Harbourside: Official information request to Dunedin City Council

Note: LGOIMA official information requests can be emailed direct to officialinformation @dcc.govt.nz

DCC Webmap - Upper Harbour Central Dunedin JanFeb 2013DCC Webmap – Upper Harbour Central Dunedin JanFeb 2013

From: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Monday, 7 September 2015 2:30 p.m.
To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr; Grace Ockwell [DCC]; Sue Bidrose [DCC]
Subject: LGOIMA Information Request

Dear Sandy

Re: Urban Design and Envisioning for Dunedin Harbourside

I note the following media items:

● ODT (19.8.15) Cull to push for more city hotels [hotel accommodation]
● ODT (20.8.15) Under-fire Cull stands by comments [hotel accommodation]
● ODT (26.8.15) – A Mackay, Opinion Harbourside development adds vibrancy
● ODT (31.8.15) – P Entwisle, Opinion Extraordinary works inspired by nature [Van Brandenburg]
● ODT (5.9.15) Waterfront the next big thing? [bridge, aquarium, ORC headquarters, hotels etc]
● ODT (5.9.15) Harbourside views in conflict
● ODT (5.9.15) ORC denies hindering development
● ODT (7.9.15) Vogel Street Party spreads its wings [Van Brandenburg ‘hotel’ model]
● ODT (7.9.15) Conferences ‘great’ boost for city

●● DCC media release (27.8.15) Building stronger local government connections with China

●● Indications are that DCC wants Otago Rowing Club to relocate from their premises to a site of the DCC’s choosing.

I wish to formally request ALL reports and visionary/guiding documents and or statements/statements of proposal or intent that are currently being used by Dunedin City Council in consultation with other parties (real and potential – local, national and international) be they:

focus groups, steering groups, working parties, development partners, surveyors, designers/architects, resource management specialists, investors, project facilitators, project managers, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Chamber of Commerce and or other – to ‘shape and envision’ the future development of Dunedin Harbourside in the urban area that extends from:

Otago Boat Harbour and its vicinity (includes Industrial 1 zone, Stadium zone, Port 2 zone) to the area zoned for mixed use south of Dunedin’s Steamer Basin (Harbourside zone) and further south to Portsmouth Drive (Industrial 1 zone); including connections to existing precincts TH12, TH13, TH05, TH04, TH03 and TH02.

Any corresponding information and explanation that derives from the, to be publicly notified (this month?), second generation plan (2GP) for these city blocks and foreshore area is also requested.

I look forward to prompt receipt of all available information in electronic format.


Elizabeth Kerr
[Dunedin North]


From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Sent: Monday, 7 September 2015 2:42 p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Cc: Grace Ockwell [DCC]; Sue Bidrose [DCC]
Subject: RE: LGOIMA Information Request

Dear Elizabeth

Thanks for your very detailed LGOIMA request which I have forwarded to the officialinformation @dcc.govt.nz. Your request will be processed under the terms of LGOIMA and a response will be provided as soon as practicable but in any event within 20 working days.


[DCC Group Manager Corporate Services]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
[it’s OK, not holding my breath for too much public disclosure]


Filed under Architecture, Business, COC (Otago), Construction, CST, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Design, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Events, Geography, Heritage, Highlanders, Hotel, KiwiRail, Media, Museums, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, NZTA, Offshore drilling, ORC, ORFU, Otago Polytechnic, People, POL, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, University of Otago, Urban design

26 responses to “Harbourside: Official information request to Dunedin City Council

  1. Elizabeth

    Effectively, the 20 working days for DCC response to the Information Request lapsed on Monday 5 October 2015.

    This was noted to Sandy Graham and company today, Cc Kristy Rusher.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Dunedin – Timeless City
    Yet another slogan.

  3. Elizabeth

    DCC response received – will be uploaded this evening at this page.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting Opinion piece in today’s 8th Oct 2015 ODT by Barry Simpson; “Eateries are not what’s needed.”

  5. Elizabeth

    DCC response (LGOIMA) received today.

    The response is not at all genuine. Weekly monitoring of staff progress with all LGOIMA requests received is surely mandatory at DCC —Sandy ????!!!!

    Thus, DCC fails to account for the 20 working days wherein no practical follow up at all occurred with the requestor – such as offering (within 24 hours) 3 hours free search and asking if I could revise my request to avoid or incur a charge for search – having revised (or not) my request, I would then seek an estimate (for costs) from DCC Staff for information sought. Simple really. Bureaucracy, its own horrid animal of DELAY and AVOIDANCE. These people would last 2 minutes in the private sector, damned for their lack of Customer Service.

    I will reply in due course.
    A taster for DCC Staff reading this.


    From: Grace Ockwell
    Sent: Thursday, 8 October 2015 4:42 p.m.
    To: Elizabeth Kerr
    Subject: RE: LGOIMA Information Request – Dunedin Harbourside

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Thank you for your email of earlier today advising us that a response to your email of 7 September 2015 asking for information about Harbourside was overdue.

    Please accept my apologies for the lack of response. The following response was drafted but unfortunately was not sent.

    “Thank you for your email of 7 September 2015 requesting information about “Urban Design and Envisioning Dunedin Harbourside.”

    Your request has been considered under the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) and the following response is provided.

    As currently worded it would take significantly in excess of three hours to complete a response. As you are aware the DCC provides three hours free of charge but time spent in excess of three hours would incur a fee under our charging policy. DCC Charging-for-LGOIMA

    Please refine your request – It would be helpful if you would specify a date range for the information and refine the subject matter of your request.”

    I look forward to receiving your response.

    Kind regards,

    Grace Ockwell
    Governance Support Officer
    Civic and Legal
    Dunedin City Council


    From: Elizabeth Kerr
    Sent: Thursday, 8 October 2015 12:24 p.m.
    To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
    Cc: Grace Ockwell; Sue Bidrose; Kristy Rusher [All of DCC]
    Subject: RE: LGOIMA Information Request – Dunedin Harbourside

    Dear Sandy

    The date DCC received the information request below was Monday 7 September 2015.

    The 20 working days for DCC response lapsed on (effectively) Monday 5 October 2015.

    I await response.

    Kind regards

    Elizabeth Kerr

  6. Elizabeth

    So it was in the too hard basket of DCC obfuscation, yet here we are today reading of ORC’s reality check on DCC’s fucked up ‘café visions’ in a no growth country town. The Mayor’s short-posturing is LAUGHABLE given the scale of DCC’s consolidated debt. If ORC is very wise it will use its property subsidiary Chalmers Properties Ltd only, to explore future opportunities —leaving DCC for DEAD.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 3 Nov 2015
    Talks start on harbourside revamp
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council have begun preliminary talks to progress development of the city’s harbourside.
    [ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead] was not in favour of a new independent entity like that created in Wellington and Auckland, arguing Dunedin’s growth did not warrant it.
    Read more

    Related Post and Comments:
    6.9.15 Piss-take (?!) | DCC eunuch-dogs impugn ORC and POL

    • Hype O'Thermia

      A story published in the Otago Daily Times on November 5 last year said a “fresh push to develop Dunedin’s harbourside” had triggered a “war of words” between Mr Woodhead and Cr Eckhoff.

      ……Mr Woodhead and Mr Cull had previously confirmed discussions had begun between them to identify a way forward for development in the area south of the Steamer Basin.
      The ODT story said most regional councillors had welcomed the initiative, but Cr Eckhoff had contacted the ODT to criticise the ORC’s approach and to accuse Mr Woodhead of overstepping his authority.
      Cr Eckhoff said Mr Woodhead had no mandate to initiate talks without first seeking the endorsement of regional councillors, and he was the ORC chairman, not the “president”.
      Mr Woodhead defended his role and said any decisions would be made by regional councillors and matters would be referred back to them…..


      Referred back to them? “This is what we’ve been up to, hope you like it, tough titty if you don’t”?

      • Elizabeth

        And yet Gerrard Collins (ORC staff) has recently said that ORC hasn’t been consulted on Harbourside…. what he should have said about town is that the ORC Councillors (elected representatives) haven’t been consulted.

        • Elizabeth

          ### OFDT Online Thu, 28 Jan 2016
          Council meets over conduct complaint
          By John Gibb
          A move requiring council chairman Stephen Woodhead to make a written defence against a code of conduct complaint was clearly defeated at the extraordinary council meeting yesterday. […] It is understood the complaint and related concerns by Cr Eckhoff focus partly on recent talks between Mr Woodhead and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull to identify a way to advance Otago Harbour development in the area south of the inner harbour Steamer Basin.
          Read more

          █ The substantive matter is to be heard at a [ORC] council meeting on February 10.

  7. Elizabeth

    Procedural issues, nobody plays by the rules anymore ?

    ### ODT Online Thu, 5 Nov 2015
    ORC councillors disagree over harbourside
    By Chris Morris
    A fresh push to develop Dunedin’s harbourside has triggered a war of words between Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead and one of his councillors. The exchange between Mr Woodhead and Cr Gerry Eckhoff followed confirmation the ORC and Dunedin City Council had begun preliminary talks to progress harbourside development.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Harbourside development will be of advantage to property owners selling under-performing assets (precedent: land bought at insanely high price for Fubar stadium) but seeing the whole exercise will be on my rates dollar what can I expect from it? What can my friends and neighbours expect from it?
      The costs have started with time – “ORC and Dunedin City Council had begun preliminary talks” and argy-bargying about it. Then there will be a group set up (again precedents are Fubar, more recently Mosgiel pool) with a shoebox of free money and bugger-all accountability as to what they spend it on.
      After that it’s all downhill for me and my friends and neighbours, and the current users of the harbourside area.

  8. Elizabeth

    speedfreak43 is in ultra good form this week
    Comment at ODT Online:

    Here’s a plan
    Submitted by speedfreak43 on Thu, 05/11/2015 – 8:44am.

    How about both the DCC and the ORC keeps their noses out of it? They should both be focusing on the problems at St Clair and St Kilda beaches.

    The ORC/Chalmers Properties should just put the land up for sale and let private enterprise deal with it. The DCC can oversee via the consent process.

    Just how hard do both of these entities have to make things? There really are more important issues for both of you to be dealing with.


  9. Anonymous

    ORC can’t be involved in any regulatory or planning discussions around harbourside, simply because it owns so much property down there through Chalmers Properties. And has taken action (recent retitling) to align those properties with potential redevelopment.

  10. Elizabeth

    Sharp letter to the ODT editor today, from Howard Fraser of Vauxhall, questioning the effect of proposed Harbourside development (south of the steamer basin) on central city businesses! !! !!!


    The reply from Mayor Cull is as obscene as it is utterly ridiculous.

    Paragraph two is more thoroughly fruitcake electric shock therapy territory – how to shut down existing enterprise and replace with some Cheshire-Cat spurious dream of Lunar Park.


    (ask who invests in Auckland real estate to bypass #DUD and indulge every whim, say no more)

    I feel a new post coming on.

    ODT 12.11.15 (page 12)

    ODT 12.11.15 Letter to editor Fraser p12

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Count the eateries and bars in the CBD. Count the clothes shops and travel agencies. Count what’s left – all that “general retail” – most gone to big-box compounds.
      Harbourside will have restaurants and “entertainment” – opera house? Mid-sized theatre? Or could it be … bars, with music? Because there are not enough for the population, right? Well, there won’t be by the time the Greater Dunedin dominated council has attracted those extra 10,000 people – or was it 100,000, or 1000 … or 100? I have difficulty keeping track of other people’s delusions.
      And exhibitions, because we don’t have them already in the CBD – or do we? Dealer galleries, Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Museums. Odd little spaces that people open up for their own art and performance passions. Pottery group shop / exhibition.
      What a bright idea, making room for more because Dunedin’s full of people with wallets bulging after paying their rates, all looking for more art works to buy.

      How to gut a city, one brainfart after another. Gee thanks Dave. What would we do without you?

      Remember the election’s coming. Prepare to vote.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin has asked for his comment to be moved to this thread. Great minds, we got to the ODT letter more or less simultaneously as readers.

      Calvin Oaten
      Submitted on 2015/11/12 at 2:54 pm

      That was a very good letter in the ODT by Howard Fraser on the dangers implicit in the 2GP for fragmenting and imperiling the viability of struggling businesses.
      The Reply by Mayor Cull was an anachronism in logic, wherein he agreed on the one hand with Mr Fraser on the need as he sees it, to “protect the vibrancy, attractiveness and economic and social function of the central city and other suburban, neighbourhood and rural centres, as one of the key strategic directions of the proposed Second Generation Plan (2GP) and a major issue for the city with the current trends in retail activity.” Get that?
      Then he turns around and talks inanely about how “the 2GP proposes the harbourside as a specialised area that should perform a different and non-competing function to the central city and other centres. As such, general retail (excluding dairies) and office activity (excluding training and education) are non-complying activities in this zone. Instead, the area provides for restaurants, entertainment and exhibition, community and leisure, sport and recreation and visitor accommodation activities.” What he is saying here is exactly what Mr Fraser was implying as being a danger to the Octagon precinct. In fact, Mayor Cull is himself an anachronism in as much as he opens his mouth and utters the first thing that comes into it without consulting his brain first. That is the whole thrust of this 2GP fiasco.

    • Elizabeth

      ODT 14.11.15 (page 30)

      ODT 14.11.15 Letter to editor McQueen p30 (1)

  11. Elizabeth

    PS Dunedin is off the major Auckland / Rotorua / Queenstown golden triangle for tourists from China. The Herald says so.
    Daaave ????

    • Diane Yeldon

      When I looked at 2GP for the first time, and actually got access to the maps, I noticed there is a ‘transitional zone’ adjacent to the harbourside. Now my bullshit detector went off like a Geiger counter. My immediate thought was, “This is in preparation for some development which is already in the pipeline,” along the lines of a Plan Variation proposed by the council, when a developer who they like, wants to do something and the council is trying to accommodate him or her. So this ‘transitional zone’ looked fishy to me and I wondered if it actually was effectively a developers’ Plan Variation snuck into the 2GP. There certainly seems to be a lot of speculative stupidity going on about this term, ‘harbourside’, as if Dunedin central city land close to the sea is identical in every important respect to central city land close to the sea in a much warmer climate – where people bask in the sun, supping their cappuccinos under brightly VIBRANT beach umbrellas and so on… Well, no, sorry, it isn’t. Because all the punters here are going to be thinking about is how to get warm and how to get out of the icy driving wind. The trouble is that speculators might indeed be able to pull off something with this land, by making the project look good on paper and selling it at profit to someone gullible who’s never been to Dunedin. A bit of a ‘South Seas bubble’ perhaps.
      But maybe I’m just too suspicious…

      • Elizabeth

        Diane, can never be too suspicious of the bullswool artists running the City Council. And whom, have never once presented to the public studiously astute economic research and justification (as other councils are sometimes organised to do for proper diligence and transparency) in the attempt to bring the public on board for genuinely warranted change capable of generating benefits and advantages to the widest possible swathe of ratepayers and residents.

        (NOT the multimillion-dollar losses, one after another in each successive year, that DCC chalks up against our privately owned assets)

        With Harbourside, what’s in it for the greedy DCC officials involved in delivering red(code word for bulls) wool carpet to select businesses to encourage #DUD ‘riviera’ development. BTW how is Motor Trade Finance these days ? And certain suppliers of vehicle parts and services ? (Citifleet)

        And what of Sue and Harl-doll’s hopes for a ‘partnered’ aquarium at Harbourside, linked by Van Brandenburg foot and cycle bridge over the rail tracks, Dave’s ploys (fawning) for ‘overseas investment’ in new harbourside hotels supposedly to cut dead Scenic Circle/Hagaman and Distinction who clearly can identify and differentiate their market….

        And all those links and flights into the hellhole of a bracing southerly at Kitchener St and nearby sites, supposedly to be freeholded ONE DAY…. in parallel with the proposed realignment of SH1 (loss of the one-way system) to help along Jimothy H’s new mincemeat cycle lanes.

        What a sad indictment when you start listing every FAILED DCC PROJECT.

        Vote Cull out. With that, throw in a new chief executive with proven expertise and requisite experience to efficiently cut staff numbers and eliminate makework schemes and council policies that give rise to them. DCC likes to think it is a big business. It shouldn’t be. Shred it.

  12. Diane Yeldon

    I love the term ‘the Dunedin Riviera’! Brrrrrrr!

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Dunedin Shiveriera, actually.

  14. Elizabeth

    More on the Woodhead saga mentioned further up this thread.

    The ORC had given Mr Bodeker a mandate to talk to the city council over harbourside matters, and Mr Woodhead had accompanied him.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 11 Feb 2016
    ORC councillors back Woodhead
    By John Gibb
    Otago regional councillors yesterday backed council chairman Stephen Woodhead by voting down two code of conduct complaints against him. […] The complaints arose over preliminary discussions between Mr Woodhead and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull late last year over a proposed Dunedin Harbourside development, south of the Steamer Basin.
    Read more

  15. Elizabeth

    Fri, 17 Mar 2017
    ODT Editorial: Getting the best from waterfront
    OPINION Talk of developing Dunedin’s waterfront brings a feeling of a deja vu. As a city, Dunedin has had the waterfront discussion many times before and, ultimately, it has always been tossed in the too-hard basket. Maybe this time it will be different. Earlier this week it was revealed award-winning Dunedin-based architectural firm Architecture Van Brandenburg has developed a model showing what a redevelopment of the city’s waterfront could look like. The model includes a bridge to the harbourside and other links to the central city, as well as developments and public space around Steamer Basin. It has reignited the interest of city authorities. Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead has called a meeting between the ORC, the Dunedin City Council, Port Otago and the University of Otago to discuss development in the area. […] Despite  all the talk about the area’s potential, redevelopment plans,  which have included a 27-storey Chinese-backed waterfront hotel, a bridge, a public aquarium and ORC headquarters, have come to nothing. But it appears the idea has not been totally written off. Parties including the ORC, Port Otago and university have been pushing for planning restrictions for the area to be relaxed in the city’s second generation district plan (2GP). Cont/

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    “Despite all the talk about the area’s potential, redevelopment plans … have come to nothing. But it appears the idea has not been totally written off.”
    Nor will it be while there are people who see it as beneficial to their business / careers.
    “Parties including the ORC, Port Otago and university…” are keen to see Council swept up by Bieber fan grade enthusiasm, in which knicker-wetting state of overwhelming excitement they would have no difficulty forgetting that Dunedin is up to its armpits in debt. Not going to get better in a hurry either with a stadium on permanent life support and South Dunedin at serious risk from anthropogenic (specifically DCC anthropoggles) infrastructure senescence. Not just South Dunedin, either.

    Then there’s that other witches’ curse, Aurora/Delta. How could anyone forget?

    Actually, forgetting’s not hard when there’s a shiny project and decision-makers to whom Other People’s Money is delicious but not really serious, like gold foil covered chocolate coins.

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