Christchurch City Council

Current logo of the Christchurch City Council.
A view of part of Christchurch's central business district, showing former civic offices (building on lower right corner) and the former New Zealand Post office, which was updated in 2009-10 by the architectural firm Ian Athfield and Associates to become the new civic offices (large white building in centre right rear). The Avon River flows through the city centre.

The Christchurch City Council is the local government authority for Christchurch in New Zealand. It is a territorial authority elected to represent the 375,000 people of Christchurch.[1] Since October 2013, the Mayor of Christchurch is Lianne Dalziel, who succeeded Bob Parker.[2] The council currently consists of 13 councillors elected from seven wards, and is presided over by the Mayor, who is elected at large. At the 2016 election, this will increase to 16 councillors.


As a result of the 1989 local government reforms, on 1 November 1989 Christchurch City Council took over the functions of the former Christchurch City Council, Heathcote County Council, Riccarton Borough Council, Waimairi District Council, part of Paparua County Council, and the Christchurch Drainage Board. On 6 March 2006, Banks Peninsula District Council merged with Christchurch City Council.

Councillor Yani Johanson campaigned since 2010 to live-stream council meetings for more transparency. Whilst the technology had been installed well before the 2013 local body election, is has only been used since the change in mayor.[3]


The Council is elected every three years using the first-past-the-post voting system. The vote is conducted by postal ballot. The most recent elections, which closed on 13 October 2007, had a turnout of 41.7%.[2]

Prior to the 2004 local elections, there were 24 councillors in Christchurch. At that election, the number of councillors halved to 12.[4] For electoral purposes, Christchurch was divided into six wards from 2004, and seven wards after the amalgamation with Banks Peninsula in 2006. The six metropolitan wards each elected two councillors, with the remaining councillor elected for the sparsely populated Banks Peninsula ward. The 2016 representation review by the Local Government Commission has resulted in 16 wards, with each ward electing one councillor, i.e. an increase in three councillors.[5]

Party politics are much less influential in elections to the Council than is the case for the House of Representatives. In 2007, the Mayor and a majority of Councillors were elected as independent candidates. Political groupings represented on the Council are the centre-right Independent Citizens[6] and the centre-left 'The People's Choice' (formerly Christchurch 2021).[7]

Council members


The election held via postal vote on 8 October 2016, was the first to use the new wards as a result of the representation review.

Key features of the Local Government Commission's final decision included:

16 councillors, plus the Mayor, with one councillor elected from each of the 16 wards (a change from the current 13 councillors elected from six wards, each with two members, apart from Banks Peninsula, which current has a single member) Banks Peninsula Ward stays as it is Six urban community boards One Banks Peninsula community board Overall, the number of elected members stays the same as present, at 54.

Ward / role Councillor(s)
Mayor Lianne Dalziel (Best for Christchurch)
Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner (The People's Choice)
Banks Peninsula Ward Andrew Turner (The People's Choice)
Burwood Ward Glenn Livingstone (The People's Choice - Labour)
Cashmere Ward Tim Scandrett (Independent)
Central Ward Deon Swiggs (Independent - Let's Get It Done)
Costal Ward David East (Independent)
Fendalton Ward Jamie Gough (ICitz - Independent Citzens)
Halswell Ward Anne Galloway (The People's Choice)
Harewood Ward Aaron Keown (True Independent)
Heathcote Ward Sara Templeton (Strong Communities for a Stronger Christchurch)
Hornby Ward Jimmy Chen, (The People’s Choice - Labour)
Innes Ward Pauline Cotter (The People’s Choice)
Linwood Ward Yani Johnson (The People’s Choice - Labour)
Papanui Ward Mike Davidson (The Right Choice for Papanui & Christchurch)
Riccarton Ward Vicki Buck
Spreydon Ward Phil Clearwater (The People’s Choice - Labour)
Waimairi Ward Raf Manji (Independent)


Five of the thirteen councillors did not stand for re-election in 2013.[8] Another four councillors failed to get re-elected (deputy-mayor Ngaire Button, Helen Broughton, Claudia Reid, and Aaron Keown). Hence, only four councillor were returned for another term (Yani Johanson, Jimmy Chen, Glenn Livingstone, and Jamie Gough), to be joined by nine new members plus a new mayor.[9] For the 2013–2016 term, the composition of the Council is as follows:[10]

Ward / role Councillor(s)
Mayor Lianne Dalziel (One City Together)
Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck (A Vote for me is a Vote for You)[11]
Banks Peninsula Andrew Turner (The People's Choice)
Burwood-Pegasus David East (Independent), Glenn Livingstone (The People's Choice - Labour)
Fendalton-Waimairi Jamie Gough (iCitz - Independent Citizens), Raf Manji (Independent)
Hagley-Ferrymead Yani Johanson (The People's Choice - Labour), Paul Lonsdale (Independent)
Riccarton-Wigram Vicki Buck (A Vote for me is a Vote for You), Jimmy Chen (The People's Choice - Labour)
Shirley-Papanui Ali Jones (Independent), Pauline Cotter (The People's Choice - Labour)
Spreydon-Heathcote Phil Clearwater (The People's Choice - Labour), Tim Scandrett (Independent)


During the 2010–2013 term, the composition of the Council was as shown in the table below. The Press in an editorial described the situation during the three years as often "tumultuous" and there were many calls for a cleanout of elected members at the 2013 local body elections.[12] During the term, the government appointed an overseer to council (Kerry Marshall) and "came within an ace of sacking the council completely."[12] Five city councillors (Sue Wells, Barry Corbett, Sally Buck, Tim Carter, and Peter Beck) and the mayor (Bob Parker) did not stand for re-election.[8]

Ward / role Councillor(s)
Mayor Bob Parker (Independent)
Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button (IC)
Banks Peninsula Claudia Reid (Independent)
Burwood-Pegasus Glenn Livingstone (The People's Choice), Peter Beck (Independent)
Fendalton-Waimairi Sally Buck (Independent), Jamie Gough (IC)
Hagley-Ferrymead Tim Carter (Independent), Yani Johanson (The People's Choice)
Riccarton-Wigram Helen Broughton (IC), Jimmy Chen (The People's Choice)
Shirley-Papanui Ngaire Button (IC), Aaron Keown (Christchurch City Vision)
Spreydon-Heathcote Barry Corbett (Independent), Sue Wells (Independent)


Mayor, council and committees

Under most circumstances, the Council is presided over by the Mayor. At its first meeting after a local election, the Council elects from among its members a Deputy Mayor, who acts as Mayor in the absence and with the consent, or in the incapacity, of the Mayor. The Deputy Mayor also presides at meetings if the Mayor is not present. The Deputy Mayor is recommended by the Mayor and is either confirmed or replaced in a vote of the first council meeting.

Councillors also serve on a number of committees. As of 2008, there is one Standing Committee, eight Standing Subcommittees, seven Joint Standing Committees and Working Parties (so called because they involve members of other local authorities), and 14 ad hoc subcommittees and working parties. The Council can delegate certain powers to these committees, or alternatively they can consider matters in more detail and make recommendations to the full Council.

Community Boards

The Council has established eight Community Boards. These Community Boards deal with matters delegated to them by the Council, act as representatives and advocates for their communities, and interact with community organisations and interest groups. General tasks typically delegated to local community boards are the locations of Council rubbish bins, traffic light, stop sign and pedestrian crossings; Also rubbish collection, local disturbance review and relaying information to the main council from their Ward area through the Councillor who has a right to sit on the Board within their ward.

Each of the metropolitan wards has one Community Board, composed of the two Councillors for that ward, who serve ex officio, and five other members elected by the residents of the ward. The Banks Peninsula ward is divided geographically between the Lyttelton–Mt Herbert and Akaroa–Wairewa community boards, each of which consists of five elected board members and the Councillor for Banks Peninsula.[13]

Some Community Boards, like the Council, have created committees for specific purposes.

Banks Peninsula Local Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Janis Haley Independent - Akaroa
Pam Richardson Independent - Akaroa
Jed O'Donoghue Independent - Lyttleton
Christine Wilson Independent - Lyttleton
Felix Dawson Independent - Mount Herbet
Tori Peden Independent - Wairewa

Coastal Burwood Local Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Tim Baker The People's Choice - Burwood
Linda Stewart Independent - Burwood
Tim Sintes Independent - Coastal
Kim Money Independent - Coastal

Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Bridget Williams ICitz - Fendalton
David Cartwright ICitz - Fendalton
Sam MacDonald ICitz -Waimari
Shirish Paranjape ICitz - Waimari
Linda Chen ICitz - Harewood
Aaron Campbell Independent - Harewood

Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Debbie Mora The People's Choice - Halswell
Ross McFarlane Our Community Mr Priority - Halswell
Mike Mora The People's Choice (Labour) - Hornby
Natalie Bryden The People's Choice (Labour) - Hornby
Helen Broughton ICitz - Riccarton
Catherine Chu ICitz - Riccarton

Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Alexandra Davids Time For Change - Linwood
Brenda Lowe-Johnson The People's Choice (Labour) - Linwood
Sally Buck Indpendent - Central
Jake McLellan The People's Choice (Labour) - Central
Tim Lindley For Communities You'll Love To Live In - Heathcote
Darrell Latham Independent - Heathcote

Papanui-Innes Community Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Emma Norrish Independent - Papanui
John Stringer Papanui First - Papanui
Jo Byrne Indpendent - Innes
Ali Jones Indpendent - Innes

Spreydon Ward of the Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board

Member Affiliation and subdivision
Melanie Coker The People's Choice (Labour) - Spreydon
Karolin Potter The People's Choice - Spreydon
Helene Mautner The People's Choice (Labour) - Cashmere
Lee Sampson The People's Choice - Cashmere

Contact details List of Service Centres The Council is online: Website Twitter Facebook You Tube

Organisational support

The day-to-day administration of the City of Christchurch is carried out by a large team of Council staff. Indeed, in everyday usage, the term the council is extended to include not just the Mayor and Councillors, but the entire local civil service. The professional head of the civil service is the Chief Executive, who is appointed by the Council under contract for up to five years. The Chief Executive is assisted by eight General Managers, each with his or her own portfolio.[14]

In early July 2013, CEO Tony Marryatt was put on indefinite leave on full pay over the council losing its accreditation with International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) to issue building consents, one of council's core functions.[15] General manager Jane Parfitt was appointed acting CEO.[16]

Mayor and Executive Team

Office Incumbent
Mayor Lianne Dalziel
Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck
Chief Executive Jane Parfitt (acting)
General Manager of Capital Programme Kevin Locke
General Manager of City Environment Jane Parfitt
General Manager of Community Services Michael Aitken
General Manager of Corporate Services Dianne Brandish (acting)
General Manager of Human Resources Chris Till
General Manager of Public Affairs Lydia Aydon
General Manager of Relegation and Democracy Services Peter Mitchell
General Manager of Strategy and Planning Mike Theelen

Christchurch had surprisingly few town clerks, later called general manager and today chief executive, since the establishment of the role in 1862.

List of town clerks

Years Name
1862–1875 G. Gordon[17]
1875–1901 F. T. Haskins[17]
1901–1924 H. R. Smith[17]
1924–1940 J. S. Neville OBE[17]
1940–1961 H. S. Feast OBE[17]
1961–1967 C. S. Bowie[17]
1967–1973 M. B. Hayes[17]
1973–1989 John H. Gray CBE[17][18]
1989–1993 John H. Gray CBE
1993–2003 Mike Richardson[19]
2003–2007 Lesley McTurk[19][20]
2007–2013 Tony Marryatt[15][20]
2013–2014 Jane Parfitt (acting)[16]
2014–present Dr Karleen Edwards[21]

Responsibilities and services

The Council is vested with a power of "general competence" for the social, economic and cultural well-being of Christchurch. In particular, the Council has responsibility for a range of local services, including roads (except State Highways), water, sewerage, waste collection, parks and reserves, and libraries. Urban development is managed through the maintenance of a city plan and associated zoning regulations, together with building and resource consents. The Council has been given extra powers to regulate certain types of business operations, notably suppliers of alcohol and brothels.

Building consents

One of the core functions of the council is to check and approve building consents. With effect from 8 July 2013, Christchurch City Council has been stripped of its accreditation for issuing building consents. This comes in the middle of a rebuild period following the devastating February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.[22] City Councillors found out earlier in June through the media that International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) had written to Council and threatened to withdraw accreditation, with Council's chief executive officer, Tony Marryatt, replying that mayor "Parker and other councillors were kept in the dark because he was confident staff were addressing issues raised by IANZ, and that the June 28 deadline would be met."[23] A Crown manager, Doug Martin, has been installed to reform the council's consenting department.[24] Marryatt lost his job over the affair, but will stay on the payroll until November 2013 and will receive a total of $500,000 before he leaves.[25] Parker, who had backed the controversial CEO over the years, took his part of the responsibility and decided not to stand for re-election for a third term as mayor.[26]

Kerbside waste collection

Christchurch has a wheelie bin kerbside collection system, which replaced their previous system. The previous system required the resident to put a black rubbish bag out every week to the kerbside, along with a green recycling crate. With the current system, residents are given three wheelie bins: One 240 litre bin (recycling), One 140 litre bin (rubbish), and one 80 litre bin (organics). Each week, residents can put two of the three bins out. The 80 litre organics bin goes out every week and the 240 litre recycling and the 140 litre rubbish alternate.

Christchurch City Libraries


The Civic in 2009

The Christchurch Municipal Council, as it was originally called, was using the Christchurch Land Office, the first public building erected in Christchurch in 1851.[27]


On the same site, the council had the so far only purpose-built council chambers constructed, designed by Samuel Hurst Seager in a Queen Anne style. The building became known as Our City and is registered as a Category I heritage building with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).[27][28]


Council purchased the burned out shell of the former Canterbury Hall and built new civic offices in Manchester Street. Later known as the Civic, the building was registered as a Category II heritage building with the NZHPT,[27][29] and was demolished after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.


Council bought the former Miller's Department Store and moved to 163 Tuam Street in 1980.[27] This gave rise to the occasional metonymic use of Tuam Street to refer to the municipal government. The building was registered as a Category II heritage building with the NZHPT,[27][30] and was demolished after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

2010 to present

In August 2010,[27] the Council's new offices were officially opened in a refurbishment of the former Christchurch Mail Sorting Centre, designed by the Ministry of Works in 1974. The redevelopment was supervised by Wellington-based architect Ian Athfield.

The council also maintains service centres in the suburbs of Fendalton, Linwood, Papanui, Riccarton, Shirley, Sockburn and Sydenham, and in the towns of Lyttelton, Little River and Akaroa.

See also


  1. "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2016 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-16 (2017 boundary)". Statistics New Zealand. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Elections 2007, Results — Electoral Officer's Declaration". Christchurch City Council. 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  3. Anderson, Charles (29 October 2013). "City council meetings coming to you live". The Press. p. A1. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  4. Gamble, Warren (3 December 2011). "Winston's men ready to rumble". The Press. p. C8.
  5. Stylianou, Georgina (19 April 2016). "Battle lines drawn for seats". The Press. p. A1. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  6. Independent Citizens Association:
  7. The People's Choice:
  8. 1 2 Conway, Glenn (7 September 2013). "Christchurch City Council exit count grows". The Press. p. A4. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  9. Conway, Glen; Cairns, Lois; Young, Rachel (14 October 2013). "Many new faces at council table". The Press. p. A3. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  10. Sullivan, Clare (17 October 2013). "2013 Triennial Elections : Declaration of Results" (PDF). Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  11. Conway, Glenn (22 October 2013). "Vicki Buck named deputy mayor". The Press. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  12. 1 2 "Editorial: Changes ahead at city council". The Press. 19 August 2013. p. A10. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  13. Christchurch City Council Governance Statement, p.8. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  14. "CCC Organisation Chart" (PDF). Christchurch City Council. May 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  15. 1 2 "Mayor withdraws support for Marryatt". The Press. 4 July 2013. p. A1. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  16. 1 2 "Parfitt steps up to fill council's 'hot seat'". The Press. 4 July 2013. p. A2.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Hay, Hamish (1989). Hay Days. Christchurch: Caxton Press. p. 186. ISBN 0908563310.
  18. "1973". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  19. 1 2 "Lesley McTurk is new Christchurch city manager". The New Zealand Herald. 12 February 2003. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  20. 1 2 McCrone, John (25 February 2012). "Double acts in the city". The Press. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  21. Cairns, Lois (10 May 2014). "New CEO aware of challenges". The Press. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  22. Cairns, Lois; Young, Rachel (1 July 2013). "Council to be banned from issuing consents". The Press. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  23. Cairns, Lois; Young, Rachel (15 June 2013). "Marryatt regrets letter surprise". The Press. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  24. Young, Rachel; Conway, Glenn (5 September 2013). "'Major challenges' ahead". The Press. p. A2. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  25. Conway, Glenn (13 September 2013). "Controversial Marryatt to leave Christchurch council". The Press. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  26. Conway, Glenn (6 July 2013). "'This happened on my watch' - Parker". The Press. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Remembering our former homes as we move to the Council's new Home on Hereford". Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  28. "Our City". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  29. "Civic". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  30. "Civic Offices, Tuam Street". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
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