Christchurch City Council refuses to sell assets
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker
The Christchurch City Council has confirmed it will not sell its assets to fund the city's earthquake repairs, opting instead to increase rates.
The council voted yesterday to adopt a draft three-year plan for consultation with a rates rise of 6.7 percent a year.
But Mayor Bob Parker is not ruling out the chance of asset sales in the future.
“That’s our community’s business and if we as a city are collectively decided that was the best decision to make, that would be a big community discussion,” he says.
“At this point we don’t have financial need to do that, our books are strong.”
But there are still calls from local authorities to not rule out selling the city's assets - which include the Port of Lyttelton and Christchurch international Airport.
CEO of Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce Peter Townsend says it makes sense to sell.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that they should look at all options with respect to funding their share of the recovery,” he says.
“If that’s asset sales that should be closely investigated, all we’re asking for is that the council be transparent in that process.”
That rates increase could include a special earthquake charge to help off-set a loss of income for the council.