Feedback sought on earthquake memorial

February 18, 2015

The public is invited to give feedback on the six designs shortlisted for the  Canterbury Earthquake Memorial:

The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations.

More than 330 submissions were received from 37 countries after designs were sought by the Government, Christchurch City Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

The six short-listed were selected last year and have since been adapted following consultation with stakeholders, including those who lost loved ones and those who suffered serious injuries, and in order to ensure they met design criteria.

“I think each of the designs is outstanding and reflects the Canterbury experience in a different way. Every one of them could be a fitting memorial for what we lost and what we have been through as a city,” says Associate Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Nicky Wagner.

“The public now has a chance to have its say on which design best reflects that shared loss and experience.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says this is an important step towards having a memorial space that will mean so much to so many people, here and around the world.

“Allowing the public to have a say in how we commemorate what we have lost, while capturing a sense of hope for the future, will make a real difference.”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Tā Mark Solomon says: “It is very important for the region, our city and our communities to have an appropriate place to honour and reflect on the events of the earthquakes. I believe as a community we will achieve this.”

The short-listed designs can be viewed at www.ccdu.govt.nz/ideas-to-remember and feedback can be given on the website until 15 March. . .


Dalziel sees light on asset sales?

August 2, 2014

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.


Labour’s listing

May 23, 2014

Labour MP Ruth Dyson is standing for the Port Hills electorate but isn’t seeking a place on her party’s list.

Dyson has dropped down the Labour Party rankings in a series of reshuffles, from No 5 under former leader Phil Goff in 2011, to recently being demoted by David Cunliffe to 28 (out of 34), behind the likes of Kelvin Davis.

Davis is not yet even an MP but will return to the Capital when Shane Jones leaves Parliament.

Barnett said it was “not unusual” for MPs not to chase list placings. . . .

He was never on the list when he was an MP and Lianne Dalziel didn’t seek a list place three years ago. Nor did Damien O’Connor who objected to the process being run by selection process run by “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays”.

Labour’s candidate in Napier, Stuart Nash isn’t seeking a list place this time either.

Dyson’s move was announced at a regional list selection meeting in Christchurch on Sunday, which Barnett said was “relaxed”. He believed the move was tactical, with Port Hills always a tightly contested seat.

“It’s not unusual for somebody in a seat which is going to be a pretty tight, hard race to focus entirely on being an electorate candidate,” Barnett said.

“My sense [speaking to Dyson] was the consideration was entirely about the electorate . . . It’s always been a tight seat for the 20 years that she’s been there; it’s the nature of that part of the city.” . . .

National won the party vote in the seat at the last election and boundary changes have made it far more marginal.

But under MMP, it is never entirely about the electorate.

Electorate votes get a candidate into parliament but it’s the list vote which gets a party into government.

Opting off the list can send a message to voters that if they want the candidate, they have to give them their electorate vote.

But this also reinforces the message that all’s not well on the not so good ship Labour, that candidates have no confidence in the list ranking process and emphasises the lack of unity in the party and caucus.

The nautical definition of listingis a tendency for a boat to tilt or lean to one side owing to an unstable load or ballast.

If it lists too far it can start losing cargo and eventually tip over.

Labour’s lurch to the left could be described as listing to port which ought to please Dyson who is one of its more left-wing MPs but she has decided to jump overboard from the list.

It could just be a message for voters to support her with their electorate votes. It could also be showing she doesn’t trust her party to give her the support she’s seeking from voters.


Labour’s seat to lose

November 27, 2013

Labour leader David Cunliffe reckons the Christchurch East seat is National’s to lose.

So despite Dalziel’s solid 5334 majority in 2011, Cunliffe has been talking up National’s equally emphatic victory in the party vote in 2011, by 13,252 (46 per cent) to 9100 for Labour (31.65 per cent).

Labour’s “key message” is that the seat is National’s to lose.

For Cunliffe “any old win would do”, he said yesterday.

“I would say 50 per cent would be great.”

He is adamant the party vote is the best measure of “underlying party allegiance” available.

But this isn’t a general election where people get two votes. It’s a by-election for a seat Labour has held for decades.

No-one would expect a new candidate to get the support Dalziel built up over several terms as the local MP,even though, contrary to her assertion she would be an independent mayor, she is helping Poto Williams.

But it would be a serious blow to Labour, its candidate and its leader if National’s Matthew Doocey won the seat.

People in Christchurch East have had more than enough of living with the aftermath of earthquakes, dealing with insurance companies and all the other challenges which make day to day life more difficult. There’s little more the government can do about most of these than it’s already doing but even so, people at the end of their tethers can use their votes to send a message about their frustration.

This all makes the seat Labour’s to lose and it’s Cunliffe’s to lose too.

He hasn’t made much progress in the polls since becoming leader and anything but an emphatic win for his candidate, chosen over those supported by the locals, will be a big blow for him.


What about Earthquake Recovery? – Update

September 25, 2013

One glaring omission from David Cunliffe’s new line-up of spokespeople is someone for Earthquake Recovery.

Clayton Cosgrove is spokesman for the Earthquake Commission but that isn’t earthquake recovery.

Former MP Lianne Dalziel is regarded as the favourite for Christchurch’s mayoralty but surely Cunliffe doesn’t think she’ll carry on doing his party’s work in this very important role as well.

 

Update – Deborah has  left a comment below which points out Ruth Dyson has responsibility for earthquake recovery.

It hadn’t occurred me to look beyond those ranked for such an important role.

Any spokesperson is better than none but having someone out of the shadow cabinet and unranked hold the position doesn’t give it the importance it needs.


Labour selects candidate for Chch East

September 21, 2013

Labour has selected its candidate for the Christchurch East by-election:

Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth has announced that Potu Williams will be the candidate for the Christchurch East by election following the resignation of Lianne Dalziel. We had a robust democratic selection process with hundreds of local people in a packed rugby club hall in the heart of the electorate, where a very strong field of candidates discussed local issues.  . .

Labour’s view of robust and democratic isn’t necessarily the same as other people’s.

Kiwiblog points out that Labour has a six person panel with three head office appointments so the vote of each local member is worth around 1/100th the vote of a head office person.

Christchurch East is regarded as a safe Labour seat although retiring MP Lianne Dalziel had a strong personal vote.


Matthew Doocey to contest Chch East for National

September 13, 2013

The National Party has selected Matthe Doocey as its candidate for the Christchurch East by-election.

“While an incumbent Government has never won a by-election in a seat it does not already hold, the National family are united behind Matthew as he accepts the challenge to wrest a seat which Labour has held since 1922,” says National Party Regional Chair Roger Bridge.

“Matthew Doocey is a fresh new face to the political landscape in Christchurch, and one of two nominees interviewed for the candidacy. We’re delighted to have him aboard.”

Matthew Doocey says he is proud to have won selection to contest the by-election on behalf of National.

“It’s going to be a big challenge up against the Labour machine in East Christchurch. Of course Lianne Dalziel is a household name there and Labour will be desperate to hold on to the seat.

“But I believe Christchurch East needs a constructive voice inside John Key’s National-led Government. It’s an electorate with huge opportunities and big decisions to make as it works its way through the recovery and beyond.

“Jobs, growth, education and healthcare are the bread and butter issues. I think the public appreciate the fact that National has held steady despite the distractions and side-tracks that appear to pre-occupy the other side.

Matthew Doocey (41) is married to Hungarian-born wife Viktoria. They have lived in Redwood since returning to Christchurch from the UK earlier this year. He works at the Canterbury District Health Board as a manager in its surgical division.

He went to St Bedes college, then studied counselling psychology at WelTec (Wellington). He has a Bsc (Hons) in Social Policy, an MA in Healthcare Management from Kingston University in London, and an MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck University in London. He is also studying towards a Doctorate in Health by distance at Bath University in the UK.

Matthew Doocey has a long career in healthcare management including in the delivery of community mental health and social care services both in voluntary, and Government settings. He has worked extensively in the voluntary and community sector, including for Youthline NZ.

“Christchurch is my home town. My closest family are here. When I heard about the quakes I really wanted to come home to the city I grew up in and give something back.

“Christchurch East was characterised by strength and resilience in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Now we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the community even stronger and I want to be part of that.”

The Green Party is contesting the seat which will split the anti-government vote to some extent and a new candidate won’t have the personal following that the retiring MP Lianne Dalziel had.

But Christchurch East is a dark red seat and even a strong National candidate like this one faces a huge task in contesting it.


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