The Press, in its Editorial on Tuesday 22 November, says the Future Canterbury Network has performed the role of conducting a “rigorous audit” from an “independent organisation intent on promoting the common good.”
“It should be encouraged in doing so no matter its conclusions. Its work boosts transparency in local government and provides citizens with reliable facts and substantiated opinions on which they can base their judgements of civic leaders.
“It is regrettable, therefore, that it is not only the mayor [Bob Parker] who has failed to welcome scrutiny. Gerry Brownlee, the Earthquake Recovery Minister, refused to let Cera cooperate with the network because that, he said, would waste time. That is a wretched response to a community that has not lost its liking for open administration even if the lives of its members have been severely disrupted by the quakes. Swift and quality recovery can go hand in hand with accountable governance.
“Last Saturday’s 400-strong protest march to Cera’s headquarters, calling for an independent review body to deal with grievances, shows that the public’s concern about the way the recovery is being handled is strong. The authorities, whether they be led by Gerry Brownlee or Bob Parker, need to take account of that, even if they think their leadership vigorous and wise. They need to open their stewardship to scrutiny. After all, if they have nothing to hide, then why hide it?”