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More than a Mayor - The Lianne Dalziel Story

Matthew Pledger
20191008 110128

Lianne reveals that she is writing a book about Christchurch after the earthquakes, giving insight into the politics of disaster.

Lianne Dalziel is more than a mayor. It is easy to think of Lianne as a person that does a job instead of someone with character and a personal story. 

In the ‘More Than’ interview series, it is all about taking a look into the personal lives of well-known people in the Christchurch community. A key element of the ‘More Than’ interview series is interviewing our people in their place of comfort. Lianne has quite an emotional connection to the Botanical Gardens as it is the place of many memories growing up and also it was something consistent that didn't change throughout the earthquakes.”I always remember coming here as a child, you know the rose garden, the wonderful indoor plants, it just a beautiful place, every Sunday I walk through Hagley park through the gardens.”  

A BOOK IS ON THE WAY! Lianne has been keeping quiet on something she is doing behind closed doors but announced in the ‘More Than’ interview that she is already an intro deep on her first book. “I've got a book going to write, at least one, one that I'm really looking forward to writing, called ‘colour my world’ - the politics of disaster. I’ve already written the introduction for it, and ill be spending my retirement writing the rest of it.” Further developing on the motives behind the book Lianne explains, “I want that book to be a canary in the mineshaft, so that we never, never, never let the central government take over a cities recovery, and certainly not play politics with it.” This is the first time Lianne has spoken to media about her book and is exclusive to the ‘More Than’ interview. 

One of the most harrowing things Lianne has experienced is the first time she saw the images of Rob’s [partner] cancer as it had spread into his bone. “Complete shock, I wasn't with him when he got the diagnosis when I saw the images of how it had spread through his bones, I'll just never, never get those images out of my mind.” She explains how it’s time to be optimistic and look at the situation half glass full. “We’re feeling as optimistic as possibly can, there's no point thinking otherwise. You've got to be half glass full.” 

Lianne lighted up as she reminisced on all of the clubs she used to go to, “There was a great band called parachute, that played at the Gresham hotel, which is long gone, it was replaced by the shades tavern which is also long gone because of the earthquake. Although I see there is a shades arcade of Cashel mall, and that's the hat tip to the shades arcade that used to be there, that was one of my favorites.” It turns out Lianne did a bit too much partying and didn't get up to much time studying in her first year of University. Lianne describes her transition from a gap year to University as appalling. “Appalling, appalling, I failed everything, because I was just used to having a lot of money, I was used to socializing, I was used to going to clubs. There were a lot of clubs back then. I was probably underaged just saying, but you know I had the freedom, I sort of kind of dressed up more than my age and wear makeup. There were probably people back then who thought I was older than I was. So I never really settled into university life.” Its a revelation like this that reminds you, Lianne Dalziel, is a human.

Lianne share in the ‘More Than’ interview her reaction to the February 22nd earthquake, reflecting on how lucky she was that she was able to get in contact with Rob [her partner] before the cellphone tower went down. “It was the worst, it was the only earthquake I got under the desk for. I was very lucky, I rang my husband and got through to him before the cellphone network crashed, so I knew he was safe.” When Lianne spoke about the earthquakes there was an audible change in her voice, a change from upbeat and lively to one of melancholy.


Listen to the full interview of More Than a Mayor to get an insight into Lianne's Life and her story. 


More Than a Mayor - The Lianne Dalziel Story