Responding to the Mosque Massacres

Standing Against White Supremacism & Terrorism

A media report from last night’s meeting, sponsored by   Canterbury Progressive Network and EcuAction, can be found here

A video of the meeting itself is here

Donate to the victims and families
The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre has set up a crowdfunding campaign on Launchgood (a crowdfunding platform for Muslim people) with all funds raised distributed to the victims and families affected by the Christchurch attack. All proceeds will go towards helping with their immediate, short-term needs. 
The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups has also set up a crowdfunding campaign on Givealittle. Victim Support says it will use all donations received to the page to provide support and resources for people affected by the Christchurch shootings and their family members. This one has already raised $3 million from everyday New Zealanders, which I think is a bright spot in an otherwise very dark time. 

Responses to the attack
Islamic Women's Council repeatedly lobbied to stem discrimination 
How to combat Islamophobia and white supremacy 
‘I’d rather not breathe the same oxygen as him  
New Zealand must own this terrorist attack

Responding to the Mosque Massacres

public meeting today

Tuesday March 19 


 Cardboard Cathedral
 Latimer Square


The purpose of the meeting is for the public to say how they want to respond to the massacres that occurred last Friday at the Deans Ave & Linwood Muslim Mosques.

  • How widespread are white supremacist views (including Islamophobia) in Canterbury?
  • How really welcome are minority cultures and ethnic groups in Canterbury?
  • Is religion a unifying or dividing force in society?
  • Have the NZ security services paid too much attention to potential Jihadists and too little to white supremacists?
  • Do gun control laws need tightening?
  • Will the Crusaders really face a name change?
  • What needs to happen to build a more cohesive and inclusive NZ society?

The Dean of the Cathedral, The Rev Lawrence Kimberley will welcome all and hand over to the co-conveners of the meeting…

·         Paul Hopkinson of Canterbury Progressive Network (CPN)
·         Brian Turner of EcuAction, a Canterbury based Interfaith network.

Further info from Paul (ph 027-2308439) or Brian (ph 021-1294305)

Keep Our Assets Welcomes City Council's

De-Privatisation Of Mona Vale Homestead

Mona Vale belongs to the people of Christchurch

Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) welcomes Friday's announcement that the Christchurch City Council has forced its lessee, Continental Catering, to reopen the Mona Vale homestead and cafe to the public, having closed both to all but private function guests since October.

This was an effective privatisation of a Christchurch City Council public asset.

KOA is as concerned about our heritage public assets as we are about assets such as Council rental housing, City Care, Enable, Orion, the port and airport companies.

I'm old enough to remember the monumental public fundraising drive half a century ago to buy Mona Vale for the people of Christchurch.

It is a beautiful place that I, along with countless others, have regularly visited and enjoyed in the decades since.

And it was Christchurch ratepayers who paid millions for the post-quakes repair and truly wonderful restoration of the homestead.

That was not done for the exclusive money-making benefit of one private company.

But the reopening comes with restricted hours and access and with a very begrudging attitude from the lessee.

The Council needs to re-tender the lease for Mona Vale and specify that the new lessee is obliged to keep the Homestead open for the public.

After all, it belongs to the people of Christchurch, who have paid for it several times over.

Murray Horton


Water too precious an asset to be privatised for the profit of a few

The grabbing and privatising for profit of water is
and has been a problem since before the last National government sacked the elected members of ECan, in 2010, in order to push through the privatisation of water.

Water is the taonga of all Canterbury people. Our rivers and aquifers are threatened first by dirty dairy irrigators and now by foreign water bottlers using plastic bottles

Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) has been supporting the retention of Christchurch people’s assets in the people's ownership for many years now. It was the central issue of our Minto for Mayor campaign at the 2016 local body election.

Water is the asset under threat this local body election year.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel has said, very recently "It (water) may not be owned by anyone, but it belongs to us all".

Councillor Jamie Gough says his Independent Citizens' bloc is in favour of asset sales and wants that to be a major issue in this election campaign.

So in a strange way, by bringing water ownership and control to the fore Jamie Gough has done us all a favour. Water and its use and control is a subject close to the hearts of the people of Christchurch/Otautahi and Canterbury in general.

It’s good to see the People’s Choice group being very clear on where they stand. A clear policy of not privatising water gives the people of Christchurch a strong reason to vote.

KOA says that we need just as clear a statement from candidates for Mayor and the City Council, that water is too precious an asset to be privatised for the profit of a few. It will be a major election issue.

KOA also says a gerrymander in favour of rural irrigators on ECan is not acceptable

Keep Our Assets Request To Speak At This Week's Canterbury Earthquakes Symposium


Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) is disappointed  - but not surprised - that our request to speak at the November 29-30 Canterbury Earthquakes Symposium has been refused.

The Symposium's title is "Sharing The Lessons From The Canterbury Experiences". KOA has both experiences and lessons to share,  acquired in our years of successfully campaigning to stop the Christchurch City Council from selling Christchurch's public assets.

'Disaster Capitalism - How To Protect Community Assets'
the Contribution you are not allowed to hear
Our proposed topic was: "Disaster Capitalism - How To Protect Community Assets". Post-quakes Christchurch presents a textbook example of disaster capitalism (or "shock doctrine"). KOA ran John Minto for Mayor in 2016 and he gained around 15% of the vote. That's a lot of Christchurch people whose voice is being excluded from this Symposium. 

Some may argue that our proposed topic is too "political". But the whole Symposium is political, as evidenced by the fact that all speaking topics have to be signed off by the Mayor and the Minister (Megan Woods). It's all a question of whose politics are being presented. Or not.

From the post-quakes outset, the people of Christchurch have been excluded from the decision making process about our city. Not through lack of interest - the excellent Share An Idea initiative attracted over 100,000 responses. All of which were promptly ignored by Gerry Brownlee and the then Government, which prioritised rebuilding the city in the interests of Big Business.

a different Government and  City Council
but same old story
This week's symposium is another example of more of the same. Different Government and City Council, but same old story. KOA is aware of other grassroots groups who have been told that their participation is not welcome. The symposium is about lessons from the quakes. We say that democracy is our greatest community asset and that it has been deliberately and wilfully trampled on. The quakes were natural disasters - the undemocratic shock doctrine which followed, and continues, is a strictly man made disaster.

As Govt Now Paying For ChCh Stadium City Council Has Freed Up Millions For Higher Priorities LIke

Public Housing

Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) points out that the 2013 Cost Share Agreement between the Key government and the Parker Christchurch City Council committed each party to pay $253 million towards the $506m cost of a covered stadium.

That Agreement remains in place - indeed that is confirmed in the Supplementary Agenda Paper for this Thursday's Christchurch City Council meeting, at which the stadium will be a major item.

The Ardern government has budgeted to give Christchurch a one-off gift of $300m. The City Council has said that it proposes to use $220m of this towards the stadium's cost.

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, KOA is left with the only conclusion that this $220m is in addition to the Government's already-committed $253m for the stadium.

$253m + $220m comes to $473m . And - guess what - that same Council Supplementary Agenda Paper for Thursday's meeting lists $473m as the updated cost of the stadium.

This means that the Government is effectively paying all of the stadium cost. They are simply giving the Council the money with which to do it.

To put this in everyday terms - it's the same as Mum and Dad giving their child the money to pay a house deposit. The kid might be making the payment but Mum and Dad provided the money.

In this case Mum and Dad are paying for the whole house (let's call it the White Elephant House).

Meaning that the Christchurch City Council suddenly has $253m that is no longer needed for the stadium and can be spent on higher priorities. Such as repairing, replacing and replenishing its stock of public housing which is still 400 units down on pre-quake numbers. And for which it has budgeted a measly $30m.

The City Council has been stampeded into treating the stadium as its top priority by a concerted lobby campaign from the business community and the Rugby Union (which, despite standing to be the stadium's biggest beneficiary, is not prepared to spend one cent on it. Insult is added to injury).

KOA is not opposed to a stadium per se, but simply to its being given top priority in the city's rebuild. Once built it will be a public asset, but that's still years away, under any circumstances. The Council's housing portfolio is also a public asset, which needs urgent attention right now.

If we're wrong in our conclusion, and this new Government money is instead of the amount agreed in the Cost Share Agreement rather than in addition to it, then that raises a whole different set of questions. Such as, has that Cost Share Agreement been quietly renegotiated behind closed doors? Something that both Minister Woods and Mayor Dalziel have assured the people of Christchurch would not happen.

An update

Talk Of Selling Christchurch City Council Assets Is
Deja Vu All Over Again

Christchurch's Mayor, Lianne Dalziel, was recently quoted as saying: "What I would like is to be able to have an intelligent conversation without somebody just standing there with a little placard in their hand saying 'no asset sales' or 'keep our assets'".

Lianne must have been having a senior moment because Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) was never so coy as to muck around with "little placards".

On several occasions we went right into the Christchurch City Council's Chamber during Council meetings with a great big banner saying "Keep Our Assets".

Joking aside, KOA is pleased that the City Council has passed its Long Term Plan with no asset sales included.

Obviously the Mayor is not so happy.

We remind her that Christchurch has very recently had "an intelligent conversation" about asset sales.

It was called the 2016 local body election, where KOA ran John Minto as our Mayoral candidate on a "No Assets Sales" platform.

Obviously, Lianne won the Mayoralty but enough Christchurch residents and ratepayers voted for John, and the Council candidates who also opposed asset sales, for the message to sink home.

The people of Christchurch delivered their intelligent answer.
They didn't want assets sold.

This is deja vu all over again.

The arguments presented in 2015/16 for asset sales are the same ones as being presented now - that Christchurch can't afford the rebuild costs and is going into too much debt.

The arguments for keeping our assets are the same as then.

Put simply - that the people of Christchurch are better off with those assets than without them.

And, once they're gone, they're gone.

One obvious solution is to renegotiate the onerous cost share agreement imposed on the previous Bob Parker Council by the previous Key government, forcing Christchurch ratepayers into paying for various anchor project white elephants.

We keep being told that what is now called the "global settlement" is being prepared between this Government and the Council.

But no details are being made public.

The whitest of the white elephants is the stadium, for which the Council has budgeted $253 million and brought it forward by two years in its list of priorities.

There's an obvious candidate for saving a cool quarter of a billion dollars or, at least, putting it further down the list of priorities until the city can afford it and more pressing needs have been met.

By contrast the Council has budgeted a measly $30 million for repairing or replacing Council housing damaged in the quakes.

Those priorities are the wrong way around - the Crusaders have got a home, at the temporary Addington stadium; the Council needs to prioritise those that need a home.

Put  a roof over their head before putting a roof over a stadium.

To add insult to injury, the Rugby Union - which will be the biggest single beneficiary of the stadium - is refusing to contribute one cent to its construction.

Councillor Raf Manji has resurrected the idea of partial asset sales, specifically by listing the airport company and Enable (the city's broadband network company) on the sharemarket.

Why would the city sell assets that make money - Christchurch Airport is a heavily used cash cow - for ones that don't make money, such as a stadium that will sit unused and generating no income for a lot of the time?

That's voodoo economics.

Nothing has changed as far as KOA is concerned.

The case for keeping our assets is as strong as ever.