DCC self-examinations…

### ODT Online Wed, 17 Aug 2011
Project Gateway on hold
By David Loughrey
Project Gateway – an initiative that has cost the Dunedin City Council $3.5 million over the last decade – will be put on hold and “reviewed” after results that have fallen well short of initial goals.

Despite early hopes of attracting 60,000 visitors a year, creating 555 jobs and opening up a market worth $21 million, council economic development unit manager Peter Harris said it had instead sparked sales of about $4.6 million, and helped create “around 34 jobs”.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management

11 responses to “DCC self-examinations…

  1. Anonymous

    Hiding in plain sight, the main reason for the failure of the project is mentioned in the article.

  2. Phil

    I suspect that a fair chunk of the 34 job “successes” was in employing extra staff into the Economic Development Unit.

    • Elizabeth

      Mr Stephens’ comments come as figures obtained by the Otago Daily Times showed 447 council staff received bonus payments totalling $254,151 in the 2010-11 financial year. The largest individual payment was $4000 and the smallest $100.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 22 Aug 2011
      DCC staff bonuses not part of savings
      By Chris Morris
      Despite $254,000 in cash rewards being dished out in the last year, a Dunedin City Council savings drive is unlikely to target staff bonuses, acting chief executive Athol Stephens says. Rather, more rewards might be distributed, given the pressure on council budgets from next year – an $8 million annual budget shortfall is forecast.
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      • Elizabeth

        Should Dunedin City Council be letting substandard flats to Dunedin citizens? How many Council-owned flats fail to meet World Health Organisation standards, or Health Canada standards?

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        ### ODT Online Mon, 22 Aug 2011
        Plea for insulation goes unanswered
        By Allison Rudd
        Maryann Little has adapted to life in her uninsulated and south-facing Dunedin City Council flat, dressing in extra layers and running heaters in both the small living area and her separate bedroom. She can cope with her electricity and gas bills by “being frugal with heating”… But it is the water dribbling down the inside of the concrete block wall in her lounge which really annoys her.

        Council housing manager Sharron Tipa said last week the council had a $5 million, five-year programme to upgrade insulation in its 990 flats, accessing Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority subsidies to do so. But she said the Fingall St flats had skillion roofs – where the ceiling is the same angle as the roofline – and there was no easy way to install insulation. There was also no space for underfloor insulation.

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        New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights — Mana ki te Tangata
        Chapter 13: The right to an adequate standard of living: focus on the right to housing
        Te tika ki te whai nohoanga oranga: tirohanga ki te tika whai whare
        “Habitability: key issues are dampness, coldness, and crowding. Temperatures in almost a third of New Zealand homes are below the World Health Organisation recommended minimum indoor temperature of 18°C.”
        “New Zealand houses are cold by international standards. Disadvantaged groups and those on lower incomes are more likely to live in uninsulated houses.”
        http://www.hrc.co.nz/report/summary/summary13.html

        Department of Building and Housing — Te Tari Kaupapa Whare
        Indoor Climate

        Indoor climate covers the respiratory quality of indoor air, the indoor air temperature and the moisture conditions required for health and comfort.
        “Indoor thermal conditions are important for health and comfort, although individuals vary in their temperature requirements. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum indoor temperature for health of 18ºC, with up to 20-21ºC for more vulnerable groups, such as older people and young children.”
        http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bcr-part5-type2-indoor-climate

        Ministry of Social Development — Te Manatu Whakahiato Ora
        Institutional challenges in addressing healthy low-cost housing for all: learning from past policy (March 2007)
        (Introduction) “The shape of the housing market and the quality of housing – whether public or private, old or new – can have an influence on the health of the occupants (Howden-Chapman 2004). Housing is an important determinant of health, a “commodity, purchased by a household, but also an investment in health” (Fass 1987). Therefore, the state can be seen to have a legitimate policy role in addressing the externalities of housing.”
        http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj30/30-institutional-challenges-healthy-low-cost-housing-pages42-64.html

      • Elizabeth

        Because Mr Stephens has undertaken work down the years (and continuing?) to support the stadium spend, rather than pay more bonuse to staff with “ideas” on how to save or make money (good grief), I recommend the Council deducts a large chunk from Mr Stephens’ annual salary payments for each year that he has compromised Dunedin ratepayers. Mr Stephens will also be expected to make regular appearances at the new public stocks in the Octagon.

  3. Peter

    I guess you could say that at least the council has recognised the situation, and done something about it, instead of carrying on with the project and pretending it is more effective than what it actually is.So good on them on for reviewing this.

    • Elizabeth

      Based on these results, the project looks like an utter flop. -ODT

      ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Aug 2011
      Editorial: At the mercy of the airlines
      Project Gateway was a bright idea to bolster Dunedin and foster links with the big cities of the east coast of Australia. The initiative was launched by Dunedin International Airport Ltd in 1998, and adopted by the Dunedin City Council in partnership with the airport, Tourism Dunedin, the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the University of Otago.
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  4. Phil

    Well, Sharron is SORT of telling the truth. City Property does indeed have such a ceiling insulation programme. It started back some time around 2005/2006. It was generally linked to roof replacement projects, as that is the more cost effective method of fitting thermal insulation (with the roof removed). But, the point is that the project Sharron is referring is actually nearing the end of its life, not starting out.

    From what I can understand, about 75% of the nearly 1,000 housing units have been examined during this period. Those that were noted to have insulated ceilings (regardless of how meagre and non-compliant by today’s standards) were marked off as being “insulated”. Those which had accessible ceilings and were found to have no ceiling inulation, were insulated. Those which have sloping ceilings had their ceiling insulation status noted simply as “unknown”. Given that the requirement to insulate homes in New Zealand only began in 1978, and that all the “unknown” status housing units were built prior to 1978, it would be a reasonable assumption to say that none of those units contain any thermal insulation. That is further supported by the roof replacement projects on similar type units which were found to have no ceiling insulation.

    The average housing unit is less that 50 square metres in area. Even if the roof is in good condition, it’s not that expensive to remove the roof (or ceiling) fit adequate thermal insulation, and then re-fit the cladding. A fairly weak excuse. I always work on the question as to whether or not I would consider it reasonable to live in those conditions.

    Where I do have sympathy for City Property in this matter is the whole “self funding” approach to community housing. With a limited income coming from rental revenue, there is little reserve to be able to carry out this basic service to an acceptable standard. I maintain that care of the eldery and vunerable in society is a core council activity and, as such, should be funded by the general purse.

  5. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 14 Oct 2011
    DCC concedes poor survey results
    A survey that showed only 10% of Otago and Southland businesspeople are satisfied with their local council is further evidence the Dunedin City Council (DCC) has work to do when it comes to its relationship with businesses, acting mayor Chris Staynes says. The MYOB Business Monitor survey of more than 1000 business-owners throughout the country found the level of satisfaction with councils was low, with the level of dissatisfaction approaching 50% in some regions.
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