Home' The Wellingtonian : December 8th 2011 Contents 10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, DECEMBER 8, 2011
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Sign not wanted
There was no evidence that only
Wellingtonians voted for this.
There was no control over who
voted so it's very likely the
majority of votes came from
So no-one can claim this is what
Wellingtonians chose.PETER WARD
Wake up Wellington
I shop in Kilbirnie, where the
parking is limited to 30 minutes,
and there is no option to pay for
up to two hours (a normal enough
shopping time), as in the central
Is it the same in the other
suburbs? When is this nonsense
going to stop?
What better way to limit the
shopper's pleasure (anxiously
rushing to avoid a ticket) and the
No point complaining to the
powers that be. KATHRYN WARD
I think the annual nationwide
Movember campaign is just
wonderful. The men's health
issues it highlights are important
and the money raised is
What a brilliant idea it was for
Romy Webster and Aly Thompson
to add their support for Movember
the way they did.
Your front page photo
(December 1) of Aly Thompson,
fully moustached, drinking a
milkshake, was indeed
with old friends
I do not see every issue of The
Wellingtonian and thus have very
much enjoyed reading Capital
People, in which more than 100
profiles of Wellingtonians have
I was given the book for a
birthday gift and have especially
delighted in catching up on the
stories of people who were part of
the newspapers quite regularly
but are not heard of so often these
days -- people like Sir Michael
Fowler, Gerald O'Brien, Beverley
Benton, Hugh Templeton, Lois
Daish and Onny Parun.
It's good to know they are still
around, to be reminded of all the
interesting things they did.
Editor s note: Capital People is on
sale through The Wellingtonian at
a cost of $40. To inquire about
buying the book, write to
co.nz or phone 474 0362.
It was funny reading the
interview with Peter Dunne
(December 1) and all his bottom
lines for going back into coalition
Would there be one person in
New Zealand who would imagine
for even one second that Dunne
would not again link with
National, whatever demands were
put on him?
Dunne knows his continued
career as a politician owes
everything to the benevolence of
National. The last thing he's ever
going to do is rock the boat.
Besides, look at his options: do
whatever Prime Minister John
Key wants and continue to enjoy
the baubles of office, or make a
stand and head for the opposition
benches, alongside his great pal,
Now that one really is a no-
in the room
What a pity for Grant
Robertson his parents
didn't name him
The Wellington Central MP
would have had more chance of
being the next leader of the
Labour Party if his parents had
been just that bit more
Apparently to replace Phil
Goff as the Labour leader, your
first name has to begin with
Thus David Parker, David
Cunliffe and David Shearer put
up their hands and did the
early media rounds.
It was an easy one for the
media. As Radio New Zealand's
Morning Report announced:
Next up we have an inter-
view with the three Davids.''
The Three Davids and
Grant'' just didn't have the
When Parker dropped out, it
became the two Davids''.
Robertson is now -- semi-
officially -- running as Shearer's
deputy. But he would be a very
good Labour leader.
He's 40 and arrived in Wel-
lington via Palmerston North,
Hawke's Bay and Dunedin, plus
stints working for Foreign
Affairs and Trade in New York
and New Zealand Overseas Aid
He has been an MP for only
three years but is no political
He spent enough years as
ministerial adviser for Marian
Hobbs and then Helen Clark to
learn the ropes around the
Robertson has been an out-
standing electorate MP, which
explains how he transformed
the marginal seat of Wellington
Central (he won by 1904 votes
in 2008) to a safe Labour seat
with a majority of 5111 votes
(before specials votes), defying
the nationwide trend towards
National in last month's
Earlier this year he was
promoted to be Labour's health
spokesman and locked horns
with Health Minister Tony
Ryall in a contest well worth
It was surprising the increase
in responsibility took him only
to No 12 on the front bench.
Because he has such a grasp
of Labour Party policy, is such a
confident speaker and has such
good contacts, he would nor-
mally appeal as likely leader-
ship material -- despite not
being named David.
He's not earnestly bookish, as
is Parker; doesn't have Cunlif-
fe's rampant ego and self-
satisfied air; and doesn't play
the fresh new boy card that
Shearer delights in.
Robertson's real problem'' is
that he is gay. It's not a prob-
lem for him but the concern --
his and his party's -- is that it
might furrow the eyebrows of
too many potential voters.
It would be nice to think that
we in New Zealand are past
this, that a person's ability
rather than his sexuality is
what determines his job
Apparently, though, we're not
quite there yet.
Robertson's work with Wel-
lington strugglers, his support
of the city's arts and sports
communities, his relationships
with business and education
leaders -- these evidently count
for a lot less than the fact that
he is gay.
The Americans can elect a
black President and lots of
countries, even some staunchly
conservative ones, can have a
woman in charge.
But a gay man to lead
Labour? Gulp. A bridge too far,
at least for now.
It would be heartening if
naming a gay person as a party
leader was not even a bold
Unfortunately New Zealand
seems some way off that yet.
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