2 Apr 2016

Jo Coughlan to run for Wellington mayoralty

4:21 pm on 2 April 2016

Wellington's mayoral race is heating up, with a fourth member of the city council announcing they want the top job this year.

Mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan says her top priority is to improve Wellington's infrastructure.

Mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan says her top priority is improving Wellington's infrastructure. Photo: Supplied

Jo Coughlan announced her candidacy this morning, saying her top priority was to improve city infrastructure.

Mrs Coughlan has been on the city council since 2007, and has held the economic portfolio since 2010.

She said residents had been let down by the current council delaying roading projects, and taking too long to make vital decisions.

"We had some really good plans in place for some roading projects around the Basin Reserve, and then double-tunneling the Terrace and Mt Victoria tunnels, and [four lanes] out to the airport," she said.

"Those plans are now years behind because there hasn't been a commitment from the leadership in this city and I think that's a real problem for Wellington."

Mrs Coughlan said those roading projects were part of "future proofing" the city and the region to accommodate growth.

"If you're going to take a strategic view, fixing congestion across the city is a priority," she said.

"There's no point growing our port and airport capacity if we can't get freight and passengers to them."

She said the council needed to make sure the city's transport - including public transport - provided choice.

Mrs Coughlan wants Wellington to be promoted as the Silicon Valley of the South Pacific.

"If I were the mayor, I would lead development of a Wellington tech field days, showcasing our capital's innovation and tech sector to the world."

Other confirmed candidates are the city's incumbent mayor Celia Wade-Brown, deputy mayor Justin Lester, and councillor Nicola Young.

Porirua's mayor Nick Leggett is also a possible contender.

Mrs Coughlan said now was the right time to stand, and she had the full support of her family.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs