Senior Wellington journalist Georgina Campbell's fortnightly column looks closely at issues in the capital.
Wellington's mayor has a nickname for 2020- he's calling it a PPP.
One could be forgiven for thinking Andy Foster was making some sort of subtle parallel to the shambles that is Transmission Gully, but he is not talking about a public private partnership.
Foster's PPP acronym stands for pipes, politics and pandemics. Last week he told his councillors in an end of year speech it's fair to say 2020 has been tough.
"It's a year we've learned to Zoom, watch concerts online, and to commemorate Anzac Day together apart."
Whether it's a year Foster learned to lead his council is more questionable.
The cracks began to show in the mayoralty at the same time the cracks in the city's pipes spewed millions of litres of wastewater into Wellington's harbour.
What would come to be known as Wellington's water woes was the first real test for Foster.
He spectacularly failed.
Not because he didn't care, or wasn't on the ground trying to understand the problem, but because he was still acting like a councillor rather than the mayor of the capital city.
His predecessor Justin Lester was not without fault, but the way he handled the aftermath of the 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake was exemplary.
Pivotal to that response was holding daily media stand-ups.
But Foster didn't appear to factor in the media at all, despite news outlets being an important connection between politicians and the public.
Wellingtonians were wondering where their new mayor was in what increasingly became an infrastructure crisis.
He eventually announced an emergency meeting between Wellington City Council and Wellington Water, followed by a mayoral taskforce into three waters.
But the left side of his council led a move that completely changed the membership of that taskforce in the full public setting of a council meeting.
It was clear Foster was unable to command a majority.
Discontent was growing among city councillors as Foster apparently then went MIA.
He missed a final workshop for elected members to deliberate the council's incoming budget. It was Foster's first one as mayor and presented an opportunity for him to stamp his election agenda on the year ahead.
Foster also wasn't at a meeting between the region's mayors and council chief executives over the state of water infrastructure.
Inquiries by the Herald revealed Foster was completing a $30,000 Institute for Strategic Leadership course at the luxury five-star Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, paid for from the ratepayers' purse.
The resort boasts a 27-hole championship golf course, an award-winning day spa, a health and fitness centre with gymnasium, 25m lap pool, outdoor hot pools, sauna and conference facility.
Soon after, Covid-19 hit and Foster's newfound leadership skills would be put to the test.
Instead, he brought in a facilitator during lockdown to sort out his divided council as tensions boiled over.
This was after his idea to extend free parking in the CBD until at least June, to help businesses during the pandemic, was quashed by his fellow councillors.
It appeared Foster had reached his wits' end, resorting to lashing out in a press release at the councillors who voted against him on the parking proposal and then calling in the facilitator.
In the months after the country emerged from lockdown the council appeared to settle down a bit.
The organisation was still functioning and pushing work through its committees, but the councillors who commanded the majority were putting their stamp on it rather than the mayor leading the agenda.
Alas, the calm waters were not to last for very long with the incoming vote on whether to sell and lease council-owned land at Shelly Bay.
The tense meeting started with councillor Jenny Condie announcing she had lodged a formal complaint about Foster's conduct that very morning, which is now being investigated by independent lawyers.
But what really angered even the councillors who had previously tried to support Foster was when he was photographed seemingly helping to pitch tents at the beginning of a land occupation at Shelly Bay.
Foster maintains he was just being a good camper and helping to fix a broken pole, but that doesn't change the fact he was there in the first place.
He did however find his voice in the Christmas message he delivered at the beginning of the last council meeting of 2020 when he made the PPP reference.
Foster name-checked councillors for their achievements throughout the year, which went down well.
But the mayor's biggest problem has always been the temptation to play every instrument in the symphony, rather than to orchestrate.
After a tumultuous year of leadership, the symphony has learned to play by itself.