Skip to content

Live blog: local election speed-voting

Tonight, the University of Canterbury hosted local government candidates for a speed-voting session. Each candidate had two minutes to share their view of Christchurch. Sarah-Jane O’Connor has been live blogging some of the speeches.



Event organiser Bronwyn Hayward ended the night by thanking the candidates for running.


Banks Peninsula


Mark Belton

“I was first and foremost deeply concerned about the loss of local democracy,” Belton says. Advocating for the recovery of democracy will be his key goal.

“We have a top-down governance process, which has disenfranchised our community.”

Belton is an environmental scientist. He says the future lies in making our city not only more beautiful, “but creating a city which is moving towards environmental sustainability”.

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

Paula Smith

Smith lives in Diamond Harbour, and has been on the Lyttelton/Mt Herbert community board.

She says Banks Peninsula communities are resilient and resourceful.

“In my vision…all the suburban cities 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 been linked to the area for six generations.

“I think when we talk about rebuild…we really need to rebuild our governance.”

“To other New Zealanders, it’s a basket case.”

He says we need to talk about a city where, in the first case, “the head is right”.

“Banks Peninsula is the lifeline to the South Island…when you look at Banks Peninsula, you need to understand that Banks Peninsula is also very diverse.”

“I’m the one actually who is going to be able to lead Banks Peninsula to be a strong voice.”



Community board

Helene Mautner

Mautner is standing for re-election on the Spreydon/Heathcote community board. She has a doctorate in voice therapy for the elderly.

She says the one overriding issue is “our loss of democracy”.

After the earthquake, residents were asked to make submissions on what they wanted the city to be, but Mautner says these were ignored.

“My vision for our city is a return to democracy.”




Noeline Allan

Allan says her vision is “a council that works, that functions, that operates” — a council that doesn’t give away its responsibility:

  • That is run from the grassroots up, not from the top down.
  • “That we don’t mortgage the next three generations.”
  • That we don’t put all our effort into the city centres and forget about the suburbs.
  • “That we can be the people’s city once again.”

Jeremy Calcroft

Calcroft is a political science graduate from Canterbury University.

He says his vision is a carbon-neutral city.

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

He says an efficient, reliable and cheap public transport system will be essential for this vision.

Businesses that left after the earthquakes need to be enticed back, particularly to ensure employment for young people.

“The current council has become increasingly removed from the people it is supposed to represent.”

Erin Jackson

Jackson has led Canterbury University’s student association for the last two years.

She wants to see Christchurch “be all that it can be”.

As a new home-owner, she says it’s time “we also had some of those future generations being listened to at the table.”

“We need people around that table who are willing to work together,” she says.

Tim Scandrett

Says he has the interest of the ratepayers and the residents at heart.

He has lived in the Spreydon/Heathcote ward his whole life.

“I believe our community needs adequate funding for our community facilities,” he says.

He says we “really need to clean up the Heathcote river”.

“We’ve got to look after our communities.” He says he has met residents who are still living in broken homes.

“We’ve got to look after our communities, they are the soul of our city.”

He says as a councillor he will run monthly meeting so residents can bring him their issues.

Melanie Riwai-Couch

Riwai-Couch is the mother of five children. She says we need to be thinking of a city in which our children can grow up, get a good education, and want to raise their own children.

She says it is important to bring diversity to the council. “We do need to have that nice balance.”

She is due to finish her PhD in education, and has worked for Ngai Tahu, also in education.

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



Community board

James Park

Park is a civil engineer and works in the roading sector. He says he sees the trouble the city is having with rebuilding infrastructure.

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

“The end game here is something that will keep our children in Christchurch.”

He says the community boards are important for engaging with the community.

“I’m also strong on rebuilding confidence,” he says. “There are a lot of people sitting in limbo at the moment.”

Barbara Watson

Watson says her role, if elected, is “to present your vision to the city, not mine”.

“I have a real passion for people, I love this city.”

“What I see is a lot of isolation in the ward,” she says. “I see a future in the city where that doesn’t happen.”

She says she would like to give a voice to those who are disempowered, “you’ve just got to stand with them and make them stronger”.




Pauline Cotter

Cotter quotes from the People’s Choice statement: a green, smart city – “the best place in the world to bring up our families”, where people all have access to warm, safe housing.

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

She says we need a CEO who will supply councillors with reports in a timely way. Community boards are a large part of the answer – where residents make deputations if they have an issue.

“In this way people can have their voices heard, that’s an engaged city.”

Ali Jones

“The next three years hold so much potential,” Jones says.

She says we need leaders with integrity and common-sense.

“Our community needs and deserves 100 per cent focus of our councillors,” she says.

Aaron Keown

Keown says he’s very proud of his first three-year term.

“The city I want to live in it’s the greatest little city in the world,” he says.

Keown says the Share an Idea project emphasised that residents wanted a city that was green, safe, friendly and engaged.

“I’ve listened, and gone on and done part of what the city’s asked for,” he says of his involvement in securing funding for cycle-lanes.

Brad Maxwell

Maxwell has a background in property. He says his desire for the city comes “from the heart”.

“This council over the last three years has ruined the city. It has not listened to its people,” he says.

He says the council needs to open the door to ratepayers and listen to what their needs and concerns are.

He says strong foundations are built on honesty, integrity and trust.

Ngaire Button

Button has spent nine years in local government, most recently as the deputy mayor.

“It has been a real privilege to serve in that role.”

She says her vision for the city will take “all of us working together”.

“My vision for Christchurch is that everyone who lives here…every person has an equal opportunity to reach their potential,” she says, regardless of where they live or where they’re from.

John Stringer

Stronger says he was born in the ward and raised his children there.

He says there is a disconnect between governance and management.

“We need councillors who are a bit stroppy, frankly.”

“We must have strong leadership…and I think that’s been lacking,” Stringer says of the current council.

“I want the big ticket items brought down to the community.”



Community board

Andrea Cummings

Cummings says, just days after the February earthquake, she saw a man washing his dishes in the gutter.

“Life has never been the same since.”

“Christchurch has an amazing array of beaches, parks and reserves,” she says.

She says she will work to ensure disability access.

Alistair Savai’i Knewstubb

“In the shadow of this new stadium is the hopes of 4,000 homeless Christchurch,” says Savai’i Knewstubb

“This is a reflection of an irresponsible council,” he says.

We should be putting roofs on the stadium after roofs on houses.

Mary McCammon

McCammon says the community board role is the humblest of political positions. It is one of listening to people and helping them do what they need to do.

“I’m a greenie,” McCammon says. “It’s our absolute duty to protect the natural environment and to make sure the build environment is sustainable.”

There was tremendous consensus from the Share an Idea project, that people want a community and a garden.

Stan Tawa

Tawa has lived in the area for 24 years. “I’m passionate about our community,” he says.

Tawa has four plans he would like to see in the city:

  • the redesign of roads and parking around the proposed composite schools
  • the coastal pathway to be extended through New Brighton
  • an east-side aquatic sporting facility
  • the local alcohol policy to ensure strategic placement of bottle stores.




Victor Cattermore

Standing for Mayor and councillor. He says two things called him to run: people’s problems with housing and the anchor projects.

Cattermore was involved with a proposal for the Convention Centre, which he says would have been funded by investors.

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

Glenn Livingstone

Livingstone is a current councillor. He says People’s Choice has been responsible for several moves, including declaring Christchurch a frack-free centre, calling for consultation over school closures, and standing against the re-appoinment of the CEO.

He says the natural assets of the city is what he wants to promote.

Robyn Nuthall

Nuthall says the city should be green, distinctive and beautiful, and built on our history.

She says new homes should have eco-friendly aspects built in from the beginning.

“We’ve retreated to our villages…our urban design should come from those.”

“We should all be proud of what we built…we want a world renowned, green smart city.”

Marie Hazledine-Barber

“I see a city built from ground up,” Hazledine-Barber says. “A city led by a council who are part of the solution.”

“Above all, a city that leads the way in retaining its character…a clean, green, safe, secure city.”




Faimeh Burke

Burke did her Masters degree in politics and international relations. She says she wants the city to be a clean, green environmentally-friendly city with efficient public transport and cycle-lanes.

“To realise this, we need councillors who can work collaboratively,” she says.

Councillors need to advocate for transparency and public consultation.

Jamie Gough

Gough has been on the council for three years, and a community board for three years before that.

“I absolutely loved it”.

“The last three years on council has been difficult…but I still love it”.

“I got a lot of it right along the way. I’m proud of that,” he says.

“We are building the newest city in the world and I’m really excited by that.”

Gough says he’s committed to the city, and it’s imperative that we “think outside the square”.

Drucilla Kingi-Patterson

Kingi-Patterson says she is making a film to promote the city.

What we seem to lack in this city at the moment, Kingi-Patterson says, is a system where anyone can go along and look at plans.

“This council…stifles entrepreneurship,” she says.

Raf Manji

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

Christchurch stands out as a special place to live, Manji says. “It must be a sustainable and resilient city.”

We have to think about the major global problems, Manji says, so we can be prepared for them.

“Strong participatory democracy will be the key to this.”

Claudia Reid

Reid has been a councillor for six years. She says it’s great there seems to be real interest in this election.

“Recovering our city is tough. Every day can feel like fighting a battle,” she says.

“There’s been a lot of words about the rebuild, but a city is not about buildings alone.”

Reid says she has promoted a new, cycle-friendly city: “a city designed for people, not cars”.

Paul Edward Young

“It’s about people, relationships, communities,” Young says of the city. “It’s not about a building project.”

Young says we saw “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” after the earthquakes.

“A community with heart, passion and pride.”



community board

Luke Chandler

“I have a passion for this city…I want to make it a better place”.

“We are building the newest city in the world,” Chandler says.

The consents process is “bogging down” the forward movement in the city.

Chandler wants a way to translate residents’ voices directly to council.

Jeremy Kaye

Kaye is a fourth-year law student, and grew up in the local area. As a member of the Christchurch Youth Choir, he has a love for the arts.

He says he wants to unite different groups to make “our community a great place to live”.

“I think community is what we’re all about”.

“I want to bring my youth and my enthusiasm to community board level”.

Debbie Mora

“I’ve seen a lot of changes…at the moment it’s growing at a very rapid rate”.

Mora says Riccarton/Wigram is being hit by a lot of infrastructure changes.

“I have a 25-year-old son so I think I know what the youth want,” Mora says.

Housing is an issue, Mora says.

Shirish Paranjape

Paranjape has lived in Christchurch for 12 years, since he arrived in New Zealand.

“This is my passion,” he says. Problems need to be solved by consultation with the community.



Helen Broughton

Broughton says she is a city councillor and long-term Riccarton resident.

She says there needs to be work done on the council’s budget and to ensure insurance money is paid out on council facilities.

She wants to see warm comfortable homes, attractive neighbourhoods, a vibrant city heart, a green city with eco-buildings and cycling.

“The most interesting city in New Zealand”.

Vicki Buck

Buck says she is returning to council after being out of it for 15 years. “I never thought I’d stand again”.

She is determined the city needs to thrive and be a place that puts people first.

Buck says it’s not her vision that matters, but what “all of you want to happen”.

She says she has a strong background in environmental sustainability and renewable technologies.

“We all want something that is much better than we’ve currently got”.

Jimmy Chen

Current Riccarton/Wigram councillor Chen says the council has dealt with many issues over the last three years including insurance, EQC, TC3 properties and damaged infrastructure. “It has not been business as usual.”

Chen says over the last three years he has been actively involved in four council committees.

Peter Laloli

Laloli says he has lived in the ward for years, and has been a local police officer.

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

The facilities have not kept up with the growth of citizens into the ward, Laloli says.

“I want to make this a safe place – this is your community.”

Sarah Harnett

“My vision for Christchurch is for a great environment to live and work”: a city that takes the opportunity to utilise the best urban planning, and a vibrant centre rather than just a series of urban malls. A city with plenty of green space and parks, “something which has always been important to Christchurch”.

Due to the shift in population, “we need to keep a balance between growth and urban sprawl”.

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.

“We haven’t been able to represent you the way we want to.”

“We really need to get the horse off the jockey…so we can ride this city into the future,” Mora says. “Then we can start implementing the vision for the city”.


Jeremy Moses welcomes the audience and says the two-minute limit for speakers will be strictly enforced.

Each candidate will speak only once. Moses introduces the first speaker from the Riccarton/Wigram ward.
_Some sessions ran concurrently, so not all candidates could be reported here.