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King Brownlee dips his oar into Chch elections

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, March 15th, 2013 - 40 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, local body elections - Tags:

King Brownlee can do pretty much whatever the hell he likes in Christchurch. And what he wants to do, it seems, is fuck all. When I was in Christchurch recently, I was deeply disturbed by the lack of rebuild, and the vibe. People feel it. People get angry. When people get angry, Brownlee looks for someone else to blame. Now, he’s doubling down by interfering in the coming local elections.

He has identified Yani Johanson, the council’s community, recreation and culture committee chairman who is responsible for overseeing social housing as the main culprit [for the slow rebuild of social housing]

“Councillor Johanson said speeding up the repair and re-letting of these properties would be his priority but the numbers speak for themselves,” he said.

“Perhaps it’s time someone with a bit of can-do attitude relieved councillor Johanson of this burden.”

Bit rich from King Do Nothing to say someone else isn’t working fast enough. And I seriously doubt that the chair of a council committee has much control over the rebuild – it’s not like they’re ministers. You want to look to the council staff if there’s a problem.

Brownlee has previously pretended not to know who Johanson is to belittle him, despite him being one of the most vocal councilors regarding the rebuild, with a strong plan and strong criticism of Brownlee. (Yani’s also got a sense of humour)

Clearly, this latest outburst is a play to get one of his strongest critics in local politics off the council.

Still, at least the portly dictator restrained himself somewhat – he could just cancel the elections and appoint the next council if he wants.

40 comments on “King Brownlee dips his oar into Chch elections”

  1. Coronial Typer 1

    Was Brownlee’s criticism of Council performance accurate, or not?

    • vto 1.1

      yes, much as such admission is difficult.

      • fatty 1.1.1

        yes and no…
        I’ve had some in-depth contact with social service agencies in Chch about their experience over the past 2 years. Although the CCC has been slow with getting their housing stock back in order, this is far more complex than Gerry is making out. The CCC has worked with those at ‘the coal face’ very well. Their communication & response has been very good and they have been far more effective than Housing NZ and the Government.
        I am convinced that the CCC has punched above its weight in regards to helping those who are the most marginalised when it comes to housing. I am also no cheerleader of the CCC, I despise them.
        The housing problem in Chch is a kind of ‘hidden homelessness’ …these homeless people show up in few statistics and the people of Chch have been relying on personal networks to get by – this is where the CCC has been doing good work. As a result the CCC cannot justify or prove their worth and Gerry knows this. Its a calculated attack that is difficult to disprove.
        In a way I feel sorry for the CCC, but they have been licking Gerry’s boots since the earthquake and they get a kick in the teeth every now and then

  2. Yani is also a good progressive and a hard working representative. The targetting is far too transparent.

    It also reinforces a standard National tactic. If under threat blame, defame and abuse someone else and try and make it sound like it is their fault.

    • Mark Fletcher 2.1

      Don’t you mean standard (no pun intended) Politician’s tactic? When was the last time you saw any politician, of any persuasion, put their hand up and volunteer that they were to blame?

    • Andy-Roo 2.2

      +1 On that comment. He is hard working, smart and his heart is in the right place.

    • BrucetheMoose 2.3

      That was Hitler’s and the Nazis favorite tactic. Worked initially, so that is why they use it. Long term though?….

  3. aerobubble 3

    Arbitrary govt. On a whim Brownlee decided land owners would only get 50%. When questioned in parliament he was unable to provide any reason for 50%, why not 0%, or 100%?

    The state does have insurance because its so large it self-insures. The state decided what land they cannot reconnect to water, gas, waste water and so took land off the residents. The state will inevitably decide in the future to use that land, either rebuild on it, or leave it as park (and so use other land for parks to build on), so the state is saying they can take 50% off individual land owners
    that should be paid out fully.

    As for the argument of undeveloped, what could be more developed that a lot sold at a premium because of the development of the land around it for the purpose of housing, its subdivided land, its
    developed land!!! The state lost money when its roads to the undeveloped lots was declared red zoned and got back 100% because govt is so large its effectively self insured!!!

  4. Jono 4

    Much as I agree with the sentiment of the article, the reference to Brownlee’s size in a negative light does it no favours.

  5. Wayne 5

    But on National Radio this morning even the Council conceded they needed to do a lot more, and that even seemed to include Mr Johanson. And the comparison between the number of repairs done by Housing NZ and the Council was dramatic.

    • vto 5.1

      The Council has definitely dropped the ball on its social housing repair and replace. Useless. Brownlee is right.

      Which is surprising because Council seem to be dealing with all other matters in this new and hectic post-quake environment very competently.

      • fatty 5.1.1

        the CCC has been working very well with social service agencies to get marginalised people into some sort of accommodation. The CCC is trying to juggle things as best they can, but they are playing the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff as the Government’s residual welfare pushes more people off the cliff.
        The problem is not the (in)actions of the CCC, the problem is that the CCC have backed the Government’s handling of the housing situation post-quake

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          Fair enough. I was referring to the physical state of the social housing stock and have little knowledge of how it is dealing with the people.

          Your assessment doesn’t surprise me as the Council are doing pretty damn well given what they face, including the bully boy brownlie.

      • It’s not true that the City Council is going slow on this. Yani’s committee has managed to get at least 109 properties repaired all up, compared to the half dozen that Gerry Brownlee mentioned. Yani pointed to a common problem with all earthquake repairs and that is EQC stalling. He has his head in the right place. I am sure that Yani wants this sorted out for the better of everyone just as we do.

    • Tom Gould 5.2

      Gerry is always dipping his dinner rolls in the political gravy. I would check the HCNZ numbers if the source – or should that be sauce – is Gerry. I suspect it includes a large number of minor repairs inflated to look much bigger – the old ‘souffle’ treatment Gerry is famous for.

      • MrSmith 5.2.1

        It’s like the Million phone calls to EQC they had been shouting about Tom.
        Shit the only reason people have made a Million calls is firstly because you never get the answers you want when you ring. Secondly they never ring you back and replies to emails take months to the point you can’t even remember what the hell they are writing about, then you just say fuck it, get out a bottle and drink the whole sorry mess away.

      • BrucetheMoose 5.2.2

        See my comments below on the Housing NZ repairs to their stock

    • MrSmith 5.3

      But Wayne that’s just the script they have been given to follow, ‘we need to do more’ easy to say right! but in six months or a year it will be ‘we could have done more’ then later ‘in hindsight ya de ya de ya!’ they are just spinning a line and it’s time people started calling them on their bullshit or how about a little rioting in the street that might get someone attention, at the moment they will want to be choosing there words very carefully as CHCH could go off like a powder keg.

      I entered into a contract for earthquake insurance with the government and I expect that contract to be honored, instead all we get is ‘we need to do better’! but really Brownlee is in-charge, forget about the council, they are broke and have to lick his boots for now, but never forget the buck stops with him Brownlee, don’t let him distract you from that fact!

      • vto 5.3.1

        MrSmith in his posts up and down here expresses the situation of those in Chch who have damaged homes perfectly. It is exactly as he says.

        Example (and it is just one of many examples) – we have had no communication from EQC for 7 months. We have phoned and emailed the people suppsedly case-managing our repairs on a regular basis, but not a single reply. Not one. No reply. Nada. Ignored. Completely and utterly. Think for a moment what that does to someone………..

        And trust me – that particular example is the norm, not some abnorm. Everybody has the same fucking drama.

        EQC ARE FUCKED IN THE HEAD

  6. Peter 6

    Yani is consistently one of the highest performing and most well-connected councillors on that Council. He just doesn’t want any criticism.

    Time for the good people of Ilam to vote Brownlee out.

  7. MrSmith 7

    Fuck Brownlee, I am still dealing with EQC after two years, spending hours on the phone initially just waiting for it to be answered then when it was finally answered having to talk to a paid monkey, two years on, paying for toll calls to CHCH as I no longer live in Brownlee’s shit hole of a town.

    70% of insurance claims still not settled and the companies fighting you for every dollar now along with EQC who are now getting tighter with $ and how far the repairs go, you have to fight every inch of the way and it gets very tiring and I don’t have to live their.

    The rebuild is stalling partly because all the business that moved out of the CBD are in no hurry to move back into a ghost town, plenty of billboards up in-front of empty lots but work wont start till the buildings have tenants and the tenants are all tied into lease agreements they were forced to sign after the Quake in the rush to secure any kind of space.

    Fuck Brownlee, the people of CHCH are getting angry now, EQC workers now getting abused daily.

    Fuck off Brownlee and take Roger Sutton with you!

    • vto 7.1

      I agree with your sentiments there Mr MrSmith and note rising anger, growing from the rotting stagnation.

      EQC is the most useless government organisation I have ever in my life had to deal with, bar none. Plus the rudest, most arrogant and deceptive one. There is no trust in them. They really are true complete arseholes.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Keeps a lot of family members, children and good mates employed though.

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          What it employs is all those useless fuckwits who could never get decent work elsewhere. The little h1tler types. The ones who squirm and squish around.

          Then on top bully boy brownlee is overseeing the pile of worms and slugs.

          It is fucking ugly and lordy does it induce anger.

      • Cantabrian 7.1.2

        +1

  8. fatty 8

    A couple of blogs focusing on Chch…thenzwire is requesting guest posts for those who are interested – VTO & Mr Smith?
    http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/
    http://thenzwire.blogspot.co.nz/

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    Disaster, that is what it is, a disaster (some of the residents in the media have been Very angry and stressed; Stress kills)

  10. This is the latest position of the CCC committee that oversees the social housing (strangely, it falls under the Community, Recreation and Culture Committee – I would have thought its own committee or a committee focused on more obvious forms of welfare and social provision would cover it).

    Of the 300 units to be repaired or built, 202 units are currently occupied and 70 will be repaired by the end of the year. Negotiations over engineering assessments and insurance and EQC settlements are part of the slow process for the remainder.

    One of the steps to be taken is to:

    Invite the Minister for EQC to discuss with the Council how its social housing assessment and insurance settlement process could be sped up.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Zetetic, still waiting for some numbnuts to complain about you calling Brownlee “portly”.

    From my point of view you were damned restrained.

    • Daveosaurus 11.1

      See Jono’s comment no. 4 of 9.50am.

    • Craig Glen viper 11.2

      “portly’ Honest Medical term would be Obese which is what he is.

      Sadly I wish his obesity was his only problem then it would be a problem that only effects him ( not the voter). Its his bullying that really pisses me off.

  12. Here is The Press’ rating of councillors in April 2012.

    Johanson is in The Good category with a B+ (along with Tim Carter and Glenn Livingstone). He’s been a very good councillor.

  13. BrucetheMoose 13

    Repairs have been done to Housing NZ properties. What the deal was with insurance, who knows, but most likely they would have had preference over joe average or they just went on and repaired them for the all looks good in the public’s eye factor. It helps when the majority were very simple weatherboard duplexes on timber floors and the damage was minimal. Most were fixed in days or a week or two at most. As they were modest size duplexes, fix one, you have fixed two statistically speaking, so all looks good for a media statement. The majority of councils ones are more complex and have multiple structural matters to deal with. Obviously this makes it more complex from dealing insurance and repair strategies. Obviously Brownlee won’t reveal such details. If an individual like Brownlee in such an important position was genuinely concerned about the situation, surely meeting with council members and discussing the matter to come up with a solution would be the responsible course of action. But no. Gerry has to behave like the overblown egotistical thug that he really is. Time to go. Gone ByAugust Brownlee

  14. BrucetheMoose 14

    Might I add, I believe Johanson is leading contender for the new Mayoral position this approaching elections and is seen as a threat by Brownlee as someone who will stand up to him and his cronies. Expect more of this nonsense over the coming months from the Lord Fool of Canterbury.

  15. Kevyn 15

    One has to wonder if Brownlee is a patsy appointment who will genuinely believe that what he is being directed to do by Cabinet is helping facilitate the recovery when there is actually no genuine Goevernment support being provided.

    For instance, the Government stopped reducing its debt to EQC in November 2011. Without that $1.8bn of revenue from redeeming those Government Bonds EQC will be short of cash if it has to cover the first $1.5bn from each event before reinsurers are required to pay.
    http://www.nzdmo.govt.nz/publications/data

    The “no surprises” system for Government accounts meant that the total estimated costs to Government (including $3.3bn unallocated contingency) were added to the accounts as though all that money had been spent in one year, whereas the revenue from GST and selling EQC investments are counted only in the year the cash is received. That turned a potential $900m surplus by 2022 into an $8.8bn deficit prior to the election. Likewise the gross $13bn cost identified in BPS2013 ignores gains from debt refinancing, GST, EQC reserves and reallocation of existing funds. The Nett cost to taxpayers outside of Canterbury is likely to be no more than $1bn. Add in land sales and it could be, in the immortal words of Arthur Daley, “a nice little earner”.

    Of most concern to The Standard should be English’ statement to the Finance Select Committee (8/6/2011) that the “tradition” of limiting the Crown’s contribution to 60% would not apply because the disaster was too large. That tradition appears to have started with a Cabinet Minute from Ruth Richardson’s time as Finance Minister and it is now being described by English as the Government’s “fair share”. Surely Labour MPs are aware that Aussie’s NDRRA and USA FEMA and Japan’s Act for the Financial Arrangements for Extremely Severe Natural Disasters all require 100% Government funding for repairing damage to ratepayer funded infrastructure which appears to be the common first world definition of fare share.

    Also, FEMA pays for land buyouts for hazard reduction at market value, so what the Government is doing in the redzones is not internationally unique. France also has an act that ensures market value for flood hazard mitigation property purchases.

    Perhaps if Labour had reformed the EQC claims process after problems were revealed in the Manawatu and Matata events some of the current stress on claimants might have been avoided.

    With EQC providing a $100,000 excess on every private insurance policy are the premium increases from private insurers actually justified by actual risk or are they just being allowed to recover costs in the shortest possible time despite having had the same amount of time to build up reserves that EQC had?

  16. Jasper 16

    Someone answer me this ….. who’s done more for Christchurch, between that fat bastard, Brownlee or Fletchers?

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