Thanks to Georgina Campbell in the NZ Herald for telling us that Saturday’s full-page newspaper advertisement about Wellington has been criticised for being out of touch with the city and containing no public health or council services information.
The issue has united local MPs from across the political spectrum who told the Herald that what people needed in a pandemic was information, not “pretty pictures in the newspaper”. The full-page advertisement, placed by the council-owned Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, launched a campaign about putting the “We” in Wellington during the Covid-19 outbreak… It’s understood WREDA took the lead on the project and did the design work. The first city councillors heard of it was in the newspaper.
Councillor Nicola Young said it was a “wasted opportunity” to promote serious health messages and explain changes to council services like recycling. “I was staggered because I thought the content was absolutely facile. We’re facing a pandemic where people need information not cosy statements like that. I thought it was embarrassing.” … Councillor Rebecca Matthews said: “If it’s a full page in the newspaper, it needs to have decent information that Wellingtonians can use.”
The Herald says Mayor Andy Foster sent an email to councillors after concerns about the campaign were raised in a Zoom meeting. “I have passed on councillors’ view that in future publicity we include, to the extent possible, practical information”, he said.
Rongotai MP Paul Eagle said the council was out of touch. The Herald quotes him as saying: “What people are expecting from the city at the moment is some decisive leadership around what a recovery plan is going to look like, not pretty pictures in the newspaper.”
Today the city council bought another full page advertisement in the DomPost – a very different one. Over-stuffed with text, and also including messages from WREDA and the Chamber of Commerce, it leaves more confusion about what the council wants to convey to us.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the move from one extreme to the other 🤦🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/kRYJlAHtuO 
— Georgina Campbell (@GeorgeKCampbell) March 31, 2020