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Friday, 8 March 2013

Roger Sutton and the ownership of Christchurch

Media blog Pundit has an article by Andrew Geddis, a Professor of Law at Otago University, as to whether CERA appears to be confusing “its role in overseeing the rebuild of central Christchurch with owning it entirely”.

Drawing on his own specialist knowledge, a report from Radio NZ, and political commentators, Professor Geddis looks at a recent occasion when Roger Sutton revoked a permit to protest in Cathedral Square because “it was political”. Geddis’ conclusion, based on the information he could access – the action taken to revoke the permit was illegal.  His views are summarised:

For these reasons, unless and until more details emerge to show that the initial media account is incomplete or wrong, I think Roger Sutton has overstepped his powers on this issue. And in so doing, he would appear to be exemplifying exactly the concerns about autocratic and unaccountable decision making that the protestors originally wished to give voice to. Which is, you might very well think, nicely ironic.

You can read the article here. Check out the comments at the end of the article.

It is also interesting to reflect on the quality of the advice Roger Sutton was given on the matter, and who provided it: his own staff, staff in Minster Brownlee’s office, or was it from the PM’s Department?


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