Dunedin community v government-led centralisation

farm animals [fanpop.com]Local farm animals marooned on a specially constructed grassy knoll for want of truth, no bungy cord was available today as an alternative solution.

### ODT Online Thu, 12 Sep 2013
Grilling likely for Key
By Dene Mackenzie
Prime Minister John Key can expect to face tough questions about the southern economy and the planned job cuts at Invermay when he visits Dunedin today. Mr Key is in the city to present awards at the Otago Daily Times Class Act function. Before Class Act, Mr Key will address an Otago Chamber of Commerce-organised function at which Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull expects to be seated next to the prime minister. Asked whether he would raise the issue of AgResearch’s restructuring of Invermay, Mr Cull said: ”Too bloody right. It would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity”.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image via fanpop.com


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Site, University of Otago, What stadium

35 responses to “Dunedin community v government-led centralisation

  1. ### ch9.co.nz September 12, 2013 – 6:57pm
    Prime Minister survives a southern grilling
    Prime Minister John Key says the door has not yet shut on Invermay. Key arrived in Dunedin this morning, presenting the ODT’s Class Act Awards and visiting businesses. And he told media the Government was listening to southern concerns.

    • ODT Online Mon, 9 Sep 2013
      Editorial: Who is responsible for growth?
      It can have come as little surprise that economic development for Dunedin was the top priority in the annual Dunedin City Council survey of residents. Hillside, New Zealand Post and possible Invermay job losses have had a telling impact. While other jobs here and there are being created as well as lost, Dunedin is reminded again of its vulnerability and its reliance on the University of Otago.
      Citizens might be happy with a stable city and might even reject the god of growth. But most are alert to the dangers of a downward spiral, and aware Dunedin requires a solid underpinning of employment. They are willing to ”stand up” to try to prevent the city’s strengths from being undermined. This impetus has focused on the massive and specific threat Invermay, in significant part because of the agricultural centre’s role in research and the ”knowledge” economy.
      Read more + Comments

      • There’s been too much moaning too late. Council needs to be far more aware of what is happening or might happen and be proactive. Need to have a plan in place ready for bad news, repetitive negativeness and complaints are a bad image and achieve nothing.

        Need to be much more engaged in national politics with ongoing lobbying with local MPs and direct to all parties. Most effective action is the result of long term networking and evaluating, ready to jump into gear. I’ve done this successfully as an individual, a sizeable council could do more – if they know how to do it.

        Cull in Radio NZ this morning sounded worn out and defeated.

        • Thanks! Listened to the item as it aired, rushed off and forgot to post it.

          ### radionz.co.nz Thursday 12 September 2013
          Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
          Dunedin Mayor refused Ag Research meeting over jobs losses ( 3′ 55″ )

          08:25 Dunedin’s mayor says he has no option but to go straight to central government with his fight to keep Ag Research jobs in the city after being denied the chance of a meeting with the organisation’s own board.
          Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 13 Sep 2013
          Heartened by Key’s response
          By Dene Mackenzie
          Prime Minister John Key managed to clear an ”air of tension” in the room yesterday when he addressed the Otago Chamber of Commerce, president Peter McIntyre said. It became obvious as the questions flowed at the chamber-organised lunch that Mr Key was well briefed on the region’s economic development strategy and the role Invermay played in that strategy.

          ”There was nothing more we could expect, other than the Prime Minister to immediately reverse the decision on Invermay and there was a 1% chance of that happening.” –Peter McIntyre

          Mr McIntyre said Mr Key gave the region credit for the work it was already undertaking around the knowledge economy. And the Prime Minister recognised the part Invermay played within the knowledge economy and it was a central part of the Dunedin economic development strategy.
          Read more


          ### ODT Online Fri, 13 Sep 2013
          No basis for bleak economic view: PM
          By Eileen Goodwin
          It was easy to talk down the local economy, but the evidence did not back it up, Prime Minister John Key told Scott Technology workers in Dunedin yesterday. He remained optimistic about Dunedin’s future.
          Earlier, Mr Key visited oat mill Harraways, where he chatted with individual staff members while they worked, and had a tour. Mr Key started his visit to the South yesterday with a visit to technology firm TracMap, in Mosgiel.
          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz September 13, 2013 – 7:16pm
          Prime Minister listened to local concerns
          Expectations are limited, but Dunedin leaders think Prime Minister John Key at least listened to local concerns yesterday. The Prime Minister visited to hand out awards to high achieving secondary school pupils. But he left with no doubt how seriously Dunedin people take recent job losses.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    “He left with no doubt how seriously Dunedin people take recent job losses” – ah, but does HE give a flying fanurkle how we feel?

  3. Too right Hype.
    What has me lmao though is the bubbernment doing the dead opposite to the export darling. Our leaders centralising, fonterra de-centralising.

    • ### ODT Online Tue, 17 Sep 2013
      Cull accuses AgResearch of Invermay cover-up
      By Vaughan Elder
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has accused AgResearch of a ”disingenuous cover-up”, saying a letter it sent in April gave the impression it planned to invest in Invermay, rather than cut jobs. Mr Cull yesterday stood by his comments, which he made at a mayoral forum on Sunday night, but told the Otago Daily Times he did not want to ”ramp this up” on the eve of today’s discussions with Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, over the proposal to shift 85 jobs from Invermay.
      Mr Cull’s comments at the forum were referring to a letter sent by AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson in April, saying $100 million was going to be invested in AgResearch facilities. ”It gave the distinct impression that that was going to be at least partly at Invermay. It was a disingenuous cover-up. In fact, the decision may have been made, but that was not what they were telling us, quite officially,” Mr Cull said at the forum.
      Read more

  4. I have been trying to get media to follow up on Cull finally getting off the fence on drilling. On Sunday night he said “”I don’t support oil drilling in an increasingly risky and difficult conditions”.

    The voters need to know that will affect Cull’s commitment or otherwise to obtaining any exploration or drilling business in Dunedin. And the same needs to be asked of Chris Staynes in particular from GD.

    • That’s right, Pete. Mayor Cull and Cr Staynes (of the Chamber) need to be flushed out further. Then there’s the current chair of Planning and Environment, Cr Kate Wilson (Greater Debt Dunedin).

      • ”We view it as a serious strategic error for New Zealand, both for primary, production, industry and for science.” –Cull

        ### ODT Online Wed, 18 Sep 2013
        Hearing was fair, Cull says
        By Debbie Porteous
        A delegation of southern leaders who travelled to Wellington to fight for the preservation of jobs at Invermay feel they received a fair hearing. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull led the delegation to meet Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce last night to discuss the proposed downsizing of the agricultural science research centre in Dunedin. Mr Cull said the minister listened to the group’s concerns and said he intended to seek assurances from AgResearch’s board it fully understood all the potential implications of its proposal. ”His words were that he intended to test AgResearch’s proposal thoroughly,” Mr Cull said.
        Read more

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Oct 2013
          ‘Cannibalised’ for Christchurch: Cull
          By Vaughan Elder
          Shifting Invermay jobs north might be part of a wider Government push, which is seeing the rest of the South Island being ”cannibalised” to support Christchurch, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Mr Cull’s comments come after leaked documents revealed AgResearch ignored its own change management team’s (CMT) recommendation to expand Invermay, as opposed to downsizing it. Instead, AgResearch chose to stick with the ”core” of its ”future footprint” proposal, which means slashing about 82 jobs from Invermay and shifting animal productivity scientists to Lincoln.
          Read more

    • Go for that Pete. We need to know exactly where he stands – it is easy enough – yes or no.

  5. As the saying goes; “it ain’t over till the fat fella sings” Interesting that there was no mention of our man Woodhouse being present?

    • Interesting to see if David Parker steps up to the South’s plate more strenuously as Deputy leader of the Labour opposition. (was that a silly question)
      Wasn’t too pointy-headed on RNZ National this morning!

      [Typo! corrected. I was happier with my buddy Helen Clark as PM, it must be said. First met David Parker at an NZHPT Otago Branch heritage awards event I organised for Queenstown and Oturehua a few years ago now. Helen Clark PM (Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage) was flown in as our honorary guest – David, pleasantly, was amongst the ministerial and security entourage by road. Time flies.]

      ### ODT Online Wed, 18 Sep 2013
      Parker’s links give Labour South cover
      By Dene Mackenzie
      David Parker pledged his loyalty to the South after his election yesterday as deputy leader of the Labour Party. The election of Mr Parker – a list MP who has a house in Dunedin, visits the city two weekends out of three and still calls the city his base – provides Labour with South coverage to complement Mr Cunliffe’s coverage of the North as MP for New Lynn.
      Prime Minister John Key is Auckland based, while Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is the MP for Clutha-Southland.
      Mr Parker said in an interview people still talked about left and right in politics. He believed the divide was more about ”cosy capitalism”, where government policy was decided deal by deal. Policies that seemed contentious at the last election, such as a capital gains tax and higher tax for those earning more than $150,000 a year, were more widely supported. Mr Parker supported lifting the minimum wage to $15 and said there was no difference between himself and leader David Cunliffe on the living wage proposal of $18.40 an hour. It was wrong that half of the children in New Zealand living in poverty had two working parents and Labour wanted to lift the wages and living standards of those New Zealanders. Too much money was going into the speculative economy, driving up Auckland house prices, and not enough into the productive economy, creating jobs, he said. ”The changes we are proposing will benefit regions, such as Otago.”
      Read more

  6. How typical —DCC FAILED to go back to AgResearch on its submission. How many other intelligent submitters were ignored in the framing of DCC’s economic development strategy ?? Blame the blinkered.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 4 Oct 2013
    AgResearch ‘wanted to expand Invermay’
    By Vaughan Elder
    A new leak reveals AgResearch made a submission to Dunedin City Council enthusiastic about expanding Invermay, only months before presenting plans to the Government to slash jobs at the facility.
    AgResearch’s submission on the Dunedin’s draft economic development strategy, dated June 15, also said there was a ”unique” opportunity to develop an ”agricultural science innovation precinct” at Invermay because of the city’s ”knowledge and innovation base”.

    ”However, despite an offer to meet and discuss our submission, including some of the ideas which were put forward, the Dunedin City Council did not take up that offer.” –Andrew McSweeney, AgResearch acting chief executive

    The submission was made four and-a-half months before AgResearch presented to the Government its business case for shifting jobs from Invermay to a new Lincoln hub.
    Read more

    • What a c-below euphemism a bit of digging into the Invermay euphemism up has revealed.
      Apparently can’t post anything with the word c-
      l- for leather
      t- for two
      r in it which has intrigued me enough to see if it’s that word or something else that refuses my post.

      {Word filters are set to operate across quite a broad dictionary based on s-p-a-m received from many sources including bots. The filters don’t cause your comments to be rejected, they go instead to moderation. That word is not a filter, yet. Something else of which we are unaware is preventing your posts. -Eds}

    • Asleep at the wheel yet again. Particularly embarrassing for Cull who blamed AgResearch for misleading him.

      Too busy doing plans, strategies and obsessed with sustainability and cycling, and they have kept missing the important things.

      • AgResearch ‘wanted to expand Invermay’

        “Ag Research acting chief executive Andrew McSweeney said a final decision on its restructuring plans, which have been in development for two years, had not been settled on when the submission to the council was made.

        ”However, despite an offer to meet and discuss our submission, including some of the ideas which were put forward, the Dunedin City Council did not take up that offer,” he said.”

        oo-er. Great strategists – great leadership. Yeah right!

  7. Selective red-carpeting – initial proposal of 5-star hotel received happy-happy response including intention to roll out aforementioned carpet rather than matching tape. Vital scientific work on NZ’s main earners; employing highly skilled people not very many km from the council chambers; people motivated to work with the council instead of “take it or leave it” attitude – yeah-no, we’re washing out hair that week.

  8. Perhaps at the time Dave thought “AgResearch” was something to do with the Dalai lama.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Steven Joyce is reminding me more and more of Muldoon. Same involvement in everything, same style of behaviour towards anyone who dares to disagree. He’s got a way to go to match Muldoon at the height of his frightfulness, but the way I see it he’s on track and steadily accelerating.

  10. ### ODT Online Tue, 26 Nov 2013
    Cull defends claim for genetics hub
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has hit back at AgResearch’s claim that opponents of job cuts at Invermay have made too much of Dunedin’s so-called ”genetics hub”.
    Read more

  11. Link received from Anonymous
    Saturday, 1 February 2014 12:04 p.m.

    Subject: Invermay

    Dilbert 2.1.14 [stuff.co.nz cartoons]Dilbert 2.1.14


  12. Sunday Star-Times today (page A9)
    Mayor Cull defends deal
    By Hamish Rutherford
    Dunedin mayor Dave Cull is defending a “gentleman’s” agreement which saw a former MP paid $3400 for lobbying following a handshake deal. Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal that former Dunedin North MP Pete Hodgson was paid by the council to lobby the Government not to strip core functions of Ag Research Limited from Invermay, near Dunedin.
    The council said the main point of contact for the deal with Hodgson was Cull, but could not locate a single email, contract or any other document relating to the agreement. […] “Mr Hodgson did not provide any reports relating to his services,” governance support officer Grace Ockwell said. […] Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams questioned whether the Auditor General should be involved. “No wonder this council has a history of financial troubles, they’re running it like a cake stall.”

    More later – no link available.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    No documentation, nothing but a handshake, a deal between Cull and Hodgson. What’s the problem? It was clearly a private arrangement agreed by handshake between the 2 men, nothing inappropriate about that. I’m sure it will turn out that Cull paid with his own money, not the city’s, and as soon as that is confirmed the entire issue will go away.

  14. Cake Stall indeed!! Here is another example of our Mayor Cull’s absolute recklessness. The question is: was this agreement discussed at council seeking approval of this payment, or does Cull have full unimpeded access to the ‘cookie jar’ within which the citizens’ treasure lies? If so then that can only be construed as theft. And that bloody old has-been Hodgson is as corrupt as a politician, in demanding payment for simply lobbying for Dunedin. Surely, if he had any decency at all he would have done it ‘gratis’. But then, that would be real old-fashioned chivalry wouldn’t it ?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Be fair, Calvin. If a mayoral chap wants to give a retired chap a bit of work, from his own goodwill and his own money, what business is that of anyone else? If it wasn’t discussed in council and there’s no documentation it’s clearly not the city’s money that’s involved – so enough of the criticism already! I’m sure it will turn out that this undocumented agreement between two gents will be on Dave Cull’s bank statement, not Dunedin’s,

      • I like your phrase “If it wasn’t discussed in council”. There would be a councillor or three who didn’t know about this until reading SST today… make that more than three.

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