Bubble wrap for council tenants – $15,000 rates rebates for luxury apartments in city centre.


Notes from Minto for Mayor council housing campaign launch in Christchurch on 25 August:

The problem

  • There is a huge housing need for tenants and families on low incomes. We have a waiting list of over 1000 in Christchurch for council/state housing.  Canterbury also has the second highest percentage growth in need for council/state housing (48% increase from March 2018 to March 2019 – Press 1 July 2019)
  • Approximately 300 council houses were destroyed in the earthquakes and well over 100 more have been lost since then as the council has closed and demolished units rather than repair/refurbish them. Cecil Courts and the council’s housing complex in Carey Street are the latest – the removal of another 52 units.
  • Council now is working to “transfer” 428 council housing units to the Otautahi Community Housing Trust – out of sight, out of mind. The last thing the current council wants to talk about is its legacy of neglect and indifference to the suffering of families on low incomes.
  • Council housing has been run down over 40 years of neglect and underinvestment with enormous levels of human misery as a result. People have been left to suffer in quiet desperation. Congratulations to the courageous tenants who have spoken out last week about the lack of insulation on their cold, damp units.
  • The council has bowed to pressure and adopted a corporate-inspired policy saying no rates money will be used for council housing BUT tens of millions has been spent on rates rebates for new private housing in the city centre – many of them luxury apartments. Assuming she buys a new apartment, the current mayor will be a beneficiary of this policy when she moves into the city centre next year. (Our OIA request shows $8.5 million in city centre residential rate rebates from 2014 to 2018 – an average rebate of $15,000 per unit)
  • The current council runs a policy of callous indifference and shameful neglect towards council housing while forcing less well off ratepayers to subsidise wealthier ratepayers moving into new apartments in the city centre. So it’s bubble wrap on the windows to keep out the cold for council tenants but $15,000 rates subsidies for luxury apartments in the city centre.


Minto for Mayor Solutions

  • Use $220 of the $300 million grant from the government to rebuild and refurbish the council housing portfolio – we would have 1000 additional units to what we have at the present time. This additional supply would reduce rents across the city to the benefit of all low and middle income earners.
  • This means no rate increases to pay for the rebuild and upgrade but it does mean spending on the proposed new covered rugby stadium would go to the back of the queue (the current council wants to spend the $220 million on a stadium)
  • End rates rebates for new housing in the city centre.


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Under Minto for Mayor every child in Christchurch will have a warm, dry home BEFORE the rugby union gets a new stadium.


  1. It is absolutely disgusting how we treat our most vulnerable in this country. I had Hope’s this Labour led government may right a few wrongs. Unfortunately they keep on persisting with this neoliberalism nonsense. Good work John, I’m not in the position to vote for you, but I hope you win. Keep fighting the good and right fight.

  2. Firstly. Lets use the high tech head fuckery below for Good.
    (Art of War. Sun Tzu tactics. Turn the enemy’s weapons back on them.)
    This is worth the time to listen to. Seriously.
    Psychological manipulations via digital medium to feed the rapacious greed of The Big Corporates. Amazon? O.M.G.
    I was asleep in my sweethearts arms and a nano second later we were barely able to stand up as we clung together in our bedroom door way as Septembers earthquake struck at 4.20 AM.
    The very first words I said were not fuck words, which may come as a surprise to some, but instead ; “ Someone’s going to make a lot of money out of this.”
    And now? Years later? I can walk my dog through absurd ‘red zone’ lands where there were once houses, gardens and people living their lives. Many signs can be read which ominously state “ DANGER! Authorised Persons only! Pools of water may appear without warning! “ While you impoverished and homeless living wretched lives in the gutters? Are you not glad you’re not at risk of puddles?
    Christchurch now ‘feels’ like Balclutha. Balclutha ‘feels’ as though it has no soul, for the want of a better word. Empty shops, slashed back trees, no cafe’s worth squat, no real music venue, no art, no character. Nothing.
    In Christchurch? It wasn’t earthquakes that came in on the wings of the devil and sucked the life out of it. It was post neoliberal crooks and their greed, aided and abetted by a cadre of narcissistic egomaniacs already well ensconced. Some of whom, like dave henderson were, and no doubt still are, disciples of that most hideous and vile cult-like mania that is Zenith Applied Philosophy. Remember those nuts? Some of them could be seen running behind those few cool Uni kids who bought Lada’s beating and kicking their little cars while screaming anti-communist slogans!
    Christchurch, indeed AO/NZ, desperately needs people like John Minto to sift the arseholes out of the human-flour.
    If you don’t believe me? Go to Invercargill. I know, I know. The Rolling Stones called Invercargill ‘The arsehole of the world.” Well, Invercargill’s looking better than that pack of noisy old Zombies.
    Invercargill has a palpable energy about it. It has a certain sense of, and don’t laugh when I write this, but it has ‘Class dahlings’.
    Christchurch has no Class left. Those local politicians who claim they’re all for us, you and me? They chose to sell off dear old, lovely old Christchurch to make lots and lots of lovely money,money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money.
    Lovely money for themselves as is clearly evident.
    P.S. Can I just write? Fuck! Fuck the ‘Stadium’? Fuck it? Just fuck it!
    Minto for Ch Ch Mayor. Meteria Turei for Dunners ( I know. Not a thing, but should be. ) and we already have a fabulous mayor in Invers. Long live Tim! A dream team, one might say.

  3. The way council tenants are treated is just another reason to ask why are councils involved in housing.The state takes taxes to give it the means to look after the vunerable that need help. Why double up on this and use rate money to help the same group.
    Rates are collected to pay for the cities basics such as water supply and treatment of waste rubbish removal street lighting roads libraries and entertainment facilities like swimming pools and stadiums.

  4. The solution is not difficult, it’s just unpalatable for most folks. One billionaire guy owns more than millions of ordinary working folk? Best wishes John. Public transport in our cities should be encouraged, and much cheaper, or free. But let’s have more trucks and build motorways instead.

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