Christchurch City – Taking abuse of low-income families to a new level


Most of us are used to councils coming up with proposals to shift the cost of council services onto the poor but today’s water charging proposal from Christchurch City Council takes abuse of people on low incomes to another level. It’s unbelievable. 

The council proposes to allocate water on the basis of the value of the rates paid by property owners. Using above that allocation you will have to pay. This means wealthy residents will get higher allocations of water before they have to pay extra than low-income families living in lower value houses.

“The council’s head of three waters and waste, Helen Beaumont, said a home priced at $500,000 has an allocation of 800 to 900 litres per day, whereas a $1 million dollar home gets about 1700 litres.”

Watering gardens in flash suburbs will be subsidised by large families in low income areas.

Getting “user-pays” policies for water in Christchurch has been a cherished desire for neo-liberals. They have tried several times in recent years but the irony is that each time it has been defeated by residents in wealthier suburbs who use a lot of water to irrigate their gardens and who would be stuck with high water bills.

This new proposal is designed to get around the opposition from the wealthy by giving them extra allocations of water and loading the costs of the policy onto large low-income families.

It’s a classic case of “disaster capitalism” – using the Covid 19 pandemic to push a despicable, unethical policy which favours the rich.

The councillor speaking out in favour of this policy today, Sara Templeton, was first elected to council with a Green Party endorsement. Go figure.

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It’s less surprising to see the mayor promoting this, despite the fact she never raised it during the election campaign, because Lianne Dalziel has spent her entire political career promoting neo-liberalism as a former Labour government minister. 

We have to stop this policy in its tracks.


  1. Spot on commentary, as usual, John.

    One would like to think that ordinary folk will wake up to the reality that neoliberalism generates very bad outcomes for the vast majority of people, and that they will stop supporting people like Lianne Dalziel. In fact, it would be excellent if people like Lianne Dalziel, Phil Goff etc. were to be charged with treason.

    However, the mind control systems utilized by the ‘exploiters club’ -which includes local government- still seem to be working and people keep voting for their own exploitation.

  2. Surprise – Chch Council is run by “progressive” neoliberals who believe in user-pays.

    If Jacinda & Co get to govern alone after September, we’ll see if they’re up to the job of rolling back user-pays at national level.

    • Eh? The CCC is dominated by the so-called People’s Choice bloc, hard-lefties to a man (and woman).

  3. “The councillor speaking out in favour of this policy today, Sara Templeton, was first elected to council with a Green Party endorsement. Go figure.”
    Oh, I’ll go figure alright.
    AO/NZ’s primary industry is agrarian. I don’t give a fuck about tourism stats because they’re jacked.
    AO/NZ’s primary industry was pirated by corporate chemical peddlers like wrightson/pgg, watties and fletcher challenge etc and that’s been their modus operandi for generations and generations.
    The last fucking thing those corporate scunthorpes would want would be a nosy, well intentioned Green Party sniffing around in their dirty little undies.
    So. Set up The Green Party, then murder them silently down a dark ally then install minions more easily controlled lest the truth escape?
    Do you know how often The Green Party have attempted to woo our farmers away from the natzo’s and the neoliberals? Farmers who were once organic and farmed in a regenerative way, like this guy now does?
    Not fucking once son.
    The Greens are now embedded head first up the arseholes of the neoliberal elite, a deviant cadre of greedy money fetishists who can be found infecting our entire political spectrum.
    Christchurch. Dear old , lovely old Christchurch, the one time epicentre ( Perhaps still is) of Zenith Applied Philosophy who’s leader, John Delhoff AKA ‘Mr John Ultimate’, believed his house in Fendalton was the centre of the Universe ( I kid you not. )
    ” Zenith Applied Philosophy (ZAP) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based organisation founded by John Dalhoff (aka John Ultimate) in 1974. ZAP has a world view which is a combination of Scientology, Eastern mysticism and the ideas of the American John Birch Society.[1] There was extensive overlap between the organisation and the Tax Reduction Integrity Movement.[1] Members (sometimes called students) abstain from drugs and practice “mental discipline and applied philosophy”.[1] ”
    ZAP’ers would run behind Skoda cars screaming violent insults at the dirty commie cars as their innocent owners sped away as fast as a Skoda could go, so just above walking speed.
    Christchurch also had one of John Ultimate’s disciples, a Dave Henderson fellow ( ) who, in my opinion, conned the Ch Ch rate payers out of millions over his development of inner several inner city ally ways ( Which were brilliant BTW.)
    Christchurch is dirty in more ways than one.
    Ch CH water’s now filthy because of the chemicalisation of the fragile ecosystems that surround the city. Cows shitting poisons like nitrites while farmers spray glyphosates because the foreign banksters have put the squeeze on them then add that to the unbridled greed of mercantile firms and sundry hangers on and money pimps and you have a perfect fuck up and the poorer of Ch Ch are of course going to carry the costs.
    Good coin Mate.
    You @ JM are a Finch in a nest full of Christchurch Cookoo’s. Watch your back and your front.

    • Firstly stop penalizing people for collecting their own water. Secondly stop stealing our water and giving it away or selling it in back door deals to overseas interests and other corporations thirdly stop corporations being able to deplete levels that affect the water table in harmful ways that are cumulative and it would be better to reward people for lower use than punishing everyone across the board. They already poison our water as it is. John is absolutely on the money!

    • The problem here is that monsantan and other corporations own a substantial percentage of our land and the new farmers coming along are being conned and trained into believing chemical farming is the best way to go. They give dollar plus for dollar that we through the government give universities to fund this kind of heinous “education” and they saturate the committees with their lobbyists and that ensures this treasonist agenda continues. Regenerative farming is the only way to go and detoxifying of our lands and water through things such as hemp is imperative as well as biodiversity. We must get rid of these corporations and the mechanisms that keep them running and in such positions of power and we would be much better off rewarding people for collecting their own water and or limiting their us eager atherosclerosis than punishing everyone else across the board unless usage could be considered ludicrous. Greens like some other parties started off with good intent however you are so right over time they are killed off, pushed out, leave and in their place are wolves in sheeps clothing or in this case scum wrapped in green slogans!

  4. What’s next, poll tax?

    Chloe Swarbrick’s mayoral messages on rates, were suspiciously like ACT. The problem with having people who have little life experience and rely on others to do their work for them, is that those minions doing the work, often have an ulterior motive and everything often leads back to helping the 1% business while pretending it’s for the good of all and the community and the Greens/COL don’t notice anymore!

  5. Ohh so not only has east chchs rebuild not even really started ten years on from the earth quake now the council headed by the former MP for east chch who knows just how hard up those communities are , just how mangled the roads are, how awful the infrastructure is is going to charge them more than her new posh mates.good grief. Meanwhile the Mayors husband is selling all the water!

  6. Mike some basic things.

    When I built my house I put in rainwater tanks. Why doesn’t everyone building new have to have these, in some countries they go underneath the house. I wanted a compostable toilet, but no they are not allowed. despite being the way of the future. I also put in a grey water waste system and solar panels and double glazing all of these should be mandatory for a new build. And those with existing houses should be given an incentive to put in a tank, especially in places like Auckland, where I have lived and where I had a large tank put in.

    There is absolutely no shortage of water at all in Christchurch and there never has been. The council are looking at ways of bringing in more revenue that is it. We have bottling plants here for water to go to China. I have a large garden, often admired, this city likes to show off as the ‘garden city’ well, think about that. We are also trying across the country to encourage people to grow some of their own vegetables and fruit.

    Whilst in Britain some years ago you could phone an energy consultant and FREE OF CHARGE they would then come into your house and make suggestions as to where you could cut down on the use of energy. The person in the house I was staying in was given a ‘shower salt timer’ you stuck it on the wall in your shower and when you get in you turn it…. simple stuff especially for teenagers many of whom spend sooo long in the shower. I have long hair and shower daily and even when washing my hair I still had time left over.

    The people who obsessively wash their cars and the ones I worry about, I don’t think anyone deliberately goes around wasting water….

  7. That sounds like our city council here in Christchurch let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer they need to realize that most people in Christchurch have worked very hard in some cases many jobs at one time to get ahead and provide for their family we weren’t all born with a silver spoon in our mouth or gifted things in life like many of our local councilors,. Typically prior to the local council elections they promise the residents of the city the world then once elected look at the best ways to scam us to justify the large salaries they are taking home every week and pay for the wine and cheese they require for after their meetings, if they need more funds for the broken infrastructure in our city then charge the Chinese a proper market rate for the water they are bottling from our city then shipping it to China etc for huge profit, with the amount of fresh water we have under the ground and flowing out to sea I fail to see the need to change us for somethiing that is given to the world via atmospheric conditions

  8. “The council’s head of three waters and waste, Helen Beaumont, said a home priced at $500,000 has an allocation of 800 to 900 litres per day, whereas a $1 million dollar home gets about 1700 litres.”

    Watering gardens in flash suburbs will be subsidised by large families in low income areas.


    Bloody hell, … absolutely gobsmacked.

    To think there are still these blatant, bald faced ‘looking after the wealthy’ neo liberal types in existence in this age of covid, the coming large unemployment and all our other social ills left unfixed, is incredible. You would have thought most would be in hiding esp with Muller looking like a wet rag…

    Absolutely appalling.

  9. Spare a thought for the vegans. Despite their total water use being much lower due to not consuming dairy products (generated by irrigation schemes they help subsidise), they could now be hit with household water charges due to growing their own cabbages etc.

  10. Unfortunately, yet again, John has failed to fact check before jumping to conclusions. If he’d taken 2 minutes to give me a call or email, or waited to see the actual proposal instead of believing every conspiracy he thinks he sees, he’d be giving out a well considered opinion. I’ve been bashed by Mike Yardley one week and Minto the next… a girl simply can’t win.

  11. Sorry Sara Templeton, I don’t believe YOU. You said in the paper that would “even things up”, by getting lower value properties to pay more. First, you bought into the notion that higher rates provide a higher contribution to water. That is just some bookkeeper’s view, not the reality of each contributing to their ability to pay. Second, you at least implicitly state the poor households should collectively pay $2 million extra for water, in what is quite clearly a money grab exercise. Third, the “yet again” “failed to check facts” John Minto is the biggest fact checker I know. So what does that make you???

    • Kia ora Liz. I had been asked to explain the proposal, not whether I supported it. Chch already has a system that ‘allocates’ water depending on property value – which is inherently unfair and neds to change, but has not been raised by anyone before now as no additional $ was being talked about. Have a look at your last rates bill. John and Bronywn have both admitted to me that they didn’t fact check this or anything else about me and simply relied on the article. Those who know me or follow my Facebook page for information were concerned at the way the article portrayed me and emailed, phoned or messaged to check.

      • Kia ora Sara – what you have said is not true. I’ve never admitted not fact checking your comments. You are living in a fairy tale and you haven’t explained how the current system is unfair.
        And what on earth does this mean?
        “Chch already has a system that ‘allocates’ water depending on property value”.

      • Good grief you are a public servant act like one get over your little hissy fit. Nowhere did it say you were simply supplying the information but that you didn’t necessarily agree with it. It certainly read as if you did and no one should have to following you on facebook or phone you on this specific thing. Now about red bus……………

  12. No matter what usage and chargeable numbers are promoted by councilors as evidence for charging rate payers for something they already own, what it really comes down to is understanding that yet again it’s really just another sly and cynical method of trying to quietly tap in the small end of the large neocon wedge. If this policy of charging Christchurch citizens for its abundant pure water supply is brought to fruition, then, before you know it another city asset will be primed ready for sale into private ownership. Don’t bend over citizens, lets keep at least a small part of what we own ours. If sold we all know how quickly shareholders will cry out for dividends and thus prices for what is an essential service would rapidly escalate. We’re already well aware of how that feels in regard to electricity, don’t we Max Bradford?

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