Asset sales on the agenda in Christchurch

7:18 am on 10 February 2012

Christchurch Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button says asset sales will have to be considered as a way of paying for the rebuilding of the city.

The Government has made it clear the city council has to pay $1 billion towards the $6 billion rebuild and wants to know how it will do it.

Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee says he has discussed a number of proposals with the mayor, senior councillors and officials.

City council chief executive Tony Marryatt says all options, including asset sales and rates rises, are on the table.

The council has substantial shares in eight companies, including the Port of Lyttelton, Christchurch Airport Ltd, Orion and the Red Bus company.

Their combined value is put at $2.3 billion.

Ms Button is reluctant to sell assets, but says it's something the council will have to consider.

She adds the value of the assets will have to be looked into, as they could have all changed with ongoing earthquakes.

Councillors Glenn Livingstone, Aaron Keown and Yani Johanson are also not fans of asset sales.

Cr Keown suggests the council first look at cutting its services. Cr Johanson says asset sales would cost the city dearly in the long run.

Mr Brownlee says in the end, the decisions are for the council to make.

The council will have a better idea in April, once its budget is done, where the $1 billion can be found.