City Council Race in Northern Ward

justin lester

The Wellington City Council Northern Ward will elect three councillors.  Two incumbents are seeking re-election: Cr Justin Lester and Cr Helene Ritchie. Given the strength of incumbency in local government elections the likelihood is that the focus will be on the race for the third seat. Although there are no guarantees in politics.

Cr Justin Lester is a Board Member of Capital Football, Wellington football’s governing body. He’s also a Director of Property at Wellington commercial property firm Jones Lang LaSalle. In addition he is a Board Member of the Johnsonville Charitable Trust and a temporary Committee Member of the Johnsonville RSA (Returned and Services Association) as it tries to become re-established following a period of financial difficulty. Justin understands the importance of business in creating jobs but he also understands the importance of strong communities. I’ve found that he is always available to hear the concerns of northern residents and I’m personally happy to endorse him as a candidate for Council this year. During the last term of office Justin helped complete the work in establishing the Churton Park Community Centre which is now beginning to go from strength to strength. He’s also supported the Westchester Drive project completion and the establishment of the community hall facilities at Amesbury School. Check out Justin’s website http://www.justinlesterforwcc.com/index.html

Cr Helene Ritchie was Wellington’s first woman deputy mayor is the longest-serving City Councillor in the Capital. Helene was first elected from Northern as a Johnsonville playcentre mother aged 32, and psychologist. She became Wellington’s first woman Labour Leader and first stood for Parliament and the mayoralty at a time when no women had won the mayoralty and only four were in Parliament. Now she is a City Councillor and Health Board member and also a registered psychologist and business woman. She has graduated from Victoria University and Massey, with four graduate and postgraduate degrees and two diplomas in psychology, education, languages, and business studies (dispute resolution).

The gap left by the retirement of Tawa Councillor Ngaire Best seems likely to be filled by Tawa candidate Malcolm Sparrow. Although scientist, and Woodridge resident, Peter Gilberd would also be a useful addition to the Council table. Peter has a good understanding of environmental issues and cultural matters. http://www.petergilberd.org

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