Keep Our Port Public Website
The Christchurch coalition set up to oppose the plans of CCHL to sell the Lyttelton Port Company to a Hong Kong multinational now have their own website.
Here you can find PDFs of a poster and petition opposing the sale to Hutchison Port Holdings, as well as Murray Horton's excellent article on why the council should not sell the port.
While it has been reported that Hutchison has pulled out of the deal, this pullout may only be temporary. The city council have made it pretty clear they plan to gain all the shares in the port, and then approach Hutchison once again. The privatisers are still hard at work in Christchurch City Hall! I will post more on this in the next few days.
This is much more than just a Christchurch local body issue. For a number of years there has been speculation of a 'consolidation' in the port sector, meaning that port operations in New Zealand could be concentrated in one or two major ports, with serious economic development ramifications for the regions that lose out. Our city council is being seriously naive to assume that selling to Hutchison is going to make Lyttelton one of the 'chosen few'. As soon as Hutchison gain control of another large port in New Zealand they could attempt to wind down Lyttelton if it meant more money for Hutchison. Secondly, Hutchison have shown an interest in the Auckland Port...
Greater co-operation between New Zealand ports is the best way to ensure shipping companies and large multinationals do not succeed in playing our ports off against each other.