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Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:15 pm

Council makes appointments to fill Eagle’s vacancy

Councillor Brian Dawson, (front, left), is the council’s new portfolio leader for housing.

Wellington City Council today filled vacancies created by former Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle’s election to Parliament in September.

The Council approved the appointment of Eastern Ward Councillor Simon Marsh to the board of the Basin Reserve Trust.

Northern Ward Councillor Peter Gilberd was also made the councillor representative on the board of Te Wharewaka o Poneke conference centre.

Lambton Ward councillor Brian Dawson has added housing to his existing social development and living wage portfolio responsibilities by direct appointment from the mayor.

Dawson is focusing on affordable housing and looking after Wellington’s rental market, making purchasing and renting houses affordable for Wellingtonians.

“My priorities are making sure that we’ve got affordable housing coming online, which is what we’re missing in the city, we’re about 3500 short on that.”

Dawson also committed to keeping the city’s social housing programme going.

“We’re the biggest landlord in Wellington, we’re going to keep being that, we need to increase that as well as keeping the refurbishments underway.”

Dawson says the council will keep advancing its rental warrant of fitness, and continue work on the country’s first Te Whare Okioki, or wet house.

He expected more scope to work on these issues under a Labour-led government.

“Labour was one of the partners in the homelessness multi-party review and they were very active in that and one of the recommendations from that was around the rental warrant of fitness idea so we know that they’re open to the conversation.

“Phil Twyford’s already made noises about making sure that Wellington’s part of that discussion, so we’re looking forward to working constructively with them.”

Mayor Justin Lester said he was confident about appointing Councillor Dawson to the role.

“Brian’s going to be great, he’s really committed to housing and making sure we build more affordable housing in the city.

“And there’s a really simple answer, we need to partner with the government to build more houses, and we’re going to get on with the job and do that.”

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