Health and safety laws require control of a workplace

### ODT Online Wed, 27 May 2009
Stadium stunt backfires
By Chris Morris

Department of Labour officials are less than thrilled with Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin’s handling of a mechanical excavator.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 27/05/2009 – 1:50am.
Comment by anneeliot on What were they thinking?

I am utterly surprised that the carry-on by two inexperienced elderly men with a substantial piece of machinery would go unnoticed by OSH and those at Hall Bros responsible for the company’s health and safety policies. What were they thinking??

### ODT Online Wed, 27/05/2009 – 6:09am.
Comment by gplusa on There he goes again

Just when we all thought it was safe to hold our heads up in public again. We had more favourable publicity when students burnt couches in the streets. On the positive side, I can’t wait for what will happen next. Pie throwing? One of those little bicycles? Someone phone Phil Sprey, quick.

### ODT Online Wed, 27/05/2009 – 9:50am.
Comment by anneeliot on I am glad this

I am glad this ridiculous event is not going unnoticed by the Department of Labour. It is, of course, Hall Bros rather than Mr Chin who should be censured. He was just acting foolishly, while Mr McEwan is ultimately responsible.
Read more

11 Comments

Filed under CST, Hot air, Media, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums

11 responses to “Health and safety laws require control of a workplace

  1. Dept of ‘could you be any more boring and annoying’!

    I’m guessing we all have the mental image of Anne in leathers administering appropriate punishment to all involved.

    That’s so the nail in the coffin of the stadium, shut up shop now!

  2. David

    It seems the Mayor’s digger driving skills are no better than his financial analysis skills.

  3. Damn good thing then that he’s not the one doing the economic analysis of the stadium construction then eh. Wonderful things these fandangled new accountant consultants – darndest things they come up with these days – how to build something on budget….

  4. David

    You missed the point again Paul.

    The point being if the Mayor had even basic secondary school financial skills he would have worked out what a waste of money the new stadium will be.

    i.e. spending $200m on a stadium, when 90% of the benefits are accrued by the current stadium.

    His skills seem to be on par with those running rugby (into the ground).

  5. No David, we all have basic PRIMARY school maths behind us and not one of us has come up with the 1000 year repayment you have, so sorry if we take your criticism of this with a big box of Maldon salt.

    He is the Mayor, not the chief executive. The CEO or CFO are the people with the money skills, I do not expect the Mayor to have those skills above all others.

  6. David

    Pauls says “No David, we all have basic PRIMARY school maths..”

    I doubt it. You think it’s good for the city to get a return of just $1 on every $1000 we spend on the stadium. I doubt any primary school maths pupil would agree.

    For every single person that goes to the stadium for rugby, or a meeting, or a concert – the city will pay $50 – $100.

    The Mayor should be able to work out that it’s a bad idea to spend $200,000,000 on a city project that will get a projected profit of just $200,000 – for every $1000 spent, we will get back a massive $1 return.

    If he can’t work that out, we’d be better off with a 10 year old in charge of the city.

  7. Phil

    It’s going to be a help if the Mayor, CEO, or whomever signs the cheques, understands a little about what they are signing. Don’t take this as a given. During a recent Council multi million dollar construction project, the contractor submitted the same monthly claim twice. The Quantity Surveyor (aka fandangled new accountant consultant) assessed and approved the claim, Council’s own project manager endorsed the claim (because he didn’t understand the claim), and the Council manager wrote out the cheque (because they believed the PM). It was only when the contractor themselves realised what had happened that the error was corrected. Hiring of professional consultants does give a feeling of confidence and security, but it does also serve to remove those who own the project from the coalface. While palming off responsibility, you lose control over what is actually happening. The person writing the cheque should really know what it is they are signing. This is a great opportunity for senior Council staff (and the Mayor) to learn about construction projects, rather than passing that off to a third party every time. Often out of fear of ignorance. Knowledge is power and you get to keep it forever.

  8. David

    If the Mayor had the skills of primary school maths, he would have been able to work out that signing over a large piece of city land to a large corporation, for nearly a thousand years, for only $1 per year, was not a good deal for ratepayers.

  9. Elizabeth

    Hear hear…

    ### ODT Online Tue, 02/06/2009 – 5:44pm.
    Comment by gplusa on Health and Safety joke

    I’ve had about enough of listening to the ill informed, “harden up” comments regarding this incident.
    Read more

  10. Richard

    Following Phil’s posting above, I instituted a enquiry within Council at senior management level.

    The allegation is very general but is assumed to relate to property.

    The Property Unit have no knowledge of the occurrence.

    There is no way of taking the matter any further without specific information on what the project is/was, dates, times, places, dollars and whatever else is relevant. These details can be forwarded to me at: rfwalls@xtra.co.nz.

    There is a very formal process of checking and approval that takes place on transactions on every step of the way to where ‘a cheque’ is drawn.

    This process was comprehensively checked a year or so ago by an international company which carries out such checks. There check went back some years and they spent several months in Dunedin on detailed work. A fee is only payable (on a percentage basis) if they identify any discrepancies such as overpayments etc. I am advised they have never rendered a BILL!

    Neither the Mayor or the CEO “sign cheques”, that is the responsibility of Finance once the approval process is completed.

    Richard Walls

    Chair
    Finance and Strategy
    Dunedin City Council

  11. Elizabeth

    The post Cr Walls refers to is specifically this:

    Phil
    May 28, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    It’s going to be a help if the Mayor, CEO, or whomever signs the cheques, understands a little about what they are signing. Don’t take this as a given. During a recent Council multi million dollar construction project, the contractor submitted the same monthly claim twice. The Quantity Surveyor (aka fandangled new accountant consultant) assessed and approved the claim, Council’s own project manager endorsed the claim (because he didn’t understand the claim), and the Council manager wrote out the cheque (because they believed the PM). It was only when the contractor themselves realised what had happened that the error was corrected. Hiring of professional consultants does give a feeling of confidence and security, but it does also serve to remove those who own the project from the coalface. While palming off responsibility, you lose control over what is actually happening. The person writing the cheque should really know what it is they are signing. This is a great opportunity for senior Council staff (and the Mayor) to learn about construction projects, rather than passing that off to a third party every time. Often out of fear of ignorance. Knowledge is power and you get to keep it forever. Link

    I doubt that any follow-up on DCC’s part was intended by the blogger’s observation.

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