Monthly Archives: May 2014

Whaleoil: Rodney Hide on Dunedin’s Luddite Council

Ever since Helen Clark allowed councils general competence we have seen debt burgeon and empire building of armies of council staff increase. It is time to rein in the excesses. The reforms have largely failed. I’m not even sure we need local councils in any case….except to just provide essential services. –Cameron Slater

Whale Oil Beef Hooked logo### whaleoil.co.nz May 24, 2014 at 5:00pm
Rodney Hide on Dunedin’s Luddite Council
By Cameron Slater
Rodney Hide excoriates the Dunedin City Council for their embracing of a buggy culture. [NBR paysite]

“I was taken aback by Dunedin City Council committing to invest ethically. I would have thought it was already beyond reproach. But it turns out it’s not about the council not taking back-handers and the like but rather what it can and can’t invest in. Henceforth, it won’t invest in porn, munitions, tobacco or gambling. Seriously? Was investing in porn ever in prospect? I once took a paper to the cabinet to circumscribe council activity. I wanted to limit them to core services. To buttress my argument, I had examples of the nutty investments that councils had entangled ratepayers in. I remember dairy farms, property development, Lotto shops and cinemas. My concern wasn’t ethical investing but rather local government’s proper role. I wanted councils to stick to basics. I didn’t succeed but would have had a chance with the Dunedin example: a council having to make a rule to stop itself investing in pornographic movies.”
Read more

It matters enormously that city leaders are declaring fossil fuel extraction unethical. –Rodney Hide

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

15 Comments

Filed under DCC, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics

Heritage Lost & Found: Our Changing Cityscape #Dunedin

MUST SEE | PHOTOGRAPHS, OBJECTS AND FILM

Exhibition hosted by Otago Museum in partnership with Heritage New Zealand (formerly New Zealand Historic Places Trust) — sponsored by solicitors Gallaway Cook Allan

Where: Postmaster Gallery, H D Skinner Annex, Museum Reserve (former Dunedin North Post Office, cnr Great King St and Albany St)

Hours: Daily 10am – 4pm – Free entrance (building tours available)

OtagoMuseum HeritageNZ (2)

Related Post and Comment:
4.1.14 Otago Museum: H D Skinner Annex + returning exhibition!

Former Dunedin North Post Office (detail 4)Category II Historic Place — List No. 2154
(assessment criteria and historical narrative)

Otago Museum H D Skinner Annex
(building background and facilities)

█ To complement the exhibition, Otago Museum is offering a number of free presentations led by local experts: Public Lectures and Workshops

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Design, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, Museums, Name, New Zealand, Property, Site, Tourism

DCC Transportation Planning —ANOTHER consultation disaster

[Aside. Cr Benson-Pope floats the idea of free bells for bicycles.
Who can afford a bike? Who needs a bike or a bloody sponsored council bell?]

FAIL FAIL FAIL
Residents informed by letter drop last Friday route to be changed. Short timeline for feedback, 10 working days with just one meeting to discuss proposal (St Clair Scout Hall today). No option for residents to make formal written submissions. Lack of transparency about how residents’ feedback and concerns are collected and evaluated. Safety issues. Removal of car parks in busy seaside suburb.

### ODT Online Thu, 22 May 2014
Council cycle plan a ‘ludicrous idea’
By Debbie Porteous
A storm is brewing in Victoria Rd where some residents say the Dunedin City Council’s plan to install a shared walk/cycle path is rushed and a potential disaster. Residents are angry about the way they are being consulted on the proposed changes and say the option they have been offered is unsafe.
Read more

### dunedintv.co.nz May 19, 2014 – 6:55pm
Cycleway options move to Victoria Road
Residents and business owners along Victoria Road will have the option of a shared walking and cycle path from Queens Drive to the Esplanade soon.
Video

Proposed Route 8 (PDF, 4.9 MB)
Map of proposed South Dunedin Cycle Network Route 8

More on Route 8 (package 4) DCC Link

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TYPICALLY, DCC MEDIA RELEASE FAILS TO MENTION PROJECT COST TO RESIDENTS AND RATEPAYERS

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Shared Walkway/Cycleway Option for Victoria Road

This item was published on 19 May 2014

The option of providing a shared walking and cycle path from Queens Drive to the St Clair Esplanade is being discussed with residents and business owners along Victoria Road. Dunedin City Council Senior Transportation Planner Lisa Clifford says, “A shared path along Victoria Road would provide excellent access to a key destination and complete the South Dunedin Cycle Network.” The DCC is consulting with affected parties – those that live or operate a business along the proposed cycle route – and other key organisations, such as the Otago Regional Council, AA and cycle advocacy group Spokes.

The cycle route proposed is different from the original route planned for this part of the network. The intention had been to take the cycle route along the existing gravel footpath at the top of the sand dunes between St Clair and St Kilda beaches. This route is not viable, mainly because a cycleway would affect the structural integrity of the dunes and it would be difficult to keep the path clear of sand. Ms Clifford says there are two alternatives – provide a shared walkway/cycleway along Victoria Road to the Esplanade, or do nothing and end the cycle network at Kennedy Street.

Under the Victoria Road option, 38 parking spaces would be removed from the north side of Victoria Road as the road is not wide enough to have parking on both sides plus a shared path. Angle parking would be introduced in Bedford Street to provide nine extra car parks, reducing the overall loss of parking to 29 spaces. This option would also include speed platforms and road narrowing at various points to slow down traffic and make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists. If the cycle network ended at Kennedy Street, on-street parking would remain, but the key destination of the St Clair Esplanade would not be connected to the rest of the cycle network. It would also mean cyclists wanting to get to the Esplanade/St Clair area would either use the footpath illegally or continue to use the narrow carriageway, potentially creating a safety risk.

Affected parties have been invited to a drop-in session at the St Clair Scout Hall on Victoria Road, on Thursday, 22 May from 3pm to 6pm. People will be able to discuss the proposed design with DCC staff and the design consultant. Consultation closes on Friday, 30 May. Other members of the public can also have their say by this date by contacting the DCC on 477 4000 or emailing transportation @ dcc.govt.nz. Consultation results will be reported to the Council at its 23 June meeting, where the Council will make the final decision about this last part of the network. For more details on the South Dunedin Cycle Network visit www.dunedin.govt.nz/sdcyclenetwork

Contact DCC Senior Transportation Planner on 03 477 4000.
DCC Link

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### ODT Online Fri, 18 Apr 2014
Cycle-walkways open soon
By Brenda Harwood
Cycle and pedestrian routes through the southern city are opening up and work on Package 1 of the South Dunedin cycleway-walkway is due to be completed at the end of this month. Among the most visible sections of the new network are the widened cycleway-walkway in Portsmouth Dr, the construction of a shared pathway in Shore St and its linked pathway on the city end of Portobello Rd, as well as a pathway in Royal Cres. Work has also started in Victoria Rd along to Tahuna School.
Read more

The $1.7 million project is the first stage of the $4.5 million South Dunedin strategic cycle network. (ODT)

Related Posts and Comments:
4.12.13 Dunedin cycleways: Calvin Oaten greeted by DCC silence
17.11.13 Dunedin cycleways: Calvin Oaten’s alternative route
17.11.13 Cull and MacTavish… “Have you fixed the debt crisis?”
14.11.13 Cycle lane explosions and puncture kits (SPOKES grenades launch)
8.11.13 Dunedin Separated Cycle Lane Proposal [how to make a submission]
5.11.12 DCC, NZTA: Cycle lanes controversy
19.10.13 Cycle lobby games and media tilts
24.9.13 Mediocrity and lack of critical awareness at DCC [council reports]
8.7.13 Bloody $tupid cycleways and Cull’s electioneering . . . [route maps]
28.3.13 DCC DAP 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point Road Improvements
26.2.13 DCC binge spending alert: Proposed South Dunedin cycle network
22.2.13 DCC: Council meeting agenda and reports for 25 February 2013
31.1.13 Who? 2010 electioneering
21.11.12 Safe cycling -Cr Fliss Butcher

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

95 Comments

Filed under Stadiums

DCC: Wise Response Appeal (potential risks), and raw log export by City Forests

City council vote most interesting in the divide – a sign of better things to come at DCC !?

Crs Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins, Staynes and Wilson and Mr Cull voted to sign the appeal, but were defeated by Crs John Bezett, Doug Hall, Noone, Andrew Whiley, Hilary Calvert, Mike Lord and Vandervis. (ODT)

### ODT Online Wed, 21 May 2014
DCC votes against backing risk appeal
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council has ruled out throwing its weight behind the Wise Response Appeal, after councillors divided into camps over environmental concerns and fears of party political lobbying. […] Councillors eventually voted 7-5 against the council adding its name to the appeal, and instead decided only to ”note” a staff report detailing the appeal.
Read more

Wise Response http://wiseresponse.org.nz/

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”What the union is suggesting is that City Forests should take a lower price, make a lower profit, and pay a lower dividend to the ratepayers – so essentially, they are suggesting the ratepayers of Dunedin subsidise the jobs of the wider Otago sawmilling community. It’s a reasonable proposal, but that’s what it means.” –Mayor Dave Cull

### ODT Online Wed, 21 May 2014
Forestry log profit ‘doomed’
By John Lewis
The Amalgamated Workers Union New Zealand has laid blame for the impending closure of Southern Cross Forest Products squarely at the feet of the Dunedin City Council and local forestry growers. Yesterday, receiver KordaMentha announced 101 Otago-based staff at SCFP would be laid off progressively from mid-June.
Read more

‘Heads up’ leaves mill workers shocked
Doubt over $11m owed to unsecured creditors

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, What stadium

Tim Hunter on Ward, McLauchlan, Hayne #Highlanders

SST 18.5.14 (page D7)Sunday Star-Times 18.5.14, Business (page D7)

Tim Hunter is deputy editor, Auckland Business Bureau at Fairfax Media.

Comment received at What if? Dunedin

Anonymous
Submitted on 2014/05/18 at 3:54 pm

Connect the dots

McLauchlan -> Project Delivery Team -> Carisbrook Stadium Trust
McLauchlan -> Delta -> Otago Highlanders
McLauchlan -> University of Otago -> Otago Highlanders
McLauchlan -> Dunedin Casino -> Earl Hagaman -> SH88
McLauchlan -> SDHB -> Southlink Health dispute
McLauchlan -> Dunedin Casino -> Trevor Scott -> Chris Swann -> Christine Keenan

Related Posts and Comments:
15.5.14 Stadium (fubar): cringe
9.4.14 Privatising Highlanders involves DCC (ratepayer funds?)
► 25.3.14 Delta blues . . . and Easy Rider [on managing COI]
10.2.14 University of Otago major sponsor for Highlanders
11.12.13 Highlanders “Buy Us” entertainment: Obnoxious, noxious PROFESSIONAL RUGBY —stay away DCC !!!
29.3.12 Dunedin City Council company sponsors Highlanders
14.12.11 [David] Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML, DCC, ORFU and Highlanders
22.12.09 DCC appoints Highlanders’ Board representative
1.7.09 NZRU swings governance of Highlanders
28.5.09 Highlanders board less Farry

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Highlanders, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums, University of Otago

DCC: 2014 Residents’ Opinion Survey (ROS)

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Tell Us What You Think!

This item was published on 20 May 2014

Letters will be sent out this week to 4,500 Dunedin residents, inviting them to take part in the DCC’s annual Residents’ Opinion Survey (ROS). DCC Acting General Manager Services and Development Nicola Pinfold says, “The ROS provides a host of useful information and helps us gauge the views of residents who may be less likely to tell us what they think in other ways, such as the Annual Plan process.”

Last year, the residents randomly selected from the electoral roll were invited to complete the ROS online using a unique code, rather than receiving a hard copy of the questionnaire. A hard copy was made available on request. This was successful in raising the response rate and cutting costs so the same approach is being taken this year.

The survey is also open to all residents online at www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros and will be sent to all members of the Dunedin Peoples’ Panel. To ensure the statistical validity of the ROS results, the responses from the people who were selected are used as the official results.

“We have been using this Survey for 20 years and it has become a key tool for us to assess how well we are doing, and ultimately guiding our planning and decision-making. ROS focuses on how well we deliver our services, and asks questions about residents’ perceptions of our performance. Some of the results are used as official measures of the Council’s performance for audit purposes. But equally importantly, the feedback is used by staff and the Council to guide our thinking about how we might best deliver services to better meet the needs of Dunedin’s residents.” –Nicola Pinfold

The Survey is open until 18 June. A reminder letter and hard copy of the questionnaire will be sent to those who haven’t responded about two weeks after the initial letter, a practice that has proved successful in increasing the response rate. The results are expected to be publicly available in late July.

█ Responses from residents who independently chose to complete the Survey online are analysed separately but still provide the DCC with valuable feedback about how it can improve its services.

For the second year, all respondents will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a prize. Each prize is worth about $150 and three winners will be drawn who will be able to choose from a range of prizes, including vouchers, swim passes or a donation to a charity of their choice. The Survey, which costs about $40,000, will be undertaken by independent research company Key Research. The results of last year’s ROS can also be viewed at www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros

Contact DCC Acting General Manager Services and Development on 03 477 4000.
DCC Link

Related Posts and Comments:
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
7.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 hearings
11.4.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submissions due by 15 April
20.1.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15
9.9.13 Residents’ dissatisfaction (2013) with elected council and mayor —increase!
27.6.13 State of the City —DCC or Dunedin? [see comment]
8.10.12 2012 Residents’ Opinion Survey: DCC spooks massage Cull, for sheep
13.6.12 DCC: 2012 Residents Opinion Survey

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
 

12 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

Dunedin housing

Leith Street houses IMG_8995 (1a)Leith Street student villas to Water of Leith

“Dunedin’s housing stock is older and colder than elsewhere in the country and being part of this trial ensures these issues are considered in a housing warrant of fitness.” –Rebecca Williams, DCC Events and Community Development

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Housing WOF Trial Results Announced

This item was published on 15 May 2014

The results of a nationwide rental housing ‘warrant of fitness’ field trial have been released. More than 140 rental properties were given the once-over by home assessment experts in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin earlier this year. The pilot aimed to test whether draft WOF checklists and methods were practical for landlords, assessors and tenants. This is the first step in a collaborative project aimed at making rental housing safer, healthier and more energy efficient. The field trial has not resulted in the immediate issue of a WOF for each home, but it is an important step towards standardising the approach to ensure the credibility of any national WOF scheme.

“This collaborative programme has given us a lot of useful information about the assessment tool and what to do next. The trial has made it clear that a rental housing WOF system would be very useful, helping prospective tenants to make a call on whether a house is safe, healthy and energy efficient, making it warmer and more comfortable to live in. Hopefully, this would mean tenants would stay in their rental home for longer, which is good for both landlords and tenants. We are also grateful for the co-operation of the landlords and tenants who took part in this worthwhile project.” –Dave Cull, Mayor

The rental housing WOF field trial involved the Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin councils, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the New Zealand Green Building Council and the University of Otago (Wellington). The trial tested a range of criteria that could potentially be included in a housing WOF. It aimed to identify aspects such as average assessment times and how to best communicate results to landlords and tenants. The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago, Wellington, with feedback and input from the five councils and ACC. The steering group behind the WOF survey trial says work is now underway to tweak the WOF checklist.

“We have received good feedback from landlords, tenants and the assessors and we are now going back to look at the checklist and criteria to make sure we have a robust and usable housing WOF for the rental market. The trial was really important so that we could gain an understanding about what is going to work for landlords, assessors and tenants. For a housing WOF to work it has to add value for the landlords and we needed to actually trial the draft WOF checklist and methodology.” –Julie Bennett, University of Otago (Wellington)

Key information gathered from the field trial and subsequent interviews includes:
● Landlords surveyed were supportive of a WOF in New Zealand.
● Landlords surveyed said that they were going to undertake work as a result of the new information from the draft WOF assessment.
● 36% of the homes that went through field trial would pass all of the draft WOF criteria with relatively minor fixes ($50 – $150 worth of materials/hardware estimated).

Examples of items that are attracting most of the attention during this testing phase are whether houses need a fixed form of heating, such as a heat pump or a wood burner, in order to ‘pass’ the WOF. Similarly, one of the requirements of the trial checklist was that all windows have stays for security and to prevent children falling out – however due to difficulties in assessing these, and landlords saying that they were not keen on security stays, the steering group has agreed to drop them from the checklist.

After the inspection system has been refined it will be presented to the participating councils for discussion. Most assessors who were interviewed after the trial said they were willing to make ‘easy’ fixes, while doing the inspections, to make homes compliant. The fixes included installing smoke alarms or smoke alarm batteries, changing light bulbs or adjusting the hot water temperature. Many homes still lack working smoke alarms – despite extensive and ongoing advertising – but the trial also found the overall condition of the homes that participated was good. About 94% of the homes inspected in the field trial did not pass at least one checklist criteria, but most dwellings failed on only a handful of the 31 inspection targets on the WOF checklist. About 36% of homes would pass all the criteria in the draft WOF checklist after just a few minor and inexpensive fixes.

In terms of the next steps for the project, the partners in the project aim to:
● Share the results of the trial, including reporting back to relevant councils.
● Get endorsement/agreement from participating councils on the next steps.
● Continue discussions with Central Government to work towards one WOF tool for NZ.
● Finalise checklists and methodologies.
● Investigate next steps for introduction of a voluntary WOF scheme.

Leith Street houses IMG_9518 (1a)Leith Street villas (1-2 storeys)

Facts and figures from the trial:
● 144 houses inspected.
● The inspection checklist looked at 31 items that covered a wide range of aspects ranging from weathertightness and insulation to ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
● House age ranged from 1880s to less than 10 years old
● Wide range of houses participated – from detached to apartments.
● Average time to inspect houses – 51 minutes.
● The majority of houses ‘failed’ on only a handful of checklist items.
● Top five checklist items that homes did not pass:
○ 40% of houses did not pass the water temperature check
○ 30% of bedrooms did not have a working smoke alarm within 3m of the bedroom
○ 31% of houses lacked code-compliant handrails and balustrades
○ 37% of houses did not pass the check for having a fixed form of heating
○ 38% of houses did not pass the security stays check

█ Full report at www.dunedin.govt.nz/rentalhousing-wof-pretest

Housing WOF Trial – associated information (PDF, 763 KB)

Contact DCC Manager Events and Community Development on 03 477 4000
DCC Link

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Dundas Street terrace housing IMG_9066 (1a)Dundas Street terraces

### ODT Online Fri, 16 May 2014
Trial shows value in rental housing Wof
By Timothy Brown
None of Dunedin’s houses will pass a rental warrant of fitness if the standards used during a recent trial of scheme are applied. The inspections, carried out by home assessment experts, looked at weather-tightness, insulation and ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images by whatifdunedin (2010)

58 Comments

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