16 Thursday May 18 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star Viewpoint ONE OF the first things I did as Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration was commit to keeping the community as up-to-date as possible on the regeneration process. As Minister, I’m provided a great deal of data about how the regeneration is progressing. The information comes from a variety of sources and covers every aspect of life in greater Christchurch, including housing, employment, education, wellbeing and infrastructure. I want to ensure this data is readily available so we all know where we’re making progress, and in some case, where we’re falling short. The 2010 and 2011 quakes altered our path forever, so we’re not always going to align with what’s happening in other regions, or even nationally. The first data snapshot Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Housing was released over the weekend and features average house price and weekly rental cost data Nicky Wagner Keeping people informed from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It shows the average weekly rental cost dropped from $400 in April 2016 to $386 in April 2017. At its peak, the average weekly rental cost rose to $437 postearthquake. The data indicates we’re reaching an equilibrium in terms of supply and demand. Data is an incredibly important resource that can help us make better decisions for the future of Christchurch. The overall picture is big and complex but this series of snapshots will help make things clearer in the coming weeks and months. I also intend to release a quarterly report containing comprehensive economic and social data about greater Christchurch. This will be a significant report that further ensures we’re accurately and transparently tracking the regeneration process. •Nicky Wagner is Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration June Rhodes writes about Morgan Jones who featured in The Star on April 20 In reference to the article on Morgan Jones I see that he has grown up into a fine young man. It was sad that he never regained his sight but good to see what he has achieved and what he is doing with his life. He is a real inspiration to others with a disability – his dancing and other activities – and says he is not afraid of heights just scared of the dark, so obviously he has a sense of humour. It’s a wonderful idea to create a sanctuary for native birds where he can hear their lovely calls. This was a terrible tragedy when he fell from the train, and should never have happened. I wept to see that lovely little boy with Jason Gunn in the newspaper of November 28, 1994. It was heart-breaking. I remember too, he still loved playing with his train set, and said ‘could they put the light on,’ which was so sad. I do hope that he manages to get some work. The reason for writing is that in the throwes of moving house, I have found a lot of old newspapers, and cuttings of Morgan. I see he has a lovely dog as a companion. I always contribute to the blind and puppy dog appeal, and will think of Morgan. I don’t think this will be able to be passed on to him, but I wish him well and the best of luck for the future. The city council says it will not make any more contentious road layout changes in the central city until there is general consensus on the plans Judy Keen – St Asaph St is so narrow now that when a parked car’s door is opened you have to swerve around it into the other lane or stop. Also, yesterday on the way to work, I saw the driver of a sport utility vehicle attempting to park and the driver needed two parking spaces to get in, while the driver of a small car who attempted to get in between two parked cars only partially succeeded. It’s a nightmare driving beside a bus or truck as they take up more than their lane and you are so close. The bus driver has to utilise two lanes to turn a corner. BOTCHED: The city council says it will not start another An Accessible City project until everyone is happy, after uproar about changes to St Asaph St.
The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday May 18 2017 17 Plan to close loopholes Amanda Frend – If they are making streets narrower, then how can one move out of way of an ambulance, fire truck and police. There’s no room to move. Did they not factor those things in as well? Wayne Nicholson – But has the left hand told the right hand. Confusion will still reign. Maree Clayton – What are the mayor and city councillors on? Ludicrous, waste of money and time! James David Foote – The St Asaph St drama is a storm in a tea cup. Port Hills National list MP Nuk Korako and Christchurch Central candidate Duncan Webb have been ordered to take down several election signs, because they are too big Jack Thompson – That’s not campaigning, trust someone to complain. That site is Nuk’s site in Beckenham where he works from his mobile office! It clearly states and shows his contact details – at least he’s out in the community and wanting to help. Jake Ranginui – And the other places his signs are placed? Also offices? He has a lot of offices. Andrew Lamont – Typical National. Make all the rules, don’t follow any of them. Andrew Johnson – It’s the lost luggage law man. LAST WEEKEND I was excited when Andrew Little showed very clearly that he and Labour are on the side of first-home buyers. I know that this will help out so many of the people I see every time I am out and about in the Wigram electorate who are giving up on the dream of ever owning their own place. What we’re going to do is shut down the tax loopholes that speculators have been receiving and use the money saved to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next 10 years. Losses on rental properties will be ring-fenced, meaning they will no longer be able to be used to reduce the tax that speculators owe on other income. Last year, this loophole meant that speculators and foreign buyers avoided paying about $150 million in taxes. Removing it will create a level playing field for home buyers and help families get a fair shot at buying a place of their own. The savings from closing the speculators’ loophole will go into helping both homeowners and landlords make their houses warm and healthy, with grants of up to $2000 per dwelling towards upgrading insulation and heating. What we heard from Andrew was a fresh plan to tackle the housing crisis. This is in clear contrast to the Government which is playing the old smoke and mirrors game. Only days after our announcement the Government decided to reheat some of their already-announced housing initiatives, including the Riccarton Racecourse Development, in a vain attempt to make it look like it was finally doing something meaningful. Sadly it is not. •Megan Woods is Labour’s Canterbury spokeswoman SHEEPSKIN SALE $ 35 $ 40 GOLDEN FLEECE New address U.S. Boots $ 85 $ 45 Men’s Slippers Children’s Slippers Footwear can be exchanged Sheepskin Rugs $ 55 Women’s Slippers 10 Cass Street Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-12.30pm ph 366 5705 The magazine for gardeners who like To geT Their hands dirTy www.gardener.kiwi 100%