James Dann has a brief follow-up question about the convention centre.
After being sacrificed as Labour’s throwaway Ilam candidate, Dann’s freedom to speak out candidly on post-quake issues seems to require that he distance himself from the Party. Curiously enough, so do the six Peoples Choice councillors with their “Common Sense Plan” alternative to asset sales. So it seems more than timely to be asking just where the Party stands.
it would have been the easiest of sells to a willing electorate
Yet look what happened when the Greens sugested a dedicated eqnz tax.
Jb As I noted in passing in the article the Green Party here floated the idea of a Christchurch quake tax and was ignored by the Government.At the time soon after the worst of our quake cycle when public support was intense it would have been very easy to implement.Now it is just one of many sorrows and might have beens for the Christchurch story.
The PM signals that the CCC will not be held to the cost-share agreement in the last three pars of this morning’s Press story http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/67933951/rugby-union-ok-with-possible-lancaster-return
Prime Minister John Key said he spoke with Dalziel about planning issues on Sunday.
“Of course there are hopes and expectations that all this infrastructure can be built but I don’t think we’re going to say well on a piece of paper you said you’d do this, and be belligerent about it – we’ll work with them."
Former Mayor Bob Parker says in the story that the cost-share deal is not binding and can be renegotiated. Let’s hope he is correct – that is not what Chch has been told since the deal was signed. That, of course, would remove the need for asset sales.
(Press miss of the month as a prime front page lead is buried at the end of a p5.)
Not sure the People's Choice and the Labour Party are very distant on this issue - here's what Labour thinks about the Common Sense Plan:
The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say.
"We congratulate The People’s Choice for developing what is a sound financial consideration of how we can move forward as a city.
Good news on the stadium. Everything about the grand new proposal was wrong. So with a little wriggliness we can slip out of it, and govt can save face by 'blaming' the insurers.
Looks like there's little or no chance of changing the secretive gamble (and in my opinion, the more egregious deal) CCDU have taken with Chch's future in the Convention Centre. Contracts signed, etc. But I think it's important we protest it as strongly as possible.
here’s what Labour thinks about the Common Sense Plan:
Thanks, but that's Ruth Dyson, who seems to speak for Labour's other Chch MPs. Given that Lianne Dalziel appears to be currently as closely aligned with Councillor Raf Manji as she is with her supposed fellow Labourites, and that Manji has dismissed their proposal as "political point scoring", Dyson's after the fact endorsement is hardly the line in the sand the much of Chch has been hoping for.
Lianne didn't run as a Labour candidate - it's not really like we have any control over someone who explicitly ran as an independent.
Gag! in both senses….
The story about Brownlee seeking the valued input and advice of the well qualified Chchch public on Red Zone payouts has disappeared from the front page of The Press site despite their telling me that the site was totally Chchch-centric – it is now buried 3 clicks away in the News section…
Notably not one of the Editor's picks - which speaks volumes about her self professed support of Chchch in its time of need...
But a truly creepy story about Key’s predilection for girls’ ponytails has appeared – puts him in the same frame as Roger Sutton I’d have thought – he should resign or be let go – and I’d warn young women against ‘selfies’ with the man…
On Left-wing blog The Daily Blog, the waitress said Key would often visit the cafe with his wife and security detail, and “playfully” pull on her ponytail.
“In the beginning, the first time he pulled on my hair, I remember thinking to myself he’s probably just trying to be playful and jolly, seeing as the general consensus of most who meet him is ‘he’s such a nice guy’”.
The waitress said the behaviour began during the election campaign, but continued on for months through to March, 2015. She detailed a specific date, February 28, 2015, where she said Key approached her from behind, pulled her hair and then joked that Bronagh did it.
She claimed the Prime Minister approached her again at the cafe on March 13, but the waitress made her views clear.
During that visit, she said Key asked her manager: “she really doesn’t like me pulling her ponytail?” to which the manager said “well…no”.
The waitress said she told him to stop, “or I will actually hit you soon”. It was a “short while later” she said the Prime Minister reappeared at the cafe and handed her two bottles of his JK 2012 vintage Pinot Noir saying “this is for you, sorry, I didn’t realise."
When we asked for a Prime Minister who was ’in touch’ with NZ – this wasn’t what we wanted…
When we asked for a Prime Minister who was ’in touch’ with NZ – this wasn’t what we wanted…
Don't worry Ian. That's not really our PM fondling women in public. He was wearing his Creepy John hat at the time.
He does seem to have some sort of ponytail fetish as the CL clip shows. The test is, would Key do the same thing to a waiter with a ponytail? This is misogynistic behaviour of the worst kind.
In the long run (i.e beyond the 2019 debt hump that we’re being massaged through at the moment) though, turning productive capital into unproductive capital (i.e a white elephant stadium etc) will mean that rates will inevitably have to rise to cover the loss of income. Asset sales aren’t magic – they just hide the cost for the time being.
Ian you've missed the true joy of the stadium, & its great theater. Where else do you ignore the dancing girls and stand cheering for the horseman. The joy in stamping your feet on the semiperm scaffolding to create such a din as to put the opposition kicker off . Of course the overpriced draught beer just adds to the experience. Thankfully the stands and bike tubes have gone never to come back.
The joy in stamping your feet on the semiperm scaffolding to create such a din as to put the opposition kicker off . Of course the overpriced draught beer just adds to the experience.
Aaaah - those were two of the worst aspects to me, I was appalled and embarrassed by the unsporting stamping, the beer was discoloured water... I had one.
Both the cheerleaders' and horsemen's sword twirling felt like an accident waiting to happen, sweaty palms happen, people trip....
This is why I don't go out much I guess.
Late to this, but a great piece about the Hobson's choice presented to the people of Christchurch and their council. It's hardly surprising that once motivated people now shrug their shoulders and just want to "get things fixed" after the litany of bullshit and deceit presented to them by CERA, EQC and the insurance industry over the last 4 and a half years. The Council for all its faults struggles admirably with the shit deal it got from the bottom of the pack while central govt has shameful expoited a divisive narrative to distance the rest of the country from the City's ongoing struggle. If only the Press would get stuck into central govt with the ease it seems to lay into the council whenever it perceives local politicians have dropped the ball. The govt has pretty much silenced The Press editorially ever since Brownlee called the paper the enemy of the rebuild leaving Brownlee himself seemingly untouchable.
Reminder to Christchurch people: still time to put in your submissions on the council's long-term plan: keeping the assets and the rest. Have your say.
Submissions close tomorrow.
Submissions close tomorrow.
To be more precise they close at midday tomorrow:
Midday: that's evil.
If only the Press would get stuck into central govt with the ease it seems to lay into the council
Guess they see where the real power lies, eh. Cowards.
Appreciate that Megan Woods has taken the trouble to provide an email heads up and a template submission for the narrow window of opportunity to make one's voice heard on the wretched shenanigans surrounding ECAN. That said, Woods has been something of a Loch Ness monster in her own electorate, in that she's rarely sighted. Still it's mildly encouraging to receive a communication that isn't about the greater glory of Jim Anderton.
..and then there is this:
The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is trying to shut down adverse findings about its top engineer Graeme Robinson to avoid reopening his 2500 Canterbury assessments.
EQC is worried the findings, if allowed to stand, will have "serious and far reaching implications" for itself and other insurers.
Robinson was found negligent and incompetent by a disciplinary committee of the Institution of Professional Engineers last year. It also found he did not act honestly and with objectivity and integrity, and cancelled his registration.
Simpson's letter said the disciplinary committee did not reflect that Robinson's advice to EQC was given in the context of NZ's biggest natural disaster and that the findings had serious implications for EQC and other insurers.
First do no further harm - doesn't seem to be part of EQC's operating system - they had one job! To do the right thing by insured homeowner and turned it into save money for the Government and enjoy a bit of bullying on the side - tossers - not all, but enough of them for it to be a problem that needs urgently revisiting...
First do no further harm – doesn’t seem to be part of EQC’s operating system – they had one job! To do the right thing by insured homeowner and turned it into save money for the Government and enjoy a bit of bullying on the side – tossers – not all, but enough of them for it to be a problem that needs urgently revisiting…
The EQC are holding to much the same line as they were two years ago. After three decades of made-under-license Thatcherism our onetime bureaucratic obfuscators were supposed to have morphed into hyperefficient decision-makers, minds focused and buttocks clenched. Instead, between CERA and the EQC the ‘rebuild’ seems to be run by the cast of Glide Time.
..and then there is this:
This happens weeks before, supposedly, the Canterbury Home Repair Programme/Fletcher’s/EQR winds down.
Which also happens a few weeks before new earthquake building standards are finally enforced, which will drive up residential repair and rebuild costs even further. Coincidence? Call me a cabbage, but no.
In fact many thousands of under-cap claims are left to resolve: the difficult ones. Yet the EQC press releases constantly assure New Zealand that it’s all wrapping up nicely. Not true.
The reality is that the processes are grinding on. Anyone on possibly Increased Flood Vulnerability land will learn by the end of this year the status of their land. That decision can then be challenged by the owner. The final decision will impact on repair strategies and costs, including whether their claims stay under-cap or go to the insurer. Insurers, like Tower, are now getting antsy about that.
Anyone with possibly Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability will know land status, supposedly, by the end of the year. But EQC is unsure how to assess ILV, or how to compensate it, so they are still working on the very basics of that process. Then they will start to assess the land.
Both IFV and ILV are land damage and are covered only by EQC. But if a piece of land is deemed either, EQC must compensate. The compensation could be a pay-out, or it could be remediating the land, or in some other way defending the building against the increased vulnerability. The whole land compensation process is a work in progress for everyone, and it will inevitably have points of contention.
Then to the building repairs itself for the houses left to be repaired or settled. Thousands of us are officially “on hold” from the CHRP until we find out our land status. We do not show up as unresolved cases in the statistics that EQC and Minister Brownlee pump out. The official figures bear no relationship to reality: recategorising and omission is EQC’s favoured strategy to deal with unwelcome outcomes.
Others have opted to go ahead and fix or settle, often without understanding this insurance labyrinth. Will they be able to revisit the house fix if their land proves to be IFV or ILV?
Will their repaired land, and therefore vulnerable home, even be insurable? No one is saying.
So much stress and misery could have been avoided had the process itself been made clear by EQC. Why did they not?
Smart choices for Christchurch - A Tale of Two Networks.
The Fabians would like to invite you to the above event which will be held on Tuesday 19 May, 7:00-9:00pm, The Oak Room, The Atrium, 455 Hagley Avenue Christchurch
(by the Netball courts)
The Christchurch City Council has developed spending plans for the next ten years that may exceed its income by $1.2b. Independent Auditor’s Report in the CCC Consultation Document states: There remains a high level of uncertainty about both the estimated costs to repair and rebuild the Council’s assets, and also the optimal funding package to pay for the work.
Despite these uncertainties, and the unpopularity of several of the anchor projects, Council wants the right to sell “any or all” of large strategic assets including Orion Power, Christchurch Airport Company, and Lyttelton Port Company. Acknowledging that “all these commercial assets [companies owned by Christchurch City Holdings ltd (CCHL)] are important to and add value to the city”, Council asks: Is it in the city’s best interest for Council to retain its current shareholding in some of these companies?
Dick Werry and Peter Harris will lead a discussion based on a case study of the very different outcomes in Wellington resulting from the privatisation of the electricity network and the retention of the water network in Council ownership. This will indicate that it is in the best interests of Council and citizens to retain ownership
This event is co-hosted by the NZ Fabian Society, Sustainable Otautahi Christchurch, Unions Canterbury/NZ CTU, Christchurch Council of Social Services and Keep Our Assets Canterbury. Peter Harris is a former Deputy Chair of the Electricity Commission and Dick Werry is a fomer chair of the Utility Services Committe of the Wellington Regional Council.
All welcome. Please register here.* Please pass on this invitation to anyone else you think may be interested.
*ignore the fact that the rego form/site may still say March instead of May, I've dropped them a line - so it'll get fixed I'm sure
Cr Ali Jones says homeless "not our problem".