Many people who donated to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal were under the impression that the money would be used to assist people in need. They probably didn't think that $3 million of that money would be given to Canterbury Cricket to fund the construction of its 'international' cricket venue.
If it isn't bad enough that Canterbury Cricket has been allowed to swipe some of the publicly-owned Hagley Park for its new 'international' cricket pavilion, it has now been given a $3 million worth of free money to help build the pavilion. That money has come from the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust.
The money will be used to assist Canterbury Cricket exploit public land for its own profit. This is public land that was set aside 'in perpetuity' by an act of the provincial council in 1855 (see picture).
This so- called 'loan' will be written off over five years. In other words - this is free public money being given to private interests.
The Christchurch City Council has already given Canterbury $1.85 for construction work on the new pavilion.
In effect we have not only witnessed the privatisation of public land but a big wad chunk of public money has been given to Canterbury Cricket to exploit that land. Canterbury Cricket chief Lee Germon and his mates are laughing all the way to the bank.
According to the trust the 'condition 'of the loan is that 'the pavilion and oval being freely accessible to all sports, and used to host community events that are open to the public.'
Big deal. Canterbury Cricket are being given $3 million on the provision that we, the public, are allowed what will only be limited access to land that we previously owned!
But hold on.. there's more to this rotten deal!
Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee Dr Rod Carr says that as 'As part of our loan arrangement we’re delighted that Canterbury Cricket and New Zealand Cricket will be offering a number of complimentary tickets to major cricket games to be played at Hagley Oval.”
That's right. Rod Carr is 'delighted' that in return for public land and public money Canterbury Cricket will give away a few complimentary tickets - which it does already anyway. And we might get a few trinkets as well if we're lucky.