ODT editorial (spot on!) — ORC temporary headquarters

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Aug 2012
Editorial: High price for convenience
Many people will shake their heads in disquiet about the Otago Regional Council’s decision to spend nearly $1 million building a temporary council chamber in its Stafford St car park. Perhaps the councillors and chief executive know something we do not, but it seems poor use of precious ratepayer money when the primary reason appears to be convenience.

It is always important that councillors remember they are serving ratepayers and residents of the region, and that they should do so with a minimum of fuss or ostentation. At the same time, it should be acknowledged that, although there are calls for the council to be disestablished or merged into unitary authorities, it does have significant roles.

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Related Post:
26.6.09 ORC headquarters

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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16 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Media, Name, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design

16 responses to “ODT editorial (spot on!) — ORC temporary headquarters

  1. Elizabeth

    The Otago Regional Council in effect dismissed calls from the Prime Minister when it agreed to spend nearly $1 million on a new temporary building, writes Gerrard Eckhoff.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 14 Aug 2012
    Opinion
    ORC building ‘misuse’ of capital
    By Gerrard Eckhoff
    The decision by the Otago Regional Council last week to allow up to $1 million for a temporary $4000-a-square-metre building is receiving appropriate publicity. The decision was, however, democratically made, with one dissenting vote. There was another reason behind the one “no” vote, besides that of some inconvenience for 11 councillors and a few staff at the monthly meetings.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz September 3, 2012 – 5:47pm
      CEO of the Otago Regional Council appointed
      Seafood Industry Council Chief Executive, Peter Bodeker, has been appointed to the top job as CEO of the Otago Regional Council. Mr Bodeker will be replacing Graeme Martin, who is retiring. Chairman, Stephen Woodhead, says Mr Bodeker is an experienced CEO with an extensive career spanning the dairy, wood processing, and seafood industries. He is scheduled to take up his new role in November.
      Ch9 Link [no video available]

  2. Anonymous

    There are some serious middle management issues in that place. Many stories in public about management monkeys who have one hand firmly clasped on the next rung up and the other flinging poop down on their staff. I hope this new chief will take a serious look at staff relations with management and do something about the growing duress. Only a matter of time before it becomes multiple grievances, assuming it hasn’t already begun.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s been a toxic workplace for years and years. I had a friend working there, highly qualified engineer. He said it was the unhappiest workplace he’d ever worked in. He left, and so did many of his friends there. He was single, it was easy for him to leave, relocate, retrain into another career altogether. The ones he worried about till they too were able to escape were the married ones who had to find other jobs first, while taking children’s schooling and partners’ careers, and financial responsibility for the family, into account. His relief when one after another was able to leave showed me how deeply concerned he had been, how thoroughly miserable life was for those working for the ORC. The fact that highly qualified men with the support of their families were prepared to take lower paid jobs just to save their sanity says a lot about how it was then. From what I hear from those still in touch, nothing has changed. Perhaps now it will………

  4. Phil

    Yes, I had friends in the same position as yours, Hype O’Thermia. Highly qualified people who could no longer tolerate the atmosphere of bullying by senior management who did not have the same level of competence as the staff they were trying to rule over with an iron fist. It’s not a happy work environment. Those who can, leave. Which means that it’s usually those most sought after in the work place, and the very people an employer shouldn’t be wanting to leave.

  5. Anonymous

    Hype O’Thermia, you are correct. The friends I know have commitments which make it difficult to up and leave. There are few openings for their qualifications in Dunedin as well. But the constant shit and aggravation they get from management keeps them looking. I personally think when a manager is aggressive and inclined to shut you down then they are likely to have crossed the line and have something to hide. Executive should consider that risk if they don’t give a stuff about their front-line team.

  6. Peter

    Maybe they need to strategise more with the aim of undermining the culprits. You need to deal to bullies somehow or else it never stops. Admittedly, not constructive but in that toxic environment, what is the alternative?

    • Elizabeth

      What I really really (!!!!!) hate is worker apathy in not using their collective might to end or oust bully-management. I have no sympathy for worker put-upon sheep, nice as they often are. NZ managers frequently have no training or expertise in personnel management or team building. AND IT SHOWS. How the hell workplace productivity is expected to improve I do not know. Workers need to stop being PASSIVE.

  7. Peter

    What passes for ‘team building’ is sometimes hilarious. Well meaning and earnest, but whatever happened to the quiet word on the side, where praise is given where it is due without all the other crap? I’m sure people out there have some amusing stories of bonding sessions. Let’s hear them.

    • Elizabeth

      Nope, wasn’t meaning team building as you may be alluding to. Rather, good work practices with clear reporting lines, professional support, mentorship, technical upskilling (where required), and so on – towards collective ownership and healthy investment in workplace outcomes by workers and management.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Sep 2012
        ORC meets new head
        By Rebecca Fox
        Councillors and staff of the Otago Regional Council met their new chief executive, Peter Bodeker, yesterday. Mr Bodeker will replace long-serving chief executive Graeme Martin in November and was in Dunedin yesterday to meet those with whom he will be working.
        Read more

  8. Anonymous

    ‘Being prudent with precious ratepayer money is the best course in today’s world.’

    See what they did there? Don’t worry about HOW the existing debt came to be and let’s all learn from it. Actually, this should have been the best course with yesterday’s world too but then vested interests conspired to ensure a few became wealthier on the backs of rorting Dunedin and its ratepayers. The Otago Daily Times was right there in the mix building hype so the big ugly scam could be made possible.

    This time the unnamed editor makes a couple of token suggestions for today’s debt in – and I feel it might be a genuine opinion piece – but still tends to skirt around how and who created it. The paper wants you to believe it was all magical and nobody’s fault.

    Nothing to do with their Stakeholders.

    Nothing to do with their former Our Stadium Mayor and Stadium Councillors.

    That’s the O.D.T. way.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/225009/should-councils-be-business

  9. amanda

    The ODT dare not mention the politicians responsible for the debt; Brown, Hudson and mates. Gosh no. Otherwise voters might not re-elect them next year. Democracy with a media disinterested in holding negligent politicians to account? Not in this town. And so the people who created the debt get re-elected and we have to endure their incompetence and crony capitalism for another three years.

  10. amanda

    The stadium debt just fell out of the sky as far as the ODT is concerned. Beautifully illustrates the priorities of the ODT though. And it sure isn’t holding incompetent politicians to account.

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