Tag Archives: Central government

NZRU ‘hustles’ towns and cities to build stadiums

What happens to our cathedrals, the large stadiums found in every major centre, if we lose faith?

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 14/06/2014
Sport
What about the state of New Zealand stadiums?
By Matt Nippert
[Excerpts from a longer article...] The covered 31,000-seat Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, constructed in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, may be the newest major sporting facility in the country but has already proved the most controversial. The bulk of its $224 million construction cost came from Dunedin City Council, but ongoing costs to ratepayers have caused considerable angst. Ratepayers were forced into a $2.3m bailout in May, and are mulling whether a permanent annual subsidy will be required to keep it running.

Getting to grips with exactly how much stadiums cost is a tricky exercise. Construction has often been piecemeal, with grandstands redeveloped or rebuilt over time, blurring total capital expenditure. And determining operational costs – whether stadiums require ongoing contributions by ratepayers – is further complicated by many facilities being run from within city councils or by council-controlled organisations. This makes the extraction of a discrete set of accounts, most notably in Dunedin and Waikato, an impossibility.

Analysis of accounts for Wellington and Auckland, run by dedicated trusts and two of the most transparent stadiums, shows that break-even is realistically the best case.

At New Zealand Rugby headquarters, chief executive Steve Tew broadly agrees that the glory days [of attendance at games] are over. Viewers watching broadcasts of a game have supplanted punters going through stadium turnstiles.

But there is one niche where the faith of the rugby faithful remains strong: All Blacks tests. Hosting the national team is often the only time stadiums up and down the country reach capacity.

While great for New Zealand Rugby coffers, Massey University’s Sam Richardson says the All Blacks have warped stadium construction priorities. “It’s an absolutely huge detriment. If you’re building a stadium where the financial viability year to year relies on an All Blacks test, there’s no question New Zealand Rugby plays a massive part in whether these facilities are going to be used to their potential,” he says.

Canterbury University economist Eric Crampton says building capacity for a solitary annual All Black test is akin to “buying a six-bedroom house just in case both sets of grandparents come to visit at the same time”. Crampton says the proliferation of large loss-making stadiums, both in New Zealand and worldwide, has been mainly because of the economic equivalent of hustling. “Sporting teams have been able to convince councils all over the place – and have been able to play them off against each other by threatening to move – to build excessive stadiums.
Read more

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“Fifa, like the International Olympic Committee, is widely regarded as corrupt. In that, it reflects our flawed species; while capable of fabulous feats, a dark side lurks.”

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Jun 2014
Editorial: Revelling in sport
OPINION As Dunedin and the South gear up for the excitement of tonight’s rugby test in the city, a sporting event in another league entirely kicked off yesterday.
Read more

Garrick Tremain – 14 June 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Earthquake-prone Buildings Amendment Bill

The proposed amendment bill raises significant concerns about the maintenance of current building stock, the character and identity of towns and cities, and the economic and financial wellbeing of provincial councils and their communities. More than 7000 buildings south of Timaru would require upgrading, at a cost of $1.77 billion over a 15-year period.

Town Halls Merge 6

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Feb 2014
Councils aghast changes could cost billions
By Andrew Ashton
South Island councils are expected to offer a ”united front” in opposing new Government building regulations that could cost councils billions of dollars to implement.
Last year the Waitaki District Council joined the Dunedin and Invercargill city councils and the Central Otago, Clutha, Gore, Mackenzie, Southland, Timaru and Waimate district councils to present a joint submission on a discussion paper detailing proposed changes to the way earthquake-prone buildings are managed.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Town Halls and auxillary functions (clockwise from top left) Invercargill, Dunedin, Timaru and Oamaru – posterised by whatifdunedin

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National-led government rejects state sector reform

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

On the subjects of RUGBY and POKIE TRUSTS (with respect to evolving evidence of organised white collar crime and serious fraud), we note the very troubling lack of accountability and transparency demonstrated by the top brass of Department of Internal Affairs, Serious Fraud Office, Office of the Auditor-General, Office of the Ombudsmen, and New Zealand Police. And indeed government ministers who, practised in the art of political interference, obfuscation and worse, see themselves as entirely above the law.

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### radionz.co.nz 23 February 2014
Radio New Zealand National
Sunday Morning with Richard Langston
http://www.radionz.co.nz/sunday

8:12 Insight: The Public Service – will it survive reforms?
In the last month, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have both confirmed that the drive under the “Better Public Services” banner will continue. The programme is one of the government’s four priorities and includes a cap on core administrative positions. The State Services Commission say the key to doing more with less lies in productivity, innovation, and increased agility to provide services. But, as Philippa Tolley has been finding out, others say public servants are now too wary to offer free and frank advice and that their democratic role is being undermined.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 ( 27′ 51″ )

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### radionz.co.nz Updated at 9:45 am today
RNZ News
‘Total overhaul’ of state sector sought
The former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer is calling for a royal commission of inquiry into the public sector, saying it needs a complete overhaul. Sir Geoffrey says many departments and ministries do not cooperate with one another and lack the capacity to be effective. He says morale in the public sector is low, and too little attention is given to the appointment of chief executives.

“The system needs to be overhauled. New Zealand’s got a lot of serious problems that it’s going to have to face up to in the future and those problems require the best-quality governance that we can possibly have – and the public service is a vital part of that.”

Sir Geoffrey says a royal commission is needed to establish some clear principles for the public service to adhere to.
Read more

[Audio] http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2586376/former-pm-calls-for-overhaul-of-public-sector

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Oil and gas: Supply base competition

Southland Chamber of Commerce v Otago Chamber of Commerce

Is it just me, or does the Southland Chamber of Commerce sound more professional and well-thought than our local chamber’s (non value-added) offhand patter ??? Why would we think that.

### ODT Online Mon, 17 Feb 2014
Case for the base
The Otago Daily Times asked the chambers of commerce in both Otago and Southland to provide 10 reasons why their city should win the bid as Anadarko’s support base. Anadarko drill ship Noble Bob Douglas has begun test drilling 65km off the coast of the Otago Peninsula. The search for gas and oil has millions of dollars worth of potential for the city – either Dunedin or Invercargill – chosen as the support base.
Read more

And the winner is . . . (on paper) the far far south.
Port of Bluff, NZLots of knowhow, space and capacity at Bluff, Southland

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Mike Dickison (@adzebill) tweeted at 7:50 AM on Mon, Feb 17, 2014:
Ooh, I’m in a stoush with the head of NZ Oil and Gas over whether petrol’s made of dinosaurs. [with newspaper link]

### Herald Online 6:25 AM Monday Feb 17, 2014 8 comments
Oil/gas show queried
By Staff Reporter – Wanganui Chronical -
The use of dinosaurs to promote an oil industry roadshow is a “cynical ploy”, says a curator at Whanganui Regional Museum.
The roadshow What Lives Down Under is touring South Taranaki and Wanganui to explain the work of New Zealand Gas & Oil, Beach Energy and Tag Oil. It has a large dinosaur on the side of the roadshow big truck and the image is used in the promotional material.
The museum’s curator of natural history, Mike Dickison, says dinosaurs have nothing to do with oil. “It was not an educational show at all but is entirely funded by the gas and oil industry to convince kids that drilling is safe and cool.” The roadshow website linked oil and dinosaurs saying “the gas in your family’s car might have been a dinosaur”, which Dr Dickison said was incorrect.
Read more

What lives down under - roadshow truck [wanganui chronicle via  NZH]Photo: Bevan Conley

Related Posts and Comments:
21.1.14 Jints, this one’s forya
13.1.14 Taking to water like a duck on oil
9.4.13 Dunedin: Future service town to Shell? #realitycheck
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13.4.10 Dunedin – an oil base?
18.3.10 Dunedin harbourside for oil base?
26.2.10 Latest on Dunedin’s offshore oil and gas prospects

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Christchurch stadium

“No stadium can make money unless it has millions of moneyed sports fans living within its catchment area.” –Lee Vandervis

Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 1 (1)Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 3 (1)Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 1 | Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 3

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.14 [DCC announces review] Stadium: It came to pass . . .
10.5.13 Debate over new stadium
7.10.12 New stadium worries, NZ wide + a waterfront, ours
30.9.12 Wake-up call for Christchurch #eqnz #SeriousFraud
30.7.12 National Govt puts champagne and stadium before shelter housing
3.6.12 Sunday Star Times: Stadium story: any sliced bread in the murk?
8.11.11 Christchurch: new temporary stadium
9.8.11 Christchurch’s AMI stadium
16.1.10 Deans Stand at AMI Stadium: DONE

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Whaleoil once asked “Where has Panty Slut-boy gone?” —DCC now.

dbptennis [nominister.blogspot.co.nz]25.2.06 The Briefing Room (Ian Wishart) – Benson-Pope & The Naked Schoolgirls

2.3.06 The Briefing Room (Ian Wishart) – Why David Benson-Pope is a liar…

27.11.06 Whaleoil (Cameron Slater) – Where has Panty Slut-boy gone?

18.4.07 Kiwiblog (David Farrar) – Conversation with a journalist

19.4.07 Cyfswatch NZ (watchingcyfswatchnewzealand) – David Benson Pope (aka Panty Slut Boy and smacker of school kids) is now fronting the Anti-Smacking Bill for Labour!

25.7.07 Whaleoil (Cameron Slater) – Panty Slut-boy is denying everything

27.7.07 The Briefing Room (Ian Wishart) – Something else David Benson-Pope fudged on…
“…Like many in the “[BDSM] community”, Roxanne is linked to a Master, or Owner, and has personally witnessed David Benson-Pope on several occasions. He was always more on the sub/slave side as opposed to pure submissive. Trying to use a vanilla (straight) way of explaining things is hard. It just means that his is a very serving play. Very much into puppy play, and age play, corner time, and his biggest seemed to be humiliation.” He is also a cross-dresser, says Roxanne, but only when instructed to by his owner, “Mistress Princess”, during humiliation sessions. “As part of his humiliation fetish he is called ‘panty-slut-boy’ …when it’s humiliation time it’s normally beautiful lacy underwear.” “In David Benson-Pope’s size?” “Absolutely!” she confirms.”
“[Author's note: when this story was published online in November last year, David Benson-Pope refused to deny the detailed allegations contained in the full version. In fact, he went to the trouble of ringing a senior Otago Daily Times journalist at home that evening, expressly to ensure that the newspaper was not quoting him as denying the story. Instead, the quote he approved was the much more vague: "When would I have time for that?" To this day, despite many attempts to get a straight answer, Benson-Pope has still never denied the story.]”

23.10.07 Stuff, On The House (Colin Espiner) – Dancing to the Cabinet shuffle
“Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope has told the Otago Daily Times that he will seek re-election next year. This is a surprise, since the Labour hierarchy thought it had given the disgraced MP enough hints that his presence was no longer required. Benson-Pope was forced to resign over the Madeleine Setchell affair, when his office interfered in her employment process because of her relationship with National’s press secretary Kevin Taylor. But he was political dead wood long before this, despite somehow enduring years of controversy over the “tennis balls” furore involving his time as a teacher at Bayfield High. Benson-Pope has no hope of getting back into Cabinet but Clark can’t force him not to stand again as an MP. At the age of 57, with the teaching avenue probably now closed to him, there may well be few other employment avenues open to him.

23.10.07 No Minister (Fairfacts Media) – Panty Slut Boy begs for more
“…Panty Slut Boy’s membership of the Southern Kinx bondage club…”

2.9.08 Homepaddock (Ele Ludemann) – How desperate are they?
“…the Dunedin grapevine is buzzing with the suggestion that David Benson-Pope is going to stand for New Zealand First in Dunedin South…”

2.9.08 No Minister (Fairfacts Media) – Panty Slut Boy batting for other team
“If anything highlights the corrupt farce that this Liarbour-led government has become, it is the latest rumours concerning former minister David Benson-Pope.
It has nothing to do with schoolgirls in nightdresses, tennis balls or the Southern Kinx bondage group.”

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The bullshit aura of ‘leadership ability’ continues via the Mayor of Dunedin’s powers of appointment, the DCC website, and Panty Slut-boy’s self-belief.
See him to public stocks in the Octagon? Oh, that’s right – YOU voted for him.

Profile: Councillor David Benson-Pope

David Benson PopeDavid was born in Dunedin and educated at St Clair Primary, Tahuna Intermediate and Kings High Schools and Otago University. He is the former Head of Languages and Outdoor Education at Bayfield High School.

David was a Dunedin City Councillor from 1986 – 1999 and MP for Dunedin South until 2008.

During his time in parliament, David held the following Ministerial Positions:
Minister of Fisheries
Associate Justice Minister
Minister Responsible for the Law Commission
Associate Minister for the Environment
Associate Minister of Education (Schools)
Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Minister for the Environment

His other Parliamentary Responsibilities included:
Extensive Select Committee membership
Trustee of the Norman Kirk Memorial Trust 2002-2006
Chair of the New Zealand/German Parliamentary Friendship Group 2001 – 2006
Senior Government Whip 2002-2004

David is well known for his strong support of and involvement in many environmental upgrades and urban design initiatives such as the St Clair Hot-Salt-Water Pool, the redevelopment of the Railway Station and Law Courts, improvements in the Octagon, George and Princes Streets, the Exchange and Portobello, and landscape improvements at Bayfield Park and Portobello Road. He also helped facilitate improved facilities at King’s, Queen’s and Bayfield High schools. David was the first chairman of City Forests Ltd, and is a former Chair of the Otago Youth Adventure Trust and the Spirit of Adventure Trust (Otago). David is committed to working in the best interests of Dunedin and Dunedin people.

█ David has been appointed Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee and a member of the Consent Hearings and District Liquor Licensing Committees.

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Recently at What if? Dunedin:
15.1.14 Comment by Elizabeth
18.10.13 Whaleoil mention [post]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Taking to water like a duck on oil

A report on ethical investment opportunities, commissioned by Dunedin City Council, will be discussed by councillors later this month.

“This is an opportunity for us as a community to have a conversation about what we collectively feel comfortable making money from. It is important to have this conversation.” –Cr MacTavish (via ODT)

The councillor has written:
“I think drilling for hydrocarbons is unethical because of climate change. At the Council, we’re already having to factor climate change planning into decision-making, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s not the cheap option.”

Read Jinty MacTavish’s recent comments at ODT Online:
On ethics and hypocrisy… (9.1.14) and Climate change policy, cycle investments (12.1.14).

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Link supplied.
Monday, 13 January 2014 4:06 a.m.

Ethical Sat Nav [newsbiscuit.com] 1Cr MacTavish need never get lost again

### newsbiscuit.com Jan 7th, 2014
Politicians to replace faulty moral compass with new Ethical Sat Nav
By Ludicity
MPs are preparing for the arrival of a new piece of wearable technology that will help them navigate difficult terrain and always guide them towards the high moral ground.
The EPS, or Ethical Positioning System, operates by triangulating a person’s political standpoint via a number of morally aware ‘smart satellites’. If a politician starts to veer off course, perhaps about to break a manifesto pledge, the Sat Nav will interrupt with the message: ‘You are no longer on the agreed route, please perform a U-turn now.’
The new system replaces the old and unreliable moral compass. ‘In theory the moral compass should have worked,’ explained philosopher AC Grayling, ‘but many politicians found it confusing and were clearly unable to tell which way it was pointing. All too often they either they left it at home or held it upside down and headed off in entirely the wrong direction.’
Read more

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Those speaking at the inaugural Oil Free Future Summit included Gareth Hughes (Green Party), Jinty MacTavish, Prof Bob Lloyd, and photo journalist John Wathen.

offs-poster (detail) 4a### ODT Online Mon, 13 Jan 2014
Flotilla to hinder drilling
By John Lewis
Oil Free Otago has established a ”rapid response” team of up to 260 people to take to the waters around Otago to hinder Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s deep-sea drilling operations. Oil Free Otago spokeswoman Niamh O’Flynn said the team was established during the Oil Free Future Summit in Dunedin at the weekend, and hinted it may be used to block the shipping lane in Otago Harbour to stop Anadarko vessels from using Dunedin as a servicing port.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
9.4.13 Dunedin: Future service town to Shell? #realitycheck
24.9.12 Stadium Councillors back coastal oil exploration
13.4.10 Dunedin – an oil base?
18.3.10 Dunedin harbourside for oil base?
26.2.10 Latest on Dunedin’s offshore oil and gas prospects

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: newsbiscuit.com – Ethical Positioning System (EPS); oilfreeotago.com – OFFS poster (detail)

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UNICEF NZ statement on child poverty monitor

“The Monitor tells us that 159,000 children (60% of those in poverty) are living in poverty for long periods of time. Living in persistent poverty will undermine a child’s physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing with the potential for long-term damage.”

UNICEF NZ Statement on Child Poverty Monitor
Monday, 9 December 2013, 10:05 am
Press Release: UNICEF

UNICEF NZ Statement on Child Poverty Monitor, Released Today by OCC

The inaugural Child Poverty Monitor, released today (Monday, 9 December) by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), JR McKenzie Trust and the NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service at Otago University, contains some deeply concerning figures. However, it is an important step forward for tracking how well New Zealand is doing in giving children the standard of living they need.
Deborah Morris-Travers, UNICEF New Zealand Advocacy Manager, said, “It’s of significant concern that 10% of Kiwi Kids – twice the rate of the New Zealand population as a whole – are living in severe poverty.
Read more at Scoop

Welcome to the First Child Poverty Monitor Technical Report
Monday, 9 December 2013, 9:44 am
Press Release: Child Poverty Monitor

Welcome to the First Child Poverty Monitor Technical Report

This Technical Report marks a new step in monitoring child poverty and social health indicators in New Zealand. It began with a partnership being established between the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, the University of Otago’s New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES) and the J R McKenzie Trust. This partnership saw a gap in publicly-available child poverty measures, and is addressing this gap by compiling, publishing and disseminating annual measurements on child poverty in New Zealand.
Last year, the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Solutions to Child Poverty recommended that a suite of measures capturing different aspects of child poverty be measured and reported annually. We are fulfilling this recommendation. This new Technical Report builds on the Children’s Social Health Monitor (CSHM) produced by the NZCYES since 2009. We have added additional indicators that enable us to monitor child poverty in New Zealand. Along with this full Technical Report we have produced very high level information on the key measures of child poverty, which are available at http://www.childpoverty.co.nz.
We want to promote the common use of rigorous measures of poverty, so we can stop debating about the measure and start fixing the problem.

More info\

Report: 2013_Child_Poverty_Monitor_Technical_Report_MASTER.pdf

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### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 09/12/2013
One in four Kiwi children living in poverty
By Ben Heather – Dominion Post
More children living in crammed homes are ending up in hospital, as a new report shows one in four children remain mired in poverty. A new rigorous measure of child poverty released today shows that about one in six Kiwi children are going without basic necessities. This could mean not having a bed, delaying a doctor’s visit or missing out on meals. It also shows hospital admissions for children with medical conditions linked to poverty are rising. Tens of thousands of children are admitted every year for respiratory and infectious diseases associated with living in damp, overcrowded homes. “I see these poor preschool children in crowded homes that are cold and damp coming in with skin infections. They are filling our wards,” Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, a Hawke’s Bay paediatrician, said.

Children, particularly the youngest, remain the most impoverished group of New Zealanders, three times more likely to live in poverty than those past retirement age.

And the gap between those going without and the rest is showing no signs of narrowing, with children born to solo beneficiary parents by far the most likely to get sick or injured. But child poverty is also reaching far beyond beneficiaries, with about two out of five impoverished kids living in working families. Overall 265,000 children live in poverty, which is measured by children living in households with less than 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs.
The report, called the Child Poverty Monitor, was commissioned by Dr Wills after the Government rejected calls to start a comprehensive measure of child poverty.
Read more

STATE OF CHILD POVERTY (via Dominion Post)

█ 265,000 children live in poverty, defined by income.
█ 1 in 3 Maori and Pacific children live in poverty.
█ 1 in 7 European children live in poverty.
█ 1 in 6 struggle to afford basic necessities such as healthcare and clothing.
█ 1 in 10 suffer from severe poverty, lacking basic necessities and adequate income.
█ 3 out of 5 will be living in poverty for much of their childhood.
█ 51 per cent are from sole parent families. 60 per cent are from beneficiary families.

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Radio New Zealand National
Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon
Monday 9 December 2013
The inaugural Child Poverty Monitor ( 11′ 30″ )
09:35 Dr Liz Craig is a Senior Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Otago.
Audio | Download: Ogg  |  MP3

Related Posts and Comments:
29.8.12 Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
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23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch Inside New Zealand (TV3): Inside Child Poverty

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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SFO budget slashed, how useful were they ?! #politicalinterference

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 13:38 08/12/2013
Serious Fraud Office faces cutback
By Andrea Vance – Sunday Star-Times
A 25 per cent funding cut means the Serious Fraud Office will take on less cases, MPs were told this week. Funding to the agency is forecast to decline by 24.7 per cent from $10.180 million in 2013/14 to $7.670 in 2014/15. Parliament’s law and order select committee heard that the number of complaints received has more than doubled from around 200 to 435. But chief executive Julie Read told MPs the agency will have to prioritise the work it does, taking on two out of six low level cases as a deterrent.

“I think it is fair to say that the way we prioritise cases probably changed at the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis overall…I’ve anticipated that foundation will continue but we may have to adopt some additional tactics depending on the nature of the cases.”
–Julie Read

The committee heard the agency is starting to see more corruption and bribery complaints often at the lower level, than bigger finance company cases. In the year ending June 2013, 30 new investigations were launched.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
5.12.13 Swann case: ODHB/SDHB and friends
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
15.10.13 NZRU, ORFU blasphemies etc
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
10.10.13 Whistleblowers’ message heard ??! #OtagoRacingClub #pokierorts
26.8.13 NZ rorts and sports —dependence on gambling and white collar crime
7.8.13 SFO goes for disgraced lawyer John Milne, but wait . . .
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
15.7.13 Leave Otago white collar criminals ALONE, and other unfairness
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
18.6.13 SFO investigates Taupo District Council
31.3.13 Internal Affairs and Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
15.3.13 DCC: Stephens gone. It took way too long. [WHY did he go?]
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
11.2.13 Recognising whistleblowers
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Corruption in NZ Sport: Where has John Key PM been hiding ???

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

All-time classic lines from Dear John, Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism:

### NZ Herald Online 3:21 PM Thursday Dec 5, 2013
Allegations are ‘very, very serious’ – Key
By Dylan Cleaver
Prime Minister John Key said it would be “very, very serious” if match fixing allegations against three former New Zealand cricketers were proved true. “New Zealand is a country that sees itself as a very above-board, honest place both to do business and to play sport so it would be deeply concerning if this was factually correct.”
“New Zealanders expect sport to be played fairly and they expect sports men and women to perform – in a way which upholds the ethics of their sport and not to be doing it to make money in an underhand way.”
“It would be a very, very serious issue indeed if it is proved to be correct.”
NZH Link

Fairfax go further through Stuff, with McCully (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Sport and Recreation) doing a great line in used car sales:

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 15:06 05/12/2013
NZC won’t name trio in corruption investigation
By Matt Richens, Stacey Kirk and Fairfax Media
. . . CORRUPTION REPORT
The news comes within a week of the Government releasing a long-awaited report into corruption in New Zealand sport in which it asserted there was little for Kiwi sports fans to be concerned about. Sports Minister Murray McCully revealed few details of the nine-month investigation which was prompted by the scandal in Australia around doping and betting in sport. But McCully promised New Zealand would ramp up its fight against corruption in sport by implementing greater information-sharing among government and sporting bodies to stamp out potential match-fixing, doping and illegal activity. He added that a national match-fixing policy would also be established in 2014.
“The report found no evidence of widespread drug use or organised crime in New Zealand sport,” McCully said. “But it would be naive to think New Zealand is insulated from these problems. This is why we are taking pre-emptive steps to safeguard our athletes and clean sporting reputation.”
The report was instigated after the Australia Crime Commission earlier this year linked organised crime and banned substances to several Australian sporting codes including rugby league and Australian Rules football. But Sport New Zealand (SNZ) concluded there was little need for the Government, sporting or law-enforcement agencies to conduct a similar investigation in New Zealand.
Stuff Link

FACTSHEETS
Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport New Zealand assessment and report
New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-Fixing and Related Corruption

Note the assessment and report DO NOT extend to corruption, fraud and organised crime exercised in other ‘ways’ by New Zealand sporting entities to showcase, develop, and finance their activities in the bid to remain ‘solvent’
[by any means, it seems].

Enter the term *pokies* in the search box at right to find related posts and comments related to professional rugby, corruption, fraud, whistleblowing, and government departmental/political connections.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Swann case: ODHB/SDHB and friends

The following are worth a querulous read —especially, the comments added by Anonymous in reply to Andrew Kelly with regards to persons past and present at the DHB (District Health Board) in governance and upper management, who it appears have never been properly investigated.

And while some stolen monies have been recovered lately via trust accounts, surely Iain Fyfe has more to say; and Peter Ibbotson, something for the first time… he’s yet to be interrogated by SFO and NZ Police. Both men, with thumbscrews applied.

OPINION
Blog: Andrew Kelly – Author Blog
Sunday, 4 August 2013
Chapter 2: False Invoice Fraud – Michael Swann and Kerry Harford
My interest in fraud here in New Zealand dates back to September 2010 when I watched (in disbelief) a news item on Michael Swann’s six-year long, $16.9 million false invoice fraud. The end result of which is the (now rewritten) six chapters of “Anatomy of Fraud” you’ll find on this Blog. I must say a special thanks to my patient reviewer: Mark Piper. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.
Read more

****

OPINION
Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS)
Michael Swann, Checketts McKay Law, Fraud and Otago DHB’s missing $6 Million: Report
Thursday, 11 November 2010
[excerpts] Checketts McKay Law, Barristers and Solicitors – based in Central Otago, with offices in Wanaka, Cromwell and [Alexandra] [...] has five principals, including a Mr Iain Grant Fyfe, who in 1997 was a founding applicant and shareholder in Computer South Limited” [...] Mr Iain Grant Fyfe, one of five partners in Checketts McKay Law, held 33 of the total of 100 ordinary shares in Computer South Ltd from 20 March 1997 until 22 September 2006. His share was transferred to the company’s director, Peter Bruce Ibbotson, a plumber, just days before Swann was suspended from his job at ODHB after it had commenced an inquiry into his financial affairs while on the Board. The share transfer was effected on line by Kathleen Bennett of Checketts McKay (Wanaka). [...] Iain Fyfe, principal of Checketts McKay has been identified by the SFO as a co-owner of tainted property purchased with the proceeds of crime and involved in a trust that owned other tainted properties (purchased using the proceeds of crime). [...] Checketts McKay and Iain Fyfe were listed as respondents in Proceeds of Crimes Act proceedings against Swann by the Solicitor-general who successfully sought restraining orders against a number of assets including Central Otago “tainted properties”. [...] It would appear that forensic investigations into the financial/accounting records of the various trusts set up by Checketts McKay law firm to ‘hide’ Swann’s properties, some involving [Anna Devereux] and/or Ibbotson and/or Fyfe, may well provide answers for the police as to the whereabouts of much of the money.
Read more

[via SPCS] The main companies involved in the Michael Swann/Kerry Hartford fraud case:

Sonnford Solutions Ltd (formed 7 Nov 2001) owned by Kerry Harford. Sent invoices to ODHB for computer risk mitigation services. Received 10% of monies. Paid tax and employees.

Computer South Ltd (incorporated 20 March 1997), operated by Michael Swann. Inaugural shareholders wife Anna Devereux, Devereux Family Trust, lawyer Grant Fyfe and Peter Ibbotson. No employees or tax returns. Received 90% of monies.

ODT 14.11.13 Thomson still out in cold
ODT 12.3.09 ‘Astonishing greed’ sunk Swann
ODT 6.12.08 Events in Swann case played out from 1996 [timeline]

Related Post and Comments:
15.7.13 Leave Otago white collar criminals ALONE, and other unfairness

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NZRU, ORFU blasphemies etc

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

NZRU logo

### ODT Online Tue, 15 Oct 2013
ORFU report to stay confidential
By Hamish McNeilly
A confidential report following the financial collapse of the Otago Rugby Football Union is likely to remain confidential.
The Dunedin City Council agreed to write off a debt of more than $400,000 and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd a debt of $80,000 to help the union avoid liquidation in March last year.
The New Zealand Rugby Union, which lent the cash-strapped union $500,000, commissioned a report by Cascade Consulting to look at the union’s involvement with pokie grants.
The report was later supplied to the Department of Internal Affairs, which declined to release the documents on the grounds it ”would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information”.

”The department does not consider the withholding of the report on ORFU provided by NZRU would diminish public confidence in the department as a responsible regulator of the gambling sector and does not consider that these reasons for withholding the information are outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make the information available.” –DIA

The Otago Daily Times lodged a complaint with the office of the Ombudsman on July 25, 2012, asking for the release of the information.
Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem, in a provisional opinion released this week, said the department was entitled to withhold the information.
Read more

For more information at this site, enter terms such as *dia*, *sfo*, *oag*, *orfu*, *martin legge*, *ttcf*, *russell garbutt*, *pokies* or *pokierorts” in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin housing: building up or Brown-like sprawl #intensification #costlyinfrastructure

Dunedin housing [ODT files] detail 1

There was a risk that Government intervention could actually drive up house prices in Dunedin.

### ODT Online Wed, 12 Jun 2013
DCC seeks changes to housing Bill
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council could be forced to open up land for development – sidestepping long-term council planning in the process – as part of a Government push to bring down house prices. The concern was raised at yesterday’s planning and environment committee meeting, as Dunedin city councillors discussed a council submission on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill. The Bill, which is before a parliamentary select committee, would allow the Government to create ”special housing areas” in parts of New Zealand deemed to have significant housing affordability problems. Councils would be able to enter into accords with the Government to create the new zones but, if they resisted, the Bill would give the Government the power to force the creation of the new areas.

The council had been given just 10 working days from May 16 to respond, which was “completely insufficient” to allow councils and the public to assess and provide detailed feedback on the Bill, it said. ”In our view, these consultation time frames raise serious concerns about the democratic nature of our legislative process and New Zealand’s system of representative government.”

And, while the Bill appeared aimed primarily at Auckland, Dunedin could also qualify for one of the new housing areas, city councillors were warned. Dunedin could be deemed in need of a special housing area, based on criteria proposed under the Bill, council city strategy and development general manager Sue Bidrose told the meeting. That was largely because of the high population of students and the elderly, whose economic circumstances skewed the city’s housing affordability results, the council’s submission said.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
2.4.13 Dunedin: Developers stoop to resource consents…
29.3.13 Reykjavik, Iceland: The strongest mirror [speculative apartments]
3.3.13 RNZ Sunday Morning | Ideas: Re-imagining the Urban House
29.10.12 Govt to open up more land for houses
29.8.12 Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty
14.4.12 How perverse is the New Zealand housing market?
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
2.2.10 “Tax codes, zoning, community boards, and financing…”
8.12.11 interest.co heats NZ housing debate – listen up
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch Inside New Zealand (TV3)…
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin
26.12.10 New Zealand housing, a sorry tale

Dunedin housing EveningPost 1.9.1937 p10 (teara.govt.nz] 32437-wnIn early 1937 the government provided new loan money for councils to build new dwellings to help meet a chronic housing shortage. The aim was to provide an affordable alternative to the government’s state-rental scheme. Dunedin was among the councils that took advantage of the measure, building hundreds of dwellings for private sale in suburban Clyde Hill. The first three houses were opened by Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage in September 1937.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/document/32437/dunedin-houses-opened

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Dunedin housing (detail) [ODT files]

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Front page NEWS @!&^#$%

ODT 17.5.13 Budget page 1 lowres

Received from Grahame Sydney
Friday, 17 May 2013 5:35 p.m.

Just in case you were nursing some warm notions that our proudly independent local newspaper slaved to keep a balanced, objective approach to the day’s news and its presentation, a glance at today’s dominating front page story by Dene Mackenzie on yesterday’s National Party Budget might prove instructive.

Under the banner headline “It’s a Win for the South”, Mackenzie begins the story as follows:

“Budget 2013 provides plenty for the South” (my italics) then goes on to state “Most attention was directed towards the Budget’s focus on the lack of housing in Auckland and on the rebuilding of Canterbury – but there was certainly something for those in business south of the Waitaki.”

Given the statement that “most attention” was directed at Auckland housing and the rebuilding of Canterbury – by which single stroke Christchurch now becomes Canterbury – it’s hard to see where the “Win for the South” emerges triumphant, unless of course you’re in business south of the Waitaki.

Tough bikkies if you’re not in business…

The article then goes on to state that “Mr English’s Budget was reasonably exciting for the South”, listing at the top of its illustrations the allocation over the next four years of money for an additional 20 places at Otago Medical School, though not necessarily in Dunedin. Exciting indeed !

Further evidence of the “Win for the South” apparently lies in the additional money for aged care and dementia services, because “the South has an ageing population (and) regional medical services should be in line for some of that money.” Hmmmmmm.

I suppose Mackenzie would also claim a significant win for the lower latitudes in the $19 million taken from the general education allocation to fund John Banks’ charter schools project. That’s what you get with cynical coalitions.

However the best comes mid-way in the lead story, Mackenzie plainly stating the ODT’s biased position as follows:

“The major disappointment of the day was the failure of the Opposition to land a significant blow on what was Mr English’s fifth Budget.”

and
“Labour leader David Shearer resorted to cliches, calling it a “blackjack Budget””

and
“Green Party co-leaser Russel Norman demonstrated again his inability to read a balance sheet.”

and
“Apart from the three leaders saying National was, in various ways, catering for its “fat-cat developer mates” there was nothing for the Government to worry about from yesterday’s Opposition statements and speeches.”

Hey, here’s a bold idea:
Why not try keeping the front page news stories to reporting the facts, with some effort at balance, and let readers make their own decisions on matters of interpretation ? The Op Ed columns are the place for heavily-weighted opinion like this.

Grahame Sydney
Cambrian Valley, Central Otago

{ODT Online says –Editor: The article was clearly marked ‘Budget Comment’ in the ODT print edition. That it was not marked as such online was an error which was rectified.}

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Public Service and Integrity —Sunday Morning, RNZ National

Updated Post 7.4.13

Radio New Zealand National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
Listen on 101 FM or online at radionz.co.nz
Link to Twitter page from their website: http://www.radionz.co.nz/sunday

7 April 2013
8:43 Suzanne Snively – Public Service and Integrity

The New Zealand public sector has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the least corrupt in the world. Suzanne Snively, from anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International NZ, talks to Chris about the 100th anniversary of this country’s Public Service Act – its importance to our democracy and how it affects the lives of all New Zealanders. (16′33″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Related Post:
16.6.11 “Dunedin” – we introduce Transparency International UK

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WHAT does DCC’s handling of Carisbrook represent

Blogger Anthony Robins at The Standard offers his take on one of yesterday’s news items. We reproduce his comment in full – given local government transgressions that have defrauded Dunedin renters and ratepayers, multiple times over, connecting to professional rugby, property speculation and the old boys’ network. Be aware, challenge what is happening around you.

### thestandard.co.nz 12:08 pm, February 13th, 2013
Economic crime
By Anthony Robbins
Yes, the Nat’s economic policies are a crime against common sense and the vast majority of the people. But currently in the news is the other kind of economic crime – white collar crime – fraud and tax evasion. We have a new report on the impact [via TVNZ]:

Economic crime costs NZ billions each year, Govt reveals
White collar frauds and economic crime costs the country billions of dollars each year, government officials have concluded.

Minister for the Serious Fraud Office Anne Tolley said many Ministries had been working for two years on a Cost of Economic Crime report that was due to be presented to cabinet soon.

Tolley, speaking at the inaugural Economic Crime Action Network meeting in Auckland yesterday, said: “Economic crime can range from pro forma invoicing schemes that drain the resources of small businesses and charities, to Ponzi schemes, to fraudulent finance companies that destroy the retirement savings of a generation.”

She said the report was unable to generate a firm methodology to precisely calculate the annual cost, but officials had concluded the cost was “likely to be in the region of many billion of dollars per year.”

Billions. Per. Year. (Similar to previous estimates of $1 to $6 Billion.) And where does National put its energies? Into chasing the comparatively insignificant problem of welfare fraud ($22 Million in a typical year). Where does the court system put its priorities? They like to jail welfare fraudsters more often than the (150 times more damaging) tax dodgers.

Our priorities as a country are completely screwed. If we put as much energy into cracking down on economic crime as we did chasing welfare cheats – we could afford a proper welfare system. Link

[ends]

12.2.13 Stuff Economic crime costs NZ billions each year

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

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Sunday Star Times Business News: Woops DCC

### Stuff Online Last updated 11:52 27/01/2013
Auckland councillors reveal interests
By Rob Stock
The shutters of secrecy around the personal commercial interests of elected councillors and local board members are beginning to lift at the country’s largest local council. In May last year Auckland mayor Len Brown pledged to the Sunday Star-Times that Auckland Council would work towards the establishment of a register of pecuniary interests of councillors, something other major councils have long provided to their ratepayers.
Read more

Near the end of the article we love the reference to “the heavily indebted Dunedin City Council” being without a public register of pecuniary interests of councillors… Something “major councils have long provided to their ratepayers” (see Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, and now Auckland).

It’s the remainder of the sentence about Dunedin that really amuses, but let’s reproduce the paragraphs which implicate DCC.

In fact, the lack of registers at some councils – the heavily indebted Dunedin City Council was another without a public register – seems in direct contravention of the Local Government Act that requires councils to operate “in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner”.

Local Government New Zealand told the Government it believes the model set by MPs needed to apply to local councillors, arguing that it would “strengthen public confidence in public bodies like local government”, and it turned out that Auckland City Council was supporting the call.

Best we demand a register of Dunedin City councillors’ interests well before the October 2013 local body elections – make the request via public submissions on the Draft Annual Plan 2013/14, and DCC public forums.

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

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Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup

Comment received from Martin Legge
Sunday, 18 November 2012 5:41 p.m.

In 2007, the National Party criticised the Labour Government following a damning report by the Office of the Auditor General into DIA’s regulation of the pokie industry. The boot has been on the other foot for four years, and yet do we hear calls from anyone in the Labour Party, particularly in Dunedin?

Press Release [2007]
Auditor-General slams Internal Affairs over gaming says National Party MP

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker must act now to address the criticisms of his department over its failure to effectively control the operation of non-casino gaming machines, says National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Sandra Goudie.

The Controller and Auditor-General, Kevin Brady, today released his report Department of Internal Affairs: Effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines.

The report shows the department’s policies and procedures do not comply with the Gambling Act 2003 and includes 17 recommendations for change.

“The department’s own ‘comprehensive licensing manual’ outlines policies and procedures that do not comply with the Act and shows licensing staff were issuing and renewing licenses without delegated authority.

“The report also found that the department’s audit checklist and manual were not consistent with the Act, and information was missing from the department’s risk profile rating of operators.

“This report shows a department clearly out of touch with its key role and clearly being ignored by the Minister.

“How could the Minister have let his department get into such a state where any old staff member can approve a licence?

“Its [sic] no wonder eyebrows have been raised over the department’s inability to get convictions of operators in breach of the Act.

“It is time Mr Barker gave his department some much needed ministerial direction.”

Audit Report from Kevin Brady
14 February 2007

Foreword
Department of Internal Affairs: Effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines.

I felt it timely to review the effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines because of the large amount of money placed in the machines (estimated by the Department of Internal Affairs at more than $8,500 million annually), the potential for the machines to cause harm in the form of problem gambling, the amount of funds from the machines going to clubs and the wider community, and a relatively new legislative framework covering gambling.

The Department of Internal Affairs administers controls on non-casino gaming machines. My review focused on three main areas of controls. These were the controls on licensing of non-casino gaming machine operators and venues, on operator and venue costs, and on the distribution and application of funds to the community including through grants.

I found that the Department of Internal Affairs has extensive policies and procedures for licensing and auditing of venues and operators, and a risk-based approach to compliance. However, there were areas of its policies, procedures, and practice that did not meet all of the requirements of the Gambling Act 2003. These included its procedure for renewing licences and for auditing. I also found that its licensing staff were issuing and renewing licences without the necessary delegated authority. The Department has committed to rectifying this issue, and had largely done so at the time this report was being finalised.

While the Department of Internal Affairs has committed to comprehensively monitoring the outcomes being achieved in the non-casino gaming machine industry, it is not yet doing this in a systematic or comprehensive manner. This limits the Department’s ability to demonstrate the results of its work and refine the way it works to achieve better outcomes.

I thank staff in the Department of Internal Affairs for their assistance, responsiveness, and co-operation during the audit. I also thank people in the industry who generously gave their time and views during the audit.

The Department has been very engaged in, and supportive of, the audit process. Its commitment to implementing the audit findings to make improvements is pleasing.

K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

[ends]

Recent Posts:
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF

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Govt to open up more land for houses

Twenty years ago the average price of a house cost around four times the average income but now it is nearly double that.

### tvnz.co.nz 5:30AM Monday October 29, 2012
‘No silver bullet’ for housing affordability crisis – PM
Source: ONE News
Prime Minister John Key says fast tracking the supply of land should help solve the current housing affordability crisis. The long-awaited housing plan is due to go before Cabinet today to be signed off, seven months after the Productivity Commission released a report on housing affordability.

“The sorts of things the Productivity Commission is talking about, and the Government’s going to adopt, is how do we speed up the supply of land so that’s both what we call greenfields, paddocks sitting out there that you extend the urban limit, and secondly brownfield development, so that’s where you don’t have a lot of intensification in a certain area but you allow that to happen more quickly.”

The soaring price of property has been blamed on a shortage of availability, and Key told TVNZ Breakfast this morning that changing the Resource Management Act (RMA) to speed up the development of land will help solve the supply and demand issue. He said the RMA process at the moment it is often arduous and long – to the detriment of the consumer.
Read more

“We’ve got to be careful about Government not blundering in here too much into council business because we don’t understand all the local issues.”

The Government plans to change local government legislation and the Resource Management Act to make it easier for developers to build houses. Finance Minister Bill English wants to make more land available for housing – and to speed up consent processes. [Today] he will take a paper to Cabinet, outlining a response to a Productivity Commission report on housing affordability. Finance Minister Bill English said the cost of building is too high and there is a supply shortage, particularly of good quality, lower priced housing.
Dominion Post

“The Government owns $15 billion worth of houses, and, in most cities, the best opportunities … [are] on the government-owned Housing Corp land.”

Tackling the high cost of home ownership:
* Government will work with councils on urban planning to make it easier to build houses on “greenfield” sites outside city boundaries and on “brownfield” sites within cities.
* Further Tamaki Transformation-style redevelopments of state housing assets will be done.
* Changes will be made to the Local Government and Resource Management Act to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to build houses.
* Building costs will be reduced through work on the Building Act.
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Productivity Commission
http://www.productivity.govt.nz/

TVNZ videos

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport
07:15 Government to change rules to make houses more affordable
The Finance Minister, Bill English, has indicated that changing the planning and consent process is among the changes. (4′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

08:12 Cabinet to decide today to relax planning rules for housing
The Cabinet will decide today on changes aimed at making new houses more affordable. (3′13″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon
11:07 Politics with Matthew Hooton and Josie Pagani
Talking today about the Governments response to the productivity commission. (24′02″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Cull’s state of denial…

See previous post:
24.9.12 DCC against imposition of local government reforms

Comment received.

Calvin Oaten
Submitted on 2012/09/25 at 7:43 pm

Dave Cull and Paul Orders submitting on the proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing is entertaining to say the least.
Dave says “the DCC should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government”. Is he ‘avin a laugh’? It is just that which brought about the Government’s interest in this problem in the first place. He says rates and debt were two issues already at the top of his council’s agenda, and the Government’s proposed changes risked “unintended negative consequences”. He’s ‘avin a laugh again’. The man’s sense of humour knows no bounds. The proposed limit on rates rises would erode council’s previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates, he says. It’s almost like he is in a ‘drug rehabilitation programme’ and is in denial about his addiction. Classic response, don’t admit any problem, just leave me alone and I will sort it.
Sorry Dave, but you and your equally drug driven cohorts are in serious denial and the citizens are paying a very big price. He worries that to restrict them now would upset the ‘drug peddlers’ (banks) and cause the price to rise. That, of course would increase the pain and he just couldn’t stand that. It would seriously affect his sense of wellbeing and confidence in his own ability. The man is desperately in need of being loved by all.
Lee Vandervis, as our only hope, I hope you can mediate around that table and get some traction. I am not holding my breath.

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DCC against imposition of local government reforms

For once, Central Government has it right – the unreasonable burden on Dunedin ratepayers and residents is beyond the pale, following ten years of excessive debt loading by the Dunedin City Council, fueled by the sheer lack of conservative management and fiscal prudence (a requirement clearly set out in the Local Government Act). Something has to give. Cull’s council has no wish to be made transparent or accountable – without Government intervention the Dunedin community has NO protection from this council’s excesses, brought about by deliberate deception and oft times the financial ineptitude of councillors and senior management of council departments; ditto the boards and senior management of council-owned companies and related entities. Meanwhile, the old chestnut – Council pouring rates funds into professional rugby without ratepayer sanction, with no end in sight.

A proposed limit on rates rises would erode councils’ previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates. -Cull

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Sep 2012
Cull opposes debt, rates intervention
By Chris Morris
Local authorities such as the Dunedin City Council should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Mr Cull and Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders made their case this week, while presenting the council’s submission on proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing in Christchurch.

The reforms – unveiled in March – included plans for new benchmarks to assess the financial performance of councils, as part of a push to control local government debt levels and limit rates increases.

Read more

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Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty

### ODT Online Tue, 28 Aug 2012
Universal child benefit a ‘dopey’ idea: Key
Prime Minister John Key has dismissed as “dopey” a recommendation from a panel of experts that a universal child payment should be reintroduced as a way of reducing child poverty. The expert advisory group brought together by Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills to find solutions to child poverty released its recommendations today.

Group members include AUT accounting expert James Prescott, Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army, Professor Ritchie Poulton of the Dunedin School of Medicine and Philippa Howden-Chapman, a public health expert.

Among [the group's] recommendations for the longer term was a universal child payment for under sixes. The payment would be highest while the child was a baby, when costs were high, and would decline through childhood. Co-chair Dr Tracey McIntosh said the payment was about ensuring children had the best start in life. “Investment in the early years has a particularly strong link to better outcomes for disadvantaged children”.
Read more

Download report and related documents here:
http://www.occ.org.nz/publications/child_poverty

****

### ODT Online Sun, 26 Aug 2012
Child poverty costs country $6b a year: report
Child poverty is costing New Zealand $6 billion each year, according a new report commissioned by organisation Every Child Counts.

Every Child Counts chairman Murray Edridge defined poverty as children missing out on needed goods and services including adequate housing, nutrition, warm clothing and healthcare.

Manager Deborah Morris-Travers told TVNZ’s political programme Q+A 25 per cent of children in New Zealand are living in poverty. She said it was concerning to see how poverty affected different ethnicities with 40 per cent of Pacific Island children and 27 per cent of Maori children living in poverty. The report, “1000 days to get it right for every child – the effectiveness of public investment in New Zealand children”, released this week, examines initiatives from the Netherlands which could be applied here. APNZ
Read more

Download report here:
http://www.everychildcounts.org.nz/news/1000-days-to-get-it-right-for-every-child-poor-child-outcomes-costing-the-nation-billions/

Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2011 (Aug 2012)

Download report and related documents here:
http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-incomes/index.html

Related Posts and Comments:
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch…(TV3): Inside Child Poverty
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill

Comment received.

Anonymous
Submitted on 2012/06/03 at 10:48 pm

Yes and in the face of all these rorts the big trusts, Lion Foundation and Pub Charity are rallying support – encouraging their favoured grant applicants to make submissions to Govt on the new pokie bill which if passed intends doing away with all pokie trusts (and their rorts) within 12 months.

When Francis Weavers, the ex CEO of the Community Gaming Association (CGA), an organisation set up by and for the benefit of Pokie Trusts, submits an official report to the Govt claiming endemic non compliance and corruption within the industry you have got to wonder just how bad it has all become and wonder why this Govt has not shown more leadership with DIA and the industry.

Seriously, this has now grown into a serious law and order issue involving “white collar” criminals – something this Govt said it was tough on.

[ends]

See comment below to read Weavers’ report.

The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill is a private member’s bill that was proposed by Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell.

It was drawn from the ballot in September 2010 and concluded its first parliamentary reading on Wednesday 9 May 2012. Parliament voted to send the bill to the Commerce Select Committee for consideration. The committee has six months to consider submissions before it must report back to parliament. The matter is scheduled to be heard in the House on 9 November 2012.

The purpose of the bill is:
a) To prevent and minimise the harm caused by gambling, including problem gambling.
b) To ensure that money from gambling benefits the community.
c) To facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of gambling.

Submissions close on Thursday, 21 June 2012
Have your say in creating better gambling laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee.

Submissions can be mailed to:

Secretariat
Commerce Committee
Select Committee Office
Parliament Buildings
WELLINGTON 6011

http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/Daily/5/e/e/50HansD_20120509-Volume-679-Week-10-Wednesday-9-May-2012.htm

http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/3/9/d/50HansD_20120509_00000024-Gambling-Gambling-Harm-Reduction-Amendment.htm

### 3news.co.nz Thu, 10 May 2012 5:30a.m.
Pokie reduction bill passes first reading
A bill giving local authorities the power to cut back on pokie machines in pubs and clubs, or get rid of them altogether, has passed its first reading in Parliament with strong support.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Economics, ORFU, Other, Politics

Asset sales (would Dave’s council sell us up)

YOU BETCHA BUT NOT THE STADIUM, WHY NOT THE STADIUM, MALCOLM ALWAYS SAW IT AS A LEGACY, OH, NOT TO UPSET MALCOLM THEN, ANYWAY STUART SAYS THE WATER KEEPS FALLING OUT OF THE SKY

### 3news.co.nz Mon, 28 May 2012 7:00p.m.
Local councils under pressure to use asset sales
Assets sales are never far from the headlines, and always, it seems, controversial. The Government is pressing ahead with the partial sale of four state-owned energy companies and Air New Zealand. They made their plans clear during the elections and therefore claim a mandate to sell, but how far does that go? Because it’s no longer just state-owned assets being eyed for potential sale, local councils are under increasing pressure to consider asset sales to fund new projects and reduce debt. Auckland has already said no, and now Christchurch has suggested in a very polite fashion that central Government should sod off. The Christchurch Council and ratepayers face extraordinary costs following the earthquake, but the mayor is firm that there will be no sale of the family silver.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

48 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Stadiums, Stupidity

Ombudsmen’s office . . .

“Justice delayed is justice denied and people are already distressed when they approach the office.” -Beverley Wakem

### ODT Online Thu, 16 Feb 2012
Ombudsman snowed under
The Office of the Ombudsmen is in “crisis”, with a bulging backlog of cases due to lack of investigators and existing staff underpaid and in some cases being worked to death, Ombudsman Beverley Wakem says. Appearing before Parliament’s government administration committee yesterday, Ms Wakem said the office was under “considerable pressure” in terms of staffing and funding and had been for the past three years. Ms Wakem said the office’s baseline funding had been established on the basis it would be actively working on 800 to 1000 cases at any one time. However, actual case numbers had been far higher than that for some time and been close to 2000 at one point last year. It was currently handling about 1854.
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### ODT Online Tue, 21 Feb 2012
Editorial: Watching the watchdog
A disconcerting report on the Ombudsman’s office emerged quietly last week. For those unfamiliar with its tasks and responsibilities, this is the office to which people can turn when they feel they have been wronged or disadvantaged by a government department or any other office or organisation of state.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Geography, People, Politics, Project management, Stupidity