Christchurch asset sales urged

9:20 am on 21 May 2012

Local Government Minister David Carter says asset sales should be considered by Christchurch City Council to help pay for the city's rebuild.

The Government is keen to see councils look at selling assets as a way to keep rates rises and debt in check.

Mr Carter says Christchurch City Council is facing an earthquake repair bill of just over $1.3 billion.

Instead of paying for this through increased borrowing and a rates rise, he says the council should look at reducing its stake in assets such as Port Lyttelton and Christchurch airport to 51%.

But Mayor Bob Parker says the assets bring in $40 million per year in dividends, far more in the long term than what the council might raise through a one-off sale.

Even after extra borrowing and rates rises, Mr Parker says the council would still have one of the lowest levels of debt and rates of any in the country.