Here we go again.

  Mayor & Councillors,

Here we go again. Suddenly the tired old assets sale rabbit is once again pulled out of the increasingly battered hat, in an attempt to bedazzle and bamboozle us.

Let's start with some questions.

1/ Who commissioned this "independent review" from Northington Partners?

2/ When was it commissioned? Before or after the October local body elections?

3/ How much did it cost?

We've been here before, a decade ago, with a report by "experts" saying that asset sales were the only solution to the cost of Christchurch's earthquake rebuild. That City Council tested the waters with the proposed sale of Citycare, and the people of Christchurch said "no way". Money was found and the rebuild was completed without the need to sell any of our assets. Citycare wasn't sold and asset sales dropped off the agenda.

Until now - just after an election in which none of you campaigned in favour of asset sales. Whose hidden agenda is this one?

The arguments against asset sales are the same now as a decade ago - once they're gone, they're gone.

Talk of turning the "family silver" into "gold" is true, insofar as someone else will own our assets and be reaping the gold. They're valuable and profitable - why would you sell them, for short term, one-off gain?

One reason might be to raise the extra hundreds of millions of dollars you blithely voted to pour into the white elephant stadium. There's item number one for a "line by line" cost-cutting examination.

The people of Christchurch successfully fought you the last time you tried to sell our assets. We will do so again.

Your sincerely,



Contact Details Updated


Google have suspended all their 'free' email accounts in a move to monetize their service's - the upshot for KOA is the need to  obtain a new email address.

Keep Our Assets new email address is: 

Letter to City Councillors and the Minister of Housing

Kia ora Koutou katoa.

Last week a group of City Councillors suggested selling off more city assets to pay for the white elephant that is the stadium. We very much oppose selling assets to pay for what is basically a huge rort for the New Zealand Rugby Union. And even the Councillors admit that the proceeds amount to a tiny fraction of the cost of the stadium, in fact, not even meeting the projected yearly operating loss.

However, having said that, the suggestion to sell the old Red Bus site and Orangetheory Stadium to developers, does draw our attention to one way of dealing with both inner and edge of city development in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Both sites are close to facilities and commuter corridors, including the rail corridor which has been mooted as a better solution to transport.

Rather than selling off these large tracts of urban land to developers who are notoriously bad at building for decent rental housing, Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) proposes that the central Government, through Kainga Ora, and the City Council form a partnership to use these sites to build appropriate public rental housing. Not social housing for the least privileged, but decent public rental housing for a range of New Zealanders. It could be used as an example of how housing should be provided in the rental sector and be large enough to influence the cost of rental across the city.

European models have shown us that it is only large city corporations or central governments that can redevelop inner city or inner suburban sites of this size and to a standard that all New Zealanders, especially the Labour Party after the example of Savage and Fraser, can be proud of.

Naku noa, na 

Stephen Howard

mo Keep Our Assets Canterbury

Support the development of a “public service” model for delivery of the “three waters”


    Support the development of a “public service” model for delivery of the “three waters” reforms which would include:

    • A Government department of water services
    • A co-governance board comprised of equal numbers of Mana Whenua & Tauiwi
    • A public service & Treaty guided ethos 
    • Senior salaries to be no more than three times the lowest paid staff person
    • All staff to be on a minimum of the Living Wage with security of employment
    • A flattened regional management and service delivery structure
    • Assured channels of democratic input through community representation and decision making
    • Mandated reviews (e.g. 3-5 years) from an independent reviewer
    • The guarantee of no privatisation

The Brocken Computer Backlog

1] Mayor Should Resign For Council's Failure To Pay Living Wage

2] KOA Says City Council Must Put Stop To CIAL's Tarras Empire-Building Project

3] From Mayor Dalzie To KOA Re: Fixing Bus System In Christchurch

Mayor Should Resign For Council's Failure To Pay Living Wage 

Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) was disgusted to read within the last week that Council-controlled companies have still not fully implemented the Living Wage for all Council work but that these same companies have found the money to award lavish post-covid bonus payments to their highest-paid employees.

It was not surprising this policy was opposed by Christchurch City Holdings Ltd and the Council-controlled companies involved so many years later; where was the leadership and Council backbone to drive this policy through?


In the meantime the Mayor and Councillors themselves have received generous increases in pay despite having failed the most basic test of leadership.


We are sick of hearing lame, pathetic, embarrassing excuses – it seems obvious now that this policy has never been important to the Mayor or most of the Councillors. 


The people of Christchurch have a right to expect better. For this abject failure of leadership the Mayor should resign and the Council insist the workers denied Council support should be back paid to the Council decision to support the Living Wage. If Council-controlled organisations can pay big bonuses to self-serving senior staff their leadership can pay a small back pay bonus to the workers they have failed for more than three years.


February 15th 2022


  KOA Says City Council Must Put Stop To CIAL's Tarras Empire-Building Project


Dear Acting Mayor and Councillors


Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) states that Christchurch City Council's declaration of a Climate Emergency (2019) is now a broken promise to the citizens of Christchurch and all New Zealand.


Councillors appointed to sit on the Board of Directors of Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) either forgot or ignored this declaration. 


Effectively they have agreed to the emissions of a huge amount of greenhouse gasses, which is completely contrary to the Council's envionmental commitment.


Apparently those Councilors failed to inform non-CIAL Board Councillors of plans for a CIAL-owned airport at Tarras.


CCC owns 75% of CIAL. Were you informed in advance of this major move by CIAL? Was its' 25% owner (the Government)? This is a recklessly cavalier move using tens of millions of ratepayers and taxpayers dollars.


The body of Councillors have clearly failed to effectively and publicly express their disapproval to Christchurch City Holdings Ltd that it is condoning rogue behaviour by a CCC-owned asset.


For example: CIAL lied to Tarras landowners (through its sales agents) about the reasons for the purchase of land. This behaviour is unethical.


All Christchurch citizens are unjustly implicated.


CCC owes a public apology to the deceived Tarras landowners and community! 


They (and visitors to the region) had no reason to believe that their area would be arbitrarily damaged and changed. Its landscape values would be compromised.


Christchurch should not be muscling into Central Otago. What would your reaction be if Dunedin or Queenstown airport companies announced that they would be buiding an airport on the Canterbury Plains? This is another egregious example of Council-owned trading assets competing against, and undermining, each other. It is part of an idology which does not serve the common interest.


To spend $45 million (or any amount) ignores the cash-strapped plight of our Council.  Councillors must reclaim any funds dedicated by CIAL to Tarras Airport! 


Charitable Trusts and improved wages and conditions for staff would benefit from any surpluses not dedicated to Christchurch Airport.


The Council has many more important and urgent financial priorities than passively conniving in CIAL's empire-building Tarras airport project.


It is not a good look when a Council-owned asset is spending $45 million on covert Otago land purchases when its majority owner (CCC) is putting up rates and looking at cutting costs left, right and centre. That money should have been spent where it belongs - in Christchurch and Canterbury. If CIAL has got tens of millions of spare money, give it back to the people of Christchurch via CCC.


Councillors must examine carefully any plan by any of its assets (strategic or not) to spend money which is unrelated to the statutory purpose of our assets, and forbid and cancel the plans and  subsequent arrangements.


Tourism is so fractured because of Covid 19, that any planning for a new airport is, in the foreseeable future, a waste of ratepayer money. 


Looking forward to much greater diligence by Councillors.

13 August 2020



 KOA Says City Council Must Put Stop To CIAL's Tarras Empire-Building Project


We have been shocked to see the Christchurch City Council has sent Destiny Church pastor Derek Tait an invoice for $24,000 to pay for traffic management costs on several recent marches in the city.


We are not supporters of Destiny Church or the Freedom and Rights Coalition and have no connection with them. However the proposal to charge them for traffic management on their recent marches is an insult to everyone in Christchurch who believes in free speech and the right to public protest.


No organisation we are aware of has ever been sent invoices for traffic management as a part of protest marches. Our collective memories go back to the 1960s.


If the Christchurch City Council has its way then the only groups able to organise public protest marches will be those who can afford tens of thousands in traffic management fees. This is unacceptable. It’s a breach of the Bill of Rights and an attack on our democracy, which is our most fundamental public asset.


Please ensure the invoice is withdrawn.


From Mayor Dalzie To KOA Re: Fixing Bus System In Christchurch



From: KOA Convenor <
Sent: Friday, 11 September 2020 1:23 PM
To: Dalziel, Lianne <>


Mayor of Christchurch

Christchurch City Council


Dear Lianne,


On more than one occasion during your Mayoralty you have publicly expressed frustration at responsibility for Christchurch's bus system having to be split between CCC and ECan.


KOA shares your frustration at this inefficient way of running a key public asset.  Moreso, the realisation that it would require an Act of Parliament to change things.


We recently wrote to the Minister of Transport and this was one the matters we raised with him.


This is the relevant extract from his reply (7/8/20):


"You also asked whether this Government is prepared to change local body legislation to allow councils to bring public transport services in-house while also bringing together the public transport service provider and infrastructure provider into one body. You may be pleased to know that last year the Ministry of Transport and the Department of Internal Affairs prepared a Supplementary Order Paper to the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) 2016 (the Bill). The Bill progressed through the House and was enacted in October 2019".


"This allows regional councils to transfer one or more of their responsibilities, including public transport functions, to local authorities, if both agree (my emphasis)I believe this change will allow regional and territorial authorities to find optimal governance arrangements to suit local needs and provide responsive, flexible public transport services".


It would appear that central Government has now done what was needed, albeit belatedly. The relevant legislation has been in place for nearly a year.


That being the case, please advise what progress has been made in bringing Christchurch bus services back under the control of the Christchurch City Council.


Best wishes,




Murray Horton


Email 2


On Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 11:33 AM

Dalziel, Lianne <> wrote:


Dear Murray


Thank you for your email of 11 September regarding the flexibility for Ecan to transfer public transport responsibilities that was reinstated by way of amendment to the Local Government Act 2002 last year.  


This was previously a barrier to going any further than a Joint Committee to provide recommendations to Ecan on the Regional PT plan.  I have never regarded this as the goal.  However, simply transferring ownership amounts to simply transferring what is in fact a broken system that requires whoever operates it to arrange for the competitive tendering of routes and locking in 9 year contracts at a time of exponential technology change. It would also mean implementing the flawed operation model (PTOM), which includes the farebox return policy, and disabling the capacity for innovative transformative change.  That will achieve nothing other than transfer the cost to the ratepayers of Christchurch without any capacity to pursue a bigger vision of integrated transport and urban development for Greater Christchurch. 


The Greater Christchurch Partnership is working on this with a view to raising this with the Government after the election. 


I think we have the opportunity to have a much better model for public transport for the people of Greater Christchurch.


Kind regards

Lianne Dalziel


Email 3


From: KOA Convenor <>
Sent: Tuesday, 4 May 2021 10:08 AM
To: Dalziel, Lianne <>
Subject: Lianne. Fixing Bus System In Christchurch


Dear Lianne,


Anything to report on this?


"The Greater Christchurch Partnership is working on this with a view to raising this with the Government after the election".


Best wishes,




Email 4


From: MayorsMessages <>
Date: Tue, May 11, 2021 at 2:46 PM
Subject: FW: Lianne. Fixing Bus System In Christchurch
To: <>
Cc: MayorsMessages <>

Kia ora Murray,


In response to your email to the Mayor, we’ve discussed it with her and in reply would like to highlight the Greater Christchurch Partnership’s briefing to the incoming government, which is available online and outlines the work that is underway in this area.  

The document has a section on transport, and notes:

“The Canterbury Regional Public Transport Plan sets out an integrated approach to public transport in Greater Christchurch that supports and enables our population and urban growth strategies. To give effect to this, partners are developing the Future Public Transport Business Case. This will deliver a coordinated programme of investments and improvements across both public transport infrastructure and services. The first stage of this business case has been submitted to Waka Kotahi for consideration.”


Further, the briefing states:

“As part of Greater Christchurch 2050, we will be developing a new 30-year plan and infrastructure strategy for Greater Christchurch. We want to work with the Infrastructure Commission on their 30-year strategy for New Zealand’s infrastructure system to ensure we achieve alignment.”


I hope you find this information useful.


Ngā mihi




Ross Pringle
Principal Advisor (Policy)
Office of the Mayor and Chief Executive



The Proposed “Water Overuse” Charges

and the questions need Council to answers.

14 June 2021

To the Mayor and Councillors

Christchurch City Council

Proposed “Water Overuse” Charges

As you will know from our submission on the long-term plan, Keep Our Assets (KOA) is strongly opposed to the suggested charges for “excess” water use. We see this proposal as a stepping stone to full volumetric charging for water which has a profound negative impact on those on the lowest incomes as shown in this recent story from Radio New Zealand

We attempted to find out from the Christchurch City Council the impact of the proposed water charges on tenants and families on low incomes, as well as the social and economic impact of Christchurch losing its “Garden City” label. We mentioned this in our oral submission and expressed disappointment we were unable to share any information on this with Councillors at that time.

Our Official Information Act request with seven questions was sent on 6 April. We received a response on 6 May which apologised that our request was “not acknowledged and now overdue”. We finally received a response on 18 May – well after the statutory timeframe – which included a partial answer to the first two questions and advised that the information requested in Questions three to seven could not be provided as it would require extensive work from Council staff. We were therefore invited to limit the scope of our request to enable it to be processed.

We have not sent in an amended request because any answers would come too late to be considered by Council before a decision is required to be made.

This is deeply disappointing. It appears to us that Council has not improved its access to information even after being heavily criticised for this in the last few years. It appears to regard OIA requests as a nuisance rather than a citizen’s right in a democracy.

BEFORE the Council can vote in favour of any proposal to implement a “water overuse” charge we believe Councillors should be aware of the impact of the proposed charges on the issues we raised in our OIA request (copied below)

We therefore urge Councillors to vote against the proposed excess water charges.

Best wishes,


Murray Horton

Keep Our Assets Convenor

The questions KOA sent to the Council on 6 April for answers.

~> Details of the numbers of properties within each Council ward who will pay the proposed additional water charges for water “overuse” 

~> Details showing the percentage of such properties in each ward in terms of the  total number of “overusing” properties. 


~> Details showing the relationship between those properties which would attract the proposed additional water charges and those properties which have received a garden award provided by the Beautifying Christchurch Association. 
~> Details of the impact of the proposed additional charge on the size of families in affected properties which would attract the additional water charges. 
~> Details of the impact of the proposed additional Council water charges on properties where tenants and families on low incomes reside.  
~> Details of the impact of the proposed additional Council water charges on properties where residents are growing vegetables to feed families and the wards these properties are located in.


Details of any assessment done on the economic impact to the city of loss of tourism (both local and international) if Christchurch loses its reputation as the “garden city”.


MayorsMessages <>

Tue, Jun 15, 4:32 PM

to MayorsMessages, me

Murray Horton



Keep Our Assets-Canterbury

Box 2258, Christchurch 8140


Wraparound Service Required Must Be Provided By Otautahi Community Housing Trust

KOA letter to Mayor and Councillors  

23th June 2021

Dear Mayor and Councillors,


The stated policy of OCHT that it is simply a landlord which rents out low cost housing to homeless and impoverished beneficiaries is wrong in today's world!   ("'Society has changed, and we are a landlord. We are not a social service', Kearney says" - Press, 1/5/21, ).


The Trust is an asset of this city which seriously fails to meet the ordinary social needs of its tenants, thus exacerbating the difficulties of their personal situations. 


Every week the media reports insensitive treatment by the Trust to its tenants. A recent glaring example is the wanton destruction of a garden carefully cultivated by a tenant. There have been two murders  (so far this year)  in Trust rentals..


Poverty should not mean that tenants are not entitled to feel and be safe.


The herding of people into huge complexes, eg the one on Brougham Street is barbaric!   Such places become hothouses of antisocial behaviour. Many tenants have, and suffer from complex personal needs. Such accomodation heightens their feeling of isolation as well as the dysfunctional behaviour of some of their near neighbours causes them to live in fear.

The Trust must from now on create and develop  an environment where the tenants receive the support  and services which assists them to thrive rather than many of them cowering in misery every waking moment of their life in an OCHT rental

The Trust must look at other models of social housing which operate in Christchurch and provide  a wraparound service to its tenants.  The Press (22/5/21) described two local non-profit social housing  providers -Vision West and Housing First Christchurch - which provide this.  They offer practical and social help to their tenants as well as long term tenancy.


Other support may include, if needed, tackling addictive personality traits, training education, employment and learning new skills.


Key workers from these organisations handle small case loads of 10 to 15 clients They offer tenants trained and sustained support rather than handing them over to Government social agencies. Such one-on-one relationships are led by their tenant's choice.


The article also named and described overseas examples of similar wraparound services.

Those Councillors who are Board members of OCHT must, (strongly encouraged by the other Councillors), demand that the wraparound model of service to tenants commence immediately!


The Trust's out-of-date, uncaring and inappropriate management and rent collecting policy only, must cease!


Murray Horton



Keep Our Assets-Canterbury

Box 2258, Christchurch 8140