KOA To Present Alternative Way Forward For Christchurch City Council
At 9.30am on Friday KOA will present an alternative way forward for Christchurch in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic.
KOA rejects the argument that the city must face “austerity measures” and put back community projects in order to reduce the proposed rate rise. This is classic disaster capitalism when a crisis is used as an excuse to drive changes in favour of the big end of town.
In short, the council has a choice between a set of sustainable green and progressive policies for the people of Otautahi or a set of policies that drive us further down the destructive neoliberal path of the last forty years. The council can choose between progressive policies in service of the people and austerity policies in service of the greedy and a downwards spiral.
KOA will be proposing the council:
- Bring back council work inhouse to save money by eliminating three levels of wasteful spending (some of this will require pressure on the government for law changes)
- Put the multi-purpose rugby stadium project back five years and bring forward community development projects such as the new pool and recreation centre for Hornby
- Increase rates significantly on undeveloped land within the four avenues. This will force developers to develop or sell to someone who will. The extra rates derived from this could be used to offset the dreadful decision last month to subsidise high end apartment building in the central city
- Work with ECAN to push for a trial of free public transport as the best way to revitalise the struggling city centre
- Make reductions in salaries at the top end of council permanent and use the money saved to firstly ensure all workers employed to do council work are paid the living wage
- Accelerate council housebuilding to ensure council rentals are at pre-earthquake numbers by the end of 2022. (We congratulate the council on the developments at Brougham Village which is finally being rebuilt after ten years of inaction)
- Reject absolutely the proposed plan to charge for water. Christchurch does NOT have a water supply problem and unlike electricity, gas or public transport water is essential to life itself
The council has put forward an egregious policy for water charges which has been rejected across the board. We believe this has been done deliberately as a “stalking horse” policy to soften up residents to accept what will be presented as a “compromise” – volumetric water charges or similar.
No matter what mechanism is used for water charging, the result will be regressive. In other words it will shift the cost of rates and council charges from those on higher incomes to those on low incomes – and larger families in particular.
These are the very residents and families who will face the heaviest burden from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Water charges in any form are unacceptable.