Sunday, 25 August 2019

Bubble wrap for council tenants -

$15,000 rates rebates for luxury apartments in city centre

The problem
  • There is a huge housing need for tenants and families on low incomes. We have a waiting list of over 1000 in Christchurch for council/state housing.  Canterbury also has the second highest percentage growth in need for council/state housing (48% increase from March 2018 to March 2019 - Press 1 July 2019)
  • Approximately 300 council houses were destroyed in the earthquakes and well over 100 more have been lost since then as the council has closed and demolished units rather than repair/refurbish them. Cecil Courts and the council’s housing complex in Carey Street are the latest – the removal of another 52 units.
  • Council now is working to “transfer” 428 council housing units to the Otautahi Community Housing Trust – out of sight, out of mind. The last thing the current council wants to talk about is its legacy of neglect and indifference to the suffering of families on low incomes.
  • Council housing has been run down over 40 years of neglect and underinvestment with enormous levels of human misery as a result. People have been left to suffer in quiet desperation. Congratulations to the courageous tenants who have spoken out last week about the lack of insulation on their cold, damp units.
  • The council has bowed to pressure and adopted a corporate-inspired policy saying no rates money will be used for council housing BUT tens of millions has been spent on rates rebates for new private housing in the city centre – many of them luxury apartments. Assuming she buys a new apartment, the current mayor will be a beneficiary of this policy when she moves into the city centre next year. (Our OIA request shows $8.5 million in city centre residential rate rebates from 2014 to 2018 – an average rebate of $15,000 per unit)
  • The current council runs a policy of callous indifference and shameful neglect towards council housing while forcing less well off ratepayers to subsidise wealthier ratepayers moving into new apartments in the city centre. So it’s bubble wrap on the windows to keep out the cold for council tenants but $15,000 rates subsidies for luxury apartments in the city centre.
Minto for Mayor Solution
  • Use $220 of the $300 million grant from the government to rebuild and refurbish the council housing portfolio – we would have 1000 additional units to what we have at the present time. This additional supply would reduce rents across the city to the benefit of low and middle income earners.
  • This means no rate increases to pay for the rebuild and upgrade but it does mean spending on the proposed new covered rugby stadium would go to the back of the queue (the current council wants to spend the $220 million on a stadium)
  • End rates rebates for new housing in the city centre.
Under Minto for Mayor every child in Christchurch will have a warm, dry home BEFORE the rugby union gets a new stadium.

Minto For Mayor on the web 
Minto for Mayor on Facebook 

Keep Our Assets~Canterbury  on the web
Keep Our Assets~Canterbury on Facebook

Friday, 23 August 2019

KOA (Keep Our Assets Canterbury) is standing John Minto as a candidate for the Christchurch mayoralty. The Minto for Mayor campaign has begun well. Here are a few of links to the announcement:

John Minto puts hand up for new tilt at Christchurch mayoralty
Anti-Tour campaigner, Fat Eddie's owner join battle for Christchurch mayoralty
Veteran activist John Minto launches second attempt at Christchurch mayoralty
We have received over $4,500 so far in donations but to run a credible campaign we hope to get to $20,000. Every dollar will be spent to maximise opportunities to get our key messages out and win support.

You can get the full details of our policies at   but here is a summary:
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions with free and frequent public transport – the single most important thing Christchurch can do to fight climate change
  • Future-proof our water supply and clean up our waterways 
  • Rebuild and improve council rental housing
  • Pay the living wage as a minimum for council work
  • Keep rate increases to the rate of inflation
  • Reject proposals for the sale of our city assets 
  • Create a local zone in the city centre to showcase products and services created here in Canterbury

How can you help the Minto for Mayor campaign?
  • Get involved in helping with leafleting, putting a small campaign sign on your fence etc. 
Email or text 027 237 8683
  • Make a donation to the campaign online:

Account Name: Keep our Assets Canterbury
Account No: 38 9016 0715351 00
Please include your name