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September 30, 2019 | by  | in News |
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More People Who Want To Be Your Mayor, Nice

 

Wellington general elections are here, and, Salient has taken the time to get to know the candidates so you don’t have to! This week, we talk to candidates Don “Newton” McDonald, Diane Calvert, Jenny Condie, Andy Foster, and Norbert Hausberg.

 

Our interview with Justin Lester and Conor Hill can be found in last week’s issue. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach candidates Ajay Rathod and Andrew Graham Cox in time for publication.

 

What are your areas of focus?

 

McDonald: “Growth is bad. All resources are limited. So my immediate plan, if I’m elected, is to sharply halve world population, cars, kilometres, flights, and runways.” 

 

Hausberg: “Well, the platform I’m standing on is Wellington carbon-neutral by 2022. Because we have to do much more, much faster to get anything done. The way the council is moving at the moment, we’ll still be discussing things by 2050, and then it’ll be certainly too late.”

 

Calvert: “I’ve been really active in advocating for the city about the bus situation. Also for me. it’s about building connected communities. So it’s not all about the CBD. It’s about making our suburban communities strong, not forgotten about. And we need more housing.” 

 

Condie: “My biggest priority is climate action. I’ve got two little boys who are six and three. And so by 2100, they will be 88 and 85. And the UN talks about there being up to a metre of sea level rise by 2100. And it’s easy to think that it’s science fiction, but when I think about it in the context of my children, it’s when they will be grandparents. So it suddenly feels more concrete and emotional and immediate.   

 

Foster: “One is a more livable city, a city where people are housed. We’ve got a bit of a housing deficit at the moment, about 3800 homes. The second part of that is that we actually actively get involved in the development of housing. So I’m a fan of having what we call an urban development agency—that would allow us to buy land; plan for how that land would be developed.”

 

Would you work to improve Justin Lester’s Rental Flat WOFs?

 

McDonald: “There’s been a saying for five or seven years—‘warm dry houses’. So I say, how warm? Now, we’re in the library here at Newtown. It’s very warm here. You’ve got a shirt on; I’ve got my jacket. Wellington has a moderate climate. So warm and dry—how dry?”

 

Hausberg: “My idea was this: you run the property where you’re prepared to live in, full stop. So landlords have to do more. And I live in an area with some seriously shonky, slum landlording going on and I’m always amazed that people even rent these things. But let’s look at the price, too, because the rental properties are just out of this world.”

 

Calvert: “Well, some of these ideas are great, but we only had about two, three people register—so something wasn’t working. There’s a big, big fanfare but is it actually making a difference?”

 

Condie: “I think the biggest thing around a warrant of fitness has to be inspection enforcement. It’s all well and good to write a warrant of fitness, but if you can’t actually inspect and enforce them on the properties, then it doesn’t really do much good.”

 

Foster: “Every house should be a healthy house, and to put people into houses which are cold, damp, poorly ventilated, have mould—that’s just not on. The standard has to rise. That does come with some cost, but fundamentally, people have the right to live in a home that’s healthy. 

 

What’s your advice for VUW students running for Wellington Regional Council?

 

McDonald: “Have your say. They’re going to squeeze [all the candidates] in and I skipped some meetings because I wasn’t gonna get a fair opportunity. So I skipped some meetings. Yeah definitely, go for it.”

 

Hausberg: “If you have some multimillionaire at hand or some movie magnate—very handy, very handy. Because in the end, it all costs money.”

 

Condie: “I’ve been so impressed with them in debates and on the campaign trail. Tamatha Paul has rolled out a massive volunteer network of door-knocking. They are running really good campaigns. I don’t think they need me to tell them what to do.”

 

Foster: “I think the first thing is knowing why you’re standing, what it is you want to achieve. Try to make sure that those the messages you’ve got are coherent and that it all fits together.”

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