Daily Archives: February 26, 2014

DCC: New audit and risk subcommittee a little too late !!

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Audit and Risk Subcommittee Appointment Made

This item was published on 26 Feb 2014

The Dunedin City Council has appointed the first of two independent members to its new Audit and Risk Subcommittee. Susie Johnstone, who is managing partner of accounting firm Shand Thomson, Balclutha, has been appointed by the Council as Subcommittee Chair.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says Mrs Johnstone has a great deal of experience leading audit and risk committees across a range of public sector entities. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Mrs Johnstone’s calibre on the Subcommittee. Her skills, attributes and knowledge will be of huge benefit to the Subcommittee’s work.”

Mrs Johnstone is Deputy Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Council and a director of REANNZ, which is responsible for the provision of an advanced high capacity internet service to the New Zealand research and education communities. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of its Governance Committee. She has also served on the boards of Tourism New Zealand, the Southland, Otago and Southern District Health Boards, the New Zealand Blood Service and the New Zealand Hockey Federation.

Mrs Johnstone says, “I am looking forward to working with Council and am supportive of their increasing focus on the governance aspects of audit and risk. These matters tend to fly below the radar until something doesn’t go so well so the Council is to be commended for taking the initiative in this area.”

The Audit and Risk Subcommittee has been set up to provide the Council with a degree of comfort that risk is being managed appropriately within the organisation. The Subcommittee’s responsibilities include risk management and internal control and it will oversee governance policies in areas such as conflict of interest, insurance, procurement, risk, fraud, and health and safety. It will also include oversight of the Annual Report.

The Subcommittee will report directly to the Council.

At this stage, the Subcommittee members are Mrs Johnstone, Cr Richard Thomson, Cr Hilary Calvert and Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes. The Council will shortly publicly advertise for a second independent member.

Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Hotel: Rosemary McQueen on consent decision LUC 2012-212 (41 Wharf St)

41 Wharf Street, Dunedin 1 (DCC WebMap)41 Wharf Street, Dunedin (DCC WebMap)

Copy supplied.
Also published at Otago Daily Times (page 17).

### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
Opinion
Hotel decision was legal, not political
By Rosemary McQueen
Two related misapprehensions run through nearly all the comment on the application to build a 27-storey residential building in the industrial zone.

The first is that the reason the development was rejected was that a minority of noisy nay-sayers objected to the proposal. Yet, had 500 supporters put in submissions and only 4 or 5 naysayers, the decision would have been the same. The decision was not made on the basis of counting heads (though no doubt the planners were gratified that the District Plan’s provisions were so whole-heartedly supported by the populace) but on the basis of law. The developers want to build their accommodation block in an industrial area. Residential activity is specifically excluded from this area and only allowed at the discretion of the court hearing the application. Discretionary treatment can only be accorded if the effects of the variation to what is allowed are minor and the general intention accords with the aims and objectives of the district plan. The applicants’ arguments to this effect were rejected at law – not by counting heads. Until that decision is found to be wrong, or those aspects of the proposal change, it can not proceed.

There is also a view that the the city council could and should have found a way of overturning – or at least of getting round – the planning committee’s decision. This is a misapprehension because the decision is a legal one that can only be overturned by a higher court and the council is not a court. The negotiations that have been taking place have been around trying to find a site and design that complies with the city’s district plan and the developers’ needs. By describing the setback to the development as “red tape” the ODT implied that the development’s lack of progress since being rejected by the planning committee is caused by overweening bureaucracy. But Ms Song has made clear that the site and design are not negotiable. How can the lack of progress be the fault of red tape when the impediment is so clearly the developers’ intransigence, despite having had their application for that site and design turned down because it doesn’t meet the law?

By insisting the proposal is non-negotiable during their discussion with the city, the developers appear to believe that overturning the planning decision is on the discussion’s agenda and within the council’s power. Instead of dismissing any such suggestion, the ODT and the Chamber of Commerce have encouraged them in the view that the council can change or flout the law in order to allow the development to go ahead. Fostering these misapprehensions has led to unnecessary division in the city. It’s time to stop accusing bureaucrats and antis of holding up progress and start explaining why changes to our built environment are not effected by political whim, but are, and need to be, conducted by rule of law that has undergone full democratic process.

ODT Link

Related Posts and Comments:
14.2.14 Hotel: The height of arrogance
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Hotel, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

Stadium costs, read uncapped multimillion-dollar LOSSES

Forsyth Barr Stadium critic Russell Garbutt, of Clyde, is not surprised by reports of looming stadium losses.

### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
Opinion
Stadium costs predictable, so why the surprise now?
By Russell Garbutt
The ongoing revelations on stadium losses detailed today (ODT, 21.2.14) come as no surprise to anyone who has closely followed this debacle from when the Otago Rugby Football Union first gathered the Carisbrook working party together until now, when a succession of different managers, directors and councillors are all realising that what was promised is as chalk is to cheese.
While not directly specified in the article, the turnaround of an expected $10,000 profit to a $1,400,000 loss in 2014-15 is in the operational budget, and it seems Sir John Hansen, chairman of DVML, is putting most of the blame for this truly stupendous reversal of fortunes down to costs of running the stadium.

While ratepayers continue to face annual injections of over $9 million into the stadium, this is by no means the real figure.

The ”realities” of the real costs of running the stadium are now being recognised, it seems. But let us all just remember a few things that occurred when the stadium was being proposed and then built.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
11.2.14 Stadium: ‘Business case for DVML temporary seating purchase’
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . .
20.12.13 DVML: No harassment policy or complaints procedure, really?
3.12.13 DVML issues and rankles [Burden’s reply]
30.11.13 DVML in disarray
18.11.13 DVML: Burden heads to Christchurch #EntirelyPredictable
12.10.13 DVML works media/DCC to spend more ratepayer money
4.10.13 DVML . . . | ‘Make the stadium work’ losses continue
20.8.13 DVML foists invoices on DCC
20.6.13 Stadium: DVML, DVL miserable losers! #grandtheftdebt

For more, enter *dvml* or *stadium* into the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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