Mayors united

The Press reports:

Two former Christchurch mayors are mulling a return to local politics.

Former mayors and are both considering running for the city council at the October local elections.

Buck has been meeting regularly with possible mayoral candidate .

Moore said it was likely Labour MP Dalziel would run for the mayoralty and he criticised the current councillors.

“I would say the probability would be reasonably high. It is up to her to announce that when she finally goes through the starting line.

“The Government has to hand over [the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] to the local council in two and a bit years. If I were the Government, there is no way I would hand it over to the current council. It needs horsepower.

“We need to think hard about supporting excellent people on the council, not the sort of dull people that many of them are right now.”

Dalziel said she could not comment on whether she had offered Buck or Moore roles in her possible campaign.

“I haven’t formalised where I stand at the moment. People know I’m talking to a lot of people. This is the hardest decision I have ever made in my life.

Oh don’t be silly. Of course you’re standing. It’s not a hard decision. You were dumped from Labour’s shadow cabinet. You won’t be a Minister again, even if Labour wins. So of course you’re standing for Mayor. You’ve spent weeks or months putting together running mates and campaign teams. Just make the bloody announcement.

The involvement of Buck and Moore is astute. I thought Buck was a very good Mayor, and Moore wasn’t too bad either – even though I disagree with his politics. Both Buck and Moore are Labour aligned.

If one or both stand, they will be the ones who attack Parker on behalf of Dalziel, which is a smart strategy. As former Mayors they can do so with credibility, and talk about how one needs a more unified Council and the role of leadership in that. That leaves Dalziel free to run a more positive campaign, which she needs to do. She should win so long as she is not seen as overly negative.

Buck said she was considering running for councillor, but ruled out the mayoralty and the deputy role.

Under the new law, Mayors appoint the Deputy Mayor – not Council. So, candidates will be asked who their running mate is, so to speak.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said Buck would make a “great councillor”, but said she should avoid political affiliations.

“It would be a shame if she tied herself to one political group.”

Moore said he would be an independent candidate if he stood.

“I am sitting on the side utterly despairing at how pathetic the leadership is. Vicki and I have been sitting weeping into our coffees for the last couple of years.

“We have looked at all our hard work and thought: ‘My God, what’s happening?’ This is not a place for show ponies, it’s a time for carefully thought through strategic thinking.”

As I said, Moore and maybe Buck will be the attack dogs for Dalziel. It is a very clever strategy.

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