© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

City councillor: Garden City now garbage city

Rubbish in a bin
Overflowing bin on High Street  Emme McKay

Failing maintenance and rising complaint numbers has prompted an urgent report from Christchurch City Council about the state of some parts of the city.

The Christchurch City Council's Finance and Performance committee requested the report after the number of complaints about the city's maintenance increased significantly. 

In 2016, there were nearly 1000 more complaints than in 2015 to do with the standard of the city. The complaints concerned roads, walkways, litter and the state of city council parks. 

City councillor Yani Johanson said the standard of the city was not up to par. 

"We used to be the Garden City and now we're the garbage city in my view. We need to make sure we take pride in our city. If we set standards we have a commitment to the community to meet those standards." 

Johanson expected the report to look into maintenance performance and regularity, as well  complaint response.

Road and footpath repairs after the earthquake were another issue, he said. During storms, drains were not functioning properly and easily flooded surrounding areas. 

"It's unacceptable to have weeds growing to the height of small trees. To have grass grow so long that it's a fire hazard. To have roads that when there's a little bit of rain have huge flooding and attract mosquitoes."  Johanson said. 

He said the maintenance was a city-wide issue, but most prevalent in the suburbs where there had been earthquake damage. 

Christchurch locals agreed that something had to be changed with  maintenance in the city. 

Resident Cathryn Lucy said she was shocked to see how far behind the progress was in some parts of Christchurch and it was like two different cities. 

Some New Brighton residents said they were fed up with the constant delays to do with the suburb's footpaths that needed an urgent fix. 

The Council has said the majority of service targets have been met. They forecast 91.3% of the council's service and maintenance to be achieved by the end of the year. 

Johanson said he hoped the report would address how to fix the maintenance problems. 

The report is due to be completed early next month. 

Cracked footpah
Cracked footpath on St Asaph St Emme McKay