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
Dunedin 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
### 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.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr