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Leggett does a runner

Written By: - Date published: 5:58 pm, March 11th, 2016 - 16 comments
Categories: accountability, local body elections, supercity - Tags:

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett says he will announce his decision about running for Mayor of Wellington at a launch later this month. It sounds like he has already made up his mind about what he is running for; the real question is what is he running from?

Could it be Porirua’s rate increases, projected to average over 5% year on year out to 2022? This is what he told Te Manu Korihi in March last year, apropos of the scrapping of the super-City:

Mr Leggett also said that the current structure would be unsustainable for Porirua in the future because it did not have the resources like the city of Wellington had.

Leggett says he has been invited to stand by people from all over Wellington. His CV says he has a background in commercial real estate – possibly the invitations came from those with similar backgrounds? Another covert real estate merchant with an eye on those resources (and carpet-bagger to boot) is  the last thing we need in Wellington.

Justin Lester’s background in developing a successful small business chain has much more appeal. Leggett is very popular in Porirua – he should stay the course there. Otherwise he runs the risk of being seen as slick Nick “Leg-it” Leggett.





16 comments on “Leggett does a runner ”

  1. Petertoo 1

    Hang on Mike – not so fast on singing Justin Lester’s praises! Yes, he has small business experience, but from various reports Kapai doesn’t pay a living wage. It has even been suggested that the chain could be sad about the demise of zero hour contracts. Like Leggett, Lester has a background in real estate – he is still on the executive of the Property Council, so he well and truly trumps Leggett on that score. As for an eye on resources – one thing is for sure, if Leggett has any intention of selling assets, he may well be too late as Lester and Co. are getting rid of them at such a rate, there may not be much left to flog off to the developer mates come election time. In short, there may be a chance that these two faux-Labour types could cancel each other out if they go head to head – a good thing as Wellington doesn’t need either. However, that would give rise to another problematic situation. It would open the way for Celia Wade-Brown to slip through a third time or alternatively, open the door to the true-blue Nicola Young. Admittedly, she is probably the lesser evil. What is very much needed is an alternative: a decent, progressive aspirant for the Wellington Mayoralty.

    • Wainwright 1.1

      Sounds like astroturf. Who are you spruiking for?

    • Kenya 1.2

      So this attack on Lester is utter nonsense. He is paying a living wage. A bit of history. Lester has supported the living wage as a councillor for years.

      As a businessman, here’s a report in 2013 saying he was getting 75% of staff onto living wage with a plan to get to 100%


      In October last year he announced he would have it in place for all trained staff by he end of 2015.

      I understand he even took a pay cut as a director to do it.

    • Kenya 1.3

      Also: I call bullshit on the ‘zero hours’ claim on Lester. ‘It has been suggested’ is weasel words of the highest order. By all accounts Lester is a bloody good employer, as his advocacy for the living wage both as a business owner and a councillor has shown.

      • Petertoo 1.3.1

        “Also: I call bullshit on the ‘pays living wage claim’. ‘By all accounts Lester is a bloody good employer’ is (sic) weasel words of the highest order.” That was after choking on the coffee with the other implied leg-pull line. It wasn’t, “… leaves Council meeting as a well paid deputy mayor to help staff with lunch rush”, but “… forgoes exorbitant Directors fee to meet deficit in under-budgetted payroll of overblown family business.” Another hinted at line line was a doozy too. “Politician who doesn’t pay living wage votes with majority, for a small proportion of Council staff on less than subsistence level pay to get living wage – after a high profile public campaign!” Just like another of his erstwhile Labour stable-mate councillors who is also in the catering game. For heaven’s sake, Lester represents one of only two predominantly low-wage suburbs that needs its own WINZ office and has a voting base that has many families that live in very straightened circumstances. Would he really be expected to stand against paying a living wage when it wouldn’t come out of his own pocket? Yep Kenya – still chortling over your oh too-sophisticated leg-pull lines.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          from various reports

          It has even been suggested

          No weasel words there whatsoever 🙄

  2. swordfish 2

    Leggett is very popular in Porirua”

    Well, that’s certainly the spin his chums in the media keep promoting.

    The Dominion Post called him “Porirua’s Golden Boy” a few days ago.

    A couple of weeks before that, the Listener suggested he was some sort of rising star and tactical genius for Labour because he was (1) vaguely associated with the Party, (2) had won the Porirua Mayoralty for a second time and (3) like the Listener editor, was advocating Labour support John Key’s deeply unpopular flag change campaign. How this quite made him a tactical genius was never really explained.

    Reality is: Virtually no one had ever heard of Leggett when he stood for the Mayoralty. He’d received some brief publicity about 12 years earlier for being the youngest-elected councillor, but then went completely off the radar (and I think was off the Council for a term or two). Your average Porirua resident wouldn’t have known who the hell he was. Zero name recognition.

    But he was astute enough to convince the retiring Mayor, Jenny Brash, to endorse him (both from the same Northern Ward) and the resulting headlines in the local press during the campaign were enough to convince a plurality of voters (not a majority but just a plurality in a crowded field of contenders with a FPP system) to cast their vote for this virtual unknown.

    Naturally (and certainly in Porirua) the incumbent Mayor always wins their second election (particularly when the other two candidates are unknown minnows).

    Very much a Blairite type, good chum of Phil Quin and Josie Pagani, part of the extra-Parliamentary wing of the old ABC faction, long-time collaborator with former Labour-turned-Tory political operative Fran Wilde, both aggressively advocating for the deeply unpopular amalgamation of various Wellington Region Councils – a dogmatic, inherently undemocratic campaign that ultimately lost Fran her job as Wellington Regional Council Chair. And now, of course, we hear that Leggett’s been pursuing a Wellington-Porirua amalgamation behind the scenes. It’s been pretty obvious for some time that this uber-ambitious careerist has had his eye on the Wellington Mayoralty and his amalgamation plans seem to be part and parcel of his career strategy.

    • miravox 2.1

      Wellington deserves better for a mayor than a choice between a fake greenie and a couple of property development advocates.

      Still, I guess they’ve made a National/ACT candidate a redundant proposition. Just what some labourites on the right of the spectrum are calling for isn’t it? A shift to the ‘centre’ to pick up the disaffected NActs?

      • swordfish 2.1.1

        Yep, Wellington remains a Left-leaning City, Dunedin’s just about the only other place you can say that about these days (I’m talking General Election Party Vote here).

        With STV at the local body level, Wellington’s political Right know that the likes of Leggett and Lester are as good as it’s ever gonna get for them. No official Tory candidate has a snowball’s chance in hell.

        Give my regards, incidentally, to Vienna (assuming you’re still there). Had a one-night stop-over there on the way back to NZ from Blighty last year. Gave us just enough time for a quick peek around the famous old centre of that beautiful city. Particularly stunning all illuminated at night. I’d love to be there when it’s snowing.

        • miravox

          I love Wellington but I’m pretty disillusioned by local politics. Sadly, I don’t think STV has done much to increase public engagement either.

          Yes, we are still in Vienna. You’re right, the centre is beautiful in the snow, with the lights. Extra sweet that a fair proportion of the costs are paid for by business – the council / business partnership has done the sums and know that the extra customers are worth it (yeah, I know, I’m a sad case enjoying things like that).

          While acknowledging the Environment Court confrontations, Wellington did have some sort of shared vision that made the place better for residents and increase business opportunities (outstanding example – the waterfront developments) but seems to have lost the plot, imo.

  3. Wainwright 3

    Anything to keep Auckland’s right wing from being the #1 laughingstock of the country this local election round.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    I’m also wondering if he knows something the rest of us don’t.
    When we had the meetings here about amalgamation (which pretty much everyone was against) there were some comments afterwards from the commission?
    minister ? that to me implied the commission was going to go back to try to force through another amalgamation scheme ( and waste more ratepayer money) but it has all gone quiet.
    I’d love the MSM to ask the local government commission what they are currently up to

  5. The Chairman 5

    Wellington and Porirua city councils are currently in talks regarding a merger, thus that may result in him becoming redundant.

    As Wellington City Council is set to become a bigger player in the property market, one wonders if his invites are related to that and his real estate background?

    Wasn’t there talk of him possibility standing for Labour? Or is that yet to come?

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