Close this search box.

Your Hub for NZ News

Is NZ’s least popular mayor right-wing or a write-off?

Summarised by Centrist

Tory Whanau, the Mayor of Wellington, currently holds the lowest approval rating of any mayor in New Zealand according to polling by Curia Research. 

University of Victoria’s Dr Bryce Edwards, tries to make the case Whanau is leaning right, but also suggests she appears, at times, “flaky and hollow”, “polarising”, “inauthentic” and “ineffective”. 

Naturally, Whanau has set her sights on ascending beyond Wellington’s mayoralty to national politics. 

After initially being elected with robust support, Whanau’s popularity has seen a major decline from just a year ago. 

Her tenure has been marked by controversial decisions including the failed corporate welfare bailout for Reading Cinema and the contentious proposal to introduce private water metres. 

These policies have not only alienated her left-leaning supporters, but have also failed to garner substantial right-wing backing. Whanau has also been criticised for personal integrity issues, including poor meeting attendance and problems with alcohol

Whanau’s attempt to realign herself politically by rejoining the Green Party has been seen as a strategic move to salvage her waning political career and pivot towards a future in national politics. 

Editor’s note: Edwards writes: “Although she has campaigned and positioned herself as somewhat leftwing and environmental, Whanau has presided over and championed policies that would usually be seen as rightwing or pro-Establishment. Many Wellingtonians have come to see Whanau as the most rightwing Wellington mayor in living memory.”

Given her dwindling support, Edwards’ portrayal of Whanau as right-wing seems counterintuitive.  It would seem reasonable Wellingtonians’ disapproval is due to her poor judgement, personal challenges, perceived incompetence, lack of leadership, and accountability issues.

Read more over at Democracy Project

Enjoyed this story? Share it around.​

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Read More


Sign up for our free newsletter

Receive curated lists of news links and easy-to-digest summaries from independent, alternative and mainstream media about issues affect New Zealanders.