Site Notice: post removed

The post entitled ‘DC’s Dunedin City Circus #tricks’ has been taken down in response to a request received this afternoon. The request came with instruction to issue an apology.

A public apology is owed to David Benson-Pope for any upset and offence caused by mention within the wider post. This matter is sincerely regretted. A personal apology will be forwarded to Mr Benson-Pope as soon as practicable today. He may however seek a specifically worded public apology and that can be issued upon his request.

Further removals for this post will be effected within 12 hours via desktop. The present removal is by smartphone only.

A separate note

If the election signage of any candidate placed around Dunedin appears to be contrary to the rules please contact DCC Customer Services on 4774000 with your query which will be directed to the appropriate planning officer.

Photographs of potentially ‘problem signage’ supplied to What if? Dunedin should also be copied to the planning officer, and stating the physical site location or address.

I have forwarded signage information to the planning officer in recent days where location details were known. This has resulted in enforcement action being taken.

Elizabeth Kerr
Site Owner

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A good idea to run for council ?

tumblr_l6c92gjjmm1qc67b2-psprojects-tumblr-com

█ Wikipedia: David Henry Benson-Pope (born 1950) is a New Zealand Labour Party politician who sat in the New Zealand Parliament from 1999 to 2008. He formerly served as a cabinet minister and in 2013 was elected to the Dunedin City Council.

What happened back when ?
Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Benson-Pope

### NZ Herald Online 2:06 PM Friday Jul 27, 2007
Politics
Benson-Pope quits Cabinet
Prime Minister Helen Clark today accepted the resignation of Cabinet Minister David Benson-Pope saying he had lost credibility following the Setchell affair.
Mr Benson-Pope said he was going with regret, claiming he had not done anything wrong and taking a swipe at his critics.
Helen Clark made the announcement when she spoke to the media in Papakura late this morning. Helen Clark told reporters: “I have today accepted his resignation as Minister of the Crown.” She said that his conduct had fallen short of the standards required of a Minister and his statements had impacted on his credibility.
[…] National leader John Key welcomed the resignation but said it was two days’ late and should have come on Wednesday night. […] Mr Key said the neutrality of the public service is important and needs to be protected.
[…] The latest allegations are not the first to be faced by Benson-Pope.
Previous claimed incidents have included:
* Putting a tennis ball in a student’s mouth in 1982
* Hitting a student in the face
* Entering a changing room while girls were showering in 1997
* Misleading Parliament in May 2005 by saying he was not aware of any complaints during his teaching career
– NZ HERALD STAFF, NZPA
Read more

Other references:
17.5.05 NZH: Benson-Pope steps down as bully inquiry looms
6.12.05 NBR: The police, the minister, the tennis ball and the truth
13.3.06 Geekzone: David Benson Pope Spotted With Tennis Ball In Own Mouth

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: psprojects.tumblr.com – tennis ball

8 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Dunedin, Politics, Public interest

DCC Voting Paper Returns

Voting Paper Returns – check these out daily

Once voting opens information on numbers of votes returned each day will be available:

Find out the daily return of voting papers for the Dunedin City Council

Find out the daily return of voting papers for other 2016 Local Elections

vote2016_logo

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: electionz.com

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Lee Vandervis and the zero-emission Electric Leaf

nissan-leaf-30kwh-0-100hotcars-info-p20446Promo: Nissan Leaf 30kwh [100hotcars.info]

Received from Lee Vandervis
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 at 10:32 p.m.

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:01:28 +1200
To: Editor ODT
Cc: Nicholas G S Smith, Julian Smith [Allied Press Ltd]
Subject: ZERO Rating – Letter to the Editor

ZERO Rating – Letter to the Editor.

Dear Editor,

When a youth group calling themselves Generation Zero springs a C- Environmental Rating [p4 ODT 27/9/16] on somebody who: generates his own off-grid solar power, cuts mills and builds with his own timber from sustainable macrocarpa forest using off-cuts for low-carbon heating, has been a life-long re-user as well as recycler restoring Heritage buildings and homes, drives a zero-emission electric car, eats veges and herbs from 20 metres of raised bed garden and fruit from a dozen orchard trees, and has always paid for his DCC water connection, it comes as quite a surprise to see this same group giving Mayor Cull an A+ Environmental Rating, presumably because he blamed South Dunedin’s avoidable flooding of homes on Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise. Hopefully it is only this fundamentalist Climate Change Generation Zero group that falls for the fashion of just talking Sustainability while ignoring the facts of those who actually live it.

Kind regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

****

Tue, 27 Sep 2016
ODT: Environmental ratings controversial
The group behind a website that is ranking Dunedin mayoral candidates on their environmental stance says it was produced in part to get young people talking about the local government election. […] [JOKE] Mr Cull said he was flattered by the judgement, and thought the organisation had “comprehensively” looked at a range of issues and how candidates had grappled with them.

****

ON THE RECORD
Lee Vandervis purchased a near new electric Nissan Leaf well before Dave Cull and Chris Staynes each bought theirs. What if? Dunedin inspected Mr Vandervis’ car today and went for a quiet ride……….. as you do when chasing down a bad ODT newsflash written by low pond life.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

e

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Has DCC Delta stupidly bought into another Pegasus . . . . #notquite

Updated post
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 at 12:51 a.m.

Why has our Dunedin City Council decided to have anything to do with Infinity via council owned company Delta ? Which Infinity ? Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd ? Infinity Yaldhurst Ltd ? And who is Infinity Finance and Mortgage Ltd, of a bedroom at 12A Fovant St, Russley ? Is ‘Infinity’ a front for Gordon Stewart’s Noble Investments Ltd ? We delve…. meanwhile, here’s Infinity’s slow-troubled-road Pegasus.

Pegasus was a dream town, invented by a former infomercial salesman who believed wholeheartedly in his vision. Ten years on, it looks remarkably different. –The Press

pegasus-bob-robertson-with-the-scale-model-martin-hunter-fairfax-nzBob Robertson with scale model of Pegasus [Martin Hunter/Fairfax NZ]

pegasus-bob-robertson-ce-of-infinity-investment-group-with-large-scale-model-of-pegasus-town-feb-2006-teara-govt-nzRobertson, chief executive for Infinity Investment Group [teara.govt.nz]

pegasus-golf-and-sports-club-spans-nearly-80ha-stuff-co-nzPegasus golf and sports club spans nearly 80ha [Stuff.co.nz]

pegasus-town-pegasus-town-co-nzPegasus Town – not the vision…. [pegasustown.co.nz]

pegasus-300-chinese-model-makers-spent-6-months-crafting-1-to-100-scale-model-nzgeo-com300 Chinese model makers crafted the 1:100 scale model [nzgeo.com]

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, June 4 2016
Life in Pegasus, the dream town yet to fly
By Charlie Mitchell – The Press
It’s rare to meet the inventor of a town. Even more so to shake his hand. It’s an odd sensation many experienced on a single day in 2006, when a former infomercial salesman clutched a microphone, took to the stage, and sold $122 million worth of property before the sun went down. Bob Robertson had developed property before, but nothing like this. He was dreaming of a town called Pegasus, a master-planned community in a swampy, coastal corner of North Canterbury. It would be the first master-planned town in New Zealand. It would appear fully-formed, as if dropped from the sky.

pegasus-artists-impression-of-planned-entertainment-and-retail-precinct-infinitypegasus-artists-impression-of-planned-hotel-and-retail-centre-infinityPlanned entertainment and retail precinct [Infinity]

pegasus-town-centre-stuff-co-nzArtist’s impression of the planned town centre [Stuff.co.nz]

There was something Utopian about the idea. At the time, Robertson said: “For Pegasus, I’m acutely keen to create what I would like to consider would be as close as possible to an ideal town.” He claimed to be the ultimate test-subject; he planned to create the town he’d want to live in, one built for “the traditional Kiwi family”.

Ten years later, Pegasus has come to life. It’s not quite what anyone envisaged; certainly not what Robertson dreamed. Pegasus, ultimately, was built somewhere between the vision promised in Robertson’s model and a messy reality, blighted by earthquakes and a global financial crisis. The promised developments struggled to keep up with the schedule. What did arrive was promising – the golf course and the lake are almost unanimously praised. But more basic facilities, such as a supermarket, or even mail delivery, were conspicuously missing.

pegasus-housing-not-all-endless-rows-of-boxes-david-walker-via-stuffpegasus-housing-teara-govt-nzpegasus-row-of-houses-stuff-co-nzPegasus housing [Stuff.co.nz] with render [teara.govt.nz]

By 2012, it was clear Pegasus would never become what was promised. Shortly afterwards, the developer defaulted on a $142 million payment and went into receivership. It was sold to Todd Property, owned by New Zealand’s wealthiest family. Pegasus no longer belonged to Robertson. The town’s new developers, Todd Property, are keenly aware of the promises made by its former owner. Since January 2013, about 30 people a month have steadily arrived to live in Pegasus. About 2500 people live in Pegasus, well short of the 7000 predicted by Robertson. When describing Todd’s vision for the town, the first word used is “realistic”. Another is “achievable.” A sharp turnaround from the rhetoric used by Robertson, who sold dreams, not property.
Read more

Other stories via Stuff:
22.8.16 Opinion: Pegasus – a ‘vibrant village’ where people know nature…
10.12.15 Posthumous award for Pegasus developer, Gough also honoured
● 11.6.15 Former Pegasus owner leaves $100 million debt
25.4.13 Todd family paid $66m for Pegasus – report
6.12.12 Todd family takes Pegasus Town reins
17.8.12 Pegasus town developer in receivership

█ Welcome to Pegasus Town | www.pegasus-town.co.nz

Via LGOIMA response to Elizabeth Kerr:
Screenshot of Pegasus Town detail from Attachment B to the DCHL Report to Council (1 Aug 2016) — see Noble/Yaldhurst Village Update.
Highlighted by whatifdunedin, the last line is interesting.

[click to enlarge]
noble-yaldhurst-village-update-2016_08_01-final-pegasus-detail-p15

Related Posts and Comments:
26.9.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #14 : The Election and The End Game…
● 22.9.16 DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA
18.9.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #13 : Councillors! How low can you Zhao ?
26.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed
24.8.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult…
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *infinity*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

4 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #14 : The Election and The End Game revisited

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 at 11:15 p.m.

Firstly, Ratepayers have a debt (yes another one, readers, but put the cudgels away, it doesn’t involve money illegally advanced by Delta) to Vaughan Elder, Cr Hilary Calvert and our What if? site for prising the official information about the August 1 2016 Council Meeting from the DCC. After an extended delay, some records were produced, but “technical difficulties” meant a full audio transcript was not available. How surprising. This is the Council equivalent of “The dog ate my homework, sir”, with the same level of credibility. But of course Mayor Cull will be able to say that he really wanted the transcript because, of course, he is FOR openness and transparency in Council, for the next fortnight anyway —because in response to the latest poll or subtle expression of displeasure from the ODT publishers, Mayor Cull is now a “transparency magnet”, you see.

While it would have been useful to see if any Councillors expressed even the most cursory concern about the deal, before voting to give away $13.2M to a shell company on the most favourable terms in commercial history, the key point is that Cr Lee Vandervis is the only candidate standing who sounded the alarm. He abstained from even voting on the proposal because the information put before Councillors was so pathetically incomplete that to even vote on it was giving the “proposal” more credibility than it deserved.

Departing from Matters Noble for a moment, your correspondent had from afar noticed a very clear divide on ‘the sound’ between sitting and new council candidates. To a man (and one woman) the sitting Councillors all sing the same song : everything is fine, everything is under control at the hands of your capable (sitting) Councillors and if these “whingers” would stop the “negativity” then everything would move from fine to fantastic on the DCC rate-o-meter. With the notable exception of the sniping between Mr Whiley and Mr Hawkins, there is clearly a little gentlemen’s agreement amongst incumbents not to say hard but truthful things about each other so that normal sycophant operation can resume after the election.

However, the other 32 council candidates are also singing a song that is mostly in unison, and that is that the present Council have failed the city in ways too numerous to count. Their description of the overall Council performance ranges from the mediocre to the abysmal.

With six new positions, in a normal election a candidate could probably spout vague but reassuring platitudes and have a good chance of joining the club. But this is not a normal election and the vast majority of new candidates aren’t being shy about what needs to change. A change is coming.

lee-vandervis-billboard-detail-1The point of all this : Your correspondent says that this is no time for the safety first status quo and if the best candidates only include one (Cr Vandervis) or even two then that is just fine. Vote accordingly. Mr Vandervis as Mayor can always run night classes over the first month in how to chair a subcommittee.

Your correspondent has for some time flayed the vast majority of Councillors in many posts for being slack jawed bystanders on the whole disgusting Delta Noble mess. Those Councillors who acquiesced and made like Silent Bob – which is all of them, except Cr Vandervis, do not merit re-election on a number of levels. Most odiferous of all is Cr Doug Hall, who is very well versed in subdivisions, and would never in fifty lifetimes commit his own money to a deal like this, but who refused to say anything. Sayonara, Doug Silent Bob Hall !!

However, some information from a little bird….
has come to light regarding the non-public section of the fateful August 1 Council meeting. This, along with other information made public at What if?, now means we have an accurate idea of why this turnip of a Delta deal was fertilised into life. (Sorry Vaughan, bested you again, but keep up the good work !).

It was a case of turnip councillors also being fertilised with you know what, but it was also a case of DCHL and DCC bureaucratic fascism, which is even more alarming.

Apparently, a senior representative at the meeting (can’t name names) lectured the Councillors for about 30 minutes that this Infinity deal was The Way, The Truth and will give Life to the half of the $25M DCC debt that the DCC had not written off. To extend the biblical analogy further, however, it would not be three days before the debt was resurrected, but EIGHT YEARS. (Good work on that in Friday’s ODT, Vaughan !!). This is rather a long time to go without financial oxygen, otherwise known as payment of interest, but at Delta (now enabled by the DCC) the unthinkable (the illegal construction of entire subdivisions, being had up for constructive fraud) is now commonplace.

What if? is led to understand that Councillors were lectured like school children, and questions were Not Tolerated by the Irascible Headmaster. They were to vote on the One True Option, and That Would Be That, and if they did not vote for the One True Option, the buyer of the Noble Subdivision would be lost.

Readers may recall that your correspondent did predict that this is precisely what would happen, a certain corporate person would pronounce that There Is No Alternative, regardless of the truth, and much of the statements by the Irascible Headmaster (not to be confused with The Fat Controller) are not true.

A malodorous other person also enabled this fertilisation, as a parting gift to fellow “managers” – and I use the term loosely.

For major decisions, DCC staff are meant to prepare a range of options so Council can debate which is best. Either they weren’t bothered or came under instruction to prepare one option only by minders at DCHL. The Council should remember it is DCHL’s superior, and (theoretically….) DCC’s senior executives should be monitoring the Council holding company and subsidiaries. Old habits (like saying yes) are troublesome things that become reflex actions.

Humour aside, what happened on August 1 and immediately following is simply anti-democratic and makes Councillors redundant rubber stamps for DCC staff. The amazing thing is that only two of the 15 elected complained about this obvious and basic sidelining of Councillors.

But even at that point Ratepayers could have possibly accepted a lack of proper process had a good option been presented. But the “Delta Deal” isn’t a good option. This is the most commercially one-sided deal seen in decades, and the level of excuses made by Crs Thomson and Cull, Delta CEO Cameron, and most of all Mr Crombie, should give Ratepayers pause. They protesteth too much. The cover has been in full swing. “This is the best we can do”, “there are no guarantees”, “it will take years…. but builders are lining up to buy the sections”.

the-fat-controller-thomas-the-tank-engine-2aIf The Fat Controller fitted one of his own conservative clients into this deal – a $13.2M second mortgage on a subdivision mired in legal action and half built illegally, at an interest rate of 7 per cent, he would doubtless be censured and taken to task by his professional body.

Something appears to be rotten in the State of Dunedin. Why is there indecent DCHL directorial haste to get this deal done ? Will Infinity Yaldhurst spend vast sums on marketing the sections via the ODT ? Will certain ex DCC operationals retire to Wanaka, coincidentally on an Infinity Subdivision ? Will Mr Crombie and Mr Frost become directors or shareholders of some Infinity venture, or their firms be remunerated in some generous way at Noble ?
Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel !…..

There is a way to stop this rot, to stop the sale to Infinity and bring the entire subdivision back under the control of the DCC. Council was not able to vote on the actual terms and conditions of the disgraceful $13.2M second mortgage at the August 1 meeting. This will be done by the new Council after the election. The solution is obvious. Don’t give the money to Infinity and the whole deal will fall over, then the DCC can appoint its own development manager and sell down the sections that are ready now, and start selling the commercial land, which is the real cash cow of the deal. Without a doubt Council would recover all of the $25M debt, and get interest on it as well. This amount would pay a great proportion of the South Dunedin flood control work……

This is too hard for your turnip DCHL directors, and involves a serious loss of face, but who cares about them ? With the right development manager the DCC can do it in house. There is one man in Dunedin who is available at the end of the year and has the necessary integrity and expertise to do it, and his name is Geoff Plunket, soon to be former CEO of Port Otago and Chalmers Property.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
22.9.16 DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA
18.9.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #13 : Councillors! How low can you Zhao ?
26.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed
24.8.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult under investigation
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *infinity*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered ion the public interest.

*Images: Lee Vandervis billboard detail by whatifdunedin | The Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine

17 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

Ex ‘greater’ sitting councillor

Received
Sat, 24 Sep 2016 at 8:47 a.m.

“Not campaigning because of being paid by the day to do 2GP Commissioner work while also being paid as Council Chair. We’re supposed to be impressed.

The most deluded council members have warned us – they say they have visions.
Likely in the city not for the city.”

[image supplied]
kate-wilson-flyer

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Hot air, Name, People, Pet projects, Politics, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Town planning, Travesty, What stadium