Justin Lester

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester in a mild panic about government departments leaving town

Justin Lester was on Q+A yesterday, showing mild panic:

Wellington mayor Justin Lester says Wellington is “well-placed” to manage further earthquakes, and he doesn?t back the idea of moving government functions to other parts of New Zealand.

Speaking to Q+A?s Jessica Mutch, Mr Lester said he thought that was a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“Look, let?s be realistic, I mean, Auckland sits on volcanoes; Christchurch, no one expected to have an earthquake down there, and that was an absolute tragedy; various different parts of the country face natural disaster events. So this is an occurrence in New Zealand, as it is in any other city in any other country in the world.

We need to live up to the risk. We need to manage the risk, and I think Wellington?s well placed.” ? Read more »

Not the first time Hayden Munro busted working for taxpayer while campaigning for Labour

Earlier today we wrote about a Labour staffer from Andrew Little’s office working on the Justin Lester campaign and now resigning and going to work for Justin Lester.

That was Hayden Munro and an earlier email leaks suggested that the Leader’s Office was working actively on the campaign using taxpayer funding to do it.

But it seems Hayden Munro has form in this regard.

Back in 2013, he was busted campaigning in the Christchurch East by-election. At the time Labour explained it away as a payroll error.

An administrative error is being blamed for taxpayer money being wrongfully used to pay a Labour Party staff member while he worked on last month’s Christchurch East by-election campaign.

The Parliamentary Service, the employer of staff who work for MPs, paid Labour Party staffer Hayden Munro while he spent four weeks working on the by-election campaign. ? Read more »

So it was true, a Little staffer was heavily involved in Lester’s campaign

Andrew Little can’t retain staff and one of his staff who was heavily involved in Justin Lester’s campaign has now scored a job with Lester.

The revolving door continues for Labour with a new appointment being made at the same time another staffer quits.

On Friday, staff in Labour leader Andrew Little’s office were told Phil Reed, press secretary for former Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, had been hired to fill the role of lead senior press secretary.

Reed replaces?Danya Levy?and his role includes being deputy to Mike Jaspers, who was appointed chief press secretary in September when he moved to the Opposition after years working in communications for New Zealand Rugby.

Jaspers filled the position left vacant since May when former Woman’s Weekly editor Sarah Stuart left after little more than a year in the role.

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Justin Lester steals from ratepayers so he can look good donating money to arts luvvies


What an arsehole.

How about fixing some pot holes?

Some widower or some poor WWII veteran who can barely pay the rates is now paying so Justin Lester can get kudos for donating their money to arts luvvies.

Justin Lester has donated his $60,000 Wellington mayoral car budget to the arts.

The new mayor has decided to give the cash, provided by Wellington City Council?for the role,?to the?city?arts portfolio budget?to help up-and-coming artists.

The arts budget funds a range of things including community arts and events, music concerts, art exhibitions, plays and cultural festivals.

“I don’t need it,” Lester said of his car allowance.

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Water, rubbish and roads? Nope. Wellington mayor will drop house prices

Wellington ratepayers will be so pleased that their new mayor, Justin Lester, wants to drop the value of their houses.

A taskforce to tackle the affordability of housing in Wellington is being set up by new mayor Justin Lester.

It will examine issues including homelessness, social housing, schemes for first-home buyers, the rental market and housing density.

The council is hoping to report its recommendations by April so it can become part of its three-year plan.

Mr Lester said he wanted to make sure housing was affordable for all Wellingtonians. ? Read more »

One voter: 16,472 votes


In the mean time, in Auckland…? Read more »

How to make $8 million of ratepayers money disappear without a trace

Justin Lester has some explaining to do and not just about his activities on the ratepayer’s dime in Hong Kong.

It seems the council, under his chairing of a key committee, has managed to magic away $8million of ratepayer cash in a ?corporate welfare payment to Singapore airlines…and all that exists in terms of paperwork is a Powerpoint presentation delivered after the deal was done…and a two page document that barely mentioned it.

A decision to subsidise?Singapore Airlines new Wellington flights for the next?decade saw virtually nothing put in writing.

Documents released by the Wellington City Council show that apart from a presentation made to councillors after the decision was made, the council generated a single two page document, which refers to the subsidy only in passing.

In January it was revealed that?Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery had approved a subsidy for a new Singapore-Canberra-Wellington route from the Destination Wellington fund. The route launched on September 21.

The council has never disclosed the maximum Singapore Airlines, one of Asia’s largest airlines,?could be paid, but documents suggest it could be?$800,000 a year for 10 years.

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How many dwarves are there in Wellington. Do they need saving?

Phil Quin notes something strange about Justin Lester…it seems he is wanting to save “the little people”.

No secret I’m supporting Nick Leggett, so I was listening to the Newstalk ZB mayoral candidates debate this morning, and one exchange stood out. When asked about the Living Wage, Labour’s candidate Justin Lester said he supported it because he wants to support “the little people”.

Excuse me?

Who on earth does he have in mind?

Moderator Tim Fookes asked him to clarify.

Cleaners and security staff, Lester explained.

So, cleaners and security guards, as long as you know you are the little people and people like Justin Lester are here to save you, you have nothing to worry about. What condescending, messianic bullshit.

I could write 100,000 words on why Labour is failing — in fact, I probably have ?? without getting close to encapsulating Labour’s problem as well as this off-the-cuff truth bomb from Justin Lester.

Here’s the clip. The other voices you hear are Nicola Young and Nick Leggett.

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Is “independent” Phil Goff really just a Labour plant in a bigger plan

Rob Hosking sees a nefarious rationale behind Phil Goff’s candidacy in Auckland:

Mr Goff?s weak points are twofold. One, is he is more tribally Labour, at a national level, than incumbent Len Brown. Labour is targeting the council of the country?s main city, along with Wellington, (it already has Christchurch in the bag).

Denuded of support, both financial and other, Labour is hoping to create bases in local government from which to challenge the government and, no doubt, surreptitiously support its general election campaign next year.

Two, Mr Goff?s priorities, and the priorities of staffers he brings with him, are going to be less Auckland-focused than those of Mr Brown.

The resources of the council, including ratepayer-funded sinecures for campaign staff, will be there for the taking, and Labour will need those to hang on to its ground, let alone gain any ground, in Auckland at next year?s general election. ?

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Celia rates the Wellington candidates for Mayor

justin Lester

Celia Wade-Brown, the outgoing Mayor of Wellington rates the contenders seeking to replace her.

She has backed Justin Lester, her deputy.

Celia Wade-Brown revealed she would rank Justin Lester No 1 on her voting paper?for October’s election.

She also took something of a?parting shot at the other contenders for her job, labelling them a mix of disruptive, dishonest and lacking the breadth of knowledge required to be mayor of the capital city.

[…] ?? Read more »