Dunedin City Council to set rates WAY ABOVE….

1% inflation

Updated post Thu, 22 Jan 2015 at 1:10 p.m.

### ODT Online Wed, 21 Jan 2015
Editorial: Dunedin’s rating dilemmas
OPINION The council’s pre-draft long-term plan – which is yet to be refined or considered by the public – forecasts a rates rise of 3.7% for 2015-16, followed by 5.5% and then 4.2% in subsequent years. This is at a time when the inflation rate could well be about 1% and wage increases and benefit hikes about the same level. This also follows many years of rates rises above the increase in the cost of living.
Read more

Comment at ODT Online:

Council debt
Submitted by Barnaby on Wed, 21/01/2015 – 8:37pm.

Mayor Dave Cull says, Dunedin “is on a bit of a roll”. So was the Titanic! This comment shows how genuinely out of touch he is with Dunedin businesses and ratepayers alike, who are struggling to fund one lunatic project after another, let alone make a living. He confuses misappropriation of ratepayers’ funds with “investing in the city”. To highjack rates for more silly things is neither fair nor moral. The DCC is now so far from core council services it is ludicrous. Now more than ever, Dunedin desperately needs a leader with business experience and skills.

Related Posts and Comments:
15.1.15 Did the pool trust reply, Dr Hamlin?
14.1.15 DCC Draft Long Term Plan: more inanity from Cull’s crew pending

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

51 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

51 responses to “Dunedin City Council to set rates WAY ABOVE….

  1. Elizabeth

    WHY THEN…. is Cr Calvert advocating “happiness”.
    Jesus weeps. And she a pretender/contender (with Julian’s backing?!) for the Dunedin mayoralty next year.

    Funds from endowments are at present earning 6% on our capital so far as we can tell. We are just now acknowledging this dismal position.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 21 Jan 2015
    DCC should not just sit on its assets
    By Hilary Calvert
    OPINION Our council works hard to try to control expenditure. But we could do so much better if we spent at least as much time and energy on increasing our income from sources other than our ratepayers. We could look carefully at our property portfolio.
    Read more

    Hils, who is “we”.

    “Our council works hard to try to control expenditure”. Argh.
    Cycle network ($47 million via Jinty MacTavish with mayor Dave Cull in tow), teenytiny DCC/Chamber of Commerce contract…. (Hi John, oh dear, COI – plus Enterprise Dunedin boondoggle with restructuring to come), Connolly’s Parking Building enterprise, NEW LIGHTS, New +++$15 million RUGBY pool for Taieri-Sprawl developers, +$20 million per annum for STADIUM (year in, year out), tra la. And so very much MORE.

  2. Calvin Oaten

    “Our council works hard to try to control expenditure.” What! Did I read that correctly or should it have been “our Cr Lee Vandervis works hard to try to control expenditure”? Face it, he is the only one round that table with any comprehension of what controlling expenditure means. Even then, when he challenges points of extravagance he is immediately chastised from the chair and even excluded from the meetings if he doesn’t fall into line. Apart from him, there is not another one interested. We only need to look at the pathetic acceptance of the ‘stadium review’ to get the message.

    Then there is the continuing escalation of the improbable cycleways imbroglio with its ill-fated design failings. $47 million on a non-essential minority activity which is OK in a different world. But when the city is staggering under a consolidated debt in excess of $600 million, plus horrendous annual operational costs of the stadium, one would expect a much more frugal approach to debt reduction before embarking on more add-ons. Like addressing the unbudgeted loss of up to 200-plus parking spaces, making way for cycleways. We have already heard voiced the possibility of resolving that by a $50 million parking building on the Frederick St site. Not a word from councillors on that either.

    The 3% rate increase ceiling is under serious threat not withstanding all the service charges being increased way beyond inflation which we are led to believe is running around 1% to 2% pa. Then the next year’s is projected at 3.7% and then 4.2% the following. Is that likely with the out of control expenditure? We’ll see.

    Now Cr Calvert draws attention to the property portfolio as a source of savings. She is quite right of course, but how many times has this been broached and what action results? In fact I once fronted Dave Cull on this point suggesting a sell-off of non-essential holdings like investments in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. His response was: “Calvin why would we do that when we are getting such great returns on those investments?” This is in direct contradiction to what Cr Calvert is alluding to in her ODT opinion piece. The returns are illusory. It all shows just how naïve the mayor and most councillors are, not to mention many staff members.

    The DCHL group of companies are in effect a law unto themselves with a substantial reduction in dividends from that source forecast. It will of course replace those with the continuing ‘subvention’ payments continuing to DVL and DVML. If business revenues take a turn down here this could be very interesting to watch. Of course the most profitable part of the grouping is Aurora which derives the largest part of its income from electricity consumers, so it is no mystery about escalating costs on their monthly bills.

    The much ‘ballyhooed’ ‘Gigatown’ event is a bit of a joke as well, as the city will take years to install the fibre essential to accommodate the greater speed. Even then it is just an illusion because most PCs, Tablets and other devices couldn’t handle the promised speeds anyway.

    This gabfest over the budget and Long Term Plan will be just an exercise in futility, ending up with a tweak here and a tweak there, a fold to the odd pressure group and a sop to the Mosgiel Pool Trust, which will in the long run be just more of the same because as Dave Cull says, “the city is on a roll so we must keep developments going because at the end of the day the average person wouldn’t appreciate it if we didn’t.” In a word, business as usual. The debt of course will be massaged to look to be getting thinner but only by the use of mirrors.

    With demographics running counter to growth just how much and for how long Dave’s roll continues remains to be seen.

  3. Elizabeth

    [documents] DCC 2015/2016 Pre-Draft Long Term Plan
    21 January 2015

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 57.1 KB)
    Decision Sheet

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 151.7 KB)
    Options for Growing Art Gallery Art Acquisition Funding

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 334.3 KB)
    Aquatic Facilities Issues in Mosgiel: Review of Taieri Community Facilities Trust Feasibility Study

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 183.0 KB)
    Development Contributions Policy – Schedules of Charges

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 227.5 KB)
    Block Offer 2015 Submission

    2015/16 Draft Budget Papers Link

    Table of contents (PDF, 82.8 KB)

    Section 1 Covering Memorandum (PDF, 2.0 MB)

    Section 2 Draft City Profile (PDF, 4.4 MB)

    Section 3 Draft Strategic Framework (PDF, 1.6 MB)

    Section 4 Draft Financial Strategy (PDF, 521.4 KB)

    Section 5 Draft Financial Statements (PDF, 7.9 MB)

    Section 6 Financial Policies (PDF, 1.5 MB)

    Section 7 Rating Method (PDF, 2.6 MB)

    Section 8 Draft Infrastructure Strategy (PDF, 2.0 MB)

    Section 9 Economic Development and City Promotion (PDF, 3.5 MB)

    Section 10 City Investment (PDF, 10.6 MB)

    Section 11 Roading and Footpaths (PDF, 5.2 MB)

    Section 12 Water and Waste Services – Three Waters Summary (PDF, 7.9 MB)

    Section 13 City Planning and Regulatory Service (PDF, 7.4 MB)

    Section 14 Community Development and Support (PDF, 6.1 MB)

    Section 15 Museums, Libraries and Art Gallery (PDF, 4.0 MB)

    Section 16 Sport, Recreation and Leisure (PDF, 4.9 MB)

    Section 17 Corporate Departments (PDF, 4.7 MB)

    Section 18 Reports (PDF, 3.1 MB)

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 479.5 KB)
    Aquatic Facilities Issues in Mosgiel: Review of Taieri Community Facilities Trust Feasibility Study (Updated Report)

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 706.9 KB)
    Gigatown Dunedin Implementation

    Report – Council – 21/01/2015 (PDF, 57.6 KB)
    UNESCO City of Literature – Next Steps

  4. Elizabeth

    Draft infrastructure strategy estimates $2.8 billion worth of investment in new capital, renewals and operation, is required for city infrastructure over the next 30 years.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 22 Jan 2015
    30-year plan estimates $2.8b cost
    By Debbie Porteous
    A draft 30-year infrastructure strategy for Dunedin city has been approved by city councillors for public consultation. Having such a strategy is a new legislative requirement since last year. The document identifies the main infrastructure issues facing the council over that period and the principal options for managing them.
    █ By law, the strategy refers only to roading and footpaths, water supply, waste water and storm water.
    Read more

    Chief executive confirms work to scrutinise the council’s companies, property holdings, including about $90 million of investment properties, and the Waipori Fund would be carried out this year.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 22 Jan 2015
    Staff undertaking review of all investments
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council looks likely to consider asset sales as part of a push to accelerate debt repayments and free up a balance sheet that continues to be squeezed. Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose told councillors a study of council assets and the return on investment they provided to ratepayers had begun late last year.
    █ Cr Hilary Calvert asked for a legal opinion on whether the council could sell its $45 million endowment property holdings – about half its wider investment property portfolio.
    Read more

    ### ODT Online Thu, 22 Jan 2015
    Few grand schemes proposed as budget constraints bite
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin community board wish lists are again dominated by requests for improvements to sports grounds, infrastructure, and maintaining existing services and facilities next year, as boards continue to heed the city council’s tight budget situation. However, there were one or two potentially costly items on some boards’ lists, including requests to stop quarrying on Saddle Hill and to build a new pool at Mosgiel.
    Read more

    ### ODT Online Thu, 22 Jan 2015
    ‘Modest’ increase to build collection
    By Debbie Porteous
    The Dunedin Public Art Gallery has asked for “a modest” increase in the ratepayer contribution to the cost of acquisitions, to keep the collection relevant. Councillors had also been asked to support efforts to encourage new private philanthropic donations and agree that the money collected from visitor donations goes to the acquisitions fund.
    Read more

  5. Cars

    Today on Radio New Zealand, Bob Parker tried to blame the current Christchurch council for a blowout in costs of the Christchurch cycle lanes!

    Parker’s council approved $60 million odd for cycle lanes and the blowout is more than twice that (the figure I heard of the real cost is $140 million).

    If this is correct and assuming that the DCC are no better managers than the CCC, then we can expect a $70 million overrun on our cycleways project – and dear reader you’re going to fund that.

  6. Elizabeth

    Chin up, Cars. The chief executive might well respond that all those development contributions being sucked in that won’t get used ‘because growth isn’t to happen at #Dud’ will come in handy to borrow against to ensure Daaave (but actually J MacTavish) gets the WHOLE cycle network in place, plus a Connolly parking building or three thrown in for grand utopian measure. Who are we to break a spendthrift regime from a habit !! Even despite CCC stuck in mud, “We is invincible down here” —or we can start sacking overpaid top level council bureaucrats at DCC. Options for funding cycleways no-one uses are aplenty. It’s ALRIGHT here. Note ever so slight downscaling from ‘All Right here’, given current and blossoming superficial budget woes. Smell the roses, Cars.

  7. Elizabeth

    Massive Debt Spending Outlined by Inexperienced Staff elevated beyond Their Abilities, Training and Professional Accreditation (if any) and backed by Inexperienced Incompetent Mayor and Councillors

    23.1.15 ODT Online | DCC 2015/2016 Pre-Draft Long Term Plan

    Accelerated $20 million city centre plan backed
    A plan to accelerate work on a nearly $20 million central city improvement programme has been endorsed by most Dunedin city councillors. Debate came as councillors considered a report which outlined three options for central city renewal, improvement and transportation projects over the next decade. The work programme ranges from new footpaths and water main renewals along George St to a $6 million Octagon redevelopment.

    $250,000 request for Gigatown project
    Dunedin city councillors will be asked this week to provide $250,000, including funding for two full-time equivalent jobs, to make sure the city makes the most of its Gigatown win. The council’s economic development and city marketing arm, Enterprise Dunedin, has argued the city needs to continue its commitment to the city’s digital future.

    Progress on process to take over bus network
    Councillors at yesterday’s long-term plan (LTP) deliberations voted to support in principle the transfer of public transport governance from the Otago Regional Council to the DCC as early as July 1 next year. In the meantime, the DCC would approach the ORC to discuss creating a joint forum of representatives from both organisations.

    Move to double cycleway spend
    If approved after public consultation, the annual rates-funded contribution for the construction of the cycle network would increase from $340,000 to $650,000 a year. The increased investment has been proposed to take advantage of higher New Zealand Transport Agency co-funding rates before they reduce in the next few years.

    Plan to bring forward road widening
    The council yesterday approved for public consultation a plan to finish the remaining sections of Portobello Rd in three years instead of 10, saving nearly $3 million. The council would spend more money on the project in the next three years, to secure a higher rate of co-funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency, which will reduce its rate over the next nine years.

    Community Board:

    Concern over pest plants
    The Dunedin City Council has been called to action on Mt Watkin reserve near Waikouaiti. The Waikouaiti-Community Board chairman, Gerard Collings, yesterday told councillors considering their plans for the next decade, the board was particularly concerned about the lack of control of pest plants on the reserve.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    With the council’s ready acceptance of every item which has been put in front of them, it will be next to impossible to see either the 3% rate increase limit or any debt reduction coming in this plan. I was particularly astounded at the seeming enthusiasm to take back from the ORC the public transport system. The late Cr Jean McLean will be spinning in her grave at the prospect. She gave it her absolute best shot at sorting that “Tar Baby” many years ago with admission of defeat finally. The ORC is blessed with that ‘cash cow’ Port Otago with its very healthy cash flows from both shipping and property portfolio revenue streams. Not to mention provincial wide rates income. Why now, this bunch of ‘dogooders and improvers’ think that the city can do a better job is unbelievable. I can only come to the conclusion that they are, with the exception of Cr Vandervis, all mad.

    • Mick

      Calvin
      It is known in rugby circles as a ‘hospital pass’. The ORFU is expert at this as you have observed. The DCC is adept as accepting them.

  9. Elizabeth

    Yes Calvin – but expect that multiple submitters will, when public consultation arises for the LTP, completely lose their rag and things will get very personal – given the local body elections next year and the number of staff/team leaders/managers actually needing to be dumped from this IMAGINARY FAT COW.

  10. Elizabeth

    I liken certain staff to runaway cancer. The chief executive has no clues to excise the rot while Daaave is on this bender.

  11. Elizabeth

    BROADCAST NOTICE

    Radio New Zealand National – Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/sunday

    25 January 2015
    11:40 Helen Razer – The Decline of Reason
    Helen Razer and Bernard Keane were going mad over the deteriorating quality of public debate and the dwindling of common sense in media, politics and culture. So they wrote a book about it: A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream. Helen joins Wallace to talk about why so much has gotten so dumb.

  12. Whippet

    Has the Council given any consideration to the effects that deflation will have on the Long Term Plan that is starting to have a global effect. Where income will not increase because of no inflation, yet interest rates on council debt will remain the same. The Council will have the same outgoings with less income. Could we see another 2% added to rates for the Council just to tread water. Or haven’t council staff understood what deflation can do?

    • Elizabeth

      They haven’t even factored in the most basic thing – lower fuel prices, with effect on Infrastructure budgets for Roading and Footpaths, and following on from this the attraction and affordability of cars, not bicycles, for commuting !!

      But look out for increases in debt servicing costs…. DCC has NO IDEA.

  13. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 23, 2015 – 5:44pm
    Dunedin’s public transport fate back up for debate
    The future of public transport in Dunedin is once again up for debate. Dunedin city councillors have discussed whether the council should take over management of the bus network, as part of its long term plan. But the proposition continues to cause division.
    Video

    ****

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 23, 2015 – 5:53pm
    DCC considers fluoridated drinking water in the city’s outlying areas
    While most of metropolitan Dunedin receives fluoridated drinking water, the city’s outlying areas do not. Now the Dunedin City Council is looking at whether to rectify that, by upgrading five of its water treatment plants. But that’s likely to upset some residents and cost millions, so councillors have asked for a second opinion.
    Video

    ****

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 23, 2015 – 5:48pm
    Future of old Caversham Tunnel up for discussion
    Questions have been raised over the future of the old Caversham Tunnel, currently off limits to residents. The Dunedin City Council’s been asked to fix unsealed sewer manholes inside the structure, so it’s safe for public use. And that’s got councillors looking ahead, to what might follow.
    Video

  14. Elizabeth

    Parallels aplenty. This makes you wonder why the SDHB is now in such a mess, multiply. Easy come, easy go. When you didn’t even have it in the first place – not helped by the fraudsters and inept, multiple.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 24 Jan 2015
    Unfunded item but still a chance
    By Debbie Porteous
    A new pool complex in Mosgiel is in the Dunedin City Council’s draft long-term plan – but no money is allocated for it. Instead, information about various build options and what each would cost ratepayers will be listed in the draft 10-year budget as an ”unfunded” item. Councillors have also sought more information on the project and will consider it and any feedback from the public in May, when they will have an opportunity to add the project to the final budget.
    Read more

    The decision not to include funding in the draft budget was made after the council was split and Mayor Dave Cull used his casting vote to reject a proposal from Cr Richard Thomson to put $700,000 a year in the budget from 2018-19 for a four-pool complex.

    Mayor of Dunedin votes against his Chair of Finance. Gripping stuff ?
    Given the serious shit the DCC is in, there is bellicose laughter.

    ****

    ‘$40,000 worth of work involved, which could be spent from existing budgets.’

    ### ODT Online Sat, 24 Jan 2015
    Manhole sewage overflow could be transferred
    By Debbie Porteous
    Providing safe public access to the Caversham Tunnel could mean more sewage might flood Surrey St properties, Dunedin city councillors have been told. Access to the tunnel, through which the Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust hopes to build part of a cycle trail connecting Dunedin and Mosgiel, is restricted because of the utilities it houses. Councillors agreed staff should report back to the infrastructure services committee with more detailed options in due course.
    Read more

  15. Elizabeth

    ‘$40,000 worth of work involved, which could be spent from existing budgets.’

    ### ODT Online Sat, 24 Jan 2015
    Manhole sewage overflow could be transferred
    By Debbie Porteous
    Providing safe public access to the Caversham Tunnel could mean more sewage might flood Surrey St properties, Dunedin city councillors have been told. Access to the tunnel, through which the Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust hopes to build part of a cycle trail connecting Dunedin and Mosgiel, is restricted because of the utilities it houses. Councillors agreed staff should report back to the infrastructure services committee with more detailed options in due course.
    Read more

  16. Elizabeth

    Kevin Taylor [odt.co.nz tweaked by whatifdunedin] 1blkWHY has DCC kept “their” proposed site for public toilets on Harrop St, a secret for crissakes —next to a venerable cathedral. S***
    Here we have ragtag Councillors merely worried about it being next to Glenroy. Get real you frickin’ boneheads.

    This is (yes) the kind of lunatic crap we’d all expect from City Property under the godforsaken steerage of the Abercrombie. The new guy at Property hasn’t helped direction, obviously.

    Imagine Hands Off Harrop rolling in its grave after successfully getting rid of the former City Architect’s glass atrium only to be replaced by some smelly cheap heap of toilets (at just $200,000), in the former council staff carpark to Harrop St —this after DCC’s landscaping plans for the street’s public space disappeared into thin air, as has any CONSULTATION obviously.

    What if? has always maintained any 24-hour public toilets for the central city must be located in a building, whether public or privately owned in order for 24/7 supervision, cleaning and safety [visitor standards !!]. Not a bloody portaloo equivalent.

    How much council staff time and money has gone into this regrettable fools’ errand already ??! (that’s right, we will never know) Second question, how many stuffer-staffers does it take to change a light bulb.

    *Image: Kevin Taylor, Manager City Property tweaked by whatifdunedin

    ****

    █ ODT 25.1.15 Council decides city toilet might not be so convenient
    The Dunedin City Council will reconsider plans to build a 24-hour public toilet in Harrop St, next to the Octagon, after concerns were raised about the site – and the process – on Friday. The council had included $200,000 in the pre-draft long-term plan to build a 24-hour Octagon toilet in 2015-16. Yesterday, it was confirmed council staff were developing plans to build the toilet in Harrop St, between the Octagon and Moray Pl.

    █ ODT 25.1.15 Consultation on physio pool mooted
    The Dunedin City Council is to consider consulting residents on whether it should help fund the Otago Therapeutic Pool in Dunedin. Threatened with closure in the middle of the year, the pool has an annual operating shortfall of $100,000. The Southern District Health Board has said it will cease to operate the physio pool in June unless it is taken over by the [physio pool] trust. The council will discuss the matter next week.

    ****

    COMPLETE NUTCASE wastes Council and ratepayer time on NON-issue…. a “son of Dunedin” (pass the sick bag) – DO NOT VOTE HER MAYOR

    █ ODT 25.1.15 Road to be renamed during Cricket World Cup
    Logan Park Drive, the road to the University Oval in Dunedin, will be temporarily renamed Brendon McCullum Dr for the duration of the Cricket World Cup.

  17. Elizabeth

    █ ODT 25.1.15 Consultation on physio pool mooted
    The Dunedin City Council is to consider consulting residents on whether it should help fund the Otago Therapeutic Pool in Dunedin. Threatened with closure in the middle of the year, the pool has an annual operating shortfall of $100,000. The Southern District Health Board has said it will cease to operate the physio pool in June unless it is taken over by the [physio pool] trust. The council will discuss the matter next week.

  18. Elizabeth

    Layers and layers of bureaucratic rip-off-the-ratepayers-eventually-trusts are FLAVOUR of the MONTH at DCC – just more competition for very limited charitable funds available.

    Thanks Mayor Cull (for now anyway).
    The entitled of Otago Cricket have no shame.

    Mayor Dave Cull was blunt in his assessment of the ”half-baked” proposal, saying it would be irresponsible for the council to fund it at this stage.

    █ ODT 27.1.15 Lighting plans for oval stumped
    Bad light could stop play at the University Oval after the Dunedin City Council baulked at the $2.5 million cost of installing floodlights for day-night cricket events at the venue. Councillors at yesterday’s long-term plan meeting voted against adding funding for the lights to the council’s 10-year budget – for now, at least – amid concerns about a lack of information. Instead, councillors voted to include the proposal in the LTP budget as an unfunded item only, allowing the public to have their say on the proposal.

    █ ODT 27.1.15 Planning work given the nod
    New South Dunedin library and community complex [former Wolfenden and Russell building]
    The council, in its pre-draft long-term plan meeting, agreed to a recommendation council staff would begin detailed community consultation and planning work – including a final design and the selection of a location – before beginning construction of the South Dunedin complex.
    Initial costings have put the cost of acquiring, redeveloping and fitting out the former Wolfenden and Russell building, which has been suggested as a location, at about $5.2 million. Building was proposed between 2017 and 2019. The complex was expected to provide a hub for community services and resources, including a library and also a community learning centre run by Otago Polytechnic. Other features suggested included a youth hub run by Ministry of Social Development staff, a bike library, community meeting rooms, public toilets, a council service centre and free public computers and Wi-Fi.

    █ ODT 27.1.15 Moves to boost acquisition funds
    The Dunedin Public Art Gallery is to set up a new charitable trust as part of efforts to boost its ailing acquisitions budget. The move came as some councillors at yesterday’s long-term plan meeting expressed concern at the amount of funding allocated to acquisitions for the gallery’s collection. Councillors voted to allocate cash donations by gallery visitors to the acquisitions budget in future. There would also be renewed effort to develop relationships with potential benefactors and encourage bequests. At the same time, the DPAG would create a new charitable trust to act as a fundraising entity for gallery acquisitions and other projects. Councillors voted to endorse the changes subject to a review in two years’ time.

    █ ODT 27.1.15 $100,000 approved for trust office and staff
    An independent trust is to be created, backed by $100,000 from ratepayers, to make the most of Dunedin’s new Unesco City of Literature status. Councillors at yesterday’s pre-draft long-term plan deliberations voted to endorse the creation of the trust, to manage City of Literature activities. They also voted to approve funding of $100,000 for the 2015-16 year, followed by $50,000 in subsequent years – subject to a review of programmes developed and grant funding secured for it.

    • Elizabeth

      More on the bozo-pig-troughers at Otago Cricket:

      █ ODT 28.1.15 Delta defends decision to sell
      Dunedin City Council-owned company Delta is defending the decision to sell Carisbrook’s former floodlights, after a councillor questioned why they were not shifted to the University Oval instead. […] The lights were bought by Delta and installed at Carisbrook in 1998, but sold to the Christchurch City Council, for use at the city’s post-earthquake AMI Stadium, in late 2011.

      █ ODT 28.1.15 Cricket to try again on lights proposal
      The Otago Cricket Association will go back to the drawing board as it seeks to keep alive a $2.5 million plan to install floodlights at the University Oval. OCA chief executive Ross Dykes yesterday told the Otago Daily Times a revised proposal would be prepared urgently and brought back to the Dunedin City Council by the end of April. In the meantime, other potential funding partners, such as the University of Otago, would be considered in an effort to reduce the potential bill for ratepayers, he said.

      █ ODT 28.1.15 Outram sewerage not on books
      Reticulating Outram’s sewerage scheme is not on the Dunedin City Council’s books in the next decade, as it focuses instead on renewing ageing water pipelines around the city. The work would cost up to $10 million and was not in the DCC’s long-term budget.

      █ ODT 28.1.15 Opportunity to have say on new pool
      Mosgiel-Taieri residents will have another chance to have a say on their preferences for a new pool complex in Mosgiel next month. Dunedin city councillors have accepted that any new complex would include at least two pools, a learners’ pool and a lap pool. The pool complex, with various options outlined and how much each would cost ratepayers, will be included as an “unfunded item” in a draft long-term plan, which will be consulted on in March. Feedback from residents will be considered by councillors in May.

      █ ODT 28.1.15 Workshop for boards
      The Saddle Hill Community Board is hosting a workshop for the other five Dunedin community boards – Chalmers, Mosgiel Taieri, Otago Peninsula, Strath Taieri and Waikouaiti Coast – on Tuesday. The workshop, at Dunedin City Council offices, would include updates by staff from Civil Defence, Neighbourhood Support and Gigatown. Council chief executive Sue Bidrose would speak at the workshop.

      • Elizabeth

        ### dunedintv.co.nz January 28, 2015 – 5:41pm
        Otago Cricket asked to improve floodlight plans
        Otago Cricket is being asked to improve its plan for floodlights at the University Oval. The proposed new infrastructure has been met with support from the Dunedin City Council as part of long term plan discussions. But the multi-million dollar price tag is proving too substantial, and councillors want more information.
        Video

        • Elizabeth

          “We are going back to [DCC] and saying if the cost is $2 million, we can raise a million if you fund the balance.”

          ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Apr 2015
          Push begins to light up University Oval
          By Adrian Seconi
          Light it up and they will come is the promise. The Otago Cricket Association’s bid to secure lights for the University Oval has been boosted with New Zealand Cricket promising a steady stream of international games for the next eight years if lights can be acquired for the venue. [OCA] launched its “Light up the Oval” campaign, with the support of NZC, at a function in the city last night.
          Read more

          ****

          Among other Comments at ODT Online:

          Buying a kit by instalments
          Submitted by Rob Hamlin on Wed, 22/04/2015 – 11:26am.

          There is an Italian company called [De Agostini] that sells very large and expensive ship kits. They seem to sell a lot more than their competitors because they deliver the model in up to 140 monthly instalments each with a small bag of bits and an instruction manual. Each instalment costs less than twenty bucks – but it, well, mounts up by the time you’re done.

          The ratepayers of Dunedin seem to be being sold a kit-build international cricket stadium here in D’Agostinis’s style. It seems that every other year there is a new ‘essential improvement’ made. Boxes, screens and stands are added and inconvenient trees and buildings are removed. The lights are just the latest instalment (No. 27 of 96 perhaps?). I suspect that there are many more instalments planned and ready to go. There may well be an architect’s model of the final ‘product’ somewhere for all we know. Once the lights are approved (and they will be – you don’t put an unfunded dream into the full colour LTP consultation document if you’re not planning to do so), there will be a polite wait of some 18 months before the ratepayer is presented with the next multi-million ‘essential upgrade’. And so we will continue.

          Running a business without incurring costs
          Submitted by russandbev on Wed, 22/04/2015 – 10:35am.

          There used to be lights on Carisbrook which would have done the job and the reality was that these lights really belonged to the city by way of the various “loans” and grants that the Dunedin ratepayers so generously made to the ORFU. But, where did they end up, and who got the money? The last time I looked at the books of the Otago Cricket Association they didn’t have a brass razoo, and once again this is not an improvement for the amateur game that is being floated, but yet another grab on the ratepayer’s purse to enable professional sport to run their business. No different to these businesses that get water for free and then sell it to China for a profit. But have no doubt that Cull and his mob will have already had a number of visits from the pro-cricket group to do a deal.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    “Lighting plans for oval stumped”. Hardly. Cr Peat claimed the city had “missed a trick” by not doing more to promote itself and now had only a “narrow window of opportunity” to complete the project before the end of the year and secure that advantage. What advantage? To once again reach into the ratepayers’ pockets to fund a professional game? Cr Richard Thomson who said he was a “cricket tragic” (why stop at cricket?) but could not yet support the proposal. He accepted lights were needed but did not agree the council should cover almost all of the cost.
    NZC was promoting night cricket to boost its own revenue, so it had to “invest in that, too”, Cr Thomson said.
    Now comes the “doozy” of all statements from non other than Mayor Dave Cull. He agreed, saying a “consortium of support” was needed to fund the lights. He went on: “The main beneficiary of lights is cricket and the broadcasters…this whole proposal needs to be reshaped and put more of the cost where the benefits are likely to fall.”
    What!? Does he hear himself? “PUT MORE OF THE COSTS WHERE THE BENEFITS ARE LIKELY TO FALL”!!! If he truly believes that, then he must only look across the road from the ‘oval’ to where the biggest travesty of all time takes place. “NOT ONLY DO THE COSTS THERE NOT FALL WHERE THE BENEFITS ARE LIKELY TO FALL”, they are blatantly funded through the back door by the ratepayers by not only some lights, but the whole damn stadium, and not for a paltry $2.5 million, but $225 million plus annual costs in excess of $20 million.
    It is patently obvious that Dave Cull is either unbelievably naive (as he has so amply demonstrated in the past on this subject), or simply just loves the sound of his voice. That the rest of councillors didn’t point this out and bury the whole idea of funding cricket, is another blot on the whole institution. All it shows is that the citizens are to be treated as cash cows for all and every ‘numbskull’ handout pleaded for.

    • Mick

      Calvin Oaten
      January 27, 2015 at 2:37 p.m.

      I read somewhere that the definition of a ‘cricket tragic’ is an Australian. For Cr Thomson to define himself thus would be unfair to the Australians. But for the Council to cover any of the lighting costs? Come on Councillor, ‘tragic’ why?

      But I agree here with Calvin, we are talking of a professional game these days. Who takes the money from the gate? Who makes money from the televising of the game? What does NZ cricket pay to the DCC for using the ground? I will tell you Sweet F.A. Who bears all the costs of providing and running the ground year in and year out? Why Aunt Sally DCC and the ratepayers of Dunedin. It is the ‘cricket tragic’ writ large. I suppose after the ORFU success in ripping off the Dunedin public so effectively across the road, Otago Cricket thinks that it’s OK for its chop. The councillor should grow a pair.

  20. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 27, 2015 – 5:37pm
    New community and library complex suggested for South Dunedin
    Further improvements to the public facilities in South Dunedin are to be considered as part of the city council’s long term plan. A new community and library complex has been suggested, and the idea will go out for public consultation. But whether it’s built remains to be seen.
    Video

    ****

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 27, 2015 – 5:43pm
    DCC green lights extra funding toward gigatown
    Extra funding to take advantage of Dunedin’s gigatown win has been given the green light by city councillors. They’re planning to spend $250,000, subject to public consultation. It’s to ensure every resident benefits from having the fastest broadband in the southern hemisphere.
    Video

  21. Phil

    When do they intend to break the news about the need to upgrade network cards in home PCs in order to connect to the internet once the superfast network is in place ?

  22. Phil

    Reads to me as though the cricket association deliberately avoided the Carisbrook lights in an attempt to back DCC into a corner to obtain a rent-free period for the use of the cricket grounds and get new lights for free. Someone from the rugby union must have been talking to them.

  23. Rob Hamlin

    There is a company called D’Agostini that sells a product called ‘Build the Victory’. This is a model of the HMS Victory, and a very nice one too, but rather than coming in one big box, it is delivered via 120 regular magazine instalments in each one of which you get a bit more information about the model and a couple of bits of it to build onto what you already have – in return for about six pounds sterling per issue.

    This doesn’t seem much on a ping-by-ping basis, but it mounts up alarmingly if one does the math on buying the lot – And once you’re well invested, you are going to buy the lot – aren’t you?

    D’Agostini seem to do quite well, you may have seen their adverts time and time again on TV in this country. I suspect that they sell more than Caldercraft/Jotika for instance, who do something similar but stick it to their customers on the chin, up front and in one hit – The eventual costs are pretty much the same.

    I wonder if anybody in the local cricket establishment is, or has been, a D’Agostini customer and has decided to reprise the concept as a ‘Build the ‘fully beknobbed’ international cricket stadium’ drip-pinging exercise in maybe a long series of annual instalments aimed at the DCC/community?

    The annual moan of ‘If we don’t get (insert next part of said stadium here) right now, then we won’t get tests/20 over matches/1 over matches/roll over matches /all over matches – whatever), seems to be acquiring a D’Agostini-type rhythm with regards to the consistency and regularity of its instalments.

    Will our councillors end up buying the lot and building their (second) dream stadium? Well, they (we) are, regrettably, already heavily invested in this second exercise via earlier instalments that have involved I seem to recall scoreboards, sight boards, banks, press boxes, other facilities, sawn-off art galleries and dead trees.

  24. Whippet

    I went to view the DCC website today, and there it was for all to see. In large print. “Thieves Ally ” and below it photo of all our councillors.
    How appropriate as they work out how to get their hands into our back pockets.

  25. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 29, 2015 – 7:15pm
    Gigatown business competition extended
    The deadline for entries in a gigatown-related competition has been extended. Chorus is offering $200,000 to a winning business start-up. It’s to encourage new business which fits in with Dunedin’s gigatown win and associated ultra-fast broadband. Initially the deadline was the 30th of January. But that’s now been extended until the 29th of May.The winning business plan will include a service that relies on the ultra-fast broadband network currently being installed by Chorus across the city. A winner is due to be announced in July.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

  26. Elizabeth

    Pared rates rises would come at a price
    Debt levels will remain higher for longer, but rates increases will be trimmed, if a revised Dunedin City Council budget to be considered next week is accepted. Councillors will meet on Monday to sign off a draft long-term plan budget, covering the decade to 2024-25, which will then be released for public consultation.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/331655/pared-rates-rises-would-come-price

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    Heads we win……..
    Check the coin before agreeing to anything. How many sides have tails on them?

  28. Elizabeth

    The-Harland-slash-Cull/GreaterDUD-recommended Great Train Robbery continues for taxpayers and ratepayers, without conscience. $47 million for the Dunedin cycle network with $570k barely denting massive pain and based on entirely fictive need, as the DCC consolidated debt rises to blazing glory, as in we citizens will be shot down in flames and fried. It’s not like this money is going to Dunedin Hospital for assist to greater numbers (than bloody cyclists) of Otago Southland people needing
    better health facilities.

    $570,000 lift to speed up city cycleway
    More than half a million dollars from the Government has provided a “wonderful” boost to Dunedin’s cycleway network, Mayor Dave Cull says.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/331642/570000-lift-speed-city-cycleway

    • Elizabeth

      ### dunedintv.co.nz January 30, 2015 – 6:18pm
      Government allocates funds for cycleway
      More than half a million dollars is being given to the Dunedin City Council to develop cycleways.
      Video

      ****

      >>> DCC cycle route bullshit – South Dunedin Cycle Network not needed]

      Dunedin City Council – Media Release
      New Government Funding for Dunedin Cycleways

      This item was published on 30 Jan 2015

      Work on Dunedin’s cycleways is set to get a boost with the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges announcing the DCC is to receive an additional $570,000 to fund cycle projects. The funding has been allocated under the Government’s Urban Cycleway Fund, established last year, which offers $100 million over four years to accelerate cycleway projects in urban centres. Dunedin is one of just six Councils to receive funding in this round.
      DCC Senior Transportation Planner Kylie Huard says the funding will be used to enhance and expand the South Dunedin Cycle Network, including providing a link between Shore St and Victoria Road via Tainui and Cavell Streets. Funding will also be used to provide additional landscaping, as well as install cycle counters to monitor cycleway usage more accurately.

      “This funding means we can do this work at no cost to ratepayer,” she says. “Up to $10 million was available for the current 2014/15 year, so it is especially pleasing to see Dunedin get such a good chunk of that. We are now preparing documentation to support further additional funding from the Government in subsequent years to put into the Central City and North East Valley cycle network and for projects around the tertiary precinct.”

      Any additional funding the DCC receives through the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Government’s Urban Cycleway Fund, plus any increase Council decides to make in the city’s own funding of cycleways, will enable the city to accelerate the delivery of the Dunedin’s cycle network.
      Contact Senior Transportation Planner, Dunedin City Council on 477 4000.

      DCC Link

      • Elizabeth

        How soon can we sack the DCC Transportation Planners. How much are they costing us.

        • Calvin Oaten

          Why don’t the DCC, as a cost saving exercise simply dis-establish the Transport Planners, the Digital Office, the South Dunedin Development Planners, the Mosgiel Pool committee, the Cycleways Planners, and I am sure we could think of more. Then form a new, tight knit committee to absorb all those activities under one umbrella, titled ‘The Bread & Circus Panel’, chaired and co-chaired by elected representatives. I can think of no better candidates than Chris Staynes, David B & G, and Richard Thomson. Then the public should just stand back and watch. If nothing else, it would be hilarious, in a sick kind of way.

        • Elizabeth

          Oh. Can’t have that, Calvin, that would be democracy!

  29. Calvin Oaten

    So, preliminary deliberation on the 2015-2024/25 Long Term Plan has been completed and is expected to be signed off by council before going out for public consultation. The basic points suggest that once again Mayor Cull and his council have failed to confront the issues, but have chosen the option of simply kicking the can down the road. One can only come to the conclusion that they are either incompetent of simply lack the will to do the right thing.
    When we were promised open and prudent governance by Dave Cull we expected that he would live up to his promise of reducing the city’s serious indebtedness and trim all non essential expenditures till that was achieved. What have we seen? A complete turn around and the money taps turned on even harder.
    This year’s current LTP shows the net debt projections at ($229.195m) in 2015 lowering to ($116.143m) in 2024. That was before the decision was made to bring back into the DCC ($30m) of DVL’s stadium debt. This is classic moving of the deck chairs as it will still be in the Consolidated debt. That plus other expenses effectively mean that by 2024 the debt will still be at or over ($200m). That is an increase over current budget of some ($84m).
    Staff said that appeared to leave little budget headroom for new capital projects, such as a Mosgiel pool, until later in the 10 year period.
    But Dave Cull is euphoric over the news that central government is to provide $570,000 towards the city cycleway. “That is wonderful news, fantastic for the city.” His head is firmly in the clouds.
    Cr Thomson, speaking during the LTP debate pushed for the revised budget options to be considered to find room for continued investment in the city. “I’m not comfortable with the notion that we should be trying to be so heroic that we can do nothing for the next 15 years.” Richard, it’s got nothing to do with being comfortable, it has everything to do with debt. Watch this tragic space for some heavy breathing.
    The really galling thing is that this is all predicated on the cowardly failure to address the real problem, which is the Stadium. It is a real debt of some ($140m) costing over $20m per annum to service and subsidise operationally. All because council lacks the guts to do the right thing and put it on a commercial footing where it either breaks even or better, makes a small return on investment. But no, they prefer to continue to beggar the citizens by letting rugby use it for a commercial purpose at a substantial loss to the citizens. That, right there is the injustice and the weak-kneed mayor and council allow that to continue. Business sense would dictate that when faced with a situation as this you either put it right or close it and accept the sunk costs as being the lesser. They don’t even have the acumen to put the option to the lessors, who will of course free ride as long as it is available.
    So, when it comes to public consultation, watch for a few more lollies’ being distributed out of an empty piggy bank.
    “The city is on a roll” says Dave Cull. The only question is, where to? Let’s hope no event like a storm attacking the St Clair sea wall happens in the next ten years.

  30. Elizabeth

    Peter and Calvin, sorry, delay in publishing your comments at moderation. In South Canterbury, on a road trip this evening – during which lost 3G coverage. Heavy heavy rain in the High Risk fire zone tonight (yay!!!!) reads better than news from el thicko Cull and that disgusting zealot Edgar via ODT earlier on. What can I say.

  31. Elizabeth

    The draft budget now includes a 3.8% rates increase for 2015-16, up from 3.7% before long-term plan (LTP) deliberations began last month.

    The new budget included the gradual return of dividends from the council’s companies, used to offset rates, which had been missing from the pre-draft LTP.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 3 Feb 2015
    Asset sales signalled as rates to rise
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillors yesterday signed off the draft long-term plan, charting the city’s strategic direction for the next decade, before public consultation beginning next month. Chris Morris reports. Rates are creeping up again as the Dunedin City Council signals a plan to sell property to pay for a South Dunedin community complex.
    Read more

    ****

    ### ODT Online Tue, 3 Feb 2015
    Extra funding for Otago Museum
    The Dunedin City Council has signalled a funding increase for Otago Museum, but stopped short of a request for more than $1 million over the next decade. Instead, councillors at yesterday’s pre-draft long-term plan meeting voted to contribute an extra $300,000 over the next four years to the museum’s books. They also agreed to consider linking future funding increases for the cultural institution to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
    Read more

    Otago Museum funding:
    • Extra $75,000 a year for next four years from DCC.
    • On top of DCC levy to museum worth $3.843 million.
    • Additional funding tagged to top six of Otago Museum’s 10-year project plan.
    • DCC to consider linking future funding increases to consumer price index (CPI).

    ****

    ### ODT Online Tue, 3 Feb 2015
    Agreement to underwrite physio pool
    The Dunedin City Council has agreed to underwrite up to $300,000 of the cost of saving the Dunedin Physio Pool, despite concerns ratepayers were being treated as ”the funder of last resort”. The concerns came as councillors at yesterday’s long-term plan meeting voted to budget for an underwriting – worth up to $100,000 a year for the next three years – to help save the popular facility.
    Read more

  32. Calvin Oaten

    You have to feel sorry for the incapacitated people who depend on that pool for therapeutic relief, but it is, when all said and done, the SDHB’s property. This ratepayer’s $100,000 pa over three years can only be considered a tax by stealth. Again, the councillors didn’t think this thing through. Could, for instance one of the pools at Moana not be run at the appropriate temperature and the people go there instead? Cr Thomson who is also on the SDHB board says that the hospital has little need for it. It would be on the same basis as any of the other user-pays of the main pools. I am certain the temperature difference could be accommodated, with perhaps a small surcharge, for very much less than $100,000 pa. Would they know? In what way would the folk be inconvenienced by shifting to Moana? Were they consulted on the possibility? Did council staff proffer to accommodate? No, just ‘yak yak yak’ and pass into the budget this money while the SDHB will be laughing all the way to the bank. No wonder Cr Thomson excused himself from conflict.

    • Mike

      I used the pool to recover from an injury a few years ago, went there every day for 3 months until I could walk again.

      It’s not just the heat it’s also access – it has steps into it for those who can’t climb down a ladder, or jump in and climb out (it also has a winch but one can’t use that by yourself). Most important though is that it has a long shallow end – if you’re learning to walk again the water supports you and you can control how much as you grow your muscles again by slowly moving to the shallow end.

      Afternoons are a zoo there, a dozen or more people there to do physio every day – people drive around the block for an hour waiting for one of the 3 disabled parking spots.

      What I’m trying to say here is that the pool is purpose built, Moana can’t be just swapped in to replace it.

      Personally I think that the SDHB and ACC should be funding the pool – the alternative is that scene you see in the movies of the person learning to walk again on the parallel bars … there’s someone there who has to catch them … well that’s the pool that does the catching, it’s saving a whole lot on daily hands on personal physio.

  33. Whippet

    Calvin, you say that Cr Thomson said of the physio pool that the SDHB board had little need for it. Possibly there is a bigger need for the pool than there is a need for certain board members if they think that way.

  34. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Irresponsible
    Submitted by russandbev on Tue, 03/02/2015 – 1:39pm.
    To agree on a rates increase of 3.8% is irresponsible. Put into context, every million of expenditure that has not been met by income is another 1% on the rates. Dunedin has, through the efforts of Councillors past, been put in the position of having its life blood squeezed out of it through the huge debts incurred by the stadium build – that is not able to be disputed. But this lot, many of whom supported the stadium build, are bereft of ideas and certainly bereft of solutions to this situation.
    Read more

  35. Elizabeth

    █ council debt CRISIS……………………

    ### dunedintv.co.nz February 4, 2015 – 7:31pm
    Warm homes trial under review
    The Dunedin City Council is considering whether to continue its warm homes trial, which could see it raise additional debt.
    Video

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