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Government blueprint billed to ratepayers

Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson

Government blueprint billed to ratepayers

It is wrong for the Government to hand the bill for its central city blueprint to the Christchurch City Council, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel.

“Keeping the Council in the dark about the plan and then expecting it to pick up the tab is just not on,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“Gerry Brownlee didn’t share the details with the Council until the Thursday before the announcement. It was only then the Council learned it could be liable to contribute an additional billion dollars over its budget for the rebuild of the city’s assets.

“While the strength of the reaction from council members saw the figure reduced overnight, it still leaves questions around whether that was done just to get the Council on board.

“I understand Treasury is appalled that Mr Brownlee didn’t allow time in his 100-days for the announcement to be fully costed, which is presumably why pressure is now being applied to the council to come up with the shortfall.

“Asset sales are clearly on the Government’s agenda. Unfortunately the pressure is going on the Council to follow suit.”

“When challenged in the House today the Associate Minister, Amy Adams, said the Council had been fully engaged in the process of developing the plan.

“That isn’t the case. Our elected representatives have been kept completely in the dark, as all council staff seconded to CERA had been forced to sign a confidentiality agreement preventing them from informing councillors what was being planned.

“This is not about criticising what is a visionary plan for the city. But we cannot allow the democratic role of the Christchurch City Council to be usurped in this fashion.

“It is time for a fully engaged partnership between central and local government. That way, Christchurch residents can be assured of a democratic voice in the recovery of the central city which is critical for the future,” said Lianne Dalziel.


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