Christchurch city councillor quitting local politics to co-host national radio show

James Daniels. Photo: Christchurch City Libraries
James Daniels. Photo: Christchurch City Libraries
There will be a new voice on afternoon radio across New Zealand from July 13 - but one that many in Christchurch will recognise.

NZME announced Christchurch city councillor, iwi leader and broadcaster, James Daniels (Ngāi Tahu, Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa and Tainui), will join Simon Barnett from mid-July as co-host of Newstalk ZB Afternoons. 

The Newstalk ZB afternoon show conflicts with his city council meeting schedules - so Daniels will resign as soon as the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan has been approved in late June.

The resignation will trigger a by-election that is estimated to cost more than $60,000, based on previous by-elections. 

Daniels has spent 19 years on the tribal authority, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and was elected as the Coastal Ward city councillor in 2019.

"Last year I was asked to host nine to noon in Canterbury on Coast 105.7FM on a part-time basis,” said Daniels.

"I had to consider my council responsibilities, but I have managed to juggle those roles to date.

"However, being asked to move from a local focus on Christchurch and Canterbury, to a full-time host nationwide on the biggest radio network in New Zealand, is unexpected and extraordinary.”

"It has been an honour to be elected by the people of the Coastal Ward, which is where I’ve grown up and still live. I trust they’re happy with my efforts and feel they’ve had a strong voice in the council chamber."

Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford. Photo: NewstalkZB
Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford. Photo: NewstalkZB
Said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel: “I have really enjoyed having councillor Daniels around the council table and appreciate the contribution he has made to our decision-making over the last 20 months.

"I am sad to see him go, but appreciate this is a dream career opportunity for him and I wish him well.”

Daniels thanked his city council colleagues. 

"I thank the mayor, my fellow councillors and the hard-working staff right across council for all their support. All of them are remarkable representatives and people of our city."

Daniels will replace Phil Gifford who is leaving Newstalk ZB Afternoons after two years on the show with Simon Barnett.

"I’ve been in media for more than forty years and also worked with and represented communities I’ve lived in.

"That situation has given me a very clear sense of what really matters to people, the things they care about, want to be heard on and want to talk about.

"There’s no better place to have those conversations with Kiwis than Newstalk ZB afternoons,” said Daniels

Said Simon Barnett: “James and I have been Christchurch-based broadcasters for so many years, and we know each other well. But in all the decades we’ve had on air, we’ve always worked on opposing networks. Now, to not only be on the same network, but to be hosting a show together, it’s going to be a real treat for me and ZB’s listeners.”

James Daniels will continue to host Canterbury Mornings on Coast, then go nationwide with Simon Barnett on Newstalk ZB Afternoons from July 13.






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