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

12 Comments

Filed under DCC, DCHL, Economics, Politics, Project management

12 responses to “DCC: LTP 2012/22 Draft Financial Strategy

  1. Russell Garbutt

    If you haven’t all either heard, seen or read the proceedings from Parliament of the 9th February, you should examine Oral question Number 6 asked by Jacqui Dean (MP for Waitaki) of the Minister of Local Government, Nick Smith.

    It concerns the level of debt of Local Bodies in New Zealand and Nick Smith’s answers are illuminating. It is also worthwhile pointing out that the DCC does not publish as far as I’m aware, the consolidated accounts of all of its entitites. So while the DCC says that it owes a couple of hundred million dollars, in actual fact the ratepayers are exposed to over $700m of debt. Whether this is called dishonest reporting, lack of clarity in reporting, or abiding by a rather loose book, may be up for interpretation, but it doesn’t alter the fact that there is exposure of extraordinary amounts.

    It is also worth reporting that the independent provider of the Local Body financial statistics is Larry Mitchell and he is more than willing to provide a detailed report on the Dunedin position for a very reasonable sum. But do you think that those Councillors and the staff of the DCC who voted for and supported this unheralded spendup really want to know what the real position is? I think it is called covering your spineless body and little bum.

    Time to demand at submission time for a total opening of the books, the provision of a full set of consolidated accounts, and while we are about it, ask some of the people responsible like Collins, Brown, Acklin, Noone, Weatherall, Bezett and co to explain how their actions fulfilled the Local Government Act requirements to be prudent and conservative.

  2. Anonymous

    I suggest it is closer to a billion dollars and suspect its management and methods of concealment are now so complex they are unable to control it. Every decision coming out of this council reeks of desperation.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    See how students are claiming tradition lies behind their absolute right to get bladdered and cause annoyance and expense to others. I wonder if Swan’s Way will be claimed as a Dunedin tradition justifying complex tangles of accounting designed to deceive.

  4. Anonymous

    We were so close at getting rid of Crs Paul Hudson and Colin Weatherall. The future of Dunedin city was also tragically let down by a flawed ward system enabling Crs Syd Brown and Andrew Noone to stay in power. While they and the other stadium councillors are entrenched in office, we are faced with far greater tragedy yet as the next election is too far away to stop their debt and asset sales agendas.

    People frequently ask, “But who, then, should I have voted for?” The decision is quite simple. Look to the people that get mocked in or receive the least gushing attention by the Otago Daily Times. These are likely to be genuine people who want to work in the best interests of your community, instead of their own.

    The next election is so far away still.

  5. amanda kennedy

    That’s the problem isn’t it? The present politicians get free publicity for three years (before the election) in the local print media and so we leave it up to Julian Smith to create a political narrative (‘the stadium is wonderful and we don’t care one little bit it is a financial flop’ etc). The only way is to circumvent the media and have new candidates. These people need to start thinking about creating a profile now, doing something. Or it will the be same old faces. And Acklin’s hair in the newspapers for the next 30 years or so (if Collins and his time on the council is any example to go by, how long now? He was on council when I was a kid. Seriously.).

  6. amanda kennedy

    By voting Crs Hudson, Collins, Acklin and mates back onto council it basically told them that they can act undemocratically, be non transparent, be secretive and inflict massive debt on the city and still, even then, Dunedin people will vote you back into positions of authority. If these councillors had been kicked off they would have learned (and other would-be autocratic councillors) that they cannot act like this and get away with it. Instead Hudson and co have learned they do not have to be accountable for their bad decisions. So they will keep on making them in the knowledge that Dunedin people do not hold negligent politicians to account. Is it any wonder that the lack of transparency has continued? They do this because they can. We let them – every election – get away with it.

  7. Anonymous

    The call for an independent audit of this council is the perfect campaign and profile builder. We need someone who is not afraid of the ‘senior’ councillors, someone not afraid of the media who will fight to protect its interests, and most important of all, someone who owes nothing to stakeholders. It is long overdue this diseased group was excised from council business and I hope Paul Orders does not buy into their false visions.

    The real future of Dunedin needs someone who is prepared to fight against the one thing some of these institutionalised councillors must be afraid of — the truth getting out before they do.

  8. Russell Garbutt

    Would the Oddity, or could the Oddity, ignore a concerted campaign calling for true disclosures of the consolidated position of the DCC? Far more importantly, will Paul Orders resist such a call?

    Athol Stephens seems to have placed his lot firmly in the camp of the Hudson, Brown, Collins, Acklin and co camp which is disappointing.

  9. Anonymous

    Not surprising as he was abandoned on a sinking ship by his mentor. Athol Stephens is out of his depth and what he did with the 40 year debt was wrong. It is interesting watching this group form an alliance. Their decisions leading to the financial ruin of Dunedin have brought them closer due to necessity. They know something is happening beyond their control. The ratepayers are circling and the anger and frustration and helplessness and, for some, hatred cannot keep on boiling for long.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    The Fairfax media have no motive for brown-nosing provincial steak and chip holders. Besides it is in their interests to make points of difference by covering things the locally owned press won’t. Fairfax = = DScene, then stories worth wider exposure also appear in the city papers throughout NZ.

  11. amanda kennedy

    What gain would Athol or Orders have in fighting for an audit of the DCC? This would only make enemies of Hudson and mates and even of the normal councillors (Thomson and co) who seem to want to just hush up the unpleasantness and place austerity measures on Dunedin people and not make the stadium stakeholders pay (the private funding for example). It is easier to make us pay than the weatlhy and powerful. Accountability will bring nothing but grief for them. Just like how we cannot look to the university for any help, academics have to cover themselves too, and so will not speak out even though there is a lecturer in the political studies department who has been wrting about inequality but has not noticed the consequences of the stadium debt; local inequality. (!)

  12. Elizabeth

    Dunedin City Council
    Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 – 2021/22, incorporating the Draft Annual Plan 2012/13

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/202835/its-consultation-time

    There’s a point at which, as the ODT Editor rightly suggests, ratepayers (and residents!) will suffer fatigue. The only thing worth saying in my submission will be that I demand of the Dunedin City Council a full independent investigation into DCC, DCHL, CST, DVML, DVL and all related entities – and that I won’t be voting for the return of the current mayor and councillors should they stand again at the next local body elections. It’s called a vote of no confidence.

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