And yet this seems to be underway with secret negotiations behind closed doors last week with an end date of mid-August for agreement.
It appears Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee wants to pressure the out-going council to sign-off on a new agreement stacked with government priorities for spending of ratepayer money.
Brownlee did the same thing in the dying days of the previous council under Bob Parker.
With just two months before the election it would be a travesty of democracy were the current mayor and council to sign off a new cost-sharing agreement with the government.
That left the city with huge bills for the so-called anchor projects (which are a government priority rather than a Christchurch priority) and a timeline which ensured many on council would adopt a Brownlee-inspired asset sale programme.
Christchurch has suffered enough body blows to its local democracy in recent years without the mayor and council signing off on this latest outrage.
Mayor Dalziel quite rightly heavily criticised the previous council for doing deals with the government behind closed doors to hobble an incoming council. Now it appears she has allowed herself to become trapped in the same position.
These negotiations must be put on hold till a new council has got its feet under the table.
NOTE: It’s worth remembering the government of the day paid the entire bill for the 1931 Napier City rebuild when it wrote off the council’s government loans in 1938. Prime Minister John Key said the government would pay “whatever it takes” to rebuild Christchurch – we should insist he keeps his word.