We thought we’d have a quick dabble in this democracy lark to see how supportive the candidates for councillor are of OBU.

The intention is to provide you with the information to help you make your voting decision.

What we sent to the candidates:

The covering note:

Subject: Questions for mayoral/councillor candidates

Hello prospective Wellington Mayor/Lambton Ward Councillor,

I represent a large sports club in Wellington and on behalf of our members would like to hear your views on our quest to bring premier men’s and women’s rugby back to the central city, as outlined in the attached letter.

The intention is to publish your response so that our members can factor it into their decision making. The channels will be on our website, with links from our social media accounts.

We intend to publish the article this Sunday the 29th of September so could you please submit your answers by Saturday evening.

The article will include a copy of the letter attached, with the responses from each of the candidates. There will also be some accompanying analysis of your answer.

Please keep it to a few sentences (up to 150 words as a rough guide). I’m sure you have plenty of other things to do so I don’t want to take up too much of your time.

We wish to keep the integrity of our promise to you to publish your full answer while avoiding an article that is too long to keep our readers attention!


The Letter



Candidate Response Analysis Rating
Tamatha Paul

Kia ora Pete, 
Yes, I absolutely support OBU Rugby! I think rugby played at our parks in the Lambton Ward, and in particular at Kelburn Park, brings real zeal and life to our City! I played for the Women’s Rugby team for  Pōneke FC last year (okay, I only played one game as a favour for a friend), but I’m not afraid to get out there, give it my best shot, get a few bruises, get my knees dirty and keep going hard! I want to bring that energy to the Council, so I am happy to commit to fully supporting OBU as sport plays an integral role in community building and connectivity. 😊
Ngā mihi,
Tamatha Paul – Candidate for Pukehīnau Lambton Ward
m. 027 506 2783
Great enthusiasm and great opening sentence!
Surely we can forgive Tamatha for one game with Poneke as long as she promises to turn out for the Impalas? Especially since we have the only Womens team in the Pukehīnau/Lambton Ward! Or maybe if we get her along to support the odd game!
Tamatha is a rugby person so she gets to the top of the list as no-one else is!
Brian Dawson
Hi Peter
I’m happy to work with you on this. I’m not up to speed on sports grounds and facilities in Pukehinau-Lambton but your situation sounds like one we should be focused on. I don’t know what conversations you’ve had (if any) with the council PSR team or the Sports Portfolio Leader, but depending on who is at the council table post-election let’s catch up and look at options. 
Nga mihi
Brian Dawson
Ph: 027 413 5809
Sent from my mobile. 
This sounds encouraging, only just pipped by Tamatha due to her emphatic opening statement and having been involved!

I think we can work with Brian.

Lee Orchard
Hi Pete
I’d consider how the council can help support OBU by looking at what support the council is actually able to give and learn what is needed from OBU.
Kind regards,
Lee Orchard
Lambton Ward Candidate
Great that Lee took the time to reply but I’m not sure it added much. 3rd
Iona Pannett

Dear Pete

Thank you for your letter.

I’m sorry for the late response.  It has been a busy time.

I appreciate the work that your club does; a community cannot function without the hard work of volunteers.

I work in the area of infrastructure and resilience so sport is not my area of expertise.

Have you thought about a specific site?  And have you talked to council staff about an option?  And also what it might cost to shift?

I’m happy to try and meet community aspirations but do say that we need to balance a whole lot of priorities against each other.  I would also need further information before making a call.

Happy to discuss further if re-elected.  Apologies again for my late response.

Kind regards

Iona Pannett

Candidate for Pukehīnau Lambton

Stuck to the brief. It sounds like Iona might not be the right person to deal with should she be re-elected but seems cautiously supportive.
Points off for the lateness. It was only one day!
Nicola Young
Hello Pete.
Thanks for contacting me about the OBU Rugby Club, and its need for improved facilities.
I confess that I have never played rugby, although – being a good New Zealander – I have watched many games and I certainly appreciate its significance as our national game. As a councillor facing issues/decisions in areas in which I have limited knowledge, I always take advice; for sports-related matters, I talk with Council officers and consult friends with a better knowledge than me… just as other councillors consult me about areas where I have a better knowledge (I’m currently the associate arts portfolio leader).
I would happily work with the University and Wellington College partly because I have long-term links with both institutions (my father, brother & nephews are all old boys of Wgtn College) and they’re both important city institutions. Your chosen location between Wgton College & VUW would pose problems, as it’s the most space-constrained part of Wellington.
I cannot make any promises. The Council faces significant challenges in housing, resilience, economic growth, transport and our environment; it is essential that we must spend ratepayers’ resources carefully – especially as we face 50% rate increases over the next decade, plus the cost of sorting out the Central Library, Civic Square and Let’s Get Wellington Moving.
The city’s population is estimated to increase by 80,000  over the next 50 years, that’s an increase of around 30%. To deal with that, we will need 30,000 new homes, 30,000 new jobs, a significantly improved transport network and we must continue to strengthen our buildings and life-lines against the increasingly more hazardous seismic challenges we face. At the same time, Council needs to continue delivering  high quality value-for-money services (over 400) that Wellingtonians expect and deserve. So all proposals will have to stack up against those priorities, and be consistent with Wellingtonians’ priorities.
In summary: If re-elected, I would be happy to hear more about your requirements; I would be happy to work with Wgtn College and VUW; and – assuming the argument stacks up – I would be prepared to advocate for OBU Rugby Club to receive Council support (fiscal and advisory) in its endeavours to get improved club facilities.
Yours sincerely, Nicola Young
Nicola Young
M: 021 654 844
Twitter: @nmjyoung
Facebook: NicolaYoungWellington
Brief well and truly blown here in this Tolstoy inspired epic.
I think we can take from this that Nicola is broadly supportive but there are other priorities ahead of us.
We can recognise our wishes are ‘nice to have’ but we shouldn’t expect too much progress from Nicola in the next term.
Great that she took the time to reply and for that we are grateful
No Response
Harry Smith
Last Equal
Shan Ng
Last Equal