Mid-December 2020, following a very long and arduous year, I had written a lenghty, articulated article about Wellington growing pains. I was reflecting on how we had navigated the year as a city, the very little that had gone right, but mostly, all the struggles, disappointments and challenges we’d faced, or rather where our Council had let the city down.
Shortly after its publication, I received a message from Ian. I had known Ian for a couple of years, met a few times and exchanged views on the state of our city of heart, and shared very similar views on the challenges it faces. His message said: “Merry Xmas to you (…) and consider if you’d like to take over Inside Wellington as a blog platform next year.”.
This was truly unexpected and it immediately filled me with whirling feelings, the kind coming out of a glowing ego on shaking legs. I felt honoured but mostly panicked. He didn’t know then how much his writings had been the inspiration behind my own. Summer was ahead of us and as I thanked Ian, I told him I’d think about it from the retreat we go and hide during the holidays. A touch of whisky, plenty of walks along the beach and in the bush later, I’d put my thoughts in order, and came back to Ian.
First, I talked him through what I had in mind for the blog. I told him the hopes I had for Wellington, the vision that I wanted to paint here, on this platform. I explained I held strong views on the role local governments have to play in mitigating climate change and creating places centred on people and their wellbeing. As Ian and I had known each other for a while, we also both knew how I felt our local democracy had been badly wounded with Shelly Bay, and other letdowns in Wellington: Inside Wellington would be a place to hold elected members accountable, and put the Council in front of its contradictions.
In a nutshell, I was offering to continue contributing to Wellington’s debate, to “activate” readers, and help Wellington to become the truly great city it can be, using “pure” information only, as close as possible to the source.
I waited anxiously for Ian’s response, thinking he would probably come back on his offer. But he didn’t, and here I am now, in charge of Inside Wellington. I am fully aware I have big shoes to fill, and I can’t wait to shake this nervousness that I carry with me since Ian handed me the key to his blog. Thanks for your trust Ian, and now, let’s get to work.
PS: visit the about page if you’re interested to hear a little more about me.
3 thoughts on “Joining Inside Wellington”
Fantastic stuff Benoit! Always a treat to know there are still some reasonable and rational voices out there in the madness!
Benoit, welcome aboard.
Ian, good luck.
Looking fwd to further posts.
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