Monthly Archives: September 2013

National referendum (2013): Asset sales

### ODT Online Mon, 30 Sep 2013
Asset sales referendum dates revealed
By Adam Bennett – NZ Herald
Prime Minister John Key has confirmed the Citizens Initiated Referendum over asset sales will take place in late November and early December this year.
Mr Key said the referendum would take by postal ballot, opening on November 22 and closing on December 13. The referendum would cost $9m.
The referendum will ask whether New Zealanders support the Government’s sale of up to 49 per cent of Meridian, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand. It is not binding on the Government. APNZ
Read more

Meanwhile closer to home at DCC and DCHL . . .

Fire Sale [] 2

Related Post and Comments:
17.10.12 The only thing up…. (for sale)
16.8.12 Dunedin water assets
29.5.12 Asset sales (would Dave’s council sell us up)
17.1.12 DCC living beyond its means [all spending and debt not declared]
23.11.11 You (New Zealanders) already own the state assets. Why sell…
21.9.11 DScene: Cull & Co planning asset sales

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: – Fire Sale


Filed under Stadiums

Cull’s political party caucuses ‘in term’. Lost best chief executive we could find.



ODT 28.9.13 Employment - Chief Executive City of Dunedin (page 59)ODT 28.9.13 Employment – Chief Executive City of Dunedin (page 59)

Related Posts and Comments:
29.9.13 Alert: Dunedin voters —Mayors gain more powers
26.9.13 DCC: Council consolidated debt $623 million
24.9.13 Mediocrity and lack of critical awareness at DCC
24.9.13 DCC chief executive Paul Orders recommended for Cardiff
22.9.13 Newspaper errs . . . #Dunedin #Elections
20.9.13 Friday hit parade

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, What stadium

Alert: Dunedin voters —Mayors gain more powers

Following the 2013 local body elections . . .

Is this why Greater Debt Dunedin’s campaigning so hard, with help from ‘friends’? Read on.

Firstly, ‘overthinking’ an image, and an opinion piece from the Nelson Mail (June 2013). Followed by ‘Friday news’ from New Zealand Herald, reproduced in Saturday’s Otago Daily Times (page 3). Lastly, importantly, you’re urged to VOTE – a plea appearing in the ODT, indicating 9 October is the last date by which to safely post your completed voting papers.

Emperors new clothes [] re-imaged 1VOTE carefully oh so carefully, please


### Last updated 13:39 12/06/2013
New accountability for mayors
By Keith Marshall
OPINION New law changes passed at the end of last year created some major changes ahead for local government. One of the most important changes, in my view, arises from legally and politically empowering mayors to do the job we expect of them. And, along with that legal empowerment comes some genuine public accountability to perform.
After the coming election, mayors nationwide gain new powers. A mayor will be able to legally appoint their own deputy mayor, appoint all committee chairs and determine the structure of council committees, including which elected councillors are appointed on to those. The legal power to decide their own political teams, structures and processes means that mayors will gain a huge level of political control over councils that they currently do not legally have.
Adding to this direct political control, mayors from the next election onward will also legally be personally responsible for driving the setting of council plans and budgets. This, alone, is a huge change.

Indeed, it may be surprising to learn that currently mayors around the country have no real substantive legal powers – largely the current legal role is one of a “first citizen” and in chairing meetings of the elected council.
Mayors, currently, do not have the legal authority to choose their own political teams nor structures, they do not determine council agendas and nor do they drive council budgets or plans. Right now, those decisions are made by the whole of the elected council and in those decisions, as in all others, mayors have just one vote at the council table, the same as all councillors.
In some ways being a mayor under the current law is a potentially thankless task – one in which they are the public face of the council, and get to be “blamed” for any and all decisions made by the elected council whether or not they personally supported or voted against those decisions.
On the other hand, the current situation also makes it very difficult for us voters to hold our current mayors, and councillors, individually accountable for the decision-making of the whole of the elected council (and the subject of a future column).

In the future, just what and how issues are dealt with will be determined by the mayors themselves; maybe in conjunction with their councillor supporters, or perhaps sometimes even just off their own cognisance.

All decisions of the council will be directly influenced by the mayor through the exercise of their new powers. This is very real political power never before seen in local government in New Zealand – something much more akin to the “presidential” type of mayor as seen in the United States.
Accordingly, at the next council elections, whoever we elect as mayors of Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council will have the legal ability to carry out any election promises they may have made. Any mayoral candidate can set out a vision for us and, unlike at any other time in the past, be in a position to bring that vision into reality if they become mayor. This is a new legal environment for local government.

So what? Well, for one thing, the new law change means that mayors (and their councillor supporters who the mayor will appoint to key roles) will now be more obviously accountable for all decisions. Along with the ability/responsibility to make things happen (via legal powers) goes some true accountability.
Read more

● Keith Marshall is a company director and the former Nelson City Council chief executive. Previously, he has owned Thrifty Rental Cars NZ, managed the last nationwide health reforms and participated in the NZ-China FTA negotiations.


### 1:35 PM Friday Sep 27, 2013
Mayors given extra powers
By Rebecca Quilliam
Mayors throughout the country will become more powerful under new law changes set to come into action after October’s local elections. The changes will allow mayors to appoint their own deputies, set the structure of committees and appoint committee chairpeople.
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said the changes had the potential to bring real benefits. It enabled new councils to “hit the ground running” and for councillors to work more effectively together, Mr Yule said.

Mayors would become responsible for driving the set up of major plans and budgets, which included long-term and annual plans.

They would also be more accountable for their decisions, Mr Yule said.
The law changes bring all the country’s councils in line with the powers already granted to the Auckland Mayor under the Super City process. The new powers would encourage cross-council collaboration because, in order to use them, a mayor needed the majority support of councillors, he said.
Voting papers for city, district and regional councils have now been sent out. These must be returned posted or hand-delivered in time to reach the relevant electoral officer by noon on October 12. APNZ
NZH Link


Participation in electoral process urged (ODT 18.9.13)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image via – ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ re-spun by Whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

A museum. Laying poor management, bullying, and much more, to rest.

First, we received a very fair assessment:

ODT 2.9.13 Peter Entwisle - Otago Museum (page 9)ODT 2.9.13 Peter Entwisle – Art Beat, Opinion (page 9)

And now, this week’s tidy and brave acknowledgement:

ODT 25.9.13 Letter to the editor (page 17)ODT 25.9.13 Letter to the editor (page 17)


Otago Museum re-imaged [] copyOmmmmmmmmmm.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr | What if? Dunedin… A blog about the social and built environment at Dunedin.

1 Comment

Filed under Media, Museums, Name, New Zealand, People, Project management

DCC: Council consolidated debt $623 million

If taken together, core council and stadium debt has increased $130 million, from $240 million to $370 million, during the past three years.

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Sep 2013
Varied stances on question of debt
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s debt mountain is reaching new heights, but the Dunedin City Council says everything is under control. Reporter Chris Morris speaks to the city’s mayoral candidates about whether they would do anything differently. The eight men and one woman who want to be Dunedin’s next mayor are divided over debt. They are divided over the figures, divided over the plan and divided over what they would do differently.
Some have declared themselves happy with the Dunedin City Council’s approach to debt repayments. Others remain opposed, and have called for cost-cutting, more money from the council’s companies and even for assets to be sold, including Wall Street mall and Forsyth Barr Stadium. And, in the meantime, the debt mountain continues to climb towards a projected peak that is still two years away.

As it stands, the council’s consolidated debt – shared between the council, its companies and the stadium – has reached $623 million, council staff confirmed yesterday.

That was up $125 million since the start of incumbent Mayor Dave Cull’s term in mid-2010, albeit mostly – but not completely – as a result of spending on major capital projects agreed to by previous councils.
Within the debt mountain, core council debt – the bit ratepayers are directly responsible for servicing – stands at $225 million. That has actually gone down $15 million, from $240 million in 2010, but only because stadium debt – totalling $145 million – has been split from the core council debt tally, to become its own category, since 2010. Add the $253 million in debt held by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries – the council’s group of companies – and the total reaches $623 million.
Read more + Mayoral Candidate Views


Mayoral candidates 2013Dunedin Mayoral Candidates 2013
Left to right, (top) Hilary Calvert, Dave Cull, Kevin Dwyer, (middle) Pete George, Aaron Hawkins, Olivier Lequeux, (bottom) Steve McGregor, Lee Vandervis, Andrew Whiley

DCC website — electoral information

Council Elections: STV Q&A – see Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgelar

Faces appearing – and disappearing – in all manner of places (ODT 26.9.13)


### ODT Online Thu, 26 Sep 2013
Editorial: Rights and responsibilities
While the eyes of some people glaze over at the mention of local body elections, the fact is they offer the biggest opportunity for the average citizen to influence the direction of their community for the next three years – and often much further into the future.
Postal voting papers should now have been delivered to households, and voters have until Saturday, October 12, to make decisions about who they want to represent them as mayor, on city or district councils, community boards, licensing trusts, regional councils and health boards.
The choices we make in these local body elections will affect us, and others in our community. They influence everything from the health services we receive, to roading, water and sewerage infrastructure, social, cultural and sporting and recreational amenities, and planning and development. There are services we take for granted, those we believe are fundamental to our lives, those we bemoan the lack of, and inefficiencies we believe frustrating or unnecessary.
The choices should not be made lightly. Voters are encouraged to carefully read their supplied candidate and voting information and as much other material as they can source in order to make informed decisions about those who will then be expected to make educated decisions on behalf of us.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Stadiums, What stadium

STV Voter Education

“So, as a voter in an STV election, you can be confident that your vote stands a very good chance of helping to elect a candidate you like.

For example, in the Dunedin Central ward, where eleven councillors will be elected, almost 92% (or 11 out of 12) of the votes cast will help to elect a candidate.

As a proportional voting system, STV also increases the chances that the councils and boards we elect will reflect the diversity in our communities (assuming that the candidates themselves are diverse).

We also know that STV elections in New Zealand have tended to have higher voter turnout than FPP elections, and that STV elections encourage a wider range of people to consider standing for councils and boards.

This is also good for our democracy; the more people turn out to vote in local elections, the more confident we can be that our representatives have a mandate to act on our behalf.”

The second workshop will be held 6:30pm St Andrews Lounge, Cavy Presbyterian Church, Thorn St South Dunedin, Thurs 26th. All welcome


Filed under Democracy, Politics

Mediocrity and lack of critical awareness at DCC

Yesterday’s council meeting, the last for this trimester, was an unholy dip into how mediocre, ‘unaware’ and closeted this council has become under Mayor Dave Cull’s leadership.

Agenda items:
21Report – Council – 23/09/2013 (PDF, 5.8 MB)
Cycle/Pedestrian Safety on One-Way Sections of State Highway 1 – An Update

22bReport – Council – 23/09/2013 (PDF, 7.8 MB)
Proposed Transport Strategy Amendments following Public Consultation

The only subtle highlight of the meeting was questioning by Cr John Bezett about consultation on the proposed cycleways and the draft transport strategy. He had picked up that the Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy hadn’t been fully consulted across the transport sectors that stand to be the most impacted by the strategy, including major freight movers. He queried if the council’s formal partners to the economic development strategy had been consulted, and although Cr Kate Wilson replied they had, no clues were provided as to the depth of that consultation and who all had been involved.

Earlier in the meeting Cr Bezett clearly expressed unease in knowing the Automobile Association (AA) hadn’t submitted on the cycleways. This drew a superficial response from Mayor Cull when he said the council can’t subpoena people to submit.

Cr Bezett also noted submitters on the draft strategy didn’t appear to relate to the strategy itself in their submissions.

Cr Lee Vandervis said the council’s consultation had been held with cyclists, not the 90% of other road users. Regarding submissions, he said there was a “problem with trust” … “modern transportation users were not submitting, why?” In his view, modern technology drives change yet there was nothing about this in the initial draft strategy. He acknowledged some changes had been made to the draft, but said the thrust of the strategy was “Let’s go back to pedal power”. The strategy would gather dust in the future, he said.

The Flintstones [] 2The vision going forward . . .

In pointed reply to Cr Vandervis, Cr Jinty MacTavish said the strategy was not an “anti-car strategy”, it was a “pro-spatial plan strategy”. She reminded her co-councillors the strategy would come up for council review in five years.

Cr Chris Staynes acknowledged his own focus on economic development for the city, claiming the strategy “provides a platform on which the city can grow”. He considered an integrated transportation strategy was important for “more users than just car users”. He believed a rise in cycle use would see “less vehicles on key arterial roads”. A balanced integrated strategy would see “businesses and cars as part of the process”. [A hen feather to the Otago Chamber of Commerce.] “Stop looking at the past,” he said.

Simon Underwood (Projects Team Leader, New Zealand Transport Agency) had earlier addressed the meeting on the report [item 21] for cycle/pedestrian safety on the one-way (SH1). “There was a lot of support out there,” he said. The agency was looking to make short-term improvements to the highway system, “the agency was not about a single project”. For cyclists to travel from North East Valley to the university, hospital or South Dunedin there weren’t many route choices.

Cr Fliss Butcher had left the meeting by this time, and did not return.

NZTA had come up with two cycleway options to note to council — a one-way separated cycle lane on the right side of each one-way section between Rattray St and the botanic garden, or a two-way cycle lane along the length of Cumberland St. Mr Underwood said the proposed cycleways were for commuting cyclists more than tourism. Councillors voted to support the NZTA beginning consultation.

Cr Neil Collins had concerns about consultation with small businesses, he said a number were alarmed after seeing the plans. Mr Underwood said NZTA had consulted with small businesses and the AA. Taxis had been consulted but made no submissions. He said there had been mixed feedback on changes to parking, but not on the cycle lanes. Cr Bezett said NZTA should go back to the AA — he also wanted to know if NZTA would target submitters because “not submitting does not mean agreement”.

Cr Vandervis asked why there was no mention or consideration of the loss of parking in the report. He said it had been left to the Otago Daily Times to count the number of parking spaces that could be lost.

DCC General Manager Infrastructure and Networks, Tony Avery believed the lost parks would have people “redistribute” through the city. “It’s simplistic to suggest a loss of revenue will occur with that loss of car parks,” he said.

Cr Vandervis opined the transport strategy was “Lose Lose Lose” — loss of parks, loss of revenue, and he was indignant that the proposed cycle lanes didn’t separate at the most dangerous points in the roads, the intersections.

Cr Syd Brown supported the recommendations in the report because of the “Health and Safety City” — he jovially noted he would no longer be on council to face the community about loss of parking. Having chaired the committee on Parking Changes previously, he concluded, “Cars don’t go shopping, people do.”
[A profound realisation.]

Mayor Cull agreed with the positive outcomes but the report was about safety. “Why wouldn’t Dunedin be safer with separated lanes?” he asked. It was good to restrict this area for safety [as mapped in the report]; the council would then see how the cycle lanes link up to other parts of the transport strategy. Loss of parking is a “complete red herring,” he said. “Roads are for moving people along, parking is a bonus.”

Not many councillors appeared to have read the draft transport strategy before the meeting.

### ODT Online Tue, 24 Sep 2013
Parking put aside for now as cycle lane idea proceeds
By Debbie Porteous
Concerns about the loss of parking from a separated cycle facility in central Dunedin are a ”red herring”, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Installing a cycle lane on one side of the one-way system through the city was about safety. He was responding in part to comments from Cr Lee Vandervis, who led a discussion on a report to yesterday’s full council meeting on the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) recommendation to install separated cycle lanes on State Highway 1 through the city.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
4.9.13 Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy
30.8.13 Transport Strategy: Is this responsible local government?
29.8.13 The Don, imagines . . .
4.8.13 World War I memorial project
24.11.11 Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC
8.7.13 Bloody $tupid cycleways and Cull’s electioneering . . .
28.3.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point…
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr, horrified meeting attendee…

*Image: – The Flintstones


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