Five new Christchurch councillors join the ranks while another is ousted

Christchurch's new councillors, from left, Anne Galloway (Halswell), Sara Templeton (Heathcote), Deon Swiggs (Central), ...
JOSEPH JONHSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Christchurch's new councillors, from left, Anne Galloway (Halswell), Sara Templeton (Heathcote), Deon Swiggs (Central), Mike Davidson (Papanui) and Aaron Keown (Harewood).

Roading, reducing rate increases and building community involvement in the council are priorities for a new breed of Christchurch city councillors.

Five new faces will join 11 incumbent councillors around an expanded council table following Saturday's local body election.

Paul Lonsdale, who became a councillor in 2013 following a failed mayoralty bid, was the only city councillor standing for re-election not to retain his position on the council.

Paul Lonsdale who was ousted as a city councillor at Saturday's local body election.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Paul Lonsdale who was ousted as a city councillor at Saturday's local body election.

He lost in the Heathcote ward to Sara Templeton, who was Hagley Ferrymead Community Board chairwoman during the last term, by 1585 votes. Templeton received 4059 votes and Lonsdale 2474.

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Lonsdale said on Sunday he did not want to make any statements about the outcome of the election until he had received information he was waiting on.

He would not say what the information was.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she was sorry to see Lonsdale go, but she was sure there would be other opportunities for him in the city.

"Christchurch knows what he did in order to keep the CBD humming after the earthquakes and I think he will have an ongoing role within the city."

An overhaul of the city's ward system by the Local Government Commission earlier this year saw the number of councillors elected on Saturday increase from 13 to 16.

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Templeton, 44, said on Sunday, she had hoped to get a good margin over Lonsdale but she was surprised at how big it was in the end.

"I think with this election and the new boundaries, being connected locally to so many different groups made a big difference."

Templeton, a former secondary school English and drama teacher, said she wanted to see the city give more power to local communities during the rebuild and recovery.

Two other new councillors, were also members of a community board last term, including Mike Davidson and Aaron Keown, who were chair and deputy chair respectively of the Shirley-Papanui Community Board.

Davidson, 40, said he had broken a family jinx by being elected on to the council. His dad, Rob, who is Dalziel's husband, stood unsuccessfully for the council around 10 years ago and his grandfather, Jack, was also unsuccessful in his tilt at the council in the 1970 losing by one vote. 

Davidson said he did not believe his family relationship with Dalziel would change how he operated as a councillor. 

"Lianne is a great person but I don't see her as a motherly figure towards me. I was an adult when her and my father met."

For the past six years, Mike Davidson has worked as a manager at the Earthquake Commission, but he would be resigning on Monday.

One of his priorities on council was to reduce congestion on the city's roads.

The council table would not be new territory for Keown, who served for one term as a councillor under former mayor Bob Parker between 2010 and 2013.

Keown was also re-elected onto the Canterbury District Health Board, but he said he was confident he could do both positions, just as long as the meeting times did not clash.

Keown said his job was not to be a "thorn in the side" of the mayor, but to support her.

"The community has chosen her as a mayor and I have to respect that."

One of his first priorities was to get lights installed at the Harewood, Gardiners and Breens Rd intersection, and he would push for rate increases to remain at the level of inflation.

Deon Swiggs, founder of the Rebuild Christchurch website, got the nod for the Central ward.

Swiggs, who at 30 years old would be the youngest sitting councillor, said he wanted to see the anchor projects happen in the central city along with more residential development. 

Programme coordinator Anne Galloway, representing People's Choice, won the Halswell ward seat with a majority of just 97 votes over Chrys Horn. Galloway could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

 

 - Stuff

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