The City of Wellington is a place where nobody wants to be at present, with Mayor Andy Foster describing society as “sub-optimal”
In her characterisation of the situation, Councillor Nicola Young said that being on the council has become unbearable and she is just trying to stay out of the “splatter zone”
The council is in fire and Foster will definitely expect to make an impartial review announcement today.
Foster told the media “It doesn’t take rocket science to work out that it is a very challenging environment”
It seems in many respects that it has come for a long time to take this form of action.
Only a few months later, the Herald announced that he had left for Queenstown to take part in a leadership course of $30,000.
Then, he brought a facilitator during the Covid-19 lock-down to try to reconcile his split council.
Yet nothing seems to stop the council’s slow-moving wreck of the train.
At this challenging moment, Foster maintained his call to a facilitator and he said that his decision today was a “leadership action”
The time is right to start boiling.
At a Council meeting this morning, Foster decided to formally announce the review, even though it was obvious that some Councilors knew more in advance than others.
Nevertheless, all of them did when they were asked to support the action.
One of the first to do so was, in fact, Councilor Fleur Fitzsimons.
In the last few days she has been at battle with Foster on his last-minute privatization plan for a portion of the central library site.
However, there would be no unity on their feet between all 15 elected representatives.
Foster’s office then released a press advisory saying that the city councils were attending Wellington City with an executive of his speech and specifics of a 1 pm press conference.
Except it seems that the Memo was not read by any counselors.
After that was revealed in social media, the office of Foster sent all the Councilors an email to “confirm” that they were all invited to attend the press conference for the study.
Not many of them eventually emerged.
Sarah Free and Councillor Diane Calvert flanked Foster.
Counselor Malcolm Sparrow was boring to take a chair next to their table, while Councilor Simon Woolf was sitting on the sides.
Later, Counselor Iona Pannett agreed to sit behind reporters.
Since Christmas, Foster has apparently considered how to deal with a “undercurrent of issues”
Foster said that he had some applicants in mind to perform a review but would not further elaborate or indicate whether a person or a team would be selected.
The analysis is backdated and starts as soon as possible over the last few months.
Last week, Foster described the tumultuous meeting of the Long Term Plan as added to the overview.
This morning, after the Minister of the Local Government had last night commented on the situation when the media asked him about his way to caucus meetings, he said it was pure coincidence that he announced his study.
Minister Nanaia Mahuta obviously has no intention to nominate Commissioners to the City Council of Wellington at present.
“I certainly don’t want to be the Minister for Local Government commissions and my preference is to ensure that local government and councils have the ability to undertake other avenues to be able to strengthen their governance or seek advice and support” she said.
Foster is backed up again in a corner.
It was last time it was because of the water woes of the city that a mayoral taskforce was announced unexpectedly to find a way out of the criticisms that it missed.
This time he could manage to calm down stuff, but it is an entirely different question if this is his saving grace.
The results of the analysis could well point his finger at him.