Cull’s council spent the cash

The cash was instead used to pay for capital projects, avoiding the expected need to borrow for the work, which reduced the council’s need to borrow by $20 million. –Grant McKenzie

The council had also agreed to another $20 million in carry-forwards for debt-funded project budgets, which shifted allocated funding for delayed projects from one year’s budget to the next. –Grant McKenzie

### ODT Online Mon, 15 Sep 2014
Cull warns debt still hurdle for council
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council cannot afford to get “complacent” despite a significant improvement to its core debt position, Mayor Dave Cull says. Council figures released last week showed its core debt – excluding companies – had dropped by nearly $5.5 million, from $227 million to $221.5 million, in the last financial year. […] the drop was the first time the council’s core debt had decreased since 2002-03, except for when stadium-related debt was transferred from the council to Dunedin Venues Ltd in 2010-11.
Read more

DCC Sep 14, 2014

Dunedin City Council – Finance Committee – September 8 2014
Coverage of the Dunedin City Council Finance Committee held on Monday, 8 September 2014. Minutes, agendas and reports related to this meeting can be found at

Report – FIN – 08/09/2014 (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Interim Financial Result – 12 Months to 30 June 2014

Report – FIN – 08/09/2014 (PDF, 668.6 KB)
Financial Result – 1 Month to 31 July 2014

Report – FIN – 08/09/2014 (PDF, 391.2 KB)
Waipori Fund Quarterly Report to June 2014

Related Posts and Comments:
11.9.14 DCTL: New treasury manager
● 9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech [relevance]
1.9.14 DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis
30.8.14 DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts and the record…
26.8.14 DCC: Forensics for kids
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
30.1.14 DCC broke → More PPPs to line private pockets and stuff ratepayers
● 29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya! [relevance]
17.12.13 DCC, Dunedin City Treasury and 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]
10.12.13 DCC putting up cover, walls paper thin [risk exposure VERY HIGH]
14.10.13 DCC: New chief financial officer
4.7.13 Carisbrook: DCC losses

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

13 responses to “Cull’s council spent the cash

  1. Elizabeth

    In the DCC video at 22:30 following, Richard Thomson, Chair of the Finance Committee, refers to page 4.18 and the cost of legal fees. He questions what consideration has been or is being given to in-house legal services. Sandy Graham replies a business case has been written.

    From the Report – FIN – 08/09/2014 (PDF, 2.3 MB) Interim Financial Result – 12 Months to 31 June 2014:

    (page 4.18) Legal fees were $446k unfavourable in Property and Resource Consents. Property was unfavourable due to costs associated with the Logan Park and Caledonian Bowling Club sales and Endowment property investigation ($344k unfavourable). Resource Consents was unfavourable $129k due to a higher number of appeals and a prosecution.

    • Elizabeth

      DCC’s legal bill had reached at least $900,000 in 2012-13, and topped $1 million in 2013-14, although exact figures – which were not available yesterday – were likely to be higher.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 19 Sep 2014
      Council keen to cut $1m legal bill
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council is considering employing its own lawyer to help reduce its $1 million annual legal bill, it has been confirmed. Council staff are putting the finishing touches on a business case for the change, which, if approved, would see an in-house legal counsel recruited.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Did take a wee while:

      ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Sep 2015
      Council’s new lawyers should mean savings
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council says the recruitment of two lawyers will help the organisation avoid sticky situations and save ratepayers’ money. The council has appointed Kristy Rusher, a former Queenstown Lakes District Council in house lawyer, as its new civic and legal manager. […] Ms Rusher has been joined at the council by Karilyn Canton, from the University of Otago’s law faculty, who had a background in private practice and as an in house lawyer for the Christchurch City Council.
      Read more

  2. Elizabeth

    We thought DCC had employee and remuneration issues (post local body amalgamation, and now), but get this.

    ### NZ Herald online 5:00 AM Monday Sep 15, 2014
    1780 Auckland Council staff earning over $100k
    Wages continue to rise even as mayor slashes $2.7 billion from city’s budget.
    By Morgan Tait
    Spending on Auckland Council’s wages continues to rise and 1780 employees now earn six-figure salaries. Remuneration figures released to the Herald show total wages paid were up $9 million to $702 million for the year ending June 2014. There are also 1780 staff earning more than $100,000 – 280 more than the 1500 in the previous period. The top salary level has increased from $799,999 to $859,999 and there is $719 million allocated for staff expenditure in the current 2014/15 Annual Plan.
    Read more


    Aucklanders say cut staff – not services
    The survey found that 42.5 per cent of Aucklanders believed the best way for the council to meet its budget plans was to reduce staff and salaries.

    • Elizabeth

      “Councils’ income rose this quarter. However, expenditure remained higher than income.” –Gary Dunnet, Statistics New Zealand

      ### Stuff Last updated 13:10 16/09/2014
      Council incomes rise despite rates fall
      By James Weir
      Local authorities are spending more than they earn, but the shortfall is getting smaller as council incomes rise. Councils are taking in more from dividends and interest income, but rates income was down slightly in the June quarter. Councils spent $50.6 million more than they took in during the June quarter, Statistics New Zealand says. The shortfall was almost $152m in the March quarter.
      Read more

  3. Cars

    An even worse situation is that the head of Aurora receives more than Ms Sue Bidrose. Why is it that other jurisdictions such as Auckland can see that Auckland council wages and salaries are ridiculously high for the services, efforts and success rates of council employees and yet Dunedin citizens go blithely on ignoring commercial reality.

    There are too many council employees and they are ALL overpaid for their success or more particularly striking continuous failure to live within their reasonable means.

    • Elizabeth

      Cars, many people with ambition (or simply with the wish to get employment, any employment) left Dunedin…. leaving a passive, powerless or self-satisfied bunch of people (the sheep)….

  4. Elizabeth

    ODT 15.10.14 (page 14)

    ODT 15.10.14 Letter to the editor Oaten p14 [click to enlarge]

  5. Elizabeth

    ODT 13.10.14 (page 6)

    ODT 13.10.14 Letter to the editor Dickie p6 (1)

  6. jeff dickie

    If you look at DCC’s group chief financial officer’s response to Calvin Oaten’s letter above, it merely shows he, along with the rest of the DCC staff, elected or not, have no real grasp on the finances at all! Immediately following Grant McKenzie’s gobbledygook response is the real answer, and reveals the DCC’s real mantra and modus operandi. This is the Bible reading from Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth”. Well, you have to admit they’ve done an exemplary job on behalf of ratepayers on that score!

    {Left that in for effect! -Eds}

  7. Rob Hamlin

    I do like the ODT’s bible readings. They always seem to fit the tone. The one after Calvin’s letter and McKenzie’s response to it is Matthew 6:19: “Do not store up for yourself treasures on Earth”

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    “Do not store up for your ratepayers debt on Earth” would be more to the point.
    What with minimum wage levels, minuscule rises in ordinary workers’ wages, and council rapacity there’s no major risk that many Dunedin people will store up treasures on Earth. Those that do, move to the Lakes District where with their wealth they may enjoy the respect of their peers.

  9. Gurglars

    This ideology is meant to make sense for the individual not allow the rapacious money lenders at the temple to inflict their excesses upon you and I.
    It does not surprise me that none of the DCC heirarchy can read or decipher.

    Such skills have never been required by thieves, scammers or pharisees.

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