Some Wellington city councilors made a foolish political mistake yesterday when they allowed their names to be used in a report complaining that the new mayor hadn’t yet spoken to them about the makeup of the new council.
What were they expecting? The election result was announced on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, the mayor-elect was at a training day for new mayors. Did they want her to ignore the training (provided by Local Government New Zealand) and spend the day on her cellphone?
Ray Ahipene-Mercer is ringleader of a group who the DomPost would have us believe is made up of six instant rebels. “There is a bunch of us that need to be included … and so far we haven’t,” he complains, only 24 hours after the new mayor has been named.
It’s surprising to find Ian McKinnon in the group who the newspaper says “met yesterday to confirm” that Ms Wade-Brown had not yet spoken to them about the makeup of her council. Of all the councilors from the Prendergast years, he was one who could always be relied on to take a balanced view, and he should be aware of the limits of what’s possible to achieve in 24 hours.
Even more surprising to find Paul Eagle reported to be in the group of complaining councilors. His aims for the city – including inclusiveness – are far more aligned with those of the new mayor than with some of the others in the rebel group.
For Mr Ahipene-Mercer himself, it’s a foolish step to rush to identify himself as the leader of a group of “dissenting councilors.” Now that the DomPost has given front page treatment to the unconvincing complaint, he should be realising that a better tactic would have been to keep quiet till he’d had his first conversation with the new mayor, who – says the newspaper – will be trying to set up individual meetings with all councilors today.
Paul Eagle has contacted us to say that the DomPost report was inaccurate, he did not meet any of the five other named councilors, and he is not part of any dissenting group.
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