Christchurch City Council Restores City Care To Strategic Assets List

Keep Our Assets Claims Victory In Save City Care Campaign


The Christchurch City Council voted, on June 20th, to restore City Care to its strategic assets list.

This is the culmination of a long back down by the Council which had announced, in 2015, that it planned to sell City Care as the first step in an assets sale process supposedly necessitated by the need to raise capital to clear debts incurred by quake rebuild costs and obligations.

Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) tackled the Council head on about this. We said that the debt claim was bunk and that the figures for the debt were manufactured.

We said that the decision to sell assets was a perfect illustration of Government-led disaster capitalism or shock doctrine, motivated solely by ideology i.e to take advantage of the shock of disaster to ram home a privatisation policy.

We opposed the whole assets sale policy.
 
And we very actively opposed the specific proposal to sell City Care, campaigning tirelessly on the streets and in the Council Chamber throughout 2015 and 16.

Our campaign included running John MInto as our Mayoral candidate in 2016.

The Council started to see sense in 2016, when it announced that it would not sell City Care.

But it still did not have the protection of being restored to the Council's strategic assets list (meaning that it can't be sold without public consultation).

Finally, it came to a debate and vote at the Council's June 20th meeting.

What the debate was about was the motion by Mayor Dalziel to not restore City Care to the strategic assets list.

That was defeated and replaced by a motion to restore City Care to the list.

That was passed, with only Councillors East and Gough voting against it. Even the Mayor turned around and voted in support of it.

Hereis the video clip of the debate (if you want to cut straight to the vote, it's around 23 minutes in).

It is well worth watching, for example, to hear Councillor Buck explain why she changed her mind after previously voting to sell City Care.

KOA claims victory, as City Care has been saved and we have been proven right on all points.

And we note the point made bv Councillor Turner in the debate - that Red Bus is now the only one of the Council's assets under the aegis of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd not to be on the strategic assets list. It also needs to be restiored to that list ASAP.

 

THE FIGHT TO SAVE CITY CARE

IS NOT OVER YET!

Support KOA AS We Make Our Submission To City Council Draft Annual Plan Hearing 

This Saturday, May 20th

Council Chamber, Level 2, City Council Building, 53 Hereford Street, 4.30 p.m.
(come a bit earlier in case we get called earlier. We've been asked to be there 20 minutes before our allotted time)


The Christchurch City Council finally saw sense in 2016 and abandoned its plan to sell City Care.

But Keep Our Assets Canterbury’s (KOA) fight to save City Care is not over yet.  At its November 2016 meeting the Council decided that, unlike with Enable, it would not restore City Care to its strategic assets list.

Instead it transferred any decision on City Care to its Draft Annual Plan process. KOA has made a submission to that and is among those to be heard by the Council at its hearing this Saturday, May 20th.

Our submission, to be presented by Steve Howard, covers a number of topics, such as housing, the living wage and roading. Our top two recommendations are that both City Care and Red Bus be restored to the Council's strategic assets list 

Being on the strategic assets list (which currently comprises the airport and port companies, Orion, Eco Central and Enable) means that those assets can’t be sold without a process of public consultation.

It doesn’t mean that they can’t be sold – it simply means that we, the people of Christchurch who own them, have to be “consulted” first.

If City Care is not on that strategic assets list, it can be sold by this or any future Council without further ado. So can Red Bus.

And what about the other assets that aren’t on that list?

What about the city’s huge portfolio of public housing? Christchurch City Council is the second biggest landlord in New Zealand – that public ownership must be protected.

The Council’s assets collection is many and varied. For example, it has announced that Lancaster Park is uneconomic to repair and must be demolished. So, what will happen to the publicly-owned land it sits on?

KOA will keep on keeping on until the Christchurch City Council completely removes asset sales from its policy agenda.

And we will keep on calling for a proper public engagement process about what does and doesn’t happen to these assets that belong to the people of Christchurch and surrounding areas.

You also need to be aware that the Council is currently proposing to give several parcels of land it owns to Development Christchurch Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (the Council's commercial holdings company, which runs its trading assets portfolio). 

One of the parcels of land the Council proposes to give away just happens to be City Care's Milton Street depot (the site of many of KOA's pickets in our successful campaign to stop the sale of City Care). We see this as just another move to make any future sale of City Care that much easier, and to make it that much harder for it to ever revert to being what it started off as - the Council's Works Department. KOA is keeping an eye on this. 



A very important Meeting



Please Note: until the URL hac.kiwi is installed you can find the HAC webpage here