Wellington City Mayoral candidate Jack Yan says letters sent to constituents by an opponent reflect a divide in thinking.
On Tuesday evening, natural history writer Alison Ballance complained via Twitter that her household was sent different letters from one Mayoral candidate, with the content seemingly based on gender.
Mr Yan says the targeting of voters in such a manner is reflective of 20th-century thinking.
"A successful politician in the 21st century is one who engages, not lectures; one who listens, not dictates; and one who should be wise enough to provide the same message to a household regardless of the recipient’s gender," he says.
"We can't afford to have our next Mayor stuck in that paradigm, not when our city's GDP growth has been below the national average this century, population growth in just above 1 per cent and unemployment is 6-8.
"This is another reminder of why we need a break from 20th-century thinking and need a Mayor with 21st-century thinking."
Mr Yan points to his policies on connecting Wellington to the top 40 cities in the world, and that a modern mayor must be comfortable operating in a globalized environment.
"People show a greater connection to their city than their country sometimes, and it is a fact that global economic activity is taking place in cities. The city-to-city relationship is potentially more important, it generates closer connections between people, and those connections will encourage innovation to take place.
"I do not believe in going cap in hand to central government for projects; I believe in creating the conditions in which our globally ambitious companies can thrive."
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