Tena Koutou Katoa

Councillors, council officers, Members of Parliament.

Former Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown; I would like to acknowledge your 20 years of service to Wellington – thank you.

Distinguished Wellingtonians.

Six months ago, I stood in the Wharewaka down on the waterfront, on a typically sunny Wellington day, and I announced I was running for Mayor.

I said I was standing because I loved this city and I knew that together, we could make it even better.

Over the course of the campaign, I spoke to tens of thousands of Wellingtonians who felt exactly the same way.

Wellingtonians who see the enormous opportunities in front of our city and want positive, active leadership to help us seize them.

I want to congratulate all of our elected members who have put their hand up to run for Council help make this happen.

I am incredibly proud of the passionate, committed team of councillors that we have - people who have put themselves forward because they want to serve their city. I wish you all the best and I know you will do a fantastic job.

Everyone I spoke to on the campaign trail told me the same thing:

  • They loved this city and everything it represents.
  • They love that it’s vibrant, that it’s creative and connected. 
  • They love that it’s tolerant, welcoming and progressive.

It’s a city where we look out for each other and where we cheer each other’s success.

It’s a city where it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you have a lot of money or if you’re still trying to get ahead but if you put in the effort, it’s a city where anything is possible.

Our mission as a council over the next three years is to make sure we are delivering on the promise of Wellington.

So, I’m going to start today as I intend to do over the next three years. To talk less and to do more. 

As Mayor, I have three main priorities.

The first is boosting our economy, creating jobs and helping to lift incomes.

We will deliver the largest programme of investments in Wellington’s economic development in a generation:

We will build a film museum and a convention centre;

We will back our local businesses by ditching outdating by-laws;

We will introduce a one stop shops for consents so that if you’ve got a great idea it’s easier than ever to turn it into a thriving business. 

But I then want to use the proceeds of that growth to make sure we aren’t just the coolest little capital, but the fairest as well.
We’re going to finish the job around the living wage, and invest in new social housing and the countries first wet house, because in Wellington we look after each other and we don’t forget about those in need.

Second, we’re going to fix our transport and get Wellington moving. We’re going to sort out congestion at the Basin and invest in cheaper and more reliable public transport while we do it.

Thirdly, we’re going to do much more to ensure that housing in this city remains affordable. Wellington is humming right now and that’s fantastic but we’ve got to ensure that first home buyers aren’t left behind. 

That’s why we’re going to deliver a rates rebates for people building new homes, and why I’ve asked Paul Eagle to lead a special taskforce on housing.
I’m extremely optimistic about what we can achieve together as a Council.

We’ve got a team with a great mix of experience and new talent.

We’ve got a council organisation and officers that are at the top of their game. 

We’ve got active, engaged Wellingtonians who want to play their part in making things better for the city they love.

Wellington, it is my greatest honour to have been elected your mayor and I’m going to spend every day trying to live up to expectation and leading a council that works with you to make this city even better.

I know we can do it, and we can do it together.

Thank you.