As New Zealand heads into deepest winter and into economic recession, Christchurch mayor Sideshow Bob Parker and his loathsome council supporters have put rents up for council tenants by a massive 24 percent.
July 1 marks the day when the rent rise is inflicted on council tenants.
But Sideshow and his mates aren’t having it all their own way.
In somewhat of a major coup for the Coalition For Fair Rents, the Ombudsman has agreed that the Coalition’s complaint about the big rent rise is worthy of further investigation.
Already the Ombudsman’s Office has requisitioned dozen’s of council documents, memos and e-mails.
And the unpopular Sideshow Bob is being fought on another legal front as well.
The Council of Social Services filed a legal challenge in the High Court on Friday claiming that the rent rise breached the Local Government Act.
University of Canterbury law school professor, Duncan Webb, is working on the case. He has asked the case be heard urgently (within the next two months) rather than the normal eight months.
Along with Sideshow Bob, it was councillors Gail Sheriff, Claudia Reid, David Cox, Sue Wells, Ngaire Button and Mike Wall who voted for the increase. Barry Corbett supports the increase but was not present at the council meeting when the vote was taken.