Dictatorshipwatch: Christchurch City Council

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 10th, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, local government - Tags: ,

When National decided to seize control of Canterbury Regional Council to remove roadblocks for unsustainable irrigation by their mates in the dairy industry, they didn’t do it overnight. They spent months creating a crisis. The same thing’s happening in Christchurch.

There are real issues with Marryatt and Parker, who should both go. But, on top of that, a sense of crisis is being fueled by Brownlee, who is blaming the lack of a rebuild on ‘infighting’ in the council, when the buck actually stops with him and CERA. This crisis is going to be used as cover to replace the council with commissioners, giving open slather to Brownlee’s developer mates to make a killing on the rebuild. The only question is when.

23 comments on “Dictatorshipwatch: Christchurch City Council”

  1. tc 1

    yup all part of the master plan.

    BrownCoal slagging parker then apologising.
    Parker not being around to react as he’s on a junket in asia.
    Maryatt making with the concillatory gestures around the payrise which pokes it right back at the council by saying ‘they gave it to me, I never asked for it..’

    Wonder which old boy has been touched up to make an ‘objective review and recommendation’ as the answer’s known just work backwards to fluff up some justification.

  2. James N 2

    Who on earth would be surprised? Straight out of the Shock Doctrine Handbook!

    • Yep.

      When opportunity knocks they aren’t slow at opening the door.

      Did anyone else hear Lianne Dalziel on The Panel on National Radio this evening? What she said must have hit a nerve as Gerry phoned in and reserved himself a talking spot – finishing with a slippery comment that Dalziel’s comments were all part of her play for the mayoralty.

      • deuto 2.1.1

        Yes, I heard that too – or rather I heard most of Lianne’s comments, which I thought were very good and well thought out without direct criticism of Brownlee and CERA, before going into the supermarket.

        On return to the car, I then heard Mora state that Brownlee wanted to comment and then his comments. My gut reaction to Brownlee was that “me thinks this man protesteth too much” and that a nerve had obviously been hit.

        I have been avoiding Mora’s show this year as the Panel in particular did bad things to my blood pressure last year. Its early days yet, but from the few bits of the Panel I have heard in the last week or so, Mora seems to be a bit more circumspect in his bias with a few more less right wing Key adorees on the show – but the jury is still out!

  3. bbfloyd 3

    that has been obvious from the start….the only question i have is why it took so long to get around to pointing it out… i would have before, but i suspected it wouldn’t make a dent in any discussion so far…. people being what they are…

    great that someone has seen fit to make a post on it…

  4. thatguynz 4

    And add in there the discussion around selling some of the assets of the Councils holding company to fund the “rebuild”.  Can anybody honestly believe that that wasn’t at least part of the original intent of CERA?

  5. vto 5

    Yeah, well one of the biggest deadpan knockout blows to any central city recovery came with Brownlee and his government’s decision to house the IRD and other government departments out by the airport instead of back in the central city.

    What the central city will need as soon as the cordon is down and the bulldozers have left is people and workers (not the construction lot).

    So what does dumbo the elephant do? Sends his lot away from the central city.

    What a fucking crock. What does he expect? That everyone else will go into the central city and not him? Or that everyone else will follow his lead and locate semi-permanently on the city’s edges?

    Lead Brownlee, you buffoon, lead… That decision, amongst our group of highly interested recovery participants, is seen as the most crap decision of the lot. The city is still draining away and what does he do? Drains his own lot away too. Dumbo the elephant, Sideshow Bob the clown, and the dastardly town clerk…

    I predict a continuing draining of the city until the renewal begins and gets driven solely by the organic and genuine demand of businesses and residents. The ones with the potential to shortcut this, such as dumbo the elephant and his circus entourage, have shortcut nothing but their escape.


    • A.Ziffel 5.1

      You seem to be of the opinion that what’s good for the CBD must also be good for Christchurch, an enduring fixation of the City Council. The important thing to me is that the IRD & MSD have committed to keeping the jobs in Christchurch.

      My partner works for the Dept. Of Statistics (currently in 3 temp locations) & there is real fear that jobs will be exported to Wellington. She & her co-workers are genuinely reluctant to move back to the damaged Stats building in the CBD.

      The council often goes on about the CBD (esp. the Square) being the “heart” of Christchurch, though personally I’ve always felt that title belongs to Hagley Park (together with the botanic gardens, museum & Arts centre).

      I do not believe that jobs in the CBD are somehow more special than jobs elsewhere in the city.

      • Rich 5.1.1

        Ever been to [insert generic US city]? The CBD’s decayed, people live and work in a centreless urban sprawl.

        No culture, no community, lots of time in traffic jams. And once petrol hits $5 a gallon, many people in those outer suburbs won’t earn enough money to pay for the cost of commuting.

        • A.Ziffel

          Well, I lived in San Francisco for a few years, but If you’re arguing that those people who commuted to downtown SF had it better than those who worked locally in the North, South or East Bay, I don’t get it.

      • vto 5.1.2

        Yes fair points. I guess the thing is that the central city is very important – at the moment, all Christchurch is is a whole lot of suburbs. We are a city without an actual city. Just suburbs. I don’t think that is sustainable. It is very dreary and there is nothing to do (relative to other major cities).

        I certainly do not think that jobs in the CBD are more important than elsewhere but the fringes and outlying suburbs will be able to look after themselves – witness the phenomenal growth in these areas as the CBD relocated. The CBD needs assistance and I was responding on the basis of an accepted notion that a renewed CBD is wanted. My point was that if dumbo the elephant wants a renewed CBD then why the f*&k did he relocate his masses away from being an early entrant back into the CBD? Thick-headed if you ask me, given what he seems to want. And I am sure they would not have to go back into an older building which has been doing a good ol’ song and dance for the last 15 months. They could go into a new building.

        In my opinion a renewed CBD is crucial to the wider life of Christchurch. Who wants to live in a morass of suburbs? …. shiver ……. cars cars cars malls malls cars cars cars malls malls malls

        • thatguynz

          I don’t disagree with you VTO however when I lived in Chch one could have argued that outside of work hours and notwithstanding the strip / Sol square, that the CBD was already a bit “heartless” BEFORE the earthquakes.  I know that the Council were trying to find ways to make it attractive and to get people to come back in on the weekends but from what I could tell it was marginally successful at best.
          Just my observations of course but it seemed to be the case for pretty much all the time I was living there.  It is still a city close to my heart and I have many friends and family still there and to see it so broken is devastating.

        • A.Ziffel

          Could be my age, but when the council talk about “urban sprawl”, I see it as “connected villages”, & when they talk about the importance of the city centre I think of inflated land values benefitting the few.

          If you’re missing The Strip, you have my commiserations, but I wish the council would complement their retail obsession with an interest in reviving manufacturing. Typically, that wouldn’t take place in the CBD, but it might provide some of the goods in the shops.

        • insider

          Stories I’ve heard from Chch is that offices and retailers are wondering why they didn’t move to the burbs years ago. No parking issues is making life grand. No doubt CCC will be eyeing the removal of free parking in Riccarton as part of their city reengineering plans

          • DS

            I’ve moved from the CBD to an industrial office space, and man do I miss the old CBD days. There was something wonderful about being able to have lunch by the river, shop around, or go for a walk through Hagley Park. All of my colleagues feel the same – as do my mates who worked in other areas around the city.

            Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

            Although it’s safe to say no-one I know who was working there at the time wants to work above level 3 in a high-rise ever again. That may fade in time. But the memory of desks and photocopiers flying about the place is still to raw. Flashbacks suck.

            • vto

              To the posters just above, fellow residents mostly it seems, all good points. I certainly miss the central city – the fantastic parks and gardens, riverside walk, the Arts Centre and that part, the high-rise city night life and buzz, the collection of lanes and restaurants and curio type shops, etc etc. Sure, at times it seemed dullish compared to New York and the like, but compared to now it was brilliant. Christchurch had a sparkling central city. As DS puts it – sometimes you really do not know what you’ve got until its gone.

              However, I suspect, especially given the lack of support from dumbo the elephant and his troops as tenants, the central city will rise strongly though quite very slowly. And it will most definitely sparkle again. It will be led by residents and private businesses. And I think the best thing that could be done is to NOT leave all the empty sites looking like empty sites. Every empty site should by law or something be required to grass and flower so the place is shiny clean and spring growth flourishes (because what is happennning now is the carparking outfits are turning every single lot into a carpark and it is in fact more henious than the terrible carparks before.). Grass and naturality life – picture it….

              Gotta go – we off to… hmmm … certainly not a darling wee old favourite restaurant of ours …. a burb one anyway. Hasta manana.

              • DS

                Completely agree, vto. Well put.

                There are some signs of using the empty spaces as something that are positive – I’m thinking of Gap Filler and the small entrepreneurs who have put down caravans/containers and are selling coffee/kebabs etc. It’s not huge, but it’s something. And it’s not a Wilsons Carpark. Small parks dotted around as green spaces would be wonderful.

                The city is stronger than the sum of its leaders.

    • Hami Shearlie 5.2

      It’s all getting a bit Simpsonesque isn’t it. When is Ger going to erect a giant pink donut? It could house the IRD.! Casting the other characters in one’s mind is quite fun. Gerry will certainly make a very good elephant in the room. Or, maybe Gerry will BE the giant pink donut! And Mr Burns, an amalgam of Ger’s developer mates I’m sure!

    • Fortran 5.3


      Have you asked the staff at IRD whether they would go back to work in the CBD ?
      Just ask them and you will see why they are quite happy to stay out.

      Apply this to many other business who employed staff in CBD and see what answer you get.

      • vto 5.3.1

        I think that turns on the actual building not the CBD location.

        And I do talk to these people all the time. People want to go back – once the demolition is over. Into a new safe building.

  6. vto 6

    Oh, and as the actual topic, I am not sure you have this right. Why would they want greater control of such a beast as Christchurch’s renewal? It will be nothing but bloody hardwork and criticism for the foreseeable future – there aint no rivers to drain for their farmers. I can’t see the benefit for them in replacing the councillors. Better to let the councillors take the strain.

  7. dv 7

    AND I heard Brownlie in Moras show just before 5 saying the chch council has to be more imaginative!!!!

    I suppose he means like the NACTS Haha

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