Christchurch City Council

Lianne Dalziel comes good

Lianne Dalziel kept herself out of the Labour party for years in the eighties because she opposed asset sales.

Now she is running one of the biggest asset sales programs ever seen in New Zealand, flogging off the silverware in Christchurch to fund the rebuild.

“We are committing to go back into the capital programme and have a really good look at it again,” Mayor Lianne Dalziel said. “Every councillor is committed to making savings within the capital programme and committed to finding savings within the organisation.

“We are not going to be selling anything that doesn’t need to be sold,” she assured.   Read more »

When will Local Government stop telling porkies?

Local government is spinning like a top, this time it is Craig Stobo trying to pull the wool.

New Zealand territorial authorities have assets of $117.4 billion yet extremely low debt levels of only $10.8 billion, says a financial chief.

Craig Stobo, chairman of council funder the Local Government Funding Agency which finances many councils, revealed the numbers at a briefing yesterday, saying those ratios proved councils were extremely financially cautious.

“Councils in New Zealand are conservatively geared. That indicates they’re prudent financial managers and their communities should be grateful,” Stobo said.

Firstly this is nothing but PR spin by a local government organisation. They know that they are under attack for crap financial performance and high debt.

But assets of $100b plus? I don’t think so.

The NZ Govt Treasury definition of an asset is something that will provide economic benefits. Other definitions by Audit NZ for example say that it is something that can generate income or be sold to generate income.

Most of what Local Government calls ‘assets’ are actually a value applied to land that sits under roads or parks. These can’t be sold and they can’t generate income. So they aren’t assets.   Read more »

Bludging farming ratbags want to pour more poo into our rivers

Farmers are the biggest pack of socialists out there.

They always stick their hands out wanting more and more, whether it is free water, tax breaks or a free right to pollute.

They want society to pay their costs, rather than pay the costs they incur.

Silver Fern Farms wants to discharge up to 3500 cubic metres per day of waste water containing “fats, oils and greases; faecal coliforms; ammonia; suspended solids and BOD” into the iconic Waimakariri River.

Dropping industrial waste into the Waimakariri River is “just not okay”, leading open water swimmer Dan Abel has told a consent hearing.

The country’s biggest meat processor Silver Fern Farms (SFF) wants five more years to discharge tertiary-treated effluent to the river from its Belfast beef plant on Christchurch’s northern flank.

SFF wants to permanently link to Christchurch City Council’s Bromley treatment site but the quake-damaged pipe and separation pond system can’t handle the company’s biggest discharges.

The farmer owned co-op is frustrated it can’t fully use the CCC network until Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Team re-configures residential red-zones.

Meanwhile, river users have pilloried SFF for using its outfall below the old Waimakariri River bridge.

Abel, a holder of the 4th fastest time for a Cook Strait swim, said SFF’s discharges could no longer be tolerated.

The Kaiapoi-based tutor told his overseas clients “unfortunately New Zealand is too often good at observing mistakes the world makes and then copying them. Why do we have to be a world follower? Why can’t we be a world leader?”

Abel estimated the 292 submissions against SFF’s application represented more than 10,000 people, most of whom were “Jill and Joe average”. Read more »

Ex Labour MP wants to commence asset sales – “Don’t!”, says Labour MP

I thought asset sales were something the left could never actually permit to happen?

Opposition parties are urging Christchurch City Council not to sell assets to solve its funding shortfall.

A Cameron Partners report, released yesterday, says it may need to find an extra $783 million to $883m by 2019.

The authors put up four options for closing the gap: increase rates, borrow more, get money from insurance payments and sell assets.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the council can’t borrow any more money and will look at the other options.

That article would have been so much better had it said “ex-Labour MP Lianne Dalziel…”, and also a lot more honest.

Labour’s Canterbury recovery spokeswoman, Ruth Dyson, says her party will vigorously oppose short-term solutions.

“Asset sales would leave the city worse off financially and strategically in the long term,” she said.

Lianne Dalziel has discovered that once you actually sit there in the seat of power and you don’t have the luxury of chanting thoughtless pre-prepared protest slogans but actually have to solve a problem using practical means, asset sales aren’t of the devil after all.

They never were, of course.  We all sell assets in our private lives and think nothing of it.

 

– NZN via 3 News

Christchurch City Council and the Labour Party

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A reader writes

Following on from ‘neutral’ Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel’s several printed endorsements, letters and leaflets supporting Poto Williams in the Christchurch East by-election, no less than three Christchurch City Councillors were photographed for this Labour candidate’s Christchurch Central leaflet. Read more »

Why councils should not own companies

You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of why councils should not own companies.

City-owned broadband company Enable Services says despite the $44 million jump in the cost of building the fibre network in Christchurch the business case is still intact.

Chief executive of Enable Steve Fuller said the business case which the company started with was based on a $440 million cost to build a fibre optic network in eight years.

It will pass about 182,000 homes and commercial and other premises. The targeted completion date is December 2019.

The company supervising and funding Enable is Christchurch City Holdings (CCHL), the investment arm of Christchurch City Council.

CCHL’s annual report for the year to June 2013 shows a revised estimate of $401m to build the network, $64 million higher than the $337m in 2012.

Fuller said the $337m was a typo error in the 2013 report and should be $357m.

He was not sure why the estimate had dropped to $357m in 2012 from the original $440m.    Read more »

Is more red-tape and bureaucracy the answer for Christchurch?

Apparently the Christchurch City Council thinks more red-tape and bureaucracy will solve the housing problem in the city.

City councillors have voted unanimously to explore options for setting up a register of residential rental properties in Christchurch.

The proposed register is the idea of the Tenants Protection Association (TPA) and is part of measures that are being considered to help address the crippling shortage of rental accommodation in the city.

TPA manager Helen Gatonyi told the council’s housing committee that New Zealand was one of the few countries that did not have a register of residential rental properties.

“It has been said there is more legislation required to house pigs than there is to house people in this country. We need to register our car, our dogs, we need to register our businesses, so why is there so much resistance to registering our residential rental housing,” Gatonyi said.

In view of the housing crisis in Christchurch a rental register was critical as authorities needed to have a comprehensive understanding of the rental market so they could plan to meet the accommodation needs of the estimated 10,000 workers who would be coming into the city to assist with the rebuild.

“It is absolutely necessary for planning,” Gatonyi said. “We need to know what residential accommodation is available and where it is.”

The level of homelessness in Christchurch was a “great deal bigger than any of us want to contemplate” and a key to changing that situation was having accurate information on where the gaps were.   Read more »

At least she doesn’t have a batshit crazy wife with an office

Bob Parker can’t get a job so he is having a go at his successor.

What he doesn’t point out is that Lianne doesn’t have a batshit crazy wife who has an office in the council building and resulted in confidential payouts to staff who couldn’t stand her and got the arse card.

Former Christchurch mayor Sir Bob Parker has criticised his successor, Lianne Dalziel, for doubling staff numbers in her office without consulting ratepayers.

The staff changes for the Mayor’s Office were part of a restructure by the Christchurch City Council’s acting chief executive Jane Parfitt, as mayoral responsibilities increased.   Read more »

Bye, bye Tony, now your turn Bob

Tony Maryatt is now on gardening leave and the government is now managing the consenting process:

Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Maryatt is taking leave and a Crown manager installed to oversee consents.

The council has issued a statement announcing Marryatt was taking leave “pending further discussions with the council”.

General manager city environment Jane Parfitt will be acting chief executive.  Read more »

Go Bob, Now, and take Tony with you

bob-parker-600-quake

Mike Yardley writes in The Press about the failure of Bob Parker’s mayoralty and his CEO as Christchurch City Council gets spanked by IANZ.

The news ricocheted across the city yesterday morning like a thunderclap.

Despite all the soothing tones of reassurance, despite all the varnished rhetoric that the big bad wolf of revocation would be kept from the council door, International Accreditation New Zealand (Ianz) has walked the talk and blown the house down.

The Christchurch City Council has incurred the unique and ignominious distinction of becoming the nation’s first consenting authority to be stripped of its accreditation.

On the day that the Ianz letter, outlining the intention to revoke, was brought to the public’s attention by the Canterbury earthquake recovery minister, the Christchurch mayor’s first reflex was to absolve the council of any blame or responsibility.

He slammed Gerry Brownlee for launching a ”media missile” and he accused the Government of ”undermining public confidence in the council”.

Read more »