Fireworks expected at first post-election Christchurch City Council meeting

Protesters gather outside the Christchurch City Council with their banner, "Keep Our Assets", during past action.
Joseph Johnson

Protesters gather outside the Christchurch City Council with their banner, "Keep Our Assets", during past action.

Asset sale and oil exploration protest groups are set to spice up the new-look Christchurch City Council's first post-election agenda meeting.

Keep Our Assets (KOA), the coalition behind failed mayoral candidate John Minto, will "make their presence known" at the meeting on Wednesday morning, ahead of a discussion about restoring several council-owned companies to the strategic assets list.

Assets on the list are required to go through a special consultation procedure before they can be sold.

Keep Our Assets convener Murray Horton is  "pleased" Enable may rejoin the strategic assets list.
DAVID UNWIN / FAIRFAX NZ.

Keep Our Assets convener Murray Horton is "pleased" Enable may rejoin the strategic assets list.

Oil Free Otautahi will also make a public presentation opposing New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals' Block Offer 2017, which proposes large parts of coastline, including near Banks Peninsula, be explored for deep sea oil drilling potential.

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A paper detailing the future of council-owned Enable, an internet installation company, as well as City Care, a maintenance and construction company, will be discussed.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says despite originally listed as excluded from public, asset sale discussions will be ...
GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says despite originally listed as excluded from public, asset sale discussions will be open to the public.

The paper was originally to be discussed in a public-excluded part of the meeting, outraging KOA representatives.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she "overlooked that it had been included in the [public excluded] part of the agenda" and planned to raise it with chief executive Karleen Edwards on Monday.

"There is absolutely nothing to hide . . . I fully expect the paper to be put into the public part of the meeting so we can discuss it in public.

"The issue of Enable was discussed in public and any decision to return it to the strategic assets list will also be done in public."

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KOA plans to meet on Worcester Blvd before entering the council chambers around 10am.

"We are planning on going once again to the start of the meeting with some signs, like we have done in the past," convenor Murray Horton said.

Horton said he was pleased a vote to restore Enable to the strategic assets list was on the cards.

"It should be restored to the list," he said.

In June, the council took 100 per cent control of Enable, buying out the Government's 50 per cent share in the company. The council owns the company through its commercial arm, Christchurch City Holdings Limited.

Horton said he was aware Oil Free Otautahi was also attending the meeting.

"We'll go into the public gallery but we don't intend on making our presence known until they are finished with their piece," he said.

Oil Free Otautahi spokeswoman Bridget White said presenting to the council on Block Offer 2017 was "our only chance for democracy".

"The process does not allow for direct submissions from members of the public, which is astonishing due to the risks of an oil spill, or the ongoing problem of climate change."

Dalziel said she welcomed Oil Free Otautahi's submission, which would discuss the effects of deep sea drilling on climate change, ocean ecosystems, and the economics of deep sea oil drilling.

"They should have the chance to present to [the] Government, but they don't so it is great we are able to provide them with this opportunity to present."

Dalziel said if KOA wanted to be taken seriously, it should also follow the public submission process.

"The way people present in public has to be respectful of the range of views around the table."

Dalziel said she supported restoring Enable to the strategic assets list and would put forward the motion during Wednesday's meeting.

"I have said that I will be seeking to return Enable to the list, but I don't share the view that City Care should be returned," Dalziel said.

City Care was "not a strategic asset", she said, but the paper did contain a "mechanism to resolving the [City Care] issue", which involved ongoing discussion.

 - Stuff

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