Darryll Park joins Lianne Dalziel as a privatiser of assets through “opening the books”

The latest contender for the Christchurch mayoralty, Darryll Park is lining up the city for asset sales if he wins.

Park says he is not advocating asset sales “at this point in time” but wants to “open the books” and “carry out a full financial review of the council’s expenditure…” if he is elected.

This is a classic right-wing tactic. It has been used time and again over the past 35 years to justify fire sales of government and local council assets. It starts with “opening the books” which inevitably results in “shock – horror” claims of burgeoning debt which require the sale of assets to prevent double-digit rate increases.

The corporate sector love it. City residents are shafted.

Current Mayor Lianne Dalziel did precisely the same thing when she first became mayor and tried to get council approval for the sale of $600 million of city assets through engaging notorious privatisers, Cameron and Partners, to review the city’s books.

Dalziel failed to get her way, after a concerted community campaign to stop her, but did lead a failed charge to sell the council works agency City Care. Park wants to pick up where she left off.

Thank goodness voters don’t need to choose between them.

Our MintoforMayor.nz campaign categorically promises we will not sell out city residents by selling assets.

Our campaign promises are based on a future which makes sense. Our promises will SAVE money for ratepayers while addressing the three critical issues facing the city: our Climate Crisis, Water crisis and Inequality crisis.

Keep Our Assets Canterbury Mayoral Candidate 2019 is John Minto

We have decided to stand John because Christchurch faces unprecedented challenges:
  • Global warming from greenhouse gas emissions has created a climate catastrophe which threatens us all.
  • Our precious drinking water is tainted with contaminants and threatened by nitrates.
  • Deep divisions across the city mean many people struggle on poverty incomes without dignity or self-respect. Housing conditions and social impacts for many are as bad as the 1930s depression.

Our current path does not make sense – it’s not working for us.

The seven policies we will bring to the campaign will show the way to a future which makes sense for all of us.

Policy summary for Minto for Mayor 2019
  1. Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions with free and frequent public transport – the single most important way for Christchurch to address our climate crisis. It will save money and be paid for from the current roading budget.
  2. Future-proof our water supply and clean up our waterways – plan, lobby and work for swimmable rivers in Christchurch and across Canterbury. One part of this is promoting local neighbourhood responsibility for sections of our city rivers.
  3.  Affordable housing – use $220 million from the government’s $300 million grant to rebuild the 400 council rental houses destroyed in the earthquakes and refurbish the “slum” housing currently owned by council. We will also begin to build a further 600 additional homes to meet the needs of our local community. This will mean putting the multi-purpose rugby stadium to the back of the queue for capital spending.
  4.  Higher wages – pay the living wage for all council work. We will pay a minimum of the living wage ($21.15 per hour) to council employees and those employed under contract to do council work. At the same time, we will set the maximum council salary $176,000 - four times the living wage. This policy will save money over time as we manage down senior management salaries at the council. The council will lead the way for other employers to follow.
  5. Keep rate increases to the rate of inflation – and rebalance rates across the city to make rate payments fairer.
  6. Reject proposals for the sale of our city assets and look for opportunities to bring strategic assets back under community ownership and control. This will save money and help reduce future rate increases.
  7. Create a local zone in the city centre to showcase products and services created here in Canterbury – to be paid for initially from higher rates on undeveloped land in the city centre.

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.