Any measures to stop the sale of Christchurch’s assets, including the proposed Common Sense Plan, should be carefully considered by the Christchurch City Council, the Green Party said today.
“Christchurch residents have been telling us that they absolutely do not want asset sales,” said Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“They recognise asset sales for what they really are – short-term, stop-gap thinking – and know they will do little to secure Christchurch’s long-term financial future.
“There is a groundswell of support for keeping Christchurch’s assets in our hands and away from private speculators.
“The Council’s ownership of Lyttelton Port, Christchurch International Airport, Orion and Enable will grow in value and the smart move is to hold onto them.
“The revenue Council-owned companies provide ($53 million last year) helps keep rates down.
“The Common Sense Plan would help keep our assets in public ownership.
“The proposed $253 million spend on a new rugby stadium is a major cause of the financial ‘shortfall’. Taking it out of the Council’s 10-year plan would be a major step to closing the funding gap.
“When the Council itself admits that it doesn’t know whether the Council and the construction industry ‘will have the capacity to deliver’ on its ‘ambitious’ capital spending programme, other reasonable cuts to non-urgent spending make sense.
“Public submissions on the draft Long Term Plan close on April 28.
“There is still time for Cantabrians to have their voice heard on the future of their city, and to tell Council that we need to keep our assets and defer the new stadium and other non-urgent capital projects,” said Ms Sage.