Lianne Dalziel to remain as Christchurch Mayor

Lianne Dalziel has thanked voters for placing their trust in her as she romped to a landslide re-election victory today and pledged: "I won't let you down".

The incumbent for the last three years beat nearest rival John Minto by a resounding 60,000 votes.

The preliminary figures show Dalziel on 73,001 while Minto has received 12,533.
Perennial candidate Michael 'Tubby' Hansen received 1362 votes.

When the former long-time Labour MP Dalziel took over from Bob Parker three years ago, she vowed to get to the bottom of the city's books, during a time the city council was struggling with the fallout and recovery of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

She has wrestled with a post-earthquake financial black hole and also helped secure a $603 million insurance settlement for its quake-damaged facilities - the biggest insurance pay-out in New Zealand's history.

Today, Dalziel admitted it has been "a tough three years".

But she feels that residents have understood the difficulties faced when she "opened the books and found all the trouble that we found".

"We've got things in order, got our insurance settled, and now it's a real opportunity to shift the focus as it were from the recovery to the regeneration opportunities that lie ahead," she told the Herald moments after the preliminary results were announced.

"I really feel the people of Christchurch have given me the mandate that I was looking for. It hasn't been easy but the next three years gives us an opportunity to make a world of difference and I'm really looking forward to that.

"All of our challenges are actually opportunities. We're a coastal city, we have a lot of work to do in terms of the future of the residential red zone - that's an enormous opportunity.

"We've set up a new organisation with central government called Regenerate Christchurch - it's an opportunity to do planning quite differently from the way that it's been done since the earthquakes. No more the top down... Cera is gone and it's now a partnership with central government as Regenerate Christchurch has community engagement embedded in its mandate."

Going into her second term, Dalziel wants to trial participatory budgeting as part of a push for local communities to make decisions about their local amenities and facilities.

"That really came through loud and clear for me, that people want to see their local swimming pools, their libraries, and their community halls, they want all their facilities on track and delivered on time, and that's something that we need to get on with."

- NZ Herald

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