DCC: Sorting THE MESS

DCC via Ch39 (2)

Is it now time for a commissioner to be appointed to govern Dunedin? Russell Garbutt asks the question. (ODT)

### ODT Online Fri, 1 Aug 2014
Opinion
Council failing to govern Dunedin
By Russell Garbutt
There are a number of factors that point to the drastic action of appointing a commissioner to govern Dunedin as being the only solution to contain a council unable or unwilling to govern a city in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act. Such factors include the financial position Dunedin residents find themselves in. While Dunedin’s rate of growth is static, the population is made up of a significant number of transitory students at the city’s tertiary institutions and a significant number of residents who are elderly and have limited incomes. And yet this same population has a level of debt per ratepayer second only in the country behind Auckland, which is growing in size and ability to pay off debt. Most of this debt is directly due to the decision to fund a new rugby stadium that a previous council decided to progress, despite the lack of private construction funding. The truth behind this project will be revealed only by a full forensic audit of all matters connected to the stadium, but this council seems unwilling to learn what happened and even more unwilling to be able to take any action that may flow from such an independent audit.
Read more

● Russell Garbutt, formerly from Dunedin, is a Clyde resident.

****

Cr Calvert “fired a shot at Cr Benson-Pope, claiming he had access to answers – as a committee chairman – in ways some other councillors might not enjoy”. (ODT)

### ODT Online Fri, 1 Aug 2014
278 official requests to council for information
By Chris Morris
Two of Dunedin’s city councillors are helping flood Dunedin City Council staff with official information requests, as a third councillor questions the cost of providing so many answers. Figures released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday showed the council has received 278 official information requests since July 1 last year, more than in previous years. The requests included 34 sent by the city’s elected members, most of which had come from Crs Hilary Calvert and Lee Vandervis, it was confirmed.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: DCC YouTube screenshot reworked by whatifdunedin

17 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

17 responses to “DCC: Sorting THE MESS

  1. Peter.

    An appalling attitude from Benson Pope, who fancies himself as a Social Democrat from the Left.
    Typically he does not respond when challenged. Typical behaviour from a bully. Thankfully there are two councillors who were not prepared to put up with his noxious behaviour. Nor should we.

  2. There is a distinct message coming through from all of this. And it is of an increasingly dysfunctional council, hidebound by an equally dysfunctional staff which sees itself as a hierarchical institution above and beyond us mere mortals. We only are able to elect our representatives to protect our interests, but in recent times have been failed miserably by a cartel of seriously incompetent people led by a indigent Mayor, totally out of his depth in the job he is charged to do, protect the citizens’ treasure. Weakness abounds, and bullying is becoming obvious. Intellectual deficits all round the table allow staff to play the game to their advantage while the city sinks in a morass of debt. Sad prospects all round, hence the cry from Russell Garbutt advocating for the appointment of a commissioner.

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve been calling for a Commissioner for both DCC and SDHB for several years now.

  4. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online, in response to DCC’s Sandy Graham on information requests:

    An exemplar?
    Submitted by MikeStk on Fri, 01/08/2014 – 6:47am.

    If the way that LGOIMA requests are released is “an exemplar” nationally then everywhere else must be doing very very poorly indeed – the DCC has not released the results of a single LGOIMA request on its website in almost six months, not since March
    The thing about having great policies is that you have to follow through and actually do them.

    • Mike

      They started out well, with great intentions, but just don’t really seem to be following through – I sort of suspect it’s more of a “only one person knows how to change the website and they’re busy” sort of thing

  5. Elizabeth

    Not published by ODT Online (until much later – today, 3 Aug at 3:03pm !):

    Forensic audit(s) required
    new
    Submitted by ej kerr on Fri, 01/08/2014 – 3:44pm.

    The truth behind this project will be revealed only by a full forensic audit of all matters connected to the stadium
    Correct, Russell Garbutt. An independent forensic audit has to land on the stadium project – same applies to instances of rorting and fraud being unearthed across a spread of companies, departments and divisions of the greater city council (thanks to investigations started by the new chief executive, and the plethora! of LGOIMA and OIA requests that are releasing extraordinary information). Given the complexity and the entirety, DCC cannot police itself. Governance by a higher authority would now seem mandatory.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/311262/council-failing-govern-dunedin#comment-60614

  6. Some DCC news which does not seem to have been publicised:
    http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/438866/ma_edc_r_RedCarpet_2014_07_28.pdf
    The “Red Carpet, Not Red Tape” project has been renamed the “Red Carpet” project. Apparently the “Not Red Tape” part has caused “some perception issues with clients”.

    • Elizabeth

      Ohhh. Thanks Alistair, I completely forgot to look out for that one. God help us.

    • Elizabeth

      Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) needs to be sent to the knackers!
      I note this from the DCC’s Red Carpet Project Update:

      (page 3) LGNZ Reputation Index
      Timely in its announcement is Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ)’s launch of a Reputation Index for local government. Partnering with Colmar Brunton, it aims to ‘measure ongoing health and performance of the local government brand and sector, and guide actions to lift its reputation’. Significantly as well as public perception they are aiming to track perception of businesses. The DCC has signed up to the scheme and this will be another tool it can use to track its business friendly performance [italics by Whatifdunedin] as the project continues and its streams of work are embedded in the DCC. As these results become available, they will be fed into the reporting framework for the EDS [Economic Development Strategy]. Next year there will be an opportunity to ask up to five targeted questions of the business sector in Dunedin that can be developed around the Red Carpet project. Funding for this would be applied to from the Economic Development Strategy projects’ budget. DCC Link

      Red Carpet Project costing ratepayers?… Oh, that’s right. Daaave says economic development is not part of the council’s mandate.

      On the 2014 Residents’ Opinion Survey (ROS) results: “Mayor Dave Cull said it was ironic the community rated economic development, jobs and businesses so highly given changes to local Government meant councils no longer had a mandate to work in that area.”
      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/310914/ratepayers-wishes-clear-survey

  7. That reads exactly like another ” wee bureaucratic cell” set up to have a budget, high flying ideas and resources which will go nowhere as usual. They just can’t help themselves. Businesses don’t need mentoring by these non business people. But if they do, then they won’t succeed anyway. The only winners will be the ‘erks’ in the “Red Carpet” dream room and Colmar Brunton. When will this council ever realise that it is not their business nor their skills to do these things. Pipes, Drains, Roads, Parks and Gardens and social facilities, Libraries, Pools, Art Galleries are their place, full stop.

    • Elizabeth

      And “The RMA”, Calvin…. environmental health and yappy dogs.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        That’s poor scope for leaving a legacy, a.k.a. lasting monument to one’s period of glory as a City Councillor. Ever since they got paid instead of getting a pittance, the role has attracted people who want to be masters rather than serve the community in which they were successful enough to feel it’s time to give something back.

  8. See Maurice Prendergast and Brian Miller’s letters in today’s ODT giving Kate Wilson the ‘old one two’ about her comments on her and the stadium history. Talking about the stadium, I see that provincial rugby teams Otago played Tasman in front of a massive crowd of 300 at the Stadium. Pay half the lighting bill with that one.

  9. Elizabeth

    I will take a look at the letters, thanks Calvin.

    [attendance figures at FBS] http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/311514/rugby-otago-needs-do-its-homework

  10. Elizabeth

    Site Admin.

    Comment by Calvin Oaten restored, this automatically went to Spam, bypassing moderation:

    https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/dcc-sorting-the-mess/#comment-52699

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