Johnson not standing

The Press reports:

Student Volunteer Army founder will not challenge Mayor Bob Parker in the upcoming Christchurch elections, despite agonising over an offer to team up with Labour MP .

The Weekend Press revealed Dalziel – the MP for Christchurch East and Labour’s earthquake recovery spokeswoman – invited Johnson to be her running mate and would-be deputy mayor in October’s local body elections.

Neither Dalziel nor Johnson would comment on Friday, but Johnson admitted last night he “very seriously did consider” the offer. He finally decided against it on Saturday afternoon.

“I really wanted to do it,” he said. “It was a really difficult decision to make, but I don’t think it is the right thing for me right now.”

Johnson did not intend to run for a seat on the and was undecided about standing again for the Riccarton-Wigram Community Board.

He planned instead to finish his law and politics degree and focus on the Volunteer Army Foundation and his work with the Ministry of Awesome.

I often talk to young aspiring politicians, and my advice almost always is not to stand too early. I think it is crucial that people do not just go from student politics to a job in Parliament to being an MP. While there are exceptions, you are a better MP if you have some life experience.

Now Sam has had some pretty incredible successes and experiences, and would have been a credible figure at a young age. But his decision not to rush things shows a good level of maturity.

However, he did not rule out dipping a toe back into politics in the future.

“I’m not a career politician. Later in life, maybe, but right now there are many other things that need to be done.”


Despite Johnson’s defection, Dalziel has not ruled out a mayoralty bid.

She would have been “exceptionally happy to stand alongside Sam”, but maintained she was not committed yet.

Oh, of course Lianne is standing.

Dalziel had previously ruled out standing for mayor but had been persuaded to reconsider, she said.

Oh, yes persuaded against her will I am sure. There’s nothing wrong with saying you want to be Mayor, but I can do without the false reluctance.

Even since Shearer dumped Lianne from the shadow cabinet, the bid was near-inevitable.

Lianne has said she will resign as an MP, if she stands. That means a by-election in Christchurch East. Who would stand for Labour?

UPDATE: I am told my multiple sources that Labour has already had their normal democratic selection process and the unions and hierarchy have chosen Tony Milne. Tony used to work for Tim Barnett, and is currently the National Manager of Public Health at the Problem Gambling Foundation.

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