Keep Our Assets Canterbury fronted by Mayoral candidate John Minto continues to provide the people of Christchurch with the only viable option in the mayoral race for a community underpinned by a long term commitment to an equitable and sustainable city with real jobs that treat people as more than expendable resources and provide the citizenry a quality public service. The KOA Charter on Quality Public Services, (released last week and based on the Geneva Charter on Quality Public Services) sets out the commitment to 'quality public services available to everyone’. These public services include ‘the provision of housing, public transport, water, cultural and sporting facilities' - all key aspects of a vibrant and healthy city.
One of the key endorsements KOA and mayoral candidate John Minto are proud to have is that from Jobs That Count Campaign. The Jobs That Count Pledge promotes the rights of people to enjoy warm dry housing at home and to be treated respectfully and fairly at work. This pledge has been signed by over 100 of the current local body candidates throughout the country who have seen workers rights eroded and communities destroyed over the last period of New Zealand's supposed "rock star" economy.
Policies within the campaign more directly relevant to the council itself and its people is the drive for Christchurch City to commit to and action the living wage for all its workers - both council staff and its contractors. "It is time to take the city and the country forward to a situation where jobs at decent pay and the ability to access secure hours are seen as rights for everyone who works." says Mike Treen, National Director of Unite Union in his endorsement of this policy.
This policy along with free buses, swimmable rivers, keeping the Christchurch people's assets (currently vested in council stewardship) and providing more affordable housing refocus a city where earthquakes have shaken and destroyed foundations that set this once proud city apart. "Key assets will remain for the benefit of all rather than sold to greedy corporates; free buses will reduce inner city congestion and pollution; more public and affordable housing will be built; the living wage and a ceiling on corporate salaries will be encouraged, and we will be able to enjoy swimmable rivers again." says Rev Brian Turner, Past President of the Methodist Church of NZ.
These are not pipe dreams - they are sound researched solutions and they are living examples of a commitment to social justice - to an open, just and equitable community addressing the issues of precarious employment, poverty wages, inadequate housing and working to realise people centred solutions. Christchurch can take this bold step to set a powerful example for all fair minded Kiwis across the country.