Mayor from 1992 - 1995
Fran Wilde was elected Wellington's first female mayor after resigning from Parliament, where she had been the MP for Wellington Central.
Wilde was responsible for having the 'Absolutely Positively Wellington' slogan adopted as the Council's logo after Wellington newspapers had used it in a successful promotional campaign.
Her mayoralty also saw the completion of the iconic city-to-sea bridge, the first discussion of a new multi-purpose stadium for the city, and more controversially, initial planning for an inner-city bypass.
Mayor from 1995 - 2001
Mark Blumsky, the founder of shoe retailer Mischief Shoes, was elected mayor in 1995. Building on Fran Wilde's plan to boost Wellington's image, Blumsky set up a number of agencies designed to attract companies and tourists to the city.
Totally Wellington was set up to market the city as a tourist destination, and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency was created to attract skilled workers to the city. His work on improving the film industry infrastructure helped secure many film projects for the capital, including production and post-production work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Mayor from 2001 - 2010
Kerry Prendergast, a practising midwife, was elected to the former Tawa Borough Council in 1986. She was then voted on to Wellington City Council as a member for Tawa in 1989 when the borough became part of the city. In 1995, she became Deputy Mayor and held the position for Mark Blumsky's two terms. She successfully stood for Mayor in 2001.
Her three terms as Mayor spanned a period of strong growth in Wellington's economy. She launched the vision of Creative Wellington - Innovation Capital and helped establish and build the city's reputation as New Zealand's arts, culture and events capital.
Mayor from 2010 - 2016
Celia Wade-Brown grew up in London and had a career in IT programming, consultancy and teaching. She came to Wellington in 1983 and served as Councillor from 1994 to 1998 and 2001 to 2010.
Her Mayoralty established the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency and a successful series of major events – Rugby World Cup 2011, The Hobbit World Premiere 2012, WW100, LUX and the Capital’s 150th celebrations.
Under her leadership Wellington City joined the global '100 Resilient Cities’. She strengthened the city’s international relations including China, Korea and Australia.
The city’s cycling budget increased dramatically and laneways began their transformation. Wellington became the first New Zealand city to introduce the Living Wage and declare its aim to be Predator Free.
Mayor from 2016 - 2019
Justin is a Wellington entrepreneur who co-founded Kapai and is an investor in several Wellington companies. He has an LLB and a BA (German) from the University of Otago and a Masters of Laws (LLM) from the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
Justin was elected Mayor in 2016. He joined Wellington City Council as a Northern Ward Councillor in 2010 and then served as Deputy Mayor from 2013 until 2016.
During his time as Mayor, Justin championed the living wage seeing Wellington City Council become the first accredited Living Wage Council in New Zealand, prioritised investment in social and affordable housing, and kick-started new facilities such as Waitohi - the Johnsonville Library and Community Hub - and the Wellington Convention Centre.
During his term, the Kaikōura earthquake seriously damaged the city in 2016, forcing the closure of the Central Library and nearly 20 buildings to be demolished. Justin’s leadership focused on preserving heritage, making Wellington safer, and strengthening Wellington's Town Hall.
He also took climate change seriously and focused on growth in a compact way, developing mass transit and delivering a people-focused, walkable, bike friendly city centre.