Public meeting: DCC Draft Annual Plan 2012/13

The annual plan sets out the city’s budget for the next financial year.

ODT Online Mon, 9 Apr 2012
Meeting to debate city plan
By David Loughrey
An unquenchable interest in public spending on stadiums and rugby is one of the reasons behind a public meeting in Dunedin on Thursday. While the Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association has been quiet of late, chairman Lyndon Weggery said the organisation had booked the Burns Hall for a public meeting on the Dunedin City Council’s draft annual plan.
Read more

When: Thursday 12 April
Starts: 7.30pm
Where: Burns Hall, in the grounds of First Church
Invited speakers: Mayor Dave Cull and council chief executive Paul Orders

All welcome

UPDATED 21.4.12

Related Posts:
17.3.12 DCC Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 -2021/22 and Annual Plan 2012/13
14.3.12 Wednesday: Meetings of Council and FSD Committee, read DEBT
12.3.12 DCC debt
6.2.12 DCC: LTP 2012/22 Draft Financial Strategy

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

35 responses to “Public meeting: DCC Draft Annual Plan 2012/13

  1. Elizabeth

    It seems unlikely – if not highly improbable – that Council will table Dunedin Venues Management Ltd’s sixth-monthly report on loss making activities before the close of submissions on the DCC Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 -2021/22 and Annual Plan 2012/13.

    Submissions close at 5pm, 17 April 2012. Find out more here:

    The Council has received the DVML report but has chosen NOT to release it to public view at this time (Link).

    The ($55,000) independent forensic audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers of stadium costs and related entities is still in process, by extension. (Link)

    • Elizabeth

      As Hype.O.Thermia rightly says at ODT, “Not even nice to have”… referring to the disestablishment of a section of Dunedin’s one-way system south of Queens Gardens, through the warehouse district.

      This is the whim of certain lined-up interests (including heritage lobby, property investors, DCC’s Heritage Buildings Economic Reuse Steering Group, EDU, council staff, mayor) which does not take into account the Dunedin City Council’s dire financial state.

      It might be fine for a rainy day.

      Cr Wilson I don’t think is a property magnate or transportation engineer or planner, and is therefore unlikely to have any idea of the (growing) final cost to council, private business (apart from the bunch who are pushing this), road users, or the wider Dunedin community. This is ANOTHER PET PROJECT.

      • Elizabeth
        It was possible the New Zealand Transport Agency may help fund the council’s plan.
        Really? Jim Harland?

        • Elizabeth

          ### April 11, 2012 – 6:07pm
          Report confirms two-way project achievable
          A recent report which investigated changing the one-way parallels of Cumberland and Crawford Streets and making them two-way streets, has confirmed the project is achievable. Dunedin City Councillor, Kate Wilson, says the project is not just about the feel of the place; there are some safety concerns too, as crash-statistics in the area are quite high.

          Or how Greater Dunedin pretends the DCC Debt CRISIS isn’t happening – realign itself to a tech project that has ‘feel good’ tendencies, entertained by a successful private export business and respected family trust, throw in local government incentives, beat the heritage drum. Sounds like Dave Cull election campaign for 2013.

          What’s missing from this picture? (apart from the fact we might not want Cull back as mayor or councillor) Remember folks, we must All think forward not back on the stadium project…

          It’s a modern day marvel how a council-fueled professional rugby swindle worth hundreds of millions of dollars can be ploughed under? No, the Cull gloss won’t work.

  2. Anonymous

    ‘…bill of $5.694 million, excluding the cost of land purchases…’

    Let me guess. Land owned by… Hagaman? Farry?

    So several $200K amounts on reports, millions in “consultancy”, “time” and “printing” costs, tens of millions for high yield bonds, further tens of millions for increased land speculations, a couple hundred million for land purchases, a few more million for miscellaneous costs (since nobody’s checking), add a couple million as a gift to ORFU. Then have Brown double the loan period and triple the loan interest – our children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s children can keep paying for it.

    Have the media decry a referendum because it will cost $70K.

    Just sign a cheque now for half a billion, C/o Dunedin City Ratepayers.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s also a distraction from things ‘stadium’ or ‘rugby’. Sorry, DCC/ODT we’re not that simple.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    What I can’t understand is why the dreamt-up vibrant hubbiness as puffed in the article cannot occur if it is economically feasible, business by business, without changing the layout of the streets. Change in zoning is all that would be needed, Then if a building owner wanted to make his building into apartments, a restaurateur or creative-space user approached him with a solid-looking scheme for opening an eatery / studio, he could make the adaptations (or they do the kitchen fit-out, according to individual lease negotiated between the 2 parties) without DCC consultants, ratepayers being up for purchase of property or any of the complications suggested.
    Anonymous, funny you should mention Earl Hagaman. I am aware of decent-sized chunks of land down that way owned by him. How hard is it to do a search of land (not necessarily the building upon it) ownership?

    • Elizabeth

      The council knows the extent of rateable land ownership and who owns what; anyone with access to title search can whip the information up in minutes. Until the land is freeholded building owners will be reluctant to upgrade their buildings with the pending threat of rising ground and building leases beyond their control. See what Hagaman was trying to pull on Otago Polytechnic, near the stadium. Or what would’ve happened to Harbourside properties care of Port Otago’s property subsidiary, Chalmers, pushing for the zone change there. Hmm, ground leases, building leases – nasty speculation and rachet costs, controlled by the same old boys.

  4. Elizabeth

    I’ve decided to wait a wee while before commenting at length on tonight’s meeting at Burns Hall – all I will say for now is:

    If Dave Cull thinks we should be PASSIVE (by saying we should look to the future not the past) then he is denying the democratic (and legal…) right to see a number of people held personally accountable for gross misrepresentation and mismanagement of the stadium project from inception.

    Not buying it.

    Thankfully, Paul Orders had more interesting things to say about how he sees his role in providing the clarity of information and accountability we need from Dunedin City Council for the stadium project.

    After that, it is we who will decide – as Lou Vorgers put it so nicely – “who to chase”.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    I read with interest in D Scene what Dave Cull was reported as saying about using the Fubar. Use it lots, make it a community asset. But it’s so NOT. Use it much, use it little, it costs more to use than to keep idle and as for use by the community instead of waiting for the few money earning events – has someone been telling him that NOBODY has paid a price that represents a profit? The best earning so far is in rough terms “a bit less lossy than running a barbecue on briquettes made of tightly rolled $100 notes”.
    And the rates component for the stadium being less than for any of [list of items] – ignoring the fact that all those he mentioned were necessary whereas the Fubar is an insanely expensive duplicate stadium.

    I’ve been watching the Clarke and Dawe interviews on youtube and now it’s hard not to hear John Clarke’s voice when I read absurdities.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    “Council debt top concern” – well, no wonder. Council debt isn’t very likely to be paid out of the tooth fairy’s handbag, we’ve been growing up fast the last few years and many of us realise it’s about money coming out of ours.
    It’s about facilities we won’t get, and services costing more and delivering less … it’s about Dunedin getting to be a poorer, in all senses, place to live.
    But we mustn’t look back in negativity – embrace the slide, turn Dunedin into a Depression Era theme park. It’s not going to be easy turning modern sugar bags into knickers but we love a challenge, right?

  7. amanda Kennedy

    Last night’s effort by Mayor Cull and fellow politicians was indeed as good as watching a ‘Yes, minister’ show, as mentioned by a post to the ORT today. Mayor Cull wants to have it both ways; he uses the excuse that the last council sold the stadium to us all on a ‘fiction’ (that was how he put it, wasn’t it?) but yet goes all coy on who the councillors were who sold this ‘fiction’ to Dunedin citizens. Political accountability happens to be my top concern surrounding the unsustainable debt that Hudson and mates foisted on the city. He and his fellow stadium councillors are still making financial decisions and are in place to sell assets to hide their poor financial decisions; and they benefit the most from council lack of transparency and secrecy. Hudson and mates do not want any insight into how the stadium got sold to us as a ‘fiction’. Hudson, Bezett and Brown want us all to forget that, so that when rates really skyrocket they can blame us all for the stadium debt; we wanted it, Hudson, Acklin and Noone were all so much against it, right?

    Mayor Cull, I know it is not poltically advantageous for you to highlight any of this, but don’t you see this is bigger than paying off your stakeholders’ debt? We are calling for democracy in Dunedin. Do we have it now? With the lack of transparency and cronyism on council that underpins the stadium ‘fiction’ I don’t think so.

  8. GCK

    The Mayor comes across as thoughtful and reflective in the DScene interview, lets support and encourage that, but these apparent beginnings of insight are spoiled by the repetition of the pernicious trope of ‘we have it now – therefore we should use it’. This is not a given. It is widely accepted that a standing cost – in the region of $15 million per year is absorbed by debt servicing irrespective of what use the venue is put to. The critical question is the question of ‘therefore we should us it’. This is an arguable proposition based on projections and realities about the operation costs and the income to met them.
    What would be useful for the community would be to engage with a robust discussion where the ‘maximize the use’ option is stacked up against the ‘mothball / sell off’ option. This, of course, would require a detailed, believable, independent ‘opening of the books’ and some serious evaluation of the numbers revealed. This is the only way we can honestly chart a direction for the future.
    Out of this could come of process of healing the divisions in the community – that we could come to a view as a community that the best way forward, in the interests of the community as a whole, could be to ‘mothball / sell off’ or to ‘maximize use’.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    The mothball/sell off discussion needs to start with an evaluation of what Dunedin needs to do, that cannot be done in other facilities in the city. I expect this discussion will be delayed until Carisbrook is sold off, leaving the Fubar as the only, therefore “necessary”, stadium.

    • Elizabeth

      Although a servant of the Council, I’m pretty sure Chief Executive Paul Orders is getting well up to speed on what caused the “too many questions involved with the stadium” (as he said last night given the “misalignment” of the stadium with the LTP process).

      [The PWC report points up interesting things.]

  10. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting that the DVML 6 monthly report is to be released on 26 April 2012. I presume the report covers the period of June/December 2011.
    To take four and a half months is an insult to the shareholders/ratepayers and is conveniently just a week after the closing date for LTP submissions. Funny that.

  11. Anonymous

    They’re into it over their heads. Even the New Stadium Mayor. They’re so far over the line there’s no way back in their minds so it’s just a matter of lumping actions on top of the untruths – like all corporate criminals who have crossed it, they bury themselves deeper and gamble on the flawed hope of not being caught. Look for the bully boys protecting their patch, propped up by the stupid and gullible… there you find the Dunedin City Council.

  12. amanda Kennedy

    It’s funny though how politicians try the old ‘holier than though’ strategy. Cull’s attitude seems to be something like ‘…Be like me folks! Forget who created the stadium debt debacle, just Smile and pay the money, the stakeholders want what they want and who are we to question that?! I want my own great pet projects too and cannot afford to alienate the stadium debt creators! So please please enough already with the ‘accountability’ talk!…’ Sorry not buying it Mayor Cull.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    This two-way scheme, I’ve not yet seen anything that makes it necessary or desirable, so can only surmise that it’s this council’s – or some councillors’ – form of “pissing in the corners”, leaving their mark just as we-know-who left their Fubar & Chinese Garden massive-debt-shaped stain. Look forward. March onward. “Into the valley of death marched the 500” and so on but wait – here’s the wow factor: Dunedin can do better than that! Into the valley of debt exceeding $500 million because when you’re that deep in the quagmire another few mill’ one way or another ain’t worth quibbling about. Watch our progress! Sniff our corners….

  14. Kate Wilson should pull her head in. It is not her place to be promoting pet projects as part of the LTP/DAP. Kate and the other councillors should have the sense to know that this 2-waying project is lunacy. The reason that it happened is because the DCC has way too many planners with nothing useful to do. I don’t know how things were 20 years ago, but I bet there were a lot less staff with a lot more common sense.
    More sinister than Kate overstepping her role as councillor is the carefully timed PR piece on page one of Saturday’s ODT (14/4/12, “Kick Start For Precinct Plan”) where we learn that ADI will receive financial inducements to accept a building in the area. It’s a combined effort, with Kate promoting the vandalism to the roading, Dave Cull pumping up the precinct idea, council staff already committing money towards rates relief and the ODT contributing as part of their secret special relationship with the DCC. This behaviour is why people don’t put in submissions for the DAP/LTP; they can see that the decisions are already decided even before they hear about it.

    • Elizabeth

      Agree, JimmyJones – the spatial plan (leadership) workshops for Built Environment were HIGHLY cued to set outcomes and it showed, increasingly. People were selected to attend by certain people.

      Then it got to the point where a DCC staff report on the legally independent Dunedin Heritage Fund (jointly administered by DCC and NZHPT representatives) mentions the Donald Reid Stores at 117 Cumberland St….

      Click to access ma_council_r_dnheritagefund_2012_01_24.pdf

      See page 3, the author says:
      “In the coming year [2012], four large-scale re-use projects at the former Donald Reid Store (Vogel/Cumberland Street), Dunedin Prison, Garrison Hall, and Chief Post Office buildings look set to transform their respective precincts.”

      I checked, the Dunedin Heritage Fund Committee had received NOTHING by way of an application from the owners of 117 Cumberland St at the time that report was written and tabled at Council in January. Note the ticking of boxes by DCC staff.

      Since then the owners have received rates relief.

      One DCC officer in particular has easily cajoled the Mayor. Not helped by Kate Wilson’s fawning at ODT and Ch9, of late. She is the inexperienced chair of DCC Planning and Environment Committee. [Aside: As the deputy chair of the Otago Museum board Cr Wilson recently championed the ‘health’ of that museum (RNZ National interview). She’s a ‘futures’ believer, she thinks the stadium must be USED. Progressive? Dangerous crap, from one with no expertise in accounting, finance or economics.]

      I advocate for heritage retention and export-led recovery – but not for SLEASY PET PROJECTS and ABHORRENT POLITICS where you look after your friends.

      Some if not all members of DCC’s Heritage Buildings Economic Re-use Steering Committee might have fallen into that same oily barrel.

      Question is: who coordinates all these steps? The answer is well known to anyone with half a brain. Someone relatively junior and opportunist, which only points out the deficits prevalent on staff and council.

      [Image: ODT thumbnail]

      ### ODT 14.4.12 (page 1) High-tech boost for heritage precinct plan
      Private enterprise has swung in behind a multimillion-dollar Dunedin City Council plan to breathe new life into a city heritage precinct, in an alliance Mayor Dave Cull yesterday described as “perfect”.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    This is a disturbing aspect of Dunedin’s workings, the Chums’ Club Secret Tree-House meetings, minutes in invisible ink, that foreshadow so much of what eventuates. And emerges not as new ideas to be discusssed before it is decided whether to take them any further – costings, feasibility studies, measure them with the prudent stewardship callipers – but as fully fledged decisions requiring only some pretend consultation with the public followed by signing on the dotted line by our zombie yea-sayers.

  16. Anonymous

    1000 submissions on the LTP so far and counting…

  17. Anonymous

    I am sure that the majority of them will be in favour of Our Stadium and lauding the financial masterstroke of taking on a massive debt burden.

  18. Russell Garbutt

    Probably filled out by fervent members of the Bill Acklin and Neil Collins fan clubs. Ably assisted by a Polytech tutor and a theatre nurse or two.

    • Elizabeth

      Cycleways, the stadium and the Otago Rugby Football Union bail-out have helped fuel a near-record level of public submissions on the Dunedin City Council’s draft budgets.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODTOnline Thu, 19 Apr 2012
        Final submissions tally tops record
        By Debbie Porteous
        Council policy analyst Jane Neville said 1020 submissions from the public on the council’s draft annual and long-term plans were received by the 5pm Tuesday deadline. The previous biggest response to the draft annual plan was 985 submissions in 2003. Of those who made submissions this year, 130 people had indicated they would like to present their submission in person to the council.
        Read more

        Councillors will hear from those who choose to speak to their submissions at public hearings from May 9-11, followed by deliberations from May 15-17.

        It appears most submitters chose not to comment on the stadium or the ORFU bailout – submissions on these topics received “in the dozens” according to Cull (although some of these will be meaty indeed, it would benefit the public to attend the hearings).

        Once again, the fickle public have opted merely to promote their own pet projects and not ruck up DCC ?

  19. Elizabeth

    There is the plan to increase the period of payment for the stadium from 20 years to 40 years, and we are being asked what is our preference. There are some indicative costs and consequences indicated to the ratepayers covering the two alternatives. But there is so much information missing it is not possible for anyone to make an informed decision.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 23 Apr 2012
    ‘Frightening aspects’ in draft annual plan
    By Calvin Oaten
    Quo vadis, Dunedin? Loosely translates, Dunedin, where are you going? This seems a valid question as we again are asked to consider the draft annual plan. We all received the summary statement, and some of us will have the full 354-page document. The first paragraph of Mayor Dave Cull’s sophistical message states: “Achieving an affordable budget while keeping Dunedin moving forward is the challenge facing the Dunedin City Council.”
    Well, how did they do?
    Read more

  20. Elizabeth

    Dave Cull replied to Calvin Oaten’s ‘Frightening aspects in annual plan’ (ODT, 22.4.12) with a letter in today’s newspaper – ‘Mayor hits back at council rates critic’ (page 34). A very untoward reply that I’m sure will attract comments from those who are as concerned as Calvin about council finances and rates. Hopefully Dave the plonker won’t be returned as mayor in 2013.

  21. amanda Kennedy

    Mayor Cull can keep on marching to his own happy little tune of “….we are all happy to pay the stakeholders…smile and pay and pay…” He can keep on singing his sad little song all alone.

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