CBD champion ponders political move

03:03, Jun 28 2013
Paul Lonsdale
PAUL LONSDALE: The Central City Business Association and Re:Start mall manager is considering standing for Christchurch City Council.

A central city business leader is eyeing a place on the public side of Christchurch's earthquake recovery by running for the city council.

Paul Lonsdale, manager of the Re:Start Mall and Central City Business Association, yesterday said a tilt at a councillor's seat was "under consideration".

"There's a bit of work to be done."

Lonsdale lives in the Fendalton-Waimairi ward "but wouldn't necessarily run [there]. I have a strong interest in the central city and that's Hagley-Ferrymead".

"In the future of the central city, there are a lot of business decisions to be made. I have an intimate knowledge of the central city."

Lonsdale's background is business and business development. He was manager of Merivale and The Palms malls before shifting to the Central City Business Association in 2007, where he campaigned against suburban shopping malls and championed inner-city retail and business.


Lonsdale said the business association was "fully supportive" of him running for office. Its board includes merchants such as Antony Gough and John Suckling.

Just weeks after the February 2011 earthquake, Lonsdale was speaking publicly about an "ark" - a "temporary-type CBD retail incubator".

By April 2011, this idea had become marquees and within months he was signing up tenants for shipping containers. The Re:Start Mall opened on schedule on October 29, 2011.

Lonsdale said he had to "work through a process" with the association and Re:Start before he could commit to an election. He would resign if elected.

The sitting members for Hagley-Ferrymead are Tim Carter and Yani Johanson. The councillors representing Fendalton-Waimairi are Sally Buck and Jamie Gough.


Christchurch City Council

Running: Mike Wall, Wendy Gilchrist, Phil Clearwater, Karolin Potter, Mark Belton. Sitting councillors Glenn Livingstone, Jamie Gough, Tim Carter, Yani Johanson, Helen Broughton, Jimmy Chen, Ngaire Button, Aaron Keown, Sue Wells.

Undecided: Paul Lonsdale, Deon Swiggs, Vicki Buck, Sally Buck (has been undecided and could not be contacted).

Not running: Ali Jones, Garry Moore. Sitting councillors Barry Corbett, Peter Beck, Claudia Reid.

Regional mayoral candidates (confirmed)

Selwyn: Kelvin Coe (incumbent), Olive Webb, Sam Broughton.

Waimakariri: David Ayers (incumbent).

Hurunui: No confirmed candidate.

The Press