Otago Settlers Museum – Burnside Building (site visit)

The newly refurbished Burnside building at the Otago Settlers Museum will be open to the public for a “sneak peek” tomorrow, from 2pm-4pm.

### ODT Online Sat, 5 Nov 2011
Public offered ‘sneak peek’ of upgrade
By John Lewis
A glass ceiling, more than three tonnes of new steel work, and a state-of-the-art temperature control system are just some of the refurbishments at the Otago Settlers Museum designed to “reinvigorate” the display of Otago’s heritage.
Read more

Otago Settlers Museum
31 Queens Garden, Dunedin 9016
Phone: 03 477 5052
Fax: 03 477 8360
Email: osmmail@dcc.govt.nz

One of New Zealand’s most significant social history museums, established in 1898, recording the past lives and times of the people and communities of the Otago region. Founded to mark the 50th anniversary of the settling of Dunedin.

Its comprehensive historical collections consist of everyday objects, costumes and textiles, art, photographs, transport and technology, and it holds extensive local history archives.

Housed in purpose-built Edwardian art galleries linked to the Category 1 Art Deco ex-NZR bus station.

The museum is CLOSED until late 2012 for redevelopment. A wide range of talks, performances, walking tours and workshops continue, see website for details.

Learn more about the museum redevelopment here.

Site plan of building redevelopment (PDF 1.3 MB)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Heritage, Inspiration, Project management, Site, Urban design

40 responses to “Otago Settlers Museum – Burnside Building (site visit)

  1. Elizabeth

    From Architecture Dunedin, a guide to Dunedin architecture published by Parker Warburton Team Architects (2011 edition), page 20:

    31 Queens Gardens
    Burnside Building, NZHPT Category II
    Architect: John Burnside, Completed: 1908

    The site of the Otago Settlers Museum was originally occupied by Dunedin Railway Station. Later this became the site of Dunedin’s first Art Gallery. When the Art Gallery leased the site from the Railways, it was on the understanding that a section of the property should be made available to the Otago Early Settlers Association. Employing the same architect as the Art Gallery, the Association erected an adjoining building to be used for functions and displays of portraits of early settlers.
    Although designed by the same architect there are differences between the buildings. For example the ceilings in the Early Settlers hall are rather prosaic with wood panels between skylights, while those in the art gallery wing are much grander with finely moulded plaster details. The entrance to the Settlers hall faced the new railway station. It was shifted to its present position when latet additions were made, including the home for ‘Josephine’.
    A year later a kitchen, supper and dressing rooms were added. In 1922 the Donald Reid wing was added to incorporate the extensive Thomson collection. In 1927 the art gallery moved to premises in Logan Park and the Association bought the old Art Gallery for £400. It became known as Pioneer Hall. The loan for the purchase of the gallery was partially paid for by old time dances that regularly took place in the Hall from 1929-1947.
    In 1992 The Otago Early Settlers Association purchased the former NZ Rail Road Services Building and expanded into it. A new foyer and reception area has been built between the two buildings.

    Otago Settlers Museum at Wikipedia

    Post for related comments:
    26.12.10 Historic heritage notes

  2. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; the developments taking place at the Otago Settlers Museum are quite impressive. But $38 to $40 million of debt funded cost on top of $170m for the stadium plus $50m plus for the Town Hall/Conference Centre to total $250m plus, has got to have somewhere in there the straw that will break the camel’s (ratepayers) back. Watch it happen. Is the paint on the Chinese Garden Entrance an ‘omen’?

  3. Peter

    I’m amazed they have to do such maintenance on the Chinese Garden after only two/three years. Or should I be? Only a matter of time before the stadium has some serious ‘unforeseen’ maintenance issues due to unreported short cuts to get the thing opened.

  4. Lindsay

    Old time dances? Sounds dangerously like private fundraising to me.

  5. Anonymous

    Calvin – why does the Otago Settlers Museum upgrade cost $50m? Why does the town hall conference centre cost $50m? Are they installing windows made from diamond and painting the walls in real gold?

    It disturbs me greatly how society is so blasé with our leaders bandying about the term million as though there are no consequences of debt. People seem to nonchalently accept these numbers as though it’s so common they too must have a spare million or three in their own back pocket.

    A million is still one million dollars and our city council has a love for borrowing them. They have probably already accrued another million in debt during the time writing this… at least it feels that way week from week as a Dunedin City ratepayer gravely worried about the behaviour of this council and its stakeholders.

    Will the Dunedin City Council celebrate passing its one billionth dollar of debt? I believe they will with their approach to spending.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Anonymous; I think you are right. When the DCC embarks on a policy of capitalising $28.4m of unpaid interest over a four year period (as shown in the current Annual Plan) I can see the day not too far distant when the combined debt of DCHL and DCC hit the $1 billion. Unless, of course the new directors of DCHL set a new course of operation. As for the DCC, well, it is pretty much committed to its profligate ways. The really frightening aspect is that all of those projects above are destined to compound the debt as the years go by. There will be no escaping the facts that operation revenues will fall woefully short and depreciation will have to be factored in. It is illegal not to. And don’t forget, there is still the Tahuna Sewage Treatment Upgrade to come, and that is essential. Watch it to go around $100m. Meanwhile we get our attention diverted by such as 30-year spatial plans, harbourside (albeit truncated) developments, Logan Park sports ground, etc. All kite flying exercises which can never be financed unless they throw all caution to the winds, which, on reflection is quite possible. So buckle up, it could be a rough ride.

    PS. The OSM is around $40m, not $50m.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s not only the big projects. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” – but when you throw a mill’ here and another coupla’mill’ there it must seem pointless to examine a few thou’. Point, do I have one? Well, I’m wondering how necessary the redoing of the Octagon tiles is and if it could have been pruned from the budget for a year or two to save some money.
    Not at all confused about its timing. Having lost face over not being able to sic the police onto Occupy the council is trying to annoy them out with “essential” maintenance so they show the people who objected to Occupy being there that they have taken action to rid the city of these pestilent protesters, while avoiding the bad press / interwebbity that goes with baton charges.

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you Calvin. But I am still confused about why it has to cost so much.

    $38 million or $50 million are enormous figures. Based on current realty figures, you can build or buy a new home for around $250k, an average place for around $350k-$500k or a mansion for $4.5m. If you can buy Dunedin’s most expensive building for under $5m why does it cost ten times that to upgrade another?

    So why does it seem to cost $40m – $50m every time this council does something pretty? It feels more like some form of sanctioned pull on the public teat – except both parties have to embrace what appears to be artificially inflated cost: One puts forward a ridiculous quote while the other accepts it.

    I often wonder if the papers are lightly perfumed with hand grease.

    • Elizabeth

      You mightn’t be au fait with the practical cost of commercial/institutional/museum redevelopments (also involving building conservation components) such as this, or the type of specifications involved. The staged OSM project budget (ballparks) have been known for some years, see DCC annual plans. No mystery involved, and some positive tweaking by the project manager through the stages. Suggest you arrange to discuss the project with the people involved, some of whom were present and available for questions during the site visit on Sunday. Ring the museum director or the project manager to start with. Both accessible. Helps to be informed, regardless of whether you support the project or not.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Anonymous; Put it to consultants with a relatively free brief. They of course design for fees, therefore the more expensive it is the bigger the fee. Next, take the case of the OSM entrance just recently in the news. Flown at around $7ml. goes through the ‘shock horror’ phase and next we hear that there has been a saving of $4ml. Glad hands all round and it gets the go ahead. We didn’t save $4ml, we actually spent $3ml (borrowed because we don’t have it) but that detail is sort of lost sight of. How? Simple, because it is the spending of OPM. “Other Peoples’ Money”. The small bands of enthusiasts for a project will always overlook the cost factor just as long as their pet project gets done. Look at the stadium as the most egregious example of that. That’s pretty much how it happens. There has been extensive academic studies done on the whole gamut of public spending to demonstrate the process. Private spending on the other hand is much more constrained and circumspect, because it is “Their Own Money” being spent.

  10. Anonymous

    Okay Elizabeth, I hear that. But all I’m trying to say is council projects seem to involve enormous amounts of money incurring frightening levels of debt. Few enterprises in Dunedin could afford to take on these projects. Very few individuals if any as well. If all home renovations and upgrades cost as much as a Dunedin City Council project then people would cower in fear at the thought of a bust downpipe.

    • Elizabeth

      What if? on the whole continues to underline the council debt crisis which threatens ratepayer and residents’ economic wellbeing – the crisis all thanks to the likes of late dumped councillor Richard Walls who, like none other, championed “integenerational equity” (read intergenerational debt, as we constantly reminded him) as the City’s way forward… A case of his own facts blurring the line of sight, was it due to short stature and lack of financial expertise – for some unknown reason, Walls as council’s immediate past chair of finance and strategy was unable to see the consequences and escalating numbers that attach to massive borrowing. This doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the obituaries – that is a fact (the bubbles that form).

      The other thing laboured at What if?, directly and indirectly, is the need for a clean-out and restructure of the non elected arm of Dunedin City Council, under the strategic guidance of new chief executive Paul Orders. Heaven knows if he has the gumption to whittle away the majority of 45 managers, for example. Good luck to him.

      Along these routes, What if? wants to see no shortsighted ad hoc slashing of the council’s capital projects, in the absence of a properly communicated and coordinated financial strategy. DCC has yet to deliver this in any intelligible shape or form.

      • Elizabeth

        ### D Scene 9-11-11 (page 6)
        History made new
        By Wilma McCorkindale
        About 200 people took up the invitation for a sneak peak at the Burnside Building on Sunday. Refurbished galleries in the historic wing were opened to the public for the first time since redevelopment began. Larger objects to be exhibited in the building, such as the early whaling boat, Maori Girl, have been lifted by cranes into their…new state-of-the-art light and temperature controlled spaces.

  11. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth, I think What if? should want to see a very severe slashing of the council’s capital projects, both the ones under construction and in planning. You understand that the unfettered capital spending is the cause of the unsustainable debt, but it seems like both you and the big spending councilors can’t bear to be deprived of their shiny new toys. For the benefit of our dimwitted councilors (most of them): Spending causes debt. Debt causes debt servicing costs and unaffordable rates increases. All councilors should learn this off by heart.

    All of the current big projects are a mistake. Calvin’s words should be repeated: “(the spending) total $250m plus, has got to have somewhere in there, the straw that will break the camel’s (ratepayers) back.”

    I have no confidence in the new guy Paul Orders. He talks like a series of press releases. He has become a staunch defender of the information firewall surrounding the Financial BlackHole Stadium; he has joined the club. Perhaps joining the club was a requirement of the job.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    I expect he was fitted with the DCC standard model spine before being welcomed onto the payroll.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s a dark day, I gather. But I hardly think the new chief executive has sunk into the mud. Too soon to pronounce upon. Council is responsible for signing off further programmed (and unprogrammed) spending on large capital projects; annual plan and LTCCP processes including public consultation are the requirement. As I say, ad hoc slashing of capital projects is not welcome. The emphasis being on ad hoc. A clear coordinated long-term financial strategy is necessary.

  13. Anonymous

    The redeveloped Otago Settlers Museum will be a world-class facility. Properly marketed, it could well act as a drawcard to bring overseas visitors, and the team managing it have the drive and skills to do this.

  14. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth, I take your point about the desirability of a clear coordinated long-term financial strategy. It is a lot to hope for with the current secrecy around finances – the Larsen Report says (p9):
    “This [debt] position is made even more uncertain, given the expressly stated concerns in DCC internal documents over the quality of estimates that relate to future earning capacity of Dunedin Ventures Management Ltd (DVML).
    When he says “quality of estimates of earnings” he really means the fake forecasts of the FB Stadium’s ongoing losses. When he talks about “internal documents” he means documents that are so secret that the councillors haven’t seen them yet (to be confirmed) and the public will never see them without central government intervention. When he says “expressly stated concerns” he means staff statements designed to cover their arrses if there is ever a proper investigation. Councillors need to decide whose interests it is that they serve. Is it the people, the staff or themselves?

  15. Anonymous

    Refer to Rodney Hide’s recent comments on Hamilton City Council.

    And yet so reticent about Dunedin City Council where the expenditure and governance issues are greater.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; a ‘clear coordinated long-term financial strategy’ would simply state, “No Additional Capital Expenditure Until The Existing Debt Level is Brought Within $100 million!” That should keep it quiet for about 30 years minimum. What of the city in the meantime? Well, that should have been thought through before embarking on the decade long spending extravaganza. Likely? Not bloody likely.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, despite the risers here – we simply want to hear that from Cull’s council. Bingo! (yeah, I’m not that hopeful)

  17. Anonymous

    More on Hamilton City Council. The blowouts in Dunedin are larger and less transparent. What gives?

  18. Calvin Oaten

    Anonymous: “What Gives?” Nothing. It “Takes”. The DCC’s record would outperform Hamilton’s by the power of 10. Will there be an independent inquiry? Not bloody likely. Will the media scrutinise the situation? Not a chance. Elizabeth: You want to hear from Cull’s council. You already have, it is called “Your City Our Future”, a ‘Spatial Plan’ towards 2050. Say no more.

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    Waiting for the transparency version: “Our City. Stuff Your Future You Peasants”.

  20. JimmyJones

    The NZ Herald has done a good job of covering the Hamilton Council (HCC) V8 scam and the damming Audit NZ report which shows that council staff lied to and misled councillors – and councillors were also to blame for their ignorance. This is huge news because of how blatant the deceptions were and the stupidity of the councillors. Apart from good coverage in Auckland and Hamilton, this has been covered by the NBR, Christchurch Press, TV3, Radio NZ, Marlborough Express, and web-only Stuff, Voxy and Scoop.

    Everything in the Audit NZ report is applicable to the DCC Stadium catastrophe. If and when they investigate the DCC, only the names of the culprits and a few other details would need to be changed. Of course we don’t get to read about this in the ODT because of the special relationship with the DCC. I see Allied Press as a public relations partner of the DCC and I can see that this could cause a severe conflict of interest – where the good-news story could be vastly different to the true-news story. Judging by what gets printed in the ODT, the conflict has been resolved in favour of the good-news stories (hence the absence of the HCC V8 stories which might encourage an investigation into the behaviour of the Chin and Cull councils.
    Here is a google news search showing 32 hits, so far; None from Dunedin.

    • Elizabeth

      ### waokatotimes.co.nz Last updated 09:32 17/12/2011
      Councillors bow to chorus against city rating changes
      City councillors have shown no stomach for a radical change to Hamilton’s rating system after a storm of protest. A record number of submissions condemned a proposal to join almost every other New Zealand local authority and levy rates on a property’s capital value rather than its land value. The councillors voted yesterday to stay with the land value system and proposed instead a discount for central business district property owners. Staff are to report back on the proposed discount’s impacts, including on other commercial ratepayers, in February, in time for the idea to be pursued or withheld from consultation with the public.
      Read more

      Other comments…

  21. Phil

    I’m a little concerned to read the latest article in the ODT with regard to funding (or lack thereof) for the Stage 5 development of the Settlers Museum project. If what I read is correct (and I take The Sun with a grain of salt) then tenders were called for a contract for which there was, at the time, no funding available. If I have interpreted the situation correctly, then DCC has acted illegally and all tender submitters are entitled to claim for costs incurred in preparing submissions. A tender is a contract, and any contract must contain a genuine and realistic expectation of an exchange of value. Which is why it is illegal to ask people for quotes just because they are interested in finding out how much something costs. In other words, you cannot use a tender process in order to establish a budget. Which I suspect is exactly what has happened here. DCC has a shocking history for doing this and someone is going to pull them up on it one day.

    A certain former (recently departed) DCC Group Manager once famously pulled the plug on an awarded construction contract 24 hours before the on-site start date. Because he wanted to re-think whether or not he still wanted the work carried out. The contractor successfully claimed for all purchased materials, administration costs, and loss of profit. The total amount paid out ended up being greater than the original contract value, and DCC received nothing in return.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 17 Nov 2011
      Saving of $3 million on Settlers Museum
      By Chris Morris
      The cost of completing the Otago Settlers Museum upgrade has nearly halved, with Dunedin ratepayers set to benefit from loan cost savings worth about $6 million as a result, Mayor Dave Cull says. Lund South was yesterday named as the successful tenderer for work on stage 4 of the museum’s upgrade, which was due to be completed by late next year.
      Read more

  22. Calvin Oaten

    So they have saved $3 million on the OSM upgrade.”BIG DEAL”. But hey wait a minute? In the 2008/09 Annual Plan the projected Capital Expenditure for the OSM was $36.976 million. In the current AP it shows at $44.25 million. So a saving of $3 million is still $4.27 million over the 2008/09 figure. When did Mr Orders say that Graeme Hall is departing? And where does Dave Cull get his “facts” from? No doubt, the great ‘propaganda machine’ is in full stride. Next we will see ‘Old Rodders’ talking up the enormous economies achieved on the rebuild in the next issue of “City Talk”. Roll on the tower. Dunedin could have its own “Ziggurat”.

    • Elizabeth

      How could we not want a phallic symbol at OSM in memory of the former City Architect, Calvin. Yeah the budget dance continues to be ‘creative’ – meaning deceptive but fooling no-one. The ‘viewing tower’ should just about fit a busload of people, with clear view of the DCC’s mountain of DEBT in the norwesterly aspect. Dunedin tourism will never be the same.

      I’m not sure why ODT is repeatedly unable to do the sums for its readers. It’s like soft soap erasure.

  23. Peter

    I’ve got a great idea. We could have a famous Leaning Tower-a point of difference to elsewhere – to bring the tourists here to spend their millions. Build it and they will come. Let’s get Malcolm onto it. He needs a new vision.

  24. Anonymous

    Actually, thinking of muddied words like vision and synergies… a poster on the ODT forum suggested the city build another stadium to address the acoustic concerns of the new one.

    I suspect he or she is just being really, really sarcastic but I fear this council, its councillors who like pretty things and its bottom-feeding stakeholders will take it literally and build another. All that would be left to do is buy some over-valued land, raise a few high-yield bonds and fix up the mates with some plum contracts. Probably sell the naming rights for a gold coin donation to Allied Press as well. Plenty of scope then for new business acronyms and perk jobs for retiring councillors.

    Meanwhile the media will continue to entertain the wider population with its trivia on rugby, sheep and cats rescued from trees.


  25. Peter

    Yes, Anonymous, that why we need ACCOUNTABILITY for the mistakes and rorts of the past so we learn for the future. Let’s have the promised opening of the books. Now.

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
    The pre-election meaning should not be taken to imply an identical post-election meaning.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; you say, ‘the budget dance continues to be creative’. More like the ‘mazurka’ if you ask me. Annual Plans have a way of morphing year after year, that’s why it pays to keep them.

    • Elizabeth

      Quite right, Calvin. DCC relies on the fact that very few people read and comprehend the Annual Plans, or keep them for comparison. Or know what’s NOT in the Annual Plans – all the spends under the carpet, the ones the auditors never look for and never find, but which the CEO and general managers control.

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