Mixed messages re Anderton

Earlier today it looked like a glimpse of common sense from . The Press reported:

Jim Anderton has praised Mayor Bob Parker for his leadership since Saturday’s earthquake – and now says he would consider quitting Parliament if he wins the mayoralty because the southern city needs a full time mayor in the aftermath of the quake.

Anderton, Progressive Party leader and its sole MP, will stand for the Christchurch mayoralty in the October 9 election.

He has previously indicated he would stay on as MP for Wigram even if elected as mayor.

Today, he told Newstalk ZB he would consider leaving Parliament to be in Christchurch full time if he won.

Anderton said he was too busy helping people following the quake and would make the decision later.

You’d have to be a moron to think that one can be Mayor of Christchurch, and only be in Christchurch on Mondays and Fridays during the week. This is not a hard call to make. Anderton just needs to say his previous insistence he can do both was wrong, and if elected he will resign as an MP.

But Anderton has now backtracked from even saying he will think about it.

NZPA report:

Jim Anderton has denied saying he would consider quitting Parliament if he won the Christchurch mayoralty.

Mr Anderton, Progressive Party leader and its sole MP, is standing for the Christchurch mayoralty in the October 9 election.

He has previously indicated he would stay on as MP for Wigram even if elected as mayor.

But in comments broadcast by Newstalk ZB, he said he would consider leaving Parliament to be in Christchurch full-time if he won because the city would need a full-time mayor in the aftermath of the earthquake there.

This morning he told NZPA he never said that.

“I’ve made no such comment.

NewstalkZB should make the audio available online, to clarify.

“I’m concentrating on things that need to be done, there are urgent things here and survival of people and the terrible problems they’ve faced are our number one consideration, I haven’t thought about that and I’m not going to comment on it now.”

He hasn’t thought about it? Yeah Right!

An emotional Mr Anderton told NZPA he was concentrating on helping people and was appalled by stories about his possible mayoralty.

“You should come down here and then you’ll understand it. We’ve had 200 aftershocks and I’ve got people buildings all around me going down, I’ve got people in trauma, I’ve got people in my office crying their eyes out. Have you experienced any of that?”

Mr Anderton said the media were getting a bad reputation as “almost vultures” in Christchurch.

“Peering at people at their worst hours and all the rest of it, going on and on with cameras and microphones.”

He said he was working with the community and not thinking about other things.

There’s only one problem with Jim’s insistence that he is not at all thinking about the mayoral elections – his comments in The Press two days ago:

Parker said his head was not in the right place for next week’s scheduled Press mayoral debate, which has been cancelled.

His main challenger, Jim Anderton, wanted the event to go ahead, saying he did not want to see the elections cancelled or delayed.

“I think we have to be careful not to too easily suspend democratic processes,” he said.

So Jim wanted a mayoral debate to go ahead, yet is now saying he is just concentrating on helping people, and is appalled by stories about his mayoral bid. Really.

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