Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is mulling over a return to politics at Wellington City Council's table.
Leggett, who is currently chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, isn't ruling out standing in Wellington's Northern Ward at this year's local body elections.
It's not the first time he has eyed local government in Wellington City. He unsuccessfully ran against Justin Lester in 2016 for the capital's mayoralty.
Whispers have been circulating for weeks now that Leggett is running this year, but when the Herald contacted him about the rumour it was clear he is far from having his mind made up.
Leggett said he has been approached by several people about running and it's something he is giving consideration, although with some reluctance.
"I've got a job I love and I think i'm doing a good job. I'm not sure if I want to upend that to throw myself on the bonfire that is Wellington City Council."
The timing could also be off with the recent arrival of his fourth child.
Leggett said he could be persuaded into running if a group of quality candidates emerged who could drive a sense of direction for the city.
"The reality is you actually want to be serving with colleagues that even if you don't agree with them on everything, there's a broad direction for the city, and agreement on what needs to improve, and on where Wellington needs to go."
Andy Foster's term as mayor has been nothing short of chaotic and Wellington City Council has made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
He has battled with a left-leaning majority, more than one council meeting has stretched for hours into the night, while a narrative has taken hold that the city is in a death spiral.
The one thing Leggett is sure about is that there needs to be a "cultural cleanout" of Wellington City councillors who he thinks have become stuck down in the weeds.
"The councillors see themselves as mini managers rather than governors and therefore they spend too much time doing their council work.
In Leggett's opinion, being a Wellington City Councillor shouldn't have to be a full-time job.
"Councillors need to set the direction, make decisions that fit in with that direction, let the staff run the city. They should monitor that and keep a pulse on what's happening in the distinct communities in the city as elected representatives."
These sorts of issues have been festering for years and are not entirely the fault of the current council, Leggett said.
There's proof of that in the 2016 race for Wellington's mayoralty when Leggett described the culture at Wellington City Council as toxic.
On that campaign trail he promised to leave after two terms to promote a continual rejuvenation of the council.
"This idea that you hang around for a lifetime like many on Wellington City Council, and you make a job out of it, is not something that I find attractive" he said at the time.
"My view is that you get in, you make change, and then you move on."
The serious issues facing Wellington today are infrastructure, the economy, culture, housing, and transport, Leggett said.
But he also said there's a lack of trust in the council's ability to make decisions on those issues.
"I don't think there would be many people in Wellington, other than perhaps some of the councillors, who believe that they are effective and efficient in their decision making."
A survey published in the middle of last year revealed satisfaction with Wellington City Council's decision making had dropped to just 16 per cent.
Residents are more unhappy with the council than ever before.
The Northern Ward is ripe for change with Malcolm Sparrow resigning from his position due to a health scare.
Councillor Jill Day is very much on the fence as to whether she will stand again and has spent time with her family over summer discussing it.
Councillor Jenny Condie has confirmed she will be running in the ward again and hasn't ruled out a bid for the mayoralty.
Another crack at the mayoralty is off the cards for Leggett: "I've done that and I didn't win".
Leggett doesn't live in the Northern Ward, he lives in Porirua - a city very much dear to his heart.
He still knows the ward well with it being not too far away and having gone to school there.
Being a Wellington City councillor would offer Leggett the chance to contribute to the engine room of the region.
If Wellington isn't humming, it's more difficult for the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Kāpiti, and Porirua to thrive, Leggett said.
"When you believe in something and you've got a view about how things should change, then you will be motivated to think about how you might be part of that.
"Wellington has to be better."