DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project (private profiteering)

Updated Post 12.2.14

ODT Online 26.1.14 Mosgiel Pool [screenshot thumbnail] 2### ODT Online Sun, 26 Jan 2014
Council signal on Mosgiel pool
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council has sent a signal to the Mosgiel community. The council has no money for big new projects and while it will help out where it can, the community must drive the project to build a new pool or it will likely not happen, councillors cautioned.
Read more

Since the above article was published the air has been thick with names of local business people who have been meeting behind closed doors, for months now, to push the Mosgiel Pool project —in some cases, for own private gain.

Problems with the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board continue. Decisions are being driven in non public meetings. The board’s discretionary funds endowed by the city council (through annual rates collection) are being diverted to the local business association to run community board business at armslength from public scrutiny. This is deliberate misuse of city council rates money sanctioned by board chairman Bill Feather and his cronies. When will transparency and accountability be imposed on these elected and non-elected cowboys? We demand that the city council investigates.

Community board member Maurice Prendergast in his letter to the editor today adds fuel to the fire. He is to be commended for speaking out.

Copy supplied. ODT 4.2.14 Letter to the editor (page 6).

ODT 4.2.14 Letter to editor (page 6)

Letter from Woman Hysteric. Copy supplied.
ODT 10.2.14 Letter to the Editor (page 8).

ODT 10.2.14 Letter to editor (page 8)[click to enlarge]

Note 1: In the 2013 local body elections the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board had six vacancies, the six candidates were elected unopposed. The same applied for Strath Taieri Community Board (6 vacancies) and Waikouaiti Coast Community Board (6 vacancies). There is no point singling out Maurice Prendergast as if he is the only board member who did not have to contest his seat.

Note 2: It is difficult to reconcile the statement: “Public meetings about a new pool that I have attended, have been “standing room only”.” What meetings were these, when and where did they happen, and where are the minutes from these?

Note 3: “Yes, the board’s chairman has chjampioned the pool for the past six years, as did the board…” Where are the board minutes to confirm the board discussed this agenda item or if it was rasied in General Business?

The wench protesteth too much.

Related Posts and Comments: (updated)
10.2.14 University of Otago major sponsor for Highlanders
5.2.14 Mosgiel pool sluts get their tops off for ex ORFU guy
4.2.14 DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project…
30.1.14 DCC broke → More PPPs to line private pockets… [Syd darling]
25.1.14 Stadium: Some helped it along, or themselves! [or the new pool]
20.1.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 [see this comment & ff]
16.11.13 Community board (Mosgiel-Taieri) clandestine meetings
25.1.12 Waipori Fund – inane thinkings from a councillor
19.5.10 DScene – Public libraries, Hillside Workshops, stadium, pools
12.4.10 High-performance training pool at stadium?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: odt.co.nz – Mosgiel Pool thumbnail [screenshot]


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

43 responses to “DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project (private profiteering)

  1. I wonder what they chopped out of Maurice Prendergast’s letter. Can’t imagine it would have been “irrelevant rambling” – probably all too relevant, and uncomfortably to-the-point!

  2. Jacob

    Not only is the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board the business association in drag, but the Chamber has quite an influence on it behind the scenes.

    • The Christies live in that neck of the woods. Plus ‘business hungry’ developers exercise their dogs there, helping the ‘Dunedin economy’ figures along via property speculation and using the excuse it’s progress (and hip!… fml) to build new cul-de-sacs (thanks for that, coffee partner), like the world stopped turning post world war two… or it did in Mosgiel. Developers! It’s not even retro, it’s BAD URBAN DESIGN. But hey, throw in a pool and you’re forgiven ???

      • Why Cul-de-Sacs Are Bad for Your Health, by Charles Montgomery

        “…Frank found that a white male living in Midtown, a lively district near Atlanta’s downtown, was likely to weigh 10 pounds less than his identical twin living out in a place like, say, Mableton, in the cul-de-sac archipelago that surrounds Atlanta, simply because the Midtowner would be twice as likely to get enough exercise every day.
        Here’s how their neighborhoods engineer their travel behavior:
        Midtown was laid out long before the dispersalists got their hands on the city. It exhibits the convenient geometry of the streetcar neighborhood even though its streetcars disappeared in 1949. Housing, offices, and retail space are all sprinkled relatively close together on a latticelike street grid. A quart of milk or a bar or a downtown-bound bus are never more than a few blocks away. It is easy for people to walk to shops, services, or MARTA, the city’s limited rapid transit system, so that’s what they do.
        But in suburbs like Mableton, residential lots are huge, roads are wide and meandering, and stores are typically concentrated in faraway shopping plazas surrounded by parking lots. Six out of every 10 Atlantans told Frank’s team that they couldn’t walk to nearby shops and services or to a public bus stop. Road geometry was partly to blame. Frank and others have found that that iconic suburban innovation—the cul-de-sac—has become part of a backfiring behavioral system.
        When designers try to maximize the number of cul-de-sacs in an area, they create a dendritic—or treelike—system of roads that feeds all their traffic into a few main branches. The system makes just about every destination farther away because it eliminates the most direct routes between them….”
        from the article on http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2013/12/10/why_cul_de_sacs_are_bad_for_your_health_happy_city_by_charles_montgomery.html

        • ### radionz.co.nz 03 Feb 2014
          Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
          11:50 Urbanist Tommy Honey
          Why cul-de-sacs are bad for your health.
          Why cul-de-sacs are bad for your health and where the rich people are, and what’s Michael Bloomberg up to…

          Why Cul-de-Sacs Are Bad for Your Health, Slate (see Hype’s comment for text)

          Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3 ( 9′ 13″ )

  3. Joy! Thanks Hype. Did Charles Kettle do cul-de-sacs.

    • I heard a fore-announcement about an interview on the radio the other day about unhealthy cul de sacs, missed the interview but googled those words and found that article. Possibly radionz may have the talk/interview on listen-again.

  4. Maurice has sent the UNabridged.

    From: Maurice Prendergast
    Sent: Sunday, 26 January 2014 11:51 p.m.
    To: odt.editor@odt.co.nz
    Subject: Letter: Mosgiel Pool
    Editor ODT


    Page 29 of your edition 25/01/ 2014 dedicates significant space to the proposition that the Mosgiel community languishes in despair of ever seeing the provision of a new pool. In a hilarious, but perverse way, the proposition is supported by a photo of the existing pool – taken in the height of summer and in the height of the school holidays, depicting a total of 4 swimmers and an attendant. This is hardly a showcase for the argument that there is a burgeoning demand for swimming opportunities in Mosgiel.

    So what is driving this clamour for a new pool? I am a member of the Mosgiel/Taieri Community Board, and not a soul has raised this issue with me, yet the Board’s Chairman is championing this manic proposal as though he speaks for a united Board. Cr Wilson (an appointed member of the Board) also jumps on board as she intones that she supports continuing investigation – “the Mosgiel people have been waiting a long time to get behind the project” Really? I was a City Council representative (both Councillor and Community Board member) for this community for some 18 years and in that time and though the demand was incessant for the provision of core activities like road seal extensions, not once was there ever (with the exception of pool extension in the mid 90s) a clamour for enhanced pool facilities.

    So where has this pool ‘beat-up’ come from? I am seriously quite perplexed. As best I can recall, when I ‘handed in my badge’ in 2007, the DCC’s consolidated debt sat at around $100M. Six years later that debt has escalated by over 600%. (no that’s not a typo) Though age has wearied me, I made a conscious decision to seek to regain Council ‘representation status’ at the lowly level of Community Board status for no reason other than to spike the guns of visionaries who want the ratepayer to adopt all the risk inherent in their grand plans (read stadium). I did this because I tired of the wanton Councillor incompetence, the escalating debt, and the empty and arrogant platitudes that witless Councillors and Community Board members were asking the captive ratepayers to believe. Of course I am mindful that as an elected Community Board member, I have no more than ‘titular status’ but notwithstanding this limited status, I did make a solemn pledge that I would not give succour to any capital project that would add a single dollar to the City’s obscene debt levels. So notwithstanding the shape or form of this unevidenced and elusive new pool there is no money. And a photograph of 4 swimmers in the current pool at the height of summer and at the height of the school holidays, hardly represents a mandate to engage in what could only be said to be a debt funded dream – just like the stadium


    Maurice Prendergast

  5. ### ODT Online Wed, 5 Feb 2014
    Discussions on new pool
    The Mosgiel Taieri Community Board will hold a workshop to get its “heads around” what is next for the new Mosgiel swimming pool project. It was decided at yesterday’s board meeting that members, Dunedin City Council staff and individuals with experience and skills in setting up trusts and fundraising would be invited to take part in the workshop within the next few weeks, before making any plans about the next move.
    Read more

    Pool politics flushing out, DCC going for Carisbrook Stadium Trust II scenario. Jeez I hope they’ve called in St Farry of Saint Clair to project manage, all that financial expertise!!! We await further revelations and the real reason behind the need for a new pool — whose get-rich plot to rort and defraud Dunedin ratepayers is it this time.

  6. Jacob

    A former Otago Rugby Union Chairman is being approached to head the trust for the new Mosgiel pool. This decision was made before last night’s community board meeting.

  7. Anonymous

    Figures. Find someone who already has the template for dining at the public trough and it’s 90% of the way there. Just need the insider to rubber stamp the invoice fraud.

  8. Ethical transparent procedures are for losers with no mates.

  9. Jacob

    The sale of naming rights for the new pool were allocated well before last night’s board meeting. A selected group of board members have been working behind the scenes with an old Councillor mate. Not all board members have been privy to these secret meetings. You could guess in one who is on the outer.

  10. Updated post:

    Added letter to the ODT editor from Sandra Wilson (ODT 10.2.14) – in reply to the letter by Maurice Prendergast (ODT 4.2.14).

  11. Anonymous

    Yes, only the ODT acts surprised. My favourite bit of ridiculous reporting is the assertion everyone wants a pool. Of course they do. What the poll conveniently overlooks is whether they all want to pay for it too.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Anonymous, “everyone wants a pool”; Janis Joplin, “O Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”

  13. A public meeting to be held and a Mosgiel trust only wants (according to John Christie’s wife) “the right people” as new trustees to drive the pool project.


    Floating an idea (via ODT)

    The public meeting
    • 7pm tomorrow, Coronation Hall, Gordon Rd, Mosgiel.

    The trustees search
    • Potential trustees should contact the Taieri Community Facilities Trust.
    • Apply in writing and include CV.
    • The trust will interview applicants.
    • Visit ourpool.org.nz.

  14. ### ODT Online Fri, 4 Apr 2014
    Pool makes waves
    By Shawn McAvinue
    A new swimming pool made the biggest splash at a public meeting in Mosgiel last night on the proposed spending in the Dunedin City Council’s draft annual plan. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull talked to about 80 people in Coronation Hall about the proposed spending, including $30,000 seed funding to the Taieri Community Facilities Trust.
    Read more

    See latest comments at this thread: Mosgiel pool sluts get their tops off for ex ORFU guy

  15. ”The next step is to get that $30,000 from a draft proposed situation to an actuality.” –Bill Feather

    ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Apr 2014
    ‘Army’ turns out for pool
    By Shawn McAvinue
    Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather said there was ”unanimous support” for a pool redevelopment at a Mosgiel meeting last week. About 80 people attended the Coronation Hall meeting on Thursday on the proposed spending in the Dunedin City Council’s draft annual plan.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      In my experience (stadium for example) the fact that’s there a meeting, or submissions must be sent in by -/-/- date, are spread around, reminded, re-reminded by others who are of the same opinion as oneself. We make sure our kindred spirits are aware, offer them a lift and so on. The notice in the paper is only a small part of making people aware, if they’re not looking out for it they’ll probably miss it.

      So the number that turn up, and whether they’re for or against, depends a lot on how organised each bloc is.

  16. Jacob

    Word on the street is that community board member Dillon is pushing hard for Brown and Chin to be on the trust for the pool

  17. Whippet

    Is that the same Dillon that sat as a commissioner on Dippies’ hearing for more residential development on rural land in Mosgiel, and didn’t declare that he himself was a developer ???

  18. Jacob

    Surely the person who appointed Dillon on to the Dippies’ hearing, and the chair of that hearing panel would have been aware of Dillon’s situation. As it’s pretty much an old boys’ closed shop club, when it comes to appointing commissioners to hearings. How come they allowed him to take part.


      I hear Stuart McLauchlan has classed ‘Conflicts of Interest’ at the University of Otago School of Business. “Mr They-Can-Be-Managed” offers the students pure bullshit and therefore would be well positioned to sort the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board, and the DCC Hearings Committee. Oh, and the DCC as a whole. He’s probably given Mayor Dave Cull a few lessons too.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Test for conflict of interest:
        “Tell me, how are you in yourself? How do you feel? Are you conflicted at all?”
        “Uh….? No.”
        “What about your interests?”
        “I played rugby when I was younger, now I never miss my sons’ games. And there’s the ukelele.”
        “Great, you’re in. Welcome to the old boys’ daisy-chain backscratchers’ club!”

  19. Jacob

    It just goes to show the intelligence of the trust that the Mosgiel-Taieri community board has in abdicating its responsibility’s for handling the new pool complex. When they go cap in hand to the council for and extra $20,000 on top of the $30,000 already given, and they don’t know what they are going to do with it. Not even able to produce a budget on what they intend to spend the money on. Apparently they are a copy of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, that went on a spending spree, with no accountability. When will the Mosgiel community wake up to what is going on with their community with their money, and at the end of the day after the trusts spending spree there is no guarantee that anything will happen.

  20. ### ODT Online Sat, 10 May 2014
    ‘The council feeds the ego of these simpletons’
    By Vaughan Elder
    A member of the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board has implied his colleagues and those pushing for a new pool in Mosgiel are nincompoops and simpletons and lack talent. Maurice Prendergast […] who was elected unopposed to the six-member board last year, is opposed to the project in its entirety, because he believes the council should be repaying debt instead.
    Read more

  21. Jacob

    If only the Mosgiel community had more people like Mr Prendergast to represent them than the current dust gatherers and money takers, Mosgiel might actually go ahead. Unfortunately, the board in its wisdom decided to drop the rural representation from the board, and with that came a drop in intelligence, and an increase in simpletons, as is being witnessed now.

  22. Night Rider

    Look what I found in the rubbish in Bath St, at 2am this morning.
    Notice to all Councillors of a SPECIAL SECRET MEETING.
    The Taieri Community Facilities Trust would like to invite Councillors to a discussion on the Spatial Plan with the Trust and members of the Mosgiel Community Board.
    It appears that the proposed Aquatic development may not sit within the Spatial Plan’s intent.
    Downes Room, Mosgiel Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday the 17th.

    I now cordially invite the public to this secret meeting if you are interested in who this group thinks they are representing. I am sure that the Councillors would be interested in what the actual inhabitants of Mosgiel think rather than those who work in the shadows of darkness, under the cloak of secrecy, representing none other than developers and interested main street business people, who see a great financial gain if this project goes ahead at the selected site.

    • Elizabeth

      Night Rider, how many Councillors would think it prudent to show up to such a clandestine self-interested sort of meeting !!? This is what housing sprawl lobbyists do isn’t it. Wonder what kickbacks are proposed to buy the Council’s vote.

  23. Night Rider

    Another titbit that fell out of the Bath St rubbish this morning was a summary of a Community Board Workshop held recently. Board members in attendance actually suggested that they have a closed Facebook page – to share ideas. More Secrecy. Elected to represent their communities, but want to have a secret Facebook page for themselves. Not good, sounds a bit like the old East European style.
    An interesting contribution from the Mosgiel Mob at the combined community boards meeting. They were crowing that the success story has been community consultation and engagement. Maybe someone from out Mosgiel way would like to comment on that one. Night Rider hasn’t been out that way recently, must get out there and check my traps.

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 )

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