If Wellington Mayor Andy Foster could win one vote this term, it would be the one on whether to sell and lease council-owned land at Shelly Bay.
But instead, he lost it.
a long-standing opponent of a controversial housing development planned for land at Shelly Bay on Miramar Peninsula, including the small piece the council owns.
He put the issue firmly on the local body election agenda by announcing his mayoral bid on the land itself, with filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson present.
Jackson, who lives nearby, is also opposed to the development and ended up giving Foster $30,000 for his mayoral bid.
At the time of Foster's campaign launch, Jackson said he wasn't a political person and was supporting Foster because of his moral integrity.
Meanwhile, Foster insisted he wasn't running a one-issue campaign and, to be fair, he did have a long list of election promises.
But that's not what people remember.
The lasting image they have in their mind is Foster standing shoulder to shoulder with a famous film-maker on one of Wellington's most controversial pieces of land.
Foster was in the minority on Wednesday night when Wellington City councillors voted in favour of selling and leasing land the council owns at Shelly Bay.
The vote paves the way for a $500 million development featuring 350 homes to proceed.
The decision to sell passed by nine votes to six.
Before the meeting several councillors said they were unsure which way the vote would go as the numbers were "down to the wire".
Foster had the opportunity to swing the vote his way, but missed it.
It's understood he did little relationship-building, brokering, or political manoeuvring ahead of the vote.
Instead, he appeared to make a last-minute attempt to get councillor Jenny Condie on his side, which ended in her lodging a formal complaint with the council's chief executive about Foster's behaviour.
Condie claimed that on the morning of the vote, Foster showed her information she believed he did not have permission to share, and was potentially defamatory to a former council officer.
In a statement to the Herald, Foster said he was not in a position to respond to the allegations as the matter was going through a process.
"I want to thank the people of Wellington who shared their views and passion regarding Shelly Bay and, although the decision wasn't what I had hoped for, it was the result of a majority vote and that is democracy in action," he said.
"We need to focus on what's ahead for us as a council and city – Spatial Plan engagement, the Long Term Plan, delivering the new Central Library and a revitalised Civic Square."
It's apparent that even if the vote had gone in Foster's favour, it would have had little to do with him.
Instead, a majority grew over the course of the meeting in favour of selling the council land as councillors got more information and heard from various interested parties.
Councillors have now taken it upon themselves to build relationships and alliances among their own ranks.
Foster's inability to get the numbers around the table for what he wants to push through council isn't a new thing.
He was overruled by his councillors on extending free-parking in the CBD amid Covid-19.
The membership of his own mayoral taskforce into Wellington's water woes was also drastically changed by councillors in the very public setting of a full council meeting.
But the vote on Shelly Bay was different because it was his election platform.
Foster campaigned on something he simply couldn't deliver on.