Environment Canterbury head Dame Margaret Bazley says Christchurch City Council is a “totally incompetent organisation”.
. . . Documents obtained by The Press under the Official Information Act show the tension between the two councils over the delivery of transport infrastructure, particularly the city council’s delay in building a bus “superstop” at Northlands mall.
ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield wrote to his city council counterpart Tony Marryatt on December 10 last year saying it was “extremely disappointing” the superstop was not ready for a December 3 deadline.
The city council’s “inadequate provision of infrastructure” was undoing his staff’s work, Bayfield said.
A council staff member replied, accepting responsibility for the Northlands problems, saying: “Rather than offer excuses, I can confirm that the new infrastructure will be in place in Northlands by the end of February 2013.”
When this deadline was also missed, Dame Margaret weighed into the debate: “I have monitored the performance of the Christchurch City Council on the provision of these facilities… and have built up a picture of staff who tell lies, and of a totally incompetent organisation,” she wrote to Parker on April 16.
“Our staff have at all times worked collaboratively with your officers and have been given assurances that everything was in order, and progress was on track, when this was obviously not true.”
It was a “sad reflection on our supposed partnership” that even building a bus stop on time seemed beyond the city council, she said, and asked Parker to intervene. . .
Friends who are, or have been, trying to do business and rebuild homes in Christchurch tell stories of delays and frustrations which suggest that problems with the council aren’t restricted to this project.
The city has been devastated and faces a huge task in rebuilding.
The council plays a big part in ensuring the rebuild goes as smoothly as possible.
That requires people and systems designed to respond quickly and competently to minimise problems and maximise service.
The council needs a how can we help attitude backed by action for the good of the city and its people.
They and the country need the South Island’s biggest city rebuilt and back to its best as soon as possible.