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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 03:42 pm

Plenty of challengers take on sitting councillors

ALL NINE incumbents in the Eastern, Northern and Onslow-Western wards are standing for re-election to Wellington City Council.

However in all three wards there is plenty of competition.



The Northern Ward councillors standing again are Ngaire Best, Helene Ritchie and Haley Wain.

All support the idea of a new library in Johnsonville and want to continue their focus on re-developing the area.

In her council website statement, Mrs Ritchie says she initiated the new Johnsonville Library and she wants to continue “reversing the neglect of the Northern”.

Camilia Chin, Justin Lester, Gareth R. Morgan and Gary W. Roberts are new to the election race.

The Eastern Ward has 11 candidates for its three places and its aspirants talk of promoting the arts, the Kilbirnie town centre upgrade and a healthy green environment.

Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Leonie Gill and Rob Goulden are up for election again.

Among those up against them is a social columnist for the Sunday Star Times newspaper, a former Wellington radio broadcaster and a diversional therapist.



Taima Fagaloa, diversional therapist Mike Fiechter, former broadcaster Simon ‘Swampy’ Marsh, Mike Mellor, newspaper columnist Amanda Nicolle, Allan Probert, Rosemary Russell and Tony Travers are all new to this year’s elections and are running for the Eastern Ward.

Mike Mellor says he has a “record of standing up for the eastern suburbs”. He recently took Wellington City Council to court for poor planning of the indoor community sports centre at Kilbirnie.

There are seven candidates fighting for three spots in the Onslow-Western ward.

Sharon Blaikie, Mike Fleming, Jack Ruben and Ingrid Sage are new this year and Andy Foster, Jo Coughlan and John Morrison are standing for re-election.

Voting is conducted by postal vote. Electors are sent voting documents and must return their votes by noon on Saturday, October 9 to be counted.

As of June 2009 the current population of Wellington City was estimated to be 195,500, 87.9% of whom are eligible to vote.

In 2007 the voting turnout was low at only 40%, and the council is hoping for more interest this year.

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