Dalziel takes bus on first day
True to her word, incoming Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel took the bus on her first day in charge of the city.
Despite her escalating media profile since comprehensively winning the mayoral chains on Saturday, her presence attracted little fuss on the number 44 service from Burwood Rd to the central bus terminal.
Dalziel was accompanied by her close friend and fellow former Government minister Judith Tizard.
She said she hoped to take the bus whenever she could, despite getting a mayoral car on top of her $175,000 annual salary, and was looking forward to using her Metrocard on the service.
Today's trip took about 20 minutes and was only two minutes late.
After a quick coffee, Dalziel walked through the council's head office where she was greeted by acting chief executive Jane Parfitt. The two exchanged pleasantries before leaving to have their first formal briefing.
The new-look council will meet at 11am to reflect on their success, then begin the job of tackling the city's finances and other projects identified by Dalziel and others.
She hopes to speak to Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee later today. The pair are keen to meet to discuss some of the issues facing both the council and Government.
Christchurch was the scene of the biggest changes in the political landscape.
Four sitting councillors were dumped, four kept their jobs and nine new faces have emerged.
First meetings happen today and there will be more in the coming days before the new council is formally sworn in on Thursday week.
Dalziel has been flatout since getting word of her win at 1.15pm Saturday.
Much of the weekend was spent fielding media calls and although she got little sleep, Dalziel said she was ready to "get stuck in" immediately.
The new council - 10 new faces and four re-elected councillors - met over coffee yesterday and gather this morning at the council building for the first time to get a "high level" briefing from the senior managers.
While one of her first appointments - that of deputy mayor - won't be made until next week, some early lobbying has begun.
Incoming councillor Paul Lonsdale, who came a distant second in the mayoralty but won a council seat in the Hagley-Ferrymead ward, has already made overtures about wanting the job. Returning councillors Yani Johanson and Glenn Livingstone are also keen.
Johanson said it was still "early days" and the council needed to work out who was doing what.
"Everyone needs a role."
While he would not rule out taking the deputy spot, he said he would be just as happy chairing a council committee.
Livingstone was interested but was "not busting a gut" to get the job and suspected Dalziel may go for some "geographical balance" and appoint someone from the central or western part of the city.
"I would like to do it but I'm not obsessed by it."
Dalziel has the power to pick her deputy but wants councillors to think about what roles that person should have and who it should be.
A consensus pick from her "awesome" council is what she wants.
At her first speech as mayor-elect on Saturday night, Dalziel said she and the new council had one chance to get the city back on track.
"This result has given me huge energy. The people of Christchurch want a strong voice to speak up for them and they know they will get that from me."
She described the new council as having "a wonderful blend of skills and experience".
The council needed to be a high-performing team that gets things done, she said.
"We will tell people how it is."
The election in numbers
49,321 Lianne Dalziel's mayoral majority
42.55 The percentage of Christchurch City Council voters who had their say
102,811 Number of voting papers cast 12,302 Number of blank voting papers returned city-wide
5 The margin between two council candidates in the Banks Peninsula ward 11,151 Vicki Buck's support – the highest of all council candidates
362 Tubby Hansen's mayoral take – the lowest in the field of 12
9 Number of new councillors
4 Number of re-elected councillors.