Kia ora Nelson and Hello Whakatu!

My name’s Matt Lawrey and I’m standing for re-election at this year’s Nelson City Council elections because I believe I’ve helped to make Nelson a better place and, with your support, I’d like to continue that work.

Over the last two terms I have successfully pushed for more flexible housing policies, a healthier environment, safer and more efficient transport links, and more open governance.

I’ve supported sensible infrastructure spends and spoken out against unjustifiable ones. I successfully campaigned for the upper Trafalgar St summer road closures and for policy that makes it easier for women and younger people to stand for Council.

Vote for me and I’ll work hard over the next three years to reduce congestion, convert empty offices into housing, increase democratic participation, and bring greater transparency to Council. Vote for progress.

Vote Lawrey.


I'm standing for re-election because I believe we need to...

  • Reduce congestion by finally getting peak hour clear-ways on our arterial routes, improving public transport, improving our cycling infrastructure and making it safer for kids to walk and ride to school.
  • Revitalise the central city by turning empty offices into places for people to live and by bringing back the Church St upgrade that Council dropped after two years’ work (and a lot of spending) in 2018.
  • Allow Nelsonians to build second dwellings on their properties as of right as long as they don’t breach the rules on site coverage and daylight angles. We are inching towards this becoming a reality but it will need political support to get it over the line.
  • Increase transparency by streaming Council workshops on YouTube (which can be viewed live or later) in the same way we stream Council and committee meetings. Ratepayers have already paid for the streaming technology and have a right to see what goes on in workshops.
  • I also want to continue standing up for people and the environmentwhile at the same time pushing Council to support innovative ideas that help business.
  • And I want to continue keeping Council honest by publicly challenging poor governance and bad decisions, especially when it comes to spending and new bylaws.

Track record

The best indicator of future behaviour is previous behaviour.
Some of my achievements over the last two terms of Council include…

  • Successfully campaigning for the summer closures of upper Trafalgar St.
  • Helping to get more money committed to protecting the environment, including continued funding for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.
  • Preventing Council from spending up large on a cycleway that would have seen little use (the proposed Bolt Rd cycleway) in favour of the Tahunanui Pathway, a cycleway that will make it safer for the people of Tahunanui to get around and make it possible for kids to ride to school.
  • Helping to introduce incentives for central city and fringe housing developments and getting second dwellings as of right included in planning for the new Nelson Plan.
  • Helping to get a Council owned car park transformed into housing and more car parks turned into seating areas.
  • Using my position as a Councillor to support Nelson’s Muslim community in the wake of the Christchurch attacks.
  • Helping to build a stunning community centre in Stoke. The Greenmeadows Centre may have had a difficult start to life but few can argue with the value it’s adding to the Stoke community.
  • Getting a café included in The Greenmeadows Centre. For a while it looked like the biggest public building that Stoke has seen in several generations wasn’t going to have somewhere to sit down, grab a coffee and a bite. I argued long and hard for the café and eventually won support for its inclusion.
  • Supporting the Nelson Mountain Bike Club in its efforts to grow the sport in Nelson.
  • Successfully fighting to keep the gondola project alive with funding when Council staff advised against it.
  • Getting meetings of the Regional Transport Committee live-streamed so the public can see what goes on in them.
  • Getting a review of Council’s workshop policy.
  • Getting planning underway for new toilets and changing rooms at Tahunanui Beach.
  • Using my position as a Councillor to alert the people of Stoke that the suburb was about to get its seventh off-license. The public were so strongly opposed to the idea, the would-be licence holder withdrew his application.
  • Using my position as a Councillor to campaign against the now closed Victory Liquor Centre.
  • Helping to give the Arts Festival greater freedom by getting it out of Council control.
  • Helping to make the crossing outside Auckland Point School infinitely safer.
  • Helping to reduce speeds and increase safety in Haven Rd by getting the two-lane stretch heading out of town reduced to one lane.
  • Helping to make Waimea Rd safer by reducing the old 70 km/h stretch to 50 km/h.
  • Helping to stop the proposed ‘permit to protest’ bylaw requirement.
  • Successfully campaigning with Hurunui District Councillor Julia McLean for the Remuneration Authority to come up with a childcare policy for elected representatives across the country, which will make it easier for more women and younger people to run for public office.
  • Helping to get rid of plastic parking tickets.
  • Helping to get biodegradable doggie doo bags introduced.
  • Helping to defuse an ugly neighbourhood conflict that had residents of a Nelson street suffering in silence until they got organised and started calling out a negligent landlord.
  • Supporting the Sprig and Fern in Hardy St after it received noise complaints that threatened the future of live gigs at the pub.
  • Constantly questioning expenditure that cannot be justified, that does not make sense or that contradicts Council policy.
  • Consistently challenging poor governance and bad decision-making.