Celia Wade-Brown QSO was Mayor of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, from 2010 - 2016. She was an elected Councillor for fourteen years before. Prior to her local government career, Celia was a programmer, IT analyst, and school teacher. Born in London, she has worked in Europe, Africa and Australia.   

Her Green history began in the UK when she joined in Greenham Common nuclear protests. In 1992 she joined the NZ Green Party and stood for Wellington City Council, elected to the Southern Ward in 1994 and winning the Mayoral election twice. 

Celia led the return of nature to the city, made Wellington the first Living Wage Council and firmly resisted wholesale amalgamation. She led the city through the 2013 earthquakes, taking decisive action on when the city should be open for people and business.

Transport achievements include starting the capital’s cycle network including commitment to the Great Harbour Way, signposting walking shortcuts, and resisting the flyover proposal. Celia’s well-known for cycling to meet Hillary Clinton. 

She recognised the value of cultural diversity, adding Matariki plus Asian, African and European events to the city calendar. Celia led the installation of the world-first transgender traffic lights, celebrating the life of Carmen Rupe in Cuba Street.  

All achievements on Council required teamwork with councillors, staff and communities. Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.   

The next seven years included walking the 3,000km of Te Araroa and cycling Tour Aotearoa, both between Te Rerenga Wairua and Motupōhue. In 2023 she completed the Sounds2Sounds from Meretoto to Piopiotahi. Each journey taught her more about the history, people, and geography of Aotearoa. 

Ms Wade-Brown and her husband live in a solar-powered tiny house next to the Tararua Forest Park. They are restoring biodiversity and regenerating the forest. Celia founded the Wairarapa Walking Festival in 2021. 

Celia’s portfolios are yet to be allocated but she will support the Green kaupapa in all aspects of her Parliamentary and local mahi.  


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