Archive for the ‘Christchurch City Council’ Category

At the beginning of the NLP (NewLabour Party); vice-president Sue Bradford; president Matt McCarten; party MP and leader, Jim Anderton

by Philip Ferguson

Jim Anderton passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 7, just two weeks away from his 80th  birthday.  I have two sets of views about Anderton: a political assessment and also a personal view, as my parents were friends and strong political supporters and co-workers of Anderton’s for several decades.

First, the personal side.  This Anderton, I’ll call Jim.  I only met him once and this was when my mother was dying.  She had collapsed at home and been subsequently diagonised as riddled with cancer.  She went home for a fortnight before being transferred into a rest home with hospice facilities.  Jim showed up at my parents’ house with a load of food when my mother came out of hospital.  During the visit he gave me his personal cell-phone number and told me to call him at any time; also, that if he was in a meeting and couldn’t answer, he would get back to me straight afterwards.  He was particularly concerfned if we had any trouble with the public health bureaucracy – he told me to just let him know and he’d get onto them straight away.

Ferocious in dealing with petty bureaucrats

I knew from my mother that he was  ferocious in dealing with state bureaucrats who put any obstacles at all in the way of people receiving their just rights.  She had volunteered in Jim’s constituency office for years, both when he was a Labour MP and later, when he (and my parents) departed from Labour and founded the left social-democratic NewLabour Party and, subsequently, the Alliance.  I had heard stories from her of being in the office when Jim, outraged at one or other a tale of officious state mistreatment of one of his constituents (or anyone from across Christchurch who visited his office) would literally rip the jumped-up bureaucrat a new one.

My mother had also told me of his personal generosity.  The office was in a small block of shops in Selwyn Street in Spreydon and Jim and Carole Anderton’s home was up a driveway at the end of the row of shops.  This made it easy for him to dash back to the house and grab (more…)

RMTU members do difficult work in all weathers around the clock

RMTU members do difficult work in all weathers around the clock

by Edna Welthorpe

Two hundreds workers belonging to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton have voted to take action against the Port Company following an unsatisfactory offer by the company in recent contract negotiations. From December 17, they’ll be ceasing overtime work indefinitely. They have also voted for a series of full stoppages if the company doesn’t amend its position.

RMTU organiser John Kerr says the offer made by the company during bargaining was insufficient for the workers to want to accept it, especially given Port company boss Peter Davies’ 18% salary increase and what Kerr describes as “the appalling (more…)

The above video was produced by Beyond Resistance, whose blog is here.

There was also quite good coverage on TV3, which you can watch here, although you have to put up with a few seconds of a Mazda ad first.

by Philip Ferguson

Around 1,500 – 2,000 people attended a lunchtime rally next to the Christchurch City Council offices today. The protest was organised by No Pay Rise for Tony Marryatt, although organisers made it clear that reversing his pay rise and getting him to hand back all the increase he had so far been paid was not the most important object. They want him sacked, they want Parker to resign and they want new council elections in autumn. These positions drew rousing cheers from the crowd. The organisers and crowd also made it clear they did not want interference from the government – they don’t want the government getting rid of Marryatt/Parker and their cronies; they want the protest movement to do it themselves.

As well as more mass protests, other ideas were put forward about how to get rid of Marryatt/Parker. At one point, for instance, hundreds of the crowd began spontaneously chanting “Don’t pay the rates”. One of the speakers, a respectable-looking middle-aged guy, suggested this was a good idea and should be taken up.

The mike was opened to ‘ordinary citizens’ to get things off their chest and people from different parts of the city spoke about the problems they faced and the cavalier attitude of the Marryatt/Parker cabal. Several speakers, including Rev Mike Coleman of Wider Earthquakes Communities Action Network who chaired the protest, mentioned the way in which decisions were made by Marryatt/Parker in secret – in a number of cases (more…)

by Nick Scullin

Christchurch City Council’s CEO, Tony Marryatt

Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt has finally returned from his holiday in Australia and is defending his widely-criticised $68,129 pay rise.  The 14.4 per cent pay rise will bring his yearly salary to $538,529, up from $470,400.  When the pay rise was announced by the city council it prompted a small protest.  Many people have written to the Press expressing their outrage at such a large increase at a time when Christchurch people are still hurting from devastating quakes which cost many workers their jobs and/or homes.  There have been calls for Marryatt to turn down the pay offer or to donate it to charity, both of which he has refused to do.

The real question should be not is this an inappropriately large pay rise, but why do we have a system that allows one man to be paid such a vast amount of money when the majority of us are getting far less.  The answer is that capitalism is a very one-sided system that makes (more…)