Dunedin water assets


“It’s a major decision for the council. It involves a big chunk of the operation, not only in monetary terms but in staff terms as well, and we want to make sure we get it right.” -Cr Andrew Noone

### ODT Online Thu, 16 Aug 2012
DCC prepares to unveil water plan
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council faces a “pretty major” decision when plans for the management of the city’s $1.6 billion water network are finally revealed, Cr Andrew Noone says. Cr Noone is the chairman of a council working party that has – since January last year – been scrutinising alternative proposals for the future of the network. Options included the creation of a council-controlled organisation (CCO) to manage the network, as well as a bid late last year by another council company, Delta, to provide the council’s water services instead.
Read more

Comments by Rob Hamlin:

27.6.12 Insuring infrastructure assets

29.5.12 Assets: city water and sewage system

2.11.11 SCF, DCHL, threat to council assets

19.10.11 Feral ‘Great and the Good’ (G&G) motives

19.10.11 The Delta CCTO/CCO option

26.9.11 DCHL and the Companies Act

13.4.11 Water and sewage are natural monopolies

13.3.11 Stadium, no slowdown in DCC spending

24.1.11 Water, as a basic necessity

16.1.11 Dear Richard… “the primary responsibility of Council”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

30 responses to “Dunedin water assets

  1. Elizabeth

    From another thread – a must read!

    Calvin Oaten
    Submitted on 2012/08/16 at 9:36 pm

    Do these ‘turkeys’ know what they are doing? Today’s ODT reports Cr Noone as saying that there is earnest consideration of hiving off the assets of the city’s $1.6 billion water network to a CCO (Council Controlled Organisation) and on top of that they are considering contracting Delta to undertake all provision of services attached to the strategic infrastructure. Delta’s CEO Grady Cameron says: “it is estimated that it could provide a $50 million revenue boost for the company, savings of $2 million to $3 million a year across the DCHL group and a $3 million to $5 million jump in annual dividend payments to the council.” Bloody brilliant!! Let Delta rip off the citizens (ratepayers) by overcharging so as to ensure those surpluses of between $50 million and $60 million, then magnanimously give back an additional $3 million to $5 million by way of extra dividends. That is of course, after tax has been paid. What’s in it for the ratepayers? Why increased costs of course, because our general rates will have to make up the monies paid to Delta to ensure its surpluses. And let’s not forget the additional costs over and above the $50 million to $60 million to cover Delta’s other loss making activities. There is the interest on the debt incurred to set itself up for the project, the serious write down of value of the Jacks Point and Luggate land deals; there is the $750,000 write off of the investment in the IT start up “The Street”; and numerous other expenses like corporate box and sponsorships at the stadium, and other rorts. Delta is quite renowned for its “big noting” in the corporate world, all done with other people’s money.
    Would Andrew Noone have a clue? Only what he is told by the high value consultants commissioned to report.
    A council staff report prepared last year had estimated the efficiencies of a CCO model could save the council up to $12 million over a decade. That’s right $1.2 million per year while Delta take $50 million to $60 million per year.
    As I say, Cr Noone best stick to sheep farming, it would be better for the sheep and the citizens as well. A “win win”.
    But watch this space, I would be prepared to bet money on them coming up with some hair brained story to justify their actions. In times like this, when the DCC/DCHL are quietly (at the moment) sinking beneath the tide of debt, it always helps to introduce a diversion, and this one is a “DOOZY”.
    Just look at all the projections of returns and economic benefits that surrounded the Stadium and Town Hall/Conference Centre when mooted. And just look at the results. BEWARE!! Brothers and Sisters, for we ain’t seen nothing yet.

  2. Elizabeth

    Calvin, Noone doesn’t have a brain for this stuff – this is pure Syd Brown operating for Shale, Baylis, Cameron, McLauchlan and Co… ie the SFC clan and friends about to BUST US ALL.
    Cull will go along for the ride, but what of Staynes and Thomson? – Progress at any cost? Because they’re stiffed by a decade of imprudent council spending, with select private citizens clipping very large tickets, for themselves and no-one else.
    WE’RE over a large BARREL of water here.
    This is going to be an expensive legal fight.

  3. ormk

    The emperor has long ago lost his clothes. The DCC is a corrupt organisation. I’m not sure that it can really even be described as our local government anymore. It is giving up core infrastructure and instead investing in ORFU and the Highlanders, giving our money to their mates. A rates revolt is looming.

  4. Anonymous

    Can citizens trust this council? No.

  5. amanda

    The stadium cabal are the majority on council (seven councillors), none of whom have been held accountable by the media (and so not by the ballot box) or, of course, by fellow politicians (would be political suicide to hold them to account as Cull shows us with his challenge to rugby Big Men and losing big time). The plan that the stadium cabal (and hapless unwitting Greater Dunedin) have is to deliver death by a thousand cuts to Dunedin. Little by little they are taking from wherever they can get away with it and giving the funds to their beloved blackhole stadium and stakeholders. Those who are politically unaware will figure the city’s financial basketcase is due to the ‘global’ unavoidable depression or whatever the ORT decides caused the city’s financial woes. With the media not holding councillors to account for negligence they will eventually blame the city’s debt on Dunedin citizens, saying we demanded things that we could never afford, like stadiums. If the media cannot hold powerholders and politicians to account, it won’t take long for them all to start blaming those who hold no power, citizens, for the debt. That is how a media that scrapes and bows to power operates.

  6. amanda

    Has Forsyth Barr paid the ten million they promised for the stadium, or was that all make believe? If they have not paid handsomely, it is disgraceful that they bludge of the city for free advertisement; though with our crony centric council, that’s par for the course.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth, whether it is Syd Brown or Andrew Noone it makes no difference. The ‘guts’ of the proposal gives Delta (and by extension DCHL) a direct line into the ratepayers’ pockets. Something which hitherto only Aurora has had via our service/line charges on our power accounts. A wonderful way of transferring debt funding straight to the citizens. Would Brown, Noone, Mayor and other councillors understand this? Not on your nellie. They will be ‘bamboozled’ by the report and DCHL/Delta directors and bingo! they will fall into line arguing what a good deal it will be for everyone, as the DCC debt will be reduced. But ignoring the fact that if Delta is to benefit by $50 to $60 million then somebody must produce that money. Then there is the matter of who would hold the can for the non insured capital equipment? Another avenue for Delta to rort the opportunities. Who else pays but the ratepayer? An absolute ‘no brainer’.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, it’s not a councillor-driven thing and certainly Noone isn’t bright enough to come up with any of this. This is larger than Delta, for that matter. This is the big boys (ex SCF Clean-up Boys and Co) having their run for the money; and which only partly reveals the deep layers of corruption driving this council into the ground. The facts soon to be prettied – care of DCC Fuckster Spooks – by the ‘ways’ it will solve ratepayer woe – thereby loading ALL CITIZENS with the superlative costs of privatisation a little later down this flowery path, falsely presented by Noone as rationalist in the meantime.

      Ratepayer massage is just a little step, a wee sop, before the full impact to the wider Dunedin community who can barely afford to pay for electricity as it is; wait until they have to pay for their water use, topped by $$$ MORE millions into the stadium project for the professional rugby bastards (ORFU Board) each year.

      [The good thing about IT these days, it lets your smart phone turn on the water and space heating while you’re on the road back to your Queenstown hacienda. The meltdown at Dunedin is in your rear view mirror.]

  8. That of course makes total sense paying Delta $60-80 per hour per man plus any other costs like vehicle usage yadda yadda and shuffling some paper. What does it cost us now per hour per man I wonder?
    I do have no doubt it’s been council run, for now it’s costing way more than it should. But then if this is outsourced, being a big chuck of what they do, we could downsize council……. Typed with the extreme sarcasm keyboard…..

  9. Anonymous

    Often it’s not about the front line staff and how much they are charged out. It is really about the upper management and executive securing ridiculous salaries and protecting them. Take the stadium companies, it doesn’t matter that hundreds of millions of ratepayer funds were wasted as long as they continue to get their hundreds of thousands in salaries and kickbacks. Both the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council are corrupt. But then you look at the National ministers and heads of KiwiRail and you wonder where all the sickness started from.

  10. Anonymous

    This corrupt city council should just do the bloody job themselves, the job they are meant to do in the best interests of its citizens, instead of trying to hock assets off to make their Stakeholder mates richer and themselves better off. They’re such a joke and this bloke, like his other Stadium Councillors acquaintances, should not be trusted in decisions that relate to the same debt they created.

  11. Anonymous

    And now we have a report intercepted from KiwiRail which puts in print what we’ve all known about this corrupt government, its corrupted ministers and their ruthless, coward chief executive officers. John Key is driving this country into the ground so he can make billions for international friends and millions for himself and close friends, all by ensuring his people around him have signed onto the pact with the devil to get their piece of the pie. Just watch how the ministers and that KiwiRail puppet dismiss social injustices and suffering to achieve their end result.

    There’s rewards and commissions in those standings. Give $15M but start destroying a local enterprise over the same amount. It’s evil.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    I have read several times that John Key isn’t in politics for the long term. Don’t know whether this is something he said himself – it’s the era of several changes of career over a working life, instead of the old “stay in one job until you retire with a gold watch” – or it’s a common opinion among the commentariat. Whichever, if it turns out to be true favours done to people in powerful positions within the private sector won’t be forgotten should …anyone… be ready for the next phase in their life.
    NZ’s ex-PMs never end up with lawn & hedge-cutting jobs or cleaning motels like other middle-aged people made redundant – which may be another reason why sending $NZ overseas >> Hillside closure doesn’t look like there’s a down-side, to them.

  13. amanda

    But Key’s international friends are the winners and ‘job creators’ who due to their fabulousness have made all the correct choices in life (proof? they are rich) while we ‘losers’ (proof? we are not rich) just have to wait patiently for any dregs that the Great and the Good allow to trickle on down to us. The rest of us ?, we just did not make the smart choices. The media knows this, that is why the ODT holds council employees accountable for going on the internet during work time (naughty!) while the Great and the Good (or at least ‘rich’, but isn’t that the same thing?) are allowed to continue on taking, and taking from the public purse in Dunedin, but front page treatment? No way. Corporate rugby pay for its $1 million turf? Of course not.

  14. Anonymous

    But the ODT has kept its readers appropriately informed. Today someone said they had read the ORFU was saved from going broke. I asked what else they knew about the ORFU’s situation in the community. She seemed confused. “What else? Wasn’t that the story in the O.D.T.? The Otago players visited Balclutha the other day.” Yes, I would suggest the ODT is performing perfectly. Ohhhh…. look it’s a Royal or something that looks like Royal or a piece of toast with a likeness of a Royal. Wait until they read on the Interweb about those photos of Harry.

  15. Anonymous

    The National government has been caught with its pants down over the report to fry Hillside. They’ve tried to put spin on it but the whole situation is ugly, damn ugly. That puppet Quinn is still there which is an atrocious reflection on this government. And it would be safe to assume he’s not going down with that ship until the big severance payout is provided for doing such a great job of the dirty deeds. I think we can safely assume too that Woodlouse knows all about this and since he’s often tried spinning the wheels leading up to this moment, punters should take a close look at what else he does or doesn’t support and think seriously about his agenda. If this is the sort of thing he is involved in or tows the party line over, then I’d be bloody sceptical about his big oil support too. That’s just big money and big money needs its puppets, just like a corrupt government needs ministers and chiefs.

    This is a guy who is happy to support a corrupt stadium and have another $15M wasted on it and professional rugby. But then sit back and watch his government implode a business and destroy the lives of hard-working employees.

    I don’t know how these people live with themselves in the end.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    Anon; those people you speak of have no moral compass. It is a matter of wetting the finger and going with the breeze at all times. As he sits to the right and just behind PM Key you can see the body language as he obsequiously endeavours to match the mood of the moment. Enough to put you off Parliament on TV. And he was never elected to boot.

    • Elizabeth

      Let’s not be shy –

      In the National-led Government, List MP Michael Woodhouse (affectionately known as WoodLOUSE) is Senior Government Whip. He is the National Member of Parliament resident in Dunedin.

      He has crawled up as far as Senior Government Whip.
      Obsequious is exactly the right word.

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    Others being toady; brown-noser; crawler; self-serving hypocrite…….

  18. Anonymous

    He gets his smiling mug in the paper alot. Oh wait, those are ads. What does he actually do apart from jump for rugby and oil? Someone really needs to find that John Key Carbon Copy™ cloning device and switch the damn thing off.

  19. Anonymous

    Parliament is a day care centre for adults. They’re fools with perks and long holidays.

  20. Anonymous

    By putting aside the reporter’s writing style that seems to support council decisions, I am guessing this current $1 asset write-off isn’t another Peter Chin At The Wheel scam but a decision to off-load maintenance of an expensive asset… oh, wait. No, that’s the same thing as the asset stripping Stadium Councillor Andrew Noone is working on in other areas.

    What I don’t understand is why they’re selling it for one dollar. This is a group of farmers who seem really really keen on getting their hands back on it. This council is flat broke and corrupt as cow cludge in waterways which makes a dollar sell down something stupid and questionable.

    Instead a nominal charge of 10% of the $2.1M would at least look fair in this situation. Either way a one dollar write-off of any water asset while seven self-serving councillors still drink from the public fountain would be a bad look for future rorts.

    Reading this story there is clearly an opportunity shown to reduce management costs at the council as well.

  21. Anonymous

    ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Jan 2013
    $2.1m water scheme to be sold for $1
    By Debbie Porteous
    A $2.1 million rural Otago water scheme owned by the Dunedin City Council could soon be sold for $1 to the people who originally paid for and built it in the 1980s. A report is being prepared for city councillors’ consideration requesting their approval to go to a referendum (probably in April) to transfer the ownership of the Rocklands Rural Water Scheme from the council to an entity representing the scheme’s members. A group of farmers in the Rocklands area, south of Middlemarch, built the scheme, which supplies drinking water to livestock, homes and shearers’ quarters, in conjunction with the then Silverpeaks County Council and some central government funding in 1984, and has maintained the pipelines since.

  22. Rob Hamlin

    Interesting how the terms ‘in conjunction with’ and ‘paid for’ are used here by McPravda (I am going for my PhD in McPravdology). I suppose that it could also be claimed in a McPravdaesque way the CSCT built the Stadium ‘in conjunction’ with the DCC and Central Government. I suppose that it could also be similarly claimed that they also ‘paid for it’ too, if looked at from a certain angle. You get my drift?

    I got sacked by McPravda for breaching ‘editorial confidentiality’, that means letting people know (via this website as a matter of fact) what they choose to delete from articles that they print. Perhaps the missing editorially confidential term here might be ‘some of’. But who knows for sure in these days of massive PR budgets and fiercely enforced ‘editorial confidentiality’?

    It would be interesting to see if any conditions on water volume allocations, transfers of same and and charging new members for access to water will be laid on this sale – Could be pricey for any further development in the area, or for anybody buying the land if there isn’t.

  23. Anonymous

    At minimum, conditions should be applied to volume allocation based on current usage. I’m sure the farmers concerned will be displaying all the honourable traits of good faith prior to signing but profit before sensibility is the name of game in dairying. Once they’ve got their water “for a dollar” then the options for rapid dairy expansion open up. Lurking in the background will be Fonterror and it/they will be taking an interest in this type of precedence.

    Ironically, both farmers and corporate probably don’t recognise and care that taking fresh water to service dairy farming destroys waterways.

    On reflection a 200% sale price might be wiser. That should minimise medium-term intentions.

  24. Hype O'Thermia

    Water races winding around the hills of Central were first built by the community, meaning in particular by the physical toil and money of the landowners who needed irrigation. Race clearing was a regular chore and those who had water rights worked together. There would not have been a man living in the area who was not accustomed to literal “spade work”, it was inconceivable that a man could not wield a shovel competently. Most women likewise. So I can potentially believe that the farmers’ involvement was large – but I want to see the figures before I can believe there’s not another rort. The present day has shown rortiness is more prevalent than honest toil among those who benefit most.

  25. Calvin Oaten

    Why all the ‘high dudgeon’? What’s wrong with selling the scheme for a dollar? That’s what Peter Chin did (except it was a lease for 100 years) $1 per annum for Trustpower to use our water to generate power for profit. The TP shareholders have benefited ever since. So why should the few farmers not enjoy similar benefits? Face it, doesn’t the ORFU also enjoy benefits? Isn’t that what the DCC does? It all just demonstrates how beneficent the citizens are. Lovely people.

  26. Anonymous

    I totally agree Hype O’Thermia. Farmers, including dairy farmers, were still trying for profit like any businessperson but their morals and ethics were significantly better back then. They worked hard to work the land and run it efficiently. And no doubt the farmers concerned in this story may operate as such.

    Today the trick is to borrow large, build massive, buy in or lease cows and staff with overseas labour who are cheap, indebted and have little investment in the local environment. More so today many of the farms are managed remotely and owned by corporate shells. They expect more product, more revenue and care little or nothing of the land.

    Their expensive PR spin and marketing material will tell you otherwise though.

  27. Anonymous

    Bloody ‘ell – it seems the media and Otago Regional Council have now recognised that cows shitting in a river increases pollution of that river! The Taieri River is between five and ten times higher than the safe swimming levels. What will they do? Probably nothing if it’s local government. If it’s national government, they will probably increase the “safe level” thresholds to above the current test levels to make it “safe”. But what can you do with lip service from local government? A national government that turns a blind eye for profit? And corporate Maori who are now embracing intensive dairy farming for profit? New Zealand is surely being polluted in the name of greed – something that this type of farming has destroyed in other countries already.

    The only action now for the protection of our water and land is stop these intensive farming practices now. Yeah, I know, that seems like a bloody lunatic thing to say now… but you must know what is of greater importance than milk powder and more money?

    ### ODT Online Sun, 21 Apr 2013
    Cow manure source of Taieri water pollution
    By Rebecca Fox
    Cow manure has been found to be the cause of ”alarming” high levels of bacteria in the Taieri River near Waipiata this summer. The site is part of the Otago Regional Council’s annual summer water monitoring programme and six of the 17 samples taken between December and March exceeded Environment and Health ministries’ ”action level” for recreational water quality showing high levels of E. coli bacteria.

    To be considered very safe for swimming, standards stated E. coli per 100ml should be below 260. At Waipiata, on December 28, E. coli per 100ml was 1414 without rain. After rain on January 18, it reached 2420.

    Council environmental information and science director John Threlfall said three of the high levels of bacteria at Waipiata were recorded in dry weather without a noticeable cause.
    Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s