by Celia Wade-Brown
This victory is not mine alone, but the strength of many of us. I acknowledge all those mentors and ancestors who have gone before us. The lessons from my grandmothers, parents and other leaders helped me stand for the Mayoralty in 2010 and again in 2013.
The help of many volunteers and supporters built our success – volunteers and supporters from the diversity of Wellington. People from places including our neighbouring Pacific Islands, and from as far as The Congo, the Phillipines, India, Iraq, England and the Americas, even from Auckland. Volunteers and supporters from social agencies, good businesses, hospitality, Council flats and heritage villas, from Tawa to Owhiro Bay.
Thank you thank you thank you
Together, over the last months in particular, we have taken a message of hope, of hope for the future to the people of Wellington, and beyond.
Our message is that everybody counts, that diversity is our strength.
Our message is that everyone deserves a warm affordable home.
Our message is that Wellington’s strengths can lead investment in the economy, in good jobs for all ages.
Our message is that good business and good technology is part of the solution to poverty, to housing and to climate change.
Our message is that we are stronger when we work together – different political views, different ages, different ethnicities (yes, Celts are a minority culture!)
Sometimes we have challenged accepted wisdom – traffic growth should not overwhelm our sense of place and a cycling Mayor is a good choice for Wellington.
Over the next three years we’ll build on the achievements in the community, transport and events we’ve already made. Job growth, manageable population growth, return of our native wildlife and arts successes deserve celebration.
We have a clear mandate for a modern progressive Smart Capital that’s dynamic, connected, people-centred and proud of our closeness to nature.
My vision for the new economy will see design-led and IT firms flourish in the capital, especially in the hi-tech quarter from Cuba to Cambridge, and the inspiring film industry attract visitors and workers alike.
The performing arts have real opportunity for greater collaboration in the region and across genres. Shared venues and more festivals and promotion will mean creatives can earn a living in our capital.
Centres of excellence in disaster resilience and urban ecology offer increased attraction for students while solving real world problems and creating commercial spin-offs.
There will always be people in less glamorous jobs, and I’m committed to introducing a Living Wage. I’ll also work with employers, police and education and training providers on initiatives to reduce youth unemployment in the capital.
My vision for healthy affordable transport has a big focus on improved cycling facilities, safer routes to schools and working with our partners in the Regional Council and tertiary institutions to make public transport affordable, attractive and reliable. Council must consider transport in the wider city, not only the State Highway corridors.
Wellington’s built and natural environments are beautiful and special. A significant and sustainable heritage fund is an urgent priority and work is advanced on this. We will plant two million trees by 2020, clean up stormwater and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
My vision for Wellington will increase warm dry affordable housing available to rent and buy, through urban regeneration not urban sprawl. We will work with private developers, the third sector and HousingNZ.
Council must work well together, including the frank expression of different priorities and a good relationship between elected members and employees. In the next days I will engage with all the newly elected members so we can make rapid progress. I am confident Dr Kevin Lavery will execute our democratically led priorities effectively.
We must also work even better with other sectors – central government and its agencies, business of all sizes, residents, volunteers, social services and education. We will undertake a series of summits to work together for Wellington’s future and wellbeing.
As Mayor of the Capital, I particularly look forward to working with Mayor Len Brown and Mayor Lianne Dalziel, who share an urban vision of affordable housing, good public transport and an inclusive society.
So, I’d like to thank all my supporters – those here today and those who could not join us. I’d like to thank the voters of Wellington. And I will reach out to the agencies, businesses and organisations that collectively can make a difference for Wellington’s future.
Ko te amorangi ki mua. Ko te hāpai o ki muri.
Those that lead from the front cannot do so without the support of those leading from the back and vice versa.
This is an edited version of the speech given last night by Celia Wade-Brown after she was re-elected as mayor of Wellington for a second term.