This week we again had Mike Yardley writing about the need for CCC to sell assets. He wrote, to substantiate his argument:
The fact that chlorine looks set to stay in our water supply for the foreseeable future has much to do with the parlous state of the city’s reticulated network. Successive councils have failed to front-foot their core infrastructure responsibilities by prioritising sufficient funding for timely renewals. It’s so unsexy, so lacking in self-glory, when there are vanity projects to pursue.
Well, sorry Mike, but the Chlorine is still in our water because the bureaucrats in Wellington have completely over-reacted to a totally different situation in Hawkes Bay and imposed a regime on Christchurch which is, frankly, wrong. Ask the Mayor about that next time you talk to her.
Mike then wrote: Mayoral candidate Darryl Park is promising a full performance review of the council’s commercial assets. (City Care Group posted yet another disappointing result last week.)
Park’s nuanced approach means all options are on the table, whether that means seeking external partners for a partial-stake or selling some assets outright. “Until the review is complete, nothing is ruled out. My main objective is to implement policy based on evidence and pragmatism rather than blind faith and ideology,” Park tells me.
I sat on CCHL for 12 years. Full performance reviews of the performance of all the CCHL trading assets occurs on a constant basis by the executive under the direction of the Board. Is Darryl Park saying that many of the commercial board members he possibly knows, who are sitting on the CCHL Board, don’t perform this function?
CCHL has been a magnificent financial performer. Without CCHL after the earthquakes we would have been broke. The policy of the Board is based on evidence and pragmatism right now. These sorts of comments during an election campaign don’t help this candidate.
My question for Mike Yardley and Darryl Park is what would you sell? Tell us.
Before you answer my question, read this article https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/106954263/council-assets-might-not-have-been-sold–but-they-have-been-mortgaged.
If you can’t be bothered, then the conclusion which John McCrone arrived at is that if any of the assets are sold all that will happen is that debt will be repaid; dividends will be lowered; and CCC will be worse off.
They should also consider this fact stated in the article:
It does seem a tired old story. Christchurch is unusual because it owns its port, airport, electricity grid and even its broadband network.
And having this $4 billion portfolio of civic assets has been a boon. The annual dividend they earn offsets local rates by as much as 13 per cent.
Up until the earthquakes at least, the “People’s Republic of Christchurch” enjoyed the lowest rates bills of any metropolitan authority in the country.