Cr Elliot Weir

Councillor - Dunedin Constituency


Tel 020 4124 4690

Thoughtful, considered, red of beard, and hair so thick it’s still dry at the roots after a swim, Cr Elliot Weir has managed to pack a lot in already. Born in Paraparumu, they have lived in the Cook Islands, Thailand and Vietnam, travelling with family and attending boarding school overseas. Coming to Ōtepoti four years ago, “It was the first time I put down roots and started building a life. The Otago Peninsula has become my favourite place in the country.”

A job as a wildlife tour guide on the harbour brings them up front and personal with our sea lion population: however, Elliot’s Masters’ research is on a much smaller creature: the kōrero gecko, so called because they like to congregate on bushes and chat to each other.

Elliot’s field of study is systems ecology — looking at how different species interact with each other and the environment they live in. “I’m looking at the geckos’ role in the spread of plant species – taking the approach that everything is interlinked.” They bring this mindset to their role as Councillor. “Everything needs to be considered, whether it’s land use and its effects downstream or how a bus system works. Looking at the broader big picture is our role as councillors — although I do love to be involved in the hands-on stuff, too.”

A feature writer for Critic Te Ārohi, they also enjoy a good, nerdy Wikipedia rabbit hole. “I can spend hours discovering some really obscure facts about the Singapore parliamentary system and a scandal within it.”

Elliot prefers the pronouns they/them. “I don’t see the world as split down the middle in terms of gender, not just black or white … there is a lot of grey in everything, and beauty in the nuances. I don’t really care, though, you can call me anything — as long as it’s not an insult.”

What do they bring to the table? “Lived experience of someone young in the main city of the region who actually uses the buses. I thought that voice was missing. I think a fresh perspective is always needed – within any organisation, the people running it can get a bit blind.”

However, they plan to maintain their outside eyes. “I don’t want to start using three-letter acronyms, but I should at least know what they mean.”

When it comes to the things they want to achieve, Elliot says: “I want to be really involved in the new Land and Water Regional Plan, make sure it’s strong and has teeth to it, so down the line we have better protections and don’t have situations like this summer with iconic places like Outram Glen being unsafe to swim. When it comes to public transport, I’d like to see us extending the network (to Dunedin Airport, for example) and working on reliability and frequency; making bus stops more accessible.”

In spring, they will start the research part of their Masters. “I have to wait for flowers to bloom to test a theory that the kōrero geckos are involved in their seed dispersal.” Like sea lions, geckos aren’t super cuddly — but Elliot is eminently approachable. “If you want to catch up over a coffee, if you have concerns or ideas, come talk to me. I’m more than happy to be emailed — or message my Facebook or Instagram. My part within the council system is laying out the ground rules for what the council does — based on what the community wants — and helping facilitate when those day-to-day decisions go wrong, or the community have questions about them.

If you have something to share, positive or negative, it is of value. Every perspective helps us be better representatives of our community, better leaders, decision-makers, and councillors."

Page last updated 21 June 2024.