Metro sector representative/Mayor, Wellington City Council
Wellington’s first Māori Mayor and unapologetic fan of Christmas and K Drama
“It’s important that people care and are involved so we can listen to them and create a city they want to live in.”
Tory Whanau credits her grandfather with sparking her interest in politics. After eight years working in Parliament, she decided that working in local government would enable her to focus on improving people’s lives more directly.
Discovering the true breadth of work carried out by council after becoming mayor, and being able to connect with the day to day issues that communities are facing has affirmed her decision that local government is where she needs to be.
Tory would like to see central government take control of critical national issues like water reform to free up council funds that can be used for other initiatives.
She would also like to see greater emphasis placed on working collaboratively with other councils and central government to confront the dual crises we face of inequality and climate change.
The biggest upside is in meeting people from all walks of life and the opportunity to lead a city to a sustainable future.
And the attributes that make a great member? An inquisitive nature, honesty, resilience and a willingness to work collaboratively.