The Press reports:
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker will seek another term in office.
Speculation was rife that Parker, whose two terms in office have been marred by controversy, would step aside at next year’s local body elections, but in an interview with The Press the former television presenter confirmed he would seek re-election.
No-one else has publicly signalled their interest in the mayoralty yet, but behind the scenes the hunt is on among Christchurch’s movers and shakers for a candidate to challenge Parker.
Christchurch East Labour MP Lianne Dalziel was tipped, but ruled out standing because she has her eyes on Gerry Brownlee’s job as Canterbury earthquake recovery minister.
She is believed to be pushing prominent businessman and rich-lister Humphry Rolleston to stand. Rolleston is on the board of several listed companies and was for many years a business partner with the late Timaru financier Allan Hubbard.
Former Christchurch mayor Garry Moore is another who could be persuaded to stand. He has been outspoken of late about the loss of democracy in Christchurch and the stranglehold Wellington has on decision-making here.
Rolleston would be a very formidable challenger. Moore was a popular Mayor, but I’m not sure people will want to be seen to turn the clock back.
Among the city councillors there are three who stand out as possible contenders – Burwood-Pegasus councillors Peter Beck and Glenn Livingstone, and Hagley-Ferrymead councillor Tim Carter.
Carter is a first-term councillor and, at 35, could be considered by some as too young, but Vicki Buck was just 33 when she became the city’s first female mayor.
Beck has been on the council for a matter of months, but his former role as dean of Christ Church Cathedral means he has a high profile in the city and is widely respected.
Livingstone is in his first term, but has proved to be an effective councillor and has recently led council moves to get an insurance advisory service set up in Christchurch to help those locked in insurance disputes.
I’m not sure any sitting Councillor would win against Parker, as people were unimpressed with all the infighting. However Beck being new may be an exception to that.