Piss-take (?!) | DCC non comprende ORC and POL

[cold night shrinkage]Waterfront pimps IMG_20150905_233608 [screenshot]

ODT brings WHAT EXACTLY to the working desktop —(surprise!)

The city council with one of the largest per capita ratepayer debt levels in New Zealand, and a superlative track record of POOR BUSINESS DECISIONS (costing ratepayers HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in the last 10 years), thinks it can preach to Otago Regional Council and Port Otago Ltd.

Sheer folly – tied to the MISGUIDED mission to sell out to the 1%er Chinese. CARGO CUL_TISM. [Would someone be pushing something small down the throat again, to secure yet another dowry for a hotel.]

### ODT Online Sat, 5 Sep 2015
Waterfront the next big thing?
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s waterfront is the city’s biggest missed opportunity, but the planets could be aligning for development, advocates say. Depending on who you talk to, the waterfront around Dunedin’s Steamer Basin is either a cold, windswept industrial hub or the city’s next big thing. Where some see room for only the existing cluster of industrial businesses and dilapidated buildings, others imagine a waterfront like Wellington’s – populated by cafes, bars, restaurants, apartments and hotels.
Read more

ODT: Harbourside views in conflict
ODT: ORC denies hindering development

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, COC (Otago), Construction, CST, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, LGNZ, Media, Museums, Name, New Zealand, Ngai Tahu, NZRU, NZTA, OCA, ORC, ORFU, Otago Polytechnic, People, POL, Police, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, University of Otago, Urban design

37 responses to “Piss-take (?!) | DCC non comprende ORC and POL

  1. Elizabeth

    Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
    Sat, 5 Sep 2015 at 5:50 p.m.

    █ Message: My response to the ODT’s Chris Morris’ request for what should be done with our Harbourside appears below, in case readers were unsure of what I believe needs to be done and how it is to be paid for.

    —— Forwarded Message
    From: Lee Vandervis
    Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2015 08:28:18 +1200
    To: Chris Morris, Nicholas George S Smith, Julian Smith
    Conversation: Dunedin’s harbourside
    Subject: Re: Dunedin’s harbourside

    Hi Chris,

    4 main problems have long prevented development of Dunedin’s Harbourside:

    1 – Conflicting interests of DCC and ORC bureaucracies. [zoning/investment/access]
    2 – ORC failure to freehold its substantial Harbourside leasehold land. [My successful 2007 motion that DCC not invest in Harbourside until ORC freeholded more than 50% of its harbourside land was quashed by narrow interests in the closing hours of the triennium as votes were being counted]
    3 – ORC failure to maintain/rebuild Harbourside wharves, especially the rotting Harbour Basin wharves.
    4 – General economic sluggishness resulting from DCC debt and failure to confront jobs for the boys with the stranglehold of a small group of short-sighted tartan mafia with access to public funds.

    Solutions include:
    1 – amalgamate DCC & ORC and overview Harbourside access plan.
    2 – ORC leasehold land to be progressively freeholded, as DCC did to its leasehold land a decade ago.
    3 – Profits from Port Otago to be invested in maintaining/rebuilding Harbour Basin wharf and other Harbourside infrastructure.
    4 – DCC open tender system, sale of dysfunctional DELTA/Aurora, appointment of a new generation of directors and facilitation for Dunedin emerging developers, eg Macknight, Bamford, Forbes, Daniels etc.

    A big topic Chris, for which I have tried to compress both problems and solutions as above.
    Ta for providing the lead time to do so.


    On 2/09/15 11:41 am, “Chris Morris” wrote:


    I’m working on a feature piece looking at the future of Dunedin’s waterfront – whether it should be put to better use (or not), how it should be done (if at all), what form any development should take and the major benefits/challenges that would arise.

    I’m planning to interview a cast of thousands for this, so will not have the space to include everyone’s views, but if any of you have any particular thoughts or comments you’d like me to consider, please feel free to fire back with an email.

    The story is intended for Saturday’s paper, so I’d need to hear from you by Friday at the latest.

    Many thanks,

    —— End of Forwarded Message

  2. Pb

    Replace the industrial / engineering heartland of Dunedin with more cafés and overvalued development? Dunedin needs more industry and good jobs, not more coffee drinking options. Morons!

  3. Peter

    Looking ahead, noting areas in cities always regenerate and decline, I wonder if the regeneration of the Exchange, Princes St and possibly the waterfront, might see George St go into some decline. Certainly there are presently more empty shops there, but this might be just a blip with retail doldrums at present. Also rents are high in this area, I understand. Added to that is the growth in big box shops on the outskirts and drive to takeaways. I would think….and hope… that the Octagon and Moray Place precinct survives.
    The only saviour might be significantly increased population which I would think is unlikely despite the 10/10/10 plan of ‘action’. I wonder if the council has anticipated whether this scenario is possible. Doubt it somehow.

  4. Anonymous

    Sympathetic to most of Lee’s points, but not sure that facilitating access for a small group of emerging developers is going to fix the problem of facilitating access for a small group of incumbent developers.

  5. russandbev

    This story has some more legs in it I suspect. The land along the waterfront contains some interesting inhabitants related to the harbour and its activities. The Otago Rowing Club for one and I happen to know that recently some indications from the DCC are that they want them out of their premises and relocated to a place of the DCC’s choosing. All secret squirrel sort of stuff with nobody knowing just why, and what is planned. Time for some real disclosure about just who is planning what, who is involved, who stands to make money. The old story is the best one – follow the money.

  6. Rob Hamlin

    To be frank. I do not think that the developers and their various networked ‘stakeholders’ are ever going to leave the harbourside area or its occupants alone. As someone who talks to business round this area a lot, the story is the same, short revolving leases, and the impression that the area is just waiting for the ‘dozer, regardless of the jobs lost. The fact that the place looks like a complete tip is a direct outcome of this situation, and possibly not an inadvertent one either. For many the leases are so short that it makes no sense to even paint the place.

    No one can do ‘useful’ business there any longer. Some employers who draw their income for the area may relocate to such areas as the Taieri, rightly ignoring many agriculturally unimportant apparently vacant, but securely ‘landbanked’ sites on the way out. Landbanking is probably THE major issue that this city faces when trying to reinvigorate itself. I have been led to understand that many industrial sites in other parts of this town simply do not offer the long-term security of tenure necessary to support major capital investment in fixed assets.

    It appears that many owners, the DCC included, are waiting for ‘The Big One’ and want to be in a position to clear their investments of pesky tenants quickly, or even in advance, when it, ‘The Big One’ that is (finally) arrives. This of course is an utterly self-defeating process, as ‘The Big One’ will never arrive if there is no affordable and secure land for it to arrive upon. Sadly, it defeats everybody else in this community too.

    Maybe the vastly more important employers who actually export goods and services from this town are beginning to realise this too, and also to form an appreciation that ‘business’ in Dunedin is governed by an elite who’s primary ‘business’ focus is upon speculation, not productive activity.

    These crucial export businesses, when reflecting recent antics involving bizarre tombstone hotels that never would be and tantrums about antique warehouses, would draw the logical conclusion that it’s all too hard in Dunedin altogether for a productive manufacturing business, and not just the harbourside area. They therefore invest no further, but will leave this City to ply their already difficult trade in easier environments whose official and unofficial rulers do not exact tribute to the same degree.

    The foundry owners who already have left, I suspect after an exercise in applied logic similar to this, may have taken some comfort from the McPravda article this weekend – it’s pretty clear from this major exercise in public scene-setting that they have made the right call. The ‘dozers are on their way. For others in the area, it will simply be the trigger for them to make it.

    • Calvin Oaten

      “WATERFRONT” the next big thing. We have seen so many ‘big things’ in the last fifteen years that were going to be the panacea for the city it’s no wonder the apathetic response to these crazy notions. If Dave thinks by ‘sodding off’ to China almost monthly he can turn the trick and bring the proverbial ‘rabbit out of the hat’ then he is a bigger ‘nutter’ than I thought he was. He only needs to look at the city’s debt and industrial land tenure (as Rob outlines) to see that. But that is where the ‘brain fart’ kicks in, he just can’t see anything but being the “best small city in the world”. In the process he watches as venture after venture bites the dust and moves on. When one thinks of the job losses in his tenure it is astounding. This only area of growth I’ve seen that stands out is the escalation of staff numbers and consultants cost within the DCC.

  7. Elizabeth

    Dunedin bones ain’t got this happy energy, but “who” likes to think so —“who” would sell us out….. *squirms in the precincts::: +Warehouse +Exchange +Octagon +Princes Street +Harbourside +Leith Boat Harbour +Stadium……

    [not tiramisu…. instead, chopsticks 101 insidious takeover of Silver Fern Farms rumoured et al….. Tartans sell off NZ sovereignty //// would sell their own mothers]

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  8. Gurglars

    Generations X & Y have been brought up on the mantra sold by Tony Robbins and his ilk believe it and it will happen. Therefore there is no logistical plan, no intermediate and initial moves based on a logical well thought out strategy, backed up by prudent investment within the means available.

    Subsequently, you get the problems caused by “build it and they will come”, the Stadium, the Chinese Garden and the Toitu museum all not collecting sufficient income to justify their development or in fact their continued existence.

    Imagine what “we” want (say cycleways, sustainable food, walkways around the Octagon, traffic calming by traffic lights and inter street protruberances) and you will get what you want, an idyllic car-free lifestyle where people will not need to work, pay the mortgage, feed, clothe and educate the kids etc).

    The reality is that what most married people have to face up to is the necessity of interpreting the opportunities in their environment, knuckling down and living within their generally inadequate means. In New Zealand it is only overpaid university educators or overpaid council employees, public servants and a few, very few overpaid corporate executives, particularly in Dunedin, who have the luxury of dreaming of a utopian sociery as they see it.

    Worse is that the utopian society as they see it is in fact mutually exclusive to the needs and requirements of the employed and retired multitude living in Dunedin.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Indeed Gurglars, “Imagine … you will get what you want, an idyllic car-free lifestyle where people will not need to work, pay the mortgage, feed, clothe and educate the kids etc” which makes the waterfront scheme perfect. All that free time for bicycling between cafes in the CBD, to lunch in Jetty Street, then across to Harbourside Haven for afternoon coffee, sitting outside in the bracing windchill factor of 114 brass monkeys to the acre.

      Oh yes, imagination is a wonderful thing. The leisure society, it was predicted for so long and now it’s within hollering distance. Some people are sure to mutter grumpily, but for all the rest of us WINZ’s amusingly named Job Seeker benefit and National Super will provide the wherewithall for our days of making the most of those cycle lanes, and sharing one flat-white with 4 friends.

      As the old slogan said, IIRC: Dunedin, it’s all rot here.

    • Gurglars

      Now here’s a coincidence, just reading the Sunday Star Times and guess what a Generation XY following the guru into the pockets of the naive!


      • Elizabeth

        Caught it when first published but didn’t publish link – thanks Gurglars. Love it.
        Cull might understand the point, having rooked DCC for years and years of free water at his home address, illegally….
        “one water meter for seven new homes”.

  9. Gurglars

    Who gets the biscuit Hype?

  10. jeff dickie

    Regarding DCC’s failed Wall Street, Cr Richard Thomson says “there was no question it’s making money for council” [ODT 8 September]. Given it cost $34M to build in 2009 and is now valued at $29.5M that is difficult to believe. Very difficult to believe! I can think of many reasons why Thomson should not be involved with large amounts of public money. In fact I can think of 16,900,000 reasons. Why these people keep putting themselves forward despite repeated failures is a puzzle. Still, he is in good company.

  11. Rob Hamlin

    Councillor Thomson also said in the same article about this recent and expensive DCC construction:

    “I don’t think that’s a well-designed mall from a retail perspective”

    So from what other (obvious) perspective is it a well-designed mall?

    Other possible quotes might include:

    “I don’t think that’s a well-designed sea wall from a wave perspective”
    “I don’t think that’s a well-designed cycle track from a bicycle rider’s perspective”
    “I don’t think that’s a well-designed stadium from a spectator’s perspective”
    “I don’t think that it’s a well-designed gully from a subdivision runoff perspective”
    “I don’t think that the DCC’s multi-option variable rate note facility: MOVRNF (in which virtually all its debt is placed) is a well-designed debt instrument from a borrower’s perspective”

    This last may explain why everything is suddenly and urgently for sale. A massive exposure to overseas currency denominated debt derivatives is suggested by wild fluctuations in the DCC’s profits and losses (up to $25 million a year) that are attributed to them in the annual accounts over the last four to five years). These massive fluctuations have occurred in a period when interest rate and currencies have been historically stable.

    However, over the last two months dollars has depreciated c. 20% against the currencies that the derivative debt is likely to be denominated in, and it is still falling. If this MOVRNF instrument is poorly designed from the rate payers perspective, (and it would be bucking a consistent trend in Council deals since 2000 for it not to be) the losses to the DCC stemming from this devaluation could be in the hundreds of millions.

    This will not have to be admitted until the DCC’s financial figures for 2015/16 financial year have (reluctantly) to be revealed to the public. Given past form, they could hold out on this until the very end of 2016. Expect a massive Briscoes-like sale of DCC/DCHL assets at any price to be ongoing between now and then. If the lenders are rational, they will not call the $850 million’s worth of DCTL ‘on call capital’ until these DCC assets (including the water/sewage) have been stripped away at advantageous prices.

  12. Simon

    It is interesting to note that a former chair of the DCC finance committee was under such a tight control when it came to the family affairs. That only the mother was allowed to sign the family cheques. What a rush of blood to the head. When that person became the chair of the finance committee with no restrictions. This may give you some insight as to why council is in such a financial mess.

  13. Elizabeth

    Yesterday, DCC Finance Committee yesterday heard the council’s operating deficit was $1.5 million to $5.9 million worse than budget.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 8 Sep 2015
    Council may sell Wall St mall
    By David Loughrey
    The Dunedin City Council’s Wall Street mall could soon be on the market as the city gears up to consider asset sales. Discussion of the mall’s future ownership came yesterday, despite a new valuation that saw it drop $5.8 million in value. Read more

    Report – FIN – 07/09/2015 (PDF, 1.1 MB)
    Financial Result – Year Ended 30 June 2015

  14. Gurglars

    Drop in Valuation-

    Read- unable to be sold at present value

    Discounted sale value will free up capital to solve major problems

    Read- lenders will not loan any more to DCC due to inadequate security

  15. Elizabeth

    HEEEEELP, DCC IS SCREWED – CALL STANDARD & POORS & AUDIT NEW ZEALAND oh gosh the day has come on R Thomson’s watch, Praise The Lord, He deserveth it so !!!!!!!!!

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 8, 2015
    DCC considers asset sales

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Tue, 8 Sep 2015
    DCC considers asset sales
    The city council’s operating deficit for the last financial year is worse than budgeted and staff are considering asset sales.
    Ch39 Link

    • Elizabeth

      Comment at ODT Online, the writer is so often NOT fooled by DCC’s SCREWY financial statements:

      More bad news
      Submitted by JimmyJones on Fri, 11/09/2015 – 5:15pm.

      There is even more bad news which the DCC has revealed, but which the ODT hasn’t reported. As well as the $5.8 million devaluation of the Wall St property, the other parts of the DCC’s property portfolio also dropped in value. The other properties dropped by another $2.8 million. The total property devaluation of $8.6 million represents a bottom-line loss to ratepayers of $8.6 million. This is in addition to losses from a variety of the DCC’s other businesses.

      And more bad news: also revealed, at the same time, is that Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) (which manages the stadium) made an unexpected loss, this financial year, of an additional $6.4 million. This is the result of a devaluation. DVML always makes a loss, but this extra loss is in addition to its normal loss. The total stadium losses have been about $20 million each year including DVL, DVML and DCC subsidies and costs. We will get the new results in 3 weeks’ time.

      Even more bad news: over the financial year the DCC increased its debt by $18.6 million. This is the result of a special arrangement which transfers costs from the FB Stadium to the DCC to give us the appearance that stadium losses are less than they actually are – a deception, but not illegal.

      These figures are from this 12 month report. Normally the DCC would strenuously avoid releasing bad news like this, but they are forced to because, by law, this information must be included in the DCC’s audited Annual Report – a public document. [Abridged by ODT]

      Report – FIN – 07/09/2015 (PDF, 1.1 MB)
      Financial Result – Year Ended 30 June 2015

  16. Gurglars

    We should march against any asset sales except the sale of the stadium, it is running costs that must be cut. Sell assets now and as costs increase as they have over the past ten dismal years, the DCC will still have to cut costs at some time in the future. So cut costs Now.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes but when costs are strongly attached to keeping those “assets” -… by the way, who gets to keep the sodding, oops sodden, sticks?

  17. Elizabeth

    Tomorrow ODT features more on the waterfront debate they foisted last weekend. This time consulting the deputy mayor at Wellington who says if Dunedin wants to redevelop its waterfront “it can”. The bulls wool keeps a-growing, to say nothing of the loyalty ODT isn’t showing to harbourside businesses and the engineering fraternity. Despicable. But surprise, Allied Press Ltd own two AMAZING historic brick warehouses on the harbourside and are said to be quite keen on reducing them to rubble for New development. The significance of both buildings sees them individually listed by Heritage New Zealand within the registered Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area.

  18. Elizabeth


    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Sep 2015
    Capital lesson for city
    By Chris Morris
    If Dunedin’s waterfront is to be transformed, an example of how to do it can be found in Wellington. There, Dunedin would find an example of what can be achieved in another sometimes cold and windswept city that has regenerated its waterfront since the late 1980s.
    Read more

    Then ODT went to Jim Harland, one of the most craven-contributing causes of DUNEDIN’S CRIPPLING CONSOLIDATED DEBT WRITTEN UP EXPONENTIALLY BY THE STADIUM RORT:

    ODT and reporter Chris Morris have lost the freaking plot.

    WHO are the balding-fiddlers behind this URBAN DESIGN ‘let’s meet’ crap:
    Talks on future of area

    And what of LOVEBIRDS at Auckland and Wellington ? —no need of Ashley Madison to get business done, we hear.

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  19. Elizabeth

    “Bring on my council chairship” (rubs hands) (familial platitudes)
    Usual shameless over-pitching of tourist/conference spend at Dunedin.

    Dunedin needs a five star hotel, writes Dunedin city councillor Andrew Whiley … Build it and they will come!

    ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Sep 2015
    New five star hotel action needed right now
    By Andrew Whiley
    OPINION Dunedin definitely needs a five star luxury hotel and we should get under way with planning and approving it today! Mayor Dave Cull recently commented that Dunedin should have higher quality hotel space. I agree but we must act now rather than just talking about it.
    Read more

    Hotel site (Town Hall carpark to Filleul Street and Moray Place):

    [click to enlarge]
    DCC Webmap - Upper Octagon Moray Place Filleul Street (star)DCC Webmap - Upper Octagon Moray Place Filleul StreetDCC Webmaps – Octagon/Upper Moray Place/Filleul Street (JanFeb 2013)

    Related Posts and Comments:
    8.8.15 Cr Whiley on offensive at Build Dunedin #fb
    31.5.14 DCC: Another deadweight pro-stadium councillor #Whiley

  20. Gurglars

    Build it and they will come!

    The closing paragraph of Whiley’s tosh.

    The mantra of all of the loonies at the DCC led by the Chinese garden (not coming)

    The cycleways (not comimg and very unlikely due to the proliferation of cycleways on other wool before the eyes cities, why cycle in Dunedin when one can cycle everywhere else? Cycleways are now like a- holes everyone’s got one) not only that but they are basically unused by visitors unless cars are an impossible form of transport.

    The stadium (coming to your wallet at $20 million pa plus interest that’s $400 pa per ratepayer!)

    The Toitu museum (they’re coming but again at ratepayers’ expense)

    Now the hotel is coming-

    The view (the convention centre and the backside of the Octagon)

    Now why has it not come to me!

    The ANSWER.

    The DCC builds the hotel, uses the old parking staff, Kevin, Robert, Athol, Rhonda et al to run it for them.

    Andrew Whiley could chair it for them, then he could organise free rooms for Oil and Gas and make the huge success of the project he has demonstrated in every aspect of his previous business life.

    • Elizabeth

      We also have a ‘Chinese-partnership’ aquarium (not coming)

      And Edgar/Farry inspired waterfront hotels, now designed by Van Brandenburg – pitched by DCC (not coming)

      And Otago Rowing Club to bulldoze for something (not coming)

      Jesus wept.

  21. Elizabeth

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 15, 2015
    Rumours circulate about parking changes in the city’s industrial area

    DCC confirms it has no plans to change parking in the area at present…..

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Tue, 15 Sep 2015
    Rumours circulate about parking changes in the city’s industrial area
    A debate about whether to change parking in part of the city’s industrial area is confusing some workers.
    Ch39 Link

    █ Is this DCC softening up local businesses and their workers – rumours weren’t started for fun !!! ?

  22. Elizabeth

    Message to ORC – don’t touch gutter-dwelling-heavily-indebted DCC with a bargepole. But hey. What’s a little global warming between friends.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 17 Sep 2015
    Time for regional council buy-in
    By Neville Peat
    OPINION Enthusiasm for reinventing the Steamer Basin – The Next Big Thing? […] Had the fundamental wealth split favoured the Dunedin City Council in the local government reforms of 1989, the Dunedin waterfront might look different place by now. It’s time for the Otago Regional Council, made wealthy by a historic anomaly, to join hands with its indebted counterpart to enhance the Dunedin waterfront.
    Read more

    ● Neville Peat is a Dunedin City Councillor, a former Otago Regional Councillor and member of the government-appointed South-East Marine Protection Forum.

  23. Elizabeth

    ODT 22.9.15 Oaten (page 8)
    ODT 19.9.15 Davidson (page 30)

    ODT 22.9.15 Letter Oaten p8 - ODT 19.9.15 Letter Davidson p30 (1)

    • photonz

      I work with the tourism industry around the country, and for the last twenty years they’ve been saying that Dunedin misses out on a lot of high value tourists, simply because we don’t have top hotels, so they bypass our city.

      Being so remote from the rest of the world, sometimes I think we’re a little out of touch with what goes on elsewhere. I used to work in the tourism industry in Africa, and it wasn’t uncommon for over half of all visitors in some game parks to be staying in accommodation that cost US$1000 a night or more.

      The council should do as much as possible to encourage a top end hotel to the city, without putting ratepayers money in. Cr Whiley’s idea of selling the car park with pre-approved hotel consents sounds like just the sort of outside-the-square thinking that could have great benefits for Dunedin, without costing ratepayers.

      It should be applauded, and investigated further.

  24. Phil

    My money is leaning towards the recent sudden resignation of the Assistant Property Manager being linked to the upcoming recruitment process for the new DVL property board. A not so discrete attempt to avoid a conflict of interest for herself and/or her husband.

  25. Elizabeth

    Dunedin resident Barry Simpson urges caution before proceeding with any harbourside project.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Oct 2015
    Eateries are not what’s needed
    By Barry Simpson
    Thank heavens that the Otago Harbour Board assets were transferred to the Otago Regional Council. The key point in Neville Peat’s ODT piece (17.9.15) was at the end: “It’s time for the ORC to join hands with its indebted counterpart to enhance the Dunedin waterfront”. Why should it, with Dunedin’s recent history of investing in above-ground feel-good assets that have now mired the city in more debt than is wise?
    Read more

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Barry Simpson shows evidence of well-functioning brain cells.

    In the city at this sorry time he’s definitely out of style. Ditzy Visionistas rule – and spend.
    Needed? Affordable?
    Tra-la-la, we’re positive (ly bonkers) and we have Visions! You want it, you don’t want it – irrelevant, we’ve decided to Enhance it for your own good, dear ratepayers.

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