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Speaker: Christchurch: We're not "apathetic", just busy rebuilding

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  • Sacha,

    Thanks, Greg. Christchurch always had a high degree of community engagement and volunteering. Glad to hear it hasn't been completely destroyed by the bozos.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • paynter,

    Yes, thanks for the post, I really appreciate all the Christchurch posts on PA (however, “unknown unknowns” was Donald Rumsfeld).

    Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Thanks, Greg. Christchurch always had a high degree of community engagement and volunteering. Glad to hear it hasn’t been completely destroyed by the bozos.

    You see it all over the place – but as Greg notes, everyone's busy with something.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Nice work Greg, this pretty well taps into and explains the general mood - The good the bad and the indifferent. Hopefully the different sort of election you describe will be the next one after central govt finally takes its boot off our throats. Dalziel Manji and the current council deserves to be fully endorsed until then though. With any luck Christchurch central will be represented nationally by the excellent Duncan Webb by then as well. Just a thought but maybe Labour should look to the current council as great example of centre left governance in action as it plans its strategy for next years election.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    KOA’s mayoral candidate John Minto has helped keep many ideas in the public eye – and Lianne Dalziel (no relation) has had to bend accordingly, springing a ‘no asset sales’ surprise at the end of the recent mayoral candidates debate (a stance that had been modified by the next morning, on Radio NZ, into a ‘no asset sales without public consultation’ position…).

    <From a Minto Press Release>
    In the Press debate last night incumbent Mayor Lianne Dalziel drew applause from myself and others for a statement we interpreted as a significant change in her attitude to asset sales.

    Under fire over her record of supporting asset sales the Mayor said -
    ‘We can obtain cash from these companies without selling shares and I can say not a single share from any of these companies needs to be sold to balance the books’

    In less than 12 hours the Mayor was backtracking on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report which reported:
    “This morning, on RNZ’s Morning Report Ms Dalziel would only confirm that strategic assets would not be sold without public consultation.
    Asked whether she could guarantee not a single share would be sold, Ms Dalziel said she could not.”

    I think the Mayor’s comments at the Press debate were designed to mislead voters and our assets will be back on the block after the election.
    The Mayor knows a big majority of Christchurch residents are adamantly opposed to asset sales so she sought to defuse the issue before the election rather than honestly front the issue.

    Her and Raf Manji’s pursuit of pleasing central government has now cost the city over $1.3 million, money that could have been better directed locally.

    Interestingly the story about this in The Press: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/84557849/failed-city-care-sale-costs-close-to-1m
    posted yesterday has disappeared from the site front page and must be buried in some drop down of a drop down menu. It states that $880,00 was spent on the failed City Care sale.
    It also doesn’t go far enough insomuch as it doesn’t include the $455,000+ paid to Cameron and Partners last year for ‘asset sale advice’ – a ludicrous expense now that they are allegedly not going to sell any assets now.
    Rob Cameron seems to be Lianne ‘s go-to-guy for financial advice both at the Council and when she was in Parliament:
    see:
    http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/40/12.html

    The Government appointed ’commissioners’ at Ecan took a further (almost) $1 million bite out of Ecan operational coffers
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/84536645/ecan-commissioners-enjoy-final-pay-rises

    Environment Canterbury’s annual report shows seven government-appointed commissioners were paid a total of $972,632 for the year ending June 2016.
    Outgoing chair Dame Margaret Bazley’s remuneration rose to $214,680, from $205,627 in 2015.
    Commissioner David Caygill took the biggest jump from $144,108 to $170,316.

    but apparently their work here is almost done

    The work of Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) government-appointed commissioners is largely finished, a month before they are joined by elected councillors.
    After a busy day at the council table, the last three of the regional council’s big statutory plans were approved.
    It comes six years after the Government fired the elected council and appointed commissioners.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/84542084/six-years-later-ecan-commissioners-work-is-mostly-complete

    Recently Treasury said the ‘Rebuild’ was going better than their damning report last year (Which Brownlee took extreme umbrage at)

    Treasury has bumped up its marks for the central Christchurch rebuild, following breakthroughs on some projects.
    After handing out some low ratings last year, Treasury’s latest Major Projects Performance Report has given good or moderate confidence marks to four anchor rebuild projects – the convention centre, metro sports facility, Avon River precinct and the east frame residential development.
    All are led by government rebuild company Otakaro.

    We’ve gone from Red to amber or even green on some projects
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/84497568/treasury-report-marks-up-christchurch-rebuild-projects
    Even though Treasury gave him an improved rating Brownlee still hisses and spits:

    …Brownlee was yesterday scathing of the Treasury analysis, in spite of the improved report, saying it was done by people who ‘fluff about the place pontificating’.
    He said he had little respect for their reports or their analysis.
    It is a rating system Treasury do for themselves’ he said.

    from The Chch Star – only available online through their clunky Issu portal:
    https://issuu.com/the.star/docs/116266cs?mode=embed&layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml&backgroundColor=000000
    Oddly The Press has not reported Brownlee’s tantrum at all.
    But it is this Government’s MO to lambast Civil Servants and shop around for reports they can agree with rather the accept the truth from professionals.

    Really what the f**k would Gerry really know about economic and procedural processes – he is more a stand-over muscle merchant than a consigliere….

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Couple of thoughts.

    1. While I find much to object to in Minto's politics, I appreciate how he keeps the leftward edge of the Overton window closer to where I want to see it. Yes, he's promising things that are outside a Mayor's power. But he is promulgating the ideas.

    2. The People's Choice have been disciplined in voting en bloc and caucusing and they are half the council. That has to make negotiations simpler and more predictable and council less fractious. They too deserve some kudos here.

    Love the allusion to "Christchurch’s alt-activist network of NGOs and start-ups." Yup. An amazing amount of civic activism stirring here, much of it below the radar.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Totally with you on the Overton window. It's a safe time to tilt the vote left. I'm also curiously impessed by Raf Manji. He seems seriously at odds with the government on ecan and his pick of the candidates is probably one I'll follow.
    A couple of good new council prospects from the Greenish side: Sara Templeton in Heathcote-Sumner-Ferrymead and Chrys Horn in Halswell. Both strong contenders with impressive records of community involvement.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Thank you, I learned something today - media pundits call it the Overton Window, mathematicians would call it a Venn Diagram, Alinsky would probably call it the Expertise Boundaries, carpenters would call it a Spirit Level...
    ...meanwhile back at the water cooler Oscar Wilde is scaring the horses again!
    ; - )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Government appointed ’commissioners’ at ECan took a further (almost) $1 million bite out of ECan operational coffers

    We can make what the prospective ECan candidates think of this and other aspects of the ECan interregnum at a number of public events including next Tuesday, at Garry Moore's Tuesday Club (which Greg cites in his post). I've been to a few of these TC events, they're very well moderated (plus the beer is good!) with voices from across the political spectrum have been given an airing - or at least been invited to contribute.

    There's an impressive looking trio standing under the People's Choice banner. It's noted that the S Canterbury candidate has been elected 'unopposed'. And former Johnnies frontman and punk of old, Rik Tindall, is back for a second crack.

    It's not clear who is being lined up as appointees. And who appoints the chairs, the govt or the Councillors/Commissioners? From talking around, it could be 3-4 of them. I guess the govt will see who is elected and choose accordingly. Of the up to six appointees, two will be nominated by Ngāi Tahu.

    Also, I'm wondering at first new ECan meeting, will the Commissioners still be referred to as such - or will they all be addressed as Councillors?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    It’s not clear who is being lined up as appointees. And who appoints the chairs, the govt or the Councillors/Commissioners? From talking around, it could be 3-4 of them. I guess the govt will see who is elected and choose accordingly. Of the up to six appointees, two will be nominated by Ngāi Tahu.

    That's interesting detail thanks. Is there a Bazley replacement coming from the government?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    A couple of good new council prospects from the Greenish side: Sara Templeton in Heathcote-Sumner-Ferrymead and Chrys Horn in Halswell. Both strong contenders with impressive records of community involvement.

    Sara Templeton has a hell fight on her hands: she's a Heathcote local and current Community Board Chair which would usually give her a good chance of a council seat,, but the rearrangement of the wards has led Cr Paul Lonsdale to abandon his usual central city patch. Looks like he has done the numbers and figured he has a better chance to get the affluent hills-Sumner votes, which is odd given he lives on the other side of town.

    In contrast, in Cashmere our councillor is unopposed and most of the Community Board will be back. Only Ecan and the DHB to vote for, and most of the DHB members won't talk about the hot new issue of whether they support chlorinating the city's mostly good water.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Lame: forgot to do a basic reporting requirement yet she’s confident about being able to handle two jobs on different councils.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/84632759/election-candidate-fails-to-tell-christchurch-voters-shes-standing-in-waimakariri-too

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Hebe,

    is there a Bazley replacement coming from the government?

    No, at the first meeting, the new council will elect the chairperson. There's a good summary of what we can expect here (and answers to my own questions!): The other election: why your ECan vote matters.

    Also this morning, there's this development: protestors gather outside ECan to challenge 'lack of democracy' - with N Canterbury artist/writer Sam Mahon speaking and placing a sculpture,

    BTW, city-based ECan candidates Cynthia Roberts, Steve Lowndes and Craig Pauling will be fronting at Garry Moore's Tuesday Club tomorrow (6pm @ Smash Palace, 172 High Street, across from C1).

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    'lack of democracy'

    They make a good point about the 7 elected members being skewed towards farming voters, so the water stays locked up in those hands. #gerrymander

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    meme memories...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hebe,

    stadia distance...

    Gerry Brownlee admits the stadium plans are on hold until after 2020.

    I really don't understand how Brownlee can utter these words and think he's making sense...

    Brownlee has confirmed that the development of a business case for the stadium is off the table until the Christchurch City Council states clear support for the project.

    Why would any sane person (or council) agree to a business deal that has no proof of viability.
    How many years down the track are we and he still hasn't started the process of developing a business plan for something he says we should have... - Brownlee needs to put up, or shut up!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Dear Ian,
    I know we've had our differences, but like your guys said last month, we're on a fresh start. Letting bygones be bygones; no hard feelings. We really appreciate it.

    If you could sign our cheque before the leaving party, that would be great.

    Best regards,
    A St Martins housewife.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/84737331/eqc-boss-ian-simpson-quits

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Hebe,

    Dear Ian,

    I love the way that comes just after Ian Dalziel's post... right until the very end I was "like, WTF?" in my best South Park accent and all.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Moz,

    Hah! I had to look closely at my post to figure out what you meant.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hebe,

    Dear Ian,

    The Press editorialises on the matter...
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/84764237/editorial-tone-deaf-exit-of-eqc-boss-ian-simpson-hits-the-wrong-note

    as my comment on that story says - I'd worry about about what the Government has in store for GNS ...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Good friend and former Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore battles on with Southern Response, the government’s AMI bail-out vehicle. SR appears to be an extended form of hell, according to so many people on the help pages.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11719369

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Sacha,

    The reign of ECan's commissioners is over

    Next month's election will bring seven elected councillors to join up to six commissioners in a hybrid model never before attempted at a local authority.

    Bazley and Williams are retiring. At the meeting (the Tuesday Club) chaired this week by Garry Moore, the three candidates present were in strong agreement that the new Chair should be 'selected from the elected'!

    Interesting to see, and interesting timing, the release just prior to local elections of the Environment Defence Society's (EDS) report How effective is NZ’s resource management system?

    There's plenty to digest for policy wonks and prospective candidates alike ahead of these elections. Noting too that this is not just the work of EDS alone, a grouping that would not necessarily be on the same song sheet (at least with EDS).

    In a surprising twist, four very different and diverse organisations are united in the view that the RMA and wider resource management system is not delivering for the environment nor for business.

    Those 'diverse organisations' are the Employers and Manufactures Association, New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, Property Council New Zealand and the EDS).

    There's plenty to drill into, e.g., this key outcome:

    Key outcome: Capture of (particularly local) government by vested
    interests has reduced the power of the Resource Management
    Act to appropriately manage effects on the environment.

    Effects on the water system...among a number of things, I wonder how soon the new ECan Council will move to re-assess the Zone Committee structure and decide whether it remains the 'fit for purpose' approach to managing the region's water.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Yo. Over-cap. At last. Five years and seven months on.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

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