Dunedin economic development strategy — low flying Year 1

Flying Pig coin bank [awakenedaesthetic.com] 3

Call a meeting with local business representatives… does this speakfest qualify as formal reporting (audit) of ‘first-year’ progress for Dunedin’s economic development strategy, through the touted partnership process? Perhaps this is ‘same-old’ head chasing tail stuff? Ratepayers and residents deserve to know how much money DCC is wasting on partnership activity, junkets and promotion. What are the true gains or losses to DCC on fostering this ‘investment’? Cr Chris Staynes, be accountable and transparent for the council pigs that fly.

Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy BY DUNEDIN FOR DUNEDIN AND BEYOND 2013-2023 (PDF, 1408 KB)


The Otago Southland Employers Association “had reviewed export capacity” and was “focusing on mentoring and assisting medium to small companies to improve their exports”.

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Apr 2014
City development a long game: Staynes
By Debbie Porteous
Cr Chris Staynes told about 150 members of Dunedin’s business community gathered recently for an update on the city’s year-old economic development strategy that a partnership of the city council, Ngai Tahu, Otago Polytechnic, University of Otago, Otago Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers Association was already making inroads on an agreed target of creating 10,000 extra jobs in Dunedin and increasing average per capita income by $10,000 in 10 years.
Read more


“At the far end of the positive scale was Dunedin, declining from 5% the previous quarter to the last of the eight regions in positive territory, at 3%.”

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Apr 2014
Queenstown investors rival Auckland’s
By Simon Hartley
Queenstown and Dunedin are poles apart in commercial property investor confidence, as the tourism capital vies with Auckland for top spot.
The Colliers International quarterly survey on commercial property investor confidence, based on more than 3700 responses [shows] Auckland and Queenstown have returned confidence levels at 58% and 56% respectively, similar to the previous quarter, while Christchurch has slumped from 60% to 43%, but is third-highest of the 11 regions canvassed.
Read more

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24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . . [Fail: Stadium Review, losing +$20m pa]
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14.8.13 Fall Down Otago —The Summit (gasp!)
18.7.13 Dear DCC: Dunedin’s [choke] $47M cycle network [Fail: Expensive gifts to minority]
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15.3.13 Dunedin showcase (election year tripe): economic development strategy
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17.10.12 “But there’s more to Dunedin than just bloody cruise ships”
13.9.12 Dunedin City Council meeting (17 Sept) [EDS: Seven priority projects]
19.6.12 DRAFT Dunedin Economic Development Strategy
5.5.12 Dunedin and the southern region’s business future

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: awakenedaesthetic.com – Flying Pig coin bank (re-imaged by whatifdunedin)


Filed under Architecture, Business, COC (Otago), Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Events, Hot air, Innovation, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU

112 responses to “Dunedin economic development strategy — low flying Year 1

  1. Sent to ODT Online this morning. Not published.


    Submitted by ej kerr on Mon, 21/04/2014 – 9:36am.
    How incredibly vague. If this is the standard of annual reporting from the ‘partnership’ to the public, god help us. Where is the audited report for public release? The online link to the report? Remind me again how many jobs have been lost from Dunedin in the last twelve months; and how many new jobs have been created in the same period as a direct result of this economic development strategy partnership. And what slim progress on increasing the “average per capita income by $10,000 in 10 years”? How many ratepayer dollars and how much staff time has DCC spent on partnership work and promotion – with what direct benefits and financial losses? Let’s see the figures, and those from other clear performance measures, rather than be exposed to the questionable hot air of ‘own worth’ from the partners.

    [since published
    at http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/299522/city-development-along-game-staynes#comment-56103 ]

    Flying pig  [vclart.net Michelle-Yague - pigs fly] 1 [vclart.net Michelle Yague – pigs fly]

    “More than 90% of Dunedin businesses are said to have no intention of exporting in the future and the city captured only 2.5% of the country’s recent migrants. That must change for the city to grow and prosper.” ODT 5.5.12

    • Hype O'Thermia

      With the most cursory preparation and possibly the outlay of some chocolate fish for the right answer, it should have been no challenge at all to get the answer that 84.3%* of Dunedin businesses have every intention of exporting in the future.

      *Some people object on moral grounds to lies and bribery, and some are not keen on chocolate fish.

  2. Anonymous

    All of the presenters at the forum may not have realized, but they all came across in their presentations as “this economic development initiative is incredibly important *to future prosperity of us as partners*” and less convincing as “this economic development initiative is incredibly important to future prosperity of Dunedin”

  3. Again, these people continue to believe their own rhetoric. The 10 10 10 project was as Elizabeth implies, nothing more than expensive day dreaming, or in Jim Harland speak, ‘blue sky’ visionary planning. I’ve said before and I repeat, just look at the demographics. “It’s the people stupid” without them, and in the right mix all else is nonsense. Cr okley dokley Staynes spends too much time in a state of suspended animation, much like Snowhite when she bit the poisoned apple. In his case I suspect he has sniffed too many corks and made too many trips to China. Either way, we watch in stunned disbelief at the antics of these people. Ratepayers’ treasure is eroded by each and every stupidity these people pursue. What is so wrong with accepting the facts as they are and work to making the place as efficient and low in cost and debt as can be? Then, and only then can we expect progress. If these people can’t or won’t see that then we can forget about any real growth.

  4. Mike

    The thing is he’s right in one respect, it IS a long game – quick fixes: stadiums that actually make money, oil that’s actually there, hotel fairies and the like are not something to base the planning for our long term economic health on – hard work for a long time is what we should be planning for, and actually doing.

    Planning to move our industrial jobs out of harbourside to be replaced by cafes, not a good plan, building lots more hotels without more reasons for people to actually come, not such a good plan, developing an R&D industrial park next to the UNI is a good plan, if you can find space for more than a couple of companies (long term you want to keep those people working at startups bouncing off of each other so that they keep on making new startups, so you want to concentrate them so they all hang out).

    I think the best thing we can do is find ways to encourage more graduates who’ve lived here and love the place to stay that’s where the new hi-tech, high wage jobs will come.

  5. Mike; your last paragraph hits the nail. “I think the best thing we can do is find ways to encourage more graduates who’ve lived here and love the place to stay. that’s where the new hi-tech, high wage jobs will come.”
    Exactly; ‘startups’ not ‘stuffups’ are required. University can foster the former but the DCC and COC are masters of the latter. It is not rocket science, but the best way to get it to happen is, as always, economic. In a word the city has to be fiscally competitive. A static population of around 100,000 permanents carrying a consolidated debt of $630m won’t cut it at all. The standing charges (costs) as a result are way too high to compete with other centres in New Zealand, never mind overseas. That our so-called leaders can’t or won’t see this is the problem, and they keep thinking that they can create growth without first putting the city’s financial priorities in order. It has been a ‘spend and they will come’, suck up to minorities model for over two decades now and it simply doesn’t work. Until the Town Hall gets sufficient intellect and financial nous in place to do the right thing, nothing will change.

  6. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    Higher higher!

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Lay off employees, buy more real estate? Progress! I get it, our proud forward-focused University of Otago is working towards the day when universitites are evaluated according to the worth of their property holdings not their academic reputation. That’ll attract the brightest and best students, what else would 21st century school leavers & parents be looking for eh? Cheap (no rates payable) rentals where the young can be parked while they grow up as EFTS with benefits, grovelled over by a council that has been sucked into the belief that equality with the rest of the RATEPAYING people and businesses would see this cash [gobbling] cow jump the fence – labs, lecture theatres, hostels and, oh yes, academic staff and all.

    “The University of Otago spent more than $5.5 million on redundancies in the past four years.
    Figures released to the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act showed a total of 121.88 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff were made redundant over the four years from 2010 to 2013.
    The figures also showed overall FTEs at the university declined from 3759 in 2011 to 3754 last year.”
    More at http://www.odt.co.nz/campus/university-otago/300103/uni-spends-over-55m-layoffs

  8. Brian Miller

    Why do we need all these so called Hi Tech jobs to increase employment opportunities in Dunedin. Before amalgamation the Taieri created hundreds of work opportunities by feeding the city and the nation. Work was such a diverse range, from the paddock to the plate plus all the service industries that were required. It has been said that for every 1 job created in the horticulture industry four are created downstream to support it. Just stop and think. Next time you have a meal, two questions:
    1. Of the vegetables on your plate how many were grown locally?
    2. Of the vegetables on your plate how many could have been grown locally?
    Probably your answer to 1. is none, and your answer to 2. is most of the vegetables could be grown locally. Those of you who answered none to number 1., you are supporting growers outside of Otago.
    Amalgamation has been a disaster for the Taieri. Instead of turning it into a huge food production area, capable of feeding not only Otago/ Southland but the world.
    Since the city got its claws on the Taieri it has milked the residence dry for ratepayer money and given very little in return. It has converted the majority of our high class soils into housing, and created retirement villages that have become enormous “CATCHING PENS” for our local undertaker. What pisses me off the most is that we have a university with thousands of students, and the university doesn’t give a shit for the local economy. With most of the vegetables used there being supplied from outside Otago.
    Where is Cull and his council when we need them. Busy seeing how they can squeeze more ratepayer money out of the Taieri, and put nothing back.

  9. Brian, I hate white turnips but otherwise I completely agree with your sentiments. Not sure that the argument saying it was amalgamation which set all this in train. Sure, it has serious downsides for Mosgiel, but hey! spare a thought for us poor ‘townies’. We need your rates to help offset the losses here from the University and other government institutions gobbling up real estate and removing it from the general rate role. Herein lies the rub. We are so beholden to the education colossus, and our council are unable to see past it, so enervate the city by massive non productive spending on stadiums, conference centres, museums and anything that enters their feathery little heads without so much a thought of what the real outcome will be. Concentrate on the big things they say, so build a cycle way complex throughout the city, that’ll get the ‘plebs’ excited.
    Back to your platform; it was the DCC who had the brainstorm that valuable horticultural land would be better utilised by industry. Remember in a previous incarnation Cr Bendin Grope advocated for the city to buy up large chunks of land to make it available for the timber/wood processing industry? Luckily that didn’t progress. Then there was the brainchild of Peter Brown and Malcolm Farry to set up an industrial estate using the Fisher & Paykel factory as the nucleus. That didn’t work either despite the $millions thrown at it. Ask where F&P is today? Nothing those prats touched worked except for Cr Brown who mysteriously benefited hugely by having a drainage development (associated with the aforementioned industrial estate development) go right along Haggart Alexander Drive (which was also developed for that estate’s traffic). Then shortly after his land was redesignated from rural to building. But your argument about the growing of first class vegetables hardly falls at the council’s doors, but rather at the Supermarket Chains which have a monopolistic policy of concentrating all their local suppliers in one area so as to control them by coercion. In the South Island case that is Canterbury centered on Christchurch. It is an evil construct but what can be done about it other than by government edict? Brian, at the end of the day, it all gets back to stupid decisions made by stupid people who have been consistently elected by the people. It’s called Democracy, so suck it up and enjoy.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Calvin, not exactly: “the Supermarket Chains which have a monopolistic policy of concentrating all their local suppliers in one area so as to control them by coercion. In the South Island case that is Canterbury centered on Christchurch.” The supermarkets distribute through “central” hubs making extra transport necessary but what drove a good many growers out of business was the forward contracts to supply. Previously growers sent produce to the fruit and vege marts where shopkeepers, caterers, bid on them at auction. You could send half a dozen boxes to the mart. Supermarkets in the pursuit of uniformity, standardisation and security of price/supply (in the favour) contract for quantities and at prices that made smaller producers uneconomic. From there, property sale to “lifestylers” made sense on an individual level. Now we have a council wittering on about “sustainability” and employing people to give talks and demonstrations on composting, worm farms and so on, encouraging “community vege gardens”. We’re still going to be stuck up sheissen creek when roads & rail are broken because the growing places are covered with tacky McMansions with half a dozen ensuites and no silverbeet.

  10. Silver Peaks County Council did appear to have better control of keeping rural subdivision off high class soils.

    However, I dare think Calvin’s last sentence reads “Full sympathies to you, Brian.”

    Brian, you have in your district those who operate by greed, deceit and power plays – such that they’re completely merciless in that small-town, bully-boy Tartan way. On top of that is the awesome load of cruel deformity that is Dunedin City Council, and then the braindead apathetic public. Note the people seeing DCC to court lately are not of the latter breed, because they are awake, are conscious, and are defenders of their property rights. They take that duress, that cost, on their shoulders daily/nightly and they deserve to win strongly, defiantly. The blubber yet contained in the elected and staff arms of this city council would fuel a terrific bonfire set under the Civic Centre. Far be it from me to tidy that quadrant of the Octagon and Moray Place given Jimothy’s security system now in use to separate the devil’s henchmen from plebian pleasure.

  11. Brian Miller

    Sorry Calvin. Don’t blame the supermarkets. It has been too easy for people to do that. I have been in the thick of it all supplying a supermarket chain all over the South Island, so I can say I know a little about what has gone on. Take a look at our council. I have only ever received negativity from them; they are actually trying to destroy our business right now. This Taieri Plain has unlimited potential in the horticulture industry. I can show you graphs of hort production for every province in NZ, and in the vegetable industry Otago is the only one going backwards. I just hope the students and the rest of you enjoy all the product from China that is in store, and their growers use any shit they like as an insecticide. Where us Kiwi growers have to follow the rules or else.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    I see a role for crowdsourced funding here. The Riccarton Rd people are up against a no-holds-barred, unlimited money supply (yes, I know. *I* know but the council doesn’t, it’s never had trouble finding money for its pet projects) but they shouldn’t have to face this without the rest of us having the chance to back them with more than words. Anyone know how to set up crowdsourcing? Anyone with mo’ better ideas? Please!!!

  13. The irony is the Spatial Plan supports the Taieri food basket intent but the 2GP is another beast – and developers will do their damnedest to make speculator- sprawl happen given weaknesses/precedents of the currently operative district plan before the 2GP is effected.

  14. Brian Miller

    Don’t worry, what the district plan or the 2GP might say or do.
    Hearings commissioners will come up with decisions for their cronies that have no relevance to the plan but more to do with their mates’ pockets, knowing full well that no-one has a spare $50,000 to take them on in the Environment Court. A case in point Veggie boys on the Taieri, where the council planner at the hearing recommended that it be turned down, no doubt because it was contrary to the district plan. But what did Benson Pope and his mates do? They approved it. In other words, they gave the district plan the two fingered salute.
    This leads us to the question: Why have a District Plan that was 10 years and over $1 million in the making, when hearing commissioners can override it and make decisions contrary to the plan, and walk away for others to fight over the mess they create. 30 seconds and walk away.

    • Maybe follow the example of the crook Monsieur Swann in several ways – first, steal from a large bureaucracy without proper audit procedures in place; second, get your extended family and society friends to hide your newly acquired assets and spare cash; and third, live on a sailboat with own power system and desalination plant. Further, on making land at any time find a rich sponsor to tide you over, anyone with a vineyard or brewery, a house at Governors Bay and a swimming pool.

  15. Elizabeth

    That DCC now employs and salaries an ”export education co-ordinator” is another sure sign of how far DCC travels away from its core council business. DCC isn’t a tertiary education provider. Why aren’t the university and the polytechnic employing Sarah Gauthier – it’s their business.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 30 Jun 2014
    Foreign students targeted in $160m plan
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin’s education sector is working on an ambitious plan to boost the city’s economy by more than $160 million a year by attracting more international students. […] The new plan, which forms part of Dunedin’s economic development strategy, aims to double the value international education brings to the city’s economy to $330 million a year by 2023. [,,,] The strategy had been supported through $50,000 from Education New Zealand, a Government agency which promotes the country to international students, and $45,000 from the council’s Grow Dunedin partnership.
    Read more

    International students: (via ODT)
    • On average, each contributed $42,000 a year to Otago’s economy.
    • Contribute more than $165m to Otago’s economy, which is 6% of the region’s GDP.
    • University of Otago international students spent almost $45m on tuition fees alone last year.

  16. Why is it that I twitch every time I see a project mooted or supported by the DCC Economic Development Dept? $45,000? In she goes, whoopee! watch for the economic returns from this baby as it’s ‘high fives’ all round.
    Problem is, we never ever hear of the results of these brain storms. I always remember Malcolm Farry, back about 2003 telling us that the population of Dunedin would be over 230,000 by 2010, and 3,500 jobs would be created. He disappeared from council in an abortive $50,000 attempt to become Mayor. We all know what he did next. Has anyone heard how the ten ten ten plan is going? Ten thousand more jobs, $10,000 lift in average income over ten years. Been running for a couple of years now so isn’t it time for a progress report? Proportionately there should be 2,000 new jobs paying $2,000pa more by now. Anyone heard? I haven’t.

    • Elizabeth

      Well Malc’s income must have increased due to his CST expenses, as billed – monthly, even! (for how many years?). Afterall, no-one built the stadium for nothing did they?! No-one volunteered, did they?! Not on THOSE monthly personal claims.

      [but wait there’s more] [DCC has something to say] [it had better be soon]

  17. Elizabeth

    Crap! Worst job imaginable – soul-destroying and lacking physical exercise, trapped at screen and wearing a silly headset, night and day. The pay is worse. Go for shelf stacking at least you get a workout. But hey, we want interesting production jobs, a little (a lot) industrial processing to get those exports (products and services) rolling around NZ and overseas.

    Any new arrival would not be the first, as Fisher and Paykel, the Accident Compensation Corporation and Contact Energy are among operators already together employing hundreds of call centre staff in the city.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Jul 2014
    Plan to lure call centres
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin is positioning itself to become a hub for national and international call centres, as part of a push to grow the city’s economy. The Otago Daily Times has been told an international company with plans to establish a call centre base in New Zealand had been considering bringing about 150 jobs to Dunedin earlier this year.
    Read more

  18. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 29, 2014 – 5:57pm
    Economic development strategy the focus of doubt
    Economic development is one of the Dunedin City Council’s main priorities. And one of the projects it’s working on aims to strengthen the council’s relationship with the Dunedin business community. But there’s doubt internally about whether the initiative is as effective as staff say it is.

  19. Anonymous

    Economic development is one of the Dunedin City Council’s main priorities, for which it does not have a mandate.

  20. Peter

    I was left wondering what this was all about from this report. Some specifics, from Cr Lee Vandervis, about consents, but what else was in there to do with economic development? A catchphrase about ‘going forward’ I picked up on. (How I am tired of that meaningless phrase)

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Going forward” has got us nowhere. It’s time for going sideways – lateral thinking – or going backwards – undoing the mistakes of the past, reversing out of the dead-end street that ends in a sheer drop onto the rocks of ruination..

    • Mick

      Yes Peter. what on earth has happened to ‘in future’ nah – everything has to be ‘going forward’. They really mean ‘in the future’ – why not say that.

  21. Mick

    The most effective policy the DCC can adopt in respect to business development is to keep the hell out of it. This is the territory of private enterprise. Local government has an abysmal record of failure by interfering in business.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes, it needs a GTFO policy, Get The *fidgetters* Outofit.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Mick: totally agree. Trying to promote business is not a local government responsibility. And even if it were, it is way down on the list of local government priorities. DCC should be doing as priorities the things that no other agency has any responsibility to do. In other words, stuff which is neglected if they don’t do it.
      Actually I doubt whether even central government can much affect or influence the local economy, except possibly by signing international trade agreements and manipulating taxes and subsidies. But even that is not always effective and sometimes the effects or results or consequences either counterproductive or impossible to evaluate.

  22. I’ll second that Mick. Council’s business is roads, drains, water and parks and gardens. These are the things individuals decided ‘eons’ ago that the community as a whole need to do. It evolved into the community setting up a body to attend to these things funded by the citizens as a whole. It did not ever intend to have this body move into their lives in such an insidious manner as it has. The problem is that these bodies attract people needing to control and ‘improve’ things, and meddle in such a way as they never could in business on their own account. Bureaucrats generally are losers with a tendency to control by ‘fiat’ without regard to the consequences. Money ceases to have value as a precious commodity, easy come, easy go is the model. This of course, leads on to ever greater control and power till we arrive at the situation we are at now. Dunedin is broke, hugely indebted, overburdened with rules, restrictions and ‘Follies’ way beyond the ability of the community to fund or even utilise to the fullest. Our so-called democratic system continues to elect as its board of governors the most unimpressive lot of people one could dredge up in a day’s march. No-one of the calibre required with real business acumen offers their services as they realise the futility of the whole ‘boondoggle’. So the good ship Dunedin quietly blunders on constantly getting into more and more dangerous waters. One should check their life jackets and note the nearest life boat.

  23. Elizabeth

    Dunedin’s bunch of fools.
    Sharlene’s low-rise university of otago marketing pitch ain’t working. Remember when the Dunedin Economic Development Strategy was launched with the naming of “Partners” (and remember how Mayor Cull and John Christie were part of the barely perceptible buzz…)….. Well, let’s boost it – “IT VERY CLEARLY does not work” – yet, DCC has hired Mr Tired And Uneventful Christie to plug the gaps, and poor old Sharlene is left to sell rugby and beer at stadium, instead of concentrating her total effort on marketing our scientists, medical researchers and hi-tech product developers. And they say she is bright, at psychology. God help us. And now a Sarah……

    The drop comes after the launch of a plan, which forms part of the council’s economic development strategy, aiming to increase the value international education brings to Dunedin’s economy to $330 million a year by 2023, or double its present figure […] Otago is the third-worst-performing region, equal with Northland, with only Marlborough (-12%) and Hawkes Bay (-6%) performing worse.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 31 Aug 2014
    Brand launch to combat drop in student numbers
    By Vaughan Elder
    The number of international students studying in Otago has dropped 5%, making it among the worst-performing regions in New Zealand. Dunedin City Council export education co-ordinator Sarah Gauthier said part of the reason for the decline, amid an increase of 8% nationally, was because Dunedin had previously failed to market itself as a ”distinctive” proposition to international students.
    Read more

    We’d do better with NO PLAN, thanks very much.


    At ODT Online:

    We built it!
    Submitted by Te Jackle on Sun, 31/08/2014 – 11:49am.

    Wasn’t one of the catchcries for building the stadium that it would attract more students to study at Otago University.
    So why is this not occurring?
    Another chicken looking for its roost.

    Ask Malcolm — he’s very quiet just now.
    Probably enjoying a stiff whisky with Jimothy at a clandestine musterers hut somewhar.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      See above – “…part of the reason for the decline, amid an increase of 8% nationally, was because Dunedin had previously failed to market itself as a ”distinctive” proposition to international students.”

      Mightn’t it be that it had marketed itself all too thoroughly, as a distinctively “Omigod avoid at all costs” proposition for families choosing such a big cost, big upheaval, long-term consequences, educational plan for their teenagers?
      Read more

  24. Malcolm told us an increase in the roll could be 500 if the stadium went ahead. That’s what happens when you put a failed dentist in charge.
    Isn’t the Vice Chancellor a psychologist? The DCC puts a ‘hex’ on everything it touches. What magic John Christie will bring, will just be an uptick in DCC expenses, nothing else. Same old same old.

  25. “Holy Moly” DVML has done it again! Given the revolving door a big flick and out go six and in come four. Result, total staff cut from twenty seven to twenty five. Brilliant! Change? We now have a new ‘business development manager. What magic she will bring to the table one can only wonder. I hope she is an expert in ‘silk purse’ manufacturing. Because she is moving into the biggest ‘sow’s ear’ south of the Waitaki.

  26. Elizabeth

    Some of the reports to be tabled at the DCC Economic Development Committee today.

    Report – EDC – 20/10/2014 (PDF, 198.1 KB)
    StartUp Space – Update

    Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy has five themes, one of which is “Alliances for Innovation”. One of the projects which sit under this theme is “Grow Innovative and Internationally Competitive Industries and Clusters in Dunedin”. The StartUp Space [on the university campus at Leith Walk – former studio for the department of Design Studies] is the initial activity of this project.

    Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS) was adopted in 2013 by its six partners.
    There are two specific economic goals:
    1. 10,000 extra jobs over 10 years (requiring employment growth of approximately 2% per
    2. An average of $10,000 extra income for each person (requiring GDP per capita to rise by
    about 2.5% per annum).

    The Strategy is built around five themes:
    1. Business vitality
    2. Alliances for innovation
    3. A hub of skills and talent
    4. Linkages beyond our borders
    5. A compelling destination

    In this report, an update is provided on the “Grow Innovative and Internationally Competitive
    Industries and Clusters in Dunedin” project, referred to as the “Grow” project. The StartUp
    Space is the initial activity of this project and is convened by EDS partner, the University of


    Job creation at DCC spirals upwards….

    Report – EDC – 20/10/2014 (PDF, 126.7 KB)
    Economic Development Strategy Projects Budget – Project Co-ordinators’ Funding Request

    Enterprise Dunedin’s EDS projects budget is $518,000 for the current 2014/2015 financial year and has yet to be ratified for the 2015/16 year and future years. This budget pays for progressing EDS projects and includes payment for the project co-ordinators and project management costs.

    That the Committee:

    1. Approve the earmarking of $190,000 on an annual basis from the Economic Development Project Budget for the purpose of employing two project co-ordinators.

    2. That this funding be included as two line items within the Economic Development Project fund for a period of three years:
    - Export Education Uplift Co-ordinator – $95,000
    - Project China Co-ordinator – $95,000


    Blow the trumpets for more fake multipliers!!!

    Report – EDC – 20/10/2014 (PDF, 72.3 KB)
    Dunedin Business Events

    Dunedin Business Events contributes to the “Compelling Destination” theme of Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy. Enterprise Dunedin is now responsible for business events promotion eg attracting international conferences and will, where applicable, partner with Tourism New Zealand in promoting this opportunity for Dunedin. Business events are proving a lucrative market for tourism in Dunedin because delegates stay longer, spend up to three times more than tourists and their travel patterns are not seasonal. This equates to approximately $482 per day per delegate, totalling approximately $17.5 million per annum. The formation of Enterprise Dunedin has helped further opportunities in the business events area. Connection with the University of Otago and identifying further opportunities regarding funding and assistance available for academics interested in hosting international conferences in Dunedin will continue to be supported.


    Other EDC reports here.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    I can’t believe this. Here we are over $620 million in debt, bleeding commercial jobs all over and the council is looking likely to endorse the appointment of two $95,000pa positions on top of John Christie, all without a thought of the nonsense they are dreaming.

    Without going into the detail they come up with the preposterous calculation that conference delegates spend approx. $482 per day when attending. That’s the same line of crap that was put forward years ago when making their case for upgrading the Town Hall Conference Centre.

    In 2007 it was claimed by Ernst & Young consultants no less, who postulated that a conference of 400 people, each spending $400 per day would generate direct spending of $448,000 daily. That obviously involved some tricky multiples to get there. Then they made a serious tactical error in encouraging the attendees at the Women’s Institute’s annual meeting to complete a survey of their expenditures per day during their stay. The women obviously didn’t fit the pattern because after an over 60% response it turned out the daily spend (including accommodation) averaged just $190.93 per day. Now that is a fact.

    So nothing has been learned and nothing has changed. This council, if it accepts those reports’ recommendations can only be described as wanton, irresponsible people with no financial responsibility whatsoever.

  28. Elizabeth


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Delegation to Shanghai Enhances Sister City Ties

    This item was published on 20 Oct 2014

    Twentieth anniversary celebrations of the strengthening sister city relationship between Dunedin and Shanghai continue with a major Mayoral delegation spending a week in Shanghai from 24 October. The Dunedin delegation’s trip is in response to a delegation sent from the Chinese city in August. Its busy itinerary contains meetings and events designed to cement the growing economic, educational and civic ties between the two cities and foster new relationships. Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “The mutual trust and confidence that has grown up between Dunedin and Shanghai is a very good platform for commercial development. We can enhance the tourism, education and business relationships we already have.” The 13-member delegation includes Mr Cull, Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes and Dunedin City Council Export Education Co-ordinator Sarah Gauthier and Business Development Advisor – China Ying Qin. The Otago Chamber of Commerce is sending its Chair Ali Copeman, Chief Executive John Christie and International Manager Cara Bradley. Ngāi Tahu is represented by Edward Ellison and Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl. The tertiary education sector is represented by Otago Polytechnic’s Internationalisation Director Mark Doesberg and the University of Otago’s Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Professor Helen Nicholson and Business Manager of Global Partnerships/Biomedical David Grimmett. Malcolm Wong will represent the Dunedin Chinese Gardens Trust and the Dunedin Shanghai Association.
    Read more


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Mayoral Delegation to Formalise Friendship City Ties with Qingdao, China

    This item was published on 17 Oct 2014

    Strong interest from the Chinese city of Qingdao’s Foreign Affairs department in developing an official Friendship City relationship with Dunedin has prompted a major Mayoral delegation visit to Qingdao this month. Eleven people representing Dunedin’s civic, educational and business interests will be in Qingdao for meetings and signings of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) from Tuesday 21 October to Friday 24 October. (The delegation will then travel on to Shanghai for a week of meetings there.) As well as the core group of 11 people, up to seven representatives from Dunedin high schools will join the delegation at times. Qingdao is a port city that lies within eastern China’s Shandong Province. It has an urban population of some 4.5 million, but its jurisdiction includes five county-level cities, raising the total population to nearly nine million. Qingdao is known for its ‘blue economy’ of ocean-related industries, widely seen as the commercial future of the city. The delegation includes Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes and Dunedin City Council Business Development Advisor Ying Qin. The Otago Chamber of Commerce is sending its Chair Ali Copeman, Chief Executive John Christie and International Manager Cara Bradley. The tertiary education sector is represented by Otago Polytechnic’s Director of Internationalisation of Mark Doesberg and the University of Otago’s Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Professor Helen Nicholson and Business Manager of Global Partnerships/Biomedical David Grimmett. Ngāi Tahu is represented by Edward Ellison and Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl.
    Read more

  29. Elizabeth

    Ali Copeman will be able to tell a corner of China how library rates here exceed stadium rates – it’s a grand selling point !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Calvin Oaten

    My goodness! Dave Cull is rapidly getting to the stage where he will have circadian clock trouble. All this shifting rapidly through time zones must eventually have an effect. You only have to look at John Key to see that. But when I come to think of it, Dave came to the job with some impediments so a few more will probably not be noticeable. It’s the Chinese hosts that will have to deal with it, worse, as a fall back they also have ‘Okley Dokley deputy Dawg’ Staynes to put up with.

  31. Elizabeth


    ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Nov 2014
    Dividends likely from trip
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin could be in for a boost from China, with more students, tourists and investors on the way, the mayor says. The increasing activity is expected to be the result of a recent two-week trip to Qingdao and Shanghai, in China, by an 11-strong Dunedin delegation headed by Mayor Dave Cull.
    Read more

  32. Elizabeth

    Dunedin residents walking around the central city may have become accustomed to signs bearing words like ”Closing Down Sale”, or ”For Lease” plastered across shop front windows.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 22 Feb 2015
    High rents linked to empty shops
    By Jonathan Chilton-Towle and Dan Hutchinson – The Star
    High rents, the residue of the global financial crisis, and increased online competition are making things tough for Dunedin retailers, as evidenced by a high number of empty storefronts around town. […] Retail NZ chief executive Mark Johnston said retailing was tough all over the country at the moment. “Some particular concerns we hear from our Dunedin members is that central city rents are becoming unaffordable and some landlords are not investing in the maintenance of retail premises.”
    Read more

    • Sally

      Expect to see a headline like this with the next DCC double inflation rate increase:
      High Rates Linked To Empty Houses

      Cannot wait to see what Mr Thomson has to say about that.

  33. Calvin Oaten

    It’s nice to know that Richard Thomson (that doyen of all knowledge) knows the reasons, but does he know the answers? Perhaps new DCC appointment Director, Enterprise Dunedin, John Christie can come up with some answers and then Dunedin will move on towards its target of making it one of the ‘best’ little cities in the world. That would be well worth his salary.

    {Job title corrected. -Eds}

    • @Calvin Oaten
      February 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm
      Perhaps new DCC appointment Director, Enterprise Dunedin, John Christie can come up with some answers and then Dunedin will move on towards its target of making it one of the ‘best’ little cities in the world. That would be well worth his salary.

      I wouldn’t be holding my breath on that score Calvin as you well know. Here’s what he said in today’s ODT (Sun, 22 Feb 2015)

      “Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said he was not overly concerned about the number of empty shops. However, if it became a trend over an extended period of time, the council would need to look into it and have conversations with stakeholders. “It’s not desirable to have a lot of empty shop fronts, but at the same time you’ve got to have some turnover in the retail sector,” he said.”

      Bloody marvellous erudition NOT. So – in summary – not too worried about empty shops – but if it goes on for a while we would have to have a ‘conversation’. Christ almighty! Not sure what sort of turnover he was talking about – maybe an apple turnover. He has to be Sue’s best buy of the year – this guy.

      • Peter

        So sick of hearing that phrase,’having a conversation’. It sounds dumb. Meaningless. Basically we don’t know what to do, but a ‘conversation’ might help.

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    Businesses opening and closing or relocating are annoying for would-be customers. We know where to go for something we don’t need often, but when we do we really want to buy it.
    All irritations like that are further incentives for people not to even go into town, might as well stay home and shop online.

  35. Elizabeth

    Fingers in my ears.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz March 11, 2015 – 7:00pm
    Nightly interview: Dr Paula O’Kane
    The future of work in Dunedin is becoming clearer, through a piece of research carried out by staff at the Otago Business School. They’ve canvassed local business and community leaders on their visions of the future of work in the city. Dr Paula O’Kane joins us to explain the results.

    • @Elizabeth
      March 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm
      Fingers in my ears.

      dunedintv.co.nz March 11, 2015 – 7:00pm
      Nightly interview: Dr Paula O’Kane

      Fingers in you ears indeed Elizabeth. It was so sad and such a nice young lady too.
      She was so erudite!

      – Technology increase. (well yes the bible predicted that about 3000 years ago) so she is good company there.
      – Knowledge based industries increased (ditto)
      – Caring industries increasing – well, with a city full of old aged pensioners that was a good guess – so top marks there.

      Things that keep you awake at night
      – Financial security not personal and city wide. No! who would have thunk. Check that second one with Calvin – that would get him going.
      – Worried about opportunities for the future – yes, better than worrying about the past.
      – Fear for the tertiary industry (that would be close to home for the Dr so better get that one in.)
      – Fear for the primary industry – well you would – especially now with the 1080 stuff ‘n all.
      – Job losses – well you would wouldn’t you.

      Talk so we can plan and
      Everyone must do it.

      Like I said Elizabeth so erudite.

      • Elizabeth

        Mick, for a very long time, since 1978 actually, I have wanted to snip certain academic (cough) departments out of the sordid old establishment; there is nothing to recommend the research some of them do. And now that PhDs are an expensive dime a dozen, my thoughts predictably multiply on that slashing activity. Send the young lady to the Salt Mines any time soon, I say.

        • Well Elizabeth if you ever needed proof of your argument – there you are – on tape! Be my guest – slash away.

        • Elizabeth

          How many university types should have, could have been more usefully deployed to the trades. I include myself in that since no-one thought to promote that avenue as the enterprising thing to do before I enlisted for Architecture Intermediate at Otago. Could’ve earned a lot more money for starters! Couldn’t wait to leave Otago back then, it was full of non-entrepreneurial khaki-shorts and roman sandal wearing, bearded, long-haired academic goons. When my father visited, being a cool-thinking, handsome, practically driven, politically aware farmer (self-taught), he burst into fits of laughter at the very sight. But it is from 1978 that I gained my worst impression of Otago’s teachings and research and its ability to hide and cosset people from the horrors and hardships of (yes) ‘real life’ – to stir that stereotype! The stench lingers, although they’re paid more now and mostly dress better – but oh dear, ‘some’ have to work harder. Thank god I fled to University of Auckland if I didn’t make it into plumbing!

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Having perfected speaking extremely fast (albeit without saying anything more profound than have a nice day) she could retrain as a race caller.
          “It’s Big Adios followed by Green Adios, followed by Heliotrope Adios… but don’t you worry about Daggy Boy….”

  36. Calvin Oaten

    It is the bane of all PhDs. Publish or die. So they publish, and this is the type of result. Big fat doorstops, but hey! it keeps the tenure going and face it, her peers are all in the same bind. One day she might just do some serious research into what it is that she actually does, and more importantly what it contributes to society. That could be the “road to Damascus moment.”

  37. Elizabeth

    oh yeah, we work in EcDevt at DCC and we’re so excited. yup.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz March 31, 2015 – 7:10pm
    Unlikely industry bringing Dunedin a worldwide audience
    An unlikely business is bringing millions of dollars into the city. It’s something that often flies under the radar, going unnoticed by most residents but it’s putting Dunedin in front of a worldwide audience.


    tourism does the usual talk-up with nothing better to do. yup.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz March 31, 2015 – 7:23pm
    City benefiting from nationwide tourism boom
    Tourism is worth more than $400m to Dunedin each year. The city’s benefiting from a nationwide tourism boom, with more visitors spending more money. And while industry leaders say Dunedin’s got a solid grounding in the market, there’s potential for its share to increase.


    tissues please.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 31 Mar 2015
    City loses travellers’ conference
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin’s lack of international flights and accommodation have again been highlighted as the city vies for a greater slice of the conference market. It was confirmed yesterday the city had been unsuccessful in its bid to secure the International Women in Travel Summit in 2016.
    Read more

  38. Elizabeth


    Without “drilling into the data” it was difficult to tell what might have caused the increase. –John Christie, (DCC) Enterprise Dunedin

    ### ODT Online Tue, 7 Apr 2015
    Migrant influx hailed
    By Vaughan Elder
    A record gain in migrants coming to Dunedin over the past year has been hailed as “very encouraging” by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull. Statistics New Zealand data provided to the Otago Daily Times showed record net gains in migrants for Otago (1507) in the year to February since at least 1992 – the first year for which figures were available.
    Read more

  39. Elizabeth

    Berl figures released last night show:
    ● The number of jobs in the city grew 1.5% in the year to March, with an extra 780 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions created.
    ● This was lower than the 1221 FTE jobs created the previous year, to March 2014, which amounted to 2.4% growth.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Dec 2015
    780 new Dunedin jobs 220 short of target
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin’s economy is on the right track [??], despite the city missing its latest target for job-creation, deputy mayor Chris Staynes says. The comment came as he presented an update on the city’s economic development strategy to about 50 people in the Glenroy Auditorium last night.
    Read more

    Grow Dunedin Partnership
    Ngai Tahu, Otago Southland Employers Association, Dunedin City Council, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Otago Chamber of Commerce.

    Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy
    Create 10,000 jobs and add $10,000 to average incomes by 2023.

  40. Elizabeth

    Time ticks on, from the launch of the ED Strategy in 2013 to now….

    ODT 29.12.15 (page 10)

    ODT 29.12.15 Letter to editor Oaten p10

    snoopy-battling-red-baron redtails gif [tumblr.com]Here’s the WWI flying ace zooming through the air in his Sopworth Camel. Suddenly he sees a shadow move across the ground…an angry sound fills the air! It’s the Red Baron! He’s riddling my plane with bullets. This could ruin my whole Christmas! —Schulz

  41. But Mr Staynes doesn’t answer Calvin Oaten’s question does he. No mention of the $10,000 pa increase in average incomes. So ….well off the target of 10,000 new jobs is clear but god knows the measure of ‘outperformed the average for the past decade’ means. Is obfuscation your middle name – or is that ‘muddle name’ Mr Staynes?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      If you follow the print ODT letters to the editor you’ll have noticed that councillors and DCC staff have a special style for responding to letter-writing peasantry. Waffle on about aims and achievements with tangential if any relevance to the writer’s concerns.
      South Dunedin’s extreme wetness issue raised by a malcontent? (Oops, are we allowed to mention South Dunedin by name now or is that verboten too?) Talk at length about outstanding achievements in preventing same in Halfway Bush and Pine Hill.

  42. Anonymous

    10,000 jobs over 10 years is 1000 jobs per year.

    1221 in year 1
    780 in year 2
    Total for 2 years: 2001

    On. Track.
    In fact, target EXCEEDED.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Brilliant! Thanks Anonymous for providing the figures. Do you also have the stats for “the $10,000 pa increase in average incomes” – even the incomes for the workers in the newly created jobs would help, are they proportionately above what comparable employment categories paid / above what those workers earned in their previous jobs? I mean, it’s not much of a help if 40-hr-week jobs are lost, and the workers displaced have to take part-time McJobs with no steady hours, on call, on less than the “living wage”.

  43. Elizabeth

    Laura is a sideshow, ignore.
    Concentrate on the other players reported here.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 14 Feb 2016
    Dunedin behind in economic report
    By Vaughan Elder
    ….The Business and Economic Research Ltd (Berl) report on Dunedin’s economy in the year to March last year will be discussed at the council’s economic development committee meeting next week. The report showed 780 full-time equivalent jobs were created over the course of the year, but Dunedin was still behind Otago and the rest of New Zealand on most economic indicators.
    Read more

    Is that all ??
    The drop in manufacturing jobs from 6930 in 2005 to 3892 in 2015 was worrying.

  44. Elizabeth

    I can’t bear to watch this. Won’t.
    Enterprise Dunedin should be dumped.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Mon, 15 Feb 2016 at 6:38 pm
    Nightly Interview: Des Adamson
    The local economy seems to be improving, based on the latest data compiled for the Dunedin City Council. It shows the city’s gross domestic product is up, and there are hundreds more jobs than a couple of years ago. Des Adamson from Enterprise Dunedin has been looking through the figures, and he joins us to talk about it.
    Ch39 Video

  45. Calvin Oaten

    I watched it Elizabeth, the most fascinating aspect was not the “hundreds of new jobs” but the body language. The constant nervous clenching and unclenching of his hands to me suggests he was less than convinced in what he was saying, rather it was as if there was a red hot poker close to the nether regions waiting for a mistake in the propaganda being promoted. Why no mention of the losses from Hillside (1200) plus the foundry cutbacks etc.
    As you say, Enterprise Dunedin is a sick joke and an impost on the ratepayers’ pockets. If it just disappeared nothing would change and the world would simply get on making do with the conditions as they exist.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, one thing would change – all those hefty ED salaries could be eradicated, with no loss of service!

    • Peter

      Do they factor in job losses too, to come to the final figure showing ‘growth’? You would hope so. Otherwise it would be a blatant lie. Surely.
      We will never know. It is election year.
      Stuff like ‘turning the ship around’ according to Kate Wilson this morning.

      • photonz

        Actual job losses are huge compared to increase in employment. But so are jobs created.

        So if New Zealand has say 20,000 additional jobs in a quarter, typical job losses could be in the order of 120,000, with say 140,000 new jobs created.

        So you can expect the figures for Dunedin of a similar order – thousands of jobs lost, and thousands created, resulting in a net benefit of several hundred additional jobs.

    • photonz

      Calvin – what time frame are you talking about 1200 Hillside job losses? (because five years ago in 2011 Kiwirail had a total of 172 workers there).

  46. Calvin Oaten

    photonz, no time frame I realise it was, over years a death by a thousand cuts. What’s your point? That the city is in good hands and the Enterprise Dept is a grand addition of job creation?

    • photonz

      So in Enterpise Dunedin’s summation of the last TWO years, you complain that they didn’t mention the job losses at Hillside in the decades previous to their existence – really? That’s feeble criticism.

      Over time technology changes – hence there aren’t hundreds of jobs for blacksmiths at Hillside like there was a century ago.

      While it used to take 350 man hours to make a car, today many companies make cars with less than 30 hours of human input.

      Since the 70s, manufacturing has pretty much halved as a % of world gdp. And as things get mechanised, it continues to shrink.

      Fact – a fewer and fewer percentage of our jobs will be in manufacturing.

      Hillside was never going to viable long term. If you were starting up a new train part manufacturing base, you would never choose one in city at the bottom of a country at the bottom of the world, furthest away from any population bases or and any major railways.

      So for Enterprise Dunedin to change Hillside’s future, they’d have to move New Zealand to the northern hemisphere, and reverse the history of world manufacturing over the last half century.

      Perhaps they deserve criticism for some things – I don’t know – but I bet the downfall of Hillside (in the decades before Enterprise Dunedin even existed) is not one of them.

      • Calvin Oaten

        photonz, that’s the point. Enterprise Dunedin serves no real purpose except to soak up some ratepayers’ treasure. The last two years is not a term of relevance for a city of some 167 years duration. No amount of your repeating of manufacturing development covers the fact of the long, slow decline in jobs in Dunedin. For Dunedin Enterprise to push this ridiculous 10 year, 10,000 jobs, $10,000 rise in mean income is just unadulterated crap. Full stop.

        • photonz

          I’d love to know how big this job decline is.

          You obviously have the statistics, otherwise you could never make such a claim.

          So how many jobs do we have now, and how many did we have previously?

        • Calvin Oaten

          OK photonz. Never mind the job count, just look at this list, since the second world war. Businesses no longer here.

          A&T Burt Ltd, J&T Christie Ltd plumbing and sheetmetal, Union Steamship Co. and engineering works, National Mortgage stock and station agents woolbrokers and fishing, Stevenson & Cook Engineering, Donald Reid & Co., Otago Farmers, Stronach Morris, Sims Engineering, Currie Newberry Walker engineering, Dunedin Engineering (now merged with Farra engineering Group), Wilkinson Callon Foundry, Radiation Champion Range makers, H E Shacklock Cooking appliances, Methvens tapmakers and plumbing, Bonaire Industries Ltd home freezer manufacturers, Mosgiel Woollen Mills, Roslyn Woollen Mills, Ross & Glendinning woollen goods and footwear manufacturers, Tamihene Knitwear, Sew Hoy ltd clothing manufacturing and importers, Garron Manufacturing clothing, McSkimming Ltd brick and tile manufacturers, Petrous Tile manufacturers, Fletcher Linseed Oil processors, Hillside Workshops, Snowhite Laundries, Briscoes ltd (the original) warehouse/importers, Sargood Son & Ewing warehouse/importers, Bing Harris warehouse/importers, Baily Tomkins Hedges Tanneries, Donaghy Industries ropemakers, Mackintosh Caley Ltd confectionery manufacturers, Newjoy Ice Cream Ltd, Crystal Ice Co. icecream makers, Royal Ice Cream makers, Industrial Gases Ltd, McGavin Breweries, Powleys Breweries, J Wright & co bread bakers, Holsum Bakeries bread bakers, J G Laurenson Ltd bread bakers, J R Brown bread bakers, Reillys Fruit and produce market, Lovell Bates fruit and produce market, N S Paterson fruit and produce market, Otago Fruit and Produce market, Standard Insurance (failed), The Evening Star newspaper publisher, Whitcombe & Tombs books and stationary, Coull Somerville Wilkie Printers, Brown Ewing retailers, DIC importers and retailers, A&T Inglis retailers, Drapery Supply Assoc (DSA), Arthur Barnett Ltd retail.

          photonz, this is just a few, you can take a guess at how many jobs were involved. Maybe you are too young to recall, that is the problem in our Town Hall, no depth of understanding. I’m not suggesting for a moment this can all be recalled just that history often dictates the future. Think about it.

        • photonz

          “Never mind the job count” says Calvin.

          The job count is the whole basis of your claim, that we now have fewer jobs.

          Calvin – your list is irrelevant to whether we now have more jobs (or less as you claim).

          Because your list is as silly as saying it’s doomsday for the population of Dunedin because of all the death notices in the paper every day, but not counting the births or new arrivals to the city.

          If you really believe there are fewer jobs now, then you need to come up with the actual numbers to prove it, otherwise the claim you made is meaningless.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        The skills at Hillside weren’t confined to blacksmithing, nor to making rolling stock for narrow gauge railways. As you point out photonz it wasn’t due for long life, not doing same-old in perpetuity. One thing that is growing is “niche”. Example, those mega-fantabulosa mega-rich people’s yachts. Also restoring cars and machinery for collectors, building prototypes and tweaking till they work in real life just like they work on the computer screen. Had the railway contract stayed in Dunedin AND been used as “safe time” to widen scope, alter the business’s shape according to prospects, and embrace a policy of nimble reactions to doors opening and closing.

        • Elizabeth

          Again, and although the going’s tough, Farra does know and contend with international reach and niche – as does Scott et al.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Elizabeth – re “Farra does know and contend with international reach and niche – as does Scott et al” – let’s not see gentrification cafe schemes interfere with the viability of these genuine earners & employers.

        • Elizabeth

          There have always been local pubs (bar, dining and accommodation) or tuckshops/dairies serving the workers, historically. These can evolve in their hospitality and retail operation and presentation. For said workers’ gratification as much as for the interested general public. Industrial zones do take a mix of uses, typically. It’s all a matter of compatability, or not if gentrification gets hold and over-reaches.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          You’re right, Elizabeth – “Industrial zones do take a mix of uses, typically. It’s all a matter of compatability”. It’s a version of being culturally appropriate, and of “when in Rome…” and there is no excuse for permitting activities that when they get going make the area impossible for the established users, forcing them out. I haven’t forgotten the Arc Cafe fiasco.

          And the sound of loud bleating from people who move into rural areas and complain about rural activities, and animals pooping on the roadways they’ve been herded over for years….. Grrr! I lift my leg* and pee on their designer countrychic boots!

          *Strictly speaking I delegate this duty to one with 3 other legs to stand on.

        • Calvin Oaten

          photonz, not sure where you get the idea that all that list needs to be quantified as to jobs, I would have thought it spoke for itself. Note, I didn’t try to put numbers on it except I remember the extent of those enterprises compared with the vacant spaces being either left or retrofitted for other purposes, as in Vogel St. You say, “If I really believe there are fewer jobs now, then I need to come up with the actual numbers to prove it, otherwise the claim I made is meaningless.” photonz, I leave others to decide, it’s not for me to quantify as that would be silly. Compare the death notices with the birth notices and you might be shocked at the demographics of this city. Where were you in the last few years as serious restructuring , downsizing and closing of primary schools took place.?Then followed by the notice that there is already a full secondary roll too many, followed by the downturn of the first years intakes at Otago university. Just use your own imagination, if you weren’t there you are in no position to comment one way or the other. I’m not saying that this is peculiar to Dunedin, the whole western world is facing this phenomena. Just pay attention.

        • photonz

          So in other words Calvin, you made the claim that we’ve got fewer jobs than before, but you haven’t really got the foggiest idea at all, of whether it was actually true or not (and you obviously can’t find any facts to back it up).

          You seem to be hung up that some businesses have closed. Do you not realise that EVERY YEAR around 11% of businesses will close?

          So around 50,000 closed last year in NZ. That’s a good doomsday fact for you. As long as you don’t count the 60,000 that started up.

  47. Calvin Oaten

    Peter, turning a ship around is no mean feat. Especially when it is on the rocks. So Cr Wilson can stick her chest out.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Turning the ship 360 degrees is definitely an achievement. Is Cr Wilson planning an event like the dancing tractors display? A simple container ship pas de deux to start with, working up to cruise & container ship Coppelia spectacular with wind-surfer corps de ballet, St John & Air-sea rescue on standby to avoid corpse de ballet.
      Such a pity it can’t be held in the Fubar Stadium. Though multipurpose as promised it has some minor limitations, no regulator valve to prevent money outflow being one frequently noted here and even in the local press.

  48. Tom

    Calvin, depends what direction you turn the ship around for. To go further up the creek, or to avoid a tidal wave of debt (Delta) on the horizon.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Tom, it’s time for you to sing a happy song. May I suggest “Always look on the bright side … of debt”.

      Whenever we’re in the poo I hold my head erect
      And whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect we’re in debt.
      The result of this deception is very strange, it’s said
      For when I try to fool the people I fool myself instead.
      I whistle a happy tune
      and every single time
      The happiness in the tune
      convinces me that I’m not a loon.

      Read more: The King And I – I Whistle A Happy Tune Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  49. Elizabeth

    As we know, Otago generally does well in manufacturing.

    That aside, no-one on the planet should believe that Cr Kate Wilson or Cr Jinty MacTavish *doubleguffaw – have any standing (professional or lay) or appropriate experience whatsoever to offer commentary on the health of the local authority’s true financial position or even a tight estimate of it. LMAO

    Buffoonery from nearly all city councillors mentioned by ODT – watch the video records and lose confidence.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Feb 2016
    Councillors question report’s value
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin city councillors have questioned the value of comparing the city’s financial performance with the rest of New Zealand given the country’s “two-stage” economy. The comments came during yesterday’s economic development committee meeting, where a Business and Economic Research Ltd (Berl) report detailing Dunedin’s economy in the year to March last year was presented. The report showed the city’s economy was performing better than in the past, but still lagging behind New Zealand on most economic indicators.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Feb 2016
    Councillors disagree on debt repayment
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council’s success in repaying millions of dollars of debt ahead of schedule should be a cause for celebration, a frustrated Dunedin city councillor says. Instead, the achievement sparked another verbal tussle between councillors who locked horns over the figures at yesterday’s council finance committee meeting.
    Read more

  50. Calvin Oaten

    photonz, Excellent that you are so upbeat. The city needs people like you, those that have lived a long mature life and can look back for many decades. I wish that there were more like you on council. Oops, I think there are already.

  51. photonz

    It’s better to keep balanced and look at the overall picture (2000 additional jobs in Dunedin the last two years).

    Rather than being totally pessimistic and cherry picking every piece of negative data (while ignoring all positive data like overall 2000 more jobs). That will ALWAYS give you a totally false and misleading picture.

    Again, it’s no different to judging the population trend by ONLY looking at deaths, and being deliberately ignorant by pretending arrivals and births don’t exist.

    Calvin – if there is fantastic news and there are several hundred additional jobs in Dunedin in the next annual announcement, will you be just as disappointed when we got the great news that 2000 additional jobs were created over the last two years?

    • Calvin Oaten

      “Would I be just as disappointed when we got the great news that 2,000 additional jobs were created over the last two years?” No, of course not, why would I? But like you I would ask you to detail the facts of those 2,000 more jobs, are they for instance over and above those that were lost as noted from time to time, notably Bradken foundry to name just one. Has there been a net gain? You obviously have the statistics otherwise you could never make the claim. Do, for instance those reputed 2,000 more jobs equate with the potential incomes of those lost? If not, then there is no gain to the economy. If so, then yes it would. Without this sort of information, your claims are meaningless.

      • photonz

        Yes. As reported, they are ADDITIONAL jobs over and above the losses, ie a net gain of 2000 jobs over the last 2 years.

        The biggest gains were in IT, electricity supply, construction and education.

        Any measuring of just one side of the ledger (only new jobs or only jobs losses) would be a completely pointless measure of how we are doing.

        Particularly considering around 10% of jobs disappear every year. So there will be around 5000 jobs lost in Dunedin this year, like there is every year.

        If you only concentrate on that, you’ll have a totally distorted picture of what is happening.

        Because new jobs created over the last two years have obviously a been a couple of thousand more than those lost.

        • Elizabeth

          photonz, agree with your thesis. I’m guessing most people will be interested in how many low-wage jobs were lost or created in the face of change in the number of high-value jobs for this region. That is, what is really happening on the deprivation front.

        • photonz

          As mentioned, the biggest gains were in generally well paying sectors.

          The biggest losses were in agriculture and food processing, so generally low paid.

          With the thousands of job losses, and new jobs created, average wages went up 1.3%.

          So that doesn’t point to lots of low wage jobs replacing high wage jobs.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      All deaths seem to be published, but these days not all that many people put a birth notice in the newspaper. Their friends and family know – and there’s facebook so that includes f-&-f all over the world – and other people don’t need to.
      They are in the official stats, of course, but it’s an interesting social change from the days when it was a rare baby whose arrival wasn’t announced in the Births column.
      It was the rebel daughter of an old friend who notified the birth of her child, the first solo-mother child announcement I’d ever seen. Nothing to be proud of, was the general opinion. OK so you’re keeping the child but there’s no call for making a big public show of it. Marriage, girl! At the very least a man with whom you are in a permanent relationship.
      Ch-ch-ch-changes eh.

  52. russandbev

    Over the last little while we have all seen organisations closely associated with various endeavours – such as the Salvation Army – really question how various public bodies such as Government and Local Government – come up with their stats and reports. It is blindingly obvious that Government and Local Government only want to hear good news and they will do almost anything to ensure that only “good” news makes it to the papers. Allied to this is the increasing inability of main stream media to be able to investigate or question what is dished up to them by spin doctors.

    Minister of Health Coleman is a past master of this with almost everything he says able to be demonstrated as absolute crap. But locally its happening as well. More jobs created? Easy to say, but when the raw data of new jobs, redundancies is not easy to access, then it becomes very easy to create “good news”. I, like Calvin, would love to see Dunedin prosper and grow, but I believe that the current crop of Councillors are not able to provide the leadership for this to happen. Ditto with Government – they are too busy stuffing round with vanity projects like flag changes, and too busy ignoring substantive questions and answers on TPP, increasing poverty, housing, for example, to provide quality leadership.

    The level of debt is another example where the DCC consistently fails to provide basic information on total ratepayer debt including all DCC companies, obscures total debt by hiding debt in all sorts of places under subvention payments, obscure debt sourcing and the like.

    Comes down to some pretty basic thinking – do you trust the local Councillors? Do you trust Government Ministers?

    • Elizabeth

      Answer: No, not for a long time (if ever). All I see is authority sleaze at central and local government reinforced by the media age of un-intelligence – dumbed down for the 99%.

    • photonz

      I don’t want to be seen defending the DCC, but they have the BERL report with all its figures on their website, so they can hardly be accused of making it difficult to access raw data.

      As for often complained about health cuts under the current govt – easily accessible Treasury figures show annual health spending under the current govt has increased 50% from $9.8b per year to around $15b per year.

      Budgets for various health sectors go up and down. But those who try to portray reduced health spending under the current govt, have to cherry pick small cuts, and deliberately mislead by ignoring a $5,000,000,000.00 or 50% increase in funding.

      It’s a bit like cherry picking 120 job losses to paint a negative picture, while ignoring thousands of new jobs created at the same time.

      It’s not about who to trust and not to trust – we’re talking about politicians, protestors, media and lobbyists – they all lie.

      But basic figures, like $9.8b spent on health in 2008 and $15b spent in 2015, are much more reliable.

      • Elizabeth

        Health spending. How can the public reconcile against this claim today?

        Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell:

        All [health] boards were in a difficult position as the Government was “squeezing and squeezing and squeezing” health budgets. “We’ve had over a billion dollars taken out of the health budget in real terms since around 2009 – that’s a lot of money.”

        • photonz

          Despite the flash name, the ASMS is a union lobbying for more money for their workers.

          Have you EVER heard ANY union spokesperson say the workers they represent they are paid enough – even doctors on six figure salaries?

          Considering there’s been a $5b increase, it would be interesting to see how he transforms that into a $1b cut. I note he made the statement, with no explanation or figures reported to back it up.

          Compare this.
          How many media stories have your heard complaining about cuts?
          How many media stories have your heard about spending increases totalling over $5 billion?

        • Elizabeth

          I think the very evident waiting lists are representative of health boards’ inability to keep up with the public expectation of ever higher levels of personal health care (to stay alive, when reasonable acceptance of impending death might be the best route – a lot of us have a very weird attitude to not being here ~!!!).

          The issue of national health spend on things that may or may not be prioritised correctly across the regions is an ongoing consuming concern. I’m supposing we all know people in strife with their health, that are yet to receive timely help in the public system but who simply can’t beg, borrow or steal to get private care.

          I’m glad lobbies of medical specialist exist – what I’m not happy with is any assumption that New Zealand people are getting the care they need before having to go into medical crisis at further great cost to the system with loss of their ability to remain living independently. That’s a global concern (where there are national health systems at work), I realise. But I don’t buy that it’s good right now at NZ, healthcare-wise. Everyday travel through general practices, clinics, hospitals (general health and mental health), hospices, and restcare homes and hospitals does not produce an effervescent glow of happiness and satisfaction that I should be feeling because of the stats…. Concentrate on real people real stories in your locality, then conclude what you want to conclude.

        • photonz

          Elizabeth – I’ve never known a time in decades where people haven’t been complaining about the health system.

          And as for my comment elsewhere that you could massively increase the spending and people would still complain – isn’t that exactly what’s happened?

          A 50% $5 billion increase, and we seem to have as many complaints as ever.

          So $1000 a person extra per year doesn’t seem to have made any difference. We could spend another $1000 per person, but that may not make any difference either (except to the workers who have to pay around $2250 extra tax each year to get $1000 per person for the general population).

        • Elizabeth

          Canterbury Region: The number of people presenting at the emergency department with mental health-related issues has doubled in the last three years and suicide-related call-outs have increased by 55% since 2011. Sixty per cent more children, and 40% more adults are in need of mental health support.

          ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Feb 2016
          Mental health services facing cutbacks
          ….Mental health services in Canterbury, already under severe strain, could be slashed as a result of Government demands for wide cutbacks of $163 million from the national health budget. […] CDHB chief executive David Meates yesterday said that the CDHB hadn’t decided what services would be cut, but he was certain they couldn’t keep providing what they currently do if the Government went through with its funding proposal. NZME
          Read more

  53. Calvin Oaten

    You got it photonz, the BERL report. The holy grail of yesterday’s facts. As the saying goes ‘lies damn lies and statistics. Berl is the past master. Have you ever studied the DCC’s Annual Plans? If like me who has since 2001 you would see a remarkable pattern of non-fulfillment year after year and tangential shifts in direction. In 2001 for instance the City core debt was $35million. In ten years it got to $360m, now we hear/see after constant moving of the deck chairs, that it is reducing ahead of projections. We’ve seen countless Plans taking us forward for 30, 40, 50 years. The latest being the 2GP. We were sold the greatest growth mechanism ever in the FB Stadium, promised 36 conferences per year after spending $50m in debt funding to refurbish the Town Hall Conference facilities. To date in 2015 there were around a dozen. 2,000 new jobs? There well might have been but how can one trust the figures, it is all just mouth and no trousers. The census’ tell us, since around 1900 (Yes 116 years) the population has been – relative to the rest of New Zealand – in steady decline together with its industry, and general business activity. Like you, I would hope this seeming activity is a trend, but as they say, “one swallow does not a summer make”.
    “$9.8b spent on health in 2008 and $15b spent in 2015 are much more reliable.” But the question is, where and on what was it spent? Obviously not in Dunedin else why the angst here? Maybe Auckland?

  54. photonz

    Calvin – there is a big difference between crystal ball gazing into the future, and guessing at some figures based on a multitude of variable factors, and measured statistics of actual things that have already happened.

    As for saying none of the $5b increase was spent in Dunedin – I have no idea – you’d have to look at the actual figures before you could make any assumptions on that.

    • Calvin Oaten

      photonz, way too cerebral for me. Crystal ball gazing is a big activity in the Town Hall, comes second only to navel gazing. Not sure what the relevance to my last post is.

  55. photonz

    Actually I see that SDHB funding has gone up from $680m in 2010 to $830m last year.

    That sounds like more than inflation, considering pretty static population numbers.

    • Elizabeth

      I need to check.
      Wasn’t some of that increase (lately?) based on a comparison with other health board areas, showing SDHB wasn’t receiving equivalence – taking into effect the southern aging population, and unequal access to certain types of surgeries ? Don’t answer that I would need to do some reading, no time this afternoon.

      • photonz

        I’m not making any judgement if it’s equitable with other regions, or if we deserve more per person because we are more spread out than other regions – just that our annual budget is $150m a year more than it was five years ago.

        Is it enough? Ask any health minister from any flavour government, and they’ll tell you we could double the health budget and there would still be complaints that people aren’t getting the care they want.

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