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Community board position hotly contested

Lucy Bendell
Linwood Central Heathcote community board v2
Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board members  Christchurch City Council

Seven candidates to contest Linwood-Central-Heathcote board by-election.

Old and new face salike are battling for the position vacated by Sally Buck, one of Christchurch's longest-serving local government politicians, who resigned in June due to ill health.

Clive Antony, Sunita Gautam and Wayne Hawker all ran for a seat at the board last year.

John Stringer and Paul Lonsdale missed out in the Christchurch City Council elections for in the Papanui and Halswell Wards respectively. 

Independents, Faimeh Burke and Celeste Donovan are also vying for the seat on the board.


Electoral Officer, Jo Daly is pleased so many candidates have put themselves forward to represent their community. 

City councillor Jake McLellan, who sits on the board, has thrown his support behind Sunita Gautam.

"I'm personally supporting Sunita Gautam and I hope that people in my ward see that she is the best candidate for the job." 

Gautam said she had a lot of potential connections in the community and wanted help it flourish and become vibrant again. 

She said she aimed to build a bridge between the community and council, and that serving the area would be a privilege. 

Community board member Michelle Lomax said she has found it challenging to represent the central ward withing the community board are since Buck's resignation.

"All the community board members are advocating hard for their ward, so of course, when you are a person down, it's more difficult." 

Lomax supported Gautam, who shared her values of equity, fairness and inclusiveness, and was "a hard worker, community person and smart".

Clive Antony, who finished second in last year's election is running again.

The 28-year-old business owner said his focus was  post-Covid economic recovery.

Antony believed the Linwood-Central-Heathcote community board needed more diversity both culturally and age-wise, which he brought to the table.

Comm board map
Central-Heathcote-Linwood Community Board boundaries Christchurch City Councul