The Christchurch City Council's 'earthquake levy' is nothing more than a bailout for Vbase, the Council-owned operator of the AMI Stadium. Meanwhile, Sideshow Bob and his chums have allowed CEO Tony Marryatt to spend up large on 'consultants'. The good people of Christchurch are paying for that as well.

The good people of Christchurch, already financially impoverished by two devastating earthquakes, have been dealt a further blow by Sideshow Bob and his Council chums.

The Christchurch City Council has approved a 5.34 per cent rates rise. On top of that an 'earthquake levy' of 1.76 percent has been imposed.

The propaganda says that this will repay the expected $73.8 million deficit 'caused by earthquakes', but the levy is solely to pay the debts of the Council-owned Vbase, the operator of the AMI Stadium. Vbase's debt has been reported to be approximately $74 million.

The 7.1 percent overall increase means that the Christchurch City Council has also allowed CEO Tony Marryatt to spend nearly $3 million on 'consultants' to work on the Christchurch City Council plan.

Marryatt appointed the consultants without the approval of the Council.

He doesn't appear to have taken heed of advice from the Ministry of Economic Development that it 'seek some level of competition and achieve value for money.'

Impact Project Management has the biggest contract, being paid $878,936. It appears that Marryatt unilaterally appointed Project Management. Due process has simply been ignored.

Hagley-Ferrymead councillor Yani Johanson has commented that he is 'increasingly concerned' about the cost of the central-city planning process.

Councillors should have been given an opportunity to decide the scope and budget of the project, Johanson said this week.

'There's no reason why it couldn't have been approved by us. We can arrange special meetings within a day's notice.'

Despite the enormous financial difficulties facing Christchurch and its people, its worth noting that Sideshow Bob and his chums didn't think it necessary to do their bit for Christchurch by taking a cut to their already inflated salaries.

We all have to make sacrifices apparently - but not Sideshow Bob and his Council chums. This is in despite of the fact that much of the work of the Christchurch City Council has been taken over by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA).


  1. somebody is being taken for a ride. $3m for planning work for Chch versus the $2m spent by Auckland Council for 1.4m people? Something's wrong here.

  2. I saw Sue Wells on TV last night, nodding her head in approval at everything her beloved leader said.

  3. Susan Sells - Out every hardworking Christchurch can see the Mayoral aspirations in this one....the need for power is strong in this one.........

  4. Just go and have a look at how many shares Vbase issued to council in 2010 alone (over 40M) if these were @ $1per share they have already funneled $40M in prior to the new 45M share equity investment, thats going to be 85M+ shares in less than 2 years not taking the additional $9M and $3M into account.
    As the sole shareholder one would have expected Councils shares already held all the equity in Vbase, but obviously not, Some in council see share issues and equity investments as a way of skirting around the Local Government ACT.
    This latest $45M equity investment is another obvious skirt, All in the hands of the OAG at present.


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