Vocal bar owner Matt McLaughlin has confirmed he is running for Wellington City Council, while a prominent employment lawyer and recently retired chairman of the airport are considering it.
McLaughlin is concerned about the city's nighttime economy, Peter Cullen says he's got a strong feel for the city, and Tim Brown says the housing market is a "colossal failure".
It hasn't been smooth sailing for the council this term with drawn out and contentious votes over Shelly Bay, the district plan and the 10-year-budget.
Wellington's mayor Andy Foster was told to apologise after he was found to have breached the council's code of conduct.
After bringing in a facilitator to try and sort out rising tensions between elected members, Foster then ordered an independent review of the council, which recommended dividing power among councillors rather than relying on him to find a majority.
McLaughlin told the Herald he is running for council in the Onslow-Western Ward.
He said he was only vying for a position as a councillor and ruled out a bid for the mayoralty.
McLaughlin, who has owned bars in the city for many years, said his priorities were the nighttime economy, city safety and having a vibrant CBD.
"We need to take a step back and map out what we want our city to look like after dark in 10 years. We need to start putting plans in place now, but at the moment we're not."
McLaughlin has been a key player in the Pōneke Promise- a social contract between the city's hospitality industry, retailers, police and councils to take collective action to address safety issues in Wellington's CBD.
He has also been involved in "Don't Guess the Yes"- a campaign to help prevent sexual violence in the city.
McLaughlin said if he had a seat at the council table, he would have a stronger voice and greater ability to drive change.
He said the current council was "massively dysfunctional".
"We've got a lot of people that sit around the table and they're just bickering at each other and they don't have Wellingtonians at heart and in the forefront of their thoughts, which is all wrong. Party politics should not form part of what our Wellington City Council adheres to."
McLaughlin described the city as treading water and slowly sinking, but was adamant it could be salvaged.
Tim Brown has recently retired from his role as chairman of Wellington Airport, but remains on the board.
He said he was considering running for Wellington City Council, either in the Lambton or Eastern Wards, but is yet to make a decision.
Brown said he has plenty of experience dealing with the council through the likes of the airport, CubaDupa, Fringe Festival and Wellington Hockey.
But the one issue that has turned his mind to running for council is the unaffordability of Wellington's housing market.
"I think it's just a colossal failure, it's something which really bugs me."
As the father of three children, the issue hits close to home for Brown.
"It's an insane market when younger people, unless they're willing and able to take on million-dollar-plus mortgages, have no ability to get entry to the market and that's just wrong and, in the longer term, it's extremely bad for Wellington.
"Do we want Wellington to be a city where there's only middle-aged people who can afford housing and a bunch of tenants who are really grumpy because they can't afford possibly to actually move into their own homes?"
Brown stressed the importance of the next council being able to work as a team, rather than the "lone ranger" approach Foster has become known for.
"Local government in particular, you have to be able to work with other people and you have to be able to be members of a team. If you're not a team player, don't bother to apply in my view."
Well-known employment lawyer Peter Cullen has recently retired and told the Herald he has a bit of time on his hands.
"I've been approached by quite a significant number of people to stand for council. I was born here, I've been here my whole life so I've got a strong feel for the city.
"But I'm just thinking about it really, it's nice of people to ask me and I'm just thinking about what I'd like to do with the next stage of my life."
Meanwhile, Southern Ward councillor Fleur Fitzsimons has confirmed she won't be running again and is moving to a full-time role in the leadership team of the Public Service Association.
Speculation has been rife that she would seek Labour's support to run for the Rongotai electorate if current MP Paul Eagle has a crack at Wellington's mayoralty and is successful.
Fitzsimons wouldn't rule that out if there was a by-election.
"But there's a number of 'ifs' before the seat would become available," she said.
"Paul Eagle hasn't announced whether he's running for the mayoralty, then there would be a formal selection process by party members in the electorate.
"Whether he runs for mayor is a decision for him."
Onslow-Western Ward councillor Rebecca Matthews announced on social media this week that she would be running again.
"I want action on housing, transport choices, climate change and more. So, with your help and support I'd love to do a second term as a Wellington City Councillor and make it happen. She's running!", Matthews posted on Twitter.