Monthly Archives: February 2012

ORFU insolvent for some time

### ODT Online Wed, 29 Feb 2012
Opinion: Blog
Time to tear off ORFU’s cloak of commercial invisibility
By Rob Hamlin
With any luck, the unlamented Otago Rugby Football Union Inc. will go into liquidation on Friday. As usual the Devil is in the detail, and in this particular instance the detail is in the last three letters of the name of this organisation. If it was the ORFU Ltd. that was to be liquidated, then the ORFU board might well be looking forward to Friday with some considerable trepidation.

The DCC purchased Carisbrook last year for seven million dollars on the basis of a professional valuation. Given that the ORFU’s has ‘only’ lost some $800,000 in the 2011 period, these figures would suggest that the ORFU’s debt at that the point of Carisbrook’s sale was over eight million dollars (7.0+2.3-0.8 = 8.5). Thus, when Carisbrook was sold in 2011, it is possible to estimate that the ORFU’s debt exceeded Carisbrook’s market value by over a million dollars. These figures, combined with chronic losses, would suggest that a recognisable state of insolvency existed at that date.

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NOTE: Rob Hamlin’s blog at ODT Online was removed. Therefore, the ODT link is no longer active. -Eds.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DVML, Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport, Stadiums

Private sector funding for stadium always in doubt

What does CST’s Malcolm Farry say now, you have to ask.

### ODT Online Tue, 28 Feb 2012
Doubts over private sector funding for stadium
By David Loughrey
The future of “private sector funding” for the Forsyth Barr Stadium may be thrown into question by the shock announcement last night the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) could fold by the end of the week. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), the Dunedin City Council-owned company running the stadium, has sold season tickets on the expectation an Otago team would play at the stadium in the ITM Cup.
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### ODT Online Tue, 28 Feb 2012
DCC in queue of creditors
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council seems set to join a queue of worried creditors after confirming it is owed more than $400,000 in unpaid rent by the Otago Rugby Football Union. However, any prospect of a last-minute bail-out by the council appears to have been ruled out, with council chief executive Paul Orders and Mayor Dave Cull last night in unison about there being no city council plans to save the union.

Mr Orders said the Otago union had a “proud history” and liquidation would “clearly” have implications for the Forsyth Barr Stadium, although the extent of these was as yet unclear.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Construction, CST, DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Hot air, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Another expensive nut cracks, ORFU liquidated?

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 20:18 27/02/2012
Otago rugby union heading into liquidation
By Mike Houlahan – Fairfax NZ News
With debts of $2.35 million, and a loss from the last financial year of $862,000, the decision was made at a press conference in Dunedin tonight, with NZRU CEO Steve Tew and chairman Mike Eagle in attendance. The 126-year-old union, which has not held the Ranfurly Shield since 1957 or won the National Provincial Championship since 1998, will cease trading by Friday. The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) is taking immediate steps to support community rugby across the Otago region. “We are stepping in to support community rugby and all the amateur players, volunteers, administrators, and others who have a stake in the game,” said NZRU chief executive Steve Tew. Otago has a long and proud rugby history and the union has played a vital role in the rugby community for 131 years so this is a sad day.
Read more + Q&A

What does this situation mean for Forsyth Barr Stadium? (via Stuff)
The Highlanders still intend to play at the stadium and today’s events do not impact on that. The Highlanders will host their first home game for the season this weekend. Our desire is for a team from Otago to participate in the ITM Cup, but it is too early to discuss what will happen in that regard. Any issues relating to the financial impact on the stadium should a representative team from Otago not play in the ITM Cup are for the stadium owners to comment on.

http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/199277/orfu-be-put-liquidation

Related Posts and Comments:
17.2.12 Does the insolvent ORFU deserve any more community support?
11.2.12 Where’s this going, ODT?
14.12.11 Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML…
2.12.11 DVML gets into bed with ORFU
13.10.11 MAD Classics #26 – You’re a crook or a businessman?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Heritage, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

DCC Statement of Public Debt Summary as at 31 December 2011

Comment received.

Calvin Oaten
Submitted on 2012/02/26 at 12:43 pm

I looked up the DCC site, and just happened to feel like looking at the Finance, Strategy and Development 31 December 2011 report. Of particular interest is the Public Debt Summary Statement.

Stadium balance $148.404m. Interest paid $4.222m. Now if DVL is to assume $110m of this debt, it is official, the balance of $38.40m stays on the DCC’s books. A dollar to a doughnut this is the private funding underwrite.

The total debt of the DCC is $344.819m. Not sure what DCHL’s debt will be at 31 December but at 30 June last, it was $4.316m short term and $534.220m long, for a total of $538.54m. All up, it would seem that at New Year’s Eve we citizens are shouldering a total of $883.336m. Feel good? Split that among 54,000 ratepayers and this amounts to $16,358 per person! Still feel good? We ought to, as this earns us the title of champion most highly rated citizens in New Zealand, by a country mile. Where is the medal?

Investment and miscellaneous property debt (excluding property operational but including Carisbrook) carries debt of $33.869m. Here is a portfolio the DCC could do without. Investments like this are for organisations having a debt/equity ratio much much healthier than the DCC’s. Sold up, this portfolio could remove that debt and release the equity for further debt reduction. I recently did an exercise on this aspect and emailed it to Dave Cull copied to Paul Orders. Response? Zilch!

Interesting also, is that of the total debt of $344.819m, that pertaining to all Transport Network, Public Health, City Development, Museums (including OSM, and Chinese Garden), Sport Recreation & Leisure (excluding all things stadium), and Corporate Support add up to $140.881m. So, it can readily be seen just what a tremendous burden the stadium is upon the city.

Report – FSD – 09/02/2012 (PDF, 660.0 KB)
Financial Result – 6 Months to 31 December 2011

See Attachment 7 – Statement of Public Debt as at 31 December 2011 Summary Sheet

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Bringing DCC councillors, staff, related entities and individuals to account, let’s get honest

The Dunedin City Council is dragging its heels, for reasons that should be made public immediately, on declaring the wayward spend that has brought the new stadium about, including the realignment of SH88 — all of which has taken the project beyond the councillors’ role required by the Local Government Act, to act prudently and conservatively with ratepayers’ money.

The councillors’ fiduciary responsibility to this community has been abandoned by thorough incompetence and deception that borders on the criminally fraudulent. This will require direct action by the Minister of Local Government, Nick Smith. There is no getting around this.

The independent review of stadium costs by PricewaterhouseCoopers is of necessity limited by its price tag of $55,000 and the instructions of the commissioning client, Dunedin City Council. Meanwhile, the ‘independent’ Otago Daily Times is prepared to sit back as a moderate, to cover tail.

In terms of “who”, he said if something “untoward” was found, “there will be accountability issues”. -Cull

### ODY Online Mon, 27 Feb 2012
Extra cost on stadium not massive blowout: Cull
By David Loughrey
Dunedin may not being facing a huge blowout in the cost of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, but it is possible people or organisations may be “brought to account” following an investigation. It emerged on Friday questions remained about the final cost of the stadium – six months after the facility was built.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘The final cost of the stadium is … unknown.’

UPDATED

### ODT Online Fri, 24 Feb 2012
Multimillion dollar uncertainty over final stadium cost
By David Loughrey
Six months after the project finished, the Dunedin City Council today admitted it still had questions about the figure, and would fund a $55,000 independent review of the issue. Mayor Dave Cull said the amount in question was ”in the millions” but ”not in the tens of millions”. He would not speculate on what the final cost may be. A team from the Auckland office of PricewaterhouseCoopers would arrive in the city next week to undertake the review, which the DCC says will be funded “from existing DCC budgets”.
Read more + Video

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Carisbrook Stadium Trust chair Malcolm Farry declared it had been completed on time and within budget. Mr Cull says that statement is now in doubt.

### radionz.co.nz Fri, 24 Feb 2012 Updated at 12:27 pm today
Irregularities found in stadium accounts
Dunedin City Council has appointed accountants to review the costs of the city’s new stadium because of irregularities in the project’s final accounts. Mayor Dave Cull and the council’s chief executive made the announcement on Friday morning. They say the council has identified money spent that it cannot account for so it has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to independently review the whole project. Mr Cull said he did not know how much the overrun was, but indicated it was likely to be millions of dollars.
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### stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:12 24/02/2012
Probe into Dunedin stadium costs
By Wilma McCorkindale
The Dunedin City Council (DCC) had called in independent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) investigators after a report tabled Monday from new council chief executive Paul Orders on the likely final cost of the stadium, Cull said. The mayor was refusing to elaborate on what aspect of Orders’ report has initiated the Council action, saying all involved with the project are under scrutiny.
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Dunedin City Council media release

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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Feb 2012
DCC in stadium cost bid
By David Loughrey

A “whole gamut” of parties would be interviewed. -Paul Orders

A team of independent reviewers from PricewaterhouseCoopers will arrive in Dunedin next week seeking answers to multimillion-dollar questions concerning the final cost of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday announced a $55,000 review of the stadium’s final cost, amid concerns about “questions that remain unanswered”, six months after the facility was built. The review team would arrive in Dunedin from Auckland on Wednesday, and spend three weeks studying documents and interviewing “relevant parties”, including the project delivery team, the University of Otago, Hawkins Construction, Dunedin Venues Ltd and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, quantity surveyors and others.
Read more + Video

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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Feb 2012
Farry defends costs; Butler hails review
By Chris Morris

“We are in no doubt whatsoever that the [trust’s] agreed budget has been complied with, and there is no question about that.” -Farry

Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry – the man who promised the Forsyth Barr Stadium would be built “on time and on budget” – insists he has delivered. That was despite Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull announcing an independent review of the stadium’s final cost yesterday, amid concerns the budget may have been blown by millions of dollars. Confirmation of the review by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was greeted as “wonderful news” by former Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler yesterday, although she hoped the examination would eventually go further.
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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Feb 2012
Editorial: Big question still to be answered
While it most surely cannot be the intention, the latest delay in revealing the final costs of building Forsyth Barr Stadium can only lead to further speculation, innuendo and adverse publicity for the venue and the Dunedin City Council. For while it is imperative to “get it right”, from the beginning the most oft-asked questions about the project were how much it was going to cost – and who would pay. Definitive answers to these questions have been slow in forthcoming and this latest postponement will only fuel responses likely to range from resignation to frustration. This, after all, is a matter pertaining to the ratepayers and their pockets. It does not help matters that, having fended off inquiries as to these very matters over some months, at a meeting supposed called finally to reveal the figures, the council yesterday yet again demurred.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Expedience: Dunedin City Council’s blunt instrument to demolish listed buildings

Resource Consent Application: LUC-2011-567
191 King Edward Street, Dunedin

Senior planner Campbell Thomson addressing the Applicant on behalf of the Dunedin City Council as at 27 January 2012, writes:

[excerpt, page 1]
“Your application for land use consent for the demolition of an existing building listed in Schedule 25.1 of the District Plan and located within a townscape precinct, at 191 King Edward Street, Dunedin, was processed on a non-notified basis in accordance with sections 95A to 95F of the Resource Management Act 1991. The application was considered by a Senior Planner under delegated authority on 27 January 2012.

“I advise that the Council has granted consent to the application with conditions. The decision and condition are shown on the attached certificate.”

Under ‘Planning Assessment’, Mr Thomson states:

[excerpt, page 3]
Affected Persons
No written consents were submitted with the application. No parties are considered to be adversely affected by this proposal for the reasons outlined below in the section headed Effects on the Environment. It is noted that the New Zealand Historic Places Trust were consulted as a Statutory Body with an interest in the proposal. Their concerns will be addressed through the requirement for an Archaeological Authority which applies to the proposal. There are no special circumstances which warrant notification of this application. While demolition of heritage or townscape buildings generally raises issues of public interest, in this case, the structural condition of the building has reached a state whereby removal of the building façade has become necessary as a matter of public safety. The key environmental issue relevant to this proposal is how to mitigate the loss of the building.”

It is unreasonable and erroneous, in the context provided by the letter writer, for the Dunedin City Council to state that “the New Zealand Historic Places Trust were consulted”.

It is unreasonable and erroneous of the Council to claim “No parties are considered to be adversely affected by this proposal”, supported by following paragraphs that do not mitigate the wrongfulness of the unjust premise.

The letter granting consent carries other instances of pomposity and disregard for due process. Where does natural justice fit?

This forum isn’t the appropriate place to debate glaring technicalities, in light of what ‘affected party’ status requires as a burden of care on the part of the Dunedin City Council. Suffice to say, the Council is telling porkies.

Furthermore, the Dunedin City Council cannot hope to reduce or limit the work, powers and functions of the autonomous Crown Entity, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, empowered under the Historic Places Act 1993, to just that of regulatory responsibilities regarding archaeological sites — for the Council’s own undemocratic purposes.

Certainly, not by Mr Thomson’s convenient slip of the Council’s red pen.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

### D Scene 22.2.12
Opinion: Protecting heritage (page 7)
By Owen Graham
When is a heritage building protected, and when is it not? That question is one that deserves closer attention as the effects of building neglect become more apparent in our city. In the coming months more gaps will occur in our city heritage precincts, particularly with buildings in Rattray St and King Edward St being readied for demolition. They were not damaged by earthquakes, rather by successive owners who have opted to diminish their attractiveness, economic viability and historical significance in what ultimately results in demolition by neglect. {continues} #bookmark

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

Register to read D Scene online at
http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

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Kaipara this time

If the council does not raise the rates, the Government will install a commissioner who will.

### radionz.co.nz Updated 19 minutes ago
Kaipara mayor warns of leap in rates
Kaipara district mayor Neil Tiller has confirmed the small Northland rural district is facing massive rate rises to cope with its debt crisis, saying the council has been forced to resort to borrowing to “pay for its groceries”.
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### radionz.co.nz Updated at 12:45 pm today
Farming leader calls for council to resign
A Northland farming leader has taken out an ad in his local paper claiming the Kaipara District Council is bankrupt and the council should resign. The operations director of Farmers of New Zealand, Bill Guest, says the small council is now nearly $90 million in debt.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Ombudsmen’s office . . .

“Justice delayed is justice denied and people are already distressed when they approach the office.” -Beverley Wakem

### ODT Online Thu, 16 Feb 2012
Ombudsman snowed under
The Office of the Ombudsmen is in “crisis”, with a bulging backlog of cases due to lack of investigators and existing staff underpaid and in some cases being worked to death, Ombudsman Beverley Wakem says. Appearing before Parliament’s government administration committee yesterday, Ms Wakem said the office was under “considerable pressure” in terms of staffing and funding and had been for the past three years. Ms Wakem said the office’s baseline funding had been established on the basis it would be actively working on 800 to 1000 cases at any one time. However, actual case numbers had been far higher than that for some time and been close to 2000 at one point last year. It was currently handling about 1854.
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### ODT Online Tue, 21 Feb 2012
Editorial: Watching the watchdog
A disconcerting report on the Ombudsman’s office emerged quietly last week. For those unfamiliar with its tasks and responsibilities, this is the office to which people can turn when they feel they have been wronged or disadvantaged by a government department or any other office or organisation of state.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin bus shelters

UPDATED POST 2.1.13

BusShelterPhoto supplied.

About 100 new bus shelters, and objections to about 50 of them! Will they have seating installed? (perhaps the aged and infirm are required to stand for all late buses… y’know, the 15-20 minute waits) Design, what design.

### ODT Online Tue, 21 Feb 2012
New Dunedin bus shelters let you see and be seen
By Rebecca Fox
New “modern street furniture” bus shelters similar to those seen in Frankton Rd, Queenstown, will soon be installed on many Dunedin streets. Bus shelters have been a controversial issue in the city for many years and their design and cost has been debated many times by both regional and city councils. […] With a design agreed upon and the contract let, new shelters costing about $7000 each will be seen around the city within the next two months.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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University of Otago student orientation

Comment received.

Anonymous
Submitted on 2012/02/20 at 1:00 pm
Watching the farce of ‘free offerings’ at the entrance of the university and noticed an interesting anomally. Blokes who look to be 2nd or 3rd year were chasing down girls who appeared to be 1st year offering drinking promotions at certain bars tonight. After a few minutes it was quite clear these guys were ignoring everyone except these young individuals. Campus Watch is not looking inwards or the university is happy to let the wolf in the door as long as the collateral damage is not their own.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Damien Hirst goes eco

Ilfracombe, Devon UK

### wired.co.uk 17 February 2012
Business
Damien Hirst to build 500 sustainable homes in Devon
By Duncan Geere
Artist Damien Hirst has announced plans to build 500 homes in Devon that aim to serve as a model for environmental housing across the UK. The houses will be located in Ilfracombe, on land that’s been owned by Hirst for the past 10 years and a pair of nearby farms. Each will be equipped with photovoltaic panels and concealed wind turbines in the roofs, but be designed to complement existing local buildings.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Salvation Army: The Growing Divide

Like a number of other religious and non-religious organisations, [the Salvation Army] are the embodiment of Martin Luther King’s observation that, while we are called to be Good Samaritans, after we lift so many people out of the ditch we start to wonder whether the whole road to Jericho needs to be repaved.

### ODT Online Fri, 17 Feb 2012
Opinion: Straight talking on social justice
By Andrew Bradstock
Religious commitment is a powerful inspiration to act for social justice, writes Andrew Bradstock, of Dunedin. Today, the Salvation Army releases its 2012 “state of the nation” report. Called The Growing Divide, the report will be launched in four locations, with the Dunedin event hosted by the University of Otago Centre for Theology and Public Issues. Last year, the university signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Salvation Army, and today’s event demonstrates the developing relationship between the two bodies. Now in their fifth year, these Salvation Army reports present an overview of New Zealand society, focusing on children’s health and wellbeing; work and income; housing; crime and punishment; and “social hazards” like alcohol, drug use and gambling. This year’s report examines the key indicators of the growing inequality in our nation.
Read more

• Andrew Bradstock is Howard Paterson professor of theology and public issues at the University of Otago and director of the University’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues.

Download:

> The Growing Divide (PDF, 924KB)

The Growing Divide and previous State of the Nation reports are available to view at: The Social Policy & Parliamentary Unit

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Related posts:
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch… (TV3): Inside Child Poverty
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Does the insolvent ORFU deserve any more community support?

Where are Mr Farry and friends when you really need them? Dunedin City Council shouldn’t touch this one with a barge pole, but that sentiment is a little too late.

### ODT Online Fri, 17 Feb 2012
ORFU is teetering but no bail-out
By Steve Hepburn
The Otago Rugby Football Union is set to post a loss of “several hundred thousand dollars” and admits it cannot pay creditors. It is calling on the support of the community to get out of a “very serious position”, and says a bail-out from the national body is not an option.
Read more

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[partial clarification]
“Mr Graham confirmed that part of the $7 million received from the Dunedin City Council for the sale of Carisbrook went to pay a loan for houses owned by the union. The union had bought houses around Carisbrook years ago as ground expansion was proposed. It formed a trust to own the houses. When Carisbrook was sold in August 2009, $1 million of the sale price was diverted to the trust to pay off loans on the houses.” -ODT

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Related Posts and Comments:
15.2.12 Carisbrook sale
11.2.12 Where’s this going, ODT?
14.12.11 Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML, DCC…
2.12.11 DVML gets into bed with ORFU
13.10.11 MAD Classics #26 – You’re a crook or a businessman?
31.5.11 Controlled funding pies and the suit-wearers for professional sport

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Carisbrook sale

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Feb 2012
Sale of Carisbrook poses a million-dollar mystery
By Steve Hepburn
Call it the confusing case of the mystery million. The cash-strapped Otago Rugby Football Union says it received $6 million for the sale of Carisbrook in 2009, and a university academic confirms the sale is listed as $6 million in the union’s books. But the Dunedin City Council, which bought the ground, and two former Otago union officials maintain the figure was $7 million. The union is battling financial problems, with Jeremy Curragh appointed as change manager, and the New Zealand Rugby Union lending it money to keep operations going.

University of Otago professor of accounting David Lont confirmed, after looking at the union’s annual report, the sale of Carisbrook was listed as a $6 million transaction. If indeed $7 million was the sale price, it was not recognised in the initial accounts or subsequent accounts, he said.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZ Masters Games, stadium or no


The New Zealand Masters Games was first held in Wanganui in 1989 and 1991. Dunedin’s first Games was in 1992 and it has been held in Wanganui and Dunedin on alternate years since. This pattern will continue until at least 2017.

### ODT Online Mon, 13 Feb 2012
No decision yet on future of headquarters
By Alistair McMurran
The Forsyth Barr Stadium was used as the headquarters of the New Zealand Masters Games for the first time this year but there is no guarantee it will be used again in two years. The stadium will be in competition with the University of Otago Union building that has been used as the headquarters in the past.
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No economic impact report has been completed since 2008 […] Dunedin City councillors and ratepayers should be satisfied with the “bang for the buck” the council gets for its involvement.

### ODT Online Mon, 13 Feb 2012
Editorial: Masters Games most welcome
There was a surfeit of energetic athletes of mostly mid to mature years in Dunedin last week. They were the 6000 competitors testing their mettle in the New Zealand Masters Games – the 11th Dunedin has hosted. Just why people from their 20s (yes, you can be a master at 20 – if you are a gymnast) to their 90s would want to enter a competitive multi-sport event is a point probably endless debated around some family dinner tables. But Dunedin should be glad they do.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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“You wouldn’t regret this – think of the tourist trade!”

Uploaded by Lordfairling on 6 May 2008

The “Architect Sketch” was first seen in episode 17 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “The Buzz Aldrin Show”.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Where’s this going, ODT?

If “the model is broken”, then what is the solution? And what does “cutting our cloth to fit” really mean?

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Feb 2012
Has money ruined sport?
By Hayden Meikle
Professional sport in Otago and New Zealand. Discuss. Is professionalism ruining sport? Or enhancing it? […] we hope to stir up some debate with our series, Survival Game, which will appear in the Otago Daily Times over the next week. Prompted by the severe financial troubles encountered by, principally but not exclusively, the Highlanders, Otago rugby and now the Steel netball franchise, our series will look at some of the issues vexing the professional codes. We start today with some background to the struggles suffered by organisations in the South and in other parts of the country.
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Have a succession of greedy/arrogant/incompetent administrators and players taken YOUR teams and put them in grave danger of collapsing?

Other sport: Professional sports’ battle all-embracing
Doom and gloom in sport used to refer to Rugby World Cup droughts, or being bowled out for 26. Now it is more likely to refer to balance sheets and bad debts. Beginning our series examining the state of professional sport, sports editor Hayden Meikle gives an overview of the issues to debate.

Related Posts:
14.12.11 Davies “in the middle of a conversation”…
2.12.11 DVML gets into bed with ORFU
13.10.11 MAD Classics #26 – You’re a crook or a businessman?

Note: ODT recently took up sponsorship of the east stand at ‘Otago Stadium’…
12.11.11 The little horrors 2

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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City wildlife… DCC abandons duty of care

“The Dunedin City Council has nothing in its budget with which to tackle the potential feral cat population problem in North Dunedin. […] Council environmental health and animal control team leader Ros MacGill said her staff responded to complaints as they arose, but that there was no funding for an active control programme. […] Ms MacGill said there had been no recent complaints about feral cats in the student area.” -ODT

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/197310/feral-cat-fears-north-dunedin

Heaven forbid DCC staff would look for work within their jurisdiction rather than wait for “complaints”. Talk of sick dog mentality.

In the central city DCC is putting little energy or resource into culling pigeon populations that nest in neglected buildings; creating havoc for responsible neighbouring property owners.

The councillors are OBLIVIOUS, despite a worthy submission to last year’s draft annual plan by local businessman William Cockerill.

We get the message. DCC would rather spend ratepayer funds on “hazardous projects” such as its in-house marketing team, low-quality event management (including RUGBY), horrendously-priced IT pirates (again, in-house), doing up South Dunedin’s main street atrociously and, oh yeah, STADIUMS (plural)… not all of which expenditure appears ‘whole’ to the public view via Annual Plans, Long Term Council Community Plans (LTCCP) and audited financial reports. Why.

Pest control should happen as if by magic.
A bit like DCC’s approach to debt management.

SPCA bears the brunt
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/197243/spca-grant-be-part-annual-plan

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin City district plan review

A report entitled ‘Plan Review and Preparation of Second Generation District Plan’ from the City Development Manager goes to DCC’s Planning and Environment Committee today.

Report Summary:

The Dunedin City District Plan (the Plan) became operative on 3 July 2006. The Planning Policy Team (now part of the City Development Team) have been working on a programme of rolling reviews using section by section Plan evaluations and reviews followed by plan changes to make improvements and deal with any issues identified.

Over the last year and half, City Development have been undertaking an evaluation of most sections of the District Plan to scope the range of “matters” that ideally should be addressed through a plan review and plan change process.

These matters include required responses to changes to the content requirements of plans through amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991, recent National Policy Statements, changes to Regional Plans, the need to improve integration with other Council strategies, alignment with the draft Spatial Plan, provisions in the Plan that internal and external stakeholders feel are not working and major changes in planning ‘best practice’ since the Plan was first written.

The evaluations have recommended that all operative parts of the plan need changes (this excludes Harbourside).

The City Development Team had a workshop with Councillors on 15 March 2010 to discuss the need for a second generation Plan and areas for improvement to be considered in relation to current ‘best practice’.

This report seeks formal approval for the initiation of the plan review and approval to prepare and notify subsequent changes to the Plan to develop a second generation District Plan.

Report – 08/02/2012 (PDF, 100 KB)
Plan Review and Preparation of Second Generation District Plan

[PEC Agenda]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Otago Museum strife

Mayor Dave Cull said he wanted it on public record the councillors appointed to the museum trust board – Crs Kate Wilson, Syd Brown and Colin Weatherall – were not there as representatives of the council; instead, their role was to do their best for the board. The council appoints one board member, a role filled by board chairman Graham Crombie.

### ODT Online Wed, 8 Feb 2012
Call to cut DCC funding for museum
By David Loughrey
Dunedin City Council critic Lyndon Weggery has called for the city to reduce its annual $3.7 million funding of the Otago Museum, claiming that would be the best way to force change at the institution. Mr Weggery, speaking at a council public forum yesterday as an individual, rather than as a member of the Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association, continued the debate over claimed problems at the museum.
Read more

Related Post:
18.1.12 D Scene exposes museum director’s salary

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Comment by Phil
February 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hopefully the new policy of doing away with the DCC “Money Go Round” game will apply throughout the entire organisation. The IT department charges each DCC employee $1,500 per month for the lease of a standard PC. That’s nearly $20k a year, for a standard office computer. Can you even buy a computer today for $20k?

Building Control charges DCC departments for processing internal building consents. Those departments in turn pay Building Control from ratepayer income.

City Property charges other DCC departments for work in preparing leases and the buying or selling of property on behalf.

Citifleet bills each department every month for the use of their vehicles.

The staff involved in looking after Community Housing (there’s about 6 in total, including maintenance staff) are funded entirely by rental revenue gathered from the city’s pensioners. The level of costs determines the cost of the rent. Remember the $20k annual charge per PC from the IT department and the charging for bathroom renovation building consents from Building Control ?

The Civic Centre building is rented by the DCC, to DCC departments, at standard CBD rental rates. Where does the money for that rental profit come from ?

The list goes on.

[ends]

Related Post and Comments:
14.12.11 Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML, DCC, ORFU and Highlanders

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Ownership and management of the Dunedin Town Hall complex, incorporating Municipal Chambers

Comment – Calvin Oaten
Submitted on 2012/02/06 at 1:07 pm

The Skeggs Gallery, last time I saw it was in the Municipal Building. As I also understand it, that building was built and owned by the DCC, and by extension the citizens. Have they established stratified titles in that building? If so, how come there has been no public notification of that intent? Indeed, is there any documentation of council approving of that process? If the answer is no to all of those questions, then how can part of the whole be said to be sold? Even if it is ostensibly to a CCO. Something very peculiar seems to be going on here, and it does not look to be to the citizens’ advantage. And they think there is disfunction in Christchurch. Link

See thread for related comments:
Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML, DCC, ORFU and Highlanders

6.2.12 ODT Online Venue subsidy plan

Report – FSD – 09/02/2012 (PDF, 96.9 KB)
Community Access to DVML Facilities

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: LTP 2012/22 Draft Financial Strategy

A meeting of the Council’s Finance, Strategy and Development Committee is set down for 9 February 2012 [Agenda].

Report – FSD – 09/02/2012 (PDF, 199.9 KB)
LTP 2012/22 Draft Financial Strategy

From the report summary:

“Amendments to the Local Government Act in 2011 brought in a requirement for a Financial Strategy to be part of the Draft Long Term [Council Community] Plan. A Financial Strategy must make certain disclosures about population growth, infrastructure expenditures and any other significant factors. Subsequent Annual Reports then must disclose the extent to which compliance with the Strategy was achieved and explain variances.

“The Financial Strategy requires a statement in the LTP that quantifies the limits on rates, rate increases and borrowing. In the same statement the Council has to assess its ability to maintain service levels and meet additional demands within the rates limits previously stated.”

Disclosures? This is unheard of at Dunedin City Council. How much will be left off the public record this time? Another Athol Stephens sleight of hand?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Economics? If only DCC could think, or think this way instead of failing!

### radionz.co.nz Sunday 5 February 2012
Radio New Zealand National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
11:06 Ideas
In the latest series of interviews with influential New Zealanders about the individuals, writers and thinkers who have influenced them, Chris Laidlaw talks to Gareth Morgan – economist, author, philanthropist, adventurer, Phoenix Football Club co-owner, and father of Sam. (54′21″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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