Te Whare Karakia ki tu nei – tena koe
Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe, Ngai Tahu – kia ora koutou
E nga hau e wha – nga mihi nui ki a koutou
I’m John Minto and I’m standing as the Keep Our Assets Canterbury candidate for the Christchurch mayoralty.
We are running a different type of campaign than others – no airbrushed pictures, no meaningless slogans, no platitudes – just policies – solid policies which will be great for Christchurch.
But first let’s look at the money – it’s the critical issue this election – in part because the council and government have begun re-negotiating the cost-share agreement under which the previous council signed Christchurch ratepayers up to $982m in spending – mainly for big government priorities for Christchurch rather than Christchurch residents priorities for the city.
So in this election race who’s the big spender?
As you can see the Mayor is the big spender and we are the big savers. And to make this worse the Mayor’s big spending is on government priorities for Christchurch rather than citizen priorities for Christchurch.
Now is the ideal time for Christchurch to determine its priorities for spending or we will continue to be saddled with big government projects that will cost us hugely into the future!
Our own policies can be fitted within the fiscal framework I outlined.
· No asset sales
· Free buses and trains paid for by a larger share of transport funding going to public transport and a lower share for the big roading projects which won’t be needed as quickly.
· A minimum of the Living Wage for all council employees and those employed by contractors to do council work. Paid for by managing down the stratospheric pay increases to senior managers at the council to a maximum council salary of $160,000 or four times the Living Wage.
· Building 1000 extra council rental and rent-to-own homes
· Swimmable rivers – it’s a birthright for our children and grandchildren to swim in clean rivers.
· End corporate control of CBD rebuild with stiff rate increases on undeveloped land in the CBD.
Before you leave tonight we want you to be clear on which candidate is working for the people of Christchurch and which one is working for Gerry Brownlee and the National Party.
Notes for John Minto’s CLOSING ADDRESS
For thirty years we have had neo-liberal economic policies from successive Labour and National governments
We have been encouraged to think selfishly, act selfishly and ignore the common good
Thousands of families in Christchurch are now living below the poverty line where daily struggle is grinding and relentless
We have a housing crisis for everyone on a low income
The result is that we live in a deeply divided city where the geographic and socio-economic divide has become a chasm;
Tens of thousands in this city are socially and economically marginalised – and therefore politically marginalised as well
40% will vote this election – most won’t
I reject the idea that voter apathy is to blame – it’s voter disillusionment with politics and politicians which is the problem. Whoever you vote for you get the same corporate agenda.
Vast swathes of the city are deeply disillusioned and disengaged.
At the human level Christchurch is a city in crisis.
Our campaign offers creative solutions to citywide problems whereby we solve these problems by working together.
In this way we can rediscover our common humanity; rediscover the values of co-operation, compassion and inclusion; rediscover that we all benefit when we focus on the common good.
Our creative solutions are as I outlined at the start of the meeting.
· Free public transport – good for people and great for the environment
· No asset sales – future-proofing the city against big rate increases in coming years
· 1000 new council houses for rent and rent to buy
· Swimmable rivers – tell me why and decent community would not have this as a goal?
· Ending the corporate stranglehold on the CBD rebuild
· The living Wage with secure hours of work so council can set a good example to all employers
Through these bold policies we can rediscover what it means for everyone to get a fair go.
Kia ora koutou.