Christchurch City Council

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

fsdd

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 »

Chch Council loses consenting accreditation

I am quite sure that Christchurch City Council isn’t the only one in breach, they are just the one IANZ has decided needed to be sorted first considering the large amount of building being undertaken there.

The Christchurch City Council has been stripped of its accreditation to issue building consents.

In a huge blow to the organisation International Accreditation New Zealand (Ianz) has followed through on its threat to revoke the council’s accreditation.

Christchurch City Council will be stripped of its right to issue consents from Monday.

Council’s general manager regulation and democracy services Peter Mitchell said in the last 14 days the council issued 632 consents with a combined value of $160 million.

Of the original backlog of 500 consents, 25 remained and these were expected to be cleared today.   Read more »

Christchurch consent delays a National issue

Policy Parrot says:

The Government’s warning shot across the bow of the Christchurch Council this week regarding consent processing is an issue that is due wider consideration and conveniently poses the opportunity to raise the flag about this ongoing problem to New Zealand.

Christchurch City Council has not processed consents within the statutory 20 working day time-line despite Mayor Parker saying that 80% of consents are processed within the 20 working day time frame. Of course his Council are telling porkies.

Parker’s comments are the same as what we heard here in Auckland recently with Mayor Brown saying that Auckland Council processes 95% of all consents within the statutory 20 working daytime frame. A spectacular lie.

No Council actually processes a Resource Consent or a Building Consent inside the true definition of ’20 working days’ and they play a game of smoke and mirrors when reporting how they perform.

So what is ’20 working days?’

When we – the residents and professionals of this world think of 20 working days we automatically assume that to mean four consecutive weeks with five working days per week. Lets call that one month to be general.

Councils however have a different view. A council consent process is counted in actual working days spent on the application. Whilst that sounds similar it is not. Councils routinely use a term called ‘stop the clock’ that refers to periods of time during the consent process that councils are not processing the consent.

Most of the time one does not know when a ‘stop the clock’ has occurred because Council does not notify an applicant of this. The few times an applicant will know about it is when a Section 92 request is made – which is a request for further information. That is a mechanism used by Councils to buy time. A Section 92 will almost inevitably be sent by post and take up to a week to be received. But the stop the clock time starts from the time that the Council initiated the s92 request. On returning the supplying the information requested the clock starts again.   Read more »

No Sam, Dalziel will have to find someone else

What a bugger, Sam Johnson would have been a good councillor for Christchurch. He is a genuine top bloke.

I hope Lianne Dalziel finds someone equally as good because Bob Parker has to go.

Student Volunteer Army founder Sam Johnson will not challenge Mayor Bob Parker in the upcoming Christchurch elections, despite agonising over an offer to team up with Labour MP Lianne Dalziel.

The Weekend Press revealed Dalziel – the MP for Christchurch East and Labour’s earthquake recovery spokeswoman – invited Johnson to be her running mate and would-be deputy mayor in October’s local body elections.

Neither Dalziel nor Johnson would comment on Friday, but Johnson admitted last night he “very seriously did consider” the offer. He finally decided against it on Saturday afternoon.

“I really wanted to do it,” he said. “It was a really difficult decision to make, but I don’t think it is the right thing for me right now.”  Read more »