Fairfax: DCC has no insurance cover for flood-damaged roads

Funding assistance would be available from New Zealand Transport Agency, with ratepayers set to pay the balance.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 14:57 12/06/2015
Insurance won’t cover flood-damaged Dunedin roads
By Hamish McNeilly
Damage to Dunedin’s roading network following last week’s widespread flooding is not covered by insurance, with ratepayers facing a hefty bill for roading repair.
Dunedin City Council Group Chief Financial Officer Grant McKenzie confirmed the cost of roading repairs was not covered by the council’s insurance, because it had become “too expensive” following the Canterbury earthquakes.
Read more

A Givealittle page, Dunedin Flood Appeal, has been set up, while donations to the flood appeal are also being accepted at all Dunedin Westpac branches.

Donations can be made directly to 03 0905 0184000 18 and a street appeal will be held on Friday, 19 June.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, What stadium

53 responses to “Fairfax: DCC has no insurance cover for flood-damaged roads

  1. Lyndon Weggery

    I can’t believe our council wasn’t covered by insurance for extreme weather damage. This adds another layer to their incompetence and the failure to address South Dunedin’s flooding challenge. Not to mention the gross lack of management in making sure Fulton Hogan were doing their job properly in cleaning out all mudtanks before the onset of winter. Ratepayers have very long memories.

    • Elizabeth

      Ratepayers should sue DCC for dereliction of duty, incompetence and lack of prudence.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Wasn’t there talk of self-insuring? This would, of course, mean putting aside at least the equivalent of insurance premiums where they couldn’t be touched for pet projects, preferably where they would be earning interest.

  2. Elizabeth

    Jim Mora at Checkpoint, RNZ National (audio)

    Dunedin downpour floods 1200 properties – City Council
    17:38 More than a week after Dunedin suffered its once in a 100 years downpour, the city council now says more than 1200 properties have been flooded.


  3. Peter

    So, what exactly was the cost of insurance? We have to know in order to judge for ourselves the cost of the insurance and whether it is worth taking the risk of not insuring….which it obviously is not.
    It is grossly irresponsible to not insure unless you are poor and can’t afford the insurance. Is that where we are now at? Really? This needs to be followed up by the media. I hope they do.

  4. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz June 12, 2015 – 6:53pm
    Nightly Interview: Dave Cull
    The Dunedin City Council is under some scrutiny in the wake of last week’s devastating floods. Some residents say the city’s infrastructure should be better maintained. So Mayor Dave Cull joins us to discuss the criticism and the ongoing relief effort.

    • Mayor Cull says here that the heavy rain fall was a 1 in 150 year event!

    • Calvin Oaten

      You’d have to give Dave Cull his due, he’s the ‘master of yap’. Four minutes of non-stop patter saying in effect damn all. He knows that there was a demonstrable display of ineffectual mud tank maintenance of the all important mud tanks by the contractors. How? By the simple comments of the citizens’ observations, that the maintenance over time was conspicuous by its absence. The mere fact that the contractors admit that they don’t have in Dunedin a single vacuum suction mud tank cleaner speaks volumes. Then we hear Cull say the system is designed for a ‘one in ten year event’ but this was a “ONE IN ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEAR EVENT” Now that is “YAPPING” right off the top of his head. Absolute crap in the first degree. He knows (or should) that the system is overloaded, and suspect at the best of times but show me anywhere in the planning where any urgency or concern is manifested. No, better to borrow and spend on cycling, rugby, non appearing conferences and blame it all on ‘Climate Change’. The man is an embarrassment.

      • Elizabeth

        Calvin, well stated. How long can he hope to last in the clanking gold chains with memory charm of the camel/horse fetters afixed, which will not be hidden by the possum fur dyed to resemble ermine, worn at the neck. These encumbrances are destined to fail him when confronted by large ponds.

      • Diane Yeldon

        If all else fails, look extraordinarily confident!

  5. John P.Evans

    No insurance, not only the roads, more disasters will undoubtedly fall on the ratepayers. The scourge of the SDHB and now the DCC holds the purse strings.

    Bring back Athol?

  6. Elizabeth

    “The reality is South Dunedin is tiny, in the big scheme of things. The insurers can accommodate this event.” (ODT)

    Insurance premiums should remain stable
    Dunedin insurance premiums are unlikely to be affected by last week’s flooding, insurers say. Millions of dollars worth of claims had been lodged since the flooding, but insurance companies said they did not believe a spike in premiums would follow.

  7. Elizabeth

    Editorial: Questions from Dunedin’s floods
    People in the worst-affected areas of South Dunedin area knew just how bad this month’s flood was on the Wednesday night or Thursday morning. It has, however, taken a while for the magnitude of the damage to sink in for many others in the city.


    Volunteers shocked by victims’ plight
    Volunteers were left shocked, upset and shaken after visiting South Dunedin’s hardest-hit flood victims this week.

  8. Elizabeth

    People who asked the council for help were told to buy potting mix and do the sandbagging themselves. –Clare Curran

    ‘No civil defence’ to help
    The civil defence response to last week’s flooding in southern Dunedin was neglectful and left hundreds of residents to fend for themselves, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran says.

    “There was nobody down there to assess the situation at the time.”

    “I believe the extent of the issue was not acknowledged because civil defence had shut up shop.”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/video/news/dunedin/345739/no-civil-defence-help [+ Video]

  9. Elizabeth

    Pipe work may be speeded
    The Dunedin City Council will review the performance of its water infrastructure after last week’s flood, and may accelerate major improvements to ease pressure on South Dunedin, it has been confirmed. The move comes as council staff conceded they could not yet say if their network of pipes had performed adequately, having never modelled the intensity of rainfall that fell on the city last Wednesday.

    • Diane Yeldon

      They knew. They knew at least by 2012 because the Otago Regional Council would have told them. See below:

      The South Dunedin Coastal Aquifer and Effect of Sea Level Fluctuations
      Prepared by Jens Rekker, Resource Science Unit, ORC
      Otago Regional Council, http://www.orc.govt.nz
      © Copyright for this publication is held by the Otago Regional Council. This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part provided the source is fully and clearly acknowledged.
      Published October 2012
      2.6.1 Sewer Infiltration (Page 7)
      The storm and foul sewer networks have been separated throughout South Dunedin. However, the pipes are considered to be aged and moving towards the end of their economic lifetime, with the future requirement for refurbishment likely before 2050. Aged sewer networks are well known for either leakage or infiltration and the cracks in pipe walls and joints between pipe lengths. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) inspections of the South Dunedin storm and foul sewers have found the pipe work to be pervasively cracked and frequently butt-jointed (i.e. pipe lengths lain end-to-end with no socket or sealing ring enclosing the joint). Consequently, the potential for sewer infiltration is high.
      The recent commissioning of the secondary biological treatment portion of Dunedin foul wastewater at Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant had brought with it the realisation of saline inflows to the South Dunedin foul sewer network. An investigation of saline inflows was initiated in November 2008, focusing on the harbour catchments. The foul sewer at Bayfield High School displayed distinct peaking in salinity immediately following high tides, strongly suggesting the intrusion of saline groundwater when tide lifted the water table into the depth range of the sewer pipes and confirming groundwater infiltration in that location. There are other indications of sewer – groundwater interaction elsewhere over the South Dunedin coastal aquifer.

      Click to access South%20Dunedin%20Coastal%20Aquifer%20Study%20FINAL.pdf

      • Elizabeth

        Yes we all knew, and have for longer than that report. Not just ORC – firstly, most importantly, the General (affected and or interested) Public has known all along – intergenerational memory!!

        DCC has known for yonks/decades – we were reminding ourselves about it in the DCC ‘Your City Our Future’ (YCOF) workshops led by Jim Harland etc etc, and before then through my Built Environment / Urban Design networks.

        This is so not NEW information. ORC have been incisive in writing it. DCC’s Three Waters Strategy is not a blind document.

        Although it isn’t graspable (why) for Mayor Cull and his band Greater Dunedin, headed by our girlfriend Jinty (?? she does seem to be in the thick of it – as Daaave experiences ‘greening’, she weeps/ becomes emotional strategically).

        And through Russell Garbutt we know Cull is tied up with the Greens through Metieria Turei.

        Cycleways, food resilience, DVML (make the stadium work, put it on a sustainable basis says Cull, ffs) and so on. Real spends, apparently.

        • Diane Yeldon

          But the really serious thing they knew about is that in a heavy rain event the stormwater would be contaminated with sewage, not because of overflows but because it already was contaminated underground. And the ground water level would rise. Am I reading this right? I mean, if the stormwater system was just overwhelmed as Mayor Cull says, why would there have been sewage contamination. How else does the stormwater get into the sewage system?

        • Elizabeth

          Diane, somewhere I read or heard why (via ‘News’) stormwater and sewage have mixed during the flood, I will try to hunt that down – but I do expect that DCC shouldn’t be relied on, nor should one reason be relied on for the complete answer.

        • Diane Yeldon

          Sorry. I meant how does the sewage get into the stormwater system?

        • Elizabeth

          That is what I did hear an explanation for. One possible scenario, anyway. Maybe it was from Council water and waste group manager.

      • Anonymous

        Just wondering what goes through the mind of a “designer” of such a system, laying pipes (for which I presume they have understood the purpose) end-to-end with no seal and expected lifetime > 100 years. Is it the same thing that the pipes were to contain?

      • Chickens (coming home to roost)

        Whenever I questioned DCC staff and the community board about the intolerable shitty smell at Grassy Point on the Peninsula, I was advised sewage did “not go into the harbour John!” Richard Thomson even berated me quite heatedly for repeating the question.

        The smell was apparently seaweed.

        I asked why the seaweed only stank at Grassy Point, but that question went straight through to the keeper.

        Well sewage DOES go into the harbour regularly 1/10, 1/20, 1/33, 1/100 who knows, but my contention is some of it accumulates for whatever time at Grassy Point. That’s why it smells like shit.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Cull’s great when it comes to being the nice guy, handing out money to non-essential projects. But if he can keep his head when all around – shit’s going down – ‘nother matter altogether. Thrashes around impotently like a goldfish in a thickshake.
    Glub glub, sez Daave in his mayoral capacity.

    • Gurglar ( as down the)

      Just a small (innocent) question Hype.

      How do you know what a gold fish in a thick shake looks like?

      In advance I have to apologise for my crassness Hype, I used to read Mad magazine spy vs spy!

  11. Anonymous

    It was pretty bloody obvious at the time this episode of flooding was rapidly moving from the bad experiences of recent years, to something much, much worse… but it didn’t stop the usual muppets dismissing the misfortunes of others. Clearly people were going to suffer and you only had to look in the basement to realise it was going to be bad this time. I’ve dropped a couple posts below that really annoyed me at the time and still do. Add in that narrow minded crap from the Highlanders on the night and then the absolutely stunning array of thoughtlessness that spewed forth from the Mayor. This flood really messed up his “investing in our city” campaign. I can only imagine how hard the DCC spooks and Allied Press must be working to counter that particular damage.

    Scale of destruction?
    Submitted by Snoot on Thu, 04/06/2015 – 9:59am.
    Oh for goodness sake, in the scale of things, it’s nothng more than a minor inconvenience. Get over it.

    Third world flooding?
    Submitted by QsRC on Wed, 03/06/2015 – 3:35pm.
    Whoa! Take a trip to the third world some time. You don’t know how lucky you are! Little bit of rain and flooding – give it 3-4 days and it will be gone.

    • Richard

      I suspect most of the contamination would occur with rising flood water getting in via the gully trap. Which in most cases has an open S bend with a water seal. Have a look at your own gully trap and see how even minor flooding would cause a problem. I suspect the council is well aware that in any flooding event contamination is a certainty.

      • Richard

        Just to clarify how stormwater could cause a problem ! If the foul sewer is overloaded then it could easily flow back out a gully trap further down the line.

        • Elizabeth

          Thanks Richard, yes – that was what someone from DCC had said. Calvin is also correct, illegal connections.

  12. Calvin Oaten

    How many homes have stormwater going direct into the sewerage system illegally? Plenty you have to believe plus ground water in floods. Backs up at lower points and spreads around. Is always a problem in these events.

  13. Lyndon Weggery

    Just learned from my source that when the DCC contract for cleaning Dunedin streets and stormwater drains including mudtanks was put out for tender two firms (Downer and Fulton Hogan) put in competitive bids. Unfortunately Fulton Hogan’s bid was very low and accepted. But they failed to tell DCC that they didn’t possess a local fleet of Hydra Vacuum vehicles to do the mudtank cleaning. A fact that Councillor Vandervis brought to DCC management attention some two years ago. In my day with Public Service tendering the golden rule was quality service and “lowest tender not necessarily accepted”. Are South Dunedin residents a tragic victim of savings incurred with having to service the burgeoning Stadium debt?

    • Elizabeth

      Lyndon, the poor-making stadium and where South Dunedin is at today are not unconnected. How many times did we all look at the Local Government Act for reason of DCC’s lack of conservative financial management and prudence during the Chin council’s term and now the Cull council’s term in play. What is it with C-words at #DUD.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I’m wondering if the big how-de-do over the South Dunedin library – pointless expenditure even if it *was* promised back in the amalgamation days – hasn’t been a welcome distraction from t’drains. While it’s been going on I’ve been thinking about the people in Corstorphine and nearby, steep winding hill roads, bus service none too great and expensive when you’re counting every cent, old library buses replaced would be more helpful. But a new library with generic tiles around it as per cityscapery decor dept works on so many levels, not least photo ops for elected persons to be seen shaking hands, using a community computer, being thanked by local worthies, eating local sausage roll.
      It’s not so easy so get the same money’s worth in “aren’t I marvellous” videos out of new drains. Mayor flushes poo down new sewer! Photos of nothing happening during heavy rain… good news ain’t news.

  14. Gurglars

    Savings engendered by profligate DCC decisions made prior by employees and councillors Lyndon.

    But of course there will be no looking back. That might find someone guilty!

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Jun 2015
    Govt gives $100k for Dunedin flood relief
    By Chris Morris
    The Government has delivered a $100,000 cash injection to the Dunedin Mayoral Relief Fund following flooding earlier this month.
    Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye made the announcement this morning, saying the funding would be available to help residents affected by the flooding. The fund aimed to help people cover the cost of essentials, including furniture and fittings, heating, temporary accommodation, one-off medical costs and establishment fees for phone connections.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Jun 2015
    Council closing help centre
    Source: DCC
    The Recovery Assistance Centre set up following Dunedin’s floods will close today, after demand dropped to just a handful of people a day.
    The centre, in the Church of Christ Hall, Prince Albert Rd, was set up by the Dunedin City Council to help people in the area badly affected by the flooding.
    Read more

    Help was still available for people in badly damaged homes or otherwise needing assistence.
    █ Ring DCC on (03) 477 4000 for advice and support.

    █ A street appeal for flood victims will be held on Friday, from noon to 6pm. The money raised would complement the nationwide Dunedin Flood Appeal launched last week.

  16. Elizabeth

    ODT: $2.75m flood bill for city
    The council, which released the figure last night, said the bulk of the bill would come from repairing numerous slips and widespread road damage … [Mayor Cull] expected staff to look at ways of completing as many of the repairs as possible within existing budgets. Where that was not possible, other options would be looked, including reprioritising some existing council projects to free up funds for the repairs, or adding the repair bill to city rates for “a year or two”.

  17. Anonymous

    They can get their hands dirty shoveling cash into professional rugby, cricket lights and pool viability studies, but when it comes to understanding the purpose of funding essential services that’s a whole different meaning to this corrupt council. Pity Dave Cull doesn’t have his head stuck in a mud trap instead of sand otherwise he might better understand the resentment of this city’s constituents.

    • Elizabeth

      Well expressed, Anonymous. The jam spree continues.

      I note the DCC has not published anything since the flood on how the affected householders and businesses are faring ??! Obviously we have moved on to other more important matters. How typical of this local government. While the Chief Executive suns herself at Italy.

  18. Elizabeth

    Several South Dunedin businesses remain closed more than a month after floodwaters washed through the area. (ODT)

    ### ODT Online Fri, 10 Jul 2015
    Businesses battling to resume trading
    By Damian George
    It has been more than a month since flooding forced businesses out of their South Dunedin premises and many shop owners are still picking up the pieces. Builders were working to repair damage to stores in King Edward St yesterday as businesses battled to get back on their feet. Some buildings have been abandoned or will be used only for storage.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Sat, 11 Jul 2015
    Families still displaced after flood
    By Damian George
    A support agency says it is dealing with 30 families still to return to their damaged houses and fears there are many more still displaced, more than five weeks after flooding washed through parts of Dunedin. Homes in South Dunedin, in particular, and parts of Brighton and Mosgiel were awash after the flood at the beginning of June.
    Read more

    █ Dunedin City Council general manager services and development Simon Pickford said many applications for the mayoral relief fund set up to help flood victims were still being received. People could claim up to $5000 through the fund to help with repair work and replacing damaged property.


    ### ODT Online Sat, 11 Jul 2015
    Pair still not home after floods
    By Damian George
    A Dunedin woman choked back tears as she contemplated another three weeks with no home to live in. Heather Conder (63) and her daughter Jennifer (37) were forced to leave their Oxford St home in St Kilda after floodwaters washed through the property more than five weeks ago.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    The repair bill for DCC infrastructure damaged in the flood is estimated to reach $2.75million. The council put $150,000 to those in need.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jul 2015
    Dunedin floods to cost $30m
    By Tim Brown
    Insurers will dish out almost $30 million after Dunedin’s massive deluge last month. Almost 2000 domestic claims and 200 commercial and business interruption claims were received by insurers after the June 3 flood, which delivered 175mm of rain to the city in 24 hours, the Insurance Council of New Zealand said today.
    Read more


    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 16, 2015 – 6:26pm
    Council’s pays out $46,000 from flood relief fund
    The council’s paid out $46,000 from its flood relief fund, to affected residents not otherwise eligible for assistance.

  20. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 17 Jul 2015
    Flooding hardship worsens
    By Timothy Brown
    The cost of damage from last month’s flooding of low-lying parts of Dunedin is about $30 million and rising. That total will compound further as claims trickle in, amid accusations some of those in need have been left high and dry.
    Read more

    More than $130,000 remained available in the mayoral relief fund.

  21. Elizabeth

    NICE !!!

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 28, 2015 – 7:06pm
    Flood volunteers publicly praised for their help
    As some residents continue to feel the effects of last month’s flooding, volunteers are being praised for their help. The Dunedin City Council is publicly thanking members of Taskforce Green, for playing a major role in the ongoing relief effort. And there’s still no let-up in requests for assistance.

  22. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 4 Aug 2015
    DCC staff warn of further slips
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin’s key tourist route along Otago Peninsula is threatened by further slips, as the cost of repair work at Turnbulls Bay hits $2.5 million, Dunedin City Council staff say. The warning came as work to repair another slip further along the Peninsula, in Harington Point Rd near Portobello, got under way yesterday, forcing the closure of the section of road to motorists for the day.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 8 Mar 2016
      Extended slip repair to be celebrated
      The “challenging” repair of a slip at Turnbulls Bay on Otago Peninsula has been completed and is expected to cost almost double its original budget. The work, which included building a large reinforced wall, began in January last year and had been expected to be completed by May, at a cost of $1.51million, but was instead completed last month and expected to cost $2.8million.
      Read more

  23. Elizabeth

    ###ODT Online Wed, 5 Aug 2015
    Some still homeless after flood
    By Damian George
    Some residents are so sick of living in motels after flooding which hit South Dunedin two months ago, they have gone back to their flood-damaged homes. Family Works Presbyterian Support Otago social work supervisor Deb Gelling said the agency was dealing with 23 families still to return to their homes since being displaced by the June 3 flood.
    Read more

    Catch South Dunedin people falling through the cracks….
    A recovery assistance centre, which operated in the weeks after the flood, would reopen at the Dunedin South Presbyterian Church in about three weeks as a neighbourhood support initiative. The centre would be open for one day and staff would encourage people to check on their neighbours.

  24. Elizabeth

    Nine tracks still closed “not considered safe for public access.”

    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Sep 2015
    Flood-damaged tracks could need re-routing
    By Craig Borley
    Several Dunedin walking tracks damaged during June’s floods are still closed and some may need re-routing as the weather event’s downstream effects continue to be felt. The rainfall caused slips and scouring along a number of the city’s walking tracks.
    Read more

  25. Elizabeth

    DCC not commenting on “two cars slip” .

    ### ODT Online
    Slip repair tenders soon
    By Timothy Brown on Mon, 14 Mar 2016
    The Dunedin City Council will soon tender about $1 million in outstanding roadworks, more than nine months after last June’s torrential downpour. Six of seven remaining slips in West Harbour and on Otago Peninsula would be repaired as part of the tender, council transport projects team leader Gareth Evans said. The other slip, known as the “two cars slip”, near the intersection of Highcliff Rd and Seal Point Rd, would be fixed as a separate project.
    Read more

  26. Elizabeth

    “Two cars slip”

    ### ODT Online Fri, 18 Mar 2016
    Restrictions relaxed at Highcliff Rd slip
    By Online ODT
    A section of road on the Otago Peninsula, blocked by a slip since June last year, will be opened to single-lane traffic from noon today. “… Following detailed investigation and an independent review, there is now confidence that restrictions in place at the Highcliff Road slip site at Pukehiki can be relaxed.” the Dunedin City Council told local residents this morning,” an update to local residents said this morning.

  27. Elizabeth

    The June 2015 downpour caused more than $30million of damage throughout the city.

    Sat, 16 Apr 2016
    ODT: ‘Two cars slip’ repair tender to be advertised soon, council says
    The Dunedin City Council has sent a letter to some residents of the Otago Peninsula updating them on the repairs of slips affecting roads in the area. The letter said the tender to repair “two cars slip” on Highcliff Rd would be advertised this month and residents would be informed of a work programme and timeframe for its completion once the tender was let. […] The three other slips affecting the peninsula, two near Sandymount Rd and one on Hatchery Rd, were also addressed in the letter.

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