Riccarton-Wigram ward

03:46, Oct 12 2013
Riccarton-Wigram candidates
Riccarton-Wigram candidates (clockwise from top left): Mike Mora, Walpole Chen, Peter Laloli, Sara Harnett, Jimmy Chen, Vicki Buck, Helen Broughton.

Former three-term mayor Vicki Buck has been elected to the council after a 15-year break from local body politics.

She will represent the ward along with Cr Jimmy Chen, who secured a second term.

Buck, who emerged the most popular candidate across the city with nearly 11,000 votes, said she was excited to be back.

Christchurch City Council ward boundaries
Christchurch City Council ward boundaries

''There's a fairly clear message in that council that people didn't want more of the same; that they wanted something quite radically different that made them feel like the council was actually theirs and acting in their best interests,'' said Buck.

''It's a very different council.''

She anticipated some serious challenges ahead for the new council, particularly around finances and insurance.


''We're going to have to work well together and all get involved,'' she said.

Long-serving councillor Helen Broughton, who lost her Riccarton-Wigram ward seat to former mayor Vicki Buck, said her ousting had not come as a great surprise because Buck had always been popular with voters.

''I knew we would be competing for the same vote; we're of a similar age, we have similar academic qualifications and we have a similar work background pre-council and and she was seen as a very good mayor,'' said Broughton.

She will remain involved in local government as she did win election to the Riccarton-Wigram Community Board.

Broughton, who chaired the council's corporate and finance committee in the last term of the council, said her biggest disappointment was that she would be leaving the council before it had sorted through its insurance issues.

''I've done a lot of work on insurance . . . and now I may not be there to drive through what is required to get our maximum insurance entitlement. But I will be briefing Lianne (Dalziel) and passing over all the information,'' she said.


Vicki Buck 10,979
Jimmy Chen 6794

Mike Mora 4330
Peter Laloli 3862
Helen Broughton 3676
Sara Harnett 1393
Walpole Wenping Chen 1012
Informal: 44
Blanks: 310


Riccarton-Wigram ward has always been pegged as an area of the city ripe for development and candidates are keen to see that managed more effectively.

The ward includes Islington, Hornby, Hei Hei, Broomfield, Oaklands, Westlake, Sockburn and Westmorland.

Four of the ward's seven council candidates want to see the growth of the area channelled. Vicki Buck said she wanted to see facilities built to keep pace with the rapid residential growth in the area.

Sara Harnett was more focused on planning a cohesive community which included cycleways, traffic, parks and land for growing food.

Peter Laloli's growth concerns were two-fold - the impact of business and traffic re-routing to the area and the rezoning of rural land for residential or business purposes. He advocated for careful planning as the ward expanded.

Other issues of concern to candidates included the restoration of community facilities. Jimmy Chen wanted to see the Riccarton Community Centre and the Hei Hei Community Centre repaired as a priority. He also wanted to "build up" the multi- function library and community centre proposed for Halswell and Hornby.

Walpole Chen said he could not separate city issues from ward issues.

He considered a customer- focused city council, an emergency management plan, the capping of rates and keeping the rebuild on track to be important.

Mike Mora was concerned by the housing crisis faced by the entire city and by the Riccarton- Wigram ward.

He was also keen to curb council spending and reduce wastage of resources.


Population: 60,825

Key issue: Striking the balance between growth and what the community can sustain is a consistent message to come from that community.

Because the area was relatively unscathed after the earthquakes, thousands have moved west, putting pressure on infrastructure and increasing congestion.

On a hyper-local front, issues around the operation of the Owaka pit, noise control issues at Ruapuna speedway and the drawn-out planning headaches associated with the Yaldhurst subdivision will need the urgent attention of the freshly elected councillors.

Popular attraction:
Wigram Air Force Museum.

The election contest: Both incumbents, Helen Broughton and Jimmy Chen, have serious competition with former city mayor Vicki Buck expected to pose a strong challenge while Mike Mora, who has sat on the local community board for seven terms, including nine years as chairman and former policeman Peter Laloli are also in the mix.

Candidates: Helen Broughton*, Vicki Buck, Jimmy Chen*, Walpole Wenping Chen, Sara Harnett, Peter Laloli, Mike Mora.

The Press