DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 for consultation #RIOTmaterial

Email received from Lee Vandervis this evening.

My overview regarding the Annual Plan that has gone out for consultation today is that little has changed.

Rates rises continue to be disguised, first by getting DCHL to borrow up to $23 million on our account, continuing to take more than policy allows from the Waipori Fund [proposed relaxing Waipori rules to justify], continued significant underspending on drains, and now buying $3 million in paid-up share capital of DVML – yet another multi-million dollar gift to bail out overspent Stadium operations.

The official result – the long heralded 4% rates rise.

I believe the real rates rise to be somewhere between 25% and 30%, as the DCC continues to amass all kinds of liabilities and debt that will have to be paid for in the future. CEO Paul Orders has made real gains finding significant DCC staff efficiencies, but most are simply going to bail out Stadium operational inefficiencies.

Stadium annual drains on the ratepayer now include:
● $1,666,000 rates subsidy via a ‘Stadium Differential’ [LTP 2013/14 – 2021/22 p8]
● $750,000 annual ‘Stadium Community Access’ fund
● $725,000 ‘Stadium Capital Repayment’ fund for each of the next 4 years
● Annual $400,000 ‘Stadium Event Attraction’ fund.

The Dunedin City Council is now going to buy the events that the Stadium was supposed to attract by itself. These further Stadium subsidies will only prolong the currently unaffordable wasteful Stadium operations, and entrench the directorships, fat contracts, and rugby cronyism that plague current Stadium costs.

If anyone can think of any other type of ‘fund’ that might possibly go to the Stadium please don’t tell the DCC or we will shortly be paying that annually too.

From an email I sent to senior staff and the Mayor last Monday:
“I have been uncomfortable with the timing and presentation advantages enjoyed by DVML in being perfectly positioned to come into our workshop and present and pluck us for millions yet again, but I accept that their issues needed to be addressed.”

Many Annual Plan issues have not been addressed but they have been bought into.

The predetermined Plan has just happened again.

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

96 responses to “DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 for consultation #RIOTmaterial

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ch9.co.nz January 28, 2013 – 5:45pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium may get more money
    The company running Forsyth Barr Stadium may get $1 million more a year from the DCC. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd went to the council annual plan meetings, calling for a $400,000 fund to attract events. The council also voted to pay more than $3 million of stadium debt over the next four years.

  2. Anonymous

    Well, we just got diddled. Again. Dave Cull is not working in the best interests of the city. DVML will turn a profit for the first time because we give them cash funded by debt? And that’s a “boost”? That’s a f*king deception. They’re a pack of scheming, lying, corrupt bastards. And just to be buggered a little bit more by a third party, amazing how the ODT came up with all that spin so damn quickly.


    • Elizabeth

      All items at ODT Online today for DCC Draft Annual Plan / Long Term Plan consideration:

      $2.1m boost for stadium
      By Chris Morris
      The company running the Forsyth Barr Stadium is in line for a multimillion-dollar cash injection from the Dunedin City Council – including a new events fund – that seems set to drive the next rates increase up to 4%. Councillors yesterday backed the plan to spend more than $1.7 million extra each year reducing stadium-related debt, subject to public consultation in the coming months. That would drive rates up to the self-imposed 4% limit, but would also slash at least $25 million from interest payments over the life of the loans.

      Call for new stadium events fund backed
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin city councillors support a new $400,000 annual fighting fund to lure more major concerts, and the millions of dollars of extra spending that comes with them, to Dunedin. Council chief executive Paul Orders said money for the new events fund could, for 2013-14, come from the council’s economic development and Tourism Dunedin budgets, meaning no additional pressure on rates.

      Caledonian facilities will be studied
      By Debbie Porteous
      The implications and costs of providing new or upgraded gymnastic facilities for Dunedin are to be investigated by Dunedin City Council staff before councillors start considering their 2014-15 budget. There were differences of opinion among councillors as they discussed at the pre-draft annual plan hearing yesterday what to do about the ageing Caledonian Gymnasium in Andersons Bay Rd. The building is a war memorial. The investigation will also look at the future of the adjoining Caledonian Bowling Club.

      Property expertise to be sought
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council wants to recruit a panel of experts from around New Zealand as part of a push to increase returns from its $95 million investment property portfolio. The move was signalled at yesterday’s council 2013-14 pre-draft annual plan meeting and would lead to a report detailing the change being prepared within months. Council governance manager Sandy Graham, in a report to yesterday’s meeting, said the investment portfolio was governed by a subcommittee of four councillors, which had the power to approve sale, purchase and developments of up to $5 million. It was expected the move to an independent subcommittee and the recruitment of additional property expertise could increase returns to the council.

      Restructuring of marketing into single agency recommended
      By Debbie Porteous
      The Dunedin City Council is to consult ratepayers on restructuring the city’s tourism marketing, city marketing and i-Site functions into a single city marketing agency, nominally called Destination Dunedin. The reshaped Tourism Dunedin would not initially include events marketing or business development. City councillors at yesterday’s pre-draft annual plan hearing considered the proposed restructure, as outlined in a report from the council’s general manager of city strategy and development, Dr Sue Bidrose.

      Peninsula residents in plea for breakwater
      By Debbie Porteous
      The Dunedin City Council will invest up to $50,000 in a breakwater at Te Rauone if its own assessment of the project stacks up. And it would consider taking ownership of the groyne only once it understood what it could potentially be liable for in the future. It could also require the private property owners who would benefit from the erosion protection the groyne should offer, to pay for its ongoing maintenance, possibly through a targeted rate.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    DVML will turn a profit? Let’s look at its performance for year ending 30/6/12. Revenue $6.093m. Total Expenditure (before rent) $6.395m. Deficit ($302,000) Rental of stadium ($3.667m) plus subvention receipt $782,000. Total comprehensive loss ($3.214m) Plus brought forward a loss of ($2.264m) for a total consolidated loss of ($5.476m). Now that was the position as at 30/6/12.
    I see no reason to expect that revenue this year will greatly exceed last year’s, so assuming it is the same, and in fact assume the full result will be the same or thereabouts, then the injection of $2.1m as headlined in today’s ODT would produce a result of negative ($1.114m).
    So the next question is: Who the hell does Dave Cull think he is ‘kidding’? Apart from, of course, the dopey councillors around the table supporting him. When Cr Lee Vandervis requested to speak he was shut down by Mayor Cull on a technicality.
    DEMOCRACY! Yeah right!

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    God(s) forbid Vandervis could be permitted to utter the truth about this bullshit.

  5. Mike

    Since we were talking about conflicts of interest I see that both Crs Thomson and Wilson admitted in the ODT today that they make money from stadium events …. I guess they wont be voting on the events fund.

    • Elizabeth

      My phone was running hot this morning on the pecuniary interest story in ODT. I wrote a comment to ODT Online, doubt if they’ll publish.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Conflicts of…. won’t be voting……… hahahahahahahahah! You going for the Billy T comedy award huh?

  7. Robert Hamlin

    Mike’s point is a good one. If they have a demonstrable personal pecuniary interest in the outcomes of a proposed investment by the community, then they shouldn’t vote on it.

    Direct admission of significant personal pecuniary gain as a direct outcome of past community investments of an identical nature seems to be as demonstrable as it gets.

  8. Mike

    “A member of a local authority or of a committee thereof shall not vote on or take part in the discussion of any matter before the governing body of that local authority or before that committee in which he has, directly or indirectly, any pecuniary interest, other than an interest in common with the public.” – section 6 of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act.

    In fact it would appear that they have already “taken part in the discussion” and are already in breach of the act.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    I didn’t last time because I knew there were too many True Believers for whom the pro-stadium spin was Gospel. He’d have failed to get anywhere, and he’d have been voted out decisively at the first opportunity. The stadium had to be given the opportunity to fail, fail and fail again, even though this was predictable and unnecessarily expensive, but that’s democracy for you. Now there can be few people who can be bothered getting off their bums to vote, who are not aware of what the stadium costs mean for us directly, in our own pockets. Let’s start straight away making as many people as possible aware of what Vandervis stands for, and the many many times he has pointed out the truth and been silenced by council, ignored by McPravda. Vandervis has done his level best to stop Dunedin plunging down the crapper. Respect!

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth, 2 comments so far mentioning that point, yours included.

  11. Where is the Stadium Report?

    • Elizabeth

      No idea, Alistair. Tried to find it in the jumble – presume it hasn’t been uploaded by DCC. Events? Venues? DVML? Hidden?

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Is anyone keeping an eye on who is writing the anti-rort comments in online ODT? There seem to be more of them, and more from people who have not previously written on that topic.

    • Elizabeth

      Been watching that too, Hype. When people get home from work could be more to burst. Also waiting for letters to the editor in the tree edition. DCC is looking pretty stupid right now.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Try looking under “Catering and Associated Activities and Real Estate Near Logan Park Report” – hidden enough?

  14. It wasn’t long ago that a similar thing happened when Council Financial Reports were presented: the Stadium Reports were sneaked in at the last minute and not available publicly. Hopes for an improvement in Council behaviour under Paul Orders are disappearing.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s no accident Mr Burden was tardy with the paperwork being released, and his friends at DCC let him have special grace to speak ahead of anyone else to the councillors in their workshop. If the friends include Paul Orders, we have a very real problem.

  15. amanda

    Not so amazing how the ODT came up with the spin; very important people have their reputations invested in the stadium ‘appearing’ to be a success. Think of all the Important people who have put their names to the stadium, including Julian Smith who owns the ODT. If the stadium is seen to be the fiscal joke it is then this will have spin-offs on all their reputations and then they cannot puff out their chests and be the Fiscal geniuses they all think they are. Who? Think Farry, think Skeggs, think Eion Edgar, all the men that the ODT has soft eyes and loving sighs for. Not to mention Hudson’s seven nincompoops all on council: the grand high poobah himself Hudson, Noone, Brown, Collins, Acklin, Weatherall and Bezett are all very much invested in supporting each other and having a strong cabal; if one of them goes down they all do. Compare their tight unit to Greater Dunedin’s ‘individuals’: MacTavish, Cull, Staynes, Wilson [and Thomson]. Why bother backing each other up? No particular advantage to them to make enemies of the largest cabal around council, Hudson’s Boys, so why bother?

  16. amanda

    Acquisitions is Cr Thomson’s outfit? and the Kissing Gate cafe in Middlemarch is Wilson’s cafe? Yes, there is a case for conflict of interest for them voting on the fund I think.

  17. amanda

    How do you bring Thomson and Wilson to account for breaching the act?

  18. amanda

    I left out the fifth member of Greater Dunedin’s individuals, Cr Thomson, this cabal are just a group who do not back each other up so they are all politically vulnerable against the real power on council, Hudson and co.

  19. Mike

    Acklin has already made money by performing at the Stadium, he could be reasonably expected to make money in the future as a result of the ‘events fund’ – obviously he has a potential conflict of interest.

    Next question, of course – which councillors have received tickets for events at the stadium at reduced prices or for free?

  20. Rob Hamlin

    Does anybody have the same inputting issues that I do with this website? – Namely the sign-in details overlaying the input screen and the input screen jiggering around violently every time you type in a letter – It does no good to your typing accuracy. If so, does anybody have a solution to this?

    {No sign of the problem here, or on WordPress for Android… if you restart your computer is it still happening? -Eds}

    Dave Cull claims in this Channel 9 interview that an extra $750,000 borrowed by the DCC and given to DVML each year for four years and $1,000,000 given to DVL for the same purposes each year indefinitely (maybe perhaps if the Waipori Fund’s income and capital reserves can be squeezed enough) will shorten the stadium debt lifetime from 40 to 18 years and save ‘the community’ over $100,000,000.

    Even if the revenue loss that occurs by having the Waipori Fund bled beyond its permitted limits and given to DVL, and the interest expense that will result from the (skint) DCC borrowing money on the derivative based debt markets to put against DVML debt is not taken into account, I simply cannot square these publicly figures with any known form of mathematics – Can anyone else?

    {Syntax problem with your last line ‘…I simply cannot square these publicly figures with any…’ -Eds}

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s easy, they (DVL, DVML) cannot be profitable while they have all this debt. So the DCC borrows money to gradually pay off their debt, as Dave says, it would have had to be paid off anyway but this is quicker.
    DCC then squeezes ratepayers till the pips squeak to pay back the loans + interest.

    See – it’s that simple. Smoke + mirrors = prudent stewardship DCC style.

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    Something else funny in that interview. I haven’t seen Dave in person for over a year, can’t get Channel 9 either. In that time he appears to have acquired a totally new “sincerity” facial expression that bears no relation to pre-mayoral Dave being sincere.

    • Elizabeth

      ### DScene 30 Jan 2013
      Editorial: Stadium fund necessary but losses grating
      By Mike Houlahan
      So, what would you do with a $400,000 ‘‘stadium events attraction fund’’ then? I’m sure there have been some very colourful suggestions already from the gallery. No doubt many people will argue stuffing even more money into the ravenous maw that is the Forsyth Barr Stadium is throwing good money after bad. That is as may be, but there it sits, large as life and twice as ugly, perched on Anzac Ave waiting for the Dunedin City Council to feed it. Or more specifically, Dunedin ratepayers to feed it. No amount of ‘‘good news’’ stories about visiting septuagenarian rockers can disguise the fact that the stadium is a major drain on the public purse. The demands entailed in paying for it have committed the DCC to decades of obligation. Can $400,000 generate a lifeline of major events that will keep the stadium turnstiles ticking over and the ratepayer in slightly less hock than they are now? Probably not.
      {continues} #bookmark

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

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    “Feed me!” – a brief reminiscence of popular culture:
    Remember “Little Shop of Horrors” where the mild-mannered florist found a strange plant and called it after Audrey the shop assistant, Audrey2? It fed on blood, his blood. Greedier and greedier it grew. In the end he fed to it the fresh corpse of a sociopathic dentist….

  24. Elizabeth

    An amazing amount of blither from Darren Burden (to be expected, performs like a snake) and Liability Cull is, well, a growing liability as we all know.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Jan 2013
    Planned stadium funding $9.1m
    By Chris Morris
    The cost of Forsyth Barr Stadium for Dunedin’s ratepayers will rise to more than $9.1 million a year if extra spending signalled by city councillors this week is confirmed. Despite that, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden said yesterday there was no guarantee more money would not be needed in future – although he hoped that would not be the case. Mr Burden told the Times extra support signalled by councillors this week would allow DVML to turn losses into small profits while the events fund helped attract more big acts to the city. However, he could not rule out a further call for council cash, saying there were ”always going to be risks”, as well as opportunities, associated with budget forecasts”.
    Read more

    The bill (via ODT)

    Already in place:

    • $5.25 million a year – reduced dividend from Dunedin City Holdings Ltd to Dunedin City Council (goes to Dunedin Venues Ltd instead to pay debt costs)
    • $1 million a year – DCC to DVL to accelerate stadium debt repayments (agreed 2012); reduces loan repayment period from 40 to 23.5 years; saves $94 million in interest.
    • $750,000 a year – DCC to Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, in return for service level agreement providing more community use.

    Yesterday (subject to consultation):

    • $1 million a year from DCC to DVL to further accelerate stadium debt repayments, from 23.5 years to 18.5 years; saves $25 million in interest.
    • $725,000 a year from DCC to DVML to pay off debt in four years.
    • $400,000 events attraction fund (from existing council budgets in 2013-14).

    Total: $9,125,000

    But that figure is not all, folks – wait for further disclosures and public comment.

  25. Anonymous

    Okay Chris, now inform your readers who those councillors are. They want to signal their interest in further funding for the stadium then make them accountable for that position. It is your role of your job and the paper you work for. It is an election year after all. Otherwise this is just another Burden on ratepayers.

  26. Anonymous

    The “Waipori Fund” is a bit mysterious to many people. It is understated in the media because it is recognised as having a usefulness to certain council interests outside of its intended purpose. It too has been abused, along with many other ‘assets’ in this council. Has anyone got a summary on what it is, how it returns income and, if possible, more information on how it is being pulled into stadium black hole?

  27. Rob Hamlin

    Here’s another little gem from McPravda this week:

    “Mr Burden said a ”pretty thorough” review by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd had concluded DVML’s revenues were at optimum levels and expenses tightly controlled. Link

    So, apparently DCHL think that bleeding cash all over the place and handing out this venue for free to all comers is ‘optimum’.

    Can’t really hope for any significant improvement over the lifetime of this building then.

    Best make sure that it’s lifetime is as short as possible……Biff

    {Link added. -Eds}

  28. Calvin Oaten

    Hypo: You comment with wonder on Cull’s appearance on Channel 9. It’s jus ‘sunburn’. Fits with his cosying up to the Maori. Hence it’s ‘Toitu’ to you too.

  29. Russell Garbutt

    Cr Jinty MacTavish is one of very very few on this Council that does the most important thing as a Councillor. Their homework. In my assessment she listens intelligently, researches, reads all the papers and then makes common-sense calls. I wish we had a heap of clones of her that could replace the dead-heads and incompetents that comprise most of the rest.

    I read Cr Thomson’s post on the Oddity on-line and I have to say that I am very disappointed in what was posted. Cr Thomson took some considerable time to come to agreeing with those that had been pointing out for yonks that revenue in advance was not construction capital, and now he seems to be failing in his basic understanding about revenue.

    He says that he will not even entertain the thought of closing the stadium because we would lose the revenue. But Richard, we would also lose all of the operational costs which right now exceed the revenue by heaps. Of course we would still have the capital construction debt to pay whether it is here and operating or simply shut or flattened. That is immovable thanks to the idiots like Chin, Harland, Farry and the rest of the ORFU GOBs, but look at the basic balance sheet – operationally it is running now at deficit and there is no sign WHATSOEVER that this will change. In fact Burden is already telling you that he will be coming back to the ratepayers’ purse for even more operational grants.

    Why, oh why, cannot people who run businesses see the basic error of their ways? There is no way that this thing can turn an operational profit so ipso facto, the best financial result for the ratepayers would be to immediately cease the operation of it. The maths is simple.

    What the Council couldn’t stand would be the reaction from the GOBs who have foisted the thing on us in the first place.

    Repayment of the construction debt must be a priority and we can agree on that without question, but my point – and I bet that Richard cannot refute this with quality figures – is that the debt would be paid off faster if we weren’t also paying an operational deficit of millions per year.

    {Link added. -Eds}

  30. Sue

    Just what has Richard Thomson been taking when he was writing his post. The very first point he claims the current Mayor did not support the stadium decision. The council minutes of the final decision for the stadium to proceed show that only two councilors voted against it, and Cull was not one of those two. Maybe Richard you may need to do a little research of your own before you burst into print again.

  31. amanda

    Sue, clearly you have not been following the whole stadium con too closely. But you have come to the right place then to have your answer! Thomson is correct, the vote before the last final vote on the stadium had only seven councillors who voted for the stadium; Crs Noone, Hudson, Brown, Bezett, Collins, Weatheral and Acklin; all pushed very hard for the stadium that would only cost ” $66 a year” and that would be an economic powerhouse for the city. They all went suddenly very quiet on their stadium support prior to the last election. And the media /theODT never, ever mention these seven councillors responsiblity for the stadium. That is massively important in understanding how the city is was conned into the stadium debacle.The last stadium vote did indeed have only two councillors voting against the stadium, why? political compromise on the parts of Cull, Wilson, Staynes, and the other anti stadium councillors ;why would they go toe to toe with Hudson and crew? Hudson’s group are seven and held ( still hold) the majority on council. And that majority is still the stadium boys. Clearly Cull’s Greater Dunedin Five are far more afraid of the consequences of angering the powerful cabal on council and Important Personages about town ( Farry, Edgar) than they are of being voted by the likes of us. Given the media/ODT disinterest in accountability for the fiscal incompetence of Hudson’s cabal, this is probably politically smart on the part of Cull’s Greater Dunedin councillors.

  32. amanda

    Amazing that Thomson dared to mention that some councillors on council were responsible for the stadium. The ODT won’t like that, the ODT editor made it clear in last week’s editorial that any councillor who dares challenge the status quo will be considered ‘divisive’ and evidence that Thomson cannot lead or participate in a ‘united council’. Note Thomson’s post is abridged, maybe he did the unthinkable and actually named the seven incompetent councillors who Must Never Be Named. Naughty boy, Cr Thomson, you must allow the stadium seven incompetents to hide behind your decent voting record, didn’t you know that?

  33. Russell, I’m only looking at FY2012 statement (1H2013 not out yet?), but it seems if you remove interest and depreciation (which we would be paying if the stadium was closed), then in fact, operating revenue just exceeds operating expenses. However, given the small size of this, any increase in expense or drop in revenue would mean that it is losing money in an operational sense.

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    Richard Thomson now claims “The stadium does have significant revenue (even when you take out the additional sums Council has been forced to put into that revenue). Without that revenue the loss would be greater again.”

    I guess the best way to demonstrate that and silence the “pull-it-downers” would be to release to the public a full and unambiguous set of accounts.
    What was received, from whom, when?
    What was paid, to whom, when? Including cleaning, parking, maintenance, PR, hospitality, meetings, interest payments, financial advice/management, accounting etc, proportion of – even when these are undertaken along with other work in the city,

  35. Sorry, more germane to your main point – the size of the operational surplus ($184,000) does not make a material difference to the overall cost, so is not a strong argument for keeping it open.

  36. amanda

    The editorial I mean is the one where it is mentioned that leader, Cull, will honour us by trying to be elected mayor this year,

    {Link http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/242160/fine-words-need-actions -Eds}

  37. amanda

    Hilarious, we are supposed to care that Burden hopes real hard that the stadium won’t cost us more. Well that’s alright then, with all your hopes, Mr Burden, why are we worrying? Just to put this Burden in context, he was also one of the incompetent stadium pushers from the outset of the stadium rort. Now being paid over a quarter of a million dollars to run the useless thing he created in the first place, gotta love this town!

  38. amanda

    Exactly Anonymous. No names from our ‘media’ just generic ‘councillors’ and ‘council’. If they name names then it ‘divides’ them all up and we can’t have that can we? Democracy and informed decision making for the electorate? Heck no. This is the ODT we are talking about.

  39. Sue

    Elizabeth. The final vote was the full council meeting not a committee meeting that Amanda is talking about If the meeting that you describe as “procedural” had actually voted against the stadium, then the stadium was a dead duck, and would have not been constructed. Amanda the meeting that you are talking about . The one before the final vote, was only a committee meeting and had no authority to pass anything, only to recommend. It then had to then pass thru Elizabeth’s “procedural” to give the stadium construction the go-ahead.. As for the famous five that you refer to (Greater Dunedin) Cr Staynes voted in support of the stadium at both meetings. If the rest of the famous five never had the guts to stick to their committee vote, which they grabbed the headlines for, and voted against the stadium at the “procedural” meeting instead of changing their vote because of pressure, that is all the more reason to get rid of them. How many more times will they sell their soul when under pressure, as they appear to be doing now by throwing more money at the stadium, that they are now claiming thru Thomson that they voted against??

    • Lesser Dunedin is far from competent. It’s a bunch of individuals without a sealed policy mandate that’s communicable to constituents – therefore, it has no cohesion and no dependability. Lesser Dunedin is completely ad hoc and opportunist. I haven’t voted for any of them and don’t intend to this year. Lesser Dunedin shouldn’t really exist if only in name. They vote as individuals, mostly it seems – and contradict each other. Most seem to think it’s OK to keep pouring millions and millions of dollars into the bottomless stadium project with no hope of satisfactory returns – they can’t understand the deficits. The stadium is posed as something of an ego-burst for the LD’s concerned. And this week we see that two LD’s have transgressed the law. Prior to this their leader – Liability Cull – thought it was OK to be blackmailed by two rugger fellows, at a total cost undisclosed to ratepayers. So now I’m totalling…. nope, Lesser Dunedin is MORE than incompetent, now I have to say corrupt.


  40. amanda

    The choice is simple, did I condemn the political self preservation of Greater Dunedin or the fiscal negligence and incompetence of Hudson’s crew (whisper it quietly, even corruption?). Easy answer is: incompetence is the worst, so goodbye Crs Hudson and mates. Hudson and mates fought for the stadium; Collins when he castigated any who opposed the stadium as ‘Glass half empty people’, Hudson with his ‘intergenerational debt is good’ stance. Maybe you are unconcerned by the seven incompetents sitting around council now, making decisions about our future, your call, of course. Ask yourself though, since they wanted the stadium and pushed it through, how far will they go to make sure it appears a ‘success’? How much money are they prepared to funnel to the fiscal blackhole? Answer? As much funds as they can get away with. These seven cowards did not reveal their stadium stance before the last election because they know the stadium did not have popular backing. Just the same now, Hudson and mates, in line with bullies, hide like cowards behind the more decent political reputations of Crs MacTavish and her Greater Dunedin fellows, who though weak, are not incompetent or corrupt.

  41. amanda

    The only way we can win is by dividing up council; divide and conquer right? That is the only tactic that will work. It is in every single councillors best political self interest to shut up, smile and not challenge the status quo, Greater Dunedin know that. But we can remind them that actually, in a democracy, an elert and piss*ed off electorate might be something to pay attention to if they want to be re elected (which, by god, they do!). We need to make Greater Dunedin realise that they might not be re elected if they ignore us, and care only for what Farry and fellow GOBs want. Right now they have not learnt that, so it is up to us to teach them.

    • Agree, amanda. Agree, Mike.
      Wilson and Thomson stepped right into it through inattention to their guiding legislation. So divide and conquer we will do. One month down – BINGO!

  42. amanda

    Incidentally, the dear old ODT is trying everything they can to not divide up ‘The Council’ or the ‘councillors’.

  43. Sue

    Unfortunately Elizabeth, It would appear that someone may have got it wrong twice. First with procedural advice, and then with advice that Ms Wilson now appears to be hanging her hat on to get herself out of a sticky situation.

    • Sue, they offered at the time, I seem to remember, that they were new to the game. Something about not wishing to be upstarts against normalised council procedure, was the essence of it. They didn’t do their homework AT ALL. Syd hit them between the eyes badly/ultra successfully.

  44. amanda

    Believe me, I’m not going to bat for Greater Dunedin. Most of them are not ‘going to bat’ for Dunedin people, so I have no problem with your assessment. I agree about their weakness coming from their lack of sealed policy; they presented as a united group at the last election and gave the strong impression that they would back each other up, which I saw as essential in stopping the fiscal ineptitude of Hudson’s fellows. I fell for the charade; I voted for them all at the last election. I don’t owe them any loyalty and since they have, except Jinty, backed down on their stadium stances they all can be voted out for all I could care. But I’m not going to expend energy on them, I will expend it on the stadium councillors who are the snakes to Cull’s sad muppets.

    • Unless new candidates of the right calibre (independent, savvy and disinterested) offer themselves for election we’ll see more of the same. Two general managers to get rid of too. A number of things have to happen before October.

  45. amanda

    Actually even Cr Mactavish seems to be under the impression that it is a Good Thing that Greater Dunedin all have different opinions and stances. I disagree, it makes them weak.

  46. amanda

    Also greater Dunedin are at a massive disadvantage; they are only a minority of five to stadium councillors majority of seven. It would be a very brave councillor (or politically foolish?) who would try to fight those odds, and politicians are not know for their bravery; an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ stance keeps Greater Dunedin nice and safe from the Big Boys!

  47. BillyBob

    Storm the barricades!!

  48. amanda

    hey ho! billybobbilina! Good to see you are paying attention!

  49. Anonymous

    Elizabeth, there must be enormous salary and expenses associated with that pit of management types alone. Many of them seem to need executive assistants as well. And because it’s public funded you just know they’re on the upper swing of the unrealistic salary range. There are some real vipers in there too and you can bet next year’s rates increase on the Good Old Boys rewarding their associates well with positions like these.

  50. ### ch9.co.nz January 31, 2013 – 7:24pm
    Money needed to encourage acts to come here
    The company running Forsyth Barr Stadium got an agreement from the DCC last week for a $400,000 events fund. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd says that money is needed to encourage promoters to bring acts here. And its chief executive says promoters are not backwards in coming forwards with requests for help from ratepayers.

  51. Anonymous

    As we are giving them more money funded by ratepayers then the council should put up a page on its site itemising how that money is spent. I want to know that it is being spent in real and tangible ways and not just pipe dreams and propping up absurd salaries. Since that would be dismissed by the likes of Syd Brown and Dave Cull then we can only trust in new chief executive officer Paul Orders to ensure it is done.

    • What annoys me is the expectation that this will be approved through the Annual Plan after the draft receives (joke) public consultation – when no alternative spending or saving by DCC is promoted for comparative benefit. Naturally, in their interests, the top drones at Allied Press / Channel 9 have a ‘DCC mission’ to drum up support for the events fund.

  52. Anonymous

    It appears from what has emerged in the Annual Plan hearings that there is no significant sum of money set aside for “legal matters”. Since $1 million is generally thought of as 1% on the rates, I wonder if there will be a claim against public liability insurance instead with respect to High Court cases that may require settlement due to staff blunders.

  53. ### ch9.co.nz February 14, 2013 – 7:05pm
    DVML appoints more staff
    The company set up to run Forsyth Barr Stadium and other DCC-owned venues has appointed more staff as it prepares for the opening of the Dunedin Centre. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd has added an event manager and sales executive to its events team.
    The Dunedin Centre in Harrop Street is expected to be operational by May, with planning for an official re-opening at the end of April. DVML says national and international conferences already booked include a Global Botanic Gardens Congress, and concerts by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Southern Sinfonia.
    Ch9 Link [article only, no video]

  54. Report – Council – 25/01/2013 (PDF, 324.6 KB)
    Dunedin Venues Management Ltd Financial Position – Authorised for release under LGOIMA

    Report – Council – 25/01/2013 (PDF, 470.9 KB)
    Dunedin Marketing: Structure Review – Authorised for release under LGOIMA

    Report – Council – 25/01/2013 (PDF, 764.8 KB)
    Waipori Fund – Authorised for release under LGOIMA

    Report – Council – 25/01/2013 (PDF, 1003.1 KB)
    Property Governance Options

    DCC Link

    • ### ch9.co.nz March 6, 2013 – 7:17pm
      Waipori fund makes a comeback
      The DCC’s Waipori fund, a multi-million dollar investment account that has big benefits for ratepayers, has made a comeback after some difficult years.

  55. Calvin Oaten

    Thanks Elizabeth for these reports. The DVML Financial Position report by Darren Burden would have to be one of the most obnoxious pieces I have seen in a long time. It is all based on suppositions, anecdotal maybes and wishful thinking. Not a single empirical fact in it. If this was presented to a bank manager in support of a mortgage or overdraft facility application, he would be laughed out of the office and the liquidators brought in. And yet the mayor and councillors bought into the whole charade. Fanciful revenue projections of some $9 million pa, with a cash surplus of less than $100,000 before rental of $4 million pa and subvention receipt from DCHL. Then there is the regurgitation of the claimed $14 million economic benefit to the region from the Elton John concert. On this fanciful concoction, the mayor and council agreed to a $750,000 pa injection in the form of paying up share capital, and then claiming it is simply an exchange of cheques which will reduce DVML’s debt at the same time as strengthening its balance sheet. Plus a $400,000 pa event seeding cost. In a word, buy our entertainment. No mention at all of the rental which the Highlanders and the ORFU will pay for their use of the facilities. As this is essentially a rugby venue wouldn’t you think that would have been the first question by the mayor or an odd awake councillor??
    The revenue earned last year was $6.093m, with a loss of ($3.214m). As the stadium shows no sign of being much busier this year, a 50% increase is a hugely optimistic projection. It is obvious to any thinking person that this will be an annual replay of the quintessential ‘Oliver Twist’ act of begging for more money to stave off the creditors. We really do need a promised visit by the Pope. At least he might bring a miracle.

  56. Hype O'Thermia

    Down on your knees, Calvin: pray that the next Pope can turn rugby balls into gold nuggets and extract truth from short dentists without anaesthetic.
    After that only 1 more miracle required before beatification is a shoo-in, isn’t it?

  57. Anonymous

    It reads like a report expected to be picked up by public and media, not something of technical importance. It smells like secondary parties have contributed to it hence the mental reaction to it from those who are intelligent enough to think for themselves.

    The final insult is you and me pay this guy to speak to us like that.

  58. Hype O'Thermia

    ‘………..Mr Richardson’s claims were not debated at yesterday’s hearing, but council resource consents manager Alan Worthington said when contacted afterwards council planners were doing their best.
    They were required to work within the confines of the existing district plan and resource consent requirements, but the council had rezoned ”a lot” of land for residential use in recent years, he argued.
    “The vast majority of consent applications go through without much difficulty at all. There will be some on the fringes which will be more problematic,” he said.
    ”If you choose … areas that are non-complying … then it potentially will be challenging.”…………. ‘

    Here’s a “compare and contrast” exercise – the potentially flood-prone development on market garden soil that’s looking for approval now. I’ve often wondered about why consents are granted (or not) and to whom (and is that relevant?).

  59. Anonymous

    New game coming out this election – Where’s Syd: The Subdivided Edition.

  60. Calvin Oaten

    In fact, the DCC’s response to Darren Burden’s DVML report goes something like this: Dave says, “Darren, here’s the deal; we will buy each year, $750,000 worth of your shares. You can then use that money to reduce your debt. Oh by the way, the debt I am talking about is the one you owe me, so just return the cheque and we’ll be all square. That sound like a good deal to you?” “We have done this before and it worked really well. Fooled the punters completely. It concerned the additional ‘Sports Academy’ building adjacent to the Stadium. It cost $10 million and the Academy undertook to pay the debt off over ten years. It was to cost them around $850,000 pa, so we (the council) approved an annual grant to the Academy of $850,000 pa. It worked a treat. Neat Eh?”

  61. Hype O'Thermia

    “Kitty, dear, let’s pretend — “And here I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to say, beginning with her favourite phrase “Let’s pretend.” [Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass]

  62. Cr Syd Brown’s stand-in tries to look smart…. meanwhile Syd, chair of FSD, is saying nothing. An opportunity for Cr Vandervis to query the possibility of DCHL asset sales!

    ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Feb 2013
    No borrowing to pay dividend, DCHL says
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillors have again been reassured the days of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd companies borrowing to help fund dividend payments to the council are over. Questions about future borrowing were raised when councillors considered updated statements of intent for DCHL and its subsidiaries at this week’s full council meeting.

    Councillor Richard Thomson “wondered how DCHL could meet its dividend payments without borrowing, when its overall operating surplus for each of the next three years was below the expected dividend payments for the same period.”

    Projected surpluses were all below the $4.29 million dividend projected, at $4.188 million in 2013-14, $1.578 million in 2014-15 and $2.310 million in 2015-16. At the same time, it appeared the holding company’s shareholders funds were expected to decrease by a ”suspiciously” similar amount to the gap between the two other figures, Cr Thomson observed.
    Read more

    • Meanwhile at Christchurch, Council rules out asset sales (yesterday, via The Press):

      Mayor Bob Parker told Radio New Zealand: “It is the stated clear, legal, defined, definitive, accurate and absolute position of this council, at this moment, that we are not selling Lyttelton Port Company, Christchurch International Airport Ltd, City Care Ltd, Orion NZ Ltd, Red Bus Ltd, Enable or EcoCentral. That is our position.” He said selling assets would mean a loss in dividends to the council equal to 15 per cent of the value of rates. “The maths is simple.”
      “If you sell a strategic asset and say get $1 billion, you’d be required to invest that into another capital asset, for example a sports stadium. So you could reduce debt but will also see the impact on ratepayers is greater than if you retain that asset.”
      Read more

      [read the comments that follow the article]

  63. Anonymous

    Before the quakes Christchurch City Council and Dunedin City Council shared a common theme with its rorts and Stakeholders. It was just as far up the creek wading through the cow sludge. That previous position had to force its way back to the forefront again eventually. It’s wonderful the council is taking a stand against asset sales – here’s hoping that makes our Stadium Councillors squirm too as their time runs out – but there will be a whole heap of devious stuff going on around this.

  64. ### ch9.co.nz March 8, 2013 – 7:13pm
    DCC’s annual plan consultation about to get under way
    The yearly juggernaut that is the DCC’s annual plan consultation is about to get under way. The council is calling for public input on this year’s plan, with submissions opening tomorrow. Issues expected to take the public’s attention this year include a $400,000 events attraction fund for the stadium. There are also the perennial issues of spending and debt. The council will be delivering documents to every Dunedin home to provide information on the process. As well, public meetings and road shows are planned. There were more than 1,000 submissions last year on more than 200 topics.
    Ch9 Link (no video available)\

  65. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s so hard to be motivated, I find, year after year of being “heard” by a handful of people going-through-the-motions or frankly comatose. I think it would be a great addition to the the process if all submissions were online where everyone else could read them, including those who never bother to make a submission themselves.
    Claims of “majority”, and the donning of Council-issue eye-patches so as not to be aware of any significant downsides to their schemes, would be much harder to maintain if the record showed _this_ consequence was pointed out in _this_ submission in [year] so what’s this crappola about unforeseeable budget blowouts, functional fails etc etc.

  66. ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Mar 2013
    DCC seeks comment on its next annual budget
    By Debbie Porteous
    From increasing dog registration fees, to reducing stadium-related debt faster, the Dunedin City Council is seeking feedback on its draft budget for the next financial year. The consultation period for the council’s 2013-14 draft annual plan has begun and another rush of stadium-related submissions will be expected. Opinion is sought on new proposals to accelerate stadium debt repayment by an extra $1.725 million next year and divert $400,000 from other council business to fund an events attraction fund to secure major events at the stadium. Mayor Dave Cull said summaries of what was planned would arrive in letter boxes across the city soon and the information was also available on the council website.
    Read more

    ● The consultation period ends on April 9 and will be followed by hearings in May.

  67. Mike

    Oh look a public roadshow – an early chance to go and ask the councillors interesting questions before the election …..

    Oh wait, the only meeting being held in the evening after work is this coming Wednesday where everyone can get to it …… in Portobello

    Another out in Green Island at the tip at the weekend, nothing actually being held in the city outside work hours at all

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