Icelandic software developer Hjörtur (‘Hugo’) Kristinsson has entered the race to be mayor of New Zealand’s third largest city Christchurch (Õtautahi) against heavyweight Lianne Dalziel, 3news.co.nz reports.
The 51-year-old said he played a “key role” in helping locals recover from the quake, helping them communicate with and investigate the official recovery processes.
“What is of paramount importance is ensuring an effective residential and business recovery process,” Hugo said. “[Including] what’s happening with our rivers and green spaces, residential communities and the council facilities needed, and employment in the city after the rebuild.”
Hugo, who has been living in Christchurch since 1995, has never officially held a role in politics before but said he’s ready to take on the new role. “It’s just a big challenge, but I believe I’ve found a different approach.”
Known as Chch to locals, the city is home to 400,0000 people and is the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island.
If Hugo becomes mayor, he will help govern more people than live in his country of birth, currently around 320,000.