Baring bums for Brighton
About 40 bare bums squared up to Christchurch city councillors Peter Beck and Glenn Livingstone on New Brighton beach this morning.
The Bare your Bum for Brighton protest, organised by Pier Side Cafe owner Tony Brooks, was aimed at being a humorous way of getting the city's leaders to take notice of the struggling suburb that feels forgotten amidst the rebuild.
Hit hard by the 2011 earthquakes, New Brighton's empty shops and homes have become a hot-spot for tagging, destruction and petty crime, Brooks said.
Meanwhile the city plan did not include anything to re-energise the area.
''It was a wish list on a piece of paper,'' Brooks said.
Brooks, whose cafe is in the Brighton Mall, said he wanted to see more short-term measures put in place to attract people back to the area.
Number one on his list was to see security heightened, to stop crime.
''There are no security camera in the mall,'' he said.
''The business owners and residents need security. Before they do anything else, the need to sort this out.''
He was also advocating for landowners, the Christchurch City Council and Cera to collaborate so demolitions and rebuilding could speed up and they could work on enticing prospective business owners into the area.
"It would be great for prospective business owners to have a rent holiday, say for three months, to entice them to the area,'' Brooks said.
Beck said he understood the residents' frustration with the lack of work in the area.
''Initially this protest was directed at the city council, but it is wider than that, with CERA , EQC and insurers,'' he said.
''The city council is doing the very best it can to work with local residents. We need to do more.''