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Mixed bunch contest ChCh mayoralty

Published: 9:43PM Monday August 27, 2001

A gang member, broadcaster and band leader are among the 14 candidates who have thrown their hats in the ring for the Christchurch mayoralty.

Jailed numerous times after run-ins with rivals, Black Power member Shane Turner is now trying to change his public image.

"That's my downfall but at the end the of the day it's what I've got to offer today, not what happened yesterday," Turner says.

Former king of talkback George Balani is also looking to the future.

He went back behind the microphone for the launch of his own television venture, again putting his money where mouth is.

The veteran broadcaster has been a long-standing critic of the city council, currently run by Garry Moore.

The one-termer is hoping to become a vintage, just like his baby Austin.

"It's a huge job getting to know the town and deciding what buttons a mayor needs to push, and it's very clear what those buttons are now," Moore says.

He took over from Vicki Buck, the woman who put the Christchurch mayoralty on the map.

The race he won was muddied by allegations against GP and contender, Morgan Fahey.

"It certainly tarnished the last mayoralty (campaign)," says current contender Gordon Freeman.

Fahey's decision to stand effectively scuttled long time councillor Freeman's chances. He lost his seat with the mayoralty after 15 years around the council table and is looking to clean up this time around.

"The public are wanting a back-to-basics council, let's get housekeeping right, deal with issues... make decisions rather than rhetoric," Freeman says.

Robin Booth is the only current councillor standing for mayor.

He is hoping his upfront style will help him march to the front of the council chamber.

"I know I'm not perfect but if in the end I don't stand up for what believe in, what right do I have to stand up and complain if things go wrong all the time," he says.

Aaron Keown is also looking to be mayor.

"I think in all honesty it can't be that hard," he says.

The founding member of band the Fab Three is transferring his skills as a performer to the election hustings.

There are eight other candidates for the Christchurch mayoralty: independents Penny Hargraves and Sugra Morley, Michael Hansen from Economic Euthenics, Annalucia Vermunt from the Communist League, Libertarian Robin McCarthy, Bill Greenwood, Andrew Brown from the Party Party, and Paul Telfer from Chchratepayers.com.

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