Vandervis identifies mayoral JUNKETS #China —with gloss from Aussie friends

█ Spent jet fuel makes the girlfriend cry.

“I really do wonder what the value is of all these trips overseas, especially when we have so many issues that need dealing with here at home.”
–Cr Lee Vandervis

### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jul 2015
Mayor’s China trip spurs clash
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is heading back to China later this year, but the trip has already sparked a fresh clash with one of his outspoken councillors. Mr Cull has been invited to attend the inaugural New Zealand China Mayoral Forum 2015 in Xiamen city, China, in September, at a cost to the council of about $8000.
Read more

Report – Council – 27/07/2015 (PDF, 111.2 KB)
New Zealand/China Mayoral Forum 2015

$8000? Don’t forget the mayor’s entourage, MikeStk….
[buzzz! Cling-on ALERT]

Meanwhile, Mayor Cull reflect…. with light shed on conduct across the Tassie.
Weddings, parties, opera, airfares, helicopters and limousines on the taxpayers later….

Link received from Australian Tie
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 at 10:44 a.m.

### July 24, 2015
Bronwyn Bishop claimed Sophie Mirabella wedding trip as official business
By James Robertson
It was the scandal that quickly swept through a new government.
Soon after the Coalition was elected in 2013, Senator George Brandis became the first Abbott government minister forced to repay the public almost $1700 in expenses claimed to attend the wedding of shock jock Michael Smith. High-profile ministers Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce soon had to follow suit, repaying taxpayer money they claimed for travel to weddings. Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself repaid $1600 worth of airfares, car transport and allowances claimed for attending the weddings of two Liberal colleagues, Peter Slipper and Sophie Mirabella. “To avoid doubt, I paid the relevant money back,” he said in a warning to his colleagues. “That’s what people should do.”
One MP ignored the Prime Minister’s instruction, weeks of media coverage and public outrage at MPs’ habit of billing the taxpayer for trips to friends’ weddings. Embattled Speaker Bronwyn Bishop claimed $600 for return flights from Sydney to Albury for Mrs Mirabella’s wedding in 2006 – and she has never repaid the money, Fairfax Media has confirmed. Previously unreported documents released under freedom of information laws show Mrs Bishop told bureaucrats that the trip constituted government business.
█ [It gets worse. The Video is a must see.]
Read more + Video spoof

[screenshot] – credit: Canberra Times
Canberra Times 24.7.15 Bronwyn Bishop + Video Spoof 1 [screenshot]

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Stadiums

32 responses to “Vandervis identifies mayoral JUNKETS #China —with gloss from Aussie friends

  1. Elizabeth

    Dave “Junket is my middle name” Cull.
    Why am I so negative you ask – after all, Dave and John Christie know how to make money for ratepayers. Simple as that. Oh, sorry. I can’t pay my rates this year and the electricity help fund has been reduced, and I rely on social service agencies to help me buy food for my family. Dave is our hero, he will sell us out to the 1%-ers from debt-ridden China, our saviour our funking cargo-cullter, Daaave.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 4 Sep 2015
    Chance to push city’s education
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin’s profile as New Zealand’s “educational capital” will be further boosted in China over the next three weeks, Mayor Dave Cull says. He leaves today for a nearly three week trip to China, where he will take the lead on education during a gathering of 24 mayors from around New Zealand and China.
    Read more

  2. Elizabeth

    This is SO OUTRAGEOUSLY STUPID. Annotated.

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Building stronger local government connections with China

    This item was published on 27 Aug 2015

    Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull is joining New Zealand and Chinese mayors at the first New Zealand China Mayoral Forum in the city of Xiamen to build closer local government connections and discuss economic development.

    Mr Cull was invited to join the forum after a memorandum of understanding was signed between Local Government New Zealand and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries last year during Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand.

    [BALONEY. -Eds]
    “This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with 11 other New Zealand mayors and our Chinese counterparts to create avenues through which we can capitalise on the influence of local government to generate better economic outcomes for both of our countries,” says Mr Cull.

    The forum will focus on ‘Innovation and Development’ in education, tourism and primary industries and Mr Cull has been chosen as the lead speaker on education. While in China the Mayor will take the opportunity to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Qingyuan to further promote and build Dunedin’s various relationships within these cities.

    [BULLSHIT. -Eds]
    “We are going from strength to strength in these relationships and the markets we have access to as a result are crucial to the economic growth of our local industries – particularly our education industry,” says Mr Cull.

    “We also have close cultural connections to China and it’s a privilege to be part of further cultural exchanges.”

    In Beijing Mr Cull will visit the Chinese head office of Dunedin based production company NHNZ and with education agency JJL, which has over 40 offices around China. In Shanghai, he will meet the new New Zealand Consul-General to Shanghai, Guergana Guermanoff and with the Shanghai Education Commission, the Huangpu District and the Yu Garden – sister to Dunedin’s Chinese Garden and the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce.

    “I am also looking forward to opening the Shanghai Photographic Exhibition. A competition has been run for this exhibition to find an iconic image of Shanghai and this will be gifted to our city by Mayor of Shanghai, Yang Xiong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our sister relationship,” says Mr Cull.

    Following on from the memorandum of understanding signed between Dunedin and the southern city of Qingyuan in June this year, Mr Cull will meet with key stakeholders to discuss tourism and education economic opportunities.

    Mr Cull will be accompanied on the Chinese visit by Mr John Christie, Director of Enterprise Dunedin and Mr Zhang Hui, Enterprise Dunedin’s Project China Manager.

    Contact Mayor of Dunedin, Dave Cull on 477 4000.

    DCC Link

    • Hype O'Thermia

      But Elizabeth, it works. Surely initiatives such as this “fantastic opportunity to meet with 11 other New Zealand mayors and our Chinese counterparts to create avenues through which we can capitalise on the influence of local government to generate better economic outcomes for both of our countries,” that our railway wagons were built in China, a better outcome for their country. Who other than a tragically mistaken person doubts that Dunedin’s turn for a profitable economic outcome will be very, very, very soon?
      Our prudent waste-averse mayor doesn’t, in his ineffable wisdom, doubt it.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Business model stuff. Promoting tourism and international business is properly a function of central government. When local government gets involved, it means different New Zealand cities are competing against one another, especially in terms of education providers looking for international students. But cities are not businesses!
      There’s been plenty of evidence recently that the ‘trickle down’ economic theory is a fantasy. So the ratepayer-funded efforts of the mayor and his entourage may (possibly) benefit Dunedin’s tertiary providers and tourism operators but few others. Welfare for the already relatively rich – and the usual capture of Dunedin’s local government resources by the prominent and influential for their particular benefit.
      Mayor Cull, particularly, along with past council, seems to believe this ‘what’s good for business is good for everybody’ ideology with religious fervour. The opposite is closer to the truth: what’s good for everyone (a well-run, affordable city) is also good for business. Idiots, stampeding in the wrong direction, not reaching their destination and so deciding to stampede all the more. No, just stop it and attend to the proper business of local government.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “Mayor Cull, particularly, along with past council, seems to believe this ‘what’s good for business is good for everybody’ ideology with religious fervour.”

        … is what’s good for the U.S.A.
        (Johnny Mercer /Gene De Paul)

        • Diane Yeldon

          Yes, and the following is the Dunedin City councillors’ problem – most of them anyway. In response to any seductive stories of economic development, particularly sports-related.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Based on the cartoons, Li’l Abner was a Broadway musical that opened in 1956, film version 1959. It’s downright uncanny how many of its songs keep on being topical. How much of the music and other popular culture of the 50s isn’t blushmakingly dire, or dead and buried with a motorway built over it – exception being the “Negro” (accepted word at that time) music not played on white people’s radio stations until sanitized and rubber-ring’d and recorded by the cleancut likes of Pat Boone.

          “The Country’s in the very best of hands”? A duet by PM Key with his pop idle son Max, and President Trump?

  3. Calvin Oaten

    I wonder how dextrous Dave Cull is with ‘chopsticks’? Another skill perhaps along with riding cycles.

  4. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 24 Sep 2015
    China trip lays ‘platform’
    By Craig Borley
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says a platform for increasing education and business opportunities with China has been built and now is the time for Dunedin businesses and institutions to use it. […] Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie and Enterprise Dunedin Project China manager Zhang Hui joined Mr Cull on the $8000 trip, paid for by the Dunedin City Council, which stopped in Xiamen, Beijing, Shanghai and Qingyuan.
    Read more

    russandbev at ODT Online
    Key Performance Indicators needed

  5. Elizabeth

    ### Mon, 27 Sep 2015
    Nightly interview: Dave Cull
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has just been touring China, as part of ongoing work to strengthen ties with the emerging superpower. He joins us to discuss the outcomes of the trip.
    Ch39 Link

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 27, 2015
    Nightly interview: Dave Cull

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Mayor Dave Cull returns from “touring China as part of ongoing work to strengthen ties with the emerging superpower”. Huh? Last I looked China seemed capable of emerging on its own. The ‘sister city’ thing with Shanghai is, I’m sure, all in Dave’s ‘feathery mind’. Here is Dunedin with a static or shrinking population of 120,000 citizens greasing up to a city with 23.5 million, growing at 10% per annum and believing it has the time or energy to seriously do more than pay lip service to him. He is an embarrassment.

  7. Elizabeth


    A laugh a minute at China when his (least qualified, short in stature) nibs stops by.

    Fri, 27 May 2016
    ODT: Mayoral mission to China
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is to lead a delegation to China next month aimed at strengthening ties and unlocking further economic opportunities for the city. […] “This trip will continue to move the relationship forward from its strong civic and cultural roots into the economic development sphere leading with our education, tourism, trade, technology and environmental interests.”

    [JUNKET] delegation includes representatives from Dunedin City Council, Otago Chamber of Commerce, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Dunedin tourism operators and businesses.

    • Elizabeth


      Before we fly out on this junket, have we financially settled with the people of South Dunedin whose properties, homes and wellbeing were damaged by the DCC’s failure to carry out (core business) infrastructure services maintenance, leading to the devastating flood of 3 June 2015.

      Oh silly me. All those people working out what to put in their little suitcases – and rushing off for new haircuts. Glory glory on high.

    • Diane Yeldon

      ‘Aimed at stengthening ties and unlocking further economic opportunities’. What shameful spin from ODT. If they were quoting Cull’s words, they should have said so. Hope all news media will be more discerning than ODT was here about reporting Mayor Cull blowing his own trumpet, particularly in an election year. Instead of just indiscriminately copying a press release which is what this sounds like. That ‘weasel’ word ‘further’ implies (with no evidence) that ‘economic opportunities’ have already been ‘unlocked’, and the word ‘unlocked’ is hardly neutral itself, more along heroic lines (Arthur ‘unlocking’ the sword from the stone?), which in this context amounts to fatuousness. They will actually all be chatting to each other and jockeying for position as to who can get the best deal.
      I think Mayor Cull is ‘leading’ this delegation mainly because the other big commercial players want to get the funding for it out of the DCC. And the cost of that is some speeches and grandstanding from the mayor. Local government shouldn’t be involved at all. It’s the Chamber of Commerce’s role to provide local business leadership and they should pay for it themselves. Maybe the elected reps on council budget money for ‘economic development’ more in the hope of getting votes from the business lobby in Dunedin than on the basis of prudent financial management. Hmm, maybe, at least in the past, the elected reps on council have actually been the business lobby…..

  8. Rob Hamlin

    This little gem in the ODT this morning:

    If we pick out the PR fluff from this dressed-up press release, then here is the payload:

    “The commercial terms of the new model were “confidential”, but some money would come back to DVML and Otago Cricket would not lose out financially.

    The new arrangement could result in DVML taking over curating the pitch…Otago Cricket Association chief executive Mike Coggan said “…international matches would remain an important revenue opportunity for the association. I can’t imagine it being any different from at any time in the past. We concentrate on our core responsibilities, which is the delivery of the cricket, and DVML deliver the event component.”

    New Zealand Cricket chief operating officer Anthony Crummy said “…. The work done to increase capacity at the ground was vital,”

    In other words the ratepayer gets to build the ground and maintain it, plus pay to publicise and run the the events. They will never get to find out how much though. Cricket gets to keep the revenue.

    Now I seem to have heard something like this arrangement before. Mr Coggan perhaps speaks more truth than he realises when he says that: “I can’t imagine it being any different from at any time in the past.” Regrettably, given the nature of this Council and its executive, neither can I


    • russandbev

      Rob, your memory has not deserted you at all. The last time I had a look at the Otago Cricket books they were on the bones of their posterior. But even more interesting to see some commonality in names. John Ward is the esteemed President. Remember when he and Stuart McLauchlan decided to sponsor the Highlanders in their roles as University Chancellor etc?

      But the sponsors of Otago Cricket also include the ODT, Delta, Aotea and Moana Pool as well as Webb Farry.

      No doubt about it at all Rob, the Dunedin ratepayers whether they like it or not are once again going down the road of Otago Rugby, the Highlanders, the High Performance Centre and goodness knows who else. Is it likely that this story will become an in-depth investigation by the ODT? We’ll have to see what Mr Cull says I suppose…..

      • Calvin Oaten

        In order to complete the story of cricket, DVML’s Mr Davies will insist that the ground be lit to enable day/night matches. But Richard-financial genius-Thomson has had the good idea that the money originally set aside can be better used elsewhere. Hm…. oh well, let’s just borrow some more because the last thing the city would want would be to let the OCA down. As patron saint to both the ORFU/Highlanders now the OCA, and let’s not forget the Ice Stadium, the Elite Sports facilities and of course the Indoor Bowls stadium. All sucking on the hind teat of the ratepayers makes sense to these not so blind beggars. I’m sure the ODT will see the social need and ‘get in behind’ the beggaring of the population in the interests of sport.

  9. Simon

    Maybe DVML could take over the South Dunedin, North Dunedin, Green Island and Mosgiel stormwater event component, seeing that it has been so successful in raising ratepayer funds for rugby and cricket.

  10. Richard Stedman

    Apropos of the ODT this a.m. Another gem: Mars is coming out of an ice-age and has got global warming which the “scientists” will study. No people, no cars, no cycle lanes, no oil drilling. How are Jinty and the crazies going to put a stop to this outrage and save dear old Mars?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Richard, it’s PS – not remotely like BS, please note. Planetary Solidarity. Mars had been *probed* and its skyline cluttered due to steering error, probably down to travel exhaustion and being used to orbiting on the other side of planets: “Due to complications arising from human error, the spacecraft encountered Mars at a lower than anticipated altitude and disintegrated due to atmospheric stresses.”
      Is it any wonder that dread of what fossil fuel using humanity may do next is causing that innocent planet Mars to resort to drastic means to indicate its distress on behalf of planets everywhere?

  11. russandbev

    For those that are interested in this story, there are really good free podcasts available from The Naked Scientists based in the UK. The latest has a good background on this story. Mars used to be covered by a lot of water and there are signs of giant tsunami washing up on the shores of the planet, dumping rocks and creating huge wash-backs as the waves retreated.

    As Richard says, all the water was made to disappear without the intervention of pesky people on earth.

    What this group of zealots cannot accept is that the earth, like the rest of the universe, doesn’t stand still. It is in a state of continual rapid change. One of the facts that it pays to remember is that our dear sun, the giver of all of our energy, is going to shrink then expand to the point where it is likely that earth will become part of the sun. The ultimate in global warming. Man made? No doubt about it at all Richard.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Likewise, on this planet species have evolved and branched into different clans suited for dry heat, long cold winters, almost anywhere there is animal or vegetative life, or evidence that it has been there in times past. Some species become extinct.
    Perhaps people will become extinct. The planet could give a flying farnarkle? I don’t think so. Unless one believes in Biblical or other creation myths, earth and the various life-forms on it were not created for humans’ benefit.
    Perhaps human population will be drastically reduced by loss of habitat and shortage of available food. This fits the idea of Gaia regulating circumstances for its own survival.

    The natural processes will come to a halt when Earth, Gaia or someone’s god[s] see how many people are using bicycles and adding to other people’s financial difficulties by refusing to invest community-ownership funds in anything they don’t believe free from fossil fuel involvement. [S]truth!

  13. Gurglars

    According to this, in 1982, there were no…

  14. Elizabeth

    Received from Gurglars
    Tue, 7 Jun 2016 at 7:12 a.m.

    Subject: Bureaucratic Wastefulness

    I have suggested on a number of occasions that bureaucrats and politicians should be barred from junkets to conferences. inevitably they are overcatered gabfests that have only one inevitable result. Even more ways of robbing tax- and ratepayers.

    Here is a prime example

    When the DCC Ceo is off to Oxford and the Mayor and others are off to Shanghai, you know there will be a financial consequence for you, greater debt, more crazy ideas. Just view the results of any Lawrence Yule inspired gathering, “Local Taxes called for”, or the mayors’ regular gatherings… Celia Wade-Brown, Dave Cull and co. Nothing good has come out of these meetings, just a lot of puffery and expensive road cones!

    {Election Year. In the public interest. -Eds}

  15. russandbev

    These institutions have their own full-time people who have specialist knowledge and contacts with these overseas institutions. It doesn’t need some ex-TV handyman/student flat property owner and similar to go over to China at all. Cull said that he would get 10000 more jobs, a rise in average income of $10000 etc etc etc. What I want to see is something called KPIs. Nothing. Just like the SDHB and their food decision – where were their KPIs before the decision to give the contract to Compass? Nowhere.

    They can’t even arrange to fill up some bags with sand on the beach.

    • Elizabeth

      I was speaking offline with others last week; an astute convergence of comment was that they no longer recognise Cull, he is not the man they voted for, having turned.

      [I’ve never voted for the man due to issues I had the luck to witness in another realm of doings about town.]

      Election Year. The power has perverted; he is now considered to be incoherent ‘by media’, bullying, rednecked and reactive. Not clever, and easily led by buffoons whispering in his ear, repeatedly, even with ‘frequency’ during the council meetings he chairs (where some councillors are treated as more equal than others). Hmm. The old daffy fawning rustly scarves problem and acts of back rubbing.

      The group want a new plain sense ethical mayor, and new councillors keen to limit themselves and council staff to core council business, and well… to respect the community enough to keep the doors open to anti-corruption practice and transparency. That all got blocked in the drains in the early days of Greater Dunedin and continues with the same people chasing down their continuing stipends and salaries for more fitting up of the ratepayers, this October.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    Cull is not the man they voted for. He isn’t to all who voted for him. He promised much and delivered little (if anything) of value. A great many voted for him due to his stated views on the FB Stadium. He stood on the stage of the Town Hall at the STS public meeting and stated unequivocally it was a bad project financially and ought not be foisted upon the ratepayers.

    Then, once elected did an about face and forced the project through to the point of no return. That was proof that the man was untrustworthy and thereafter he has been seen as a ‘Little Napoleon’ bullying fellow councillors who did not toe his line. Cr Lee Vandervis has borne the brunt of this on frequent occasions. He even bullies citizens who resist his tactics. There is no better example of this than the treatment meted out to the South Dunedin Action Group endeavouring to obtain some justice and honesty over the June 3 2015 floods. His manner in this respect was/is appalling and it will surprise no-one if he gets dumped come October when we all have the opportunity to vote.

  17. Elizabeth

    Received from Douglas Field in response to Calvin’s comment:

  18. Gurglars

    Cross Roads in a Swamp? More DCC road planning.

    One of our problems as disgruntled voters keen to “Cull the Mayor” is that our old friend Gerry Mander will also be voting.

    Gerry only reads the whitewash paper the Oddity, and thus has not yet evaluated the dismal performance of this mayor and the majority of the councillors.

    Lee Vandervis, gets 10 votes (out of ten) for continuously being right and despite serious bagging has whistle blown to extraordinary measures showing real moral courage.

    Hilary Calvert gets 8 votes for endeavouring to work within a malfunctioning aystem to achieve some accountability.

    Doug Hall gets one vote for negotiating a hell of a deal on his own account to sell to Speights and Emersons.

    Richard Thomson gets 1 vote for cleverly getting his fingers, hands, feet and nose in multiple troughs.

    Jinty MacTavish gets a vote for tears whether acted or real.

    Mike Lord gets two votes one for honesty and one for being discarded by Greater? Dunedin.

    Andrew Noone gets two votes.

    The rest couldn’t cobble 5 between them even if you gave them one each for being elected.

    “Cull the Mayor” gets (-10 votes) the lowest possible for foot in mouth, no finding fault, cyclelanes, acquiescence to the mad greenies atc etc.

  19. Elizabeth

    Oh dear. University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic officials have done the hard grind and Daaave got to red stamp it. Yawn.
    Not so sure the outcome is truly meritorious given the bias to Chinese here – we need a greater mix of nationals (as it stands it reminds me of the dairy crisis and its blinkered lack of diversification). It’s all CARGO CULT. Commodity fetishism. The goods being human…. trafficking for money. Horrible! How did NZ get to this. Sold Out.



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