Vicki Buck has been in politics almost twice as long as 23-year-old Catherine Chu has been alive.
But that is not stopping the financial advisor and Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board member taking on the former mayor for the city council’s Riccarton Ward seat.
Ms Chu has lived in the Riccarton Ward her whole life and will run in the October 12 local body elections under the centre-right Independent Citizens banner.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my work on the community board and my strong involvement with the diverse communities in our ward. Over the past six months I have been approached by many local residents encouraging me to stand for council,” she said.
“It is clear Riccarton residents want change. I offer a fresh perspective and will work hard to represent local views at council, it’s time council listened.”
Cr Buck was first elected to the city council in 1975 when she was 19 and became the first female mayor in 1989.
In the 2016 election, she ran unopposed. But she welcomes Ms Chu’s bid.
“That’s the nature of local government,” she said.
Though Cr Buck said she was concerned about Independent Citizens lobbying for asset sales.
“No concern with the person, just some concern with the policies.”
She would be focusing on the “pile of issues” she still wants to tackle.
“The threat we face with water is the big one,” Cr Buck said.
She said it was “incredibly scary” thinking about the increasing nitrate levels in the water.
But there was also the potential for permanent chlorination and loss of control over three waters services to lobby against.
“And obviously climate change. There’s a lot of work we won’t have finalised by the end of this term, which is what’s motivating me to keep going.”
Ms Chu is not ignorant of the challenge she will face campaigning against Cr Buck.
“I’m really excited,” she said.
“I’ve already said this to Vicki, she does an amazing job. I’m doing it because I’m passionate about Riccarton and Christchurch . . . my intentions are to represent the community, not beat someone.”
Ms Chu said Cr Buck was an “inspiration” behind her running at a young age.
“I want to encourage more younger people, more diverse people to get into local government – whether that’s council or community board,” she said.