NRT: More dictatorship from Brownlee

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, November 23rd, 2012 - 11 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Gerry Brownlee, local government, national - Tags: , , ,

No Right Turn on the Nats’ contemplating yet another way to trample on democracy in Christchurch…

More dictatorship from Brownlee

This morning, the Christchurch City Council voted to save its town hall from the bulldozer. it was a unanimous vote, reflecting the value Christchurch sets on its iconic building. So naturally, Gerry Brownlee is threatening to overturn it:

But Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the decision could put plans on hold for a performing arts centre, which is in the Government’s blueprint for the central city.

Mr Brownlee said it’s unlikely the city can have both.

He said it’s disappointing the council has committed so much money, given there is no certainty the entire facility can be repaired.

However, Mr Brownlee admits the council may have information that he does not about repair options.

Brownlee should butt out. What Christchurch ultimately looks like is a decision for the people who live there. And as a democratically elected body, the Christchurch City Council is the body best placed to decide that – not some Minister who spends most of his time in Wellington.

11 comments on “NRT: More dictatorship from Brownlee”

  1. vto

    Exactly. Brownlee should butt out. I suspect he will on this one but that he just has an obligation to make those noises upfront.

    Saving the Town Hall will happen. If not just because that is what Christchurch people want but also because it makes economic sense (let along cultural etc sense). $120million to fix it. Do you imagine demolishing it and building some replacement will cost less than that? I don’t think so – not by a long shot.

    Brownlee will be well aware of this, and the bubbling cauldron of discontent at the lack of democracy (which our forefathers fought for in various world and other wars, let’s not forget) in our region.

    • ghostwhowalksnz

      Dont believe any of the costs about ‘repair’. It will be much much more expensive to repair than rebuild as once the y are underway ‘changes’ will inevitably occur.

  2. ianmac

    Surely the decision to restore the town hall would have been made based on good research. Of course Mr Brownlie would have equally sound research to counter the restoration, wouldn’t he. So far he thinks that a look at the interior is enough research. Rise up Christchurch!

  3. Lanthanide

    I’ve never seen what’s so special about the town hall. Really I think it’s kind of ugly.

    I agree with Brownlee: if the council weren’t actually properly taking all factors into account, then their vote is pretty much meaningless. As a ratepayer, I don’t really want to be on the hock for repairing something if it’s more cost effective (and better suits community needs) to build a brand new building.

    • vto

      see my point above about the cost to ratepayers of demolition and rebuild cf repair

      • Lanthanide

        “Do you imagine demolishing it and building some replacement will cost less than that? I don’t think so – not by a long shot.”

        I think it’s possible, because a large part of the problem is the land it’s on. It’s difficult to repair land when buildings are on it, but it’s easier (so, cheaper) to repair land on a new empty site and then build a new building on it.

        They also want to improve the building standard from existing 33% of building code to 100% for earthquake resistance, which again is quite expensive for existing buildings. I could easily believe that building something from scratch that meets 100% of code could be cheaper than refitting an existing building.

        • DS1

          My understanding was the the repair option was $120mil and replace was $160mil.

          Personally, the Town Hall is one of my favourite buildings. The acoustics are incredible (CBS Arena is shocking), and there are some magic memories there. Including graduation.

          We’ve already lost so many of our best and most beautiful buildings… it’d be nice if we could save one or two.

          But looking at the wider picture – I think this comes down to a clash between what the community (via the democratically elected council) wants vs what the Minister and the (unelected) CERA want.

    • Richard Christie

      I’ve never seen what’s so special about the town hall.

      It has irritated me that most international touring musical acts have been for decades choosing venues such as the Westpac Stadium over the Town Hall .
      Superb acoustics don’t seem to have been enough to guarantee its use, except for classical and orchestral gigs.

      • Lanthanide

        I’d suggest probably the lack of car-parking and difficult transport makes it less desirable for those sorts of things.

  4. David H

    But not forgetting that Joyce had a go at Auckland university’s for not offering enough Engineering courses, and threatening the same democracy as they give to canty council.–Greens/tabid/1607/articleID/277252/Default.aspx

    So that’s why Brownlee’s face, zoomed in, close up, was on TV this morning scaring my boy. It looked like a a veiled threat. My way, or else.

  5. irascible

    Consider that Parrota and the Cabinet have opted for the most expensive proposal for restructuring of ChCh schools with the note that if the wishes of the communities are taken into account the cabinet’s preference will be at risk and you can see that democracy is far from the minds of this KeY owned cabinet.

    The spin to be used to justify the $1Billion + option is that this will benefit low achieving Maori& Pasifika children. An assertion that, from the reporting available on RNZ, appears to be based on an assumption that by combining schools best practice from both will be combined into super programmes that will boost the identified preferred groups. Sounds like the same spin, later proven to be false by Issacs, that Charter Schools would be directed to boosting Maori & Pasifika achievement in South Auckland and Christchurch as that would be where such schools would be based.