Delays 'hit residents' pockets'
A prolonged discussion on how to fund the rebuild of Christchurch's earthquake-ravaged infrastructure is hitting residents in the pocket, a city councillor says.
Councillors yesterday discussed funding issues with the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (Scirt).
Scirt, an alliance comprising the council, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera), the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and contracting companies, was established last September to take charge of the $2 billion rebuild of the city's infrastructure.
A staff report said the council had been speaking to Cera since October on how the Scirt setup and rebuild costs were being funded.
While the council believed that "all parties should bear a share of the costs", Cera had not contributed anything by the end of April.
Council audit and risk subcommittee chairwoman Sally Buck said the council had acted "in good faith" by providing all the funding for Scirt, even though all partners were meant to contribute.
"All the parties should be making progress payments to the contractors, not just the council."
She said the funding issues were costing Christchurch residents more than necessary as the Government could borrow money at a lower interest rate than the council.
"Because we're paying upfront and borrowing for it, that is costing our community for the rebuild."
Discussions were making "some progress", Buck said.
A Cera spokeswoman said Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was waiting for "appropriate costings" from the council to determine how much the authority should pay.
- © Fairfax NZ News