|In 2012 Raf Manji described privatisation as short term gain for long term pain.|
The Christchurch City Council's 'public consultation' on asset sales is a farce.
THE CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL'S SO CALLED 'consultation process' over the sale of council assets has always been an exercise in deception, designed to convince the good people of Christchurch that they are not being flattened by a steamroller driven by Mayor Lianne Dalziel and her privatisation supporters on council.
And we have more evidence that the Dalziel camp are hell bent on a course of privatisation (along with massive rates hikes we should also remember) with the news that investment firm Cameron Partners have been hired to provide 'advice' on the proposed asset sales.
While Dalziel might claim that 'no decision' has been made on privatisation and Finance committee chairperson Raf Manji appeals for submissions from the public - as if it matters - a decision has all but been made.
According to Dalziel: " We're also getting independent financial advice so we have a clear picture of the pros and cons of the various options open to us should the council agree to a capital release as part of the Long Term Plan."
This is the same Lianne Dalziel who In January prevented the tabling of a motion by councillors Yani Johanson and Andrew Turner that proposed:
“That the Council request staff to modify the draft financial strategy to include credible alternative options that save capital expenditure instead of releasing capital and increasing rates.”
Don't expect Cameron Partners, a company that has directly benefited from privatisation, to include such alternatives. Indeed Dalziel is being less than honest when she says she wants Cameron Partners to investigate 'various options' because it only has one option on the table; privatisation+ big rates hikes+expenditure cuts.
Cameron Partners are, of course, the same firm that got paid $100,000 to write the ideologically loaded report that pointed the Christchurch City Council in the direction of privatisation.
In the end, despite all the huffin' and puffin' coming from the likes of Dalziel and Manji about 'democracy' and 'accountability', the decision to privatise will come down to a vote.
The main proponents of privatisation, Lianne Dalziel, Deputy mayor Vicki Buck and Finance committee chairperson Raf Manji, have the support of councillors Ali Jones, David East, Jamie Gough, Paul Lonsdale and Tim Scandrett.
Opposed to privatisation are councillors are Yani Johanson, Glenn Livingstone, Jimmy Chen, Pauline Cotter, Andrew Turner and Phil Clearwater.
That's 8-6 to the supporters of privatisation, who have done everything possible to stifle genuinely democratic debate on alternative options to selling the council silver.