DCC: Mr Avery, your choice —infrastructure maintenance or flood damage?

The council would investigate problems at the corner of St Andrew and George Sts.

### ODT Online Tue, 17 Dec 2013
Storm floods city shops
Parts of Dunedin were flooded late yesterday afternoon when a thunderstorm struck, causing havoc for some central-city businesses. In less than 30 minutes, 15mm of rain fell in the central city, with 18.8mm falling between 4pm and 5pm. Water washed into about 20 businesses, mostly in George St between the Wall Street mall and the St Andrew St intersection.
Read more + Images

RAIN [tvnz.co.nz] screenshot 3

An LGOIMA request to uncover and unblock the city council’s infrastructure services (actual) activity log of street maintenance works as well as the record of council consultation with affected building owners (including City Property for Wall Street Mall which cops it every time there’s a slight deluge…), and all associated complaints received by the council would be useful in “forward planning”.

As for temporary road closures in the CBD during heavy rain and flooding, what is the history? Have there been attempts to do this in the past? During yesterday’s rain there was certainly enough time to effect temporary stopping to help minimise damage to property caused by vehicle movement.


### dunedintv.co.nz July 15, 2013 – 8:02pm
Council will consider the cost of rain damage to the city
The Dunedin City Council will tomorrow consider the cost of damage to the city from storms and rain.

What came of this consideration? Apparently, nothing for the CBD.


Dunedin City Council – Media Release 17 June 2013
Heavy Rain Causes Flooding, Slips
Contractors are busy clearing slips and fallen trees from Dunedin roads after heavy rain causes problems across the wider city. Cont/


DCC Three Waters Strategy…
Management of Water Wastewater and Stormwater (The 3 Waters)
Our main objective is to protect public health and safety by delivering enough safe drinking water to, and safely removing waste and storm water from, everyone connected to the network, with minimal impact on the environment and at an acceptable financial cost. We also aim to provide protection from flooding and erosion as well as controlling and reducing pollution in stormwater discharges to waterways and the sea. As well as delivering services today, we need to plan for the future, making sure we will be able to deliver the service that future generations will need. Cont/


Dunedin City Council – Media Release 06 Dec 2013
City Care Confirmed as Contractor
City Care has been awarded the tender to maintain Dunedin’s water and wastewater network. The contract, which starts on 28 February 2014, is expected to deliver annual savings of at least $350,000. The annual contract value is $4.6 million a year, with an additional $159,000 of transition costs in the first year. City Care employees will carry out the maintenance work on the water and wastewater network, such as turning up to fix a burst water main or a blocked sewer. Cont/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

15 responses to “DCC: Mr Avery, your choice —infrastructure maintenance or flood damage?

  1. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    It is far more important to DCC staff and councillors to have cycle lanes at a cost of $47 million than actually look after core business and maintain stormwater, sewage treatment and other infrastructure.

    And the worst case scenario? Borrow more and do both. So that’s what they will probably do.

  2. Anonymous

    But Dave rides a bike. That’s glamour right there and that means done at any cost. That infrastructure stuff is a bit tedious and this council couldn’t give a stuff about business and roading and other essential services. Heck, the news has been reporting flooding only occurs once in a hundred years, once in 20 years, once every five years… what is it now? Oh, that’s right, it’s all the fault of a “thunderstorm” and not mismanaged, under resourced and now outsourced infrastructure services.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Thunderstorms are exceptionally rare events. There is sure to be a consultant somewhere prepared to give his highly educated opinion that councils cannot – must not – be expected to be prepared for them. ACC manages to find specialists to declare that whatever injury-related disability a person has, it was actually down to gradual-process natural deterioration of the sufferer’s body: result, take the bludger off ACC and shift them onto WINZ disability benefit i.e. the stale-crumbs breadline. If there are insurance issues over flood damage to premises there will be an expert for hire as usual.

  4. Rob Hamlin

    As some of you may recall I have been very interested in DCTL and its large gains and losses on interest rate swaps. The following article http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/comcom-issue-proceedings-against-asb-194400510.html describes today’s announcement by the Commerce Commission to investigate ANZ, ASB and Westpac for mis-selling interest rate swaps to farmers – causing massive losses to these borrowers.

    My interest has been further piqued by the arrangement between DCTL and three ‘independent’ banks called a ‘secured multi-option note facility’ within which these swaps are sold to DCTL by said ‘independent’ banks. The ‘secured’ as I have mentioned previously involves and ‘on call’ capital commitment by DCC to DCTL that has been deliberately put in place to circumvent Section 62 of the Local Government Act, which specifically prohibits council guarantees to trading companies. At $850 million of capital (which the DCC does not have), this amounts to some $17,000 for every ratepayer in this city – and you are liable for it.

    As I have mentioned before, the very large annual fluctuations in gains and losses reported by the DCC due to interest and currency derivative exposure indicates that the DCC, via its $850 million guarantee to DCTL, is very deep indeed into this particular festering pile of poo.

    I have lodged an LGOIMA request with the DCC for the identity of the three banks who are in the ‘secured variable rate note facility’ swap fest with DCTL. However, my unofficial sources indicate that the membership may be between 67% and 100% in common with the three banks mentioned in the ‘Stuff” report on large-scale interest rate swap mis-selling – Time will tell. But might be an idea to find the hammer and your piggy bank.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Rob, I simply cannot understand the role of the OAG in all of this. The OAG provides auditing services to the Dunedin City Council and is supposedly the watchdog that ensures things are all tickety-boo in City Hall. But as we have already seen in the Kaipara case that the OAG now says that it is terrible that all of this borrowing took place, but that THEY ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE. Surely to goodness that they have seen the actions of the CFO of the DCC to subvent the point and purpose of Section 62 of the LGA. Equally puzzling is how they have not been warning of the ramifications of these infernal legalised Ponzi schemes as they have been described elsewhere.

    I distinctly remember the sacked Athol Stephens explaining to me in his office that many of the financial dealings of the DCC were to avoid tax liabilities. Athol was both a Director of a Council Board and an employee of the Council as I recall at the time.

    There is enough smell round this issue to warrant a lot of interest by the OAG and the mainstream media, but sadly it is just too plain in the case of the OAG that they really aren’t interested in pursuing anything that would show that they themselves have been slack and incompetent, nor are they interested in pursuing anything that involves them in any serious work.

    In the case of the media, it’s all just too hard. TV simply isn’t capable and is more interested in turning news into entertainment, and the financial reporters in the papers can’t seem to get their heads round anything substantial.

    A case of the fox inside the henhouse and another one on the outside, looking out for the farmer.

  6. Having read the items attached to the commerce commission’s alleged case against three banks over Interest Rate Swaps sold to farmers, and relate it to Rob’s comments here I immediately went to my copy of the DCC Annual Report Y/E 2013 and can identify numerous references to the effects of IRS deals and Derivatives. Now I don’t profess to understand the ramifications of these sophisticated ‘shenanigans’ but I do understand when I see a sum in brackets that indicates a loss or deficit.

    On page 124 of the report I see in ‘Current Liabilities listed ‘Derivative Financial Instruments, at Core Council $18.574m and the Consolidated DCC plus DCHL at $27.857m. As current liabilities these sums are in play.

    Same page: item 6 Cash Flow Hedge Reserves at Core Council ($18.568m) and the Consolidated DCC plus DCHL at ($24.356m) total. This is a reduction from the 2012 position when this figure was ($34.388m).
    So it is obvious that there is a floating situation going on here, but we are currently sitting on a loss of the ($34.388m) at the moment.
    Just how these obligations are spread over all undertakings I don’t know, except that DVL shows a liability of Derivative financial instruments amounting to ($5.289m). This added to its borrowings totals ($143.875m). That of course is the initial cost to DVL of the Stadium. It does not include the additional spend up carried out by DVML.

    One can only wonder just how these instruments terminate, but I would assume that they are attached to the various tranches of borrowings, and when each tranche comes up for renewal the plus or minus position will be added or subtracted from the amount renewed. Currently, it looks like if notionally the whole lot matured tomorrow (which it won’t) the renewal would be for the original amount plus ($34.388m). About the equivalent of 25% of a year’s rates.
    Rob could probably put me right or wrong on these assumptions.

  7. Here we go another…. THUNDERPLUMP

  8. Tony, get out from under your desk, please.

    • An enlightening read…

      ### ODT Online Thu, 19 Dec 2013
      Permanent fix sought after downpour
      By Debbie Porteous
      A brief deluge yesterday had central Dunedin on standby again as the mop-up continues from a storm on Monday that overwhelmed the city’s stormwater system. Contractors were out inspecting drains and the entrance to the Wall Street mall complex in George St was sandbagged in case yesterday’s forecast storm had the same results as Monday’s.
      Read more

  9. Anonymous

    A number of businesses were flooded, resulting in building and stock damage, no doubt causing further frustration while working their way through the nightmare of insurance claims. I’ve heard comments that some businesses not flooded in the past had experienced severe disruption during the second thunderplump.
    Either earlier this year or last year – I can’t quite recall which once-in-a-hundred-year flood it was – a business in upper Moray experienced consecutive flooding but was left bashing their head against bureaucracy when trying to get action out of the Dunedin City Council to clear storm water drains. Eventually they had to move their business elsewhere to protect their stock. I really think this council is too busy obfuscating the financial nightmare their corruption has caused and further deciminating infrastructure resource.

    Citizen: Hi, we have a blocked drain outside our business causing flooding. Can someone clear it please?
    DCC international call centre: Sorry, all of our engineers are busy at a teambuilding session in Christchurch. As soon as they are free we will escalate the issue and have someone drive down. They should be there in 7 to 14 days. In the meantime, have you heard our latest ad about putting down your mobile phone before crossing the road? We can provide you with additional information on that and send around a consultant to discuss with you the right process for crossing the road.

  10. Anonymous

    Interesting wee thunderstorm we’re experiencing. Observed plenty of lightning strikes all around the hills. The downpour was short lived but still heavy – hopefully it hasn’t affected too many again.

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