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Nats failing Christchurch and lashing out at Treasury

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, December 1st, 2015 - 128 comments
Categories: christchurch earthquake, national, treasury - Tags: , , , ,

National like to sell things built by better governments of old, but they aren’t good at building things. They aren’t good at building houses in Auckland. They aren’t good at building a robust economy. And they aren’t good at (re)building Christchurch:

Anchor project delivery appears ‘unachievable’ – Treasury report

Christchurch’s once-bold central city recovery plan is hanging in the balance with Treasury saying it now appears unachievable.

This is terrible news.

But Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has dismissed the Treasury report, released on Monday, calling it “utter tripe”. He says the findings show the “arrogant bureaucratic attitude” the Wellington-based department has towards Christchurch.

Shoot the messenger – that will help.

The timeline of the recovery plan, which includes all anchor projects, including the convention centre and metro sports facility, has been steadily falling behind since it was unveiled in 2012.

The report, entitled Managing Government Investment Projects, was the first of its kind, and said the “overall viability” of the anchor projects might need to be reassessed.

In an index of monitored projects, the Christchurch Central Delivery Programme, which involved a “timely and effective delivery” of Government-led anchor projects, was given a red rating. “Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable,” the rating’s description said. A red rating implied there were “major issues” with project definition, budget and benefits.

“At this stage [the issues] do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed,” the report said. …

Christchurch has been through enough. It deserves better than this bungled process.

brownlee-christchurch-lbours-fault

128 comments on “Nats failing Christchurch and lashing out at Treasury”

  1. lprent 1

    It has been apparent for decades that National hate democratic processes and are spectacularly incompetent at actually doing anything substantive. The best that they ever seen to do is at completing Labour’s projects from their previous term in office.

    When they try to do something new, we see complete screwups like the Auckland supershitty, the dick empire of MoIBE, the tax cut fiasco of rising government debt, and innumerable other incompetent screwups. The ongoing decades of the misery of leaky homes is a classic example of their stupidity from a single ideologically driven decision they made back in the 1990s. I am pretty sure that many of the ones that they have made in the last 7 years will be viewed as being equally ideologically stupid.

    The way that National politicians have in the last seven years have screwed Christchurch and the Canterbury region in particular have been spectacular examples of this trait. Even before the earthquakes, they have been treating the city and the region to experiment with weird and arbitrary decisions, like the decision to let farmer lobbies to override the democratic processes of the regional plans.

    When they had a truly new situation in the earthquakes, they acted as if this was a political lobby issue and pushed in their most senior incompetent minister, Gerry Brownlee, to run the cleanup and rebuild.

    5 years later, Treasury clearly sees that it isn’t working as a project. From what I have heard, most people in Canterbury could have told them that 3 years ago. Sounds like they need a team from Labour in there to fix up National’s mistakes again.

    • Whispering Kate 1.1

      Quite agree with you there, they are a Government of no vision, completely void and incapable of creating new initiatives and Gerry Brownlie is a clown of the first order. Very eloquent Iprent, I couldn’t have said it better. The cartoon is great, just what Brownlie would say.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Nail, meet head.

      If anyone ever replicates Hodson & Busseri’s work there’s every chance they’ll confirm the conclusion.

    • Pat 1.3

      not a bad summary…unfortunately Labour too have been missing in action when it comes to ChCh.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1

        🙄

        Not being the government probably had something to do with it. Ya think? Obviously no, you don’t.

        • Pat 1.3.1.1

          not being in government doesn’t preclude action or advocacy ….and so obviously I don’t

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1.1

            So, you’re taking the position that no Labour member or MP has advocated for Christchurch, then. Can I be bothered to trawl through Hansard to find the various occasions I can recall?

            • Pat 1.3.1.1.1.1

              What has and continues to occur in ChCh is transfer of as much cost and risk as possible away from those who agreed to take it on (ICs, REInsurers and Govt) and place it with those least able to counter, understand or bear it…the elderly, vulnerable, those without access to legal services, those who are trusting of officialdom, those without the wherewithal to invest…the “losers” oft mentioned in the early days by Key and Brownlee and now seldom mentioned…”winners and losers”

              Every decision/action by the various agencies has perpetuated this outcome …. it is the INTENDED consequence….action that one would expect from a private insurer perhaps but not what one would expect a Government to facilitate and enact.

              So trawl through Hansard and analyze the sum total of what Labour (and the Greens , NZ First) have said and done these past 5 years and prepare to be mind numbingly stunned, it is sweet fuck all…..the complete absence of willingness to address these issues tells me one thing….They condone it

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                So, not Dr. Megan Woods, then? Or Lianne Dalziel? Or Dennis O’Rourke? Sweet fuck all you say? They condone it, yes indeedy.

                I expect Hansard are in on it too: they’ve only gone and published loads of non-existent statements and questions for the minister!

                • Pat

                  more than 5 years after the largest natural disaster in the country’s history there will be any number of questions in Parliament re said disaster…..a little obvious ,as is the conspiracy mention.

                  Analyse the quality of those questions and there subject matter ….and you may want to ask yourself why, if Labour have done such a Stirling job advocating for ChCh post quake why the likes of Nicky Wagner got reelected with an increased majority while you are at it.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Nope, I didn’t say they’d done a stirling job – I just don’t think your assertion that they’ve done nothing holds water.

                    • Pat

                      As you haven’t sought to dispute my analysis of the situation inChCh I invite you to demonstrate when and how Labour have challenged those actions by the Government if it doesn’t hold water….. 5 plus years worth.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’re the one making the assertion.

                      It’s pathetic, frankly, pretending that the Labour Party is the source of Christchurch’s woes. Have you failed abjectly to appreciate or dispute my comment at 1.3.2.1.1 much?

                    • Pat

                      duly disputed

      • Ad 1.3.2

        Apart from the Labour-led Council.

        • Pat 1.3.2.1

          now , yes …and they have been disappointing in their actions after the usual promises to get elected…every organisation involved is sticking to the script under pain of whatever has been threatened….and to hell with the residents.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.1.1

            You think the National Party will hesitate to appoint commissioners if they are given the slightest excuse? They are the disaster happening to Christchurch.

            • Pat 1.3.2.1.1.1

              if you think its an excuse to do nothing because National might play dirty (or dirtier) then you may as well give up now

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Ah, so we’re back to the “done nothing” position are we? A zombie argument, moaning and shuffling.

              • ropata

                The Gnats have FORCED the council to sell assets and fund Gerry’s bloated monuments to his own ego (stadium+conference centre)… Dalziel is being sabotaged by Gerry’s nasty schemes.

                Meanwhile NACToid Corp(tm) and their big business pals have gorged themselves on a frenzy of demolition and lovely emergency $$$ floating down the Avon and passing blame to Labour whenever possible (no matter how ridiculous)

                • Pat

                  Agree the Council is being pushed into a corner by the govt, but they arnt blameless either….although most of the underhand actions have been by the consenting dept which is run by………a government contracted appointee.

      • Leftie 1.3.3

        @Pat

        How do you figure that this is Labour’s fault?

        • Pat 1.3.3.1

          Assume you mean the transfer of risk/costs Leftie?….i don’t say the actions are Labours fault, I accuse them of doing little if anything to remedy or even highlight it….the role of an opposition party, particularly one that claims to represent those most affected one would have thought….a role that Labour of old would have been all over like a rash.

          • Leftie 1.3.3.1.1

            @Pat

            How can Labour remedy the mess the National government have made when they have highlighted the problems and are not the government?

            • Pat 1.3.3.1.1.1

              thats the point leftie ….labour have NOT highlighted the problems and pressed for remedy

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Bollocks, as any simple Hansard search will show.

                • Pat

                  nothing of note on Hansard

                  • Leftie

                    You haven’t been paying attention Pat.

                    • Pat

                      well that was interesting…..next time the discussion around labours failure to make traction in the polls comes up you may wish to reflect on this exchange…..if you cannot see how many in Chch feel let down by Labour and the reasoning for that disappointment then i would suggest its indicative of a wider problem within the organisation and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      if you cannot see how many in Chch feel let down by Labour and the reasoning for that disappointment then i would suggest its indicative of a wider problem within the organisation and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

                      Except that you aren’t addressing “Labour”. I don’t even vote for them.

                      I just know a false narrative when I see one.

                • Pat

                  is your false narrative link from 2013 the best you can do?

          • tracey 1.3.3.1.2

            Yesterday on another topic I had reason to read LP press releases from many MPs.

            I noted that a number never seemed to make it to the publishing by media stage.

      • lprent 1.3.4

        There is a severely limited amount that can be done from the opposition benches and local MP positions. Most of the work that Labour has been doing there recently came after the sweep in the local body elections at the end of 2013.

        From what I have heard, the biggest problem that they have had is that they are not allowed to do many of the things that you’d expect a local government should be able to do, including doing plans for the city that they are representing, or accessing the funds required to establish or increase the services (like building and renovation approvals, roads or sewerage) that they are expected to provide. In my view, in a large part, that predatory behaviour by National is why the LGNZ has been getting a whole lot more active over recent years.

        I think that National have legislatively preempted most of the power in both the city and province into the hands of their appointed mercs, including that idiot Brownlee. In other words, they have grabbed the cash into their grubby hot hands and have been using it to establish a patronage scheme favoring their friends, and keeping the pace of delivery low enough to prevent issues with their national budgets.

        • Pat 1.3.4.1

          If what you say is true, and it fits the facts ,then that should be laid out for the public to see by Labour…this is my great disappointment…Labour (as an organisation) have the knowledge of process, the contacts within the public sector and the (supposed) expertise to make this information available to the wider public to pressure the government to justify its actions.
          Their failure to expose the behavior of EQC,SR and various other agencies involved stinks of a Faustian deal…..even if that deal is only a misguided belief its in the country’s best interest.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.4.1.1

            While their failure to expose this behaviour may exist in your mind, the public record tells a different story.

            • Pat 1.3.4.1.1.1

              still waiting for the examples OAB….Ive been living this for 5 plus years and have waited with anticipation for Labour to get off its arse and make a difference to the disaster that is the so called recovery ….and I’m still waiting …and I’m pretty damn sure I haven’t missed anything of note

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                This isn’t how this works Pat. You’re the one making the assertion: it’s up to you to support it with evidence. All I had to do was search Hansard to satisfy myself that your bias is showing. I searched for “Christchurch eqc” if that’s any help, and I expect you to hate on Labour rather than recognise the problem.

                Have a nice day.

                  • Expat

                    Hey PAT, I hope your satisfied blaming an opposition party for the poor outcomes in ChCh, JK will love you, that’s the sort of thing he does when he doesn’t have a solution for any the problems facing NZ right now, heck what about Pike River, H & S, unemployment, the debt that is twice the size of the one in Aus and only one sixth of population to pay for it, the list goes on and on. Unfortunately the Nat’s are Doctor Do Little, or realistically, do nothing, you’ve had seven years of that, Ay.

                    NZ is the only country in the western world that tries to justify blaming a previous govt of 7 years for their problems today, that’s the real joke, and the sad thing is, it affects all NZ’ers.

                    • Pat

                      Don’t be a dickhead,,,i have not blamed the opposition for the problems in ChCh at any stage…learn how to read for fucks sake.

                    • Leftie

                      @Expat
                      +100

                      Totally agree with you, and the abuse you received from Pat for pointing out what is obvious to all, that Pat IS indeed trying to lay the blame at Labour’s feet, was completely rude and unnecessary.

              • tracey

                Wasn’t Daziel VERY vocal post Earthquake, much before her tilt at Mayor?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The good people of Christchurch are so fed up with the Labour Party that they elected her 🙄

                • Pat

                  Dalziel made some noise in the house before resigning to run for Mayor (she obviously thought she could achieve more from there than in Parliament, or at least you’d hope that was the reason) however as you yourself have noted, little of what occurs in Parliament reaches to wider public….so you can make a handful of speeches and feel good about yourself but it is all worthless if it has no impact on the problem(s)

                  It is blindingly obvious, and has been for a very long time that the reality of what is occurring in CHCH, and the implications for the entire country is misunderstood by the wider NZ public.

                  In a functioning democracy the oppositions role is to challenge poor gov decisions and facilitate public pressure for that poor decision making to be changed…for that is the only way to overcome a house majority….Labour have in my opinion failed in their role miserably….and the result of that failure is National have been left largely unchallenged to make a bad situation worse.

                  • ropata

                    bloody hell are you a refugee from Whaleoil or something?
                    do you have any idea what Labour is up against?

                    a govt in power with no moral qualms about dirty politics, a massive PR budget, a shell shocked electorate, 30+ years or neoliberal orthodoxy (lies), a media that is increasingly serving the needs of big business, communities gutted and public agencies disempowered

                    and you blame Labour for not doing enough????

                    what the fuck are YOU doing Pat?
                    (apart from sitting around moaning)

                    • Pat

                      I’m not unaware of the problems Labour face….and having considered that I do accuse Labour of not doing enough, and Im hardly alone in that…..as to sitting around moaning (or carping and moaning as Gerry would accuse)..Im busy enough with EQ related activities thanks very much, and am not on a public salary for the privilege, nor have I offered myself for a leadership role in the running of the country, but hey, nice work if you can get it eh
                      All care and no responsibility

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 1.4

      +100

    • Daniel Cale 1.5

      Oh please. “The best that they ever seen to do is at completing Labour’s projects from their previous term in office.”

      Really? Like bringing the economy out of a recession that was at least partially induced by Labours economic policies? Like dealing with the ACC shambles Labour left behind? Like returning the internal deficit to surplus 4 years before Labour’s legacy predicted?

      National are enjoying near record popularity because Labour are useless, and people remember what Cullen and Clark left behind.

      • Pat 1.5.1

        people may well be disappointed in Labour, but don’t delude yourself that equates to support for National

      • Muttonbird 1.5.2

        National are enjoying near record popularity because lots of Kiwi’s are like me, racist and intolerant, basic in thought, and enamoured by John Key’s blokey chauvinism.

        -Daniel Cale

        Fify.

      • b waghorn 1.5.3

        “remember what Cullen and Clark left behind.”

        The Cullen fund ,kiwi bank, kiwisaver, and working for families you mean?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.5.4

        Morons like Daniel Cale don’t know who it was that said “this is the rainy day the government has been saving up for”, or when.

        Or perhaps liars like Daniel Cale know exactly who said it and when and are lying and lying and lying, as a perfect expression of National Party values.

      • Stuart Munro 1.5.5

        You must be mad. The combination of austerity policies and a GST rise were economic suicide in a global recession. Tax cuts are a rubbish stimulus and everybody knows it. The Christchurch earthquake rescued the Gnats somewhat from their stupidity – but EQC funds are finite and Gnat stupidity is not.

        National are enjoying record support in dodgy polls with the help of a munted media. They fool you – but you’re not even smart enough to recognise Bill English’s $100 billion blowout is not a good thing. I’m surprised your internet still works – you don’t have the sense to come in out of the rain.

  2. vto 2

    The problem with this National Party government and its approach to the Christchurch rebuild is very simple – they tried to do what they don’t believe works.

    This government believes only in the hand of the free market and private enterprise. Yet they have dealt with Christchurch by way of heavy state intervention and the old soviet-era 5-year plan….

    no wonder it fails.

    If a person tries to do something they don’t believe works, then how the fuck is it going to work?

    so
    bloody
    simple

    at
    the
    top

    at
    the
    start

    100%
    wrong
    approach

    they should have stuck by their beliefs and let the free market run

  3. In the Central City Blueprint it stated clearly that the aim of buying land in the CBD was to raise the price of land (that remained outside the projects). By this year, Bill English was saying, by contrast, the following:

    In the discussion on Christchurch’s competitiveness he acknowledged Government ownership of large chunks of land in the CBD was not helping.

    “One of the more useful things the Government can do is carefully but decisively exit its land ownership interests in the CBD because we are an odd sort of owner.

    “It doesn’t follow commercial incentives and in my view we’ve probably kept the land price too high in the CBD and if we got out of it, it would ultimately find the right level a bit quicker.

    Those landowners who found themselves having to sell their land to the government no doubt felt really peeved at that news.

    The reason the Frame, Rugby Stadium, Metro Sports Facility and Convention Centre were in the Plan was primarily to extract land from the market and thereby increase the value of the remaining land held by the major property holders in the CBD.

    Apparently, during the 100 day development of the plan Don Miskell said the idea of the Frame gained unexpected backing from the economists on the team.

    • vto 3.1

      That whole “keep the land prices high” component was nonsensical. I read somewhere that because the most vibrant CBDs in the world had high underlying land values, then if high underlying land values were created in Christchurch successful development would follow….

      … but that is brainless. The high values have had the opposite effect. Of course. Duh.

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        It has been a giant transfer of collective wealth into the ‘right’ pockets.

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 3.1.2

        It is cargo-cult thinking -successful cities have high property values. If our city has high property it must be successful. Yeah right. But that is how John Key, Nick Smith, Gerry Brownlee and co think.

        I also don’t believe it was an economist who suggested the frame was necessary to protect property prices. All the economists who have commented on it -from the right and left, think it is stupid. I think whoever suggested it was a political crony of the Natz.

        The Natz have a weird idea about what generates wealth. They have been enabling, protecting and subsidising high property prices for the last 7 years. This has transferred wealth from workers and businesses who actually do the work. But in no way does it create genuine wealth.

        All it does is create divisions and inequality.

        Paul Krugman writes about something similar here.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/30/opinion/inequality-and-the-city.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1

        I wrote about excessive property prices in Christchurch’s CBD here.

        https://makingchristchurch.com/1-billion-fletcher-crown-housing-development-christchurch-cbd-78f2590fb0e6#.lvkco8qcg

        • Puddleglum 3.1.2.1

          According to Don Miskell it was indeed the ‘economists’, ‘economics team’ and ‘investment guys’:

          Miskell says the obvious design solution – if the Government was really saying there were no holds barred – was to create a clear boundary. Perhaps a new strip of parkland bought out of the public purse.

          Miskell initially felt around Barbadoes St might be acceptable.

          Then the team moved the green line closer towards Madras St.

          “We looked at the map and thought, well, Latimer Square is 80m wide. Let’s lengthen that all the way up to the river.‘

          Hesitantly they put their suggestion to the CCDU and were astounded by the response. “They said great idea. But no. Not nearly wide enough. And that was their investment guys!

          Miskell says this is where the advantage of having all the experts in the one place really showed. Cera’s economics team could see angles that Blueprint’s architects and urban planners could not imagine. [I bet!]

          The economists said a much fatter park strip – one a whole 220m, or an entire city block wide – would have the double benefit of creating green amenity in that part of town while also mopping up the excess land.

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    It is sad that Christchurch was lumbered with this government after the earthquakes. The city could have been rebuilt in exciting new ways, just like Napier and Hastings were in their own day.

    And it would have been the responsibility of the whole country to get it there, instead of expecting the Christchurch City Council for pay for half of the rebuild and be required to sell its assets to do so.

    But then, and awful lot of Christchurch residents voted for National and Bob Parker as mayor……

    • RedLogix 4.1

      In the long run Brownlee will be remembered for causing more damage to ChCh than both earthquakes combined.

    • M. Gray 4.2

      Christchurch voted for the Pnats so its no good complaining now its too late

  5. Lanthanide 5

    The covered stadium will never be built. It simply isn’t economic.

    The convention centre will also be down-sized / right-sized.

    • maui 5.1

      Have National redesign your city centre and you’ve got guaranteed failure. I haven’t been to many european cities but I imagine the ones that attract people into their city squares don’t put a convention centre next to them. You may as well put a big box store in that is only open on some weekends.

    • Tracey 5.2

      No covered stadium can be economic in NZ, except, maybe in Auckland. As long as a country of 4.5 million insistes on every city have a world class satidium, convention centre etc they will e subsidised by taxpayers or ratepayers.

      We are so stupid we build these things and go into competition with each other, just as we did with our ports. GREAT for those wanting to make money at our expense though by playing our centres off against each other.

  6. her 6

    That’s a lie. They have built up a huge debt.
    More than $100 billion last time I looked and they were hemorrhaging cash before the Christchurch earthquakes happened.

  7. Murray Simmonds 7

    Brownlee has dismissed the Treasury report, released on Monday, calling it “utter tripe”.

    Translated into Nationaleese, this actually means “OOOPS! We are losing the battle to maintain a balance of payments surplus, so something else has gotta go. . . .

    I know, lets slash and burn the Chch rebuild.”

  8. vto 8

    The finger can be pointed directly at Bill English

    His political aim of creating a surplus is what has led to most the problems with the anchor projects in Christchurch – didn’t want the money committed eh.

    Stand up and take a bow Bill English……

    Cash handout for sloppy South Canterbury Finance investors
    Steal the water in Canterbury for your dairy farmers
    Shit up all the rivers, especially in your home town Southland – poooeeeeee
    Stop the Christchurch rebuild progress

    what a zero

    • Tc 8.1

      + 100 but only as directed by the hollowmen. Blinglish has enjoyed the lack of spotlight quietly enabling the selloffs and swindling of public funds intonprivate hands.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 8.2

      Bill English also failed to increase EQC prior to the earthquakes despite being advised to do so.

      There is also a suspicion down here in Canterbury that EQC claims were dribbled out slowly to extend the economic recovery so the recovery ‘peaked’ for the election, it also minimised and delayed Crown costs from Southern Response. Thus Canterbury’s insurance fund that they had paid in for ‘when the big one hits’ was illegitimately turned into a economic recovery fund. If this is true -it would be very successful because private insurance didn’t even find out about claims until after EQC processed them.

  9. Ad 9

    Reasonably spooky when New Zealand has to rely on Treasury to speak the truth to the government.

    Treasury is also slowly understanding that the government must spend more on infrastructure to keep the economy pushing along as we go through this inevitable slowdown.

    But, as LPrent points out, the great tax cuts have left this government bereft of the cash to get the big infrastructure jobs going, other than of course those jobs that the private sector is prepared to underwrite, such as the economically worthless Puhoi-Warkworth State Highway 1 PPP, and the grossly state-subsidized Sky City National Convention Centre.

    We are going to look back even a decade from now and see an appalling misallocation of public capital to stuff that made no difference, which when better directed could have revived whole cities and indeed could have led us out of stagnation.

    • Tc 9.1

      Dunno about the looking back as we have an electorate thats voted in the leaky bulding, dirty politics, bene bashing, selling off party not once but 3 times now.

      People put far too much faith in the voting publics ability to think critically and objectively as last election showed.

    • Colin Espiner 9.2

      At the risk of sounding like a broken record (but given comments on this website continue to bring this up) there is no ‘state subsidisation’ of the International Convention Centre – gross or otherwise.

      SKYCITY is paying for the whole thing, in return for a licence extension and the right to operate 10 per cent more gaming machines.

      This agreement saved the taxpayer at least half a billion dollars – the cost the Crown would have incurred constructing this facility itself; not to mention the ongoing operational costs.

      On top of that, the centre is conservatively estimated to bring in approximately $90 million a year in increased GDP and employ 2,000 people during its construction and once operational.

      I accept these facts disrupt the narrative of those who oppose the centre, economic growth, and employment. I understand they would like to be able to claim that taxpayers are on the hook for it all.

      However, repeating this fallacy often enough doesn’t make it true.

      Regards

      Colin Espiner
      GM Communications
      SKYCITY Entertainment Group

      • Pat 9.2.1

        ?????….have you posted in the correct thread?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.2

        repeating this fallacy often enough doesn’t make it true

        You’re right: most people don’t believe the things you say they do. The social harm of gambling, on the other hand, is well documented. Not to mention money laundering.

      • ropata 9.2.3

        Also, it’s a huge malinvestment that will likely lose money and of course Skycity will come begging/greasing palms for some kind of sneaky tax relief.

        Also, it’s going to cause massive traffic delays for all of 2016 and beyond

        Also, it’s redirecting building investment/equipment/manpower away from the Christchurch rebuild

        Also, gambling (esp. pokies) is a cancer that hurts the poor most of all

        Also, FJK’s back room dealings on the SkyCity CC were seriously dodgy, verging on corrupt, as the Auditor General pointed out

        But hey, the house always wins. Too bad New Zealand, you lose.

        • Colin Espiner 9.2.3.1

          OK, so just to answer your points in turn Ropata:

          1 SKYCITY has never received any tax relief, sneaky or otherwise. We pay more than $180 million a year in tax, which is one of the highest tax bills of any company in New Zealand. That’s a huge amount of money going into central government coffers.

          2 You are completely incorrect. The NZICC project will cause no traffic issues whatsoever in Auckland. If you know Auckland, or you know the area it is being built in, you will know it is a self-contained one block site in between two three-lane roads. Of all the new developments in Auckland, the NZICC is probably the only one that WON’T cause any traffic disruption.

          3 What rubbish. According to this logic, no-one else in the country should build anything for the next decade until Christchurch is rebuilt. Are you also arguing none of the other Auckland infrastructure projects should proceed? What about Wellington’s convention centre? Or is the NZICC somehow peculiar in that it, and it alone, will suck resources from Christchurch?

          4 You’re welcome to your personal views on the merits of gambling. But it doesn’t have anything to do with the NZICC.

          5 Whatever you think of the way the Government handled the tender process for the contract, your beef is with them, not us. SKYCITY handled itself with the utmost integrity at all times.

          6 New Zealand will benefit hugely from this centre. Not only will it create thousands of jobs, but it will pump millions into the economy and provide a great new facility for Aucklanders to use and enjoy.

          • BLiP 9.2.3.1.1

            1 SKYCITY has never received any tax relief, sneaky or otherwise. We pay more than $180 million a year in tax, which is one of the highest tax bills of any company in New Zealand. That’s a huge amount of money going into central government coffers.

            As you should but I’m betting every tax “avoidance” scheme available, and probably a few others you’ve dreamed up but are prepared to defend in court, are in operation. Paying your legal taxes is hardly something to be boasting about. Most companies do – and most companies do not feed off the misery of the poor likes yours does.

            2 You are completely incorrect. The NZICC project will cause no traffic issues whatsoever in Auckland. If you know Auckland, or you know the area it is being built in, you will know it is a self-contained one block site in between two three-lane roads. Of all the new developments in Auckland, the NZICC is probably the only one that WON’T cause any traffic disruption.

            We’ll see.

            3 What rubbish. According to this logic, no-one else in the country should build anything for the next decade until Christchurch is rebuilt. Are you also arguing none of the other Auckland infrastructure projects should proceed? What about Wellington’s convention centre? Or is the NZICC somehow peculiar in that it, and it alone, will suck resources from Christchurch?

            So, you’re just going to import cheap labour. Yippeee! Try and do a better job with your paperwork than the farmers, would you, please.

            4 You’re welcome to your personal views on the merits of gambling. But it doesn’t have anything to do with the NZICC.

            So there will be NO pokie machines in the convention centre and no one attending the convention centre will be encouraged to gamble. Sounds legit. Also, while ropata was expressing his personal views, they are backed up by academic research. Have a look at it sometime. Won’t help your conscience, though.

            5 Whatever you think of the way the Government handled the tender process for the contract, your beef is with them, not us. SKYCITY handled itself with the utmost integrity at all times.

            Remind us, just how did Sky Shitty get its hands on that TVNZ land again and by how much is the size of the convention centre being reduced and, while I’m at it, do the words “casino” and “integrity” actually belong in the same sentence?

            6 New Zealand will benefit hugely from this centre. Not only will it create thousands of jobs, but it will pump millions into the economy and provide a great new facility for Aucklanders to use and enjoy.

            Thousands of jobs – millions into the economy? John Key already tried those lies on us way back when Nigel Morrison played him for the fool he is.

  10. G C 10

    So what, we should vote for the Liberal Party, sorry I mean Labour? Should we vote for the De-Industrialise Party, sorry I mean the Greens.

    What’s the alternative – both the Greens and Labour have failed spectacularly to stand up for us here in Christchurch~!!! That’s why Christchurch gets bluer every election~!!!

    Labour are the worst – too busy worshiping at Auckland’s altar of liberalism. They are a disgrace and have dumped David Cunliffe down the list – at least he mentioned ChCh occasionally!

    • Leftie 10.1

      Well that explains why you lot in Christchurch went for triple dosings of punishment by overwhelmingly voting in Brownlee, (with a huge majority no less), and the Nats again in 2014 doesn’t it?

    • Tc 10.2

      Yes seen that logic from nact voters alot where they displayed stockholm syndrome rather than vote for anyone except the mob who created the mess.

    • Leftie 10.3

      @G C

      John Campbell mentioned Christchurch all the time, and look where that got him months after the election.

  11. ropata 11

    Instead of a recovery rooted in justice and striving for a better city for all, we have seen:

    – School closures – in our poorest communities
    – Prioritisation of commercial centres over people’s homes
    – Economic recovery or business championed over economic recovery of families and households

    We are in danger of becoming two cities–or two nations:

    1. People with great opportunity
    2. People stuck in permanent poverty

    Christchurch is not being rebuilt or renewed for most of the people living here.

    The power of capital is shaping the city according to profit rather than people, and the city’s structure and functioning, including urban buildings and public services, disproportionately represent the preferences of those with money.

    http://www.tonymilne.org.nz/inequality_and_the_canterbury_earthquakes

    • Ad 11.1

      From your link:

      What does Christchurch really look like?
      • 50% of population have income below $29,000pa
      • Households in Christchurch’s wealthiest neighbourhoods earn three times more than those in the poorest. Holmwood had the highest median household income ($128,300). Linwood households earned a median income of $42,100.
      • Over the next decade close to 20% of people will be over 65 years. In two decades, that will rise to 25%. In four decades, the number of people in the 85+ age group will increase by 600%.
      • Currently 10–15% of older people are in hardship but hardship levels are expected to grow in future decades
      • 1 in 3 households rent
      • 1 in 4 children live below the poverty line
      • 1 in 6 young people are unemployed

      Fairly bracing, and far from the Ministers’, developers, and insurers’ interests.

      A real government would focus on the people whose lives really needed improving.

      • Puddleglum 11.1.1

        This ‘infographic’ from the 2013 census tries to capture some of the changes.

        The population rose by 2.6% since 2006, which compares with a rise of 5.3% nationally over that period. Changes in types of occupation (construction up, manufacturing down), where people worked and lived are all made clear.

        Basically, Christchurch was altered quite noticeably in demographics and distribution of the population as a result of the earthquakes.

        Nevertheless, more people voted National in the Christchurch urban electorates (not counting Te Tai Tonga) in 2014 than in 2011 (all figures from the election results.govt.nz website). And the 2011 vote for National was up on the 2008 vote. The numbers for National were: 71,363 (2008); 74,581 (2011); 88,059 (2014).

        For Labour the votes were: 66,474 (2008); 42,957 (2011); 42,032 (2014).

        The Green Party and NZF also significantly increased their share of the vote over those elections.

        • Puddleglum 11.1.1.1

          I should add that the overall party vote in Christchurch (for all but the very, very minor parties) was the following:

          177,090 (2008); 157,622 (2011); 173,052 (2014).

          So the number of people voting has not regained the level in 2008, despite an overall increase in population during that time.

        • Puddleglum 11.1.1.2

          Correction:

          The 2014 votes for National and Labour in Christchurch urban electorates (Christchurch Central, Christchurch East, Ilam, Port Hills, Wigram) were actually:

          National – 80,442
          Labour – 43,961

          So not quite as positive for National as my original figures suggested.

          Figures for the Green Party and NZF in those same seats:

          Green Party: 16,698 (2008); 23,266 (2011); 24,837 (2014)
          NZF: 5,340 (2008); 8,099 (2011); 12,596 (2014)

  12. Wayne 12

    If Christchurch voters are as dissatisfied with progress in their city as all the commenters think, why do they keep voting for National with ever increasing percentages?

    Perhaps it is because they are actually seeing real progress in the rebuild of the city, both in respect of their own lives and in the wider community.

    I visit the city quite regularly and I have been impressed how well the city is thriving. Most people seem to have had their houses either rebuilt or a new one has been built for them, probably on a new section in a new suburb. The city center is definitely taking longer to get together, but there is now real progress compared to 12 months ago. Still it would be great for the city if the cathedral was rebuilt. Without it the center does seem a bit hollow.

    I am not suggesting there are no problems, but it seems to me they affect fewer people than is sometimes appreciated. Certainly John Campbell got this point wrong. He focused on a relatively small minority, and sought to suggest that pretty much everyone was in the same situation. In fact they were not, and they resented being preached to in the way he did.

  13. linda 13

    Iam sure all national seen wass all billions of insurance money going in and only thoght was how can we loot it fuck the peasants. No its not labours fault national and there fucken john key are the government. They called the shots the buck stops with them it will becomelabours problem usual to clean up the mess. While the right. Winger. Will deny blame lie loot and steal.

  14. G C 14

    There is a lot of progress being made here in ChCh – we wouldn’t want to ruin said progress by voting in Labour who can’t see below the ‘beltway’.

    • Kiwiri 14.1

      What’s your view of Megan Woods? The reason given for her promotion up the list was said to be her work in Christchurch.

      • Pat 14.1.1

        Megan Woods (and her office) have done great work in ChCh…at an electorate level for individual cases….that does little for the wider community

    • Leftie 14.2

      @G C
      Why so defensive? Then the people of Christchurch have nothing to complain about do they? they got what they voted for, right?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.1

        Not according to the Treasury department 😆

      • Keith 14.2.2

        @ Leftie, Ain’t that the truth, the good people of Christchurch voted National in spades! They don’t get much sympathy from me as a result.

  15. G C 15

    Wigram is littered with new housing developments and businesses – I wouldn’t credit her, I’d credit Wigram’s geographic location and the CCC. Saying that, I don’t know much about her, however that in itself speaks volumes. Wigram is looking awesome these days though.

  16. Cheryl Smeaton 16

    The ‘blame hound’ is sitting right beside him -she’ll have caused it by the end the week.

  17. Philj 17

    Sorry just lost a posting . The Christchurch recovery is at risk of stalling as business has moved out and gone elsewhere. Timing is everything, and the central city is a construction site. People are frustrated by the delays. Treasury reflects this concern. What happens when the money runs out? Is that why the slow pace? The Council is just announced a sell off of its works department, hoping for $200M, with another $500M sell off in the next couple of years. The Government has largely hung then out to dry, slowly, a bit like Pike River.

    • ropata 19.1

      these stories are all from people with 500K+ houses and the nous to take EQC to court, what about all the hundreds of poorer people without the resources/confidence to challenge EQC’s lowball guesstimates and shonky remediation offers?

      something really stinks in Canterbury.

      I agree with commenter “kate”:

      And EQC, in conducting its business/service this way can only be acting on explicit instructions from the executive branch of government. Clearly, the event, had it been responded to in accordance with its actual obligations, meant EQC would have been unable to fund it.

      • Pat 19.1.1

        exactly….and not just the nous….the tens of thousands a High Court hearing will cost as well….its deliberate and systemic..and worst of all,its not the international moneymen doing it (though they are as well) its our own government and public agencies

  18. Everyone is going to be at fault some time or another and like a lot of the arguments here, all the different parties have their faults and are only good at talking about what they could “potentially” do if they were in power. It’s the case of who’s the best out of all the bad jobs. Makes me glad I’m in car financing though, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to take the pressure of all this name-calling.

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