BUSINESS woman and mayoral candidate, Nicola Young, has been campaigning since age seven.
Ms Young (right) got her first taste of politics door-knocking with her father, Bill Young, who won the Miramar seat in the 1966 general election and held it until 1981.
Originally only standing for Lambton Ward in the election to be decided on Saturday, Ms Young decided to stand for mayor after being approached by people sharing their dissatisfaction with current council.
“People kept approaching me because they felt they had been disenfranchised. They wanted someone new,” she told NewsWire.
“A lot of people I know who have always voted and who take voting seriously weren’t going to vote for a mayoral candidate because they were unhappy with the two main choices, so that’s why I decided to stand.”
The mother of two grew up in Wellington and wants to see the city get it’s buzz back and says lower rates will help.
“I want us to be an urban, liberal, buzzy, bright city where things happen.”
“A quirky city, you know, Wellington’s got this wonderful quirkiness which I appreciate because I live right in the heart of it and we need to build on that.”
“We’ve got to retain the jobs we’ve got and we’ve got to grow the jobs so the smart young graduates that come out have a reason to stay in Wellington.”
Ms Young said the high rates were a real deterrent for people in the city.
“The first thing we have to do is make the city business friendly, we’ve got to make sure the rates are really value for money.”
“People are struggling with the rates bill and that affects businesses as well as it affects rents.”
Ms Young wanted to get the city moving, saying there needed to be a move from “what can we do to stop things” to “what can we do to make the most happen”.
This involves a change in how many terms people can sit on council.
She says it should not be a lifetime job and is advocating for a three term limit.
“If you haven’t done what you wanted to in 12 years, then it’s time to go,” said Ms Young.
She said there were a few councillors past their due by date.
“I think they need some fresh blood and some energy.”
If elected, Ms Young’s first move would be to sit down with the chief executive and work out what the top priorities are.
She says it is not just about the big thing but also about the smaller things.
“I’ve got lots of little things that I want to do that don’t cost much money as well as bigger things.”
“But the most important thing is to regenerate the economy and make the city an affordable place to live for everybody, for the students, for old people and for businesses.”
Ms Young is “totally in favour” of an amalgamation of Wellington regional councils.
“It is ridiculous to have nine territorial authorities with their chief executives and their staff.”
She said without amalgamation, with councils going out on their own, they would receive a huge shock as they have no idea how much Wellington pays for.
“There are a lot of things we should all be doing together.”
Ms Young said there were strong voices coming out of Auckland and Christchurch, and Wellington needed to be united so it has a stronger presence.
The candidate said her stand for mayoralty had got a lot more people interested in the elections, saying before it was a bit dull.
She said people should vote for her if they want change and someone with energy.
“I have high energy, I’m decisive, I have a career, a philosophical framework and it’s a matter of getting the city moving.”
She said it was important for everyone to vote.
“People have fought long and hard to get the vote, some people have died to get the vote, so I can’t believe that people have a vote and don’t use it.”
“People can’t complain about things if they don’t vote.”
The election result is expected to be announced at 7pm on Saturday.