WCC Southern Ward Candidates Analysed; Two shoe-ins, topless swimming pools, and someone who should be at the table but has a long run to get there

Four candidates are vying for two places in the Southern Ward. With David Lee dropping out of the race this year and having a swing at the GWRC, a seat must be filled, which will see a new Councillor joining the table.

Like other wards, traffic and transport is an issue as well as housing. The battle lines over the Island Bay Cycleway have largely been abandoned this election and left to rust in the ever-present southerly salt air.

See the list of candidates who’ve been nominated to stand for Paekawakawa/Southern Ward in the 2019 local body elections. Nominations are now closed.

List of Candidates

Laurie Foon

Laurie is a Green Party backed candidate who did well in the Southern Ward by-election back in 2017, coming in at second between Fleur Fitzsimons and Vicki Greco.

Laurie is active on social media and her background and stance will suit the greener end of the Southern Ward voting base. People tend to count Green Party backing as less intrusive than Labour backing, so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue for her.

I want to facilitate the work underway to improve transport options, become a more waste-conscious community, and make housing accessible for all ages and stages of life. 
I’ll also work to improve how we engage our communities through better consultation, and build greater support for our community groups. 


Personally; I don’t know much about Laurie, but I do know that Ward has been a traditional left seat at the table, usually with Labour leading and Green’s not far behind. Laurie will do well I think and won’t save the same criticism that her predecessor in the Green role suffered, which was one of visibility and action, or lack thereof.

Face Factor; Laurie looks like she’s in the middle of a Southerly Storm, with an open, honest face, that leads to a feeling of transparency, she’ll be picking up votes.

Weaknesses; There may be a lingering backlash against the Greens around cycleways in Island Bay, but to be perfectly honest, a) I’m not hearing that and b) there are no explicitly anti-cycleway candidates to transfer that vote too. I think Laurie is quite solid and will have a good run.

Verdict; Laurie will come in second and secure a seat on Council. What more can I say?

Fleur Fitzsimons

A Labour backed candidate Fleur romped in during the last by-election in the Ward. No surprises there as the area is traditional Labour territory, most likely because of Paul Eagle’s good work in laying the groundwork.

We need a strong community where everyone feels they belong. I will work with others to make sure every child can play sport, use the pools and have indoor space for year-round play. I will support the Council investing in core infrastructure so Wellington is prepared for whatever the future holds. 


Personally; I find Fleur relatively under the radar. She’s headed some hard conversations in the city, which will do well with a wide demographic of voters. I can’t see any reason why she won’t get back in, particularly when there is a very narrow field.

Face Factor; Comes across as interested, open, trustworthy, and intelligent.

Weaknesses; The one weakness may be the “cake and eat it all” side of Fleur’s campaign. Effectively Fleur is promising a lot of new spending initiatives while at the same time promising a lot of money be spent on core areas, which are in desperate need. We can’t do both, their must be balance. But, I’m not sure anyway is going to notice that and she wouldn’t be the only candidate to be promising the world when we can’t afford it.

Verdict; Laurie will win the contest by a good margin in the Southern Ward.

Thomas Morgan

OK, this gentleman is either taking the proverbial, which I could certainly understand, or is very out of touch with reality. Either way, it’s not looking good for young Thomas, as we will see.

Thomas Morgan is providing a clear independent alternative with 20 plus years of pragmatic interest in Local Government. 
Supporting gender equity Thomas is one of the male alternatives to provide a male view on Southern Ward issues on the Wellington City Council. 


Personally, Thomas makes some other statements in his profile that I think are going to absolutely distract from his campaign and any chance of winning anything other than a comedic prize. I mean, what on earth do you make of this?

His thoughts:- Sustainable environment; Safer Communities; More ‘ladies’ for the ladies; Bus expressways; Shelters at all bus stops; Topless public swimming pools?

Face Factor; looks like he might be taking the piss… Is he?

Weaknesses; I really don’t need to say anything do I? I mean, in any debate, all you’d have to do is throw the “topless swimming pools” line at him followed up by asking what he means by “’ladies’ for ladies.”

Verdict; Last.

Humphrey Hanley

Humphrey probable better represents the youth face of the ward, with some more progressive thinking, than any of the other candidates. We do need more candidates like this, they bring a level of experience and a viewpoint that are generally not around the Council table.

Life with a disability has given him the determination to make Wellington an accessible city for all its residents. Wellington can set the bar globally in developing sustainable transport solutions, responding to the climate emergency, fostering tech and media industries, and promoting our world class artists and entertainers. 


Personally; Humphrey is the only candidate to date who has called out fostering the tech and media industries. Now, I know that balance is required, there are many industries and issues, however, it shows that he is thinking young and is connected to what makes the city spin. It takes guts to tackle the campaign trail any day of the week and Humphrey will find it more challenging than others, so hat’s off to him.

Face Factor; Young, open, honest, diverse, trustworthy, and inquisitive are words that spring to mind.

Weaknesses; Name recognition and being up against to Party backed candidates that have much resource and material. I.e. His opponents, well, apart from Thomas.

Verdict; As much as I would like to see this kind of candidate at the table, we need them, I have to say third based on his competition. But, keep going, this provides a platform for Humphrey to get some messages into the city and often first time out is a loss.


1 – Fleur Fitzsimons

2 – Laurie Foon

3 – Humphrey Hanley

4 – Thomas Morgan

4 thoughts on “WCC Southern Ward Candidates Analysed; Two shoe-ins, topless swimming pools, and someone who should be at the table but has a long run to get there

  1. Might want to update your summary with what you actually wrote. 😉


    1 – Fleur Fitzsimons
    2 – Laurie Foon
    3 – Humphrey Hanley
    4 – Thomas Morgan


  2. …asking what he means by “’ladies’ for ladies.”

    He clarified this over on his Facebook page. He’s talking about providing more ladies’ toilets at WCC-run public events.


Comments are closed.