Sutton stonewalls Christchurch cost requests
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton has finally declined NBR ONLINE requests for costings of the central city rebuild.
NBR asked Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee on August 13 for documentation about the cost of civic amenities and the purchase of land for central Christchurch’s rebuild.
Mr Brownlee passed the request to Mr Sutton.
After several stalling letters the authority has now written another refusing the information while apologising for the delay.
NBR made the request because of the overriding public interest of Christchurch ratepayers who will be required to pay for the amenities that will be decreed by the authority, an unelected offshoot of Mr Brownlee’s ministry.
In keeping with responses from other government ministries to Official Information Act requests recently, Mr Sutton cites public interest, commercial confidentiality and privacy issues as reasons for refusing to disclose.
The letter from Mr Sutton also says the information will soon be publicly available.
Under the provisions of the OIA, on August 13 NBR requested copies of briefing papers, Cabinet minutes, reports and correspondence between CERA, Central City Development Unit, Treasury and the Earthquake Recovery ministry or any other relevant parties including landowners concerning:
- Anticipated costs of securing central Christchurch land for the purpose of the CCDU rebuilding blueprint.
- Anticipated or indicative costs of selling such land to private developers.
- Anticipated or indicative leasing costs per square metre of completed property developments.
- Anticipated time of completing the land purchases.
- Anticipated costs of each major civic project: convention centre, rugby stadium, metro, sport, in particular.
- Anticipated time of completing the civic projects.
- The division of where property acquisition costs will fall – on the government versus the city council.