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Council candidates share their vision

Christchurch local body candidates pitched their wares at a UCPOLS-hosted ‘speed-voting’ event on campus this week. Emily Murphy live-blogged the session.

As a small crowd pile into a Canterbury University lecturer theatre, candidates gear up to talk about their vision for the city of Christchurch.

 University of Canterbury political science lecturer Jeremy Moses briefs the candidates on the rules – they’ll have two minutes to speak before a buzzer signals the end of their turn. No more, no less.

“Good luck,” he says.


Event organiser and University of Canterbury political science lecturer Brownyn Hayward thanks candidates for their time.


Banks Peninsula


Mark Belton

Belton says he is concerned about the loss of local democracy. In particular, he wants to advocate for the recovery.
He also wants the new council to consider the environment.

“I would like to see the greening of Christchurch greatly extend beyond privileged areas to the entire city,” he says.

Paula Smith

Smith lives in Diamond Harbour. She’s currently on the Littleton/Herbert Community board.

“I should remind you, it’s not a part of Christchurch city,” she says.

Smith says she wants all the suburban cities to become more like Banks Peninsula communities.

“In our city, every community needs support to build on its existing character,” Smith says, so communities can build their own sense of identity.

Nuk Korako

Korako’s family has lived in the area for over six generations.

“So that makes me a local,” he says.

“When we talk about rebuild…we need to rebuild our governance.”

He says the council needs to create a better image.

“We need to talk about a city where the head is right. If the head’s not right the rest of it isn’t right.”



Community Board

Helene Mautner

Mautner is standing for re-election on the Spreydon/Heathcote Community Board. She says the overriding issue for Christchurch is the city’s  “loss of democracy.

“Our city has been the victim of political interference over the last two years,” she says.

Mautner says she also wants to promote affordable housing.

19:18 Spreydon/Heathcote


Noeline Allan

Allan says her vision is of a council that “works, that functions, that operates”.

She wants a governance team that is engaged with the community. That means “grassroots up, not from the top down,” she says.

“That will be in the best interests of the community”.

Jeremy Calcroft

Calcroft is a former political science graduate from Canterbury University.

His vision is of a carbon neutral city.

“Climate change is a fact, it’s happening now, and we have to address it as a city,” he says.

Calcroft says he wants Christchurch to be a place that will “encourage people to get on their bikes”.

Erin Jackson

Jackson has been the leader of the University of Canterbury Student Association for two years.

She wants Christchurch to be “all that it possibly can be, as it’s rebuilt”.

Jackson wants to create a voice for future generations.

Tim Scandrett

“Christchurch should be run with the interests of the ratepayers and the residents at heart,” he says.

Scandrett, who has lived in the Spreydon/Heathcote ward his entire life, says he wants to clean up the Healthcote River, among other things.

He says as a councillor he will run monthly meetings to talk with residents.

Melanie Riwai-Couch

Riwai-Couch is the mother of five children. She wants to bring diversity to the council table, to represent the needs of more people.

She says she brings a slightly younger perspective. Currently, she’s 39 years old.

She is due to finish her PhD soon, and says she worked for Ngai Tahu in education.

“I would like to see a city that is clean and green and the sort of vibe that makes people want to stay here,” she says.

19:08 Shirley/Papanui

Community Board

James Park

Park, a civil engineer, says he seen first-hand the trouble the city is having with infrastructure.

He says there are some “big challenges ahead,” but he wants to build a city for future generations.

“To me, the compelling vision is building a city our children are going to want to live in.”

Barbara Watson

Watson says she doesn’t want to present her vision to the city. Instead, she wants to listen. She says she wants to give a voice to the ‘voiceless’.

“You’ve just got to stand with them and make them stronger,” she says.

18:50 Shirley/Papanui


Jonathan Corfe

“Christchurch needs to be a city that is dynamic, vibrant, creative, and future proof.”

Corfe says he wants to retain younger people by creating a “best and brighter scheme”.

“We lose our youth, we lose our future citizens,” he says.

Pauline Cotter

“How can our council be more accessible and open?”

Cotter says she wants Christchurch residents to become more engaged. Encouraging residents to attend meetings is one way to do that, she says.

But first, “we must employ a CEO that has that at heart”.

Ali Jones

Jones says the council needs 100 per cent focus from its councillors.

She says the council needs people who can grasp complex issues.

Most of all, she says she wants to advocate for people in the community.

“It’s important to understand them so we can be asking the right questions,” she says.

Aaron Keown

Keown says he’s proud of his first three years at the council table.

He says he’s passionate about the city: “it’s the greatest little city in the world”.

He says his vision is of a clean, safe, and friendly city.

Brad Maxwell

Maxwell has 30 years of experience in property. He says his desire for the city “comes from the heart”.

He lost 20 friends after the CTV building collapsed in the February quake.

He says the current council has ruined the city by not listening to its people.

Ngaire Button

Button is the Christchurch deputy mayor. She spent nine years in local government, and says her vision involves “all of us working together”.

“Every person has the opportunity to reach their potential,” she says.

John Stringer

Stringer says Christchurch needs councillors who are ‘stroppy’.

He says the council should have authority over the CEO, not the other way round.

Stringer says he can bring strong leadership to the council table.



Victor Cattermole

Cattermole is standing for Mayor and council. He says he was inspired by housing issues.

He says he wants to provide incentives for students coming out of university, and is worried about “losing wisdom”.

“I want to see council provide incentive for our smart people coming out of university to stay in the city,” he says.

Glenn Livingston

Livingston is a current councillor. He says he helped push consultation over school closures, and made a stand against re-appointing the CEO.

He wants to promote the city’s anchor projects and protect the city’s natural assets.

Robyn Nuthall

Nuthall says she wants the city to be green, distinctive and beautiful.

“That’s what’s going to make us different,” she says.

Nuthall says it is important to re-think urban design and promote eco-friendly building materials.

Marie Hazledine-Barber

“I see a city from the ground up,” says Hazledine-Barber.

Hazledine-Barber says her vision was of a council that fights for its community.

“A clean, green, safe, secure city,” she says.



Jamie Gough

Gough is the youngest member on council. He was voted onto the community board in 2007. Gough says he entered politics out of a combination of idealism and frustration. He says the last three years have been challenging, but he doesn’t want to leave anytime soon.

Drucilla Kingi-Patterson

Kingi-Patterson describes herself as a creative thinker and strategic planner. She is currently making a film to promote the city.

“Most people can’t handle me because I think outside the square”.

Kingi-Patterson wants a system for the city where people can go along and look at plans.

Raf Manji

“There was once a dream called Otautahi, a dream called Christchurch…now it’s time for a new dream.”

Manji says Christchurch is a special place to live. He says an understanding of global problems will help build a city that is resilient.  Key to that, he says, is a strong democratic system.

Claudia Reid

Reid, a councilor for six years, is standing again, this time for the Fendalton/Waimari ward.

Reid says it’s great to see some “real interest” in the election.

“A city’s not about buildings alone…a city is about people, where they meet, where they work, and where they socialize.”

Reid says she has promoted a network of cycleways as part of the central city plan.

Paul Edward Young

“It’s about people, relationships, and communities,” says Young.

Young says he was committed to making Christchurch a great place to live for future generations.

In particular, he praised ordinary people doing “extraordinary things”.



David Green

“Young men see visions, old men dream dreams,” he says.

“I have a dream…”

Green’s dream includes a council where elected members think carefully about budgeting, and hold themselves accountable for expenditure.

Alexandra Davids

Davids is an independent, running in the Haygley-Ferrymead ward for both council and the community board. She has experience in sales, accounts, and marketing. “I do not have big business project knowledge, but my skills in helping community will be a benefit around the table”.

Davids says she lived in the central red-zone throughout the quakes, so she has first-hand experience.

Nathan Durkin

“Since this is speed dating I’ll try and pick you up real quick,” he says.

Durkin says his vision is for a city where people are listened to. “People know what they want, and they know how to ask for it.”

He wants to see more community-led initiatives like Gap Filler, and the Student Volunteer Army.

Wendy Gilchrist

Gilchrist is an elected member of the Canterbury District Health Board.

“What’s important to me is that we have a city that excites our residents,” she says.

Gilchrist says decisions around the stadium weren’t made democratically. “It is important that we’re all in this together.”

Wayne Hawker

Hawker says he stands for “honesty, transparency, and democracy”.

Hawker recently took a stand against Christchurch brothels, posting the number plates of Christchurch brothel visitors on Facebook. He says he wants to be active in the community.

Yani Johanson

Johanson is a current councillor. He says he wants the city to be “accessible and affordable”.

Known for criticising Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee’s “woeful response” to housing issues, Johanson wants to stand up for democracy.

“The city I support is based on the values of strong social conscience,” he says.

Paul Lonsdale

“I left my vision for the city at home”.

Lonsdale, a mayoral candidate, says trust is one of the bigger issues facing the city. “Get your trust back so you can believe in what we’re doing and get on board.”

Londsale says part of his vision involves minimising rates and avoiding “petty politics”.



Mike Mora

One of the most important things the city faces is the appointment of a CEO who will get the bureaucracy back in control, Mora says.

Mora says under Mayor Bob Parker’s control, he had been unable to represent the community.

“It’s been that bad I’ve actually complained to local body NZ,” he says. “We really need to get the horse off the jockey…so we can ride this city into the future.”

Sara Harnett

Harnett describes herself as a keen cyclist and a person who is dedicated to her family.

She says she wants Christchurch to be a city “that learns from past mistakes”.

Her vision is of it being a “vibrant centre rather than big suburban malls”. She says it is important to keep a balance between inner-city growth and urban sprawl.

Peter Laloli

Laloli has been an elected member of the Riccarton/Wigram community board for 12 years. As an ex-police officer, he says his vision is for a safer Christchurch.

“This ward did not suffer the damage that other wards did, but what we did suffer was a lot of broken people,” he says.

Laloli says he would like to see infrastructure and roading keep up with the needs of the people.

Jimmy Chen

Chen was the city’s first Chinese councillor. “Tena koutou,” he says, addressing the crowd.

“Since I was elected as a councillor in October 2010 we have had to deal with urgent and important earthquake-related issues.”

Chen says he wants to continue to be actively involved in Christchurch’s future. In particular, he wants to repair the libraries, service centres, and the community hall.

Vicki Buck

Buck has a long history at the Christchurch City Council. She was elected mayor at age 34.

Buck says: “I never thought I’d stand again, but I’m determined this city needs to thrive”.

In particular, she advocates on issues around climate change.

Helen Broughton

Broughton has been an elected city councillor since 2001. Her vision includes getting the council’s budget back on track.

“We’ve got to deal with insurance and get back what we’re owed,” she says.

She also says there’s a need to make Christchurch “vibrant, funky, and fun for the young”.