“Oh the irony, it hurts!”, ctd


You know, you can be part of the Labour Party for many years, push against asset sales many years, and be synonymous with strong opposition to asset sales, until you become the mayor, and then – suddenly – the economic realities make asset sales just fine.

The airport is booming, making a healthy profit from the 6 million passengers that use it every year.

Orion made a cool $50 million last year, while the Lyttelton Port Company is another multimillion-dollar earner. But the cash-strapped Christchurch City may have to do a partial sell-down of them to pay for the city’s rebuild.

“There’s two that stand out – Christchurch Airport and Orion, the lines company,” says Milford Asset Management’s Brian Gaynor. “Orion is more profitable and bigger in terms of its financial side, but Christchurch Airport would be attractive as well.”

Facing a $900 million shortfall because of the rebuild and anchor projects, the plan will be discussed in a part of a special council meeting which ratepayers are banned from.

Former Labour MP and current Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel opposed the Government’s power company asset sales while in Parliament. But she has ruled out borrowing more and the council does not want a rates increase.

The council’s own agenda for tomorrow gives a clue on their thinking. It talks about conversations with potential business partners, and that could be other more cashed-up local councils or the powerful Maori business Ngāi Tahu Holdings.

And, most importantly, they don’t want any transparency

Ratepayers are barred from attending a crucial part of a sensitive meeting on the future of some of Canterbury’s key assets.

To be done in secrecy.  Sensitive indeed.

Oh the hypocrisy.  Where are the petitions?  Why aren’t Labour and the Greens up in arms about asset sales in Christchurch?

– 3 News


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  • conwaycaptain

    Think of the reality check if Goofy becomes Mayor of Auckland.

    • sheppy

      IT’ll be interesting to see if he continues to leak everything in site if he does!

      • Billythekid

        Williams was the leaker !

    • Aucky

      The phrase ‘out of the frying pan’ comes to mind.

  • jaundiced

    The reality has dawned on her. Is it more important for the council to own an airport or power company, or is it more important to rebuild Christchurch with some outstanding amenities that will attract visitors and events and drive economic activity. In effect, swapping some assets they don’t need, for others they do.

  • cows4me

    Oh dear socialism head butts reality again and reality is really hard.

    • Damon Mudgway

      Maybe a bit harder to pick the pockets of ratepayers than taxpayers aye Lianne?

    • Kiwibabe

      Socialists the same around the world. They deserve imprisonment for lying to voters promising the unaffordable.

  • Pete

    We were told by the left time and time again that asset sales were unnecessary, bad, and National we were just selling off the family silver. Ok, so now they have the perfect opportunity to stick it to National, and all of us that voted for them in 2011,and show us how they would have dealt with it. I would really like to see how their alternative would work, it’s on a much smaller scale as it is only a city or district they are concentrating on, and not an entire country. I am sure that back then in 2011 they would have done all the background and have done all the planning, so lets be seeing it, and lets see how it would have worked. if they could find another way, and save their assets , and it worked in CHCH I would be the first to applaud them.

  • Bluemanning

    Is borrowing ‘against Auckland assets ie property’ actually a form of asset sale?


    ‘Security for debt

    In general, the council will provide rates revenue as security for its borrowings (this is appropriate as borrowing facilities are usually established for broad funding purposes). However, in specific cases, the council may consider whether alternative security is appropriate, for example security over property that is specifically connected with the borrowing.’

  • john Doe

    Lefties are not good at making decisions. They prefer to leave it to others so that they can criticize. whine and protest.

    • Salacious Crumb

      Ideally suited for opposition benches then.

      • Bartman


    • Kiwibabe

      Spot on, especially with the current Labour Party.

  • kiwirog

    The deeper irony is that in todays interest rate environment selling assets like Orion, the airport etc will be P&L negative, which actually means rates go up further. The sales are necessary because the council is likely to butt up against the limit to which the banks will lend. Its a difficult thing to explain to ratepayers.
    The only assets which could theoretically be sold and achieve the dual benefit of decreasing debt and rates are the social housing assets which don’t contribute any cashflow to the Council.
    If Dalziel actually made the logical decision to sell these low returning assets I would be amazed.

  • metalnwood

    Absolutely, it’s decisions individuals are faced with all the time. The need to sell off assets that may appreciate or give them a return in the future.

    Too bad that future value is worth zero when you need the money today. I have had to make the decision, so have most people.

    The government has to as well, they are just large enough to be able to put it off if they want to, it doesn’t make the financial reality any less, or the future costs they face less for putting it off.

    The council is in the middle, they are large but not large enough to make decisions on principal if it is going to hurt their pocket.

  • Billythekid

    If the two million dollar severance man had done his job properly and audited the insurance cover on Christchurch city assets, non of us would be reading this tripe.

  • Valid Point

    I just think it’s brilliant that some 175 years after the first Christchurch settlers grabbed everything in cooee, there’s a chance Ngāi Tahu are going to get it all back.

  • Curly1952

    “I will say what is expedient at any given time to meet my own ends” is her mantra.

  • R&BAvenger

    It took the idiots over 12 months to see sense – having to drag the leftys into the real world would have been a major part of the delay, as well as time spent by Raf Manji getting his head around the whole financial picture.
    Now just reverse the stupid decision to rebuild the town hall and they might earn some much needed credibility.

    • PhantomsDoc

      The town hall needs to be pulled down. It is rotten throughout. Get down wind of it on a hot windy day and you’ll know what I mean. The toxic mould etc within that building means every surface will need to to be decontaminated, air-conditioning included. Then there is the sewerage and foul-water to contend with as well before EQ strengthening and repair.

      • R&BAvenger

        Correct, plus the likely cost overruns when it comes to the foundations – it’s right by the river and it’ll be a massive job. Not impossible, of course but it’ll cost way more than what is estimated. better to bowl it and start again, it’s a bloody ugly eyesore and not fit for purpose. Stuff what the moaners say.

    • Warren

      Totally agree the town hall has to go. It will be just another project that will just blow out to millions over what is budgeted for. Problem is there will be the whingers that say ‘it is a Sir Miles Warren icon and must be saved’, Yeah right. Out with the old in with the new. And on asset sales, finally Dalzell realises that rate payers cannot continue to be just used as cash cows when the council have 100’s of millions in assets that can be used to help balance the books.

  • Kiwibabe

    Dalziel on TV One news “this is not about assets sales it’s about freeing up capital” to fund the reconstruction. What the heck, that is precisely what Key did with partial privatisation of power generators!
    Maybe the labour muppets never understood that, nor that it was to preserve government spending during the greatest recession since the depression.
    And what has the media got to say about this? It’s all ok.

    • who’stoblame

      and not a murmer from the left or msm, hypocrites!

  • Sir Brucey

    She looks like Jim Andertons sister !!!!