New mayor says no to overseas trip
New Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has made an austere start to life in office, already turning down an overseas trip and saying she will not seek a mayoral credit card.
Yesterday marked her first working day in the mayoral chair, although she and the newly elected council will not be sworn in until October 27.
Former mayor Kerry Prendergast was criticised for taking overseas trips at the expense of ratepayers.
Yesterday, Ms Wade-Brown, a member of the Green Party, signalled a reduced carbon footprint was on the way. "I've already turned one [trip] down.
"But I'm sure that in a period of three years there will be something that is appropriate for me to go on ... and I am prepared to go on some overseas conferences if I can learn from it - but certainly not in the immediate future."
Using Skype, or other online applications, is being investigated to see whether she can get the information from the conference she declined to attend.
Ms Wade-Brown also took a conservative view on whether she would get a council credit card, saying she would not initiate one. A council spokesman said today that it was not policy for the mayor to have a council credit card.
She began moving into her new office in the town hall on Sunday when she brought in a painting to "make it my place a little bit more".
She has also moved the huge mayoral desk so she gets a view across Civic Square to the harbour.
The day Ms Wade-Brown formally became the mayor-elect was Saturday, when the Wellington NPC rugby team turned its season around by thrashing Taranaki at Westpac Stadium to potentially set up a home semifinal.
"If people want to be superstitious about it then that's OK, but I don't think I'll be taking any credit for it," she said. "And I'd certainly not be Piri Weepu's lucky mascot."
Weepu suffered a double fracture of his right leg during the game, which puts him out of rugby for the next six months.
The Dominion Post