Wellington Scoop

Justin Lester “likely” to seek recount

Justin Lester has decided to seek a recount of the close Wellington mayoralty vote, according to a Newshub report.

Andy Foster has won the Wellington mayoralty by a majority of 62 votes ahead of Lester.

The DomPost confirms the report, quoting Justin Lester as saying he is “likely to contest the result.”

Newshub quotes Andy Foster as saying:

“The advice I’ve had is this [recount]will probably cost the city about $100,000.”

Political commentator Bryce Edwards told the DomPost the recount was unlikely to change the result, and would make Lester “look worse”. He suggested Lester move on and see if the Labour Party was interested in running him in an electorate at next year’s general election.


  1. CK, 21. October 2019, 10:19

    Waste of time even if the count is less; it was a close call but still not close enough. Lester doesn’t emulate a sense of confidence or direction. Anyway the Eastern suburbs were on the game by their first STV vote that went to Foster – a convenient default of killing two birds with one stone that would able the East to null oust Lester along with the housing/property developers. Hasn’t anyone else noticed the social divide between Wellington suburbs? The predator-free cool cat Eastern Suburbs with nice cafes and better amenities compared with the working-class Northern Suburbs that have a special kind of yin yang hell of gyms and takeaways.

  2. Stephen Todd, 21. October 2019, 18:30

    “The advice I’ve had is this [recount] will probably cost the city about $100,000.” It won’t cost the city a cent. Who on earth gave Andy *that* advice? If a candidate seeks a recount, he or she must include with his or her application a deposit of $750. That’s it. There is nothing in the Local Electoral Act 2001 (or Regulations) about who pays the cost of a recount. Therefore, if Mr Lester wants a recount, he will have to pay for it himself. There is no obligation on “the city”, legal or moral, to pay for it.

    My advice to Mr Lester and his advisers is to accept the result and move on. The vote-counting process is so rigorous that, unless the margin of victory is one or two votes, a recount would be a pointless waste of time and money.

  3. Derek, 21. October 2019, 22:35

    Hey – I’ll do a recount for $5k.

  4. michael, 22. October 2019, 10:18

    With the newly elected councillors already flexing their political muscles it won’t make much difference who gets in as Mayor. We can expect more of the same as Wellington City comes second to political aspirations and personal biases. Can’t see us remaining “The coolest little Capital in the World” for much longer.