Christchurch City Council must go - The Press 060512

Christchurch city council must go – The Press 060512

Sunday’s Cantabrians Unite protest – against Christchurch residents’ escalating costs, council process inefficiencies and government inaction – shone a light on all that is rotten in the state of New Zealand. People are becoming more clear every day about what needs changing. All Christchurch city councillors were criticised for not attending to hear the complaints, and for being co-opted into Gerry Brownlee’s dictatorial local regime. All want sacking, according to the crowd, the size of which was depleted by sheer exhaustion, NewstalkZB listeners heard the following day. So can representative voting ever be enough democracy? That depends on having credible choice, of which there is currently very little; direct democracy being much more effective.

For example, the May 6th rally organisers invited a spokesperson for Christchurch City Council community boards to address the crowd on the obstacles to local representation within the bureaucratic hierarchy. This, Phil Clearwater – the Spreydon-Heatcote Community Board chairman and a Labour local government campaign manager – did to form, blaming council staff under CEO Tony Marryatt’s control for being less than helpful. Whether or not better working relationships can be established with these staff, bigger questions of the quality of governance were revealed. Because Clearwater did not stop there: he went on to remind everyone that his community board had a by-election running currently and that they should send in their postal votes by Thursday. But not only that, Mr Clearwater named a candidate with endorsement, with the Labour “People’s Choice” brand that they shared. This shows that Labour’s political culture is not up to the dificult task facing New Zealand today, of tackling corruption in National-led politics, because Clearwater failed to recognise his own conflict-of-interest and abuse of authority on that podium.

Labour demonstrably lack the intellectual mettle and moral compass to distinguish right from wrong, thus. Labour’s approach to governmental abuse of authority is simply to wait their turn for implementing it, and accept paying off every time. Labour’s betrayal of working people has a seventy-year history and eludes their own insight, being simply complaisant alternates for running the corrupt New Zealand state machine.

At Canterbury regional level, more evidence exists. Whether councillor or commissioner, handing over resources to those having most of them is the Labour functionionary’s role – nothing representative of the general public interest about it at all. And no relief is available in the form of Labour’s shadow, the Greens. For when Green representation recently sat at Environment Canterbury council, it too allied with the landed interests for personal advancement. Being such a wan renewal of social democracy, the Green Party of New Zealand has no declarable difference from the New Zealand Labour Party, on the rigour with which conflict-of-interest rules are applied – within both parties they simply are not. So the voting public is doubly betrayed by its compromised and failed representatives ‘on the left’ in parliament.

Does this low moral standard of leadership express New Zealand values, of less-than-honesty? Perhaps it does, given the way that the territory was claimed: ‘with beads and blankets’. It is clearly time for a change. It is time for a lasting moral upgrade in New Zealand politics, that is inclusive and fair.

And that must be carried out through the news media as well. For example, amongst the media contingent at Sunday’s rally was Jo Kane for Canterbury Television (CTV). Kane is a former regional councillor and was direct party to the (criminal?) asset takeover by property interests at Environment Canterbury in 2010. So her failure to report Clearwater’s public offending on CTV News is no wonder – these pigs guard each others’ snouts in the trough. When Labour’s use of public office, of an official platform, is simply to extend the influence over it for themselves, then that is plain greed and abuse. When the media turn a blind eye they are equally corrupt.

For the big question here, that media and opposition have failed to raise, is the massive abuse of public office that is normal business for National in power. Whose businesses are profiting from all the earthquake-response funds for Christchurch, everyone wants to know? Why is construction name “Isaac” so prominent amidst the mired processes and accountabilities, for example? New Zealand must wake up to the paradigm shift that is needed in our governance, where the nineteenth-century provincial development model – where politicians could directly sponsor infrastructure growth in interested ways – is no longer acceptable!

Labour is not an opposition to this embedded, systemic corruption – it just likes the crumbs from the monopolists’ table – so is simply unfit for purpose; as are Labour’s Green imitators. From beneath political oppression, a new and equality-based Aotearoa will rise. Become part of it.

Cantabrians Unite - The Press 060512

Cantabrians Unite – The Press 060512

Refs. Protesters angered at Christchurch leadership though Fewer show to protest at council The Press 06-07/05/2012 + CTV News 07/05/2012

Labour’s contemporary crime was to over-inflate the cost of housing – for feathering their multiple-home retirement nests – with easy-credit, no-value investment-bubble policies while in office. Productively they’ve done nothing but exploit in recent terms – draining natural water reserves to foment a polluting dairy boom and drastically erode the quality of life of all New Zealanders, with parallel dispossessing land-leveraging. Kowtowing to anachronistic class hierarchy and privilege, the knighthoods they share and defend – so therefore can never provide consistent opposition around – look like this: Sir Douglas Graham won’t take conviction on chin, defending “a non-executive director’s obligations and a director’s right to rely on competent advice” 13/04/2012; and Regulator to sue Hanover directors including Sir Tipene O’Regan, 16/12/2011. These are National allies being caught out! Where is the outcry against foul play, from the Labour opposition bloc?

Then there is the abominable case of Councillor Glenn Livingstone, who has the audacity to frame up a ‘housing solutions forum’ this week – after voting to evict outdoor residents from their South Hagley Park occupation in March 2012. And he calls himself a Christian? Despite many of the evicted applying to Christchurch City Council for social housing not one request was met. These citizens had nowhere else to go and some of their lives are highly vulnerable. Some of the evicted, dependent on inner-city community services, saw no choice but to relocate to untended private land. Police found them and trespass prosecutions have followed. Shame on Christchurch City and its councillors. Shame! But what would you expect from a politician whose whole career as a priest is based upon lying to people: there is no anthropomorphic Creator driving the universe, and bullshit-artists like this should be thrown out the door. “Sack Livingstone and all the city council” – another Labour liar – so said the Cantabrians Unite protest crowd of 6 May. Amen!

Labour’s identification with the landed upper class, and its oppression of the working-poor mass at its roots, is made even clearer by looking at its other East Christchurch councillor selection – High Anglican churchman Peter Beck. The major land holdings of the Church will be optimised in the rebuild through Beck’s presence at the City decision-making table. Neither Livingstone nor Beck are Christchurch locals and they represent nothing but Labour’s preference for corruptible personalities, having careers in bogus thinking, exploitation and propaganda – perfect for Labour betrayal of the common people! Beck voted with Livingstone to evict the South Hagley Park tangata whenua street people. Beck and Livingstone need to experience being thrown out themselves!

Rental crisis could create ‘ghettos’ “Poor residents could be forced into quake-damaged areas in the east of the city.. ‘If all the population is pushed elsewhere, we will end up creating bigger ghettos and more problems for ourselves.'” The Press 09/05/2012 – Too late!

Stats conceal crisis, say welfare agencies “More than 500 people are waiting for state and social housing in Christchurch, yet welfare agencies say the figure does not reflect the true crisis of homelessness in the city. There are 303 at-risk people in ‘serious need’ on the Housing New Zealand waiting list and 237 on the Christchurch City Council social housing waiting list. However, the numbers on both lists were similar to pre-quake figures, according to Housing NZ and the council. Welfare agencies believed this was because eligibility had tightened and many people, who had never needed social housing in the past, did not know how to apply for the services or had given up. They believe the official figure is flawed..” The Press 03/05/2012

Home crisis threatens health ‘tsunami’ “poverty, overcrowding, poor housing and the rental shortage would affect people’s health” The Press 21/04/2012