Wellington Mayor Andy Foster has fond memories of City Voice from early in his Council career.
“City Voice was a quality paper. It was always 100 per cent professional while run on a shoestring by people dedicated to bringing valuable, accurate local news to our city and allowing citizens to have a voice. Editor Simon Collins exemplified that with his incredible work ethic, professionalism, and service.
“The newspaper always encouraged debate and response. I recall many good back-and-forward debates in the letters columns – and even got involved in a few!
“City Voice always focused on playing the issues, not the people. I took a quick look back at some files and the first example I found was City Voice’s report on its own 500-person survey about waterfront issues, at the height of community debate on those issues.
“Their report was headlined ‘Wellingtonians split over waterfront,’ and detailed what the survey found. That’s the kind of fair, accurate, reporting I remember City Voice for. City Voice’s tag line ‘news you can use,’ was so apt.
“I am thrilled that our library team have digitised nearly 400 editions of City Voice. They capture an important part of our city’s history.”
Pukehinau Lambton Ward Councillor Iona Pannett, who stepped into launch the digital collection at an event on 26 May as Mayor Foster recovers from Covid, says City Voice marked one of her first forays into political activism.
“I was concerned that City Voice accepted advertising from a sex shop that sold material which objectified women. Editor Simon Collins was very responsive to these concerns and the paper changed its policy.
“It was that attitude which made City Voice such a vital part of the community. It was fair, fearless and strived to include a diversity of voices and opinions. It punched above its weight and was well ahead of its time.”
City Voice founding editor Simon Collins says the paper aimed to give ordinary Wellingtonians a voice on the issues that concerned them, and to provide the information they needed to get involved in those issues and in the life of the city generally.
“We tried to open the paper to everyone, not just the rich and powerful elite who dominate the 'news' in the mainstream, commercial media.
"We set up the paper as a worker-owned cooperative so that it would be run by and for everyone who worked for it, not just for the investors who generously invested in it.
"More than 20 years after the paper closed in June 2001, it's wonderful to see it being made available to the world digitally! I hope that it might still be an inspiration for others. We still can create media that work for ordinary people, and we, the people, can use the media to get involved in our community and in the world."