Christchurch’s next Mayor?

April 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Mike Yardley writes:

He’s the bolter, the bloodhound, the big-hitter. And he is fast stapling his presence on to the city’s consciousness.

Cr , the most impressive newcomer to council, wasn’t elected to office with a pasteurised set of opinions from party central or enslaved to a rigid ideology.

He is an independently minded raging pragmatist, spearheading the drive for better performance and fiscal restraint. The hear-no-evil, see-no-evil culture of conceited mediocrity is what sunk the previous council regime. Its prime adversary was the fearless first-term tiger, Cr Tim Carter.

Manji appears to have picked up the baton from Carter, bringing the same financial rigour and razor-sharp scrutiny to the table.

Take the past fortnight, for example. Manji has publicly grilled council staff for failing to adopt any measures against feckless freedom campers.

The council has had the power to regulate freedom camping for two years. Two years, amigos! Manji has blasted their “dithering” as “just ridiculous”.

I’ve heard several people say very good things about Cr Manji. As Yardley says he’s an independent focused on improving performance and holding the management to account. Dalziel is doing fine so far, but if things don’t improve over the next two years, I won’t be surprised to see Manji standing for Mayor.

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23 Responses to “Christchurch’s next Mayor?”

  1. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    This man may well be the best candidate to take over from the useless Dalziel however it will never happen.

    Canterbury has the highest percentage of openly racist people in NZ, they simply will not vote for a foreigner.

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  2. OneTrack (3,092 comments) says:

    Damn. When I read the headline, I hoped you meant Len.

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  3. Henry64 (83 comments) says:

    Apart from the crazy idea about the government providing low interest loans to property developers in Christchurch, he seems promising so far. Dalziel is hopeless.

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  4. deadrightkev (468 comments) says:

    We need a few more independent MPs in parliament too but not the Dunne Banks Harawira kind. We need strong willed, non PC, financially literate MPs that are not beholding to any whip.

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  5. freethinker (691 comments) says:

    deadrightkev – you are so right Local & National politics are dominated by allegiances of the left & right and we do need much more independent representatives who can be be pragmatic, whilst acting in a socially and fiscally responsible way. In local politics it appears that councilors policies are sometimes effectively negated by staff through inaction or deliberate opposition and this has to stop with those responsible being sanctioned and held accountable – publicizing the names and positions of those guilty of this behaviour will be a requirement for success in ensuring personal opinions of staff do not override the policies of councilors who in turn are accountable to ratepayers.

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  6. SW (240 comments) says:

    Thank god somebody is willing to speak out about the freedom camper issue! That is what Christchurch needs.

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  7. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Manji is not backward in promoting how wonderful he is. He was elected with a wimper in Gerry Brownlee’s patch with massive hagiographic support from The Press, Sam Johnson and Dalziel and has never really been critiqued.

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  8. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    He sounds a bit dark, he’ll never get in in Christchurch.

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  9. Huevon (222 comments) says:

    Which school did he go to?

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  10. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Did his family arrive on the first four ships?

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  11. Goon (13 comments) says:

    Reeeeallly….check out Eric Cramptons critique of some of the nonsense he has been getting airplay on. Another economic illiterate, just what ChCh needs

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  12. Hugh Pavletich (217 comments) says:

    There is nothing much known about Cl Raf Manji and his track-record. But he sure put his foot in it April Fool’s Day with this nonsense on housing “Govt Cash Urged For Housing” …

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9888848/Govt-cash-urged-for-housing

    Mike Yardley is talking rubbish. The Christchurch Council is still a mess, as I explained recently with “ Strange bedfellows: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and the Rockefeller Foundation” …

    http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/strange-bedfellows-christchurch-mayor.html

    Raf Manji sadly appears to be way out of his depth.

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  13. Hugh Pavletich (217 comments) says:

    Dr Eric Crampton of the Economics Department, Canterbury University on Christchurch Cl Raf Manji whacko housing idea !

    We are just trying to figure out what twit in Treasury put Manji up to this (Manji has told me he sought external advice … but won’t say who … no doubt the media will ask him as well). Possibly the same one who came up with the green-space idea for the Central Blueprint to cut down land supply and inflate land prices (so re-development is uneconomic). We refer to the Central Blueprint as The Suburban Rapid Growth Plan … it is just SO stupid … anyhow … here is Crampton on Manji …

    http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/two-two-two-bad-policy-ideas-in-one.html

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  14. Hugh Pavletich (217 comments) says:

    Now here is a well-run proactive Council … Waimakariri …

    No wonder peole are fleeing Christchurch for Waimakariri and Selwyn.

    Where are the rest of them throughout the country, seeking to enter Housing Accords with the Government ??? … Glenn Conway of The Press reports “ Waimakariri Seeks Housing Accord” …

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/north-canterbury/9889230/Waimakariri-seeks-housing-accord

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  15. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    I’ll just note that my critique of Manji is restricted to the one policy proposal I critiqued. I’ve talked with him and he seemed pretty decent, though it was just the one chat. Getting RBNZ to front low-interest loans for developers is just a really bad idea. Fortunately, there’s no way it goes anywhere as I can’t imagine the government being daft enough to let RBNZ start issuing loans.

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  16. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    As for Manji’s background, he’s a (London) City Banker, so I’m a bit befuddled how he’s not a slave to ideology and all that whereas John Key with a similar background is widely viewed as such.

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  17. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    So far, Manji impresses, and would be just what is needed to sweep out the cobwebs left by the People’s Republic of Christchurch era, such as the too-high stake in Port of Lyttelton, and the giant city works department that limits outside contracting.

    Perhaps Manji might also tackle the insane policy that has seen Christchurch City Council become the country’s biggest landlordf after Housing NZ. Socially, this policy, by providing accommodation for deadbeats (as well as the deserving, of course), has caused the city to become the resort of choice to a tide of ex-cons from around the country.

    I agree with Hugh Pavletich (10.09). The city is moving to Selwyn and Waimak. Before being amalgamated into Christchurch, the old Waimairi Council offered smaller but similar attractions to citizens.

    Leftist poster Big Bruv alleges Canterbury has the highest proportion of racist people in NZ. What survey does he base this on? White Aucklanders sometimes allege this — from their leafy enclaves. Christchurch doesn’t yet have the racial segregation evident in South Auckland.

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  18. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Whoops! I didn’t follow Hugh Pavletich’s earlier links to Manji’s call for Government financing of Christchurch housing.

    Maybe Manji’s not the guy to clean up the debris from the Republic of Christchurch.

    He sounds a bit like a Social Crediter – use money from the Reserve Bank! What money? Last thing any city needs is a funny money freak.

    Hugh, I will follow your links before I open my mouth in future.

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  19. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    The deadbeats are in Christchurch because the only prison for serious offenders in the South Island is also here. The parole service wants to keep an eye on them, something which it can’t easily do if the deadbeats were to live in remote places like Ashburton, Dunedin or even Gore.

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  20. Rowan (2,345 comments) says:

    At the moment Lianne Dalziel is the best of a bad lot and has just been elected as mayor so I guess we have her for at least the foreseeable future. I personally would much rather still have Bob in charge but thats history, don’t know much about this guy but don’t think he (or anyone else) stands much of a chance for a good few years. I didn’t vote in the mayoral elections as I don’t have a great opinion of Lianne Dalziel but it was a forgone conclusion that she would win. Its like the national party, Key is the best of a bad lot at the moment and streets ahead of David Cunliffe.

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  21. Hugh Pavletich (217 comments) says:

    Jack … thank you for your comments.

    We all want to see this new Christchurch City Council do well, in getting itself sorted out. There is much urgency in this regard, as CERA is to be (supposedy) shut down 2016.

    The media here in Christchurch is doing an outstanding job in getting out quality information and in encouraging constructive discussion and debate.

    Politicians will be well aware here in Christchurch … perform or perish !

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  22. wiseowl (893 comments) says:

    Well I hope he gets onto the biggest con job in NZ and tackles the outrageous regulations hammering people trying to keep warm in the winter.
    Regulations wrongly governing emissions from logfires need to be challenged and overturned,thrown out ,stopped in their tracks.Exposed for what they are.

    Nothing but a great rort.

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  23. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Dalziel, being a Labourite, will screw ratepayers, having already started with its entourage of left-wing envious staffers. She will be no better than Lecher Len of Auckland, and will have as much respect for ratepayers as any other trough snouting leftie . . . None!

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