DCC: The new council emerges

### ODT Online Fri, 22 Oct 2010
Staynes likely to be deputy
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s next deputy mayor looks set to be Cr Chris Staynes, with his appointment expected to be confirmed at a Dunedin City Council meeting next week.
Details of any changes to the structure of council committees, and who will hold the chairmen and deputy chairmen positions for each, will be confirmed at Tuesday’s meeting.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under People, Politics

95 responses to “DCC: The new council emerges

  1. Elizabeth

    Dunedin City Council – Inaugural Meeting 2010-13 Triennium
    Tuesday 26 October 2010, 2.00 PM
    Fullwood Room, Dunedin Centre

    Agenda – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 70.8 kb, new window)

    Report – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 66.9 kb, new window)
    Appointments to Outside Organisations

    Report – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 83.4 kb, new window)
    Membership of Committees

    Report – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 101.4 kb, new window)

    Report – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 190.5 kb, new window)
    Meeting Schedule for 2011

    Report – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 111.0 kb, new window)
    Committee Structure and Delegations

    Report – Council – 26/10/2010 (PDF, 279.7 kb, new window)
    Recommendations to the Remuneration Authority

    • Elizabeth

      ### RNZ National 101FM Sunday, 24 October 2010 at 10:05am
      Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw

      Dave Cull – His Worship
      After just one term on the Dunedin City Council, Dave Cull is the city’s new mayor and he’s due to be sworn in next week. But as well as the chains of office, Dave Cull is also bearing the weight of the city’s debt, which has soared with the building of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. He talks to Chris Laidlaw about priorities for the city, engaging with the community, and the fate of Carisbrook.
      Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (36’54”)

  2. Peter

    Well… well…. well… Did you hear Dave Cull say these words about the stadium? ‘We’re just going to go for broke. We’re going to put whatever we can put in it.’
    In a few short weeks we have gone from enough financial injection to open the doors for a no fuss stadium- to this point.

  3. James

    Did you hear Dave Cull say these words about the stadium?

    Yes. It’s just a pity for your attempted smear that the “whatever” refers to putting whatever events we can put in it, in it, to try to ensure that it covers its operating costs.

  4. Peter

    I would suggest, James, that you listen again. After expressing ‘concerns’ about the sustainability of the stadium, in terms of costs, he then goes on to say, ‘We’re just going to go for broke’. There is no mention of anything about ‘events’ in the context of the discussion, both preceding or afterwards. If you don’t want to accept this, that’s fine. Time will tell how much money Cull is prepared to throw at the stadium ‘to make it work’. Laidlaw notes in the interview that this is a risk strategy for Cull. It sure is- and one that will haunt him.

    • Elizabeth

      Let’s hold off shooting the Mayor-elect. Dave, once formally in office, has at least three years to prove himself – and given the people around the council table it’s never the mayor who plots the course single-handedly anyway.

      Let’s try some balance and fairness in the way we view the people lucky to have been elected – how they work together will be interesting. I hold reservations, of course: we got what we voted for.

      I’m more interested in their take on non stadium items for the present… it’s called economic development, not providing more jobs for suits… How will this Council stimulate the productive sectors?

  5. Anonymous

    The relevant audio is from 7:20 in to the recording. I have transcribed to 7:20-8:24. I believe that this is fair use.

    The lead-in is:
    Chris Laidlaw: “What do you personally believe the sustainability of that stadium to be? You know, in your gut. I know that the council has had quite a few independent opinions provided by others outside as to its sustainability. What do you personally feel…?”
    Dave Cull: “I still have reservations…still have concerns that we will have difficulty earning enough from it to cover its costs. But, you know, we’re just going to go for broke. We’re going to put whatever we can put in it. Whatever we can make happen in it, we will.”

    [Note: “in it”, *not* “into it”. From “happen in it”, I infer “events”.]

    CL: “It’s a massive gamble. I mean, what’s it going to cost the council, the ratepayers…what’s it going to cost over the next funding period?”
    DC: “20 years. Well I think we’re borrowing about $109 [million] and over 20 years you can double that with interest so you’ve got over $200 million and that’s not taking account of anything else we have to pay for or of any operating losses…potential operating losses.”
    CL: “Are you comfortable with that burden of debt?”
    DC: “No! No, I’m not at all. But that’s what we’ve inherited.”

    The meme “the real Dave Cull after the election” that Peter [and Bev Butler] are trying to introduce has no legs. The line he is taking here is consistent with his election campaign and stance on the stadium in the previous Council term: this is something the new Council has inherited, that it is better to get it open and in a state that it can earn revenue, that it does come with an opportunity cost and that many things this Council wishes to do will be constrained.

  6. Peter

    The issue is it doesn’t have to be ratepayer funding. It’s as simple as that. Because we have inherited the problem doesn’t mean we have to pour more ratepayer money into it. There are other options that do not involve ratepayer money.

  7. Anonymous

    “The issue is it doesn’t have to be ratepayer funding.” And that’s clear from the rest of the interview. But that’s not the tenor of your original post.

    Your *specific* assertion was that the Mayor-elect had somehow changed his stance on funding for the stadium post-election and was going to put “whatever” into it; your inference is that this “whatever” is ratepayer funding. I reject that inference and provided the transcript for clarity. The statement “Whatever we can make happen in it, we will.” immediately after your selective extract is quite clearly discussing events, not funding.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 26 Oct 2010
      Butler to file fresh affidavit
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin City Council candidate Bev Butler will return to the Dunedin District Court today as she continues her fight for an election recount without the threat of court-imposed costs.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Tue, 26 Oct 2010
        Councillors to vote on changing pay rates
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin city councillors will get straight down to business today by voting on whether to give themselves a pay rise. The new council’s inaugural meeting is to be held this afternoon, at which Mayor-elect Dave Cull and his councillors will take their seats for the first time and be sworn in.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          I note the use of the word “chairmen” in Mr Cull’s alleged remarks and in ODT reporting. Please use the gender neutral term “chairs” and do so consistently.

      • Elizabeth

        Have just heard the recount has been dropped. More later.

  8. Phil

    I think those are mostly fair comments from Dave. On the surface. He has inherited a problem which doesn’t have many solutions available to it. To say that they will support it as much as they are able to is what you would expect any responsible stakeholder to say.

    On the flipside, it’s a little too easy to say that the current Council has inherited the problem. With the exception of a couple of new faces, the current Council are directly responsible for creating the problem in the first place. But that’s history now, and the interest will be how the current Council handle it from here on in.

  9. Ben Nettleton

    I think that’s a tad precious, the board I sit on has a Woman Chair and she signs thing off as the “chairman”

    Riddick’s Rules of Procedure, among others, indicate the etymology of chairman as derived from the Latin manus, and therefore there is in fact gender-neutrality in the word

    • Elizabeth

      Ben, oh FFS. Sorry, haven’t time to do any awareness raising with you today. Although it probably wouldn’t work anyway if you’re stuck on Riddick and the like. Hahaha.

  10. ro

    When I read this morning that she was trying some new approach I thought she probably meant she had decided against initiating a recount. I notice that whenever Bev announces, or is asked to announce, that she’s not going to do something she always begins by saying she’s adopting some new action. So no recount? That’s sensible. But what’s her alternative?

  11. Anne Elliot

    I noticed the ‘chairman’, too and wondered how that sneaked in.

    • Elizabeth

      DCC Media Release
      New Council Appointments Confirmed

      New Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is pleased to announce the appointment of Councillor Chris Staynes as Deputy Mayor.

      Cr Staynes said today he is looking forward to his role and to working closely with Mayor Dave Cull and his fellow Councillors in achieving a new direction for the city.

      “There was a clear message from voters that they felt it was time for a change and time for some new thinking by Council. It is great to be able to contribute to that as Deputy Mayor,” he said.

      Mayor Cull, who was sworn in earlier today as Mayor of Dunedin, has also restructured the main Council Standing Committees for the 2010-2013 triennium.

      The former Economic Development Committee and the Finance and Strategy Committee have been combined to form the Finance, Strategy and Development Committee.

      The new committee is to be headed by Cr Syd Brown, with Crs John Bezett and Richard Thomson as deputies.

      The Infrastructure Services Committee is to be chaired by Cr Andrew Noone, with Deputy Chair Cr Lee Vandervis.

      The Community Development Committee is to be chaired by Cr Bill Acklin, with Cr Paul Hudson as deputy, while the Planning and Environment Committee will be chaired by Cr Kate Wilson, with Cr Teresa Stevenson as deputy.

      “Streamlining Standing Committees and their remuneration structure should enable all Councillors to contribute more across the full range of project-oriented working parties and steering groups”, Mayor Cull says.

      For this triennium, all councillors will be members of all committees to encourage continuity and consistency of the application of Council policy and funding.

      Contact Mayor Dave Cull on 474 3855.

      Last reviewed: 26 Oct 2010 4:35pm

      • Elizabeth

        ### ch9.co.nz October 26, 2010 – 7:37pm
        New Dunedin City Council was sworn in this afternoon
        The new Dunedin City Council was sworn in to office this afternoon in a ceremony at the Council chambers. The three council-newcomers had their first chance to sit at the round table, and Mayor Dave Cull outlined some key areas for the Council to work on this term.
        Video Link

  12. kate

    sorry to let the ladies down but I am also a passionate latin student – well up to 5th form – and I do agree about the manus comments – because it is the hand on the Chair. It is about the position of leadership not about gender – in the same way as lawyers once upon a time wore wigs and gowns – it is neutral to gender. The fact that we now only see ‘man’ in a sexist way is a problem of changing english – not with process. If we want to ignore the derivation of words – then lets start using txt language now in writing – hate the thought – but that is essentially what some of you are suggesting. Happy to accept a chairmans role today wearing a skirt!

    • Elizabeth

      I studied Latin for years, went through two professional degrees in the then male sport of architecture, and specialised in post structuralism as an aside – besides enjoying the cut and thrust of 1980s feminism in Auckland – and believe me, should you wish, this has got nothing to do with Latin roots, that is overly simplistic. Let’s be precious – how many women directors of DCHL companies have we, again? How many women are not in top management despite the best performance… enjoying lower wages and salaries than men for most of their working lives. NZ women have lost ground, it’s been measured. So why would I raise it in passing from a small item in our local newspaper.

  13. kate

    I appreciate those concerns – more than you will appreciate – as the only DCHL companies female director. I hope things will change. But for the reason that the women are the best people for that job, not just because they are women. Having said that Dunedin at times has led the world in appointments of females and other times conservatively shunned such things. Lets put the gown and wig on all appointments and look at skill mix, availability, communication skills and start from there.

  14. Richard

    Sad to say but from first-hand involvement in recent years, I have to say there have been few – very few – women prepared to offer themselves from around here for appointment to company boards. And I am just not referring to those within the DCHL or DCC Groups.

    The time and legal responsibilites that are entailed seem to be the major deterrents but overall is the known availability.

    NZIofD is probably the best means of getting on the list.

    Sorry Kate, while technically correct in referring to the DCHL companies and your own appointment to TGR, you have overlooked that Jennifer Rolfe is a Director of Dunedin Venues Limited and Dunedin Venues Management Limited.

  15. Richard

    And that Kathy Grant, while a Crown appointee, is on the Board of Dunedin International Airport Limited.

  16. kate

    Richard noted – but I was talking DCC appointments – Kereyn Smith is also a DVML director – and is local, for now – Jennifer is however from Auckland. So yes we can appoint but maybe from elsewhere. Kathy is as you note a Government appointment. But my point was look at the skills not the gender – although I am also sure that there are other women that would be interested – they just dont respond to the same type of messages to put there names forward maybe.

  17. Richard

    Sorry Kate, Kereyn is not a director of DVML.

    Jennifer may live in Auckland but is Dunedin born and bred and right up to it when it comes to digital communication.

    Crown appointments can – and are – locally influenced.

    That said, I understand what you are saying but your reference to ‘messages’ is an incorrect perception. Nominations have been sought but are wanting. I must leave it at that.

    • Elizabeth

      Might it also be the case that joining a predominantly blokey old-school business board isn’t where the experienced, astute women want to be in ‘isolation’ – noone wants to be the token woman in that kind of set-up, surely.

      This all comes back to my first muttering about gender neutral – at no time have I mentioned taking on women for, er, being women. We have enough inepts running ships as it is.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, has Kereyn resigned from DVML, or have we now switched to the ‘real’ DVML, because it says here:

      ### infonews.co.nz 25 August 2009, 10:08AM
      Directors appointed for Dunedin Venues Management Company
      By Dunedin City Council
      At its meeting on 17 August, 2009, the Dunedin City Council appointed nine directors to sit on the inaugural board of the new Dunedin Venues Management Limited company. Former judge, Sir John Hansen, will chair the board and Peter Stubbs will be deputy. The other directors are Stewart Barnett, Bill Baylis, Peter Brown, Malcolm Farry, Peter Hutchison, Jennifer Rolfe and Kereyn Smith.
      Read more


      Kereyn’s credentials were listed in the print and digital editions of the ODT 22.10.10 – a short excerpt from the same day’s ODT Online says:

      “Along with her position at the [NZ Academy of Sport South Island], Smith was the Dunedin City Council’s representative on the Highlanders board and was also a trustee of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and the Skeggs Foundation.”

  18. Richard

    The four CST Trustees never took up their appointments to the inaugural board of DVML.

    An amendment to the original resolution was made at the meeting of council that followed the one referred to, or soon thereafter.

    The DCC website records the up-to-date (or amended) information at http://bit.ly/dpox0r.

  19. Richard

    Point taken Elizabeth in regard to DCHL but I was essentially underlining a wider consideration relating to what Kate subsequently posted.

    For those (of any gender) interested in appointments to crown-owned companies, there is a heap of information on-line at the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit, a specialised division of The Treasury.

    Just point your browser to: http://www.comu.govt.nz/boards-and-appointments.html.

    I have not shortened the link given that it says what it is taking you to!

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Oct 2010
      Butler rules out recount over cost
      By Stu Oldham
      Dunedin City Council candidate Bev Butler has dropped her bid for an election recount and raised the spectre of future recounts becoming the preserve of the rich and well-connected. Ms Butler yesterday withdrew her application to have about 34,000 voting papers rechecked, telling the Dunedin District Court she was “unable to bear the prospect of punitive costs”.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Oct 2010
        Gallery full as Cull sworn in
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull donned the robes and chain of office for the first time yesterday, pledged to do his best and received an enthusiastic hug from two future ratepayers.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Oct 2010
        Shake-up for DCC committees
        By Chris Morris
        A shake-up of Dunedin City Council committees has resulted in the creation of a new economic body, and its chairman is promising to consider deferring multimillion-dollar capital projects to save money.
        Read more

  20. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting to note that the ODT abridged my letter published this morning. The abridged piece was the last 3 sentences and for the sake of completeness, the whole letter is below:

    Dear Sir

    The letter from Dick Donaldson and the reply from DCC CEO Harland published on Saturday the 23rd October, on the subject of Carisbrook, detail yet again the secretive nature of the financial relationship between the DCC and the ORFU.

    Carisbrook’s valuation, I would contend, was nothing more than the justification for the DCC to purchase the debt of the ORFU by borrowing. The ORFU needed $7m to get out of becoming technically bankrupt and so that was the bottom line. Though it is still interesting to note that the ORFU only record receiving $6m in their published accounts.

    The DCC had no business whatsoever in getting into the business of buying a private rugby ground, but they came up with the rationale that it was done so to purchase badly needed industrial land for the City. Why this was simply not left to the free market to purchase Carisbrook from the ORFU if such a need was there has never been explained. The suspicion is that the free market would have not been willing to pay anything like $7m for the purchase.

    Also not explained is why the DCC then went through some sort of process asking the public what they thought they should do with their purchase. If they had made up their mind why they purchased it, why did they then need to ask? Maybe they should have asked us before they borrowed the money to buy in the first instance.

    Further to the secrecy about the DCC and the ORFU, readers may be interested to know that the Office of the Ombudsman has informed me that the DCC have told that Office that they do not have any guidelines on sponsorship by DCC owned companies, such as Delta, and they also have no idea of how much money, goods, services or other input have been made by Delta to the ORFU. Isn’t that extraordinary? One really wonders what Cr Hudson has reported to the DCC from his position with DCHL.

    One can only hope that the new Council will ensure that there is a lot more transparency and that the ORFU no longer has what appears to have been a very direct input into Council decisions.

    Russell Garbutt

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Oct 2010
      Butcher quits DCC meeting
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin city councillor Fliss Butcher unexpectedly quit yesterday’s Dunedin City Council meeting, leaving another councillor to confirm Cr Butcher had rejected a nomination as deputy chairwoman of a committee.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Thu, 28 Oct 2010
      Butcher won’t say why she quit meeting
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin city councillor Fliss Butcher will not say why she quit this week’s council meeting or refused a nomination for a committee post.
      Read more

  21. Calvin Oaten

    Oh dear, Fliss has spat the dummy. And so early in the life of this council. If I had voted for her I would be angry. Doesn’t she realise that she is there to represent those who voted for her? It is not a forum to use to vent her frustrations. She should just grow up.

  22. Russell Garbutt

    This is the text announcing Harland’s resignation:

    This is to advise that I have tendered my resignation to Mayor Dave Cull to take up the position of NZTA Southern Regional Director. This role will be based out of Christchurch and Dunedin. I will commence this position in January 2011.

    I have held the position of Dunedin City Council Chief Executive for nearly 11 years and have had the privilege of working with a professional and committed team of staff at all levels of this organisation. I feel proud to have developed the skills and knowledge of the Council team and leave as things turn a full circle – in the first year I was here we worked on “Choices” and our first Long Term Council Community Plan, and here we are now involving the community in “Your City Our Future” and the next Community Plan.

    As NZTA Southern Regional Manager I will remain involved in transportation work that involves the Dunedin City Council and look forward to working with many of you in my new role. I will also continue on the Project Delivery Team to see the stadium through to completion.

    Thank you once again for all the support and commitment you have given to me as your Chief Executive. While I am proud of our many achievements it is the memories of the people and the relationships made during my time here that will remain with me.

    Jim Harland
    Chief Executive
    Dunedin City Council

  23. Peter

    ‘I will also continue on the Project Delivery Team to see the stadium through to completion.’ Who says? Who has agreed to this?

  24. Calvin Oaten

    Never has so much been given for so little. A lost decade.

  25. Anne

    Relevant questions, Peter!

  26. James

    The answers to which are easy to find, in the ODT article announcing such, and more fully, in the council’s press release.

  27. Peter

    Yes, it appears the decision to keep him on, in this capacity, has Mayor Cull’s blessing. Harland has knowledge, I grant you that, but he is not the only one there- and is he indispensable? No one is in my view. A new CEO surely wouldn’t be fussed about having the old one still sniffing around in the background overlooking a major council project. Of course the new one will be given no choice….. and so it goes on.

  28. Richard

    That RG should take Jim Harland’s message to staff and represent it here as “the text announcing Harland’s resignation” is, I guess, not surprising.

    It is, of course, nothing of the sort.

    Thank you James for providing the link to the actual statement by Council on the DCC Website and in its media release.

    {The link to the DCC media release was posted at What if? yesterday – not so very different to the main statement. As soon as staff knew about the resignation it spread like wildfire to all ends of the city and beyond – that’s what statements are for, in this case it caused a considerable lightening of shoulders. -Ed}

  29. Russell Garbutt

    It is the text announcing his resignation to staff and I didn’t say otherwise. As usual Richard, you seem to continue to think that you are the sole possessor of the “facts”, or are you suggesting that the message of resignation sent and published here is incorrect?

    A press release by Council is another matter, and as you should know, the content of both can show interesting differences.

  30. Richard

    You did not say what it was let alone ‘otherwise’.

  31. Richard

    RG took it upon himself to post what he called ““the text announcing Harland’s resignation”. It was, however, a copy of the personal message that the CEO had sent to staff on the internal mail system.

    That raises a ethical question or two about someone – in this case a person who is not even a DCC staffer – taking it upon themselves to ‘publish’ a private email and imply that it was ‘the official text’ when, in fact it was not.

    If it had been rejigged, that would have been quite acceptable.

  32. Russell Garbutt

    Read what Elizabeth said Richard – the news spread like wildfire, and was spread by a huge number of staff. Best to have the actual text rather than a “rejigged” one – whatever that means. But I suppose that “rejigging” things is more a usual thing for some.

  33. Richard

    RG ‘ducks for cover’ again behind someone else’s words! End of story, really!

    • Elizabeth

      Richard – back off. I’m not happy to have your line of thought, which frankly is surprising given the nature of public domain, pursued at this blog.

      Everybody needs a break, and for good reasons. The change at the top of DCC is to be celebrated. Don’t spoil the party.

      What if? co-author

      {I haven’t read your email Richard since it arrived with upper case in the subject line – and as you well know, change at the top includes elected representatives. Partay!}

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Oct 2010
        Editorial: Saying no
        New Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull this week compared the challenges he and the Dunedin City Council face to walking a tightrope. That, indeed, outlines the scale of the demands the councillors confront. Somehow, they need to contain operating costs, limit burgeoning debts and still help keep Dunedin progressing.

        The previous council had its strengths, and the dedication to the city of the previous mayor Peter Chin is admired and his many skills respected. But the overriding flaw for the past several years was an inability to say no.

        Read more

  34. Richard

    I have made my point and there is no need to say anything more.

    {This comment has been moderated, sentence deleted. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      I was waiting for your confession on that Richard.

      I’m personally banning you from this blog for seven days. You can attempt to comment in that time but I will delete anything that comes from you in fairly short order. You have your own website, use that or ODT Online for any comments you may wish to make.

      What if? co-author


      {This comment has been moderated. F-words on the internet are not advised. -Eds}

  35. uglybob

    I’d say you attract more readers to What If by providing a forum where people with a wide variety of viewpoints can post without double standards regarding their editorial treatment. Richard is right on that point. The ban reeks of a similar incident involving a well known blogger on the STS site.

  36. uglybob

    True but if the blog is just a soapbox for a coterie of likeminded individuals, perhaps you should change the name to ‘Why Bother?’

    • Elizabeth

      uglybob – probably not the case that all posting here are likeminded, plus it’s a lovely sunny Sunday – a reason for good heart and my flakiness which is ongoing
      I get the feeling contributors enjoy communicating their ideas and positions and do it very well – and, there’s some wonderfully dry wit about that never goes amiss
      (point: views are rising today – man, this is almost sustainable!)

      the [fringe] benefit is Richard gets more views at his website too [win win]

  37. Calvin Oaten

    Richard should take time out to have a cup of tea and indulge in some serious soliloquizing.

  38. kate

    If Richard is not allowed to respond, perhaps we could leave him alone as a topic and all grow up and discuss What if, Dunedin!

    While it is understandable that this site has always focused on urban Dunedin it would be nice to stop and think about the larger design of Dunedin. At a workshop on Friday i was pleasantly pleased to see reference to an outer town belt – not sure it it was trees or just greenery – but we all love this City for what it has – but have been slow to replicate eg the town belt as we expand.

    While the heading might be DCC the new Council emerges, i am very interested in what a future City might look like.

  39. Stu

    I was under the impression that Richard had retired from this site anyway?

  40. UglyBob

    Kate: the idea of an outer town belt is a neat idea. I could imagine some sort of belt around the Helensburgh, Halfway Bush, Brockville, Mt Grand, Abbotsford area but it does rather seem to presuppose urban sprawl over the hills to the Taieri. That doesn’t seem likely in the forseeable future unless Dunedin experiences significant population growth (and if it does is sprawl or increased density within the existing urban footprint better?)

    To my mind urban growth on the Otago Peninsula might become a more pressing issue if eco-tourism expands and suburbs like Macandrew Bay continue to grow in popularity as family areas.

  41. but it does rather seem to presuppose urban sprawl over the hills to the Taieri. That doesn’t seem likely in the forseeable future unless Dunedin experiences significant population growth (and if it does is sprawl or increased density within the existing urban footprint better?)

    That urban sprawl is underway. Between 1996 and 2006, an additional 1000 people were added to that hill area. This isn’t population growth; it’s the death of existing urban areas (St Clair, Caversham, Halfway Bush all down 2-300 people; Roslyn North, Maori Hill, Vauxhall, Concord etc all down over 90 people over the same time period). In total, the drain from town is around 1900 people. It is slightly masked by the extra 3000 students in North Dunedin.

    • Elizabeth

      We’ve recently been working with large maps of greater Dunedin – we being the DCC leadership group for Built Environment.

      distractedscientist, you would be interested in the map showing all the new housing scattering down the east coast south of Dunedin and out towards Outram within the last ten if not five years. A total failure of the current District Plan. You’ve been onto this change for a while now and have published the stats and your findings, here above and in the ODT Opinion pages.

      Incidently, one of the ideas our group came up with a couple of weeks ago was a second ‘belt’ of trees around the city, for various reasons. I can’t state them here since we’re not in public consulting mode at this point. It’s just one of many ideas, and one which may have also popped up for other leadership groups but I’m not sure as I had to miss Friday morning’s discussion meeting.

      Once we explore our group’s ideas in detail, and the council staff bring all the steering groups’ information into one place, from there councillors decide what goes out for public consultation.

      We were given a 30-year timeframe to work with. Our meetings are ongoing as we hone down on essential recommendations and directions. We started meeting a couple of months ago to brainstorm as a follow-on from the Your City Our Future forum hosted by the Council. This process has replaced the previous well-being forums tied to Long-term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) requirements.

  42. kate

    The townbelt idea is one I have challenged the Amenities Society about – why they don’t have a branch looking wider than the original society boundaries into the Taieri area – membership though is a big thing. In many ways farmers have kept a green belt there – but urban neighbours definitely put pressure on continued farming – green belts to my mind do not need to be trees, albeit for many reasons they probably give better long term results.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Kate – as first raised in our group the green belt was about trees (no detail – we were in broad spectrum), and as you say a green belt takes many forms and that’s a discussion we’re also having about the existing town belt (which comprises trees, bush, grass areas, playing fields, tracks, roads etc) and its use and or extension.

      For those unaware, the Dunedin Amenities Society is the oldest environmental society in New Zealand, established in 1888. I was in contact with the Society only last week on Twitter. They welcome new members.
      See their website: http://dunedin-amenities-society.org.nz/about/
      Twitter account: @damensoc

  43. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth and distractedscientist, when oil passes the $200 per barrel line on a permanent basis, watch for the rush back to the centre. Your timeframe of 30 years might be irrelevant.

    • Elizabeth

      That’s quite possible Calvin! I always find 20-50 year envisioning problematic given all the variables and global forces at work, not to mention changes in technology… or changes in local politics, resourcing, business directions, fads, pet projects, and the like. So far, the process is re-stating a lot of things seen as core by the local community, years ago… not quite reinventing the wheel though. Simply, there are basics we the community are still not on top of, funny that.

  44. Hello Kate
    The Amenities Society was originally a suburban Dunedin organisation that wanted to place pressure on provincial government to better protect the Town Belt. Between the 1860s-1880s the Belt had been seriously abused and utilised for a variety of uses including firewood removal, cattle grazing and as a camping ground for gold miners going to Central Otago. There were a number of significant botanists and naturalists in nineteenth century Dunedin who recognised the importance of the ‘belt as an area of natural beauty and these people had a significant impact on Dunedin’s environment and the establishment of the Society. Secondly, the later part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a change in focus from “scenery protection” in Dunedin to the need for active recreation. This was in part due to changes in labour laws and the advent of organisations who advocated fitness for health and welfare. Moreover, women became more active in recreational pursuits and the focus on sports and recreation became more common. Thus the focus on the Town Belt changed also. Interestingly, town belts are most common in Wickliffe style settlements like Dunedin, Wellington and Adelaide. In planning terms the focus was on open space for recreation and scenery, something that had not been part of the industrial age urban spread in Europe. Britain during the immediate post second world war period went through a massive change in urban planning. Many new town belts were established around cities as protection from urban sprawl created by post war reconstruction. There is a town belt in Port Chalmers which sadly does not receive the attention it should and needs significant restoration. The Amenities Society was a product of the local government boundaries that were around at the time. With local government re-structuring in 1989 the city boundaries were extended considerably to the previous Silverpeaks County areas. This extended the range of the City and realistically the boundaries of the areas of interest for the Society. To date there has been very little contact with groups or individuals in these outer groups with the Society. This is probably in part because local communities tend to look internally within their own communities for organisations to develop reserve and amenity projects. Also, to be fair to the Society, it has needed to increase and improve its profile as an organisation to bring itself up to date with changes in the city and promotional technology. That has taken some time. However, as an organisation the Society has recently supported projects in areas like Long Beach, Mosgiel, Portobello and Waikouaiti. As New Zealand’s oldest environmental organisation the Society is still as relevant today as it was at its founding in 1888. Therefore, groups, individuals or agencies who would like to discuss projects in the “wider” Dunedin City context are most welcome to contact the Society.

  45. Just a few further thoughts on town belts. In 2002 I met with three representatives of the Kobe Municipality. They were looking at development of a town belt after the disastrous 1995 earthquake to create open space from urban development. The delegation brought with them a Japanese landscape architect who had written her PhD on the history of town belts throughout the world including Dunedin’s. Although she had never been to New Zealand she recognised the ‘belt’s’ importance to Dunedin and had researched it extensively. I spent three days with the delegation showing them the Town Belt here and in Port Chalmers. They did not speak any english and brought a diplomatic interpreter with them which made our conversations rather interesting. However, they were very impressed with Dunedin, but also rather daunted at how they could initiate such a programme in Kobe given the existing land use and the need to purchase land for such a purpose. I have often wondered how they got on with the project.

  46. kate

    Paul I am in awe of the Amenities Society and its contribution to Dunedin. I hope you didn’t take my comments as negative. It was more a comment that if we did have active membership of the ilk of the Amenities Society throughout Dunedin how different it might look now, and how different it could look.

    And it is not just for their work in the town belt and its conservation work there. It is the simple act of carefully placing a street seat at a site to be appreciated – oh how Mosgiel amongst other places could benefit from some thought along those lines.

    Interesting notes on Kobe – equally daunting now to consider how to replicate the planners of 1860 today throughout Dunedin!

    • Elizabeth

      Did I hear the word ‘replicate’, Kate? :D

      …. with ‘planners’ in the same sentence …. :DD

      Nah, I heard people with vision that look forward. Phew.

  47. kate

    Happy always to acknowledge that some of our forebears were fantastic forward thinking people who set some very good guidelines for development that we might be wise even this many years later to copy – part of our heritage recognition perhaps – heritage is not just about built environment surely!

    {Your comment has been moderated. -Eds}

  48. Kate
    I don’t see them as negative at all, but wanted to provide readers with a “potted history” of the planning history of the ‘belt. The planning and recreational influences of the ‘belt evolved from the ghastly excesses of the industrial revolution which all but destroyed the English countryside and its social fabric. The nineteenth century was a period of considerable social, economic and environmental upheaval. Colonial settlers brought those experiences with them to New Zealand and hoped that they could make positive change in their new communities. Dunedin has a very interesting planning and environmental history that is a product of some of that “utopian” optimism. The Society still largely retains those beliefs from its founders because in the long run that thinking has been largely right.

  49. Stu

    There was an interesting programme on Prime over the weekend on the Green Belts in the UK that evolved in the 1950s and 1960s as a reaction against the industrialisation to which you refer. The example in Oxford was one clear case where urban development goes right up to the edge of the green belt and no further. No intermingling, which is one way to avoid land-use conflicts.

  50. Phil

    I would support an outer ring town belt denoting the Urban Fence (presuming it still exists today) around the city. With the current trend of building boutique stadiums and boutique conference centres, that would make the perfect symbol for a boutique city. As well as keeping the barely controlled urban sprawl in check. Great idea.

  51. Stu

    That was very clear from the overhead view – I think this must have been “Britain From Above” and the presenter’s comments with respect to the ring road/green belt interface – “City – this far and no further”.

  52. The Prime TV show looked at the introduction of the Town and Country Planning Act in Britain immediately after WWII. This was the first legislation in Britain that looked specifically at protecting the English countryside and was a reaction to the need for rebuilding cities after bombing. Many cities subsequently developed corridors of vegetation and green space as protection from urban sprawl. In regards to Kate’s comments on heritage being more than the built environment, I couldn’t agree more. Because of the extensive modification of landscape in NZ we need to consider the concepts of cultural landscapes. That is landscapes that are now part of the cultural psyche of our community. Whether we like it or not our landscape has been altered permanently by human impacts, some positive and others negative. Those impacts become imprinted on communities as the prevailing image of the landscape. They become heritage features of cultural and physical change. The example would be the Otago Peninsula. Prior to human contact it was a forested landscape that was cleared and developed into a Scottish style fiefdom of small tenant farms. The stone walls, macrocarpa shelter belts and cleared paddocks have become our accepted view of the Peninsula, and are thus a cultural landscape. However, there is an uneasy juxtaposition between landscape protection and ecological restoration or protection, especially when looking at cultural landscapes. Humans are inexorably part of both cultural and ecological processes, we cannot avoid that. It’s a matter of finding a balance between the two.

    • Elizabeth

      One of my favourite topics Paul, through some of my past work with NZHPT which included attendance at a national conference on Cultural Heritage Landscapes held at at Te Papa a few years back, promoted and hosted by NZHPT’s then board chair Dame Anne Salmond. Many readings of text, cultures and landscape since….

  53. This is where the Amenities Society is heading with the Craigieburn project. Acknowledging and accepting changes in the landscape caused by human activity, and working in tandem with habitat restoration and protection to provide benefits for biodiversity. By acknowledging both you create a far more effective conservation paradigm for cultural and biological values that people understand and can relate to.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 6 Nov 2010
      Magazine: Keeping them honest
      By Mark Price
      Some critics of the Dunedin City Council emerge when there is an issue and subside when it is resolved. But then there are the full-time critics – familiar names like Bev Butler, Lyndon Weggery and Dave Witherow. Mark Price decided it was time to pick on one of the critics, put him under the microscope and try to find out what makes him tick. The specimen he chose was the Otago Daily Times’ most prolific letter-writer, Calvin Oaten.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Oct 2010
      Magazine: Richard Walls reflects on a life in politics
      By Mark Price
      It’s hard to know where to start with Richard Walls . . . Perhaps the place to begin is the point three weeks ago where it all came to an end – stopped in its tracks when Dunedin voters said, according to Mr Walls: “Oh well, Richard’s been there. He’s done his bit. 73 or 72. Thank you very much. Goodbye.”
      Read more

  54. Russell Garbutt

    I was intrigued to read in the Mark Price article on Calvin Oaten the following:

    “He speaks freely of people in prominent positions in the city who he believes manipulate affairs for their own ends.

    However, among several theories offered to this reporter to illustrate his point, one about the identity of habitual investors in council bonds appears to have no basis in fact.”

    It seems a strange editorial or reporter comment regarding “habitual investors”. What seems to be in the public domain is that the DCC one way or another will not co-operate to release the identity of these habitual investors. There are a number of stories going round about who they may or may not be, and it strikes me that we do have a right to know as it is these investors who are making money from our debt.

    Put it another way – what harm would it cause by knowing who these “habitual investors” were?

  55. Peter

    Russell. I noticed the same comment and thought it odd. Not the use of the word ‘appears’. We don’t actually know one way or the other yet. The matter is with the Ombudsman who has asked the DCC for a report. What does the ODT know that others don’t know? Or are they just presuming?

  56. James

    The ODT seems to have an unofficial source:
    “Community trusts, universities, charitable trusts, financial institutions like ACC, AXA, AMP, Tower and major banks are the most likely holders of Dunedin City Council bonds, investigations by the Otago Daily Times show.”

    It is possible the University of Otago, the Community Trust of Otago and some of the Otago-based religious trusts are holders of the bonds. “

    And “appears” again:
    “While wealthy individuals who make their living from investments could qualify as habitual investors, it does not appear there are any holding DCC bonds.”

    {ODT item also noted at https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/bond-bank-for-local-councils/#comment-13822 -Eds}

  57. Peter

    Yes, it’s all so tentative. Why doesn’t the ODT dig deeper and ask the hard questions, of the DCC, itself? So easy for the ODT with the neurological services issue, but not with this issue. Let’s make it official.

  58. James

    Perhaps either because
    a) they’ve seen the list off-the-record, and there is no story
    b) the ODT is part of a big conspiracy.

  59. Russell Garbutt

    Or they are guessing, or……

    Is there any harm in knowing who owns our debt James?

  60. James

    If I’m bored next time I’m in Takapuna, I’m planning to have a look (or at least try).

    If there is financial harm in knowing who owns our debt, who will pay Russell?

  61. James

    Ahahaha. Of course, it’s also entirely likely that the list might resemble this list of Goodman Fielder shareholders:


    Or Botryzen (as of 2005):
    Otago Trustee Company Ltd
    First NZ Capital Custodians Ltd
    Albert Alloo & Sons Trustee Company Ltd
    Webb Farry Nominees Ltd

  62. Russell Garbutt

    James, why do you think there could be financial harm by knowing who owns our debt?

    Seems to me that the spectre is being raised without any basis of concern.

    Let us all hope that you travel regularly to Takapuna and that you are bored equally regularly during those visits and that you can find out what, for no apparent reason, the DCC and others seem so concerned that we don’t find out.

  63. Peter

    James says: “If I’m bored next time I’m in Takapuna, I’m planning to have a look (or at least try).” A few people have already tried to get this information. When Bev rang and spoke to the manager she was told she needed to request the information from DCC. Which she did. The DCC said they did not ‘hold’ the information. The ombudsman intervened, quoting LGOIMA and the DCC then ‘requested’ the information from Computer Shares Investment Services. When they ‘received’ the information they ‘looked’ at it then decided “Oh dear, we can not release this citing no less than 5 ‘commercially sensitive’ reasons. Funny how they didn’t know they actually ‘held’ the information. Funny how they pay over $20m per year to these ‘habitual investors’ and claimed they did not know who the money was going to. Funny how DCC direct people to Auckland and Auckland redirect them back to DCC.
    Don’t be put off though, James. You never know your luck in a big city!

    James says: “If there is financial harm in knowing who owns our debt, who will pay Russell?”
    James, do you know anyone with a mortgage who doesn’t know who lent them the mortgage? How could this be harmful?
    Ratepayers are paying 18.5% of their rates to the ‘habitual investors’ this year and 22.5% next year.
    What harm could there be in knowing where the money is going?

  64. James

    James, do you know anyone with a mortgage who doesn’t know who lent them the mortgage? How could this be harmful?

    Actually, I’d wager that almost everyone has no idea who lent them the money. They know who the financial intermediary is, but they have no idea who has deposited the money that is being lent to them. Should banks also list everybody’s term deposits publicly?

    How could this be harmful?
    For the same reason people might not want their term deposits made public, some people might not want their bond holdings made public. If demand goes down, then the DCC might have to increase the interest paid on the bonds. We already saw the higher interest rates during the financial crisis due to a lack of demand, and even a 0.1% increase would produce a substantial increase in cost to ratepayers.

  65. James

    Oh, and given the list is likely to be X solicitors nominee company, and Y sharebrokers custodian account, plus various trusts, exactly where would that leave us anyway? Very handily, although you can find out the directors, they are all the solicitors and sharebrokers, and not the actual people doing the owning, so entirely opaque.

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