Renter’s United President Geordie Rogers has been selected as the Green party candidate for the Wellington city council byelection in Lambton Ward.
The byelection is being held to replace outgoing councillor Tamatha Paul, now the MP for Wellington Central.
“I’m honoured to have just been selected as the Green Party candidate for the Wellington City Council. Thanks for everyone who showed up. The real work starts now and we need all the help we can get!” Rogers said on X/Twitter.
Rogers told The Spinoff in October he was shoulder-tapped to run while he was at Paul’s campaign part on election night.
He currently heads Renters United, an advocacy group focused on changing laws to support renters. He gained national attention in April this year after a TV debate with National’s housing spokesperson Chris Bishop.
The Green party nomination makes Rogers the presumptive favourite in Lambton Ward, a young area which covers the entire centre city, including both Victoria and Massey University campuses.
Paul was the top polling candidate in Lambton by a considerable margin in 2022, with 5,206, compared with 3,209 for second-placing Nicola Young. Lambton ward elected the top three polling candidates on an STV system.
The byelection could prove crucial for ensuring mayor Tory Whanau has the votes to pursue her policy agenda. With Tamatha Paul gone, the left-wing bloc has eight votes, while the right has six. However, these aren’t hard-and-fast factions and votes can flip based on issues, particularly housing. With the district plan up for debate early next year, this by-election will be a crucial swing vote.