Monthly Archives: March 2013

Department of Internal Affairs and Office of the Auditor-general stuff up bigtime #pokierorts

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 31/03/2013
Bungling officials squander whistleblower’s pokies help
By Steve Kilgallon
Internal Affairs investigators lost a vital file in their own office for nearly two years – and delivered a report on the allegations it contained by incorrectly guessing at its contents.

Internal Affairs insists the material did make its way to the inquiry team working on its biggest-ever case, the $30 million Operation Chestnut probe into pokies grants, run in conjunction with the Serious Fraud Office.

Martin Legge, the whistleblower who provided the information to Internal Affairs, said the SFO’s lead investigator on the case told him he’d never heard of him, nor seen his information. The file related to Auckland pub Jokers, potential ownership interests in the pub by the Otago Rugby Union and harness racing, and grants made to the two bodies. It also mentioned racing trainer and publican Mike O’Brien, who is central to Operation Chestnut. Legge handed over thousands of documents between September and November 2010 that provided a series of revelations about his former employer, Trusts Charitable Foundation (now Trusts Community Foundation).

In June 2012, dismayed at the department’s failure to act on his information, Legge asked for their return. Documents released under the Official Information Act show the request prompted a scramble in the department to find one particular file. The query bounced around seven staff and one email simply said: “So where is the file?”

When it was found, the original investigator, David Bermingham, who was removed from the case in late 2010, was flown from Christchurch to Wellington solely to confirm it was the right one. “It was like they had just found it on someone’s desk,” Bermingham told the Sunday Star-Times. Bermingham said he had long suspected the file was missing. “It became evidently clear that they didn’t have the file . . . I’m very confused how they were able to conduct an investigation without that file, certainly not a thorough one.”
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
7.2.13 DIA not releasing report #ORFU #NZRU #pokierorts
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness
30.12.12 Internal Affairs is a whole other planet #whitecollarcrime #DIArorts
18.11.12 Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF
26.10.12 Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – CULPABLE #pokierorts
24.10.12 Bad press for ORFU -NZ Herald
3.10.12 DScene: Russell Garbutt seeks DIA file to Crown Law #pokierorts
15.9.12 Martin Legge responds to NZ Herald news
27.8.12 DIA’s political cover-up of TTCF and ORFU rorts
22.8.12 Martin Legge releases emails to Dunedin community #ORFU
15.8.12 Keeping ORFU sweet [email]
12.8.12 DIA reshuffle: new investigation teams, money laundering, criticism
28.7.12 Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA
26.6.12 Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing
5.6.12 The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill
15.3.12 ORFU should be subject to full forensic investigation

Media Links:
25.6.12 http://itsabigfatlie.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/richard-boock-sunday-star-times-24612.html
2.6.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/211666/determined-clean-sector
2.6.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/211669/internal-affairs-investigate-orfu-pokies
2.6.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/211671/mps-query-sees-all-hell-break-loose
29.5.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/211018/rugby-financial-troubleshooter-warns-job-not-over
23.5.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/210293/grants-meant-amateur-rugby-used-pay-orfu-creditors
3.5.12 http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/7038067/Stadium-plans-met-with-scorn
3.5.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/207787/dinner-profits-went-day-day-costs
2.5.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/207653/orfu-unpaid-bill-obscene
1.5.12 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/207473/small-creditors-get-their-money-back-orfu
23.4.12 http://thestandard.org.nz/gaming-industry-whistleblower/
22.4.12 http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6785852/The-inside-man

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Reykjavik, Iceland: The strongest mirror [speculative apartments]

I missed it – the Otago Polytechnic press release of Thursday 21 March.

Icelandic Activist To Speak At Dunedin School Of Art
Iceland democracy activist and artist Hordur Torfason will be speaking at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin School of Art on Wednesday the 27th of March, as part of a series of nationwide talks on modern democracy. cont.

By chance, at morning coffee a friend mentioned the speaking event and offered a ride there. Well. Not one speaker, but two —good fortune doubled. All Dunedin residents should have downed tools, pots and pans to attend.

The two men from Iceland, Hordur Torfason and life partner Massimo Santanicchia, each delivered a session, with Santanicchia up first. They shared intriguing, calm, sensible statements about their lives and work, about the quality and countenance of human social interaction, within a gripping exposé of the capitalist drain and the peaceful revolution that occurred in their financially devastated homeland — with thoughts to urbanism, greed, discrimination, corruption, property speculation, sick governance, economic collapse, human rights, the lobby power of silence, noise and internet, and the Icelandic people’s hard-won solidarity for change.

A compelling two-hour glimpse at a nation losing and finding itself.

Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is the strongest of mirrors held to Dunedin’s glaring errors of recent and pending ‘big’ construction, economic blunders, and forces of business and political corruption – in turn, Dunedin reflects our nation’s wider political and economic struggles.

[Dunedin, we’re not crippled yet… but New Zealand? Blind rhetoric.]

ODT 21-12-12 screenshotProposed hotel and apartment building, Dunedin (ODT Online, 21 Dec 2012)

Derelict Reykjavik Highrises (Donncha O Caoimh 9-3-12 inphotos.org)Derelict Reykjavik highrises

While on our photowalk today we passed these buildings on the sea front. I thought they were just another apartment building until I noticed that the balconies were fenced in by planks of wood held together loosely!
Donncha O Caoimh (9 March 2012)

Originally from Perugia, Italy, Massimo Santannichia graduated from the School of Architecture in Venice in 2000 and holds an MA from the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London, and an MSc in Urban Studies from the London School of Economics. He has been working as an architect and urban designer in Italy, the UK and Iceland. Over the last decade he has come to know Reykjavik intimately. Essentially an outsider in the tightly knit Icelandic society he has survived the downturn by moving from the firm Arkitektur to a plethora of internationally connected activity – delivering courses at the Iceland Academy of Arts since 2004 and coordinating projects and workshops with organisations such as the International Peace and Cooperation Centre and the Architectural Association.

Santanicchia’s research interests include relations between the ecological, physical, social and economical aspects of cities. He has lectured extensively on the subject of sustainable cities and small scale urbanism in Zurich, Athens, Oslo, London, Venice, Riga and Reykjavik.

Massimo Santanicchia (AA Summer School promo for July 2013)Santanicchia, second from right (AA Summer School promo for July 2013)

The Production of Space: The lesson from Reykjavik

According to Santanicchia, small cities (less than 500,000 inhabitants) host fifty-two per cent of the world’s urban population, yet they are profoundly neglected in the urban studies field. His presentation at the School of Art focused on the small city of Reykjavik (118,326 inhabitants), investigating how the planning system is trying to build a new urban strategy away from the world city model which was adopted until the banking collapse of 2008.

Reykjavik, Iceland - houses (trekearth.com) 2Reykjavik, Iceland – vernacular housing (trekearth.com)

Commodifying the view…
In particular, Santanicchia noted Reykjavik’s receipt of its first ‘tall buildings’, a crop of extraordinarily bleak apartment developments set against the vernacular lowrise, 3-4 storeyed townscape, blocking existing residential views of the coastline – through to (now dead) speculative drive-to malls and commercial buildings [‘build it and they will come’] further problematised by the profound lack of public transport and infrastructural support to the (then) ‘new phase’ of development.

Throughout the commentary, the physical and moral contradictions were purposefully illustrated by well-selected slides, quotations, and use of statistics. Santanicchia’s creative and socio-political approach to what ails, and demonstrations of how to foster community investment in sustainable environment, is the busy-work of a contemporary intellectual with a warm humanity, grounded in the discipline of practical economics working for the public good.

He and students have won grants to set ‘in place’ temporal urban interventions that sample ways forward for the local community, utilising vacant and degraded public places; demonstrating creative re-design / re-forming of the opportunities lost to the blanket of capitalist-grey asphalt – making places that create “trust” between institutions and among people.

Massimo Santanicchia, Reykjavik (project work)Reykjavik’s dislocated waterfront (‘reconnection’ project work)
[This work is very similar to that of Gapfiller in post-quake Christchurch.]

Copy of Santanicchia’s presentation slides and readings will be made available through Professor Leonie Schmidt (Head, Dunedin School of Art).

A few points he made along the way, from my notes:

● When “priority is given to economic development” …. the city becomes all about ‘building envelope’, ‘the city as a series of volumes’ (bulk and location) | “Management of the economy is not a city, is not urban planning.”

● In 2008, Iceland’s economy shrank 90%. The economy devalued by more than 100% in one week. 1000 people emigrated which kept unemployment low.

● “Big-fix” solutions don’t work in a small city.

● The DANGER of “one idea” …. “it is NOT a plurality”.

● “The WORST is what was built.” Flats and parking lots. No public transport. No sharing. 7000 apartments at Reykjavik are redundant. 2200 properties have been acquired by the banks.

● “The WORST neighbourhoods were created in the richest years.”

● The government didn’t protect the weakest. “The architecture failed because it placed itself at the service of political and economic interests with very little regard for social interests.”

● (Jane Jacobs, 1984): “The economic model doesn’t provide niches for people’s differing skills, interests and imaginations, it is not efficient.”

● (Aldo Rossi): “Building a city is a collective effort.” [empower the people]

● Post-crash, Iceland’s birthrate has increased and children are happier.

● “Trust is about participation.” Better institutions, social justice, equity and public/private relationships.

Zurich: They used 4 hot air balloons to indicate the height and bulk of a proposed tower development, prior to public submissions being received on the proposal.

[In evidence, at Dunedin, applicant Betterways Advisory said it couldn’t afford to provide a height indicator at 41 Wharf St – all the cranes were in Christchurch (wrong), and where do you get balloons from anyway, it asked…. Mr Rodgers (Betterways), we know, took his mother-in-law ballooning in Germany recently. Perhaps he could’ve made a stopover in the Mackenzie Country on his way home.]

### architecturenow.co.nz 25 Mar 2013
Massimo Santanicchia visits New Zealand
By Stephen Olsen
Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter has won high praise from Reykjavik-based architect Massimo Santanicchia for the “observable scaffolding” it is providing for an area in transition.
Santannichia knows a thing or two about making waterfront spaces more accessible from sparking a design revival at the harbour’s edge of the world’s northernmost capital last year, within the context of an award-winning programme known as the Meanwhile projects.
Santanicchia has also been drawing audiences to hear his views on the ways in which Iceland’s largest city is embracing a more human scale of urbanism in the wake of the financial crash.
Read more

Hordur Torfason followed with a punchy impassioned delivery, spoken with a run of crowd scenes and peaceful protest images repeating behind him. Describing post-crash Reykjavik as a scene of ferment and healing, Torfason took us through specific mechanisms for the peaceful revolution that has worldwide and local application – hear that, Dunedin.

Shortly, Torfason will head to workshops in Cypress. The following interview (2011) covers the gist of his lecture.

A multi-talented individual, he told his story from the age of 21 (1966), of how he grew the personal confidence and expertise (“proving talent”) to lead the people of a city and a nation to overturn the Icelandic Government and jail the bankers. He said Parliament has almost lost ‘all respect amongst all Icelanders’. Nevertheless, there’s a bill in passage to make Iceland a Safe Haven for journalists, whistleblowers, international media – protected by law.

● He maintains the role of the artist is to criticise, that criticism is a form of love: “We have to use reason, cultural roots, feelings and the precious gifts of life – our creativity”, to ensure human rights aren’t undermined by economic growth and politics.

“It’s about learning every week, every day, new sides of corruption,” he said. “Inequality is a tool for extortion, a way to maintain The System.”

● Inequality won’t be removed by conventional systems: “If you want to move a graveyard, don’t expect the inhabitants to help you.”

● “The internet has to be protected to dislodge the monster.”

● “One big party owns one big newspaper for Iceland.” According to that paper there was no crash.

The key word is AWARENESS. The silence of government was upsetting to the people; it meant the people used silence as a mirror to the government and politicians, to protest their rights. The cohesiveness and cleverness of the protest, the silent revolution, achieved 100% success. “They the media won’t tell you [the rest of the world] about it.”

● “Stick together and use the internet.” Make Plan A, B, C, D, E. Protest by peaceful revolution v Arrogance.

● Just 25 people from around the world are responsible for the crash, and one of them was the leader of Iceland’s national bank.

Hordur Torfason - blogs.publico.es (juan carlos monedero June 2011)Hordur Torfason by Juan Carlos Monedero (June 2011)

### grapevine.is August 4, 2011
You Cannot Put Rules On Love
An Interview With Hordur Torfason by Paul Fontaine

“I tell people, ‘I’m not demonstrating. I’m fighting for a better life.’ I think aloud, ask questions, seek answers. I knew there was corruption in this country. But I never thought in my wildest dreams that the banks would crash. We have been told lie after lie after lie, and people just accept them. They say ‘þetta reddast’ [‘it’ll all work out’], until it affects them personally, and then they come screaming.”

The 2008 economic collapse of Iceland would send Hordur’s life path in a whole new direction—one that would take him beyond the bounds of even his own country.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point Road Improvements Project

Updated Post 29.3.13

Received yesterday by email.

Something that seems to have slipped the radar in Dunedin news of late is the WIDENING of Portobello Harington Point Road on the Otago Peninsula.

Looking at the Draft Annual Plan, the City Council intends to spend the following on what amounts to an environmental and heritage damaging folly. That’s only 33-34 % of the budget, given NZTA will subsidise the remaining 66-67% of the project.

DCC Draft Annual Plan - Road widening[click on image to enlarge]

See page 24, Section 1 Group of Activities (PDF, 1.5 MB)
and page 142, Section 2 Financial Statements (PDF, 1.2 MB)

The road widening (including the Vauxhall and Macandrew Bay areas already completed) will reclaim nearly 11 hectares of the Otago Harbour — a conservative measurement given plans show significantly more reclamation if the topography requires it.

Consultation on the current design closed yesterday, Thursday 28 March, indicating approval of the plan is a given despite the consultation process for the Annual Plan this year and in years to come.

[29.3.13 – The plans are not available for viewing online, why not?]

There will be irrevocable damage to the Peninsula and Harbour landscape, heritage features and the ecology if this misguided piece of engineering continues.

It is feared the Council has the bit between its teeth on this project — described as being about “liveability”, according to Mayor Cull at the Portobello Annual Plan ‘roadshow’.

It might be worth pointing out to your readers that they look closely at the Draft Annual Plan in regards to this area of Council expenditure.

Searching Council for cost benefit and recreational analyses fails to show much other than what is in the June 2008 Cycle Strategy (PDF, 787 KB).

[See also: Dunedin’s Proposed Cycle Network, adopted August 2011]

Few will have problems with the desirability of access, but the lack of design sensitivity and impact on the values of the area seem inconsistent with the value of the Peninsula and Harbour to the community and our economy.

This is certainly an issue worth looking at more deeply.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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University of Otago: NEGATIVE PRESS: Weekly disorder in Dunedin campus area

● Unacceptable student and non-student behaviour ● Vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne’s bid to bring students into line fails ● Dunedin’s multi-agency approach to campus area unrest not working

Student disorder, Dunedin (newzeeland.wordpress.com) 1[Archives: newzeeland.wordpress.com]

### ODT Online Mon, 25 Mar 2013
Students blame authorities
By Rosie Manins and Eileen Goodwin
Drunken disorder in the student quarter is being exacerbated by police and council intervention, university students and Castle St residents say, citing a Saturday night incident as a classic example. At least one private Castle St party was shut down by a Dunedin City Council noise control officer about 10pm, forcing people out of the flat, on to the street.

$$$ ● About 300 people had gathered on the street by 11pm, when four Dunedin firefighters arrived in an appliance to extinguish two couch fires.
$$$ ● The size of the crowd prompted them to call for a back-up appliance and crew from Roslyn, as well as for police attendance.
$$$ ● At the same time, four Willowbank firefighters in an appliance were called to a Dundas St mattress fire.
$$$ ● They were finished in time to respond as back-up in Castle St, so the Roslyn crew was stood down, then immediately called out to back up a St Kilda crew, attending a fire in Harrow St.
$$$ ● In total, seven furniture fires were extinguished in the student area on Saturday night.
$$$ ● More than a dozen police officers, including a dog handler and two paddy wagon crews, arrived in Castle St to disperse the crowd about midnight.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said if people’s behaviour on private property was excessive and had to be curtailed, it made no sense for them to assume such behaviour in public was acceptable.
Read full article

Student disorder, Dunedin. (newzeeland.wordpress.com) 2[Archives: newzeeland.wordpress.com]

What do we think of OUSA…
Close down the Hyde St party never to return?

### ODT Online Sun, 24 Mar 2013
Moves to increase safety at Hyde St keg party
By Vaughan Elder
The Otago University Students’ Association has settled on a range of measures to make this year’s Hyde St keg party safer, including a ”one-way” policy from as early as 2pm. An estimated 5000 people attended last year’s party, which was marred by 15 arrests, the collapse of a roof overloaded with partygoers and 80 people requiring treatment by St John. The OUSA has been looking at ways to make this year’s April 13 party safer. OUSA president Francisco Hernandez said apart from limiting numbers, it had settled on a range of measures, including a ”one-way door” policy, with non-resident party-goers who leave the street barred from returning. It was also looking at making it a 10am to 5pm party, he said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DCC, Events, Media, Name, People, Politics, Property, Site, University of Otago

Chongqing, Southwest China

Chongqing, China (aerial 2006)### news.xinhuanet.com | English.news.cn 2013-01-26 21:27:26
Chongqing sets new roadmap in post-Bo Xilai era
CHONGQING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Chongqing’s municipal government vowed Saturday it would shake off the impacts of the Bo Xilai scandal and make law-abiding governance the priority alongside further reform. Huang Qifan, mayor of the metropolis in southwest China, described 2012 as an “extremely extraordinary year” for Chongqing’s development in his report on the work of the municipal government, which was delivered to the 4th Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.

The local legislature convened its annual session on Saturday with aims to outline the city’s future blueprint for the next five years. The mayor said the government has endeavoured to maintain steady economical and social development despite the severe toll of the incidents involving Bo Xilai, with the city recording an annual economic growth of 13.6 percent. “It turned out that Chongqing citizens have weathered storms and withstood ordeals,” he said.

The government published the full text of its work report, in which it placed governing in accordance with the Constitution and the law as a main focus for this year, while references to Chongqing’s previous high-profile crackdowns on organised crimes are notably absent. In 2009, when Bo Xilai was the CPC (Communist Party of China) chief of Chongqing, the city launched a massive anti-crime campaign, prioritising fighting local mafia-style gangs. Though Bo and Chongqing’s police were credited with reducing crime, concerns were raised about abuses of power and the neglect of due legal process.

The government should rule in accordance with the law, and “no organisation or individual has the privilege to overstep the Constitution and the law,” the work report said. A power reshuffle in this session is set to usher in new local leaders, higher requirements are posed for the municipal government to further intensify reform, Huang told the lawmakers, adding that improvement to work style should be made following the central leadership’s call for eradicating bureaucracy and formalism in December.

Officials in Chongqing are urged to remain low-key and down to earth, talk less and work more to better serve the people.
Read more

****

“Amazing city… but without spirit… is a City with many construction. Don’t have the beauty of Brasilia… is a new city of construction.” —Cidade_Branca (architect) at SkyscaperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (2.11.07 03:36 AM)

Wikipedia: Chongqing

Chongqing, two rivers (1)

“One river is naturally brown from the silt, the other is normal dark blue.”
the spliff fairy at SkyscraperCity (28.2.13 01:54 PM)

### nytimes.com September 26, 2011
Built in a Dirty Boom, China’s Biggest City Tries to Go Green
By Coco Liu – ClimateWire
CHONGQING, China — Wandering around in downtown Chongqing, it is hard to imagine that this is a city that is going green. Vehicles clog roads in every direction. Construction cranes stretch to the horizon. And huge posters displaying locally produced industrial goods show where the city’s exploding economic growth is coming from. But Chongqing (population 28,846,200) is more than meets the eye. After living with acid rain and toxic smog for decades, the city has been scrambling for ways to clean up the air. It is also overhauling its power-hungry economy and rebuilding it on a base of industries that use less energy.

Chongqing isn’t alone on such a transformation path. It is one of several pilot provinces and cities that Chinese leaders picked last year in an attempt to find a low-carbon growth model that can be spread to the rest of the nation. Experts attribute this new Chinese desire to the fact that China’s environment and natural resources can no longer afford the blights of heavily polluting, energy-intensive growth. Moreover, there is growing pressure from the outside world to reduce emissions.

Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (2)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (1)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30.8.12

Cities will play a major role in that effort. During the next 20 years, more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to come from the developing world’s cities, and more than half of that will come from Chinese cities, says Michael Lindfield, a lead urban development specialist at the Asian Development Bank. “So the importance of making Chinese cities energy-efficient is really a global issue, not just a Chinese issue,” Lindfield added.

But none of this comes easily. For one, it is hard for cities to uproot decades-old economic foundations. In addition, cities risk revenue losses. Energy-guzzling factories that are shut down, in many cases, can’t be immediately offset by low-carbon industries that are still in their nascent stage. Moreover, the switch from traditional industries to green businesses claims jobs, at least for a short term. While cement makers can hire people with few skills, solar panel producers can’t.

Chongqing [became] one of the nation’s industrial hubs. It is China’s biggest producer of motorcycles. It leads in aluminum production. Every day, containers of made-in-Chongqing steel, chemicals and machinery are loaded on cargo ships and then sent from here to destinations along the Yangtze River. All this came at a heavy price.

Data from the World Bank showed that in the early 2000s, one-third of crops in the Chongqing area had been damaged by acid rain — the result of sulfur dioxide and other industrial pollutants. Breathing here became a dangerous thing to do. The World Bank reported that in 2004, residents in Chongqing were inhaling six times more lung cancer-causing pollutants than the World Health Organization considers safe.

“The city was always enveloped by fog and smog,” explained Li, the local economist. The mountain terrain around it helped concentrate Chongqing’s murky air, he said, “but pollution from heavy industries was the key.”
Read more

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre. The city model shows a concept idea of the future of Chongqing. Most important skyscrapers aren’t added until they have a definitive design. —z0rg at SkyscraperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (6.8.06 09:32 PM)

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre 6.8.06100 towers taller than 200m including 20 supertalls in one city.
Chongqing 200+ metre Listz0rg at SkyscraperCity (6.7.08 10:05 AM)

****

[ODT] The project was being advanced on their behalf by Betterways, of which Ms Jing Song was also a director.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Mar 2013
Betterways, Diamond Heights link
By Chris Morris
DUNEDIN — The construction company linked to Dunedin’s proposed $100 million waterfront hotel is building the tallest tower in western China. The building will be the tallest for the time being, at least. It has been confirmed the company linked to Dunedin’s proposed hotel is Diamond Heights Construction Engineering Co Ltd, which is based in Chongqing, China, and employs more than 1000 staff. The company is owned by Ping Cao, who together with wife Jing Song, of Queenstown, wants to build Dunedin’s five-star hotel on industrial land at 41 Wharf St.

While it was said Diamond Heights would not be directly involved in construction of Dunedin’s hotel – should consent to proceed be granted – Mr Cao and Ms Song planned to fund it together and contract a New Zealand company to build it.

Mr Cao’s company is responsible for the construction of the 65-storey Shangri-la Hotel in Chongqing, which at 290m high will, when completed, be nearly three times the height of Dunedin’s proposed hotel. It was almost finished, with only the exterior cladding to be added, and was an impressive sight when visited by Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers last year, he told the Otago Daily Times.
The company was also involved in other projects in China, including two sprawling mixed-use developments comprising hotels, other commercial buildings and housing.
Read more

Chongqing, Shangri-la Hotel at nightShangri-La Hotels and Resorts is said to be Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group. Four Shangri-La hotels are projected for Chongqing.
Image: businesstraveller.asia

Related Posts and Comments:
16.3.13 Hotel: COC jollies and sweet cherry pie
23.1.13 Proposed hotel: Council and submitters await detailed information
28.12.12 ‘Low-rises are great for the community and the residents’
24.12.12 A Christmas Tale
21.12.12 Proposed hotel – ODT graphic indicates building height
19.12.12 Hearing for proposed hotel – competencies, conflicts of interest?
16.12.12 Proposed Dunedin Hotel #height
10.12.12 Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf St – “LEARNING FROM LAS VEGAS”
7.12.12 Proposed hotel – Truescape shenanigans
6.12.12 Dunedin Hotel – revised design
2.12.12 Roy Rogers and Trigger photographed recently at Dunedin
26.11.12 Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf Street – indicative landscape effects
20.11.12 City planner’s report recommends against consent for hotel
10.11.12 Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)
4.10.12 DUNEDIN: We’re short(!) but here is some UK nous…
8.9.12 Waterfront Hotel #Dunedin (Applicant names?)
7.9.12 Waterfront hotel: DCC to notify resource consent application
23.6.12 Mis(t)apprehension: website visits, not bookings?
16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Ups for Jefferson!

Received by email. [Abridged]

Thomas Jefferson must have anticipated the emergence of that *** Farry when in 1802 he said… “To compel a man to subsidise with his taxes, the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”

Read More ……………

Subject: THOMAS JEFFERSON

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia, succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France, and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions, and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation’s size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello.

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia, and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence; along with John Adams.

Thomas Jefferson studied the previous failed attempts at government.

Thomas-Jefferson

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

“When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” — Thomas Jefferson

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” — Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to subsidise with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” — Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Image: dc.about.com

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Growth fetish ? Urban sprawl v Higher density living ?

### onenesspublishing.com March 20, 2013
Urban sprawl isn’t to blame: unsustainable cities are the product of growth fetish
By Brendan Gleeson
In a recent article on The Conversation Robert Nelson argues we are all morally culpable for unsustainable urban sprawl. He goes on to suggest we fix this by taking advantage of opportunities for higher density development in sparsely populated inner suburbs. But his argument is based on a false opposition: mounting evidence shows that high density development in inner areas performs very poorly in terms of resource consumption and greenhouse emissions. The idea that outer suburbs are inherently less sustainable than inner ones doesn’t bear scrutiny. The key question is not where we accommodate growth; it’s our slavish pursuit of growth itself.
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● Brendan Gleeson is Professor in Urban Policy Studies at University of Melbourne.

The Conversation hosts in-depth analysis, research, news and ideas from leading academics and researchers.

Urban Expansion shutterstock.com

Read two articles by Robert Nelson at The Conversation:

The grass isn’t greener in the outer ‘burbs (7 March 2013, 6.43am AEST)
“For a long a time real estate close to the palace was socially desirable, and anyone with aspirations didn’t want to know about the rest. Today in Melbourne inner-city people are embarrassed to reveal knowledge of the outer suburbs such as South Morang, like 17th century Parisians who would mispronounce the street-names of poorer areas or affect not to know them at all. Throughout history, the distribution of wealth has had a geographical expression. Snobbery, however, is only part of the challenge of urban geography. Power and privilege are concentrated within 10kms of the city centre.”

The devaluing dream; why Australian suburbia is an economic disaster (11 January 2012, 6.22am AEST)
“In spite of what everyone believes through natural pride and vanity, the family house is an asset that depreciates. Don’t be deceived that the value of property goes up and up, which of course it does. The rising prices are caused by the land becoming more expensive, not the house itself.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: shutterstock.com – urban expansion

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