Fall Down Otago —The Summit (gasp!)


• Regional decline wider than Dunedin issue.

• No government hand-outs wanted.

• Working cohesively with the government of the day a priority.

• Report from summit presented to AgResearch and Government.

Dead trout [environmentalgeography.wordpress.com]

All dead trout, some ‘performed’ the [DCC] Economic Development Strategy

Representatives from Central Otago, Clutha, Gore, Invercargill, Waitaki and Dunedin local authorities, Otago Regional Council, Environment Southland, Federated Farmers, Clutha Development Board, Council of Social Services, Ministry of Social Development, Ngai Tahu, Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association, Otago-Southland Employers Association, the Otago Daily Times, the University of Otago, Otago University Students’ Association, local MPs, unions and Venture Southland.

ODT Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: environmentalgeography.wordpress.com – dead trout


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

38 responses to “Fall Down Otago —The Summit (gasp!)

  1. ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Aug 2013
    Southern delegation to lobby for Invermay
    A Southern delegation will deliver a message to Government about the need to grow – not cut – Dunedin’s Invermay research centre.
    The move was confirmed at a press conference in Dunedin this afternoon, after more than 50 delegates from around the South Island emerged from an AgResearch/Invermay summit held in the city.
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull told media delegates had agreed on a proposal calling for reinvestment in Invermay’s current research base.
    Details were still being finalised, but would be presented to AgResearch representatives and the Government within two weeks, he said.
    Read more

    ● Full story in tomorrow’s ODT

    • Gordon Cossens fears for the future not just of Invermay but of an effective AgResearch.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Aug 2013
      Corporate ways unsuited to research
      By Gordon Cossens
      OPINION I sympathise with Dr Tom Richardson who is caught between falling research funding and the need to make a profit. However, I do not agree with his solution. It smells a little like the Andrew West-Lincoln University arrangement of 2009. Andrew West was CEO of AgResearch at the time and now is vice-chancellor of Lincoln. Dr Richardson was CEO of the Forest Research Institute before coming to be CEO of AgResearch. FRI, of Rotorua, now conducts its commercial operation under the brand name of Scion. He and his AgResearch team have been well indoctrinated by the corporate ideology to adopt corporate practices in research or perish.
      Is there any proof that agglomeration of research produces innovation (as promoted by Steven Joyce) or indeed excellence? Was Invermay more innovative after 1992 when it became a member of the corporate structured AgResearch? The answer is no; Invermay lost structure and impetus.
      Read more

      ● Gordon Cossens is a former Maf scientist, at Invermay and Alexandra.

  2. Interesting that we keep hearing from the bubbernment types about how R&D is where it’s at for NZ, then the pos do things like this.

    • [Hot Air Fest – Imagine this: “Government MP Michael Woodhouse faces media questions as he goes into a summit of job losses in Dunedin.” Like he gives a S***]

      ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 16:24 14/08/2013
      Dunedin leaders develop job plan
      By Wilma McCorkindale
      Southern leaders are heading for Wellington with ideas to stem regional decline, after a summit in Dunedin today. The meeting comes after a string of closures and job losses in the city following large-scale lay-offs by KiwiRail at Dunedin’s Hillside engineering workshops in 2011.
      The last straw for Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull was the recent news of the loss of 85 jobs at the Invermay AgResearch centre. Flanked by heads of a range of southern organisations, Cull said the meeting had come up with the makings of an alternative proposal to the Government’s plan to move the jobs out of Invermay to larger centres further north. Cull said the new proposal would be be completed within days and a meeting sought with the Government to put it forward as quickly as possible. The new proposal focused on opportunities to enhance Invermay rather than downsizing it, Cull said.
      Many leaders south of the Waitaki believe the regions have been neglected, and Dunedin’s mayor last week described the region as the “cannibalised south”. The Government’s lone Dunedin MP, Michael Woodhouse, said he was coming under fire for a raft of government decisions that were pulling public service jobs out of the Otago region.
      Read more

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Gordon Cossens’ points chimed with something I read earlier today, an article on Medscape about the growing tendency to use technology to “examine” patients without actually seeing or touching them. The writer Melissa Walton-Shirley gives examples, one particularly shocking, of how taking direct hands-on experience out of the procedure short-changes the patient, and the profession. “Her orthostatic BP was normal. Her labs were normal. The Holter from another facility was benign. Cardiac exam was completely normal, but when I stretched her out on the exam table, her abdomen was rock hard. For all the world, in that position, I thought she was nine months pregnant… I actually placed my arms around this gigantic tumor as an OB would do to query for fetal position. “I think you have a very large tumor in your abdomen,” I said, and sure enough, on CT, there was a 16-cm mass accompanied by multiple tumors crowding her entire abdomen.”
    We cannot expect the best results from short-changed policies being forced upon researchers. We cannot expect computers and other technology to provide all the answers, let alone all the questions. Losing contact with the other “researchers” i.e. farmers whose observations, successes, failures and puzzles provide invaluable input often backed by decades of experience with the same species and/or the same land, in wet and dry and windy and hot and chilly years, reduces the amount of information for the science-trained researchers to work with.
    It’s this damn-fool “One True Way” attitude again. “The market” was the One True Answer to everything, problem is the market is good at what the market does, and shite at many other roles. Whatever happened to “horses for courses”? If one must have a quick’n’easy slogan please, please, let it be that.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    And from the Listener, another instance of “collateral damage” due to restructuring, probably driven by the “One True Way” thinking of the time:
    This is from ‘A shot at coffee growing’, by Xanthe White (Listener, 27 June 2013).
    “The former Department of Scientific and Industrial Research was trialling a great number of varieties, but they were destroyed during bureaucratic changes. This is unfortunate because any serious growers will need to start from seed or visit collections such as those of the Austen brothers to find plants suited to a particular location.”

    These “True Ways” should be recognised as disastrously deleterious to NZ’s economy and eliminated at the border using reasoned argument, ridicule, ricin and the rack within a robust “horses for courses” kaupapa.

    • ### ch9.co.nz August 14, 2013 – 7:15pm
      Invermay issue raising plenty of concern outside Dunedin
      Dunedin leaders plan to waste no time in taking their case to Wellington, after a high-powered summit of political, business and tertiary education representatives. The summit was held to discuss overturning a recent AgResearch move to transfer 85 jobs from Invermay. And it was clear at a media conference after the summit the issue is raising plenty of concern outside Dunedin.


      ### ch9.co.nz August 14, 2013 – 7:04pm
      Your word on a political party for the South
      Local outrage over the Invermay job losses is gaining traction, with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull calling a summit to discuss the matter. Local businessman Ian Taylor has also issued a call to ‘stand up’ and fight to retain regional jobs. Taylor has gone a step further, claiming the South needs to create a new political party to represent the interests of Dunedin, Southland and the Waitaki.


      ### ch9.co.nz August 13, 2013 – 7:06pm
      Summit will not be public
      Dunedin’s push to turn around recent grim economic news reaches a head tomorrow.

      • Yawn. So they got together and had refreshments.
        Does Cull look like a leader to you?

        Otago Daily Times editor Murray Kirkness also attended, following the launch of the newspaper’s “Stand Up Otago” campaign nearly two weeks ago.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Aug 2013
        South united in call to act
        By Chris Morris
        Southern voices have joined together in an unprecedented display of unity to call for more investment, not less, in Dunedin’s Invermay agricultural research centre. And the message would be delivered in person to government ministers and the AgResearch board by a southern delegation within days, Mayor Dave Cull said yesterday.

        The delegates spent much of the day discussing ways to save Invermay and boost the regional economy, before emerging with an action plan that was big on potential but light on detail.

        His comments followed yesterday’s AgResearch-Invermay summit in Dunedin, which drew more than 50 delegates from organisations across the lower South Island.
        Read more


        Remember how DCC created a new salaried 6-month position to canvass business for Dunedin in the Christchurch rebuild. Seems like the companies are tracking the market well enough by themselves as they always do; while things remain flat in Dunedin, despite the university signalling staged development work in the next years. Nothing to see here.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Aug 2013
        Construction companies move staff to Christchurch
        By Vaughan Elder
        Dunedin construction companies are sending staff north for the Christchurch rebuild because of a lack of work in Dunedin. Construction companies spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday said they were sending up to a third of their staff north to work on projects at any one time, with some staff permanently moving to Christchurch.
        Read more

  5. Peter

    Let’s face it, if the Invermay job losses are reversed then the summit could be deemed a success. Otherwise, a waste of time. We’ll soon see.
    Usually ministers take the easy approach and say they are ‘powerless’ to intervene because those who make these decisions are independent from Government ‘interference’. This is a beautiful device for governments because they can shift the blame for unpopular decisions onto others. Both sides of politics love this scenario and are loathe to change it.
    National can ‘listen, wait for the heat to go out of the issue, and ignore the calls to reconsider their position. Key will keep smiling while Joyce applies his usual logic to hose down concerns and tell us things are not that bad really. (He already has done so.)
    We will just have to suck it up.

  6. Cull must have been born under a special star sign. This has fallen in his lap right in the lead up to the election. He couldn’t buy this sort of publicity. The fact that it is basically ‘hot air’ on his part is beside the point. All good stuff in a ‘Ra Ra’ sort of way. What will come out of it is in the lap of the ‘bovver boys’ in the Beehive. If only Dunedin could offer the b….rds some votes.

    • Woop! Our Deputy PM (National!!) critical of the lesser local “fall down” GOBs (National), a first!!! LOVING this.

      ”If you want to attract business, investment and jobs, then you want to be telling a positive story, not a negative one.” –English

      ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Aug 2013
      Negativity concern for English
      By James Beech
      Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says he is concerned the ”Stand Up Otago” campaign is ”a bit too negative about the South” when it has been performing better economically than the North. The Finance Minister and Clutha-Southland MP told the Otago Daily Times in Queenstown yesterday if there is a two-speed economy, then Dunedin is on the fast track, not the slow track. ”Employment growth is faster than all of the North Island, except Taranaki,” Mr English said. “Per capita GDP is up there ahead of most parts of New Zealand, so they just need to be careful they’re not talking the South down.”
      Read more

  7. Mike

    The problem is that these talk fests never doo much, everyone gets a warm glow because We’re Doing Something – and then everyone goes away thinking someone else will do it – there’s never any follow up unless some bright spark just goes off and does it themselves – we need more bright sparks

    • Mike, exactly. Bright sparks are the oxygen, as twere.

      • Sometimes, an individual is properly identified by their unsubtle foot on the accelerator in prompt reaction to another person/blogger say, or when blogging at different Dunedin sites within the same timeframe. We know who they are. It’s like studying form at the races. Or tracing fingerprints.

  8. Alasis

    Oaten, you’re an egg. Is there anyone who is going to give Cull even the slightest challenge? What would he have to get caught doing before not getting voted back in? Stop your moaning.

    Most posters on here are losers who have nothing good to say about anyone. Put your own name in the ring and see how you go, Im sure you’l get a few votes (like Elizabeth and Hype lol). Loser.

  9. Alasis: Better an ‘egg’ than a ‘nog’. Is Alasis a synonym for ‘alas I stink’?

  10. Peter

    The ‘Seen To Be Doing Something’ is par for the course with politics.
    I understand from one of the participants there was actually a ‘brainstorm’ at the summit about what to do.

  11. Alasis – challenging Cull will be very difficult, but if you don’t challenge it makes it easy for him. So I’ve decided to challenge him, to at least make him work for his votes. And you never know what could happen if word of mouth and momentum get to work, especially with social media increasing its reach.

    If you want change do something to make it happen. I’m open to any suggestions.

    • That’s a bit like asking the unsuccessful councillor who stood down to bounce back like the Energizer bunny. He’s become more vocal than usual, through online aliases, since announcing his decision to not stand. He has the taste of freedom from care and responsibility (meanwhile collecting his pay until October) – if ever that was the case.

      Backing the stadium project was political suicide, as it is for the current mayor and members of lesser Dunedin who believe in propping it up with money that’s not theirs. In the end all it means is we’ll see them in court.

      You’re right Pete, people increasingly use social networking services to get knowledge and form opinion. Make sure you get into Twitter, that’s where it’s at for busy people with less time to compose long paragraphs!

  12. @PeteDGeorge – I’ve been working hard out on social media for the last five years, researching and having fun. I found and followed @whatifdunedin recently. I’m practiced at short and long paragraphs :)

  13. Russell Garbutt

    I think that William has been outed and his thoughts are now even less relevant than before. He is a sad character. But let’s ignore William because there is no point in doing otherwise.

    Peter George is a prolific poster on social media through, at least, Kiwiblog and this is one site that I go to every now and then and note that some of the comments are pretty close to the bone. He asks for suggestions.

    Today, I’ve had a number of interesting discussions with people who are, in any sense of the word, articulate and deep thinkers, and all despair at what they may term the “dumbing down” of NZ society. They despair at the quality of news reporting, they despair at the lack of discourse and informed debate, they despair at the willingness of the electorate – both national and local – to accept the idiotic pronouncements of the political leaders. A prime example being Key’s position on the GCSB Bill – he thinks that people are more interested in snapper quota for recreational fishermen.

    Can social media make a difference and influence change?

    Yes, it can, but it will never reach Mother of Five in Inner Caversham. What will make this mythical person wake up to the fact that, for example, over the last decade or so, there has been a concerted, orchestrated and publically funded, fraud carried out on the ratepayers of this City to fund activities that only benefitted a few individuals? How will this mythical person be communicated to, and by whom?

    One thing is for sure, that it will not be the ODT. In the past, it may have been, but it no longer is. The ODT is now part of the problem rather than the solution, but the accompanying issue is that the failure of the written media is now part of the problem. People are now choosing who to deliver “their news”. A person that chooses to hear their news from a particular website hasn’t a clue that this source is being filtered.

    Social media, by its very definition, is like anarchy unleashed – we alone can determine its direction and influence.

    So, my suggestion to Peter George is simply this.

    Figure out the most effective way to reach the most people who will bother to vote. Imagine you have to find out how to change the mind of this Mother of Five of Caversham. Probably doesn’t read the ODT, probably doesn’t look at this site, probably doesn’t look at Kiwiblog, probably only looks at their friends on Facebook and has most of their time devoted to meeting their bill payments.

    If I had a second suggestion it would be to distance himself from Peter Dunne as fast as possible. Dunne, as far as I can see, is perceived as an insignificant, posturing little bantam rooster with alarming similarities to Woodhouse. Love their own voices, but short on vision and almost everything else.

    Hopefully, there will be significant and radical change in Dunedin and it will be no thanks to the likes of William – in all of his guises – and the sooner it can happen the better.

    • There would need to have been a lot of hand sanitizer used in both directions. And the mass *cough* of Dunedin voters will see Cull as their dah-ling, their saviour…

      ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Aug 2013
      Another day, different deal
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says regional development and the threat to Invermay did not come up when he shook Prime Minister John Key’s hand yesterday. Both men were in Auckland for the announcement of hosting rights for the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup, in which Dunedin was awarded seven games including a ”round of 16” clash. However, Mr Cull told the Otago Daily Times Mr Key was on a ”pretty tight time frame”, and there was little opportunity to chat. ”I got to shake his hand at least twice, but that was it. He was rather preoccupied with a round ball at the time.”
      Read more

  14. Thanks Russell. What I am doing in Dunedin has nothing to do with Dunne or Kiwiblog. I have been exploring ways of doing democracy better in Dunedin for several years, independent of national politics. Standing for mayor (and council) is a natural progression of this.

    I know it’s difficult to reach some of the “mother’s of five in Caversham” – however a mother of three and three quarters in Abbotsford was one of the first to congratulate me for standing (evidence on Facebook).

    I was involved in the attempts to resurrect a Dunedin ratepayers group, getting people interested in things like that are difficult, but there were also personal agenda issues. Despite that some good emerged from that exercise, you will see more of that after the election.

    One of my main aims has been to establish a better means of communication between council and people, to listen more and respond better to what people want. The best way of doing this is from within the council – as mayor it would be best. Make it happen.

    I have personal views on many things – often grossly misrepresented on Kiwiblog and other political blogs. But my own views are secondary. Mayor and council need to show leadership but above all they should be representing the people of the city, far better than they do now. That has been my primary goal for five years, better representation in Dunedin. And that means driving more effective relationships between council, local MPs and all parties in Parliament. I’m ready to get stuck into achieving this.

  15. Anon1

    Am I missing something here; who is this “William” and his many guises that Russell refers to?

  16. I would guess engrish is more worried about his electorate getting the shits with his performance (note here the crawling via the smelter) so he’s working hard to talk his way out of trouble.

    • I’m more than happy for Bill English to slap the local boys and sirs. The article moves to discuss employment (north and south). He provides useful context. More voices than ODT’s will always be a good thing.

  17. ### ODT Online Thu, 28 Nov 2013
    Council to survey businesses
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillor Hilary Calvert’s push to ask businesses what they need to grow appears to be gaining traction. Council staff have confirmed they are drawing up plans for a survey of the city’s businesses, which is likely to be carried out early next year.
    Read more


    Property speculation — the old-fashioned, destructive, over-heating fallback ‘investment vision’ — “the development, if confirmed, would be in a ”key area” of strength for the city, and involve land, construction and a ”significant” number of new jobs for the city”. Oh wait. Other centres competing!!!

    ### ODT Online Thu, 28 Nov 2013
    Project worth ‘millions’
    By Chris Morris
    A major international investor is eyeing Dunedin with plans that could pump ”tens of millions of dollars” into the city’s economy, the Otago Chamber of Commerce says. The unnamed organisation is in talks with members of a new Dunedin investment panel, created by the chamber, the Dunedin City Council and other city organisations, and hopes to progress plans next year.
    Read more

    Are we talking the newly zoned land south of the Steamer Basin ? (again)

  18. Anonymous

    With the degree of vagueness in this proposal, we would never know if the project existed, unless the proposal was successful. It sounds like the business equivalent of carpetbagging – we have these candidate locations, let’s see what the best deal is that we can get from the locals.

  19. Mike

    I don’t really understand why Christie is making this non-announcement “I’ve got a secret and you can’t know it” breaks the first rule of secret club – as relevant to the real world it’s on par with the continual “famous band X might be coming to NZ, maybe we can lure them to the fubar”.

    If what we’re supposed to read into this is “we’re going to build something you’re not going to like, but we’re going to get it sewn so you can’t stop it this time” it all seems a bit of a pointless goad.

    To me it seems that Christie and his organisation just want to be in the paper.

    A survey sounds pretty useless to me, looks like you’re doing something but … you publish a report and nothing’s really changed – chances are it’s going to go to the CoC crowd and miss all the businesses like mine that don’t think they’re particularly relevant or don’t have or need a defined downtown presence.

  20. Anonymous
    November 28, 2013 at 7:54 am
    When I read this I thought the same. It all smacks of desperation on everyone’s part. Those connected with the background, the Chamber of Commerce and the O.D.T. Desperate for a good news story. It is as if we all know there is bad news all around us but don’t want to know about it.

  21. It’s called “kite flying”. Post a rumour, let it run a bit then if something comes out of the woodwork claim the credit. It is also another way of trying to say that me and my organisation is important in the grand scheme of things. When in fact things happen, or not, according to that amorphous thing called markets. You can’t push it or cajole it, it just happens if the ducks are in a row. Still, it fills the front page of the ODT when there is nothing else.

    • Mike

      I think he’s probably talking about something (he thinks is) real – I just don’t understand why

      (other than the aforementioned getting your picture in the paper – maybe it’s election time for CoC dear-leader)

  22. It’s definitely time for a good-news story and when it comes to money flowing into Dunedin it may be that wishful thinking is as good as it gets.. We’re going to hang out our washing on the Siegfried Line.

  23. amanda

    The COC needs to realise that they cannot make pronouncements and expect us all to bow down at their fabulousness. Christie and the COC have proven themselves to be utterly incompetent; they supported the stadium fiscal disaster. This non-story is delivered by the ODT which blindly bows down to the COC. Just another ‘Trust us, shut up, and smile’ story from the ODT and COC muppets.

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