When faced with an heavy election defeat and before the earthquake struck, Sideshow Bob was promising to be more up front and above board about his mayoral activities.

But safely ensconced in the mayoral office, the man in the orange safety jacket has quickly returned to his old secretive ways.

Sideshow Bob, along with Mrs Sideshow Bob, left the country last week to 'to discuss a significant business opportunity for the city. '

However Communications manager Diane Keenan refused to divulge any more details.

In a press statement she said: that Bob ' is due to meet with a large international company to discuss a business opportunity for Christchurch. If this opportunity comes to fruition it will have significant economic benefits for the city, However, at this stage, I am unable to give further details due to commercial sensitivity.'

So much for 'transparency'.

Sideshow is due back in Christchurch on November 4 and The Press speculated that he had gone to Brazil because that's where Peter Townsend, chief executive of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce happens to be at present.

However it turned out that Bob was in Malaysia where it was announced a low-cost Malaysian airline AirAsia X will soon start flying a long-haul route between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch.

Although Diane Keenan claimed that Bob was busy discussing a major 'business opportunity' for Christchurch the truth is something else entirely.

Although Bob is trying to claim the kudos for this deal he had, in fact, nothing to do with it.

Christchurch Airport chief executive Jim Boult is quoted as saying in an industry publication that Christchurch Airport has been 'developing this opportunity over the past two years' and 'extensively lobbied AirAsia X for the service'.

Bob travelled to Kuala Lumpur to witness the signing of the agreement. Oh, and to hog the media spotlight again - as he did during the aftermath of the earthquake.

He also found some spare time to play the guitar (see photo).

And why was Mrs Sideshow Bob in Kuala Lumpur? Who knows. Perhaps she was there for the coffee and muffins.

And given that the agreement was signed on the evening of October 29 and Sideshow Bob and Mrs Sideshow Bob aren't due back in Christchurch until November 4, are they now having a wee holiday at the ratepayers expense?


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