DomPost readers may be surprised this morning to find that the paper gives top marks to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in last night’s mayoral debate at Massey University. Past reports of city council affairs in the DomPost have sometimes seemed to be positioning the mayor in a less than favourable light. But things have changed this morning.
Reporters Katie Chapman and Michael Forbes give her eight of ten for her performance in the debate.
Here’s how the DomPost describes the mayor’s debating success:
It was Celia Wade-Brown who won on the night, after coming out swinging in a debate peppered with barbs and questions…
Ms Wade-Brown talked about making Wellington a place where people wanted to live… Economic development showed its hand as the hot-button item… Ms Wade-Brown said making Wellington attractive to live in would attract business…
Leadership … was another strong theme, but Ms Wade-Brown had come prepared, with a stack of figures to back up her points helping her gain crowd support throughout the night. She was staunchly unapologetic about tight council votes, saying there were bound to be 8-7 decisions as long as there were 15 councillors. “An 8 to 7 vote is as good as it was in the Rugby World Cup.”
And the DomPost’s scorecard for the mayor:
Spoke well and had the most convincing delivery. Was not afraid to debate other candidates’ ideas as well as outlining her own… Talked a lot about telling the “Wellington story” without making clear what it was. Sounded a lot more convincing when talking up the benefits of a living wage and better public transport. Enjoyed the lion’s share of the applause but most of it was there from the beginning.
Second equal position in the DomPost scorecard is given to John Morrison and Jack Yan – each with seven out of ten. The DomPost team are specially enthusiastic about the debating prowess of Jack Yan:
The night’s biggest surprise … His vision spoke for itself. Preached more business-minded thinking in politics and a rebranding of Wellington, which went down well. Appeared to have won the most new fans.
And their assessment of John Morrison, who they say “cruised his way throughout:”
Made it clear that improving relationships with central government and building more infrastructure was the way forward, but that was about all that fired him up.
They are less than favourable about the other candidates. “Ms Young fumbled … Rob Goulden drew the most jeers … Karunanidhi Muthu failed to really fire up the crowd.”