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Council Must Restore Enable To Its Strategic Assets Register

Christchurch City Council Must Restore Enable To Its Strategic Assets Register

The recent decision by the Christchurch City Council to buy the Government’s share of Enable Services Ltd would be commendable if it wasn’t for the fact the Council took Enable off the Council’s strategic asset register in 2015.

Now that it owns 100%, there is no impediment to the Council doing a backroom deal to sell Enable, which is doing the broadband rollout in Christchurch

The question arises – for whose benefit are the large sums of public money being pumped into Enable?

Is it for the people of Christchurch, who own it?

Or is it to prepare it for sale to a private (quite possibly overseas) corporate buyer?

If the latter, the people of Christchurch demand an explanation as to why their money is being used to make Enable a more attractive buy.

Enable is the basic infrastructure for the broadband network.

It is vital digital infrastructure that needs to be owned by the public.

It is as important as electricity.

Selling Enable is the digital equivalent of selling the roads or water – a ridiculous idea and bad economics.

Keep Our Assets Canterbury calls on the Christchurch City Council to restore Enable to its strategic assets register without delay.

Being on that register (along with Orion, the airport and port companies) doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be sold.

But it would mean that Enable could not be sold without a process of public consultation.

Currently it can be sold without any input from the people of Christchurch who own and have paid for it.

ends

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