Dalziel’s budget plan still sells Christchurch assets

Lianne Dalziel’s budget plan, announced today, will see Christchurch’s profitable assets sold in three years, said the Green Party. 

Lianne Dalziel’s budget plan, announced today, will see Christchurch’s profitable assets sold in three years, said the Green Party.

"The Mayor’s proposed tweaks to Christchurch City Council's budget don’t protect the city's assets; they just allow them to be sold slower,” said Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Despite the Mayor’s spin about listening to Cantabrians’ opposition to asset sales, her plan will see our profitable assets sold over three years.

"The Mayor’s proposed changes to the Long Term Plan only push out completion of the asset sales programme by a year. They don’t change the start date or the revenue target.

“The Mayor is ignoring public opposition to asset sales. She is still planning to hock them off.

"The Council’s asset sales plan looks like it was a done deal from the start.

“The Council’s pro privatisation advisors, investment bankers Cameron Partners, didn’t envisage any major changes being made to the proposed asset sales programme and revenue target through public consultation on the Long Term Plan.

“A February 2015 memo from Cameron Partners to the Council’s Chief Financial Officer says the Council can realise $750m from assets sales by 30 June 2017 provided that it, “begins preparations for the asset sales shortly and commences actual asset sales processes almost immediately at the conclusion of the LTP consultation.”

“The memo makes it clear that Cameron Partners wasn’t envisioning the Mayor or Council doing anything other than sell our assets. 

"The review of the capital programme is welcomed, but it is just fiddling round the edges if the asset sales revenue target stays the same.

“Any funds saved from reducing capex spending appear to be being used to reduce rates rather than allocated to keeping council owned companies.

"Christchurch needs the Government to step up and pay their fair share of the rebuild.

“Government's intransigence on re-negotiating the cost sharing agreement is a major factor in Council's funding problems and is driving the asset sales.

“If we can achieve a fair deal on cost sharing, Christchurch wouldn’t have to sell our assets. Asset sales shouldn’t be the collateral damage of failure to fund the rebuild fairly.”

View the Cameron Partners memo on asset sales.

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