Dunedin mayoralty and the Q-town heavies

Update 16.8.13
The full nominations list is published today at
DCC nominations —All the mops, brooms and feather dusters

Sir and Friends brought you the stadium and DCC’s MASSIVE consolidated debt.

How much more control do you want to give them ???

ODT Graphic 22.5.13### ODT Online Wed, 22 May 2013
Mayoral contest heats up
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull faces a political challenge – possibly from all sides – as the race for the city’s robe and chains later this year begins to heat up.
Queenstown businessman and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar yesterday confirmed he was behind a push to resurrect a Citizens Association-style group that could support candidates in October’s local body elections.
The idea had been raised with potential backers in Dunedin and, if confirmed, could see the group’s mayoral or council candidates offered financial support by the group, including from interested businessmen, he said. Sir Eion said he was prepared to help finance the right candidates’ campaigns himself, saying the city needed ”good leadership”.
Read more

[ODT Graphic]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under DCC, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics

158 responses to “Dunedin mayoralty and the Q-town heavies

  1. Allied Press and COC don’t have clean hands in this.

  2. amanda

    Oh there is a whole lot more for the Q’town Big Boys to get from the little ole’ Dunedin ratepayers; the water asset comes to mind. Millions to be made for the lucky, lucky buyers of that very potentially lucrative asset. And guess what the biggest laugh is? Hudsons crew and these “financial geniuses’ from Queenstown will tell us all that we have to sell the asset (with crocodile tears in their eyes) since the city has such massive debt ( that they created) but they won’t say that; and the most important thing of all is the ODT will not be keen to remind voters of this either.

  3. amanda

    Game on. The Big Boys will not let the Greens get control of the council; that might lead to Business Geniuses getting egg on their faces. This is turning really interesting; looks like Cull the gormless is going down; but who will replace him? A smarter, sleeker puppet who will hand the city over to Eion? or can the city get someone who actually is not on council to protect cronies interests? who knows? but interesting to see what happens!

  4. Bev Butler

    Wednesday 22nd May 2013

    Dear Eion

    In today’s ODT you said you are prepared to help finance the “right” local body candidates’ campaigns yourself, saying the city needed ”good leadership”.
    How about starting with showing good leadership yourself by paying the obscene unpaid $25,352 booze bill run up by the ORFU while you were President.
    I remind you that in 2008 it was reported in DScene that you would make a $1m donation to the stadium. That never eventuated.
    It was also reported in Jan 2009 in NBR that Forsyth Barr had written a ‘substantial cheque’ for the naming rights to the stadium. Now through your lawyer you are denying having ever said this. No payments were made until late 2011.

    A philanthropist is someone who actually donates money not just promises money.

    Yours sincerely
    Bev Butler

  5. amanda

    The problem for the Greens is how to get around the media love affair with all things Eion and the Crony capitalist COC.

  6. Peter

    People don’t like carpetbaggers. Edgar is so much associated with the financially disastrous stadium that his quest to find the ‘right’ candidates, with business acumen, is a huge joke. Any ‘Citizens’ candidate will be tainted with his name. He is not respected in the same way as someone like Les Cleveland. Nor is his mate, Farry.
    This election race looks like it will be an interesting one. Dave Cull has a fight on his hands. A shame he hasn’t been loyal to people who once supported him.

  7. Mike

    It’s going to be hard to just form up Citizens if they use the old shell, if I remember correctly the old Citizens party held a single meeting once every 3 years that was noticed in the most obscure publication possible, the rules said that you could not join and become a candidate at the same meeting – therefore it took something like 6 years for someone to become a Citizens candidate for council.

  8. The book is opened on who Eion will back. The hot favourite, and at this stage the only horse will be Malcolm Farry. He would be the ideal ‘sycophant’ for the ‘Tartan Mafia’. When they say jump, the only question Malcolm would ask is how high? In the end, it probably doesn’t matter, the city is stuffed anyway. The ‘three stooges’ C, H, and F successfully set the scene for that and Cull very ably completed and confirmed it. Just how we can get out from under $670 million of consolidated debt is the conundrum. Don’t look for Eion and his fellow ‘hucksters’ to find the answers, they will just look for the ‘pickings’. After all, he has no ‘skin in the game’, he lives in Queenstown.

  9. Mike

    BTW at one point in the 70s a group of lefty stirrers noticed that technically the Dunedin Citizens Party didn’t actually exist, it was just a smoke filled room – so they incorporated under that name and ran a competing slate of candidates ….

  10. Tomo

    You never were much good at picking winners Calvin. If you are taking an ‘easy bet’ on who Eion’s runner will be, look no further than Mosgiel and their ‘Prince of the plain’.

  11. Whippet

    The more that stand for the mayoralty, the easier it will be for Eion’s man.

    • The ‘news’ is staged to create a little panic (terribly mild) and declarings of intention, a middle finger to the wind, before investment (if any…) is made.

      Sydders had a succession plan framed last year, the detail of it was less clear then; however, yes, Eion has been positioned to front it. The conclusion we should come to is this is something dirty indeed.

      Although, there is a lot of rubbish on council to clean out: Cull, Brown, Staynes, Bezett, Weatherall, Wilson, Noone, Stevenson, Acklin, Hudson, and maybe Thomson and Vandervis.

      You can see how money is required to wake up the sleepy Dunedin voters for a new mayor and a voting majority.

      But dirty-money-rugby-stadium-touting bozos who sniff down their noses at naysayers ?? Our future is not made in heaven…

      These people with conveniently positioned henchmen used ratepayer funds to acquire property at Luggate and Jacks Point; they screwed DCC (thus the ratepayers) over property deals for the stadium and SH88; they’ve made DCC pay (thus the ratepayers) for Carisbrook how many times; they’ve loaded DCHL, DCTL and the council owned/controlled companies with back-pocket cronies; they’ve been habitual investors in DCC bonds to feather their nests further; their manipulations are significant, and include zoning for the harbourside and the proposed 28-storey waterfront hotel and apartment building (decision now due); and their rorting ability is in-your-face magnificent, quietly sanctioned by school-tie parliamentarians.

      Dare I suggest the old boys, vile toadies, deserve the odd heart attack and stroke – from all that rich living at our expense, including the $25,000+ unpaid bill for partying at the stadium passed to ratepayers – to send them down that road to senility and pasture, a place no money can rescue them from.
      {The word you’re looking for is “Die!” -Eds}

  12. Tomo; you are probably right. On both counts.

  13. Mike

    It’s no longer FPP I’ll happily put Brown last in my STV ballot, and Cull right above him

    Also the ODT need to start using a different word from “abridged” when they add text to people’s letters – guess which word they added here: “So Mr Edgar wants to reinstitute the National Party front “Citizens Party” in Dunedin…”

  14. Tomo; on second thoughts, why would you pick the ‘Prince of the Plains’? He has been, and is a large part of the problem. Been there right from the get go in driving this city’s debt from the modest $250 million or thereabouts 12 years ago to the $670 million of today. If that’s the criteria needed to front the city and its ‘banksters’ then God help us. With all due respects Tomo, I think my pick is as good as yours. Mine you can read like a book without the wit to be devious. Describe yours.

  15. Tomo

    Calvin. It is obvious that you can’t pick winners, but looking at your 11.03am blog you cannot spell either. Could you please check the last word. It appears that you have your spelling wrong?

  16. Maurice Prendergast

    This all escapes me – by what other means would you spell that last word ‘yours’? I think that there are bigger issues afoot than the need to embark on a debate as to why the word ‘yours’ should not be spelled ‘yours’

  17. Tomo; Hurummp!!? Not sure if I have spelt that right.

  18. Maurice; nothing escapes you. Who better than you to assess the better candidates offering, or not. What say you? PS I think Tomo means the previous post. The one that counts.

  19. Maurice Prendergast

    OK – I get it now. Seems I didn’t go back far enough in the exchange of correspondence. Very subtle and very appropriate.

  20. Robert Hamlin

    Re comment above…

    “It’s no longer FPP I’ll happily put Brown last in my STV ballot, and Cull right above him…”

    It’s very important that you and others don’t do that Mike. You may well end up voting for them. I suspect that some of the more marginal vegetable councillors were returned on the back of a handful of ‘insult votes’ just like that last time. if you dan’t want them to get in – don’t list them at all – Better the vote dies than goes to the wrong person.

  21. Whippet

    A point well made Rob. That message needs to get out to the public loud and clear. Some voters last time thought that if there was 10 vacancies to be filled, then they had to tick off 10 even if they only considered 8 were worth voting for.

  22. Anonymous

    Sadly, I have already decided not to vote this time round, in either local or National elections. There is no local grouping that could constitute a Council that will address the core issues of nepotism, overburdening debt and how to cope with decaying infrastructure and a static population. Nationally, the alternative to National keeps shooting itself in the foot. Seriously giving thought to leaving the NZ “kindergarten” for a while and going overseas…

  23. Peter

    It is hard to imagine Syd Brown winning the hearts and minds of us peasants. He has no attractive personality to speak of and those shifty eyes don’t help him to win trust. At least Peter Chin had a winning sense of humour at times and Dave Cull can be articulate given his TV training background.

    I agree with Rob. You don’t vote for those you don’t want. You may inadvertently get them over the line. From memory, I could only vote for 4 or 5 people last time.

  24. Mike

    Rob: think about the way STV is counted – if it matters what the last two votes on my ballot were then it means that during the counting process all other candidates bar those two have already been discarded and all the votes are now being shared between them (it’s not that unlikely), or are discarded because they ran out of preferences – if it were my only choice I’d still rather have Cull as mayor than have Brown, if my vote has been discarded because I offered no preference then I’ll have no say.

    For mayor, with one possible outcome, I don’t believe there’s no point in voting all the way down. It’s muddier in the city-wide election, largely because fractional preference votes are redistributed from some candidates (Lee got far more votes than were required to vote him in last time, everyone who voted for him had a fraction of their vote transferred to their next viable candidate – it’s harder to make the argument above but I believe it’s still valid – mind you it does mean you have to rank all 99 candidates in order to put Brown at the bottom.

  25. Anonymous

    Couldn’t help notice the slight in that front page story as the editor fell all over himself rushing to please Sir and Sir.

    There is another possibility for the mayoralty candidates too. That bugger with the same namesake that the ODT has been pimping in recent times. Eion’s spin doctors could play the Youth Card and, best of all, they don’t have to twist his fragile little mind further – he’s already announced his support for the Stakeholders’ party line of selling off Dunedin City’s assets.

    Otherwise it’s likely Syd Brown – leave him and the Stadium Councillors blank. No exceptions.

    Mosgiel constituents – HELP! You must vote and you must vote for new representation. Otherwise the self-interested will just vote him back in again.

    We need people who will work in the best interests of the whole community and not just for the financial gains of a few.

  26. Phil

    Of course we can all expect the well known Professional Student Logan Edgar to feature on the “funded” list. Big thing planned for that little brown noser.

  27. amanda

    Yes, the student ferret will be well served. I noticed that also Anonymous; front page treatment for Sir (funny how the ODT thinks we are all scraping on the ground to a titled individual in the same way the ‘media’ does); also not sure if the Greens notice of a mayoral candidate got front page treatment(?)

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    The word that leapt out at me was “philanthropist”.
    It has been so recently used in a far more appropriate context.
    There are people who give time and money for the joy of seeing more beauty and happiness.
    There are people who invest money strategically in ways that do not show a direct profit but create ongoing opportunities for profit.
    The word “philanthropist” especially in provincial media, should be regarded with critical eye instead responded to with Pavlovian warm fuzzy emotion.

  29. Mike

    So I’m confused why does the ODT think that Lequeux’s bankruptcy and drink driving convictions would get in the way of public office?

    cough Bill Acklin cough

    • ”What is leadership? Leadership is a cheerleader. I don’t think I would be any worse than the current mayor. Despite the fact I’m bankrupt, I’m about to be discharged. I know everything about bankruptcy and I think our city needs someone who understands how it is to take other people at ransom.”

      ### ODT Online Thu, 23 May 2013
      Bankrupt Lequeux bidding for mayoralty again
      By Chris Morris
      Bankrupt businessman Olivier Lequeux wants to swap the horse stables for the mayor’s office. Mr Lequeux yesterday added his name to the list of candidates preparing to challenge Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull. He told the Otago Daily Times he was working as a stable hand at Forbury Park, shovelling horse manure, after completing an earlier community work sentence there for his third drink-driving conviction.
      Read more

  30. Judy

    It would appear that there has been major job losses in syd’s patch that are being kept quite. Moving to Christchurch. Not a good look in election year.

  31. Hype O'Thermia

    Judy, more info on those job losses would be interesting. If you have time to post a few leads to this site I’m sure I’m not the only one who would appreciate your input.

  32. Hype O'Thermia

    The more I learn about him the more I think he’s suited to the position. Bankruptcy AND close familiarity with horse shit, he da man.

  33. I’d nearly forgotten, but thanks to Anonymous…

    24.12.12 A Christmas Tale

    • Reading yesterday’s news about Jim Boult resigning from the Christchurch Airport company it occurred to me…

      Somebody used the search engine term:

      jim boult mayoralty

      Perhaps at Q-town.

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    Is this an early Q-tip?
    … I’ll get me hat.

  35. Hype; I think that is for a different ball game. It’s called billiards, or for the lesser mortals there is snooker. Oh, I get it, you think we might be ‘snookered’? I’ll get my hat too.

  36. JimmyJones

    May 24, 2013 6:00 am greendunedin.org.nz

    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei announced today that Aaron Hawkins is the Party’s candidate for the 2013 Dunedin mayoralty and city council elections.
    “We are delighted to offer a Green choice to the voters of Dunedin” she said. “We know we have thousands of supporters in Dunedin who will welcome the chance to vote for a mayoral and council candidate who represents the principles and values of the Green Party. The Green Dunedin team is a group of talented and experienced Green Party members who have worked very hard to get to this point. ”

    Aaron has never seemed much of a green to me – must have been a recent conversion. He is, however an extreem populist, just like Greens NZ.

  37. Whippet

    It could be said that he is a green politician.

  38. Peter

    All I care about is that we finally get a bigger quota of intelligent/rational people on council, from across the political spectrum, who put the city above themselves. Too much to ask?
    No bankrupts, boozers, wannabes, bludgers or people in meltdown need apply. Have I forgotten anything?

  39. Tomo

    As long as there are no bloody Aussies among them, she’ll be right mate.

  40. JimmyJones

    The trouble with candidates that are political crusaders like Aaron Hawkins (Green) and Jinty MacTavish (Sustainability) is that the politics takes precedence over what’s best for the city and the average citizen. Rational decision-making has been a big challenge for the DCC, and councillors pushing external agendas make the problem even worse.

    Peter, you didn’t mention the think-big, obsessional spenders – you know the ones that think that economic development is helping to enrich their mates by plundering the renters and ratepayers. Real economic development doesn’t rely on wealth transfers.

    • “Real economic development doesn’t rely on wealth transfers.”

      Music to my ears. Thank you, JimmyJones!

    • ### ch9.co.nz May 24, 2013 – 6:57pm
      Green Party confirms Mayoral candidate
      The Green Party has confirmed Aaron Hawkins is the party’s mayoral and council candidate.


      ### ODT Online Sat, 25 May 2013
      Aaron Hawkins Greens mayoral candidate
      By Chris Morris
      Student radio broadcaster Aaron Hawkins took aim at the Dunedin City Council as he was confirmed as the Green Party’s candidate for the Dunedin mayoralty last night. Mr Hawkins was named by party co-leader Metiria Turei as the party’s mayoral and council candidate at a function at the Queens Cafe and Bar in Dunedin. He told supporters the council seemed to treat some people as ”an annoyance”, and needed to realise democracy did not only occur every three years.
      Read more

  41. Anonymous

    Finally a chief executive officer who has demonstrated sensible decision making and moral thinking – congratulations Mr Paul Orders. This is something long missing in Dunedin.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 25 May 2013
    Council chief declines 10% pay increase
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders has turned down a $35,000-a-year pay rise, saying the increase cannot be justified when the organisation is in savings mode. The decision came after the council’s performance appraisal committee – headed by Mayor Dave Cull – concluded Mr Orders’ $350,000-a-year salary was 10% below that of others in his role.
    Read More

    My emphasis. I am really happy about this. Dave Cull can crawl back to his Hotel Stakeholders and take his Big Oil Councillors with him.

  42. Peter

    Tomo. What a gross slur against a defenceless minority in your little country!!!! Shame.
    Jimmy. Yes, I forgot the big spender types who think the ratepayers’ money is there to spend on THEIR pet projects.
    Personally, I have no problem with crusaders. At least they have something to say and you know what their views/positions are on issues. The dangerous ones keep their cards to their chests and are open to powerful influences behind the scenes. Note those councillors who go to ground at election time, relying on name recognition and follow the leader afterwards.

  43. Hype O'Thermia

    Spoiler alert – this is not a Dunedin story.
    “Politicians may be talking up the benefits of selling Christchurch’s family silver for the rebuild but city councillors have already determined it’s not going to happen.”

  44. Tomo

    The only problem with Crusaders, Peter, is that they are the Canterbury rugby team. You should be promoting the Highlanders before supporting the crusaders, or are you a follower of the Reds?

  45. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter, good points about the value of overt crusaders (May 25, 2013 at 9:35 am) compared with slippery no-stated-position people.

  46. Peter

    If I cared, Tomo, I’d support the better team. Clearly not the Highlanders! That’s a fairweather friend for you, I know,but that seems to be how the fans react with ‘following’ their team. Makes me laugh. I love it too when they shit can the coach, as if it’s his fault somehow, or they blame the ref.

  47. Anonymous

    Hype, who is that Unmasked Man? Saying “NO” to this government is like Dave Cull saying “um, like, yeah, about that, could we, um, it’s difficult, sort of, but not really, you know what I mean” to a Queenstown or Chinese stakeholder. It’s a perfect photo of John Key capturing his snake oil salesman side. I wonder if the photographer intended the Ngāi Tahu name to appear above his head.

  48. Peter

    It makes you wonder at times about that Performance Appraisal Committee, headed by Dave Cull, with Crs Brown, Thomson and Wilson in tow. Shows where their heads are at.
    Don’t they remember the furore last year with Tony Marriot, Christchurch CC Ceo? He was forced to retract his acceptance of a huge pay rise after widespread disgust from the public who were already struggling with consequences from the quake.
    Paul Orders at least has the intelligence to see this and sufficient moral compass to reject a pay rise. At the same time, ‘a living wage’ is due to those lowly paid council workers. It is only fair. Exploitation is not acceptable.

  49. Whippet

    Peter, this committee is made up of some of the big spenders from the past, plus the odd puppet that Orders was brought in to slow down. It appears that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks. You know what they do with dogs that don’t preform ? Lets be kind to them, hopefully they will not be around after October.

  50. Lance

    The best thing that could happen to Dunedin is to have a green Mayor. No more city debt if the greens get in. Mr Norman the head greenie has made it clear that they will print money to get the economy going. Vote the greens and start the money printing machines. No more debt for city ratepayers. Greenies Will get my vote every time. They should get Calvin’s vote too? No more debt.

  51. Whippet

    A rise of $35,000 is more than the average income in Dunedin. Plus they are throwing in an extra two weeks’ leave. Doe’s this big spending DCC committee not realise that they have already created a $600 to $700 million debt for the ratepayers? As the song goes ‘When will they ever learn’.

  52. Anonymous

    Stadium Councillor and Parking Magnate Syd Brown is the one to excise from council, along with his protege SC Andrew Noone. Without them it will put a hold on Eion’s posse of asset strippers and visions of dominating Dunedin. These two have got a great racket going on because ousting them requires the wider communities of Mosgiel-Taieri and Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers to first vote and then vote for new representation. Many voters are disillusioned in Mosgiel and lapse into the horrible excuse of ‘why bother voting?’, while there must be something in Waikouaiti’s water since one of its constituents believed there should be six Andrew’s on council. This is the trouble the Dunedin community faces and an advantage to the Stakeholders. Knock out Central ward Councillor Paul Hudson too and the rest might just start working in the best interests of Dunedin City again.

    • Anonymous, yes we see in ODT today that A Noone will stand again. Good money being Chairman of Infrastructure Services Committee on top of other paid duties. Helps supplement farm income.

  53. Sayonara

    Paul Orders being suggested as replacement for outgoing CEO of Cardiff City Council:

    • Hmmm, thanks Sayonara, that explains recent search engine terms used at this website such as ‘paul orders leaving’ which isn’t to say he is or isn’t . . . but…. “What if?” :(

  54. Whippet

    A new ratepayers song. To be sung by the mass 20,000 Ratepayer Choir
    Its Crying Time again

    Where has all our ratepayers money gone
    disappeared a long time ago
    where has all our ratepayer money gone
    thru councilors hands I know
    When will they ever learn
    When will they ever earn

    Where have all the ratepayers gone
    Young and old alike
    Gone to Christchurch or their graves
    When will the councilors ever learn.
    When will our councilors ever earn.

  55. amanda

    Thing is you need to name those ‘councillors’ since Hudson and mates just love to hide behind the councillors ( MacTavish etc) who are blameless and were not part of the ‘build the stadium and the city will prosper, we promise!’ brigade. Such is the way of bullies. These seven incompetent muppets are Crs Hudson (very quiet right now), Collins (glass half full dude), Bezett, Weatherall, Brown, Acklin and Noone. They presently have the majority on council. Greater Dunedin are only five and a weak bunch since they are not standing united to protect each other; Hudson’s crew know if one goes down they all go down so are a united front. Eion just needs to keep the majority of the asset stripping ilk. Gotta sell those assets since we have so much debt (that these seven created).

    {Don’t mind us, we added the emphasis… -Eds}

  56. amanda

    Eion, Hudson and the ODT will do anything they can to make us believe ‘the council’ are united so that we cannot divide them up and conquer them. They really really really do not want us to view ‘council’ as a bunch of factions. This is why the Greens finally realising local politics is important and worth their attention, is good. We already have an asset selling cabal on council, that is why Hudson and Noone were happy with the stadium, they were always going to sell assets to pay for it; they just have been very sly in keeping their political leanings out of prying eyes. And the docile media helps of course.

  57. Anonymous

    Mayor Dave Cull must go too. He flipped the birdie at many of those voters who placed their trust in him by supporting SC Syd Brown as chairman of the powerful finance committee. And then going beyond all reason and putting him back in charge as Deputy Mayor on occasion. It has been an unforgivable snub to those voters who had suffered so much under his previous visions and arrogance. Dave seemed to have forgotten very early he lives in a city where people will hold a grudge for a long time over that sort of disrespect. This isn’t Queenstown with its useless rich or transient population, but a city that cares about its surroundings and knows when something smells off.

    Let’s replace Dave Cull with someone who works for the city. Let’s ensure Syd Brown and his ilk are recycled in an environmentally safe manner. And Eion’s puppets can just go bugger off back to Queenstown and build a hotel in his backyard.

  58. amanda

    Cull thought we were all too stupid to interpret that as a snub. We are supposed to all buy the rubbish the ODT spouts about ‘council’ all being happy and singling kum baya. He no doubt thought putting Brown in a position of authority would stop any attack on him ‘dividing’ up council if he dared to not put stadium muppets in positions of authority. Which is what the ‘media’ would have done no doubt.

  59. amanda

    How to get around the ODT love of Eion is the big question.

  60. amanda

    Even in the little intro above (‘Hawkins took aim at the Dunedin City Council’) you see that the ODT views ‘the council’ as a ‘united’ entity. It’s not. So Hudson, Acklin and Noone get to hide behind ‘the council’, like the cowardly men they are. Since they are the majority on council when the ODT says ‘the council’ they reallly mean the stadium nincompoops.

  61. You might be interested in parts of the media release based on Aaron Hawkins’ announcement:

    He outlined the major areas of the Green Dunedin campaign:

    “We are all acutely aware that our city isn’t in the best financial shape. Decisions made by previous Councils – some against the express demands of thousands of us – make it difficult to fund big projects. Green Dunedin is about doing what we can do together to make all of our lives better, safer and more sustainable. Our three priorities are

    Green Jobs – sustainable jobs in sustainable industries for a sustainable Dunedin
    Green Homes – warm and healthy homes for everyone
    Green Transport – safer, affordable and efficient transport options for getting around our City.

    “A Green Dunedin is about Green Jobs, Green Homes and Green Transport to get people between the two. We have a city that is world renowned for its creativity, for its environment and heritage. Let’s preserve what we have and build on it for Dunedin’s future.” Mr Hawkins said.

  62. Green Jobs means money-losing jobs : money which must come from the City increasing rates even more and increasing debt even more.

    • That’s an odd comment Alistair. Green jobs in “clean tech” areas are set to be worth an estimated $800 billion per annum world-wide from next year. In the energy sector alone, investment last year in sustainable and renewable energy work outstripped all “old energy” employment areas (oil, gas etc). NZ (including Dunedin) is well-placed to benefit from those developments; in fact, if we don’t we WILL be left behind.
      Dunedin could lead the world in several areas as a number of other modest-size cities have done in South America, the US, Canada, Asia and Europe. It just comes down to some sensible decisions based on hard facts and evidence (far from the ‘touchy feely’ things Calvin refers to).

  63. Calvin Oaten

    Oh dear, another ‘lefty’ full of zeal. ‘Warm Homes, better public transport, sustainable jobs, green this green that.’ The only ‘COLOUR’ I want to see is ‘black’, particularly in the spending column. We have been hoodwinked now by Sukhi Turner, Peter Chin (by default) and now hugely by Dave Cull.

    What I would want to see is a mayor who knows of the intrigue in the place, who knows the disturbing collusions and compromising tactics, the bullying and mismanagement from not only elected members but also the senior staff. One who has spoken out frequently, only to be shut down or ignored by the Mayor and his acolytes as being too uncomfortable.

    One who just might be able to pull it back from the brink. He would need an input of new blood around the table, he would need the support of the CEO, and in Paul Orders I believe it would be there. What we don’t need is another who promises all the ‘touchy feely’ things without any substance or understanding of the real issues.

    If we put all our prejudices aside, and looked rationally at the overall situation, we would have to come to the conclusion that Cr Lee Vandervis is the man for the job. He is seen by the insiders as a radical who would upset the ‘status quo’, make things uncomfortable and antsy for a lot of people, but these are times for the positive, not the mealy-mouthed performances we have witnessed in the last few trimesters. We want someone who can, and will stand up and face down the ‘bludgers and cadgers’ who place defamation suits and other evil demands on the people’s purse. One who can see through the rorts and chiseling of consultants and contractors who have had a free reign ever since Jim Harland emptied out all the technical expertise from within the building. One who can sort the capable from the incompetent within the hierarchy and support the CEO in rectifying those matters.

    It’s not about popularity or niceness, it’s about hard nosed business, doing what is needed to put the city back on track. The dramatic illustration in the ODT of the collapsed esplanade at St Clair to me epitomises Dunedin at present. A gaping hole, with our assets and money disappearing down an ever increasing bottomless soak pit.

    It won’t be stopped by more of the same, and so far, Lee Vandervis is the only option that isn’t just that.

    • I live in hope there is a woman or man who can keep the mayoralty and council honest – the last thing we want is more paternalistic collusion and fraud (that supports the game of rugby, and more).

      I’m not convinced at all that Lee Vandervis is the answer to the mayoralty, unless he stays well outside the race. Sorry Lee. No vote here.

  64. Hype O'Thermia

    “Lee Vandervis ……. would upset the ‘status quo’, make things uncomfortable and antsy for a lot of people,” says Calvin. I can’t think of a better description of what’s needed now.

    The “make it work” story, and the “only enough more money to make it work” story have had enough time to prove whether they would come true – or not. The storytellers have had enough time to expose themselves as charming bull-artists. Lee doesn’t charm’n’smarm, but we’ve had charm and look where it landed us. I didn’t support him last time, he knows why not – he was right but it wasn’t the right time for him. The Fubar had to – disastrously – be given every chance to prove its “worth” before the believers would realise how they’d been conned. It’s hard giving up a dream, people’s capacity to hang onto their beliefs long after facts have come to light is one of the strange-but-true things about humans. ODT Online still has frequent comments about the “profits” and how more events are needed to make the stadium profitable, despite equally frequent explanations about how much more it costs to use it than have it sitting there as the ill-featured bastard child of cupidity and stupidity.
    But the numbers are going Lee’s way at last. Years of sugar-coating have left many people feeling sick; Lee’s blunt manner and insistence on the bitter truth used to turn people off. I think now they will be a refreshing tonic – someone who trusts ratepayers’ ability to handle the truth like grownups.

  65. Mike

    I think there’s a disconnect here – as the Green’s rep here says there’s money to be made cleaning up other messes and helping people cope with climate change – it’s the future and getting in on the ground floor is not a bad thing – we need some local bright ideas to actually do things though.

    To me “sustainable jobs” is a big deal – building an economy based on exploiting resources that will run out is not a log term plan, it’s a bandaid, wont help my grandkids live here. Any more than depending on continuing exponential economic growth in a finite world is a long term plan (applies to cities and their rates rises too), or depending on being able to dump crap in your environment without also covering the externals of cleaning up after yourself (I’m talking about you dairy farmers).

  66. Lance

    Vote the Greens. They will take us into the biggest money making scheme to get us out of debt. Printing machines especially imported from China to print more money. What easier way of solving all of our debt problems. Mr Norman the Chief Green (don’t sell our assets to foreigners) and a former member of the C party, and an Aussie to boot, will have Aaron jumping through all the hoops. The stadium will be the idle venue to install the printing machines. Tourists will come by the shipload and fill Fubar to watch the double act of printing money and watching Aaron jumping thru the hoops, with stormman Norman the ringmaster. Book early and don’t be late it may only be a fleeting (fleetwood) appearance.

    • Lance, you obviously missed the news that the Reserve bank has been doing what Russel Norman was suggesting … As reported on Wed, 08 May 2013:
      “What was noticeable today was the effect on the currency markets, after the Reserve Bank revealed last month it sold New Zealand dollars to try drive down the value of the kiwi. That saw the kiwi fall by almost a cent today.”

      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Reserve-Bank-intervenes-to-lower-dollar/tabid/421/articleID/297042/Default.aspx#ixzz2URusGFYG

      Apparently, it was not the “nutty idea” or “Lala land” that the PM was claiming – at the very time his finance minister was signing the papers to approve the Reserve Bank “printing money” (or intervening) as all our trading partners do.

      However, raising that matter deflects focus from the issues facing Dunedin which we are wanting to see addressed seriously and as a matter of priority.

  67. JimmyJones

    No it doesn’t, Green Dunedin. A very important “issue facing Dunedin which we are wanting to see addressed seriously and as a matter of priority” is the harmful effects of our mayor and councillors doing the bidding of others against the best interest of the city. And that was what Lance was talking about when he said: “~watching Aaron jumping through all the hoops, with stormman Norman the ringmaster”. Dunedin needs good quality councillors, not some puppet promoting a pseudo-religious extremist politics.

  68. Lance

    Greenie. Would you like to tell us all where you would get the money from to enable the city to clear its $600 million debt. Then where are you going to get the money from to implement all your ideas?

  69. JimmyJones

    Also, Green Dunedin, you don’t seem to understand the difference between money-printing and on-market buying/selling. The Reserve Bank does not endorse the Greens loony economics policies.
    Who are you, really? “Green Dunedin” is a website, not an entity. And why can’t Mr Hawkins speak for himself?
    Perhaps he is still in training? I note that his conversion to Greenism is quite recent. His political tendencies before that were slightly to the Right, it seemed to me. Populism is his dominant feature, however – even worse than Winston Peters. Dunedin deserves much better.

    • Brian

      Jimmy, re the Greens’ “loony economic policies” ? The Reserve Bank may not endorse the approaches but hey, it’s now using one of them; Bill English used to trumpet “rebalancing”; and the IMF IS endorsing that approach and urging the Govt to do exactly that! BTW, there is no “printing of money”, that is National spin and media myth that sadly you and many others have accepted without question.
      I suggest you check the facts, starting here –

      “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed today that the economy remains seriously out of balance, with low household savings and high debt levels.

      “Bill English made rebalancing the economy his primary goal in earlier budgets. Now he doesn’t talk about rebalancing at all.”

      The IMF has endorsed two of the three Green Party’s solutions to address rebalancing.

      “The IMF support a capital gains tax and has welcomed the Reserve Bank’s intention to use macroprudential tools to address the housing bubble…”

      Link to IMF note on New Zealand:

      Link to the BERL report, Rebalancing the New Zealand Macroeconomic Environment – Progress Since 2008:

      Click to access berl_report_rebalancing_the_macroeconomy.pdf

  70. JimmyJones

    There is comment at the ODT questioning Aaron Hawkins attendance at council meetings. My spies tell me that Aaron Hawkins has an extreemly poor attendance record at council and committee meetings. He normally attends Annual Plan meetings to do some self promotion.
    Please Aaron Hawkins, tell me if I am wrong. Tell us when did you last attend a normal council/committee meeting?

  71. Stu

    Jeepers, give the guy a break. He’s not even a Councillor. I know citizens should try their best to attend Council meetings, but it is a bit much to criticize his “attendance record” for something he’s not bound to do.

    • Anyone announcing their candidacy for the mayoralty or council at this time should be thanked for standing, quite frankly.

      The world’s or even NZ’s problems don’t start or end with DCC, to state the obvious.

      For DCC, I’m after a balanced, intelligent, articulate and critical thinking mayor; she/he with a team in behind of (also) balanced, intelligent, articulate, critical thinking policy makers (governance). They can be as populist as they like so long as they’re focused on setting and maintaining policy to benefit the wide breadth of Dunedin constituents; and with the ability to hold strong against the ravages of central government attempting to offload costs onto councils.

      The malicious undertow (like at St Clair) is the DCC consolidated debt that sucks the life/integrity out of any new council attempting to work with fairness and propriety towards meeting the basic/essential infrastructural needs of all residents, now and into the future.

      I like to think of sustainability as the “commonsense” approach to life and work; something my grandparents and parents grew up with and practised – keeping things simple and relevant, and with that adopting new technology to stay ahead and liquid. No greed involved. Plowing profits back into debt repayment (quickly) and investing in well-vetted items of capital expenditure for enhanced production and profit, only. No luxuries – everything had to pay its way. Old-fashioned, dependable ‘living within the means’ existence, in any weather, in any market slump. Staying up to date with export imperatives and technical advice. Some entrepreneurial engineering and maintenance regimes. All lean. No fat. The good life – hard work. [sadly, without thanks, and far from ideal, keeping the desk-hugging townie bureaucrats and ‘professional’ city slickers afloat on the rural dollar…. but that is another axe to grind, for a stormier day]

  72. Phil Cole

    I agree Stu. I’m not an Aaron Hawkins fan in the slightest but who in their right minds attends Council meetings unless they are a councillor or have to appear if presenting something? I’ve attended a few and have had to take time off work to do so, but they are boring beyond belief! That’s what minutes are for so that others can read – at least the bits that aren’t marked ‘commercially sensitive’ – in their own time. Anyway, soon we can watch it all on video link! The poor guy is going to have his work cut out between now and October trying to explain his policies and ideas, but with the ‘Green’ party and bandwagon behind him who knows…it’s going to be a pretty exciting local election this year, methinks!

  73. Calvin Oaten

    Oh dear, here we go again. Personalities not policies, that’s the name of the game. Why can’t we get down to just analysing the positions? Statements like $800 billion per annum in ‘green jobs’ and ‘green tech’ is spectacular stuff. Tell that to Germany, who adopted the alternative energy concept a few years ago at the behest of the ‘Greenies’, turned their back on nuclear to the extent of closing much of it down. Result: serious power shortages, prices skyrocketing, alternatives failing to meet expectations and the manufacturing sections facing crippling costs and restrictions.

    Look again just across the Tasman to see the havoc wreaked in Tasmania by the ‘Greens’. The timber industry destroyed and employment from within the sector decimated. Printing money is not the answer. What is needed is the reining in of the financial industry, re-regulation of LVR’s (loan to value ratios), IRSs (interest rate swaps) and derivatives. Just cut the ‘banksters’ off at the knees. That will bring things into line very quickly, might be painful in the first stages, but it will re-rate values, particularly the ‘housing bubble’.

    Get away from this ridiculous AGW (anthropological global warming) nonsense with its associated carbon taxes, emission charges etc. We know the world is in a polluted mess, we know that there might be climate change going on. But hasn’t it always? Why does it have to be our doing when we know full well it has been going on continuously throughout history. Just clean up the mess and watch the climate do what it is going to do.

    Get party politics out and just concentrate on what’s wrong here in Dunedin. Just do the right thing for a change. Could be exciting if only that could happen. Pushing agendas is what has got us into the mess we are, so let’s just stop, breathe deeply and try to cut our coat from the cloth available.

    I am so afraid it will be another round of ‘populism’ running rampant, promising all sorts of impossible aims in return for a vote. In a word, business as usual.

  74. Phil Cole

    I agree whole-heartedly, Calvin!

  75. If Green businesses are profitable, then there is no need for the involvement of the Dunedin City Council. Let those who are confident of their future get financial backers, start a business and sell their goods and services in the market place. If the business is a success then they will benefit themselves and the City.
    Politicians and bureaucrats have shown that they they are not good at running businesses or picking winners.

  76. JimmyJones

    Brian: Russel Norman makes a big thing about “balancing” the NZ economy. There are a number of different types of economic balances and you and Dr Norman should be specific about which type you are meaning. His non-specific use of the term “re-balancing” tells me that he is talking through a hole in his arse.

    Anyway, the quotations you use are not from the IMF, they are from a Greens press release quoting Russel Norman. The IMF think that we have “a structural savings-investment imbalance”. This is a fairly vague phrase, but all that they mean is that New Zealanders don’t save enough, with the consequence that too much debt is borrowed from foreigners compared to on-shore borrowing. The word imbalance is not significant.

    You say that the RBNZ is following one of the Greens economic suggestions, but you people cannot claim to have invented the idea of wanting to increase household savings, or decreasing net overseas debt. These things were invented long before Russel Norman was a young Australian Communist. In the rest of the press release Dr Norman says we should raise our standard of living. Yes, that’s a good idea. I wonder why no-one thought of that before. Russel is a good spin-doctor, not a good economist.

  77. Shane

    Hey Jimmy – you want to offer some solutions yourself or are you like Calvin, Lance and co. all bluster, racism and calling-names? I don’t see any solutions offered by you and the others…
    And calling someone a communist is so 1980s. Keep up! It is the 21st century… :-)
    And sustainable jobs are exactly that SUSTAINABLE – they go on for a long time. Anyway here is what a famous person from overseas says;
    “A green, renewable energy economy isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, far-off future – it is now. It is creating jobs – now. It is providing cheap alternatives to $140-per-barrel oil – now. And it can create millions of additional jobs, an entire new industry, if we act – now.”
    Barack Obama
    US President

  78. JimmyJones

    Shane: the solution to the city’s high debt and economically damaging levels of rates increases is to elect councillors who can control their spending urges.

    Yes, I know that “communist” isn’t used much now, but there is no direct replacement to generally describe Marxists, Trotskyites, Leninists, Maoists etc. I don’t think Russel would feel insulted by me calling him a communist. I know they are very picky about being called the right type of communist. All the different types seem to hate each other. Before discovering Greenism, Russel was a member, and state election candidate, for the Democratic Socialist Party Of Australia who were not so much socialist as Marxist-Leninist. Metiria Turei also has no Green roots. Some local Marxists dislike you Greens because you are not sufficiently Marxist and not ideologically pure.

    Don’t Green jobs mostly rely on forcing ratepayers/taxpayers to pay for some non-financially viable business activity. What sort of Green jobs do Aaron Hawkins’ minders have in mind, I wonder?

    • Brian

      Jimmy, you aren’t too crash hot at answering questions are you? Seems your strength is in slinging the crap around and denigrating anyone who might offer some constructive ideas. It is stating the obvious to say we need to elect councillors who can control their spending urges. What would YOU like to see done differently in Dunedin while inspiring the people to make some SUSTAINABLE progress in terms of improved wellbeing?
      What you think of the Greens or Russel Norman or Genghis Khan doesn’t matter – it’s irrelevant to the question of how is Dunedin going to get better local government.
      At least the Greens believe you (yes YOU Jimmy) have a right to have a say in how the city is run – not just in October 2013 but every day, every week of the three-year cycle – and are interested in your views on the solutions. So, instead of fulminating at anyone and everything, tell us what you think would really make a difference!

  79. Mike

    Come on Jimmy – name the party Metiria previously ran as a candidate for parliament – hint it wasn’t a communist party

  80. Better have your say now Jimmy, in case the Greens get in charge. The Greens have a policy of political censorship, banning publication of anything that is deemed not in the public interest.

  81. JimmyJones

    Mike: You must mean the McGillicuddy Serious Party. I didn’t know she was a candidate. Not a communist party. McGillicuddy Serious and Metiria were associated with the anarchist movement which by definition aren’t necessarily leftist, but in practice always are. Anyway Environmentalism isn’t in her background. The Green Party NZ seems to have drifted away from Environmentalism in recent years. Metiria Turei’s official bio says:

    “Wiser and a little older, Metiria then moved to Auckland where she came into contact with three groups that would prove instrumental in developing her political conscience: the anarchist movement, NORML, and the McGillicuddy Serious Party.”

  82. JimmyJones

    Brian: you said “Jimmy, you aren’t too crash hot at answering questions are you? Seems your strength is in slinging the crap around and denigrating anyone who might offer some constructive ideas”.
    I answered all your questions. If you don’t like my answers, then a more polite response is to explain why. Your idea of “constructive” is different to mine.

  83. Mike

    Jimmy: yes – but McGillicuddy Serious an anarchist front? methinks you jest, that’s a bit like saying the Waitati Militia is a fascist neo-nazi front when in reality they have more in common with marching girls

  84. Peter

    I long ago gave up on the idea that all we have to do is find a leader whose charisma will lead us to nirvana. In NZ, there is no one on the horizon, locally or nationally, who can do it for us. Like wise, I don’t expect either a National/ ACT/Maori Party coalition or Labour/Greens to bring nirvana.
    I’m immune to slogans, from the left or the right,but I am attracted to a grouping that seems to offer a hope for practical solutions to solve our financial, environmental and social woes.
    At the moment, the Greens seem to be the more constructive grouping for me. I will be interested to see how Green jobs, Green transport, Green housing works in practice beyond the slogans. I have been impressed with many of the hard working Green MP’s in Parliament as opposed to the mindless Aaron Gilmore, freeloader types that exist there. I am sick of the corrupt Key Government with its vile cynicism towards our people. Many of those ministers in the present government strike me as acting like machines, not real people, the longer they are in power. (The same happened with the Labour Party towards the end with a grim faced Helen Clark having her own Maggie Thatcher cult of personality persona.)
    I hope I am not disillusioned with the alternative. In the end, you have to vote for the best option that seems to be available. To not do so ensures tyranny and the demise of democracy.

  85. Judy

    What have the Greens and Aaron done for our local environment. The Taieri river is full of cowshit and the Greens stay silent, and never once have they supported those who struggle to save our productive soils on the Taieri from developers. Sustainability to them is talking the talk but not walking the walk.

    • Judy, let’s get their answers…
      The Greens didn’t create the problems after all. Meantime at least, let’s get the names out who are responsible and work as a community with the next council to make the changes – belatedly, I grant.
      Anyone standing for council needs to be fully aware that Dunedin has a big area cover and most of the city is rural (I’m not talking population distribution here).
      If the Taieri is to be Dunedin’s foodbasket – what is needed ? (spatial plan/second generation district plan) and how will DCC work cohesively with ORC to tidy up the environment and see that more sustainable farming methods are utilised and housing subdivisions (urban sprawl) are curtailed on high class soils.

    • Brian

      Hi Judy. The “Greens” are local people who are active in a number of the community based groups and many make submissions on ORC and government plans regarding water and soil issues. Some of those people are residents who live close to the river and, like you, deplore its state.
      On a nationwide level, the Greens have had a clean rivers campaign going for several years and the co-leader (Russel) has been to the Taieri River twice and has met with people about the river’s degradation. See http://www.greens.org.nz/water
      Recently, the Greens were active in opposing the Govt proposals to lower the standards and (already pitiful) controls on discharges. See http://www.greens.org.nz/takeaction/submissionguides/freshwater-reform-2013-and-beyond
      I hope this helps answer the questions. As with all of our rivers, halting the decline in quality of the Taieri requires widespread public action. The Greens taking a stand is only one component of that.

  86. Peter

    Exactly, Elizabeth, about getting the answers. You have to give people a go to come up with them… before you condemn them.

  87. Judy

    Too late to save the Taieri, the damage has been done. That is my point. Where were the Greens when all this was going on ? Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words.

    • You are overstating it, Judy. Previous council decisions have led to erosion of rural values but it’s not ALL OVER. The residents and property owners are in the end responsible for doing nothing!

  88. Peter

    Judy. Was there a sufficient number of Taieri locals who have raised their concerns about environmental damage? Did they form a pressure group to voice their concerns? Have they won any points by trying to minimise the damage? I’d be interested to know.

  89. Whippet

    Elizabeth. The district plan and spatial plan are worthless documents. All the protections are incorporated in the present district plan, but it is being manipulated by certain councillors to suit their purpose and not the people of Dunedin that they are supposed to represent. There is no way that the ordinary citizens of Dunedin can challenge their manipulation of the district plan, and they know it. Just look at the Carisbrook decision in today’s OODITY. If those who are supposed to make impartial judgements when requested like the OAG haven’t go the guts, then who do you turn to next for justice.

    • Disagree, Whippet.
      Now’s the time to get submissions into the second generation district plan in support of the spatial plan.
      Further, people need to stop being cowed by councillors and bureaucrats.

  90. Judy

    Yes Peter. Plain Sense did an outstanding job in representing the Taieri, but they got beaten into submission in the end. They stopped a few hairbrained ideas, but the weight of the continual attack on the Taieri took its toll on them. They got very little support from those over the hill, and the greenies were not interested.

  91. Calvin Oaten

    Trust a political party to ‘hi-jack’ the issue. ‘Shite’ in the Taieri river is a problem no doubt. But it is the ORC’s domain. In the Bill Clinton manner; “It’s the Mayoralty Stupid.” Keep to the point, or start another thread. Tell us what the city needs in terms of the mayoral duties and how you would propose to meet those needs. Don’t muddy the waters by injecting ‘Green’ party manifestos. That has nothing to do with the issue on hand. Forget about mad claims of sustainable jobs and enormous financial spin offs. We have all heard it before. Just cut to the chase and tell us how you will be the best mayor and why. Tell us how you will address the debt. Tell us how prudent you will be and how you will stop the serious inflation of rates, tell us how the debt will be brought into line. These are the real world issues affecting every day citizens. Somehow I don’t think you know the meaning of ‘real world’.

    • Brian

      Calvin. I was simply responding to questions posed by the correspondents on this thread, including its “owner”. The abusive tone and unreasoned debate here suggests there is little genuine interest in finding ways to make a difference in our local government. If the posts here are any indicator of the level of critical analysis of the situation Dunedin faces, then God help us all. That’s clearly not going to generate sensible answers. So, good luck with your cause … whatever it may be now. Rather than sticking around and unfairly provoking your hapless followers to charge off topic to vent their hatred, I will leave you to it. You can read about our policies elsewhere (if you’re actually interested that is).

      And BTW, you do yourselves a huge disservice when you reject input from citizens who’ve been strong supporters of (and contributors to) your group in the past.

      • The Site Owner has not been commenting on this thread.

        • Brian – [what group?] the comments posted here are from individuals, and you have fully misconstrued what the site is for. You have now gone off in a huff. That’s what happens when a ‘political party’ lands at a blog site that isn’t theirs, which of itself has NO party political affiliation.

          I’m sure when Aaron is ready to provide comments, he will in his usual way – in the last election campaign Aaron showed great ability to think on his own feet and be a credible candidate. Voters vote.

  92. Judy

    Brian. I am talking about the Greens’ inaction as a group under their own banner, not what some of their individual members might do on their own. If the Greens have a clean river campaign going for a number of years, then it has been a complete failure as nothing has improved. In fact the Taieri is getting worse and will continue to get worse under the ORC stewardship.

  93. Hype O'Thermia

    There are certain things most of us have in common whether we identify as Green or Sustainable or are modest practitioners who earned our diplomas in Commonsense at the School of Life, i.e. are likely to be observant practical old farts.
    Driving on roads expensively damaged, monstered by huge trucks, is unpleasant – agreed? That’s true even if a gazillion barrels of oil are found off the Otago shore, without so much as a teaspoon of pollution in the process.
    When there are floods, quakes, road smashes, derailments, snow etc transport is interrupted, often for long periods.
    There are advantages in having a lot of people in one place (cities). There are disadvantages in that the bigger the city, the farther away the food supplies come from. Even the food that grows well in that area. All necessities, food and water being the most immediately important, are harder to distribute in a big city when the quake hits the plan (substitute other disaster, including severe epidemic, tsunami, fire, major electricity outage).
    NZ has had short-termism from its “leaders” for far too long. We have sod-all sense of investment, meaning foregoing immediate profit/gratification in favour of longer term, ongoing gain/security.

    “Sustainability” is a trendy word with some sweetly ditzy adherents. This should not blind those of us who are willing to look beyond the slogans and examine what if any truth the concept contains.

    Our grandparents, parents and even some of us say it in other ways:
    Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Save up. Buying on credit is only for ABSOLUTE necessities, and you have to pay it off as fast as humanly possible even if this means no bought treats till the debt is gone.
    Don’t waste. Eat what’s on your plate. Don’t take more than you’ll eat, you can come back for seconds if you’re still hungry.
    Re-use: give your good but unwanted stuff to op shops and the recycle store.

    Kick up like crazy when people who lack wisdom try to turn local productivity into unproductive suburbia or “lifestyle” blocks. What’s special about “life-STYLErs” that requires so much misuse of productive land? Does it mean the rest of us only kind-of exist? To have a life STYLE you have to be a mega-consumer of resources? No, no, no!

  94. Mike

    Calvin: hijack the issue? – I think I’d argue that this IS the Green’s issue.

    Taieri in general is somewhere where the ORC and DCC both are important – zoning issues that convert productive farming land to housing is a DCC issue, while flood control/etc an ORC issue – of course it’s not that simple, converting say lettuce production to dairy probably would have a bigger effect on runoff than converting it to housing – and none of this addresses the issue I care about – what does a fresh lettuce cost at the supermarket? can I get one at the farmers’ market?

    Hype: I’d not argue that suburbia is completely “unproductive” – people do need places to live as our local population ages out of the workforce we actually need to grow our housing stock to simply stay still – but Auckland’s dilemma of grow up or out applies here too – personally I’d argue for denser infill in the city (especially the student area which is slowly happening) as I think that post peak oil commuting from Mosgiel will only get more and more expensive (bring back the trains of my childhood, and rebuild all those stations that were pulled out).

  95. Hype O'Thermia

    Couldn’t we get away from arguments about Greens the political party and those who are paid-up members, and people who share most of the little-g green views on what’s important?
    I’ve never agreed 100% with any political party – has anyone? In the end you have to vote for someone or be counted among those who couldn’t get off their backsides. Usually there is an obvious protest-vote candidate/party who clearly won’t win but at least a vote for them shows you got off your chuff to express your distaste for all the others.
    Individuals who act greenly are not insignificant social anomalies, they are people demonstrating in real life with real actions what’s important to them.

  96. Hype O'Thermia

    Thanks Elizabeth.
    But if anyone thinks Lee lacks the social-massage patience to deal tactfully with fuckwits try me on any average day!

  97. Judy

    OK Brian. Out of the sand pit, take your toys with you. Go sit in the corner and talk to Ted.

  98. Calvin Oaten

    Mike: sorry, the issue IS the Mayoralty.

    Brian: ‘if the cap fits wear it’.

  99. Mike

    Calvin: actually I think the ORC’s just as important but we tend to ignore it thinking that Dunedin’s more important

  100. Peter

    Trev makes a good point about council transparency. There has been a definite improvement since the Chin/Harland era but, aside from those secretive councillors like Syd Brown and his lackies who resist, we should also include Delta and DVML as CCO’s which continue to stall with releasing public information. Both of them need to be regrouped under the DCC umbrella and not continue to lord it over us as independent fiefdoms within the council. The people involved in running those organisations have a wilful attitude to the spending of public money and, from their record, are clearly incompetent at best.

  101. JimmyJones

    No, Peter.
    DVL and DVML need to remain companies which must, by law, provide annual and 6 monthly financial reports to proper accounting standards which must by law be made public. Merging these companies into DCC or DCHL is exactly what the Executive Management Team want and have planned. Their aim, for stadium financial information, has always been to obscure, misinform and spin-doctor. Stone-walling of information requests continues, even after the resignation of Athol Stephens.

    The financial reports are an essential part of discovering the real on-going ratepayer impact of the Stadium Financial Crisis (SFC). All, or nearly all, of our DCC/ORC councillors are too stupid or too lazy to correctly interpret these financial reports and are also clueless about the size of the well hidden hidden subsidies paid by the DCC. More work is needed to help them understand the situation. The new councillors need to do much better.

    Lee Vandervis, thinks that merging these companies will save money. He is wrong to think that, and wrong to try to save a few dollars at the cost of financial transparency. If the current degree of financial scrutiny of these two companies disappears, it is very likely that they will become even less efficient and the stadium financial impact will increase. Financial transparency is the objective we should be fighting for.

    As an example, DVL (without DVML) last year made a loss of $20.1 million not counting both disclosed and secret subsidies. The Dunedin Centre/Town Hall (when it is operating or not) does not disclose its profit/loss, or at least not in a way that can be discovered by councillors or journalists. Just the DVL part of the stadium total ratepayer impact from the $20m loss, amounts to $265 per average Dunedin house per year. Compare this to the “only $66” per year from the DCC spin doctors (later increased to $70 or such like).

    Audited financial accounts make a difference. DVL and DVML need to remain financial entities, separate from the DCC/DCHL. I agree with your other points.

    • JimmyJones – more people, especially those standing for council, could do to have a good working understanding of accounting and business practice to steer their way into the light.

      We have to expect it of them given where DCC now stands and in relation to DCHL and DCTL – in my view this isn’t too profound an ask.

      Otherwise, they’ll get done like dog tucker by council bureaucrats, EMT, council’s finance department (the Stephens aftermath), Syd’s posse, ex SFC company directors and pals, COC, council’s own lawyers, et al.

      A virtual feast for the unwary and unwise.

      • Doug Hall plans bid for council
        For months I’ve been hoping Doug Hall might stand for council. ODT has slipped a mere snippet onto the bottom of page 4 about it today! Um, one could nearly miss it, however, it’s directly below their belated story ‘Orders suggested for Cardiff’.

  102. Hype O'Thermia

    Good points JimmyJones. I hadn’t thought of it that way.

  103. JimmyJones

    Thanks Elizabeth, here is the url:
    Doug Hall Plans Bid For Council
    “Doug Hall, owner of Hall Bros Transport, told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he was ”thinking seriously” about another bid for a council seat, running as a self-financed independent.”

    I hope that he does stand as a Councillor. His big advantage is that he is not a communist, greenist, marxist, Sustainability fruit-cake or bicycle-loving car-hater. I am guessing that he has more common-sense than the average DCC councillor. I think he would work well with Lee Vandervis.

    PS: I differentiate between sustainability (the word) and Sustainability (the UN created political movement). Greenism and Sustainability are both a mixture of political ideals, and mostly the same political ideals. The principal difference is that Greenism is overtly political and Sustainability is covertly political. I agree with sustainability but not Sustainability. Sustainable Dunedin City (whose agendas are represented by Cr MacTavish) have an association with Green NZ.

    • Thanks for the link, Jimmy. Agree re Doug Hall and Lee Vandervis for council. The distinction you make between sustainability and Sustainability is useful. I’m of the lower case school, completely.

  104. Hype O'Thermia

    Stick it to ’em, Doug!

  105. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth, I think a competent DCC councillor need not have a great depth of accounting knowledge, but he/she always needs to ensure that they know the real and long-term cost of proposals.
    Council staff often have agendas which are not in the interest of the people, but the majority dimwit-councillors often don’t ask the simplest questions like “how much will it cost?” and “why do we need to do this?”. Not a great amount of financial skill is required to ask these questions, but some financial common sense is needed. A lot of skill is needed if council staff are trying to hide something.

    At present our councillors’ decisions are manipulated by council staff. Mostly this happens from the way staff present information to councillors. Councillors by now should know that the problem is so serious that for important decisions they should be seeking independent advice – at least until the problem is fixed. The councillors are the ones that need to do the fixing.

    • JimmyJones – fair enough, except that how many councillors have we had that have been and are defeated by farryclones, poohbars, Stephens, or staff ponzis [metaphorically speaking], when secondary school accounting might’ve been useful – rather than trusting to be told or ‘knowing’ what they’re doing with their home mortgage and tax arrears….

      Witness failures to read lines in a council budget that travel errantly waywardly to heavy and preposterous projections for pet projects (eg Portobello Rd / Harrington Point road widening and cycle way).

      Too often councillors fail to wonder what staff aren’t saying….. how many would know independent advice if they fell over it.

      The normal quandaries with electing council representatives!!!

  106. Hype O'Thermia

    One of the difficulties of teaching is the reluctance of some children to ask questions because they are afraid the other kids will think they’re dumb. I wonder if this is why councillors don’t ask the “why?” and “How much?” and “what if?” – and “what if we don’t?” questions. When those with agendas manipulate this self-consciousness by ridicule it’s not hard to shut people up. Patient sighs, giving partial answers in a patronising way so the questioner doesn’t dare ask for a fuller explanation, exchanging looks of exasperation with others who share the agenda – or who would like to be thought smart enough to understand even if they don’t – are all ways to stifle questioners.

    • Hype – I had a great English teacher in Forms 6 & 7. Her one pronouncement upon me (being a below the radar and strategic student, or something) was stated slowly and deliberately from front of class: “You always know the right question to ask.”
      At the time I was a bit nonplussed but quite liked it, and asked no question in reply.
      Not sure my history since has been that spot on, if anything I’ve got more stupid but it set a self-directed challenge and it fitted how I was brought up – ‘asking’ was a chess game and kept in reserve for the right moment or surprise effect (for trouncing), definitely not for goodie two-shoes class pet status.
      A lot of my associates however bright they were, didn’t have quite the same bearing in the competitive environment. It’s added to my thinking around my own and others’ ‘independence’. If I got little from readings of Austen, Conrad, Shakespeare et al there was that, the tiniest trace of character and enlightenment.

      After years of sitting in council meetings (which I no longer can waste time on), the saddest part is ANY and ALL lack of councillor preparation and critical debate from some quarters: namely, the persons responsible for the council consolidated debt of $600+ million. No question.

      Thank-you to Contributors to this website who keep naming the names – the Stadium Councillors (SC). See also JimmyJones’ “SFC” – Stadium Financial Crisis. Have to love that play on SFC, New Zealand-wise, Dunedin-wise.

  107. JimmyJones

    Good points, Elizabeth. It means that only the best candidates should get the job. Elections scare me: as bad as it is now, I know that it can get even worse. Hope isn’t much, but I hope voters choose wisely and the ODT keeps us well informed and puts its own agenda aside. Hope might not be enough.

  108. Calvin Oaten

    Good line of discussion going just now. I agree with Jimmy that Lee Vandervis and Doug Hall could work well together. Both are clever enough and have sufficient ‘street smarts’ to get their heads around what is going on, and to demand clearer and more precise reporting. They also will have no hesitation in calling out the people who try to hoodwink them.

    With regard to DCHL’s activities, I don’t think Lee Vandervis would want to change the ‘arms length’ arrangement as it stands. But what he would insist on would be – as the stakeholders’ protector – more accountability from both subsidiary CEOs and directors, more transparent disclosures and accountability. We have up to now seen CEOs seemingly working unilaterally, making decisions ‘on the hoof’ with the result that we see Delta and the suspect land deals – under inquiry, purchases of other businesses without due diligence or overview from negligent directors. I suppose that when we pay the CEO of what is a modest size business $390,000 pa that he is bound the feel he ‘can walk on water’, especially when he is spending OPM (other people’s money).

    I think in a way that was what people were expecting when they voted Dave Cull and his ‘Greater Dunedin ticket’ in. Instead what they got was less transparency, more obfuscation, more pontificating from empty vessel Richard Thomson, dithering from Kate Wilson, ‘messianic save the planet’ earnestness from Jinty MacTavish, and, err …. bland nothingness from Chris Staynes. Just a whole lot of weak lily-livered garbage. As Mayor, Dave Cull shows a lack of political nous and stamina. His naive handling of the ORFU thugs’ defamation case was pathetic, whilst his handling of the Dalai Lama’s visit was just embarrassing. The rest of the old guard have just kept their heads down, their seats warm and taken the money.

    Lee Vandervis, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert and a few like minded people is all that would be required to bring about the change that the city so desperately needs. Let’s hope that happens. If not, then I guess it could be beyond hope.

  109. amanda

    Well couldn’t resist responding to ‘Stevesone57’ on the ODT site to challenge him to show us where the seven stadium councillors are on council; I see seven men hoping real hard we forget their hand in the stadium fiscal debacle; who you ask? Well Stevesone should be happy to tell us no doubt. Yes. That makes sense Stevesone. You say the councillors who supported the stadium were returned to council, and so they must, one presumes, be proud of their stadium stance. But I must say I have not heard in print or word any of the seven current stadium-supporting councillors who are still on council make even the slightest reference to their stadium support. Odd isn’t it? Usually politicians are mad keen to let voters know their hand in ‘popular’ initiatives. Still there is still this year’s election in which I will wait to hear the stadium supporting councillors reveal their support; come on you seven. You know who you are. Don’t be shy. After all you are proud of your stadium stance. Aren’t you?

    are so tey

  110. Anonymous

    Allied Press is running regular radio ads for its Star paper, including the message “Dunedin City mayors come and go”. I think Sir is sending Dave a wee message about his current career choice.

    It’s quite obvious already what approach the paper is going to take on reporting about the election this year. If you’re not on the team, you can expect a good old public slamming, plenty of focus on your not-so-good points and a washed-out photo. Assuming you don’t end up buried on an inside page, bottom corner like a news update about DScene.

    If you are on team, it’s front page heaven and glorious colour for you.

  111. amanda

    Well. I wanted to respond to Bones McCoy on the ODT site but seems that this is shut down now. Noted that Bones was bothered enough to write a post but did not name the secret seven.

  112. ### ch9.co.nz June 4, 2013 – 7:07pm
    Nightly interview: Aaron Hawkins
    Aaron Hawkins is perhaps better known to locals as a broadcaster for student radio. He’s hit the headlines recently with an announcement he intends to run for Mayor, and a seat on the Dunedin City Council, under the umbrella of the Green Party. And he’s here with us tonight to explain some of his future hopes and ambitions.

  113. Today’s news:
    Sources say Eion Edgar is having trouble getting a group together to run for the election.

  114. The murky run at Dunedin politics . . .
    This week ‘Tony Soprano’ dies, Syd Brown drops out, and someone close to home steps out of the shadow.

    ODT Opinion 20.6.13
    Are the Dunedin City Council-owned companies out of control, asks city councillor Lee Vandervis.


    See post:
    30.8.12 Dunedin City Council seen by Fairfax Business Bureau deputy editor Tim Hunter

  115. Lee’s opinion piece, citing Chalkie’s article is a damning expose of the DCHL operation. That all this could go on under the overview of the directors, and (by reporting back) knowledge of the mayor and councillors, is absolutely shocking. No wonder the ‘rats’ are deserting the ship. Top management plus elected representatives are being found out big time. It might just be the most interesting election in a long time. I wonder if Dave Cull has a plan ‘B’ ?

    • Calvin, I note the DCHL ‘shake-up’ restructuring plan is very slow to surface. Why? Perhaps Mr Denham Shale and Mr Bill Baylis are not aware of the need for public accountability and transparency. We have been waiting MONTHS and MONTHS for their information.

      In August 2011 the Dunedin City Council voted to accept radical recommendations in the previously confidential Warren Larsen Report (released 11.8.11) that slams governance of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL), the council’s holdings company.

      Warren Larsen Report (PDF, 3.9 MB)
      Governance review of all companies in which Dunedin City Council and/or Dunedin City Holdings Limited has an equity interest of 50% or more.

      See Post and Comments:
      13.8.11 Ridding DCHL of conflicts of interest, Otago business monopoly ‘by director’, and other ghouls

  116. Hilary Calvert will stand as an independent candidate for the Dunedin mayoralty and council.

  117. OH GOD.
    Lee Vandervis’s hat isn’t in the ring, yet… Looks like Cull will sweep in, he has no real opposition.
    DO SOMETHING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ### ch9.co.nz August 9, 2013 – 6:48pm
    Only three mayoral candidates thus far
    With less than a week remaining for nominations, Dunedin has just three mayoral candidates.
    Election nominations for city and regional councils, and the Southern District Health Board, close at midday next Friday.
    Ten candidates have been nominated for the city council, seven for the regional council, and five for the health board.
    This morning, Greater Dunedin candidate Mayor Dave Cull, independent Andrew Whiley and Port Chalmers man Kevin Dwyer had been nominated for mayor.
    Ch39 Link [No video available]

  118. No Elizabeth, God is not a candidate. But Lee Vandervis might be. Just be patient. Cull will at least get a run for his money. Anyone seen him close up recently? He has all the hallmarks of office weariness. Even the odd twitch.

    • Calvin, that was a plea to some unknown higher authority – where are the women mayoral candidates ?

      What happened to Hilary Calvert ?

      • DCC nominations on a par with 2010

        COC stalwart, ARDENT STADIUM SUPPORTER and MCINTYRE FOLLOWER, no wonder she had NZ citizenship granted about a week ago, AND she’s standing for Greater Dunedin. Yeah, Ali Copeman, from Wales. On the COC Board, conference slash events organiser and bullswool artist. Wrong maths, don’t think of the residents and ratepayers, what is stadium debt Copeman. Vote for this one and lose your trousers.

        Check her Twitter accounts for stadium love.

  119. I think Hilary will be a starter. Probably hasn’t filled in her nomination form yet. Might have forgotten where she lives. That of course would not put her at a disadvantage with Dave Cull, he can’t even remember what he promised last time. Or if he did he lost his notes.

  120. Peter

    I always thought there was a bit of a stoush between Dave Cull and Peter McIntyre at times over the city’s general direction – in particular over anything Green. Yet, if this lady is a COC candidate and has been selected by Greater Dunedin, something doesn’t seem quite right.
    Is the difference between these two men a phoney war where ultimately they are in agreeance? If I was part of the Sustainable /Green crowd, who may still have faith in GD, I’d be prepared to be bitterly disappointed when it comes to the crunch with issues like oil drilling off the coast. Look how Dave Cull and Co have flip flopped over the stadium, pouring more ratepayer money into it for no good effect.

  121. ### ch9.co.nz August 14, 2013 – 6:52pm
    Mayoral candidates expand to five
    The list of mayoral candidates for Dunedin has expanded to five.
    Green candidate Aaron Hawkins and former ACT MP Hilary Calvert turned up on the nominations list today for the October poll.
    Both have already indicated they plan to stand, and both have also been nominated for council seats.
    The two join Mayor Dave Cull, Port Chalmers man Kevin Dwyer and independent Andrew Whiley on the list of mayoral hopefuls.
    Nominations close on Friday.
    Ch39 Link

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