|Gerry Brownlee congratulates Lianne Dalziel on her salary increase.|
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she's 'mentally exhausted' but don't expect her to give up the mayoralty anytime soon.
MAYOR LIANNE DALZIEL'S claim that she is 'mentally exhausted' scored her the front page story in The Press today, a newspaper that has consistently supported her.
The Press got the story from another Dalziel supporter, Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. A simpering Lynch asked her in an interview on Tuesday whether she found the mayoralty 'mentally exhausting'. Dalziel replied that this was 'possibly an understatement'. I'm not sure what she meant by this. Is she on the brink of a nervous breakdown? Brave Lianne. Fighting on. For us.
While she was telling Lynch how 'mentally exhausted' she was, she managed to outline what she thought were some of her political successes.
Apparently wearing her heart on her sleeve, she said that she 'worried' about residents with unresolved insurance claims and those who remained "absolutely stuck" in the residential red zones.
She made no mention of the plight of the eastern suburbs whIch continue to be a 'low priority' for Dalziel and her council. No mention, either of Christchurch's chronic homelessness and its ever-increasing level of poverty.
She did say though she was often hurt by what was written about her 'on line'. Apparently comments like ' putting up my rates will force me out of my home' are hurtful. As is 'why are you cuddling up to Gerry Brownlee?'
Still, it was all good copy for Dalziel preceding her announcement that she will be standing for the mayoralty again.
While Dalziel is insisting that she hasn't made up her mind, her political allies are lining up behind her, including local business interests and the Prime Minister. Dalziel's support for the dismal corporate-approved central city blueprint means she has the full backing of the corporate sector and government.
And the Labour-linked People's Choice, proving it is only an opposition in name only, won't stand a candidate against her. So the job is hers for the asking. The Labour Party's role in this charade is worth thinking about - they are backing a mayor that still intends to flog off more ratepayer - owned assets.
Not uncoincidentally though, there won't be any asset sales 'in the 2016/17 financial year”. That's because this period covers the local body elections in October and Dalziel and her council supporters like Vicki Buck and Raf Manji want to keep the issue out of the headlines until the election is over.
To help ease her troubled mind, Dalziel has just been given a 1.55% salary increase. Her salary jumps from $184,300 to $187,064. For the first time ever,councillors are now getting paid more than $100,000 a year. Perhaps they all could toss a few spare coins the way of the next beggar they see on the street.