Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Gerry Brownlee’s veiled threats to city councillors and other council staff around not stepping up over the Mayor’s rebuild plans are inappropriate and undemocratic, Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson Lianne Dalziel says.Lianne Dalziel
Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson
21 December 2011
Brownlee threats out of line
Gerry Brownlee’s veiled threats to city councillors and other council staff around not stepping up over the Mayor’s rebuild plans are inappropriate and undemocratic, Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson Lianne Dalziel says.
“The Minister’s accusations are astonishing. His office, in a letter to a Christchurch resident, accuses ‘squabbling’ councillors of dragging the chain and causing undue delay to the recovery.
“To say these people are hampering the rebuild process – the most important issue this region has ever faced – is ridiculous.
“I have issues with some of the council’s decisions –for example, the rates remission policy which in my view should be 100% for all people who have been forced to leave their homes – but I have written to councillors and asked them to re-visit it.
“In the same way, if the Minister has issues with the council then he needs to sit down with councillors and talk them through,” Lianne Dalziel said.
“The Government should be partnering with the council, not firing pot-shots at it.
“The Minister’s comments about some councillors needing to be better informed is particularly surprising, given he chooses to make announcements without any prior consultation with the council whatsoever.
“It is Gerry Brownlee who needs to come up to speed here. He could do well to reacquaint himself with the principles of disaster recovery which are founded on community engagement.
“Rather than continuing to criticise, it would be far more appropriate if central government, local government and the community worked together collaboratively. That’s how we will recover,” Lianne Dalziel said.