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Christchurch rebuild not an excuse for more asset sales

27 June 2013

Christchurch rebuild not an excuse for more asset sales and dodgy deals

The Green Party is calling on the National Government to stop putting pressure on Christchurch to sell strategic assets to pay for the rebuild.

The Government today announced a $4.8 billion cost sharing agreement with the Christchurch City Council. The National Government have indicated they think Christchurch should look at asset sales and nationally are running an asset stripping agenda.

“It’s great to have some more surety for Christchurch residents who want to get on with rebuilding their city, but we still have some questions that this Government haven’t answered,” said Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“This National Government is obsessed with selling our assets. Selling off our future has no place in creating a strong Christchurch City.

“Christchurch City Council owns some good, strategic assets such as its shares in Christchurch International Airport Ltd, Orion and the Lyttelton Port Company which have provided a strong revenue stream to help keep rates down.

“We also need transparency from the Government as to whether Ministers are looking at any SkyCity type deals to pay for projects, such as a new convention centre for the city.

“Any plans for private sector funding need to be out in the open so that the people of Christchurch are able to make decisions about what they want for the future of their city.

“We need to see the business cases for projects such as the enlarged convention centre and the stadium so that Christchurch ratepayers, and the taxpayers of New Zealand can have confidence in the need for supersizing these projects.

“The previous convention centre was 7,500 square metres. The Council has said it wants to rebuild a 21,000 square metre one, but the Government wants to push that up to 24,000 square metres.

“We really welcome the confirmation of the cost sharing arrangement for repair of underground roads and pipes. This is the priority for residents.”

ENDS

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