Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Consultation On Asset Sales An Undemocratic Farce

Christchurch City Council Consultation On Asset Sales An Undemocratic Farce

The announcement that the Christchurch City Council has hired Cameron Partners to provide it with “independent” advice on asset sales – which the Council justifies based on a report which it commissioned from Cameron Partners – shows just what a total undemocratic farce the Council’s “public consultation” process is. The Council obviously sees it as merely a box ticking exercise and can’t even wait for it to be over before charging on with its predetermined agenda of asset sales.

Rest assured that it will have a fight on its hands.

For starters, Keep Our Assets Canterbury is calling for the consultation process on proposed asset sales to be extended and for the Council to provide ASAP written summaries of its proposals for every household.

Despite this being a consultation on a 10 year plan for Christchurch, as well as selling prized city assets, there has been no Council information provided direct to citizens. KOA activists are meeting people who have no idea what the Council is planning and they are shocked when they find out.

It’s just not good enough.

The effects of this planned review will be felt by the city for decades to come and yet the people are expected to absorb the Council’s proposals by osmosis.

Even the most engaged citizens who realise there is a consultation process need to wade through huge amounts of material online. Even then they are likely to miss the point that the Council actually wants permission to sell off 100% of all strategic assets.

“To ensure that the Council gains the greatest return from any sale, it needs the flexibility to consider the sale of part, or all of its entire holdings. ... As part of the Long Term Plan we are therefore consulting on the potential divestment by CCHL of its interest in Orion New Zealand, Lyttelton Port Company, Christchurch International Airport Ltd, Eco Central, City Care, and Red Bus.” (p15, Financial Strategy)

Christchurch City Council is also insisting that only formal submissions will be considered. Whereas other Councils will take into account comments on social media for example Christchurch Council insists that only those able to find the time to make an online submission or a written submission will be heard.

The effect of this denial of information is to narrow opportunities to respond and makes this supposed consultation an undemocratic farce.

We even heard of a report where an elected Councillor declined an invitation to defend the proposed asset sales on the grounds “we are in a consultation period”. Apparently that Councillor thinks democracy does not extend to public debate and discussion.

The remedy is simply. The Council must set back the deadline for submissions (currently 28th April), provide a written summary of its proposals to everyone, engage the community and get the democratic feedback the city needs.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation

Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...


National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels