Dalziel reveals frustration

16:00, Feb 17 2014
Lianne Dalziel
PLACING THE BLAME: Lianne Dalziel said her new council still did not "have a complete picture'' of the financial situation facing the city.

Lianne Dalziel's state of the city speech appears to be borne more out of frustration than deliberate sabre-rattling.

Attacking the previous council and its leadership, bemoaning the delicate but crucial relationship with the Government and, in particular, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, and taking a swipe at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) are steps not taken lightly by a politician of Dalziel's experience.

She takes care to think about her messaging, analysing the impact and fallout carefully.

And there was fallout yesterday, even if it came through gritted teeth.

Brownlee fired a few gentle barbs back while former Mayor Sir Bob Parker gave a lengthy, reasoned response.

Both were clearly annoyed at Dalziel's speech but were also at pains to resist the urge to have a serious crack.


Unlike some mayors, the fingerprints of press secretaries and other staff would not have been over this speech. They may have been consulted on its contents but these were Dalziel's thoughts.

She has been in politics for more than 20 years and knows full well people will be poring over each word (there were 2217 of them in this speech) and deciphering what she is trying to say.

Dalziel is into the fifth month of her mayoralty and it has been run at a frenetic, break-neck pace.

She was elected on a mandate that demanded she sort out the city's many issues and she has taken that at her word.

Her pace has been relentless and council staff and management have probably struggled, at times, to keep up.

Dalziel wants a change of culture and a change in the way the city does business. That is to be applauded but you get the sense she tires when officials, like Brownlee, don't play ball at her pace.

Yesterday's speech would have hit some raw nerves but it spoke of a frustrated mayor, growing more impatient by the day.

The Press