Wellington Town Hall is now a five-horse race. Will Andy Foster make six?

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster continues to play coy about his intention to run for the capital again after former deputy mayor and current Rongotai MP Paul Eagle confirmed on Monday that he participated in the race.

Separately, independent Ellen Blake announced on Monday that she is running for mayor in the local elections in October. She also planned to contest the Pukehīnau Lambton district.

But the holder would not be drawn.

“I’m not answering that one,” Foster said Monday when asked directly if he plans to run for a second term. He also declined to say when he planned to make his intentions known.

Blake and Eagle join the Green Party’s Tory Whanau, Independent Ray Chung and Significant Natural Areas opponent Dr. Barbara McKenzie in the mayoral race.

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Foster, however, brushed off Eagle – his former board colleague. Foster said his rival was struggling to gain credibility, noting that Eagle had been “Labour forever” and would become a Labor MP again if he did not win the election but stood as an independent.

Ellen Blake is the latest to announce her candidacy for mayor of Wellington.

Ross Giblin

Ellen Blake is the latest to announce her candidacy for mayor of Wellington.

Foster thought Labor wanted Eagle to run as an independent because it would be easier to “spin” if he lost.

Whanau, following Eagle’s announcement on Monday, said it was “exciting to finally have a competitor.” “I look forward to solid discussions,” she said.

Blake said transportation, protecting unique natural places and ensuring there are quality places for everyone.

Housing was not an “either-or” and Wellington could cope with demographic pressures while building quality homes with appropriate outdoor spaces, she said.

“We need local solutions for global issues like biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as the creation of quality, affordable housing for all,” she said.

“This means, firstly, priority for public transport through more bus lanes and better connections on foot. Second, the emphasis on the quality of housing, for both tenants and owners. And third, more support to improve our green and blue spaces.

Blake is the Wellington Coordinator of Living Streets Aotearoa and a member of the Growing Places Charitable Trust, Mount Victoria Bush Regeneration Group, Wellington Women’s House and Mount Victoria Residents Association.

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