Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update

Eugenie SageI recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz.

The Council’s draft 10 year plan, includes the proposal to sell-off $750 million worth of shares in revenue generating assets such as Orion, the Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL), Lyttelton Port Company (LPC).

In previous blogs, I have raised critical questions about the Council’s public consultation process given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales. I also queried the Council’s decision to hire Cameron Partners to provide financial advice on asset sales before the consultation period ended also “cast doubts” over whether this was genuine consultation.

So we decided to take action and run own mini-campaign encouraging submissions to the Council calling for the Council to keep its revenue generating asset sales. Many thanks to branch volunteers and supporters who delivered leaflets around Christchurch, helped gather nearly 500 petition signatures and made nearly 200 online submissions opposing asset sales. All of these were delivered to the Council.

There are alternatives to asset sales, such as renegotiating the cost-sharing agreement with the Government and deferring ‘nice to have’ anchor projects, such as the covered stadium and convention centre, in favour of spending on roading, sewerage and better public transport. This view is echoed by many others, including the CCC “People’s Choice” Councillors, who put forward the Common Sense Plan as an alternative to the assets sales agenda.