facto Councillors as our elected representatives should challenge the impartial advice given by officers, and proffer alternatives however radical, for serious consideration. Challenging advice is a healthy manifestation of the independence of our elected representatives, but it is important that officers are treated respectfully when being questioned.

    A question that must be asked by the newly elected Regional Councillors is how can we revert to our earlier bus service – however flawed, it was superior to the present muddle. Asking citizens and acting on their responses rather than dismissing those comments should be a priority.

  10. Traveller, 14. October 2019, 9:09

    Where is the cheering for the defeat of Barbara Donaldson?

  11. Gary.tram, 16. October 2019, 6:44

    Donaldson would not listen to the people who orginally elected her. She did not even use the product she wanted everyone else to use. Hopefully the new councillors will listen to those who need to use public transport and return the network to what local communities require along with more efficent and inclusive consultation processes with commuters and employee organizations.