You may have seen a story in the Press this morning about the number of Comms staff at CERA. This isn’t the first time there has been a story about the number of people working in communications there, but it is the first time we’ve got an idea of what proportion of the organisation is actually involved in this. As you can see from the graph below, it is by far and away the most heavily skewed towards comms people:

Percentage comms staff of Government Departments

Percentage comms staff of Government Departments

The best part of the story was the last line:

A spokesman for Brownlee said the issue was an operational matter and needed to be directed to Cera. Sutton declined to comment.

How … ironic.

Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.08.37

The thing is, we’ve been through a lot here. The last thing we need is the government department that has been set up to help us leading us up the garden path. More vibrant than ever? Only if you ignore all of Christchurch’s history up to 2011. People don’t want to be lied to and patronised. People want to know what is going on in this place. Businesses need to know what is happening in the CBD, and when they can’t find out, they leave and go to Addington or Victoria St.

The problem for CERA is that it is a new department that has been set up in the Minister’s image. The line between the government and government department has been blurred, like when CERA went on a social media crusade for the National party last year. The slick graphics and speeches are all well and good, but Christchurch wants actions, not words.