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Friday, 26 April 2019 01:34 am

Welly’s would-be mayors and the eccentric elector elephant

te aro MAIN

CANDIDATE CONTRAST: Mayor Kerry Prendergast gets some prompting from rival candidate Bernard O’Shaughnessy at a Te Aro election meeting. IMAGE: Kent Blechynden, DOM POST

  • Celia Wade-Brown wants to be able to drink wine on south coast beaches.
  • Bernard O’Shaughnessy thinks he can smell marijuana in the hall.
  • Al Mansell will bring “fabulousity” to the city.
  • Jack Yan reckons he’s got “legit connections”.
  • Bryan Pepperell dresses in all black and says: “I stand for democracy.”
  • Kerry Prendergast wants to preserve what makes Wellington “unique and special” – and is drowned out by hecklers.

As local government election meetings go, for the 100 people squished into the Aro Valley Community Centre like a can of sardines to hear Wellington’s six mayoral candidates, it’s an eccentric night.

Each candidate gets two minutes. There’s a buzzer to warn when they have 15 seconds remaining. If they don’t stop in time, they’ll be squirted with a water gun.

Jack Yan is first up. He tells the hall full of locals how he just got four computers for the community centre, and how he is opposed to the Wellywood sign, which would have cost $300,000.

“If you vote for me, there will be a new era of transparency…and I got legit connections,” he says.

Next up is Celia Wade-Brown, who says she would like to be able to drink a glass of wine on the south coast beaches.

She is for light rail in the city, and if she could do anything to the Aro Valley Community Centre it would be to improve the kitchen.

She gets applause when she gives the centre a plant for the garden.

Bryan Pepperell says that as a city “we cannot have economic growth and sustainability if we do not live within our means”.

Bernard O’Shaughnessy – in a green wigged hat and candy-striped top – bounds up on stage with  cue cards, asking the audience to yell out “yes” or “no” when he holds up a card.

He tells “three lovely ladies in the middle” to yell “bugger off” when he asks them.

A child in the front row obliges. Often.

He says: “I support libraries and no flyover.”

Asked what he would do to improve the centre, he says he would keep it as it is, because it’s beautiful: “I thought I smelt marijuana when I walked in.”

Al Mansell says he will bring “fabulousity” to the city, and he will be “just fabulous”.

“I’m having a barbie on the 26th and we’ll have it in that park where you aren’t allowed to drink, but we will anyway, so everyone come along.”

He says he will make the centre look more fabulous by drinking outside it.

When we think it’s all over, Kerry Prendergast arrives looking classy and apologetic for being late: she was at a citizenship swearing-in ceremony.

On the question of what she would do for the centre, she says the council has already put $1million in to make it earthquake safe.

People in the crowd are yelling at her. She has little chance to complete answers.

It’s over in a couple of hours. Soup is served. People wander off into a drizzly night – including the person dressed as an elephant.

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  1. […] from Twitter is that perennial candidate Bernard O’Shaughnessy is running for mayor as a ‘Green-Labour Independent’. That […]

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