Training, jobs, city regeneration

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### D Scene 5-10-11
Celebrating restoration
By Owen Graham
The Larnach Tomb restoration project, like others, needed the specialist skills of a stonemason and stained glass artist to ensure a high standard of preservation. The quality of work is there for all to see and, in a city with as much heritage as Dunedin, is a reminder that there ought to be many more opportunities for skilled trades and crafts people, and for these skills to be nurtured and passed on. There is work waiting to be done in heritage restoration projects. {continues} #bookmark

• Owen Graham is the New Zealand Historic Places Trust area manager Otago/Southland

Related Post: 17.9.11 Larnach Tomb restoration

Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand Photos* + More

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Innovation, Inspiration, People, Project management, Site, Town planning, Urban design

29 responses to “Training, jobs, city regeneration

  1. Elizabeth

    The Otago Chamber of Commerce sent its chief executive John Christie to Portland, Oregon, recently to research economic development tools that could be applied to Dunedin. Business editor Dene Mackenzie talks to Mr Christie and chamber president Peter McIntyre about the next steps.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Oct 2011
    Focus on simple, durable city plan
    By Dene Mackenzie
    Dunedin City seems to be constantly striving to develop an economic development plan that not only works, but also receives favourable public acclaim. Over the years, we have seen rates relief, incentives for out-of-town businesses to relocate here, council staff presenting business relocation plans to prospective city residents and personal testaments of why doing business in Dunedin is easy and rewarding. However, for each plan introduced, another one fails.

    Public-private partnerships (PPPs) played a significant part in the success of Portland’s urban renewal programme, Mr Christie said, and he urged Dunedin to adopt the idea and adapt it so that it could be successful in the city.

    Read more

    Related Post:
    8.10.11 Milwaukee regeneration project: The Brewery


    TRUE: Mr McIntyre said the major concern from all parts of the city was the amount of land that was leasehold, rather than freehold. The consensus was that there was far too much land being land-banked and not available for secure long-term development.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Oct 2011
    McIntyre’s mission – a dynamic Dunedin
    By Dene Mackenzie
    Otago Chamber of Commerce president Peter McIntyre is determined that Dunedin will eventually be seen by the rest of the country as the best place to live and work. He has set himself a target of helping the city implement an economic development plan that is written in plain language – one that every resident can understand. Every visitor will be able to immediately identify the purpose of the city and its hinterland, he says.
    Read more

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    What about if they stopped having a plan but let people get on with it without jobsworths hitting them over the head with can’t-do handicaps? I don’t mean give up on safety, or allowing people to screw up the environment as a whole or the freedom of others to enjoy quality of life. But if they’d stop thinking they were capable of MAKING good things happen, when the reactions of people I know who tried to make things happen in Dunedin was, it’s a hellish place to try to do anything new in BECAUSE of bureaucracy.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Transparency – remember transparency? – would go a long way as a substitute for “plans”.

    • Elizabeth

      Nope. They’re not the same. Transparency is (best practice) business ethics.

      Plans / planning are strategic thinking and assessments (research and development) tied to processes for direct practical implementation – not to be confused with “envisioning” tied to pipe dreams and nothing of substance, with no conceivable long-term benefits.

      I made that up… *sigh
      (since no-one except for the visionary Malcolm Farry, Jim Harland, and the collective known as DCC, apparently, has known anything about what we need, for a very long time………………….)

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; you sure dribbled a bibful there.

  5. Elizabeth

    Don’t know what came over me, Calvin. Another of my bad days.

  6. Peter

    I think this is a good start for John Christie and Peter McIntyre to visit Portland, Oregon, to see what a comparably placed city has achieved and how. We can always learn from others and perfect for our own needs. Their emphasis to keep plans clear and simple and presumably free from gobbledegook sounds realistic. Also I liked what was said about freeing the city from interference from local body politicians who circumvent good ideas for political purposes. Indeed, what are some of them doing there on council, as acknowledged.
    Not sure about their comment on the stadium being a drawcard for economic development! Maybe they are thinking people will come to it, be impressed, and then look around Dunedin to invest in. Surely visitor entrepreneurs can do that with, or without, the new stadium. Meanwhile the stadium will drain us financially – as they should surely know by now.
    Nevertheless, I think both these men seem to have Dunedin’s interests at heart. As long as they speak up and keep out the usual cabal, who make their own wealth more through milking the public purse than creating new and innovative development for Dunedin, they might get somewhere. With the help and input of others who don’t go off on visionary wanks.
    Overcoming local corruption wasn’t mentioned, but presumably they have this in mind. That’s why we need real transparency. Not the cheap talk stuff. The C word seems to be one that is not fully acknowledged here. It’s as if we believe it only happens in the Third World.

  7. Russell Garbutt

    I read this piece with incredulity in the main. Peter McIntyre is, as far as I’m aware, an ardent supporter of the stadium. How anyone from the background that he comes from can hold that view while on the other be responsible for financial investment and planning, is simply beyond me. Only those with a strong belief in unsustainable debt and a blind belief in miracles could believe that the stadium was a good thing for Dunedin. As a small test, name a business that would be attracted to Dunedin because of the stadium that would result in sustainable growth.

    I have a friend who was a builder in Christchurch who specialised in building factories for small businesses. He built a large number in that city and then decided it would be a good idea to repeat his successful formula in Dunedin. He came down and discovered that it simply wasn’t worth it. As he said to me afterwards, every conceivable and stupid barrier was put in his way and he returned to Christchurch believing that Dunedin didn’t want to attract businesses. In the end, he retired early and forgot about Dunedin.

    Coming up with a plan for business expansion is part of a much wider strategic vision that has to be developed with community involvement. The problem with that is that it starts at a position that cannot allow for ratepayer investment – we are too far in debt now to allow for opportunity let alone the things that must happen like water, sewage and roads.

    There was one thing in the article that I have to agree completely with Peter McIntyre on and that is his view on some Councillors. I can think of more than a few that have absolutely no qualifications, skills or expertise that are necessary for strategic thinking. Many are there to simply make up the numbers. I’m sure that most of us can think of a few who have been there for years and yet couldn’t point to a single substantial contribution to anything. Can anyone else think of anyone that fits that category?

    • Elizabeth

      Liaison of some sort is sorely needed; I’m surprised DCC has recognised the opportunity so late in the piece and at the price stated.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Nov 2011
      Rep may be hired to find Chch work
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin may soon have a representative dedicated to attracting some of the approximately $30 billion of work required to rebuild Christchurch. That figure, estimated by the Reserve Bank, was equivalent to “100 to 150 stadiums”, or up to 6.6 times the total gross domestic product of Dunedin, city council economic development unit manager Peter Harris said yesterday. To add to the urgency of the situation, while 30,000 workers were expected to be needed, recruitment of overseas construction staff had already begun. The cost of developing a position for two years was $350,000, to be fully funded by the Dunedin City Council.
      Read more


      “Mr Harris’ report recommended the council approve funding of a full-time “Christchurch rebuild liaison person” on a two-year contract, with funding coming from the 2011-12 industry project fund budget. That recommendation was subject to getting the endorsement of local industry and seeking funding outside the council. The industry project fund had $435,000 remaining for the year, meaning only $85,000 would be left.” (ODT)

      Report – FSD – 28/11/2011 (PDF, 279.2 KB)
      Christchurch Rebuild Business Opportunities

      • Elizabeth

        {Comment moved to this thread. -Eds}

        Submitted on 2011/11/26 at 9:38 am

        This story by David [Loughrey] is a bit of a mind fluff. Does this role really need a new addition to the council empire? Does it justify being paid up to $175K per year? For that money existing staff should be falling over themselves for it. But thinking of recent events, I’m guessing there has already been an understanding formed on the position and it’s now just the media managed and public information phases being implemented. Anyone want to guess? I’m thinking one of the usual stakeholders, an ex-councillor, retiring councillor or council company director. Or another for Wales.

  8. Peter

    ‘Can anyone else think of anyone that fits that category?’ Russell, I like an easy question now and then where I don’t have to think!

    • Elizabeth

      Russell says: “I’m sure that most of us can think of a few who have been there for years and yet couldn’t point to a single substantial contribution to anything.”

      Contributions: Wouldn’t the stadium councillors think their voting record supporting the superb stadium project meritorious? Proof: the strength of expanded business experienced by too few during RWC. Proof: COUNCIL DEBT CRISIS. Proof: the Council being too easily led by Athol Stephens and Crew.

      Seriously, I’ve not got anyone on my list for STANDING COUNCILLORS that have made a substantial contribution.

      Only got Takers, sorry. Paul Hudson heads the Takers by a considerable margin.

      The Incompetents list is growing, has been from October 2010 onwards.

      • Elizabeth

        peter mcintyre
        @macthebroker dunedin new zealand
        Peter McIntyre is a senior investment advisor @ Craigs Investment Partners in Dunedin. Active roles Otago Chamber Chair, Otago Hospice and NZ Hospice board.

        Craigs – Adviser Detail
        Peter McIntyre is an NZX Investment Advisor who has worked for Craigs Investment Partners, formerly Greenslades Ltd, since 1999. Peter was formerly an Associate of Greenslades Ltd. As an investment advisor with Craigs Investment Partners, Peter advises clients in all aspects of equity investments, specialising in portfolio management for private clients and family trusts. He has a strong technical background with particular emphasis on New Zealand and Australian equity markets as well as New Zealand Fixed Income. Peter has a strong affinity to the rural sector, being born and raised in rural Southland and was educated at both Gore High School and Otago Boys High School.
        Read more

  9. Calvin Oaten

    We all have them Elizabeth. I think it might have something to do with the phases of the moon. The trick is to not feel bad about it. Just be thankful you are not a councillor.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth, you say “Plans / planning are strategic thinking and assessments …”, that’s why I say transparency would be a good substitute. Because – look at their record – minus “strategic” and “thinking”, and that’s just for starters, I wouldn’t say DCC planning is worth a hill o’ beans, would you? And please god(s), give us a commandment that says any huckster* who peddles Visions must be taken by the people and put in stocks in the village square / octagon and pelted with leftovers from the Farmers’ market!
    *Hucksters in natty suits also get pavement pizzas from the student precinct.

    It’s not about punishing, it’s about modifying behaviour.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m a simple girl.
      My spare time and leisure interests are:
      Regional economics (Otago/Southland hinterland + Dunedin)
      Business ethics
      Contemporary architecture and design
      Urban design
      Stewardship of Dunedin’s historic heritage
      Dunedin Spatial Plan
      Second generation Dunedin City District Plan
      Censuring and removing bad, ineffectual and corrupt local body politicians.

      That’s enough for most Sundays.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    How about walks on the beach, dining out, and quiet nights with a glass of wine and a cosy fire?

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Why a large salary? This looks like the kind of job where there should be a small basic salary and the rest made up by payment for results.

  13. It is a good idea to look for business in Christchurch. But shouldn’t the Companies which get work from this initiative be paying for it, not ratepayers?

    • Elizabeth

      The DCC EDU very much has a role as the council report indicates; the report also explains that funding is required from more than one source.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    This makes the DCC EDU a good case for closing down. It’s right up there with Peter Brown’s junkets to the UK to enlist workers to come to Dunedin. Many thousands of $$$ down the drain.

    • Elizabeth

      The DCC EDU, I confess, reminds me of Project Gateway. Until we see the results of its activities in one document against the dollars generated (?) and lost (!), we’re in the dark – things what stay under the radar.
      This liaison role between Dunedin and Christchurch could help justify EDU’s continuing existence (currently under review) if successful; it might also mean the rest of the EDU office is made redundant by comparison.
      Two years of efficient work and positive $$$ results out of the Liaison officer, given ballparks for building sector work – and related – coming up, and the role should pay for itself. I’m optimistic about this one, so long as the appointee is Clever, Commercially Savvy, Reputable, and Ethical.

      • Elizabeth

        Register to read D Scene online at

        ### D Scene 30-11-11 (page 2)
        Ch’church quake build liaison
        By Michael Wright – The Press
        Dunedin may soon have a permanent advocate for its businesses and workers wanting to be involved in Christchurch’s earthquake recovery. The Dunedin City Council (DCC) finance, strategy and development committee on Monday approved $350,000 funding for a fulltime “Christchurch rebuild liaison” for the next two years.
        {continues} #bookmark

        • Elizabeth

          The total figure [to rebuild Christchurch], estimated by the Reserve Bank, was equivalent to the value of about 100 stadiums, or up to 6.6 times the total gross domestic product of Dunedin. -Peter Harris, DCC

          ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Dec 2011
          Rep to help city firms get Christchurch rebuild work
          By David Loughrey
          Dunedin should have a representative employed by April next year to help its companies make the most of the estimated $30 billion worth of work needed to rebuild Christchurch. Late last month, the Dunedin City Council’s finance, strategy and development committee recommended the council approve a “Christchurch rebuild liaison person”. This week the council ratified that decision, and while the maximum cost – to include salary and other expenses – has been set at $350,000 over a two-year period, staff and councillors say the final cost is unlikely to reach that level.
          Read more

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth says “I’m optimistic … so long as the appointee is Clever, Commercially Savvy, Reputable, and Ethical.” Optimism veering worryingly close to reality-challenged condition, or a spoof on the South Sea Farryistic Bubble Machine?
    You’re not in Guatamala now, Elizabeth. Dunedin doesn’t appoint Clever, Commercially Savvy, Reputable, and Ethical. We have our own culture here.

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 30 Jul 2012
    Rebuilding commuting plan off rails
    By Chris Morris
    The idea of commuter trains ferrying workers between Dunedin and Christchurch has gone on the backburner, but the Dunedin City Council still sees plenty of possibility in earthquake rebuilding work. The possible return of commuter trains was suggested by council economic development unit manager Peter Harris in April, as plans for Dunedin’s response to the rebuilding of Christchurch stepped up a gear. However, Mr Harris told the Otago Daily Times the idea had “not gone anywhere” since, due to the logistical challenges faced by potential operators of the service.[…]Instead, Mr Harris and the council’s earthquake work facilitator, Graham Williams, had been examining the potential for Dunedin companies to build components in the city, then ship them to Christchurch. “There are already people commuting [between Dunedin and Christchurch] but our ‘Plan A’ is to secure as much work as can be done off site as possible.”
    Read more

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