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Just three days to negotiate Christchurch rebuild

Just three days to negotiate Christchurch rebuild

The government gave the Christchurch City Council just three days to negotiate the cost sharing agreement to rebuild the city worth almost $3 billion, says Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

The deadline has emerged in an Official Information Act request which shows Cabinet authorised negotiations on the 10th of June, followed by three days of negotiation. The agreement was signed on the 18th of June by the Minister of Finance, Bill English.

“This appalling haste justifies Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s call for an urgent rethink of the government’s relationship with the Christchurch City Council. It is no wonder she’s found the council books are in disarray. The whole process was a train wreck.

“It appears the cost sharing agreement negotiations for the rebuild deal were rushed to meet a government deadline that was imposed by Gerry Brownlee. The government said that if a deal could not be hammered out than they would face less favourable terms from the Minister of Finance down the track.

“ Gerry Brownlee also claimed that if the deal was not accepted immediately there was a real risk to recover momentum. It also appear the rush was in part inspired by the looming local body elections.

“This iron fist approach by Mr Brownlee allowed no sensible time for reflection, thought and long term planning .What was originally supposed to be 17 days of negotiation were truncated to just three days.”

“Lianne Dalziel has every reason to be angry over the process. She has every right to demand new negotiations over who pays for the rebuild.”


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