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.