Of concern in the past week is that Ministers English and Brownlee have just changed the purpose of Otakaro Limited which has been developed post CERA to do the governments work. The change in the purpose effectively gives Otakaro Limited the power to act against the Regenerate Christchurch regeneration plans if the financial return to the government isn’t good enough.
It is a worry that they have only just started and they are already quietly changing things without consulting with the public.
The original purpose was:
“The purpose of the Company is to deliver Anchor Projects in a manner that is not inconsistent with any Recovery Plan or Regeneration Plan, and to acquire, manage and divest the Crown’s assets associated with the Anchor Projects (including Crown-owned Land) over a timeframe agreed from time to time with the Shareholding Ministers, with the objective of achieving a commercial return for the Crown”
Here is the original Constitution for reference:
The purpose is now:
“The purpose of the Company is to add value to Anchor Projects and Crown Land in a manner that balances a desire to achieve good commercial outcomes against the Crown’s regeneration objectives, and support the Crown’s exit over time on favourable terms”
Here is the new Constitution for reference
It seems they may have also relaxed the requirements to keep “full and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Board”:
The wording change is important as before they weren’t allowed to be inconsistent with Recovery/Regeneration Plans (the shared organisation the crown and government have developed for the recovery post CERA). It seems now they can be inconsistent with Recovery/Regeneration plans if on ‘balance’ it doesnt deliver a good commercial return to the Crown.
I hope this change is not a bad sign that we are mere observers in matters being done TO us and not WITH us. This is how the recovery got into some trouble with trust and progress in the past. Lets hope it doesnt mean that nothing has been learnt.
A close watch will need to stay on what could be an unfortunate move so early in the life of this new company. If we as a city are to have confidence in what is being undertaken in this City by recovery agencies we need absolute transparency at all times. I hope what is being read is not a misunderstanding and can quite simply explained.
With this change there is the potential power shift that will leave the council and the people of Christchurch potentially out of decisions and information. Otakaro could work directly with the Canterbury Group in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on anchor projects and the residential red zone land divesting decison that need to be made bypassing regeneration plans or community aspirations that do not fit with the goal of the crown retuning a positive return. This could circumvent all the work been done to allow for a locally led recovery.
This is something to watch and hope will not go away.
Below is the way the new organisations are proposed to work together