Your City What Future $$$$$$$$$$ ? (broke Council means corporatising OUR water doesn’t it)

Dunedin City Council
Media Release

Your City Our Future – The Community Identifies Priorities For Dunedin’s Future

This item was published on 19 Aug 2011.

As part of the community-wide consultation programme, “Your City Our Future” (YCOF), a questionnaire was sent to every household with ‘City Talk’ in June 2011. The questionnaire asked the community to indicate what spending priority should be given to a number of discretionary activities. 4,340 valid responses were received by the Council.

Overall, the community ranked 46 areas of discretionary expenditure as medium to high spending priorities. The areas which were identified as the highest spending priorities were:

• Advocating for the retention of our hospital and medical research capacity;
• Encouraging employment opportunities for everyone;
• Ensuring Dunedin maintains its reputation as a leading provider of education services; and
• Promoting Dunedin to attract visitors, workers and investors.

The areas which were most commonly identified as ‘top three spending priorities’ in the open data collection were:

• Employment and jobs;
• Reduction of rates and spending;
• Public transport;
• Supporting businesses and industries; and
• Learning and education.

The areas most commonly identified as ‘other factors the Council should consider’ in the open data collection were:

• Improving public transport services (cheaper fares, bus frequency and timetable, bus sizes, bus routes, bus shelters, etc.);
• Improving railway services (trams/cable cars, passenger rail, freight, etc.); and
• Supporting home-owners to make homes warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat.

In order to overcome possible issues of bias associated with surveys where respondents ‘self select’, a telephone survey was also be undertaken in June 2011 of a random sample of 380 households. The Council is satisfied that the results from the telephone survey have validated the results from the questionnaire.

Mayor Dave Cull says, “When we first launched YCOF in 2010 I said this programme takes an holistic view of the city and it is important that the community plays an active part in shaping that view. These results suggest a large number of Dunedin residents took the opportunity to do just that. I’m looking forward to building on the work that has already been done, and helping to shape Dunedin into the city our community wants it to be.”

The YCOF results will guide the Council and DCC staff when considering the priorities for discretionary spending over the next ten years.

Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 477 4000.

DCC Link


### ODT Online Sat, 20 Aug 2011
Councils in talks on buses
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council is considering a possible takeover of the Dunedin public transport network from the Otago Regional Council, which could pave the way for an overhaul of the service.

The news was confirmed by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday, as results of the council’s Your City, Our Future survey sent to households across the city showed strong public support for such a move. Mr Cull said the survey results and other feedback meant the community had “obviously signalled” its desire for a better service, beginning with a transfer of responsibility for the network, and “we’re considering it”. Preliminary discussions with ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead about a possible takeover had been under way for several months, Mr Cull said.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, People, Politics

93 responses to “Your City What Future $$$$$$$$$$ ? (broke Council means corporatising OUR water doesn’t it)

  1. Elizabeth

    Your City Our Future – Survey Findings (via ODT)

    What we like:
    • Retention of hospital and medical research services.
    • Employment opportunities.
    • Education reputation.
    • Promoting Dunedin.

    What we don’t like:
    • Partnering with Tangata Whenua.
    • More public art.
    • Art in new infrastructure designs.
    • Reducing income inequality.

    Top 20 council spending priorities / responses:
    • Employment and jobs 445
    • Reduce rates and spending 445
    • Public transport 439
    • Supporting businesses and industries 432
    • Learning and education 378
    • Economy 375
    • Roading 360
    • Transportation 325
    • Reduce debt 310
    • Health services 309
    • Cycleways 290
    • Sustainability and resilience 284
    • Sewerage and drainage 282
    • Safety of people in public spaces 275
    • Natural environment 255
    • Healthy, warm and affordable housing 252
    • Safe and healthy people 251
    • Maintenance and renewal of infrastructure 248
    • Water quality 235
    • Focus on core business and essential services 227

    Top 20 other activities for consideration / responses:
    • Improve public transport services 749
    • Improve railway services 314
    • Support homeowners to make homes warmer, healthier, cheaper to heat 195
    • Improve parking 176
    • Improve safety in public places 176
    • Improve cycleways 166
    • Improve look and feel of suburban centres 150
    • Introduce traffic free zones or days 135
    • Complaints about the teeth/molars on Portsmouth Dr 132
    • Improve health services 130
    • Lobby to retain businesses in Dunedin 125
    • Not role of council to provide large sporting facilities 119
    • Encourage employment opportunities and investments 116
    • Provide more rubbish bins 114
    • Improve affordability of recreation 111
    • Pull down what is beyond repair or too dangerous 108
    • Discourage the use of cars 107
    • Encourage landlords and homeowners to maintain their properties 100
    • Increase support of arts in Dunedin 100
    • Not role of council to provide education services 95

    ODT Link

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 24 Aug 2011
      Editorial: Controlling city’s bus services
      Proposals for the Dunedin City Council to take over the control of the city’s buses have emerged again, this time with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull confirming he has had preliminary discussions with Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead. Previously, former regional council chairman, Stephen Cairns had advocated for city council control and discussion and debate had taken place. What has changed now is that the city has sold its bus operating arm, Citibus, removing a possible conflict of interest. There is logic to city control.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Mr Martin should sit down and have a nice cup of tea.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Sep 2011
        Council tells DCC to ‘put up’ over buses
        By Rebecca Fox
        If the Dunedin City Council wants to take over Dunedin’s public transport system, it “jolly well” needs to make a move before the end of the year, Otago Regional Council chief executive Graeme Martin says. “They need to put up, or leave it be,” he said at a finance and corporate committee yesterday. However, that does not seem likely.

        Mayor Dave Cull said when contacted the city council would not be making such a decision until it had consulted the public and, if it was to do so, it would probably be through the annual plan process to be held early next year.

        Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sun, 4 Dec 2011
      Harbour cycleway to grow
      The Harbour cycleway is to be extended out to St Leonards along State Highway 88 by the New Zealand Transport Agency next year. The agency wants to appoint a contractor to carry out work on a 2km extension of the existing SH88 cycleway from Maia. The stand-alone cycleway is planned, eventually, to run all the way through to Port Chalmers. NZTA southern regional director Jim Harland said construction of the cycleway extension was estimated to take about five months.
      Read more

      UPDATE: 5 Dec 2011

      DCC Media Release
      Another important step for the State Highway 88 walking/cycling path

      This item was published on 02 Dec 2011.
      The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is calling tenders to construct a further section of the State Highway (SH88) Dunedin to Port Chalmers walking/cycling path.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sun, 4 Dec 2011
        Urgent fix for key water artery
        By Chris Morris
        A major artery in Dunedin’s water network is in need of a $700,000 overhaul, after rapidly deteriorating in less than half its expected lifespan. Contractors for the Dunedin City Council are expected to begin a six-week project to replace a 755m section of trunk water main, running between the Dunedin Botanic Garden and Woodhaugh Garden, on Monday. The 250mm water main – linking reservoirs at Maori Hill and Signal Hill – ran under land on the edge of the two gardens, as well as the north ground, council engineering project manager Marco Vega said. However, the replacement section would be reinstalled under Opoho Rd, Bank and North Sts in staged work before and after Christmas, Mr Vega said.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODt Online Sat, 11 Feb 2012
        Extension to track commissioned
        Work will begin next week on a $1 million extension to the shared walking and cycling path beside State Highway 88. The construction contract has been awarded to Dunedin-based company Delta Utility Services, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) southern regional director Jim Harland said in a statement this week. The work, which would start on Monday, involved extending the existing shared path 2km from Maia to the St Leonards Boat Club. It will run along two sections of the Otago Harbour causeway which carries the main trunk railway line.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### February 10, 2012 – 6:25pm
          Extensions of State Highway 88 to start Monday
          Extensions which will almost double the length of State Highway 88, from Dunedin to Port Chalmers, will start on Monday. The work will extend the existing shared path 2km from Maia to the St Leonards boat club, and run along two sections of the Otago Harbour causeway which carries the main railway line. NZ Transport Agency Southern Regional Director, Jim Harland, says the extensions will provide a continuous 4.5km path for walking and cycling commuters between Dunedin and St Leonards. The project is due to be completed in June.

  2. Elizabeth

    Would you trust the staff or councillors.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Oct 2011
    Council unveils water business options
    By Chris Morris
    Two models for the future of Dunedin’s water, both involving the creation of a new council-controlled organisation (CCO), are to go before the Dunedin City Council next week. However, council staff have also moved to allay public concern such a move could lead to privatisation, water meters or higher water charges.

    • The first option would see the formation of SouthernWater, a CCO created and 100% owned by the council, with 100 council staff transferred to it and managing the city’s $1.6 billion of water, wastewater and stormwater assets.
    • Councillors would also be asked to consider a second model suggested by Delta Utility Services, another council-owned company, and decide how to proceed. The Delta proposal would see the creation of a new CCO to own the city’s water assets, but with Delta providing all CCO services and 100 council staff transferred to Delta instead.

    Read more

    Meeting: Finance, strategy and development committee, Monday 17 October 2011.

    Report – FSD – 17/10/2011
    (PDF, 2.6 MB)
    Three Waters CCO Proposal

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    [fingers crossed behind my back]
    OF COURSE I would trust the staff or councillors – for are not they all honourable men? Like, except the ones who are women and are they not all honorary men when it comes to be honourable … innit … yeah………. uh what was the question?

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Anyway we voted for them so they’ve got a mandate.
    Begorrah I’m having a bad day when I start channelling Chin.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 15 Oct 2011
      Editorial: The economics of water
      Water supply is one of the coming issues of the age. The importance of securing supply in the most economic and sustainable manner cannot be underestimated. In Otago, where rain, rivers and an accessible and – at least until relatively recently – uncompromised potable water table has provided a plentiful resource, this has not been considered a high priority. But times are changing: the value, and indeed the cost, of maintaining clean water can only rise as population pressures grow. The Dunedin City Council’s initiative to address the treatment and supply of water is thus to be welcomed. The city has an estimated $1.6 billion portfolio of water, wastewater and stormwater assets.
      Read more

  5. I notice the DCC is trying to get heavy handed with the Occupy protesters. Got something to hide there council???

  6. Amanda kennedy

    Interesting to observe this isn’t it? We have our own version of feral politiicians here in Dunedin. The message these protesters are making can be perfectly applied to them and their little trickle down promise. We know here in Dunedin that the catchcry of Cr Hudson and mates is ‘private profit but public debt’. They are setting themselves up to sell our water to pay for their debt. Cr Hudson and mates are just hoping real hard we have forgotten who is responsible for this debt and accountability is forgotten about.

  7. Interestingly that did come up on the first day….

    • Elizabeth

      Tweet (10 hours ago):
      @metiria Awesome photo of #OccupyDunedin I was at #OccupyWellington instead, which was cool too.

      Follow the tweets of @OccupyDunedin to get more detail of what @DnCityCouncil has threatened…. and any fresh actions DCC might like to chance!

      Who at DCC is getting heavy, we ask???

      Tweet (5 hours ago):
      @OccupyDunedin @DnCityCouncil have threatened to call the police. We’ve already talked to the police. They told us tenting as part of our protest is OK.

      Dunedin Water
      I hope some from @OccupyDunedin and concerned citizens pack the public gallery at tomorrow’s DCC Finance, Strategy and Development meeting
      Monday 17 October 2011 at 1:00pm
      Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, The Octagon, Dunedin

      NOTE: There is no Agenda available online at DCC’s website (link). While it might be an (oops) oversight, to my mind this is in breach of the Local Government Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA).

      Will the Three Waters CCO Proposal Report – FSD – 17/10/2011 (PDF, 2.6 MB) be discussed in public or non public?

      So much for DCC’s Communication Strategy.
      Did someone sack Rodders last week?

  8. Amanda kennedy

    I am also interested to see how the ODT handles this protest.

  9. Anonymous

    The only thing that matters wrt LGOIMA is whether or not the agenda was available for public inspection on Thursday. If not, it’s a breach.

    • Elizabeth

      As requested:

      Agenda – FSD – 17/10/2011 (PDF, 58.5 KB)

      Item 3 CCTO Governance Implementation (non public)
      Warren Larsen and Bill Baylis are involved in the implementation of the CCO Governance Review

      Item 8 Three Waters CCO Proposal (public)

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Oct 2011
        Jobs in doubt with council water proposal
        By Chris Morris
        Jobs could be on the line as the Dunedin City Council considers plans for a new council-controlled organisation (CCO) to manage the city’s $1.6 billion water infrastructure network. The plans, yet to be approved by councillors, would result in 100 staff from the council’s water and waste services unit transferred either to a new CCO called SouthernWater, or to Delta Utility Services. It was hoped the greater commercial discipline expected from SouthernWater or the alternative Delta proposal, if either proceeded, would result in greater efficiencies and more cost-effective services for ratepayers.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Oct 2011
          Protesters intent on staying camped in Octagon
          By Eileen Goodwin and John Gibb
          Anti-capitalism protesters camping in the Octagon refused a Dunedin City Council request to leave yesterday and say they may remain for weeks. The “Occupy Dunedin” protest took over the upper Octagon on Saturday. More than 100 protesters and about 30 tents were still in place late last night.

          Community and recreation services manager Mick Reece, told the Otago Daily Times the council had not requested police help, but planned to, since the protesters had not responded to the request to leave.

          Read more

  10. amanda kennedy

    Well, I just went to the Edinburgh Room at 1pm sat down for two minutes then I was told to leave as the so called ‘open to the public’ meeting had been made suddenly not public. I only got to hear that Cull is very concerned that the meeting proceed in a mannerly fashion. Rodney Bryant gave me a copy of the agenda when I asked why the meeting was not made public; and surprise surprise here’s what it reads “…resolution to exclude the public…reason for this resolution…that the public conduct of the whole or the relevant part of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exists…” Business as usual. Looked like Cr Brown, chief leader of the fiscal incompetents responsible for our bankrupt city, was heading the meeting for the future of our water. Lovely.

  11. Elizabeth

    Amanda, sorry to hear! If the Council continues on in this non transparent way little old conservative Dunedin is going to have more than tents in the Octagon to worry about, we’ll be camping outside Councillors’ houses.

  12. The dirty pieces of …….

    I go to a meeting and they HIDE. The question this time is what are they hiding now?

    Come clean council, you are starting to look like a bunch of corporate wankers.

  13. Amanda kennedy

    Those on council love it when we complain about ‘council’. Walls always hid behind ‘the council’ and I see Acklin tries the same wee trick (remember how careful he was to remind us how he has been voted to council three times? He is behind the times of course). It means those responsible for our debt get to hide behind the good name of those who are not (Crs Wilson, MacTavish, Staynes, Vandervis and Cull). I think half on council are decent politicians, they are controlled by the others and the belief that they are doing the right thing by dampening down any outrage at the debt the other half created. To question this puts them in a vulnerable postion.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Amanda; so who are the decent half?

    • Elizabeth

      I think all Councillors – except Lee Vandervis – are struggling to be seen in public on ticklish issues they wish to debate and or bulldoze. Where’s their courage, experience and expertise that promotes the democratic process on behalf of us all?
      Despicable. I’m sure there’s a line-up of fickle excuses at the ready. SHAME.

  15. Anonymous

    Breach of LGOIMA. Contact Ombudsman.
    LGOIMA was originally breached by not publishing the agenda.
    Second breach occurred when meeting was changed to non-public after being notified as public.

  16. Amanda kennedy

    Yes, Elizabeth, you are correct. I guess I figure if we attack them all then they will back each other up, and that is bad news for Dunedin. To say it quietly, divide and conquer was my hope, but they all seem to be tightly adhering to the ‘we are on the same page and love each other deeply’ mode. Except for Vandervis. I can see why the stadium debt monsters wish to do this, but am sad the rest are. Though I can see that it is much much easier for them to do this. The ‘Greater Dunedin’ folk are clearly not anywhere as strongly united as the Stadium cabal.

  17. Amanda kennedy

    I feel a bit ripped off about that, I voted for the Greater Dunedin ticket mainly because they presented as a united group and so I hoped they would oppose the stadium cabal. Ha. The joke was on me.

    • Elizabeth

      Need to find out what went down today. On the case shortly.

      • Elizabeth

        Channel 9 – Occupy Dunedin October 17, 2011 – 6:13pm
        The Occupy Wall Street movement began around a month ago, with people camping in America’s financial heart to protest against a system they claim is unfair. Over the weekend the movement arrived in New Zealand, with groups of protesters setting up in the major centres, including Dunedin’s Octagon. Video

        Channel 9 – Occupy Dunedin day 3 October 17, 2011 – 6:31pm
        Three days on for Occupy Dunedin, and the Octagon is filled with tents, while numbers of people supporting the campaign are reportedly on the increase. Campaigner Kieran Trass says more people are showing an interest in the protest, with around 80 people camped out on the Octagon lawn. Trass says people across the city are showing their support by dropping off supplies of food to the protesters. He says the campaign is highly organised, with everything from recycling to security in the evenings. Trass says there’s a policy of keeping the lawn spotless and clean, and they are holding general assemblies twice daily. Video

    • Elizabeth

      Amanda and wirehunt – not all of today’s FSD meeting was held in non-public. Rodney Bryant could have explained this more usefully?

      On the weekend, Cr Vandervis made a plea to the CEO to have Item 10 Otago Settlers Museum Project Stage Four Construction moved into public. He says: “The ratepayers went down by a few more million today, all for a triangular glass box that someone wanted… They pushed through this ludicrous spend [in public]…because the Mayor and his shadow Cr Thomson had decided it was going to happen. Cr MacTavish provided an earnest and compelling argument not to blow dough we do not have, but to little avail. We were the only two to have our votes recorded against.”

      More information to come.
      Don’t know what happened with the water…

  18. Well there’s some open forum meeting on Wednesday apparently, so I’ll be at that AS A RATEPAYER.
    The reason I say it like that is it will be nothing to do with the Occupy thing, which the boy and I just finished doing our security shift on. I’ll be there purely as a ratepayer, and expecting answers as a ratepayer.

    The mayor did front up this evening at 18:30 along with the new chief exec Paul Orders is it? He organised a port-a-loo for up the side of the Chambers.

    Amanda, so was it you I was talking to outside the Chambers?

    • Elizabeth

      wirehunt – oh dear, note the cut-off date:

      Public Forum [Finance, Strategy and Development Public Forum]

      Those wishing to speak should advise the Public Forum Co-ordinator, Jane Hinkley (phone 4774000) by 4pm on Thursday 13 October.

      When: 19 October 2011 at 1pm
      Where: Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, The Octagon, Dunedin.

      [DCC weblink]

  19. I’m growing weary of all this BS. So I go to an opening meeting today which they close to public, then they say come to the open forum, expect the date is a week ago to book in for that.

    I’m SHOCKED!! Oh wait, no I’m not. Hell I’m not even mildly surprised.

    But I’m still very weary of it all. I wonder if I can back charge them for mileage etc coming in to town….

  20. Calvin Oaten

    So, by going for the latest recommendation of Graham Hall and accepting the revised price for stage four of the Otago Settlers Museum, we are not spending $4.5 million, we are “saving” $3 million. Brilliant!!!
    That is the recommendation of the Finance and Strategy Committee (read full council) at Monday’s meeting. It proves yet again that Mr Orders has just got to get to grips with this weird administration and dispense with the services of “dorks” like Hall. Everything he has anything to do with either does not work, falls to bits, always escalates in cost and is a disaster.
    Try as he might, Cr Lee Vandervis is on a hiding to nothing in endeavouring to inject some sanity into the debate. Mayor Cull’s sojourn to the Atlas Mountains obviously had no therapeutic benefit whatsoever. It is madness as usual, all the time pleading for cost savings. A very sick joke.

  21. Amanda kennedy

    That’s the plan. They do nothing, ignore all complaint, Hudson stays on his many committees siphoning off the cash. The stadium is a massive loss, and we pay ( who benefits?). They do nothing. We grow weary. We give up. That is their version of democracy. We had all that when we had the Chin council and it was dominated with the stadium cabal. I had hoped that under Cull and Greater Dunedin we would have some accountability and have those responsible called out and at the very least not given chairmanships of crucial committees like Cr Brown has been given. They don’t get it, we will not suddenly forget the injustice just because it suits Greater Dunedin to suddenly be optimistic about the debt the other half of council have created. They need to wake up. Even the great Obama is losing the love because he is all talk and not action. We got all the talk before the election from Cull and co, now we need action; they need to chose. Dunedin people or consensus with their fellow councillors which so far has meant money flowing toward Farry’s great trickle down dream by the sea.

  22. Amanda kennedy

    Yes, wirehunt. Was me. Vandervis was asking for something which the fiscal incompetent Brown said no to when I sat down, only caught the tail end of that. Cull is obviously in damage control mode, and Thomson, Mr Pragmatic. Maybe they tell themselves they are being responsible and that if the truth came out people would leave the sinking city in droves and that would not solve their problem; they need more to come to pay for the debt Hudson and mates have given us.

    • Elizabeth


      ### ODT Online Tue, 18 Oct 2011
      Delta water network bid to be judged
      By Chris Morris
      A bid by Delta Utility Services for a stake in the future of Dunedin’s $1.6 billion water network is to be scrutinised by the Dunedin City Council. That was despite concerns about a loss of Dunedin City Council control over the city’s water network again being raised at yesterday’s finance, strategy and development committee meeting. Councillors at yesterday’s meeting instructed the council’s “Three Waters” working party – tasked with examining the future of the city’s water infrastructure – to undertake a detailed analysis of the Delta proposal over the next three months.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth


        ### ODT Online Tue, 18 Oct 2011
        Protesters won’t be ‘bought off by one loo’
        By John Lewis and Ellie Constantine
        The Dunedin City Council has left “the ball” in the hands of protesters in the Octagon, following a peaceful meeting last night to discuss the length of their occupation. Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders and Mayor Dave Cull spoke to about 100 protesters in the Octagon, and asked them to decide among themselves, how long they intended to stay. They were also invited to attend the council public forum tomorrow to air their views on capitalism.
        Read more

  23. Amanda kennedy

    Oh golly, what a surprise! They may sell off our water to get funds (to pay for you know what?). Who saw that coming?

  24. Amanda kennedy

    We know how the stadium cabal will vote, this was the way they were going to pay for their stadium all along. That means our future rests in the hands of Greater Dunedin; Staynes, Cull, Wilson, MacTavish and Thomson and the outsider Vandervis.

  25. Calvin Oaten

    What??? Does council have views on ‘capitalism’? You could have fooled me. I didn’t think they had views, full stop. First there would be a need to demonstrate any knowledge of things fiscal and that is lamentably missing.
    For council to convene a public forum is another sick joke. When did they ever take any heed of the public?

    • Elizabeth

      From the wowser ODT Editor with no ‘activist’ sensibilities that might involve occupation (apparently it’s fine to march for neurosurgical services though, remember the clever slogans), and how embarrassing the last two paragraphs~!!! (italicising by What if?)

      ### ODT Online Tue, 18 Oct 2011
      Editorial: Defaults and demonstrations
      While anti-capitalism protesters gather and demonstrate across the world – from the Octagon in Dunedin to Times Square in New York via London, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo – Europe lurches towards another ominous milestone in its debt crisis. At the centre of it sits Greece, verging on a sovereign debt default and threatening to pull down with it the entire euro zone deck of cards. This would of course have an adverse, not to say debilitating, effect on the world economy – and leading countries have pressed Europe to act decisively within the next five days.
      Read more

      All of this might be seen to add grist to the mill being ground out by the Occupy Dunedin protesters camping at present in the Octagon. But as is usually the case with the reductive logic of activism – which, typically, reduces a series of complex and interactive dynamics to mere slogans – the solutions are not as simple or accessible as they might wish.

      It is important, in the name of democracy, however, that they are voiced. But this need not mean an indefinite “occupation” of the so-called moral high ground, nor of Dunedin’s central plaza. This group of people has made its point: now it is time for its members to move on and return the streets to all of the city’s people.

  26. Amanda kennedy

    Another total non surprise! The ODT tut tutting the protestors! Well they might. The protestors are protesting for debt creators to be made accountable. Do you remember ever reading an article where the ODT informs us of who is responible for the debt the city has? Or did it just sort of magically appear from out of the sky? Oh that’s right. They are all on council. Funny that.

    • Elizabeth

      Yeah Council did the sign-offs for the stadium, as it will do again with the (oops) privatisation of water before long, no doubt – the current debate reads like a softening up process? Delta FFS. Where have we seen that lot before – oh, DCHL.

      So… ‘they’ are all on Council, DCHL, or are business friends in suits. Our unpublished list of ‘responsible’ miscreants (the get-rich-quick steerage committee) hasn’t changed.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    What’s good about “a loss of Dunedin City Council control over the city’s water network” that’s worth savings of up to $2 million a year – “posited” savings, “potential” savings, and we know what that means. Think: “only $66 a year”. And there’s no mention of the costs of restructuring. New managers, new office with new equipment, furnishings and logo – by the way can anyone remember how much the Telecom logo cost? Enough to fill a food bank for months, as I recall but I can’t remember the exact sum. New appointments, more work for the human resources dept – oh, with positions being disestablished it won’t hurt them to be employed on vital new work eh. Contracts to be drafted, discussed, redrafted. Looks like one of the main benefits* will be a short-term job creation scheme!

    *Not for the ratepayers, we’re as usual the mug punters paying and paying.

  28. Calvin Oaten

    Pssst… here’s the deal. We put the “three waters” into a CCO (temporarily) while we contract Delta to provide all the services. This means Delta take over the revenue stream, enhance the business and by so doing increase its turnover. This increases its profits and allows a larger dividend to be paid to the DCC. A better idea would be to transfer the 3W’s assets (many $millions) from the DCC ( dismiss the CCO) to DCHL and charge interest on the value. That will increase the income from DCHL to DCC immeasurably. Delta would then be free to quickly install the meters and thus manipulate its income to suit. Pretty much like Aurora does with our electricity line/service charges. That opens the way for dividends we can only presently dream about. And the beauty of it all is that the ratepayers are the prime providers of those dividends. In effect they are then the indirect suppliers of their own income. They won’t, of course realise this at first because we can reduce their rates a bit and say that is because of economies effected by taking the water supply out of the standing charges. They will love that. We can absorb all manner of inefficiencies by the surreptitious increases in water/waste supply charges and explain it as unavoidable increases in expenses. Delta can disguise this without difficulty, and anyway the people are winning by the increase in dividends. This will solve the DCC debt problem in short order and all will be happy. We can even point out that we, the people still own our water resources, how brilliant is that?
    It needs to be sold as a viable option and who better to sell it to than Andrew Noone the chair of the committee? He is not the sharpest card in the pack and will suck it up no problem. He and the rest will be blinded by the prospect of the dividends. A deal Harland would be proud of. Vandervis and MacTavish might be a bit of a problem, but hey! they are only two votes out of fourteen. Cull and Brown will grab at the chance to get themselves off the financial hook, and the rest of the rats will hop on board as well.
    All in all, a pretty clever way around a dilemma, and they might even get re-elected next term.
    Better lobby hard under the table on this one. And let’s hope this new guy Orders is conned as well. Do you think we should co-opt old ‘Rodders’ to promote the visionary aspects in his “City Talk’ ? He won’t understand what it’s really about, just like he has no idea on the stadium. But hey! the blue rinse girls will buy into it no problem. All agreed? Right let’s go for it. Should be a pushover if we pitch it right.

  29. Anonymous

    Ask why the agenda distributed to Councillors has the CCO discussion marked as public and the agenda published on Web site has it as non-public. Who made the call to change and when?

  30. Anonymous

    Amanda – I’m directing supporters of the protest to this site. People who can’t attend want to know if there is an official site and how they can provide support in other ways. Could you ask what is required. For example, financial support, food, wet weather gear, tents, sleeping bags… even the small things can make a difference.

    A point of presence will also allow you to post updates, especially if you are accosted by the police on behalf of the councillors, stakeholders and or our wee media moguls. By ensuring actions are instantly made public it will be harder for them to take an aggressive approach.

    It will also help counter what ever media management is constructed by council and its misguided media liaison department.

    I have no problem with the occupation of the Octagon. But I have serious concerns about Crs Syd Brown and Andrew Noone occupying the council. These two are offered some protection against being voted out because of the ward configuration. Their Taieri and Waikouaiti constituents continue to vote them in on popularity and overlook the consequences for Dunedin as a whole.

    It is gutting Dunedin constituents are not able to leave them blank when local elections roll around.

    Please post a list of needs here so others can contribute to the cause. Many people are angry with this council and hope the protest will make this council face up to the people it is ignoring.

    Leave our assets alone Dunedin City councillors.

    • Elizabeth

      This is an independently owned website with two co-authors. What if? Dunedin… cannot be used to facilitate or organise Occupy Dunedin, however we follow the protest with interest. People are welcome to comment. The site is regularly checked for spam and misuse.

      Elizabeth Kerr, Moderator

  31. Amanda kennedy

    Anonymous, I am not actually ‘a part’ of the Occupy Dunedin initiative but I am very much in support of them. I have gone to the facebook site (Occupy Dunedin) and am following that. I have taken in food and am watching very closely indeed what Cull and Greater Dunedin and the stadium cabal do in response to these protestors. The protestors may not realise Dunedin shares a lot of the problems the Wall street protesters are protesting about ( politicians in bed with business, resulting in private profit but publised debt)but they understand the overall picture correct. They also understand the crucial part the media play in the con in America and here locally too.

  32. If they want to selling something SELL THE STADIUM!!

    So long as we got a good percentage back we would be a -mile- a hundred miles ahead of were we are now.
    After it’s sold a no confidence vote should go into council. Or vice versa as the case may be.

  33. For Occupy Dunedin search them on fb or either @occupydunedin on Twitter. Their email addy is but I’m not sure how often it’s checked yet.

    Things I know they’re after:
    Tarps (just look out your window ;) )
    And I’ll hazard a guess and say some dry clothes if you’ve got anything for the Sally bin.

    I know of one guy that came up from Invercargill on Saturday for the day and is still here. I will say to everyone, if you’ve got an hour and your around go talk with them.
    If council worked together half as well as these strangers with each other who knows where Dunedin could be.

    {Facebook: Occupy Dunedin -Eds}

  34. Amanda kennedy

    oh no Wirehunt! Important stakeholders would have egg on their face if we did that! They could not be called ‘Great Businessmen’ could they? who would have faith in them? No. Better to wait a few years and then they will let the stadium quietly slowly fall apart. What’s the problem with that? Important people keep their reputations and Dunedin people keep on doing what they are useful for, picking up the tab for the Important Stakeholders. The stadium does not have to work, it only needs to appear to be working.

  35. Elizabeth, I realise this Occupy isn’t a part of What If? But maybe a separate post so we can talk about it there? The two are very strangely intertwined with council as it stands being the epitome of why the people are there.

  36. Anonymous

    Thank you Amanda and Wirehunt. Elizabeth, noted. Wasn’t my intention to promote Occupy Dunedin but support a group disagreeing with corporate bad behaviour. The Dunedin City council has a lot to answer for on that subject and this protest offers opportunity to raise public awareness about an institution no longer working in the best interests of its constituents – the Dunedin City rent and rate payers. The local daily is more business and rugby than newsworthy and therefore not a reliable ally for questioning the activities of most councillors.

  37. Because of that Anonymous the council should be getting put under a microscope. I as a ratepayer would be more than happy to pay for that to happen.

    Way to many bad smells around here for way to long now. Just incompetence or something else?…..

  38. I’m not sure the Occupy movement is against the big spending, big debt, regulation and of bureaucracy of the City Council: they may want to increase it. If they have a political philosophy, it seems to be similar to that of communists a couple of generations ago. It proved to be a total economic failure. They espouse anti-capitalist slogans, but it is capitalism which has raised the world’s standard of living so much.
    The current economic crisis has been largely caused by reckless spending of governments. Some of this money has been used to bail out bankers and Wall Street, but it is politicians who should be blamed for this.
    Can someone tell us: what do Occupy want?

  39. Phil

    You would think that they would have learnt their lesson from City Consultants. All grand talk at the time about how the same level of service would continue to be utilised. As predicted, that turned out to be a load of rubbish and has resulted in higher long term costs than before. But it served little Jimbo’s bonus criteria at the time which was not to increase staff numbers. The first thing that happened with the CC mess, was that all the key personnel promptly left CC and took all their historical infrastructure knowledge with them. So that level of expertise which had been promised, disappeared instantly. The next thing that happened was that the purchaser of CC, who had been screwed down to a rock bottom price, used the remaining former CC staff on higher paying overseas projects in order to try and recover some of their costs. Junior and less experienced staff were assigned to DCC work, as that was the only way the company could carry the agreed low hourly rates. Again, the historical knowledge disappeared. Finally, instead of receiving good faith service, DCC (now as merely one of many clients, and not a particularly large client) now received exactly what they asked for. Which may, or may not, have been what they actually wanted. Loyalty lies with the employer, not the client.

    Did the city receive better value ? According to the DCC salary books, yes.

  40. That’s so easy yet so hard Alistair. But the simple answer is change, how change becomes communism has got me beat and I can’t really see how you’ve come to that.

    I’m not communist, but I back the occupy movement. The simple reason is I’m sick to death of paying taxes when others that earn one hell of a lot more pay nothing or next to it. So we in effect are subsidising the big earners. How are these CEO’s etc paid their bonuses? Not in taxable cash, that would be to well, taxable.
    As a young fella I was dumb enough to go work on a dairy farm, the bloke that owned it was always dashing out to get a new car/boat/tractor/insert toy here yet somehow paid little more tax than me. WTF? Oh, and he reneged on my 25 calf bonus at the end of the season but that another story.

  41. Anonymous

    Me too Elizabeth.

  42. Peter

    Capitalism/Communism – either way they fold, or reform, as they contend with their own contradictions. This movement is a ‘no confidence’ expression in ‘the system’ as it now stands. Whatever angle the protestors are coming from, I say good on them. I’m pleased to see (largely) young people actually trying to think things through and speaking up – whether you agree with them or not.

  43. Robert Hamlin

    I attended the meeting on Monday. After I had to wait for nearly three hours to be let in, during which time not a soul came out to tell me what was going on. Several tea breaks were taken during this period – although nothing came my way. It’s nice to see the Council being so prudent in its use of money with regard to potential bludgers.

    The working group has been redirected to consider the CCO option and the CCO/CCTO option. Initally the Delta bid was gong to be considered on its own along with the CCO option, until Vandervis made sure that this last minute piece of cheek was not rewarded by Delta’s bid being the sole option to be considered under this format.

    You will note here that this is not described as a CCO/Delta option, but a CCO/CCTO option. I was not priviy to the document itself, but the term universally used in this Committee discussion was CCO/CCTO, not CCO/Delta. This makes me suspect that a CCTO subsidiary from within Delta will be formed/used to administer the water assets. This may well be Newton Bus (and Water) Services, as this particular subsidiary has proved to be very handy to Delta in the past re Jacks Point. Remember a CCTO differs radically from a CCO – its primary purpose is to make money via trading.

    I suspect that the working group will report back early next year with a recommendation to put the CCO and Delta CCTO/CCO options out to public consultation. Status quo is unlikely to be an option that is actively put forward for consultation. Submitters will have to include this option in their submissions and it can then be discounted as ‘off brief’ by Councillors.

    Given this, Councillors Vandervis and MacTavish would do well to consider putting in a minority working group report if fhe status quo is not an option that the Committee seriously considers for public consultation. I left the meeting with the impression that Noone was sold on the CCO option at a minimum.

    Regardless of any minority reports. After the appropriate submissions charade, the Delta CCTO/CCO option will be adopted.

    Once this has been achieved I suspect as Calvin does that various manipulations will begin to occur along DVL/DVML lines. But this is where Calvin and I differ. As I have pointed out previously, clauses 136 and 137 of the ACT sponsored Local Government Amendment Bill allows the outright and in some circumstances compulsory privatisation of water assets and companies.

    The Act also says that ‘Councils will remain responsible for pricing’. Note that being responsible for something does not necessarily mean that you control it. Something my late father made a point of warning me about right at the start of my working life. Ergo. If he is still the Mayor, you can tell Cull in 2014 that you’re pissed off about your monthly $400 water and sewage bill administered by ‘Sunshine Surprise Water’ of the Cayman Islands – but this does not necessarily mean that Cull can do anything about it if he and his colleagues are as careless as I expect them to be in the next year or so.

    I made these matters known to the Council at the last [Annual Plan] submissions in May. It clearly made an impression because I was personally escorted from the room by Athol Stephens and told that I was completely wrong, and that other clauses of the Act guaranteed public ownership. I have now checked this legislation in its entirety – and can find no such qualifiying clauses. Nor did I expect to – legislation is not usually written to contradict itself!

    Here is what I expect will happen:

    1) The Delta CCTO/CCO option will be adopted.

    2) As Calvin predicts, water charges will kick in and the profits will intially flow to the Council CCO that holds and maintains the assets.

    3) This will be offset against the rates and this offset will be used as a justification to install meters (at the CCO/ratepayers’ expense), and rapidly ramp up water and sewage charges. Remember what you drink you wee, so metered water can easily be used as a sewage production charging proxy.

    4) The CCTO will have a contractual right to adminster the assets and to charge for them, but it will continue to make little if any profit and will quite quickly slip out of public awareness.

    5) At some point, a deal will quietly be arranged within Delta/DCHL either to sell the CCTO outright (remember it owns no assets), or to amalgamate it into a ‘partnership’ as allowed under the recent LGA amendment. Due to its lack of assets and lack of profit (to that point), the price paid for this CCTO trading company is likely to be very low. As it owns no water assets, it eludes even the small safeguards of the LGA as it stands today. The DCC’s small and elusive group of ‘habitual investors’ may be high on the refusal list for this ‘investment’ option.

    6) Once the deal is sealed, the small print of it will be released to the general public, who will discover (to their horror) that they have been committed to a long term or indefinite contract that allows the ex Delta CCTO (now Sunshine Surprise Water of the Cayman Islands) to charge pretty much what they like for the water and sewage that goes into and comes out of every household in the city.

    7) To add insult to injury, the public will find that they still own and are responsible for the cost of maintaining/upgrading the very asset that ‘Sunshine Surprise Water of the Cayman Islands’ is now using to financially beat them over their collective heads with.

    8) ‘Sunshine Surprise Water of the Cayman Islands’ will, not surprisingly, start to generate reliably enormous profits. Shares in ‘Sunshine Surprise Water of the Cayman Islands’ will change hands a number of times in private – realising large profits in the process. Control will eventually concentrate in the hands of one of the three or four multi-national companies who specialise in gaining control of water assets, and who are universally beloved by their customers.

    8) A small group of people associated with this city will buy very large properties in Wanaka and decamp to this area, where drinking water will still be cheaper than Vodka, and you can still have a crap without taking out an installment loan.

    9) The rest of us will go to Cull (or his successor) and complain bitterly. Cull (or his successor) will say that sadly, the Council was misinformed (see below), and that nothing can now be done because the community still owns the assets, and it’s all legal.

    9) The Auditor General and the then Local Government Minister (possibly both by e-mail from Wanaka) will confirm, unfortunately that this is true, and that the free market (mules and water sacks) will eventually provide a competitive solution.

    10) The Dunedin community will turn en masse to drinking vodka rather than water for cost and morale reasons. Mules will start to sell in large numbers.

    And finally an interesting comment from Athol Stephens at the meeting on Monday. When asked by Vandervis if the Auditor would be interested in the fact that the DCHL dividend figures used in the DCC financial forecasts were “A fiction”, Stephens replied “No” – at which point Vandervis simply thanked him and the meeting moved on. A case of: ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ methinks – Incredible.

    If this is so, then we can only assume that the use of similar ‘fictions’ in future water service financial forecasts delivered by DCHL with regard to CCO’s and CCTO’s will also be ‘OK’ and of no interest to the Auditor even if they are of extreme interest to us – You have been warned!

  44. Calvin Oaten

    Thank you Rob!!! The requirements are quite clear and simple. The city is BROKE!! busted and knackered (there is a song there somewhere). Athol Stephens and his fellow miscreants have got to be seen to have the problem in hand, and your scenario looks as good as any. It shouldn’t be too difficult to implement with this pack of dullards around the council table. Crs Vandervis and perhaps MacTavish only have two votes out of fourteen and no-one needs off the hook more than Mayor Cull. Watch his enthusiasm for the solution grow by the day. As you say, those, like the stadium ‘rort’ instigators will evaporate into the mist when the going gets too hot. The punters will just get the picture. The only hope is that Cr Vandervis can co-opt the ear of new CEO Mr Orders. If he can bring a dispassionate new view to the situation he might just be our ‘white knight’. Let’s hope so for all our sakes. It’s not too late, and if there are any assets to be sold which the city can live without it has got to be the property portfolio. Let’s face it, $100 to $150 million would ease the situation considerably while cleverer people than we presently have can be more innovative in finding solutions. Sadly, if what Rob suggests eventuates, that pretty much is it for dear old ‘Dunnos’.

  45. Stu

    Interesting comment regarding being escorted from the room. Some years ago, I had the same experience (of being led out by Kate Styles) and told that I was totally wrong with regard to urban fibre deployment.

  46. Calvin Oaten

    Actually Rob, on reflection I like my scenario. Letting the water ultimately fall into foreign corporate hands diverts citizens’ funds from the need in hand to address the DCC’s debt. If the assets (reputably around $1.2 billion) are transferred to DCHL and interest charged, as in the case of other assets, then DCHL can treat the interest as an expense with very attractive tax factors at stake. It means that dividends can remain modest so conning the ratepayers into believing that the DCHL management is being conservatively moderate. Even just 2% interest would produce $24 million per year, plus a dividend of $10 million would go a hell of a long way to alleviate the DCC’s debt problem. Where would it come from? Why the water/waste charges instituted by way of metering of course. As you say, if you can tax it on the way in, it is a simple extrapolation to tax it on the way out. It would make vodka a more attractive alternative but no doubt a way would be found to tax that as well. When the need is paramount the imagination knows no bounds.

    • Elizabeth

      Must be time for learned contributors to run their thoughts past chief executive Paul Orders, in his clinic, away from the influence of elected representatives. Mr Orders is the servant of Council; however, has he been briefed by Dunedin independents with brains, intuitions and healthy ability to question local political / business lobby whitewashes, the sort that seem sadly evident – but not unexpectedly – in Dave Cull’s administration. Bill Baylis, the old flower, isn’t so independent.

  47. Robert Hamlin

    You are of course right Calvin. The problem is that your scenario involves an assumption that those responsible actually give a toss about helping the DCC/community to control and perhaps repay its (existing) debts. To date, I have seen absolutely no evidence whatsoever of this motivation in action.

    Given my close up exposure to the ‘Great and the Good’ (G&G) both here and around the World, I now treat any situation that involves their input on the assumption that their behaviour will be driven by motives related to the lowest possible common denominator of personal greed, selfishness, G&G group self interest and collective dishonesty.

    If you want to read an extensive and truly repulsive account of this type of G&G behaviour written by a reputable author, may I recommend ‘Ship of Fools’ by Fintan o’Toole. A truly appalling story of how pretty much the entire benefit of the Celtic Tiger era in Ireland was misappropriated from its four million inhabitants by a handful of G&G operators – who still have both their liberty and ‘their?’ money.

    Analysis driven by this assumption of feral G&G motives and related behaviours is a depressing process, both in itself and due to the fact that it has been such an effective predictor of what will actually happen when the G&G are heavily involved.

    We were sold a Stadium that was supposed to make ‘loadsamoney’, but it is now clear to everybody that it won’t (not for the community at any rate) and it appears that we will pay for it with our water supply, which we will be told will make no money, but will probably eventually make ‘loadsamoney’ (but once again, not for community).

    My suspicion right from the start of the Stadium project was that these two events were set up to be part of the same integrated transaction. In 2008 as now, the water supply was Dunedin’s only remaining unhocked/unsold asset that had the potential to generate substantial profit for a private owner (but not for the community, remember). If you were a feral G&G, then the only problem was: How to force its sale/estrangement from the community? This was going to be tricky, as most people quite rightly don’t like a base necessity of life to be in private hands for ideological and social reasons. Not to mention the pretty easy appreciation of the potential for mass financial rape that is inherent in any such outcome.

    That tricky job now appears to be done, courtesy of our sparkly new ‘Foobar’. I predicted the water CCTO move as an initial privatisation directed outcome of the stadium-related financial destabilisation of the DCC as early as 2008. It was indeed one of the reasons why I opposed the ‘Foobar’ as bitterly as I did. Losing the initial ‘Foobar’ stanza was a serious setback for this community. However, losing the second, water, stanza will turn misfortune into a major disaster.

    However, there is one potential small upside of my observations of G&G reward/status psychology. That is that, when deeds of this nature are all done, a small proportion of the proceeds may subsequently be recycled back into the community via high profile ‘charitable’ activities undertaken in order to procure knighthoods and other related ‘gongs’ that, along with money itself, determine both status and pecking order within the G&G community. By that point, there is likely to be plenty of distress within this community for such charity to be targeted at.

    Regrettably, if we follow the trajectory described by Fintan o’Toole, the Dunedin community is very unlikely to see any of its money returned to it by any other avenue.

    Be Happy!

  48. Calvin Oaten

    Sheesh!! Rob. If what you say is correct – and I am in no position to dispute it – where is the scintillating intellect which engineers all this? If it is present in this town then they have been hiding their lights under a very great number of bushels. The only one who seems to come close is the driver of FB currently residing in Queenstown. Even he is not self made, rather born with a silver spoon in his mouth, courtesy of a very hard driving old man.
    The rest are simply small time crooks. And it shows.

  49. Russell Garbutt

    Back in town and able to contribute albeit briefly.

    Rob’s piece and follow-up is well thought-out, well-constructed, and has the quality of thought and experience behind it. It should be read, digested and appreciated by those that read these blogs that are in a position to do something about it.

    And yes, there are more than the afore-mentioned resident of Q’town. Rob has mentioned the inhabitants of Wanaka – one or two of this inner circle have recently completed palatial get-aways in this lakeside haven. But others remain in Dunners keeping a close eye on their many directorships and interests.

    I was once told that the Tartan Mafia don’t exist anymore. A cesspit by any other name still smells like effluent and this town is infested by those that reek of self-interest, greed and egos. As someone once said – “a pox on all their houses”.

  50. Anonymous

    Maybe we could ask the Otago Daily Times to report on these concerns? The lack of broad concern about council affairs in this newspaper suggests they do not read forums like Facebook, WordPress or its own Comments pages otherwise the news tips would translate into some magnificant articles. In my day we had to hunt down stories by walking the street, listening to concerns and interests offered by readers, and taking calls on happening events. Today newsworthy tips are there for the taking yet seem to get overlooked in favour of the comfortable and benign.

  51. I love reading this blog, at times it’s heavy going for me as it goes straight over the top or I only get the gist of things enough to get by it along with a lot of the ‘terms’ used. No flash varsity papers here, just not enough brains for that much learning.

    BUT, I do know when someone is bending me over for yet another firm one where I really don’t want it. Every time I look over my shoulder it seems to be council back there giving me yet another one and picking my pocket while they’re there…

  52. Amanda kennedy

    Is there any proof to the suggestion that individuals in this town have benefitted from the stadium? I wonder does anyone have any idea who owned the land that the stadium is built on or the land around the stadium?

    • Elizabeth

      Amanda, the people who “acquired land” to later sell to DCC for the stadium are mentioned at this site in previous comments. Haven’t done the search – you may certainly start with John Farry; Earl Hagaman has always had strategic holdings of former Otago Harbour Board land. That should be enough to help you with the search engine. That’s before construction took place…

  53. A lot of it is in the blog here somewhere Amanda. Plenty of proof in the same spot too, from memory (which isn’t so good).

    Then there are the other things like OOOPS we forgot toilets, or OOOOPS we forgot the kitchen. How the hell you forget that has got me beat. But somehow ‘we’ did. There is over 40G’s worth of plumbing underground that won’t be used, it’s been paid for though.

    I just wish my memory was much better when it comes to names etc, cause I’ve heard some stuff from guys working there doing the jobs that will never ever come out here. But someone somewhere has paid for it….

    There is also stuff I questioned here that well, I’ve heard from source at the top of the real food chain thinks should have happened but purse strings have dictated otherwise. But I’m not allowed to give names :(

    Oh, and when all this was getting priced but no company wanted to do it here (we were told very strongly) a company more than capable was pricing VERY similar work overseas. Go figure. The stench of drains and where they lead to is very strong around the whole thing.

  54. Amanda kennedy

    Thank you. My apologies for not checking out this site, obvious thing to do. I googled this but could not find much information. Will do as you both suggest.

    • Elizabeth

      We always wanted the Delta books opened with a can-opener. That has proved most difficult. What else do we know about Delta, the board members, chief executive, senior management, past and current contracts, service agreements, and sponsorship deals? Another fact plotting exercise calls.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Oct 2011
      DCC-owned company offers plan for water
      By Chris Morris
      A bid by Delta Utility Services to secure a slice of Dunedin’s $1.6 billion water network represents a “significant” opportunity to expand the company, Delta chief executive Grady Cameron says. Mr Cameron spoke to the Otago Daily Times yesterday, after Delta – a council-owned company – presented the council with an alternative proposal for the future management of the city’s $1.6 billion water network. The proposal – approved for investigation by councillors on Monday – would see the city’s water assets transferred to a new council-controlled organisation (CCO).

      • The move could boost the company’s revenue by more than $50 million a year, which would “more than double” what the company already earned from the water sector each year.
      • The Delta proposal pointed to savings of between $2 million and $3 million a year, obtained through efficiencies such as rationalising back-office services. That would allow an increase in dividend payments to the council of between $3 million and $5 million a year.
      • The asset-owning CCO would be formed under the DCHL umbrella, and not required to make a commercial return, while plant, equipment, land and buildings not directly supporting water assets, such as depot facilities, would be transferred to Delta.
      • The council – as the sole shareholder of DCHL – would retain ownership, in keeping with the Local Government Act.
      • Delta would need a long-term service agreement with the CCO to provide “investment certainty”. A term of up to 35 years was allowed under the Act.

      Read more

  55. I wonder what Grady Cameron’s pay rise will be like when the company gets bigger?….

    Speaking of Delta, why are they going into direct competition with other engineering companies around Dunedin? I thought they were here to look after council stuff. NOT undercut proper companies.

  56. Before Delta starts any new business enterprises, they should tell us the results of their Central Otago property speculation.
    How many sections are still unsold?
    With the decline in land values, how much money have they lost?

  57. Anonymous

    A little bird points out that there should be two more options on the table for consultation:
    1. The status quo.
    2. Open tendering for water management services.

    Can’t just give it to Delta; another company might be able to offer even more efficiencies (by having existing qualified staff and well-established processes).

  58. The second is the important one. Same goes for all other services Delta supplies. If they are allowed to tender ‘public’ contracts then the public should be allowed to tender on theirs.

    Are we getting good value from Delta? Nobody knows.

  59. Hype O'Thermia

    More money? At this time when a quality sound system is desperately needed so the Fubar can fulfil its destiny as a world-class multi-purpose venue you’d think people would be willing to do without water for a few years.

  60. Anonymous

    Water is only essential if the rugby stakeholders in this town say it is. If rugby wants it, the stadium councillors jump and make it happen. And anyway, professional rugby persons can be bought by bottled water companies now so they don’t need no water from a tap. Forget infrastructure and essential services. The future of Dunedin is all about a new stadium. Or so the fanatic(s) keep telling us. It’s on a sticker attached to a car regularly parked outside the DCC so it must be true.

    There must be some wealthy bastards in this town who regularly meet to laugh their arses off at how gullible we and its council friendly reporters are in Dodge.

    • Elizabeth

      In the good old days public-minded spirits and rough riders would get up a posse, storm to their houses, angry-like, crash their comfortable parlours, haul out the miscreants by the scruff of their necks, and march them into the centre of town to see some summary justice. Whatever happened to that.

  61. Hype O'Thermia

    Is that why people want Occupy to move, to “give back the Octagon”?

  62. Calvin Oaten

    Good old “Jimbo”, the last of the ‘think big genre’. He must be really in his element now with really big executive decisions to make, like, shall we go 2km or 2.5km with this bike track? Just about enough to tax his feathery little brain for one month or two.

  63. Anonymous

    Looks like one of the believers is going for gold on the ODT forum, trying to convert readers the stadium is ‘multipurpose’. A true believer? One of Farry’s Soldiers? A fan of that ‘big, pretty stadium’ page on Facebook? An agent for DVML? So many possibilities but all of them so possible.

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