One of the few areas of the economy that is booming is debt collecting and the Christchurch City Council is about to send more business its way.
It has hired the debt collecting agency Credit Services Ltd to chase debts which includes rates, building and resource consents and - yes- library fines. I owe something like $1.50 down at my local library so perhaps I'll get a letter from the heavy mob.
Apparently the Christchurch City Council is owed some $23 million in debts for the past financial year. It is the area of non-payment of rates that is causing the council bureaucracy most angst, with the threat of court action now becoming increasingly common.
While the council is pursuing ratepayers - who invariably don't pay on time because of economic hardship - it has played fast and loose with ratepayers money when it handed over $17 million to failed property developer Dave Henderson for five nondescript central city buildings.
It also spent some $2 million on the 'naming rights' to the Ellerslie Garden show.
Oh and let's not forget the $100,000 Audi sportster that Sideshow Bob drives around in - the struggling ratepayer 'subsidises' this as well.
Sideshow Bob and his council chums have proven to be less than sensible with ratepayer money - if they hadn't been so reckless the outstanding debts would of been less of an issue.
The struggling ratepayer may of also been less inclined to ignore the council demands if they hadn't seen their money being thrown at property developers already up to their neck in debt.
People like Henderson get a $17 million bridging loan - us plebs get the debt collectors put on to us.