Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Congratulation Celia Wade-Brown: Celia: New Mayor for WELLINGTON City

Celia's Speech
Tena kotou, tena kotou, tena kotou katoa
Ehara taku toa, he taki tahi, he toa taki tini
My success is not mine alone, as it was not individual success but the success of us working together
This is an amazing and deeply democratic outcome.
Now I am in a position to lead on issues of transport choice, clean technology and local community support. However, Wellington has spoken up for a different style of leadership and I’ll do my very best to trust, include and respect as many Wellingtonians as possible in our journey forward. Since it’s such a close call it will be doubly important to consult and involve, to have conversations as well as formal submissions.
I look forward to working with the new Councillors, developing a different relationship with returning councillors and, over time, meeting mayors from around the country.
Most of all I look forward to developing ways to reach solutions together, to ensure people’s issues are listened to and the economy, society and environmental challenges are dealt with together not traded off against each other. My background in Council, teaching, business and other countries will help that engagement.
I urge all my supporters to engage with the new Council and their own communities to work on good transport choices, appropriate technology and supporting local communities. Our work hasn’t finished – it’s just begun! I believe that people from this wonderful capital can play a leadership role in New Zealand and the wider global community.
There will be longer term issues to work on like light rail so we must start discussions about routes, costs, and benefits early.
Together with the official induction for the incoming Council, I plan to invite input from community groups and businesses to share their ideas, criticisms and explore ways of working with us.
This election result is not the end of research, work and dedication, nor the end of conversations, ideas and fun! It is the ongoing evolution of Wellingtonians' existing commitment to a resilient, cosmopolitan and beautiful city, a continuation of some trends to a cleaner ocean, renewable energy and protected biodiversity, and definitely a city where there are quality jobs and worthwhile businesses.
Our result could not have been achieved without the very broad-based campaign team and I’d like to thank Alastair, Tania, Kent, Heike, Chris, Peter G and Peter H, Patrick M and Patrick L, Liz Springford, Tane, Pauline, Pam, Alana, Ann and many more. Thanks to Iona, Steff, Jack, Paul, Marcus, Helene, Andy and Ngaire and other candidates who have supported me. Thanks to the photographers and designers who presented such a smart and convincing campaign. Thanks to the people who shared their ideas on arts, light rail, climate change and many other issues throughout this campaign.
Thanks to my fellow mayoral contenders who covered all the bases from amusing and well-dressed through knowledgeable and friendly to enraged and demagogic. We have all learnt much from this campaign and I hope we can continue to learn from each other. Today I received Kerry Prendergast’s congratulations and I’m sure I’ll draw on her knowledge and experience as we deal with some of the challenging issues ahead – with affordability, leaky homes, central government relations and climate change issues.
And MOST of all, thank you Wellingtonians, for voting for me. I will do my very best to earn and keep that confidence.
Read more from Sai Lealea's Wellington blog;

Wellington has a new mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, following the counting of special votes.

Celia Wade-Brown has been confirmed as Wellington's new mayor, defeating Kerry Prendergast by 176 votes. Video by Katie Chapman.

The result was announced by the Wellington City Council moments ago.

Wade-Brown said she was "really pleased" with the result.

"I'm feeling fine. I'm ready to learn a lot and work with the people of Wellington."

She said one of the first calls she received was from Kerry Prendergast, who called to offer her congratulations.

Asked what she was going to do this afternoon, Wade-Brown said she was about to hop on her bicycle and ride into town for a press conference.

"The media want to meet with me, so I'll do that, and make a few points."

The first thing she planned to do as mayor was to make sure that everyone on the new council had a role to play "going forward."

In a statement outgoing mayor Prendergast said: ''It goes without saying that I am tremendously disappointed at the outcome of the election. But I congratulate Celia and sincerely wish her all the very best for the huge job she now faces.

After working 12-hour days for nine years, it will be a huge change for me and it will take me some time to get used to it.

I would like to pay tribute to the councillors and staff I have worked with since joining Wellington City Council in 1989, and particularly since I became Mayor in 2001.

There have been disagreements and differing views, but together we have made many bold and innovative decisions that have helped transform this city from the grey bureaucratic town it was into the diverse and exciting place we know today."

"I would like to thank my family, who have had to share me with the city of Wellington for a long time. If there is any consolation to be had, it is in the fact that I can now spend more time being a wife, mother and grandmother."

Ms Wade-Brown will be sworn in as Mayor on Wednesday 27 October.

She beat the incumbent Kerry Prendergast by a total of 176 votes in the end, 24,881 to 24,705 votes - believed to be the closest mayoral race the Capital has seen.

A total of 632 special votes were finally included.

Special votes were needed to separate the two leading candidates for the mayoralty, former midwife Kerry

Prendergast, and Ms Wade-Brown, a keen environmentalist and Green Party member.

Just 40 votes separated the pair after the weekend's local body elections.

Some 963 special votes were originally issued.

Of these, 774 were returned to the electoral office by the deadline of 12 noon last Saturday. A total of 90 special votes had to be discarded because they could not be verified by the Registrar of Electors. Another 52 votes were disallowed because the declarations were not in order.

The Registrar is responsible for compiling and maintaining the electoral roll, only they can determine if a person is eligible to cast a vote.

The Council's Electoral Officer, Ross Bly, says special votes take more time to count as they have to be meticulously processed first.

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"We had to verify that all special voters were eligible to vote in Wellington and make sure no one had voted twice. Making sure everyone's enrolled, checking and double checking to make triply sure - this takes a lot of time when you've got almost a thousand special votes to go through," says Ross.

The results for City Councillors were announced on Saturday.


City councillor 1994-98, then 2001-10.

Born in Paddington, west London, and grew up in a council flat.

Came to Wellington in 1983, lives in Island Bay.

Married with two boys, aged 17 and 19.

Green Party member.

Campaigned to:

Develop light rail, with central government support.

Develop a new cycle and walking lane around Wellington Harbour, from Eastbourne to the south coast.

Clean up inner-city lanes, and get small businesses into them, to encourage more walking and cycling.

Focus on clean technology, including broadband and renewable energy.

Cut red tape for small and medium-sized businesses.

More local community support for libraries and initiatives such community gardens and curtain banks.

A more inclusive leadership style.

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