‘Harvard loves Teddy’: Wellington mayor’s dog finds favour in New York

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Wellington mayor Tory Whanau’s dog Teddy has been made a special ID card by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in New York. Photo / Tory Whanau

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau and her dog may have hit the headlines at home, but Harvard has found humour in the story by granting Teddy the staffordshire bull terrier his very own ID card.

Whanau is currently in New York attending a Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative programme.

While abroad, the story broke that she has been bringing Teddy to the office despite the council’s lease agreement not allowing animals on the premises.

Wellington City councillor Nicola Young told Newstalk ZB Drive other councillors who own dogs felt there shouldn’t be separate rules for everyone else.


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“It’s about the principle. It’s not really about the dog,” she said.

Whanau has since posted a photo on Facebook of a special ID card made for “Teddy Whanau”.

“Harvard loves Teddy!” Whanau said.

“They got some Google alerts while I’ve been doing their Bloomberg Leadership programme in NY. And they made me this.”


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Whanau said everyone thought it was “hilarious” if this was one of her biggest scandals.

She is joining 40 other mayors from around the world on a week-long programme in New York.

“We’re focusing on jobs and poverty reduction, affordable housing, infrastructure, climate and resource management,” Whanau said on Facebook.

“So far it is like mayor school on steroids. I cannot wait to bring these learnings back to Wellington, where the course continues online for a full year. It’s a real honour – plus it’s my first trip to NY – which is jaw dropping!”

The mayor’s expenses are covered by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

Whanau’s trip comes during Wellington City Council’s winter recess.

Georgina Campbell is a Wellington-based reporter who has a particular interest in local government, transport, and seismic issues. She joined the Herald in 2019 after working as a broadcast journalist.

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