The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

BEWARE! NZ Business Round Table vultures circling above Christchurch public assets!

14 March 2011

(My comment on the following NBR article:)


Christchurch business leaders meet to discuss future

Christchurch business leaders will meet in the quake-ravaged city tomorrow to talk about how to get back to business as usual.

The Response and Rebuild Forum, organised by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA), will feature about 100 business leaders discussing immediate issues and ways to secure Christchurch’s long-term financial future, following last month’s devastating 6.3 earthquake.

NZICA chief executive Terry McLaughlin said they supported and advised about 90 percent of small businesses in Christchurch.

The forum would provide the leaders with an opportunity to share their knowledge about business recovery actions and strategies that are proving effective.

“The forum is not about pie-in-the-sky stuff. I am expecting it to generate practical outcomes that are designed by and for the businesses that have been affected by the earthquake,” Mr McLaughlin said.

Inland Revenue chief executive and commissioner Bob Russell and Westpac head of Business Banking South Island John Brophy would be speaking at the forum. The meeting is closed to media and the public.

Comments and questions


Are the greedy, selfish NZ Business Round Table vultures going to be at this meeting – pushing their perennial ‘sell off the family silver’ (so we can buy it and make a private fortune out of it) – line?

“The Business Roundtable is urging Christchurch City Council to sell its shareholdings in commercial businesses after the earthquake that devastated the central city.

“Reducing its shareholding in its port, airport and electricity companies would free up cash for repairs to local infrastructure without imposing new burdens on ratepayers,” the roundtable said.

Christchurch City Holdings the wholly owned investment arm of the council, owns 89.3 per cent of Orion Group, 75 per cent of Christchurch Airport, 75.1 per cent of Lyttelton Port Company, and 100 per cent of Christchurch City Networks.

It also owns 100 per cent of Red Bus and City Care.

Dividends from these investments reduce rates by more than 15 per cent, according to the CCHL website.

The roundtable is a long time advocate for a smaller role for both local and central government.

“The Government’s plans to sell down its shareholding in several State-owned enterprises make even more sense in present circumstances.”

I asked the Prime Minister John Key, under the OIA, (8 December 2010) for the following information:

“Copies of all/any ‘cost-benefit analyses’, since the introduction of the ‘neo-liberal’ /free market reforms introduced in New Zealand by the 1984- 1987 Labour Governments, (and continued by National Governments), which provide the facts and evidence that prove that the private procurement of public services once provided ‘in-house’ by central and local government, is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of public monies for the NZ public majority.”

‘Teflon John’ flicked this OIA to Tim Groser, who replied ( 26 January 2011):

“I am not aware of any overarching piece of work that provides this type of cost-benefit analysis.

So – the myths that:

‘Public is bad – private is good’

‘The public will benefit by selling off public assets to rich businesspeople’

‘What’s good for big business is good for the public majority’

– are just MYTH and MANTRA, unsubstantiated by FACTS and EVIDENCE.

Keep hold of your public assets Christchurch and tell the NZ BRT where to go!

Penny Bright
Effective Public Watchdog

‘Investigative Activist’ – asking the HARD questions no one else appears to be?

Penny Bright | Monday, March 14, 2011 – 5:05pm

March 14, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Transparency in Govt spending

1 Comment »

  1. I think the Accountants coordinating a forum to develop solutions going forward makes sense.

    They don’t really know much about the challenges involved but all their clients are affected and I think that we should give them the benefit of the doubt… that they will do their best to help out… for substantial fees of coarse.

    As for that sneaky “vulture” Agenda… I totally agree with you Penny. Shonkey has already announced a draft plan that will finance the rebuild… those guys are opportunists with no morals and corrupt souls that would sell off their Grandmothers eyes if she got hit by a bus,,,

    Comment by Paul Hickman | March 14, 2011 | Reply

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