DCC governance = management ?

QUESTIONS
Mayor & Councillors | City Property | City Planning | Strategy and Development Team | Council-owned Companies | Consenting Processes | Conflicts

On selling council-owned property…. [public notification restricted]

[Mr McLaren] told the Otago Daily Times he was not consulted about the proposal, in part because he was a commercial rival. However, he was also a resident living in a house that overlooked the proposed development site from Braeview Cres….

### ODT Online Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Anger over motor caravan park plan
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council will consider allowing a new motor caravan park to be developed near Woodhaugh Gardens, just metres away from a rival camping spot. […] The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association has applied to the council for consent to establish the park at 51, 55 and 57 Woodhaugh St, on a vacant residential site next to houses and the Leith Stream. […] The proposal was deemed non-complying under the district plan, but attracted only four submissions – three of them opposed – after public notification was restricted to surrounding neighbours deemed to be affected.
Read more

****

Only yesterday . . . [heading to non-notified consent]

### ODT Online Mon, 29 Apr 2013
New supermarket plan hailed
By Chris Morris
A planned multimillion-dollar supermarket development in Green Island could bring jobs and investment and trigger wider improvements in the area, a Dunedin city councillor says. Progressive Enterprises is in talks with the Dunedin City Council aimed at developing a Fresh Choice supermarket on land between Main South Rd and Shand St.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
29.4.13 Green Island activity centre

****

Last year . . . [non-notified application, loss of oldest brewery building on site]

### ODT Online Fri, 17 Aug 2012
Speight’s demolition to make way for expansion
By Chris Morris
Part of the Speight’s Brewery in Dunedin will be demolished to make room for the $29 million expansion of its operation. […] The company announced its intention to redevelop the brewery last year, after earthquake damage to the Canterbury Brewery, and began by relocating its Maltexo production plant to Dunedin in May this year.
Read more

### ODT Online Sat, 18 Aug 2012
Questions over consent for Speight’s
By Chris Morris
Heritage advocates are questioning why the public was not given a say about the demolition of a protected part of Speight’s Brewery in Dunedin.
Read more

****

Property acquisition for the stadium and SH88 developments . . .
[the hornet’s nest]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 18:04 20/11/2012
Dunedin City Council fined for road botch up
By Wilma McCorkindale – DScene
A High Court decision has slammed Dunedin City Council’s (DCC) handling of a roading realignment in the city, ordering the cash -strapped authority to pay affected parties more than $185,000 in costs. Justice Alan Mackenzie indicated in a written decision the legality of the stretch of State Highways 1 and 88 through the city remained in question because of the council’s botch up.
Read more

Judgment-221310 (PDF, 109 KB)

Related Post and Comments:
20.11.12 Dunedin City Council vs Anzide Properties decision: The road “has no legal basis”

****

Then there was Delta . . . [property acquisition at Jacks Point and Luggate, which names in common]

### ODT Online Thu, 25 Apr 2013
Delta investigation ‘major’
By Chris Morris
The Office of the Auditor-general considers its investigation into land purchases by Dunedin City Council-owned company Delta to be one of its major inquiries for the coming year. Results of the investigation might not be made public for some months, at the earliest. The OAG’s draft annual plan for the 2013-14 year, published last week, detailed work planned for the 12 months from July 1. The plan listed the Delta investigation as one of the “major inquiries” to be reported on during the year. The investigation into Delta’s $14.12 million land purchases in 2008 and 2009 at Luggate, near Wanaka, and Jacks Point, near Queenstown, was confirmed last November.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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22 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Media, Name, NZHPT, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

22 responses to “DCC governance = management ?

  1. Not published at ODT Online (yet!?), a little overstatement on ‘eradication’ never hurt anyone…

    DCC governance = management
    new
    Submitted by ej kerr on Mon, 29/04/2013 – 11:07pm.

    Is this a pattern ?

    On launch of the proposed waterfront hotel and apartment building (Friday, 11 May 2012) we were told of our mayor’s strong support for the project:

    ‘Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton also fronted the announcement.’ (ODT, 11.5.12)

    ‘Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the hotel proposal showed a
    great confidence in Dunedin, particularly because the
    investment was coming from outside the city. “This proposal is not just ‘nice to have’. Four and five-star accommodation has been lacking in the city. It is much needed.”‘ (ODT, 12.5.12)

    This vocal (‘red carpet’) support in the personage of the mayor was also caught in TV footage from 11 May.

    Just an hour after the hearing reconvened for Betterways Advisory Ltd’s application at 9am on Monday 18 March this year, our beloved mayor restated his position on television:

    ‘Mayor backs controversial hotel development’ (3news, 18.3.13 at 10:11a.m.).

    The timing and statements from the mayoralty are nothing but straight in-your-face political.

    Need we remind the Dunedin City Council is the consenting authority.

    Today, in your newspaper, Cr Colin Weatherall makes his case for the proposed Green Island supermarket, which the potential developers are careful to remain silent about, as is their right. Where is the council is coming from choosing to go public this way ?

    Again, DCC is the consenting authority.

    Councillor Weatherall is regularly called on to chair the council hearings committee.

    Naturally, he will recuse himself from hearing this one, should it come to pass. Or would he prefer to wear a submitter’s hat this time. Oh wait, DCC wants to shove this project through as a non-notified consent! No hat needed.

    Any major proposed development should be publicly notified in the interests of natural justice, and be free of elected representatives’ conflicts of interest.

    Is this even possible given the council track record of late where councillors responsible for governance, are so far down the track of interfering in management (for which council chief executive Paul Orders and his staff are responsible) that we fear all democracy has been eradicated from City Planning.

  2. chirpbird

    I can hardly believe I am reading this: (quoting) Council city property manager Robert Clark confirmed details of the talks and said he hoped to conclude negotiations ”as soon as possible” to allow the project to proceed.” It’s certainly my intention to have some resolution as soon as possible, because I think it’s in everyone’s interests to do so.” (ends)

    WHO’S intention? HE thinks? Since when did local government staff make policy?

    Oh, that’s right -Nature abhors a vacuum.

    I think the DCC is in DIRE need of having someone explain to them the difference between governance and management . Because they certainly don’t seem to know.

    Actually, I have an idea. I wonder whether an open letter (including plenty of horrid examples) to the DCC CE, Paul Orders, signed by as many people as possible might do the trick. And if that doesn’t work pretty smartly, then a programme of relentless nagging via the Council’s Public Forum, again supported with plenty of ongoing horrid examples, until the DCC finally gets it. With submissions also supported with plenty of clearly expressed explanations about the difference between governance and management and the grave need to maintain their separation coming from plenty of recognised authorities.
    Maybe one of those authorities could be invited to Dunedin to give a public talk on the topic. and the organisers could invite all Dunedin City Councillors to attend for their edification.

    Point well made, Elizabeth.

  3. ODT decided to publish my comment above on this thread, on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:35 p.m.

    It is slightly abridged (one short paragraph lost, which was relevant – regarding Farry being interviewed on national news about the hotel on 11 May), but this is not acknowledged.

    Naturally, because the comment was submitted on Mon, 29/04/2013 – 11:07pm. the text is now LOST and well out of sight 6 web pages in at (ODT Online) Comments.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/254685/new-supermarket-plan-hailed#comment-42576

    There is no excuse for holding over a comment for almost 24 hours.

    • Another instance of non-notifieds: read what Don Anderson says in his evidence for Veggie Boys Ltd (LUC-2012-563).

      Paragraph 1 – “Non-notified consent for the non-complying activity was granted.” (my emphasis)

      Paragraph 2 – “…and again was granted non-notified consent for a non-complying activity…” (my emphasis)

      Don Anderson for Veggie Boys 10.4.13 (Evidence, page 1)

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    I don’t have too much problem with non-complying activities getting permission. I don’t think the District Plan can foresee everything, and rigid rules make for compliance being the only thing that matters whether it is the BEST thing or not. That’s where excess red tape comes in, the “excess” meaning when something is good or neutral in effect it is not considered, just banned. But when a projected activity of any kind is non-complying there is a balancing need for the community to have MORE opportunities to express their views – not less. Red carpet should mean looking with the applicant for solutions, ways to make OK things happen in a way that does not adversely affect those things the District Plan is supposed to regulate for a purpose. I suppose that purpose is, broadly, to protect – best soils, land/city-scape values, containment of urban sprawl with its associated costs of roading, sewerage, etc.

    • Here you may be relying on trust that the applicant has identified and consulted all affected parties which is OFTEN not the case. You may also be assuming that the DCC has correctly and fairly interpreted the District Plan, the RMA, the Regional Policy Statement etc, ‘at law’ – not likely.

      And so on.

      There is absolutely no point in being trusting in resource management matters. Especially not with DCC, applicants, consultant planners, RMA counsel and other [expert?] guns for hire, such as they are in a small town – as recent history shows.

      See DCC’s mess over realigning State Highway 88.
      A planning farce, a deliberate fraud, well recognised by the High Court judgement from beginning to ‘end’ – an end with CONSIDERABLE distance to go, ka-ching!

      We might also like to explain how the Taieri high class soils are being built over despite their policy protection – via the cynical process of non-notified consents. There are CUMULATIVE adverse effects, which the non-notified consenting (allowed by Council) has DELIBERATELY sought to avoid bringing to public attention. [Mosgiel Taieri is Cr-Syd-The-Developer’s patch – funny that.]

      Then we could start on PRECEDENTS being set, but hey it’s late and the numerous instances would take a while to type up.

      The whole consenting arm of DCC IS NOT TIDY, not under the present management system which is ALMOST WITHOUT FAIL prone to political interference.

      • The following item lacks Mr Hall’s thoughts on the issues, for balance. Mr Hall has been very sensible in making little media comment to date. The High Court ruling has been well against the Council. DCC will struggle to meet resulting costs of the incomparable wrongdoing it knowingly committed by making the ‘SH88’ realignment happen.

        Two by Two, But Not 8 By 8… a court ruling means State Highway 88 is no longer a state highway, as the long running and expensive legal battle over the road continues. (page1) #bookmark

        ### DScene 1.5.13
        The Highway that isn’t
        Litigation stoush over bungled consent (page 3)
        By Wilma McCorkindale
        Dunedin City Council (DCC) has been prevented from declaring State Highway 88 a state highway as it continues to be embroiled in litigation over its bungling of a consent related to the project. A court ruling says the highway can’t be handed over to the New Zealand Transport Agency – which administers highways – until the controversial consent matters are resolved. It stems from last year’s High Court proceedings against the DCC by Dunedin contractor Doug Hall, over mishandling of a land designation during the highway project’s consent process.

        DCC transport operations manager Graeme Hamilton was philosophical about the highway having been temporarily stripped of its status. ‘‘It operates as a state highway in reality but is not a state highway in fact.’’

        Last year, the council was made to stump up more than $300,000 to Hall’s companies, identified affected parties Anzide Properties, Hall Brothers Transport and Dunedin Crane Hire (2005), for altering designation of the land without notifying them and forging ahead with construction of the road. The road was ruled illegal by High Court Judge Alan McKenzie.
        {continues} #bookmark

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

  5. Anonymous

    A settlement offer was on the table a few months ago. Council nearly had a collective heart attack when they saw it.

    • “collective heart attack” —Anonymous, the scale maybe adds impetus to Cull’s quest for Oriental dollars !?

      [not a criticism of Mr Hall, but of the rats at DCC who knowingly tried it on with SH88 and still retain their jobs or stipends]

      • ### ch9.co.nz May 2, 2013 – 6:58pm
        Caravan park arguments heard
        A resource consent hearings committee considering a proposed Woodhaugh Street caravan park heard arguments both for and against today.
        Video

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 3 May 2013
          ‘Vested interest’ claimed
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council has been accused of having a ”vested interest” in plans for a new caravan park on land it hopes to sell to the developer. The claim came from neighbours opposed to the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s proposed members-only caravan park at 51, 55 and 57 Woodhaugh St, in Leith Valley. The vacant residential site was owned by the council, which had a conditional deal to sell it to the association, subject to consent for a caravan park being granted. The association’s consent application, a non-complying activity, was heard by the council’s hearings committee yesterday. However, in a late change, independent commissioner Allan Cubitt replaced Cr Colin Weatherall as chairman, while committee members Crs Andrew Noone and Teresa Stevenson assured the meeting they were impartial.
          Read more

        • Mr Hired Help Allan Cubitt does clean-up for DCC – historically, a role he’s more than familiar with. What is his definition of “impartiality” (we don’t understand) ???

          Submitter Rhonda Taylor had claimed during the hearing the council had a ”vested interest” in granting consent. The council had agreed to sell the land to the NZMCA, but the conditional deal was subject to consent for a caravan park on site being granted. Mr Cubitt, who replaced usual committee chairman Cr Colin Weatherall at the last minute, denied that.

          ### ODT Online Fri, 9 Aug 2013
          Council ‘trying to ruin our business’ – camp owners
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council has approved plans for a new caravan park in Leith Valley, leaving the operators of the nearby Leith Valley Touring Park fuming. The council’s hearings committee yesterday released a written decision granting consent for the new caravan park at 51, 55 and 57 Woodhaugh St. The park would be owned and operated by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, and cater for some of the association’s 48,000 members, with a dump station on site. Consent conditions included the realignment of the nearby intersection of Woodhaugh and Malvern Sts, at the association’s expense, to ensure caravans up to 13m long could negotiate the corner and reach the site.
          The proposal attracted opposition from neighbours, but limited notification meant only seven submissions were considered at a consent hearing in May. Among those deemed not to be affected parties, and whose views were therefore not considered, were Terry and Lyn McLaren. The couple own the Leith Valley Touring Park just 30m away and have a home overlooking the site of the new park.
          Read more

        • Worth the test if the ducks line up! Mr Worthington (City Planning) and City Property, along with Crs Noone and Stevenson – and our dear Mr Cubitt – may like to dwell on their ‘independence’ and ‘conflicts’ henceforth. But how far does a resident get against Council’s bird-in-pocket Anderson Lloyd or other ?

          ### ODT Online Thu, 29 Aug 2013
          Court to test DCC’s ‘vested interest’
          By Chris Morris
          Claims the Dunedin City Council had a ”vested interest” in granting consent for a new caravan park in Leith Valley will be tested by the Environment Court. One of the neighbours opposed to the new facility, Woodhaugh St resident Rhonda Taylor, confirmed this week she had lodged an Environment Court appeal on the decision.

          ”Since the DCC was the vendor of the site, we believe no councillors nor employees of, or at, the DCC should have played an influential part [in] the decision-making process.”

          Her move came after the council’s hearings committee granted consent earlier this month for the caravan park at at 51, 55 and 57 Woodhaugh St, Leith Valley.
          Read more

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Nobody ever said Doug Hall lacked smarts.

    He’s stood for council previously. He had got a lot of people’s backs up over the years and is seen as a bully. On the other hand he knows a hawk from a handsaw – a bandsaw, even – and he knows how to run a business. Expand his businesses in fact, not run them into the ground.
    Put it this way, he’s the exact opposite of the Council (collectively) and most of the councillors as individuals.
    I said “most” instead of “all” out of caution rather than confidence. Readers, feel free to point out the exceptions to “all”.

  7. Anonymous

    Doug Hall is in the right here and has the High Court judgement to back it up. DCC is in the wrong and must make amends through settlement.

    I am sure that at least up until recently, Council has not been aware of the seriousness of the situation. The liability for Council is enormous and cannot be evaded or reduced.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Jeeeez, the range of things Council doesn’t “get”!
    The bazillion ways the stadium was a dumb idea, from the get go, through to this recent but never say last, “collateral damage”.

  9. chirpbird

    Elizabeth, re your post May 1,2013, 1.13 am. There is clearly NOT a ‘level playing field re DCC’s execution of its resource management responsibilities. One side of the argument is not being made.

    Other places in New Zealand which have faced similar issues have set up ‘District Plan Protection Societies’ under various names. for example: Waiheke Island Community Planning Group Inc See: http://www.sosukeonline.com/editorunlockedlibrary/doc.php?doc_id=367&action=inline
    Or this group in Russell: http://www.rps.org.nz/what-we-do.html
    And such groups can often get expert help from groups like the Environmental Defence Society: See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Defence_Society

    I’m on the Steering Group of Dunedin Voice, an initiative working to fill the gap here with Dunedin’s lack of an effective ratepayers/ residents/ citizens’ council watchdog group, (especially considering the recent winding up of the Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association.)
    I would love to see the energy here to develop a Dunedin District Plan Protection Association or similar, maybe under the umbrella of or at least in co-operation with Dunedin Voice.

  10. Whippet

    I see your old mate Don is involved with the hearing, but more interesting to note who the independent chair of the hearing is. Independent. Yeah Right.

    • Whippet – ah yes, Don Anderson. And Mr Alan Cubitt.
      All the two-bit players-for-hire here! DCC excels itself at politicising planning matters, completely. Calls in its friends, they get paid well. Etc. Etc.

      But wait, then there was Veggie Boys Ltd…
      (decision out today, reading it over lunch —more soon, at another thread)

      • BROADCAST NOTICE

        Radio New Zealand National
        Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw

        Listen on 101 FM or online at radionz.co.nz
        Website: http://www.radionz.co.nz/sunday

        Sunday 5 May 2013 (this weekend)

        8:40 Sandra Grey – Dissent and Democracy
        Dr Sandra Grey and her colleague Dr Charles Sedgwick asked NGOs if democracy, as measured by the ability of civil society organisations to have a voice in political debate, is flourishing or languishing in New Zealand. The response indicates that democracy is being ‘strangled’ by the way in which this and the previous government administer funding via contracts, with over half of the NGOs surveyed saying that organisations which dissent against the government line are likely to lose their government funding.

        Dr Sandra Grey is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Victoria University.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    7 neighbours consulted, that rings a bell. Some years back a person wanted to set up a counselling practice in a house at the opposite side of the street to our family trust’s rental property. I happened to be down there clearing street rubbish out of the front garden when a neighbour went past. “Are you going to be at the meeting?” he asked. Meeting?
    So, without any other invitation or notification, I rolled up.
    One person was agitated about the proposal. His child was accustomed to walking around the block to a relative’s place and now it wouldn’t be safe with “those people” – clients – coming and going. We must object in the strongest terms.
    A question to the therapist concerned quickly established that the clients would not be homicidal maniacs, arsonists and kiddy-rapists. Well, no more so than you can guarantee on any street at any time.
    I asked the lawyer if it was possible to give permission for that particular activity but were there to be a change to, say, residential care of troubled youth, another application would have to be sought.
    Apparently this could be done. To the best of my knowledge the practice was set up. Comings, goings and parking did not change from purely-residential use, and there was no loud music to annoy everyone else when they were trying to sleep.
    Notifying more people than the bare minumum they can get away with is not necessarily going to lead to an adverse outcome for the applicant.

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