Bob Parker (mayor)
|Sir Bob Parker|
|Bob Parker in 2011|
|45th Mayor of Christchurch|
October 2007 – October 2013
|Preceded by||Garry Moore|
|Succeeded by||Lianne Dalziel|
|Spouse(s)||(2nd marriage) Joanna Parker-Nicholls|
|Residence||Christchurch Central City|
Parker grew up in the Christchurch suburbs of Heathcote Valley and Somerfield. He attended Christchurch South Intermediate and Cashmere High School. He studied an intermediate year in Zoology at the University of Canterbury before undertaking casual work.
Parker got his first job on radio, in Christchurch. His broadcasting career then took him to Wellington and then Auckland. He was the original host (1984–1996) of the New Zealand version of the This is Your Life series. He returned to Christchurch in 1992.
Local body politics
Parker first became politically active when he joined his local community board on Banks Peninsula in the early 1990s. Having lived in Akaroa for several years, he served as mayor of Banks Peninsula District for two terms (2001–2006). He favoured amalgamation of the district with Christchurch City. Amalgamation took place on 3 March 2006, at which Parker became a Christchurch City Councillor, and the sole Banks Peninsula representative on the council.
In October 2007, Parker successfully stood in the local government elections for the Christchurch mayoralty, after the retirement of Garry Moore. He received 47,033 votes, with Megan Woods (32,821) and Jo Giles (14,454) in the election contested by ten candidates.
Despite being the incumbent, he was consistently rated as well behind his major challenger until the large 2010 Canterbury earthquake on 4 September 2010. His high-profile handling of the civil emergency was widely praised, and polls taken later showed him taking the lead. It was announced on 9 October that Parker had been re-elected for a second term with 68,245 of the votes to Jim Anderton's 51,566 based on 98% of the votes counted.
Mayor Parker was the incumbent mayor at the time of the September 2010 Canterbury earthquake. During the days following the quake, the mayor worked with Civil Defence, the police and the New Zealand Army to get the city back up and running. In October 2010, Christchurch band The Bats and many others played at a free earthquake relief concert in Hagley Park in front of about 140,000 people. Parker joined The Bats for the performance and played guitar.
Mayor Parker has been the media face of the recovery efforts in the aftermath of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, working with the police and the army and rescue squads, as well as answering the media's questions.
On 18 March, Parker addressed in the national Christchurch memorial service at Hagley Park of Christchurch in the presence of Prince William, Prime Minister John Key, Dame Malvina Major, Hayley Westenra, ChristChurch Cathedral Choir, dignitaries, international rescue teams and tens of thousands of New Zealanders.
Bob Parker was polling significantly behind Jim Anderton before the 4 September earthquake in the run up to the election. The earthquake caused Bob Parker to be given prime time television news interviews for days on end, while Jim Anderton got little coverage. If it weren't for this, it is highly unlikely that Bob Parker would have been re-elected as mayor.
Outrage was expressed at the Parker-led council, after Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt was given a near $70,000 pay rise in 2011. A protest was held at the City Council Building on 1 February 2012. Approximately 4000 citizens turned up to protest the corruption in the City Council, and to call for a mid-term election.
In April 2013 when the government announced the cost of the rebuild was going to be as much as $40 billion, Parker said it was "no surprise", and welcomed the extra investment as being "good for GDP".
In mid-June 2013, Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee revealed in a press conference that International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) had written to Christchurch City Council threatening to revoke its accreditation for issuing building consents. This caught Parker by surprise, as he knew nothing of this threat, and he criticised Brownlee for not communicating with him before the press conference; Parker famously labelled Brownlee's practice a "media missile". Brownlee and Parker have a strained relationship, with the government taking an increasing amount of control in local decision making. After two weeks of ongoing assurances by Parker that Christchurch City Council would meet all of IANZ's requirements, the organisation revealed its decision on 1 July that council would be stripped of its accreditation. It was revealed that council's CEO, Tony Marryatt, was involved with making the decision not to pass the information on to elected members, and he was placed on indefinite leave on 3 July 2012.
In August 2012, Parker announced that he would seek a third term as mayor. Due to the controversy caused during his mayoralty so far, the general expectation had been that he would not seek re-election. On Friday, 5 July 2013, Parker announced on Campbell Live he would after all not be running for re-election in the upcoming Christchurch mayoral elections, citing exhaustion and not having the required energy for a third term as mayor. The following day, he confirmed that he had to "take responsibility" for council losing its consenting accreditation.
Parker has three sons from his first marriage, plus three grandchildren. His second marriage is to Joanna Nicholls-Parker.
|Mayor of Banks Peninsula
|Mayor of Christchurch
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bob Parker (mayor).|
- "Mayor Bob Parker – biography". Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Speakers Biographies – Bob Parker". Tourism Industry Conference New Zealand. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2010.[dead link]
- "Twenty years serving the community". The Press. 19 June 2013. p. A5.
- Archive of bobparker.co.nz, Archive.org, 2004.
- Gay, Edward (13 October 2007). "New faces aplenty in local government shake-ups". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Christchurch City Mayor". Local Elections 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Conway, Glenn (20 April 2010). "Gordon to enter race". Christchurch: The Press. p. A2. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- "Mayoralty SurveyChristchurch City Council" (PDF). Wellington: UMR Research. June 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- "Anderton Leading Parker In Race". UMR Research Ltd. 14 June 2010.
- Conway, Glenn (28 August 2010). "Anderton leads in mayoral race". The Press. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- Christchurch 7.1magnitude – 4.35am Sat 4th Sept 2010, Geonet, Christchurch Earthquake Reference
- Conway, Glenn (8 September 2010). "Parker's 20-hour days for 'a personal thing'". The Press. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Christchurch mayor's stock rises post-quake". The New Zealand Herald. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- Conway, Glenn (9 October 2010). "Bob Parker re-elected Christchurch Mayor". The Press. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Rocking for right reasons". The Press. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Bob and The Bats on show". The Press. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Christchurch quake memorial service: As it happened". Television New Zealand. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- Conway, Glenn (9 October 2010). "Bob Parker re-elected Christchurch Mayor". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "Christchurch protest over city chief's pay rise". TVNZ. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Sachdeva, Sam (2 February 2012). "Protesters threaten rates revolt in Christchurch". The Press. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Satherley, Dan (29 April 2013). "Rebuild cost jump 'no surprise' - Parker". 3 News NZ. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Ultimatum in consent crisis looms". The Press. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Cairns, Lois (14 June 2013). "Council's 'arranged marriage' on the rocks". The Press. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Race to decide who's the boss". The Press. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- O'Callaghan, Jody; Young, Rachel; Cairns, Lois (2 July 2013). "Govt to move on consent debacle". The Press (Christchurch). pp. A1–A2. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Christchurch City Council CEO takes leave". Fairfax New Zealand. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Cairns, Lois (25 August 2012). "Parker confirms bid for third term as potential rivals circle". The Press (Christchurch). p. A3.
- O'Callaghan, Jody (6 July 2013). "Mayor Parker quits". The Press. p. A1. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- Conway, Glenn (6 July 2013). "'This happened on my watch' - Parker". The Press. Retrieved 6 July 2013.