Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel has officially launched her campaign for the Christchurch mayoralty.
Ms Dalziel spoke to a crowd of about 100 at a private function on Sunday evening.
on the Christchurch City Council's debt, its relationship with the Government and the need to give community boards more responsibility.
Ms Dalziel said mayor Bob Parker is stifling democracy by shutting down debate around the council table.
She said local community boards should have more power to make decisions for their wards, which would free up the council to focus on city-wide matters.
She said the council is in too much debt and, if elected, she would have its books reviewed.
She highlighted recent delays in building consent applications and blamed the city council's outdated processes for the hold up.
Ms Dalziel told the crowd the culture within the council needs to change.