The Star: July 25, 2019

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The Star Thursday July 25 2019

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Race for Riccarton Ward ramps up

• By Louis Day

THE RACE to become the next

city councillor for Riccarton is

heating up.

The People’s Choice have withdrawn

one of their candidates

from running for Environment

Canterbury and thrown him in

the now fourhorse

race for

the Riccarton

Ward.

The leftleaning

political

group has put

forward union

organiser and

Catherine

Chu

John

Connelly

former pastor

of Riccarton

Baptist Church

Anthony

Rimell as their

candidate.

“I’m running

because

Riccarton is

an amazing

diverse community

that

deserves a

progressive

voice with a

positive vision

for Riccarton and Christchurch,”

Mr Rimell said.

This comes after city councillor

Vicki Buck’s decision to not

stand again caught The People’s

Choice by surprise and left them

RUNNING FOR OFFICE: Anthony Rimell has pulled out of the ECan race to stand for The

People’s Choice in the city council’s Riccarton Ward.

scrambling to find another candidate.

The People’s Choice is making

a major bid to win as many council

seats as it can in the October

local body elections.

The group is fighting against

possible sales of city councilowned

assets.

It’s main political opponent,

centre-right group Independent

Citizens is wanting to start a

discussion around asset sales.

Ms Buck is an independent city

councillor, but is a former member

of the Labour Party.

She has previously spoken

against asset sales which The

People’s Choice would have been

relying on during the next council’s

term.

The People’s Choice chairman

Keir Leslie said a vote for

Mr Rimell would contribute to

preventing the sale of dividendgenerating

assets.

He joins Catherine Chu of Independent

Citizens who was the

only candidate

to stand against

Ms Buck before

she announced

she would not

be running for

re-election.

Ms Chu questioned

whether

Mr Leslie fully

understood the

ins and outs of

their policies.

Peter Laloli

“We have explained our policy

time and time again and it is not

what they [The People’s Choice]

are making it out to be. We

are open to exploring ideas in

how we can ease the burden on

ratepayers, some assets are completely

off the table but we will

consider some.”

She welcomed Mr Rimell’s

challenge. Mr Rimell will also

join independents Peter Laloli

and John Connelly in the race

to become city councillor for

Riccarton. Mr Laloli, a former

Independent Citizens member,

and Mr Connelly say their

decision to run was prompted by

Ms Buck’s decision to not stand

for re-election.

Time to ‘throw an axel in the works’

TIME FOR CHANGE: Former

technical adviser to John Key, Axel

Wilke has set his sights on a seat

around the ECan table.

• By Louis Day

A FORMER technical adviser

to John Key has announced he

is running for Environment

Canterbury in a bid to “throw

an axel in the works.”

Transport specialist

Axel Wilke will contest the

Christchurch Central-Ōhoko

constituency in the October

local body elections as an independent.

Mr Wilke was appointed

as technical adviser to Prime

Minister Key’s New Zealand

Cycle Trail which is a $100

million-plus project focused on

creating cycle trails

all over the country.

He has never stood

for election before.

Mr Wilke said he

was motivated to

run due to concerns

over the climate

crisis.

“What I really

want to achieve is

a step-change in

public transport provision in

Lan Pham

getting our greenhouse gas

emissions down,” he said.

He is running a joint

campaign with sitting

ECan councillor Lan

Pham in a bid to gain

the two seats on the

Christchurch Central-

Ōhoko constituency.

They will both run as

independents.

“We come from very

different backgrounds,

sure, but we absolutely

share the belief that our

environment is not, and nor

should it be, a political football.

The issues facing Canterbury

require evidence-based

decision making. This leaves

no room for party politics and

hidden agendas,” he said.

Ms Pham was elected in

2016 and gained the fourthhighest

number of votes of any

local body candidate in New

Zealand.

She is a freshwater ecologist

with a background in the notfor-profit

and public sector.

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