Parker book airs post-quake 'power struggles'

GLENN CONWAY AND SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 05:00 20/09/2012
Ripped Apart book cover
MAYOR'S WORDS: Ripped Apart - A City in Chaos

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A book by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker that promises to reveal the "power struggles" in the city has received a mixed response before it is published, with some councillors questioning his priorities.

Parker has refused to reveal details or confirm whether the book will be a tell-all, but he said it was "part of the healing process".

The publicity blurb for the book, Ripped Apart: a city in chaos, says Parker will cover "the arguments, indecision, petty jealousies, power struggles and policies" that emerged before, during and after the earthquakes.

Parker was regarded as a calming influence in the weeks after both major earthquakes, but has since seen claims that his council became dysfunctional.

He was called a "clown" by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and has seen key recovery projects taken over by the Government.

The 240-page paperback promises to spill the beans on contentious moments, but Parker would not be drawn on whether it would contain any explosive revelations.

"You will have to wait and see. I don't want to give too much away now."

Parker said he had been asked several times to consider writing a book.

He saw it as "a great way to honour those people I had the pleasure of working alongside".

Has he set the record straight on some of his most challenging moments of the last two years?

"Readers will judge that for themselves."

Parker said he would consider a book tour to promote the paperback, depending on his workload .

He chose to donate any profits from the book to the New Zealand Spinal Trust because of the "amazing work" done by staff.

Cr Glenn Livingstone questioned the timing of the book, given Parker's decision to seek re-election.

"People usually write these things once they've left office," he said.

"It definitely looks like he's campaigning [with the book]."

Cr Tim Carter said he did not understand how Parker found the time to put the book together, given the significant problems still facing the city.

"I think at the moment all elected members need to be focused on the needs of the community, who are really hurting at the moment, rather than writing books," he said.

Cr Aaron Keown welcomed the release of the book, saying it would give Parker a chance to share some "home truths" about what went on behind the scenes at the council.

"I think he'll be relatively diplomatic, but it should be a hell of a read if it's a tell-all."

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Former mayor Garry Moore said: "I think we'll all have to reserve our opinions until it comes out.

"My issue is, which section of the library will it be catalogued under?"

Several book websites list Parker's ghostwriter as former Auckland journalist and public relations consultant Tony Farrington, an author of two books.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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