Mayor to leg-it before wedding day

00:43, Jul 12 2014
Nick Leggett
BIG WEEK: Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and partner, Emily Pita, with their dog Leroy Brown.

It's a big week for Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett.

Tomorrow he will tackle a 20-kilometre run from Porirua to Wellington railway station to promote the city's bid for an ultrafast broadband Gigatown win, before a week of work and then getting married on Friday.

Leggett has worked hard to keep fit and healthy since gastric band surgery in 2011 but, like anyone, struggles to keep motivated and sets goals to keep going. He's lost 20kg since the surgery.

Ahead of tomorrow's run he has upped his work with a personal trainer and has been seen tackling Porirua's 468-metre Colonial Knob.

"I'm very much looking forward to getting the run out of the way. I know that physically my body can take it, but y'know, you doubt yourself, and running with a whole lot of people who are fitter and faster than I am, I don't want to wear myself out by trying to keep up with them, so they have to be nice and try to stay back with me."

His entourage will include keen Porirua runners, Gigatownporirua enthusiasts, and his brother, who is over from the UK for the wedding. Gigatown is a Chorus competition to win cheap access to ultrafast broadband for three years.


Leggett has nearly 2500 friends on Facebook, but when interior designer Emily Pita started appearing on his newsfeed, he took note.

"We met through Facebook. She added me as a friend, and this really attractive woman kept coming up on my wall and I was like ‘who is this?'.

"I looked at our mutual friends, then saw one of them and happened to mention it to her and she said yeah, I'm Emily's cousin and she's single.

"I said ‘well, do you want to ask her if she wants to have a coffee' and it went from there."

The pair have invited a couple of hundred people for their ceremony at St Theresa's Catholic Church but are paring it right back to family for a private reception.

Leggett, 34, still holds the crown for New Zealand's youngest mayor, and reckons his relative youth does change the way he does things - though it could just be the way he is.

"I'm not so big on official protocol as some people. I like to think I'm out there and approachable, and I'm never satisfied with the status quo - I want to do things differently if there are new ways to do things."

Eight months into his second term as mayor, he said it was too early to say whether he would run again. "I would need to think about whether I was still adding value and whether somebody else could do a better job than me."

Although he's a Labour Party member, Leggett said he did not have his eye on Parliament yet.

The Dominion Post