Dynamic duo promised
Wellington’s new deputy mayor is talking big and promising new initiatives for the city before Christmas.
Northern ward councillor Justin Lester, 34, was selected by mayor Celia Wade- Brown and sworn in as deputy at the end of last month. He is the city’s youngest councillor this term.
He said that he and WadeBrown complemented each other and that change was coming.
‘‘I’m more around getting things done and monitoring and she is high- level strategy and ideas. ‘‘You need both,’’ he said.
‘‘ We’re going to make some announcements around economic development initiatives and some opportunities that will help reinvigorate the economy.
‘‘I can’t say what they are just yet, but they will be announced before the end of the year.
‘‘There’s also a significant project that we are hoping to announce before Christmas.
‘‘It’s 90 per cent of the way there. Watch this space.’’
Mr Lester, who is also the governance, finance and planning committee chairman, said his role was to unify councillors and officials.
‘‘I want to focus on bringing the officials and councillors together so we have the same priorities. Then we can focus on delivery,’’ he said.
‘‘Wellington desperately needs that right now. We need to get things done, tangible things. People want to see things happening. We have to invest in Wellington to make people confident about living here.
‘‘There’s a perception that we have fallen behind the rest of the country.’’
Mr Lester was the highest ranking Northern ward candidate this year. He co-owns the Ka Pai food chain and has a masters degree in law. He lives in Johnsonville with his wife and two daughters.
‘‘I now have more direct input into city strategy and therefore can highlight the benefits for Northern ward,’’ Mr Lester said.
The response to his appointment had been huge and being the youngest was not a bad thing, he said.
‘‘I received hundreds of texts and emails from people. I spent most of my first three days in the job replying and saying thank you,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think age should be a factor. I’ve done things that people around the table have never done and vice versa.’’
Second in charge: Wellington’s new deputy mayor is
Northern ward councillor Justin Lester.