11 months ago

The Star: March 16, 2017

10 Thursday

10 Thursday March 16 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star News Crowd funding for public train No funding for Santa Parade • By Tom Doudney A GROUP is aiming to crowd fund $1.8 million for a public train service which would run between Christchurch, Selwyn and North Canterbury. The Pledge Me page for Dash, which has being shared on social media, said it aimed to be the first community-owned commuter rail operation in the country. It also said the project was “in a race against a foreign buyer” for Auckland Transport’s diesel ADK trains, which were withdrawn from service in 2014 following electrification of the city’s rail network. Dash’s plan would involve three routes connecting the central city with Lyttelton in the south, Rolleston, Kirwee and Darfield in the west, and Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Amberley and Waipara in the north. It promises to get passengers from Rangiora to Moorhouse Ave in 37 minutes and from Rolleston to Moorhouse Ave in 27 minutes. In the city, it would use stations or platforms at Moorhouse Ave, Addington, Hornby, Papanui, Riccarton and Woolston. As of late afternoon yesterday, 53 people had pledged a combined total of $5485. • By Gabrielle Stuart AFTER FAILING to get funding from the city council, Santa Parade organisers are appealing to the public in a last effort to save the parade. The future of the parade has been in jeopardy after the city council cut funding of the event last year to $60,000, down from $85,000 the year before. It costs about $200,000 each year to run the parade. The city council planned to include funding for the parade in its Annual Plan, but that fell through. That means the organisers will have to compete for a city council contestable funding grant, and any funding they get may not arrive until November. But they can only afford to pay the bills until May, because their fund reserves were used covering the shortfall for last year’s parade. The bills add up to about $15,000 per month, which includes the rent of the float storage warehouse, insurance and maintenance. If they cannot get funding before the money runs out, the AT RISK: In spite of the success of previous Santa Parades, the annual event is now in jeopardy because of funding problems. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS organisers may be forced to sell the floats. Christchurch Santa Parade Trust chairwoman Anne Jamieson said she did not want to have to appeal to the public, but she felt the trust had no other option. She said the Santa Parade had been held for 70 years, and she did not want to see it fall over. “It’s one of the few Canterbury events which is held for the kids, so this is all about them,” she said. She said she had been told in meetings with city council staff last year they were working to have funding set aside in the Annual Plan, so she was taken by surprise when she was told in January that would not happen. But the city council says it never promised to set aside the funding. Mayor Lianne Dalziel told The Star in December she was looking at including funding for the parade in the Annual Plan. “We are not abandoning the Santa Parade and we will certainly make sure this popular Christchurch event doesn’t fall over,” she said at the time. She was not available to answer questions from The Star yesterday. But city council head of recreation and sports, John Filsell, said he could “absolutely categorically” say no promise was made. He said the city council wanted to support the parade, but could not give out funding of any sort before June, because it was legally required to stick to its budgets. He said he was working with the parade organisers to look at ways they could help in other ways, like storage. A Givealittle page appealing for money for the parade is set to be launched on Friday. •HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think the Santa Parade should be given ratepayer funding? Why or why not? Email your thoughts to gabrielle.stuart@starmedia. kiwi

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 16 2017 11 Late Convention Centre deal failed • By Gabrielle Stuart IN THE final two weeks before it was shut down, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority tried to push the failed Convention Centre deal through – but failed to get approval. The Government spent two years working on a deal with Plenary Conventions New Zealand, a consortium made up of Plenary Group, Ngai Tahu Property and Carter Group. John Ombler The deal collapsed in June, when the Government announced it would develop the Convention Centre alone. But a document obtained by The Star shows an attempt to push through the signing of the deal in the final two weeks before the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority shut down on April 18. 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Greater Christchurch Regeneration, refused to give CERA authority to sign the deal. The document, which outlined details of the deal, asked Mr Brownlee and Mr English to give CERA acting chief executive John Ombler authority to sign the deal on behalf of the Crown. It shows they both refused. When asked why, a spokeswoman for Mr Brownlee said it was “because joint ministers had concerns about the deal,” and because the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act, which gave CERA powers, was about to expire. When the deal collapsed, more than $84.5 million had already been spent on the Convention Centre plan, including $61 million on land and $19.3 million on consultants. It also shows Mr Brownlee and Mr English approved the rest of the deal, but Mr English signed it four days too late. The document said the ministers involved would need to approve the deal by April 7 because CERA planned to have Bras so comfortable, you won’t know you’re wearing them! • No under wires • Straps do not fall down • Full support from beneath the bust • Unique shape wear • Specialised abdominal & pregnancy support garments • Breast Prostheses fitted and supplied • Esther is a registered health provider Front-opening options in all bra styles FREE CONSULTATIONS AND FITTINGS As seen on Esther Rökk UnderFashions For appointments please phone 322-6590 82 Milns Rd, Halswell • the Plenary Conventions New Zealand deal signed by April 15. “It is critical the approval to this paper is received by 7 April 2016. Without the approval the necessary steps to reach contractual close by 15 April cannot be achieved in the available time frame,” the document said. It shows Mr Brownlee signed the deal on April 6, but Mr English did not sign until April 11, well after the deadline. But when asked if the delay contributed to the deal falling over, a spokeswoman for Mr English said: “The dates suggested by Treasury were indicative only and the signing of the document would not have impeded a commercial agreement being reached.” Earthworks on the Convention Centre site began in October and it is still officially scheduled to open at the end of 2019. However, the designs for the building are yet to be released, neither has any information about developers the Government has said will be involved in the wider Convention Centre precinct. HIV-accused gets social media ban • By Kurt Bayer A CHRISTCHURCH nursing assistant accused of having unprotected sex with three men without disclosing his HIV-positive status has been re-admitted to bail and been banned from using social media. Johnny Lachlan Benjamin Lumsden, 26, faces criminal nuisance charges that he had unprotected sex without telling men that he was HIV-positive between August 15 and October 19 last year. He appeared via audio visual link at the district court on Monday after an alleged breach of bail. Judge David Saunders granted Lumsden bail with conditions that he does not associate with police witnesses or contact complainants, not to leave the country, surrender his passport, and to not apply for any travel documents. He is also prohibited from using social media, including Facebook and Grindr. Lumsden also faces a charge of supplying a class A controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, breach of bail and possession of utensils for methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to the utensils possession charge today and was remanded on bail on the defended charges to a case review hearing on May 19. – NZ Herald REPAIR Worrying about the quality of earthquake repairs by EQC or insurance companies can be a real headache for some homeowners. If that’s you, we can inspect your property for free and advise you on the state of your repairs. 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