Yardley on Christchurch politics


Is it just me or do Cr ’s grand designs on Ilam strike you as an expedition of political folly?

First, it was the Green Party’s David Lee, a Wellington City councillor, who startled the horses with his oddball plans to remain residing in Wellington – even if he wins Ilam. No wonder this political goof isn’t on the Green Party list.

At least Cr Manji lives and breathes in the electorate he aspires to represent. But despite all his rhetoric about Christchurch desiring “collaborative, inclusive leadership”, Manji will set his sights on conquering Ilam as a one-man-band, a lone-pony independent candidate. …

Manji also downplayed the need to electioneer in Ilam, signalling he won’t do any campaigning until at least August. “Let’s do it in a short, sharp way – a couple of weeks, bang.” 

I tell candidates who want to win a seat that if they are seriously they should look at campaigning fulltime for six months, preferably nine or more. Not two weeks.

Two years ago, he conceded to me that he wasn’t enjoying his council role. I suspect boredom has given rise to this flight of fancy in Ilam. But it’s rather impertinent and erratic to chase a new political toy just six months after being voted back onto council.

Given his burning ambition to be the “parliamentary voice of the Christchurch story”, why did Raf bother standing for re-election at all?

A fair question.

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