The Green Party has given Wellington City councillor Iona Pannett the boot during a meeting some members have described as "deeply uncomfortable" and sombre.
Pannett has been elected on a Green ticket in consecutive local body elections for the past 15 years. She has been a party member since 1999.
The local party held a selection meeting on Saturday where Pannett was vying for another stint representing the Pukehīnau-Lambton ward.
But in brutal fashion, she was not selected even though the ward went uncontested.
The party is now reopening nominations for candidates.
Members aren't happy with how Pannett voted on a housing plan for Wellington last year, which presented a massive opportunity to shake up planning rules.
She voted to protect more character homes rather than freeing inner-city land from requirements for a resource consent to demolish anything built before 1930.
Some feel within the local party that the people who they seek to represent (renters locked out of the market) are not the people benefiting from Pannett's votes (wealthy property owners in Mt Victoria).
It may seem like a no-brainer to push Pannett out of the Greens, especially to younger voters stung by the current property market.
But Pannett has contributed a lot to the party over the years and Saturday's decision was difficult for many.
Pannett has often been a lone figure around the council table advocating on climate change issues before they became more mainstream
Green is in her DNA and she has always stayed true to her beliefs, which include heritage protection.
She has been an activist in this space and has made no secret of it. In fact, her bio on the Wellington Greens website literally lists "robust heritage protection for our character suburbs" as one of her top priorities.
Pannett is in favour of improving what we already have rather than building new, considering the carbon footprint that comes with steel and concrete. She also thinks it's important every society remains connected to its past.
She makes the argument these views are supported by Green Party policy.
The party's long-term strategy says that by 2030 "people will be part of caring communities with a strong heritage fabric and easy access to the natural environment".
There are several other examples of party policy which refer to strengthening protection for historic heritage.
Pannett accepts there are different ways of interpreting party policy and people will have other views to her.
The Greens also have the policy that "everyone has access to a warm, dry, affordable and secure home that supports their wellbeing and enables them to be part of a connected community".
In Wellington, the trade-off between character protection and the ability to house more people close to the city has become stark.
Since Pannett was first elected in 2007, housing in New Zealand has turned into a crisis. There is not enough stock, rents have escalated, and home ownership isn't even worth dreaming about unless your parents can help you.
Labour's KiwiBuild promise has only resulted in further disappointment.
It's a defining issue for a generation of young people who are shut out of the market, making Pannett's views on heritage more relevant than before.
The most heated debate in Wellington's spatial plan was over how much protection character areas in the city should get and how much should be freed up for development.
Protecting heritage is a bottom-line issue for Pannett and doesn't think her vote to protect character will stop people from living in affordable homes.
She fundamentally disagrees it is a one or the other situation.
Pannett makes the point that lifting character protection isn't going to instantly magic up affordable houses because the people living in the existing ones still own them.
She claims there is plenty of land in the city for everyone, we just have to use it well.
However, the Herald has previously revealed almost 90 per cent of land parcels in Wellington's inner residential zone are covered by character protection.
That fact is important from a climate change perspective. If the Greens are serious about climate change, they have to densify housing close to the city so people can walk, bike, or catch public transport to work easily.
As Pannett puts it herself, she was put in a situation where somebody was going to be angry with her.
So, when it came to heritage, she voted to protect character homes because that's what she campaigned on.
Pannett has no regrets and intends to remain a member of the Green Party.
"It's the way it goes. It's politics. People have a right to disagree, I just think it's very important that we're transparent about it", Pannett said.