Christchurch Council Restores City Care to Strategic Assets
Keep Our Assets Claims Victory in Save City Care Campaign
The Christchurch City Council voted, on June 20th, to restore City Care to its strategic assets list.
This is the culmination of a long back down by the Council which had announced, in 2015, that it planned to sell City Care as the first step in an assets sale process supposedly necessitated by the need to raise capital to clear debts incurred by quake rebuild costs and obligations.
Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) tackled the Council head on about this. We said that the debt claim was bunk and that the figures for the debt were manufactured.
We said that the decision to sell assets was a perfect illustration of Government-led disaster capitalism or shock doctrine, motivated solely by ideology i.e to take advantage of the shock of disaster to ram home a privatisation policy.
We opposed the whole assets sale policy.
And we very actively opposed the specific proposal to sell City Care, campaigning tirelessly on the streets and in the Council Chamber throughout 2015 and 16.
Our campaign included running John MInto as our Mayoral candidate in 2016.
The Council started to see sense in 2016, when it announced that it would not sell City Care.
But it still did not have the protection of being restored to the Council's strategic assets list (meaning that it can't be sold without public consultation).
Finally, it came to a debate and vote at the Council's June 20th meeting.
What the debate was about was the motion by Mayor Dalziel to not restore City Care to the strategic assets list.
That was defeated and replaced by a motion to restore City Care to the list.
That was passed, with only Councillors East and Gough voting against it. Even the Mayor turned around and voted in support of it.
Here is the video clip of the debate http://councillive.ccc.govt.nz/video/6992 (if you want to cut straight to the vote, it's around 23 minutes in).
It is well worth watching, for example, to hear Councillor Buck explain why she changed her mind after previously voting to sell City Care.
KOA claims victory, as City Care has been saved and we have been proven right on all points.
And we note the point made bv Councillor Turner in the debate - that Red Bus is now the only one of the Council's assets under the aegis of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd not to be on the strategic assets list. It also needs to be restored to that list ASAP.