DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – ‘Liability Cull’ and council chasten for election year

“Levels of debt are still high … you cannot say we are in a comfortable position – far from it.” -Orders

### ODT Online Tue, 22 Jan 2013
Tight years ahead for Dunedin
By Chris Morris
A decade of discipline is needed to protect the Dunedin City Council’s fragile finances until debt repayments ease the fiscal squeeze, council chief executive Paul Orders says. The warning came as Mr Orders confirmed the council was set to remain beyond a self-imposed debt ratio limit for at least the next three-year council term. The council’s 2013-14 pre-draft budget – to be considered by councillors later this week – showed the council would begin repaying more debt than it was borrowing for the first time in 10 years.

Mr Orders said the council would still have “little or no” headroom for new spending until 2022.

However, the size of the council’s debt meant it would still be operating beyond its self-imposed limit, which sought to restrict interest as a percentage of total revenue to no more than 8%, until 2016-17, Mr Orders confirmed.
Read more


### ODT Online Tue, 22 Jan 2013
Mayor’s rates warning
By Chris Morris
Dunedin city councillors will have to choose between a 2.8% rates rise and extra spending on key priorities – including debt repayment – that will drive up the bill for ratepayers. The choice was presented in the 2013-14 pre-draft annual plan, to be considered by councillors in public for the first time this week. [Chief executive] Paul Orders said the cost-cutting had been achieved in part by reduced staff costs, including not filling all vacancies, absorbing inflation and strictly controlling the council’s capital spending programme.

Overall operational costs had increased by just $500,000 as costs were cut in other areas, while capital spending had been cut in half, from $105 million in 2012-13 to less than $50 million in each of the next three years, Mr Orders said.

Key reports were yet to be made public, including one discussing the financial future of DVML, the stadium and the need for a new events fund. Others would consider options for the Waipori Fund, car park operations in Dunedin and the city’s aquatic facilities, as well as the future of the council’s investment property portfolio.
Read more


[On council companies…] The practice of businesses having to borrow to pay dividends is worse than poor.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 Jan 2013
Editorial: Dunedin’s austerity budget
The local government annual plan season is beginning, with councils facing austerity budgets. Some, as in Dunedin or Queenstown Lakes, have gorged on debt, and must face the slow process of digesting it. Others will be aware that communities have had enough of rates increases continually topping annual inflation. The Dunedin City Council, easily Otago’s largest council, has feasted on new projects and on high general costs, and its consolidated debt is peaking beyond the extraordinary figure of $600 million. Although it includes council company debts, it is still an astronomical figure. As projects small and large – like the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, the Town Hall, the water and sewerage system upgrade and the stadium – came up for discussion, the annual interest costs were often the financial focus.

[ODT blondness…] To make the stadium a success and to compete with other centres, the council might have to seriously consider an events fund. This will again cost ratepayers, but could benefit the city overall.

The long-term accumulation of debt and cumulative interest totals could be sidelined behind an unrealistic optimism, leaving a legacy of commitments to years of whopping rates increases. Fortunately, the folly of this course has been recognised, and vigorous efforts are being made to turn to a sustainable direction.
Read more

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Related Post:
16.1.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – Aaron Hawkins on the money

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

240 responses to “DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – ‘Liability Cull’ and council chasten for election year

  1. Russell Garbutt

    On RNZ National Radio this morning, Dave Cull said that “in hindsight, it wasn’t the best decisions to do all these major projects at the same time”.

    What, in God’s name, requires hindsight to realise that if you can’t afford it, then you don’t do it? The only thing I want to hear about now is how the financial dorks within the DCC and on the Council are going to be held accountable. Starting with Athol Stephens who must go and go now. Then get the biggest broom possible and get rid of the Acklins and Collins of this world and finally prise the real troublemakers like Brown and Hudson out of their comfortable chairs.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    How come it takes hindsight now, when BEFORE the election he had excellent foresight which he communicated at that huge anti-stadium meeting in the Town Hall?
    To hear him say it, it was like “This stuff just kinda happened, know what I mean? Christchurch got earthquakes, we got massive mindblowingly unaffordable extravagance. By the way, what’s your star sign?”

  3. Peter

    Yes, Russell, ‘hindsight’ has got nothing to do with it.
    I see the council and the ODT are pushing an events fund for the stadium so we can attract more ‘has been’ acts like The Hollies… where ticket sales are presently 1000 short of ‘break even’. (Not alone making a profit to pay off debt.)
    David Davies made it clear in his exit interview that our Deep South stadium can only really attract, at best, national acts which will not fill the stadium every time (if at all).
    How long will it be before Dave Cull and the council say, ‘in hindsight’, the events fund was a waste of money and just cost us more for no tangible benefit? The well considered Fifa decision by council was something that needs wider application. That is the reality we face.
    Can someone tell me how having an annual events fund for the stadium is not new, unaffordable spending for the next ten years? Logical answer and the winner gets a chocolate fish.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, I’m telling ya, I have two new chocolate fish factories in production right now, I’ll review further plans for expansion in Clutha come the October local body elections.

  4. amanda

    Predictable, no mention of the stadium councillors sitting around council who pushed for the stadium debt; yes, I’m looking at you Crs ‘only $66 a year’ Hudson, Noone, Brown, Weatherall, Bezett, Collins and Acklin. According to the ODT and the seven stadium nincompoops the stadium debt just magically appeared with no human intervention at all. Most importantly the seven all are hoping real hard that voters forget their responsibility for the stadium at election time this year. Watch how all of these seven are very, very quiet indeed about their stadium support in the run up to the election. Problem is since these seven do not declare their accountability for the city’s debt they hide behind the other councillors more decent reputations on council. But that is bullies for you, they are usually cowards in the finish.

  5. amanda

    Oh Hudson is a sly old one. Keeps himself very quiet indeed. He is one of what the ODT used to call a ‘senior councilllor’. But they have not used this title for a while, it is too easy to hold councillors accountable if they are publicly declared to have power (due to being ‘senior’) than others. Hudson is smart enough to be the real power on council who is the leader of the stadium cabal. Acklin and Collins just follow the leader. Fascinating stuff!

  6. amanda

    This fund for the stadium is all just so that Farry and co can continue the lie that the stadium ‘works’, to protect their reputations. Anything so they can continue the ‘stadium is a wonderful asset’ fairytale.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Cull makes great use of ‘in hindsight.’ The only sight I want is his behind.

    • Elizabeth

      If departing, fine -but if not, ewww.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ch9.co.nz January 22, 2013 – 5:43pm
        Embargo lifted on next year’s budget
        The embargo has been lifted on the DCC’s budget for the next financial year, revealing a draft rate rise of 2.8%. Dunedin’s once burgeoning debt has peaked and begun a slow decrease, as 20 years of spending ends, and the city concentrates on saving money. But while Mayor Dave Cull says services will not be cut, a sinking lid policy for council staff is just one of the effects of the budget.

        • Elizabeth

          Remember this? – mayoral statement (2012) from ‘Liability Cull’…

        • Elizabeth

          ### Radio NZ National Tue, 22 January 2013
          Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep

          08:23 Dunedin’s era of big spending over
          The Dunedin city council is ending an era of big spending to start paying off millions of dollars in debts. (3′27″)
          Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed


          ### Radio NZ News Tue, 22 January 2013 Updated at 11:05 am
          Dunedin’s era of big spending over
          Dunedin City Council says a decade of big building projects is over as it begins to pay off large debts. The turnaround is shown in draft budgets released on Tuesday for next year’s annual plan. The Otago Stadium opened in August 2011 and was a Rugby World Cup venue. The Otago Stadium opened in August 2011 and was a Rugby World Cup venue. The council has spent about $400 million on large city projects since 2002, including museum and wastewater upgrades and a controversial new stadium. Council chief executive Paul Orders says that era is over as the council moves from investment mode to maintenance mode. Mr Orders says the city will begin paying off more than it borrows for the first time in 10 years, and money for any new projects would have to be taken from other budgets. Mayor Dave Cull says the city embarked on too many large projects too quickly.

          “It was probably somewhat imprudently ambitious to cram that many big capital projects into such a short time frame. You can say that with hindsight. That’s the situation we’re in, and we’re dealing with it.”

          The youngest councillor, Jinty MacTavish, says she is relieved to see the end of a culture of putting projects on the city’s credit card for future generations to pay.
          RNZ Link

  8. Calvin Oaten

    The other great Cull ‘insight’, is that “there isn’t a lot of money”. Yes there is Dave, trouble is it belongs to other people, we borrowed it and we must pay it back. In ‘hindsight’ you should have been looking at this scenario four years ago. But then, I suppose that is what you mean by ‘hindsight’. You should have gone to ‘Specsavers’.

  9. Anonymous

    Mayor Cull and O.D.T., Sitting in a debt tree, S-c-h-e-m-i-n-g.

  10. Anonymous

    “In hindsight”, it would have been better all round if the last 10 years had been the ones of fiscal discipline.

  11. It seems to me that the claimed “austerity” is largely a public-relations exercise. Any saving have been more than made up for by extra spending, resulting in an increase in operational spending of $0.5 million.
    There has been no serious attempt to trim back the many areas of unnecessary expenditure that have built up over the years.
    And the Council is still budgeting on significant rates rises year after year into the future.
    All this without even accounting for Stadium and DCHL losses.

    • Elizabeth

      Election-Year-Mayor has flunky championing ‘Warehouse District’ amenity spend (oops revitalisation plan) at the 25 January (& ff) Council meeting (suddenly, a policy planner becomes ‘Acting Urban Design Team Leader’ – NO architecture or urban design professional accreditation and work experience; or historic building conservation accreditation and work experience) – scary.

      [from the agenda, Item 6] Section Six – City Planning (Refer folder pages 6.1 – 6.17) h) Central City Plan/Warehouse Precinct Revitalisation Plan Report from the Acting Urban Design Team Leader (Glen Hazelton). Refer to folder pages 12.39 – 12.59.

      • Elizabeth

        ### DScene 23 Jan 2013
        Savings give city options (page 2)
        By Wilma McCorkindale
        Dunedin City Council is about to embark in its annual planning exercise.
        [The meat of the story… -Eds] Mayor Dave Cull is rejecting speculation by prospective mayoral rival Cr Lee Vandervis that DCC may not be able to deliver a lower rates increase as promised. In a statement this week, Vandervis said the size of the rates bill depended heavily on Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) delivering many millions in profits, without borrowing. He repeated recent revelations DCHL had never delivered profit dividends and routinely borrowed on the DCC’s behalf – as it did again last year. “We have no source of income to pay for the stadium except for DCHL, and that DCHL income source has proved to be an illusion,” Vandervis said. Cull said Vandervis was engaging in speculation, and said DCHL had stated it was on track. “If they are not, well, we got a surprise last year – an unpleasant one. We didn’t like it. But [now] indications are they are [on track].” Cull and Vandervis respectively heaped praise on council chief executive Paul Orders for this year’s budget fine-tuning.[…]Vandervis said [Paul] Orders finding $8m in savings, mostly from new efficiencies within council staffing to produce a notional rates increase of 2.8 per cent was an unprecedented positive. “Our previous CEO Jim Harland and acting CEO Athol Stephens have assured councillors in the past that these efficiency savings were not possible. Happily, Paul Orders has proved them wrong and he plans for more such savings next year.”
        {read full article} #bookmark

  12. Rob Hamlin

    I am fascinated by the latest Foobar event. As I teach my product and brand management course in Summer School, I am currently lecturing on segmentation, targeting and positioning. These steps are the accepted basis of commercial marketing planning.

    You segment your market, and identify the small number of people who may potentially be be interested in your offer. It always is a minority – Even for Mackers and Coca Cola. You then target that small group with a precise offer (product or service) specifically tailored to their specific wants/needs.

    You then make sure that you have daylight between your specific offer and its specific benefits and those of other competing offers in the marketplace – This means knowing what the key points of difference between your offer and those of your competitors.

    I defy you to reverse engineer a combination of airborne nags and a Nineteen Sixties ‘grandpa’s hammer’ pop group in a rugby stadium to any sensible manifestation of this basic marketing planning process. I am thus not surprised if break even remains an ambition even at this late stage.

  13. Johny B

    Budget workshop to ‘upskill’ councillors ODT 23/01/13.
    Syd said that the workshop was a chance for councillors to “upskill” on the budget ahead of public debates.
    While playing in his sandpit learning to draw lines in the sand over the last 10 years and putting the ratepayers into the biggest debt in the history of council, Syd decides it is time to upskill. Yeah Right.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    How many years has Brown, Hudson, Collins. Bezett, Acklin, Weatherall, Noone etc been doing this? And still they need “upskilling”. Jeez, the mind ‘boggles’.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    What madness is this, Elizabeth: vote them out after all these years, so soon after they at last acquire a few skills?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 24 Jan 2013
      Variations in pool cost estimates bewildering
      By Chris Morris
      The chairman of the Dunedin City Council’s aquatic facilities working party says questions will be asked after the estimated cost of a new Mosgiel swimming pool complex jumped by more than 50% to $18 million. Cr Colin Weatherall said yesterday he was “somewhat surprised” by the figures in a council report to be considered during the 2013-14 pre-draft annual plan meetings beginning tomorrow. The report concluded the complex would cost $18 million, not the $11.5 million estimated by the working party last year. That meant a more modest Moana Pool upgrade – spending $3.9 million to add a new 25m x 25m pool – was now the most cost-effective option, the report said.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Aside. I’ve always found the location of Moana Pool to be really strange, from the time it opened… when I was a nipper.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ch9.co.nz January 25, 2013 – 6:52pm
        Debt and pressure loom over councillors as debate begins
        Public and government pressure to cut rate increases and debt hang over Dunedin’s councillors as they begin the public part of the budget round.


        The sleaze machine Key………………..

        ### ch9.co.nz January 25, 2013 – 6:42pm
        Council may have a new issue on its hands
        The Dunedin City Council may have a new issue on its hands as it begins its annual plan considerations for the year. Prime Minister John Key has indicated the government will intervene to free up land for housing unless local governments do it themselves. While Auckland was the main problem, he says if the country’s councils aren’t able to change their planning processes, the government will get more proactive. Reacting to concerns about the cost of land, Key says New Zealand needs more land for building, more streamlined processes and less red tape.
        Ch9 Link

        • Elizabeth

          DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – Tall Stories and Manipulations

          As they unfold at ODT, er DCC….

          Landfill charges to increase to cover costs
          Dunedin city councillors have agreed to increase landfill user charges in March without public consultation, in order to recover about $80,000 in costs all ratepayers would otherwise have to carry.

          Community board wish lists more constrained
          [heroic, yay for GC and team] At least one Dunedin community board has a firm position regarding what the Dunedin City Council should spend any extra savings on. Chairman Gerard Collings said the Waikouaiti Community Board’s opinion was the council must directly contribute extra savings to debt, and they must not be ”subverted” to an events fund for the stadium or other discretionary projects. Read what the others say, pretty lucid from a bunch of Community Boards that Lee Vandervis wanted to get rid of.

          Terse debate over future of Mosgiel pool
          Plans for a new pool at Mosgiel – or improvements to Dunedin’s existing Moana Pool – need to be progressed more quickly, a Dunedin city councillor says. The plea from Cr Bill Acklin came as councillors considered a staff report detailing the likely cost of four options to improve the city’s aquatic facilities.


          Praise and warnings set tone for hearings
          There were congratulations and words of warning as Dunedin city councillors confronted their budget for the coming year for the first time in public yesterday. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull set the tone by praising the ”extraordinary” work of Dunedin City Council staff, led by chief executive Paul Orders, for achieving a 2.8% rates rise for councillors to consider. The increase projected in the 2013-14 pre-draft budget was well below the 4% target set by councillors last year, giving councillors $1.4 million of headroom for debt repayment or another pressing priority. However, the elephant in the room remained Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, with a report on the finances of the company and the stadium it operated still to be made public.

          Comment to thread not published by ODT:
          Not money to spend 2
          Submitted by ej kerr on Sat, 26/01/2013 – 12:04pm
          Unfortunately for us the same spendthrift councillors who got us into this mess are the ones playing ‘economisers’ now. We await news on DVML and DVL, expensive warts over the corrupted process that landed us with the stadium and the salubrious brotherhood of ORFU as tenants; with Carisbrook, looking immaculate at no small cost, still on the books unsold. What have councillors ‘forgotten’ to include in the Annual Plan this time, to (surprise!) shunt through without public consultation in the next twelve months – we’d hate to break their noble tradition.


          Reform threat to companies raised
          Fears reform of the local government sector poses a serious threat to the Dunedin City Council’s group of companies and their activities are to be investigated. The concern was raised at yesterday’s council 2013-14 pre-draft annual plan meeting, as councillors considered a legal briefing on the reforms from lawyer Michael Garbett. Mr Garbett warned the reforms sought to focus councils on the provision of local infrastructure, services and regulatory functions in the most cost-effective manner for households and businesses. However, a lack of definition around some of those key new phrases meant the council faced a greater risk of legal challenges. Responding to questions from Cr Lee Vandervis, Mr Garbett said the changes could also have an impact on council-owned companies.

        • DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 cont/

          Moana Pool climbing wall plan put on hold
          By Debbie Porteous
          A climbing wall at Dunedin’s Moana Pool is still on the cards, although a year-old proposal to build it is still being assessed by Dunedin City Council staff. A feasibility study, sketch plans from an architect and costings from a structural engineer for the $2.6 million project were presented to the council, which owns the pool, early last year by the Otago branch of the New Zealand Alpine Club. The plans were for a 427sq m facility at the northern end of the learners’ pool, including an 11m main climbing wall and a bouldering area, other climbing walls, a reception area, kitting-out area, commercial kitchen, toilets and cafe.


          Te Rauone’s future still sticky point
          By Debbie Porteous
          The Te Rauone community is at odds about finally getting on to the council’s funding radar regarding a city contribution to a breakwater to mitigate erosion on their coastline.[…]The council has asked staff to report back by March on its review of the design of the groyne, and any potential liability the council might take on in taking ownership of it, ongoing maintenance requirements, sea level-rise effects on it, the landowners involved, confirmation of charging mechanisms, and any other risks to council involvement. It would not take responsibility or pay for sand renourishment requirements.


          Council moves to sell Athenaeum building
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council is trying again to sell the Athenaeum building in the Octagon. The 142-year-old building was yesterday advertised as being for sale by deadline private treaty by Colliers International, on behalf of the council, closing on March 6. Council city property manager Robert Clark said when contacted yesterday the deadline treaty meant potential buyers would have to make an offer, including details of their plans for the building, making it a better fit with the wishes of councillors.

        • This sounds like more money required from DCC for (ahem) feasibility.

          ### ODT Online
          High times at Stadium on cards
          By Chris Morris on Thu, 31 Jan 2013
          Fans of Forsyth Barr Stadium could soon be offered a new view of the venue from on top of the roof. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden, taking in the view yesterday, confirmed this week he was keen to progress ”thrill-seeker” opportunities at the stadium, giving those with an interest a new perspective on the venue. He planned to start by introducing a more extensive tour of the venue in time for the 2013-14 financial year, beginning on July 1. He would also investigate whether the tour could include allowing the public to walk across the gantry suspended from the top of the venue’s south stand, which offered a bird’s-eye view of the playing surface below. However, to cater to the more adventurous, Mr Burden also wanted to explore two more hair-raising options – a walk across the top of the venue’s plastic roof, and a flying fox ride running diagonally above the playing surface, from one corner of the venue to the other.
          Read more

          Related Post:
          11.10.09 Can we do the main span like Auckland Harbour Bridge?

        • DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 cont/

          Resident Janine Karetai said the council must stop conflating the erosion with the ”incomprehensible” problem of climate change, and instead work on a solution on the ”micro-level”.

          Call for end to ‘stalling’ on Te Rauone
          By Eileen Goodwin
          A delegation of disgruntled Te Rauone residents attended the Otago Peninsula Community Board meeting yesterday with a message for the Dunedin City Council – stop the procrastination and blame around fixing coastal erosion. Flanked by about a dozen fellow residents, Edna Stevenson said despite a provisional funding promise, the council appeared to be continuing a pattern of stalling, and blaming residents. ”This week’s [newspaper] reports on funding for the breakwater has yet again created stress and concerns for not only the affected residents, but the wider community, who are powerless to save a valued recreation asset owned by all Dunedin citizens.


          Upgrade project at park defended
          By Rosie Manins
          Views of upgraded sports facilities at Ellis Park, in Kaikorai Valley, will hardly be worse than those of the existing building, the project planner says. Keith Hovell countered criticism of the proposed upgrade on behalf of the Dunedin City Council’s parks and recreation services at a consent hearing in Dunedin yesterday. He said adverse effects of the upgrade would be minor, and would not outweigh the benefits.

          [yesterday] Ellis Park plans an ‘abomination’
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin City Council plans to upgrade sports facilities at Ellis Park, in Kaikorai Valley, have run into opposition from neighbours who say the idea is a ”travesty”. The council’s parks and recreation services department wants to demolish two small and dilapidated buildings at the park, and replace them with two prefabricated buildings already owned by the council. The replacement buildings would be relocated to the park and be used to house changing room and administration facilities, a council planner’s report said.

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 5 Mar 2013
          Council to help with groyne design work
          By Debbie Porteous
          The Dunedin City Council has agreed to work with the group proposing a rock groyne that could protect Te Rauone Beach from erosion, to ensure the application for a resource consent contains the best information possible. The council is considering making a financial contribution to the construction of the groyne, which could protect an erosion-affected council reserve from further damage from the sea. The groyne would also protect private property on land owned by Te Rauone Incorporated. The Te Rauone Coast Care Committee originally asked the council to share the costs of constructing the groyne with local residents and then take ownership of it, but TRI has since offered to own it after council concerns about ongoing maintenance costs, risk and liability threatened to derail the project.
          Read more

          Report – CDC – 04/03/2013 (PDF, 659.8 KB)
          Te Rauone Erosion Update Report – Additional Information

        • Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

          ### DScene 13 March 2013
          Rant or rave: Your say (page 8) #bookmark
          By Calvin Oaten – Pine Hill
          Now that the 2013/14 Draft Annual Plan has been ticked off to go to the public for consultation, it seems an appropriate time to take a closer look at the history of the performance of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL). Why? Because it is patently obvious that DCHL is, and has been, the substantial provider of funds in order to ameliorate the rate burden to the citizens. In the plan the rate increase is just under 5 per cent, which is the figure aimed at by the council at the start of their deliberations. Should we say well done?

          Maybe, but let’s consider the fact that this plan is dependent on receiving from DCHL, dividend and interest payments of $10.45 million plus $3.211m from the Waipori Fund. These are to continue for each year out to 2022-23. Plus of course, the $5.25m to be paid to DVL for stadium debt reduction. This totals $18.9m a year. So what of DCHL and its ability to meet these demands? A closer look at the results over the last six years to June 30, 2012, reveals some interesting features. Revenue totalled $1.494 billion at an average of $249m a year. Net surpluses totalled $105.15m at an average of $17.5m yearly.

          Borrowings, both short and long term progressed from $231m to $561m, an increase of 145 per cent. Total distributions to the DCC came to $140.56m at an average of $23.42m a year. So it can be seen that the funds paid to the DCC exceeded its surpluses by $35.41m, or just under $6m a year. Obviously, if DCHL will no longer borrow to support these payments, one can only wonder how the council came to the conclusion to base its budgets on the $18.9m coming from DCHL. A potent factor in the just 5 per cent increase.

          Mayor Dave Cull prided himself in the fact that next year would be the first in which council would be repaying more debt than it incurs. The question now arises, is the plan up for genuine public consultation, or is it just a charade to placate and mislead, in the hope that the people will trust in the process? Being election year, that is all important. I would ask Mayor Cull to reassure the people, and/or point out that I am wrong in my analysis. It is an extremely important point.


          Mayor Dave Cull replies:
          Mr Oaten is wrong in his facts. The proposed rate increase is 4 per cent. I can assure all Dunedin residents the Draft Annual Plan 2013-14 is indeed out for genuine public consultation. This is a significant community consultation process and we look forward to hearing from residents so we can incorporate their views into our decision-making.

        • Unfortunately, Liability Cull neglects to explain how Calvin Oaten is wrong in his facts. It’s the least the mayor could do, if he had a head for figures.

        • I have written recently on how we the ratepayers should obtain from our local Council the detail! of how Council-advertised rates increases (particularly in election year!) are made up. Then get a numerate supporter to follow my template checklist to check out if the Council is playing it straight. Suggest you follow this plan … or otherwise you will be left wondering/or the wool may be being pulled?

        • ### ODT Online Sun, 21 Apr 2013
          Mosgiel pool plan moves up agenda
          By Dan Hutchinson
          A replacement for Mosgiel’s 80-year-old pool is firmly on the agenda this year. The community and the Dunedin City Council has been talking about the ageing pool for seven years but some are hoping the issue will finally be resolved.
          Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather said the issue had drawn the second-highest number of submissions to the council’s Draft Annual Plan this year. ”That is a major step forward for us. First step was actually getting the council to make mention of the pool in the annual plan draft document.”
          Mayor Dave Cull said the pool had not been allocated any funds in the 2013-14 Draft Annual Plan but the aquatic services working party had been re-convened to look at the information that had been gathered.
          Read more


          [lead up]

          ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Dec 2011
          Mosgiel pool tops wish list
          By Chris Morris
          Plans for a new $11.5 million Mosgiel pool complex have passed their first hurdle, after being referred to next year’s Dunedin City Council long-term plan hearings for consideration. Councillors at yesterday’s community development committee voted to refer the project to the January meeting, meaning the decision to build the pool – and the timeline for doing so – would be considered alongside other projects at the hearing.
          Read more


          ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Nov 2011
          New Mosgiel pool favoured option
          By Chris Morris
          An ambitious $31.7 million wish list for upgrading Dunedin’s aquatic facilities could begin with construction of a new Mosgiel pool – serving the city’s entire southern catchment – within three years. A proposed $11.5 million Mosgiel pool complex has been confirmed as the top-priority project by the Dunedin City Council’s aquatic facilities working party. Coming in a close second was a $13.2 million upgrade of Dunedin’s Moana Pool, involving construction of a new pool and car parking building, linked by a bridge over Littlebourne Rd, and moving the popular hydroslide – possibly to the Mosgiel pool – to make room.

          In third place was construction of a specialist $7 million training pool at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, with input from the University of Otago and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd.

          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz May 2, 2013 – 6:49pm
          108 people set to have their say
          The annual DCC round of submissions begins on Monday, with 108 people set to have their say at hearings. The hearings have been scheduled to last until Thursday, though could take the whole week. The submission process is part of the annual plan round, as the council plans its budget – and residents’ rate rises for the year.
          Ch39 Link [no video available]

  16. The DCC, for its debt levels specifically, has at last “seen the light” … “light” … “tunnel” …”train coming” … kinda light!

    And Praise the Lord … its the first (for over a decade now) showing real signs that an NZ TLA is actually embarking on a principled? hard driving debt REDUCTION! programme.

    Hooray … but watch/monitor this space eh? … Question for us and the sleepy auditors: “Can NZ Councils be trusted to mark their own homework”?

    Given recent developments it is with some wry satisfaction that we! can all now say “about bleeding time” and “how come seeing the obvious took so long”?

    Soooo … Where to from here? Might I unashamedely suggest some independent-contestible analysis and debt recovery plan/expenditure rationalisation programme would be a good place to start.

    And if existing and budding Crs for October 2013 are really! serious about digging DCC out of this (w)hole, then some financial facts/literacy are the places to start.

    BTW our 2013 NZLG League Table is scheduled for release late February. I am in touch with Russell to see what we can jointly cook up.

    Happy 2013 … Go the DCC (the 2013 and beyond model that is).

    Larry Mitchell larry@kauriglen.co.nz

    • Elizabeth

      Larry! You’re right to think councils’ own monitoring is a (dare I say) liability not yet covered. We definitely definitely (repeat!) require independent scrutiny and analysis of dear old DCC. Your league table is always very welcome, with an executive summary to show off the horror !!!! — but in DCC’s case (for 2013) we hope that’s LESS horror and happier trends…… still hooked up to my oxygen tank, just in case. Line in!

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    One thing that might be helpful in keeping DCC from chronic max-out is careful examination of candidates’ money-management record. Failed business? Not necessarily a no-no, but let’s check the circumstances. Personal indebtedness? A poor credit record around town, whether official (bankruptcy) or are merchants reluctant to supply goods on credit? Pool the knowledge. Weed out the types who can’t manage their own lives and then go on as councillors to Fubar the city, voting for every throw-money-at-it idea that comes into view, and wasting time on endless yes-no meetings and reports on matters where a simple “do what we said in the first place” would work, then if it’s >proven< to be broken, mend it when the facts speak for themselves. The kind of people who are always borrowing or putting it on the plastic 2 days before payday, are not the kind we need here – we've had'em, up to the eyebrows.

  18. daseditor

    …and yet again the Town Belt (an integral part of the heritage fabric of our city since 1848) will be turned into a car park. Sigh!

    • Elizabeth

      daseditor – we have idiots running the machine. It’s that simple. A training pool near Logan Park makes lots more sense to take the pressure off Moana and the Town Belt… And a decent pool at Mosgiel… if it weren’t for the stadium mess and massive council debt. Ad hoc planning is DCC’s forté and folly. Or, crime!!!!

      • Elizabeth

        ### ch9.co.nz January 24, 2013 – 6:14pm
        DCC to consider proposed upgrades
        The future of proposed upgrades and improvements at Moana Pool is about to be considered by the DCC.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    I absolutely love Dave Cull’s comments. Praising the “extraordinary” work of Dunedin City Council staff, led by chief executive Paul Orders, for achieving a 2.8% rates rise for councillors to consider. Pray tell, what is it that they are paid to do, if not that?
    But to me, the real gem is when he says: “Our community is quite conscious of the need for us to to be moving in the direction that we are. We are on track as a council, this is another opportunity for us to stay on track.” Well! The profundity of that is underwhelming, to say the least. He must have stayed up all night constructing that piece of verbal pomposity.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, I wouldn’t trust a thing Cull says or does – I’m sticking to that rule for as long as he remains in politics or in positions of authority.

  20. Anonymous

    Auckland is reducing the time it takes for them to force a mortgagee sale if you don’t pay your rates.

    Many people still don’t comprehend this. The one power council has is to increase rates, placing ratepayers under further financial hardship and ultimately take your home. It is why this corrupt council requires a multimillion dollar marketing department and why the ‘it’s only a couple of percent this year’ are presented as they are and why the ODT carries these public service announcements in the guise of news.

    Because of the unrestrained and corrupt spending enabled by the Stadium Councillors and now Lesser Dunedin this city is swamped by nearly one billion dollars [of debt].

    Your home is collateral and they don’t give a crap about that burden. The Stakeholders who manage the pets are greedy psychopaths and only see you and me as cattle to furiously milk.

    Dave Cull is right there at the front of all that.


    • Elizabeth

      Disincentive to The Chills’ free concert in the Botanic Gardens today:
      (via Twitter) “Dave Cull kicking things off.”

    • Elizabeth

      GLORY BE

      In the tree version of SST, the business story below the one about Auckland City Council planning for mortgagee sales, is riveting ‘Auckland councillors reveal interests‘ by Rob Stock. Love the reference to “the heavily indebted Dunedin City Council” being without a public register of pecuniary interests of councillors… something “major councils have long provided to their ratepayers” (see Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, and now Auckland). It’s the remainder of the sentence about Dunedin that really amuses (page D3).


  21. Mike

    To be fair it was a short, relatively non-self serving speech

  22. amanda

    Oh no, surely the SST has it wrong, we are not ‘heavily indebted’, we have been told by our great leader that Dunedin is ‘on track’ and all is well in our small neck of the woods. But what is Cull and Hudson’s cabal idea of ‘on track’?

    • Elizabeth

      Amanda, scaaary stuff eh. National media – apart from the independent ODT – continue to see the DCC financial and political mess as it truly is. Good show, people! Thanks Rob Stock, and media friends north of the Allied Press equator.

      That would be “on track” to a hiding at the October 2013 elections!

      • Elizabeth

        So Christie sounds like Farry. Same flatulence. What’s new.
        Comments received at ODT Online are worth reading.

        ### ODT Online Mon, 28 Jan 2013
        Simon concert raises case for events fund
        By Chris Morris
        Paul Simon’s performance at Forsyth Barr Stadium is expected to deliver a multimillion-dollar cash injection for Dunedin, underscoring the need for a new events attraction fund, the Otago Chamber of Commerce says. [Simon] would perform at the stadium on April 6, then at Auckland’s Vector Arena on April 8.

        Chamber chief executive John Christie yesterday said the concert would attract fans from around the South Island and possibly across New Zealand. A sellout crowd would probably mean an economic impact on a par with the $14 million delivered to Dunedin by the Elton John concert in late 2011, which drew 35,000 fans.

        The big question, Mr Christie believed, was whether ratepayers or the city’s hospitality sector, who stood to benefit the most from more big events, should pay for it.
        Read more

  23. Anonymous

    The big question, I believe, is where he shops to find a trumpet large enough to blow so much air out of.

  24. Calvin Oaten

    Again we see the inflated estimates of $14 million delivered to the Dunedin economy. Does anyone stop for a moment and consider the fact that regardless of what size crowd is drawn, probably 70 to 80% will be Dunedin citizens. Their financial input is simply what is termed ‘local churn’. In a word, what they spend here is what they won’t spend elsewhere. So one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Put that to the “erks” pushing it and they will simply say, “but hey, you are looking at your glass as just half full, when in fact it is half empty.” Or is it the other way round? Or still, does it matter, as we all know it is just “crap!”

  25. Rob Hamlin

    Q: Does anyone stop for a moment and consider the fact that regardless of what size crowd is drawn, probably 70 to 80% will be Dunedin citizens?
    A: No

    • Elizabeth

      Well Rob and Calvin, the damnable truth about multipliers and who you’re actually selling tickets to, ahem, is about to be overshadowed majorly with release of news not long to hand at the What if? desk. It reads like the entire email bomb on the Draft Annual Plan of gratification to DVML. We’re restoring our shattered selves. And then, following publication, oh citizenry, we have ourselves a no holes barred civil war to bestow on the shitheads running DCC.

  26. Rob Hamlin

    Here’s an interesting piece of logic?

    One cat has one more tail than no cat
    No cat has two tails
    Therefore all cats have three tails…

    Got the cadence? Now try this one:

    We have attracted a major act to the Stadium using our existing hefty subsidised publicity and promotion resources.
    Now we need a another special extra fund to attract major acts to the Stadium…

    Now how many tails does the cat have?

  27. Calvin Oaten

    I don’t know about the cat’s tails but I am reminded of these three acts: The cat which crept into the crypt, crapped and crept out again. Not to be confused with the fly that flew into the font, farted and flew out again, or the pup which popped into the pulpit, pooped and popped out again. Message: crap and hot air. Substitute stadium for church and we get the picture.

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    Paul Orders’ efforts were in vain – http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/243945/21m-boost-stadium
    Faced with the possibility that rates rise could be less than 4%, or that there was a margin for necessary expenditure, what did they do – backed the money-truck up to the stadium and poured more $millions in till the rates increase came up to 4%.

  29. LIABILITY ‘handyman’ Cull quick to jump on this for election year…

    ### ODT Online Mon, 4 Feb 2013
    Insulation for 1000 homes
    By Rosie Manins
    The Warm Dunedin programme ties in with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme, which offers funding to occupants for insulation. The council has established a targeted rate which allows eligible residents to install insulation and/or heating in their homes and pay it off over a decade. Between 600 and 1000 homes were expected to be included in the trial, an initiative Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull welcomed.
    Read more

    • Dunedin City Council – Media Release

      Warm Dunedin Trial Extended

      This item was published on 31 May 2013.

      The popular Warm Dunedin pilot programme has been extended for up to three months.

      The Warm Dunedin targeted rate programme helps increase household warmth, health and comfort by providing a rates advance to help with the upfront costs of installing insulation and/or clean heating.

      Warm Dunedin works alongside the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme, which offers Energywise funding for installing insulation. Other funding and assistance programmes are also available.

      Dunedin City Council Energy Manager Neville Auton says applications open again on 1 June and are due to close on 31 August. If funding runs out before applications close, the programme will stop earlier.
      Read more

      Full information on the programme is available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/warmdunedin or phone Customer Services on 477 4000.

  30. Calvin Oaten

    One point which is not mentioned. Does/will the suggested insulation/heating loans via the rate process attract interest? If so, how much? Could be a subtle way to gather some much needed revenue. Indeed, how is the bridging finance to be arranged? More debt for the balance sheet? Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the principle, it is exactly the type of social activity councils should be involved in. But when one looks at the very brittle financial state this city is in – thanks to council’s profligate ways – you would have to wonder how much more can we stand.

  31. Hype O'Thermia

    There are problems with “approved installers”. Others who are not given that special access to a scheme are not ruled out because of poor workmanship – which would be a good idea – but for ease of administration. This kills competition and leaves them with no reason to keep their price down, whereas I could employ a good professional who is eager for work and prepared to undercut them or in the case of ceiling batts, install them myself (as I have in several roofs, mine and friends’) and keep the cost to materials-only. A “free” loan that includes a high installation cost is poor value when it is far from the most economical way of getting the job done.

  32. DCC remains at 30th out of 67 on the 2013 Local Government League Table, release date scheduled for 20th February. Other metros, (also debt-heavy) score significantly better than do Dunedin. DCC’s debt reduction programmme is to be commended … unless of course this or other subsequent Councils (as they are entiled to do) … recant. Public service announcement follows: “All details of the 2013 LGLT enquire to” … larry@kauriglen.co .nz

    • ### ch9.co.nz February 20, 2013 – 6:59pm
      Major development kicked off at Botanic Garden
      The Dunedin City Council has kicked off a major development at the Botanic Garden. Resource consent has been notified for the building of glasshouses, plant nursery and propagation facilities in the upper garden. The $6 million project is the end result of plans that originally involved closing Lovelock Avenue, but ran into some serious opposition.

      Notified Application
      Dunedin City Council (Parks and Recreation Services) (LUC-2012-523)
      Closes 20/03/2013

  33. Peter

    All very nice, I’m sure, but weren’t they trying to pay off debt? Or is that from ‘another budget’?

  34. Calvin Oaten

    The proposed development of the Botanic Gardens is a genuine social amenity. Not only do the work areas provide facilities, but it is where all the propagation of bedding plants, shrubs and trees take place. These are then placed throughout the gardens and city, providing joyous colour in many unlikely spaces. It also produces the young trees which provide such fun for vandals to destroy. No doubt but that the upgrade is long overdue, and the budgeted expenditure of some $6 million over years 2012/13 and 2013/14 is, in the grand scheme of things modest. The sums are in the Capital Expenditure pages of the first draft plan. Will they stay in the adopted Draft Plan, and indeed, will they survive the consultation process? If Council continues to make endless, ad hoc decisions, taking on board losses of many $millions (DVML additional funding, Sale of Carisbrook, succouring of Rugby) of non budgeted amounts and still aim at just a 4% rate increase then it will be an exercise in financial juggling worthy of very much smarter people than there are around our council table. It would do many of them no harm to, on a fine day go to the Botanic Gardens and simply immerse themselves in the place. It might very well clear their heads and cause a rethink of their priorities. On reflection, probably not.

    • This is the Botanic Gardens’ 150th anniversary year, after all.

      New Zealand’s first Botanic Garden is recognised internationally. There is pleasure and learning for everyone. http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/facilities/botanic-garden

      Development Plan

      • ### ODT Online Thu, 21 Feb 2013
        Botanic Garden plans new propagation area
        By Debbie Porteous
        The Dunedin City Council is seeking consent to build new nursery facilities to replace the ageing glasshouses and propagation areas of the Dunedin Botanic Garden. An application to the council says the new buildings would be built on land that is in the town belt but managed as part of the garden. The project would mean establishing a new plant nursery and propagation buildings on the east side of Lovelock Ave, north of the Opoho Bowling Club, to replace the garden’s existing facilities, which are no longer suitable. The original plan was to include an administration building and workshop on the site, but financial constraints meant the proposal was more limited, the application says.
        Read more

  35. Peter

    There are ways of making money on ‘plants’! A self- funding exercise?

  36. Calvin Oaten

    Peter; you are right. But one should not inhale, just as one should be careful where one places one’s cigars.

    • ### ch9.co.nz February 21, 2013 – 7:23pm
      Full media coverage of council sessions may be on the way
      Full media coverage of Dunedin City Council meetings may be soon on the way. The council will on Monday debate a recommendation to allow recordings with sound. In the past 9 Local news has only been allowed to take footage without sound. A report says there has been increased interest from media and the public in recordings of meetings. But any change needs a 75% majority, as it requires a change to standing orders
      Ch9 Link [no video available]

      Report – Council – 25/02/2013 (PDF, 76.0 KB)
      Recording of Meetings – Proposed Change to Standing Order 3.3.7

      Agenda (PDF) and Other Reports (Links) for Council Meeting 25 Feb 2013

  37. Calvin Oaten

    “Mr Oaten is wrong in his facts.” Sorry Dave, but they are not my facts. They are merely what anyone who was interested, would see in the documents produced by DCHL. So Dave, if you have any gripe, take it up with DCHL. I doubt that you will, as for certain you would come away with no clothes on at all. Not a pretty sight I am sure.

  38. Robert Hamlin

    Think yourself lucky Calvin – At least you weren’t maliciously and ignorantly wrong in your facts. I strongly suspect that you ARE wrong in your facts, but as you pointed out, you got them second-hand from Dave’s own coporate effusions – However, it’s nice to have official confirmation from the top that these are B.S. – Things are almost certainly much worse than the picture that you paint.

  39. Calvin Oaten

    Rob; you and I both know that the situation is much worse than implied. But what was Dave to do? Admit that he is at the helm of a ship with a broken rudder, and a fierce wind forcing his ship irrevocably on to the rocks? Not likely, even if he understood the predicament, he does the Nelson thing and puts his telescope to his blinded eye and staunchly orders, ‘sail on’ me hearties.

    • How is it even possible that Athol’s still in position as the council’s CFO. Thanks to he and mates at DCHL, DCTL, DCC, DVL, DVML, well, the rocks are possible as is acceleration towards. Continuity of (their) knowledge is crippling. No maps, no stabilisers, rough passage.

  40. Anonymous

    There are distinct parallels with massively increased debt between Solid Energy and the Dunedin Corrupt Council.

    “The Government, in its first term, looked at SOE balance sheets and decided many of them could carry more debt. It made a decision to allow Solid Energy to take on more debt,” English said. He had approved a higher debt level in 2009. […] English had said today that he did not know coal prices were going to decline, “but documents obtained by Labour show that he did”, Shearer said. […] “The company’s total borrowing ballooned from $13m in 2009 to $191m the following year and $313m by 2012.”

    In 1999 this city’s debt was nearly $40M. By 2009 it was close to $400M. Today it’s total debt is thought to be twice that again.

    Plenty of others with overpaid chief executives, self-important chairmen and arrogant politicians.

    So when does Dunedin fail and the investigation begin? It should have happened so long ago rather than allowing its rats to chew through the lifeboat cables and escape the sinking ship.

    Still listening to the band, ratepayers? There’s a good ratepayer. Such a good, good ratepayer.

    ### Stuff Online 13 March 2013
    Ministers pressured Solid Energy, Parliament told
    By Vernon Small

  41. Calvin Oaten

    Just put the hard word to Dave Cull on his ‘Facebook’ page, to explain where he saw my arguments as being factually incorrect. Answers? Place your bets.

  42. Rob Hamlin

    Calvin, you will find many local sins are repeated at national level in relation to massaging public accounts for political purposes. Milking companies is one, rolling out debt into ‘cheap’ derivative loan products is another – This is a national issue that was addressed at length by an Aussie academic specialising in these things some months back in the SST. This may well be why you see the whites of Jonky’s and BE’s eyes when NXD devaluation is mentioned, as it is suspected that these portions of government debt carry a significant currency exchange risk component as well as interest rates.

    Clearly ‘Woody’ as a safe pair of hands for the duo above, would be ‘horrified’ if any local investigations were to be carried out to establish just how these things work. The risk of local to national informational reflux – especially if it emerged from his particular self-appointedly local ‘patch’ – would indeed to horrifying to such a principled and personally disinterested character.

    What is surprising is how long it took for the media to cotton onto the Solid Energy issue – The money must have gone somewhere, and the accounts tell their own story.

  43. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting Rob how, if you simply interchange the names Solid Energy and DCHL Group, plus directors and government/ council, we see a parallel universe in operation. Council would get away with it as long as there were enough bums on seats at the Stadium and Town Hall, Government would have got away with it if coal had stayed at its unrealistically high levels indefinitely. As you say, they are rapidly becoming exposed.
    The worst thing about Solid Energy is that if it had held up long enough, the bastards would have sold it off to the poor bloody public and left them high and dry when it tanked. Better have a close look at the financial liabilities of Mighty River Power before expressing any interests! And we vote for the bastards!!!

    • Buy shares in Mighty River? … Might not! And here is why.
      While the Government still holds its majority shareholding it is conflicted in two roles, as shareholder and regulator. This, (in the long term) is a clear and insoluble conflict of interests. First, they must maximise shareholder value (gouge energy pricing) verses their regulator duty to protect consumers’ interests from oligopolistic pricing. The latter will always be a “dead hand” to entrepreneurial behaviour and to shareholders’ interests. If in doubt … Solid Energy provides the cautionary tale. And there is also the little matter of existing power company asset valuation (ODRC) methodology. Some would say this a method that systematically overvalues assets and mis-measures depreciation charging. All have likely adverse consequences for ‘lil ol’ Mum/Dad shareholder. Be careful out there …

  44. Mike

    I think there are lots of risks in this stock, the big one though is the possibility of Tiwai becoming non-viable, closing down and flooding the electricity market with cheap power – on the other hand I wonder which stocks the National Party faithful are abandoning in their rush to buy up the government …..

  45. Anonymous

    It seems people are finally reading that nasty piece of council propaganda delivered to homes – the summary of the Draft Annual Plan. It is full of the type of drivel usually reserved for when they need to make ‘public statements’ but really really don’t want you to read it.

    Like this piece of corporate w*nkery on the back page:

    At the moment there is no clear formula or consistency in the way concession rates and child rates are set in relation to the normal adult entry fee.

    Apparently we are so confused about the cost of going to the swimming pool they have to increase said costs. WTF? Confused? Angry? Bloody well should be if you take a moment to realise they are going to increase all costs across the board.

    What this over-paid bunch of council bubbleheads forget in their madness to be seen to do something is that costs everywhere are going up a few dollars. An extra fifty cents does make a difference to a family budget, particularly when the pool is used by such a broad part of the community.

    Multiply those ‘few dollars’ by everything and suddenly more and more people can do less and less.

    Another reason to show this Mayor the door too.

    View the summary report here [PDF, 4.3 MB]:

    Click to access Draft-Annual-PlanSummary.pdf

    • The 2013/14 DAP Summary is as bad as the White Pages phone book for people with sight impairment (like me, cataract, long waiting lists) – more obviously, let’s forget the aging Dunedin population, shall we, Spooks? Your ability to identify your audience correctly… defies belief, and with everything you’ve produced lately with your $5 million budget in play. What is production editing and management ?

      Graphic designer: Trina Rogan………

      201314 DAP Summary (2)201314 DAP Summary MayorCEO (1)

  46. Anonymous

    Mike, further to your post, there is some serious corporate blackmail going down with Tiwai.

    Mining giant Rio Tinto has walked away from talks with the Government over the future of Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, Prime Minister John Key has confirmed this morning. […] He acknowledged ultimately that might mean Tiwai Point closed. The smelter supports around 3000 jobs in Southland. […] “I’m not nearly as convinced as others might be that they will walk away but they certainly could walk away.”

    That horrific number is twice that of Telecom and worse – it would cripple the city of Invercargill. That’s ‘shit in your pants’ politics and John Key will be sweating under his corporate collar, knowing full well the consequences of that sort of decimation.

    And there’s more at stake than 3,000 jobs – it’s the flow on effect of each those jobs that are lost: Family, homes, livelihoods, friends, schooling, … it’s a very long list.

    The Dunedin City Council, its spin doctoring Spooks and Otago Daily Times will be thinking hard on this future, but not in the way you and me would worry about the lives affected.

    ### Stuff Online Last updated 08:38 02/04/2013
    Smelter firm subsidy talks stall
    By Tracy Watkins

  47. Mike

    Anonymous: to be fair it was pretty obvious, I wasn’t the only one who saw that coming and Rio Tinto/Comalco et al have a long time record of putting pressure on the govt and the govt folding – it’s just that this particular time they’ve decided that slipping some shares under the table to important people won’t do it – instead they have the Nats by the balls, ready to ruin their public share offering if they don’t get bought off somehow – we’d be much better off without them, especially in the South – it’s not all bad for the govt, Meridian would be able to charge full rates for that power (though ‘full rates’ would be lower) it would probably be worth more without Tiwai – the rest of the energy companies would be worth less.

  48. Calvin Oaten

    That’s what happens when you decide to “sup with the Devil”. In the Muldoon ‘think big era’ it was proposed that an aluminium smelter would be a good idea, and that research showed that the Manapouri power scheme was a feasible electricity source at an attractive cost benefit ratio. It was proposed that the company could be given rights to build the power scheme and smelter and set up an economic venture. All that NZ would get would be jobs. The company played ‘hard ball’ (as they do) and the result was Muldoon buckled and agreed to build the power scheme if the company would commit to go ahead. This was agreed at a very attractive power cost to the company. The rest is history. We, the taxpayers financed and built the biggest and best efficiency factor hydro scheme on the planet, sold power at serious discount rates for the next nearly forty years, in return for jobs in Southland. In a word the taxpayer bought those jobs and have paid ever since to keep them. Invercargill have been hugely subsidised through those years, Muldoon got all the ‘kudos’ (until he was found out), the rest of us?….we just got the picture. So, if Meridian stick to their guns and Rio Tinto ‘spit the dummy’ and walk, the country will benefit by moving into serious surplus power supply surplus territory for a few years. Result, should be a reduction in power prices all round. Good for the businesses of NZ, good for the consumer, not so good for Invercargill. But ‘them’s the breaks’. The other good thing will be that the governments ‘asset sales’ should collapse in tatters, the punters who do invest stand a better than even chance of losing their money (or at least part of it) and the whole pack of cards falls over. Hey! that can’t be bad, can it? Me, I would love to see Rio walk.

  49. Anonymous

    Yes, I understand the politics and the devil in the detail. A bunch of wealthy boys hooked up with a bunch immoral wealthy ministers, got a bunch of civilians to work for them, while they got on with the important business of screwing society, their secretaries, and meeting the wants of their high society wives… but another 3000 jobs?

    Let’s say 70% are not self-important managers and therefore productive workers – that’s a massive hit on the local community. It will impact every town between there and Christchurch, adding significant unemployment to an already burdened job market and throwing every down market business into further spiral.

    Clearly the workers have been thought of as battery hens and caged cows all this time, given a place to hole up in, worked hard and fed enough to keep them coming back. And there is no doubt the majority have worked hard to produce the product.

    But all that now comes down to just being bargaining chips and collateral, particularly when it gets a little harder going on the budget of the corporate, forcing its shareholders to realise there’s an issue when they have to cut back on their prescription drugs and secretarial duties.

    We have those corporate fat-necks who plunder this city from afar, we have the pandering ministers, a corrupt council, questionable directors and councillors who stopped working for the city along time ago… while we sit back and watch what is occurring elsewhere it is only a matter of time here. We have already lost significant industry but few understand the bigger picture – few want to look at it. Even the recent closures are fading in the memories of the masses as each as an individual struggles to get through the next day.

    The recession from 2008 has now just caught up with Dunedin. It is here now and although the council, through the media, attempt to play down the knowledge, cutbacks are occurring throughout the city and desperate businesses are laying off small numbers of good people and replacing them with fools who are blind with brilliance but couldn’t produce a thought to escape a wet paper bag.

    For the worker with a family this threat is more than politics – it is survival. And god only knows what sort of despair is rippling through Invercargill presently.

  50. Whippet

    Anonymous, who gives a shit about the Invercargill workers. Did they care about us when the Burnside Freezer closed all those years ago. No way, they couldn’t wait to take the sheep and cattle that Burnside killed and do the job down south, and the millions of dollars that were lost to the Dunedin economy. Let’s close the smelter, then the rest of us will have cheaper electricity, more money in our pockets to spend in our local economy. By the way the smelter was the result of socialism. Muldoon was the best socialist prime minister that this country ever had. He was great at spending everybody’s money. That is the dream of socialism. Let someone else do the paying.

  51. Rob Hamlin

    It will never happen of course, but two can play hardball – and good results can be obtained if one side with no track record of this suddenly starts to do so unexpectedly.

    I presume that Rio Tinto are submitting all sorts of detailed documents to Meridian and the Government to support their ‘hard times – doing you a favour by keeping it open’ story. These documents will show in loving and official detail that they aren’t making any money and that the power has to be given to them for free (rather than for stuff all). Similar accounting carryings on go on when profits get shifted around for tax purposes – see the UK papers for recent details.

    All the Government then has to do is sit back until the financial sob story is fully and publicly developed. Then they can compulsorily purchase the smelter at a capital value derived by recognised means from Rio Tinto’s own cashflow projections on the basis that they are actually doing Rio a favour by taking this ‘liability’ off RTZ’s hands, and to themselves by creating some certainty in Invercargill and Meridian.

    Cullen did something pretty similar to Qantas and Singapore airlines a few years back – it can work very well. Complaints of ‘theft’ and the like are very difficult to sustain if one’s position is that the asset was pretty much worthless in the first place. RTZ would be well hoist by their own petard. Similar gnashing of teeth after Cullen’s coup certainly went on in Sydney and Singapore, but pretty much in private.

    I do not believe for one moment that if accounted for in isolation this is not a highly profitable venture RTZ would have sold it or shut it years ago if it was not. Fat chance with Jonky though.

  52. Anonymous

    Power prices going down would be great. But I don’t believe it. Taxes and price gouging never come down – they may be moved around a little, but in the end you and me are not going to get a fair deal. That’s not the way big business works nor how the greedy think.

    I don’t think the Invercargill workers took anything from Dunedin – they just took a job that was available to them. In the same way the international call centre staff take the jobs New Zealand businesses outsource to them. The businessmen with the interests of the current government officials do that. I do care about the employee interests though since we are all facing a similar threat to our livelihoods, to some degree.

    Unless of course you are a Stakeholder playing golf over at Queenstown or one of their sycophants with lips permanently attached to their assholes. Even they think millions in the pocket are no longer enough.

    As previously mentioned here there is a reset coming. For me, each of these events is contributing to the wider meltdown of our society – people are already repressed by debt and a deep seated fear of losing their livelihood.

    I just keep wondering how far that bubble can keep stretching.

  53. Calvin Oaten

    Dump the asset sales (Meridian in particular), let RioTinto go, keep Meridian (with its lowest cost per unit power) keep the power price at present or higher levels and ‘Presto’ Meridian’s dividends will flood all over the government’s books. Are they that smart, we’ll see.

  54. We’re very tolerant generally, BUT to contributors who really push the bounds of credibility by aiming stuff at threads bearing no relevance, please contact the moderators first to seek advice on your potential comments and where best to post them – a draft copy would be useful. We may want to open a new thread to take the dialogue.

    In some cases we may not accept to publish at all rather than accommodate. In the interests of better archiving (we’re currently running 2037 threads, not all of them useful)…. or as mood dictates.

    Facebook (hate!) or Twitter could be the better medium for you.

  55. Hype O'Thermia

    How does one get in touch with the moderators?
    I find the threads have titles that do not reflect the content, esp not after they have been going for a while, also I haven’t found a list of past threads, only the current ones with current comments. That’s OK when one is commenting on the same things but if one has some new angle linked to a previous topic it’s terribly hard to find the right place to post it.

    • Best way to contact the moderators is to post a comment asking the moderators to email you back for discussion – for privacy reasons we don’t post our email addresses here, or if you’re on Twitter you can contact @whatifdunedin to get us. Obviously we don’t seek a lot of mail since this is a voluntary project and we have paid work to take care of at all hours…

      Search engine at the website pulls up most themes, then you hunt through search results to find an appropriate thread… (the moderators have a stunning search engine at the dashboard that can pull up pretty much anything ever posted by anyone, but that’s no help to site visitors) – to tell the truth we’ve been operating since March 2007 and in this time contributors have worked within the given limits of the WordPress template with very few problems. It’s good to work within constraints, makes you more inventive!?

      Not sure what’s happened for your login Hype – sounds terrible. Nothing showing here to explain the difficulty. Wondering if it’s connected to your own WordPress site and the settings there – wonder if it fixes by selecting What if? as a blog you follow, at your account settings. That’s a mere guess and may be completely useless.

  56. ### ch9.co.nz April 3, 2013 – 8:41pm
    Art of democracy again on display
    The art of democracy was on display at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery this afternoon, as the city’s politicians exhibited their consultation skills. It may not have attracted a big crowd, but the last of four public meetings to discuss the draft annual plan did take in some well worn city issues.

    • What does this say?
      Are we sick of propaganda and project half-stories, and the +$600m council debt ?

      ### ODT Online Thu, 4 Apr 2013
      Public meeting on plan attracts 10
      By Vaughan Elder
      The Dunedin City Council held its last public meeting over its draft annual plan yesterday, with less than a week remaining for people to make submissions on the plan. About 10 members of the public, plus Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, councillors and council staff, attended yesterday’s meeting, held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

      Council policy analyst Jane Nevill, who organised the events, said the two road shows were ”not particularly well attended”. […] Mr Cull said the meetings were an important part of engaging with the public.

      The meeting was the last of four events aimed at giving the public the opportunity to discuss the draft plan with councillors and council staff. The other meeting was held in Portobello, and ”road show” events were held at Pak’n Save in South Dunedin, and at the Green Island landfill.
      Read more

      ● People had until next Tuesday (9 April) to make submissions on the plan.

      • Wild ~!!! Cull loses his marbles, one more time….

        ### ch9.co.nz April 10, 2013 – 7:27pm
        Fewer submissions seen as increase in confidence
        The Dunedin City Council received less submissions to its Draft Annual Plan this year, than it has in the past ten years. However Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull thinks the drop is due to some positive things, including a confidence vote for the Council’s performance so far.

        DCC Media Release
        Submissions Have Closed on the Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 (09 Apr 2013)

        The Dunedin City Council has received 257 submissions on its Draft Annual Plan 2013/14.
        Read more

        • The council’s draft plan has drawn 262 submissions, significantly fewer than in recent years, and 108 submitters have indicated a desire to address councillors in person. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, speaking last month, said the lower number of submissions ”could be read as approval for the direction the council is going in”.

          ### ODT Online Mon, 6 May 2013
          Juggling of DCC budget starts today with hearing
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council will have to juggle tight budgets and pleas for extra spending – including calls for progress on an $18 million Mosgiel pool – when the latest budget meeting begins this week. Councillors will this morning begin hearing from the first of more than 250 submitters with views on the council’s 2013-14 draft annual plan, which sets out council spending for the coming financial year. Those plans included a proposed $400,000-a-year events attraction fund, to lure more big acts to Forsyth Barr Stadium, as well as a plan to accelerate stadium debt repayments and a host of other work. However, the document also sets out a tough stance on new or additional funding, including a moratorium on new community grants, as part of a push to cut costs and keep the forecast rates increase to 4%.
          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz May 6, 2013 – 7:20pm
          Fewer submitters than previous years on Draft Annual Plan
          It’s the first day of submissions to the Dunedin City Council’s draft annual plan, and it’s drawn less submitters this year than in the last few years. And one of those to put their case forward says it’s about time the Council spent money on one of the city’s hidden gems.

        • ### ch9.co.nz June 12, 2013 – 7:11pm
          Potential operating surplus for DCC
          The Dunedin City Council is heading to the next financial year with an operating surplus of more than $8 million. That figure puts the council in line with other New Zealand local authorities. Statistics New Zealand yesterday released figures showing local authorities nationally had a March quarter operating surplus of $90 million. The DCC’s draft annual plan shows a variance from last year of almost $12 million, leading to the surplus.
          Ch39 Link [no video available]

        • ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Jun 2013
          Councillors to consider 4% rates rise today
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council is set to sign off a 4% rates rise in a budget that paves the way for a new events attraction fund for Forsyth Barr Stadium. Councillors at today’s full council meeting will be asked to approve the 2013-14 annual plan, setting the council’s course for the financial year beginning on July 1.
          They would also sign off statements of intent for each of the council’s group of companies, including Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, which runs the stadium.

          The {attraction = SLUSH FUND -Eds} fund would be paid for initially from within the council’s economic development and Tourism Dunedin budgets, but could in future come from an increase in the council’s economic development and tourism targeted rate.

          Approving the budget would set the average rates increase at 4% for the 2013-14 year, and mark the end of months of work by council staff and a series of meetings, public hearings, spending decisions and cuts, that began in January.
          Read more


          As always, a good number of projects seem to find their ‘ratepayer finance’ outside the DCC annual plan process. Then, as usual, you get the twerps from COC trying to rule the city by stealth and the noble art of plunder!

          WHY does ODT continually run to freakshow Peter McIntyre for ‘leadership’ comments.
          The guy’s a loon.

          ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Jun 2013
          ‘Common-sense’ energy plan wanted
          By Dene Mackenzie
          The Dunedin City Council is being urged to take a common-sense approach as it starts this week on a consultation process for the city’s energy plan. Chamber of Commerce president Peter McIntyre was concerned that yet another round of consultation was to start, something that could drag on for several months. The first meeting would be held on Wednesday and hosted by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.
          ”I just hope there is some common sense and it’s not overrun with green ideologies that misrepresent the average ratepayer and the city to do business in. Consultation is fine but when consultation comes on top of consultation, you start head-scratching,” Mr McIntyre said. He believed the majority of business leaders and business owners wanted to see civic leaders making decisions that would benefit the city and ”just get on with it”.
          Read more

          Stated goals (via ODT)
          • Achieve cost savings and enhanced quality of life resulting from energy efficiency improvements.
          • Boost the city’s energy security and ability to adapt to future change.
          • Reduce Dunedin’s climate change impact.
          • Take advantage of economic opportunities in a changing energy context.
          • Assess energy infrastructure needs for Dunedin.


          Email received.
          Monday, 24 June 2013 4:07 p.m.

          Dunedin’s Energy Future – Invitation from Mayor Dave Cull

          DCC economic development unit

          You are invited to talk about Dunedin’s energy future

          Wednesday 26 June 2013
          Dunedin Public Art Gallery

          The Dunedin City Council has begun work to develop a strategic Energy Plan for the city. This meeting will be the first stage of the public process to develop an Energy Plan for the city, and it is anticipated that there will be other events over the next few months in advance of a draft Energy Plan going out to full public consultation later this year.

          For further information, please visit http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/energyplan and I encourage you to circulate this through your networks.

          Please RSVP to dcc at dcc.govt.nz

          I hope you are able to work with us on this exciting plan and I look forward to seeing you on 26 June.

          Yours faithfully
          Mayor Dave Cull

          Economic Development Unit,
          Dunedin City Council

          50 The Octagon, PO Box 5045, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand
          Telephone: 03 477 4000; Fax: 03 474 3789


        • ### ch9.co.nz June 24, 2013 – 6:36pm
          Rates increase confirmed
          Dunedin ratepayers are facing a rates increase finally confirmed at 4% for the next financial year. The city council met today to adopt its annual plan, after the last six months of discussion, submissions and debate. One focus of the process has been reducing the city’s multi-million debt burden. Cr Syd Brown noted at the meeting without the additional cost of paying debt more quickly, the rate increase would have been closer to just 2%.
          Ch39 Link [no video available]

  57. Hype O'Thermia

    All that time & hot air, NO change effected by reasoned argument, facts etc. Been there, back when I thought “participating” in the prescribed way was the way to make a difference. It’s not, it’s old-style occupational therapy and anyone who wants to check this assertion should try making a slightly lopsided cane basket at the same time the following week and see which, if any, makes the most difference.
    Up against that there’s a reality cooking show on TV. Guarantee it. There’s always a reality cooking show on TV :-(

  58. Mike

    perhaps they could have held them all outside of normal working hours – apparently some of us still have jobs to go to – the two they did hold at times real people could have attended were held at the tip on a Saturday and Portobello (probably because the mayor could get there).

  59. $18 million for a Mosgiel aquatic centre? You can knock that over with a feather. $400,000 pa event attraction fund for the stadium, now there’s a winner. Another $750,000 pa to DVML for debt reduction, now that’s excellent, on top of the $5.25m pa redirected from DCHL’s dividend to the city, now that’s a winner. $6.4m total and that doesn’t even get near covering the stadium’s costs. I wonder why the Mosgiel people don’t just secede and go their own way. That way they could save a poultice and probably fund their pool as well. Where is their community trust, and why don’t they just tell Mr everybody’s friend Dave Cull where to stick his ‘effin’ budget?

    • Calvin, the Mosgiel Taieri ward has Cr Syd Brown shoving money at the stadium; as he does so it’s he that hasn’t delivered on a new pool for Mosgiel, for how many years ? The Mosgiel Taieri Community Board needs to develop some independence from Syd’s control and see to biffing the creep out at the local body elections. When will they learn.

  60. Hype O'Thermia

    When will DCC quit the fraud and remove the letter R from the title to save printing costs, paper and the planet in accord with their sustainability objectives?

  61. Peter

    The Mosgiel Pool is another one of those nice to have facilities, but one we can’t afford for now. If the council is serious about reducing debt this is surely one new capital project that must not happen. Mosgiel people just have to accept there are consequences from the stadium, and other, debt and they will have to miss out.
    I’ll be interested to see if Kate Wilson goes for parish pump priming, and votes for the pool, or takes a wider view for the city as a whole with the need to reduce debt. Forgone conclusion about Syd Brown whom we can rely on to be irresponsible.

    • I regard that pool as essential in the population area – this is the sad erosion of community amenity that we’ve been variously submitting on (see opportunity costs) before and since the stadium plan change, through the related annual plans and LTCCP. The whole council isn’t blinking as it keeps pumping money into DVML.

  62. Hype O'Thermia

    Too damn right, Elizabeth. Not another bent cent for the stadium or any of its alias initial-clusters. The health and water-safety benefits of a pool are genuinely high for young and old, fit and disabled, rich and poor.

  63. Tomo

    The Mosgiel pool is not a goer. Don’t forget that it is election year, and this is just another election gimmick that certain people that stand for the ward and board like to give that ‘feel good’ to the locals, and vote for me. After the election it will go back into the bottom draw as always, and forgotten about for another three years. Mosgiel people need to wake up and change a few things if they really want to progress out there.

  64. Tomo; I’ve told you the answer. Secede! Get a movement going, stir the bejeezus out of your community board, tell the City you’ve had enough. Get up a people’s petition supporting secession and sell it. Shouldn’t be hard if you can point out the advantages. At least it will demonstrate the level of dissatisfaction.


    secede intr.v. se·ced·ed, se·ced·ing, se·cedes
    To withdraw formally from membership in an organisation, association, or alliance.

    [Latin scdere, to withdraw : s-, apart; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + cdere, to go; see ked- in Indo-European roots.]

  65. Anonymous

    The Mosgiel Pool is one of his pre-election carrots for those constituents who still get their news from the Otago Daily Times or don’t have self-serving agendas (refer the following list) that depend on him being in a position of influence. At the last election the pool was ‘one of the items on the top of his agenda for the coming term’ (D Scene, 21 August 2010). But it was still behind the agendas for stadiums, professional rugby, horse racing, pokies, big oil, the parking debacle, selling assets, sub-divisions, pipe enlargements, …

  66. Peter

    Has there ever been any local contribution to fund raise for a pool? Even Lawrence (400 plus people) in the Clutha District Council area has had to stump up a large contribution, with local fundraising, towards a new pool with the council paying the rest. Why not Mosgiel?

  67. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter, because they are part of Dunedin, they are rated as Dunedin, they pay for Dunedin’s facilities but they have a bloody long way to go to use them. I see no reason why Mosgiel people should, more than Waverley or Tainui, be expected to fundraise for facilities. Professional rugby didn’t.
    If Mosgiel people are feeling a tad more aggrieved even than the rest of us I see their point of view.

    • Hype, Peter – To me it makes perfect sense to have a new pool amenity at Mosgiel to meet current and future need in the southern area, given the state of the existing facilities (past their use-by date) and the population growth underway. I have no doubt that the community will fundraise for their pool; normally (pre-stadium etc), that would be based on meeting a percentage of the capital spend (see Waikouaiti Events Centre, Blueskin Library, et al).
      Not sure the specifications for the Lawrence Pool or indeed what the specifications should really be for Mosgiel (I could read the DCC report…) – are we comparing apples with apples community-wise. Probably not. [Then too Moana Pool is hardly up to spec given the current and future user requirements.] That bloody stadium has wrecked everything for very nearly everybody! Except the crooks.

  68. Peter

    Hype. Tough. They want a pool. They contribute.Like the rugby people should have contributed to the stadium. As the saying goes, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.

  69. Hype O'Thermia

    Dozens of small school pools that were also used by the community have been closed because of OTT health’n’safety requirements. From memory, from someone who lives near it, the Ocean Grove one didn’t come up to earthquake standards. And then there are the requirements to have water tested SO often, and so much supervision by trained people, that the old system of adults having a roster, of responsible locals having a key on the basis that when they leave everyone leaves is no longer possible, not without outside (big or little G government assistance). Parallel to this come the cries about drownings and the importance of kids learning to swim. Swim where? The Clutha River, if you live near enough? Lake Waihola? The sea?

    • ODT’s coverage of annual plan submissions from yesterday (not all stories are available online) pointed up the stupidity of submitters expecting presents from this council. None more stupid than the cycling lobby. None more preposterous than the Gasworks museum trust – embarrassing, unprofessional and fully unrealistic sums demanded; with no hint of whether their trustees have a rigorous fundraising drive in process and a comprehensive business plan that goes beyond the open days held each week… Their submission does a complete disservice to every hardworking heritage entity in the city – the fact that the council owns the museum property is no excuse for their lame duck broken wing act!

        • Contradiction in bold italics, below. Liability Cull refuses to deal with the council’s HUGE consolidated debt problem.

          ### ODT Online Sat, 11 May 2013
          No spending spree: Cull
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council is unlikely to go on a last-minute spending spree, despite extra savings of more than $600,000 being confirmed just days before councillors debate the upcoming budget, Mayor Dave Cull says. A staff report to be considered by councillors at next week’s 2013-14 draft annual plan deliberations has identified $674,000 in extra savings available for the 2013-14 year. If unspent, the savings could cut the 4% rates rise proposed for the coming year to 3.4%. Mr Cull told the Otago Daily Times that option would be considered next week, but so, too, would a further acceleration of debt repayments. A third option might be to use the money instead of planned borrowings for capital projects in the coming year, to avoid the associated debt-servicing costs.”What we won’t be doing is rushing out and looking for places to spend any savings we may have found,” he said.
          Read more

        • Hmm, 4% rates rise proposed, and… (my emphasis, below)

          ### ODT Online Sat, 11 May 2013
          Mayor loses out in new local body pay system
          By Debbie Porteous
          Dunedin city councillors will be pocketing nearly $5000 extra pay after this year’s elections, but the mayor will be taking a pay cut, following the changes to the way local body politicians are paid. The Remuneration Authority, which sets the pay for city, regional and district councils, published the new salaries recently, following a review of the system under which elected members on local bodies are paid. Under the new structure, the authority sets base salaries for council and community board members, and each council then gets a pool from which it pays councillors for extra responsibilities, such as chairing a standing committee. At present, the authority sets a remuneration pool and each council decides how the pool is distributed among councillors.

          ● Under the changes, Dunedin city councillors are winners, with their base salaries increasing $4756, or 10.7%, to $49,000.
          ● With additional duties, such as chairing committees, councillors can earn up to a maximum of $73,500.
          ● Councillors living in rural areas are also in for a small financial boost, with the hourly rate for travel time jumping from $15 to $35, and per kilometre reimbursements increasing 6c a km up to 77c a km for up to 5000km, and 36c a km above that.
          ● However, the Dunedin mayor’s salary will drop from $144,600 to $142,000.
          Councillor base salaries and mayoral salaries will be based on the relative size and complexity of the council’s business activities, or the ”size index” for the council.

          In its report, the authority said it was conscious that a lack of reasonable remuneration might be an impediment to some standing for election, but also that there was a view that elected members received significant rises at the expense of services and rate increases, which also undermined democracy.
          Read more

        • They had to fix it but it still rings like one of Syd’s pre-election bribes.

          ### ODT Online Sun, 12 May 2013
          $1m spending on Mosgiel drains and sewerage
          By Rosie Manins
          More than $1 million is being spent to alleviate sewerage and flooding problems in Mosgiel. The Dunedin City Council allocated about $1.1 million for the replacement and relining of old wastewater pipes and water mains, as well as between $30,000 and $40,000 to install additional stormwater pipes. The flood protection work comprised about 40m of piping under Lanark St to divert excess water from Gordon Rd during heavy rain. Floods on the main street late last year which caused thousands of dollars of damage prompted the work. Flooding was blamed on the limited capacity of the town’s stormwater system, as well as beautification work along Gordon Rd which blocked escape routes for flood water. All the new piping had been installed and the final sealing was expected to be finished this week.
          Read more

        • More from the annual plan hearings.



          ### ODT Online Sun, 12 May 2013
          Library toilets ‘totally appalling’
          By Dan Hutchinson
          Poor toilet facilities and a lack of wheelchair access at the Dunedin City Library have been criticised by the Dunedin Public Libraries Association at the Dunedin City Council’s annual plan hearings. […] Library Services manager Bernie Hawke said the toilets were regularly cleaned but had not been upgraded since the library opened in 1980.
          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz May 13, 2013 – 6:35pm
          Annual plan deliberations have begun
          Submissions are done, the public has spoken, and now is the time for the DCC to make its decisions. The city’s annual plan deliberations began this morning at the Municipal Chambers amid recent news staff had found a further $600,000 of savings. But the talk at the table was anything but how to spend it.

          The pic Ch39 provides as enticement shows some moron patting Cull’s shoulder, who is it and why ???

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 14 May 2013
          Cuts will not affect service, staff say
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin City Council staff are confident service levels will not suffer, despite trimming more than half a million dollars a year from the transportation operations budget. The annual saving was the result of a rejig of council roading contracts, including general, cycleway, footpath maintenance and street cleaning work, due to take effect on July 1. The rejig resulted in an annual saving for the council of $507,600, and Mayor Dave Cull said it represented a saving on the council’s existing level of service. However, several other councillors questioned whether the reduced spend would mean a drop in service levels – something the council has strived to avoid despite its efficiency drive.
          Read more


          Further Annual Plan items (ODT 14.5.13):

          [South Dunedin] http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/256791/plans-library-may-be-hastened

        • The game of housie – Annual Plan items (ODT 15.5.13):

          ### ODT Online Wed, 15 May 2013
          $1m savings ‘windfall’ to be allocated
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin city councillors will today have to decide how best to use nearly $1 million ”windfall” in savings that could trim the coming year’s rates increase to 3.2%. Councillors were presented with the latest information towards the end of the second day of 2013-14 draft annual plan deliberations yesterday. Council financial planner Carolyn Howard said earlier savings of $674,000 had increased to $992,000 by late yesterday, after further budget savings were identified. The extra savings came from a reduction in elected member remuneration budgets, a revision in the timing of some water infrastructure spending – which lowered debt servicing costs next year – and savings within city property. Together, the savings meant councillors could opt for a rates increase of 3.2% – well below its targeted increase of no more than 4% – if the money went unspent, councillors were told.
          Read more

          Oh yeah. A windfall of circa $1M against the council’s consolidated debt of (latest figure??) $700M?? Watch councillors SPEND this (JOKE) manipulated good-news-massage windfall.



          [artist thought he had COSY $win, through lack of competitive tender system]

          Lastly, today, so much appears in the printed and digital editions of ODT that does not appear at Online. Like Mosgiel Pool not getting a line in the AP this year. And the Portobello Road/Harington Point road widening proposal doesn’t appear following the public meeting held on Monday night although it gets an inked column. Slack ODT, or is it playing political games !?

        • Hey Gals and Guys … DCC “savings”, as announced are at least a start! The message is slowly sinking in that “Tomorrow’s” … Council spending patterns (unfortunately less so for their accumulated “we are sunk”- settled Debt!) … will not be the same as “Yesterday’s”.

          There are still many, (most) NZ Councils who have not heard of (are ignoring!) the change to the LG Act S.14, “Purposes” clause where the 4 well beings have been supplanted by cost-effectiveness/necessary community infrastructure first … (no more Stadia, Pools?).

          Keep pushing (electing) people who will treat ratepayers’ money as if it were their own.

          BTW, Timaru’s engineering wizz, Ross Waugh is delivering a keynote speech at the INGENIUM conference (Dunedin June 13 to 15th) where he will point out the need for Council LTP’s of necessity will reflect a much more parsimonious Council funding availability scenario. Hooray! Again … another penny drops!

          Larry Ph 09 4220598

        • ### ODT Online Wed, 18 Sep 2013
          Mosgiel pool wins favour
          By Debbie Porteous
          A working party reviewing Dunedin’s swimming pool needs is to recommend to the Dunedin City Council it build a new pool in Mosgiel rather than improving Moana Pool. The working party was re-established in January after council staff estimated the estimated cost of a new swimming complex at Mosgiel had risen to $18 million, since a report by the working party last year suggested it would be $11.5 million. It also followed multiple submissions on the 2013-14 draft annual plan pleading with the council to finally make a decision on new swimming facilities in Dunedin, most calling for a new pool in Mosgiel.
          Cr Bill Acklin called for faster progress on plans either way and the working party was reconvened to consider all the information that had been gathered, and report back to the council this month. That report has been completed, and will be circulated to councillors later this week as part of the agenda for next week’s council meeting, the last of this triennium.
          Working party chairman Cr Colin Weatherall confirmed the working party had concentrated on two options: expanding Moana Pool, or building a new recreation/leisure centre, including pool, at Mosgiel to serve the city’s entire southern catchment.
          Read more

        • A new Mosgiel pool within five years ???

          ### ODT Online Fri, 20 Sep 2013
          New Mosgiel pool preferred option
          By Debbie Porteous
          A decision about whether to proceed with a longed-for new pool in Mosgiel will be made on Monday. A working party considering Dunedin’s future swimming needs has recommended the council consider providing a new $8.95 million pool facility in Mosgiel before expanding Moana Pool in the central city.
          Read more


          ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Sep 2013
          Ball rolling slowly on Mosgiel pool
          By Debbie Porteous
          Dunedin city councillors will consider putting aside money in next year’s council budget to pursue further investigation of a new pool in Mosgiel. But they have warned they cannot commit to a timeline, there is no actual money for it and the community will have to prove its commitment to the project.
          Read more

          Cr Lee Vandervis was unapologetically against the idea. ”This is the thin end of the very, very fat wedge. We’re talking about an $8.9 million pool, without operating costs. Where is this money supposed to come from? We’ve dug a $650 million debt hole already. We have no headroom for spending.” After a point of order from Cr Brown, he corrected that to $623 million debt. –ODT

        • ### dunedintv.co.nz September 24, 2013 – 6:58pm
          New pool for Mosgiel
          A new pool for Mosgiel got support at the DCC yesterday, though residents may want to hold off before diving in.

        • Cr Weatherall is loyal to his southern constituency. Great, admire that hugely. Then there is Cr Weatherall’s ridiculous and unfathomable backing of the ORFU and the new stadium – that compromises his earnestness, severely, and his ability to serve the southern area with any credibility that is Not a pure conflict of interest. Yes, Mosgiel area needs a new pool facility, of course it does – No, it can’t be funded by DCC, not even through partnership. STOP SPENDING RATEPAYER DOLLARS, COLIN, AND MATES. DCC IS NOT A BANK. [Colin, nice to see you the other day, if you’re reading this, hello. Please sort yourself out, for all our sakes.]

          ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Sep 2013
          Councillor’s pleas heard
          By Debbie Porteous
          Two pleas on behalf of Dunedin’s southern communities saw retiring councillor Colin Weatherall make two wins for his area on Monday. During his introduction of the recommendations of the aquatic facilities working party, which he chaired, he also issued a call to arms to the Mosgiel community. The council then voted to consider as part of its next annual plan process putting money into the plan to investigate further a new pool at Mosgiel, despite other councillors’ concerns about cost. Cr Weatherall said it would at least provide an opportunity for the southern catchment to start consulting in their community about what they preferred, and progressing a partnership relationship with council.
          Read more


          ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Sep 2013
          Trust formation good first step
          By Debbie Porteous
          The next step towards getting a new pool in Mosgiel will be setting up a group to raise funds from the communities of southern Dunedin. The Dunedin City Council agreed this week to consider during the next annual plan process setting aside some seed funding for further investigation of a proposal for a new $8.95 million pool at Mosgiel. The move was recommended by an aquatic facilities working party set up to look into the provision of swimming in Dunedin. Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather said he was ”certainly not disappointed” with the outcome of this week’s meeting and had not had any higher expectations from the way the working party’s recommendations were worded.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Oct 2013
          Land gift offer for pool
          By Vaughan Elder
          A Mosgiel man has offered to donate a piece of land for a new pool as a way of giving something back to the community. The offer of a paddock in Puddle Alley to use for a new pool follows the Dunedin City Council saying it would consider budgeting next year to further investigate building a pool. The council challenged the town’s residents to commit to the project.
          Murray Nash (79) said he offered the land as a way of giving back to the community he had lived in for 25 years. The offer relied on his convincing neighbours noise from the pool would not be an issue, he said.
          Read more

        • DCC has prioritised a new pool for Mosgiel before it upgrades Moana Pool.
          Here we go… If the council agrees to fund further investigations, the community board will have to set up “a trust” to run the fundraising project. Call St Farry of St Clair to brainstorm.

          ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Nov 2013
          Pool consultation likely in new year
          By Debbie Porteous
          The Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board hopes to start consulting the community about a new pool in the new year, possibly with a survey to gauge the level of interest in the project.
          Read more

  70. Mike

    I’m just still flabbergasted at Acklin giving good driving advice to anyone …

  71. Hype O'Thermia

    I wouldn’t have been surprised to see it had been silently removed, but no, odtonline left the exclamation mark on my comment “Sense from Acklin!”

  72. Hype O'Thermia

    I support the cycling lobby getting funds currently sloshed around by tourism encouragement or marketing or whatever they call it, if those funds were directed to facilities for cycle touring not commuting. Why? Because who’s most likely to post online photos of what is interesting to someone cycling for the experience? Not NZ bimbos with diplomas in tourism and marketing. Who’s going to look at the photos and read the blogs and facebook entries? Other people who share the interests of the people who put it up online. This is one “service” that can with advantage to us be “outsourced” and what’s more, the people who do it do it in their own time, on their own bandwidth, from a variety of backgrounds and interests.

    • Hype, except that the total likely spend on road widening around the Peninsula (promoted for tourism…) is exceptionally expensive with little return and a hideously large degree of harbour reclamation proposed, which goes against best practice in (retaining and enhancing) marine ecology and ecosystems; and best practice in local government processes for good and fair public consultation… THE BULLDOZER treatment by our politicking friends, Greater Deception.

      See via daseditor, Follow the Yellow Brick Road and related comments at

  73. Hype O'Thermia

    I don’t support every cycle track, everywhere. The Peninsula one is not a good idea for the reasons you give. But is there another way to cycle on the Peninsula? Is there a way private operators and some investment from council could work together on this? What about van one way, cycle back on the high road, as a for-instance? Bike hire depots, permitting them whether they fit the district plan or not……

    • Good ideas! Perhaps daseditor may care to comment.
      It’s also about preserving what is unique about small bay communities, their scale, distance and aesthetic charm (cultural heritage landscapes) – increasingly rare around New Zealand’s coastlines.

  74. Mike

    Hype: but they did decline to print my question as to whether he was the right guy to be questioning other people’s driving (and the link to a previous ODT article …..)

  75. Hype O'Thermia

    Yeah sure but you know, as Dave says we have to move on… leave embarrassing stuff behind us.
    So we don’t learn anything, OK, there may be something in that, but it’s not very NICE, is it!

    • Heck, rumour is Cr Brown, Chair of the Finance, Strategy and Development Committee, is in Western Australia with his racehorse – instead of being at the DCC annual plan hearings.

      I haven’t been near the hearings, anybody seen Syd ?

  76. Hype O'Thermia

    The word “unlikely” reminds me of “only enough to make it work” – re stadium – PRE-election. Am I reassured that they won’t be “rushing out and looking for places to spend any savings we may have found”? No, I have total faith that they already have dozens of nincompoopical unnecessaries lined up on the budget-smudge-it list.

  77. Tomo

    Hi Elizabeth. I see Syd’s horse only run fourth over in Aussie. Still a good excuse to get away from that boring Annual Plan duties i suppose. Do they still get paid if they ain’t there?

    • Tomo, oh dearie me the hoss blew it… Syd would’ve had to apply for leave of absence, therefore no pay for the hearings. He better get his arse straight back here to explain the rates scenario about to befall on our shrinking kingdom, before it’s sold to the water barons.

  78. Hype O'Thermia

    I’m sure there used to be a disabled toilet. Not one on every floor, perhaps?

  79. Anonymous

    Fourth place for Stadium Councillor Syd Brown in the Taieri Ward election would be a winning result for the wider community instead of just himself for a change. Let’s hope the punters bet their futures on a different sort of animal.

  80. Hype O'Thermia

    MP Loses Then Finds The Plot.
    Then goes home and kicks the dog?

  81. Peter

    Do you think it is the mullet that finally did Aaron Gilmore in? Such a sleazy look. Talking about mullets……….

  82. Mike

    next up National’s first lesbian maori MP. …

  83. Tomo

    Hi Elizabeth. Interesting that you say Syd would have to apply for leave of absence to be away from the Annual Plan hearings. I suppose that’s what they call in the horse racing industry a late scratching.

    • Tomo, Syd’s not doing too well explaining Wall Street, sometimes a little offshore nag racing is a temporary protection from Hilary Calvert and Ian Pillans, who will not give up on exposing Syd and council’s blatant lies.

  84. Hype O'Thermia

    “Keep pushing (electing) people who will treat ratepayers’ money as if it were their own.” There’s a snag – what about electing people whose own money-management skills take them into bankruptcy? There is far too much media tact surrounding pre-election profiles of candidates.

  85. Hooray! another penny drops! Huh? Not in this town. Just watch how quickly that (fictitious) $1 million of savings disappears. It will be spent …somewhere…anywhere…it will be spent. Wait and see.

    • Dumber and dumber. The controversy is all around DCC, that’s the point.

      ### ch9.co.nz May 15, 2013 – 7:15pm
      Annual plan deliberations fail to raise the usual controversy
      Dunedin ratepayers are facing a 4% rate increase this year, following the end of a three day grind to balance the city’s books. Mayor Dave Cull says the forecast increase was met as promised after annual plan deliberations that failed to raise the usual controversy. Even a decision to cut fluoride levels could not raise much more than polite concern.

      • Oh dear, the councillors weren’t fully asleep. Cosy deal shot apart, for Mr Stuart Griffith…

        ### ODT Online Mon, 20 May 2013
        Discussion today on sculpture
        By Debbie Porteous
        A decision will be made today on whether to call for proposals from other Dunedin artists for a commemorative sculpture to mark the Dunedin Botanic Garden’s 150th anniversary.
        What the Friends of the Dunedin Botanic Garden may have thought was a simple request for the Dunedin City Council to release bequest funds for a project to extend the Lister Garden, including the installation of a commemorative sculpture, became complicated last week when councillors took a look at it during draft annual plan deliberations.
        The report said the friends had already commissioned a sculpture for the new garden from Dunedin artist Stuart Griffith, whom they had worked with before and who had already designed several other pieces in the garden.
        He proposed a stainless steel sculpture, representing a well or water head, a traditional meeting place, which was felt to be appropriate, because the sculpture would be located in one of the most popular areas of the garden, in front of the cafe, near the duck pond. It would be inscribed with a commemorative message and would have a budget of $60,000, including design, manufacture, installation and landscaping.
        Read more

        15.5.13 Councillor apologises over sculptor
        14.5.13 Botanic Garden sculpture provokes outrage

        Proposed Griffith sculpture, Botanic GardensProposed sculpture, Dunedin Botanic Garden. Image: DCC

        Formally, a trace dowdy – looks like easy money! Find out more here:

        Report – Council – 13/05/2013 (PDF, 187.6 KB)
        Clive Lister Fund

        • ### ch9.co.nz May 20, 2013 – 12:02pm
          DCC expected to ratify partnership agreements soon
          The DCC is expected to ratify partnership agreements with two major city organisations next week.

        • ### ch9.co.nz May 20, 2013 – 6:39pm
          Councillors take on job of making streets safer for cyclists
          Dunedin city councillors took on the difficult job of making city streets safer for cyclists this afternoon. A full council meeting was considering a recommendation merely to note work staff had done to deal with a spate of injuries and deaths. But with feelings running high, debate took a different direction

          ### ch9.co.nz May 20, 2013 – 6:48pm
          Nightly interview: Charlotte Flaherty
          The rise of cycle and walking paths in Dunedin followed a concerted effort by a public keen to have them built. But the rising demand for the paths has led to a clash of use between cyclists and walkers. That has led to a campaign to highlight the need for courtesy on the paths, led by the DCC’s safe and sustainable travel co-ordinator. Charlotte Flaherty joins us tonight.

        • Question: When is a proposed sculpture not fine ?
          Answer: “After Mayor Dave Cull used his casting vote to reject the recommendation moved by Cr Acklin…”

          ### ODT Online Tue, 21 May 2013
          More sculpture ideas sought
          By Debbie Porteous
          Proposals will be sought from local Dunedin artists for a sculpture to celebrate the Dunedin Botanic Garden’s 150th birthday. The sculpture will be part of the Lister Garden, which will be extended using bequest funds released by Dunedin City Councillors yesterday.

          ”I think the sculpture suggested [by Mr Griffiths] is fine … but we want the best we can get and we only get it when we have a choice and if his is the best, it will be chosen,” Mr Cull said.

          A concept for the sculpture had already been commissioned from Dunedin artist Stuart Griffiths by the Friends of the Dunedin Botanic Garden, which wanted to mark the anniversary. As they could not raise the funds in time to pay for it, and after discussion with garden management, it was decided management would ask councillors to release bequest funds. Councillors became concerned about the process of choosing the artwork and sought more information.
          Read more

  86. Hype O'Thermia

    What does he expect? The voice of the citizens (excluding the steak-holders and their toxic ilk) had been so comprehensively disrespected, so arrogantly treated with ignore, we’re returning the compliment. And counting the days till the election.

      • ### ODT Online Thu, 16 May 2013
        Council settles on 4% rates rise
        By Chris Morris
        The Dunedin City Council has settled on a 4% rates rise after opting to invest more than $1 million in projects expected to generate millions more in savings over time. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull told the Otago Daily Times the decision would see the council trim millions from its debt servicing and other costs in the coming years, as well as easing pressure on rates. ”I think it’s very significant … it will certainly have a significant impact on our requirement to rate,” he said. However, the decision came only after a last-minute question yesterday over whether councillors should instead consider reinstating the budgets of other major projects trimmed in the council’s cost-saving drive.

        Most councillors at yesterday’s meeting spoke in support of the targeted spending, while Mr Cull said the projects would deliver extra value on top of savings.

        The call came from Cr Bill Acklin as councillors at yesterday’s 2013-14 draft annual plan meeting were presented with final savings identified by council staff totalling $1.41 million.
        Read more


        Related stories at ODT Online:
        [Te Rauone Beach] http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/257129/late-bid-more-money-rejected
        [Gasworks] http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/257128/help-gas-works-no-brainer


        Council granted funding to. –
        • St Kilda community library
        • Film Otago Southland
        • Otago Theatre Trust
        • Southern Sinfonia
        • Basketball Otago
        • Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group

        Groups missing out included. –
        • Otago Art Society
        • Dunedin Youth Orchestra
        • Danz Aotearoa

        • How many manager salaries is DCC able to slash ? And what about Tony Avery’s salary ?

          ### ODT Online Fri, 24 May 2013
          DCC living wage concerns
          By Rebecca Fox
          Introducing a ”living wage” for all Dunedin City Council’s low-paid employees could cost the council at least $34,000. The council has been asked to support the Kiwi Living Wage Campaign, which is calling for low-paid workers to be paid a minimum of $18.40 an hour to enable them to fully participate in society. The minimum wage is $13.74.
          The Hamilton City Council this week became the first city in New Zealand to adopt a living-wage policy and other councils around the country were considering it.
          Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders said the council was ”sympathetic” to the principle of a living wage but its implications had to be considered. It had 69 staff (21 full-time equivalents), mostly in the library and aquatic areas, who were paid below the living-wage level, he said. […] Extending the living-wage policy to its contractors could have implications on rates, as well as the viability of those businesses, he said.
          Read more


          Meanwhile, Cull electioneers with potentially staggering millions of dollars, to be wasted on the very few cyclists in Dunedin.

          ”Cycling initiatives are popping up in almost every part of our city. There’s a huge groundswell in the community of interest in cycling in all its forms.” -Liability Cull

          ### ODT Online Fri, 24 May 2013
          City to lead country in cycle safety
          By Rosie Manins
          Dunedin is set to lead the country in cycle safety. Projects worth more than $47 million will form a cycle network unlike any other within urban New Zealand, those at a forum in Dunedin heard last night.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Sat, 25 May 2013
          Libraries changes likely
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council could shed more jobs as part of a shake-up of the city’s library services, it has been confirmed. Council library services manager Bernie Hawke said he was consulting staff over the results of an external review, which recommended changes within the organisation.

          The news comes as the council’s overall staff count continues to sink, most recently with the announcement earlier this month 30 jobs within the council’s water and waste services unit will be transferred to a contractor.

          The report’s recommendations could lead to job losses in some areas, but also new opportunities in other areas, and no ”significant” impact on service levels was expected, he said.
          Read more

  87. Hype O'Thermia

    Didn’t you just know that having come up with 4%, even if they’d found a buried 44gallon drum of gold nuggets they wouldn’t use it to pay down debt, they’d still “deliver” the “excellent, we’ve truly bust a gut to achieve this, without our amazing efforts it would have been MUCH higher than most of you saps got in wage increases” 4% rates rise.
    And just think what a lot of shiny things you could indulge in with a drum of gold.

  88. Mike

    That extra 0.8% being spent on the library means 0.8% spent every year forever – next year they’ll be able to spend it without claiming they’re raising rates.

  89. BillyBob

    Isn’t that sort of how inflation works? Shall I call a whambulance?

  90. Mike

    No, if the DCC produced a neutral budget it would average at around the inflation rate; some years being a little more, others a little less. It’s been above the rate of inflation, compunding every year for over a decade while our take home pay hasn’t.

    Suppose inflation was 2% per year, a rate increase of 12% is a real increase of 10%. If we have a real increase of 10% the next year too, we end up paying 21% above inflation. Even if we have 0% real increases forever after that we continue to pay 21% over inflation forever.
    The problem is that the council quotes its rates increases against last year’s rates rather than an inflation adjusted baseline.

  91. Phil

    Jumping back up to the Library Toilets, They are cleaned every evening. The cleaners come in just after 8pm, and leave around 11:30pm. 7 days a week. I wouldn’t be taking too much notice of anything that Merle van de Klundert says. She has a bit of a track record for making baseless accusations against various council departments. I think she rather enjoys the limelight. A few years ago she tried to influence a planning decision which potentially affected her by claiming that she had inside information about one of the department planners supposedly involved in the process and threatened to go to the ODT if City Planning didn’t side with her. The problem with that was the planner in question wasn’t involved with the application and had actually left DCC several months prior. Naturally she was laughed out of the place. I don’t think that Merle is quite the full packet.

    • Library toilet facilities are generally clean and cleaned, yes. Looking tired, yes – and tightly scaled. Not all floors have toilets with mobility access. The hand dryers are old and underpowered. I don’t see any need for an immediate upgrade.

  92. Phil

    The recent comment from Rhonda Abercrombie of City Property about the underfloor display at Wall Street Mall is a joke. Provision to display the wooden walkway was always to be part of the project. It became part of the revised Consent once they were unearthed. They were always to be cleaned, displayed, and preserved. Dave McKenzie offered up that very proposal himself as City Property Manager at the time. That was why they were allowed to continue. To turn around now and say that there is no money is just ridiculous. The work and cost is no surprise to anyone involved. It was always a requirement and DCC should be sticking to their guns in making them complete the project. So typical to avoid carrying out items of work as suits, just to claim that the project was “under budget”. The CP upgrade of the Port Chalmers Town Hall was also “under budget”, yet more than $1 million has since been spent in repairing items deleted from the upgrade project. Same people involved both times.

    • In the small print of today’s ODT (page 16) it says:

      Causeway may be gift
      A historic manuka causeway, being preserved at mounting cost to the Dunedin City Council, could be donated to the [deleted] Otago Settlers Museum.
      Cr Colin Weatherall raised the prospect at yesterday’s draft annual plan meeting, saying donating it to the museum “may help, or overcome, a significant cost” faced by the council.
      Councillors were warned earlier this week of concerns about the potential cost of displaying the remains of the structure – dating back to the 1850s – under a glass floor inside the Wall Street mall, near where it was found. Council chief executive Paul Orders would investigate the donation.

      • Informational:

        New Zealand Historic Places Trust / Pouhere Taonga

        Archaeology is all about the discovery, recovery and interpretation of the surviving evidence of past human activity in its context in or above the ground.

        Archaeological sites are distinguished from other heritage sites due to the fact that they tend to be the relics and ruins of our past. They may be on land, in water, or in the coastal marine area.

        The Historic Places Act 1993 defines an archaeological site as a place associated with pre-1900 human activity, where there may be evidence relating to the history of New Zealand. A place associated with post-1900 human activity may be gazetted as an archaeological site under the Act.

        Archaeological Authorities
        The Historic Places Act 1993 makes it unlawful for any person to destroy, damage or modify the whole or any part of an archaeological site without the prior authority of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. This is the case regardless of whether the land on which the site is located is designated, or the activity is permitted under the District or Regional Plan or a resource or building consent has been granted, the Act also provides for substantial penalties for unauthorised destruction, damage or modification.

        An archaeological site is defined in the Historic Places Act 1993 as any place associated with pre-1900 human activity, including shipwrecks, where there is evidence relating to the history of New Zealand that can be investigated using archaeological methods.

        If you wish to do any work that may affect an archaeological site you must obtain an authority from the NZHPT before you begin. This work could include, amongst other things:

        ● earthworks for forestry tracks, planting and harvesting
        ● earthworks for residential developments, including building platforms, topsoil stripping and accessways
        ● earthworks for stock races or farm tracks, fencing or landscaping
        ● trenching for telephone, power, and waste disposal
        ● road construction
        ● quarrying
        ● building demolition or removal.

        Obtaining an Archaeological Authority from the NZHPT
        If there is chance you may damage a site, you must apply to the Historic Places Trust for permission to do so. The NZHPT can advise you of the most suitable course of action. If you uncover a previously unknown site during earthworks, you may also need permission to continue. You must stop any work that would affect the site and contact the NZHPT for advice on how to proceed.

        Any person wishing to carry out an investigation that might disturb an archaeological site in any way must also apply to the NZHPT for permission to do so.

        For further information on investigating archaeological sites please contact NZHPT [Otago Southland 03 477 9871] or e-mail archaeologist@historic.org.nz

        Complying with an Archaeological Authority
        Archaeological sites are an irreplaceable part of our heritage and although our history is short, it is rich, varied and unique, and belongs to all New Zealanders. What we discover from archaeological sites helps us to better understand our past and to learn from it. By complying with your authority conditions, you help add to our knowledge and help us preserve our heritage for the future.

        The NZHPT takes compliance seriously, and the Historic Places Act has strong provisions for non-compliance. The NZHPT wants to see the best outcome for the archaeological sites and to help ensure your project runs smoothly.

      • A seeming tangle of views between City Property manager Robert Clark and (cough) assistant property manager Rhonda Abercrombie? (why is she in the picture at all for council news)

        ### ODT Online Tue, 21 May 2013
        Causeway bill could reach $340,000
        By Chris Morris
        The Dunedin City Council faces a $340,000 bill to preserve the remnants of a historic manuka causeway unearthed during construction of the Wall Street mall.
        Councillors had authorised spending up to $310,000 in 2008 to pay for the preservation and display of the causeway, money which to date had come from city property budgets.
        Those involved in the project insist it remains money well spent for what was described as a find of national significance when discovered in 2008.
        Read more

        • More hot air from DCC who seem determined to bypass the legal requirement of the resource consent and that of the archaeological authority, if they had their way. They will not get their way. DCC has been prosecuted twice and found guilty in its handling of archaeological matters at Wall Street. The convictions were entered against then council chief executive Jim Harlend’s name.

          A climate controlled display at Wall Street, in effect, is not what is required – only ventilation is required. Note the councillor politics in action here.

          Once again, ODT FAILS to set out the legal framework and responsibilities DCC must work in accordance with.

          ### ODT Online Tue, 28 May 2013
          Museum helping with causeway
          By John Gibb
          A planned new report may shed further light on the best ways of protecting the remnants of a historic manuka causeway unearthed during construction of Dunedin’s Wall Street retail mall. Ideas involving possible displays at the mall are likely to be included in the report, which is being developed in association with Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.

          Museum board member and city councillor John Bezett recently highlighted the issues, including the substantial mall display costs, at a recent settlers museum board meeting.

          Concern has recently been voiced that the Dunedin City Council could face a $340,000 bill for preserving the manuka remnants. Those involved in the project say it is money well spent and the find, in 2008, was of national significance. About $200,000 is being spent on specialist measures to protect the saturated manuka wood.
          Read more

        • Poor Rhonda, never wastes an opportunity to pass on false information!

          ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Aug 2013
          Causeway display advance
          By John Gibb
          The Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is close to awarding the contract to construct its planned ”Ghosts of Wall Street” exhibition, focusing on a historic timber causeway uncovered on the site of the Wall Street mall. Organisers at the Dunedin City Council-owned museum expect the installation to be completed by late September or early October. Museum director Linda Wigley told a museum board meeting yesterday the museum display would be immersive and involve a ”time tunnel”-like concept. Toitu visitor experience manager Jennifer Evans said later design work for the new displays had been completed by Workshop e, a Wellington-based museum exhibition design and development firm that was involved in the museum’s recent $37.5 million redevelopment. Associated audiovisual material had also been completed, and there would be four audiovisual displays, three inside the exhibition area and another nearby. The exhibition would be created off-site and reassembled at the museum to minimise disruption, she said.

          In May, it was estimated the cost to the council of preserving the remnants of the causeway was $153,000 and could total $200,000.

          City councillors are yet to decide whether to proceed with an earlier plan to display some of the causeway’s remains under a glass floor inside the mall. City Property, Otago Settlers Museum and New Zealand Historic Places Trust were discussing causeway display options at the mall.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Sat, 28 Dec 2013
          Exhibition brings past to life
          By John Gibb
          Dunedin’s “incredible” transformation from mud-spattered frontier town into the first of New Zealand’s “great cities” is highlighted in a recently-opened “Ghosts of Wall Street” exhibition. Toitu Otago Settlers Museum acting director Jennifer Evans said the exhibition – which opened last Saturday – invited visitors to walk down a dark-walled “time-tunnel”. A wide array of archaeological exhibits are displayed in brightly-lit cases set into its walls.
          Read more

  93. “So typical to avoid carrying out items of work as suits, just to claim that the project was “under budget”
    *cough* That new cycleway, now dubbed the ‘grand prix’ circuit *cough*

  94. That ‘manuka causeway’ right from when it was first uncovered has unfolded like a ‘Monty Python’ sketch. Incredibly humourous but for the weak casting. I find the whole nonsense embarrassing, quite apart from the expense.

  95. Peter

    Inclined to agree, Calvin. A bunch of rotten, wet sticks….. and we call it heritage.A kind of antipodean equivalent to Stonehenge, it is not.

  96. Hype O'Thermia

    I think the causeway is important. Who today would guess that such a “road” had to be built over soggy ground? That in itself tells a story about how Dunedin became what it is now, that and the pictures and maps of the old shoreline that point out Jetty Street, for instance, is not a randomly chosen street name. The silliness, in my opinion, came in when bright sparks decided to show the causeway, once it was carefully removed, dried out and treated to prevent it from crumbling to dust when exposed to the atmosphere, in a non-museum display case. There are good reasons why art galleries and museums are expensive to build. If it were not for the need to provide safe light, moisture and temperature levels a big implement shed lined with gib-board would work just fine, and architecturally its authentic NZ style & materials would be a plus!

  97. Hype; are “you avin’ me on?” Next you will be claiming the historic significance of the contents of a “long drop” should one be uncovered during a building exercise. Get real!

  98. Robert Hamlin

    They are indeed Elizabeth. I was in York two years ago and there, brightly lit in a climate controlled velvet lined glass case and in a place of honour was a perfectly preserved viking turd. Such perfectly formed and defined examples are a rarity apparently as they tend to go soggy and drop to bits when more of the same is deposited upon them.

    I have often wondered what the nameless viking concerned would have thought if he had known that the results of his five minutes peace and quiet spent reading ‘Horny Rape and Pillage Weekly’ would be put on display a thousand years later and ogled at by tens of thousands of unimaginably (to him) rich and pampered people who had flown thousands of miles to do so.

  99. Rob, did it have any dents?

  100. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s not a well and it’s not interesting, that’s 2 nots for “a budget of $60,000, including design, manufacture, installation and landscaping”. $30,000 each. Good value?

  101. Hype O'Thermia

    ‘Council city property manager Robert Clark said the spending to date reflected the structure’s ”significance”.
    ”I think it’s very hard to put a monetary value on that and say `is something worth it or not?’.” ‘
    It’s something most of us have to do fairly often. For the poorest it’s food vs warmth vs picking up a prescription vs getting a wof for the car without which the minimum-wage worker cannot get child to childcare and self to work. For others it’s a bigger budget but few of us don’t have to prioritise, and delete some items that are “worth it” but our money isn’t elastic. Not many can decide “it’s worth it, and what’s more we don’t have to give up anything, we just have to requisition more money.” It must feel like being Richard Branson or Lady Gaga; or Michael Jackson except not currently brahn-bread: want = must have.

    • Below, posted to ODT Online before reading Hype’s comment.

      Why not some community fundraising to make up the shortfall and see the project at Wall Street through to completion (some of us like archaeology, University of Otago’s renowned Department of Anthropology & Archaeology has a proud tradition of teaching and research, and so on) – it’s not like there is complete disinterest. Council communication on the project could be MUCH better.

      Archaeology + Dunedin march of history
      Submitted by ej kerr on Tue, 21/05/2013 – 1:08pm.

      Absolutely no historical significance says Trev. He/she might like to read the archaeological report which contains the requisite significance statements.

      Archaeology isn’t for clowns. The Council has a legal process to follow in maintaining and displaying the fragments from this archaeological record of Dunedin’s settlement by the earliest European settlers.

      To remove all trace of the causeway timbers from the point of their discovery would be a backward step . . .

      When we think of the climate-control requirements for on-site display, the fact of the ‘design office’ and its specialisations upstairs at Wall Street is vaguely ironic.

  102. Hype O'Thermia

    Seeing ANYTHING DCC-related that would cost “at least $34,000” qualifies as a Good News story, on a par with “DCC vehicles will now be bought 2nd hand with 2 yrs guarantee in a newly negotiated agreement. They will not be available for private use unless the person is specifically listed as on-call.”
    We’re supposed to panic at the thought that fairness to the lowest paid should join extravagance to others (who are invariably under less stringent scrutiny as to their efficacy, sense, and loyalty to ratepayers above “steakholders”).

  103. Has there ever been an accurate survey of just how many cyclists there are in Dunedin? By this I mean those that cycle daily. Those that cycle to school, university and work. Casual cyclists really should stick to paths and walkways. It would be an interesting exercise to then be able to quantify the cost factors per cyclist. I suspect that they are consuming an inordinate amount of council time, staff, resources and rate payers’ treasure. It seems that it is way past time to get some real facts on this contentious matter.

  104. Peter

    I’ve wondered the same thing, Calvin. Not that I object to funding cycleways, per se, but the cost must guarantee positive spin offs for others beyond the serious, cycle fraternity. The same principle applied to the rugby fraternity who got what they wanted…. and we paid for it.
    A key question for me is: Will more people cycle instead of using their cars if they are built? (Maybe that cannot be answered as yet.)

  105. Whippet

    Calvin. It is election year. Unlike Christmas it only comes around once every three years. A time for them to buy votes with our/ your money.

  106. Whoa!…Hold up a minute. I’ve just read the ODT report of the “cycle safety forum”. In other words, stalwarts of “The Flat Earth Society”. Mayor Dave Cull welcomed the almost 100 people present (at the Otago Settlers Museum, I knew that they would find a use for that place) and explained why cycle infrastructure deserved significant investment. “Cycling initiatives are popping up in almost every part of our city. There’s a huge groundswell in the community of interest in cycling in all its forms.” Expenditure of more than “$47 million” is envisaged to facilitate this upsurge. Strangely there is little mention of where this money is to come from.

    “If it was safe and comfortable enough, up to 75% of the population would use the network,” claimed Traffic engineer Axel Wilke.

    Hey!…back up a minute. Where are these people coming from? Let’s take a look at the 2006 census (latest one available) and we find the following: Total population 118,683. Under 40 (most likely to cycle) 46,679. Over 40 (least likely to cycle) 44,465. Under 40, excluding those under 10 (unlikely to cycle freely) 35,009. We could probably exclude most of the student population on the basis that they by and large live in and around campus. This would leave around 15,000 on a good day. Sound about right?
    Now which group does Mr Wilkes take 75% of?

    Let’s now consider the city’s geography. Dunedin is probably the hilliest city in New Zealand after Wellington. Can anyone honestly see hordes of people sweating their way up Stuart St at the end of the workday, to cycle down to Nairn St and then up Taieri Rd? Can anyone see hordes riding or pushing their cycles up to the top of Corstorphine St Clair heights? Can anyone see hordes of anxious ‘health nuts’ toiling up to Opoho, Pine Hill. Maori Hill Roslyn and Mornington? I would wager that if Dave Cull stood all day on the Highgate overbridge with a pencil and clipboard to register every cyclist he saw coming up or down Stuart St, he would not liberate a single graphite atom.

    Dave, this is just another example of “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds”. As a “$47 million” dollar project it makes no sense at all, unless you can convince the largest section of the population to park their ‘zimmer frames’ and “get on yer bike” it is nothing more than ‘pandering’ to the lowest common denominator, something that you seem very good at.

    Why don’t you turn your attention to fostering a budget idea to construct institutions for the intellectually challenged? There seems to be a real need for that.

    • Calvin, may I suggest you post that on Cull’s Facebook page, as well as send a personal copy to him, ODT editor, and CEO Paul Orders. Pronto, as quick as your hypothetical bike can carry you.

  107. Hype O'Thermia

    Calvin, you misinterpreted this statement: “If it was safe and comfortable enough, up to 75% of the population would use the network,” claimed Traffic engineer Axel Wilke.
    UP TO.
    There’s a long way from buggerall to 75%, so the man is clearly correct. If it turned out to be 80% however he’d be looking silly eh.

  108. Calvin, I can’t speak for the maximum potential number of cyclists in Dunedin, but a few of your basic assumptions are clearly wrong. Given that I pass or am passed by 3-4 other bikes every day biking up one of these hills you mention (not counting the cyclists I see on the flat before I get to the hill), and that I see you driving in your car at least once a month, I am tempted to conclude that you don’t see cyclists. However, as I do also drive a car from time to time, it seems that the higher speed (and therefore far less time spent going up the hill) means that the probability of seeing a cyclist is lower while driving.
    As for age, there are at four over 50s on my block who cycle home (120+m vertical climb) on a regular basis (two of them have electrically assisted bikes, the other two do it the old fashioned way).
    I can’t imagine that Stuart St is a popular choice for those cycling to Halfway Bush, but there will clearly be more than one person going up or down every day. One of my old workmates who lived in Maori Hill biked down as you might expect, but usually rode home via Malvern St and Burma Rd.

  109. Peter

    Calvin. On yer bike, mate!

  110. James, I do see cyclists, just not many relative to the population as a whole. I notice most of them in my patch are either heading for, or coming from, North East Valley. I see very few striving up or coasting down from Pine Hill. I see very few, if any up and around Pine Hill. I have little doubt but there will be the odd few masochists who flog themselves up into the higher suburbs, but 75% ? I don’t think so. It seems to me that the only real enthusiasts are those who are just that. I take from your statement James that as you drive a car from time to time it suggests you are one of the enthusiasts. Good luck to you, but might I suggest that some of your basic assumptions are equally wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against cycling or cyclists, just that 75%? and $47 million!? That is one hell of a lot of claims even though two or three per annum can expect to exit this world by bicycle.

  111. I would not consider myself an enthusiast; I just decided that owning a motorbike was too expensive, and that owning a second car was likewise too expensive. I just bike to and from work. As I may have noted here in the past, biking up Dunedin’s hills is actually surprisingly easy after you get past the mind barrier. I had never biked to or from our house in the first 6 years we lived there, but I decided to try it one day, and it was far easier than expected. I’m not surprised that people don’t bike to Pine Hill. None of the choices of street seem even vaguely safe.
    The $47m figure seems to include $36m for the Portobello adventure, whose merits I think deserve to be debated separately. Actually, the numbers don’t seem to add up. If you sub out the two harbourside trails, there is only $2m left.

  112. My earlier point was really that the slower you travel, the more cyclists that you will see. I’m actually amazed at the number I see biking up big hills every day. But as I said, it seems like the hills are too big until you try it.

  113. I am a keen a cyclist as anyone but I would be surprised if cycling was ever more than a very minor part of transportation in Dunedin. Age, health, or having children or goods to transport can count people out. Hills have been mentioned but the big one is weather. You need to be intrepid to cycle in Winter, and I’ve found out the hard way not to try on icy mornings.
    A cycling issue which is coming under the radar is the plan to close Roberts Street because cyclists are not giving right-of-way at cycleway crossing, as they are legally required to do. Roberts Street is the main access to the significant industrial area South of Customhouse Quay.

  114. James, “it seems like the hills are too big until you try it.” Right. For you. But what about the elderly, the infirm, the obese (swags of them), the disinterested? Together they would constitute a very big proportion of the population. As I say, a large portion of the $47 million is the Peninsula road alterations. Still a very, very large subsidy for a very few. Hugely unfair in view of the financial position this city is in. As a matter of interest, I would be interested in where you live, what hill you conquer, how far from your workplace, and do your children (if any) cycle unaccompanied to and from school? If you just choose to cherry pick for angles it is not a reflection of the true picture.

    • Received.

      “You may care to look at this document, especially in light of the $28 million that is to be spent by the DCC of a nearly $90 million project on Portobello Road. Note the very low ranking of the Peninsula roads in terms of safety, which has regularly been touted as the principle reason for the programme on the Peninsula in a raft of public meetings by Councillors and staff. I especially love the idea that the main rationale for the expenditure despite scoring so lowly on the ranking structure is “we’ve already started’, incredible logic.

      Something is not right here when you look at the clear priorities shown in the report, especially when you’re more likely to get killed getting to the Peninsula from the city when riding your bike.”

      Read and weep
      Council Cycle Safety 2012

  115. Peter

    Whatever happened to, as an alternative, the funding of better public transport in order to help get more cars off the road? ie Smaller, more energy efficient buses to run, greater time table frequency, increased/diversified bus routes etc. Given that financial resources are limited, wouldn’t this be equally if not more desirable? $47m would go a long way.

  116. Anonymous

    NEV is fine, could be better if the minor mess at Gardens through to one way got fixed (i.e. cycleway through Botanic)
    Andersons Bay is fine
    South D is mostly fine
    Green Island would be fine if tunnel was open
    Kaikorai Valley/Roslyn/Mornington/Pine Hill are useless

  117. Calvin, I usually take a 3.8km route to work (~9min) and a slightly longer but gentler route home (4.2km, ~20min). It’s about 130m vertical, and for a good part of it I’d be barely exceeding walking pace going up the hill. There are two large cycle racks outside my work, and there are usually bikes locked to adjacent trees because the racks are full (25-30 in total? and guessing, but maybe 100-150 staff in the building). I agree with Alistair that the weather is the bigger issue than the hills; though the number of sufficiently inclement days is not massive (though I accept that I have biked twice and walked once this week, having caught the bus on Tuesday and Thursday).

    I’m mostly writing because there is a strong cycle lobby here, but perhaps not so much of a voice for people who just bike to get from A to B.
    This is why I think considering the Peninsula route separately makes sense. It will mostly capture recreational and tourist cyclists. The extension to Port Chalmers might attract a greater proportion of commuters. Perhaps. Together these two routes make up the lion’s share of the money being spent. So I think it would be useful to see the less fanciful in town routes costed and debated separately.

  118. The only thing missing, which is very unusual, is the “economic benefit to the city”. Doesn’t everything have an “economic benefit ?” Even Malcolm knew that when he flogged the stadium idea. The cruise ship industry has enormous “economic benefits” which are regularly touted. Just ask Mr Saxton. Yet, here we are, the council waxing enthusiastically about spending $47 million and more for a “strategic cycle network”, which is known to kill around three people per year without an “economic benefit study”. It’s just not good enough. Very Sloppy indeed.

  119. James, thank you for that. Question; do you have much jostling for a share of the lanes with all the other biped commuters? I guess you will be quite fit, and that’s excellent. But do you have to declare the activity to obtain life insurance or do you not consider it a risk factor, being a family man and all that? To me, it is an activity akin to motor racing and sky-diving, a selfish activity from a family point of view. But then I am just a grumpy old fashioned man who thinks unnecessary risks whilst having duty obligations is not what one should do.

  120. Calvin – There’s certainly a bit of overtaking going on in the one way cycle lanes in the evening; which usually involves waiting for a gap in the traffic from a red light.
    And cycling is hardly dangerous. It certainly isn’t fishing, horse-riding, mountaineering, playing rugby, using a chainsaw, climbing a ladder, or one of the actually dangerous things. I’m pretty sure that my undertaking some gardening and cleaning the spouting and a bit of other home maintenance recently was more risky than my cycling to date this year. And for what it is worth, I was asked whether I ever planned to skydive again, but was asked no questions about my commuting choice for the purposes of life insurance, so apparently actuaries are not too worried about it.

  121. Anonymous

    Wuhu. Dave will want to spend that.

  122. Peter

    The total contribution by DCC for the stadium in the year will be pushed up to $9.125m. But Darren Burden says DVML is projected to make a $10,000 “profit”! I guess 10 is bigger than 9. Forget about how many zeros on each figure. That appears to be the logic.

  123. What about the contribution from DCHL? $5.25m to DVL (not DVML note) for debt reduction. $7.292m subvention payment from Auroa. In my calculations that makes a total of ($21.667m).
    DVML’s accounts Y/E 30/6/12 showed a loss of ($3.214m). DVL’s accounts same year shows a loss of ($4.312m) plus interest rate swap hedges at risk losses during that period of ($8.579m).
    A real loss of ($7.526m) for the year plus the at risk ($8.579m). And Mr Burden tells us that he will be in profit soon. In HIS DREAMS!!! There are many ‘burdens’ in that building besides Darren.

  124. Peter

    Calvin, do you think the ODT will have a headline like “$21.667m combined loss attributed to the stadium”?
    Or do you think it more likely they have a headline like: “Stadium projected to have a $10,000 profit”?

  125. Hype O'Thermia

    Who is he, this Peter McIntyre, other than Chamber of Commerce president? Is he good at something?

    {Senior Investment Advisor at Craigs Investment Partners. -Eds}

    [note all suits, no women advisors listed]


    • {Relocated from another thread. -Eds}

      Submitted on 2013/06/25 at 2:27 pm
      Though it is amusing how the ODT worships any words that fall from Peter MacIntyre’s lips, I am getting tired of forever seeing his mug and his words dictated to us via this rag. He is one of the big incompetents who is in thrall to ‘Business genises’ who have sunk the city into massive debt.


      Submitted on 2013/06/25 at 2:28 pm
      To clarify I am refering to this article in the Odity about COC representative Peter MacIntyre http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/262162/common-sense-energy-plan-wanted#comment-45183

      • Further to amanda’s comment, this is rather good from Brian_D at ODT Online

        If Mr McIntyre isn’t able to adequately represent Otago businesses on matters where collaboration is essential for future certainty, rather than parading his own prejudices, he should vacate his role as president of the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber needs to be talking with others, not attacking them. After all, the people of Dunedin own, work for and purchase from Dunedin’s businesses; the Chamber of Commerce should be considering that loyalty and offering some back.

        Read the whole comment here.

  126. amanda

    Yes. An excellent letter from Brian_D. I think most COC individuals are decent business people, but it appears that the COC have been taken over by individuals whose only goal is to represent the Eion Edgar view of the world. And these nincompoops have proven themselves fiscally incompetent. Time for you to go, MacIntyre, methinks.

  127. Jeez! you could be mistaken for thinking it was the “Ghosts of Wall St New York” the way they go on about a few rotten manuka sticks. Still, I suppose it gives their tiny minds something to get excited about.

  128. ### ODT Online Sun, 6 Apr 2014
    Project on hold, pending funds
    By Debbie Porteous
    Plans to build a breakwater to protect the beach at Te Rauone are on hold until the community raises the funds it needs to contribute to the project. It was hoped the breakwater groyne off the beach at Te Rauone on Otago Peninsula would address long-standing erosion issues on private property and Dunedin City Council reserve land.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sun, 27 Jul 2014
      Fundraising for breakwater
      By Jonathan Chilton-Towle – The Star
      Te Rauone residents are banding together to raise $70,000 towards building a breakwater they hope will save their beach. Te Rauone beach has been eroding rapidly, with residents estimating that over the past 60 years or so, about 150m had been lost from the worst-affected spot. Residents, the Dunedin City Council and Port Otago have been discussing building a breakwater to protect the beach since 2011 but nothing has been done so far.
      Read more

  129. Anonymous

    Build a barrage and a ship canal across the heads. Put a road across it and turbines inside it.
    Solves sea level rise, transportation and clean energy in one go.

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