Monthly Archives: May 2012

The ‘happy’ little renaming of our leading social history museum

UPDATED 1 June 2012

Do we need a new name?

Debate is heating up (slowly) around an unscientific online poll hosted by Otago Daily Times, also appearing at the museum’s website (poll closed 1 June*), tied to a story about eight shortlisted options for re-naming Dunedin’s best-loved museum.

Participants (total votes: 2362 at 31 May, 11:02 pm) in the poll are showing a marked preference for retaining the existing name “Otago Settlers Museum”.

Why did the museum board decide a new name was needed in the first place? An ‘expert’ wrote a report that carried the recommendation.

What do you think? It’s your museum. With a little stirring, some of the worms are starting to come out of the woodwork.

And another thing, colleagues aren’t keen on the design of the new foyer now under construction. ‘Love steel, dislike the detailing and proportion’ is a common thread. Opinions? You’re paying for it.

www.otago.settlers.museum

*The museum board intends to consider the results of the poll and recommend a new name for the museum at its meeting on 7 June. My, that’s speedy scientific.

Related Post:
5.11.11 Otago Settlers Museum – Burnside Building (site visit)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

58 Comments

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Public Forum: Dunedin’s DRAFT Economic Development Strategy

By Dunedin For Dunedin And Beyond 2012-2022

With Paul Orders (DCC Chief Executive) and panelists Karen Bardwell (Managing Director, Select Recruitment), Prof George Benwell (Dean, School of Business, University), Gillian Bremner (CEO, Presbyterian Support Otago), Dr Oliver Hartwich (Executive Director, ‘New Zealand Initiative’), Tahu Potiki (Chairperson, Runanga Otakou, former CEO of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu) and others.

Hosted by University of Otago Centre for Theology and Public Issues and Dunedin City Council.

Come and have your say.

Tuesday 5 June, 5.15pm
@ Dunningham Suite, Dunedin Public Library, Moray Place, Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Larry Mitchell: 2012 Local Govt League Table Summary

Press Release
Councils continue to struggle and spend … May 25th Release of the League Table

2012 Local Government League Table Executive Summary

• The 2012 LGLT covering all 67 New Zealand territorial local authorities ‘fits’ neatly within the Government’s recent announcements of local government reforms and validates (from its data) public concerns of some poor Council performance. No Council scores higher than 36 out of 50 for the financial and economic metricated measures of the LGLT;

• The bulk of Councils score only ‘Fair’ results (with scores of from 23 to 30 on the 50 point metric scale) and are ranked in a range from 31st to 57th out of 67 compared to their peers;

• Auckland Council has yet to provide meaningful public information on its financial performance improvement programmes. No useful Auckland Council comparisons with the pre-amalgamation financial and economic status of its seven predecessor Councils has been provided by which the Auckland Council’s comparative post-amalgamation performance could be gauged;

‘At risk’ Councils – the ten poorest performers – whose ‘stats’ indicate a combination of unsustainable Council finances and/or unaffordable rates or charges include the Kaipara District (whose present difficulties are well known). Kaipara is the biggest downgrade dropping 49 places to 65th out of 67 for its metric results – plus it receives a double red traffic light downgrade warning;

• Hauraki and Upper Hutt have regressed, the latter has dropped 15 places to 58th … in spite of recent announcements that the Mayor and Council have declined their increased salaries! Kaipara and Tararua have yet to file audited accounts;

• The ‘Southern Scots’, Clutha and Southland Districts have swapped the top two places at the head of this (parsimonious) League Table;

• The LGLT uses financial and economic assessment ratios closely allied to the measures that by law will soon be introduced for all Councils relating to their financial management performance and public reporting;

• The 2012 League Table indicates little overall performance improvement in 2011-2012;

• The metric measures have scarcely moved from an average of 30 out of 50 last year to 29 out of 50 in 2012. The consistency of these results over the three or more years of the assessments suggest a reliability and robustness of the methodology;

• Two Councils – Queenstown and Carterton are the biggest improvers both making the top 10 for the first time.

All enquiries to Larry.N.Mitchell, Finance & Policy Analyst (Local Government)
Phone 09 4220598, email larry at kauriglen dot co dot nz or see website www.kauriglen.co.nz/larry select BASE STATS WITH TRENDZ/LEAGUE TABLE.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Asset sales (remember the days)

One of our correspondents supplied copy today of an email by Tim Calder, sent to the Our Stadium mailing list (May 2007).

Note the mention of asset sales in the paragraph we have highlighted.

The correspondent says: “It is obvious that the original plan when they pushed the stadium was to partly fund it from asset sales. I also remember Malcolm Farry and Damien Newell (fawning over Farry) on the Ch9 debate back in 2007 talking about selling Citibus and City Forests. People shouldn’t be surprised about asset sales.”

Tim Calder is now based in London, working as an analyst for Aviate Global [financial services]. His personal profile notes past positions as chief executive at EZY STOR Self Storage, general manager at Willowbank Quarter, International Trade at Otago Chamber of Commerce. Educated at University of Otago. His blog has not been touched since 2009.

—– Original Message —–
From: Our Stadium
To: supporters@ourstadium.co.nz
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 3:58 PM
Subject: [Our Stadium] Our Stadium News Update 16 May 2007

NO STADIUM MEANS… NO MORE TEST MATCHES AND GOODBYE HIGHLANDERS FRANCHISE

Join the positive and proactive www.ourstadium.co.nz to keep international rugby in Otago and help create an on-going future for the city, the university and the next generation of young people.

National TV News and Radio have been carrying the headline over the last few days that Otago will lose the Highlanders Super 14 franchise within three years unless a new stadium is built. Already Dunedin has lost test matches. The threat to the Highlanders is real and if you care you need to act now.

So what’s the significance for people in the region? The answer is plenty. Rugby is a national and international event that gets screened into households throughout New Zealand and around the world. Without All Black tests and the Super 14 showcase Otago will fall of the radar. Without rugby there will be no stadium. Neither Carisbrook as it stands, nor the new covered Logan Park complex will exist.

Why is that important for people who don’t follow rugby? The answer lies in the region’s biggest employer – the University of Otago. Seventy percent of students come from outside the region. They bypass six other first class universities, dozens of polytechnics and pay many thousands of dollars more to come to Otago. Without rugby to keep Otago on the map for prospective students, and with other universities stepping up their marketing, this trend could easily be reversed.

What difference will a few students make? Plenty. The economic benefit generated from each student is more than $60,000 a year. Do the maths yourself. One hundred fewer students is $6 million less for the region. One thousand is $60 million. Once a trend starts it will be hard to stop.

But the ratepayers of Dunedin can’t afford to pay for the new stadium? There has been an enormous amount of hype around the cost to ratepayers. The Otago Daily Times figures are $1.13 a week for an average householder. Our Stadium acknowledges even this amount is significant for some homeowners and a member of the executive team is working on ways to lower this cost to individuals who need it. We also don’t know how Dunedin City will fund its share. DCC may in fact exchange an asset like their forest for the stadium, or reprioritise their asset programme, which may reduce the individual cost to ratepayers even further.

Why should rugby get such a huge handout when it’s professional? The beauty of the stadium is that it’s not exclusively for rugby. It is multi-use and with the completely covered pitch it will be the second largest indoor venue in the southern hemisphere, second only to Melbourne’s Telstra Dome. This means it becomes more internationally marketable than any other stadium in New Zealand. In addition, part of the complex will used by the University meaning it will be in use seven days a week, rather than just for an 80 minute rugby match. Being covered also makes it attractive for conferences and exhibitions.

Could everyone that receives this email please forward it to your entire address book. For those of you that indicated that you would volunteer your time could you please make an effort to sign up at least 10 new members. Nobody is too young or old to have a say so if your children, parents, friends or colleagues are supportive get them to sign up. Our membership database will be used to show the council the support there is for the proposed multi purpose Stadium. So keep those new members rolling in.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF YOUR CITY AND YOUR REGION
JOIN UP ON LINE WWW.OURSTADIUM.CO.NZ

Tim Calder
Secretary
Our Stadium Visionaries Club Inc.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Asset sales (would Dave’s council sell us up)

YOU BETCHA BUT NOT THE STADIUM, WHY NOT THE STADIUM, MALCOLM ALWAYS SAW IT AS A LEGACY, OH, NOT TO UPSET MALCOLM THEN, ANYWAY STUART SAYS THE WATER KEEPS FALLING OUT OF THE SKY

### 3news.co.nz Mon, 28 May 2012 7:00p.m.
Local councils under pressure to use asset sales
Assets sales are never far from the headlines, and always, it seems, controversial. The Government is pressing ahead with the partial sale of four state-owned energy companies and Air New Zealand. They made their plans clear during the elections and therefore claim a mandate to sell, but how far does that go? Because it’s no longer just state-owned assets being eyed for potential sale, local councils are under increasing pressure to consider asset sales to fund new projects and reduce debt. Auckland has already said no, and now Christchurch has suggested in a very polite fashion that central Government should sod off. The Christchurch Council and ratepayers face extraordinary costs following the earthquake, but the mayor is firm that there will be no sale of the family silver.
Read more + Video

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Again: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz
Subject: The ORFU scandal, missing trust monies and reported fraudulent activities
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 21:39:11 +1200

Sunday 27th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my emails dated Sunday 20th May and Wednesday 23rd May 2012.
This is not a good look as I was expecting some reassurance from you, as the ORFU change manager, re perceived financial irregularities of ORFU.
To date, you have chosen not to name the trusts involved in the missing money, you have given no reassurance that the ORFU were not trading illegally while insolvent, you have offered no public apology to the amateur rugby clubs who have missed out on receiving the public money the ORFU applied for, you have offered no explanation how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes, you have offered no explanation why the ORFU did not pay their $25,352 DVML party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event then continuing to hock up other bills around town.

Now we have a report from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website and ODT that “an elderly man who ripped off pokies community grants to the tune of $605,550 has been sentenced to community detention”. Judge Charles Blackie called the case a “very elaborate scam”. There appear to be a number of similarities in this case and the ORFU case.

I will outline the similarities as follows:

1. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
The DIA found numerous fraudulent grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for south Auckland bowling clubs. Noel Henry Gibbons implemented a scheme in which constituent clubs or CMB would invest indirectly in hotels where poker machines operated so that, in turn, those clubs could benefit from grants of pokies proceeds.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
In the SST it was recently reported that the ORFU had invested in three South Auckland bars and were siphoning money over a few years to the tune of $5m.

2. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for bowling machine maintenance, using the money to illegally repay loans for the purchase of hotels.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
The ORFU have been spending monies from unnamed trusts for unauthorised purposes. This has occurred on many occasions and the money has gone ‘in the pot’.

3. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Judge Blackie said Gibbons knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application at the expense of the community.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
I do not have any information re false applications except that the ORFU continued to make applications to unnamed trusts and used this public money for unauthorised purposes.
The black-tie dinner also has similarities in that the ORFU deliberately ran off without paying their $25,352 DVML bill whilst pocketing $52,000 into their own pot.

Jeremy, you have not offered any assurances as outlined above and in my previous emails nor have you indicated whether you have reported the ORFU irregularities to the appropriate authorities.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts and Comments:
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

15 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

SH88 realignment – information

Comment received from daseditor
Submitted on 2012/05/26 at 8:18 pm

[24.5.12] Edmund Anscombe and the Anzac Avenue Trees

With your discussion of the alignment I hope you’ll also take the time to read the article above on the Anzac Avenue trees. The alignment construction looks as though it has severely affected a critical area of the city’s landscape heritage which is linked to the work of prominent architect Edmund Anscombe.

Images supplied by Anonymous*

The image dates relate to Google Earth snapshots: 2005 January, 2006 March, 2009 July, 2011 January, and 2011 September. 2004 is available but heavy cloud cover obscures the view.

SH88 – Google Earth images including the quarry and Logan Park sports field.

SH88 – The same images cropped to SH88 entry and exit points.

SH88 – The Google Maps image which marks the road.

*Several contributors at this website use the title Anonymous.

Related Post with Links:
25.5.12 SH88 realignment costs (injunction)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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