Wellington Scoop

Justin Lester applies for mayoralty recount; district court to decide

News from WCC
Wellington City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery says it is expected that a District Court judge will make a decision next week on whether a recount of the Mayoral election results can proceed or otherwise.

The following text is from an email sent by Mr Lavery to the Council’s elected members and community board members this afternoon:

Justin Lester has filed an application for a recount of the votes in the District Court today. We expect to have a Court decision next week on whether the recount will be granted or not. If there is a recount this may take some time.

Today we sought legal advice in relation to implications for our current plans. It’s important that we continue to conduct the business of Council. To this end the Mayor, Councillors, Committees and Council need to be fully empowered to make decisions. Otherwise I would be solely responsible for all major decisions for an extended period.

In 2016, shortly after the election, we faced the Kaikoura earthquake and had to consider whether or not to declare a state of emergency. It would not be right for me as Chief Executive to have to make a decision like that on my own. This is why it is important that the Mayor-elect and Councillors are all properly sworn in.

We will therefore proceed with our induction programme and we will not be postponing the inauguration ceremony scheduled for next Wednesday. Over 350 are expected to attend.

Any decisions that are made after the swearing in and before the outcome of the potential recount will be lawful regardless of the Court’s decision.

I will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Andy Foster names his deputy mayor


  1. Caught Jester, 25. October 2019, 18:29

    If Lester is somehow returned by the skin of his teeth, I look forward to certain people declaring he has no mandate to follow through on any of his initiatives due to the slim margin, and demanding he install a right wing deputy or else. In other news – flying pig spotted in Wellington.

  2. Hel, 25. October 2019, 20:09

    The reality is that Mayors don’t have a mandate to do anything – they have one vote, like every other Councillor. Foster will soon find out that much of his electoral platform is going to be near impossible to deliver unless he can bring a majority of Council with him.

  3. Alf the Aspirational Apteryx, 26. October 2019, 8:24

    If you’re too thick to fill in a voting form correctly you don’t deserve to have it counted.

  4. Invalid, 26. October 2019, 9:14

    Why aren’t all loser candidates shouting out for a recount? If one is going to be eligible on the basis of so-called “invalid” votes then they all must be! If Lester is insisting on a manual count, we may as well know the results for all candidates in the count! But maybe some of the valid votes were really “invalid”??
    More paralysis?

  5. BHS, 26. October 2019, 9:21

    It’s getting like a mini Brexit. Lester is like Corbyn, UK’s Labour leader, and just can’t accept the vote of the people.

  6. Peter Kerr, 26. October 2019, 9:29

    Alf, I rather think that if you’re too thick to post a reply that is pertinent to the article, you don’t deserve to have it published.

  7. Pink Timber, 26. October 2019, 9:58

    Doesn’t say much for Lester’s supporters does it Alf?

  8. Morris Oxford, 26. October 2019, 15:17

    Pink Timber – it is quite possible for the votes for other candidates to be dodgy as well.

  9. BHS, 27. October 2019, 15:45

    I can’t believe Lester would want to be the Mayor again after the mess he and the Regional Council have left Wellington in, for the ratepayers who will be paying for a recount. We need new blood.

  10. D.W., 27. October 2019, 20:34

    New blood BHS? Andy Foster has been a councillor for decades!