"Highlighting the inadequacies of the way in which the earthquakes of 2010-2012 were handled by the insurance industry! "

“Speed Up or Step Aside”


If the council doesn’t lift its performance it will lose its accreditation as the City’s Building Consent Authority. The City is writhing yet again under the threat of having to step aside while the Government threatens to take control with yet another take-over. Government says it “would step in to protect the consents process”. Reading between the lines is this the beginning of something reminiscent to earlier banishments e.g. ECAN. SAM_1717

This is a reminder of earlier times, a year ago when Lianne Dalziel stated that “It is the last remaining vestige of local democracy and it is about to be discarded in favour of a ham-fisted response from the earthquake tsar,” referring to the Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee. At that time Mayor Bob Parker warned against any attempt to take the city council out of the planning process and stated that it would be tantamount to a takeover of the entire organisation. (See Yet here we go again, history repeating itself, déjà vu. Once again the Government is out for full control of the City. This is its opportunity.

Meanwhile Mayor Bob Parker insists that the Council is in control of a ‘timely consenting process in the City’, acknowledges that there is a ‘back log of older consents’, but reiterates that ‘we’re on track’, and that indeed ‘it is a bureaucratic process’, but insists that the Earthquake Recovery Minister’s response in ‘something of a huge over reaction’, and ‘doesn’t seem to relate to the process we’re in’. (See and The Earthquake Minister is quite content to criticise Council for delays but is totally deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to the absolute failures of EQC – for which HE is responsible.

So what could the National Government’s motivations for control be?

Here are a few suggestions:

• If the issue gets serious enough – no council elections- thereby ensuring no further opposition to the Government’s plans

• No opposition to the wholesale selling off of the City’s assets – currently the Council is holding firm because that’s what Cantabrians want- they want to keep their assets (See ; ;;

• Total control of the consenting process – enabling the Government to water down the consumer protection in the Building Act 2004 with the introduction of more ‘Guidelines’ – which enable insurers and contractors to carry out cheaper repairs at the expense of equity in people’s homes; and protect the interests of the major developers in the City;

• More opportunity to build what they choose and reject what they don’t want, for whatever reason;

• Total removal of an elected forum for the people’s voice, enabling the Government and its cronies to build whatever they so choose in the Central Business District and making it easier for the compulsory    acquisition of central city land;

• A weakened consent process to avoid Local Authority/Government liability of last resort and pass this liability to the people;

• CERA would most likely become the executive body as it is already an in-situ ‘Government department’.

What would the outcome be?

• Canterbury and the Council would lose its asset companies, such as the Airport and the future earnings associated with those assets;

• Rates would increase markedly;

• Cantabrians would lose even more of what is already a very compromised democratic community and have even less voice;

• Corporate interests would continue to take as much as they can from the population;

• and prices would rise for services provided by the (sold-off) asset companies.

Cantabrians- if it emerges that this is what they intend, (and it may well be) – there needs to be the largest demonstration this City has ever witnessed – so let’s pay particular attention to this issue! Conspiracy theory perhaps then yet again perhaps not!

~Future Proofing for a sustainable, participatory, democratic society.

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Author: Sarah-Alice Miles

Love to write, create and watch the clouds move across the sky - these days in the Netherlands. 'Art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time'.

4 thoughts on ““Speed Up or Step Aside”

  1. Pingback: Official complaint of breach of the Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Trading Act. | Christchurch Concerned Citizens

  2. Whilst the failure to notify councilors, who are responsible for Governance of the threat to remove building consent accreditation, is probably confirmation that poor communication still reigns supreme in the city council, Marryatt is responsible for its executive function so we need a clear explanation from him why this situation arose in the first place and why did councilors have to discover the situation from the media? Having the Mayor front this issue on Campbell live may be commendable but it is not the Mayors job to fulfill or explain the executive function that is for Tony Marryatt who must be held accountable. Ratepayers will shortly have the opportunity to vote for councilors and as yet it is unclear who will stand and what their policies will be, clearly such positions may be seen as a poisoned chalice so time for Vicky Buck to return if she is willing – at least Vicky got things done and appeared much less divisive than Mayor Bob.


    • I couldn’t agree more Margaret Thatcher- I think he’s ultimately responsible for operational success or failure- in normal circumstances he should be sent packing and be replaced by someone who can actually run the operation. But then again there’s absolutely nothing taking place normally in this City.


  3. MARRIOT MUST GO or we only have our selves to blame!
    We had to wait 7 months for our consent. I have NEVER heard of so many contrived excuses as to why consents had not been granted within their charter. Incompetence abounds and one is left wondering how much confidence we can have in these people to ensure our properties are built to standard and are safe. To add insult to injury the Council have the audacity to charge exorbitant fees for a sub standard service. I can find no one who has had a good experience with this council and until the people and councillors rebel against the current regime we deserve all we get. You have a vote and the ability to lobby!


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