24 Aug 2010

Colourful candidates vying for council jobs in capital

9:18 pm on 24 August 2010

A former mayor, a fashionista, senior media figures and a slate of Labour candidates are vying for places around the Wellington City Council table.

Forty-four candidates have put their names forward for 14 positions in this year's local body elections.

Former Wellington mayor Sir Michael Fowler is throwing his hat back in the ring - this time as a councillor for the hotly contested ward of Lambton.

The 80-year-old artist and former architect was mayor for nine years from 1974 and says he is fit enough to handle another three years on council.

Sir Michael says he would like to see greater cohesion.

"The council meetings are just horrendous really these days, because everybody seems to have a different agenda. The mayor's got one and there are 14 councillors who've all got one of their own, and it seems to me they don't act in unison with much joy."

Former political journalist John Bishop is campaigning for a seat in the Lambton ward on a platform of job growth in the creative industry, and reining in over-zealous parking wardens.

Commercial radio broadcaster Simon "Swampy" Marsh says he was prompted to contest the Eastern ward by complaints from family and friends that the current councillors are not listening.

Another challenger for the Eastern ward challenger is local fashionista and former milliner Amanda Nicolle.

Ms Nicolle says she wants the city to progress, but not to lose its character.

"Locally in the Eastern ward ... there's a lot of redevelopment and rezoning going on around Lyall Bay and Rongotai. I'd hate to see what's happened in Auckland happen in those areas."

The Labour Party has an almost full ticket, with six candidates standing in four of the five wards.

A political adviser to the leader of the Labour Party, Marcus Ganley, is another Lambton Ward contender, who wants to promote more walking and cycling in the inner-city and bring back the Cuba Street Carnival.

Postal voting opens on 17 September and ballot boxes close on 9 October, with results to be released that night.