Daily Archives: February 13, 2009

Dear Santa English…

Today Otago Daily Times released two ‘secret’ letters putting the request on government for funding assistance to DCC projects:

Letter from Chin and Cairns
Support letter from Southern mayors


No surprises there. We note the Chin-Cairns letter had two attachments:

1 List of opportunities to reduce costs
2 ‘Spin it Wide’ DVD

A local resident’s official information request to DCC for Attachment 1 made on 12 February got this response:

Date: 13 February 2009 1:40:10 PM

The Chief Executive has considered your request for the attachment to the letter from the Mayor and Regional Council Chairperson to the Deputy Prime Minister dated 23 December 2008.

Your request is declined on the grounds that releasing the information would unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the Council, and negotiations that are reasonably contemplated under s7(2)(b)(ii) and s7(2)(i) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

You are entitled to seek a review of this decision by the Office of the Ombudsmen, and to be informed of that right.

Nina Darling
Team Leader – Governance
Dunedin City Council

Ditto no surprise.

See what Roy had to say about the Chin-Cairns letter at ODT Online.

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Filed under Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

HOT PRESS – Dunedin Harbourside Zone

Decision on Proposed Plan Change 7: The panel of commissioners – comprising John Lumsden and Roger Tasker – has given approval for a new Harbourside Zone to be added to the Dunedin City District Plan, to include Stages 1 and 2 of development, subject to amendments and conditions.

The new zone is a mere skip and a jump from the subject site for Plan Change 8 Stadium Zone. The proposed Harbour Arterial is associated with both plan changes.

PC7 seems ripe for appeal.

“Just idiotic” – local business owners expressed their anger and disappointment saying the plan change was not beneficial to industry, given the uncertainty of the future.

ODT Link

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Filed under Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums

Councillor Walls lets rip!

Yesterday and today, spurred by the stadium debate, Richard Walls provides opinion in the Otago Daily Times on Council debt levels, borrowings, investment and effect on rates. The newspaper properly credits the writer as a Dunedin ratepayer, city councillor and chair of the DCC’s Finance and Strategy committee. Far be it from us to add the word redoubtable before the good Councillor’s name.

### ODT Online: Opinion Thu, 12 Feb 2009
Answering stadium critics
Debt (read borrowings) has become something of a touchstone for those who oppose a particular capital works project. Indeed at times, I and others wonder if the confusing mix of opinion and “own fact” by regular critics of council borrowing is really another imaginative creation from the Miramar workshops of Weta!

### ODT Online: Opinion Fri, 13 Feb 2009
Actual borrowings by DCC ‘low’
Why does the Dunedin City Council borrow and how has Dunedin City Holdings Ltd performed over the past 15 years? In the second of a two-part article Richard Walls defends the council’s rates record.


Cr Walls was always going to have his field day. It would be no surprise then if he earned a stinging rebuttal from local resident Calvin Oaten who is mentioned severally throughout the mountains and valleys of Cr Walls’ thought.

We persisted with his views, not sure if other Councillors would share them or the historical account proffered to get us where we might be today. Nevertheless, we thank him for his trouble.

By the end of the read, perhaps, we had suffered or become faithless – or had slaved as devotees. But at any rate (!!) there is the tendency to become less critical of the stadium project itself at the expense of disproportionate rise in critical appreciation of the Council and its moral baggage, not all of it in a good calm light.

We look forward to public reaction as may suit writers, speakers and users of gestures!


Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums

StS, tired with bags under its eyes

Offensive and threatening letters sent to two Dunedin city councillors are just a “deliberate campaign” by the pair to discredit Stop the Stadium, president Bev Butler says.

ODT Link


The hate mail debacle is not about the stadium project. This is indeterminate hot air, a diversion resembling a cat spiff. It does require a police investigation.

StS, tired with bags under its eyes, in its latest pronouncements does no more than discredit genuine non supporters of the stadium project.

When will it end!!!!!!!


Filed under Hot air, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums, STS

StS's rates revolt, stage one…

Note: What if? advises against a rates revolt. Speak with your bank manager or if in doubt seek legal advice before you take any action recommended by Bev Butler and committee below.


Date: 12 February 2009 11:39:45 PM
Subject: Rates Revolt: Stage One

Dear STS members.

Before I discuss STS matters, let me say that the STS Committee, as I hope all of you, deplore the recent actions of some nutter sending hate mail to Cr. Guest and Cr. Fliss Butcher. We hope the police catch the culprit. It would not surprise us if a pro-stadium person did it as a dirty trick to cause trouble for the anti-stadium movement. One indication of this is that it makes absolutely no sense for an anti-stadium person to send hate mail to Cr. Butcher since she has consistently voted against the stadium proceeding.

Now on to STS matters. Yesterday the Otago Regional Council (ORC) provided yet another stay of execution to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, even in the face of the warning to the councillors by the ORC’s chief executive, Graeme Martin, that the stadium project had no less than “13 critical project risks”, and that Malcolm Farry’s lot had failed to reach their agreed target for private funding.

It was clear from the comments made at the ORC meeting by the pro-stadium faction that if the DCC did not meet the funding requirements by the new deadline of March 2, they would vote to extend the ORC deadline further. This, in the face of the fact that the “guaranteed” building price of 165 million has come in with tags, which is all the construction industry needs to cover the costs of the inevitable blowouts. No reputable building firm could afford to risk making an unconditional guaranteed price.

It is now obvious that no outcries from the vast majority of Dunedin citizens, no deadlines, no marches, no opinion polls, no critical project risks, will change the minds of those DCC and ORC councillors who are hell-bent on getting a covered stadium. As such, these DCC and ORC councillors consitute a majority of what has effectively become rogue councils.
These misguided fools will be voted out at the next election. But what do we do now?

The answer is to fight this battle on entirely different grounds. STS will be convening a Public Meeting, at which time a new, rather radical campaign of Resistance will be launched. We have no other choice. You will, of course, be personally notified about the time and place of the Public Meeting.

In the meantime, however, there is Stage 1 of the new battle plan, which many of you can painlessly participate in: If you have a Direct Debit arrangement for paying your DCC rates, cancel it. NOTE:

• There is no bank fee associated with such a cancellation.
• The bank with which you have your mortage, if you have one, has no requirement that you pay your rates via Direct Debit. Direct Debit is just a convenient way for you to pay your rates and an even more convenient way for the payee, in this case the DCC, to be paid.

Here is how you cancel your Direct Debit:
(1) Go to ANY branch of the bank with which you have your Direct Debit. (This might be different from the bank with which you have your mortgage.)
(2) Remember to take with you something showing your bank account number. Also take some identification, like your driver’s license.
(3) Go to any bank teller and tell him/her that you want to cancel your Direct Debit to the Dunedin City Council. (There is no fee for this.)
(4) Most banks say that you should then call the DCC, 477-4000, and tell them you have cancelled your Direct Debit to them. (You will probably need to have your DCC account number which is on your DCC rates statement.)
(5) To make your protest known, tell them that you are cancelling your Direct Debit because of your opposition to the Stadium. They will put you on a list and then send you a scare-tactic letter, telling you of the financial penalties of not paying your rates. (Don’t be scared off. There are no penalties for not paying by Direct Debit.)

The one disadvantage of cancelling your Direct Debit is that you will now have to remember to pay your rates, if you want to, by the due date in order to avoid a 10% penalty. Well before the due date for each quarter, the DCC sends you a statement of the rates amount due, whether or not you have a Direct Debit, so you will have plenty of notification about paying your rates, by cheque or in person. In person is better if you have the time, since it is more trouble for them. (The due dates for this quarter are 30/01/09 for Area 1, 20/02/09 for Areas 2 and 4, and 27/02.09 for Area 3. Your rates bill will tell you what Area you are in.)

Kind regards,
Bev Butler. President, Stop the Stadium: http://www.stopthestadium.org.nz/
Dave Witherow, Vice President
Jean Harris, Secretary
John Harris, Treasurer
Carol Sawyer, Volunteer Coordinator
Peter Attwooll

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Filed under Economics, Hot air, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums, STS