JOHN MINTO HAS hit out at the plans of the Christchurch City Council to privatise council assets.
He has accused Mayor Lianne Dalziel of attempting to " constrain debate on alternatives of which there are many."
Minto says that the Dalziel-led council has made no effort to renegotiate its cost sharing agreement with the government nor has it put any pressure on the private insurance industry to meet its financial obligations to the city.
"It seems the record profits of the city’s bloated insurance companies are untouchable unlike the pockets of its citizens."
Councillors such as Raf Manji, who heads the Finance Committee, have a clear privatisation agenda. He is supported by his fellow Fendalton councillor Jamie Gough. Says Minto:
"Mayor Dalziel is talking about selling assets to “strategic partners” as though there is some sort of half-way house to privatisation. There isn’t. It’s just another way of softening us up because the mayor is not prepared to stand up to the government or the corporates."
Minto says that Christchurch is being steamrolled into paying through massive rate increases and the sale of council assets when the costs of the catastrophic quake of national implications should be met by central government.