DESPITE MAYOR LIANNE DALZIEL claiming that the 'revised' long term plan for Christchurch has taken on board the concerns and views of the good people of the city, the evidence suggests that the exact opposite Is actually true.
The Christchurch City Council's own figures show that 83 percent of the over 3000 submissions were opposed to the sale or part sale of Council own assets such as the Lytteton Port Company, the Christchurch Airport. and the Red Bus company.
As well, 68 percent of all the submissions were opposed to the proposed anchor projects. Many of the submitters said that repairing the city's infrastructure and community facilities should take priority over the anchor projects.
Despite the overwhelming opposition to privatisation, the only concession that Dalziel and her council supporters have made is to stagger the asset sales over a period of three years.
The Christchurch City Council's own summary of the results also says that 'most submitters opposed rates increases'. A massive 93 percent of submissions were opposed to the proposed rates increases. Says the summary: 'Many said that the increase would drive them out of Christchurch, or make the price of living unaffordable.'
The response of the Christchurch City Council has been to make a slight and tokenistic adjustment to the proposed increases - they still propose to increase them by nearly 30 percent over the next four years, with even more increases to follow.
The results indicate that the strongest supporter of the Christchurch City Council's proposed long term plan is, not surprisingly, the private sector. It, of course , stands to gain from privatisation.
It has been clear for some time that Dalziel and supporters like Finance committee chairperson, Raf Manji, are intent on implementing their neoliberal agenda regardless of the wishes of the community.
It is ironic that Manji has commented on the failings of public consultation before, describing it as often being a 'one way process'.
But that is certainly what the people of Christchurch have been insulted with.