Town hall truce needed - Dalziel

Last updated 12:06 23/11/2012
Gerry Brownlee and Bob Parker

TRUCE NEEDED? Gerry Brownlee appears ready for action while mayor Bob Parker appears adrift.

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The Christchurch City Council and Government need to ''call a truce'' over the town hall's fate, a city MP says.

Labour's earthquake recovery spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel said it appeared both parties were ''at loggerheads yet again" after the council yesterday voted to save the Christchurch Town Hall only to have the Government suggest the decision was not based on all the available information.

"Yet again the council and Government are at loggerheads."

"The Government said it was waiting for the council's decision on the fate of the town hall. Now it says the town hall has to fit within its blueprint and the performing arts precinct is elsewhere,'' Dalziel said.

The city council and Government have also been in dispute recently over who has the final say on an expanded cricket oval in Hagley Park.

Mayor Bob Parker also expressed dismay last week at the Government's decision not to include light rail in its transport blueprint for the city.

Dalziel said she understood the council's decision to save the town hall.

''We have lost so much already. Unlike the other buildings that have been in the public arena, the Christchurch Town Hall belongs to the council. They consulted on saving it during the annual plan process and there was support for doing so."

The one group missing from the debate was the people of the city.

"The people of Christchurch were truly inspired by the council's Share an Idea campaign which elicited thousands of responses. 

"These were distilled into a plan that was consulted on and improved. The Government then took that plan behind closed doors for 100 days and released the blueprint they had designed with public fanfare but no public input.''

Dalziel said the city could afford to take its time in deciding what to do with the town hall.

''There is no rush. We are calling on the Government and the council to model the open, consultative process that will enable people to have a real say about our city,'' she said.

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