International inspirational speaker Tony Christiansen has pledged to cut down on his bookings so he can fulfil his duties to ratepayers as a newly elected Tauranga councillor.

 Inspirational speaker Tony Christiansen and newly elected Tauranga councillor Tony Christiansen. Photo: Stuart Whitaker/File.

Inspirational speaker Tony Christiansen and newly elected Tauranga councillor Tony Christiansen. Photo: Stuart Whitaker/File.

Mr Christiansen, who lost his legs in a railway shunting accident as a boy, travels the world entertaining and uplifting audiences. But his election to the city council means a dramatic change in lifestyle.

Mr Christiansen said he was committed to two New Zealand and two overseas speaking engagements for the rest of this year, plus several other international engagements next year.

However, he said he would put his duty to the city before a public speaking career that paid considerably more than his $69,000 councillor's salary. "I am looking forward to giving it everything I can as a councillor - I have made that choice."

Mr Christiansen said he would continue to take on some speaking engagements but only where they did not clash with council commitments. Most of his public speaking was in weekends and the council's meeting diary was planned a long way ahead.

He said he needed to try to keep his speaking profile alive because there should be life after the council if he did not get in next time. "I have to keep my hand in."

Another new face on the council, Larry Baldock, said he would look at his involvement with the Kiwi Party, which he co-founded in 2007.

Mr Baldock said he put a lot of time and effort into leading the party but politics was a long-term calling and if he had to take a step back from the Kiwi Party then that's what may happen.

He would allow someone else to take a bigger role in the party so he could concentrate on the council.

As next year's general election approached, a lot would depend on the political landscape as to whether it needed a full-on effort. "Small parties have to be realistic ... we will have to have a good look at our chances when an election comes along."

If there was a conflict with his duties as a councillor then others in the Kiwi Party would have to step up to take more responsibility, Mr Baldock said. "The council is my first responsibility and I am not walking away from that."

There was speculation the Government would call an early election so it did not clash with the Rugby World Cup.

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