MESSAGE FROM CANTABRIANS UNITE TEAM...
RECLAIMING OUR COUNCIL
REAL ISSUES FOR REAL PEOPLE
Noon Sunday 6 May 2012
The mid week 1 February Protest attended by 4000 people, was triggered by the massive 14.4% $68,000 pay increase to $540,000 for the Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Tony Marryatt.
The citizens of Christchurch were shocked and outraged.
- A FRESH MID TERM COUNCIL ELECTION
- REPLACE THE COUNCIL CHIEF EXECUTIVE
- ABOLISH COUNCILS CENTRALIZED STRUCTURE AND REPLACE WITH A ONE CITY MANY COMMUNITIES MODEL
- PROVIDE AFFORDABLE LAND FOR HOUSING AND BUSINESS
- AFFORDABLE RATES
The Government with its Ministers for the Recovery Gerry Brownlee and then Local Government Minister Nick Smith, responded by appointing Kerry Marshall as an Observer to the Council.
The only purpose of this appointment was to suppress the normal democratic process, so that Councillors were forced to “fall in to line” with the dictates of the failed Parker / Marryatt regime.
The problem had always been the Parker / Marryatt regime – not the dissenting Councillors of the B Team, acting responsibly pressing for the needed changes.
Chief Executive Marryatt agreed to forgo half the $68,000 immediately and pay back the rest after Councillors agreed to “sign off” not to dissent.
The agreement has yet to be signed and the balance of the money has yet to be paid back by Marryatt. In a recent radio interview Marrayatt stated “There are still elephants in the room” - meaning he was still withholding the monies until the Councillors came in to line.
Meantime there has been no progress made to address the issues raised at the 1 February protest to “meet the real needs of the real people” – particularly with respect to housing.
It was instead “business as usual” within the centralized bloated bureaucracy (some 2,500) of the Christchurch City Council – where instead of addressing issues – the Council recently announced that at 7.5% rates increase was required.
The median annual household income in Christchurch is $56,000 (Auckland $72,000) – where in the poorer east it is just $46,000, the lowest of any major metro in New Zealand and Australia.
“Sadly – the bloated and ineffectual Council is blind to these realities and in understanding the real needs of real people. People struggling to house themselves and living day to day in severe financial insecurity, and too often, in third world living conditions” said Peter Lynch, the Cantabrians Unite Protest Facilitator. Adding “Enough is Enough”.
The Coordinator of Cantabrians Unite Hugh Pavletich is furious, that the Authorities, some 19 months following the September 2010 earthquake events, have still failed to allow affordable land to be provided to meet people’s needs.
On a population basis there is 5 times more residential construction in Selwyn and 6 times more in Waimakariri, than there is in Christchurch City. House prices and rents are still inflating because of severe supply restrictions.
Pavletich said “If the Authorities had made affordable land available from the outset with $50,000 sections on the fringes, there would have been in excess of 5,000 new homes available for people now”.
Cantabrians Unite Affordable Land Task Group Convenor Dale Smith, explained within an article recently, how affordable new sections can be provided for $50,000 or less, stating “There is nothing to learn here – it’s simply a matter of following international best practice”.
While there are other problems stalling the recovery - such as the EQC, Insurance and CERA - Cantabrians Unite is of the view that the focus must be on restoring the Council to health and making the necessary changes, so that it meets the needs of its people and communities.
“CERA is a growing bureaucratic beast, in large measure, because the Council is failing to do what it is supposed to do” said Hugh Pavletich, adding “CERA’s focus should be on restoring the Council back to health, so that CERA can ideally be simply a funding conduit for Central Government”.
Cantabrians Unite Protest Facilitator Peter Lynch said “People want to see trust, confidence and hope restored, with workable solutions and sound decision making, so that they can get their lives back together again. This is what the noon Sunday 6 May protest is all about”.