Mayor of Wellington

The Mayor of Wellington is the head of the municipal government of Wellington, New Zealand, and presides over the Wellington City Council. Adjacent local bodies – Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, and Porirua – have their own mayors. The Mayor is directly elected using STV.

Mayor of Wellington
Coat of arms of the City of Wellington
Flag of the City of Wellington
Incumbent
Andy Foster

since 30 October 2019
StyleHis/Her Worship
SeatWellington Town Hall
Term lengthThree years
Inaugural holderGeorge Hunter
Formation3 October 1842
DeputySarah Free
Salary$167,800[1]
Websiteofficial website

The current Mayor is Andy Foster, elected in October 2019.[2]

History

The development of local government in Wellington was erratic. The first attempt to establish governmental institutions, the so-called "Wellington Republic", was short lived and based on rules written by the New Zealand Company. Colonel William Wakefield was to be the first President.

When the self-proclaimed government arrested a ship's captain for a violation of Wellington law, the Governor William Hobson quickly asserted British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand, sending a contingent of soldiers to disband the council in Wellington.

In January 1842, the Legislative Council in Auckland passed the Municipal Corporations Ordinance, and in May 1842 Wellington was officially proclaimed a borough, the first municipality with this status. The office of mayor was established, but there were only two holders of this office under the Ordinance.

George Hunter received the most votes in the election for 12 Burgesses to the new council on 3 October 1842 and was declared mayor. He died suddenly on 19 July 1843. William Guyton was then declared mayor, as runner-up in 1842.

The British Government disallowed the Municipal Corporations Ordinance, but news of this did not reach Wellington until late September 1843, after the election had been held and a second Burgess Roll of qualified voters had been prepared, in 1843 (both Rolls are listed in Carman). After a brief period of little local government, the Province of Wellington was established in 1852, and most of Wellington's affairs were handled by the provincial government.

Initially, the councillors elected one of their own as mayor towards the end of the year. The role was traditionally awarded to the longest serving councillor. The system changed upon the introduction of The Municipal Corporations Acts Amendment Act, 1875. It legislated that mayors must be elected at large by eligible voters.[3] The inaugural mayoral election was held in 1875 resulting in William Hutchison being the first mayor to be elected by voters.[4]

In 1863, a Town Board was established with three wards (Thorndon, Lambton, Te Aro), but no Mayor.

On 16 September 1870, Wellington was officially incorporated as a city, and a new mayoralty created, which continues. The establishment of the new council was primarily driven by John Plimmer, called by some the Father of Wellington.

Since then the office of Mayor has been held by 35 people. Five people have been Mayor on two separate occasions, and the longest-serving Mayor was Sir Frank Kitts, from 1956 to 1974.

List of Mayors of Wellington

Key

  Independent   Citizens'   Labour

# Name Portrait Term of Office Elections
- George Hunter 1842 1843 -
- William Guyton 1843 -
1 Joseph Dransfield 1870 1873 -
2 Charles Borlase 1874 1875 -
3 William Sefton Moorhouse 1875 1874
4 William Hutchison 1875 1877 187518761877
(1) Joseph Dransfield 1878 1879 1878
5 George Allen 1879 -
(Acting Mayor)
(4) William Hutchison 1879 1881 18791880
6 George Fisher 1881 1885 18811882
18831884
7 Arthur Winton Brown 1885 1887 18851886
8 Samuel Brown 1887 1888 1887
9 John Duthie 1888 1890 18881889
10 Charles Johnston 1890 1891 1890
(7) Arthur Winton Brown 1891 1892 1891
11 Francis Bell 1892 1893 1892
12 Alfred Brandon 1893 1894 1893
13 Charles Luke 1894 1895 1894
(6) George Fisher 1895 1896 1895
(11) Francis Bell 1896 1897 1896
14 John Blair 1897 1899 18971898
15 John Aitken 1899 1905 189919001901
190219031904
16 Thomas William Hislop 1905 1909 19051906
19071908
17 Alfred Newman 1909 1910 1909
18 Thomas Wilford 1910 1912 19101911
19 David McLaren 1912 1913 1912
20 John Luke 1913 1921 191319141915
19171919
21 Robert Alexander Wright 1921 1925 19211923
22 Charles Norwood 1925 1927 1925
23 George Troup 1927 1931 19271929
24 Thomas Hislop 1931 1944 193119331935
19381941
25 Will Appleton 1944 1950 19441947
26 Robert Macalister 1950 1956 19501953
27 Frank Kitts 1956 1974 195619591962
196519681971
28 Michael Fowler 1974 1983 197419771980
29 Ian Lawrence 1983 1986 1983
30 Jim Belich 1986 1992 19861989
31 Fran Wilde 1992 1995 1992
32 Mark Blumsky 1995 2001 19951998
33 Kerry Prendergast 2001 2010 200120042007
34 Celia Wade-Brown 2010 2016 20102013
35 Justin Lester 2016 2019 2016
36 Andy Foster 2019 present 2019

List of Deputy-Mayors of Wellington

Key

  Independent   Citizens'   Labour   Greens

Name Term of Office Mayor
John Smith 1910 1912 Wilford
Vacant
George Frost 1920 1921 Luke
Vacant
Martin Luckie 1929 1931 Troup
Vacant
William Bennett 1935 1936† Hislop
Martin Luckie 1936 1947
Appleton
Robert Macalister 1947 1950
William Stevens 1950 1953 Macalister
Ernest Toop 1953 1956
Harry Nankervis 1956 1960 Kitts
William Arcus 1960 1962
Denis McGrath 1962 1965
Matt Benney 1965 1966
Robert Archibald 1966 1970
George Porter 1970 1971
John Jeffries 1971 1974
Ian Lawrence 1974 1983 Fowler
Gavin Wilson 1983 1986 Lawrence
Helene Ritchie 1986 1988 Belich
Terry McDavitt 1988 1989
David Watt 1989 1995
Wilde
Kerry Prendergast 1995 2001 Blumsky
Alick Shaw 2001 2007 Prendergast
Ian McKinnon 2007 2013
Wade-Brown
Justin Lester 2013 2016
Paul Eagle 2016 2017 Lester
Jill Day 2017 2019
Sarah Free 2019 present Foster

Living former mayors

Six former mayors are alive:

Ian Lawrence (1983–1986) was the most recent former mayor to die on 8 March 2019.[5]

Notes

  1. Hendry, Simon (2 May 2016). "Mayors and councillors' pay will increase by between 1.5 and 3 per cent from July". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  2. Fonseka, Dileepa; Desmarais, Felix (13 October 2019). "Justin Lester out: Andy Foster new Wellington mayor in tight race". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  3. "Municipal Corporations Acts Amendment Act 1875". University of Auckland. 21 October 1875. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  4. "The Mayoralty Election". The Evening Post. XII (143). 15 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  5. "Former mayor of Wellington Ian Lawrence dies". Retrieved 10 March 2019.

References

  • Wellington: Biography of a City by Redmer Yska (2006, Reed Books, Auckland) ISBN 9780790011172
  • Betts on Wellington: A City and its Politics by G. M. Betts (1970, Reed, Wellington) ISBN 0-589-00469-7
  • The Birth of a City: Wellington 1840–1843 by A. H. Carman (1970, Wright & Carman, Wellington)
  • No Mean City by Stuart Perry (1969 booklet, Wellington City Council) includes a paragraph and a portrait or photo of each mayor, including Hunter & Guyton.
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