Mayoral candidate Victor Cattermole likens running a city to
managing a football club.
A man with a colourful past, Christchurch-born Mr Cattermole
famously once offered to purchase the debt-laden English
Premier League football club Portsmouth.
Through his European business connections, he offered to
raise $400 million to bail out the struggling club, but while
he was completing due diligence the club was placed into
"Like a football club, a city is effectively a business with
a huge number of social responsibilities," Mr Cattermole told
"There's a huge social responsibility in running a football
club. If the local football club is not doing well the city
A self-described "entrepreneurial person", Mr Cattermole
bills himself as a businessman with "30 years of local and
international business experience in commercial and
residential property development as well as investment,
finance, corporate governance, risk management and compliance
He says he returned to his home town from a business base in
Hong Kong in 2010 because his father was ill and stayed on
after the earthquakes to use his advocacy experience to help
quake-hit Cantabrians negotiate with insurance companies and
the Earthquake Commission.
Now a director and shareholder of Consumer Advocates Ltd, Mr
Cattermole is listed as a director or former director of 18
companies that have been struck off from the Companies Office
He acknowledges that some voters will see that as a negative,
but points out that many business people will allow companies
to be struck off or put them into liquidation when they no
longer have a use for them.
"It's not really a big deal."
However, Mr Cattermole concedes he sold his Wellington
advocacy business, quit his property portfolio and moved his
business base to Hong Kong having had a "gutsfull of New
Zealand" after a run-in with the Securities Commission in
The commission warned against investing in a West Indies
company, Endeavor Portfolio Corporation Ltd founded by Mr
Cattermole and banned advertisements for an internet
investment scheme it claimed included pyramid selling.
Mr Cattermole said he challenged the commission several times
to take him to court and had three legal opinions that stated
his Endeavor Plan wasn't pyramid selling.
"All they ever did was discredit me. The never went through
and proved I did anything wrong."
Mr Cattermole says while some people will view his past
business dealings in the negative, "others will see it more
"I've always been one to give it a go. If I get things wrong
I pick myself up and move on," he said. "I've proven I'm
prepared to put myself on the line."
Mr Cattermole says the city needs an "entrepreneurial
visionary" such as himself to lead the council.
He pledges to transform the city council from a "bureaucratic
entity into a more efficient, businesslike and socially
Asked how he would unite councillors in the debating chamber,
Mr Cattermole said he has "a plan" that he will reveal if
"I will pull down all the personas, strip them naked and make
them understand they need to take ownership of all the city.
"There is going to be a lot of fresh faces at the table. How
we manage the rest of the council (staff) will be the
- By Cullen Smith of The Star