Press Release – Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
Which of the Wellington mayoral candidates has an action plan? Which looks like they have their finger on the pulse? Which is offering more of the same? Which two oppose the Living Wage? What are their views on extending the airport runway and how would they pay for it?
The answers to these and other questions to the six mayoral candidates are released today by Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, and they make interesting reading.
The Chamber sent questions to all candidates in the October 12 election as part of its contribution to helping ratepayers get access to the best information possible before postal voting opens on September 20.
The mayoral candidates are: Rob Goulden, John Morrison, Karunanidhi Muthu, Celia Wade-Brown, Jack Yan, Nicola Young.
In answer to the first two questions, Celia Wade-Brown replied
1. Your vision for Wellington city in 2015?
My vision for 2015 is for a prosperous forward-looking smart capital. Wellington’s future is connected, collaborative and creative.
Wellington is known as a global leader in film, disaster resilience and urban ecology. Research, visitor attractions and events promote these sectors and increase their value to the city and to New Zealand.
Our inner city laneways are clean, vibrant and full of emerging enterprises – shops, cafes, bars and hubs of creativity. The footfall along the Golden Mile has increased due to more events and attractions. Wellington is known as a “foodie destination”.
Our world-class mountain-biking, ocean sports and public art excite and attract more visitors and residents. People enjoy walking, running and cycling safely in Wellington, for commuting and leisure.
2. Five specific initiatives to ensure that Wellington has a business-friendly environment:
Online processing for more services such as consents and liquor licenses.
A councillor assigned specific responsibility for retail and SME liaison and
Continuing our Events Forum and expanding membership so businesses are more involved and aware of upcoming events
A one-stop shop for queries about development – building, resource consents and follow-ups to monitor progress on-line
Continue the regular WECC meetings with Mayor and CEO and expand them to include Councillors and Executive management.
Develop a more business-friendly culture so we welcome new and expanding businesses, while being clear about any rules and limitations eg height and noise
And John Morrison’s responses to the same two questions
1. Your vision for Wellington city in 2015?
I will help restore a sense of passion, pride and positivity through strong and decisive leadership that will unite councillors with a common purpose and goal
We need a council that shows care for family, ethics, honesty and personal integrity
We need to stimulate Wellington’s economic growth, build more robust businesses and start creating more jobs that will keep our children and grandchildren at home
We need to reclaim our title of the Creative Capital of New Zealand and stimulate the vibrancy and passion that is Wellington
The environment doesn’t have to be in conflict with its people who live here. We need a common-sense balance between the built and natural environments
We need to reclaim our swagger as a city and start winning things again
2. Five specific initiatives to ensure that Wellington has a business
Within 100 days of election, convene a leadership summit and talk to business, arts and culture, education, sporting codes, recreational, IT, restaurant, hospitality, tourism, construction sectors about ways to create momentum to get the city going again.
To promote economic growth, jobs and business opportunities with more focused assistance from the council
Restore relationships with central Government – the capital’s biggest employer – and put Wellington’s case for its share of taxpayer funding of major projects.
Simplify consent procedures and make it easier and more cost-effective to do business with the council
Create more user-friendly parking, including off peak hours so that Wellingtonians can shop in the CBD, go to restaurants and theatres
The complete answers to all 17 questions from all the mayoral candidates can be found on the chamber’s website.
The responses from those standing for councillor will be released tomorrow.
Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley said the Chamber would not be commenting on the answers. “The Chamber is non-partisan, and will not endorse individual candidates or political parties. We were interested only in asking the questions and believe the answers will speak for themselves.
“We asked the questions in the interests of enhanced transparency and good democracy so we can help to identify candidates who support actions and policies which will enhance Wellington as a good city to do business in.
“We support local government policies which enable business to flourish and which promote the interests of Wellington.
“Wellington is at a crossroads so it’s vital everyone is as informed as they can be heading into this election.
“We need a council that is fit for purpose and ready and capable of taking on the challenges ahead. We want to see people with vision and expertise running our city.”
The Chamber expects the answers to prompt further questions when the Wellington Employers’ Chamber partners with The Dominion Post and Massey University to host the mayoral candidates’ debate this Thursday at Massey University at 5.30pm. This will be a free event, open to the public.
• Last day to enrol: 6 October
• Postal voting starts: 20 September
• Voting closes: Midday 12 October (to be valid, papers must be hand delivered or posted to arrive by this date and time)