Mayor not dishing dirt in new book, says ghostwriter

The ghostwriter of Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker's earthquake book says it does not dish dirt on people in the city.

Former Auckland journalist and public relations consultant Tony Farrington helped Parker put together Ripped Apart: a city in chaos, a book covering the "petty jealousies, power struggles and policies" in Christchurch before, during and after the city's quakes.

Farrington said he was "old friends" with Parker and had encouraged him to write a book about his experiences in the city.

"We were just talking over time, and I said to him that I thought he had a story that needed to be told."

He spent about three months writing the book and said Parker's speaking ability made it easy for him to put the story together.

"You know how articulate he is and what a great speaker he is, so it was a very simple process."

Farrington did not believe the book contained any "dirt", but said it would provide a unique perspective on the events of the past two years.

"One of the very interesting things from my time in journalism is that the stories behind the scenes are always very interesting, and they're also the ones that the media seldom get," he said.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was reticent when asked by The Press if he had any thoughts about the book's release.

"It's very unusual for me, but I'm not commenting on this one," he said.

Former Nelson mayor Kerry Marshall, who was a Crown observer at the Christchurch City Council for several months, said he had been out of the country and did not want to comment on the book until he had a chance to think about the matter.

Marshall was appointed by the Government to deal with dysfunction and infighting at the council, and he helped councillors put together a charter of conduct setting guidelines for their behaviour.

The Press