Sir Frank Kitts and Lady Kitts were family friends. Sir Frank led a Wellington
that was in surplus, and he was very accessible. In fact, he helped my
family settle here, making sure, among other things, that my mother was
getting the correct pay as a nurse at Wellington Hospital.
While he wasnt mayor of Wellington at this point,
he still worked tirelessly for the community.
And that idea of public service and accountability still
inspires me today.
In the 1960s and 1970s, it was arguably easier for people
to find out about their city.
Newspapers were widely read and people could go along
to council meetings after reading public notices. It also helped that
society was more homogeneous than it is today.
Unfortunately, the council still works as though its
still the 1970s.
For example, my own street is getting some yellow lines
no-parking painted. The process is still about newspaper notices and written
On bigger matters, you have to go to meetingsprovided
you knew about them.
Sometimes, they might even be held behind closed doors,
While the WCC website isnt bad as an information
source, Im not seeing it used to its full potential.
Ive long advocated blogs as a medium, where city
policies can be stated and people can comment in their own time.
You could link these to Facebook and Twitter if need
But I want to see decisions made fully transparently.
Put all the proposals online. And let the comments steer council decisions.
Were too busy these days to get to council meetings
or write formal submissions. Lets at least recognize that.
If the ideas are good, then we have nothing to fear
from Wellingtonians telling us what they think.
And making things such as expenditure transparent will
up the game for those who expect council hand-outs.
I believe its your citythe way you want
Being a public figure in the 2010s
Imagine being able to Tweet your next mayor and
have your say without layers of management. If Sir Frank Kitts were alive
today, hed be on Twitter. Thats what you can expect from me.
I originally set up the Your Wellington website to show
you what might be possible. Put up a bunch of city issues and see
what Wellingtonians think of them.
For a small time, it was my de facto campaign
site, but now that this one exists, Your Wellington can go
back a little to its original role.
The idea behind it: you tell me what you want
from your city.
If elected, you can expect to be able to help
drive city policy using Your Wellington.
The Wellywood sign
I say no to this signand the majority of Wellington has said
no, too. When I heard that most of you hated it as much as I did,
then I acted: I approached the Hollywood Sign Trust and the Hollywood
Chamber of Commerce, who own the original. Lets get them on
board to block this sign.
I can promise you that under my watch, you will
never get a surprise like this landed on youbecause I believe
in consulting the public and being fully accountable.
If it gets put up, youll bet that I will
fight the powers-that-be to get it removed. Wellington is the creative
capital, not a tacky Hollywood wannabe.