Christchurch has to find an extra $883 million by 2019 to cover its share of the rebuild and one of the options for funding that is asset sales:
. . . Meanwhile the Cameron Partners report shows the council needs to find an extra $883 million by 2019 to cover its share of the rebuild – constructing basic community facilities like libraries and swimming pools, and carrying out road and piping repairs.
The finance advisory firm believes the council has few legitimate reasons to hold onto its entire $2.6 billion asset portfolio and says there is “considerable scope” for a partial sale.
Ms Dalziel says the proposal is being considered as part of a wider recovery plan, which is likely to include rate increases and spending cuts. The council plans to open the floor for consultation in September and will listen to public opinion before making any decision.
The council is considering the release of around $400 million in capital from CCHL. The $2.6 billion portfolio includes Christchurch International Airport, the Lyttelton Port Company and electricity supplier Orion – although Ms Dalziel hopes to maintain “strategic control” of all three companies. . .
Christchurch mayor, Lianne Dalziel, was a Labour MP when the party so vehemently opposed the government’s plan to sell shares in a few state assets.
She appears to have now seen the light and accepts that asset sales would be preferable to a huge rates hike or steep increase in debt but her former colleagues are still in the dark:
Labour will vigorously oppose short term solutions to plug Christchurch City Council’s funding shortfall – including asset sales – which leave the city worse off financially and strategically in the long term, Labour’s Canterbury Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. . .
The Green Party is similarly blinkered:
Christchurch City Council should not be forced into selling its strategic assets, the Green Party said today. . .
“A firesale of Council assets involving the sale or partial sale of strategic assets such as Orion and Christchurch Airport is not in Christchurch’s interests,” said Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage today. . .
This is the council’s business not opposition partys’.
The government is making a multi-billion dollar commitment to the rebuild and no-one should begrudge that but the city has to help itself too.
Christchurch people have more than enough to cope with without substantial rates increases or shackling themselves with excessive debt.
The city council has asked for advice on what to do and it’s up to it to do it or not without the interference from opportunistic opposition parties blinded by their ideological opposition to sensible economics and more interested in securing votes than the best interests of the city and its people.