Wellington Scoop

City councillor standing down, says he’s faced “a heavy toll”

simon woolf

Wellington city councillor Simon Woolf has decided not to stand for re-election next year. He announced his decision on Facebook, and referred to difficulties caused by “aggressive personality politics.”

Announcement from Simon Woolf
To the people of Wharangi Onslow Western. It is my intention to stand down from Council at the next election. It has been an honour and a privilege, to represent you for what will be 9 years.
I am proud of what I have been able to achieve.

Highlights for me include, (in my first term) supporting The WCC Youth Council becoming recognised as being Best Practice, championing the Wilf Glover Terawhiti Artificial Turf, helping to ensure the funding for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, advocating for Island Bay residents over the cycleway debacle, and promoting the new Conference and Exhibitions Centre. I have thrived and enjoyed the constituency work too.

Most of all I am proud to have been the voice for many members of our community. often those who had no voice.

Indicating my intention now will give time to allow potential future candidates to do due diligence, prepare for a campaign, and seek guidance. I have never believed in lengthy terms for any elected office. There always needs to be new blood, and new ideas for healthy organisations to succeed.

This term has taken a heavy toll on me. Councils need to enable people the opportunity to stand and represent their community. The current Council culture and environment makes a pathway into Council difficult, and being on Council, even more difficult. It needs to change, with less party politics centred on The Beehive, and no more aggressive personality politics.

There needs to be a working environment where elected representatives can do what they were elected to do, and make Wellington a great city.

I remain committed to Wellington, the city I love. I have met some extraordinary people during the last 8 years. Wellington would not thrive without the many people who give their time, energy and expertise freely. I wish to thank all those people who care deeply for our city, and who are unafraid to stand up for it.

I am so grateful to many individuals and organisations I have worked alongside. It has been humbling. There are too many people to name individually, however, I must mention my colleague Diane Calvert, who is always prepared to represent Wellington’s constituents with courage, wisdom and fairness.

What I have learnt on Council will hold me in good stead for future roles in advocacy, governance and dispute resolution. I will have more time to invest in some key charities, and as always, I will have a camera in hand!

Finally, I am so grateful to my family and friends. My wife Megan, and our children Noah and Lily-Jane and our small family, which is a close one, who have been so wise, patient and understanding. I am very appreciative and grateful to have them all by my side.

Rest assured I will be doing my best to represent Wharangi Onslow Western and Wellington until the next elections in October. Thank you, Kia Kaha and only the best.


  1. Vicki Greco, 23. November 2021, 9:58

    Fleur and her mean girls owe Wellington an apology. They are the ones who should be resigning. Watching a Council meeting I was shocked by their behaviour.

  2. Polly, 23. November 2021, 10:30

    Thank you Simon, one of the best we have had …. and Diane Calvert will miss you as, like you, she listens to Wellingtonians. However a few months to go so no doubt you will keep up the good work.

  3. ian apperley, 23. November 2021, 10:35

    Quite a loss for the ward that Simon has represented.

    One of the things that I like about Simon was that from the beginning, he challenged the status quo and asked questions of the CE and officers. I remember him being pulled into the Principal’s Office (Lavery) on more than one occasion, after asking some pretty simple questions, or, wearing his heart on his sleeve on Facebook.

    The WCC has become a political battleground with central party politics dominating for the most part and truly independent Councillors in very, very short supply.

    Well done Simon for lasting so long in the shark tank. Thanks for the views of the city through your lens, long may that continue!

  4. Jim, 23. November 2021, 10:38

    Vicki. Why? Just because they didn’t do what you wanted? It’s a good thing the conservative block are in the minority otherwise nothing would ever happen in this city. Sparrow, Calvert, Young and Woolf appear to not want anything to change and are happy with the city lumbering along to nowhere. At least the other councilors have clear positions.

  5. Claire, 23. November 2021, 10:39

    Vicki: I watched the voting on June 24th. It was appalling misguided grandstanding, and a betrayal of ratepayers. I doubt that the faction understand the consequences of their voting and in going against planners’ advice. I believe possibly there will be more councillors not standing again.

  6. Harold Rodd, 23. November 2021, 10:44

    What will happen to the Code of Conduct complaint against Fleur and her caucus colleague?

  7. Vicki Greco, 23. November 2021, 11:37

    Jim. I was talking about their behavior, not how they voted.

  8. Helene Ritchie, 23. November 2021, 11:55

    Go Simon! Duty done and thanks. Your constituents will be grateful for your nine years’ service.
    You are a brilliant photographer which bodes well for a bright future.

  9. Ray Chung, 23. November 2021, 13:29

    I have the greatest respect for you Simon, and I understand why you don’t want to run again and respect your decision. You always projected your arguments in a gentlemanly manner and were eminently sensible in your arguments and decisions. You can be proud of your time on the council and I don’t know how you managed to remain patient. You’ll be sorely missed on the next council and many, many thanks for your years of service.

  10. Kara Lipski, 23. November 2021, 16:35

    I have always had great respect for Simon since I first met him years ago. Working on behalf of the community has its plus and minus, but be assured Simon, those who you have represented will miss you. Politics at any level is never easy. Go well and enjoy life.


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