Tim Carter out, backs Lianne Dalziel
High-profile city councillor Tim Carter has ruled out running for the mayoralty, leaving Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel the only likely challenger for the city's top job.
Carter told The Press yesterday he had decided against challenging Mayor Bob Parker and was instead endorsing Dalziel and calling on her to run.
"In my opinion Christchurch needs and deserves better leadership to repair the council's damaged relationships with its stakeholders and to govern the city in an open and engaging way.
"Lianne has the passion, experience and vision to unite the different factions of the city and lead Christchurch through the next phase of the recovery," Carter said.
The first-term councillor, who has repeatedly clashed with Parker, said he had considered standing himself but he had several meetings with Dalziel in recent weeks convinced him she was the best person for the job.
"I've been encouraged by her vision and her commitment to the city. More, now than ever, I'm convinced she is the right person to lead the city."
Carter would not be drawn on whether he would be part of Dalziel's ticket or even whether he would seek re-election to the council.
When asked if he would reconsider his decision in the eventuality that Dalziel chose not to stand, potentially leaving Parker unopposed, Carter said he did not think that was likely to happen.
"Let's hope not," he said.
Dalziel yesterday declined to comment on Carter's endorsement.
Earlier in the week she told The Press she wanted to get the right team behind her before she committed to standing.
"If the right combination of people stepped up and were willing to be part of a team to take on those in the council that need to be challenged, then I would be certainly interested," she said.
"But we have not got there yet."
Speaking at Christchurch East's local electorate committee annual meeting, Dalziel said Carter had asked her to run.
"I have already been approached by Cr Tim Carter, who expressed justifiable concerns about the situation the council faces ...
"He said he would seek to persuade me to stand if he felt that was the best outcome for the city. And that's what has happened."
Parker said he was not surprised Carter had pulled out of the running, nor was he surprised he was supporting Dalziel.
He was relaxed about the prospect of going up against Dalziel but hoped the campaign would be focused on issues, not personalities.
He had been at the end of Carter's "tongue-lashings" in the past and he hoped whoever challenged him for the mayoralty would keep the debate focused in "a positive space".
"My biggest concern for the next council is we get a really good group of councillors who are prepared to abide by the Code of Conduct and work together collaboratively. Leadership does not just come from the mayor," Parker said.