COMMENT:

There have been whispers for months over who exactly Conor Hill is and whether he'd ever put in a legitimate bid for Wellington city's top job.

Well he now has, and it marks the beginning of a mayoral race in the capital.

In September last year Hill started a tongue-in-cheek blog called "Conor Hill for Mayor".

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The Herald got in touch with him to ask why someone would fake a mayoral campaign.

Hill described the blog as an outlet to express his opinions about how Wellington could be better.

He said he considered himself to be a mayoral wannabe but if incumbent Justin Lester did not have any "progressive" challengers over the next couple of months, he would consider putting his hat in the ring for real.

Some ideas Hill voiced on his blog had merit, while others were downright silly.

But it's the way Hill put pen to paper which left those reading it a bit amused.

"Let people build up to three storeys everywhere. Near any rail station let them build to 6 storeys. Near any cliff, let people build to the height of the cliff, like in Oriental Bay. No more forced lawns and carparks," he wrote.

However, Hill has cleaned and spruced up his image for today's announcement that he's running against Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

He has had professional-looking photos taken outside one of Wellington's most iconic walls of street art.

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He has wiped his blog clean, directing people to his new website.

The 36-year-old's priorities are housing affordability, better transport options and getting rid of "vanity projects".

He wants the convention centre and the airport runway extension to be axed.

Justin Lester announced earlier this year he would campaign for another term as mayor. Photo / Supplied
Justin Lester announced earlier this year he would campaign for another term as mayor. Photo / Supplied

Wellington's vibrancy is under threat, Hill said in his first official press release.

"Homes and rents are unaffordable. The transport system is broken. Wellington's cars and draughty homes contribute to climate change. Pensioners, young families and refugees can no longer afford the rent, or handle the congestion."

Housing and transport polices would be announced in the coming weeks, he said.

Hill didn't waste time in having a crack at Lester.

"We have a mayor who can announce a climate change crisis one week, and open a petrol station the next."

Hill grew up in Auckland and Nelson before shifting to Wellington in 2001.

He later graduated from Victoria University (or is it Wellington University now?) with a degree in English Literature and History.

Since then his professional career has included work in project management, IT and as a farmhand in the Australian outback.

His political experience is grassroots, having only delivered flyers and gone door knocking for the Labour Party in local and national elections.

But Hill will be running as an independent candidate in this year's local body elections.

He hoped people would take him seriously despite him running a fake campaign prior to his legitimate one.

But one thing is certain, there's an appetite in Wellington for competition over the city's top job, and Hill's campaign has got the ball rolling.