A Very Important Year For You

By Bill Demeter

I’m sure, just like you, that 2013 is going to be a better year than 2012 and much will happen here in Christchurch and nationally that will have significant impact on our lives.

Let’s take a look at the issues and events that will affect our lives and the country.  I believe the keys issues nationally are:

  • The economy, job creation, unemployment
  • Borrowing to fund government at an unhealthy rate ($300M per wk)
  • Water, cows and the environment
  • Brain drain, lack of investment capital
  • Poverty

I believe the key issues for Canterbury and Christchurch are:

  • Leadership and a co-ordinated plan a vision for the city
  • City Government re-structuring
  • Acceptable plan for schools and community buy in
  • Housing (rental and purchase)
  • Payment of insurance claims by EQC and the private insurers

Before we discuss these vital issues, I believe we should declare this the year of each of us to GET INFORMED AND GET INVOLVED.

The above issues are of great importance to each of us and they are not going to be solved by magic or by politicians sitting to some big building.  How fast and effectively we solve these problems are directly in our hands.

When we are informed and involved, we then start to question and start to INSPECT NOT EXPECT.  We start to question our leaders and hold them accountable for their actions.  We start demanding leadership, results, transparency and information.  We also become less shy about letting them know how we feel.

Let’s look at these issues a bit more closely and look at their key components:

The economy, job creation, unemployment

  • Make job creation the #1 priority for government
  • Meaningful incentives to the private sector
  • Job sharing – two people doing one full time job

 Borrowing to fund government at an unhealthy rate ($300M per wk)

  • You can’t build financial security on borrowed collateral
  •  Collect taxes for the estimated 1/3 currently not paying
  •  Take super annuation to 67.0 years and further incentives for 70, 75

 Water, Cows and the environment

  • Determine once and for all to decide if water should be privatised
  • Junk voluntary accords – they just don’t work
  • Progressive fines for repeat offenders

Brain Drain, lack of investment capital  

  • Enhanced savings programs
  • Capital gains tax and investment tax credits, R&D tax credits
  • Incentives for key occupations to stay


  • Make this a major government priority
  • Breakfast programs for schools
  • Incentives to work and retain benefits for a reasonable period of time

Leadership and a co-ordinated plan a vision for the city  

  • Closer co-operation between CERA, CCC, EQC and insurers
  • A clear and agreed upon vision of the city
  • CERA and CCC collectively informing the residents with regular meetings

 City Government re-structuring  

  • Elected councillors initiating programs versus staff
  • Formal standing committees including finance
  • Greater power and funding for community boards

  Acceptable plan for schools and community buy in

  • Principal and parental buy in is essential
  • A change of approach by the Minister of Education  
  • Taking care of our most important asset – children

Housing (rental and purchase)  

  • Incentives for the private sector to build more homes faster
  • Stronger rental pricing controls
  • Prefab technologies as used in North America and Europe

Payment of insurance claims by EQC and the private insurers

  •  There is no excuse for the lack of payment
  •  Many people are trying to plan for the future and can’t
  •  If need be, the government needs to intervene

So, there you have it, a rather full plate of things to discuss this year and hopefully each of you will promise to GET INFORMED AND GET INVOLVED and to INSPECT NOT EXPECT!!

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