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.