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14 Thursday December 10, 2015

Seawall upgrade continues

The eagerly anticipated reconstruction work on the Island Bay Seawall is in full swing. A large section of the 350 metre wall was damaged in a storm that battered Wellington’s south coast in 2013. Contractors Fulton Hogan began work on repairing the wall last month and are currently on site

between Monday and Saturday from 7.30am to 5pm. However, work will stop for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. Work on the wall is expected to be completed in midJune 2016. Have you checked out construction work on the Island Bay seawall? Send us an email –

REPORTERS DESK - WITH NIKKI PAPATSOUMAS Christmas is just two weeks away and it makes me wonder – where does the year go! Every year I am surprised the festive season manages to creep up so quickly. As always around this time of year we are inundated with Christmas stories from across the southern and eastern suburbs. It is always wonderful to be part of other people’s Christmas celebrations, whether they’re putting together community carols, or gathering presents to donate to charities in need

,so keep sending your wonderful news tips in. As part of Christmas celebrations this year, the team at the Cook Strait News would love to find Wellington’s best Christmas tree. If you think your tree is truly something special we would love to see it! Send us an email at We would also love to hear about how you celebrate Christmas. For me it’s around the barbecue (my dad makes an amazing barbecue!) and outside in the sun with family in Island Bay. So if you would like to share your Christmas stories we would love to hear them.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester throws his hat in the ring.

Deputy Mayor vies for top spot By Sharnahea Wilson

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester is looking to knock Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown off her seat in next year’s elections, after announcing he would be making a bid for the mayoralty. Justin said he fell in love with Wellington the first time he visited as a child. This love for the capital has helped spark his decision to run for mayor under a Labour ticket in next year’s local government elections. Justin has served as a northern ward councillor for two terms and in his most recent term was selected by Celia as her deputy. Although this is the first time Justin has announced his af-

filiations with the Labour Party, he said his values have always been clear. “I stand for future ideals. "That means tackling our problems around housing and transport. “It means doing more to support local businesses, especially small businesses, to grow our economy and create good jobs.” Wellington can be the best place in the world for people to live, work and do business, Justin said. Justin said if elected he will prioritise jobs, investment in local businesses and a pest free environment. Celia, who will be standing for her spot again next year, called Justin “the most convincing of

the other candidates so far”. “He will certainly get my number two vote.” A good competition will increase turnout which is good for democracy, Celia said, adding “if I’m elected again I’ll definitely consider Justin as the most likely deputy, depending on his plans for 2017”. Justin said Wellington needs a new mayor who can provide bold leadership to make Wellington City even better. "It’s a place where everything’s possible and everyone wants you to succeed. “It's a quirky, diverse and generous city, and together we can make it even better. "That's why I'm running for mayor."

Council sifts for clues on illegal rubbish dumping Illegal dumping of rubbish by some inner-city residents and businesses is worsening, making it difficult and expensive to keep the city looking clean. Wellington City Council manages the city’s waste, including the collection and management of household rubbish and recycling. The council said over the past two years there had been an upsurge in the dumping of rubbish on CBD streets by people who used unmarked rubbish bags. The council’s environment committee chair councillor Iona Pannett, said the problem was costing the council – and ratepayers – thousands of dollars each week as contractors and staff worked extra hours to keep the city clean. “On top of this, the council faces spending $100,000 a year in landfill costs to get rid of the additional rubbish, and loses almost $80,000 in revenue from people not paying for yellow bags. “The council has to get rid of the rubbish to keep the streets tidy, but catching the dumpers has proved a challenge. “It’s frustrating because we have no choice – we have to get it off the street,” she said. Council staff were now working to identify who was responsible by looking for evidence of ad-

dresses within the unofficial bags. The first time a household or business was caught illegally dumping rubbish, a warning letter would be sent. However, if a household or business was caught repeatedly dumping rubbish, they would be fined, Iona said. The council was asking central city residents and property owners to help keep the city clean by making sure they, or their tenants, had the correct information on rubbish and recycling. In the central city, residents’ rubbish must be left on the footpath next to the kerb between 5.30pm and 10pm in official yellow rubbish bags purchased from supermarkets, dairies and the Council Service Centre at 101 Wakefield Street. The council also warned recycling must be cleaned and sorted into clear plastic bags and put out on Tuesday evenings between 5.30pm and 10pm.

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