Ex-Labour MP, now mayor of Christchurch pushes ahead with asset sales

I always find it amazing then when a socialist is freed from the constraints of dogma and their party whip they find reality stalking them…

Christchurch City Council has started its controversial programme of asset sales, announcing plans to sell 100 percent of City Care.

The construction, roading and parks maintenance business – valued at $136 million – is just one of many the council wants to sell to meet a shortfall in its budget for repairs to earthquake-damaged infrastructure.

City Care employs just over 1500 workers around the country and is the largest council-owned company of its type in the country.

Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said it would be an attractive asset for some buyers.

“A company that is involved in facilities management, civil construction, building construction and so on has got to be an attractive proposition,” he said. “Probably buyers will be already involved in that area in some form or another, and this would be a good opportunity for them to scale up.”

City Care is not classed as a core asset and can therefore be sold without any public consultation.

Mr Townsend said those that were considered core assets, including the port, the airport and lines company Orion, would also be sold off – but only partially and not before next year’s local government elections.

“As the council gets further into other asset sales, there are some that are particularly sensitive, particularly their core assets which they have determined they want to retain control of.

“If they want to sell down part of those to raise capital, then we might see a bit of fun, and that will probably happen post-election.”

Read more »

A very good use for a taser

Some ratbags just deserve a good tasering.

A Christchurch man who drove through the city’s eastern suburbs allegedly damaging seven vehicles in a number of separate crashes has been subdued with a taser and arrested.

Police were first alerted to a trail of destruction at about 6:30 this evening with reports of a green holden ute causing a crash on Dyers Road and Maces Road in Linwood.

Subsequent reports from the public indicated the same ute had caused several more car accidents as it travelled toward the seaside suburb of Sumner.

The first happened on Main Road and Cliff Street, in Moncks Bay, followed by another on Wakefield Avenue near Wiggens Street in Sumner.

The reports also suggested the driver drove at people who tried to stop him.    Read more »


Oh, so now we aren’t allowed to choose who we live with anymore?

The whingeratti are upset because a bloke in Christchurch doesn’t want any Indian or Asian flatmates.

An ad for flatmates stating “no Indians or Asians” need apply has outraged and disappointed a community group.

The Christchurch man who listed the ad was unapologetic, insisting he wasn’t racist but didn’t want to live with people “who cook curry every night” or couldn’t speak English.

The ad on TradeMe, the country’s biggest online marketplace, was listed a week ago, and has been viewed hundreds of times.

“It’s shocking to hear about this ad,” NZ Indian Central Association president Harshadbhai Patel said.

“It’s not on. And we should not encourage these kinds of advertisements, especially targeting Asians and Indians.”    Read more »

Christchurch police attempt to succeed where Auckland police have failed

The Christchurch City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to ban washers by giving police the power to enforce an existing by-law prohibiting window washing for financial gain.

With the passing of the by-law, a licence would be needed to operate as a windscreen washer and the mainly teenage washers could be charged with trading in a public place without a licence, for which the maximum fine was $20,000.

The decision provided police with another tool to combat the activity, Canterbury police district prevention manager inspector Richard Bruce said.

But he said police were concerned that windscreen washers were putting not only themselves at risk, but also other road users.

Police have released CCTV images of window washers to the media, in order to show how their behaviour is putting themselves and others at risk.

He said police were assessing how the council’s decision could be used as part of the prevention activities being used by police.

Police have previously said there was evidence of gang involvement with members demanding payment from the washers in return for being allowed to operate on certain street corners.

As well as three or four window washers on the street, there were sometimes up to 15 or 20 associates and while the washers might not be behaving in a disorderly way, police said their presence could be intimidating.

Before the vote, councillor Yani Johanson said he had previously failed to appreciate the impact the teenagers were having.

“It wasn’t until the police came to our community board and actually showed us the video footage of what was happening at these intersections that I understood how frightening it is for people to be intimidated.”

Councillors said they hoped motorists would now be able to drive around the city without fear of being intimidated by window washers at busy intersections.

So that won’t work either then.  As a nation we’re the best at making laws, but when it comes to enforcement, people simply assume the existence of a law will be sufficient.

I hope for the people of Christchurch that police will be enforcing this law at all.  There is no evidence of it happening in Auckland.

After all, it is very easy to justify it as a low-priority item, so unless there is actual intimidation, assault, damage to property or endangering the public, I suspect the police really do have better things to do, and we want them to be doing them.



Fairfax help Labour with a clumsy hit on EQC

Fairfax reports:

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has spent $68 million on travel-related costs since the September 2010 earthquake in Canterbury.

Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal EQC spent a total of $38m on accommodation and food for staff travelling in and out of Christchurch since September 2010, almost $20m on vehicles, $8.2m on airfares and $880,400 on taxis and parking costs.

Almost half of the money ($29m) was spent in 2010/11, when EQC had to increase staff numbers from 22 before the September 2010 quake, to more than 1000 in February 2011.

The following year, travel costs kept running high at $23.4m but went down to a total of $15.6m for the past three years.

Labour EQC spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said EQC should have asked more staff to relocate to Christchurch or hired local people instead of having “an army of bureaucrats with their clipboards parachuted in from Wellington”.    Read more »

Tattooed Charles Manson look-alike refused entry to a bar, wants to go to the Human Wrongs Commission because of hurty feelings

scribble face

Another contender for Cry Baby of the Week.

An artist was refused entry to a bar because of his facial tattoos, despite offering to hide them with makeup.

Jesse Wright said he felt “degraded” by his treatment. He is considering making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

The 22-year-old was with a group of about 30 friends when he tried to enter The Rockpool pool hall on Hereford St, Christchurch, about 9pm on Friday.

Wright, who was celebrating his birthday, said he was singled out by bouncers, who had concerns about tattoos on his face. They thought he might have gang affiliations.    Read more »

Christchurch is trying to take Hamilton’s STD title away

A syphilis surge in Christchurch has sparked a call for more awareness about safe sex.

In the past 18 months, syphilis cases have doubled in the city, according to the New Zealand Aids Foundation.

The jump in syphilis cases was due to gay and bisexual men having unprotected sex, Aids Foundation executive director Shaun Robinson said.

He said gay and bisexual men were “far more at risk” of contracting syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections than heterosexuals.

“87 per cent of all cases of syphilis in New Zealand are amongst gay and bisexual men,” he said.

“There is an easy way to stop this – use condoms.” Read more »

Apparently the earthquake is to blame for Christchurch’s bad drivers

The Christchurch City Council is trialling a new mobile phone app it hopes will make the city’s drivers more aware at intersections.

Christchurch is the first city outside of the United States to be using the new software that counts down to the next green traffic light.

Christchurch transport operations manager Ryan Cooney says the software works while the phone is mounted in a cradle on the car’s dashboard.

“Essentially when you stop, it’ll start counting down, giving you an audible message before the lights are green.”

The City Council’s traffic centre decided to trial the app because it says since the earthquakes drivers’ behaviour in the city has changed and not always for the better.

Reaction from drivers to the software was mixed, with responses ranging from concern it isn’t safe to use a phone while driving to those who thought it would decrease stress levels of drivers stuck in traffic.

Mr Cooney says to ensure drivers aren’t distracted by looking at their phone, the app only works if the phone is vertical, mounted in a bracket similar to a GPS.

But during the trial they will be looking at how drivers interact with it.

So, we’re not allowed to use our cellphones while driving, because they are a distraction that leads to bad driving.  So the solution is to have a cellphone to tell you to drive more responsibly.

Only bureaucrats can deliver logic like that.

Knowing the Christchurch road ferals, all they’ll use it for is a count-down for drag racing.



John Campbell is gone, but the rot continues to show

John Campbell took crusading too far, ultimately it cost him his job as he continually pimped the poor, ran his left wing campaigns and it turns out made stuff up.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has upheld a complaint about a Campbell Live episode about unresolved Canterbury earthquake insurance claims four years on from the first earthquake.

The episode was broadcast live on the fourth anniversary of the September 4 earthquake from a Christchurch school hall, with an audience of several hundred residents who had unresolved insurance claims.

The authority upheld the Insurance Council’s complaint that the programme breached standards of balance and accuracy, because it did not include the insurance industry’s perspective and was misleading about the industry’s and the Insurance Council’s willingness to take part in the programme.     Read more »

Trougher clinging on grimly to the trough

The problem with our local body electoral legislation is that once elected it is impossible to move the ratbags until the next election.

Look at Len Brown, caught literally pants down and refused to quit.

Now in Christchurch a trougher board member who lives in the North Island now is refusing to quit the local board he was elected to.

A Christchurch community board has lost patience with one of its members who no longer lives in the area he is supposed to represent, and is asking for him to resign.

Adrian Te Patu insists he can continue to provide effective representation for the Lyttelton Mount Herbert Ward, even though he now lives in Whanganui.

Mr Te Patu, said he was surprised his colleagues wanted him to quit.   Read more »