Wellington Scoop

Justin Lester proud of achievements, launching affordable housing charity

Media release from Justin Lester
Thank you to Wellingtonians for the privilege to serve as Mayor. “I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve Wellington and make a difference in the lives of local people.

“I am touched by the public support I have received since the election. Wellingtonians have been supportive of both me and my family over my three years as Mayor, and I deeply appreciate it.

“I am immensely proud of what our team on Council achieved in my years as Mayor. We are the only council in the country investing in new social housing, we are the first ever accredited Living Wage Council, we secured a multi-billion investment for much needed transport infrastructure to get our city moving, we gave rates relief to first home buyers, made swimming free for kids under five, stood up for Te Reo and celebrated Matariki, and made major economic investments like the Basin Reserve, St James, Town Hall, Omāroro Reservoir and convention centre to improve resilience and create new jobs in our city.

“Wellington is consistently ranked as an economic hotspot and building consent levels are strong.

“This is an agenda I believe passionately in, and it is an agenda that is bigger than any one person. I hope our Council continues to fight for the values that make this city not just the coolest little capital – but the fairest as well.

“For a boy who grew up in a state house in Invercargill, serving our capital city as Mayor has been the privilege of my life. I’m gutted to leave this job, but I’m looking forward the next challenge.

“I wish our new Mayor and Council the best of luck over the next three years. This is a wonderful city and it deserves bold, compassionate leadership. We must not see the progress we have made over the last three years lost to short sighted or politically expedient thinking. The majority of Councillors have been prepared to stand up for initiatives, even when they are unpopular, because the city needs to take a long term view. Progress requires change, which isn’t always easy, but is necessary.

“For me, I plan to continue to contribute to our city, but in a different way. My wife Liz and I are establishing an affordable housing charity to help more Wellingtonians into housing when they might not have been able to achieve this on their own. I also intend to continue my business career and help grow local businesses.

“I thank all Wellingtonians for the privilege of serving them as Mayor, and I look forward to what the future holds for my family and our city,” says Justin Lester.


  1. Local, 9. November 2019, 13:28

    An affordable housing charity sounds laudable but why not join up with and support the already established Habitat for Humanity?
    Does Cassels not have an “ affordable housing” proposal tying up the Council in long term leases, to house professionals such as police and nurses?

  2. Rumpole, 9. November 2019, 14:46

    Committing ratepayers to lease residential accommodation from a private developer in Willis Street set alarm bells ringing. “The piper calls the tune”.