Former capital mayors get New Year Honours

Newstalk ZB Staff,
Publish Date
Saturday, 31 December 2016, 10:03a.m.
Wilde (pictured) said she was quite overwhelmed by the award (Supplied)
Wilde (pictured) said she was quite overwhelmed by the award (Supplied)

Two former mayors of New Zealand's capital city have made the New Year Honour's list.

Fran Wilde, the first female mayor of Wellington and an ex-MP, has been made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, while Celia Wade-Brown has become a companion of the Queen's Service Order for her services to local government after stepping down from the mayoral role in October.

Wilde said that being made a dame was a huge honour: "I am delighted - it's just quite overwhelming actually."

It's been 30 years since Wilde fought at the frontline for gay rights, but that's the first thing she thinks of following the news she will be made a dame.

She said leading the parliamentary campaign for homosexual law reform is one of the proudest moments in her career.

"I know that's made a huge difference to not just the community of gay men in New Zealand, but to all of their families and friends, and in fact to New Zealand."

"It was not before its time," Wilde added.

Wilde served as Minister of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Disarmament during the 2nd term of the 4th Labour government, from 1987 to 1990.

She remained as the MP for Wellington Central until 1992, when she resigned to successfully contest the Wellington mayoralty.

Celia Wade-Brown spent the last six years as Wellington's mayor before Justin Lester took the top job a few months ago, and she said she was delighted to receive her honour.

"I think local government is incredibly important to people's lives - that's their everyday lives and long term - so it's great to see local government recognised," she said.

However, it's not the first time someone in Celia-Wade Brown's family has received a special honour:

"I knew that my grandfather had fought on the Western Front, I then found that on the 1st of January 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for his acts of service in World War One."

Before becoming the 34th Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown was a long serving Wellington City Councillor in the Southern Ward, and has previously stood for Parliament as a member of the Green Party.






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