Celia Wade-Brown

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Celia Wade-Brown
Celia Wade-Brown, 2013.jpg
Celia Wade-Brown in 2013
34th Mayor of Wellington
Assumed office
27 October 2010[1]
Preceded by Kerry Prendergast
Personal details
Born (1956-07-12) 12 July 1956 (age 59)
Political party Green Party
Spouse(s) Alastair Nicholson (m. 16 January 1993)

Celia Wade-Brown (born 12 July 1956) is the 34th and current Mayor of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.

She is the third woman mayor, replacing centre-right Kerry Prendergast. She defeated Prendergast by 176 votes in the 2010 single transferable vote mayoral election, winning a second term in 2013.

She is the second mayor of a major New Zealand city to be a member of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, after Dunedin's Sukhi Turner, but she stood as an independent candidate.

Early life[edit]

Born in Paddington, West London, to a British military officer father Paul Wade-Brown,[2] Wade-Brown grew up in a council flat.[3] She attended The Holt School in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. After school, she took a gap year in Cape Coast, Ghana, then earned an honours degree in philosophy from the University of Nottingham. She started her professional life with IBM in the United Kingdom,[4] and moved to Wellington in 1983.[3]

As an adult, Wade-Brown discovered and connected with two half-sisters.[2] One half-sister Gitta Rupp was a German war child born to her father and a German mother.[5]

Political career[edit]

National politics 1996–2002[edit]

Wade-Brown first stood for the Green Party as a list candidate (ranked 44th) under the Alliance banner in the 1996 election.[6] In the 1999 election, she stood for the Green Party as a list candidate (ranked 29th).[7] In the 2002 election, she stood for the Green Party as a list candidate (ranked 15th)[8] in the Rongotai electorate and placed third.[9] She did not appear on the Green Party list for the 2005[10] or 2008[11] elections.

Local government politics 1994–current[edit]

She was a Wellington City Councillor for the Southern Ward in 1994–1998 and 2001–2010.[3]

In 2010, she contested the mayoralty only, not standing as a councillor; Paul Eagle replaced her as a councillor. Six contenders ran:[4] Wade-Brown won by 24,881 votes to 24,705. She was ahead of Prendergast on a significant number of ballots from the four trailing candidates after they were eliminated, which allowed her to overcome Prendergast's lead of 21,809 to 18,560 after the first iteration.[12]

Wade-Brown is not in favour of Wellington adopting a 'super city' type council like Auckland, though is in favour of reducing the number of councils in greater Wellington from nine to "three or four".[13]

Wade-Brown came under heavy criticism from the business community in early 2013 after the council laid off 150 workers and approved $350,000 in renovations for the mayor's office, seemingly without the mayor and councillors knowing.[14]

After her re-election in October 2013, her priorities for the first 100 days were "the south coast cycle lanes, completing the draft annual plan before Christmas, agreeing on three-year priorities, taking first steps towards a living wage for council staff, slimming down council-owned companies and continuing to improve shared services with other councils."[15]

On 27 August 2014, Wade-Brown became an executive leader of Mayors for Peace.[16][17]

Community involvement[edit]

Wade-Brown was a founding member of the New Zealand Internet Society,[18] a non-profit organisation set up in 1995 dedicated to protecting and promoting the Internet in New Zealand.[19] In 2002 Wade-Brown founded Living Streets Aotearoa,[20] a walking-advocacy organisation with 15 branches. It holds collective membership of the International Federation of Pedestrians, of which she is a Board member.[21]

Wade-Brown is a Friend of Taputeranga Marine Reserve.[22]


She is married to Alastair Nicholson and has two sons.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Celia Wade-Brown wins Wellington mayoralty". The National Business Review. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8021813/Wellington-Mayor-finds-secret-sister
  3. ^ a b c d "New mayor for Wellington". The Dominion Post. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Celia Wade-Brown". Election NZ. Retrieved 26 October 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Occupation children shunned in post-war Germany and Austria". BBC News. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Part III - Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Official Count Results -- Rongotai". 10 August 2002. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Watts, Jerram (13 October 2010). "Celia Wade Brown wins Wellington". 3 News. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "No 'super city' for Wellington - mayor". 3 News NZ. January 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "'Big job ahead' for struggling council". 3 News NZ. April 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Chapman, Katie (14 October 2013). "Wade-Brown's talk is over, time for action". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Executive Leader for Peace". Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Members". Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "Council through time". InternetNZ. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "About InternetNZ". InternetNZ. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "eBulletin September 2009". Living Streets Aotearoa. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  21. ^ "Governance". International Federation of Pedestrians. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "Friends of Taputeranga Marine Reserve". Taputeranga Marine Reserve. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Kerry Prendergast
Mayor of Wellington
2010 – present