City councillors frustrated no meeting yet with new rebuild boss

Nicky Wagner the recently appointed Minister Supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration said she intends to meet with city councillors. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

Some city councillors are frustrated they still haven’t had a formal meeting with the new rebuild boss more than two months after she took over the role.

But Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner said she planned to but had not found the time.

City councillor Yani Johanson said it was “really important” to meet on a regular basis. He had made a request to do so but was still waiting.

City councillors never met with Mrs Wagner’s predecessor Gerry Brownlee, which had been frustrating, he said.

“We’re at the start of a new relationship. We need to be open-minded and give it the benefit of the doubt to see if there is an improved way to work together so it’s better for the community.”

City councillor Aaron Keown said he was surprised a meeting had not happened already.

He wanted something like the 2010 system, where there was a monthly meeting attended by city councillors, community board members, health board members and mayors from across Canterbury.

Mrs Wagner said she had planned on attending a city council meeting, but had not found the time.

She was open to setting up monthly meetings.

“I see my job now as moving the leadership from central Government and passing it on to local Government.”

Mrs Wagner said she meets with Mayor Lianne Dalziel weekly, and spoke to the relevant ministers at weekly caucus meetings about Christchurch issues.

She said she met with Prime Minister Bill English last week to keep him updated.

“And Gerry Brownlee, I’m constantly talking to him because, of course, he’s got lots of the history going back.”

City councillor Jamie Gough said he was keen to meet with Mrs Wagner when required.

He said the city council should have met more with Mr Brownlee.

“I think the tension between local government and the Crown occurred probably more often than we would have liked because there wasn’t that dialogue there. I don’t know if that was necessarily anyone’s fault.”