Newspaper errs . . . #Dunedin #Elections

Post updated 24.12.13
This link and content has been removed from ODT Online:

Opinion: DCC councillor report cards
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/274117/opinion-dcc-councillor-report-cards

Received.
Sunday, 22 September 2013 12:03 p.m.

Election hoardings 1

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:01:03 +1200
To: EditorODT , NICHOLAS GEORGE S SMITH, “Julian. Smith”
Cc: Chris Morris
Conversation: A reporter’s ranting ratings! – Letter to the Editor
Subject: A reporter’s ranting ratings! – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor.

A reporter’s ranting ratings! – on voting-papers-weekend!

Dear Editor,

With two pages of a reporter’s ranting ratings! on Councillors, the ODT has emotively screwed with voter preferences just as their voting papers arrive.
For the Mayoralty the ODT has again backed a TV-show-pony instead of a work-horse.

Where was Saturday’s headline ‘Cull falsely claims saving ratepayers $100+ million’ when the ODT knows he tried costing us that $100+ million in 2012 to disguise a double digit rates-rise? *
Where is the headline ‘Imaginative and informative election posters from Vandervis’?

You have helped buy a Stadium that we can not pay for, neither capital nor operational, and failed the only candidate that told you so and still might have been able to pay for both.
You are sending our new CEO saviour in search of a saner situation.
You have, in this most important ODT issue of the triennium, taken the Dunedin disease of savaging style over substance to new debilitating depths.
You have permanently compromised any perceived impartiality of your primary DCC reporter, and warned off any decent future DCC candidates.

Winchell’s fate awaits you.

Cr. Clydesdale Vandervis

[“Walter Winchell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Winchell
You know what Winchell was doing at the end? Typing out mimeographed sheets with his column, handing them out on the corner. That’s how sad he got.”]

* “Mayor Dave Cull said he was “vehemently opposed” to repaying the debt over 40 years, because of the interest it would add to the bill, but would support it in the meantime to keep rates down.” [ODT 26 Jan 2012]
—— End of Forwarded Message

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr | in the interests of health and safety in the social and built environment at Dunedin [townscape] —mind the curve

29 Comments

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

29 responses to “Newspaper errs . . . #Dunedin #Elections

  1. Peter

    Chris Morris’s piece was largely focussed on the personal style of the councillors and their mishaps during the term. There was nothing really that much else to report of substance.
    There were odd incongruities. For example, he gave Neil Collins a pass – a six – but in his comment highlighted Collin’s notorious reputation for skim reading – at best – important council papers. In my book, this should have made him ‘fail’ material. It is also strange how people, like this journalist, associate longevity in office with ‘success’. The fact people like Collins have traded on their well-known name, collected their pay, and coasted, is not classed as a ‘success’ by most thinking people. A six, in comparison to the other ‘six’ scorers, who worked much harder on council, was unjustified.
    I think he made Chris Staynes and Kate Wilson look extremely foolish in some ways with their hesitant manner highlighted… and made fun of. Lee Vandervis got some credit for speaking truths at times, but Morris focussed on his agressive style, particularly his anger at times (which is kind of understandable given his intense frustration).
    I was surprised at the 5 pass score for Butcher and Acklin given their respective personal meltdowns, which overlapped their capacity to carry out their duties and rendered them not as effective for most of the triennium. I thought the 3 score for Teresa Stevenson was kind of harsh, but the 4 for Hudson was fair enough.
    This exercise was somewhat fraught for any journalist to undertake. I personally would have steered away from this character assassination stuff as it can destroy ongoing working relationships and create distrust. Chris Morris has not been good at building trust with many of his contacts and, as a result, has lost vital contact sources for ‘juicy’, new news (which he often doesn’t report anyhow). I think he needs to be shifted from his role as senior council reporter. He is not particularly independent in my view, nor well liked and respected… inside or outside the ODT office… by all accounts. Also, he has had that council reporter role, long enough. Any journalist, in time, would be worn down by justifiable cynicism with the job. The cynicism is now clearly showing for Chris Morris. For his sake, and ours, he needs a change.
    Aside from that, isn’t he bored with a lot of what he has to report? I certainly would be. He at least deserves a gold star for enduring the tedium of reporting for that job.

  2. Peter

    Yes, he needs to move on and get more experience, and a balanced perspective, at a better paper and not get stuck with the ODT for decades to come. He is still young. Does he want to become an old timer, fuddy duddy cranking out the same lifeless news for years to come?

  3. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting comments from someone who has been to hours of Council meetings and as such, has a valid opinion. Some I would have marked differently from a viewpoint of value for money.

    Neil Collins – 1/10. Point to anything worthwhile he has achieved apart from collecting free lunches.

    Paul Hudson- 0/10. Wish I could go strongly to minus numbers.

    John Bezett – 2/10. Can anyone think of anything he has provided in terms of vision?

    Teresa Stevenson – 1/10. What planet does she come from?

    Fliss Butcher – 1/10. Completely out to lunch on the same planet as Teresa.

    Syd Brown – 10/10 for looking after the main chance and 0/10 for looking out for yours. But carefully steering the course- yeah right!

    Chris Staynes – 4/10. May be clever or astute but if he can’t talk and inspire then its not much use.

    Apart from that, the only thing I’d like to say is that in my view both Jinty and Lee both seem to me to be very hard working and committed to Dunedin. Maybe have very different philosophies but so much to both contribute. Dunedin needs both.

  4. Peter

    Yes, we need more people like Lee and Jinty on council.Each,in their own way, are principled and dedicated. I prefer people who have political conviction- even if I don’t always agree with everything they have to say. You can trust them. Not, for me, unprincipled, political opportunists who slither around like snakes and try to be ‘all things to all people’.

  5. Lance

    How do you get 8/10 while some lifts $16 million from under your nose ?

  6. Lance, he only gets 2 for competence and 6 for ‘bluster.’

  7. Minty appears to be fully untrustworthy, with no grip on council finances or impacts on ratepayers for all her stoopid ideas (therefore DO read today’s SST Business section, pages 4-5 – article on the Kaipara District Council and the effect on ratepayers, written by Rob Stock). As such if Hilary gets in to crunch her then I may drop my girls’ boarding school dislike of Missy Minty.

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/9190391/Trouble-in-Paradise

  8. ### ODT Online Mon, 23 Sep 2013
    Mayoral war of words heats up
    By Chris Morris
    The temperature is rising in Dunedin’s mayoral race as incumbent Dave Cull and one of his fiercest rivals go head-to-head over credit for slashing the Forsyth Barr Stadium interest bills by $128 million.
    The debate erupted as Mayor Dave Cull and Cr Lee Vandervis traded volleys yesterday over the decision to increase stadium loan terms from 20 years to 40 years, and then decrease them to 18.5 years.
    Read more

    I’m not saying the newsletter has clarified much for its readers with this story. More work to do ODT.

  9. That Kaipara Council saga is a sad story for the local ratepayers. It shows just how vulnerable any citizens are when victims of serious mismanagement by those elected to govern. Here in Dunedin, we ratepayers are technically at even greater risk due to the consolidated debt incurred by successive administrations over a decade or so. As at 30 June 2012 the city’s consolidated debt stood at $623.721 million. If we divide this across some 53,000 (more or less) ratepayers this is $11,768 each. Think about that for a moment.
    That information was available to the public by August 2012. I received my hard copy of the DCC annual report that month. Now this year the information won’t be available till 30 September (when council is effectively adjourned for elections). It is a statutory obligation that this information be available within three months of close date. How fortuitous for Dave Cull and council that this is only coming at the eleventh hour. Is it because they know something we don’t about the results? If I was a betting man I would be looking for the consolidated debt to be nearer $650m now. Despite Dave Cull’s claims that he has fixed that problem. Worse, he and council, in their dying moments seem hell bent on confirming another $40m odd of debt by formalising the contentious Transport Strategy. Richard Thomson tells me it is not a problem as the money is allowed for in the Annual Plan. So that explains his understanding. If it is in the plan then spend it. The fact that it has to be borrowed matters not. So, if the Greater Dunedin party (make no mistake it is a party) are returned with control it will be ‘full steam ahead’ towards the “$1 billion” mark. Just give them time and a small uptick in interest rates. Of course, they wouldn’t understand that but they would have saved the planet.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Calvin, “Richard Thomson tells me it is not a problem as the money is allowed for in the Annual Plan. So that explains his understanding. If it is in the plan then spend it.”
      If that’s where money comes from why not put even more of it in the Annual Plan? If they, say, allowed hundreds of millions more in the Annual Plan than they needed, even including planet-saving and shiny things, they could pay off the whole debt in 3 years and get elected AGAIN!

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Calvin – “the Greater Dunedin party (make no mistake it is a party)” but on its way to becoming a cult with faith-based policies, dismissive of evidence.

    • @Hype O’Thermia
      September 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm
      Calvin – “the Greater Dunedin party (make no mistake it is a party)” but on its way to becoming a cult with faith-based policies, dismissive of evidence.

      Actually, I think you have got it in one based on what Richard Thomson says when he denies that the provisions of the Economic Development Strategy are not part of and integral with, the Transportation Strategy. In his words ‘it has bugger all to do with it’. But under 1.4.2 The Economic Development Strategy, it clearly says the Transportation Strategy has a clear role to play on supporting the EDS goal(s). ..highlights the development of a city wide Energy Plan will help Dunedin reduce its energy needs…As our transport system is highly dependent upon imported fossil fuels it will need to be managed….to ensure the goals of the EDS are realised.

      Then under 2.3 Private Motor Vehicle Dependence this strategy spends a lot of time in advocacy mode, pointing out our sins for depending upon motor vehicles and high future fuel prices.

      Under section 9 it sets out goals.
      Is says “The total amount spent on transport fuel in Dunedin as a proportion of Dunedin’s GDP will have decreased by 10% by 2024”. What part of ‘bugger all’ is that?

      Goal. “The percentage of Dunedin census respondents who cycle, walk or take a bus to work school or study, doubles in 10 years, from 16% at 2006 census to 30% by 2014”. What part of ‘bugger all’ is that?

      Richard accused me of not reading the document. I don’t think that he read it or perhaps doesn’t know how to join up the dots in the document. It is indeed cult faith – dismissive of evidence and in denial of the material in its own documents He is actually voting on this today and running for re-election.

      Mick

    • @Hype O’Thermia
      September 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm
      Calvin – “the Greater Dunedin party (make no mistake it is a party)” but on its way to becoming a cult with faith-based policies, dismissive of evidence.

      Actually, I think you have got it in one based on what Richard Thomson says when he denies that the provisions of the Economic Development Strategy are not part of and integral with, the Transportation Strategy. In his words ‘it has bugger all to do with it’. But under 1.4.2 The Economic Development Strategy, it clearly says the Transportation Strategy has a clear role to play on supporting the EDS goal(s). ..highlights the development of a city wide Energy Plan will help Dunedin reduce its energy needs…As our transport system is highly dependent upon imported fossil fuels it will need to be managed….to ensure the goals of the EDS are realised.

      Then under 2.3 Private Motor Vehicle Dependence this strategy spends a lot of time in advocacy mode, pointing out our sins for depending upon motor vehicles and high future fuel prices.

      Under section 9 it sets out goals.
      Is says “The total amount spent on transport fuel in Dunedin as a proportion of Dunedin’s GDP will have decreased by 10% by 2024”. What part of ‘bugger all’ is that?

      Goal. “The percentage of Dunedin census respondents who cycle, walk or take a bus to work school or study, doubles in 10 years, from 16% at 2006 census to 30% by 2014”. What part of ‘bugger all’ is that?

      Richard accused me of not reading the document. I don’t think that he read it or perhaps doesn’t know how to join up the dots in the document. It is indeed cult faith – dismissive of evidence and in denial of the material in its own documents He is actually voting on this today and running for re-election.

      Mick

      • My version has this:
        ‘The percentage of Dunedin census respondents who cycle, walk or take a bus to work increases from 16% at the 2006 census to 40% by 2024’.

        That’s an even less bugger all goal.

        “When implementing the SCN (Strategic Cycling Network), the provision of safe, user-friendly cycle facilities will take precedence over on-street parking on routes where there is a conflict”.

        While it is likely that safer cycleways will result in more people cycling we shouldn’t be planning on reducing car parks by the same projected increase in cycling, because on days when the weather is bad (and most of winter) most people will not cycle or walk.

        • Pete
          It’s an ‘own goal’ They are all ‘left footers’ – what more could you expect!

        • Pete George
          September 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm

          In any event, it is ‘control freakery’ and a ’make work’ scheme monitoring the movements of the public to manipulate their day to day activities and preferences for travel. It is very much a ‘watermelon’ inspired motivation and technique. It is quite repugnant

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Pete, “because on days when the weather is bad (and most of winter) most people will not cycle or walk.” That’s the ones who have to go to those places because they work there… then there are the ones who would shop in those no-parks areas, would arrange to meet friends for coffee in those parts of town, but decide it’s not worth the expense and frustration. So they avoid those businesses, explore then switch their regular shopping pattern to big-box and other retailers, perhaps in the suburbs. And those who are not computer-savvy see how much easier and cheaper it is for their friends who already use the internet as readily as their grandparents used the corner store, and are motivated to catch up fast so they too can do online banking & buying.
          Thus from the greenest, most well-meaning motives the CBD dies. The centre of the city becomes a sad empty place by day, an unsavoury place of dark empty shops and drunks in doorways by night.

        • Hype, your death of the city centre was of course the affliction that we crashed Christchurch for long long before #eqnz wiped most of it off the planet because Brownlee said! Dunedin used to have a city architect who although far from perfect did at least understand the reasons why a vibrant city centre is mandatory.

          Not one councillor today said they want to put a stop to council staff’s make-work schemes, which Daaave and crew jumped on for their own electioneering purposes. Anyway, today, Dunedin citizens weren’t present to defend their rights or their ratepayer dollars – only the small-minded cycle bunnies turned up, along with Martin Dillon and Bill Feather to make sure Colin Weatherall had support for his ‘swumming’ pool. Quite apart from the conflicted, there were just two people present who often post here.

      • Mick, prevalent thought after hearing Council today was that very few councillors had read the transport strategy. Following on from this I doubt very much whether they ever read the pathetic economic development strategy. Today I foresaw how close that bumbling twerp Thomson is to becoming Syd Brown’s replacement as FSD Chairman post October.

  11. Hype, it’s called ‘Nelson’s eye’.

  12. Mike

    Damn! I posted a followup on the ODT article on Dave’s bogus $100m ‘savings’ … as I finished writing it I had a sudden epiphany – Dave’s creation of money out of thin air was simply Social Credit’s standard funny money policy … maybe Greater Dunedin are really a front for Social Credit.

    Sadly such speculation was too close to the bone for the ODT and I was abridged.

  13. Hype, it’s the project he meant was in the plan. The money would have to be found to fund it, but that has never been a concern of council if they wanted to proceed with the project. The Stadium, Town Hall, Otago Settlers Museum and Tahuna Sewage Treatment Upgrade, all started in the plan and look where that got us. The same with all future wishes or needs. Therein lies the problem with the likes of Cull, Jinty, Thomson and co, it is determining the difference between wishes and needs.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    Calvin, “the project he meant was in the plan. The money would have to be found to fund it” – well, that’s not really a difficulty in my faith-based plan, a small tweak will fix it.
    Add a couple of mega-grandiose brainfarts to the plan, because the money will, as you point out, be found to fund them.
    THEN comes the cunning part: don’t do ’em, pay off the stadium etc debt instead, using this “found” money.
    And claim boasting rights for not proceeding with massive folly for a change, look forward confidently to being re-elected for life.
    Brilliant, yes?

  15. What was Walter Winchell doing in the Sixties? Voice over narrations for feature films ‘The Rise and Fall of ‘Legs’ Diamond’, (with Al Capone), ‘The Scarface Mob’ (more ‘Al), and the tv series ‘The Untouchables’, when Eliott Ness got Al on tax evasion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s