Dalziel chained into office

18:29, Oct 24 2013
Lianne Dalziel mayoral chains
CHUFFED BY CHAINS: Democracy services manager Darryl Griffin helps new Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel with her chains.

She dithered for months over whether she wanted the mayoralty but Lianne Dalziel looked a picture of happiness when the ceremonial chains of office were placed around her neck last night.

A packed public gallery, including Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton, clapped, cheered and whistled as Dalziel, 53, was officially sworn in as Christchurch's 46th mayor.

She is only the second woman to hold the office. The first, Vicki Buck, who was mayor of Christchurch from 1989 to 1998, is now officially Dalziel's deputy.

After taking the oath of office, Dalziel, dressed in red and black, stood and addressed her new council.

"Although four councillors are returning to the council table we are a new council and this is a fresh start," she said.

"We accept the enormous responsibility we have taken on and we will rise to the challenge, individually and collectively."

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Earlier, Dalziel had paid tribute to her predecessor Bob Parker, acknowledging that during the earthquakes he had been the "right man in the right place at the right time".

"We as a city will find a way to honour him appropriately for what he has done," Dalziel pledged.

After Dalziel was sworn in, councillors took their oath of office before taking their seats around the council table and getting down to business for the first time.

It was a brief business session (lasting just seven minutes) and was webcast live as part of a move towards making council proceedings more transparent.

The council will holds its next formal meeting on November 7.

The Press