'Chicken' call as election tensions rise

Mayoral candidate Darryll Park has been called a 'chicken' by Lianne Dalziel's campaign manager.
Mayoral candidate Darryll Park has been called a 'chicken' by Lianne Dalziel's campaign manager.
Mayoral candidate Darryll Park has been called a “chicken” as tensions between his camp and Lianne Dalziel’s continue to heat up 10 days out from the local body election.

The chicken comment comes after an incident at a retirement home election event on Friday – and another dust-up three days later.

On Friday, Mr Park refused to address the 20 people at an event at Summerset on Cavendish in Casebrook unless Aaron Campbell, Ms Dalziel’s campaign manager, left the room.

Mr Park, incumbent mayor Dalziel, mayoral candidate John Minto and five other election candidates were invited to speak to people at the retirement home. Mr Campbell, who is standing for Environment

Aaron Campbell has labelled a mayoral candidate 'chicken'.
Aaron Campbell has labelled a mayoral candidate 'chicken'.
Canterbury, was also a speaker. After speaking, Mr Campbell sat in the crowd, which prompted Mr Park to ask the organiser to tell Mr Campbell to leave, which he did.

“I did not think it was an inappropriate statement to make (asking Mr Campbell to leave) and that was supported by the organiser,” said Mr Park.

But Mr Campbell said Mr Park was incorrect. Ms Dalziel had arrived early and had listened to Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board candidate Jason Middlemiss’ speech without any issues.

“I think he needs to be a little bit more aware of what transparency really means,” said Mr Campbell.

“If you are running for office everything you say is on the record. I would just call it chicken.

“Come on, there is nothing I would not have heard over the last six weeks, I was just interested.”

On Monday, there was more trouble between the camps at a St Albans Residents Association meet the candidates forum, attended by about 200.

Mr Campbell approached Mr Park’s campaign manager David Lynch and made an “up-front comment” about Mr Park not being there.

Mr Lynch said Mr Park was at a Templeton Residents’ Association election forum instead.

Mr Park has previously been criticised for pulling out of a mayoral forum in the eastern suburbs at late notice, and has been described as a ‘no show’.

The description has irritated the Park camp.

Mr Lynch told The Star yesterday Mr Campbell made a number of “allegations” about Mr Park’s absence from the St Albans meeting. He told Mr Campbell to “go away” and thought matters could get physical.

“I took none of this personally, I have been around for a long time,” said Mr Lynch.

Said Mr Campbell: “I was up-front with him. I said where was Darryll, why is he not here? Does he not want to talk to the people of St Albans.”

He disputed Mr Lynch’s view the exchange could have got physical, saying he was “exaggerating”.

Mr Campbell said the rivalry between the pair had started at the Newstalk ZB mayoral debate last month.


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