Former disgraced National candidate makes council bid

A former disgraced National Party candidate is making another bid to enter politics.

Businessman John Connelly will stand for the city council in October’s local body elections. He will run in the Riccarton Ward.

In the run up to the 1996 general election, Mr Connelly pulled out of the race for a Christchurch seat after allegations of a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, which involved a videotape and blackmail.

John Connelly

Mr Connelly decided to run in the local body elections after current Riccarton Ward city councillor and former mayor Vicki Buck announced last month she will not run again.

“Vicki has been around the town, a good person over the years and she was never going to be beaten and that was all about it,” he said.

Mr Connelly said he is not happy with the way the city council is currently operating.

“People are hurting out here; ratepayers, residents and business people . . . I think there is other ways things could be done,” he said.

“I think what we need is a few independent people in there. People that can take some
middle ground. My campaign will be on responsible accountability and I will be running on those sorts of issues.

“Back to basics and focus on normal infrastructure, road, footpaths, rubbish, sewers, water, parks and reserves, sustainable and environmental issues. We’re not there to grand-stand . . . I am totally opposed to five years of 10 per cent rate increases. I don’t think it’s practical and a major cost to householders who are having a hard time as it is.”

Mr Connelly said yesterday it will be the first time he has revisited politics since the general election scandal.

“I think it is time to move on and do the next thing. I have years of experience in Christchurch. That was something that happened way back then. Let’s move on.”