Mayor Lianne Dalziel  has tearfully apologised for not standing up for the interests of the poorest half of Christchurch - but she still wants to increase rates by a massive third to help fund the unsustainable 'anchor projects' in the central city.

IT WASN'T SO LONG AGO - in February - that Mayor Lianne Dalziel officially opened the Cricket World Cup.

She told the crowd in Hagley Park, and everyone around the world watching the event on television, that Christchurch had sent a message to the world that the city was 'back on its feet'.

In just a few words Dalziel conveniently swept under the carpet the poverty and social distress of the quake devastated eastern suburbs.

In the eastern suburbs, some four years after 'the big one', people continue to struggle with skyrocketing rents, the lack of affordable housing, the lack of community facilities that have simply not been replaced. In the eastern suburbs people continue to live in garages, in overcrowded conditions.  In the eastern suburbs welfare and community agencies continue to report an increasing demand on their services . In the eastern suburbs, there are areas that remain abandoned and uncared for. They look like war zones.

This is the reality of Dalziel's city that is 'back on its feet'.

But Mayor Dalziel is apparently shocked to discover that the people out east are not thrilled with her performance and feel she has badly let them down.

Dalziel was moved to tears over the weekend In response to hundreds of submissions from east Christchurch residents on the council's proposed draft Long Term Plan, Dalziel said:

" read that people feel that in electing me as their mayor that I would stand up for the east and to read how let down people feel in me.All I really want to do is say that I am really sorry."

But we should remember that this is the same Lianne Dalziel who wants to increase the economic burden on the eastern suburbs- the poorest half of the city - by putting up rates by a massive 33 percent over just four years,  with more rate increases to follow after that.

This is also the same Lianne Dalziel who wants to partially privatise some of the Christchurch City Council's assets - contrary to the wishes of the people she has just apologised to.

Words are cheap and tears are not enough. 

Graphic by Porcupine Farm


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