DESTROYED, beautification project —Railway corridor, Gladstone Road

Updated post Sat, 21 Mar 2015 at 11:55 p.m.
Brian Miller makes further comment, see below. More photographs.

Received from Brian Miller
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 at 4:29 p.m.

VANDALISM —Nothing else goes near describing what is in this photo.
Let me start from the start.

Gladstone Road 1aOtago 150th Anniversary plantings scraped away at Gladstone Rd.

1997
As a Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board member I accepted the challenge of beautifying the railway corridor from Wingatui to Riccarton Road along a four-kilometre length of Gladstone Road. No other board member wanted anything to do with it, until I had it organised ready to go. They said. “It couldn’t be done.” Just the incentive I needed.

I had to make sure that all the boxes were ticked, before Tranz Rail would let the project begin. With that done, Board members fell over themselves to get involved.

Thousands of hours of voluntary labour went into the project. Alex Griffin and his Taskforce Green did most of the hard work. The local community donated the use of trucks and other equipment, while Lester Harvey ferreted out the thousands of shrubs. We turned what was an eyesore entry into Mosgiel into what it is today. A more welcoming entry. Unfortunately, the story does not end there.

As I said earlier we met all Tranz Rail’s requirements when we did our planting.

Just imagine how I felt this morning when I travelled along the section from Riccarton Road towards the industrial area, and the destruction of the thousands of hours of voluntary labour and gifted plants that had been ripped out. Total destruction of this section of the project. It appears to be at the orders of KiwiRail. The photo tells the story I really don’t have to say much more.

I wonder how those Task Force Green workers and other unemployed workers feel to see what they had contributed to the Mosgiel community, in part, being ripped up.

KiwiRail weren’t the first to vandalise this project, the Dunedin City Council had first crack and destroyed over half of this area by putting in the footpath that you can see in the photo. When they could have quite easily put the footpath on the other side of the road. This would have made it much safer for the school children of East Taieri, as they wouldn’t have had to cross the road twice as they do now to get to school.

The Community Board made this project part of the Otago 150 years’ celebrations. There has been a Fonterra Environmental award, The Queens Service Medal award, and Keep Dunedin Beautiful Awards for this project, but it appears that hasn’t stopped the vandalism.

[ends]

█ What if? Dunedin notes this has happened on Cr Kate Wilson’s watch (Cr Wilson has been appointed to Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board as the DCC representative). It seems incumbent on DCC and ORC to seek a compensatory amount from KiwiRail for instatement of a new Community Project in the immediate area taking into account the devastating loss of the local community’s green amenity, historical investment of effort to establish the plantings in a difficult location, and the years of plant growth and cover destroyed.
Clearly, a distress and a humiliation.

Received from Brian Miller
Sat, 21 Mar 2015 at 6:15 p.m.

Message: The Vandals are on the way.
These new photographs show:
1) The metal plaque confirming that the Railway corridor project was a ‘150 year’ project.
2) The sign up the pole is rather interesting —it shows DCC promoting an illegal activity: riding a bicycle on the footpath. A shared footpath and cycleway…. this is completely opposite to what the Council’s Transportation Planning manager wrote in response to a letter to the editor (ODT 13.11.14). She said in the reply: ‘To clarify, cycling on the footpath is illegal in NZ unless you are a NZ post employee or the bike has a wheel diameter less that 355mm usually a tricycle or small child’s bicycle.’
3) ALL the shrubs and trees for removal at Mosgiel’s Memorial Park on the proposed site of the new pool complex —described in the Taieri Community Facilities Trust’s (the pool trust) documents as “minimal site impact”, located to “minimize the removal of existing vegetation”.

Regards
Brian Miller

Gladstone Rd railway corridor project plaque

Gladstone Rd, cycle sign

█ Proposed Taieri Aquatic Centre, Memorial Park. Image: whatifdunedin
Pool 2

Memorial Park, Mosgiel 1.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 2aMemorial Park, Mosgiel 3.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 4.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 5.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 6.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 7.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 8.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 9.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 10.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 11.jpgMemorial Park, Mosgiel 12Memorial Park, Mosgiel 13Memorial Park, Mosgiel 14

█ For more on the proposed Taieri Aquatic Centre, enter the terms *taieri*, *pool*, *mosgiel pool*, *stedman*, *community board*, and *secret* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images supplied.

79 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, KiwiRail, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Urban design

79 responses to “DESTROYED, beautification project —Railway corridor, Gladstone Road

  1. Elizabeth

    Brian, I have made some phone calls. I understand Lester Harvey knows something about the BIG MISTAKE in allowing KiwiRail to trash the neighbourhood. A complete scandal.

    • Brian Miller

      Please note that the photos above show some trees that are on the site of the proposed new Mosgiel pool at the Mosgiel Memorial Gardens. Lester Harvey who claims medals and awards for the Railway beautification project that has been partially destroyed by both the DCC and Kiwirail with Lester’s blessing.
      Lester can now add the Trees in the Mosgiel Memorial Gardens to the list that he is happy to see removed. With his submission to the council long term plan. He supports the 4 pool facility being sited in the Memorial Park. That will see the removal of up to 30 / 40 trees.

      • Elizabeth

        Submission of Lester Harvey at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/draft-long-term-plan-2015-2016/public-submissions/single-view-2015?id=494809

        [excerpts]

        Comments

        I support a new 4 pool aquatic facility in Mosgiel The current Mosgiel pool is over 80 years old and needs to be replaced. A new four pool facility is what our community needs. We need a lane pool and a learners’ pool, as well as a leisure pool for families and young children and a warmer hydrotherapy pool for our elderly residents and those seeking rehabilitation. We all matter. We are the fastest growing township within Dunedin City and we need a facility that will meet our needs both now and into the future. Comments Mosgiel very badly requires a new multi purpose pool. It is by far the fastest growing area in the Dunedin City. I support the idea of a community/council partnership to fund this new facility. Our community wants to make this happen. I want this to happen. I believe that a community and council partnership is the best way to make this project happen, and I would like to request that the Council commits to funding half of the new complex as part of the Long Term Plan. Comments Mosgiel contributes a very substantial amount to the city both in rates and subdivision levies. I support the location of the new pool being sited in the Memorial Park.

        14. Unfunded Mosgiel Aquatic Facilities
        Yes

        14a. Unfunded Mosgiel Aquatic Facilities
        Four new pools

  2. Peter

    This is disgraceful. Community minded people wanting to create green spaces…for people…and you have vandals destroying this initiative. Those responsible are no better than mindless morons who snap saplings planted down the main street.
    WHO authorised this? Sack them.

  3. Elizabeth

    I understand KiwiRail contracts out to Fulton Hogan but until I do more checking I can’t be 100% sure if it was FH who cleared the ground. They remain the top suspect for now. How consultation was carried out, I come back to Mr Harvey for clues.

    Obviously, instigator/coordinator of the beautification project, Brian Miller, was not consulted, owing to the shock of his discovery this morning.

    Mr Harvey might like to explain his position, acceptance of awards before others… then to decide annihilation of the team effort on that stretch. A bunglehead, out of his depth?

    Will explain what I mean, Brian, as I attach more facts.

    A most interesting number of calls this evening – Facebookers are flying to this post in great numbers meanwhile spreading the word. View numbers for the post are now level-pegging with the Home Page, after a meteoric rise following the posting at 4:29 p.m. – this, on an already jam-packed day owing to the other top seven posts.

    Brian’s story has struck a chord.

    • You say “How consultation was carried out, I come back to Mr Harvey for clues.”
      Elizabeth
      I think you will find that Mr Harvey knows about it. I also think you will find that sight line safety for trains driver’s view of crossings is a paramount concern for KiwiRail. They have a lot of experience regarding the speed of trains, the distance from crossings, elements that obscure such views and the level of safety associated with that. They are expected to observe safety precautions.

      • Elizabeth

        Mick, Brian Miller makes it quite clear that the beautification project met TranzRail requirements, and TranzRail (now KiwiRail) are cited on the plaque.

        • Elizabeth
          It might have then. This is now. The plants have grown and perhaps the concerns for safety have increased. The plaque you cite has Sukhi Turner’s name on it. There have been 4 terms of mayors since then. Trees grow and concerns about safety have changed. You will however find that Mr Harvey knows about this.

        • Elizabeth

          Mick, given the mix of species planted the maximum heights and mature scale were surely known, I mean hello! You know about this, I know about this, and we both have individual practical experience in design, landscaping and maintenance of many years…. I can’t forgive Mr Harvey not consulting wider before the massacre. Never! Just maybe there was something better possible than full clearance? Extraordinary. And oh so upsetting if no other planting programme has been negotiated for the Community and including the Community in the determining. APPALLED APPALLED APPALLED.

        • Elizabeth

          Of course the expected dimensions of the mature vegetation planted would have been known.
          I don’t know or have seen the extent of the clearance along Gladstone Road South. Have you seen it?
          It seems to me though, that the extent of pruning and removal of vegetation that Lester Harvey expected to be done in January this year could very well be different than that which has actually been done. It happens. Lester Harvey will know the answer to that too.

          However, for him to ‘consult widely’ is a big ask. How would he do that? Go the Community Board? Yeah right! Ride around on his bike and tell all the folk who donated the money and plants in the first place to take it up with the authorities? No not likely. Lester knew who had the gun, Elizabeth. KiwiRail owns the land the trees and shrubs were planted in. They are responsible for safety. Here you have a very old ‘David’ fighting to save his ‘babies’ against the strength of a large modern day ‘Goliath’ with all the justification for their actions that the ‘precautionary principle’ affords such bureaucrats. Hey, you know how that works – it’s a sure winner. It would crush Lester who would have been told (politely) to get lost.

          Even you Elizabeth might be daunted by that task. Lester would be gutted that his plants ‘had to go’ as you can imagine.

        • Elizabeth

          I’m not defending Lester Harvey, Mick. He had choices.

          Brian Miller is the best person to describe the extent of clearance, await his reply. Although he was very clear in his email and the initial photograph at the post is expansive.

          DCC Webmap - Gladstone Rd (Riccarton Rd to Wingatui) JanFeb2013DCC Webmap – Gladstone Rd (Riccarton Rd to Wingatui) JanFeb2013

        • Elizabeth
          Well I have just checked with Lester Harvey and it is as I suspected. What Lester believed would be done was a minimal pruning and the removal of only a few trees. He is utterly dismayed by what has happened.

        • Elizabeth

          Out of his depth. As I said earlier. He should have consulted more widely before he signed away the community asset. Nothing has changed since the matter was brought to my attention, corroborated by calls I made.

        • Elizabeth
          What do you mean by that? Out of his depth – bollocks – He was told porkies!
          It happens all the time these days. The ‘authorities’ are required to ‘consult’ – so they have a ‘word’ with whoever and then do as they want. They talked to Lester and fed him a line. And you are daft enough to blame Lester as you have already done. vis ‘I can’t forgive Mr Harvey not consulting wider before the massacre. Never!’ Your words. Out of his depth indeed.

        • Elizabeth

          Sticking to my words, Mick. I will agree to disagree with you, bollocks or not.

        • Elizabeth
          Your prerogative of course – blame the guy who planted the trees for not stopping their removal. – I like it.
          I’ll stick to my guns too unless Brian can prove to me that Lester is talking through his arse. All good stuff so far. We have yet to see what KiwiRail is planning the Gladstone Road North.

        • Elizabeth

          The point is Mick, you’ll agree? We have no plantings for a considerable distance and Somebody fucked up, having given permission they had no authority to give. Somebody has learnt a valuable lesson about not being an ‘own authority’, an uninsightful politically naïve one at that.

        • Elizabeth
          Oh yes I do agree on that. Someone has fucked up. But I suspect that Lester was probably being used – you know the drill – who planted the trees – oh yes old Lester Harvey – talk to him to clear it – then get on with it. The original deal was between the DCC and what is now KiwiRail – and the plaque with Sukhi Turner on it shows this. Lester was just the agent doing the hard yards. So for KiwiRail to have all that vegetation removed it needed to deal with the DCC – not Lester. It would have been up to the DCC and Mosgiel Community Board to do any public consultation. (Our cost of course).
          Anyway that is my take on it.

        • Elizabeth

          Yep, that’s why I noted Cr Kate Wilson’s name at original post (DCC rep on Community Board). Have no boiling pots of tar or oil poised above you Mick ;)

        • Ha ha – Cripes Elizabeth! Not the boiling tar – have mercy! How about chocolate fish!

        • Elizabeth

          Not sure about the fish.

        • Brian Miller

          Sorry Mick. You have been fed a load of bullshit. What you need to do is get the facts, and you certainly haven’t gone to the right person to get them. It would appear someone is covering their arse.

        • Brian Miller
          March 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm
          Sorry Mick. You have been fed a load of bullshit. What you need to do is get the facts, and you certainly haven’t gone to the right person to get them. It would appear someone is covering their arse.

          Brian
          Are you saying Lester wasn’t involved and that he is talking bullshit?
          Were you on site during the discussion with Lester?
          If you were so close to it what did you do then?

        • Brian Miller

          I didn’t know that a shrub of only 18 / 24 inches high could interfere with the site line of a train driver. Maybe you should take a trip along State Highway 1 between Oamaru and the Waitaki Bridge and compare the height of the vegetation there beside the railway line. Some of these small shrubs that have been taken out of the beautification project are at least 500 metres from any crossing, so could hardly be obstructing any train driver’s view. I rest my case.

        • Elizabeth

          Thanks Brian, helpful.

        • Brian
          I don’t know what your case is that you are resting. The argument that KiwiRail had for trimming or removing vegetation that Lester was asked to comment upon was to do with visibility from trains of rail crossings. He identified plants that would impair such visibility. KiwiRail defined the critical site distance. The plants so affecting such vision were few and large.
          Now it is clear that KiwiRail has cleared about everything from Riccarton Road to just short of the station. This is not what Lester Harvey has agreed or identified.

          I know this because I was present at that site meeting. You were not there Brian.
          Your talk about small shrubs elsewhere is irrelevant.

        • Elizabeth

          Mick, just backtracking to your comment here. You were invited to the site meeting, how come the person who organised the beautification project wasn’t invited? Can leave that as an open question if you like.

        • Elizabeth
          March 22, 2015 at 10:32 p.m.
          How come the person who organised the beautification project wasn’t invited?
          Well, I didn’t do the asking so I couldn’t possibly answer. I have one for you though, who would that be?

        • Elizabeth

          Answered, I think, by Brian Miller’s breaking of the news at the original post.

        • Brian Miller

          Mick tells us that he was at the site meeting. This tells us that it appears that an invitation only meeting was held. This raises a few questions. Who issued the invitations. In what capacity were you invited Mick? With such an important meeting that would destroy a large section of the beautification project, was there a memorandum of understanding made available, of what, why and how this destruction was to happen, and where any shrubs removed would be relocated. If not why not. Was there any record taken of this site meeting to prove that a meeting did in fact take place, and how many attended this site meeting, and who were they? That will do for starters Mick. I await your response. PS. Could you make available a copy of the minute, that I presume was taken for such an important occasion of the destruction of part of a beautification project that was built by volunteer labour to celebrate Otago’s 150 years.

  4. Michelle Kerr

    This is absolutely appalling. How dare anyone think it ok to destroy the work that volunteers have spent hours upon hours in making our area beautiful.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    How can anyone with a fragment of functional brain think they are supposed to clear what was clearly a deliberately planted decorative strip? Whatever their orders were, it takes an extreme jobsworth who takes spiteful pleasure in ruining good things, not to energetically query a contract or instruction that appears to mean “wreck this decorative planting”. Sometimes if a person wants to be a decent human being it’s absolutely vital to get back to the boss, and if necessary the boss above him/her, and say, “Are you definitely 100% certain this is what’s meant to be done, because it looks like a mistaken order somewhere along the line?”

  6. Wingatui Flyer

    What will Bill Feather do about this one ? Get another photo opportunity. Not likely, as he supported the major destruction of this project by supporting the council, in destroying much of the volunteer work when council put the footpath on the wrong side of the road. What now Billy Boy?

  7. Brian Miller

    Watch this space. More vandalism is about to take place in Mosgiel if the pool committee get their way. The site that they have chosen for the pool at Memorial Gardens contains about 20 mature trees that will have to go to satisfy their needs. Interestingly, some of the same people who backed the council in destroying the railway line beautification project to be replaced with a footpath, are also involved with the pool trust. It doesn’t take much to work out who Mosgiel’s number one tree hater is.

  8. Rob Hamlin

    Don’t worry Brian – I doubt if the thing will ever get built there. There’s more money to be made elsewhere – out Wingatui way.

  9. Elizabeth

    Tree hater numero uno? Not Martin Dillon, Community Board member, developer and destroyer of healthy elms? Oh right. With undeclared conflicts of interest as long as his arms. He shouldn’t even be on the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board.

  10. Peter

    What is it with these tree haters? They prefer bare sections….or close to it….on soulless subdivisions with no appreciation of how trees can soften and enhance the landscape. Sometimes trees are planted in the wrong spot or are inappropriate. That’s fine. There is a case for them to come down.
    I laugh at those who say trees lose leaves and are thereby a nuisance. With a rake Delilah. With a rake! Lazy.
    Something isn’t healthy out there in Mosgiel. This is on top of someone wanting to endanger an iconic landscape feature. It is not as if Mosgiel is overly blessed with natural beauty in my humble opinion. It needs to be further beautified.

  11. Doug Hopkins

    I don’t know much about this problem as I don’t live in the area but I love the poles in the middle of the footpath. All you need now are some dodgem cars and make some fun out of someone’s creativity!

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Trees drop leaves, birds drop feathers, humans drop hair sometimes to an extreme degree. Slaughter balding men to save our drains!
    Even the leaves of daffodils die off. Kill everything! Quick, before it gets any worse.

  13. Elizabeth

    New information from Brian Miller and photographs added to post at top of thread.

  14. Brian Miller

    These are the trees that the Pool vandals describe as ‘minimal vegetation’
    Most of the trees were donated by the community-minded members of Mosgiel. Some of the trees are 50 years and older. Once again we are seeing a proposal by these vandals to destroy a community project.

  15. Wayne

    If it is good enough to have shared footpaths and cycleways out at Mosgiel. Why is the council spending millions of our dollars on separate cycleways in the city, when they could follow what they have done out at Mosgiel and use the footpath as cycleways.

  16. Jacob

    Why are we reading about all this destruction out at Mosgiel on this blog site, and not one word in the ODT. If it is good enough for the ODT to have a news item about a single tree that was to get the chop up Auckland way, why can they not give us local news about the pool proposal that will see the destruction of a beautiful parkland setting, and the destruction of a beautification project?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Jacob, the ODT was on safe ground covering the Auckland kauri issue. There were no local “community leaders” or investors involved.

  17. Peter

    I get it now. In a war they say in order to save a city, sometimes you have to destroy it! You people just don’t understand.

  18. Nor am I Elizabeth – but choices? try Hobson’s?

  19. Elizabeth

    Today: ODT has sent one of their reporters to the railway corridor at Gladstone Rd as a result of disclosures at What if?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It’s an embarrassment when a “major” newspaper is made irrelevant by a blog run by and contributed to by unpaid volunteers in their “spare” time. Congrats Elizabeth, Brian and all others who fill in the untold parts in innumerable other topics that have real impact on us, that we deserve to be properly informed about.

  20. Brian Miller

    Well done ODT. Your cover up, whitewash and misreporting on this issue does you no credit at all.

  21. Rob Hamlin

    As I have said previously, I do not believe there is any serious intent to build on Memorial Gardens. Anybody who seriously wanted to build a pool in Central Mosgiel would have looked first at potential sites within other sport and recreation designated areas: Peter Johnstone Park with its four rugby pitches and expansive parking or Memorial Park with its expansive athletics ground (additional rugby pitches, expansive parking – and derelict pool site…. Odd I’ve not seen any expenses associated with getting rid of the existing pool – A massive reinforced concrete structure dug into the ground – Won’t go away for nuthin’, Will it?).

    Mosgiel has only one public garden, but it has multiple rugby pitches. If one or the other has to go, then under these circumstances it is clearly one rugby pitch (of many) that needs to be snipped. I do not think that the wider Mosgiel community would be too bothered about losing one of several rugby pitches. The rugby heads would squeal like pigs, but they have burned a good deal of goodwill these last few years.

    Yes, I think that Peter Johnstone park would be a very good site for a pool, and I foresee little issues in getting one built there, bar some delightful squealing. I am therefore surprised that it is not on the Pool trust’s site list – and at the top too.

    Well actually, no I’m not in the least surprised, we all know that building this facility in open rural zoned country at Puddle Alley nearly three k’s away from any significant habitation makes far greater sense for ‘the community’ (I’ll leave you to figure out which one). Those proposed ‘mossiepoolites’ who are travelling in from Waverley will enjoy the extra 3k country drive too. Oh wait, it won’t be country any longer will it? Once funding from the ‘pool community’ (see above) for the rural pool facility has been exchanged for all sorts of rezoning ‘considerations’.

  22. Elizabeth

    How ODT fudged it, giving Lester Harvey his own rope.

    When the matter was first raised Lester knew nothing. Then he knew something if a little. Now the QSM-endowed, honourable Lester is trumpeted as “beautification project manager”. He has had an important role in the project but let’s not get carried away.

    Then, KiwiRail’s Neil Campbell has said the [scraped off, as in Not Dug Out] plants were “in storage” for reinstatement….

    I mean, guys, incredible – get your flaxy/flowery facts straight. The plants have been DUMPED, cut off at ground level or slightly below care of the KiwiRail ditch digger.

    LIES always look like lies, deception and false authority. Do they not.

    To that end, early this afternoon I placed a fairly comprehensive LGOIMA request with DCC.

    (pro forma) DCC has replied a response provided as soon as practicable, in any event within 20 working days.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Mar 2015
    Years of beautification wiped out by KiwiRail
    By John Lewis
    Several years spent planning and planting hundreds of shrubs to beautify the Gladstone Rd railway corridor in Mosgiel have been stripped away in a matter of hours by a KiwiRail ditch digger. Until last week, the 4km corridor between Wingatui and Riccarton Rd was lush with plants, shrubs, including many natives, and rhododendrons.
    Read more

    █ The railway beautification project was launched and overseen by former Community Board member Brian Miller, let the records show.

    The beautification project was a Mosgiel Taieri Community Board initiative, brought to fruition in 1997 with support from the Dunedin City Council Keep Dunedin Beautiful committee, Tranz Rail (now KiwiRail) and volunteers.

    • @Brian Miller
      March 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm
      You say ‘Mick tells us that he was at the site meeting.’

      Brian. As usual you rant on jumping to conclusions and making a lot of irrelevant points. I told you at the beginning of this discussion that we were advised that there were visibility problems with sight lines that required the trimming and removal of some plants in that area for safety reasons. I also referred you all to Lester Harvey who could advise you if you needed more information. As you can now read in the ODT (Wed, 25 Mar 2015). But no Brian you chose to rave on and in short persist making an idiot of yourself.

      I also said, as in fact Lester reiterates, that what was agreed to regarding the removal of some vegetation for the above visibility safety reasons was not what eventually occurred. Why this was so, I do not know.

      This was also stated in the ODT via “They needed to remove some trees that were obstructing the line of sight from the crossing into KB Contractors yard opposite Cemetery Rd.”

  23. Tom

    All is to be put right at a secret meeting on Friday… The turncoats have turned full circle. Sounds like a new pill will be made in honour of the occasion. To be called “The hard to swallow pill”.
    All thanks must go to the ‘What If’ team, for exposing this debacle.

  24. Brian Miller

    How things can change in just a couple of days. I met with Lester on site the day after the damage had been done. Lester informed me that when he was approached to attend a site meeting he informed them that he was no longer involved in the project. Now we read in today’s ODT that he has suddenly been elevated to Beautification project manager.
    I was also invited by the ODT to be interviewed on the project site, and was also present when they did a lengthy interview with a resident from the affected area. Not one word from that interview with the resident is mentioned in the ODT story. I also gave them the contact number of the organizer of the Taskforce Green workforce, who did the bulk of the work on the project. I was assured that the person would be contacted. To my knowledge that was never done. The purpose of involving other residents and those involved in the back-breaking work that was done, was to try and achieve a balanced view of what was done and who was told what. It would appear that the ODT are not prepared to let the truth get in the way of a good story. How is that for another rant of mine, Mick?

  25. Elizabeth

    No point in escalations. Let’s see what happens Friday (it can only get worse) and further along, with my LGOIMA request.

  26. Brian Miller

    What a lovely photo in the ODT today of one of the Vandals (pool trustee), page 4. When is the ODT going to get of its promotion of the Mosgiel pool and act like a newspaper. Show the damage that will be done to the park land setting if these vandals get their way. How about a bit of unbiased reporting on this pool issue ODT ?

  27. Brian Miller

    I attended the long term plan meeting in Mosgiel last night. Where the major discussion was about the pool, what I found most disturbing was a conversation between a trustee and a member of the public. The member of the public was concerned that the pool site would be in Mosgiel’s Memorial Park, and up to 40 trees would get the axe to make way for the new pool. For those of you who are not familiar with the Mosgiel Memorial Park, it is a setting very similar to Dunedin’s Botanic Garden. Can you imagine 40 trees being felled in the Botanic Garden to make way for a new pool? The trees in the Mosgiel Memorial gardens were planted about fifty years ago, and make a magnificent contribution to the gardens. The reply that the member of the public got from the trustee about the axing of these magnificent trees was “We will just plant some more.”
    I wonder where the trustee will plant 40 new trees, when the park has been destroyed, and there is no park left to plant 40 trees.
    I urge you to make a submission to the long term plan to keep their hands off the Memorial Park trees.

  28. Elizabeth

    A COMPLETE JOKE

    From: Elizabeth Kerr
    Sent: ‎Tuesday‎, ‎5‎ ‎May‎ ‎2015 ‎8‎:‎26‎ ‎p.m.
    To: Grace Ockwell [DCC]
    Cc: Sandy Graham [DCC], Sue Bidrose [DCC], Elizabeth Kerr
    Subject LGOIMA request – Gladstone Road/Railway corridor beautification project

    Dear Grace

    You are well outside the 20 working day limit for response under the LGOIMA.

    Please explain.

    Regards

    Elizabeth Kerr

    Sent from Windows Mail

    Attachment:
    2015 Mar - May (LGOIMA request made 25.3.15) EJ KERR 1[click to enlarge]

    ————————————————

    From: Grace Ockwell [DCC]
    Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎25‎ ‎March‎ ‎2015 ‎2‎:‎53‎ ‎p.m.
    To: Elizabeth Kerr
    Subject LGOIMA request – Gladstone Road/Railway corridor beautification project

    Good afternoon Elizabeth,

    I acknowledge receipt of your email sent to the Group Manager Corporate Services, Sandy Graham today in which you requested information about the Gladstone Road/Railway corridor beautification project.

    Your request has been forwarded to me to process, and will be considered under the provisions of LGOIMA and a response provided as soon as practicable, in any event within 20 working days.

    Yours sincerely,

    Grace Ockwell
    Governance Support Officer
    Dunedin City Council

    ————————————————

    From: Elizabeth Kerr
    Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎25‎ ‎March‎ ‎2015 ‎2‎:‎23‎ ‎p.m.
    To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
    Subject: Re: LGOIMA request – Gladstone Road/Railway corridor beautification project

    Dear Sandy

    In reference to the news item featured at Otago Daily Times today:

    Years of beautification wiped out by KiwiRail
    Several years spent planning and planting hundreds of shrubs to beautify the Gladstone Rd railway corridor in Mosgiel have been stripped away in a matter of hours by a KiwiRail ditch digger.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/337154/years-beautification-wiped-out-kiwirail

    In the article Dunedin City Council (DCC) is mentioned twice by KiwiRail southern regional manager Neil Campbell:

    ”We can understand why local residents would have been upset if they were not aware of the works taking place, but can assure them that before doing the work, KiwiRail liaised with Taskforce Green and the Dunedin City Council. Green and the Dunedin City Council. This included a site visit to better understand the scope of the work, which a community representative [Mr Harvey] attended….” (my emphasis)

    and

    Mr Campbell said a beautification lease was in place between the Mosgiel railway station and Cemetery Rd, and KiwiRail intended to work with the DCC and Taskforce Green on replanting options for the area, bearing in mind that it was a narrow area, once work is finished. ”We will discuss the possibility of extending the lease area towards Riccarton Rd.”

    1. I seek any and all documentation DCC and or Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board can provide that relates to consultation the Council/Community Board has had with KiwiRail about the clearance work proposed and later carried out at the subject site (Gladstone Rd railway corridor between Wingatui and Riccarton Rd) – that has resulted in KiwiRail removing a large section of the ”community beautification project”, an Otago 150 years commemorative project committed under auspices of Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board. Documentation should include evidence of any phone calls, emails or meetings in chronology; where possible with the names and roles of participants noted.

    2. I would specifically like to know who attended the site meeting and how representation was fielded at the meeting.

    3. Please confirm if XXXXXXXX attended the site meeting. {details of question removed for privacy reasons}

    4. Was any reinstatement option offered by KiwiRail? If so, did DCC have a clear formal understanding of the details and timing of any reinstatement project offered up by KiwiRail to compensate Mosgiel Community for loss of this substantial section of the 1997/98 award-winning amenity/beautification project?

    5. Was a formal memorandum of understanding with KiwiRail entered into by DCC and or any of the parties attending the site meeting?

    6. Did KiwiRail inform or consult with DCC and or Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board on a formal communication strategy to keep the Community informed about the railway corridor project and related works?

    7. Please provide me with a copy of the ‘beautification lease’ referred to in the ODT article:

    Mr Campbell said a beautification lease was in place between the Mosgiel railway station and Cemetery Rd, and KiwiRail intended to work with the DCC and Taskforce Green on replanting options for the area, bearing in mind that it was a narrow area, once work is finished. “We will discuss the possibility of extending the lease area towards Riccarton Rd.” (my emphasis)

    8. Can DCC say why the original ‘beautification lease’ did not extend the full length of the beautification project, to Riccarton Rd? Did DCC have other plans for that section of the rail corridor, as yet unrealised?

    I would be grateful for the Council’s timely response.

    Kind regards

    Elizabeth Kerr

    Sent from Windows Mail

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Frightfully decent of you to include a calendar. I tend to lose track of time. Were I in the recipient’s place I’d be most appreciative,
      Goodness gracious, it’s May already.

  29. Elizabeth

    Two emails received from DCC, my reply follows.

    DCC reply to my questions are provided in italics.

    Note to Mick Field (named in Question 3 below and at DCC reply):
    At What if? Dunedin, Mick, you explained your presence at the site meeting on Gladstone Road, as being there “to listen” – although not identifying your role, as was your individual right. Please accept my apologies if through my LGOIMA request (a fishing expedition in the circumstances) I have caused any embarrassment or inconvenience to you by reference or implication. As I understand it, and sincerely acknowledge, you kindly attended the site meeting for the greater and public good. Elizabeth Kerr

    From: Grace Ockwell
    Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎6‎ ‎May‎ ‎2015 ‎4‎:‎59‎ ‎p.m.
    To: Elizabeth Kerr
    Subject: LGOIMA response – Gladstone Road

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Thank you for your email of 25 March 2015 requesting information about the railway corridor beautification project on Gladstone Road.

    Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this response.

    Your request has been considered under the provisions of Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) and the following response is provided.

    You referenced the article “Years of beautification wiped out by KiwiRail” which appeared in the Otago Daily Times on 25 March 2015. The article contained some inaccuracies which complicate responding to your request.

    The Dunedin City Council’s involvement was to provide Taskforce Green workers at KiwiRail’s request to help the company address safety matters (line of sight for trains) along the rail corridor. At all times these workers performed work requested by and specified by KiwiRail.

    In responding to your request, I have repeated your questions to give context to our response.

    1. I seek any and all documentation DCC and or Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board can provide that relates to consultation the Council/Community Board has had with KiwiRail about the clearance work proposed and later carried out at the subject site (Gladstone Rd railway corridor between Wingatui and Riccarton Rd) – that has resulted in KiwiRail removing a large section of the ”community beautification project”, an Otago 150 years commemorative project committed under auspices of Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board. Documentation should include evidence of any phone calls, emails or meetings in chronology; where possible with the names and roles of participants noted.

    I am attaching copies of email correspondence between the Dunedin City Council and KiwiRail. As at the date of your request there has been no communication between KiwiRail and the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board. I have withheld the names of staff members at Kiwirail and the Dunedin City Council pursuant to section 7(2)(a) of LGOIMA to protect their privacy. Their names are also withheld pursuant to section 7(2)(f)(ii) of LGOIMA to enable the effective conduct of public affairs through the protection of officers and persons from improper pressure or harassment.

    2. I would specifically like to know who attended the site meeting and how representation was fielded at the meeting.

    On Friday 16 January 2015, the Track Production Manager Southern, KiwiRail, a Dunedin City Council Community Advisor and the Task Force Green Coordinator attended a site visit to discuss which shrubs/trees needed to be removed to address KiwiRails’ safety concerns with respect to view-line standards. Further details of this meeting are included in the emails supplied to you.

    3. Please confirm if Mick Field (landscape architect) attended the site meeting – on social media, he claims he did – and in what capacity. Was he treated as a paid or unpaid consultant to DCC or Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board? Or was his attendance as a volunteer, he being president of Dunedin Amenities Society.

    On Wednesday 21 January 2015 the Task Force Green Coordinator attended a site visit with Mick Field (Rhododendron Trust) and Lester Harvey. Further details of this second site visit are included in the emails supplied to you.

    4. Was any reinstatement option offered by KiwiRail? If so, did DCC have a clear formal understanding of the details and timing of any reinstatement project offered up by KiwiRail to compensate Mosgiel Community for loss of this substantial section of the 1997/98 award-winning amenity/beautification project?

    We do not hold any information in response to this question.

    5. Was a formal memorandum of understanding with KiwiRail entered into by DCC and or any of the parties attending the site meeting?

    No formal memorandum of understanding was entered into between KiwiRail and the DCC.

    6. Did KiwiRail inform or consult with DCC and or Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board on a formal communication strategy to keep the Community informed about the railway corridor project and related works?

    Kiwirail did not inform or consult with the Dunedin City Council or the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board on a formal communication strategy to keep the community informed about the railway corridor and related works.

    7. Please provide me with a copy of the ‘beautification lease’ referred to in the ODT article:
    Mr Campbell said a beautification lease was in place between the Mosgiel railway station and Cemetery Rd, and KiwiRail intended to work with the DCC and Taskforce Green on replanting options for the area, bearing in mind that it was a narrow area, once work is finished. “We will discuss the possibility of extending the lease area towards Riccarton Rd.” (my emphasis)

    We do not hold any information in response to this question.

    8. Can DCC say why the original ‘beautification lease’ did not extend the full length of the beautification project, to Riccarton Rd? Did DCC have other plans for that section of the rail corridor, as yet unrealised?

    We do not hold any information in response to this question.

    As we have withheld some information, you have the right pursuant to section 27 of LGOIMA to have our decision to withhold information reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

    Yours sincerely

    Grace Ockwell
    Governance Support Officer
    Dunedin City Council

    Attachment: Kerr, E LGOIMA 6 May 2015 Attachment (PDF, 1 MB)

    —————————————

    Received Wed, 6 May 2015 at 7:26 p.m.

    From: Graham McKerracher [DCC]
    Date: Wed, 6 May 2015 07:10:02 +0000
    To: “Council 2013-2016 (Elected Members)”
    Cc: “Executive Leadership Team (ELT)”
    Subject: LGOIMA response

    Dear Councillors,

    Today we responded to a LGOIMA request posing questions about the removal of vegetation from around the main Mosgiel Railway crossing on Gladstone Rd. The work, carried out for safety reasons by our Taskforce Green team on behalf of KiwiRail, was a news story at the time. Our response is likely to appear on the What If Dunedin website and subsequently to possible news stories.

    Best regards,
    Graham
    Graham McKerracher
    Council Communications and Marketing Manager
    Dunedin City Council

    —————————————

    From: Elizabeth Kerr
    Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎6‎ ‎May‎ ‎2015 ‎8‎:‎24‎ ‎p.m.
    To: Grace Ockwell [DCC], Graham McKerracher [DCC]
    Cc: Sue Bidrose [DCC]
    Subject: LGOIMA response – Gladstone Road

    Thanks Graham and Grace – receipt of below emails acknowledged (Grace’s email carried the attachment).
    Once digested, will come back to the city council if any queries.

    You’ll agree any hint or suggestion of improper pressure or harassment is shallow and uncalled for in the circumstances of what happened to the community asset.

    Regards, Elizabeth

    CORRECTION: What if? Dunedin website -Eds.

    • Mick

      Note to Mick Field (named in Question 3 below and at DCC reply):
      At What if? Dunedin, Mick, you explained your presence at the site meeting on Gladstone Road, as being there “to listen” – although not identifying your role, as was your individual right.
      Elizabeth
      Yes It was as I told you. I also you that you could have asked Lester Harvey who knew all about the program and did all the work over the years unlike Mr Miller who just makes a lot of noise. Lester would have told you all you needed to know and saved you the trouble of checking with Grace Ockwell.

      • Elizabeth

        I think, from the record, both men had a role.

        • Mick

          Elizabeth
          I understand that it was Brian’s idea in the first place – but it was Lester who did the long haul work.

        • Elizabeth

          I’m not going to get between versions. Perhaps a case of everyone to their own take :)

          Thanks to Brian Miller for alerting What if? to destruction of the community beautification project – and for supplying photographs, minute records and clippings.

        • Mick

          Elizabeth That’s fine – some people do – others just yap. Lester is a doing person.

        • Elizabeth

          Mick, let’s not inflame things further by divide and conquer on this one.

    • Mick

      Also Elizabeth had you checked with Lester, he would have told you that subsequently he personally contacted all the neighbours along Gladstone Road to advise them of what and why it had happened. So he did the consultation bit on his own – unpaid.

  30. Mick

    @Elizabeth
    May 6, 2015 at 10:47 pm
    Mick, let’s not inflame things further by divide and conquer on this one.
    Elizabeth
    You did a pretty good job of ‘divide’ here . “Please confirm if Mick Field (landscape architect) attended the site meeting – on social media, he claims he did – and in what capacity. Was he treated as a paid or unpaid consultant to DCC or Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board? Or was his attendance as a volunteer, he being president of Dunedin Amenities Society.”
    You did not need to ask this question. I had told you. You did not believe me. That is a pity.

  31. Brian Miller.

    There is no point trying to rewrite history Mick. Just accept, that you got it wrong. I suppose you will be telling us next that Lester also was responsible for the Puddle Alley riverside clean up. Another history rewrite.
    Would Lester like to come on and explain himself, or are you his minder Mick.

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