The Fairfax Press has been talking about how Wellingtonians are expected to bail out some loss-makers, such as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. And that the decision to do this has been made behind closed doors. The city’s debt is over $200 million—we were looking at very similar numbers at the time of the 2007 local body elections.
I’m curious now that it is election year why most of my opponents have not talked about job creation. There has, instead, been some easy talk about pedestrianizing, which might give a short-term boost to contractors. That’s all well and good, but we need bigger change.
It’s why I’ve talked about free wiﬁ for some time. It’s not a whim. Open it up and creative and tech businesses will come here. There is plenty of evidence to show that if you can create industry clusters, you can ﬁnd success. And what are Wellington’s most likely clusters that we can build quickly and create jobs with? Creative and tech.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if we attract more new businesses here, we will collect more rates, which means the burden on ratepayers is spread more fairly.
Clusters can be created easily if there’s a will—and Sir Peter Jackson and his work in the ﬁlm industry have reminded us this much.
As to funding our loss-makers, it incenses me that this was all done behind closed doors, in what the Fairfax Press calls secret meetings.
No more. My term, if you elect me, will be about transparency. Decisions like this will be put, openly, on to a city blog—the prototype of which is Your Wellington. You can’t make a council meeting? No worries: you can comment online and have your say.
By being transparent about everything, we’ll force the groups that want city aid to put up a heck of a business case, and convince us that they won’t repeat the same mistakes and come cap-in-hand to us again in a few years’ time.
The 2010 mayoral election is not about the same old élites, but about understanding that Wellington is on the cusp of something great. The best person for the job is someone who represents us and realizes our potential—not someone who will land us in the same old funk again.
PS.: Please feel free to use the new campaign graphic. Props to Maree Hoare for the slogan. Bigger ones are below.—JY