DRAFT Dunedin Economic Development Strategy

“We are competing with every other local body in New Zealand trying to attract talent, growth and investment.”

### ODT Online Tue, 19 Jun 2012
Call for’ more mongrel’ in draft strategy
By Chris Morris
Submitters have made their voices heard on Dunedin’s draft economic development strategy. Nearly 100 individuals, groups and organisations have expressed their views. Council staff yesterday confirmed 90 submissions had been received since the draft strategy was unveiled last month by Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders and other members of the steering group. Critics worried the strategy’s statements were “easy to make”, lacked detail and remained “fundamentally … a talk-fest”. Others called for more radical initiatives.
Read more

[Over] Simplistically…
Looking at the partners to the strategy, and who the people are within those partnerships, is it any wonder Dunedin has a lack of business diversity and sharpness in international and domestic markets – or hardly appears at all.

Why is the city council entertaining this draft? Council is filled with bureaucrats who know nothing about business development, plus it has Athol – every smart business knows not to have an Athol. Or old boy councillors and company directors – dead meat for the rort.

The university produces so much traction and sludge it should be ignored, but let’s grab any bright sparks attracted to it and haul them to safety! Whereas, Otago Polytechnic has the capacity over time to produce the raw material of a smart workforce.

Dunedin should be THE LEADER in Otago Southland for business development – it must think regionally/globally – today, DCC gets as far as the Octagon and a couple of old warehouses. Embarrassing.

Very few local businesses think EXPORT.

### ODT Online Tue, 19 Jun 2012
Mortgages to staff worth $4.5 million
By Chris Morris
Staff across the Dunedin City Council group have been granted millions of dollars worth of home loans sourced by the council’s financial services arm, the Dunedin City Treasury. Figures released to the Otago Daily Times showed DCT had granted 43 loans to staff across the council and its council-controlled organisations (CCOs). The loans stretched back 14 years and were together estimated to be worth between $4.5 million and $5 million.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Media, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

47 responses to “DRAFT Dunedin Economic Development Strategy

  1. Anonymous

    ‘One argued a more “direct” road between Dunedin and Queenstown was needed to boost the city’s financial fortunes…’

    Eion and the Stakeholders can go and carpool a helicopter or invest in teleportation technology instead of expecting the Dunedin City ratepayer to build them a new road too.

    The stadium just wasn’t enough for these people. Now they want a shorter drive to their lakeside retreats. Obviously there is nothing financial to gain from Queenstown anyway since they’re so damn busy plundering Dunedin.

    • Elizabeth

      A lone man has argued continuously (year in year out) for a new direct route between Dunedin and Queenstown – not of the Eion brigade. So convincing I’ve forgotten his name. He’s written letters and opinion pieces… none of which I can detect by google.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Good idea. First remove hills and rivers….

  3. Anon

    Said lone man has 81 google matches under his forgotten name and the word Dunstan

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    I’m trying to find the comments about the new sections out Syd’s whanau’s way, please can someone direct me to them because I want to send the link to a developer who has strong opinions on what Dunedin is like for doing business in – he may wish to follow the ease or otherwise of this development and compare with what he had to put up with.

    {See thread https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/how-perverse-is-the-new-zealand-housing-market/ -Eds}

  5. Elizabeth

    No chocolate fish (we can’t afford them) for pertinent, depressing international references.

    At ODT Online:
    Economic realities vs. wishlists
    Submitted by wylja88p on Wed, 27/06/2012 – 12:33pm
    Here’s an interesting link…and it all sounds just a bit familiar…


  6. Anonymous

    University. SFO.

    • Elizabeth


      (while they’re here we could ‘opportunistically’ harpoon them for a southern TTCF/ORFU/CoE dive)(or DCC/DCHL/CST/related – I dunno, plenty of jobs to go round in their tea breaks)

  7. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 20 Jul 2012
    Alleged fraud at Otago University
    By Vaughan Elder
    Police are investigating after an internal audit by the University of Otago uncovered an alleged case of fraud. A staff member was escorted from the university by security guards after the alleged fraud was discovered, the Otago Daily Times has been told. Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis said police were investigating after receiving a complaint from the university yesterday. It was too early in the investigation to provide any details about the case, such as how much money was allegedly taken, Det Snr Sgt Croudis said. The university declined to comment.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Trials, tribulations and the sodding communications ivy-covered bluestone walls at University of Otago – getting past media handlers to VC Harlene isn’t without difficulty, on the subject of alleged fraud. If the university has been sitting on this for a month or more, why ?

      Communications Section http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/mediaoffice.html

      • Elizabeth

        The case involving public funds is serious enough for the university’s governing council to be informed, as well as its main funder, the Tertiary Education Commission, and its Minister, Steven Joyce.

        ### radionz.co.nz Friday 20 July 2012 Updated at 4:37 pm on 20 July 2012
        Radio New Zealand News
        Allegation of fraud at university investigated
        Dunedin police say an investigation into suspected fraud by an Otago University financial manager is at an early stage. The university laid a formal complaint against the manager on Thursday. Radio New Zealand News understands the manager from Otago University’s financial services division allegedly stole between $200,000 and $300,000 over several years. The missing money was identified during an internal checking process about a month ago. The manager was escorted from the premises by security guards.
        Read more


        ### radionz.co.nz Friday 20 July 2012
        Checkpoint with Mary Wilson

        17:15 Otago University not discussing alleged fraud
        Police are investigating accusations of fraud at Otago University worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. (2′46″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        Dunedin reporter Ian Telfer, RNZ News:
        The allegations “…have been confirmed by multiple sources across the university even though not by the university itself officially yet[…]the university seems to believe that there’s some sort of regular pattern of this that’s gone on, and they’ve been looking into it for some time[…]it’s been seen as a sad case, and a case I understand that the university believes may be involving gambling habits or something like that…”


        University of Otago Fraud Policy (Approved 31.1.11)

        University of Otago: Financial Services Division – Fraud Procedure

  8. Peter

    I wonder if the presiding judge, whoever it is, will almost weep over this one, when passing sentence, if the employee comes from a ‘good’, well connected Dunedin family.

  9. Elizabeth

    No surprise, John Christie is saying what many of us have been saying for a very long time. And god forbid sections not pulling their weight at this university might change (or be eliminated) with the times! And, how easy it is to get promotion to “Senior Lecturer” status in certain departments… Quality?

    ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Aug 2012
    Student drop a warning to city
    By Vaughan Elder
    A second year of declining student numbers at the University of Otago shows Dunedin can no longer rely on the tertiary sector for economic growth, Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie says. Mr Christie made the comments after figures released last week showed enrolments at the university as of July 31 were down 1.8% on last year. Student numbers also fell by 1.8% last year and, if the trend continues, at the end of this year there would be about 700 fewer students enrolled in the university than when student numbers peaked at 19,918 in 2010. Mr Christie said the drop showed the city could no longer rely on growing student numbers to mask decline in other sectors as it had done in the past.
    Read more

  10. Anonymous

    Good luck holding the fraud allegations down to $250K, by the way…

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, statements in the ODT seemed on the light side to a considerable degree. Useful phrase, “further charges could be laid”.

  11. Peter

    The 500 to 1000 extra students envisaged, because we built the stadium, has clearly not happened. Could we now equally say there are 700 fewer students because of the stadium?! The second statement, after all, is no sillier than the first one. I wonder what ‘Malcolm The Great’ would say now?

  12. Phil

    I think those 1,000 extra students got lost on the same bus as the 600 new construction jobs that were to appear due to the stadium.

  13. Elizabeth

    One agency to market Dunedin

    Economic Development Strategy (and components)
    I’m struggling, fitfully, with the DCC’s so-called “Social Wellbeing Strategy”. All the local bandwagons behind this one are screaming for council funding, is all I can see! Bandwagons include our well-known hardworking social services agencies.

    As a whole, I’m not sure this ‘strategy’ is on the level. And I’m fairly sure the participants are not fully cognisant of DCC’s financial precariousness (!!??) – especially, since the Mayor Ineffectual is giving transparency and accountability the big miss.

    The aftermath of the stadium project and DCC’s wider money woes were deliberately not explored in spatial plan workshops hosted by the council – maybe this sort of (bold) honesty was reserved for consultation workshops (public and private) tied to the Dunedin Economic Development Strategy ? Not likely, although questions and statements from the floor may have alluded to these, before ‘business’ of the meetings was quickly shifted to safer topics… That’s how DCC runs, a sort of skipping motion. Or was that ‘scooting motion’ ?

    The council survey connected with the Social Wellbeing Strategy, recently sent to the People’s Panel, gave no confidence that DCC will be keeping its house tidy with respect to ‘core council business’ in future. The smell of capture was all pervasive (the survey format was jinxed…).

    ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Sep 2012
    Scooting around for good of city
    By Debbie Porteous
    Skateboarders and scooter riders have joined those making a contribution to the Dunedin City Council’s Social Wellbeing Strategy. Council staff have been taking the draft strategy document on the road, to ensure a broad range of people have their say on what is important to them in terms of their social wellbeing.
    Read more

    The fact that we still have this ‘scooting’ employment position – “DCC Safe and Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator” (occupied by Charlotte Flaherty) – in Council, hints at cancer.

    Related Posts:
    28.6.12 DCC: The lowdown on scooting
    16.7.12 DCC salaries and retention payments

  14. amanda

    The city needs transparent democracy and accountability for political ineptitude so we do not get another stadium that creates profit for a few and massive debt for many. Cheap transport for increasing inclusion? Good idea. Where’s the money? Brown and co spent it all. And they are positioned to sell off assets to pay for their stadium to make it even fiscally more feral in the city. I think protecting our assets from greedy stakeholders should come at the top of the DCC list for social policy, but that is asking the fox to protect the henhouse.

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 2 Nov 2012
    Confidence in city’s future
    By Chris Morris
    The manager of the Dunedin City Council’s economic development unit says it was a “hard call” to resign just as the city embarks on a new push to improve its financial fortunes. Peter Harris yesterday confirmed he had resigned and would leave the council on December 21 after a decade of working within the unit. He is taking on a new role at Otago Polytechnic, becoming an innovation facilitator at the institution – focusing on new trends in learning – early next year.
    Read more

  16. Calvin Oaten

    After a decade of ‘zero’ anything, all I can say is God help the Polytechnic with its innovation facilitation. Whatever that actually means, sounds like “bureaucrat speak” ah la Harland to me.

  17. Peter

    Through the diplomatic speak I kind of got the feeling Peter Harris was glad to get out of there.Who could blame him? Would you want to be there in ten years time? ‘Note ‘hard call’ in inverted commas. Very suggestive.Cough.

  18. Elizabeth

    If the books were tidy at home first, I’d welcome this initiative.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Nov 2012
    China delegation to vie for business chances
    By Chris Morris
    A heavy-hitting delegation from Dunedin is about to head to China with high hopes of unlocking “significant” new business opportunities and foreign investment riches. The trip has been organised by Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie, who departs for Shanghai tomorrow with Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders and deputy mayor Chris Staynes, travelling as a chamber board member. Mr Christie said the trip aimed to unlock potentially “huge” untapped opportunities in tourism, business and foreign investment available in Shanghai.

    Despite vocal opposition to date, plans for the $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin – funded by Chinese interests – would be raised, where appropriate, to show Dunedin was “open for business”, [Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie] said. “There is a lot of interest in China for companies and places to invest money, and we want to make sure Dunedin is on that radar.” “We have got Chinese investors willing to invest $100 million into our economy. We want more of that.”

    Read more

  19. amanda

    I’m sorry, Christie is the same person who thought the stadium build was a brilliant fiscal decision; I will not hold my breath. Hope the ‘heavy hitters’ enjoy their time there on ratepayers’ dime.

  20. Anonymous

    I keep getting a sense of deja vu with this muppet organisation, and not in a good way.

    • Elizabeth

      Remember years ago Mayor Sukhi Turner warned against the “cargo cult” – it now appears we’re wide open to the Old Boys pushing that barrow, with few clues. The same dimwits that have been fully prepared to defraud the council, variously during the Chin/Cull years.

  21. Mike

    Doing business with China is not necessarily a bad thing – it’s (for the moment) one of the healthier economies around – and it’s where the money is – doing business there involves wining and dining, it’s part of the culture – you go and argue about money, everything gets heated – then when you’re done you go out drinking to make friends again ….if you want to do real business there you do have to go there, build those personal relationships, it can’t be avoided, it takes time

    But – this feel good stuff – going cap in hand looking for money, investment, trolling for business investments – it all sounds a bit like a junket – you really need to be more focused to do real stuff – if the CC wants to help push this they need to help people learn how to operate in China, hold people’s hands as they start, run courses on how to talk to people, how to negotiate, have translators, drivers, etc on tap. I can’t help wondering if there’s some guy in Shanghai city hall going “those guys from that Dunedin are back, whoever draws the short straw has to spend time with them” – I really don’t see the upside these days for Shanghai

    (I post this from China …..)

  22. Peter

    The information must be somewhere, but how many sister city relationships does Shanghai have? How would we know where we are on their pecking order? How do we jump up it, where they take more notice of us than other cities?

  23. Mike

    Peter: exactly Shanghai was probably keen to set these things up a few decades back before China’s great opening, that was the time that the CC should have done all that stuff – now is a tad late. Remember that no-one in China will ever say “no” so you can keep going back long after you’ve outstayed your welcome.

    But let’s not forget Dunedin DOES have important historical and cultural connections with South China we shouldn’t let our problems with the previous mayor get in the way of that.

  24. Anonymous

    More B.S.:

    ‘Asked how Dunedin could profit from the exchanges, Mr Christie said discussions were continuing with both Education Dunedin and Education New Zealand.’

    Great. These people like their “discussions”. But the Stadium Puppet didn’t answer the question. Classic Christie.

    ‘However, some deals could be ready to sign as early as April next year…’ (followed by some crap about Dave Cull doing something)

    What? A stadium puppet and New Our Stadium Mayor planning to sign something on behalf of Dunedin? Where’s the question “What are they planning to sign?” Classic ODT.

    I just don’t trust these two. I don’t believe they’re working in the best interests of Dunedin. There’s nothing solid here but a bunch of people having a knees up at others expense and then dropping the usual empty promises.

  25. Anonymous

    ### ODT Online Sat, 29 Dec 2012
    Potentially lucrative education deals with Shanghai envisaged
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin’s relationship with Chinese sister city Shanghai has entered a ”new era” and potentially lucrative trade deals could be just months away, it is claimed. The upbeat assessment came after Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders, Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie and deputy mayor Chris Staynes – travelling as a chamber board member – returned from a week-long trip to Shanghai.

  26. Thomo

    Future Councillor Christie no less.

  27. Anonymous

    True Thomo. It’s not a great leap to imagine the Stakeholders and him abusing the Chamber of Commerce membership list to that purpose. Especially if you factor in the Professional Rugby Fanatics, Farry’s Stadium Soldiers, Council Spooks and Allied Press.

  28. Peter

    All good ‘possibilities’ for Dunedin, but I think it is better to report on actual deals signed up, not ‘potential’ ones. We were told, from memory, that the Rolling Stones were potentially going to have a concert at the stadium or were being approached to do so and, of course, it is not going to happen. They are not coming anywhere near here.
    There is the danger the education deals don’t happen, or are miniscule, and then a silly look results. Many people will no doubt misread ‘potential’ as ‘actual’.
    China must face a crowded market, for mining its capital wealth, from so many countries. I think we should also look towards Indonesia which seems to be more politically stable and developing a larger middle class for our goods and services. I hardly see anything much about our relationship with our nearest Asian neighbour.

  29. Anonymous

    Weren’t there recent comments about moving the current crop of councillors to a bunker for the city’s protection? Interestingly, the Oddity found a picture of former Stadium Councillor Michael Guest lurking in the sewer tunnels with current Stadium Councillor Andrew Noone. Plenty of opportunity there for comments about muck, poo and damned things thriving in the dark. And based on the artist’s rendition – as noted by ffolkes – it appears to give a clue to where the council’s skeletons are being buried.

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter writes “There is the danger the education deals don’t happen, or are miniscule, and then a silly look results. Many people will no doubt misread ‘potential’ as ‘actual’.” Largely incorrect: most people will have experienced a transitory feelgood, folded the paper and put it in the budgie-cage liner box, then got on with their day. By the time reality rolls around they’ll only remember if prompted by media, in turn prompted by councillors and Chamber of Nestfeatherers, who won’t remind them unless it’s a good result that they can claim is down to their own magnificent smarts. Short attention spans, SUCH a blessing to politicians & their ilk.

    • Elizabeth

      Further, ODT Online’s radar runs thus:

      ODT Online 29.12.12 Most Popular at 2.29pm

      No mention of the GOOD NEWS. Seems Otago readers are difficult to brainwash in the face of ‘prosperity’ prompted by flaky missionaries and cage-bird hotels. Wonder what the Vice-Chancellor thinks of the NingNongs who would sell education on her university’s behalf, or were they offering places at OBHS instead ?

  31. Mike

    Christie appears to be Dunedin’s leading underpants gnome

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