City promotion: moral fibre

Received from Anonymous
Tue, 9 Jun 2015 at 1:33 p.m.

“I can’t think of another single thing that would make as big a difference to the Dunedin economy as winning this.” –Sue Bidrose


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Events, Geography, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, What stadium

17 responses to “City promotion: moral fibre

  1. Cars

    What about a small fleet of water taxis?

    Licenced by the DCC, there must be at least 250, so that there is a quantity for stealing. Parking meters will be set up at the steamer basin.

    One monthly marine warrants @ $100 each run by the Transport department.

    That should provide the following:

    250 drivers
    250 ticketers
    500 marine repair persons

    100 marine parking attendants (with marine tuk tuk)

    That’s 1100 new council employees now we only have to find 9300 new jobs to meet Dave’s 10,000 jobs (400 middle managers having been sacked, now driving water taxis or tuk tuks).

  2. Elizabeth

    ### June 10, 2015 – 5:51pm
    Minister in Dunedin assessing gigatown
    Example for the rest of the country, when it comes to using ultra-fast broadband. That’s the message from Communications Minister Amy Adams, who’s in the city assessing the local uptake of gigatown connections. And she’s excited by what she sees.

    • Anonymous

      Video omits to mention that one of the businesses that was lauded has among its Directors a staff member from the Digital Office, which is charged with the implementation of Gigatown.


      • Elizabeth

        Glad we carry this news ahead of other media, Anonymous! You read it here, folks. Nothing plain simple about gratuitous networks at #DUD

  3. Calvin Oaten

    While enjoying the hospitality of my daughter in Nelson recently I witnessed the installation of the fibre optic UFB into their house. When it was completed the technician measured it and the download speed was 89mbs. That compares with my copper connection’s 6.5mbs. So even without the updated servers in place the difference is incremental. While watching I talked with the technician and asked him how it was that this service was available in Nelson. His response was that it was being rolled out in all cities in New Zealand on a step by step basis. I told him I was from Dunedin where we had won the ‘Gigatown’ competition to be the first to have giga speed. He just laughed loudly and muttered something like “suckers!”. He said Nelson also competed and came ‘fifth’ but that hasn’t stopped the progress. He suspected that Nelson being smaller will probably finish up ahead of Dunedin which he believed was behind due to all manner of reasons. I said that can’t be right as we had won and the council has spent many thousands of dollars to promote the campaign. He said, and yes Spark/Chorus are just thrilled at the promotional value of their technology. But at the end of the day it is they who will determine the programe to roll out the system. He said it is government policy and that is that. So what does John Christie say to that?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Calvin, you’ve heard of “unavailable for comment”?

    • Mike

      To be fair plain UFB is expected to deliver ~100Mb/sec which is consistent with 89Mb/sec real-world experience you’re seeing in Nelson.

      Gigabit is nominally 10 times that ~1000Mb/sec – it’s all about the equipment in the main office and whether it can send data at 1Gb/sec to your ISP (and whether they can handle it)

      I still don’t have fibre of any sort, Chorus’s install date still seems to be moving out month by month (gone from June to November recently).

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Mike, aren’t you glad you live in gigatown Dunedin? If you didn’t you could be waiting till… ah, let me think … November………

    • Mike

      Well they had me at “by June 2016” all last year (before that it was “by June 2015” and the year before that “by June 2014” ….)

      For a while it was “by July 2015”, now it’s “by November 2015”.

      I’m not yet convinced it’s ever going to happen, they seem flaky – I guess I’m stuck with my VDSL that goes out when it rains.

      (and I’m likely one of the few people in DSunedin who could actually use gigabit fibre)

  5. reporter

    Important not to get confused here about the benefit of the Gigatown rollout. While it may be taking longer than anticipated to install and while other centres may equalise with Dunedin in capability, the critical thing for our town is that we build a communication capacity of international standing so that we can attract new business people. We actually don’t need many imported persons to turn the ship. Once we start getting business people setting up here in Dunedin who can operate successfully around the world yet enjoy the delights of our environment then like any gravitational mass other like-minded businesses will be attracted to join the cohort. Coalescence is the key.
    So let us not complain about technical hitches, rather raise the sights to embrace the undoubted benefits to us that vastly improved communications will bring.
    The DCC should be funding a long term strategy to ensure we have the very best communication platform that is on offer and that we leverage this ability by attracting businesses to whom this capacity is beneficial.
    We will not be alone in the world with our situation of low growth at the expense of an Auckland-type behemoth breathing all the oxygen. We need to draw on other international experience where solutions have been found to stagnation based upon communication capacity. We don’t need another department of muppets within the DCC bureaucracy trying to work out the solution. Arguably the University is too insular for the guidance. The consultant advice lives in USA, Europe, Britain or somewhere who have been down this road before.
    Remember we only need 500 business people to be attracted to town who set up enterprises that employ 10 people each. This would extrapolate (with families) to the magical 10,000 people increase we aspire to.
    The world is full of entrepreneurial folk and we want only enough that would anecdotally fit in a “wee mouse’s ear”.
    This is our chance, it is upon us right now. We can, and should, embrace it so that when our city’s history is reflected upon the judgement of the merits of our watch will be viewed as positive rather than “sadly did not recognise opportunity offered and continued to bicker divisively to their cost”.
    Let us work out how we can parlay our acknowledged virtues as a place to live, along with connectivity to the whole world, to ensure that our town grows at a rate whereby the economic water continues to simmer rather than have it lose heat, go luke warm, then chill and eventually freeze through lack of entrepreneurial energy being been put on the fire.

    • Mike

      Gigabit fibre has been available in the CBD of most major cities in NZ for a long time now, if you’re willing to pay for it.

      A bunch of cities (Hamilton, Tauranga, for example) with actual competition between their copper and fibre suppliers have also had gigabit fibre more generally available in their cities for at least a year. People who are willing to move and need gigabit have had somewhere to move to for at least a year now – I doubt anyone can argue that 500 of them are really going to upstakes and move to Dunedin, even 50 would IMHO be unlikely.

      The DCC should have pushed the government to NOT have Chorus be the one to install fibre in Dunedin, real competition would have arguably got us to this point a year earlier.

      What Dunedin does have is a lot of relatively invisible people who choose to live here, but work overseas, online – I brought my job back from my OE a decade ago, I’ve since hired one really smart local person (but not 10 – that’s unlikely, I only know of one, maybe two, groups locally where close to that has happened) – I’d guess there’s maybe 30-40 people doing that locally now, none are in the CBD, we work from home, the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t see us, they’re irrelevant to us, yet collectively we probably bring in $5-10m a year into the local economy with little in the way of outgoing costs – lots of us (I’d suggest ‘most’ last time I checked) don’t have fibre yet. We could easily double the number of people working like this if we actively recruited people wandering the world working out of their back packs with easy ways to settle down here for 6 months so they can fall in love with the place.

      What we should be doing is investing in keeping students here after they graduate, I’d love to see a local investment fund (remember all our Kiwisaver money goes north to be invested there), sadly the DCC has no money, frankly they could have spent 10% of what they spent on the stadium on a local fund – they should have put down an R&D park walking distance from the Uni and Polytech on that last piece of land – the stadium would have fit perfectly in the quarry instead – maybe we could take some of Logan Park instead – Silicon Valley started largely because it became easy for staff and students to move in and out of Stanford.

      Invest $250k in 8 startup companies a year ($2m) every year over 5 years ($10m) – 80% will die over 5 years, the other two will survive and return you maybe $10m each, reinvest that in more companies – after 10 or so years you have your original investment back and a continuing investment fund – you’re also getting 2 new companies each year with maybe 50-100 employees each – that’s 100-200 new jobs a year, over 10 years it’s 1-2000 jobs earning maybe $70k on average – that’s $70-140m a year in money coming into the economy – I think that that’s a more reasonable plan for hi-tech growth than the “build it and they will come” that gigatown seems to believe in.

    • Gurglar ( as down the)

      A sound idea but unfortunately the 500 persons charged with coming here and starting businesses view from afar their collective debt of $7,500,000 owed to the DCC the minute they pass Pine Hill (few will come from the Auckland Islands).

      Their workers, the 10,000 of them, will collectively face a $150 million dollar bill which of course could be amortised slightly as they would ostensibly reduce the per capita bill owing to the DCC currently of $15,000 per person.

      However, at the current growth of DCC employees, the annual wage bill increase accordingly coupled with the approved higher salaries commission wages due to the higher number of ratepayers, employers etc, will ensure my figures are well short of the actual mark.

      Think it’s a fantasy?

      Get the calculator out.

      That’s what businessmen do and with the higher speed connection they will be heading awaymas fast as they can catch a bicycle.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    “reporter”, a very good ‘rally to the flag’ story, yet I get the feeling that I’ve heard it all before. Problem seems to be that all you describe as the ‘muppets’ in the DCC bureaucracy, collectively have barely enough ‘nous’ to fill a “wee mouse’s ear.” When you have a city that is to all intents and purposes bankrupt both financially and intellectually, then it will be extremely difficult to arrest the decline let alone effect a turnaround towards real growth. The ever “greening” effect of our city leaders, plus the negative demographics suggests to me that any turnaround will be a long time coming. Still, It is a pleasant enough place to live if those same ‘muppets’ would simply bugger off and leave us be. Too much to hope for I’m afraid.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Mike, your idea of “temporary” perches for birds of passage to land on and fall in love with Dunedin has a lot going for it. A place from which you can get to sea and mountains easily, there aren’t as many plays and operas and musical events and bars and restaurants as in a big city but on the other hand, it doesn’t take 2 hours to get to them from home. It’s easy to meet people who are into the same kind of things you’re into, meet a couple of them and before you can say gigatown you’ve, through them, met a dozen more, and they’ll know when someone else arrives in town. Not having to waste hours per week per person not to mention per family commuting leaves so much more time for working, socialising, having a life, a family, friendships.
    It’s just – how do we get them here to find out how good it can be? Or get them to decide not to depart at the end of their studies because they can see a future for themselves here?
    Perhaps they do need to go away after they graduate, perhaps the promise of big city life has to be experienced with all its excitement and frustrations. But we need them to leave with such great memories of “grown-up” Dunedin that they decide to come back and make it their home base.

    • Mike

      there’s a continual stream of people living on beaches in Thailand working online in the US, moving to Indonesia, maybe Wanaka for the snow – usually late 20 somethings – I know a few

      I would tempt them with cute cottages down the peninsula, or at Carey’s Bay with good fibre (strangely Portobello and MacAndrew Bay seems to be getting early fibre, someone important must live down that way), public transit to the city, but limited tenancy (3 months?) with good help finding a place to stay after

      (this isn’t my idea by the way I got it from someone else who has proposed it locally a bunch of times over the past few years)

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