7 Jul 2013

Christchurch mayor spells out reasons for quitting

5:43 am on 7 July 2013

Hitting back at his critics, Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has spelled out the reasons he is quitting.

Mr Parker said he is taking responsibility for the actions of his council, which has had to ask for Government help as it loses its building consents accreditation and associated insurance cover.

Bob Parker says Christchurch deserves to have a fresh start.

Bob Parker says Christchurch deserves to have a fresh start. Photo: RNZ

He said on Saturday one of the reasons he's quitting is because he's been subjected to unintelligent, uninformed drivel from critics.

Mr Parker said previous mayor Gary Moore had said some unpleasant things about him, which were drivel.

He said he feels he has done his best for Christchurch, and someone fresh needs to take over.

But Mr Parker said his decision not to stand in the council elections in October was triggered by events this week.

Dalziel surprised and saddened at decision

Christchurch mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel says she is surprised and saddened by Bob Parker's decision to not seek re-election.

Mr Parker said on Friday he is exhausted after six years in office, three of them since the first earthquake, and cannot sustain the stress of the job for another term.

Ms Dalziel is the only declared candidate for the mayoralty so far. She is also MP for Christchurch East.

Although she is seeking Mr Parker's job, she said was incredibly sad to hear that he will not be running against her.

Ms Dalziel said Mr Parker provided strong leadership immediately after the earthquakes.

She said his decision will pave the way for major changes at the city council.

Meanwhile councillor Glenn Livingstone said on Saturday Mr Parker's decision was face-saving and preferable to probable political annihilation at the election in October.

The decision was also welcomed by the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network, which said the council needs good leadership to allow the rebuild to take place, but that was not happening under Mr Parker.