Wellington councillor Sean Rush on leave after bowel cancer diagnosis

Wellington City councillor Sean Rush, recently diagnosed with cancer, is also a former NZ representing gymnast. Back in 2020, as he helped to save a Wellington gym, he showed he still had the skills.

Wellington City councillor Sean Rush is taking leave from his job as he receives treatment for early-stage bowel cancer.

Doctors picked up the condition in March when he was getting advice on an unrelated matter. He had no symptoms then and remained symptom free, a city council statement on Tuesday said.

“I’m very lucky. I feel fit and well, and it’s a miracle it got picked up,” Rush said.

”I’m listening to the medical professionals and, on their advice, I will take time out to focus on treatment and recovery.”

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He expected to be able to return to council duties in mid-June.

Rush’s role as head of the council’s infrastructure committee – due to meet on Wednesday – would be filled by councillor Jenny Condie, the council statement said. He would also step down from his roles on the Basin Reserve Trust, Sky Stadium Trust and Wellington Water Committee.

Wellington City Councillor Sean Rush is taking leave while he deals with bowel cancer.
Ross Giblin/Stuff
Wellington City Councillor Sean Rush is taking leave while he deals with bowel cancer.

“I’ll knock this off and be back to finish the triennium,” Rush said.

“In the meantime, I request privacy for me and my family, so I can give this treatment its best shot.”

Wellington mayor Andy Foster backed Rush’s decision to stand down while he received treatment.

“Sean is a valued member of the council, and we look forward to seeing him resume his rightful place around the decision-making table when he is ready,” Foster said.

Earlier this month Rush apologised for using an anonymous Twitter account to praise his own decision-making.