Wellington Scoop

Justin is mayor, with a majority of 6000; Nick second, and Jo in third place

justin 2
Photo: Liana Pantaleo

Justin Lester has been elected Mayor of Wellington, with a majority of over 6000 votes.

The result was announced after 95 per cent of the votes had been counted. Some 4500 votes still have to be counted – but they are not expected to change the result.

Nick Leggett was in second place, and Jo Coughlan third, with Nicola Young fourth.

Both Coughlan and Leggett are now out of local politics – Coughlan because she ran only for the mayoralty, and not for her council seat. Leggett because he resigned from the Porirua mayoralty before having a go at Wellington. Helene Ritchie (sixth in the mayoral race after Andy Foster) is also no longer a councillor.

Nicola Young however has been re-elected as a Lambton Ward councillor, with Iona Pannett (who topped the poll in the ward) and newcomer Brian Dawson, a former vicar of St Peter’s Church.

Andy Foster (who again topped the poll in his ward) and Simon Woolf are re-elected in Onslow-Western, with Diane Calvert as a first-time councillor.

In the Eastern Ward, Sarah Free and Simon Marsh are re-elected, with Chris Calvi-Freeman as a first-time councillor.

Paul Eagle and David Lee are re-elected in the Southern Ward.

In the Northern Ward, Malcolm Sparrow is re-elected, with two new councillors – Peter Gilberd and Jill Day.

The new Wellington City Council will have three Labour councillors (Eagle, Gilberd, and Dawson) as well as a Labour mayor, and three Greens.

Today’s result does not include some special votes and voting papers returned today that are still in transit to the processing centre.


  1. George Roberts, 8. October 2016, 16:58

    Congratulations Justin. You’ve got your work cut out for you. I hope to see (1) A living wage for all council workers and contractors, (2) Stringent new building WoF and district plan rules for rapacious landlords and developers, (3) Building the vibrancy of the CBD, arts and culture, (4) An end to the runway extension, (5) An end to all road building – no tunnels, no flyovers, (6) A focus on innovative public transport, cycling and pedestrian solutions, (7) Telling the Tories on council and in central government where to stick it!

  2. DeepBlueDay, 8. October 2016, 17:42

    Well George if others think like you, Justin Lester can forget about getting unity in planning his future for Wellington!

  3. Luke, 8. October 2016, 18:11

    This is good, Jo will make an excellent MP for Ohariu Belmont or whatever it’s called nowadays.

  4. Dr Sea Rotmann, 8. October 2016, 20:00

    It will be very interesting to see how much Justin will keep pushing ‘his’ runway extension in light of the slush fund and subsidy furore and his CEO’s aversion to emails that could leave a paper trail… Will be watching his actions with interest!

  5. Hel, 8. October 2016, 20:34

    Gee George it’s that sort of attitude that leads to dysfunctional governance. Lester is saying the right things. We need a united Council working together not dogmatic know-best attitudes that will ensure nothing gets done.

  6. Ben, 8. October 2016, 21:56

    Let’s all give Justin a chance to see what he can do.
    Given he has a law degree lets hope that, when it comes to governance and other issues, he will have the ability to ensure a clear, ethical and transparent process is followed, and councillors are in control of council direction.

  7. George Roberts, 9. October 2016, 10:04

    Justin doesn’t need unity; Labour and the Greens have the majority. This is a wonderful opportunity to create a truly progressive council. No need to pander to the right wing, both in council and in the beehive.