Bob Parker to pay for wife's travel
Christchurch ratepayers will not have to foot the bill for Mayoress Jo Nicholls-Parker's international travel, following a U-turn ahead of a debate on the issue.
Mayor Bob Parker has announced that the couple will fund the mayoress's travel themselves, pre-empting a discussion at tomorrow's council meeting.
Council staff had asked councillors to approve visits by the mayor and mayoress to each of Christchurch's seven sister cities once every three-year term.
The proposal attracted public criticism, with some questioning whether ratepayers should fund the mayoress's travel.
In a statement, Parker said the couple had asked staff to withdraw the recommendation proposing that the mayoress's travel be publicly funded.
"While the attendance of Mayoress is a necessary part of sister city visits, we have decided to fund her travel ourselves."
Parker said the couple was "fully committed" to the sister cities programme and were looking forward to promoting the city internationally.