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Leggett announces Wellington mayoral bid

Nick Leggett will stand for Mayor as an independent.

Sun, 10 Apr 2016

Nick Leggett announced today:


Announcing his candidacy for the Wellington mayoralty, Nick Leggett says the city needs new leadership and the kind of energy he can bring to the role.

“Wellington is a great city that deserves great leadership, but it’s been stalled at the lights in recent years,” Mr Leggett said.

“As well as offering world class services and infrastructure, it’s up to the council to create fertile conditions that bring economic growth, new investment and high-paying jobs to the city. On that measure, we’ve been underperforming — and Wellington’s overdue a resurgence.”

Mr Leggett will stand for mayor as an independent.

“I’ve never believed party tickets play a constructive role in local government,” Mr Leggett said.

“Wellington’s mayor should foster a new sense of civic pride – and rally the council and community behind a vision to make the city as enticing, liveable and exciting as we know it can be.  Party labels and petty bickering are distractions we can’t afford — in local body politics, the word ‘local’ should count for a lot more than the word ‘politics’,” Mr Leggett said.

Leggett says his connections to Wellington “run DNA-deep”.

“My family has lived here for six generations. I went to Tawa College and Victoria University and spent years working in the CBD. Porirua and Wellington’s councils might be separate entities, but we’re all Wellingtonians,” Leggett said.

Mr Leggett said he decided to enter the mayoral race after approaches from a wide cross-section of community and business leaders.

“I was struck by how people from such a diverse array of backgrounds shared the view that Wellington needs a jolt of adrenaline after a period of drift,” Leggett said.

Leggett said localised decision-making would be a key plank of his campaign.

“Widespread objections to the Island Bay cycleway demonstrate that residents expect better than heavy-handed, top-down decision-making that has more to do with the agendas of elected politicians than the needs of the community,” Mr Leggett said.

“As mayor, I will enact a policy of meaningful devolution – asking neighbourhoods to take a lead in determining local priorities, whether it’s roading improvements, better parks and recreational opportunities, or holiday programmes for kids. Technology such as social media can be a powerful engine for local democracy.”

Leggett welcomes discussion of a possible merger between Wellington and Porirua, but insists no such reform could go ahead without both cities voting on the proposal.

“I’m in favour in principle of a bigger Wellington but, like every other resident, I only have one vote. We shouldn’t be afraid of the debate, and politicians should step aside and let the community decide in the end,” Mr Leggett said.

In light of the party’s prohibition against standing in elections with endorsed candidates, Mr Leggett resigned from the Labour Party on Friday.

Nick is a very credible candidate who has been a popular and successful mayor of Porirua.

This means we now have two mayors, a deputy mayor and two councillors standing to be mayor of Wellington.

Mr Leggett was elected mayor of Porirua in 2010 aged 31 – NZ’s youngest mayor. He got re-elected in 2013 with 76% of the vote.

Political commentator and pollster David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.

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Leggett announces Wellington mayoral bid