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Published on December 2nd, 2015 | by Callum Samuel

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Governmen’s push anti-democratic Christchurch bill

The National government is continuing to exploit the Christchurch earthquakes for the benefit of large corporate interests at the expense of local democracy.

A bill soon to appear before Select Committee in Christchurch named the “Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill” would see the extension of authoritarian powers, granted to the minister Gerry Brownlee immediately after the quakes, extended until 2021. These powers allow him to avoid accountability required by the Resource Management Act, as well as to unilaterally confiscate and dispose of land and property without proper compensation.

In the past five years we have seen the minister and the Crown owned entity CERA (the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) use these powers against the will of the people of Christchurch. We have seen the appropriation of land for the building of large, extravagant and unnecessary projects such as an enormous convention centre, the final cost of which is yet to be known but estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. The funding provided to the private sector for the construction of these facilities are to be borne by the Christchurch ratepayer. Meanwhile the roads of the working class areas of East Christchurch lie in appalling disrepair.

We strongly oppose this bill in it’s current form. Alongside the people of Christchurch we demand a return to democratic control over the city to the people who live and work there.

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