Wrong time for Mayor Bob to write book - councillor

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012
Glenn Livingstone
STACY SQUIRES/Fairfax NZ
NO UNITY: Christchurch city councillor Glenn Livingstone.

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Ripped Apart - Bob Parker pens quake book Ripped Apart: A City in Chaos

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Mayor Bob Parker's tell-all book will not help his chances of securing a third term as mayor, says the city councillor singled out for most criticism.

Cr Glenn Livingstone said yesterday that Parker had probably done himself more harm than good through writing the book.

"I don't see how this works as a political strategy. I think all he has done is underline the need for a new united council that will buckle down and get the job done," Livingstone said.

In Ripped Apart: A City in Chaos, Parker speaks candidly of the troubles around the city council table since the last elections.

Recalling in the book his re-election as mayor, Parker says: "Victory's sweet taste contained a taint of bile. Some good councillors were swept away and replaced by people with little experience. These included Jimmy Chen and Glenn Livingstone, whom I expected would combine forces with the Left's incumbents Yani Johanson and Chrissie Williams."

He writes that while initially he was pleased with the mix around the table, within a few days he had become disillusioned and it became "apparent that often petty party political agendas would triumph over collective responsibility".

He describes how council meetings became "strained and negative" and how "maverick councillors" were destroying the council's leadership.

"In the midst of all the trauma everyone was experiencing, when people were genuinely stressed and upset, a cabal around the council table was dividing the city and undermining the leadership of us all," Parker says.

Chen questioned whether now was the right time for Parker to be airing his views.

He said Parker should have waited till he was out of office before writing the book.

Cr Jamie Gough - who along with Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button and Councillors Barry Corbett, Sue Wells, Aaron Keown and Claudia Reid are thanked by Parker in the book for their constant support - said the book was unlikely to raise any new tensions around the council table.

Gough said he had only flicked through the book but there did not appear to be anything in it that would surprise councillors.

"I don't think it is going to cause any big dramas," he said.

The company distributing Parker's book said yesterday that it was too early to say how it was selling but initial interest from booksellers had been strong.

Parker is donating the profits from the sale of his book to the New Zealand Spinal Trust.

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