Templeton hints at mayoralty bid

Sara Templeton. Photo: Supplied
Sara Templeton. Photo: Supplied
Christchurch city councillor Sara Templeton is reassessing her previous decision not to stand for the mayoralty.

The Heathcote Ward representative said the city needed a future-focused mayor, particularly in light of the threat of climate change.

It comes as left-leaning The People’s Choice says it will not field a candidate.

The only candidates confirmed at this stage are fellow city councillor Phil Mauger, and The Wizard. Former health board boss David Meates is considering standing.

Christchurch will have a new mayor this election after Lianne Dalziel decided not to run for a fourth term.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner would have been The People’s Choice’s logical candidate but he too is stepping out of politics.

“I’ve had a significant number of people approach me to stand in the last month, and so am reassessing my previous decision to rule it out,” Templeton said yesterday.

“I’m really keen to make sure Christchurch has a really strong future-focused mayoral candidate.

“Recent data on climate change and its impacts on Christchurch make it clear that we need a mayoral candidate who takes the future of our city seriously,” she said.

“I can’t currently see a really future-focused candidate putting their hand up, so it’s a bit of a wait and see.”

She would not discuss Mauger’s bid. But she was hoping Meates would stand. The former Canterbury District Health Board chief executive was a popular boss who resigned suddenly in 2020.

“He seems really focused on well-being of people and the well- being of the city, and I think that’s really important at a time like this,” she said.

Mauger yesterday welcomed the prospect Templeton could run for mayor.

“In a democracy, I welcome anyone to stand. It will be a contest of ideas and the public will decide on how they want the future of Christchurch to look,” Mauger said.

Under his leadership, councillors would focus on delivering on both environmental and economic outcomes, he said.

City councillor Mike Davidson who has also been toying with standing for mayor, said he wouldn’t if Templeton did.

“We have similar values and we want to have a future-focused city that’s good to live in,” Davidson said of Templeton.

He believed climate change needed to be a hot election topic, and “front and centre” of the city council’s decisions. This was particularly in light of new concerning research out this week.

NZ SeaRise, a five-year research programme, showed sea level rise in some areas of New Zealand will greatly outpace the global prediction of 30cm by 2060, because land is subsiding from tectonic plate interaction.

Areas from Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere to Woodend, including Banks Peninsula, are sinking up to 3mm per year, which means an extra 30cm of sea level rise within the next 100 years.

Templeton was first elected to the city council in 2016 after having served three years chairing the Hagley Ferrymead Community Board.