DCC Annual Plan 2013/14

DCC IS PULLING THE WOOL OVER YOUR EYES, DUNEDIN

### ODT Online Tue, 25 Jun 2013
Rates rise of 4% adopted; staff efforts praised
By Chris Morris
There were words of praise, but also of caution, as the Dunedin City Council yesterday locked in a 4% rates rise for the coming financial year. Councillors at yesterday’s full council meeting voted to adopt the 2013-14 annual plan, and the 4% rates rise, after months of discussion, debate and public consultation. The changes would come into force on July 1, but prompted little further debate yesterday, as councillors instead praised chief executive Paul Orders and his staff for their efforts.

Confirmation of the budget meant a $400,000-a-year events attraction fund for Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, the company running Forsyth Barr Stadium, and other budget proposals were confirmed.

Finance, strategy and development committee chairman Cr Syd Brown said the increase included headroom within the budget. That had allowed debt repayments to be accelerated, saving the council millions in interest payments, while keeping the rates increase within the goal of no more than 4%. Without the debt repayments, the increase would have been closer to 2%, Cr Brown said. ”I think that’s a sterling effort by the chief executive and his staff and I think the city’s been well served,” he said.
Read more

What is Cr Syd Brown really saying?

Is he saying the stadium debt, the council’s consolidated debt, the council’s lack of insurance for infrastructure, the seedy DCHL’s lack of traction, and DVL/DVML running significant losses requiring ‘unheard of’ ratepayer funds, is Okay and everything’s well in hand?

Or is he snide, skipping out of council before the engulfing mudslide hits, the one he’s made with help from the Good Old Boys.

Nothing like an old fox, or an old fool.
Syd Brown’s personal fortunes have been tidily aided by his position on council for the implementation of Taieri plan changes, council spending on ‘localised’ drainage, roading systems, and more. Then there are the persistent rumours about connections to pokie trusts and big brothers in racing and rugby. It’s not a clean slate.

Can you believe anything Syd Brown has to say about your council’s financial position? DCHL will soon report to councillors on the results of a review of its subsidiary companies. This will be interesting. Cr Richard Thomson opines that from the figures it appears the only way DCHL can meet its dividend payment forecasts will be by borrowing or selling assets, either of which would cause ”considerable concern”.

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 4.7 MB)
Dunedin City Council, 2013/14 Annual Plan for Adoption on 24 June 2013

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 72.5 KB)
Adoption of the Annual Plan 2013/14

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 703.3 KB)
Setting of Rates for 2013/14 Financial Year

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 26.6 KB)
Statements of Intent of DCHL Group Companies

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 306.1 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin City Holdings Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 284.2 KB)
Statement of Intent – Aurora Energy Limited

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 251.0 KB)
Statement of Intent – Delta Utility Services Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 375.1 KB)
Statement of Intent – City Forests Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 351.4 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin City Treasury Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 440.3 KB)
Statement of Intent – Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 241.9 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin International Airport Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 218.0 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin Venues Limited

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 235.4 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin Venues Management Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 728.7 KB)
Statement of Intent – Tourism Dunedin

Other reports tabled at yesterday’s meeting of the Dunedin City Council.

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Related Post and Comments:
22.1.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – ‘Liability Cull’ and council chasten for election year

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

40 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

40 responses to “DCC Annual Plan 2013/14

  1. A must see! The (departing) councillor talks about integrity, democracy is all about numbers, “the stadium’s something that’s going to gain momentum”, “we’ve probably got the only covered stadium that’s likely to be in New Zealand” (gasp), “we’ve now got an icon which is going to be an attraction for the future” (!!). Syd’s a tour de force. Should feature in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for acting ability.

    ### ch9.co.nz June 25, 2013 – 7:15pm
    Nightly interview: Syd Brown
    Five terms in office over fifteen years are about to come to an end for Dunedin city councillor Syd Brown. The chairman of the finance and strategy committee and former deputy mayor joins us tonight to look back on his career.
    Video

    ****

    ### ch9.co.nz June 25, 2013 – 7:06pm
    Financial reporting should be clearer from next year
    Financial reporting for the Dunedin City Council’s stadium companies should be clearer from next year. The lack of detail from the entities that own and run the Forsyth Barr Stadium disappointed one councillor at a meeting yesterday. And the response was a promise to tell directors quite clearly what is required in future.
    Video

  2. Peter

    Clearer financial reporting from the DCC’s stadium companies may well be required, but this begs the question why has this bright idea has just come to fruition? How many years now?
    Furthermore, why wait till next year? Because an election is coming up in four months time? Sorry to be cynical.
    Love the bit about ‘the chattering classes’. Isn’t this part of ‘the conversation’, to borrow a current buzz word cliche?

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Disappointed one councillor? ONE councillor? Only one councillor was sufficiently interested on our behalf to want to do more than nod [off?], go aye, and mumble rhubarb-rhubarb when prodded, and head off home satisfied with their day’s work!

  4. BillyBob

    Still moaning about the Stadium. Let it go people, and get on with your lives.

  5. Richard Thomson is the “Johnny come lately” isn’t he? At one minute to midnight for the signing off of the 2013/14 Annual Plan he expresses some concern about DCHL coming up with the money embedded in that plan. It amounts to $10.450m of interest and dividend, $5.25m to DVL for debt reduction plus $3.561m from the Waipori Fund to the DCC. That plan is predicated on that $19.261m coming from DCHL and the whole plan falls over if it doesn’t. The directors stated back at before the end of the 2011/12 DCHL year that after 1 July 2012 it would no longer be prepared to borrow in order to fund the DCC’s requirements. Yet on the strength of that, council staff built up a plan which is dependent on those funds. At the beginning of this year council began to deliberate on the Plan’s budget, but not once did it express concern about the risk associated with those monies, even though Delta had shown a loss of ($5.888m) for last year. Not a query. I have been banging on about this point since the Draft Plan came out. Now that walrus moustached impresario stands up and raises the point. Bloody amazing! I think it is what is known as grandstanding seeing as how it is election year. I hope the ‘plebs’ have the nous to see through the great “windbags” ruse.

  6. Anonymous

    The looming DCHL crisis should be centre stage in the election campaign. There are two fronts:
    a) the Auditor-General enquiry into Delta has the potential to cause a credit rating downgrade (among other things)
    b) despite the overhaul of governance, DCHL cannot magic up the dividends out of thin air hence causing a cashflow problem
    Add to that the potential legal liability from SH88 realignment issues:
    a) Council is liable for any accident that occurs on that stretch of road
    b) Council is potentially liable for legal settlement of the Frederick St/Anzac Ave dispute
    Does the DCC have a spare $20 million?

  7. Anon; Does the DCC have a spare $20 million? Yep! it sure has. It is currently invested in the ratepayers’ pockets.

  8. Anonymous

    Working on the usual assumption that $1 million is 1% on the rates, then $20 million is a 20% hike. That would put my rates up from $1700 to over $2000 per annum. I’m sure that you would see a reaction from commercial and residential property owners if that liability were attempted to be passed on.
    In addition, if the $20 million were required to be sourced from ratepayers, that would require an annual plan change and an emergency ratings review in any given financial year. I doubt that could happen.
    For these reasons, I fully expect DCC to draw out the Frederick St dispute for as long as possible, since, until a High Court hands down a decision (and subject to appeal) saying “pay the sum of $x million to landowner Y”, it cannot accept liability and make a settlement off its own back. Similarly, there will be no action on the Auditor-General investigation until after the election. To do otherwise would be akin to the territorial local authority committing suicide.

  9. Outside the DCC Annual Plan 2013/14…

    ### ODT Online Mon, 1 Jul 2013
    Cost of community use of stadium ‘feels about the right level’
    By Debbie Porteous
    Community use of the Forsyth Barr Stadium has been subsidised at a cost of $400,000 since January, the venue’s manager says. The figure is slightly over Dunedin Venues Management Ltd’s funding arrangement with the Dunedin City Council that allows community groups to use the venue at reduced or no cost. However, chief executive Darren Burden said it was unlikely to seek an increase in funding from the council for that purpose, as it would start to conflict with its commercial arrangements.
    A service level agreement between the council and DVML was signed in January. The agreement was that council would pay $750,000 a year to DVML in return for enhanced access to the venue for community groups.
    Read more

  10. Why do they print this stuff? “feels about right level!” Who decides that? The muffin boys or the bankers?

  11. ### ODT Online Fri, 12 Jul 2013
    Council still counting storm costs
    By Chris Morris
    Torrential rain and pounding seas have left a $2.5 million trail of destruction across Dunedin, and the bills are still coming in, Dunedin City Council staff say.
    Council staff yesterday confirmed the combined cost of the clean-up from last month’s wild weather and repairs to the St Clair sea wall had reached $1.46 million, but that was expected to rise by at least $1 million. Council transportation operations programme engineer Michael Harrison said the council’s share of the cost would be about half the total. The rest would be covered by New Zealand Transport Agency subsidies. Despite that, the cost of the combined weather events was well above normal for a typical year, and was not budgeted for, meaning there was now ”huge pressure” to adjust council budgets, he said.
    Based on historic records, the council could also expect another unbudgeted weather event – costing it anywhere from $350,000 to $500,000 – in the next 12 months.
    Read more

    ****

    $37,400 damage to toilets by vandals
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/264506/37400-damage-toilets-vandals

  12. Committee chairman Cr Syd Brown cautioned councillors not to get excited, because appearances could be deceiving.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jul 2013
    No surplus ‘at the end’
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillors have been warned not to expect a surplus, despite the Dunedin City Council’s books being $8 million in the black. Councillors at yesterday’s finance, strategy and development committee received a staff report showing an $8.23 million surplus after 11 months of the financial year, to May 31. That was $13 million better than expected, as council staff had been forecasting a $4.8 million deficit for the same period.
    Read more

    • ### ch9.co.nz July 18, 2013 – 6:34pm
      Rates rebates applications down very slightly
      Applications for rates rebates in Dunedin are down very slightly in the last 12 months. The rebate scheme is based on the level of income and rates a homeowner pays. There were 3,498 rebates approved in the last financial year, just nine fewer than the year before. The rebates totaled $1.8 million.
      Ch39 Link [No video available]

  13. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY

    ### ch9.co.nz July 24, 2013 – 7:11pm
    Major event funding for the financial year released
    The Ride the Rhythm event is set to return to Dunedin next year, courtesy of a $10,000 underwrite from the Dunedin City Council. The council’s major event funding for the financial year was released today. Ride the Rhythm attracted 6,500 people to the equestrian display and Hollies concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium early this year. That event was granted $10,000 from the council, but next year’s will only have the underwrite if the event does not break even. iD Fashion week took the biggest grant of $90,000, as almost $400,000 of funding was handed out.
    Ch39 Link [No video available]

    • Dunedin City Council – Media Release
      DCC Allocates Funding for Premier and Major Events

      This item was published on 24 Jul 2013.

      Almost $400,000 has been allocated in the annual funding round for premier and major events in Dunedin.

      The iD Dunedin Fashion Week and New Zealand International Science Festival are among the events which will receive funding.

      The funding round for the 2013/14 Events Contestable Fund for premier and major events attracted 15 applications. The funding was allocated by the Events Assessment Subcommittee, chaired by Cr John Bezett.

      Dunedin City Council Events Special Projects Co-ordinator Kim Newman says the aim of the fund is to develop Dunedin’s outstanding major and premier events, but also to encourage smaller events to become larger, along with identifying new events.

      The successful recipients are:

      DCC event allocations 2013-14

      Contact Events Special Projects Co-ordinator on 477 4000.

      DCC Link

    • DCC is not a bank and hasn’t been for a very long while…. The receiving punters, as frigging always, fail to notice the +$650M council consolidated debt and prefer to add insult to ratepayer injury.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    Fashion Week and the Science Fair look to me as if they could well be investments, not “here’s some free money” handouts, I think both give returns to the city over a long period over and above the short time the events are on.
    As for the others, can’t they be held, can’t people watch and participate, on a smaller scale? Whatever scale they can afford, involving a wider spread of jobs among everyone’s kids and sisters and spouses, the way it used to be done in country towns. I’m thinking of the annual entry in the drama festival, no men volunteering for the male character till someone’s poor husband gets his arm twisted, and to his and everyone else’s surprise ends up being very good – thoroughly enjoying himself. The posters may not have been expertly designed and distributed but because so many “volunteers” got hauled into the project there were posters everywhere. The events held in this back-to-community-involvement method may be smaller. But if that’s what we can afford… maybe it’s time for the return to “sustainability” that was plain common sense to our parents/grandparents, to be taken beyond vege gardens and fruit trees and home cooking, to include big festivals that were driven by a committee but involved nearly everyone in the work that goes before the fun of the event can be achieved.
    These expensively run events aren’t perfect, the way they are done with huge subsidies from ratepayers. Community make’n’mend ones wouldn’t be perfect either but there’s another advantage to them – those who get pulled in to help find talents, learn skills, and get to know lots of new people some of whom will remain friends long after the festival is over.

  15. Peter

    What are the chances of Ride the Rhythm doing any better after performing just this year? Could they attract a fresh and or repeat crowd to build on the 6000 odd people last time? Not being the horsey type, I wonder. Aside from that, isn’t the business that runs that event a private one?

    • ### ODT Online Thu, 25 Jul 2013
      Cash boost for nine events announced
      By Chris Morris
      The organisers of nine major events in Dunedin have received a cash injection totalling almost $400,000 from the Dunedin City Council. And two of Dunedin’s staples – the iD Dunedin Fashion Week and the Otago Festival of the Arts – have both received increases on last year’s funding, council events special projects co-ordinator Kim Newman said. The cash came from the council’s events assessment subcommittee – chaired by Cr John Bezett – which yesterday announced the recipients of its annual premier and major events funding round.
      Miss Newman said it was hoped that major event organisers could eventually secure alternative sources of funding as their events grew.
      Read more

  16. As the council’s events assessment subcommittee is chaired by Cr John Bezett I guess we are lucky to get out for just $400,000. It could just as easy been double that for all he would know or care.

  17. NEVER TRUST THE SUCKY OTAGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO BE WORKING FOR RESIDENTS AND RATEPAYERS
    COC WANTED THE STADIUM AND THE $100M[??] WATERFRONT TOWER, um THEY’RE REALLY BRIGHT WITH FIGURES AND PROJECTIONS !!???
    THEY AND FRIENDS HAVE PLUNGED DCC INTO HUGE DEBT (+$600M AND CLIMBING)
    THEY’RE NOT YET FINISHED STRIPPING COMMUNITY-HELD ASSETS AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL BACKPOCKETS FOR THEIR PRIVATE GAIN.

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

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

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

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

    ****

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

    Dunedin’s Energy Future – Invitation from Mayor Dave Cull

    DCC economic development unit

    You are invited to talk about Dunedin’s energy future

    Wednesday 26 June 2013
    5pm-6pm
    Dunedin Public Art Gallery

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

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

    Please RSVP to dcc at dcc.govt.nz

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

    Yours faithfully
    Mayor Dave Cull

    Economic Development Unit,
    Dunedin City Council

    50 The Octagon, PO Box 5045, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand
    Telephone: 03 477 4000; Fax: 03 474 3789
    http://www.CityofDunedin.com

    [ends]

    • The report also notes that the trust intends to reduce the size and change the make-up of its board, to one of no more than nine members, and remove the requirement for three council members on the board, changing the council’s role to that of an observer.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 2 Sep 2013
      DCC to consider extra funding for Regent
      By Debbie Porteous
      The Dunedin City Council will today discuss whether to increase funding to the Regent Theatre. Councillors asked for a report on the theatre’s situation and the arrangements between it and the council after the trust that runs the theatre asked the council for $70,000 more this financial year to meet increased compliance costs for its upgraded building and an unexpected rates increase. The council had decided to give the trust $30,000 extra, increasing to $89,200 the annual amount it contributes to the trust via a service level agreement for maintenance and operating the theatre. The council owns the building. It also makes extra contributions, financial and through other assistance, to assist with upkeep and compliance requirements, is responsible for exterior maintenance of the building and recently invested millions to upgrade the theatre, a project for which the trust also raised more than $2 million.
      In a report to be considered by the council’s community development committee today, council community arts adviser Cara Paterson says the roles and responsibilities of both partners to the agreement, the Otago Theatre Trust and the council, are unclear and need to be clarified.
      Read more

      2 September 2013
      A meeting of the DCC Community Development Committee will be held today, Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, at 2:00 pm.

      Report – CDC – 02/09/2013 (PDF, 595 KB)
      Regent Theatre

      Note: The public forum takes place from 1:00 pm (same venue).

  18. ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Jun 2013
    Energy plan process ‘ill-informed criticism’
    By Chris Morris
    Work on a new Dunedin energy plan is generating some heat between Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and the Otago Chamber of Commerce. Mr Cull took to Facebook yesterday to publicly rebuke the chamber over ”ill-informed criticism” of the energy plan process. His move came after chamber president Peter McIntyre earlier told the Otago Daily Times he feared the energy plan could be ”overrun with green ideologies” during public consultation. The council planned to release a discussion document today, marking the start of public debate over what should be in the plan, before a draft plan was released for full consultation later this year. Mr McIntyre worried the process could drag on for months, and said the majority of business owners wanted the council to ”just get on with it”.
    Read more

    Mayor Cull’s Facebook page:
    http://www.facebook.com/DunedinMayor?fref=ts&filter=1

    • ### ch9.co.nz August 1, 2013 – 6:42pm
      Nightly interview: Peter McIntyre
      A high level delegation from the Association of South East Asian Nations was shown what Dunedin has to offer economically last month. It was all in a bid to foster business connections between New Zealand and the ASEAN group. But it may be some time until a business relationship is built, and real benefits are felt.
      Video

      ****

      ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Aug 2013
      Anger at Invermay job cuts
      By Dene Mackenzie
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has called the plans by AgResearch to relocate 85 jobs at Invermay, near Mosgiel, to other parts of the country ”appalling”. A ”damn angry” Mr Cull said it was time for Central Government to match its rhetoric on regional and economic development with actions. No roles were required to shift before 2016, but Mr Cull said the reorganisation was another sign from Central Government there was no point coming to Dunedin as people were losing their jobs. Prime Minister John Key had opened the door, saying New Zealand needed to make use of existing infrastructure in the regions, rather than centralising on larger centres or building new facilities. ”Here, we have a government institution which doesn’t care about existing infrastructure and is in fact taking it somewhere else,” he said. Dunedin had been hit hard by government entities taking local jobs away. First, it was hospital kitchens, followed by New Zealand Post deciding to close the Dunedin mail centre. Now, AgResearch was reducing jobs at Invermay. ”This flies in the face of regional development. It is time Central Government put its money where its rhetoric is,” Mr Cull said.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Aug 2013
      ‘Huge’ legacy recalled
      By Sally Rae
      Invermay’s legacy was ”huge”, Neville Jopson, managing director of Dunedin-based consultancy and new venture development company AbacusBio, said yesterday. AgResearch announced yesterday 85 jobs would go from Invermay, near Mosgiel, by 2016 as the group centralised on Lincoln and Palmerston North. About 30 jobs would remain at Invermay, and the focus would shift to specific environmental and farm systems’ regional needs.
      Read more

      • ### ODT Online Sat, 3 Aug 2013
        Joyce urged to save jobs
        By Dene Mackenzie
        Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is being urged to review the proposal by AgResearch to cut 85 jobs from Invermay and shift them to either Lincoln or Palmerston North by 2016.
        Otago Chamber of Commerce president Peter McIntyre said the proposal was so significant for the region, with three-quarters of current jobs set to shift, that Mr Joyce needed to ensure he was not being ”blindsided” by AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson. And Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is prepared to lead a delegation of regional ”stakeholders” to put Mr Joyce ”straight” on the city’s economic and financial situation.
        Mr Joyce had picked up the city’s economic development strategy – prepared by major stakeholders in the city – and praised it. The strategy was based on a knowledge economy and aimed to create 10,000 jobs in 10 years, he said. It was difficult to do that when 85 – many highly skilled – jobs were being lost from the region, the mayor said. Central Government needed to step back and review its stance on national development over regional development. The answer was not to put everything in Christchurch and Auckland, Mr Cull said.
        Mr McIntyre said people with wide-ranging views were approaching him, and the chamber, expressing concern about the latest job losses. ”I think at least the minister should step in and review the decision alongside [Finance Minister] Bill English, since this is very close to him. There are a number of highly-qualified staff at Invermay obviously blindsided by the rationale. I think it would be wise and prudent for the minister to review this decision rather than having blind faith in the chief executive.” Mr English was the MP for Clutha-Southland and Invermay played a large part in the Southland farming sector, Mr McIntyre said. Otago and Southland had 30% of the nation’s sheep flock and 14% of dairy cows. Deer also played a huge part in Invermay’s work and in the region. Servicing the South from Lincoln or Palmerston North made no sense, he said.
        Read more

        ****

        ### ODT Online Sat, 3 Aug 2013
        Editorial: Time for South to fight
        Enough is enough. Residents of the South have in recent months repeatedly heard myriad voices calling for regional development. Time and again this newspaper has quoted MPs, government officials, local body politicians, business representatives and the like speaking about the importance of decentralisation and the advantages of economic growth in the provinces. But as we said last Saturday, talk is cheap. There has been much talk; little real action.
        Today, the ODT is calling on the people of the South to try to save jobs and services that are shifting out of regional New Zealand – and in many cases being transferred to two main centres. We believe it is time residents of the South stood up and made a statement to the Government and others that stripping jobs out of the regional economies of New Zealand is not in the country’s best interests.
        Read more

        ODT —Angered by what is happening? Have your say
        Download the form letter here

        OR

        (supplied by ODT)
        Copy the text below into an email

        The Hon. Steven Joyce
        Minister of Economic Development
        Parliament Buildings
        Wellington

        Dear Mr Joyce,

        I am alarmed by the prospect of AgResearch relocating 85 jobs from its facility at Invermay, near Mosgiel.

        I believe this is a devastating blow to Otago’s economic and regional development and sends a chilling message to our young people looking to secure their futures in the “knowledge economy”.

        Certainly, we cannot rely on public sector growth, but we have been hit hard by decisions to centralise services in larger centres. This latest proposal tears at the heart of our community and our future. It must not be allowed to happen.

        The Prime Minister, John Key, is on record saying New Zealand needs to make use of existing infrastructure in the regions, rather than centralising in larger centres or building new facilities. So, what exactly is the message from the Government to the people of the South?

        I look forward to your reply.

        Yours sincerely,

        ——

  19. ### ODT Online Thu, 27 Jun 2013
    Dunedin preparing for life in a changing world
    By Debbie Porteous
    The world is changing and Dunedin needs to change too or it will be left behind, was the message from Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull last night, releasing a discussion document for an energy plan for the city for the next 10 years. More than 160 people gathered at the public meeting to hear what Mr Cull and council chief executive Paul Orders had to say about a document that had already created controversy before it was released, when the Otago Chamber of Commerce, having not seen it, raised concerns that it would be ”overrun with green ideologies” during public consultation. Mr Cull said the document outlined the council’s initial stab at a 10-year plan to achieve cost savings and enhance residents’ quality of life by improving energy efficiency, and increase the city’s energy security and ability to adapt to any future change in supply.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jul 2013
      Response to energy plan ‘fantastic’
      By Chris Morris
      An energy plan that caused sparks to fly in Dunedin is now attracting ”fantastic” interest from the public, the Dunedin City Council says. The council has received hundreds of pages of public suggestions on the city’s energy future as work continues on a draft Dunedin energy plan. The latest public feedback period ended yesterday, after the council released a discussion document on the plan last month. In addition, a public energy workshop held at the Glenroy Auditorium on Monday night attracted about 80 people and generated 140 ideas spread over 400 pages of feedback, he said. The response meant the council now had ”a lot of work” to do to analyse the results, before releasing a draft energy plan for full public consultation next month, Mr Auton said.
      The 10-year plan would be designed to achieve cost savings and enhance residents’ quality of life by improving energy efficiency, while increasing the city’s energy security and ability to adapt to any future change in supply.
      Read more

  20. Here we go again! Another case of the DCC being its favourite persona. Nanny State, “we know best what’s good for you, just do as we say and all will be wonderful”. When, oh when, will they get out of our face and just do what they were set up to do? We elect them to provide the community’s essentials, which the community agree to pay for. Social services, water, sewerage, parks and gardens, roading etc, and modest controls in the best interests of all. That’s all, no more nor less than that. But Hell no! They know best, not only what you all need, but how you will get it, how you will pay for it, why it is good for you, what you can do and can’t do on your own property, what sports you must support, how much we put you in debt, even down to how you will pay for it. On top of that you will allow us to depreciate, bastardise, and bankrupt the city in giving you all what you deserve whether you want, like, or despise it. It is called democracy and it is the best system devised to fool the people into believing that they have a say over their destiny. In fact, it is just a vehicle for the delinquent ‘sociopaths and psychopaths’, and the top dog to strut his/her ‘egos’ in funny red cloaks and gold chains. Sad, really.

  21. Peter

    This evening I went to see a documentary called ‘Our Green Roadie’ where the film maker, Emma Heke, went on a road trip interviewing over 50 small businesses throughout NZ doing amazing, innovative things, all with an ecological basis to them. It was a heart- warming reminder that there are innovative people out there doing this stuff, independently, without immediately asking for hand outs from government – local or central. How refreshing when seen in the light of some of our local high-flying cowboys who love publicly funded stadiums etc. Anything, with public money, to put their grubby hands on.

  22. It was always going to end like this. The people involved in the promotion of the stadium are all culpable, but will they be accountable?
    Not on your “Nellie”, they are all covering their back sides as we speak. The fact is, the horse has bolted, the chickens are flying back to roost in flocks. The city is technically bankrupt at something over $14,500 per ratepayer in debt. A diminishing workforce, written off by central government as a lost cause with next to no ‘vote value’. A debauched sense of entitlement by those in charge, both elected and paid employees, including DCHL staff and directors. A last raucous clamour from our lack lustre mayor about fronting government over the 85 job loss at Invermay. Where the hell has he been over the last three years? Swanning around on ‘cycleways’ trips to Shanghai trying to ‘big note’ over there. Caving in to the ‘robber barons’ of rugby and generally being a prize ‘twit.’ How many times has he stalked the corridors of the Beehive demanding to see ministers responsible for matters critical to Dunedin? How small was he on the radar at
    the time of the Hillside disaster? Where is the strong leadership on the St Clair sea wall debacle? Taken to the cleaners by the inept design consultants who simply thumb their noses at our weak bunch of helpless dunderheads. Look how Paul Hudson stood and wrung his hands over the Middle Beach erosion, until Doug Hall (a private citizen) took over and literally saved the day. How inept is Cull and his bunch of ‘jackasses’ in the Greater Dunedin cabal? Try to think of a single thing that has advanced the cause of Dunedin from within that building. Give up? Answer is nothing. Wrong! It has seriously and earnestly ‘advanced the city’s indebtedness hugely, with conference centres, a settlers museum, of course the stadium (an ongoing increase in debt) announced vain glorious plans to make Dunedin one of the best small cities in the world creating 10,000 jobs over ten years. Am I negative? You betcha.

    • As I wrote last night to ODT Online:

      $260m, the least of it
      Submitted by ej kerr on Fri, 02/08/2013 – 11:34pm.

      In an election year, with legislation now requiring councils to issue a pre-election report, the public should know it’s not what is said but what is not said that they should be worried about.

      This is a public relations exercise engineered by the Dunedin City Council, a local body with a substantial track record of obfuscation and lack of transparency and accountability. The council is employing massage for the makings of a ‘responsible’ story, politically. What are Mr Orders and Mr Cull not saying?

      Hype.O.Thermia, various members of the public have comprehensive lists of participants, backed by official information requests and solid detective work. Lists of the culpable, the incompetent, and the downright screwy.

      Aside, the voting record for funding decisions made by Council, as minuted, is ofttimes sketchy. In the end, I suggest, councillors are jointly responsible to the point of being individually and severally liable.

      Inevitably, the day will come when the public will want to test this using the means available. Councillors, council staff, company directors, trustees and private business people loom large.

      [Hah! Published unabridged]

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    For sure people have “comprehensive lists of participants, backed by official information requests and solid detective work. Lists of the culpable, the incompetent, and the downright screwy” – that’s not in doubt, any more than the thoroughly well thought-out objections to the stadium backed up with facts and figures and examples from other cities with much bigger populations that should have seen it given the no-way Jose from the get-go. No doubt at all that this information exists, no doubt at all that it can be presented – again. Just like it’s been presented, just like it’s been shown to all and sundry and what’s actually happened? How much “relitigation” – scuse me for using a dirty word, it’s like blame, responsibility and so on where modern manners mandate “Move on”.
    The gigantic immovable boulder in whose lee the perps shelter in comfort is that getting any individual or organisation whose duty is to proceed and act on this information is, like, y’know, a totes unhappening thing eh.

  24. amanda

    The ODT is making a feast out of the loss of jobs in Dunedin. Why not when the Hillside works was dropped? Well, interestingly enough there is an election coming up so they may wish to distract voters from realising that the debt created by Hudson and mates is the prime cause of the city’s problems. No doubt some Genius Businessman will save the day. Wonder who?

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