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Gerrymania

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, July 31st, 2012 - 80 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags:

What is it with this government and convention centres? The international convention market is dying. The Nats are already doing a bargain with the cancer in the heart of Auckland called SkyCity to build one there that won’t be worth its cost to build. Now, they want to build another convention centre in Christchurch to compete for that dying market. It’s just one thing that’s wrong with Gerrymania.

There’s the mad $500m covered stadium. Christchurch has just built a $30m stadium (that was meant cost $20m). They can’t fill it – a quarter-final home game for the Crusaders had 5,000 of the 21,000 seats empty. So why build a 35,000 seat stadium for $500m (before inevitable cost blow-outs)? Stadiums lose money. Big expensive, unneeded stadiums lose lots of money. Just ask Dunedin.

You could build 2,000 homes or more on existing land for the cost this silly stadium.

Then, there’s the transport plan. Or, rather, the lack of one. The only gesture towards transport is replacing the destroyed bus interchange with a new, bigger one that – while hopefully having the advantage that buses going in won’t have to try to cross buses going out on a busy road – while actually be further from the new CBD. The opportunity to remake a truly modern city with smart transport was missed. Sure, it’s pretty and compact and merely being built of modern materials with modern design practices will make it better to live in but if you more or less ignore how people will move in or out of it, then you miss the crucial ingredient in making it really liveable.

The ‘frame’, the green space is nice but lets be honest about its purpose. The Christchurch CBD already had too much retail space before the earthquakes. With 10% of the population gone, the CBD doesn’t need to be rebuilt as big. That should mean big reductions in the value of the land (which could, in turn, lead to building of apartments and low rise retail, creating a vibrant environment). Instead, the taxpayer is going to buy out all the surplus land at present value – protecting the value for both the landlords who get bought out and those who remain. And the only one who pays is the taxpayer. Funny that nothing so generous was done for red-zoners. I guess that’s because they’re not Gerry’s corporate mates.

I also thought the glitzy launch full of boozing bigwigs was completely inappropriate. They were acting like they had solved Christchurch when there is no plan for the future of the suburbs and even the CBD plan has no work programme behind it. It stank of elitism. For the first time ever, I’m recommending watching Close Up for Mike Coleman’s comments to Sainsbury on the rebuild plan. He is utterly scathing. The strongest language I’ve ever heard from a man of the cloth: “All Gerry Brownlee does is deny there’s a housing crisis, an insurance crisis, there’s an EQC crisis, that there’s real estate problems. There seems to be no disaster at all, apart from the things that he wants to see. And that’s champagne in settings like this, at big functions like this.

80 comments on “Gerrymania ”

  1. Carol 1

    And here is a print report for the CloseUp segment on the ChCh plan:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/champagne-unveiling-new-cbd-does-nothing-homes-4996190

    Housing needs of residents being neglected? Never fear. Gerry says it’s just a plan and not to be alarmed by that protest. “Alarm” is not my response.

    “It’s’ not anything that is laid out with a work programme to deliver it. That comes later.”

    Brownlee said he can understand how the protesters feel because they want things done more quickly.

    But he said any suggestion that the residents have been abandoned or are not a priority is quite wrong.

    “We have lots of people trying to work through this issue which is largely the repair of properties in the TC3 areas.”

    “Don’t be alarmed by that protest. It’s people asking for progress because they want this city to be better.”

    Gerry understands how the protesters feel? Really? Too much champers talking there, Gerry!

  2. This article in the ODT during their stadium debate sums up the study

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/46073/why-future-doesn039t-need-stadiums

    There is also plenty of evidence that jobs in convention centres actually cost the economy as the gross earnings per employee are too low – it is peasant wages.  Stadiums are just vast loss making anachronisms.  This country has invested more than $2Bn in stadiums in the past five years – what is the return on that investment – If Dunedin’s stadium is anything to go by it wil be about -15% once cost of capital and depreciation are added in.

    Meantime we send our skilled work offshore -no money to support the Hillside Workshops building railway stock instead it is happy to subsidises Chinese manufacturers.

    And watch what happens to the Tiwai when they decide to close that -there wont be any “subsidy” for that enterprise even though it earns billions for the national economy.  Nothing!

    It seems National has no problem subsidising the consumption side of the economy but won’t provide any support for the productive side. 

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Whats mentioned in the footnotes is the big ‘buyback’ of private land to create a ‘green wedge’.

    In reality this is to boost the coffers of property owners as there is a ‘glut’ of vacant commercial land. I can imagine a few extra small parks on the scale of existing Latimer square would be helpful but this excess of green space at vast cost- which is hidden from prying eyes for the meantime
    I imagine this too will be the club this used to force the council to sell up its assets so they can pay for the property owners bailout.

    First the insurance company bailouts and now the commercial property owners as well. Crony Capitalism 301

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      And yet there are a lot of smaller property owners who have only now just found out that their single commercial properties, many of which have heritage value, are right where Gerry et al want to put their stadium and are not very happy about it.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        Isn’t most of the land for the proposed stadium owned by Dave Henderson, the mayor’s mate? I heard last night mention of putting money into ‘Soul Square’, Henderson’s High St development, as well. I haven’t kept up with the saga of how the council bought a whole lot properties off him at ridiculous money a few years ago, but this sounds like more of the same.

        • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1

          He may have owned a substantial amount of it, but his holdings are mostly Council owned now. I’m talking about much smaller businesses and owners.

  4. Tigger 4

    Convention centers appear to have replaced cycle ways as National’s go-to ‘big idea’. They’re so visionless, so one-track that it is sad. And dangerous. Wait till mid-2013 when the economy has tanked and Gerry starts pulling out parts of this plan. Christchurch, you’re stuffed. It’s a tragedy.

  5. vto 5

    Having slept on it my initial reaction remains, plus others …

    1. The plan is simply too big. Too much buy-up taking 5 years to negotiate alone. (so there we go folks, gotta wait 5 years to get this mildly underway). Timeframes too long meaning an incoming government or council or world event will scuipper the plans. It is just too much for a govt bureaucracy to undertake.

    2. Relying on a government and/or council approach. Ha. I try not to be scathing about the limits to govt and council acilities these days but frankly I cannot see organisations like these completing this. There is no incentive. Wage and salary earners rarely act with the same accuracy and determination as private owners. Christchurch city council has already shown its uselessness at this with the Turners & Growers site, the Sydenham square site and other David Henderson pruchases. Any privtae investors wanting to develop around these projects is going to want to see action in the ground by government etc to be certain about their promises and abilities before turning the soil themselves.

    3. The bloody gigantic convention centre is right smack bang in the middle of the best part of town. No locals will go there, just convention goers and tourists, and that don’t sound like a vibrant city to me. Quite why it gets that importance lordy knows.

    4. The bloody stadium will never see the light of day. The ratepayers will see to that. What a gross overspend and subsidy to private business interests. What is it that rugby does not get about paying its own way?

    5. The point about buying up land to shore up property vaules is smack on the mark. Property values were set to drop off a clif reflecting the lack of demand and oversupply. Now the tax and rate payer are going to shore up these values.

    6. Notice the lack of residential? One tiny block of showcase housing. Say no more.

    7. Notice too that the Avon River Park is to be funded by “philanthropists”. Every other sector gets CCC and govt and other help, but not the one thing that local residents want. Say no more.

    As someone who has been heavily involved in central Chch for many years and is trying to do so again, I think they have taken a wrong track. Too big. Too much uncertainty. Timeframes which are too long. I, and I suspect many others, will watch from the sidelines to see whether they can do what they say (rare) before commiting my own valuable years to their grandiose schemes.

    The original Council plan was a great deal better for all the reasons outlined above, applied in reverse.

    Oh well. Maybe we too will move elsewhere until all this gets underway ……

    • Rich 5.1

      I suspect it’s all cover for the real plan, which is to remodel Christchurch city centre after Manukau: a big Westfield with associated car parking, council offices and a police station/court complex to deal with the underclass.

      • gareth 5.1.1

        Yep those big malls are a disaster for a city centre, they suck all of the foot traffic off the main street causing small operators who can’t afford the rent in the mall to die off as walk in’s plumit then before you know it the main street is just a collection of empty shops, dodgy lenders and takeaways.
        All the nicer cities/towns to visit are ones that still have vibrant main streets with a mix of chain stores and locally operated shops, cafes etc…. Napier is one of my favorites…

    • NickS 5.2

      7. Notice too that the Avon River Park is to be funded by “philanthropists”. Every other sector gets CCC and govt and other help, but not the one thing that local residents want. Say no more.

      What the fuck? Sure, accept some donations, but that green space is worth it’s weight in gold for it’s urban planning advantages.

      And yeah, I agree with you fully, this is a fucking disaster for Christchurch.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Wage and salary earners rarely act with the same accuracy and determination as private owners.

      Bollocks. If wage and salary earners aren’t acting responsibly it’s probably due to the business owners cutting corners and preventing them from doing so.

      • vto 5.3.1

        Well we will have to disagree there Draco. Although bear in mind that acting responsibly is different from acting with accuracy and determination. My point is that an owner works and acts in a different manner than an employee. Their end goals are entirely different so it stands to reason that they will act in different manners. That is not to bag on employees, merely to state that expecting employees (of government and Council in this instance) to act in the manner required to get this central city plan going is expecting the wrong thing.

  6. Glg 6

    VTO have you forgotten that other national mantra? Public Private Partnerships. A way to billed a city for years and years to come. Don’t forget a quote of Gerrys a few months ago, when he said no we won’t be selling assets in CHch, it will be “a much more elegant solution”. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    • vto 6.1

      Yes Glg, public private partnerships … what that says to me is an opportunity to get something done with more guarantee of income and less carry of risk. Think I might have to don a suit and tie and go enter the Bob and Gerry circus tent …….

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      The private sector will get ‘bonus shares’ in the Council controlled business in return for selling big bits of vacant land

  7. Glg 7

    And kiss some butt. A small donation to the cause wouldn’t be forgotten either.

  8. fatty 8

    This is socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Centralised control of business, whereas the needs of the people (such as housing) is left to the market…and the public gobble it up like hungry pornstars.
    This is not set up for the people, this city plan is for capitalist accumulation for the few based on business and sport. If this plan was for the people then this plan wouldn’t exist, housing would be the priority.
    This vomit inducing video is offensive to anyone with a brain http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10823289

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Surprise!!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/city-blueprint/7383419/Council-asset-sales-on-the-cards

    ”The council is going to have to find a lot of funds,” Brownlee said.

    He then congratulated the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce for putting options on the table that he thought the city council should consider.

    The business group has been encouraging the council to consider the sale or partial sell down of its assets to lower the level of debt it is going to take on to finance its share of the city’s reconstruction.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Yep, more economic theft from the many by the rich. Exactly as predicted.

  10. Kevyn 10

    From paper “Post-disaster Housing Reconstruction: Are there common threads in the successes and failures that New Zealand can learn from?” currently in peer-review. Following are the costs per taxpayer compared with other extreme natural disasters in other OECD countries, column 5 is per homeowner/ratepayer. Why are we the only country that punishes local residents for having built in the wrong place?

    (per registered taxpayer)
    1 – Economic Cost
    2 – Private Property Damage
    3 – Emergency, welfare, housing assistance
    4 – Infra-structure repairs (taxpayer)
    5 – Infra-structure repairs (ratepayer)
    6 – Nett Central Government Expenditure

    Christchurch 10500 6667 1600 633 6810 388
    Japan Tsunami 6686 4011 1203 998 485 1917
    Kobe 2769 886 499 409 783 811
    Italy (1980) 1531 918 1148 149 620 1265
    Katrina 965 386 434 165 616 599
    Andrew 819 574 410 62 320 472
    Northridge 418 167 146 40 392 186

    Footnotes
    column 1 – NZ = property damage $20bn + sundry insurance costs $5bn + infrastructure damage $3bn + CERF (nett) $3.5bn as estimated by Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Bollard & Hannah, 2012).
    column 1 – The contribution from re-insurers ($3700 per taxpayer) is included as part of the economic cost, however the New Zealand Treasury considers that amount to be a benefit to the New Zealand economy.
    column 2 – This cost is actually funded from property owners savings and insurance but is shown as a per taxpayer amount for comparative purposes.
    column 4 – Central Government share of infrastructure repair costs.
    column 5 – Local government share of infrastructure repair costs.
    column 6 – Total spending by central government less GST collected on disaster spending, reprioritised Government spending within the disaster region and petrol taxes collected within the disaster region during the rebuild .

  11. The bus station is for the tourists and the convention centre and stadium for crowd control – remember New Oleans.

    • Populuxe1 11.1

      Actually the bus station is probably for people who take the bus. Jus’ sayin’

    • MrSmith 11.2

      or should that be for social control Dave

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        the stadium will never be completed.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1

          /agreed

          The land will be paid for, the building started and then it’ll be left as an uncompleted shell at some point as people realise that there’s more important things than watching rugby and idolising the rich.

          • Populuxe1 11.2.1.1.1

            I hope you get sufficient comfort out of you amazing arrogance and snobbery. God forbid people liking things that you don’t – where will it end?!?!

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Got nothing to do with liking but to do with economics. When people realise that the stadium can’t be built without cutting out something they think is more important then it won’t get built.

  12. Roy 12

    If New Zealand is to have an international convention centre at all, it should be somewhere people would actually want to visit anyway, like Queenstown. However, while I don’t think the international convention market will ever die completely, it is definitely shrinking and convention centres are a stupid investment. We can’t get around the fact that it is long, expensive trip to visit New Zealand.

    • fatty 12.1

      Conventions create temporary, part-time, low paid work which perpetuates poverty and increases inequality. They are part of the problem, not the solution

  13. Fortran 13

    The Convention Centre can have some Pokies in it make a profit like Sky City.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      The Convention Centre plans can be razed to the ground, which will make the country a lot of money.

  14. NickS 14

    The original council plan was so much smarter, mixing residential, retail, commercial, green areas and transport in a way that could have made the central city very liveable, rather than this stale, half-life of a central city that’s for merely visiting and working that CERA’s put forward.

    On the stadium – Stupid idea, CHCH doesn’t have the population to support it, nor does the Canterbury region and large, indoor venues are already provided for. Definite white elephant. Stupid location too.

    On the sports centre – what happened to using the Red-Bus depot site? Hagley has massive traffic issues and there’s little room for parking, that isn’t already taken up via workers and those living in the area. And with the bus depot now slated to be a fair bit away from it, I don’t see it as being easy to get to.

    On the Bus Depot – it was placed in the central city for a good reason you idiots, as so to make it very convenient for residents to use. And while placing it at the edge of the central city does have some slight traffic routing advantages, without connecting shuttle services covering the whole central city, it’s going to become rather inconvenient.

    On the Convention Centre – White Elephant. Also what the fuck is wrong with rebuilding at the old site? Especially as the new location eats up the current central library site, and takes up rather important frontal locations in the square that could be better deployed as retail, for bars, cafe’s and have been commercial shows and get-rich-quick/self-help bullshit artists.

    On the height restrictions – good luck trying to fill those office buildings, top floors will likely go unfilled, and the shift of many office sites elsewhere into lower height buildings means that rents that don”t meet the market will lead unto fun.

    On building design – Gone is the original plan of preserving and recreating some of the character of the old city, replaced with “cheapest build” mentality it seems, so say hello to more glass and concrete monoliths and goodbye to the more human masonry, brick and wood. Let alone more organic architecture.

    On the Green Belt -What. The. Fuck? Totally useless on the edge of the central city, more so as one big band. Needs to be split up into multiple small parks as others have said. Combined with the lack of residential areas to, it’s going to be a bloody ghost land. Ideally you’d use smaller parks as the centre point for clusters of mixed residential/retail, or as public courtyards.

    On the Avon Park – great, but why exactly does it have to be funded via donations? As from an urban planning perspective it’s worth it’s weight in gold and from a land-stability perspective, it’s a great way of keeping buildings off land prone to flooding and lateral spreading.

    On the Cultural Centre – Great! Only problem, where the fuck is the central library?

    On the Omissions – No mention of the Arts Centre, nor of what they’re going to do vis the strip of bars or the gaggle of great cafes and niche shops and bars etc that thrived along high street and the city mall. Nothing about managing the entertainment seeking populace either.

  15. Why are cities so important? David Harvey and Richard Wolff interviewed.
    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12474

  16. Wayne 16

    Presumably the old AMI stadium was insured, as with the convention centre. I guess the bulk of the money for the new replacements will come from insurance payouts, not taxpayers or ratepayers. Anyway are you seriously suggesting a city the size of Christchurch should not have a stadium.

    The Library is going to front the square, its in the documents. The plan doesn’t have to design bars etc, its an overall outline. Investors and businesses will actually build the commercial buildings.

    If you look at the green belt it actually has a whole lot of campus type buildings, esp between the hospital and the Polytech. That will attract a whole bunch of intersting businesses, and can leverage an innovation precint. Mayor Bob has some very interesting ideas on this.

  17. mike e 17

    Wayne 75 million doesn’t come close to $500+ million required for an indoor stadium.
    Facts right wayne

  18. Wayne 18

    The Dunedin stadium cost $200 million for 30,000 seats, but that is clearly more than $75 million.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      So the Christchurch Stadium is going to be 30,000 seats like the Dunedin stadium is it?

  19. millsy 19

    Why doesnt the private sector build a convention centre? The seem OK at putting up hotels, apartment blocks, shopping malls etc without government involvement (apart from consents, etc), why is there a supposed ‘market failure’ in building a convention centre?

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      Because convention centres lose money. Why is the government so keen on building them? IMO, because the capitalist class still want them to prove that they’re “special”.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The stone statues of Easter Island.

      • Populuxe1 19.1.2

        By “capitalist class” I’m assuming you mean anyone with a job that doesn’t involve going down a coal mine – except that coal miners have professional associations and unions and are supported by the vast breadth of service industries with their own professional associations and unions.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.2.1

          except that coal miners have professional associations and unions and are supported by the vast breadth of service industries with their own professional associations and unions.

          wtf is up with you?

          Did you notice who held the clear balance of power and fear in the operation of Pike River? That’s right buddy, the corporate employers.

          • Populuxe1 19.1.2.1.1

            What the fuck has that got with the premise which basically is that I’m sick of your bigoted class consciousness and general misery leading you to make sweeping generalisations and misrepresentations about human beings based on the minimum grain of truth for justification, and no one calling you out on how hateful and childish it is.
            It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do. And it’s not just the financial elites who have conferences, not by a long shot, so kindly can the bullshit unless you’re going to back it up with real world examples and cite sources.

            • ropata 19.1.2.1.1.1

              and how dare anyone criticise the holy writ of Brownlee.
              it is inspired by our infallible corporate overlords

              hail Pope Gerry

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do

              What fun/useful/socially oriented family or citizen or community events is the conference centre going to organise and hold for free or near free?

              You know, since public pools, public libraries, public schools, museums and art galleries tend to have those really fundamentally for-the-public-good characteristics.

              Because otherwise you are FULL OF SHIT

              • Populuxe1

                I love it when you get all self-righteous about what constitutes a useful member of the community, CV. Because of course public pools, libraries, schools, museums and art galleries never charge for anything, do they – they never have to secure funding by renting out their spaces for private events or charging users for services or anything like that do they. Because you are the expert on the public good and contributing there to, although as you gleefully tell us you actually do sweet fuck all aside from moaning on here about the collapse of civilisation.

                • ropata

                  basically a library or a swimming pool would be used every day by thousands of people

                  a new conference centre or stadium would be used only occasionally and cost ten times as much

                  no brainer

            • NickS 19.1.2.1.1.3

              It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do. And it’s not just the financial elites who have conferences, not by a long shot, so kindly can the bullshit unless you’re going to back it up with real world examples and cite sources.

              /facepalm

              The problem with the current proposal for me comes down to it’s size and it’s location, not the fact they’re rebuilding it.

              Frankly, the market in NZ for large convention centres is non-existent and so such a large building with one sole purpose would have difficultly remaining in the black financially. While rising air-fares (in the long term + carbon costs) and NZ’s remote location make the economics of holding large global conferences here problematic.

              As for the location, it occupies economically and culturally valuable space in the square, which would be far better suited to other uses. In short, unless the land at the old site is well and truly stuffed, it’s probably better to site the new convention centre there, as it was fairly well sited vis hotels and traffic.

              On “It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do” – lolwut? It’s a private facility, not a public one idiot, that merely hosts conventions rather than serves as a multi-use facility, and in that context it does matter if it looses money. Otherwise someone else has to bail it out. As for libraries et al, these are facilities the public pays for directly via rates or indirectly via rent and provide cultural and recreational spaces. And pools can generally pull their own weight easily if well sited.

  20. What is it with this government and convention centres? The international convention market is dying.

    This may come as a shock, but lots of people in NZ work in professions and their professional associations have conferences. They tend to lack interest in forging new lives as hippies, and they expect the country’s main centres to have conference facilities.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      So why aren’t they building them then?

      • Psycho Milt 20.1.1

        Hilarious to see all the freshly-minted user pays evangelists on this thread. It must be a prick for the socialists when you guys turn up at council meetings to demand that the people who want to use libraries, swimming pools, sports fields etc pay for them themselves.

        • felix 20.1.1.1

          ‘… to demand that the people who want to use libraries, swimming pools, sports fields etc as part of their business pay for them themselves.’

          • Populuxe1 20.1.1.1.1

            Ah no, what about teachers – are they in “business”? They have conferences. So do surgeons. All sorts of charities and NPOs have conferences.
            And in any case, people do use libraries as part of their business, and certainly professional athletes use sports fields and swimming pools as part of their “business”.
            Really you have no ground to stand on.

            • felix 20.1.1.1.1.1

              lol yeah it’s for teachers and charities.

              • Populuxe1

                Yes, among others – that’s what the “public” means in “public facilities”. I would point out that a lot of small businesses have conferences also.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yep, they’ve been having them for years at hotels, motels, racing clubs and other such places. Now all of a sudden we need dedicated convention centres paid for and maintained by the public.

                  This smells fishy to say the least.

                  • Populuxe1

                    In case events of the last two years have passed you by, we have sweet fuck all of any of those left in Christchurch.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Still doesn’t mean that you need a convention centre.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Quite right. Fuck the whole city and everyone in it as an object lesson.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t be an asshole populuxe.

                      You’d have some credibility batting for the people of Christchurch if you were advocating for hundreds of millions to be spent on restoring and upgrading basic services to neighbourhoods and incentivising small employers to reopen, start up and lift hiring.

                      Instead you are going to bat for a fucking useless white elephant where most of the public monies spent will be sucked up by big construction corporates based outside of Christchurch.

                      I mean, WTF

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.1.2

              IQ has dropped substantially around here recently.

              The convention centre is going to be a money losing white elephant. That’s why, as usual, the private sector wants the tax payer to carry it.

              • Populuxe1

                That’s probably because your cloth cap is on too tight and the chip on your shoulder may be contributing as well.

          • Psycho Milt 20.1.1.1.2

            I’ve never owned a business. Is user pays the new watchword for leftists, or is it just a “four legs good, two legs bad” thing?

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.2.1

              You are smart enough to determine if something is a rort on the taxpayer with monies going purely to benefit private construction companies and land owners, right?

              For fuck all social benefit in return?

              Or do you just like repeating catchy bullshit.

      • Populuxe1 20.1.2

        If they pay taxes, they will be building them.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1

          Bullshit. Its the tax base of NZ which is going to be paying. Socialisation of costs for the benefit of a few private interests. The motto of a National Government.

          • Psycho Milt 20.1.2.1.1

            Socialisation of costs for the benefit of a few private interests.

            Funny, that’s exactly what the libertarians say about libraries and swimming pools. You guys really do have a lot in common.

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1.1.1

              *facepalm*

              I guess you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in the social and community benefits of learning centres like libraries.

              WTF do you know about “libertarian” philosophy anyway? You’re just repeating neoliberal slash taxes for the wealthy bullshit and calling it some fancy name.

              • Huh? You’re the one peddling user pays here, guy. I love the fact my taxes and rates go towards publicly funded infrastructure like libraries, parks, schools and convention centres. The idea that public infrastructure shouldn’t exist unless those using it pay the full cost is a shit one.

            • felix 20.1.2.1.1.2

              I’m fast going off the idea of public swimming pools since I discovered that they’re primarily used by professional athletes.

    • felix 20.2

      ‘…and they expect the country’s main centres to have conference facilities paid for by everyone else’

  21. Zaphod Beeblebrox 21

    The poor ratepayers of ChCh are going to be paying for the upkeep of a lot of open space. All that open space will have to be maintained, unless you want it to be taken over by weeds. The Rec/open space dept is going to need a lot of expansion.

    Large stadiums are also expensive to maintain. And they need refurbishment every 20 years. Who the hell is going to pay for its upkeep for 2 rugby tests and 10 super rugby games every year? The NZRU? I don’t think so.

  22. Treetop 22

    I wonder what a Feng Shui expert would make of the plans for the Christchurch CBD?

    No harm in consulting one, apart from the cost.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 22.1

      Actually from the look of it- its morte likley they consulted the ghost of Ebenezer Howard. Planners still have the obsession with the 18th Century Garden City.

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    10 hours ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
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    14 hours ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
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    18 hours ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
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    1 day ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
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    1 day ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
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    2 days ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
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    2 days ago
  • Celebrating New Zealand’s firefighters this International Firefighters’ day
    With two fire stations already complete, and building underway on 16 fire stations around the country, today we celebrate International Firefighters’ Day for the important role firefighters have in keeping communities across the country safe, says Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti. The work is progressing due to Government funding ...
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    3 days ago
  • Ron Brierley knighthood to go
    Ron Brierley has written to the Clerk of the Executive Council to tender his resignation as a Knight Bachelor. The Queen has been informed. The forfeiture follows the Prime Minister initiating the process to remove his Knighthood. The Clerk of the Executive Council wrote to him on 6 April 2021 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Employment boost for rural communities
    The Government is continuing to create opportunities for at-risk rangatahi overcome barriers to employment, education or training with the next tranche of He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re focused on supporting rangatahi to get what they need to progress in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you for the invitation to speak today, it is great to be here.  I mean that both sincerely and literally. For this equivalent speech last year I took part virtually, beaming in from the Beehive Theatrette with only a socially distanced press gallery bearing silent witness. You are a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Budget 2021 reprioritises nearly $1 billion
    The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, Grant Robertson said in his annual pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce this morning. “As part of Budget preparation I ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech on Digital Identity Trust Framework
    I'd like to start by thanking Graeme, David and Ben from NZTech and Digital Identity New Zealand for inviting me to speak to you. I’m so sorry I can’t be there in person, but I want to acknowledge those of you who are, including some of this country’s top tech ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ Cook Islands travel bubble significant step in COVID-19 recovery
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown have today announced that, pending final confirmation by New Zealand’s Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health, two-way quarantine-free travel will commence between the two countries on 17 May (NZT). “Two way quarantine-free travel ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister for State Owned Enterprises saddened by passing of KiwiRail Chair
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises, David Clark is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of KiwiRail Chairman, Brian Corban. “I know Brian was seen as a transformative leader within KiwiRail, well respected for his wisdom, honesty and sense of humour,” said David Clark. Mr Corban served as Chair of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit by the Minister for Trade and Export Growth
      Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.  Tena koutou katoa.  Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you today for this China Business Summit – my first as Minister for Trade and Export Growth as well as Minister of Agriculture – and to have the opportunity to speak to you ...
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    4 days ago
  • Productivity Commission inquiry into immigration settings
    The Productivity Commission will hold an inquiry into immigration settings to ensure New Zealand’s long term prosperity and wellbeing, Grant Robertson and Kris Faafoi say. This inquiry, the first under the new Productivity Commission chair, Dr Ganesh Nana, will focus on immigration policy as a means of improving productivity in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to China Business Summit
    Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, ate marie, tena koutou katoa, good morning. I am very happy to be here with you once again at my fourth China Business Summit. Thanks again to you, Fran, for being the driving force behind this event.  As ever, I’m very pleased to see such ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to Te Taumata Wahine Toa Hui, Kerikeri
    I would like to begin by acknowledging a few people here today.  Firstly, Chris Karamea Insley for his hard work and commitment to the vision of Te Taumata. I’d also like to acknowledge Minister Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s first Maori wahine Minister of Foreign Affairs, whom you have just heard ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature to boost employment in the South
    A suite of significant Jobs for Nature projects will boost conservation efforts and create jobs across the southern South Island, Acting Minister for Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall announced from Te Anau today. “The Government’s Jobs for Nature programme is investing in the future of the area’s stunning environment, with projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional economic potential unlocked as Bay of Plenty project gets underway
    A milestone for jobs, businesses and regional economic development in Bay of Plenty is being marked as construction gets underway on the multi-million dollar Ōpōtiki harbour infrastructure project. Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has joined Whakatōhea iwi, local councils and representatives of the aquaculture and marine industry at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Pilot to unlock cultural potential in communities
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni today announced Manatū Taonga (Ministry for Culture and Heritage) is now accepting applications from cultural sector organisations to host cultural activators in eight communities around Aotearoa. “This pilot, as part of Te Tahua Whakahaumaru (Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund), aims to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders Through Winter Months
    From tomorrow, 1 May, over one million New Zealanders receiving either a Main Benefit or New Zealand Superannuation will get more money each week through the Winter Energy Payment. “The Winter Energy Payment started as part of the Government’s December 2017 Families Package designed to help older New Zealanders and ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to donate 250,000 courses of COVID-19 vaccines to Fiji
    New Zealand has offered, and Fiji has accepted, sufficient doses of AstraZeneca for 250,000 people from New Zealand’s domestic vaccine portfolio, New Zealand Associate Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio and Fiji Health and Medical Services Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete announced today. “New Zealand and Fiji are working together closely to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago