A stunning victory for the people of Canterbury was announced last night by Mayor Lianne Dalziel. At a candidates debate in Christchurch she promised that there would be no sell off of the Christchurch council’s assets.
The Christchurch council has built up a substantial portfolio of businesses and other profitable entities. This has allowed them to keep rates down, build up community facilities and keep the council focussed on doing good for the citizens of the people’s republic.
National’s Gerry Brownlee, and the dominant right round the council table, had been insisting that the council’s share of the earthquake bill must come from asset sales. The right have a majority on the current council and Dalziel and the other progressives have managed to stall the process long enough for the profits provided by the assets to cover the quake cost.
All it took to tear down the threat of asset sales were two quick sentences:
“The value of our assets has increased substantially since the time I’ve been in office. This means we can obtain cash from these companies without selling shares. It’s that simple.
“And I can say not one single share in one single company needs to be sold to balance the books.”
In other words, the assets have shown themselves to be more valuable in the medium and long term than any financial solace that a sugar hit of privatisation would have provided. Y’know, kinda like the left has been saying for years.
Don’t you wish our leaders in the Beehive weren’t so short sighted? We’d still be earning be getting 100% of the profits from our power companies if the idealogical blinkers weren’t strapped so tight to John Key’s head.
Let’s hope Dalziels announcement spells the end of asset sales in New Zealand. They make no economic sense at all.
Ps. Spare a thought for John Minto. His campaign for the mayoralty just got derailed spectacularly. Standing under the banner of Keep Our Assets, he must be kicking himself that he didn’t put up for council instead. There’s a lot of good will toward him and he might have made a difference as a councillor, but clearly, he’s not going to be mayor now.