DCC has PR problem

The Octagon Occupy (a peaceful legitimate protest) and the weekend’s North Dunedin fires (arson, threat to property, drunkenness and street fighting, threat to health and safety) are exerting pressure on the Dunedin City Council to enter meaningful – open and transparent – communication with residents and ratepayers; evidently, this should extend to the university and the police.

The protesters have won a significant victory and it will be even more difficult to move them now.

### ODT Online Wed, 9 Nov 2011
Editorial: Communication breakdown
Have the Dunedin City Council and senior police officers stopped talking to each other? After last Tuesday night’s public relations disaster when the council failed in its attempt to have trespassed protesters removed from the Octagon, the residents of Dunedin could well be forgiven for thinking sensible communication has ceased. The “Occupy Dunedin” protesters – some call them noble and brave and others bludgers and beneficiaries – pitched more than 30 tents in the upper Octagon on October 15, joining a global movement protesting corporate greed and social inequality and calling for greater protection of the environment.
Read more

Related Posts:
19.10.11 Octagon protest occupies minds!
21.10.11 INSANE, Dave! Occupy Dunedin STAYS in the Octagon.
24.10.11 #Occupy #OWS Good guy! US Marine Sgt Shamar Thomas

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

Filed under DCC, Economics, Events, Media, People, Politics, Site

13 responses to “DCC has PR problem

  1. DCC can’t have been reading the news of late or they would know why. But then that doesn’t surprise me.
    I did comment on the article itself. But if the cops have said no then why the hell would DCC think they could take it into their own hands?

  2. Phil

    Yes, this is getting a bit weird now. The police refuse to take action as they believe they will be breaking the law in doing so. Apparently bringing in a group of local thugs doesn’t break the same Act.

  3. Ah, but they will be, and we know it. So how much is this going cost us as ratepayers? Lawyers X? X$150-200 an hour? And that’s now. What about when DCC is in court?

    And that will be nothing to the trouble he will have from all the politicians, two weeks out from an election and they are talking about it at political ‘rallies’ then he starts doing shit like this?
    He is going to turn Dunners into a laughing stock.

    In fact, go for it Cull, you thought you looked bad now, this is going to be funny. Hell the rest of the country is laughing now.

    • Elizabeth

      Sadly wirehunt, Dave would’ve been at the “public launch” of the Dunedin Spatial Plan tonight, at the stadium. I doubt he’ll have had time today or this evening to read collective comments across the social media networks. Pity.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Nov 2011
        Eviction: police ‘between rock and hard place’
        By Debbie Porteous
        A senior Dunedin police officer has spoken out about the police decision not to evict protesters from the Octagon, saying local police are “between a rock and a hard place”, and it would be irresponsible of police to risk having to pay out thousands of dollars of public money to the protesters. Dunedin-Clutha police area emergency response manager Inspector Alastair Dickie said, when police had previously moved protesters in similar situations in the North Island, they had ended up paying out up to $100,000 to the protesters, for breaching their rights under the Bill of Rights Act. It would be “irresponsible” of the police to risk doing that again. “The protesters have the right under the Bill of Rights Act to protest peacefully.” Case law indicated the Act superseded lesser legislation such as council bylaws against camping. He said police had met council staff members more than once and the position had been explained to them.
        Read more

        ****

        In which Mayor Cull continues to make a mountain out of a molehill…

        ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Nov 2011
        Octagon legal opinion divided
        By David Loughrey
        Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said yesterday he would not rule out using private security guards to evict the Occupy Dunedin protesters, as the city council waited for “urgent clarification” on its legal position. Mr Cull said private security was “not an option we would favour”, and the council would much prefer to use the proper agencies of the country. But a police decision not to enforce trespass notices meant the council appeared to have no jurisdiction over the public spaces it controlled. Legal clarification came through late yesterday, and Mr Cull said it “reinforced our understanding of the legal position”. That differed from the police position, so council would have to continue considering its options for its next move.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### pundit.co.nz 6 November 2011
          At my signal, unleash hell
          By Andrew Geddis
          The Dunedin City Council has tired of the Occupy Dunedin protest and wants it gone. So why is it still there? The Occupy [Insert Place Name Here] protest movement has sparked a whole lot of head scratching “but what does it all mean?” analysis, without yet reaching any widely accepted conclusions.
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          ****

          ### pundit.co.nz 9 November 2011
          Some quick legal advice for Dave Cull
          By Andrew Geddis
          Dunedin’s police will not be moving to evict the Occupy Dunedin protest. Good on Dunedin’s police. I don’t often get things right. I thought the All Blacks would put 20 points or more on the French in the Rugby World Cup 2011 (TM) final. I predicted Alpha Plan would be the next U2 – and if you don’t know who I mean, you weren’t there, man.
          Read More

          • Andrew Geddis is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Otago.

        • Elizabeth

          Dave, this is starting to get boring. Say less. Be wise. Occupy Dunedin STAYS. Be the New Zealand city that UNDERSTANDS and SUPPORTS the global protest movement. Get real, not precious.

          And Dave, you’ve had nearly a month to consider if there are any legal options, that won’t COST US. The only thing “bogging” is the council brain, although we think you mean boggling. What would ex-protester Shadbolt do?

          ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Nov 2011
          Octagon eviction decision looms
          Dunedin City Council is likely to decide by tomorrow morning whether it will seek court action to remove protesters camping in the Octagon.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### radionz.co.nz Thurs 10 Nov 2011 at 16:10
          Afternoons with Jim Mora
          The Panel with David Slack and Stephen Franks (Part 1)
          Topic 1: With the European markets in turmoil, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has warned of the risk of a ”lost decade” for the global economy unless nations act together to counter threats to growth. Topic 2: The mayor of Dunedin, David Cull, has questioned which laws police will enforce following their decision today NOT to evict protesters camping in the city centre. (25′49″)
          Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

          ### radionz.co.nz Wed 9 Nov 2011 at 17:12
          Checkpoint with Mary Wilson
          Mayor comments on police decision not to evict protesters
          The Dunedin mayor says the police decision not to evict protesters from the central city throws into doubt the legal force of council bylaws around the country. (5′11″)
          Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

          ****

          ### radionz.co.nz Wed 9 Nov 2011 at 17:17
          Checkpoint with Mary Wilson
          Law professor explains right to protest in a public place
          Andrew Geddis is a law professor at Otago University – where he lectures on the Bill of Rights. (4′24″)
          Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

          ****

          ### radionz.co.nz Wed 9 Nov 2011 at 18:51
          Checkpoint with Mary Wilson
          Occupy Dunedin protesters will not be evicted by police
          The Dunedin City Council says the decision by police to not evict the Occupy Dunedin protesters, has national implications. (3′29″)
          Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Nov 2011
          Security guards no longer an option for council
          By Debbie Porteous and David Loughrey
          Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says the Dunedin City Council is “taking each day as it comes” with regards to what to do about the protesters camping in the Octagon. “We haven’t come to any conclusions yet. We are still working through what our options are, but we’re not trying to predict what those options might be,” he said last night.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
          Opinion: NZ Bill of Rights overrides council bylaw
          By Andrew Geddis

          University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis explains why he thinks police were correct not to bow to Dunedin City Council requests to evict Occupy Dunedin protesters from the Octagon.

          I am not a part of the Occupy Dunedin protest. I can’t speak for them or their aims. In fact, I suspect the protesters themselves are somewhat uncertain as to what are their exact goals. Instead, to use a somewhat hackneyed phrase, the medium of Occupy Dunedin’s protest is its primary message. For the protesters, it is a round-the-clock reminder that the present economic system is not working for many people and a call to think collectively about a better way of structuring society. You may or may not agree with this viewpoint. I do not think, however, anyone would argue it is not genuinely held, or that it is not worth at least some consideration.
          Read more

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    So-o-o…. the mayor can make himself and Dunedin look even more like manuses or he could transfer attention – his own and the public’s – to addressing a REAL problem, the chronic problems in the student area.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    From the Oddity’s comments –
    $3700 grass fix
    Submitted by AJP on Sun, 25/12/2011 – 8:36am.
    $3700 to repair a bit of lawn? That’s more than a month’s income for me. Were we using gold-plated seeds imported form Scotland and hiring a piper to play while they grow?
    Have seen comments saying money well spent and money wasted, but no-one seems to have said “How much?” I could dig over the whole area , rake it, grade it, resow, roll out and water it every morning for a month and still not get paid this much.
    Hmm … perhaps the Occupiers were right ;-)

    My response was edited, removing anything that might disturb sensitive readers. Since those who read this site are self-evidently insensitive to most matters other than waste, rorts, lies and injustice I reproduce here the original:

    It makes a person wonder about the amount council (i.e. we the ratepayers) fork out for jobs around the city. Is contracting out cheaper, better value than having direct council employees? Is there any one of those innumerable managerial desk jockeys who is tasked to check how costs as quoted e.g. this one, look. I wonder if comparisons are done with prices paid out in the truly private sector where customers say “Get off! you’re taking the pith aren’t you?” and call another firm.

  6. The cost I think largely lies in the choice to use ready lawn (~$10 per square metre). Hopefully the council would get a discount on that sort of rate, but that entire lawn area would easily cost $10,000 on ready lawn alone, so to do part of it, cover labour costs and materials for reinstating the base, $3500 does not seem entirely outrageous.
    Delta doubtless practice full cost recovery, so their cost will also include depreciation and eventual replacement for their vehicles and equipment, as well as a contribution towards payroll and other overhead costs. Some might suggest the kind of total cost accounting absent from some of the council’s other endeavours.

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