Tory Whanau wins Wellington mayoralty: 'It was just such an amazing moment'

6:58 pm on 8 October 2022
New Wellington mayor Tory Whanau speaks after winning the mayoral race.

New Wellington mayor Tory Whanau speaks after winning the mayoral race. Photo: RNZ / Hamish Cardwell

Wellington's Tory Whanau has convincingly won the mayoralty race for Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

She said getting the call to say she'd won was "pretty wild".

Whanau beat Andy Foster who was running for a second term as mayor after holding a seat on the city council since 1992. Foster finished second, Ray Chung came in third and Paul Eagle fourth.

The news was still a bit dream-like, Whanau said.

"It was just such an amazing moment - but now the nerves have calmed it actually feels right - I've been working really hard on this campaign, and brought a lot of people on board - for a year.

"So it is the exact right outcome, I feel."

Whanau said she planned to focus on uniting the council.

Tory Whanau campaign poster

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Whanau ran as an independent, but was a Green Party chief of staff and digital director for six years before joining local politics.

She campaigned on bringing people together and creating more resilience in Wellington's infrastructure, with a particular interest in addressing access to housing and housing standards, fixing Wellington's pipes, making the city safer and improving mental health support and public transport.

She supported three waters reform.

Key issues on her radar as she joined the council were fixing the city's infrastructure, helping the city recover from the pandemic and ensuring all voices were heard.

During campaigning, Whanau and another mayoral candidate Paul Eagle both reported being targeted at public meetings by a group of hecklers both candidates believed was organised.

Eagle told RNZ the disruption the group caused was "sinister".

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