Mayor Cull won’t admit lack of maintenance #SouthDunedinFlood

Dave famous last words 1a

Mayor calls on government for help
39 Dunedin Television 20.11.15
A rising issue for seaside suburbs, a new report shows Dunedin is most at risk of suffering the negative effects of rising sea levels due to climate change. South Dunedin residents in particular are likely to experience flooding from rising ground water. Ch39 Link

Preparing New Zealand for rising seas: Certainty and Uncertainty
A report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment shows Dunedin is one of the most vulnerable areas in the country.

Related Posts and Comments:
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3.6.15 Civil Defence response to Dunedin FLOODING
10.4.15 DCC: Natural Hazards
28.3.15 DCC Draft Long Term Plan 2015/16 to 2024/25 —Consultation Open
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25.11.11 South Dunedin and other flood zones

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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34 responses to “Mayor Cull won’t admit lack of maintenance #SouthDunedinFlood

  1. Cinimod

    Sea level and St Kilda/South Dunedin has always been marginal. That’s why maintenance of infrastructure (read stormwater/wastewater management) has always been the most critically important need of absolute attention to maintenance. Cull and his mob are so busy building cycle ways to serve that urgent demand for phantom cyclists that they have forgotten the investment priorities – maintenance of roads and drainage. How very convenient it is though to start ‘gobbing off’ by dragging out that hoary old chestnut (rising sea level) to neatly disguise his Council’s abandonment of the prudent expenditure of the (captive) ratepayers’ funds on core Council maintenance.

  2. Elizabeth

    Deplorable greenie editorial. BS territory.

    Implications for the Dunedin City Council’s district and infrastructure plans will be large. –Editor

    ### ODT Online Sat, 21 Nov 2015
    Editorial Time to act, not talk
    OPINION Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright’s report on sea-level rise has caused warning bells to be rung in Dunedin which has about of a third of the homes identified nationally as being at risk. […] In Dunedin, 2683 homes have been identified as being at risk. Climate change debate continues to divide communities – even in Dunedin.
    Read more

  3. Mayor Cull said on Radio Dunedin in summary that he wants more money and more power. This in order to deal with the problem of rising sea levels. They are called tides. What can I say? That sums up this administration. It spins so much that it is spinning out of control.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I’m with Cull on this. He needs more power, starting with the power to critically examine the data on which this acute threat of sea level rise is based. And the powers to understand why drainage is important, and why paying companies to clean out mud tanks, or indeed any other work our rates are spent on, is only a good idea when the companies actually DO the work. And an understanding of how rain works, beyond the obvious fact it falls from the sky. Hint: after arriving on earth it has a tendency to proceed downhill unless supped by thirsty plants, and there are factors that influence whether it flows too fast for ill-maintained systems or slowly and gradually.
      More power to Cull – and make that quick.

  4. Elizabeth

    Cracker comment at ODT Online

    Sea level paranoia
    Submitted by JimmyJones on Fri, 20/11/2015 – 8:26pm.

    The residents of South Dunedin, already traumatised by the June failure of the DCC stormwater system and the resulting flooding, should not be re-victimized by Mayor Cull’s careless comments about “managed retreat” and the highly exaggerated predictions of the Environment Commissioner (PCE). He should confine himself to established facts and not speculative scaremongering.

    The Environment Commissioner’s report contains no new predictions about sea level rise. The only source for her sea-level forecasts is from the IPCC AR5 climate assessment report from 2013. The IPCC relies on defective climate models and so their temperature and sea-level forecasts are invalid.

    Our local sea-level is measured very accurately at Port Chalmers by a tide gauge which forms part of a global network of tide gauges. From this we know that our sea-level rise is very modest (1.3mm per year) compared to the IPCC’s failed prediction (4mm per year for 2010 – 2015). The IPCC’s scaryest prediction is for a rise of 16mm per year at the end of the century. Our very modest rate of sea-level rise should be a comfort to the citizens of South Dunedin. Dave Cull and the other local Global Warming crusaders might be disappointed to hear this.

    The Port Chalmers tide data shows no accelerating trend and therefore no sign of any human influence on sea-level. Because there is no acceleration, we should expect the rate of 1.3mm per year to continue for the next 100 years or more. The 300mm threshold referred to in the PCE report will therefore be reached in 230 years. Put it in your diary, Dave.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      And another. A good day for wise responders to panic-merchants.

      Practical solution
      Submitted by sv3nn0 on Sat, 21/11/2015 – 9:14am.

      It will be years before this happens if at all but I’m more interested in what the response from local and central Govt should be. I don’t see that they need to throw loads of money at it. My plan would be:

      1. Wait two years then mail out all potentially affected properties with notice that the science believes that property is at long term risk. Put the notice on the LIM for each property. This gives the owners a chance to ditch their property at current values in the next two years before it becomes official that their property is at risk and worth less.

      2. Identify low risk areas that can be rezoned from rural to residential. Zone some replacement commercial and industrial too. Developers will then respond to the demand if and when it becomes apparent that South D is no longer inhabitable. If it doesn’t happen then we haven’t wasted heaps of money. If it does happen then people have had years of warning to prepare with their own money and have somewhere to go.

      Humans will adapt.

  5. Richard Stedman

    The following, from the ODT 2 August 1898, clearly shows that the Pacific Ocean periodically attacks the coastline during winter. Following this storm they installed the groins which worked well until they became too old to withstand the forces of nature after 100 years. Surely replacing them would go along way towards retaining the sand. Jumping up an down like a child about non-existent sea-level rise and devaluing the properties on the flat does nobody any favours. Weather will always be weather and change regularly just as it did today, several times and the mayor is wetting himself grasping at the prospect of being able to dupe the locals over the lack of proper maintenance of the infrastructure.

    “The damage done by the tremendous sea running at St Clair during Sunday night [31 July] is something appalling, to view. Matters were bad enough on Sunday afternoon, but the heavy wind that prevailed during the night evidently raised a sea that has practically taken the esplanade away. Things were at their worst about midnight, or shortly after, when furious waves came, rushing in with irresistible force, and brought the face of the esplanade and the Sandhills, lying further along the beach, down in great masses. The sea also attacked the protections of Mr Mitchell’s section, which appeared to melt away in the water. It is evident that something like 15ft at the end of the tramway road has gone, for the fence on the right-hand side, once on terra firma, now projects about that distance over the waves, which boil beneath it. Between this and the house occupied by Mrs James Wilson a great piece has been bitten completely out, and at this particular point the breach is probably greatest.”

  6. Gurglars

    Question for the “commissioner for the environment”:

    1. Were you aware that the mudtanks had not been cleaned in South Dunedin for at least a year?


    What has that got to do with climate change?

    Question for David Cull – mayor of Dunedin for two terms:

    1. Did you advise the environment commissioner of the failure of Fulton Hogan to clean the mudtanks leading to the flooding of South Dunedin.


    What has that got to do with climate change?

    The nett effect.

    Sue Bidrose and her staff not found guilty – annual salary increase assured
    Dave Cull – possible but unlikely re-election
    Environment Commissioner – golden handshake.

    Ratepayers – robbed, stuffed and bamboozled.

  7. Pb

    It seems that most enviro noble causes get hacked and hijacked by a range of power hungry sociopaths. Like communism got hacked by Stalin. A fatal flaw of “causes”. Stay alert.

  8. Gurglars

    Jan Wright PCE
    Pre- Determined

  9. Lyndon Weggery

    Elizabeth – DCC has just advised that the long-awaited report on South Dunedin flooding will be presented to Council on Monday 30 November. I understand the Group Manager Water and Waste will present this report.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Woo-hoo another proud Dunedin moment coming up: shortlisting for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

    • Elizabeth

      Lyndon, I hope the good people of South Dunedin can turn out in good numbers for the hearing of this item at the full Council meeting.

      The report will be published at the DCC website prior to the meeting, I presume. When available I will publish it at What if?

  10. Gurglars

    As long as I’m here
    I’d rather not be Mayor.

    With apologies to all concrete mixers.

    Apparent Requirements for Mayor of Dunedin
    1. Believe your own …….
    2. Enjoy pomp and ceremony
    3. Entertain Royalty
    4. Like Bling
    5. Enjoy wasting money (see number 1.)

    Requirements ratepayers would like to see in Mayor (and councillors)

    1. Common Sense (noticeably uncommon in local government)
    2. An awareness of lowered costs to new entrants particularly job providors
    3. Prudence in all public spending
    4. Elimination of all existing budgets and new budgets designed around 1-3
    5. Maintenance and improvement of all assets like sewage, stormwater, St Clair seawall, mud tanks, etc
    6. Adequate punishment for theft, defalcation and errors of judgement

  11. John P.Evans

    Questions Arising from above
    1. Why if the sewage treatment plant works, can the excess stormwater so treated not be used as irrigation water for Chisholm Golf Links, a DCC asset and possibly adjoining sports grounds?
    2. Why can the DCC not sue Fulton Hogan for non-performance of mud tank cleaning?
    3. Why can the South Dunedin residents affected by the non mud tank cleaning not sue the DCC and Fulton Hogan?
    4. Why does the DCC not re-employ the methods used 100 years ago to save the St Clair beach, is it idealogical (believing the climate change / sea level crap)?
    5. By what method does the council believe that it can be the provider of the 10,000 new jobs when its performance to date has lost so many jobs? This is despite DCC gross overspending on construction in the last ten years including a stadium, Chinese garden etc.
    6. When are ratepayers going to see the actual judgement by Sue Bidrose on who was involved in the theft of 152+ cars, and petrol and parts and credit card theft and Alfa Romeo parts in the DCC traffic debacle? (This does not mean the sanitised one, the redacted one, but the one leading to the disappearance of various managers and staff who strangely were not included in the Brent does all explanation.)
    7. When are ratepayers going to be told who was disciplined for the 550,000 hits on Trade Me during a calendar year (that’s 800 hits per person for every man and woman employed by the DCC)?
    8. How many hits were there on other sites such as pornographic?
    9. With so many managers at the DCC were the hits by junior staff or by managers?
    10. How many hits in 2015?
    11. Are the designers of the South Dunedin cycleways still working at the DCC? If so Why?
    12. When an accident occurs driving through the Queens Gardens traffic fiasco who will be responsible – Brent Bachop, Climate Change or Humphrey B.Bear?
    13. When did hidden information and dishonesty become a mantra for councillors and DCC staff?

    Items 14-50 you add them I can’t stop crying for the failure to account, the errors of judgement, the complete lack of honesty and propriety of the DCC and most of its councillors.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Why can the DCC not sue Fulton Hogan for non-performance of mud tank cleaning?”
      John, John – when will you learn?
      We don’t sue, we pay. If anyone threatens to sue us our cojones shrink to microscopic and retreat into hiding behind our tonsils, and we can’t pay up fast enough. After all it’s only Other People’s Money. Greater Dunedin-ites are Greater than penny-pinching stroppy types like yourself: we are big on Peace. Our role model is the white feathery Chicken LIttle.

  12. Richard Stedman

    Speaking of the dear little bird, I noticed this morning that the sky has fallen all around my place. First it was darkish and then it went all pale, and I am so afraid I need to be levied.

    • John

      Levy Banks Richard, now allied with taking over a small island it sounds like treachery to me.
      On a personal note I hope you stand for election at the DCC elections, you certainly will get my vote.

      Hopefully next year they will elect sensible rational intelligent persons this year which would in my opinion include you and Paul Pope, contributors here, rather than the disgraced, the extremely green, the see no evil brigade and the frankly dopey or criminal, no other explanations are possible brigade.

      Basically anyone who is so stupid as to believe that one person and one person only could steal a minimum of 152 cars in an ongoing exercise that the DCC only counted for the last ten years is either see no evil, dopey or criminal.

      • Richard Stedman

        John, the notion of standing for council has often run through my mind and I am flattered by you confidence in the idea, but I must tell you “been there, done that, missed out on the t-shirt”, the wise electors of Dunedin preferred Peter Chin in 1996, and now age has me out to pasture.

        I am desperate to see the governance of our city regain some equilibrium and the elections really mean something after a decade or more of decline in standards, but I am afraid the best I can hope for is to vote for candidates of the necessary calibre. Thanks for the suggestion.

  13. russandbev

    Here is a comparison of mudtank clearing for all of those in Dunedin. The Central Otago District Council cleans all mudtanks twice a year and regularly cleans all gutters. When was the last time you saw a cleaning truck in Dunedin doing the rounds?

    I listened to Cull on RNZ talking about the climate change report.

    All he did was to link rising ground water in South Dunedin to the June floods. Essentially the ground is sodden all of the time and so any rain cannot be absorbed according to him. No mention of dereliction of maintenance of stormwater system at all. Abregation of responsibility.

    The DCC has been riddled in the past with managers who have been described as dishonest and devious and many useless Councillors – this is the main cause of the woes that Dunedin now faces. Until the DCC takes action to fully hold to account all of those managers for their behaviours, fully pursues all those that have benefited from the various dishonest practices that have occurred, and until the ratepayers finally elect a group of people that actually know what they are doing, then things will not improve.

  14. Elizabeth

    RNZ News Updated at 8:42 am on 20 November 2015
    South Dunedin considers sea level threat
    South Dunedin’s people know the water is rising beneath them but they are trying very hard not to think about it. (AUDIO)

    • Elizabeth

      From the audio:

      Mayor Cull says, “There’s already been 200 ml (sic) of sea level rise and it’s not going to stop even if all the causes of sea level rise, climate change, or whatever stopped right now, the sea will keep rising because of the inertia in the system so we know it’s going to get worse, so clearly we’ve got to start thinking about it now, and we’ve got to start thinking about it as a community.”

      200 ml – really? ml ?? Where.

      Dave, it’s time your council directed effort to unblocking drains and providing South Dunedin homes and businesses with best appropriate drainage systems and coastal defences for the short, medium and long term.

      • Gurglars

        From my examination of the limestone areas around Kurow, Fairlie and known marine fossils around Milton, I would say that there has been a fair bit of sea level Fall in ancient times. It may well be fair to say that given the cyclical nature of the world, the effects of uplift and earthquake, that minor sea level rises and falls can be expected consistently over time. It may be possible that man’s intervention could accelerate these changes, but given the height difference between Kurow and Oamaru one should bring such rises as 1.3 mm per annum into perspective.

        Now where Dave Cull gets his 200mm from beggars belief given the 1.3 mm pa it would take 166 years to rise 200mm.
        (I am assuming Cull does not mean a 200 millilitre rise!)

        And incidentally a 200mm rise is 7 1/2 inches.

        In some places in the world the difference between high and low tide is 36 feet or 432 inches.

        Now a rise of 7 1/2 inches over 166 years could be a problem for your great grand children and much of such an event could be managed individually by gradual exit BY CHOICE from affected areas like South Dunedin should such sea level rise actually start to happen meaningfully (and the DCC now clean the mudtraps).

        Now the City of Dunedin or the DCC through its affiliate the former South Dunedin borough council {established in 1876; amalgamated with Dunedin City in 1905. -Eds} approved the utilisation of the area for housing and therefore should recompense any real losses by house owners in this and other affected areas.

        Likewise should it be proven that the move from rural to residential zoning in Mosgiel/Taieri causes persons’ houses and lievelihood to be affected by the change, the DCC should recompense through its insurance those so affected.

        And if they won’t or can’t then they should not allow subdivision.

        The council’s job is to represent and protect ratepayers not to fleece them.

        And finally could it be possible that the DCC climate changers PURPOSELY did not clean the mudtraps to accelerate their wacky programs.

        It’s either total negligence or worse.

  15. Elizabeth

    handout03 [] 1The Alien Hand.
    Lil’ Dave to Big John PM.

  16. Rob Hamlin

    I repeat. Christchurch has shown a certain group of people that huge money can be made (redistributed upwards) via disasters. Insurance is the ‘I’ of the FIRE economy. It appears that this country now needs REGULAR, LARGE disasters to balance its books and retain ‘growth’. But nature is not a regular thing – what a pity. But no worries, If it will not oblige with large natural disasters on a regular basis, then large man made disasters can be engineered to fill the gap.

    As the Christchurch disaster finally runs out of puff and the last profits are taken, it would appear that South Dunedin has now been tagged as the next lucrative, ‘potential mass red-zoning’ major disaster in this country. It will, of course, be entirely man made.

    There will come a time when the reinsurance industry gets tired of being the ‘I’ via paying for acts of the lads rather than acts of God, and finally calls time on this entire country. But I suspect not before quite a large number of cheesy dumps in Wanaka are squeezed out of the situation.

    • Wingatui Flyer

      Rob you are quite right… Just look at the headline in the ODT today. “Flooding could isolate Mosgiel”. What was the recipe that they used to create this one?
      Bill Feather and his mates are always looking to get name recognition. They run around promoting more residential development. Sitting on hearings at $200 plus a day supporting their developer mates, who turn rural land that will slow down the movement of heavy rain by absorption, into residential with all its hard road and roof surfaces that speed up the flow of stormwater to already saturated areas. Then hit the headlines again, crying wolf about flooding. This creates another opportunity for them to set up another committee. About the problem that they have created, and access to the ratepayers trough, and of course gives them the name recognition again, and the impression that they really care (about the trough). Yeah Right.

      {Refer to earlier comment at another thread. -Eds}

  17. Calvin Oaten

    You are right Rob, natural disasters always set off an economic boom by reinstating the damage, largely insurance based. That industry takes the big hit but it only means paying back years of premiums taken against that very happening. Happy in the knowledge that the industry can over time recoup via increased premiums the losses and then set off on another round of accumulation based on those escalated premiums. They know the odds because they set them.
    But the biggest trigger for economic and technological expansion is major wars. WW2 and the USA Marshall Plan set off a forty year boom rebuilding Europe, it facilitated the baby boom with all the demand for housing and education facilities producing vast developments in industrial techniques with brand new factories and machinery. That’s all matured now and the boomer bubble is moving into rest homes and cemeteries. Economies are faltering and governments (and councils) seem unable to comprehend and adapt to the new no growth formula.
    It could be argued that what is needed is another major world war, not these piddling little ones that concentrate on little areas. Perish the thought, but the big nations have armaments industries all ‘fizzing at the bung’ to build more and more potential so watch this space.

  18. Gurglars

    This speech of John Kennedy was said to have been his death knell.

    In it he asks for an open questioned government which does not shrink from its responsibilities and mistakes and a press that examines all levels of government critically.

    Dave Cull and Julian Smith should watch and learn from this.

    For if Dunedin does not get this quality of openness and critical evaluation, its citizens are doomed to inherit the continuous mistakes of the past.

  19. Rob Hamlin

    Well Mr. Feeley has just exited the Queenstown CEO’s job.

    A good report on the events that preceded the exit here from Mountain Scene, the local rag.

    Note the Editor’s desk bit on the side (reproduced below) . The big cheesy burger’s not the only ‘Big Mac’ that seems to be everywhere:

    “From the editor’s desk

    In November 2013 Queenstown’s council trumpeted its new audit and risk committee.

    Its press release talked of greater “robust financial controls and risk management” and proudly stated its chairman was the then president of the Institute of Directors. But for a committee to work you’ve got to use it.

    Chairman Stuart McLauchlan confirms his committee’s never discussed council boss Adam Feeley’s conflict – although he maintains he’s not disappointed.

    Ratepayers should be.

    Mayor Vanessa van Uden sits on that committee but hasn’t raised it. Adam Feeley’s paid handsomely by ratepayers but won’t talk about his conflict.

    I can’t find Van Uden’s comments about the recent Auditor-General report on the council’s website.

    This head-in-the-sand approach doesn’t serve the community. – DAVID WILLIAMS”

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