Good onya Lianne

Lianne Dalziel may have threatened to sue me but that didn’t stop me endorsing her for the mayoral race in Christchurch. Lianne has a reputation for being able to work across the political spectrum at least when sober.

As mayor she has immediately conveyed her desire to change the culture of the council by stopping councillors bludging free lunches.

Mayor-elect Lianne Dalziel has ordered her new-look council to bring their own lunches to work or buy from a local business rather than rely on the in-house catering service.

The move is part of her deliberate shift in culture from a council that feels entitled to a council that is there to work for the community.

Today was a case in point – the new mayor brought some homemade chicken salad to work. 

If councillors wanted to have a drink after a busy day, they could do that – “but it’s not going to be on the ratepayer”.

Catering cost the council more than $45,000 in the past financial year, but Dalziel wants to keep councillors aware of the fact they are there to work for the ratepayers, not to be fed by them.

Dalziel said it was a part of her push for a culture change throughout the organisation.

On days of long meetings, some catering may be provided but, as a general rule, “I’ve told them it’s BYO [bring your own]”, she said.

Second-term councillor Glenn Livingstone welcomed the idea, saying it was another step away from the “culture of entitlement” that existed with previous councils.

Next step is to convert the dreaded mayoresses office into something that is far more useful on a permanent basis so the malignant influence of future mayoresses is avoided.


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  • Toryboy

    Chicken salad.

    Reminds me of the old story about George H W Bush who was considering leaving the US House of Representatives to seek a US Senate seat and went to see former US President Lyndon Johnson to ask his advice.

    Johnson’s advice was “George, the difference between the House and the Senate is the difference between chicken salad and chickenshit” haha!

    I imagine Lianne feels a similar difference between being MP for Christchurch and Mayor of Christchurch.

  • conwaycaptain

    7 or 8 years ago my wife worked as a temp in the Akl City Council Democracy Services Dept.
    She had to attend some of the meetings and she was amazed at the food that was provided each time. Not tea and bikkies but a spread.

  • Patrick

    You are joking aren’t you, suggesting there has been a culture that the ratepayers fund the lunches of the elected representatives?
    Are these tossers incapable of spreading some honey on two slices of bread on the way out the door in the morning?

    • richard.b

      Len has been spreading his honey between a few buns for the last few years.

      • FredFrog

        Nah. He’s between spreading his mayonnaise on a turkey neck

    • Jonathan Pull

      It happens in all levels of governance, from national level to the local level.
      They feel we somehow owe them something.

  • Justsayn

    I expect she threatened to sue you BECAUSE you endorsed her in the mayoral race!

  • Col

    I will wait until we see some real change, a free lunch is f&*&all, lets start getting the real issues under control
    Just keep Poking Lenny Dorklander up north don’t let him down here. we will see how our CHCH Mayor Pussy preforms, at this stage it is looking ok.

  • peterwn

    Catering rules where I worked:
    Morning tea – no biscuits
    Morning tea with visitors – plain biscuits
    Morning tea with overseas visitors – chocolate biscuits.
    Also AFAIK the GM was a teetotaler.

    • cows4me

      “morning tea”? is that the tea you didn’t finish the night before?

  • James Growley

    I wonder what she will do if she has to sit beside someone eating a dried fish curry for lunch……..

  • Harroputza

    A Labour polly reducing costs AND perks? I’m starting to wonder whether someone has spiked my cup of tea this morning…

  • BJ

    It isn’t even like the councillors are employed in a business that’s making money – all they do in their job is spend others money.

  • Rex Widerstrom

    When I first started working at Radio New Zealand it still had a tea lady, who’d wheel the cart in and give you your brew (instant coffee, tea or Milo) and a biccie. (Wouldn’t work nowadays, unless they strapped a coffee machine to her back and ran a long hose down the corridors so she could give them all their lattes).

    The point being, I used to think it a nice but ridiculous indulgence. But then, moving on to other workplaces, I realised just how much time staff skived off on coffee breaks, especially if they were smokers. The cost of a jar of Nescafe, a box of teabags (no Len Brown jokes, please) and one old lady’s wages probably looked good against the lost productivity of the alternative.

    The point being, sometimes if a workplace provides lunch, and counts the actual cost of that lunch as a deduction against salaries, the staff get cheap food and the business can achieve productivity gains as more staff eat at their desks more often, without costing it in dollar terms.

    Just an alterative way of looking at things…

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Lianne has a reputation for being able to work across the political spectrum at least when sober.”
    So she does not piss on trees?

    • Roland

      Been to a number of parties that she has attended and never failed to see her get her leg over

      • Bryan

        another lenny we shall have to watch out for that

        • Roland

          Nah, she was getting on her boyfriend/partners Motor Bike :)

  • Bryan

    a nice little Labour fudge and the figure of 45000 would included all those occasions when it is fitting and proper to provide a refreshments to visiting people from other countries and works out at 123.00 a day
    just because labour party had to get bring their own lunches because their party is broke does not mean we have to be miserable to our council who often have working lunches so while it sounds good to the ratepayers in really its probably results in an interruption to go and find lunch. she has forgotten what the bible says “you don’t muzzle the ox that treads out the corn” those working for a venture are entitled to expect to be fed by it

  • Mr_V4

    Make no mistake about it you own this now. Lets see how the next 3 yrs go.

    I’m surprised you can be so easily seduced by a single chicken salad.

    Where is the evidence that she significantly reduced the amount of troughing over her parliamentary career?