Friday, 22 June 2012

Bob's wishlist

We now have Bob Parker's master-plan and wishlist for Christchurch. The graph below is from The Press and gives the big-ticket items on Bob's list.

The Press reports,
Mayor Bob Parker has unveiled his $800 million big-ticket wishlist for the new Christchurch.

He will ask councillors on Monday to sign off on his annual-plan recommendations for the city – the most ambitious of his mayoralty.

The city council's final draft of the 2012-13 annual plan will be considered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week after a long public submissions and hearings process.

It covers community facilities, infrastructure and support programmes deemed critical to the city's recovery.

Ten big-ticket items have been identified, costing $823m over the next six financial years, with most of the cost budgeted for 2013-14 onwards.

The most expensive item is a $220.7m convention centre, which would rely on a $70m government contribution.

Parker said the council's plan was "utterly unique" and a fair budget for ratepayers.
Bob may think its "fair". But there are a number of items on his wishlist that questions have to be asked about. The most obvious ones are the new AMI stadium and the new convention centre. What is the justification for these items.?As have been noted many times on the various New Zealand economics blogs, stadiums don't pay, so why are we being ask to front-up with $241.4 million for a white-elephant? I'm thinking that the economics of convention centres will be similar to that for sports stadiums so, again, why are we being ask to pay $220.7 million for another white-elephant?

We need to see the reports that justify the spending of the $823.1 million and we need to see it now. A healthy scepticism  seems in order about the benefits that these project will bring to Christchurch.