MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility #MosgielPool

In previous weeks, with receipt of the DCC Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25, contributors to What if? Dunedin seized upon the fact (page 166) that the Council has somehow (if by political vote-catching, deception and or undemocratic business method?) — facilitated by the Mayor of Dunedin — taken on the whole cost of the proposed ‘Taieri Aquatic Centre’ for Mosgiel, to be loaded onto UNSUSPECTING Dunedin ratepayers.

This is contrary to what was discussed, and understood, at the time of the draft LTP hearings.

[click to enlarge]
DCC LTP 2015-16 to 2024-25 p166DCC LTP Section 3 – Forecast Financial Statements (PDF, 877.9 KB)
Forecast Financial Statements (financial statements, gross debt chart, accounting policies, 10 year capital expenditure programme, prospective information, significant forecasting assumptions, inflation adjusters, reserve funds, long term plan disclosure statement)

In reference to page 166, Bev Butler (23 July) emailed all Councillors about the figures for Aquatic Services new Capital Expenditure: Mosgiel Pool $410,000 in 2016/17 and $14.478 million in 2018/19.

In email reply, Cr Richard Thomson, chair of the Finance Committee, noted an asterisk:
‘you will see that the figure is asterixed and that this references back to notes that these are projects which have “full or partial external funding”. In this case the pool is subject to the community fundraising their share but that is included in the capital spend. you will see a similar situation with the cricket lights at Logan park where $2.2m is being spent but Council has approved up to $1m of its money only…’

This is what ODT reported on 22 May:

ODT: Mosgiel pool wins support
Dunedin City councillors have thrown their support behind a Mosgiel aquatic facility, despite a staff warning about council missing its debt targets. Councillors at yesterday’s long-term plan hearings voted in favour of building a facility “in principle”, subject to a number of conditions.
● Taieri Community Facilities Trust to raise $7.5 million towards project.
● Council has allocated a placeholder budget of $6 million for the facility in the 2018-19 financial year.
● Budget of up to $300,000 approved for council staff to investigate project costs, design options and site location
● Staff to report back to council by April next year, at which point councillors would decide whether to proceed with the project and how.
● Councillors voted that council staff and the trust develop a new memorandum of understanding.

Without building a Mosgiel pool, debt was forecast to be at $223 million in 2021, $7 million below the council’s self-imposed $230 million target. (ODT)

Now read the following chain of correspondence.

Received from Lee Vandervis
Fri, 7 Aug 2015 at 8:22 a.m.

█ Message: I believe it is in the pubic interest for the points below to be made public. Kind regards, Lee

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2015 08:18:32 +1200
To: Dave Cull, Jinty MacTavish
Cc: Chris Staynes, Kate Wilson, Richard Thomson, Aaron Hawkins, Neville Peat, Mike Lord, David Benson-Pope, Andrew Whiley, Andrew Noone, John Bezett, Hilary Calvert, Doug Hall, Richard Saunders [DCC], Jendi Paterson [DCC], Sue Bidrose [DCC], Sandy Graham [DCC]
Conversation: MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility
Subject: Re: MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility

Dear Mayor Cull,

Thank you for your helpful suggestion which I intend to take up especially when DCC file evidence is available which can confirm many allegations made to me by members of the public.

I do wonder that you seem to think so little of an MOU statement of intent that apparently commits Council to “the development of a new Aquatic Facility Complex“ when Council has not yet made any final Pool Complex decision and in any case has not got the financial resources or even a sufficiently large place holder budget to achieve building the proposed Pool Complex. At the risk of boring our public as you suggest, I will do what I can to let them know.

The claim by Cr. McTavish below “that the phrase “new aquatic facility complex” covers everything from a refurbishment of the existing (which is the base level of service required for the aging, arguably beyond useful life, asset)…” is not credible in commonly understood usage of the words used, but I hope that wide publication of this particular interpretation will reduce the misrepresentation that I believe the Mosgiel Aquatic MOU currently represents.

Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

———————————

On 7/08/15 6:29 AM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Lee
Rather than boring an even wider audience with your laughable brew of ignorance and malice, how about developing some testicular fortitude and going public, as you have been requested to, with the evidence behind the other far more serious accusations and insinuations you have made?
Dave

———————————

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2015 10:49 PM
To: Jinty MacTavish
Cc: Dave Cull; Chris Staynes; Kate Wilson; Richard Thomson; Aaron Hawkins; Neville Peat; Mike Lord; David Benson-Pope; Andrew Whiley; Andrew Noone; John Bezett; Hilary Calvert; Doug Hall; Richard Saunders; Jendi Paterson; Sue Bidrose; Sandy Graham
Subject: Re: MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility

Dear Jinty,

Your response below is not acceptable to me as an elected representative.
Your being ‘comfortable’ is no reason to assume Council decision-making status.
Who is this executive that you speak of who are apparently authorised to trump Council decisions as you would have them?
If you insist on acting beyond Council resolutions, I will have little alternative but to go public.

Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

———————————

On 6/08/15 10:43 AM, “Jinty MacTavish” wrote:

Kia ora Lee,

Many thanks for your feedback. You raise two concerns:

A. Specific wording of paragraph.

Council’s resolution at LTP time included the following:

“That the Council agree to:
1 support in principle the development of a new aquatic facility complex for Dunedin in Mosgiel.”

The executive’s view is that the that the phrase “new aquatic facility complex” covers everything from a refurbishment of the existing (which is the base level of service required for the aging, arguably beyond useful life, asset), with “efficient” recognising the whole of life cost associated with any option. In the context of there having been a lengthy discussions between staff and the Trust to get to the point where both parties are comfortable with the wording, and given our executive’s interpretation, I am comfortable that the paragraph allows for a wide range of outcomes. A range of options will be brought back to Council in October for consideration and a decision on which to progress to detailed design with.

B. Sign off process

The sign-off on this document was delegated to chair C&E by a resolution of the Committee.
Jinty MacTavish

{Phone number deleted. -Eds}

———————————

On 6/08/2015, at 9:31 am, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Re: MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility
Dear Jinty,

The Intent paragraph of the proposed MOU is unacceptable to me in its present form.

“The intent of the parties is to give effect to a Community/Council partnership for the development of a new Aquatic Facility Complex for Dunedin in Mosgiel in accordance with the LTP resolutions referred to in paragraph 3.4 and with the object of Council delivering an efficient modern complex that caters for all sectors of the community.”

These are weasel words which can easily be understood to mean that Council has resolved to deliver an efficient modern Aquatic Facility Complex in Mosgiel when I do not believe Council has made such a resolution. My understanding is that despite the absurdly arrived at $6 million ‘placeholder budget’, Council has asked that the Aquatic complex in Mosgiel be thoroughly mutually investigated, and that Council has not decided to give effect to the development, as stated above.

I strongly object to any such MOU INTENT being signed off by you or anybody else, and I am deeply concerned by process irregularities and the unprecedented fast-tracking of this project past many others that have been long awaited, the South Dunedin Library/Community Complex in particular.

The INTENT as I understand it, is for the parties to give effect to a Community/Council partnership to further EXPLORE the development detail of a new Aquatic Facility Complex for Dunedin in Mosgiel in accordance with the LTP resolutions referred to in paragraph 3.4 and with the object of Council then being able to decide whether it can or wishes to deliver an efficient modern complex that caters for all sectors of the community.”

Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

———————————

On 5/08/15 10:20 AM, “Jinty MacTavish” wrote:

Kia ora koutou,
Please find attached a copy of a draft MOU between the DCC and the Taieri Community Facilities Trust. As it stands, both staff and the Trust are supportive of the document. As per the Council resolution, I’ve been asked to sign it off as C&E chair but would value any feedback from you before close of business tomorrow should you have concerns.
Thanks very much,
Jinty

—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
24.7.15 Hands off Mosgiel Memorial Gardens
● 23.7.15 Dunedin ratepayers —Green Island best site for city pool users…
● 22.7.15 DCC Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25
● 19.5.15 Mosgiel pool trust conflicts of interest #bigfishsmallpond
18.5.15 NEWSFLASH —Mosgiel pool, tracking [PONT] . . . .
17.5.15 Cr Vandervis on DCC project budgets
● 4.5.15 DCC: Draft LTP matter —‘Unfunded Mosgiel Aquatic Facilities’
● 7.5.15 DCC Draft LTP 2015/16-2024/25 —public submissions online
● 12.4.15 Mosgiel pool trust calls on Dunedin ratepayers to fund distant complex
1.4.15 ‘Pooling Together’ (TCFT) loses chairman, resigns [see Wanaka pool]
28.3.15 DCC Draft LTP 2015/16 to 2024/25 —CONSULTATION OPEN
25.3.15 DCC Long Term Plan: Green-dyed chickens home to roost
11.3.15 Mosgiel pool trust PLAINLY hasn’t got ‘$7.5M community support’
● 6.3.15 Propaganda from trust for Taieri pool project #Mosgiel
● 2.3.15 DCC: Mosgiel Pool private workshop Tuesday (tomorrow) [renders]
● 20.2.15 Taieri Aquatic Centre: 2nd try for SECRET meeting —hosted by Mayor
● 13.2.15 ‘Taieri Aquatic Centre’, email from M. Stedman via B. Feather
● 10.2.15 Dunedin City Councillors invited to Secret Meeting #Mosgiel
14.1.15 DCC Draft Long Term Plan: more inanity from Cull’s crew pending
11.10.14 New Mosgiel Pool trust declared —(ready to r**t)
23.7.14 Mosgiel Pool: Taieri Times, ODT…. mmm #mates
16.7.14 Stadium: Exploiting CST model for new Mosgiel Pool #GOBs
● 4.2.14 DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project…
30.1.14 DCC broke → More PPPs to line private pockets and stuff ratepayers
20.1.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 [see this comment & ff]
16.11.13 Community board (Mosgiel-Taieri) clandestine meetings
25.1.12 Waipori Fund – inane thinkings from a councillor
19.5.10 DScene – Public libraries, Hillside Workshops, stadium, pools
12.4.10 High-performance training pool at stadium?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

36 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, COC (Otago), Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Design, Economics, Hot air, Name, New Zealand, OAG, ORFU, People, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

36 responses to “MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility #MosgielPool

  1. Rob Hamlin

    That’s an absolutely remarkable exchange. Some may recall when this party was seen to be pursuing their own principled agenda while working with the establishment – and now this. It’s not the first time that I’ve seen somebody say: “I have decided to play their game and work my way up, and when I reach the top, then I’ll change it all, everything will be different.”

    Some of these have been close friends. People who I liked and admired. Without exception they were unrecognisable within two years. The establishment network engaged them, enveloped them and then devoured them totally. They no longer wanted to spend time with any of their previous circle. The feeling rapidly became mutual as there was little that remained in common, especially the very principles that had led them to take the plunge in the first place.

    The network, like crack cocaine, is addictive from that first gift, social event, favour or nicety – however minor it may appear at the time. Like any addiction, admission is a prerequisite for cure, and such an admission is rare when this particular drug is involved. So, it looks like we have another drooling networkhead on our hands. It would be interesting to see what the progressive community from which they sprang to political prominence think about it.

    • Peter

      Rob. It also concerns me how leopards can indeed change their spots!
      I am sure most people go on council with good intentions, but somewhere along the line they change their tune somewhat. Politics is about the art of compromise, I know, but when a politician compromises on their own principles, that usually involve integrity and honesty, they lose their way.
      Ends become the focus and the means are no longer of concern. Lying and being manipulative are deemed ok if the desired ends are seen to be worthwhile.
      Politicians, of whatever hue, are by nature vain people. They want to be liked. To be adored is even better. When they are approached by groups with their own agendas they are so often putty in the hands of flatterers. It takes a strong willed, intuitive person to see through this and to maintain the bigger picture.
      It disappoints me that so many good people turn bad….to some extent….and they give in to the flatterers…. and bullies. Of course politicians have their eye on the next election and it is easier somehow to give in to a multitude of demands to secure votes. The problem they have is that when this Father Christmas phenomenon becomes a pandemic, and a perception of irresponsibility and incompetence, takes hold they lose support. Unfortunately the damage is already done to the community.
      I have no doubt a new super duper Mosgiel Pool is intended as the end goal in the short term, irrespective of any wordsmithing going on and promises of consultation. Making do with a more minor upgrade in the meantime, given financial stringencies, is not on the cards.
      I am incredulous that such wanton waste is going on when another winter has gone by and the coast down near Middle Beach to St Clair is even more devastated with no ‘strategy’ in place to deal with this serious issue. Cheap talk by councillors about sustainability appals me when they ignore what is happening. God help us if we are subjected to any other nature induced events that wreak havoc on Dunedin.

  2. Calvin Oaten

    Remarkable indeed. Firstly demonstrating Cr MacTavish’s dexterity in interpreting the English language. But most importantly Mayor Dave Cull’s mask slipping, exposing a very “little” man with a vicious manner toward a fellow councillor in Lee Vandervis. When a councillor through his honest endeavours exposes wrongs it is not for the Mayor to suppress these actions, but to table and debate them. To dismiss them as a “laughable brew of ignorance and malice”, suggesting the “developing of some testicular fortitude and going public”, as requested to do, “with the evidence behind the far more serious accusations and insinuations made?” —these are not the correct actions from a Mayor, a man who condoned the double “kangaroo court” Code of Conduct proceedings against Cr Vandervis for doing just that. It is enervating at least to see that Cr Vandervis is now going to accept that challenge and put to the public the “Citifleet” ‘boondoggle’ and I trust he might mention the ‘Defamation’ cases made against Mayor Cull by two ORFU men which resulted in a ‘grovelling’ public letter of apology including the paying of all costs plus ‘who knows what’ to the appellants. Now is the time to show definitively that the “Emperor has no Clothes”.

  3. Elizabeth

    J MacTavish emailed this evening asking the site owner if another email might be added to the chain provided by Cr Vandervis, as copied to all councillors, and the following council staff: Richard Saunders, Jendi Paterson, Sue Bidrose and Sandy Graham.

    It has been filed.

  4. Rob Hamlin

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I think that you should post it – with a right of reply from Vandervis

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Rob, I sent the email to Cr Vandervis at 8:51 – he would’ve received it direct from Jinters in any case. It’s up to Cr Vandervis how he wants to presume.

    • Elizabeth

      Received from Jinty MacTavish
      Fri, 7 Aug 2015 at 8:26 p.m.

      █ Message: A constituent brought to my attention the emails on your site today. I’d ask that the email at the top of the discussion below be added for completeness, as Cr. Vandervis makes accusations in his emails that I am somehow acting beyond Council resolutions and it is simply not the case.
      Thanks very much,
      Jinty

      Begin forwarded message:

      From: Jinty MacTavish
      Date: 6 August 2015 11:47:02 pm NZST
      To: Lee Vandervis
      Cc: Jinty MacTavish, Dave Cull, Chris Staynes, Kate Wilson, Richard Thomson, Aaron Hawkins, Neville Peat, Mike Lord, David Benson-Pope, Andrew Whiley, Andrew Noone, John Bezett, Hilary Calvert, Doug Hall, Richard Saunders [DCC], Jendi Paterson [DCC], Sue Bidrose [DCC], Sandy Graham [DCC]
      Subject: Re: MOU DCC and TCFT New Aquatic Facility

      Evening Lee,
      I have zero ambition to ‘act beyond Council resolutions’ and I’m baffled as to how you conclude that I’m ‘insisting’ on it – happy to receive feedback on that point but doubt very much everyone in this email wants to be copied in on the conversation.
      If you are concerned about the sign-off process, the relevant resolution was June’s C&E –
      Following discussion it was moved (Calvert/Mayor Cull):
      “That the Committee:
      a) Notes the report
      b) Delegates authority to the Chair of the Community and Environment Committee for signing of the updated Memorandum of Understanding between the Taieri Community Facilities Trust and the Council.”
      Motion carried

      If your concerns sit with the content of the MOU, I encourage you to engage directly with Ruth [Stokes] in particular as the relevant GM, whose advice I took today on the issues you raised. Our in-house legal team have also been involved in the drafting.
      Cheers, J.

      Jinty MacTavish

      {Phone number deleted. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      Received from Jinty MacTavish
      ‎Sat‎, ‎8‎ ‎Aug‎ ‎2015 ‎at 12‎:‎09‎ ‎p.m.

      █ Message: Thank you for confirming that you and your website are not indeed interested in the whole truth or the facts of any given matter, rather the interpretation of them you/Lee see fit to serve up to the public. A shame indeed, as I used to think your website was better than that. I repeat my comment from the last time I was forced to email a similar comment: if you continue make completely unfounded disparaging personal insinuations about me on your website I will seek legal advice about the options available to me. I invite you to remove the comment as an alternative.
      A shame you also seem incapable of the courtesy of a response.
      Jinty MacTavish

      {Phone number deleted. -Eds}

      NOTE FROM THE SITE OWNER
      The writer, as indeed any writer, must cite the offending comment(s) precisely to the site owner and the site owner will undertake to amend or remove that comment from the website at earliest convenience.

      Sun, 9 Aug 2015 at 2:02 p.m.
      Cr Vandervis had no comment to make to Cr MacTavish’s email ‘extra’. He gave the impression he had too much else going on yesterday. Therefore I have published JM’s email along with its cover comment, and today, her follow up email —for transparency.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Presumably there is a rates-paid legal eagle who undertakes this work: “if you continue make completely unfounded disparaging personal insinuations about me on your website I will seek legal advice about the options available to me.”
        The options are, realistically, to write threatening letters implying that the law will clobber the disparager to a pulp, or to be pissed off and do a lot of grumping’n’blaming and getting comforted by one’s best friends.
        Being in public life, being party to spending the public’s forcibly taken money (rates, taxes), being responsible for decisions unsupported by the majority of voters to spend up large on one’s personal priorities because (as in previous times the weekly dose of castor oil) because it’s “for their own good” and by the same rationale choosing not to earn best returns on ratepayers’ investment – these are a few of our least-favourite things. Keep on doing them: keep on getting flak – it’s that simple.

        Disrespect us and expect us to do the opposite to you? Get on yer bike softchook!

  5. Elizabeth

    Cull is so jangled, the elephant in the room is his utter failure to publicly release all three Deloitte reports for Citifleet which point specifically to the very people liable for prosecution. That the mayor conflates the rightful argument about circumstances of the Draft MOU between DCC and TCFT with an attack on Cr Vandervis’s continuing drive for DCC accountabilty shows Cull to be most unfit for the position of Mayor.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Aug 2015
    Vandervis told: cough up evidence over frauds
    By Chris Morris
    The war of words is continuing between Mayor Dave Cull and outspoken councillor Lee Vandervis over claims of widespread fraud within the Dunedin City Council. The fresh sparring came as it was confirmed yesterday the council had dealt with a cluster of smaller frauds, in addition to the $1.5 million Citifleet debacle, in recent years.
    Read more

    ****

    ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Aug 2015
    Councillor in war of words over Mosgiel pool
    By Chris Morris
    Claims the Dunedin City Council is using “weasel words” to ram through a new Mosgiel aquatic facility have been rubbished by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull. The suggestion came from Cr Lee Vandervis, who in an email exchange – copied to the Otago Daily Times – objected to the wording of a draft memorandum of understanding being circulated this week.
    Read more

    ODT refers to the exchange of emails published at the post heading this thread.

    • The political strategy of getting a project ‘supported in principle’ is virtually always the thin edge of the wedge. In my opinion, such council resolutions should not be allowed, as they are too vague to have much meaning. Whether it’s a good idea or not to go ahead with a project depends on the details, especially the financial ones. So it would be a good deal more transparent for members of the public if the council was to refrain from any resolutions referring to any kind of council support for the proposed new aquatic facility until a definite council expenditure level was made quite clear. Note I am using the word ‘proposed’. It’s another common strategy to drop this word, to help push a project through by using words which give the impression that the decision to proceed has already been made. The claim that the term ‘new facility’ includes the option of upgrading the old one is simply nonsense. I think the DCC is a participant in the Plain English movement but they don’t seem to be using plain English here.
      On a slightly different topic, if Cr Vandervis were to publicly name individuals as allegedly involved in council fraud, as Mayor Cull challenges him to do, then Cr Vandervis risks defamation suits, something I am sure Mayor Cull is well aware of.

      • Peter

        Diane. We have seen supporting a project ‘in principle’ before with the stadium. The DCC, ORC and Community Trust of Otago all supported the stadium ‘in principle’ while ‘waiting for more information’ or for ‘lines in the sand’ to be reached so conditions could be met.
        The whole process is a manipulation and a lie. Basically it is to stall for time to tidy things up for the desired end. They spend money on feasibility studies….which can be ignored if they don’t deliver what they want to hear. Bit by bit more money is spent until they conclude we can’t waste money already spent so there is no alternative but to give the go ahead.
        This council has learnt well from the Chin Council which they abhored for doing the same thing.
        In my book this is corrupt.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          “Bit by bit more money is spent until they conclude we can’t waste money already spent so there is no alternative but to give the go ahead.”
          Precedent – appeal against Clyde Dam was “successful” in that appellants showed they were right, but the judge in his immeasurable wisdom came up with “Yeah but even though the works went on without permission and authorisation, there’s so much work been done now and so much money spent, they’re allowed to keep on with My Almighty Retrospective Blessing.”

          Oddly different from e.g. common peeps building garage over the line onto DCC property, relying on what had been commonly regarded as their section since…. oh, wheneverrrrrr. Or making a garden onto similarly land that they didn’t, in fact, own – many old boundaries are shaky-as, old fences turn out to be misplaced. “Yes well you’ve put so much work into it….”?

          Innocent mistakes by individuals ***not trying it on*** are treated like major crimes against society. Large scale rorts, misleadings and jiggery-pokery whether involving literal poking or not – Nelson’s telescope, 3 wise monkeys, forgiving one’s brothers (shake hands nicely, chaps) 77777 times 777777 (inflation adjusted) are the way we do things here.

          There is no corruption in Dunedin.

  6. The Plain English website is http://www.plainenglish.org.nz/

    There is a good chance that the use of Plain English by the DCC ( as well as all government and legal agencies) will soon become a legal requirement. I think the DCC is already bound by it with respect to web writing. I’d certainly like to see DCC resolutions framed more clearly and simply. There have been such arguably deliberately misleading ones allowed in the past that I doubt whether the councillors who voted on them were clear about the meaning, let alone members of the public. When you consider that council resolutions have virtually legal force, then it’s clear that considerable care should be taken to ensure their clear and unambiguous meaning.

    {Thanks, Diane. Link added. -Eds}

  7. Anonymous

    The pattern of resolutions shows that some Councillors have no idea how serious their financial problems are.

    1. Lord/Staynes – allocate up to $17.5M with $10M to come from DCC.
    (brief pause while it is explained to the good Councillors that the DCC doesn’t have that money, it would breach the debt limits, and the credit rating would be downgraded)
    2. Lord/Staynes – allocate up to (place pinky next to mouth) SIX million dollars.

    To get from $6M to $14.78M, apparently you throw in the $7.5M from the Pool Trust and overheads. But we’ve seen this before…

  8. Rob Hamlin

    One of the issues about defamation in this country is that, unusually, the burden of proof is on the defendant. This makes it a handy weapon for those who get up to stuff but make sure that the necessary proof of it remains with them or within the organisation that they control. Both Cull and Vandervis have good reasons for being fully aware of this legal ‘wrinkle’.

    The USA make no such mistakes, it’s up to the plaintiff to prove that a statement is wrong if they wish to go to law. The USA in fact have recently passed a law that prevents the increasingly popular practice of acquiring and then ‘importing’ defamation judgements from jurisdictions such as ours, where the burden of proof is on the defendant. The reason? Big Biz were aggressively using this expensive but effective practice to shut inconvenient people up Stateside.

    As far as I know there has been no defamation blizzard in the USA as an outcome.

  9. Elizabeth

    caricature-on-the-desktop-today
    caricature on the desktop today 9.8.15

    THE SITE OWNER SAYS NO RELATION

    Subandrometal Published on Feb 26, 2013
    Best Of Agnes (from Despicable Me)

  10. Elizabeth

    Gargh! Fingers down back of throat.
    You may wonder why. Here be the reason.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Thursday, August 13, 2015
    Proposed Mosgiel pool site submissions being analysed
    More than three hundred public submissions on the proposed Mosgiel pool site are being analysed. The city council’s earmarked four possible locations for a new swimming complex.
    Ch39 Link

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Aug 13, 2015
    Proposed Mosgiel pool site submissions being analysed

    “Mosgiel is set to boast…..” —-Utter bullshit. WTF
    THERE IS NO BUDGET. JUST MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR DEBT FUNDING FOISTED ON THE FEW REMAINING (AGING) DUNEDIN RATEPAYERS TO COVER THE FULL COST OF THIS VOTE-CATCHING REWARD TO LOCAL SPECULATOR DEVELOPERS OF THE TAIERI AND PROFESSIONAL RUGBY.

    BLOODY FREAKING MORONS.

    “GRATER DUNEDIN” NEEDS TO BE EUTHANISED BEFORE THE 2016 LOCAL BODY ELECTIONS. ONE BY ONE.

  11. Elizabeth

    The submissions were not available to view…. WHY NOT, JM ?!?!
    (what’s to hide or manipulate by ye olde vote-catching Grater Dunedins in cahoots with horrid lying Pool Trust, huh?)

    ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Aug 2015
    Pool group getting ‘good steer’ from 312 public submissions
    By Chris Morris
    A shortlist of four possible sites for a new Mosgiel aquatic centre has prompted a flood of submissions. The Mosgiel Aquatic Facility Steering Group has received 312 submissions for and against four locations during a two-week consultation period, which closed on August 7.
    Read more

    █ Read about Hands Off Memorial Gardens, headed by former Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board member Brian Miller.

    █ The steering group’s recommendation will be tabled at the council’s community and environment committee meeting on October 12.

    IT’S GOING TO GET UP FRONT AND VERY PERSONAL IF THE WRONG RECOMMENDATION IS MADE.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Do 312 submissions really constitute a ‘flood’? Compared to what? Compared to the other approximately 127,000 people in the city? (Even supposing only half of those are adults.) How did they compare to submissions on this topic during the Annual Plan submission process? I remember Mayor Cull enthusiastically saying on Channel 39 News something to the effect that there had been many submissions in favour. But I’d rather see the data myself than rely on the press and politicians interpreting it for me. (312 doesn’t sound like a very big ‘flood’ to me.)

      I know all Annual Plan submissions are retained in the council archives and are public information. This seems reasonable since then the process can be scrutinized – or how could people know that the submissions were genuine or maybe weren’t just forms filled in by people clearly biased?

      I have had a long-running battle with the DCC over their ‘Working Parties’ – in case they might use them as ‘forum-shifting’ mechanisms to take decision-making out of the public domain. (I include this ‘steering group’ as a ‘Working Party’ because, if it has been constituted by council Resolution – which I am pretty sure is the case – and is clearly not a council committee or subcommittee, then it can’t possibly have any other legal status, regardless of how it is named.) My understanding is that Working Parties cannot make decisions and cannot undertake (or be delegated with) any of the statutory responsibilities and functions of council – and one of these statutory functions is consultation.

      But here it seems that the council is improperly delegating consultation to the Mosgiel Aquatic Facility Steering Group. If they are not, then I think these responses should have been called ‘questionnaires’ or ‘survey forms’, rather than ‘submissions.’

      Even though Working Parties don’t keep minutes, according to the Ombudsmen, any notes or other records they keep should be available as Official Information. This would have to cover the raw data regarding these supposed ‘submissions’. (I can’t see how the ‘commercially sensitive’ or ‘free and frank discussion’ justifications could apply here.) And the question needs to be asked of how the DCC can legally delegate consultation. Or why the process needs to be repeated since it was in the recent Annual Plan.

      • Diane Yeldon

        Opps, here we go again! Because a Working Party can’t make decisions, they can’t make recommendations either. Because you have to decide what to recommend. A Working Party can make only reports. The distinction is important, indeed, critical for transparency. Yet ODT is reporting that the Steering Group’s ‘recommendations’ will be tabled at a committee meeting in October. This would be ultra vires.

        • Actually come to think of it, the ‘Independent Panel’ for the Representation Review also undertook a ‘survey’ and they refused to make the raw data from this public too. So effectively these working parties are claiming that consultation of at least some kind has taken place, privately interpreting the results and then using this ‘knowledge’ to persuade council committees to accept their ‘recommendations’ (and they should NOT be ‘recommending’ at all). So the decision has already been made by these groups out of the public eye and without possibility of full public scrutiny.

          At the meeting to consider the representation review panel’s report, Mayor Cull fairly severely rebuked councillors and community board members for scrutinising the panel’s methods and findings, saying the panel members were highly qualified and no-one could know more about numbers than one member, a prominent statistician. This indicates to me that Mayor Cull doesn’t understand the fundamental local government process – that elected reps make the decisions in public and the public also sees all the material, advice (including from people with expertise) and reports upon which the elected reps base their decisions.

          Cr Calvert, at least, seems to be aware that it should be done like this and often isn’t. So, too, is Cr Vandervis. The rest seem perfectly happy to use working parties to go off and do the work without all the bother of formal public meetings so the rest can later just rubberstamp ‘recommendations’, the easy and lazy way out.

          Fix for this? The recognition that guaging public opinion in any way is not a proper function of working parties. Any taken surveys will inevitably be statistically invalid anyway. In fact, even a full council virtually NEVER formally gauges public opinion, as they would if they held a referendum. What councillors are supposed to do is read individual public submissions (genuine, traceable ones) and ‘take them into account’. This is a completely transparent process, where councillors’ judgement can be scrutinised and evaluated by voters.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I wonder if any of the “flood” of 312 submissions were of the “copy, paste, and sign” variety.

  12. Elizabeth

    The Dunedin Amenities Society

    New Post
    Park or Pool? Mosgiel Gardens
    By daseditor
    Recently the Dunedin City Council called for submissions on the potential sites for the proposed new pool in Mosgiel. Despite people’s views on whether a pool is actually needed in Mosgiel the selection of sites for the pool is a contentious issue. The selection of four sites was provided in the Council’s consultation information, one was the existing pool site and the other three were variations on occupying part of Mosgiel Memorial Gardens. The frustrating part of this consultation process is that there was no indication of the actual footprint of the new pool facility, only a dot on the proposed position of the pool. So there was no way of actually knowing what the scale or shape of the impact of the pool placement on the gardens was going to be.
    Read more

    • Brian Miller

      A very well thought out submission. Certainly worth reading the full submission.

      • Elizabeth

        Agree Brian – Paul Pope doesn’t miss much :)
        A bright well-grounded thinker and hard-working practical individual who brings infectious energy and determination to community projects and his professional specialisations. That’s a bit of an understatement, actually.

  13. Anonymous

    Conflicts of interest aren’t a problem in Dunedin. The interest is declared, and the conflicted person takes no part in discussions of the conflicted topic. They even leave the room during those discussions.

    Then when they return to the room, they vote on the resolution and everybody is happy that the conflict has been managed.

    In other news tonight, NASA has announced a major oversupply of green cheese from extra-terrestrial sources, believed in some quarters to be lunar.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting read on page 22 of the ODT 5/9/15 in which it is disclosed that the community is constructing the new Tuapeka Aquatic Centre in Lawrence. It consists of a fitness centre, a toddlers’ pool, learners’ pool and a 25m six-lane lap pool.
    The community have actually raised $400,000 plus substantial input from local contractors and helpers, to back up the debt funding required.
    But here’s the “Kicker”!, the project is to cost $2.3 million and better still, it’s on schedule to be completed this summer. Six years from inception and it’s coming in within budget!
    How’s that compare with Mosgiel’s pledged $7 million odd plus the DCC’s $14.7 million? The smart thing to do would be to commission Garry McCorkindale as a paid consultant and give him the reins. Smarts ain’t what abounds around here.

    • Elizabeth

      Instead, Calvin – we have a bunch of nincompoops at DCC who couldn’t manage their way out of placing concrete blocks and impediments to vehicular traffic at South Dunedin and Brighton without spending spending spending more of our rates money – such that might have bought a good bit of the existing Mosgiel Pool upgrade.
      And then, in ODT today, FIASCO CITY —that dickhead non-businessman Cull and The Pope called David-Benson pronouncing on ORC and POL as if DCC knows ANYTHING about business at all and why long-term planning for DCC is a five-minute wank with no brains, no authority, consultant firms loaded with ratepayer dosh to do piss poor work/advice under no professional council contract management and supervision.

      Chris Morris today merely pointed up the need for Viagra at DCC. Fuck!
      More later on harbourside and the short man syndrome attaching to Death Cull.

  15. Jacob

    Mosgiel Taieri community board chair was seen in the shadows of the trees in the Memorial Gardens yesterday. What was it that he had concealed under his coat. A chocolate fish for first with the right answer.

  16. Anon Anon

    The National Business Review is reporting that Warren and Mahoney are undertaking the design work for the Mosgiel pool.

  17. Jacob

    There can’t be much of the $14 million left after all the hangers on get a cut. Enough for a gold fish bowl maybe.

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