John Morrison turns to fishing after losing mayoralty race
DARK clouds had cloaked Wellington as John Morrison received the call.
On the yachts outside the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club where Mr Morrison had planned to celebrate his victory, raindrops gathered.
“I’ve always said that the options for me were either mayor or fishing,” the mayoral hopeful said.
Staying clear of the podium set up for his victory speech, Mr Morrison said he felt disappointed for Wellington after he lost the election to Celia Wade Brown.
“We really need to get businesses and jobs but voters have decided they don’t want that for whatever reason.”
As people slowly began to filter out and champagne stopped flowing, Mr Morrison said it was his volunteers who kept him going.
“I’m thrilled that so many people supported me. The volunteers were just incredible and so enthusiastic. A lot of people sacrificed a lot of time and effort into the campaign and I thank them sincerely.”
“They thought the Wellington economy needed strong leadership to dig ourselves out of a hole,” he said.
Dermot Byrne, campaign leader for Morrison, said that he was astonished at the results.
“Wellington has lost,” he said, “People are stuck with status quo. It’s easier to stick with the status quo then change.”
Mr Byrne also thought Celia Wade-Brown won because people weren’t aware of candidates’ policies, and they didn’t know the things Mr Morrison had done for the city outside of sport.
“We had to cope with the image of John as a sports jock, which seemed to be a bit of a turn off for women.”
Still a passionate advocate and friend, he felt sad the team of volunteers obviously didn’t get Mr Morrison’s message across the way they should have.
“He’s not somebody who has just sat at a table and considered ideas that were brought in by other people – he’s actually gone out and done things for Wellington personally.”
Mr Morrison, who did not run for council, understands the loss means the ends of his political career.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in the council and have achieved a lot in my time. But it’s time for someone else to step up and do that. Democracy is democracy.”