Vicki Buck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vicki Buck
Buck with the Queen during a royal walkabout, Victoria Square, Christchurch, February 1990
43rd Mayor of Christchurch
In office
Preceded byHamish Hay
Succeeded byGarry Moore
Riccarton Ward
Assumed office
20 October 2016[1]
Preceded byWard created
Riccarton-Wigram Ward
In office
24 October 2013 – 08 October 2016
Serving with Jimmy Chen
Preceded byHelen Broughton
Succeeded byWard abolished
Personal details
Born (1955-07-16) 16 July 1955 (age 66)
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyLabour Party (until early 1990s)

Vicki Susan Buck (born 16 July 1955) is a New Zealand politician. She was Mayor of Christchurch for nine years from 1989 to 1998. She retired after three terms, having been very popular. She made a political comeback, standing in the 2013 local elections in the Riccarton-Wigram ward as councillor for Christchurch City Council, being returned with the highest number of votes across all city wards. She subsequently accepted the role of deputy mayor.

Early life and family[edit]

Buck was born on 16 July 1955, and educated at Christchurch Girls' High School.[2] She went on to study at the University of Canterbury from 1972 to 1977, graduating Master of Arts with honours.[2] In 1986, she married Robert Donald McKay,[2] but their marriage ended during Buck's time as Christchurch mayor.[3]

Political life[edit]

Buck in 2015

Buck was first elected to Christchurch City Council in a by-election in May 1975 standing for the Labour Party at the age of 19, which made her the youngest city councillor in New Zealand at the time.[4] Despite her youth, she soon made an impact around the council table and attracted the attention of news media. A 1978 reshuffle of council committee chairmanships resulted in the proposal of Buck taking over the Community Services Committee, but this was blocked by Mayor Hamish Hay and his colleagues on the Citizens ticket.[4] She was one of five Local Government Commissioners working from 1984 to 1989 on a major reorganisation of local government in New Zealand.

Buck became the city's first woman mayor in 1989. She stood for mayor as an independent. An active and vigorous leader, she is widely credited with leading a turnaround in the perception of Christchurch as a city.

In 1990, Buck received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal,[2] and in 1993 she was awarded the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal.[5]

Her sister Sally Buck had been an elected councillor for Christchurch City Council since 1998, but retired from the city council in October 2013 after five terms.[6][7]

Life after politics[edit]

More recently she has:

  • been a member of the New Zealand government's Science and Innovation Advisory Council[8]
  • been chair of the NZ Learning Discovery Trust, which in turn has set up Discovery 1 and Unlimited state schools in central Christchurch. The schools are based on the student being central in their own individual learning.[9]
  • initiated the LIFT Trust with five schools in Linwood to create free tertiary education for students who may otherwise not enjoy this because of the fees barrier.[10]
  • been director and co-founder of Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, a bio-fuel company using wild algae, and cleaning dirty and contaminated water.[11]
  • been director and co-founder of, a website for business and community groups which is based on the premise that Governments are not acting quickly enough on climate change and it will be up to all of us to act.[12]
  • been director and co-founder of Carbonscape, aimed at sequestering carbon from waste biomass through microwave technology.
  • been on the NZ advisory board of Craigmore Sustainables, involved in carbon forestry.

In 2008 she was nominated by a panel commissioned by The Guardian newspaper as one of 50 people who could reverse the effects of climate change.[13]

Political comeback[edit]

Buck stood as an independent candidate in the 2013 local elections in the Riccarton-Wigram ward as councillor for Christchurch City Council. She supported Lianne Dalziel's mayoral campaign, although initially declined to become deputy mayor.[14] On 12 October 2013, Buck was returned with the highest number of votes of any of the council candidates across the city.[15] In late October, Buck changed her mind and decided to accept the role of deputy mayor,[16] after the role was re-framed to include more than ceremonial duties.[17] She served in this role until 2016.[18]

In June of 2019, she announced that she would not be seeking re-election in October.[19]


  1. ^ "Agenda of inaugural meeting" (PDF). Christchurch City Council. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Taylor, Alister; Coddington, Deborah (1994). Honoured by the Queen – New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. p. 82. ISBN 0-908578-34-2.
  3. ^ Van Beynen, Martin (31 July 2010). "Life's what they make it". The Press. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b Hay, Hamish (1989). Hay Days. Christchurch: Caxton Press. p. 94. ISBN 0908563310.
  5. ^ "The New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993 – register of recipients". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Councillors representing Fendalton-Waimairi ward – Sally Buck". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Sally Buck steps down from council". The Press. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Prime Minister launches Science and Innovation Advisory Council". The Beehive.
  9. ^ "Timeline". 14 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Canterbury Local Heroes honoured".
  11. ^
  12. ^ Advantage, Pure (28 October 2011). "Celsias".
  13. ^ Vidal, John; Adam, David; Watts, Jonathan; Hickman, Leo; Sample, Ian (5 January 2008). "50 people who could save the planet". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  14. ^ Greenhill, Marc (26 June 2013). "Buck runs as an independent candidate". The Press. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Riccarton-Wigram ward". The Press. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  16. ^ Vicki Buck named deputy mayor. Fairfax NZ News. 22 October 2013.
  17. ^ Cairns, Lois (23 October 2013). "Buck and Manji given key positions". The Press. p. A1.
  18. ^ Law, Tina (20 October 2016). "Christchurch's new deputy mayor is Andrew Turner". Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  19. ^ Gorman, Phil (27 June 2019). "Former Christchurch mayor says goodbye to city council for second time". The Press. Retrieved 20 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hamish Hay
Mayor of Christchurch
Succeeded by
Garry Moore