Solution: Reject any proposals to sell council assets (several so-called “independent” councilors are raising this as an issue this election) and look for opportunities to bring strategic assets back under community ownership and control.
What would this look like?
- Christchurch City Council would:
- Place all council assets on the “strategic assets register” which will mean none of them would be able to be sold without community consultation.
- End the Council’s so-called “capital release” programme which involves mortgaging city assets to provide council income. This is unsustainable.
- Bring council bus services back from ECAN (this requires government legislation changes) so they can be well co-ordinated for fare-free public transport.
What would it cost?
- No cost. Any projected deficits would be removed by rescheduling the building of capital assets and pressuring the government to pay “whatever it takes” (John Key’s promise to Christchurch after the earthquakes) to get Christchurch up and running again. At the last national election the new coalition government promised an extra $300 million for Christchurch to use “on our priorities” but the current council has set aside $220 million of it for a new multi-purpose rugby stadium. Our policy would take $200 million of the government promise to rebuild council rental housing destroyed in the earthquakes.
- Note: The 1931 Napier earthquake rebuild was paid in full by the government which wrote off the City’s rebuild loans in 1938.