DCC Draft Annual Plan 2011/12

The Draft Annual Plan 2011/12 is available for public consultation until Tuesday 12 April 2011.

The Draft Annual Plan 2011/12 contains information about what the Council intends to do in 2011/12 year and the ten years beyond this year.

The consultation period is your opportunity to “Have Your Say” about what you want to see included in the Council’s plans.

There are a number of ways to make your submission to the Draft Annual Plan 2011/12. Submissions close at 5pm, 12 April 2011.

More information:

You can request a printed copy of the Draft Annual Plan by phoning Customer Services 03 477 4000.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management, Urban design

188 responses to “DCC Draft Annual Plan 2011/12

  1. Elizabeth

    Can you believe it or not.
    Measured by the in-house-convenience team.

    ### ch9.co.nz April 4, 2011 – 7:01pm
    Dunedin City Council helps to create more then 400 jobs
    A new report shows The Dunedin City Council has helped to create more than 400 local jobs in the past five years. It is expected that recent grants to local businesses from the DCC will add another 100 jobs to the total, this year. More than $44m in extra income was generated as a result of projects where the DCC supplemented investments already being made by local businesses. The research was conducted by the Council’s Economic Development Unit.

  2. Phil

    That’s great. They should have no problem in supplying a list of those 400 new jobs, and the role that their unique expertise played in securing those positions. Things the department did that no employer would have been capable of doing themselves. Simple enough. They can start with the new employees in the EDU department itself.

  3. Anonymous

    1 new job every 4 days? Wow.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    So how many people believe this BS? Doesn’t it remind everyone of the sort of economic benefits of participating in a RWC? Absolutely the sort of stuff that should be heading straight out to sea via the Tahuna plant.

  5. Peter

    ‘In 2003, Malcolm Farry, then chairman of the Economic Development Committee claimed that it would create 2,000 new jobs by 2005 and a further 4,000 by 2010. That’s 10,000 in total.’ You only have to place these claims against all his other claims. Is that what being a visionary is all about?

  6. Russell Garbutt

    Visionary is one word that can be used…..by blind people.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Let’s put this report into perspective. In 2003, Malcolm Farry, then chairman of the Economic Development Committee claimed that it would create 2,000 new jobs by 2005 and a further 4,000 by 2010. That’s 6,000 in total. Question; how many new jobs have really been created? We now see the DCC claims to have helped create 400 local jobs in the last five years with another 100 this year. This as a result of research conducted by the Council’s Economic Development Unit. Why do we keep getting showered with this sort of claptrap? Why indeed do we have to fund the Economic Development Unit? How much has the EDU cost over the last eight years? Who would know? Who would want to know?

    {Figure corrected. -Eds}

  8. Peter

    Look at page 9 of today’s ODT. There is a large advert for a protest meeting tomorrow night, 16 Mc Bride St, Dunedin, sponsored by the Otago/Southland Employers’ Association. The advert is headed,’Thousands of Dunedin jobs threatened by DCC 2011 Draft Annual Plan’. There is an extensive list of jobs ‘threatened’. I figure the meeting is to do with increased council charges for building consents etc. It’s amazing how long it takes for people to wake up to consequences. No doubt such an employers’ body, along with the Chamber of Commerce, were supportive of Think Big Spend on the stadium etc because of the fluff that hundreds of jobs were in the offing. Now it’s saying the opposite. The council is cash starved and in debt, as we all know. Increasing charges is one way to reduce debt. We will have more of this for years to come.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Anyone noticed my ‘cockup’? I said 10,000 jobs instead of 6,000. Still a long way from 400. Oh, and by the way, at the same time Farry stated that the city’s population would be 140,000 by 2021. That was all encapsulated in the “2021 choices strategy” being developed by Cr Malcolm Farry and general manager strategy and planning Graham Spargo (remember him?).

    {Corrected in previous comment. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Apr 2011
      416 jobs, $44m sales credited to DCC help
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council is singing the praises of its business support programme, which is being credited with helping to create more than 400 jobs and generate $44 million in sales for Dunedin companies.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Apr 2011
      Rates relief ‘tremendous’ for company
      By Chris Morris
      Mosgiel businessman Trevor Ferguson says Dunedin City Council support for businesses is “tremendous” – and he has the new manufacturing plant and extra staff to prove it.
      Read more

  10. Anonymous

    Articles in ODT trumpeting success of EDU?
    *checks calendar*
    Draft Annual Plan submissions in progress?
    *awaits article on Customer Services*

  11. Peter

    So…that protest meeting last night at McBride St was for a bunch of property developers who don’t want to contribute to infrastructure costs as happens in other local body authorities. The advert sounded as though it was something less self serving because of the concern for ‘thousands of jobs being lost’ as a result of this year’s DAP. The council should remain strong, but they will probably buckle.

  12. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 9 Apr 2011
    Submissions on annual plan fewer
    By David Loughrey
    The lack of an explosive political issue – a stadium or a Dunedin Centre redevelopment, perhaps – appears to have resulted in lower than usual interest in the Dunedin City Council’s annual plan this year.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Which only shows the ODT story on Saturday 9 April was utter piffle. The next question is whether DCC’s elected representatives will forthrightly read all submissions and listen to submitters at hearing, outside the vacuum created by the previous council. What are the chances.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Apr 2011
      Public submissions flood in
      By David Loughrey
      The Dunedin City Council annual plan has attracted 953 submissions, with more than 800 flooding into the council’s offices on Tuesday, the last day of the submission period. The figure is the second highest recorded, the highest being in the 2002-03 year, when 985 were received.
      Read more


      How on earth do the submitters on John Wilson Drive see the BALANCE of city issues?

      Is a road more important than Council’s management of assets, services and economic development when underscored by the crippling debt levels created by elected politicians of the previous council?

      How come the ODT reporter is fixating on one small item, an existing road.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Apr 2011
        Esplanade repair bill tops $170,000
        By David Loughrey
        The St Clair Esplanade is undergoing $177,736 of repair work just seven years after its upgrade. It is the second major repair since the esplanade was given its new look in 2004.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Apr 2011
        Heat pumps should slash pool bills
        By Chris Morris
        A new way of heating Dunedin’s community pools is expected to slash their electricity use and operating costs by more than 70%, saving the Dunedin City Council hundreds of thousands of dollars.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Apr 2011
          DCC acknowledges St Clair railings error
          By David Loughrey
          Evan MathesonThe newly repaired guard rails at the Esplanade in St Clair – which will cost $347,000 – will be properly maintained and should last a quarter of a century, the Dunedin City Council says. Council project engineer Evan Matheson yesterday accepted criticism the fence should have had a maintenance programme in place, and said it would from now on.
          Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 4 May 2011
        Three days of public submissions
        The Dunedin City Council will today begin three days of hearings to consider more than 900 submissions from the public on its activities for the next financial year. The first two days are set to last almost 11 hours.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ODT items on public submissions to the Draft Annual Plan:

          Sport Otago proposes ‘sports hub’
          Submission argues to keep John Wilson Ocean Dr closed
          B and B owner speaks for new rating category
          Residents group seeks support for plans to change
          Push for arts hub regeneration plan
          Support for pontoon upgrade call


          The Fringe Festival this year was a very poor showing indeed – I consider the Fringe has lost its way and would hate to see good money thrown after bad if so-called ‘arts’ at the lower level have anything to do with purposeful regeneration of the warehouse area.

        • Elizabeth


          It is hard to apportion blame, but two aspects of the event frayed nerves. The first was the habit of some submitters to read their submissions word for word in a monotone. The second was what some were reading.

          ### ODT Online Sat, 7 May 2011
          Day three – 5pm implosion
          By David Loughrey
          There is a point on the afternoon of day three of an annual plan hearing where even the very best, most well-exercised brains begin a sort of intellectual implosion. At that point, the minds of most patient and polite people become so clogged with facts, figures, and the stunning overuse of the word “incentivisation” they can no longer function. Or remain patient and polite. At the hearing yesterday, that point arrived about 5pm. But more on that later.
          Read more


          More on the 2011-12 annual plan…

        • Elizabeth

          DCC councillor bungling and ineptitude, perforce: John Wilson Ocean Drive.

          Were democratic norms and conventions subverted in making the decision to keep John Wilson Ocean Drive closed? Jack Crawford suspects they were.

          ### ODT Online Fri, 27 May 2011
          Opinion: Ocean Drive agreement was ‘effectively hijacked’
          By Jack Crawford
          No longer is it possible to marvel at the power and the beauty of the raging Pacific Ocean from the sanctuary and comfort of one’s motor vehicle in the precinct of the John Wilson Memorial Drive and Lawyer’s Head. This Dunedin coastal tourist attraction has been enjoyed by tens of thousands over the past decades, but, alas, no longer. The elderly and the infirm are particularly disenfranchised but so too are the innumerable citizens of Dunedin who prefer to marvel at the power of nature on a winter’s day without risking pneumonia. But wait, did not the DCC decide at the conclusion of a public consultation process last year to reopen the drive to vehicular traffic, at least some of the time?
          Read more

          -Jack Crawford is chairman of the Automobile Association Otago District Council.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 31 May 2011
          Last-minute lobbying led to council U-turn on drive
          By Chris Morris
          Debate over the future of John Wilson Ocean Dr in Dunedin was “skewed” by last-minute lobbying by those opposed to seeing vehicles return to the road, a city councillor says. Cr Bill Acklin was commenting on the decision by councillors – during this month’s annual plan deliberations – to perform an about-face, voting 10-2 to scrap the planned $487,519 redevelopment of the road.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Hopeless, is too good a word.

          ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Jun 2011
          Move to reopen road fails
          By Chris Morris
          A last-ditch bid to reopen Dunedin’s John Wilson Ocean Dr to vehicles has fallen one vote short, but not before triggering more debate over the road’s controversial closure.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jun 2011
          Ocean drive debate revs up
          By Chris Morris
          There were impassioned pleas and an angry walk-out as debate over the closure of Dunedin’s scenic John Wilson Ocean Dr to motorists showed no signs of dying down yesterday. Keeping vehicles off the road was signalled by councillors with a vote last month, but the fallout from the move continued at yesterday’s Dunedin City Council public forum. Three speakers, upset the results of last year’s public consultation had been swept aside, won applause from the public gallery as they took turns taking councillors to task over the closure.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Jun 2011
          Going down that road again?
          By Chris Morris
          Debate over the future of Dunedin’s scenic John Wilson Ocean Dr is not over yet. A move to send the entire issue back to the Dunedin City Council’s community development committee for another review of options will be considered at Monday’s full council meeting.
          Read more

  13. Calvin Oaten

    There is no lack of explosive political issues. It’s just that people are tired of being patronised. Submissions are ignored unless they are peripheral local wishes, otherwise the status quo is adhered to and the submitters realise the futility of the whole process. It’s called ‘Democracy’.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Apr 2011
      Scrap buy-local policy – review
      By Chris Morris
      A shake-up of the way the Dunedin City Council manages its $1.9 million vehicle fleet could deliver big savings, but also deal a blow to Dunedin’s car dealers. A review of the council’s fleet management costs – obtained by the Otago Daily Times – has recommended ending the council’s policy of supporting Dunedin car yards when buying new vehicles.
      Read more

      DCC vehicles (via ODT)
      • 205 vehicles, managed in-house by Citifleet.
      • Total value $1.9 million.
      • Costs council departments $2.163 million each year to lease from Citifleet.
      • Council’s water and waste services (WWS) unit leases 76 vehicles.
      • Total cost to water and waste services is $921,000 each year.
      • Review suggests 14 ways to cut WWS bill by 16% in year one, and by at least 20% by year three.
      • Recommendations include ending council’s buy-local policy for vehicles.
      • Not supported by peer review, but all options remain on table.

      • Elizabeth

        We like the idea of good bus system in Dunedin but we’re sold on the use of our (individual) cars… I doubt a hi-tech bus would change our minds, even if we could afford the experiment.

        ### bbc.co.uk 8 April 2011 Last updated at 11:43 GMT
        Dutch electric ‘super bus’ that can reach 250km/h
        The Netherlands has developed an electric “super bus” that can carry 23 passengers and reach a top speed of 250km/h. The vehicle is the brain child of Wubbo Ockels, the Netherlands’ first astronaut and currently a professor of aerospace sustainable engineering and technology. The aim is for the bus, which cost 13m euros to develop, to become a new form of public transport. In May Mr Ockels will put the bus on show at a trade fair in Dubai.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 13 Apr 2011
        Job losses seen from DCC fleet change
        By Chris Morris
        Car dealers say ending the Dunedin City Council’s policy of buying vehicles in Dunedin will not achieve savings but could threaten jobs.

        Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said he was yet to see the full reports, but the suggested change was “quite concerning”. There appeared to be no competitive advantage in ending the buy-local policy, only a down side for Dunedin businesses, he said.

        Read more

  14. Calvin Oaten

    On the assumption that the total number of vehicles is required (itself a moot point) then what savings can be expected? Bearing in mind that dealer franchises have a limited margin within which to work, it would only be a discount auction. The savings probably would amount to less than what the fees paid to Auckland based planning consultant Management Toolbox. Why upset our own ratepaying suppliers by threatening to shop outside local? Indeed, why do we have to employ consultants anyway, surely the minions inside city hall are capable of organising a local tender system among the dealers? Another example of crass incompetence from top down.

  15. Phil

    I fail to understand why the DCC needs so many permanent vehicles. I’ve worked for much larger local authorities who kept maybe 10% of the fleet currently housed in the Civic Centre basement. It’s about forward planning and smarter operating. If I wanted to go somewhere, I entered my proposed trip into a central database and it was matched with other people also travelling into the same area. And occasionally, heaven forbid, I actually took public transport. I recall a DCC Health Inspector who deliberately booked one restaurant inspection at 8am every morning. So that he could take a DCC car home every night. Free private transport. Building Inspectors are doing the same thing. Stamp that abuse out for starters. If tighter control was kept of the usage of the system, they could reduce the fleet, reduce costs, and still buy locally.

  16. Peter

    Having large fleets of cars has that Swann ring of confidence about it.

  17. Russell Garbutt

    Peter, there is something going on with that little case that smells.

    I don’t know too much about the law, but it does strike me that it is strange that, according to the Oddity report, Mr Swann was, after his conviction, able to become a trustee on a number of trusts. Somehow, I thought that once you were consigned to doing the time for a crime that involved close on $17m of public money then some of life’s little privileges would be withdrawn. I assume that no member of the legal profession would assist in any process whereby these ill-gotten gains would be able to be protected so that Mr Swann could enjoy them when he comes out from his enforced holiday? Or am I wrong in my assumption?

    I thought that the palatial residence at Fernhill would be up for sale and it was reported as being the case in the middle of last year, but nothing seems to have changed on that front.

    Putting assets into trusts is a very common way of avoiding paying back those that are owed money. Why is this business dragging on for so long one wonders.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 16 Apr 2011
      Editorial: Cars, consultants, common sense
      Scrutiny of process and regular appraisal of operating principles and practices is one thing; employing costly consultants to arrive at predictable but wrong-headed conclusions which most level-headed managers are likely to have come to on their own accord is another entirely. It is possible to view the activities of the Dunedin City Council with respect to a review of its vehicle fleet purchasing policies in just such a light – and deduce that this is yet another example of profligacy in service to the cult of management-by-consultancy, when a good dose of common sense would do better.
      Read more

  18. Phil

    Great idea with the pools. Neville hasn’t quite got his numbers right, however. The guaranteed lifetime of the pumping equipment is 5 years, meaning that, over the duration of the 15 year quoted savings period, the capital cost will be introduced 3 times. Operating and energy use costs will reduce, but the capital costs will increase. Maybe it’s a matter of which budget one wishes to look at.

    The comment about Honeywell and their guaranteed minimum savings contract is also a little misleading. It’s along the same lines as the stadium GMP, in that it excludes so many items of work. Honeywell have a similar contract in place to provide energy savings in the Library and Civic Centre. And they do meet those minimum savings targets. However, their fees for monitoring the systems, costs for servicing and upgrading (as and when Honeywell see fit) are equal to around 50% of the savings. The same way that Hawkins continue to increase their profit outside of the GMP on the stadium by charging for each and every additional or varied item of work. The other side of the guaranteed savings figure is that it is a fixed dollar figure benchmarked against today’s cost for energy. That’s standard in a Honeywell contract. It means that Honeywell has to work quite hard for the first 2 or 3 years but then, as the rising cost for energy gets closer to the agreed annual savings figure, the target figure takes care of itself and Honeywell start making a very tidy profit out of service and maintenance. The energy usage within the Civic Centre is extremely inefficient by today’s standards but, because Honeywell meet their annual savings target set 7 or 8 years ago, they are under no obligation to improve the system any further. Unless the customer wants to pay, of course.

    That being said, it’s nice to see something being done in the right direction.

  19. Phil

    I forgot to add into the mix that, according to our dearly departed Chief Executive, Neville’s position within DCC is self funding. That is, his annual salary is taken from any energy savings that he makes for the DCC. So slice a further 60k (guessing) per year off the reported savings figure.

    I will say again, however, that any attempt to save energy is a good one.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Pretty simple really. Just use appropriate materials at the outset. 316 stainless steel specified as the metal of choice and the problem would never have arisen. More expensive initially, but first cost as last cost has to be the smart choice. Problem is the shortage of smarts. What is happening right now will be repeated ad infinitum. Council project engineer Evan Matheson saying there should have been a maintenance programme in place is just stupid.

  21. Phil

    That’s a mistake made right through DCC for years. They separate out the initial capital cost from maintenance costs when evaluating project options. It’s all about “on time and under budget” and then it becomes someone else’s problem. Port Chalmers Town Hall was a classic example. On time and under budget, if you wish to ignore the 1 million dollars spent in the following years to fix the cut price project budget. Quite right, Calvin, there’s a very good reason why 316 is used on boats.

  22. Phil

    An excellent attempt at smoke and mirrors coming out of the DCC HR department today with regard to the releasing of council workers’ bonus payments. Bonus payments have absolutely nothing to do with unions and union negotiations. There is no reason not to release those figures if annual salary negotiations with union delegates are currently underway. The two processes are completely independent of each other and Lee was totally right in feeling he has been deceived by the HR department. Every year, each DCC department receives X dollars to hand out to both union and non-union staff members as annual performance bonus payments. The senior managers within that department meet and decide how much money shall go to each employee, based on that employee’s performance during the year. The union plays no part whatsoever in the process. And rightly so, as they are performance based and not contract based, and as not every DCC employee is a member of the union.

    I wonder if the HR department intends to release the “retention” payments paid annually to a large number of staff members. These are over and above the agreed salary figures and, again, are not negotiated through the unions. As they are payments reviewed annually by the department head, they can also be considered to be bonus payments. As can the car parking payment paid to DCC employees for free car parking within the YMCA car park building. Like the GMP scam, these payments sit outside of the annual published salary bill.

    When Murray Douglas was at the helm, he actively encouraged a number of key personnel within each department to break away from the collective union contract and sign an independent contract. It was a smart move on his part as it ensured that, in the event of a union strike, there would be a sufficient number of employees to operate key DCC services. The DCC employee fixed grading system ensured that there was no salary difference between union and non-union members. So it was a win-win. There is no reason why bonus payments to those employees cannot be released now. They don’t affect union negotiations in any way.

    {Link: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/159004/council-refusing-reveal-bonus-payments -Eds}

  23. Peter

    I was disgusted to read this ‘opinion piece’ by David Loughrey. His job is to report the right of submitters to have their democratic say and to report what they had to say. Instead we have a very cynical and dismissive tirade against people who often find it very difficult to front up personally to express their opinion, but muster up the courage to do so. This was a longish, negative piece that took up space. Ironical given he has been keen to report on the ‘negativity’ of those who opposed the stadium.
    I can appreciate the local body round is a complex area to report on with a wide range of issues to come to grips with. In time, one would naturally reach burn out and become negative and cynical. The emotional stadium issue has obviously taken a toll on him. There are times when he does a good enough job, when he delves a bit deeper, but these times are infrequent. Compare with ODT reporter Simon Hartley and his reporting on Paul Nicholson and his latest ‘business ventures’. This is real investigative journalism and not the bitchy, cheap shots as reported in this opinion piece. Lars Grau did not deserve being mocked. Maybe he should consider a press complaint.

  24. Russell Garbutt

    David Loughrey is indulging in opinion.

    While he and all Councillors are used to the forum used in these submissions, it is, for many, a daunting experience to sit at the end of that large table and be confronted by a large group of people who, in the view of the submitter in many cases, has failed to act in an appropriate way. Many submitters have spent a great deal of time and energy in putting together their submission and they don’t want to screw up in presenting it, so they will read it to make sure of what they are saying. They are not, in the main, orators or presenters and so while Loughrey may consider their reading boring, many of the submitters may also view Loughrey’s reporting equally devoid of particular skill.

    Of course submitters have the right to simply put in a written submission, but the truth is – and I have had this confirmed again recently – is that many of the Councillors simply don’t read what is submitted, or at best only read a small percentage of what was submitted. In particular, if some Councillors recognise a familiar name and they don’t agree with that person, they make a point of not reading their submission. Serious submitters know this and so they pluck up courage to go and make their point in person so that it will be maybe at least heard.

    The submission process is largely a charade imposed by an Act of Parliament and while some Councillors may point out that they have heard some good ideas, for most it is something that simply has to be endured because they have no option. I suspect that many submitters would be appalled at the comments made by Councillors in the breaks between sessions.

    My understanding is that there were a near record of submissions made this year and frankly, reading the ODT report of the hearings, there is an appalling lack of analysis – it seems to me that one or two are picked out to concentrate on – the Sport Otago Logan Park submission – and any little bits of fiery stuff that may occur – the issue of whether the DCC should be pursuing Global Warming – and that really is it. Reading the ODT doesn’t give any real insight into what went on at the hearings and that is really at the crux of the matter.

  25. Peter

    Yes, Russell, if there is any cynicism to be had it is largely with the submission process rather than the submitters. Certainly many will naturally come cap in hand for more money – it’s never enough – but that’s to be expected. It is up to councillors to decide on necessity and affordability. Well…in theory.

    Others will come to voice their frustrations with the council which isn’t necessarily the same as having a moan. So be it. It’s dangerous when decision makers only want to hear praise – important as that is when it’s due.

    Journalists normally have a mission to unearth the scoundrels and charlatans among us. It is their ‘sacred duty’. The charlatans/scoundrels are the people who deserve to be mocked. Not ordinary citizens. Some of the ODT reporters subscribe to putting down people as ‘conspiracy theorists.’ You’d think they’d have the gumption to investigate the validity of evidence of potential wrong doing or report actual wrong doing. Not necessarily so.

    We know there is corruption within the DCC because secrecy and bad process indicate wrong doing is being covered up. It’s not just petty pilfering – though sometimes that’s what gets scoundrels in the end. You would expect an organisation of that size to have their bad egg component. It’s the duty of the ODT to hunt them down and not mock the efforts of those who are trying to expose wrong doing.

  26. Russell Garbutt

    I think the ODT record on investigative journalism on the stadium really sums it up for me. While investigative journalism is expensive in that really finding out what has happened in a particular issue may take a person or persons a year or two to get to the bottom and that doesn’t come cheap, the fact is that the owners of the ODT are not exactly short of a bob or two. I think both brothers regularly are well up on the NBR rich list.

    As an example of the type of journalism that we are delivered, I give as an example the whole issue of private funding for the stadium.

    As we all know there have been a lot of people who have raised this matter and it has been exacerbated in the recent past when every “good news” story coming out of the CST/DVML publicity machine includes a line about $40m being raised by the private sector. Some published stories include a throwaway line about this money has been raised by sale of product.

    However, every explanation I have heard about this way of accounting tells me that this method of including advance operational income as private construction capital has the proviso that for it to work then the stadium has to run at a significant profit each year. We know that this will not be the case and it is as plain as a pikestaff that it will not be the case.

    So, why does the ODT continue to publish these “facts”? I suggest it is because they either don’t have the means or the inclination to actually do some real investigation. The means – well, I already have dealt with that. The inclination? More to the point I think.

    As an exercise to show where our news or content of the ODT comes from, I suggest a little project that I conducted a few years ago with some students. Take 2 copies of any issue of the ODT – say today’s issue for example. With copy 1, cut out from all odd numbered pages any stories that have been written entirely by ODT staff. Copy 2, cut out all such stories from even numbered pages. Do not include any items that have been sourced by NZPA or other news agencies, do not include anything that has been paid for. Then analyse from the little that remains how much has been provided by entities or businesses as a press-release that has been copied and pasted into a story. This last bit requires some knowledge of what was actually released, but it doesn’t take long to work it out. Parliamentary stories are mostly along these lines.

    I will be interested in what people think after conducting this little exercise.

  27. Peter

    That’s why you’d think the ODT would be more than happy to use the legwork supplied and done by others in the community, who have looked into the stadium development, for example. But I guess when they don’t it leads to two possible conclusions. They are either too dim to do so or the sourced information supplied doesn’t fit their agenda.

    An example. Bev has recently established through OIA [Official Information Act] requests that Forsyth Barr has not, to date, made any payments for Head Naming Rights to the stadium. They will make their first payment once the stadium is completed. In the meantime of course they have had masses of free publicity locally and nationally. Surely if FB loved Dunedin, and were concerned for its welfare, particularly in these straightened times, the naming rights intended for capital construction would be brought forward especially with the pressure on to pay for the stadium extras. Has the council considered requesting earlier upfront payment to ease our interest burden? I somehow doubt it. Test. Will the ODT report this next week?

  28. Anonymous

    From time to time I have tested your theory above, Russell. It is trivially easy to plant a story in the ODT, either by means of a press release or by talking to a journalist directly. Interestingly, with the D-Scene, not so much.

  29. Russell Garbutt

    Regarding the consent fees, some people would have watched a recent TV expose on consent fees for Tauranga. What was interesting was that while the average $300k house costed about $3.5k in fees in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the same thing in Dunedin was about $12k and about $18k in Tauranga. The tortured explanation from some coot in Tauranga seemed to be saying that section prices were cheaper, but consents higher to pay for infrastructure. How a Council controls section prices was left unexplored.

    What wasn’t explored either – presumably because we don’t have investigative reporters in TV down here – was why Dunedin consent costs were so high.

  30. James

    The tortued explanation from some coot in Tauranga seemed to be saying that section prices were cheaper, but consents higher to pay for infrastructure. How a Council controls section prices was left unexplored.

    I don’t know anything about the Tauranga situation, but reading your summary, the answer seems pretty obvious. Building a new house requires additional services (wastewater, footpaths etc). The DCC recently proposed a development fee to cover this cost. This would seem to suggest that Taurange recoups the cost through building consents rather than a development fee. Thus the new owner pays, not the developer. This makes the section cheaper, relative to somewhere where the developer has to pay a fee.

  31. Peter

    Moral of the story might be to buy an existing house. Saves the hassle of consent fees.

  32. Russell Garbutt

    James, I’m not sure that this is how the market works.

    People tend to think about average house prices or average section prices and I suggest that this is the thing that gets compared. When a section is bought the basic amenities are provided such as stormwater, sewage, water, phone connections and the like. Usually there are streets, kerbing as well.

    What the buyer of a section in Dunedin or Tauranga then finds out when they go through the costly exercise of house design, plans and lawyers fees etc is that suddenly there is a massive fee by the Council for consenting to allow building to mainly national codes. I happen to have a friend who has developed some sections and he is staggered by the hassles that he has had to endure to provide a quality small area of sections – at huge cost to himself. He is also facing what he sees as exorbitant fees to obtain a building consent on one of his own sections – a level of building consent fees that is about 3-4 times those faced with an equal value building in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

    The problem here is one of consistency, and while it is important that the local authority must recoup the costs of providing the infrastructure, it should be that there is transparency and no possibility of both the developer and builder both stumping up for the same costs.

    In Dunedin’s case, the infrastructure is largely coming to the end of its economic life with huge expenditure looming for replacement and upgrades. This may not necessarily be a problem or issue if our level of borrowing was modest, or if we had run a regular upgrade process, but we have, as we all know, decided to build a new rugby stadium instead. Actually we didn’t decide, about 20 individuals decided to do that.

  33. Russell Garbutt

    “The ODT is unusual among metropolitan newspapers in devoting two senior reporters and a dedicated page in the print edition over the course of Dunedin’s annual plan hearings to “report what people say.” The purpose of this opinion piece was to provide a point of difference to this comprehensive news coverage” is the official ODT line.

    Not good enough. Reporters need to report and not opine. If they wish to pass some sort of personal comment then I assume they are free to do so via the correspondence pages, but using their “right” to publish via the news pages and then try to justify it is a cop-out and really demonstrates a lack of understanding about reporting.

    There also seems to be some sort of righteous self-patting of the back over devoting a whole page and 2 reporters for a period of 3 days to cover what is an extremely important process of consultation on something that will affect all Dunedin ratepayers. Compare the column inches with what is devoted to reports on Highlander’s rugby matches on a weekly basis. That coverage is daily or almost daily and includes photographs, previews, reviews, reporting from a number of reporters, analysis, guest predictions – all for a very small audience. No, ODT, until you really start acting and looking like a truly independent, investigative paper, your protestations are a bit transparent.

  34. wirehunt

    Calvin and Phil, 316 is fine for the handrails. But it won’t last without proper protection. Sea salt water/spray kill ANY metal. If they haven’t put cathodic protection in then it won’t last all that long.

    The best thing would have been wood ;)

  35. Calvin Oaten

    Not sure I agree with you Wirehunt on this score. The sea wall railings are not to be compared to on board situations. The railings will quite quickly grow an oxidised patina, that being a preservative in its own right. Boats have to deal with electrolysis hence the use of sacrificial metals such as zinc. Electrolysis plays havoc with steel and non ferrous metals, but 316 with its chromium component will withstand most conditions, certainly in the railing situation I suspect it would see both you and I out. The existing coated steel was a nonsense from the get go, which brings me back to the point, what do we pay consultants such as Duffill Watts and King for but expert advice?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 13 May 2011
      Editorial: So many reports, so little action
      When it takes “outside assistance” to tell you there is something wrong with your structures and processes and it is likely to require more of the same to advise you what to do about it, then to borrow from The Bard, indeed “something is rotten in the State of Denmark”. The Dunedin City Council has this week accepted its building consent fees are higher than in other areas – a long-standing complaint levelled at its building control department by the local industry. That it accepted the accuracy of such charges only on receipt of a review from consultants Schema – no doubt at considerable additional cost – rubs salt into sorely tested wounds. That it will apparently “likely” incur further consultants’ fees to figure out a solution simply beggars belief.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Jun 2011
        Meeting over building consent fees
        By David Loughrey
        The Dunedin City Council will host building industry groups in the next two or three weeks to try to deal with the fallout from a report that showed the city’s building consent fees were significantly higher than the fees charged by other centres.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 1 Jul 2011
          City building fees rise despite review
          By David Loughrey
          The Dunedin City Council has raised its building consent fees, despite admitting recently they were significantly higher than those in other centres, and despite a review being under way. The move has angered Master Builders Federation Otago president Mark Ward, who said he could not understand why the council would increase fees while a review was under way.
          Read more

          Building consents: Fee rises from October 1 (via ODT)
          Cost of work: Current fee / New fee
          • Up to $5000: $424 / $432
          • $10,001 to $19,999: $1293 / $1319
          • $50,000 to $75,000: $2561 / $2612
          • $100,001 to $200,000: $5317 / $5423
          • $400,001 to $500,000: $9835 / $10,032
          • $900,001 to $1,000,000: $16,917 / $17,255

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 7 Jul 2011
          Building fee ‘oversight’ corrected
          By Ellie Constantine
          An “oversight” has been blamed for the Dunedin City Council increasing building consent fees in the middle of a review into their already high cost. The 2% increase, which took effect on July 1, to offset consumer price index (CPI) rises, was reversed yesterday and charges will return to the 2010-11 levels. Any consents already processed at the increased rate will result in a refund.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Anger in the industry came through early in the meeting, with some keen to show Cr Wilson and staff price comparisons between Dunedin and other centres for consent fees, with differences of thousands of dollars.

          ### ODT Online Fri, 15 Jul 2011
          Fee probe under way
          By David Loughrey
          The Dunedin City Council began the process of sorting out its building consent fees at two meetings with building industry figures held yesterday. The meetings were the result of continued lobbying by the industry, which claimed fees in Dunedin were far higher than in other areas.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 15 Aug 2011
          Developers take on DCC over charges
          By David Loughrey
          Dunedin property developers are set to square off with the Dunedin City Council from today, as they attempt to have a new charge on development overthrown. Developer Tom Richardson, who was behind the establishment of the Construction Industry and Developers Association, set up to deal with the issue, said yesterday he was “pretty confident” of success. The association will be a major submitter at the development contributions hearings committee, which has three days set aside to consider what has become a controversial issue. The hearings are due to begin this morning, subject to weather conditions.

          Mayor Dave Cull is chairman of the committee, with members councillors Fliss Butcher, Jinty MacTavish, Chris Staynes, Teresa Stevenson, Richard Thomson and Kate Wilson.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 29 Aug 2011
          Hearings put off
          By David Loughrey
          Property developers’ arguments against increased Dunedin City Council charges will not be heard until November. Development contributions hearings have been rescheduled for November 3, 4 and 7, in Dunedin’s Municipal Chambers, after snow earlier this month caused their postponement.
          Read more

  36. Peter

    Blaming the rates rise on extra insurance costs is just plain dumb. The council just doesn’t want to cut expenditure elsewhere,that’s all. The glassed atrium extravaganza at the Otago Settlers’ Museum,not to forget the money handed over, ‘as requested’, to pay for stadium extras are part of the problem of a council in denial over continued debt- funded expenditure. They ‘trim’ bits and pieces, add bits and pieces, and leave the white elephants to roam. The much vaunted analytical,problem -solving approach to council business, promised by Dave Cull last election, has foundered on political horse trading and lack of political courage from the top.

  37. Phil

    The fact the DWK was able to walk away from total liability suggests that they were not solely responsible for the total design. As per usual, I suspect that the DCC decided to save a few bucks and complete a portion of the design themselves. Or, they specifically instructed DWK to include or exclude specific design details. On time and under budget. Making apportioning of responsibility almost impossible. Had DWK been contracted to carry out 100% of the design, then they would have been found to be 100% years ago. DWK aren’t stupid, and DCC, despite how they might view themselves, are not a large customer.

  38. Calvin Oaten

    You are probably right. The DCC have poked their inexpert nose into the project, made cost savings in total ignorance of the implications. For what it is worth I expressed to Graeme Hall the implications of the ramp being on the outside of the wall at the time of its first breakdown. He replied that it would be rectified. Has it? Has it heck! In a word “INCOMPETENCE” writ large. Was DWK implicated on this fact? At a meeting with council which I attended the DWK spokesman, one Mr Chamberlain, seemed very defensive but he eyeballed them and I think council blinked first.

  39. Calvin Oaten

    IT IS a delightful drive, due East from St Kilda to Lawyers Head, flanked on one side by the wild ocean and the other by the Chisolm Park golf links, terminates at a turnaround lookout where you could park and feast your eyes on a view that many cities would go to war over. It was closed. Why? In the interests of public safety, whilst contractors executed the installation of the sewage pipe outfall extension. Seems reasonable. The contract is completed, the road is reopened. No? DCC staff tell us it would cost nearly $500,000 to reopen. What? Can this be true? Well, “we need to control vehicles and cyclists in order to protect pedestrians. And then we need to build fences to prevent people from jumping off the cliffs.” (I am not making this up.) Then the public divide on the issue and we have months of media comment. The elected council spend interminable hours deliberating – at what cost – and finally it is to remain closed. How sad. One could be forgiven for thinking that it might all have just been a diversionary tactic by staff to hide the real problems of the city from council and the public. Well it certainly worked. The city is bankrupt, deeply in debt, unable to meet its interest obligations, still borrowing and spending as though there was no tomorrow, and all they can do is argue over an existing road. We truly live in a ‘Disneyesque’ city.

  40. Calvin, JWOD looks closed, but technically it is only blocked. The temporary closure must have expired and it appears that any closure is all or nothing so that the closure must be for cars and walkers, not cars only. The question is – if it isn’t closed then is the obstruction legal.

    Here is what Mayoral candidate Dave Cull used to think about the city’s debt:-
    The stadium is being built. What concerns me now is the future. That decision, and the debt it entailed, particularly on top of already committed debt for other projects, has taken Dunedin City to the brink: to the limit of its credit. Neither the Council nor the Council companies on which the debt was loaded, are in a position to borrow any more. ~~~
    So the incoming Council faces an enormous challenge to cut costs, limit on-going losses after the stadium is completed and still take the city and the community forward with all of the other things that Dunedin needs to progress.
    (http://greaterdunedin.blogspot.com “Fighting Yesterday’s Battles. But what about tomorrow?”)
    That was only in August 2010, since then Dave and his merry band of spenders seem just as bad as the last lot.

  41. Peter

    Given the continued spend up you can’t help but come to the conclusion that this quote from Dave Cull was for election purposes only. The issue of city debt arose very early on in the election campaign and he seized upon it in response to what other candidates were saying.
    In the nine months he has been Mayor we see someone who doesn’t seem to have any bedrock. During the last week his response to the Hillside Road redundancies (it is regrettable) and the Kronic issue – compared to other Otago mayors – has been couched in the sterile language of equivocation and resignation. Everything seems to be a moveable feast with Dave where the prime motivation seems to be avoidance of pressing issues, to try and get himself out of potential tricky situations and avoid getting himself offside with any group. So he uses such language. The trouble is this tactic doesn’t work.
    The continued spend up is to try and keep everyone happy in the meantime, to get him to the next election and beyond, and move the debt problems, that won’t go away, to the next Mayor and council. That’s how countries like Greece have ended up until the problems can’t be ignored any longer.
    I realise the job he has is an onerous one and must be filled with so many demands and pressures where any person would make mistakes. It takes courage to even consider standing for such a job. In his case, he needs to bring a bit more of that clear, analytical thinking to council issues that he promised before the election. He needs to get back on track instead of being all over the place.

  42. Calvin Oaten

    As a ‘tap dancer’ Dave Cull is right up there with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. He just adopts the stance required for the moment. I can’t believe he doesn’t understand the situation, but no way is he going to commit. Strange really.

  43. Peter

    I agree, Calvin. He is not stupid. He understands full well. It is avoidance of facing problems.

  44. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth, but will they listen. The fact that the DCC building control dept. have gotten themselves into this mess would suggest that they don’t have the nous to get themselves out. Not with a plonker like Avery fronting them.

  45. Peter

    I can hear, and understand, the exasperation in that headline. Acklin and co simply don’t want to cement in the compromise already reached by the DCC. They want to spend more money to give the appearance of compromise, but get what they want. A fully open road.
    If the council goes back, yet again, and supports Bill and co they will compound the problem, bring derision on themselves from the community, and the arguing and pestering will continue.

  46. JimmyJones

    Acklin will be my hero if he succeeds in getting JWOD fully open to cars. I am pleased to see some resistance against the enviro-nazis (staff, Fliss, Jinty & others).

  47. Anonymous

    Is it too obvious to suggest that a strip be cut and paved alongside the road, for the use by pedestrians and/or cyclists? There’s plenty of room.

  48. JimmyJones

    I would have thought so; but I think that Teresa Stevenson and the other car-haters will not be satisfied until they have demonstrated their victory by casting-out the evil machines. The cleansing must be complete.

    • Elizabeth

      Yesterday, someone tried to foist upon me the idea that JWOD is the only city road left without cars, where asthma sufferers can safely walk… Hmmm, last year, it was the anti-suicide campaign…

      I was ready for them.

  49. Making the road really freaking narrow also has a good effect on slowing down hoons…

  50. Peter

    This heated debate on JWD – no matter what side you are on – or if you don’t care – is ultimately absurd when there are more pressing problems the city faces. More and more I’m coming to the conclusion that Dunedin is irretrievably backward when this issue and the colour of a bloody rugby jersey captures peoples’ imaginations above all else.
    There is a deep selfishness in this city where one side – or the other – wants everything their way – no compromises, no consideration of alternatives, no sense of bringing a community together. To add insult to injury we have the ODT celebrating their 150th Birthday in a facility that has bitterly divided the community. What a stupid thing to do when it just brings discredit to them from a large proportion of the population. The collusion of vested interests ripping off this city, through a rugby stadium, for their own financial gain is so deep and corrupt.
    Just about finished with this blogging caper. Achieves little.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 25 Jun 2011
      150th birthday bash
      By Nigel Benson
      New Zealand’s oldest daily newspaper will celebrate its 150th anniversary in the country’s newest venue. And everyone in Otago and Southland is invited to the party. The Otago Daily Times will mark its sesquicentennial on November 15 – 150 years to the day after it was founded by William Henry Cutten and Sir Julius Vogel in 1861. To celebrate, locally-owned Allied Press – which publishes the ODT – is throwing the biggest birthday party in Otago’s history, with a free four-hour concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

      The Dunedin City Council is supporting the event as the opening community concert in the new stadium.

      Read more



      • August 5: Official opening by Prime Minister John Key.
      • August 7: Heartland Championship, North Otago v West Coast.
      • August 17: ITM Cup, Otago v Manawatu.
      • August 20: A-League, Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar.
      • August 27: ITM Cup, Otago v Canterbury.
      • September 10: Rugby World Cup, Argentina v England.
      • September 18: Rugby World Cup, England v Georgia.
      • September 24: Rugby World Cup, England v Romania.
      • October 2: Rugby World Cup, Ireland v Italy.
      • November 12: Otago Daily Times “Big Night In” concert.
      • November 25: Sir Elton John concert.

      • Elizabeth

        Golly, the news that keeps on giving.

        ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jun 2011
        Chance to participate
        By Nigel Benson
        Otago residents will have two opportunities to play a part in the opening of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The $200 million stadium will be officially opened by Prime Minister John Key on Friday, August 5. On November 12, the Otago Daily Times will hold a free concert, the “Big Night In”, to celebrate the newspaper’s 150th anniversary and the opening of the stadium.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 1 Jul 2011
        Promoters looking for Elton John warm-up
        By Nigel Benson
        Promoter Capital C: Concerts is looking for a support band to open Sir Elton’s concert at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in November. The nationwide “Open 4 Elton” promotion would be run this month and the successful band would receive air fares, accommodation and $5000 cash.
        Read more

  51. JimmyJones

    Yes Elizabeth, we know we are being lied to when we are fed a series of feeble excuses instead of actual reasons.
    One of the most feeble of the excuses was the perceived disturbance to the sealions. There was one in 2007 (apparently).

  52. JimmyJones

    Peter, I think that the JWOD closure is important. If you don’t think so then say nothing. You should understand, however, that this is another example of the DCC’s corrupt attitude to public consultation.

    • Elizabeth

      Report – Council – 27/06/2011 (PDF, 19.2 KB)
      John Wilson Ocean Drive Notice of Motion

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Mon, 27 Jun 2011
        AA seeks Ocean Dr trade-off
        By Chris Morris
        The New Zealand Automobile Association’s Otago district council is again calling for a compromise on John Wilson Ocean Dr, before a crucial meeting today that could decide the road’s future use. Councillors at today’s Dunedin City Council meeting will vote on whether to send the issue back to the council’s community development committee, as suggested by Cr Bill Acklin, to study new options for the road’s future use.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jun 2011
          Still no decision on ocean drive
          By Chris Morris
          The long-running debate over Dunedin’s John Wilson Ocean Dr continues, with plans that would have kept the road closed to vehicles to be reconsidered yet again – among other options.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz September 7, 2011 – 6:24pm
          John Wilson Drive raised as an issue once again with the Dunedin City Council
          To keep it closed or to open it up? The issue of John Wilson Drive was raised once again with the Dunedin City Council at a public forum this afternoon. The member of the public bringing the issue to the forum says while the drive might be great for walkers, not everyone can walk.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Sep 2011
          1357 seek opening of ocean drive
          By Chris Morris
          A petition signed by more than 1000 people backed fresh calls for John Wilson Ocean Dr to be reopened to vehicles. The call came from Dunedin woman Joan Mann at a Dunedin City Council public forum yesterday, and was supported by South Coast Board Riders Association member Dave Crooks.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Another ludicrous scheme from our ‘we like overworking the management of the use of a road’ Council… the bureaucrats go mad, repeatedly.

          ### ODT Online
          Road reopening revisited
          By Chris Morris on Sat, 26 Nov 2011
          The debate over Dunedin’s scenic John Wilson Ocean Dr is to resume, with councillors considering an $88,000 plan to open the coastal road to vehicles for a few hours most week days. If the proposal is approved, vehicles will be allowed back on the road between 11am and 2pm daily, except on weekends and public holidays, after $88,777 has been spent on speed bumps and other traffic-calming measures.
          Read more

          Report – CDC – 30/11/2011 (PDF, 132.1 KB)
          Vehicle Access along John Wilson Ocean Drive

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz November 30, 2011 – 6:12pm
          DCC Community Development Committee decide the fate of John Wilson Drive
          The vexed issue of John Wilson Drive was once again on the table today during a meeting of the DCC’s Community Development Committee. When asked whether the drive should be reopened to vehicles, the committee reflected public opinion and was split 50-50, until Chairperson Bill Acklin cast his deciding vote.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Dec 2011
          Council still divided on Ocean Dr access
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council remains as divided as the community over John Wilson Ocean Dr, after a casting vote was needed to end a deadlocked debate over vehicle access to the road yesterday. The future of the closed section of road was back before councillors at yesterday’s community development committee, with a staff report recommending an $88,000 upgrade before reinstating vehicle access between 11am and 2pm on weekdays.
          Read more

          “Council parks manager Lisa Wheeler said the 11am-2pm opening hours would cater for rest-home residents, workers and tour buses driving along the route, and otherwise leave it free for pedestrians and others to use.”

          Ms Wheeler has likely done some research to back her claim ? Given it’s usual for rest-homes to serve residents their main daily meal following midday, I fail to see how the reduced vehicle access hours to John Wilson Drive of between 11am and 2pm is appropriate. What a farce. An hour added to both sides of the proposed arbitrary cut-off might add a glow of practicality – but really, why not allow vehicle access for business hours (say, 9am – 5pm), seven days a week, without the cost of traffic calming measures, with some reasonable monitoring and enforcement.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz December 12, 2011 – 6:31pm
          Vehicle access to John Wilson Drive concluded
          During a tense and at times emotional session, the Dunedin City Council passed a motion to allow vehicle access to John Wilson Drive. The subject of whether to re-open the road has been passed around the council table for many years, and the general consensus of councillors is that they’re sick of it. Both councillors for and against opening the drive up to traffic between 11am and 2pm weekdays spoke passionately, with the Mayor calling for each councillor to record their vote out loud. After more than an hour’s debate the motion was carried by one vote splitting the council: 8 and 7 against.

        • Elizabeth

          The gutless weak result. If Mayor Cull and Councillors can’t get this right, how in the hell can they deal to the Council’s debt CRISIS. Answer: they can’t. In the end the councillors will need more than traffic calming measures (@#$&%@#%) to protect themselves from irate citizens!

          ### ODT Online Tue, 13 Dec 2011
          Vehicles back on John Wilson Drive
          By Chris Morris
          Motorists will again be driving along John Wilson Ocean Dr next year, after emotional arguments and pleas to compromise at yesterday’s Dunedin City Council meeting won the day – by just a single vote. Councillors voted 8-7 to allow vehicle access between 11am and 2pm on weekdays, but to exclude traffic completely on weekends and public holidays.
          Read more

          Close-vote compromise (via ODT)
          • Open to vehicles between 11am-2pm on weekdays.
          • Closed to vehicles weekends and public holidays.
          • $45,000 worth of speed humps, road markings and other traffic-calming measures.
          • Work delayed until after previously planned $125,000 road resealing, scheduled for 2012-13.
          • Restricted vehicle access starts some time after July 1 next year.

          I hope someone with a bulldozer opens the way…

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 11 Jun 2013
          John Wilson Dr speed limit may be cut
          By Chris Morris
          Debate over John Wilson Ocean Dr appears set to resume when Dunedin city councillors today consider a reduced speed limit for the road. A report by council staff concludes motorists are travelling too fast, and the interim 50kmh speed limit is too high. However, the report recommends the speed limit be reduced to 30kmh, not the 20kmh ”goal” set by councillors late last year. The extra 10kmh meant the council would avoid the need to spend nearly $100,000 improving the road to make it safe for motorists and pedestrians.
          Read more

  53. Jinty

    Hi Jimmy & Elizabeth,
    While I welcome intelligent discussion and debate on issues, including people questioning my position, I do object to indiscriminate name-calling. Jimmy, if you take issue with my stance on any matter, please get in touch and let me know where you think I’m going wrong with my reasoning, which I aim to base on a rational assessment of the information at hand. We could even have a useful conversation and perhaps you might change my mind on whatever topic is dear to your heart at the time. But using terms like enviro-nazi to describe either myself or any other councillor isn’t in my mind a useful contribution to debate. It’s just hurtful and builds ill-informed stereotypes.

    {Email address removed, again. What if? is not the private advertising space, by link, for local body politicians. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      Jinty – I didn’t vote for you; you don’t represent me. Other contributors may want to provide you with an education. Damn, where did I leave my kid-gloves.

  54. JimmyJones

    Hi Jinty. Name-calling shouldn’t take the place of intelligent civilised debate, but I think it has its uses. It can be useful to start a debate and the term “enviro-nazis” very efficiently defines the stereotypes and which one I belong to.
    As a campaigner for your political viewpoints, you should expect opposition from those from the other political extreme and from the moderates (like John Bezett tomorrow). Here is the perfect place for public discussions about the DCC, Sustainability and Greenism and I urge you to join-in more often.

  55. Don’t expect any reasoned debate from sustainability zealots. For twenty years, we have had predictions of accelerated sea-level rise due to the affects of carbon-dioxide. These predictions have turned out to be wrong: actual measurement of sea-levels show no accelerated rise, just the very-slow rise which has been happening for centuries.
    No reason has been given why it is urgent that the Council should spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this issue.

  56. Anonymous

    There’s no quantifiable test that one could apply, 2 years down the track, to even say if the fast-tracking was justified or not.

  57. JimmyJones

    The fast-tracking of the Climate Change Adaptation carry-on was Jinty’s idea and Cr John Bezett is now trying to get the decision reversed. Athol Stephens seems to agree that it is a waste of money (see the report for tomorrow’s Council meeting). Of course the whole thing is a scam and no money should be sacrificed to this foolishness.

  58. Russell Garbutt

    It is interesting to read the modified intents and projections for DVML to be presented to the Council. Forget the copy and pasted intentions which will neither be read or referred to – what is interesting is that Athol Stephens is already cautioning about increased costs. He seems to be saying that he agrees more with the over-inflated income estimates provided by The Marketing Bureau however. It really pays to look hard at what the stadium is expected to earn over the next 3 years – ignoring the Academy/Highlander pittance – $26.37 million dollars of revenue. BUT this incredible income results in a total of $168,000 profit.

    It doesn’t take too much to work out that if the revenue drops by a very small percentage of the projected income, then the profit vanishes. Then what results? Surprise surprise, a loss which will be made up by guess who? Oh yes, the ratepayers.

    It will take an astute Councillor to get behind these wild guesses and ask a few intelligent questions and so I don’t really hold out much hope for the warning bells to loudly ring.

    In the meantime, perhaps others can guess at how this $26m will be attained.

  59. Calvin Oaten

    The statement of intent would have to be the most ridiculous document one could imagine. How council can consider it with other than incredulous wonder will remain to be seen. Section 6.2.2 states its intention to “maintain scheduled debt and interest payments in accordance with the business plan”. Year after year starting 30 June 2013.

    Then it produces projected budgets showing 6.4 Revenue $3.833ml.
    Debt/ Interest $9.290m
    Deficit ($5.458m)
    Depreciation $1.00m
    Total Deficit ($6.458m)
    And that is cancelled by a “subvention” payment of $6.458m
    Balance $0
    So it seems that we just ‘spirit away’ a loss of $6.458m, and that’s just the first year. PHEW!!!
    Then they go on to qualify the whole nonsense by saying that much of what is projected may not happen.
    Where do they get these people?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jun 2011
      Lone dissenting vote as 7.7% rates rise adopted
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin’s rate increase for the 2011-12 year, a 7.7% rise, passed the final hurdle yesterday, when the city council adopted this year’s annual plan and set the rates. The council, Mayor Dave Cull said in his introduction to the plan, had been “mindful of the impact on ratepayers and their ability to pay for not only major projects, but other city initiatives to make our city a safer, more vibrant place to live and work”.
      Read more


      ODT Online Tue, 28 Jun 2011
      Climate study to take three years
      By Chris Morris
      A climate change study to be undertaken by the Dunedin City Council is to be carried out over three years after all, after a last-minute compromise that will save $170,000.
      Read more

  60. Calvin Oaten

    “A safer, more vibrant place to live and work.” Huh? I can feel the vibrations now, and I can’t wait to live. Under the “Cullt of Dave,” If he asked us to all drink poison I suspect we would as well.


  61. Russell Garbutt

    The problem is that we still don’t know ALL of the detail of the debt. Much is still hidden behind the myth of private funding just for a start. There is more capital spending going on which appears to be unauthorised, there are still deals being done within DCC companies who are supplying goods and services to the stadium.

    I listened to Radio NZ National Radio this morning – Jinty McTavish thinks that we will have to sell assets or end up being another Greece cot-case, while Dave Cull seems happy to leave things until next year – in case he hadn’t noticed we are scheduled to have an over 9% rate rise next year.

    It is time that this Council revealed all – just what guaranteed income is there for the next 3 years, just how much real private funding is in place and is also guaranteed, just what additional costs are being hidden in other DCC budgets including DCHL companies.

    It is sad, but honestly, the people who many had faith in to deliver honesty and transparency are proving to be no different to those that put us in this mess in the first place.

    • Elizabeth

      Oh god. I will hunt out that interview and provide the link…Jinters is now a ‘high-finance’ macro economics whiz? Probably been looking to another of the Greater Dunedin team, for inspiration (see asset sales).

      There is no tomorrow:

      ### radionz.co.nz Tuesday 28 June 201107:55 am
      Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
      Insurance, stadium costs push Dunedin rates up 8 pct
      The Dunedin City Council yesterday passed overall rates rises of seven-point-seven percent, way above the rate of inflation.
      Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (2′44″)

  62. Russell Garbutt

    One thing is for sure, she, and I assume everyone else hasn’t been listening to, or reading and understanding what has been put in front of them. What is hard to understand? Too much spending on unnecessary projects with no hope of meeting forecasts, borrowing to pay interest, deferring of interest, then carrying on down the same path with absolutely no idea of how to extract themselves out of the mess. Yes, Jinty meets the same exacting standards as the rest of the financial whizz kids such as Acklin, Brown, Weatherall, Collins, Bezett, Noone and co. But she thinks that anyone that can see what she can’t is “negative”.

  63. Mike

    (since the ODT feels this isn’t worth it as a comment ….)

    Oh come on, they must have seen it before they voted for it – let’s forget the stadium-elephant-in-the-room – it took me less than 5 minutes to spot the silliness in the accounts, and I’m a small business owner, not a forensic accountant:

    Look at the numbers from the DVML document they voted on for the Academy of Sport/Highlanders building:

    Paid to DVL: 28,000 (2012) 78,000 (2013) 78,000 (2014)

    Rent from AoS: 205,400 (2012) 410,800 (2013) 410,800 (2014)

    The AoS building is costing $3.6m – one should assume that over 20 years you’re going to have to pay roughly another $3.6m in interest plus: insurance, depreciation, maintenance, administration, overhead, profit etc – so maybe $8-10m over 30 years, $400-500k/year for 20 years.

    The AoS and Highlanders are actually almost paying an OK amount $400k a year, a bit of a sweetheart deal (there really ought to be some profit in there for the ratepayers and coverage for the extras above).

    But the amount being paid back to DVL who hold the loans is quite bogus, it doesn’t cover their costs – the difference, about $300k, is how DVML manages to barely book a profit in this plan – they snuck it past the council quite neatly – in reality the DVML financial targets over 20 years should say something more like:

    Revenue AoS: 205,400 (2012) 410,800 (2013) 410,800 (2014)

    Fixed Costs AoS: 205,400 (2012) 410,800 (2013) 410,800 (2014)

    Profit: (85,740) (302,125) (286,550)

  64. Calvin Oaten

    I wonder where ‘Jinty’ got the idea of selling assets from? Does she read the “D Scene” ? God (Dave Cull) forbid.


  65. Russell Garbutt

    Mike, this gives you a good indication of the paucity of understanding of anything to do with accounts present around the Council table.

    The Academy of Sport relocation is a very good example of how a couple of people managed to get the DCC to roll over and double their spend on professional sports. The relocation of the Academy was supposed to have cost a lot less than $2m and was peer reviewed to do just that, but all of a sudden Arrow were involved thanks to Kereyn Smith – and the price doubled. The only contribution coming from anywhere else except the ratepayer is a $1m dollop from SPARC. The Highlanders continue their cosy relationship with the Academy in a building built to accommodate them.

    But returning to the main point you make – it is lamentable that there is no-one sitting round the Council table that is prepared to either admit they are out of their depth and need to seek independant financial advice, or ready to speak up and reveal the real truth behind what has actually been happening.

    Jinty’s only assets that she and the rest of the Council have to sell is our water and sewage systems – I can see it sticking out like a sore thumb – the rates will only go up on average about 10% a year, but we will have to pay for our water and every time we flush the toilet. And who will buy the assets? Bet your bottom dollar exactly the same anonymous people that have bought all our DCC bonds at such generous rates.

  66. JimmyJones

    Mike, you make a good point (that is worth repeating) in your ODT comment: you said – “And while DVML pretends to make a ‘profit’ DVL is actually making a $6.5m a year loss…”. We can only guess why the ODT focuses on the feeble DVML profit and ignores the huge DVL loss. It is obvious to me that this is the DCC’s media-management plan developed by Harland-Chin-Farry and now endorsed by Dave Cull, David Davies and the new Chief Executive, I expect.
    Also the huge losses that David Davies has predicted for DVL are grossly understated; I think we both agree that the losses will be around $15 million to $20 million per year. The stupidity has been enormous.

  67. Jinty

    Hi all,
    While I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a background in accounting – I’m a scientist and a science communicator by training – I don’t think it takes a financial whizz-kid to work out that our books are in a sorry state, and that our debt is crippling. Which is why I’ve voted against a number of capital expenditure projects in this year’s DAP, including Settlers’ Stage 4 and earlier, the extra expenditure on the Stadium. I would point out that I was one of very few around the table who’ve consistently voted against these capital expenditure projects, and that the voting record is testament to that. The fact that others didn’t vote in the same way, I guess is a sad reflection on my powers of persuasion? But it’s not a lack of concern on my behalf for the situation we’re in, and a desire to get us out of it.
    The reason why I’m writing in is because I am alarmed that my comments about assets have been misconstrued as a desire to sell assets. That is certainly not the case. What I suggested – rightly or wrongly, and I’m sure you guys will have an opinion on it – is that asset sales will be mooted by some as a way out of this crisis, as we have seen elsewhere and as commentators on this site have predicted. To my mind, asset sales are almost always disastrous, and I will continue – as I have in the past – to fight to retain our assets, particularly water and wastewater, Russell.
    I’m happy to meet up with any one of you to understand your concerns as fully as I can and what you feel the Council should be doing at this time. My commitment is that I’d analyse your comments and suggestions to the best of my ability (with a science brain, and a communicator’s brain, and a brain that is learning as much as possible about accounting, as quickly as possible – because that’s what I can offer) and I’d discuss them with others whose accounting skills are more developed and practiced than mine.
    Cheers, Jinty

  68. Russell Garbutt

    Jinty, this is a very refreshingly honest and open blog. Thank you for the opportunity to do just that.

    Accounting is sometimes a baffling area and in many cases the language used and the way in which information is presented is, I believe, used to obscure some quite simple processes.

    For the most part, we wouldn’t operate our businesses or households the way in which the City is being run. It comes down to “money in/money out” in the end, and what a very few number of individuals have determined is that the money in is way less than the money out. Throwing goldfish to the cats is not the answer.

    It will be illuminating to see some objective and comprehensive analysis of what has gone down in City Hall over the last few years.

  69. Phil

    I would expect Community Housing to be up on the For Sale table together with Water & Waste. It operates on a “break even” basis, so there’s no money to be sucked out from there for debt repayment. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Call Centre outsourced in the next while also.

  70. Anonymous

    The Call Centre could actually be an income stream for Council if spun off as a CCO as it could consolidate and scale a number of local operations. I’m detecting a lack of appetite from some highly-ranked Councillors for new CCOs though.

  71. Phil

    Quite right, and I’m surprised that no-one has gone down that track before now. There’s close to 30 call centre operators in the DCC call centre. Which is a gross overkill in my opinion, outside of dog registration week. They could easily pick up another organisation. But that would require them to be a company first, as a publicly funded department can’t be seen to be taking work away from private operators.

  72. There’s close to 30 call centre operators in the DCC call centre. Which is a gross overkill in my opinion, outside of dog registration week. They could easily pick up another organisation.
    Do they still process all the non-reference question library calls?

  73. Have they finalised a design for this. Looks like it’ll be an impressive stadium!

    • Elizabeth

      The stadium has been completed and has hosted RWC 2011 pool games in recent weeks. Check out other posts at this site using search “stadium”.

  74. Calvin Oaten

    I can’t believe the amount of time and energy exhausted by council over the JWOD. It sort of says a lot about the intellect around the table. Let’s face it, the JWOD was never even on the radar prior to it being closed. Why was it closed? Simply to make way for the contractors unimpeded access to the area in general in order to execute the contract of extending the sewage pipe outfall. Job done, reopen the road and everything is back to normal. But oh no! Somebody might throw themselves off the cliff at Lawyers Head. Does this mean that those people would only do that if they could go by car? If that were true there would never be any suicides if there were no motor cars. Simple, ban motor cars everywhere, population saved. Perhaps a petition along these lines would get traction. Silly? No sillier than council’s dithering on this one.

  75. Hype O'Thermia

    The suicide argument MIGHT have had some sense to it if there were figures to demonstrate that during the closure of JWOD suicides lessened in number. Haven’t seen it, haven’t seen that point discussed at all. As for driving to Lawyers Head, how often were “there is concern for a missing person” police messages accompanied by “…whose car was found at the end of JWOD”? Yes Calvin, the whole thing has been a headless-chook crusade by people who are too easily diverted from real work.

  76. Phil

    Exactly. Closing a road is never going to change a person’s mind, once they have reached that point. The Otago region has almost 500km of coastline. Are we to close all access points along there ? Exactly how stupid were we supposed to be ? This was only ever about the attempt to save remedial and maintenance costs once work at Tahuna was completed. And about a couple of councillors who thought they might just get re-elected if they played the desperation “saving the city from itself” card. Nothing more.

  77. Peter

    The easiest thing to do, if people were prepared to compromise, would be to leave things as they are now. Each side doesn’t get all that they want, but each side gets something of what they want.
    About the suicide argument. I can understand the view that cutting off the road doesn’t necessarily prevent people from topping themselves. Where there’s a will there’s a way. However, I understand there has been a strong drop in suicide figures, from this place, since the road closure, but not sure whether this has been reflected in an overall drop of suicides in Dunedin.
    You might remember the road was temporarily opened a while back as an experiment. The next day someone killed themselves at Lawyers Head. The road was closed again. Coincidence? How many have died in this vicinity since then, I wonder. I have heard of one possible incident.
    I think you need to consider the position of being a councillor making this decision. Let’s say you vote to reopen the road and lo and behold in a very short time – like before – someone kills him/herself. How would you feel? Could you look the relatives in the eye if, in their emotion laden grief, they castigate you ‘for helping in the death of their loved one’ because of your decision. You are hardly going to tell them that so and so would have just killed themselves elsewhere.
    JWD is not just an ecological or recreational use debate, but also has another dimension with a real, moral conundrum.

  78. Calvin Oaten

    Sorry Peter, but I can’t buy into the blame game as being a reason for council to close what was a beautiful scenic drive accessible to all people -motorists and pedestrians alike- including suicides. As Phil infers, if the will to do it is there it will happen if not at Lawyers Head then some place else. What has happened smacks of “Nanny State” writ large.In a word, nonsense. It’s right up there with the St Clair sea wall ramp.

  79. Peter

    I’m just saying, Calvin, there are consequences – ‘Nanny State’ or not – of fully opening the road. As a society I think we have the duty to protect, as far as possible, the vulnerable without necessarily being a ‘Nanny State’. I agree those who are intent on killing themselves will eventually do so, but this is immaterial to those who are deeply affected by the immediate tragedy taking place there at that spot. In the end, the connection between fully opening the road and an increase in suicide numbers is too close for comfort for me.
    As I also said both sides of the argument haven’t got all they want – a fully open or closed road – and I’m satisfied with that. That’s life.

  80. James

    Suicide by jumping is quite site specific. Apparently, people drive over the Oakland Bridge to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Installing barriers does not seem to displace people to jump off adjacent points. It’s a little difficult to find out why, as it is only possible to talk to those who survive. However, speculation suggests that despite the effort of travel, the act of jumping seems to be quite impulsive.
    More perhaps like a person goes somewhere to contemplate their fate, and then the impulsive moment comes, or not. And perhaps there is a certain ‘romance’ about some places a person would go to contemplate their fate, which may explain why some spots are it. (this last paragraph is my own speculation)

  81. Hype O'Thermia

    But “the vulnerable” are only prevented from using jumping from *Lawyers Head* as their means of suicide, which is why I say, unless suicides overall in the city have decreased to a statistically significant degree during the period of closure, it’s a nonsense to close JWOD for that excuse.
    If a person uses pills families may blame the doctor. If car exhaust, the car owner or the car seller or the finance company that made it possible for that person to buy the car. When people are determined to blame someone there is always someone to blame, logically or otherwise. Making decisions regarding the city on the basis of personal avoidance of all blame didn’t stop councillors stretching vulnerable people’s budgets to breaking point – I wonder how much this contributed to despair and feelings that there’s no way out?

  82. Hype O'Thermia

    James, I wonder if it is that some places have a record of “successful” jumping. I’d avoid any place where there was a possibility of being found mangled but alive with a future of being so disabled that my ability to try again would be foiled by caregivers leading to my inability to organise a successful repeat by other means.

  83. Peter

    I think you are right, James. The Gap at Sydney Harbour Heads is much the same scenario. It is also close to where people live and the impulsive act, plus geographic proximity, makes it easier. Dr Kerryn Skegg, a local psychiatrist, I understand, has looked into this. There seems to be an element where, by the nature of just walking to the site, in the fresh air, gives time for the person to contemplate life and draw back.
    There will always be blame for when things go wrong, but if there is a possibility of reducing or preventing harmful consequences it is worth thinking ahead to consider preventative measures. I would much prefer to forgo the personal joy of driving the FULL length of JWD. Half way along will do. I can get off my arse and walk the rest when I want to.

  84. Hype O'Thermia

    I wonder what would happen if instead of fencing it off it were made “happy”. A swing, a fat rounded “womanly-” seat shaped to allow someone to curl up in it – OK so it would have to be concrete to defeat vandals but a shape that suggested a comforting presence. Some silly things like a hopscotch grid because it’s hard to ignore hopscotch and it’s a reminder of carefree days. A scratchable, grind-clearable surface in which people could etch their stories – anything to delay and divert people on a mission to personal extinction, evoking memories of pleasant times and perhaps enough tiny hope to turn them around, postponing action for that day, with any luck giving them back the spark of hope to see them through another day in which things start to look long-term bearable.

  85. Peter

    Making light of suicide is not in good taste.

  86. Calvin Oaten

    Some can ‘get off their arse’ and walk but some can’t. So those that can’t are denied the opportunity. Besides, I don’t think there has been any incident of car suicides off that spot. Therefore an argument could be made to forbid pedestrians and make it motorists only.

  87. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter, who’s making light of suicide? Not I. I’m looking past OTT catastrophising, sorry if that causes offence.

    • Elizabeth

      Hype O’Thermia – it’s not silly or frivolous to think of site interventions! Good urban design (not to kick this bucket too hard at all) is about the safety and security of our citizens (the remit for good urban design also applies to more isolated or rural locations). New Zealand has a problem with under resourcing mental health services; Dunedin is not immune – the agencies at the (yes) ‘bottom of the cliff’ aren’t coping despite what their PR might say from some corners.

      Death is part of life, confronting it, discussing it is important; yet our community attempts it with evident difficulty.

      (oh yep, the farming background, years working in hospital (mental health) environments, and more, intertwined with losses ‘against time’, does make it easier to absolutely not accept the closure of a road such as this for any of the reasons contemplated by council, post the outfall pipe – my two cents)

  88. James

    unless suicides overall in the city have decreased to a statistically significant degree during the period of closure, it’s a nonsense to close JWOD for that excuse.

    Even in large international studies, the jury is still out on this, due to a lack of statistical power, so it is certainly not possible to confirm in Dunedin. It is clear that measures at specific sites radically reduce suicides there, and that these are not substituted to adjacent jumping sites. Essentially (except in Hong Kong), suicide by jumping is very infrequent, so any impact on the local suicide rate is small, and the number of suicides is already not very high, so statistical power is low. There is also debate about the cost:benefit ratio, as barriers are often quite expensive, although I recall the proposed ones for Lawyers Head were $400k, as opposed to the $50 million for the Golden Gate.

  89. Hype O'Thermia

    Grrrr and the baring of teeth! “Traffic calming” drives me wild. It means, introduce as many impedences as possible to make travel around the city slow, annoying, infuriating. A slowed annoyed infuriated motorist is what? Calm? And this helps how? Traffic management and road design should be in the hands of people who are phobic about neither motorists nor any other road users. Anyone whose granny was frightened by a horseless carriage should be ruled out from the first interview.

  90. Peter

    Without arguing for either side of this tiresome debate, my prediction of the future of JWD is this possible scenario.
    The road is opened, with all the stated expenses carried out, and within a short period of time someone decides to jump off Lawyers Head at the inconvenient time between 11am and 2pm on a week day. On advice, the Mayor of the day – like the previous Mayor of the day – is advised to close the road immediately because of the physical risk to the public and the threat of legal action against the council for allowing the road to be opened again given the area’s notoriety.
    Back to square one with the debate starting all over again.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, but what happens between 11am – 2pm when my mobility scooter (of its own accord) takes out a pedestrian after hitting a speed bump… Will vehicle access to JWOD be restricted to 12:00 – 12:15pm, one day a week. With my good self imprisoned for manslaughter, reducing me to suicide while interred by the fashioning of a meal fork. Be it on the Councillors’ heads, with Anderson Lloyd in receipt of further fees at ratepayers’ expense.

  91. Peter

    Elizabeth. Anything can happen! And let it be known to the authorities that if you go to prison you will only be issued with plastic cutlery. That way the DCC will be spared any legal action from your relatives.
    I notice the hours for opening JWD are now being debated on ODT online with some very unhappy people. I am expecting a letter to the editor along these lines:
    Dear Editor,
    I live a good 10-15 minutes from JWD and only have a half hour for my lunch break during my weekday work hours. This would mean that I could drive there and, depending on the traffic, may have to immediately turn around to go back to work. I am being discriminated against by the DCC.
    Yours sincerely,

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, let it be known I’m keen for a class action along those lines. However, I’m equally good with plastic implements, re-fashioned. I remain a serious risk.

  92. Peter

    Elizabeth. Nothing more sad, and futile, than a posthumous class action.

  93. Hype O'Thermia

    Plastic eating-irons are a bit flimsy but a toothbrush can be fashioned into a serviceable shiv.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Dec 2011
      Editorial: Deja vu all over again
      At last, following Monday’s Dunedin City Council meeting, the long-running issue of what to do about John Wilson Ocean Dr has been laid to rest. Or has it? Such has been the history of argument, back-tracking, tip-toeing and to-ing and fro-ing that nobody could be too surprised were there to be some future intervention overturning the new status quo – an unhappy child of compromise if there ever was one. By eight votes to seven, the council voted to reopen the road to vehicles – for part of the time. As of next July, the drive will be open to vehicles between 11am to 2pm on weekdays and closed to them at weekends and on public holidays.
      Read more

  94. Hype O'Thermia

    One important question that never seems to have been answered is, how many of the suiciders drove along John Wilson Drive to the jumping-off place and how many walked? I recall several “missing, fears are held for the safety of…” messages from police over the years. I do not remember many cases of “…whose vehicle was found parked in JW Drive”. Sometimes possessions or garments were found at Lawyers Head. Unless _driving_ to the end of the road accounts for the difference in suicide number pre- and post full closure all this hoo-ha about safety is only about non-motorists wanting it to become JW Path instead of what it always was, JW DRIVE, which was the plan as far as the public knew it, when the “temporary” closure was needed.

  95. Phil

    Remember that this would never even have been up for discussion if the DCC hadn’t closed the road for the Tahuna outfall pipe upgrade. That was the only reason it was closed. Keeping it closed was simply a way for Brian Turner to avoid the costs for reinstating it. They just needed to come up with some other excuse. All smoke and mirrors.

  96. Hype O'Thermia

    A few days ago I saw a repeat of the statements from (if I remember correctly) a mental health professional, saying the reason for keeping the Drive closed was that there had been a reduction in the number of suicides after it was closed for the outfall pipe work. I haven’t seen enough of the data to assess its credibility. Eg were there fewer serious suicide attempts, or fewer that succeeded? The non-driver lobby took on a separate life with sob stories about how walkers and families couldn’t use the Drive if cars also used it. Funny that – they seemed to manage in the past. Latest absurdity was in the ODT Online: there is nowhere else where people can go to cycle and walk safely .

  97. Anonymous

    The Lawyers Head stats were: 13 suicides in 10 years to 2009.
    This squares with other stats showing “Other” as 9% of the total Otago suicide methods. In other words, jumping off Lawyers Head is about 10% of the total, so between 2 and 4 people in the region are still around because of the road closure, probably.

  98. Phil

    OK, so following that theory through, there are easily accessible records showing the location and numbers of people who have committed suicide in the region. There must be if someone can now publicly announce that there are currently fewer cases. The quoted mental health professional was able to source that information easily enough it seems. If everyone always knew that JW Drive was a major risk for personal safety (ie suicides) then why was it allowed to remain open right up until the day when Brian Turner decided to drive a tractor through it. If it was truly so much of a problem as some of the councillors would have us believe, then why did they sit back and do nothing for the years preceding the waste outfall pipe upgrade ? They don’t get to have it both ways.

    2 to 4 people out of 100,000 people isn’t a statistic. If that’s the strength of their argument. Gee if my wife and I don’t buy a Big Mac from McDonalds on Saturday, does that mean that McDonalds are going to stop selling Big Macs because the statistics (2 / 100,000) show a decrease ? Give me strength.

    • Elizabeth

      Good health assumption: more than 2 to 4 people, year in year out, enjoyed full use of John Wilson Drive before Brian Turner’s outfall pipe.

  99. Peter

    Anonymous. Where do these statistics come from? We need to know the source before any proper discussion can follow. We then need to make a value judgement as to whether these 2-4 lives (if this is correct) are ‘expendable’.

  100. Hype O'Thermia

    And did those 2 – 4 people commit suicide somewhere else by some other method? The numbers appear to be too small to draw any meaningful conclusions about causality from.

  101. Elizabeth

    Bureaucracy and red tape THRIVES.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 14 Oct 2012
    John Wilson Ocean Dr future on agenda again
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin city councillors will have yet another opportunity to debate future vehicular access to John Wilson Ocean Dr on Monday, council staff recommending they stick with the decision they made last year to limit vehicle access to a few hours a day. A report to be considered by the council’s community development committee is the 15th staff have written for councillors since the completion of the Tahuna outfall project in 2008.
    Read more

    Report – CDC – 15/10/2012 (PDF, 362.7 KB)
    John Wilson Ocean Drive – Evaluation of Draft 2012/13 Long Term Plan Submission Proposals

  102. Calvin Oaten

    The John Wilson Ocean Dr is symptomatic of all that’s wrong within that building. A bunch of very small minded people who blithely produce “15” reports on the subject to table in front of council. Council in turn are prepared to devote time to even consider these. Surely, if they couldn’t put it to bed after a couple of reports, that would suggest that there is an intellectual deficit of 15 present. What is the problem? The bl…y road was only closed to facilitate the Tahuna Outfall Pipe extension, after which it was to be opened and business as usual. Two councils and about four years and they still can’t sort it. How embarrassing.

    • Elizabeth


      ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Oct 2012
      Discussion on drive stalled
      By Debbie Porteous
      The latest Dunedin City Council discussion about future vehicle access on John Wilson Ocean Dr was yesterday put off until late October.[…]councillors were sidetracked by a separate recommendation to reduce the proposed speed limit on the drive from 30kmh to 20kmh.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth


        ### ch9.co.nz October 25, 2012 – 5:59pm
        Council to decide John Wilson Ocean Drive future on Monday
        A DCC meeting earlier this month was expected to finally rule on a problem that has been taxing the decision making powers of councillors.

        • Elizabeth

          NZTA pulls funding – any option under consideration is now a full charge on DCC.
          The debate tonight at DCC (ratepayers meet the cost of all these meetings and reports ie) is over the number of hours per day and which hours the road should be open to the public. MADNESS CONTINUES.

          ### ch9.co.nz October 29, 2012 – 5:44pm
          John Wilson Ocean Dr to be re-opened to traffic
          The Dunedin City Council has decided to re-open John Wilson Ocean Dr to traffic. The decision was made late not long before 9 local news went to air, but only after another bombshell hit the council on the long-running issue.

          Report – Council – 29/10/2012 (PDF, 788.2 KB)
          Vehicle Access John Wilson Ocean Drive

  103. Peter

    I was kind of hoping for a high, winter wave surge that took the whole of JWD away and thereby stopped the bickering over a pretty unimportant issue given our financial difficulties as a city.
    Oh well. There’s always next winter.

  104. daseditor

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

  105. Calvin Oaten

    If this doesn’t convince everybody that they are all mad in there then nothing will.

  106. Calvin Oaten

    Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. Will it be a fully open road as originally, will it be open some hours only, will it be for walkers only, will it be a dog racing track, or will it simply be an access to the lookout for potential suicides? Or, will council call for the 16th – or – 17th staff report?

  107. Hype O'Thermia

    It would be a mistake to rush into a decision. What’s another few years of council gas-baggery propelled by the least able (yoo-hoo Bill how’s the cranial insufficiency up there?) when it’s a matter of such complexity?

  108. Anonymous

    ‘Cr Syd Brown, who also opposed reopening the road because of the cost, …’

    Cost? What is $45K or $150K or even another $1M to this Stadium Councillor? Oh, that’s right, it’s NOT HIS BLOODY RUGBY MATES getting thrown public dollars like a rich boy’s lolly scramble.

    This is pure electioneering shite from the Taieri ward councillor who has been prepared to waste tens of thousands on an Allied Press party through to many millions on professional rugby.

    Go play with your horses and subdivisions and leave Dunedin alone you self serving git.

    And Debbie, pull your head in.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 28 Oct 2012
    Further John Wilson Ocean Dr option
    By Debbie Porteous
    Just as Dunedin city councillors say it is time to stop stringing the community along and make a decision on John Wilson Ocean Dr, a report from council staff throws another option on the table that could prolong the debate further.

  109. ormk

    Ha ha… they are using a picture of that drink driver Acklin. At least it’d be good to keep him off the roads.

  110. Hype O'Thermia

    Holy McFerret, what’s the fuss about? It was closed TEMPORARILY for a SPECIFIC PURPOSE. Purpose over, open the damn thing.
    I don’t like the precedent of “temporary” change being later amended to “something altogether different”. Open the damn Drive and then, AFTER the original “contract” with the people of Dunedin has been kept, that’s the time to put a proposed alteration up for public discussion followed by a clear, non-time-wasting decision of Council; not this amateur hour at the asylum process.

    • Elizabeth

      We’re tired. Vote them all out in 2013.

      ### ODT Online Tue, 30 Oct 2012
      Drive set to reopen next year
      By Debbie Porteous
      For a brief moment, after 90 minutes’ debate, it seemed as if a final decision on John Wilson Ocean Dr had finally been made – albeit one that would cost ratepayers $160,000. Then Dunedin city councillors entered an hour-long discussion on what speed limit should be set for the upgraded road. That decision, which could potentially add tens of thousands to the cost of the project, was left on the table for a 17th report on the matter from council staff … and the debate lives on.
      As it stands, the council yesterday decided the road would reopen to vehicles between 11am and 3pm on weekdays from early next year. Councillors voted 8-6 in favour of Cr Bill Acklin’s proposal to go with “option 4” from staff, to reseal the road, install a 5m-wide carriageway with a 50kmh speed limit, a 4m-wide shared pedestrian/cycle path and separate them with a low concrete barrier. A 13-1 vote reduced vehicle access hours of 9am-3pm proposed by Cr Acklin, to 11am-3pm.
      The proposals altered decisions made by councillors last November.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth


        ### ch9.co.nz October 30, 2012 – 6:40pm
        John Wilson Ocean Drive decision meets with opposition
        A decision may have been made to re-open John Wilson Ocean Drive to traffic, but voices against the move are still making themselves heard. Those that opposed the return of vehicles are, unsurprisingly, still opposed. They are joined by Dunedin’s mayor, who says he is not happy with the decision, a sentiment backed up by members of the public spoken to this afternoon.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Nov 2012
          Nod for John Wilson Ocean Dr compromise
          By Debbie Porteous
          Those on either side of the debate about whether John Wilson Ocean Dr should be reopened to vehicles largely begrudgingly accept the compromise the council is proposing. But no-one is holding their breath about when it will happen. Dunedin city councillors decided on Monday to go with an option in which the road would be resealed after six years’ closure and split into a 5m-wide road – open to vehicles weekdays between 11am and 3pm – and a 4m-wide pedestrian path. The two would be separated by a concrete kerb and intermittent planted islands. But a speed limit is yet to be decided, and the $160,000 cost could increase if further work is needed on the road to slow vehicles down. Those who wanted the road reopened said while they were not “ecstatic” about the plan, they would accept it if it meant they could drive up the road again.
          Read more

          Councillor question decision making process

          [Kate Wilson “is appalled at the process by which a decision to spend an extra $107,000 on John Wilson Ocean Dr was made”. So, was Cr Wilson a little bit appalled, made dishevelled even, by her co-councillors’ skim treatment of DCHL/DVML/DVL etc annual reports – who cares what happens to the millions, right Kate?]

  111. Hype O'Thermia

    Slow, slow, quick-quick slow, take your meeting fees please for The John Wilson all-around-the-houses section of Dancing With The Wasbeens…………

    • ### ODT Online Wed, 12 Jun 2013
      30kmh limit finds support
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin city councillors support lowering the speed limit for John Wilson Ocean Dr, but it could be a year before any change is introduced. Councillors at yesterday’s planning and environment committee meeting backed a staff recommendation that would eventually see the coastal road’s speed limit cut from 50kmh to 30kmh. However, the proposal would first have to go through the council’s next speed-limit review process, including public consultation and, possibly, a public hearing.
      Read more

      (our emphasis)

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