No surprise here. Mayor Kirsten Wise announced officially this week that she is standing for re-election as Napier Mayor.

Her announcement statement ticked off these NCC “achievements”:

“Appointment of a new Chief Executive, establishing clean water bores, starting our chlorine-free investment, working with Kainga Ora to build more housing, while retaining our council housing portfolio, setting up the new City Assist safety programme, progressing the design for the return of the library to Station Street and collaborating with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Mana Ahuriri on the Regional Park project to restore the health of our estuary.”

And she indicated these priorities for next term (“should voters give me the opportunity”):

“Continue with the investment in our water assets, complete the restoration of the War Memorial, build our new library, progress the aquatic centre redevelopment and the Regional Park project.”

It seems Mayor Wise will mount a classic incumbent’s ‘don’t rock the boat’ campaign:

  1. I haven’t screwed up anything major.
  2. We have heaps of vital work underway that will soon benefit the community.
  3. So don’t disrupt the team momentum we now have (as she puts it: “the delivery phase”).
  4. And in case #1-3 don’t cinch the deal: Now’s the time to stand firm in the face of all the shocking stuff Wellington is shoving at us (as she puts it: “Alongside this we must navigate the many national reforms so that our community gets the best results. With so much change at a national level, it’s vital we have continued stability within our community.”)

Why rock the boat? Her announced challenger, Councillor Nigel Simpson, must either tap grievance, convincing voters that something has indeed gone seriously wrong under Wise’s leadership … or offer more mesmerising inspiration, convincing voters that some huge opportunities for Napier will be missed if she remains at the helm. Not an easy task.

Join the Conversation


  1. Ahuriri Ñapier Pilot City quietly supports ,”Strenghtheniñg Communities not Prisons, ‘Of late Iwi Police are very supportive ,Police Headquarters are advised, as are Cr Wise with her Council.

  2. I voted for her last election! I won’t this time! I feel she has done nothing for Napier! Maybe the speed humps on the hill! Not! Even the residents don’t want them!

  3. I will vote for her. Unless I’m mistaken, she has appeared to drive an open-style local government process. Very personable. Appears to listen. Very hard to get anything to happen in a hurry – especially with Covid concerns. Glad they kept the social housing.

  4. The art installations designed by OFFSHORE artists / ie not local artists did it for me , plus the general malaise in improvements to the city , we need someone with vision

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