Many new faces at council table

18:15, Oct 13 2013

Nine new faces, including a very familiar one, will take their seats around the Christchurch City Council.

Former mayor Vicki Buck has returned to politics after 15 years away with the kind of popularity she enjoyed as mayor between 1989 and 1998.

She received the highest number of votes of any council candidate with 10,979 and said she was excited to be back.

"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.

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

Other new councillors include a former radio personality, a former financial markets guru and the man behind the city's container shopping mall.


But one spot is still up for grabs with the Banks Peninsula ward too tight to call.

The People's Choice political group looks to have doubled its numbers around the table with sitting councillors Yani Johanson, Jimmy Chen and Glenn Livingstone joined by Pauline Cotter, Phil Clearwater and possibly Andrew Turner.

In the Shirley-Papanui ward both the incumbent councillors, Ngaire Button and Aaron Keown, lost their seats. They have been replaced by public relations consultant and former broadcaster Ali Jones and community board member Pauline Cotter.

Keown took a parting shot, saying he was surprised to not get re-elected but his campaign had been hindered by people actively targeting him by slashing tyres and ruining his billboards.

"The council has been elected on negativity. You will reap what you sow . . . it's a shame for the city."

Former deputy mayor Ngaire Button was also surprised not to be re-elected. "I can't say it doesn't hurt. It is disappointing."

Button said the negative media had made it tough for certain councillors.

Jones, who polled more than 2000 ahead of her fellow new city councillor and ward colleague Pauline Cotter, said she was excited by the make-up of the new "recovery" city council and put Button and Keown's failure down to their alliance with outgoing chief executive Tony Marryatt.

In Hagley-Ferrymead, Paul Lonsdale won the seat left vacant by Tim Carter's departure from politics. He will sit alongside long-serving Hagley-Ferrymead councillor Johanson.

Lonsdale was happy to have secured around 20 per cent of the mayoralty vote given he was a newcomer to local body politics and would be keen to discuss with Dalziel the possibility of acting as her deputy.

In the Fendalton-Waimairi ward, Cr Jamie Gough was re-elected along with newcomer Raf Manji, a former investment banker.

An "exhausted but relieved" Gough polled the highest in the ward with 8471 votes but admitted he had been "so nervous" before the result was known.

First-time councillor Raf Manji was looking forward to "rolling up my sleeves and getting on with the job for the next three years".

Manji's election means there is no room round the council table for Claudia Reid, who was also standing in the seat because she had moved out of the Banks Peninsula ward she had represented for the past six years.

In Spreydon-Heathcote, where both incumbents, Sue Wells and Barry Corbett, stood aside, long-serving community board members Clearwater and Tim Scandrett were elected.

In Burwood-Pegasus, Cr Glenn Livingstone easily held his seat. He will be joined by David East, who won the seat left vacant by Peter Beck's retirement.

East polled more than 700 votes higher than incumbent councillor Glenn Livingstone, who beat him at the last election by just 52 votes.

The Press