DCC rates rise | ODT editor nonplussed

City councillors establish rates rise at 3.8%

● Noted. Great reporting by Eileen Goodwin.

THE FLAVOUR (via ODT)

Cr Hilary Calvert says the city council’s long term plan (LTP) deliberations involved “finding different piles of money under strange places”. The process had turned into a “financial shambles”. She was concerned that the 3% cap on rates increases would be breached in an additional six years of the 10-year plan.

Cr Lee Vandervis opposed the 3% increases, based as they are on a local government cost increase index that’s much higher than the consumer price index. During deliberations he spoke strongly against approving the council’s 2021 debt limit, saying the city’s situation was “terminal” and was stifling Dunedin’s development.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 May 2015
Council sets 3.8% rates rise
By Eileen Goodwin
An accusation of an “ambush” over finances tested tempers as the Dunedin City Council’s long-term plan hearing process concluded yesterday with provisional confirmation of a 3.8% rates rise. Councillors also approved a debt limit of $230 million by 2021, and got through the last individual proposals in the long-term plan.
Read more

THE EDITORIAL

They have to be tough about what a small city can and should manage.

Councillors, and some of them are extremely experienced and have been through such debates for many years, are elected to make tough decisions. This council appears incapable of that discipline.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 May 2015
Cutting the council cloth
OPINION Here we go again. Anyone observing Dunedin City Council debates over the past two decades will be experiencing a sense of deja vu. Pressure goes on for more spending and the councillors crumble. This is the very council that, supposedly, gave itself a rates rise cap for the coming years – well above the inflation rate. […] The cap is being breached, the debt track is stretched and financial discipline is sacrificed to assuage public submissions and for what are often worthy causes.
Read more

wrong 1

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Text image: whatifdunedin

60 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, LGNZ, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, What stadium

60 responses to “DCC rates rise | ODT editor nonplussed

  1. Diane Yeldon

    But Cr Calvert, who protests about excessive council expenditure, voted FOR spending on the Mosgiel Pool complex, FOR spending on the cricket lights and FOR spending on the Physio Pool.

    • Elizabeth

      Will learn to sharpen her act (lower case a). One day.
      [was it about election votes]

      • Diane Yeldon

        From: Hilary Calvert
        Sent: Friday, 15 May 2015 3:12 p.m.
        To: Diane Yeldon
        Cc: Hilary Calvert; Doug Hall; Lee Vandervis; Mike Lord
        Subject: Re: conduct of Council meeting 28 April 2015 and claimed ‘adjournment’

        Dave has agreed that the minutes should reflect what actually happened, namely that he called an adjournment.

        On 9/05/2015, at 4:10 PM, Diane Yeldon wrote:

        Dear Councillors,
        I checked Standing Orders again – this time about the proper procedure for adjournments. The Chairperson CANNOT unilaterally call a five minute adjournment for the purpose of ‘allowing councillors to have time to read a resolution’. Any such adjournment would be a procedural motion to adjourn discussion on an agenda item and must be voted on by the councillors present. (continues)

  2. Cars

    No votes for naysayers. In her case I’m sympathetic as she is the only logical, electible, contender for the mayoralty. God help us if she splits the vote and the canadian wizard slips through to the boundary.

  3. Cars

    A certain mynah told me today that Benson-Pope when confronted with the concept that Dunedin was a small city and should cut its cloth to suit, foamed at the mouth and stated that how dare you suggest that Dunedin is a small city!!!

    Well it is a small town, much less a small city and since 2000 the only cloth it has cut has been the threadbare cloak Dunedin citizens can afford to wear as a result of the $15000 continually expanding personal ratepayer DEBT.

  4. Elizabeth

    My sainted aunt. Some poor misguided reader of ODT regards the former patron of Parkside Hotel as a visionary. Have they read about the Dunedin Sex Ring.

    ODT 23.5.15 (page 30)

    ODT 23.5.15 Letter to editor Lim page 30 (2)

    █ Posted July 27, 2014 – http://nzpca.co.nz/investigatemagazine-tv-publish-allegations/

  5. Cars

    Definition of a Visionary!

    “One who can walk into a young teenagers dressing room without compromising the vision or the viewer.”

  6. Anonymous

    There seems to be a whole lot of vote buying going on. So far cost Richie Rich, Tennis Ball Man and Bully Boy Dave nothing but a bit of loving from the ODT. Involved a fair bit of last minute creative accounting though from DCC, particularly to magic up TWO MILLION DOLLARS. But it will continue to cost us for decades, both financially and politically as that lot and their crew of nincompoops keep chugging down the cakes and pasties.

  7. Cars

    Given the above reference to police corruption, which one must conclude is true given that no police officer mentioned or slandered has questioned the veracity of the piece, could some enterprising investigator please delve into whether there is a link to police activities in the second hand car parts business at that time and the 152+ cars, parts etc stolen from the DCC.

    Is the lack of police scrutiny, in fact protecting their own by a lack of investigation?

  8. Elizabeth

    Cars, lots of questions hang around Citifleet and more. You can bet there’s stuff being clarified here there and everywhere ‘for whom the bell tolls’.

  9. Lyndon Weggery

    Can’t believe these guys voted for just about everything that was proposed in the way of new spending in the LTP and still managed to set the rates rise at only 3.8%. Certainly agreed with the sentiments in Saturday’s ODT editorial. Apart from Lee Vandervis this Council have not learnt any lessons from the prolifigate spending of previous Councils.

    • ### ODT Online Mon, 25 May 2015
      Council may bring forward Exchange works
      The first stage of Dunedin’s planned $37.1 million central city improvement programme could be brought forward to fix a fading Exchange Square. Council urban design team leader Dr Glen Hazelton said the square’s existing pavings were nearly 20 years old and had “reached the end of their life expectancy”.
      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/343424/council-may-bring-forward-exchange-works

      Talk about a ‘make work’ schemes. This council has been warned by its chief financial officer Grant McKenzie that it is danger of loosing its Standards and Poors rating. It’s manic lemming like desire to go over the precipice of debt is only fuelled by this incredibly incompetent statement from Glen Hazelton that the paving in this area has reached the end of its life expectancy. What utter balderdash. So it seems that there are a few localised areas of subsidence. Can’t they be remedied? Do we need to redesign the whole area? It seems to me that Dr Hazelton has a penchant to redesign Dunedin – the Octagon, Queens Gardens and now the Exchange. It seems to me that he needs to justify his existence by dreaming up these make work schemes – all at the ratepayer’s expense and really with no justification at all. The first priority for this city council is to get its finances under control. The ‘darlings’ can come when we can afford them. Surely we have learnt that lesson by now.

      • Elizabeth

        Insensitivity to ratepayers and residents after the 3.8% rates rise starts to tell you about the kind of councillors and staff we are INDEBTED TO. Off on their own parade.

        You missed this – http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/343412/jetty-st-pedestrian-area-proposed

        • @Elizabeth
          May 25, 2015 at 10:07 am
          Insensitivity to ratepayers and residents after the 3.8% rates rise starts to tell you about the kind of councillors and staff we are INDEBTED TO. Off on their own parade.

          Yes but while the DCC does its version of its imitation of the ‘Titanic’ there are others who are aware of the world situation.
          Take a look at this:

          “The world economy is sailing across the ocean without any lifeboats to use in case of emergency,” he said.

          In a grim report – “The World Economy’s Titanic Problem” – he says the US Federal Reserve has had to cut rates by over 500 basis points to right the ship in each of the recessions since the early 1970s. “That kind of traditional stimulus is now completely ruled out. Meanwhile, budget deficits are still uncomfortably large,” he said.

          The Chinese authorities have so far resisted the temptation to flood the system with fresh stimulus, fearing that this would store up even greater trouble.
          Note this especially
          ‘They have taken steps to offset a clampdown on local government spending and avert a “fiscal cliff” that might otherwise have occurred. They have loosened policy for banks just enough to offset the contractionary effects of capital flight. But they have not yet come to the rescue.’

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11625098/HSBC-fears-world-recession-with-no-lifeboats-left.html

      • Anna

        Do pavings only last 20 years? This is alarming news for whole of Dunedin?

  10. Cars

    It’s in the budget Douglas! If they don’t use the budgeted funds this year, they will have difficulty expanding their budget by the obligatory 3% next year. That is why they are escalating the proposed facelift – It’s in the budget dear.

    In show business the maxim is “the show must go on”

    In local government the maxim is

    “use it or lose it”

    • Elizabeth

      May winter be eternal to stuff up their budgets. For the lose.

      • Elizabeth
        They are all over the place with this budget like the proverbial ‘whores drawers’. The Council has only set the rates for the year and these ‘clowns’ are asking to ‘bring forward’ a capital item.
        And the call themselves planners!

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Please excuse pickiness, mad woman’s custard is what’s all over the place. Whore’s drawers are up and down, unlike council extravagance which has cracked perpetual motion and matched Edmonds baking powder: Sure To Rise.

        • Not in my experience – drawers were always tossed with wild abandon – but who am I to doubt your vast experience – let alone judge!

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Hot diggity, is paving The One True Answer?
        Only if you are a majority shareholder in a paving company, eh.
        Paving does not an interesting environment make. It’s boring, it’s so-o-o yesterday. And even yesterday it wasn’t that crash-hot.

        Money wasters with no style and no imagination, O how lucky we aren’t.

    • @Cars
      May 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm
      It’s in the budget Douglas! If they don’t use the budgeted funds this year, they will have difficulty expanding their budget by the obligatory 3% next year. That is why they are escalating the proposed facelift – It’s in the budget dear.
      Council may bring forward Exchange works

      Well Cars I know that you are being cynical – but – it says in the ODT:

      Council may bring forward Exchange works.
      And
      However, councillors at today’s full council meeting will consider a staff report recommending work planned for the Exchange be brought forward.

      This is a Capital Work and is plainly not already in this year’s budget otherwise it would not have to be ‘Brought Forward’.

      • Elizabeth

        I’m currently at the council debate on this very subject. I have to tell you that SUDDENLY $600K has been found, by the miscreant empire-building staff, UNSPENT in the Transportation Planning budget – and which was not offered to councillors as a budget saving if to be used for retirement of debt. Oops. Not cited. Not reported.

        Some pause on how department budgets are REVEALED,

        ALL BS. Specially the so-called pavers being used as the trigger point for a $600,000 spend up for no fathomable reason. Councillors failing, typically for this degenerate THICK lot, to consider vulnerable citizens. Not only that, sucked in badly by manipulative holier than thou staff.

        • Vunderbar – ve alvays haf der means!

        • Elizabeth

          There is the DCC industry (staff and councillors) who are prepared to MISREPRESENT the financial position of DCC to ratepayers and residents.

          Cr Thomson made some stupid speech today about those who see DCC in terminal debt. We are making it up, apparently [watch out RT, a re-write, the good ship Titantic gets torpedoed by an unseen submarine, long before it hits the ice].

          Other highlights of this afternoon included seeing Scarlet O’Hara being so forlorn as to get weepy for a prolonged span of self-indulgence – crocodile tears at the board table (!!!!), holding up business – before the vote went her way on Council’s submission on the New Zealand Climate Change Target.

          Deputy mayor Staynes chaired the meeting; Daaave was AWOL.
          To his credit, since Cull wouldn’t have, Staynes let Cr Vandervis get his points across which began with attack [paraphrased] on the FALSENESS of the incorrect minute records for Council, Economic Development Committee, and Finance Committee. Cr Vandervis really did give it a good go, spoke surely and precisely. Stood tall. Commendable. Watching faces throughout this was a great lark. No doubt ODT can consider having a field day via reporter Chris Morris (Tuesday’s news!) on the subject of legal opinions between DCC’s Michael Garbett and Cr Vandervis’ lawyer and voting rights. See NZ Law by virtue of natural justice that renders null and void (TRUMPS) DCC’s code of conduct and standing orders, and round it goes.

          Colin Weatherall and I were the only members of the public present. But there’s always the Ch39 video record. Glad viewing to be had.

        • Diane Yeldon

          Those pavers are very smooth and so slippery and dangerous when wet, let alone when there is frost. I really wonder at the decision to use them in the first place. They are a very expensive surface. Asphalt with a rough surface would be much better and I guess much cheaper to maintain.

  11. Anonymous

    This latest creative bit of accounting reminded me of that time of Harland and the Stadium Councillors… actually, a lot of what’s happening lately does. Except, it’s accelerating and involving bigger numbers today.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/99587/council-finds-funds-cctv

    • Diane Yeldon

      I can’t help thinking there is a pattern here. Incumbent mayor held responsible for excessive spending (good for business but not good for ratepayers). So new mayoral candidate says they will be the one to sort it all out. Gets voted in. Once more, eventually, incumbent mayor held responsible for excessive spending (good for business but not good for ratepayers). So new mayoral candidate says … All cheer-led by the ODT.

      • Anonymous

        The verse from the Lord of the Rings comes to mind. Also rinse and repeat. What is the price of cleaning up at your local laundromat nowadays? Three hundred thousand? One million? Crack a billion and you receive a free bike, frozen dinner and tennis lesson?

  12. @Elizabeth
    May 25, 2015 at 6:05 p.m.
    There is the DCC industry (staff and councillors) who are prepared to MISREPRESENT the financial position of DCC to ratepayers and residents.

    Ah well Elizabeth I couldn’t possibly comment on that.
    But regarding the rest of your post I have a few comments:

    Cr Thomson’s stupid speech – well naturally, stupid is his middle name – remember his powers of observation re flash cars in car parks.
    Scarlet Minty-Jinty O’Hara. Weepy – has she taken a leaf out of Weepy Bill McKibben’s book then? (see link below)
    Aha Perhaps Culls’ vindictiveness was exposed and made apparent by his absence and Staynes would not (could not) descend to that level? But at least it was good that he did allow that discussion perhaps for all to see?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/06/the-weepy-bill-mckibben-effect-study-links-emotionalism-and-global-warming/
    Of course. Paris is coming

  13. Peter

    Richard Thomson may feel comfortable with the massive debt we face, but he is kidding himself thinking the fear of what it entails is a figment of people’s imaginations. Is it just a coincidence that he is on the SDHB, another body in financial trouble?
    It is the ‘being in denial’ problem again. Now even the ODT is concerned. That is saying something.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, as Council signed off very expensive and unnecessary projects this afternoon, NOT ONE OF THE “FOR” COUNCILLORS mentioned the CLEAR MESSAGE of Saturday’s Otago Daily Times editorial on council spending (see post at top of thread). Appears not to have sunk in. At all.

    • @Peter
      May 25, 2015 at 9:41 pm
      Richard Thomson may feel comfortable with the massive debt we face

      Peter
      Richard Thomson needs to get out a bit and look at the signals that are being flashed all around the world. Our local body debt is at an eye watering level compared even with our national debt. And we face a steadily diminishing ability to finance that debt.
      Here for example, in today’s UK Daily Telegraph are some pretty clear messages about debt.

      Stephen King from HSBC warns that the global authorities have alarmingly few tools to combat the next crunch, given that interest rates are already zero across most of the developed world, debts levels are at or near record highs, and there is little scope for fiscal stimulus.
      “The world economy is sailing across the ocean without any lifeboats to use in case of emergency,” he said.

      The world economy is disturbingly close to stall speed. The United Nations has cut its global growth forecast for this year to 2.8pc, the latest of the multinational bodies to retreat.

      It leaves a thin safety buffer against any economic shock – most potently if China abandons its crawling dollar peg and resorts to ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies, transmitting a further deflationary shock across the global economy.

      The Chinese authorities have taken steps to offset a clampdown on local government spending and avert a “fiscal cliff” that might otherwise have occurred. They have loosened policy for banks just enough to offset the contractionary effects of capital flight. But they have not yet come to the rescue.

      This matters enormously. Andrew Roberts from RBS says China accounted for 85pc of all global growth in 2012, 54pc in 2013, and 30pc in 2014. This is likely to fall to 24pc this year. “If there is only one statistic that you need to know in the world right now, this is it,” he said.

      So even China yes China is concerned about its local body debt. But this guy who can’t tell a Lamborghini from a Lambretta is not worried.

      • Diane Yeldon

        Regarding DCC debt, my understanding is that the arrangements for financing that debt depend on ‘financial products’, which amount to gambling on both worldwide currency variations and interest rate variations. So this means that, while it may be possible to say exactly how much the DCC owes at this instant (if you are clever enough to work it out or have a computer which you know how to use to do it), it is NOT possible to say exactly how much the DCC will owe at any time in the future. Because the terms involve gambling. Or guessing about the future. Bankers do NOT guess about the future unless they have ‘hedged their bets’.

        The argument that ‘everyone’ is doing this now (ie using these ‘financial products” – in other words, very complex agreements with lots of fine print that I am not sure borrowers really understand) doesn’t re-assure me at all. Apparently, lemmings don’t really jump off cliffs en masse, but there’s clear historical proof that many financial fashions and bandwagons have been disastrous bubbles that burst.

        I have heard of some of these ‘financial products’ being worked out by bankers so that it doesn’t matter which way the ‘market’ goes – the borrower ALWAYS loses.

        • @Diane Yeldon
          May 26, 2015 at 8:46 am
          You say, “I have heard of some of these ‘financial products’ being worked out by bankers so that it doesn’t matter which way the ‘market’ goes – the borrower ALWAYS loses.”

          That is so true. We all know that the story that ‘everyone is doing it’ so ‘it ‘ must be all right. But the warning is that it bloody well is NOT all right and that the ‘majors’ in the financial world know they are all on a ‘merry go round’ and don’t know how to get off. Just look at Greece now! Earlier it was Iceland and Ireland but lined up is Spain, Italy and even France. What they all realise at present is that the big looser will be the lenders if Greece defaults. But the bottom line for us is that we have enormous debt in Dunedin and the payer of last resort is the ratepayer. Sadly, this is a diminishing resource with diminishing industry and an ageing population that is not being replenished.
          We need prudence. We don’t have that with this council – witness this week’s meetings.

        • @Diane Yeldon
          May 26, 2015 at 8:46 am
          In addition to my earlier comment-
          And Diane not to put too fine a point on it in today’s Daily Telegraph Goldman Sachs issued this warning.

          “The world is drowning in debt, warns Goldman Sachs. Ageing populations mean countries’ debt piles risk growing out of control, warns European head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.’

          And waddya know, NZ is right up there with the high debtors – (check the map on the linked article). Remember that Dunedin City Council debt far outstrips the NZ level per capita. And the reasons why Goldman Sachs is worried? – you guessed it – ageing population and inability to repay it. Sound familiar?
          Yes and our intrepid Cr (blind as a bat) Thomson isn’t worried. Course not. He never saw the con man’s flash car in the car park either.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11625406/The-world-is-drowning-in-debt-warns-Goldman-Sachs.html

  14. Peter

    Douglas. Thanks for that information. It puts our local debt problems in a wider, global context.
    The failure to take note of mounting debt was exemplified at yesterday’s council meeting where Cr Andrew Whiley said he was sick of Cr Lee Vandervis criticising new spending! It’s as if, as an elected member, he has a right to spend, irrespective of the merit of each item for expenditure proposed. The exact words must be ‘the quote of the week’.
    The stuff they want to spend money on might not be bad things in themselves, unlike the white elephant stadium but, really, they need to exercise some self control. At least they should be seen to prioritise spending, if not put spending off till we can afford these things.
    Don’t these councillors realise that their headlong rush into yet more spending doesn’t build confidence in Dunedin’s future. I sometimes wonder, as much as I love Dunedin as a place, whether this is the right place to be in terms of a brighter future. Trouble is, it seems we are not alone. (Though from what I casually gather Clutha District Council and Waitaki District Council, who are our neighbours, seem to have a better grip on their finances.)

  15. @Peter
    May 26, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Peter You say, “Cr Andrew Whiley said he was sick of Cr Lee Vandervis criticising new spending!”

    God help us! We all hate to be reminded that we are not up to the mark but a wise person does something to correct that sort of failure. The first step in that process is to shut your mouth. He didn’t even reach first base. If Andrew Whiley said that then he has no business in council. He is a fool, Mind you Peter he is not alone in that forum.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I’m “sick of Cr Lee Vandervis criticising new spending!” as the one lonely voice of responsibility. Bizarrely I had nurtured hope that some other councillors would speak up against frittering away more money we can’t afford. Before being elected they’re such wonderful responsible people, afterwards it’s another story, a toxic mixture of arrogance and grovelling overcomes them. Popularity, playing Lord & Lady Bountiful, they buy shallow affection with out money.
      There is only one feature of this embarrassment of richness-squandered, that’s the evidence that more and more people are seeing past Lee Vandervis’s blunt truth-telling manner (he’s never going to be a cosy coochy-coo character) and appreciating him for what he brings to council – unvarnished presentation of the facts…. or perhaps I should say “the facts that haven’t been withheld from him”.

      • @Hype O’Thermia
        May 26, 2015 at 3:18 p.m.
        You say “Bizarrely I had nurtured hope that some other councillors would speak up against frittering away more money we can’t afford.”

        So did I. In fact I had high hopes for one or two of the new councillors who have a reputation for straight and tough talk to back Lee up but am sadly disappointed. Maybe they feel overpowered in this forum and perhaps intimidated by the overbearing attitude of this unfortunately inadequate and confused mayor. I had also hopes of some fortitude from the administrative wing but that too is now becoming conspicuously missing. So now we have a dangerously indebted city misguided by an incompetent council with little assistance from an administration that is evidently in disarray. And this council can only dig us deeper into debt.

  16. Diane Yeldon

    Essential reading for Dunedin City Councillors (except Cr Vandervis who may have already read stuff like this) : 128 political cartoons about the US economy – which really means the global economy. Not really that funny.
    http://www.usnews.com/cartoons/economy-cartoons
    Sad if you have well-educated kids (like I have) who really have had to work for a pittance at fast food places. My generation of baby boomers are the first in a long time to see their children DOWNWARDLY mobile.

    • Cars

      Extremely funny Diane and thank you for the ten minutes of fun.

      On your children, the answer is to find a gap in the required drothers of you, them and me and provide the answer.

      One of my children was an honours graduate in marine science, she now educates children on cleaning up beaches and rivers and another child previously an honours graduate and an employee of an airline now runs his own business advising gamblers.

      The day of the “job for life” is not even available in Japan.

      You are obviously a very smart alert woman, have a brainstorming session with your kids and a better opportunity than working for some turkey will arise.

      Necessity is the mother of invention

      Avoid

      Dairy farming – it’s over
      Following another’s footsteps – sheep do that
      Restaurants or Bars – already oversupplied

      Apps – See sheep
      Except an App to find a cycleway in NZ

      Howabout-
      Finding a better way to navigate a road during a snowfall
      Eliminating Lagarisiphon from SI lakes
      Minimising expenditure in local councils
      Acting as an agent for holiday home owners in Queenstown and Wanaka and Dunedin

      The list goes on

  17. Diane Yeldon

    This and the following video are the clearest explanations I have found online for explaining ‘interest swap rates’ (which I think the DCC is using but I’m not sure). But these videos explain just the basic underlying idea – banks usually add other conditions which make these deals far more complicated. I think this is all inherently non-transparent and not a good way to manage public money
    .https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/core-finance/derivative-securities/interest-rate-swaps-tut/v/interest-rate-swap-1

  18. Diane Yeldon

    Oh dear, I meant ‘interest rate swaps’. No, I can’t understand it either. Why wouldn’t someone just taken out the kind of loan they wanted in the first place???

    • Diane
      It’s a bit like gambling with a bookie – the bookie never looses. In the Iceland example local bodies in the UK were ‘taken to the cleaners’. They lost a lot of money. Ratepayers’ money!
      We should have learned by that.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “They lost a lot of money. Ratepayers’ money! We should have learned by that.”
        Douglas, I think it’s a mental-emotional thing like that which makes Nigerian scams work. “Yes other people got fleeced but I’m smarter than them, I can tell the difference between scams they fell for, and a genuine opportunity such as the one I’ve been offered.”
        Or online “love” – darling I must see you but I cannot leave until I’ve paid off this debt…………” then “my child needs an operation, I had to spend my travel money”………
        People feel like they’re special. Scammers whether offering deed boxes of gold bars or true love, or investment “products” know how to manipulate and flatter, make the mugs feel like they’re calling the tune and anyway they deserve this opportunity.

        • Yes Mr Hype O’Thermia
          I think I understand and now I really want to help pay for those lights at the University Oval for the sake of erm ….who was it now ….oh yes Sky TV wasn’t it? or was it Mr Murdoch – oh – never mind – it was one of those nice gentlemen – you know who wears a nicely pressed suit. And while I am at it there was a whole bunch of other things I would love to help with – like that nice new swimming pool out there and all that nice paving an an an an

  19. Peter

    It seems to me if you are in the situation where you have to play around with financial tools like interest rate swaps, in order to make ends meet, you are playing with fire. It also tells me you don’t really have the income, from real savings, wise investments or from basic, good management, to spend.
    (I must add these financial tools are beyond my level of understanding, but a gut feel is that trading in them is not a good idea. It does seem like gambling.)

  20. Diane Yeldon

    But I wonder if Cr Thomson can explain it nice and clearly ….

  21. Peter

    I see Australian Treasurer, Joe Hockey, is going to remove GST on tampons and other women’s sanitary products. I feel the DCC should spend the money on subsidising local women who don’t have this right. Why not? They spend money on a lot of other items.
    So, how about it? Don’t worry about the Annual Plan. They don’t.

  22. Elizabeth

    Link received Fri, 29 May 2015 at 12:41 p.m.

    ### whaleoil.co.nz May 29, 2015 at 12:30pm
    Auckland Council trying it on
    By Cameron Slater
    Transparency should be a matter of course for Local Government. Every cent of expenditure should be published and the way the accounts are prepared should be clear. Right down to the amount of depreciation and asset values (which should be provided in list with identifying references).
    The Council should show all debts including the little short-term loans that the Council provides itself interest free from different parts of the ledger. We want to know just how rotten the state of affairs are.
    Auckland Council has always preferred to keep its accounts private. Mostly because they know their excessive expenditure and huge debts will raise hackles. So what do they offer up? A chump’s two-bit parlour trick.
    Read more

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