The Government's spin over its earthquake recovery plan is so out of control that it has muddled the Minister's memory to the point he can no longer recall what has been done behind closed doors, says Labour's Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson Lianne Dalziel.
"Gerry Brownlee's claim this morning that the Mayor and the Chief Executive of the Christchurch City Council were responsible for passing on details to the rest of the council about the establishment of a new unit within CERA to lead the rebuild of the central city is misleading.
"Both the Mayor and the Chief Executive were required by the Minister to maintain complete confidentiality about the consultation. Councillors learned of the fact of the secret talks the week before the announcement, but knew nothing of the detail until 4pm the day before the Minister made the announcement."
"This is not collaboration or partnership by anyone's definition.
"If the Minister would commit to transparency and accountability as we have been seeking since the first earthquake, he wouldn't have such trouble remembering what was supposed to be kept behind closed doors and what wasn't.
"The truth is that the Minister makes the decisions, the bureaucracy implements them and the community, including their elected representatives, are excluded.
"People have welcomed the new unit because it represents progress, but in fact it wouldn't have been necessary if CERA had the layer of governance required to separate the political influence of the Minister from the decision-making."
Lianne Dalziel says it is ironic that the former chief executive of the Timaru council, Warwick Isaacs, is now more influential than the chief executive of his Christchurch counterpart.
"Maybe the Christchurch council should have just cut out the middle man," she said.
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