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  • Dan Moskovitz

Greens hold Lambton Ward after special votes counted


On Saturday, he won a seat on the city council in the by-election to replace newly-elected MP Tamatha Paul. On Wednesday, he lost it. Geordie Rogers, his Green Party competitor won Lambton Ward thanks to special votes, which are not included in the preliminary count. 

Mr Rogers, 24, is best known as the current Renters United president. On Saturday Mr Tiefenbacher, 55, founder of Kaffee Eis and running as an independent, preliminarily beat him by 621 votes.

A day later more votes were tallied. Mr Tiefenbacher’s lead became just 164 votes, with 590 left uncounted. An unassailable lead suddenly became assailable. 

The swing continued its trajectory. On Wednesday, Mr Rogers won in the final count by a 45-vote margin.

The results are still a shot across the bow for the Greens, given Ms Paul previously held Lambton with the largest margin in the city, and the recent general election wins in Wellington Central and Rongotai.  

Turnout was low at 25.47%, potentially contributing to Mr Rogers’ close shave.

Mr Tiefenbacher’s key pitch was to stop wasteful spending, including the Golden Mile and cycleways, while focusing fully on investing in infrastructure projects. 

Mr Rogers, in contrast, ran a campaign around cheaper housing, decarbonisation, and investment in public transport and infrastructure. 

The results mean the status quo should continue on the council, given Mr Rogers should follow Ms Paul’s footsteps and vote progressively. 

Given the tight margin, it would not be unheard of for Mr Tiefenbacher to request a recount.

However, according to the 2022 WCC Candidate Handbook, recounts usually only occur “when a result is very close, i.e. less than 5-10 votes, depending on the size of the election.”


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