More local body winners

As Len Brown’s second term winds down in disgrace before he is even sworn in we really should look at local body politicians who are winners and not ratbags.

Anna Kirk

A friend and favourite of the Whale, and a popular choice of voters in Taupo who re-elected her on Saturday, 12 October.  Anna Kirk is the daughter of former National Party president Judy Kirk.  Probably one of the smartest people in local government, and very well networked throughout Taupo and in Wellington.  Like many politicians in a smaller district council, Anna doesn’t get the public exposure that elected members get in larger metropolitan centres, but she does earn the backing of her constituents in a conservative district, and has some of the best campaigning pedigree in the country.

Paul Eagle

A Labour man with ambitions to replace Annette King in Rongotai, Councillor Paul Eagle has emerged as a formidable grass roots politician following his comprehensive re-election to Wellington City Council.  A top polling candidate in Southern Ward, Paul is well regarded by voters in Newtown and Island Bay, and acknowledged as one of the better advocates on Wellington City Council for policy issues that play well with his Labour branches.  Will have his work cut out to transform support for his council role into support from Labour members to overcome Helen Kelly and Andrew Little for a plum red seat when it comes up in the future.   

Nick Legget

Whatever you think about the Mayor of Porirua, Nick Leggett is a very clever politician.  From the right-wing of the Labour Party – a faction that has almost been suffocated from a lack of oxygen in a party that has become increasingly left-wing – Leggett overwhelmingly won a second term as in this cosmopolitan outpost north of Wellington.  Possibly suspecting that his skills will never been highly regarded in the Labour machine, Leggett has thrown his support in behind Fran Wilde’s bid to create New Zealand’s next super city.  Would be in line for the deputy position in any new council, and the heir apparent to inherit the mayoral chains at some point.  Was also elected to the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

Fran Wilde

The former left-wing Labour Cabinet Minister under Lange, Palmer and Moore, who transformed into a darling of the right in the 1990s, Fran Wilde retired for the Wellington mayoralty but has re-emerged as the chair of the Wellington Regional Council.  Was overwhelmingly re-elected on Saturday 12 October despite being the architect of a controversial plan to amalgamate the region’s city and district councils.  Fran is known as a woman with a name that is a four-letter word that starts with “F”.  Be that as it may, she is one of the best political operators in local government today.

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