DCC Annual Plan 2011/12

### ODT Online Sat, 15 Jan 2011
Council may delay projects
By Chris Morris
Delaying major capital projects will again be considered by the Dunedin City Council next week, as part of a drive to reduce a 6.1% rates hike forecast for the next financial year.
Read more

• Consent application: Category A: $862.50; Category B: $258.75.
• St Clair Salt Water Pool: Family season ticket up from $305 to $320.
• Cemeteries: Burial rights up from $1521 to $1688.
• Parking: One-month permit (except Octagon and George St to Albany St) up from $388 to $410.

• Wednesday: Councillors’ pre-draft annual plan workshop.
• Thursday-Friday: Public pre-draft annual plan meeting for debate and decisions (resuming January 31 if required).
• May 4-6: Public hearings (three days).
• May 11-12: Annual plan deliberations.
• June 7: Council considers annual plan recommendations.
• June 27: Council adopts annual plan; confirms rates for 2011-12.

### ODT Online Sat, 15 Jan 2011
Debt means ‘continued prudence’
By Stu Oldham
Dunedin city councillors sit down next week to grapple with the first year of a projected rates hump that will last the term of the present council. The elected representatives’ test will be to strike a balance between controlling spending – and therefore the burden on ratepayers – while guiding the city forward. Reporters Chris Morris and Stu Oldham examine the issues.
Read more


DCC Budget (see items)

Council may raise rents
DCC to look at raft of fee increases for 2011-12
Cuts in library services, programmes proposed

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management

107 responses to “DCC Annual Plan 2011/12

  1. Elizabeth

    Syd and pals voted for the stadium, yet they don’t seem to mind cutting library hours. Same old. Who can afford to use the stadium once it’s open – the city’s shafted library users from all walks of life?

    Go on. Rob the library users to pay the private suit-wearing gentlemen in the corporate boxes. Crass.

    We always knew the stadium would bring our good city to this. The crazy and unfortunate trade-offs with our public services.

    It’s war.

    [a convenient chime to other cuts and budget setbacks, this comment about the library slash is rhetorical – an ode, if you like :( not so sure about the war though]

  2. Anonymous

    If they try to cut the library hours, this is what you do:

    • Elizabeth

      Yeah, just been reading that on Twitter – shouldn’t take us long ;)

      Liked this one in the comments attached to your link:

      Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries. Ann Herbert

  3. A disappointing revelation is of falling attendances at the Chinese Garden, which means revenue could be $289,000 less than expected. This will have to be made up for by ratepayers. Those who feared that it would become a white elephant have been proved correct. {sentence deleted}

    The reports on this topic do not seem to be on the Council website. Why is it that Council spin is supplied to the friendly local newspaper but information is not available to the public?

    {This comment has been moderated. We have no documentary proof of the claim which was made against the person. We remind that What if? is not a vehicle for potentially actionable comments. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      The Chinese Gardens are and will be linked to other developments in Central Otago, it has barely begun its influence. For more information talk to James Ng.

  4. Ben

    It would seem particularly looking at today’s ODT, the review has targeted easy cuts, not just the library but grants etc… that a lot of the ngo and community sectors rely on. However little application has gone to how efficiently the DCC is running, which by all accounts presently seems to be giving the 1970s post office a run for its money in efficiency. Until they are prepared to take a hard look at the operation they really are piddling in the wind.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Jan 2011
      Library upgrade faces cuts
      By Chris Morris
      Plans to spend nearly $30 million reshaping Dunedin’s library service over the next six years will be slashed in half if a proposal to be considered by the Dunedin City Council this week is accepted.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Jan 2011
      Library proposal angers
      By Chris Morris
      A proposal to cut opening hours at Dunedin’s central city library would inconvenience more than 35,000 people each year, and could lead to job losses, Dunedin City Council library services manager Bernie Hawke says.

      Proposed library hours contained in the council’s pre-draft 2011-12 annual plan and released to the Otago Daily Times were incorrect. At present, the central city library is open from 9.30am to 8pm each weekday, and 11am to 4pm on weekends. The proposal would see the library continue to open at 9.30am on weekday mornings (not 10am as published), but close at 6pm (not 5.30pm as published) from Monday to Wednesday each week, and on Fridays. Hours would remain unchanged on Thursdays and at weekends.

      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Jan 2011
        $5.8m outlay for garden upgrade
        By Chris Morris
        The Dunedin City Council faces a possible $5.8 million bill to upgrade the Dunedin Botanic Garden, and a warning any attempt to save money by deferring work on the Otago Settlers Museum could backfire.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Jan 2011
          Council set to scrutinise budgets
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin’s elected representatives will hit the books today as they sit down to begin scrutinising the city’s budgets for the next financial year. Mayor Dave Cull and his 14 councillors will gather behind closed doors in Dunedin for a full-day workshop with council staff discussing the council’s 2011-12 pre-draft annual plan. The document seeks to confirm the direction of the council – and the city – for the next financial year, beginning on July 1.

          The draft document would be released for public consultation from March 12 to April 12, before another round of hearings is held from May 4-6, at which the public can have their say directly.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Jan 2011
          DCC may drop electricity fund, insulation scheme
          By Stu Oldham
          There are fears stopping a hardship fund used by thousands of Dunedin people will put new pressure on families, food banks and social services in their struggle against poverty.
          Read more

          ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Jan 2011
          6.1% higher rates ceiling may still rise
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin ratepayers facing a 6.1% rates hike for the next financial year could yet have to dig even deeper. Mayor Dave Cull last night told the Otago Daily Times he was “not confident” rates for 2011-12 would be kept to a maximum 6.1% increase, following a Dunedin City Council workshop yesterday.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Jan 2011
          Annual Plan 2011/12
          The Dunedin City Council spent its second day discussing the pre-draft 2011-12 annual plan yesterday only to schedule another all-day session on January 31. Councillors are about halfway through the weighty document – and still at least a meeting away from knowing whether the 6.1% rates increase it proposes still stands.

          In deliberations yesterday:
          • The Rugby World Cup fan zone in Dunedin’s Octagon was kicked to touch.
          • Community groups will be asked to help clean Dunedin for the world cup.
          • Council to promote low-cost public transport rather than offer free bus rides for world cup ticket holders
          • Public will be consulted over new water council-controlled organisation.
          • $200,000 Consumer Electricity fund retained.
          • Heritage Fund doubled to its old, $80,000 level.
          • Review of social housing budget in bid to cut rent increases.
          ODT Link


          Other ODT stories:
          Octagon fan zone dropped
          Public to have say about future of city’s water
          Power bill fund intact
          Suggestion DCC deal with unions
          Waste plan progresses
          Bus shelters subjects of ‘joint venture’
          Councillors support heritage fund allocation
          Editorial: Councillors’ formidable challenges

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Jan 2011
          Council to review second division
          By Chris Morris
          The performance of a second Dunedin City Council department is to be reviewed, as the council continues its hunt for operational efficiencies. Councillors at the 2011-12 pre-draft annual plan deliberations on Friday voted to review the practices of the council’s development services department, which covered animal control, building control, environmental health and liquor licensing.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 31 Jan 2011
          Sports sites’ cash crunch
          By Chris Morris
          A repair bill is looming for Dunedin’s ageing community sport and recreation facilities, and a new push to encourage the amalgamation of clubs could be the answer, a Dunedin City Council report suggests. The idea was floated by council business development team leader Greg Sligo in twin reports discussing Dunedin’s community sporting facilities, to be considered when the council’s 2011-12 pre-draft annual plan hearing resumes today.
          Read more


          ### ODT Online Mon, 31 Jan 2011
          Speeding up climate change work costly
          By Chris Morris
          Speeding up the pace of climate-change planning in Dunedin could come at a cost, with a bill likely to reach $371,000, a Dunedin City Council report warns. The extra cost was outlined by council corporate policy team manager Nicola Johnston in a report to be considered at today’s 2011-12 pre-draft annual plan hearing.
          Read more

  5. Anonymous

    See my comment on 3.5% savings for waste/water being low. I would expect 5-10% cost straight off savings from any reasonable efficiency drive, without hurting.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Jan 2011
      Asset sales not ruled out
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin city councillors are divided over the merits of delaying multimillion-dollar capital projects to ease the pressure on ratepayers, but might consider more controversial steps. Councillors will this week begin hammering out the Dunedin City Council’s 2011-12 pre-draft annual plan, which forecasts a rates rise of 6.1% for the coming financial year, followed by an 8.9% increase in 2012-13.

      • Wednesday: Councillors’ pre-draft annual plan workshop.
      • Thursday-Friday: Public pre-draft annual plan meeting for debate and decisions (resuming January 31 if required).
      • May 4-6: Public hearings (three days).
      • May 11-12: Annual plan deliberations.
      • June 7: Council considers annual plan recommendations.
      • June 27: Council adopts annual plan; confirms rates for 2011-12.

      Read more

  6. Russell Garbutt

    An observation from within is that almost every week yet another analyst was employed. Another legacy from Jim.

  7. Russell Garbutt

    It seems that the elephant in the corner of the room still remains unseen and acknowledged.

    None of this crisis in debt would have happened if the ORFU and professional sport didn’t have a direct line into the Council and it is obnoxious that Syd Brown who has consistently voted for this expenditure is now projected as a cost cutter. He, Paul Hudson, Acklin, Collins, Noone and the departed Walls and Guest were all strong supporters of this commitment which has directly resulted in the debt levels.

    I will not have any confidence in the new regime unless ALL options of reducing debt are considered, and this includes closely examining the option of ditching the new rugby stadium. It is a cop-out if this is not considered. If it is not truly an option, I would like it demonstrated that it is so. Time for the new Councillors to stand up and be counted…

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 18 Jan 2011
      Opinion: Be warned: fight over assets likely
      By Victor Billot
      The only surprising thing about the predictable front page headline on yesterday’s Otago Daily Times was how quickly it has appeared. “Asset sales not ruled out” is the headline in question, and as night follows day, we can expect more of the same from the Dunedin City Council.
      Read more

      • Victor Billot lives in Dunedin.

      See related story.

  8. peter

    Is it beyond the realms of possibility that a Local Body Commissioner is eventually appointed by the government to sort out the financial mess Dunedin is in? I can’t see how the council can deal with the financial conundrums it faces on its own.

  9. Phil

    To the current councillors who check in on this site, I suggest that you ask to inspect the Helensburgh Road housing block recently in the media as being sold. While you still have the chance. The state of those occupied units is something that we should all be ashamed of. About 5 or 6 years back it was decided that the block would eventually be sold off, once the remaining tenants had moved out. There were 2 or 3 still living there at the time, from memory. In order that it be more attractive to move out, all non essential maintenance was cancelled for the complex. No insulation, no interior or exterior repainting, no replacement of uninsulated leaking hot water cylinders, no bathroom or kitchen ventilation (resulting in major mould and health issues). The complex gave the worst of Castle Street a run for its money. An absolute disgrace to the city. Lots of crowing about the flash new units, but not a lot mentioned about the other 95% of the current housing stock. Admittedly most are maintained at a higher level than on Helensburgh Road, but there should never be any excuse for any of them to fall to that deliberate level of neglect. That’s someone’s grandparents living in there.

    I believe that City Property’s fixed policy of non-occupied redecorating need to be re-examined. At present, an empty apartment gets inspected, renovated, redecorated once a tenant has moved out. A good practice in theory. It means no moving of furniture, no finding alternative accommodation for a tenant, and the painter can play his radio all day. Good for a contractor. Occupied apartments are generally left untouched, except for the occasional minor capital upgrade, such as fitting of a bathroom heater. The problem is that EPH tenants tend to stay put. Generally until they have to go into care, or until they are carried out. This means that apartments receive no regular maintenance work for 5, 10, or (in the worst case I heard of) 23 years. That’s not a terribly nice situation for the tenant. Most of us living in a house for 10 years would repaint ceilings, and replace wallpapers at least once during that time. Imagine how it would look after 23 years ? It’s also poor asset management of an asset worth many millions of dollars. An apartment occupied for 10 years costs around $15,000 to renovate. Through a programmed maintenance plan, that cost would be spread out over the life of the property, rather than being one lump drain at a higher rate. If the maintenance of the properties was contracted out to a professional property maintenance company there would be a plan in place to ensure that all properties were regularly maintained to ensure the retention of their value. That doesn’t exist today. At present, the asset management of DCC owned properties appears more like fire fighting.

    • Elizabeth

      One or two acquaintances have found themselves in DCC owned flats over the years and it has been pitiful the way their accommodation was ‘prepared’ for their start. So much so, and to the point of tears – we’ve got them out into private sector managed accommodation as fast as possible.

      Not at all helped by the attitude of incumbent staff at City Property.

  10. Phil

    I am amazed that they provide no floor coverings in the majority of dwellings. Just bare timber boards on pile foundations. I understand these aren’t required under the Tenancy Act, but considering the financial and physical state of most of the residents, I thought that the local authority could be a little better than scrape by in doing the bare minimum required by law. But that does seem to be the dominant theme within the department. These are the people in our community we should be taking the most care of. Private landlords would struggle to get tenants without carpet or mats.

    • Elizabeth

      I can corroborate that on the (lack of) floor coverings. A person I know, with little or no means and often not in full health, on seeking Council housing reasonably promptly was confronted by the need to supply a large floor mat (unlikely to be funded by WINZ…as well as having to pay a rental for whiteware, a fridge, I think) – it seemed an impossible and extremely inconsiderate scenario – given the repairs needed to the rotted timber floor. For this person (required to move out of safe, healthy and comfortable supported accommodation by the system’s perception of “wellness”) the DCC mountain was too high – the whole scenario added unnecessary stress to an already sad situation forced by a lack of social justice.

  11. Anonymous

    Interesting to note that $22K of the annual cost is to increase the pay grade of the “sustainability advisor” to be a “SENIOR sustainability advisor”

  12. Phil

    Good to see our local “The Sun” newspaper playing the company tune and immediately trying to bring public opinion against one of the few forward thinking initiatives to come out of Council meetings in recent times. Was the most important item in that article how much it would cost ? It is, if you’ve been given a directive to endorse the cutting of all costs. Except for stadium costs, naturally. From recent reporting it’s obvious to everyone that there’s an ongoing attempt by the few remaining lifers in the network to shut down the bright new Councillors at every turn. I hope that the stronger good Councillors out there (and you know who you are) will make sure this doesn’t happen.

    It is also not a staff member’s role to decide where the additional unallocated funding must be drawn from (“it would have to be rates-funded”) and she should be reprimanded for that unqualified public comment. Last time I checked, she was not the chief financial officer for the DCC. That’s a malicious comment deliberately designed to shut down any path other than that which she has pre-determined for herself. Some people need to be reminded exactly what their role is, and what it isn’t. From memory she was the “consultant” hired by Jim (and reporting only to Jim) specifically to try and drive through the harbourside debacle. Despite there being a full complement of DCC employed qualified policy planning staff. For her to highlight costs above everything else, in the public spotlight, suggests to me that she is continuing to apply the same loyalties today.

    Good to see that we’re likely to be tens of millions of dollars richer with the looming sale of surplus property assets. That will, of course, mean that the previously dumped home insulation fund will now be reinstated. I note that the electricity fund has been reinstated, but haven’t seen mention of the home insulation fund since the announcement of its cancellation.

  13. Phil

    Big congrats to Council (never thought I’d be saying that) for having the guts to be proactive over the longterm future and security of the region. Glad to see they weren’t swayed by the best attempts of the ODT to thwart Cr MacTavish. It might send a message that this group don’t leave their young out there to be preyed upon. An excellent result.

    Hopefully it’s Mick Reece and his smartarse comments that get the next flogging. Childish throwing of toys.


    What if? editors have belatedly added the report here:

    ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Feb 2011
    Cr MacTavish in tears as climate plan debated
    By Chris Morris
    There were emotional scenes as Dunedin city councillors agreed to accelerate the pace of a three-year climate change planning project yesterday.
    Read more

  14. Phil Cole

    I couldn’t agree more about your comments on the shameful ODT report that you mentioned – I think you sum it all up pretty perfectly. The dumbing down of a reporter’s abililty to write an impartial article offering a balanced view on a subject has long been a thing of the past.

    It will be quite interesting to read the reports on the annual plan in today’s ODT to see if there is indeed some ‘theme’ being pushed here.

    Whatever one’s views are on the stadium, the decision to go ahead with it being funded by ratepayers’ monies (and the interest that we ratepayers will have to pay for it) will be the most damning indictment on Dunedin’s future.

  15. Russell Garbutt

    The two Phils.

    Your comments re the indictment are spot on. Already we have seen the signs that history is being re-written with those who were actually crucial to the decision to proceed on the stadium ducking for cover. I am yet hopeful that through the real discussions behind the scenes being made public that culpability for their decisions will ensue.

    The over-inflated income projections are now standard and we have seen the Chinese Garden reality now appearing despite all the cautionary messages at the time being ignored as negativity or nay-saying. The income realities for the stadium will make the Chinese Garden look like a good deal however.

    The ODT has no ability – nor it seems desire – to actually investigate anything and they seem to be so inextricably linked to so many other interests that news becomes something other than news. But blogs and other ways of disseminating information may yet be the key to revealing what is actually going on.

    {Link provided to ODT article. -Eds}

  16. Phil Cole

    The effects of Climate Change, Drinking Water provision and Peak Oil are likely to be the three major factors that will be affecting Dunedin. While all three are extremelty important, they all have varying timescales of when we are likely to be affected by them.

    Climate Change is happening. The debate / arguments seem to be around the causes of it, rather than how we can prepare for it. For so long everyone has been discussing whether ice caps are melting – or not, and how CO2 in the atmosphere is causing warming – or not. Unfortunately, as in all walks of life, the majority of people are quite happy to accept anything that aligns with their view without seeking out a second source to substantiate their argument or, more importantly, to see what the opposing view is before deciding which one they believe. Then, it requires ‘a leap of faith’ as to how strongly you believe in something.

    For example, I joined Sustainable Dunedin four or so years ago because I was very much ‘on the fence’ on the issue of Climate Change. So I decided to do something about it. While I now believe that Climate Change is happening, I am none the wiser as to what causes it because no-one is actually sure. But, you only have to look at the change in weather patterns over the last several years to see that these systems, as we have known them to be, are undergoing change. Whether this is a ‘natural’ cycle the Earth is going through or is the result of ‘human induced’ change no-one can say with certaintly.

    What CAN be said is that we will need to prepare for the effects that Climate Change will have on Dunedin. Demographics (influx of people from Australia? (as well as elsewhere), local food production, possible small rises in sea levels (even a metre or so will affect South Dunedin) etc. Therefore, Cr MacTavish deserves the utmost respect and our full support for arguing so passionately for what she believes in and for putting it across in a way that should make Cr Brown question his own stance of ‘plenty of time’ based on the contents of one report. One report does not an expert make. He says he cannot justify the extra burden on ratepayers of $227,500? What about the extra $188,000,000 he was party too?

    However, I believe the effects of Peak Oil are the most immediate concern, probably affecting us down here from about 2015 onwards. No, I don’t know exactly how much oil we have left in the ground (who does?) but there are a few things that should be ringing the alarm bells – NZ is an importer of oil and is far removed (in distance) from other countries; the production of oil is decreasing (and no new oil refinery plants are being built); the price of oil will continue to slowly rise; people’s disposable incomes are shrinking; and Dunedin in not in a great place geographically when it comes to commodities – most of our food (supermarkets) etc comes from Christchurch and is delivered by trucks using oil.

    Anyway, that is an argument for another time . . . but let’s not leave it for too much longer!

  17. Russell Garbutt

    Cr Brown is one of those that I was referring to. He fully supported the stadium at every turn and actively encouraged the City to get into unsustainable debt. It is hypocritical to say the least for him to be now worrying about trimming budgets if he has been one of the causes of the problem in the first place. I have grave misgivings about him being asked to Chair the Finance Committee and cannot quite understand the rationale behind that decision – sort of like asking the fox to look after the henhouse.

  18. peter

    The council should seriously consider offloading the Chinese Garden back to the Chinese community to run. The ratepayers only had to pay about $1m for our contribution to build it – easily recouped in a short time with the expected annual operating losses that look set to continue for some time to come – recession or not. We could just gift the garden back to the Chinese community and be done with it.
    I’m not surprised that they haven’t achieved the expected revisits by locals. We bought two annual season tickets and didn’t bother to return. What was the point? It’d be a bit like us pinching Fred and Myrtle’s idea of constructing a Paua Shell house, in Shanghai, and expecting the locals to revisit multiple times.

  19. Russell Garbutt

    It was interesting to hear Marcus Lush on Radio Live this morning talking about the Chinese Garden. He is a very sympathetic person as far as the south goes and he said that he was looking forward to visiting the Garden when he visited Dunedin. He went and said that he was deeply disappointed and could completely understand why people weren’t going.

    The fact is that there are many traditional Chinese Garden around the place and most are put in relatively accessible and attractive locations – but each is very similar in appearance and experience. There seems to have been little or no thought as to why anyone would visit such a place more than once, and no thought really given as to why a tourist would want to go when there is likely to be a similar site somewhere nearer their home.

    Peter’s suggestion to donate the whole thing to the Chinese community makes sense – maybe they could relocate it to Lawrence? In the same way, donate the whole wretched stadium to the ORFU – trouble is they know what a loss-making asset that would be and they know that the DCC rugby lovers would buy it back off them at an increased sum backed up by a very authoritative valuation that no-one else would be able to view……

  20. UglyBob

    Peter, not a paua house but an Auckland group is planning to build a Maori village in China.
    Re the Garden: given the role of Shanghai as Dunedin’s sister city in the construction of the Garden, the financial support of the NZ government for its construction, the increasing prominence given to China as an export market by the NZ government, new direct NZ-China air links, plans to develop a tourism trail from Queenstown to Dunedin targeting Chinese visitors, and the role of the Garden commemorating Chinese early settlers in Dunedin, the fate of the Chinese Garden should be considered very carefully with any proposal to ‘privatise’ or limit its operations likely to cause considerable political embarrassment. Predictions of financial doom are perhaps premature. It’s reasonable to assume that the closure of the Otago Settlers Museum does not help with visitor numbers to the adjacent garden. This is all just a little bit too knee jerk and short term in thinking for my liking with most grunts coming from people who opposed the project in the first instance.

  21. Russell Garbutt

    Ugly Bob – point taken on all the factors you raise, but why on earth was the Chinese Garden not erected in the Botanic Garden and just treated as another part of the attractions of that place as many people suggested at the time? Our Botanic Garden has a renowned Rhododendron Dell, specialist botanical areas, an aviary, cactus house etc. Surely there was enough governance nous on the Council to accept the building costs from those that raised the money to build it and then just have an open door venue. No specific staff costs and the operating costs could have been absorbed into the Botanic Garden costs.

    Many people raised the point that the existing site was entirely unsuitable, but I think my main criticism is that once again the DCC have shown that they are not capable of looking beyond wildly optimistic income projections and have little idea of how to integrate specific attractions.

  22. peter

    Ugly Bob
    A Maori Pa might be more of a goer. Hopefully, it is done well. As a matter of interest, do you know who is funding this project? Just this Auckland group or other partners in China?
    I don’t think the overseas Chinese people would give a toss who owned our Chinese Garden – private or public. Just as long as they can visit it – if or when they do.
    Russell. Surely there is some mug(s) around who could eventually buy the stadium. After all we were stupid enough to build it. Colliers might be able to swing a deal!

  23. Russell Garbutt

    Peter – I can think of some pretty rich mugs, but the ones that I’m thinking of all got rich by not spending money at all or more importantly, they spent a little and got a lot when they resold….bet you can think of some in that category! Think of a bucket for a clue.

  24. peter

    Not even if we tell them that the operating costs per annum ‘won’t be a cent over….?’ How about Russell Crowe? Doesn’t he own some footy club in Sydney? He might be interested in owning the Highlanders if we throw in the stadium for ‘free’.

  25. UglyBob

    Russell, I suppose support for the location of the Chinese Garden depends on whether you buy into the concept of creating a tourist precinct linking the Railway Station to the OSM, the steamer basin and Queens Gardens/Exchange area. Bearing in mind the proposed CPO hotel development as well as the Mercure hotel extension into Manse Street (assuming it goes ahead) would likely promote increased tourism focus on that part of town; a heritage prison project and a High St cable car might have similar effects. Re-gentrify the southern CBD area by tourism and making it attractive to ICT start ups et al and sad debacles like the Barron Building story and Smith City demolition might be less common as heritage in the Exchange would become a bankable commodity for the city.

  26. peter

    Just to retrack on media reporting on emotions. They ALL do this (not just the ODT) as it sells papers etc. The human angle is hard to beat. This doesn’t necessarily make it right, but it happens – and will continue to happen. Sometimes it actually doesn’t matter. If the person has personal credibility, like Jinty Mc Tavish, it could conceivably help to win an argument when emotion is mixed in with credible, or better still, undeniable facts. (A majority of councillors supported her in the end.) Crying’s a bit of a risk though as many people will scoff. Late least year we had an example of this reporting of raw emotion in relation to another city councillor. We can decide for ourselves whether it helped or hindered that person in the eyes of the citizens.
    I clearly remember after the High Court injunction by STS – when we lost to a self-admitted, clueless judiciary – the media on the steps of the Christchurch High Court kept asking Bev how she ‘felt’. Not so much what she ‘thought’. Of course they ideally wanted tears from her. This would have been duly reported and thereby form the basis of the news reports – without going into the detail of the case and what was argued. In this case, the media didn’t get the satisfaction!

  27. Russell Garbutt

    I would say that it makes more sense to group like facilities together. Makes more sense to me to link gardens together rather than try and force a link to something that may or may not happen. I look at Melbourne and see Lygone (sp?) and see all the restaurants grouped together and all benefit from that grouping. What is there round the Exchange area? Nothing you have listed is there yet and the closest things are architectural features such as the Railway Station and the Otago Settlers Museum. Not strong links really.

    No-one is going to visit the stadium as a tourist attraction so no linking there.

    No, I don’t see any strong case for positioning any Gardens at the end of Rattray Street/Queens Gardens. It was a stupid decision.

  28. peter

    ‘No-one is going to visit the stadium as a tourist attraction so no linking there,’ says Russell. You can say that again. Why would our Australian visitors, for example, make a beeline to see our stadium when they have their own – bigger ones – at home? They wouldn’t even have the grace to be polite about it. I should know.

  29. Calvin Oaten

    Well, the Chinese Garden has certainly had some stick today. I agree with others that it is in the wrong place. Should have been in the lower Botanic Gardens. However, it seems few, if any have been there more than once, many seeming not to have been at all. I go at least four times a year, to see the seasons and the growth of the plant life. I confess that I find it an intriguing place, sort of contemplative – if on the right day weather wise – and the architecture and construction is well worth a study. However, it was obvious to me right from the start that it would never be a commercial proposition. These things never are. The fish are obviously doomed – courtesy of the shags – so no joy there. The best solution would be for council to bite the bullet, write off the cost and deed it over to the Chinese community. After all, it was they who were going to do it in the first place, until Peter Chin sucked our dopey council into adopting it. But as we seem to all agree it is small beans compared to what the stadium will do to this city over time.

  30. Phil

    I remember reading an interview article with one of the people driving the Chinese Garden design. Not Mr Chin, but one of the senior DCC managers. Mention was made by the interviewer of the Chinese Garden in Sydney, about how great it was, and how well it was patronised. The DCC response was to completely rubbish the Sydney model, announcing that the Dunedin design, unlike the Sydney design, would be a TRUE Chinese Garden, and not some theme park design. Now I don’t know a thing about Chinese gardens, and what the genuine article should look like. But I know what appeals to my eye. And that’s what’s most important at the end of the day, if you are designing a tourist attraction. In the strive for authenticity, the design group may have forgotten that it’s the visitors, and not them, who decide if the design is a good one or not. I’ve heard quite a few people saying that they feel the place is a little drab and dull.

    The location is another obvious factor, as enough people have commented on. It reinforces the fact that the majority of tourists into Dunedin are transit tourists. Tour buses roll in late one evening, and depart the following afternoon. Cruise ship passengers have about 6 free hours in the city. That’s probably about 75% of the tourist traffic passing through Dunedin (at a guess). A pretty tight time schedule meaning that visitors have to limit themselves to specific areas. If you’re on foot, then the Chinese Garden is a trip on its own. So possibly well down on the destination priority list. An ok location for Dunedin residents, but a bit too far out of the way for most tourists. I would place the stadium in the same category. Likely visited only by tourists who are still in town looking for something to do after visiting the Albatross colony and riding the Taieri Gorge train.

  31. peter

    It might be considered a bit culturally crass, I don’t know, but one option might be to attach a quality Chinese restaurant alongside the site with the option of patrons having a pre/post dinner stroll in the garden, all included in the pricing of their meals. Visitors, who don’t want a meal, pay as they do now. In this way we could perhaps actually sell the garden to a private interest to develop – and get some monetary return off it. I have no idea if this would be a goer, but is it worth considering? After all we have cafes/restaurants in our public gardens. Why not for the Chinese Garden?

  32. Russell Garbutt

    The location of the Sydney Chinese Gardens is good with it being part of a very large area where visitors/residents stroll around a whole heap of “attractions”. The location of the Dunedin version is stupid, was always stupid and yet under the thinking of the last Council appeared to be sensible. It really underlines to me the failings of the last Council, and their inability to make quality decisions.

    In relation to that I am intrigued to see that the ODT continues to abridge any postings which contain any reference to the likelihood of the past Council being in any way liable for their failings to provide competent governance as required under the Local Government Act. It seems to me that those through either incompetence, ignorance, or biased decision making cannot just walk away from their past decisions. I believe that it is patently clear that a few on the past Council could be shown to have failed to provide competent governance and thus could be held liable. Clearly the ODT doesn’t want that thought considered. Interesting.

  33. Calvin Oaten

    Fast tracking climate change planning. Why not? The popular thing to do these days is to get on the ‘global warming’ band wagon. Especially the ‘we humans are to blame’ one. I am reminded of the day – during the recent Australian floods – seeing on TV an IPCC spokesman in Melbourne being asked if the floods were caused by global warming. He stated unequivocally, that yes, it most certainly had. Astoundingly wrong! He should know better than most, that this was the product of a ‘La Nina’ event which has persisted since last August.

    These events are cyclical and precipitated by the Humbolt current which brings cold water up the west coast of South America pushing the warm tropical waters of the Pacific further westward. This warm water amplifies the ‘convection loop’ which evaporates vast amounts of water vapour which is responsible for the heavy rain falls experienced in Australia. This time it was further exacerbated by the ‘Indian Ocean Gyre’ being further up than normal raising the temperatures of the water in the North East Indian Ocean. The result was immense rainfall. This is all part of the Earth’s ‘Thermohaline Circulation’ ocean current oscillation. Perfectly natural, and constantly repeating. You only have to look at the frequency of major Queensland floods since [colonial] settlement to see that this recent event was in no way unusual. The damage gets greater as [mankind] builds more infrastructure to impede the floods. The other claim of more intense ‘Hurricanes’ due to [mankind’s] depredations of the atmosphere is arguable as well. We all hear of how ‘Hurricane Katrina’s’ 1800 deaths was the worst ever. What about the 1900 Galveston event, the most deadly ever? Then there was the 1928 ‘Okeechobee Hurricane’ with 2,800 deaths. Never mind ‘The Great Hurricane’ of 1780. Not much human global warming talked about then.

    Again, we have considerable debate locally on the ODT site on global warming. The advocates seem to adopt a ‘holier than thou, we know best’ attitude, labeling anyone who dissents as either ‘denialists, contrarians or skeptics’. Ask them to discuss the ‘Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age’ and they ignore, but counter with other esoteric arguments. The IPCC has been on the back foot recently with disclosures of what is almost malpractice and fudging of information. Despite all warnings, the array of ‘Aqua Buoys’ stationed strategically in the oceans of the world indicate there is no appreciable warming of the oceans taking place. In fact there is evidence of some cooling. All this of course proves nothing to the advocates, nor does it disprove them. The subject is like religion and politics, the more they are argued the more entrenched each side gets.

    Then along comes a ‘Binty named Jinty’ aided by our arch ‘Dowager of Sustainability’ Fliss Butcher. An impassioned address about “doing an injustice to the future generations she is there to represent”. (talk about histrionics) Turning on of a few tears and our council agrees to fast tracking the city’s climate change planning project. Has she really done the research of both sides of the debate? Nonetheless, she swayed the pack, but then there aren’t many sharp cards in there are there?

  34. Phil

    Obviously quite a few other (clearly less sofisticated) countries around the world who must be run by some not very sharp cards. The entire EU comes to mind. But, naturally us Kiwis know more than them, what with us punching above our weight and feasting out on Wow factors.

  35. Calvin Oaten

    Hi Phil, is that a rebuttal? If so, more elaboration please.

  36. Anonymous

    Regardless of global warming, a storm surge event can run to several metres about normal high tide. To be entirely safe from inundation from a rare event, one would need to plan for at least 2.5m if not 5m above normal levels.

    Proponents of AGW claim that a) normal sea levels are rising and b) severe storm events are increasing in frequency. Hence the alarmism. They have not made a clear case for either.

    If the sustainability advisor is going around trying to get people to drive less and reduce energy usage to cut down on CO2, they should be given a flea in the ear. If they are out directing coastline operations at St Clair or drawing up contingency plans for relocation, they are on the right track. But then 120 years ago, St Clair was a swamp, and to swampland it probably shall return…

    • Elizabeth

      Celebrations involve the Chinese Gardens.
      (Latest discussions and budget woes considered, it’s way too early to write-off the complex for Dunedin – although, in sum DCC appears to have little idea of how to raise or run a venue for profit.)

      ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Feb 2011
      Chinese farewelling Tiger, welcoming Rabbit
      By John Lewis
      The Year of the Rabbit is supposedly a placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious Year of the Tiger. But it will not stop members of the Dunedin Chinese community from celebrating the Chinese lunar New Year tomorrow with as much noise and vigour as possible.
      Read more

  37. Russell Garbutt

    Funny how all these things are linked. As I pointed out in my piece on the Alpine Fault a month or so back, the coastline round St Clair used to be replenished by sand that came down the Clutha River – mainly ex the Shotover and Skippers Creek. Put up a hydro dam and that process stops. If sand is not being replenished then something has to change on the coast.

    Not sure where this observation should go as I can’t find one for visual trickery, but has anyone noticed that in recent stadia the colours of the seats are no longer one colour? My belief is that TV companies such as Sky are suggesting/requiring stadia to have random multi-coloured seating. It may be that the stadia management themselves are the instigators of this in consultation with people like Sky TV. The purpose of this is to make it difficult to see that most of the stadia that they are broadcasting from are not full. Random coloured empty seats look at first glance like occupied seats. Combine this with other available technology like audio software that can “fill-out” ambient crowd noise and even a few onlookers can sound like a significant crowd. Maybe it falls into the same category as over-optimistic income projections?

    • Elizabeth

      Further on the Annual Plan 2011/12 . . .

      Hey DCC, you just have to open the road and not spend any more money, just the normal maintenance for use – get it?
      This one has been seriously over committeed, an expensive crime.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Feb 2011
      Ocean drive cost doubles
      By Chris Morris
      An electronic barrier arm controlling vehicle access to John Wilson Ocean Dr in Dunedin – at a cost of $100,000 – is among many new features proposed for the scenic coastal road.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, somewhere in the past there was a statement about multi-colour seating from David Davies (I think) and it had to do with camera coverage and crowd dynamics certainly, although not necessarily about a lack of crowd. Interesting. Might search What if? later, unless someone can recall what was said.

      Here it is (via ODT Link):


      “Seating at Dunedin’s new stadium will be coloured a “speckled” grey, black and white, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies said yesterday. The colouring would be both “attractive in its own right”, and laid out in a way that would not cause difficulty when ball sports were played at the stadium…Mr Davies said there were “issues to be kept in mind” when deciding on the colour design. It had to work as a backdrop when games were broadcast on television, and should not blend in with the ball for goalkeepers and fullbacks trying to catch them. At the Forsyth Barr Stadium, the colour would be darker higher up in the seating bowl for that purpose. The colours were not in “blocks”, but “the white [seat] will be next to the black, which will be next to the grey”.

  38. peter

    Personally, I don’t have the sufficient knowledge and background to be absolutely certain about the reality of climate change – so I have to rely on the ‘experts’. I do know, like most people, the world’s population has grown exponentially this past century, in particular, and that, logically, mass consumerism, massive natural habitat destruction, and greater industrialisation must take its toll on the planet and cause serious effects on the planet’s ecosystem. At the same time, as Calvin points out, Australia for example, has historically swung between serious droughts and floods over the course of the centuries. The key question for me is the ‘frequency’ and the ‘severity’ of climatic disasters that hit us now. We hear that the recent Queensland floods covered an area as great as France and Germany combined and that another storm system, with 280k winds and associated rain, is about to hit Queensland again. As far as I’m aware, with this case study, this is unprecedented, but I’m open to be corrected.
    Relying on competing experts is fraught, but I have no choice and I rely on those who seem most credible – till they are proven absolutely wrong.

  39. Phil Cole


    Yes, like you, I don’t have sufficient knowledge and background about Climate Change; but people such as ourselves don’t have to be experts to find a scientific reason for the changes in weather patterns; we can see them.

    Perhaps we should use an old phrase such as ‘natural disasters’ to sum up the effects of these storms / droughts and it is to this that we must mitigate for. Therefore, what Cr MacTavish has argued for is absolutely correct. Whether these effects are further amplified by man-made development is beside the point – we must mitigate for the built environment we have now. The ODT reporter has been incredibly lazy in ‘lumping’ everything under the umbrella for ‘Climate Change’…mind you, it will be very interesting how many people in Queensland blindly use the excuse of ‘Climate Change’ without really looking at the issue.

    One further point…Calvin. I know Jinty very well from being involved in Sustainable Dunedin. She has done a lot of work with young people around New Zealand over the past 4-5 years (and beyond), working with Enviroschools and such in the North Island. She travels everywhere (yes everywhere!) by public transport / bicycle / Inter City coaches, refusing to fly. She has indeed looked at both sides of the debate and continues to do so, not accepting anything at face value but finding out as much as she can before making a decision. She has done an incredible amount of work with young people in making them aware of the environment and what they can do to help sustain it. You do her an incredible disservice with your ‘Binty named Jinty’ comment and there is no need for that display of rudeness, just because she doesn’t agree with your ‘view’. Still, she can look after herself, have no fears about that!

    So…let’s wait and see what Queensland will be looking like after the cyclone…it won’t be pretty if the predictions are correct.

  40. Phil Cole

    Anyhow…we are going away from the original intention of this thread.

    What do others on this site believe the final figure for the rate rise will be (taking into account what has been discussed during the review)? I’m going to take a stab at 6.9%!

  41. Anonymous

    Calvin, you’re a dinosaur, if you think that a modern woman wouldn’t be offended by being called a “bint”. I’m sure when you were a young man this was acceptable, but not now. Shameful, pathetic and utterly un-called for. If you wish to argue a point then try not to be so offensive to a young woman who is passionate about her cause. Some facts other than gleaned from the latest nonsense climate change deniers web site would be a start as well. Try reading some peer reviewed journals by reputable scientists.

  42. Phil Cole

    Not serious….just polite and respectful.

  43. UglyBob

    So anyway, what do people make of the Council proposal announced today to put a pedestrian and cycle bridge over Rattray St to the harbour basin?

    • Elizabeth

      UglyBob – yes the bridge idea has been thrown around for a while. I’m someone who liked and used the old level crossing so I’m hard to convince a bridge is necessary. If upheld, the bridge must cater to full mobility access. Anything less I might be found lying on the tracks in protest, with a full camera crew as witness.

  44. fergal

    ‘Bint’ would now be considered a close relative to ‘slapper’, and nothing like ‘lady’…sorry Calvin, but you’re totally out of order and out of touch on that one!

    • Elizabeth

      fergal and others – welcome, this thread is not helped by Calvin’s expression towards the Councillor in his comment below. We decided to leave it there rather than delete in order to provide a context for the first ensuing replies. Further banter about it, however politic, has been removed.

      Calvin, we ask that you avoid similar errors when posting here in future.

      Let’s move on. Nothing to see. Back to the topic of Annual Plan items.

      Essays on climate change aren’t that welcome – bored senseless by these at ODT Online (so was their online editor, several times) – so unless it’s in regard to Dunedin and the work the Community needs to do to be safe living here, which of course includes responsible research and investigation by this council, best you take a bike.

  45. peter

    Phil C. I agree we must mitigate against the effects of extraordinary weather patterns – climate change if we like to call it that – on the built environment. We only have to look at what has happened to our own city beaches which were rendered apart a couple of winters, or so, ago. Talking of which, I have no idea what progress is being made to shore things up, so to speak. Anyone know?

    • Elizabeth

      On the subject of Council’s debate of Annual Plan items, I have been filled in today by a responsible councillor about what ODT – thank’s Phil, “The Sun” – has failed to supply as context for readers when certain lines and exclamations are picked for publication.

      It’s OK though for ODT, I haven’t time to write the book.

  46. James

    What do others on this site believe the final figure for the rate rise will be (taking into account what has been discussed during the review)?
    I can’t really speak for my generation; but I suspect many won’t care. It’s not that it isn’t money, but at some point Dr Bollard will sneeze, and even a 0.1% shift in interest rates would pretty much be worse than any worst case rates scenario. Of course, I actually expect much more movement in interest rates sometime in the next 18 months, which will have enormously more impact than even a 100% rates increase.
    And while I have some sympathy for those on fixed incomes with mortgage free houses and the impact of rates increases, I know plenty of people with mortgages that would have bought three (or more!) Dunedin houses a decade ago.

  47. Phil

    That bridge idea dates back to Murray Douglas’ day, I think. Presuming we’re talking about the same place. Back when Murray owned a pub on the other side. I think there was some issue at the time regarding the height. It’s all a bit grey now, but it had something to do with there needing to be a minimum height clearance over a major road in order for that road to retain state highway roading funding. Which meant significant engineering design. There was another issue about the significant cost involved in making the bridge of that height both wheelchair and cycle accessible. Anyway, for whatever reason, it kind of just faded away. I think Murray may have sold his pub.

  48. UglyBob

    Elizabeth, I tend to agree with you on this – I don’t see what’s so hard with reopening the level crossing in some form and if the bridge proposal did go ahead does that mean there would be no vehicular access from Rattray St to the Wharf – what about SH88 realigned from Strathallan St to Ravensbourne? A bridge too far?

    • Elizabeth

      UglyBob, been a bit busy lately so haven’t got to source on the bridge proposal – meaning who is really pushing it. DCC has for some time reserved funding towards the level crossing, as coming out of the Dunedin Harbourside plan change process. I’m wondering if negotiations between DCC and affected businesses via the Environment Court have re-invigorated the bridge idea or whether some ‘interest group’ inside and or outside council is pushing it. None of it makes sense to me. Seems very ad hoc.

      I would have said the SH88 realignment has been fully consulted through the NOR process (Ravensbourne to Jetty St overbridge) and related appeals so I have no idea why on the face of it the greater picture is being lost for vehicular traffic movement between the CBD and the Steamer Basin via Rattray/Fryatt St and feeding into the realigned SH88.

      Not sure what the consultation has been for the section to Strathallan St – most days transportation planning falls off my radar due to the vague hope urban design matters are looked at in combination. Without an appointment being made following Don Hill’s retirement the voice of the DCC transportation planners seems muted. Or simply I’m not moving in the right circles these days to pick up snippets.

      • Elizabeth

        Here’s the latest on the bridge… so, another ‘idea’ from the offices of the private architecture firm – one involved in a mega project in China. I still think AD HOC – the public hasn’t been seeking a bridge, it has been after changing attitudes in the business controlling the shunting yards, to allow a level crossing!

        ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Feb 2011
        Overbridge to provide ‘missing link’
        By Rebecca Fox
        A pedestrian and cycle bridge described as the “missing link” between Dunedin’s Queens Gardens and the harbourside has been proposed by the Dunedin City Council. The council unveiled the plans yesterday, saying it would consider two options – a functional option, similar to the railway station bridge, at about $1.5 million, or a “landmark” structure, still to be designed, costing between $2.6 million and $3.5 million.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Feb 2011
        Chinese Garden impresses Peking student
        By Rebecca Fox
        A group of students visiting Otago from the University of Peking in Beijing, China, is full of praise for the region and the activities it provides but has one complaint – the bus service.
        Read more

  49. peter

    Well.. maybe the next CEO will have/buy a property over there and the bridge will be all on. A nice feature, to be sure, but where do we get the money from? Cuts to library hours? (Don’t touch the stadium though)
    Why can’t the councillors establish what the rate rise is definitely going to be first – and then cut the cloth accordingly? Or is that too much to ask?

  50. Russell Garbutt

    Was Murray Douglas the only CEO to have property interests in that area? Any Councillors?

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, ex Mayor Chin, I believe, jointly owned or jointly owns a property in Fryatt St. Haven’t checked the ratesbook lately.

  51. Russell Garbutt

    Ah, a few seconds on Google sorts it out.

    “Estádio José Alvalade is a football stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, home of Sporting Clube de Portugal, one of the country’s biggest clubs. On the exterior, the stadium features multi-colored tiles. Seats are arranged in a seemingly random color mix to give an illusion that the stadium is always at capacity.”

    On another site discussing the subject:

    “The trend in a lot of newer arenas and/or stadiums has been multi-colored seats. It makes it look less emptier on ESPN highlights or whatever. Blue next to yellow next to tangerine, etc. Every sports fan has seen it.”

    So there we go – more of the BS and illusion no doubt justified for some other stated reason.

  52. peter

    Illusion or delusion? All part of the stadium farce. It kind of makes you laugh – mockingly.

  53. Russell Garbutt

    What concerns me is that if the stadium guys are saying that seats are random multicolour because of background confusion for a player then it is just another indicator that they are failing to provide truthful responses. Multicolour backgrounds are MORE confusing for players – that is why there are sight screens at cricket.

    Nope, multicolour seats are to create an illusion – another way of saying concealing reality – and we should probably not be surprised since concealing reality or truth has been one of the stand-out characteristics of this whole shemozzle.

    • Elizabeth

      Dunedin City Council – Media release
      A Step In The Right Direction: New Rattray Street Bridge For Pedestrians and Cyclists Across the Main Rail Line

      This item was published on 02 Feb 2011

      The Council has programmed money in the Annual Plan for a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists connecting the Queens Garden area with the Harbour Basin. The bridge would let people walk from outside the Chinese Garden to a site beside the Customhouse building and the Harbour Basin. The bridge is a response to community feedback seeking improved accessibility and amenity within the city and better provision for cyclists. Since the Council abandoned plans late last year for the Fairley Street walkway linking the Railway Station and the Harbour Basin, it has been assessing alternative means of improving links between the central city and the harbourside area and making the city more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

      Mayor Dave Cull has welcomed the proposal saying: “This offers a practical solution for access between two key city attractions across the existing trunk rail line. It also sends a clear message that this Council embraces cost-effective solutions for the future which are less focussed on cars and more on people’s needs.”

      A vehicular crossing of the railway at Rattray Street has been included in Council budgets for some time. The proposed new bridge, in addition to making this part of the city more pedestrian and cycle friendly, would also act as an attraction in its own right, and improve the amenity of the city. The bridge could be crucial, not only in improving access to the Harbour, but also in revitalising the Queens Garden and Exchange heritage areas.

      Following the Draft Annual Plan consultation process, an open tender process would address the design and construction of the bridge. The Council has considered a range of options for the rail crossing including a functional link which could be built for around $1.5m and a more dramatic landmark structure, costing up to $3.5m.

      The Council has proposed setting aside $3.5m in 2016/17 and 2017/18 to develop a landmark bridge at the Rattray/Wharf Streets site. By that time amenity development of the harbourside area is likely to have progressed. Following the recent Council decision removing the Fairley Street walkway designations, the Council can build the pedestrian bridge at Rattray Street and still achieve a saving of $2.964m in Council budgets.

      The Council will seek feedback on the proposal via the Annual Plan process.

      Contact Mayor Dave Cull on 0274 346 917.

      DCC Link

  54. Phil

    I had dealings with a contractor carrying out some work on the Railway Station over a period of weeks. His work required track access during normal working hours. Obviously they had to get out of the way whenever a train came through the station. With the exception of the Taieri Gorge train, there were 2 trains passing through the station regularly each day between 8am and 5pm. Absolutely no reason why the level crossing couldn’t be re-opened.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil – thanks so much for that information, I was wondering if Fonterra had the railway bigwigs flummoxed about future UNTOLD shunting of dairy product 24/7.

  55. Phil

    The big Fonterra trains arrive into Port Chalmers at night. I’m clawing at memories here, but one is around 9pm, and the other may well be after midnight. I remember these because of the noise monitoring that was carried out a couple of years back as a result of concerns that the port was exceeding the permitted noise levels outside of normal hours. I couldn’t see that changing much in the future as there’s still the same number of cows south of Dunedin.

    The contractor told me that they had to hop off occasionally when the odd loco rumbled through on its way up to do some shunting at the port, but that there were 2 regular goods trains that passed through the city at the same time every day. And neither of those were milk product trains. The first was either around 9am or 11am. Because they were physically standing on the tracks, there was a rail employee also with them who was in contract with the track controller the whole time. The incredible waste of underutilising the rail system is a bonus for vehicle crossings.

    • Elizabeth

      Good-oh. There was that brief hope when DCC pushed its level crossing hope to PM Helen Clark, who shunted it to Michael Cullen, who I understand shot it dead. That was during Jim’s reign at DCC so wonder what would happen now, if the ask was to re-happen in RWC year.

      {Get the ask in before November to John Key, we say. -Eds}

  56. Russell Garbutt

    Has Farry found out that no caterer wants a bar of fitting out a kitchen and now wants the DCC to fund it as well? Time for our vigilant Councillors to say “no”, but I’m picking that they won’t. Just another widdle in the pail?

  57. Russell Garbutt

    And don’t I recall the kitchen fitout being in the region of $2.25 million?

  58. Russell Garbutt

    I also heard that people in the area that owned properties were being approached to see if they had suitable premises for a commercial kitchen. But it comes down to once again blurring of information when the deal was quite clear. Excluded means excluded. Time for the rugby crowd to show up with their chequebooks – not the long-suffering ratepayers.

  59. peter

    I’ve heard that caterers, who were approached to fit out the stadium kitchen for $2.6m, before they made any money on top of that, just laughed at them. It’s taken a while for this abbreviated story to come out in the ODT as many have known about the kitchen story for ages. You can only suppress the bullshit for so long. The little, ‘surprising’ revelation about the Chinese Gardens losses will inevitably surface, in due course, for the stadium. The funny thing is that the information has been there all along. All that was required was a cover up. We already know about the $400k loss to stage the RWC pool matches. That’s only the beginning. Now they say, ‘OK, the stadium will run at a loss, but money will be made from all those free spending tourists.’

  60. Anonymous

    I obviously have a different view of the risk/reward curve than some of the local “entrepreneurs”. I heard a comment this week that the fitout at Carousel was around $2 million, so the up-front cost is not unheard of for Dunedin.

  61. Phil

    I never understood why they ever thought that a contractor would pay for an internal fitout. It’s the same mentality that suggested the venue hirer would pay to hire a big screen or that people renting office space would pay for light fittings, paint and carpets. They either never bothered to ask anyone, or they just made it up to justify removing the costs from the original construction budget. Hoping to just slip it back in again undetected sometime later on. I guess we’re now at sometime later on.

    Given the employment background of a number of people who approved that contract with those exclusion “reasons”, I’m rather surprised it was signed in the first place. There’s a few Councillors rather proud of their history in entertainment and hospitality. They should have seen the problem coming.

  62. peter

    Phil, I’d say that they just made it up to remove the costs from the original construction budget. The tactic is basically to perpetrate falsehoods – lie – in the short term and rely on people’s gullibility till it’s too late to stop the project. By which time, you say ‘costings get a bit grey with such projects’ – or some similar excuse – and it’s too late. We’re captive. With the stadium, this tactic worked like a dream. Now they wonder why there is still such a lot of anger and rejection of the stadium. I’ve got the uneasy feeling that this council – even though it is surely aware of this trickery – is going to continue to bail out the stadium for the foreseeable future with extra dollops of cash to keep the show on the road.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Feb 2011
      Footpath proposed for bridge on-ramp
      By Chris Morris
      A second pedestrian link connecting Dunedin’s harbourside and inner city could soon be added to plans for a new bridge announced this week.
      Read more

  63. Michael Findlay

    I have some background with the Chinese Gardens having been involved in early discussions with Jim Ng while on the staff at the Otago Settlers Museum. The siting at Rattray St came about when the Settlers Association had purchased the ground under the Museum and NZR Road Transport buildings with extra land for later museum expansion. The assets of the Association were gifted to the City so the site essentially came to the DCC on the back of the Association’s fundraising for the Museum redevelopment. There was talk of the Museum administering the Garden but they dodged that particular bullet. The steamer basin and Stewarts Transport Building were also being looked at for a maritime heritage project at the same time. Even though the loss of the Rattray St crossing impeded access to the harbour side it was anticipated that this area would become a major cultural/recreational hub in the city. The Chinese Gardens was partly a commercial venture and there were restrictions on that sort of activity on Council reserves making a location at the Botanic Garden or elsewhere on reserve land unlikely.

  64. Russell Garbutt

    Good to have this background – but it begs the question as to why the Gardens were considered a commercial venture. A few moments reflection would have enabled anyone to arrive at the conclusion that they could never become really commercially viable. The sensible thing would have then been to ensure that similar activities were grouped together at the Botanic Gardens with no entrance fee for the Chinese Gardens.

    But now they are where they are, nothing really can be done. Maritime Heritage and major recreational use have advanced nowhere in this time so the Gardens will sit in isolation. No-one has yet been able to explain why the anticipated revenue for next year is about 50% higher than the actual revenue for this past year.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, surely having X walkways and Y bridges to the Harbourside (a place that isn’t Jim’s caféville or Chalmers Properties Ltd’s “glass to the water like Viaduct Basin”. . . ) will fuel disappointments so great they can only be assuaged at the Chinese Garden for hot tea, and a good thawing out from chill winds at Cross Wharf.

      (why did the chicken cross to the other side)

      • Elizabeth

        ## ODT Online Tue, 8 Feb 2011
        6.5% rates rise proposed, but council wants further cuts
        By David Loughrey
        Dunedin ratepayers are facing a 6.5% draft rates increase for the year: now it is up to the public to tell its council whether or not that rise is acceptable. A sometimes testy almost seven-hour debate ended the city council’s draft annual plan meetings for the year, with the result now set to go out for public consultation, with three days of public hearings set down for May 4.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### rnz.co.nz Tuesday, 08 Feb 2011 08:56
          Morning Report
          with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
          Dunedin ratepayers face big increase
          Dunedin residents are facing a seven and a half percent jump in rates. (duration: 3′25″)
          Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3

      • Elizabeth

        Item includes more about the Otago Peninsula cycleway:

        ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Feb 2011
        Second harbour link questioned
        By Chris Morris
        Plans for a second pedestrian link connecting Dunedin’s harbourside and inner city will be presented for public consultation, despite doubts voiced yesterday. Councillors at yesterday’s Dunedin City Council infrastructure services committee voted to include the $96,000 footpath project – running up the Jetty St overbridge on-ramp from Cumberland St – in the 2011-12 draft annual plan for consultation.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 17 Feb 2011
          DCC asset value lifts fixed rates
          By David Loughrey
          A significant increase in the capital value of council-owned water, wastewater and sewerage infrastructure – in one case more than 50% – will result in a 1.1% increase in rates for those services, the Dunedin City Council says.
          Read more

  65. UglyBob

    I see the Dunedin Chinese Garden has just been declared a ‘Garden of National Significance’ – that should up the ante in discussions about its future.

    Dunedin Chinese Garden ‘Nationally Significant’
    {Link supplied. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Feb 2011
      Chinese Garden ‘nationally significant’
      By Nigel Benson
      The Dunedin Chinese Garden has been designated a garden of national significance. The New Zealand Gardens Trust, which is a branch of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, yesterday awarded the classification, which is reserved for “outstanding gardens, which have a distinct identity and character of their own”.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Feb 2011
        3 options for highway bridge
        By Chris Morris
        Three options for a bridge crossing Dunedin’s upgraded Caversham highway have been identified for public consultation. The plans have been drawn up by the New Zealand Transport Agency, and include both a pedestrian-only bridge option and two different options for a road bridge connecting Mornington with Riselaw Rd.
        Read more

  66. Russell Garbutt

    Whoop de doo. Maybe this is the explanation of why the Gardens will get a 50% projected rise in revenue for next year?

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