Was the Parker rumour a dirty trick?

NewstalkZB reports:

Christchurch Mayor says a report he is standing down at this year’s local body elections is a ‘complete fantasy’.

Today’s Sunday Star-Times suggests Mr Parker will exit the mayoral race.

So far, he is the only candidate to confirm he’s standing.

Bob Parker says while he enjoys a work of fiction, he believes in Christchurch and wants to be part of its future.

There are two questions here.

The first is whether the rumour just started as organic speculation, or was it a destabilising dirty trick?

The second is why the ran the story? Parker denied it on the record to him. If a rumour is denied emphatically, how is it newsworthy?

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