The government unveiled their blueprint for Christchurch last night – beautifully in time for the 6 o’clock news, making it difficult for the media to organise covering the protests outside as they covered the story inside. 3 land owners who were positive about the plan were put up earlier to brief the media – those less positive, like Richard Peebles were still taking it in.
But in the TV coverage they were able to reveal that the government still has $3 billion on standby to purchase large amounts of land around the CBD. $3 billion left out of the $5.5 billion that had been allocated to the rebuild.
That’s more than half the money spent while 30,000 people are desperate for housing.
That’s half the $6 billion Bill English ‘guesses’ we’ll get for Asset Sales (we’ll see if we get that much, particularly after costs & incentives…).
Are we selling off the family silver to buy a green strip around Christchurch?
Realistically we’re a low government debt (high personal debt…) country, we could fund proper housing and a green strip around Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT, but this sends a terrible message about this government’s priorities.
I’m all for taking advantage of the rebuild to make Christchurch the world’s most liveable city, but this just shows National’s ideology up.
Even more so when they’re already pushing Christchurch City Council to sell their assets to pay for their share of the government’s grand plan – convention centre and all.
And if Christchurch are getting a big convention centre without socially-disastrous pokies, surely we should scrap the Auckland one? Unless they want us to compete: cutting each other’s throats and wages to foreign corporates’ advantage like we do with our ports…