POLITICS of Place —New Year glums (read glue and screws)

Octagon-shaped-stop [gemplers.com]Octagon windows venting-octagon-anim [signaturedoor.com]

IS DUNEDIN weighed down by local body politics?

How do citizens separate governance from management?

How do ratepayers and residents separate truth from something else, from someone else?

Finding value in plain speaking, will the place be any better? Will the same players get knuckled, while others with over generous salaries and stipends commit more strongly to the unrelenting string of make-work schemes.

As they ignore basic infrastructure.
For a heightened slavishness to global politics.

Then, early this morning Diane said: “When will you drag us all back to politics, Elizabeth?”

Good question. Thinking about the HOWS and WHYS.

We will get there.Octagon layout calculator [pagetutor.com]Octagon-picnic-table-woodworking-plans-step-01 [weiduoliyaylc.net]
[a construct] Octagon picnic table
Octagon picnic table [ana-white.com] 1

With others, I received an email from an esteemed and powerful colleague in the United States. It focused my mind. The afternoon email was one of a series of calls and messages proceeding across the holiday break (as committed Canterbury people fortify, lobby and fundraise – lawyers and QCs amongst them) within the all-out campaign to fully restore Christchurch Cathedral.

The man-writer was responding to letters to The Press published today (28 December), each decrying any moves to restore the Cathedral but meanwhile expressing strong desire to resuscitate the heart of the City.

It’s understood the Press editor has been hard to win over on restoration for some years although chinks in that armour did appear after cathedral campaigners BOUGHT space to balance and convey the other side of the Anglican hierarchy’s argument to demolish Serious cultural heritage.

Right now, Christchurch is my favourite POLITICAL City in New Zealand. There is a force for intelligence, compassion, honest endeavour without fear, free speech (multiple voices joined in hardship), and far more than simple zeal for Justice there is public and private leadership in a Place recovering from the political aftermath of a damnable naturally occurring tragedy. Throughout, Christchurch people have got ‘more like themselves’ to cope, to battle —to try for the Egalitarian in the face of disgusting bureaucracies and god-awful top down disparages.

Dunedin faces something else – THAT (nameless but real) is the reason for the What if? Dunedin website. Letting it out, spilling, building confidence to challenge what is handed down as fact.

For the strong and interested, there is no acceptance of stray conduct at PUBLIC MEETINGS caught by privately-owned television for the PUBLIC RECORD. There will be no silencing of what is in PUBLIC DOMAIN. Information existing in PUBLIC DOMAIN, put there by local bodies as their official reports and media releases should not be stopped. Information requested by the public and released by local bodies under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) should be freely disseminated. No picnic.

And now, the substance of that email:


It is with profound regret that I note the United States does not have a monopoly on short-sighted, narrow minded, culturally blind idiots. We have so many of them it’s easy to assume we have them all. I guess there are Rednecks and Bogans everywhere.

Fear not…neither does the US have a monopoly on brave, stalwart, far-sighted stewards of our common Heritage who are willing and able to stand strong and see this important work through to completion. You are an inspiration to me and people around the world.

Have faith…stand strong and fear not.

christchurch-cathedral [tfttphotography.wordpress.com] 1Christchurch Cathedral [tfttphotography.wordpress.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.15 Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator Miriam Dean QC [read report via link provided]
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

*Images: (from top) gemplers.com – octagon-shaped stop; signaturedoor.com – venting octagon animation; pagetutor.com – octagon layout calculator; weiduoliyaylc.net – octagon picnic table woodworking plans step-01; ana-white.com – octagon picnic table


Filed under Business, Coolness, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Travesty

26 responses to “POLITICS of Place —New Year glums (read glue and screws)

  1. Gosh. Those Octagon tables will do just fine at the barricades, Elizabeth – hang on, this revolutionary prelate, a John Ball, wishes tae have a word. Take it away, John! /“Ahem. Working? So, like, When Adam delved and Eve Spun, Who Was then the Gentleman?”/

  2. Elizabeth

    brownestudy your station spins the bouteille

  3. Lyndon Weggery

    Elizabeth – your comments do resonate with me and I wholeheartedly join you in making sure debate on Dunedin City issues are not shut down. Infrastructure renewal is the key issue for us in 2016 and it won’t go away. What is significant about 2016 is that it is election year and Councillors need to reflect long and hard on their role of governance and not use it as an excuse to take a hands off approach to local body management and operations. At the end of the day it is our money they are spending and we have the absolute right to determine where it is spent.

  4. Elizabeth

    New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

    14 Freedom of expression
    Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

  5. Elizabeth

    Summer information – perhaps a caution to growing these in the Octagon to shade the picnic tables.

    Fact: Avocado trees contain enzymes that prevent the fruit from ripening on the branch, allowing farmers to use the trees as storage devices for up to seven months after the fruit reaches full maturity.

    Fact: Avocados are expensive to cultivate. To encourage growth they need regular, heavy watering especially when the weather is warmer in summer, spring and autumn.

    Fact: Avocados trees are in no rush – they typically take somewhere between four and six years from being planted to when they eventually bear fruit.

    Fact: Avocados are dangerous for pets. Avocado itself is good for animals, but leaves, skin and pits, if consumed, are dangerous and even potentially lethal to many animals, including our common pet buddies, dogs and cats.

    via msn.com

  6. Elizabeth

    Supplied by Sebastian Wilberforce
    Mon, 28 Dec 2015 at 10:19 a.m.
    The Press on the Cathedral 28 12 15

    The Press on the Cathedral 28 12 15 (1)

    The Press on the Cathedral 28 12 15 (3)

    Supplied by Sebastian W.
    Tue, 29 Dec 2015 at 10:25 a.m.
    The Press on the Cathedral 29 12 15

    Message: I am including all the letters I see in the paper – it is not helpful to you to only give you part of the selection the editor decides to publish.

    The Press on the Cathedral 29 12 15

  7. Elizabeth

    DCC INFRASTRUCTURE | Dunedin Water Supply

    Brilliant story, thanks David and Bruce.
    DCC Comms missed this one. Too busy with other stuff.

    The farthest Dunedin City Council water headworks operator Bruce Masson has had to crawl into a 76cm underground water pipe to deal with a leak is 6.5km.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 29 Dec 2015
    In Deep for four decades
    By David Loughrey
    For 42 years, Bruce Masson has looked after a large tract of some of Dunedin’s wilder and more remote countryside. The man in charge of the source and catchment of Dunedin’s water supply told David Loughrey of adventures in rivers, pipes and snow. […] Since Deep Stream was commissioned in 1977, and the council bought surrounding properties to protect the catchment, Mr Masson has had a large area of land to look after.
    Read more

  8. Elizabeth

    [Sense of Place] Dunedin City dog control problems put in (a) perspective

    Paraplegic dogs in wheelchairs (Pelusa and Huellas), play at Pescadores beach in Chorrillos, Lima, Sep 2015 [Reuters Mariana Bazo]

    Pelusa and Huellas, paraplegic dogs in wheelchairs, play at Pescadores beach in Chorrillos, Lima, 7 Sep 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

    via msn.com

  9. Elizabeth

    Search engine term at What if? Dunedin, maybe a holiday fisher, maybe not–

    *floundering dunedin*

  10. Elizabeth

    Pink Floyd Published on May 20, 2014
    Pink Floyd – Marooned (Official Video)
    From the 20th Anniversary Edition of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Division Bell’

    Pripyat, after Chernobyl

  11. Lyndon Weggery

    Elizabeth – the ODT feature about Bruce Masson and Deep Stream was excellent but a wakeup call for Dunedin Residents. First we are reminded that the major source of water for our city is still “run of the river” and second if Bruce does intend to retire soon who replaces him?. God forbid a private company on contract with the DCC who (by the way) still have to answer for the alleged lack of mudtank cleaning with respect to the 3 June 2015 South Dunedin floods!! It is significant that the current 3 Waters Strategy does not talk about enlarging our water storage capacity only maintaining and improving existing assets and in the case of the Deep Stream pipeline making sure it survives a future earthquake.
    Our only hope is DCC are required to review their Strategy in 2016 which is something I intend to take up with them formally in a future Public Forum.

  12. JimmyJones

    Lyndon: as you say “the current 3 Waters Strategy does not talk about enlarging our water storage capacity”. The perfectly logical reason for this is that we have a healthy excess of storage and catchment capacity. You might find this hard to believe given the poor decision-making and infrastructure underspending in recent years – but we can thank our forbears for this excess capacity. The 3 Waters Strategy will tell you that the DCC expects Dunedin to grow and that the excess capacity will last until 2050 (from memory). If Dunedin has no growth, then the current capacity will last forever.

    Council staff have a cunning plan. It hasn’t been emphasized, but the reasoning is that because we have heaps of water capacity, then we have to use less water. The logic of this will seem puzzling until you remember that Dunedin is a member of ICLIE and now will be part of the ICLEI Compact Of Mayors. This means that staff will be continuing to implement the ICLIE plan, which is Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 etc. The UN now calls this Agenda 2030. It seems to me to be more of a religion than a political ideology, so it is hard for outsiders to understand their need to cut down on the use of everything. Water metering is their cunning plan – huge savings in water usage are expected following every citizen having to pay for every cup of water. The cost of water will be double or triple what ratepayers pay now and renters will pay for their water also, if you let them do it.

    Part of the softening-up process is to create the perception of a water shortage. We see an example recently in The Star (10/12/15): “Wise Water Use Urged In Light Of Dry Predictions” by the DCC Group Manager WWS. We have already seen how the DCC has used cycling deaths and serious flooding as great marketing opportunities for its silly ideas, so if there is ever a severe drought and a real water shortage in Dunedin, this will be used to promote water metering. Lyndon, there are numerous serious defects/deficiencies with the 3 waters, but water supply isn’t one of them. Focus on the real problems.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

    • Diane Yeldon

      JimmyJones and Lyndon, I agree that there’s a number of issues with water supply to all cities and this one in particular. Manufacturing a business out of selling water with only (steadily increasing) profit for a certain faction in mind and the public interest definitely OUT of mind is certainly of serious concern. The rape and pillage of cities – since pretty much everything else has been raped and pillaged – this is what is behind ‘supercity’ and ‘amalgamation’ or ‘shared assets’ projects – usually in the name of ‘efficiency’. The other issue which Lyndon mentions is water capacity. For Dunedin, we have about 40 days supply, I think. So we are stuffed if there is a serous drought – I welcome informed views and more information on this issue. The other thing about ‘water resilience’ refers once again to my old favourite: SYSTEMS. My understanding is that many Dunedin suburbs have only one main feeder pipe. NO REDUNDANCY! So if the water main to your suburb suffers serious damage, you will be getting no water even if this city does have sufficient capacity. I would like to see Dunedin have parallel sustainable neighbourhood water supply systems ie package plants, rainwater tanks, holding ponds. Resilient multi-path and multi-form water systems. Lots of work has been done on this. It’s not an either/or. This city can upgrade its old network system built in the historical times when no other way of providing water supply had ever been considered but also and at the same time integrate the ordinary system with more modern creative methods. Particularly those which take into account the natural environment, ‘soft’ engineering using plantings, especially with wetlands. When a city has ‘departments’ or SILOS or split-off companies (impregnable silos!), integrated approaches are just what does NOT happen.

  13. Lyndon Weggery

    JimmyJones and Diane – I have checked the 3 Waters Strategy which says we are vulnerable to future drought conditions particularly in the Deep Stream area which supplys 60% of Dunedin’s drinking water. It also stated our security of supply amounts to only 20 days and the full force of El Nino hasn’t hit us yet! As a ratepayer I am not reassured we are being well serviced. After 20 years since Mayor Turner pushed the Water Renewals the leakage is still 15%. My point again is that there is no plan to increase our water storage capacity only maintain the existing infrastructure. Fortunately, DCC are committed in 2016 to a major 5-yearly review of the 3 Waters Strategy where hard questions can be asked and solutions demanded (including fixing South Dunedin potential flooding) by our elected Councillors. Otherwise they don’t deserve to be re-elected. Simple as that.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Domestic water usage has changed. People do more and more and more washing! We used to have to share a bathroom – cooperate, negotiate, not use up all the hot water. Now there are ensuites breeding like rabbits in new houses, nobody banging on the bathroom door – or turning the hot water tap on in the kitchen to give the person in the shower a sudden chilly reminder that family patience had run out.
      The difference between white collar (office) and blue collar (manual) workers was that blue didn’t show the dirt as much and a shirt could do more than one day – sometimes a whole week. The move from washing in the copper once a week, to labour saving washing machines, should have added to leisure. Instead the same amount of time, perhaps more, is spent on laundry work by washing clothes after every change whether they are dirty or not. Some children get in the habit of throwing clothes on the floor when they have tried on an outfit then changed their mind. It’s easier than putting the garments back in drawers and wardrobe, then parents take the same attitude that it’s as easy to pick up everything and throw it in the washing machine.
      This amount of water being used in households all over NZ was never dreamed of when initial water plans were formulated. Has it been taken into account AT ALL or are water use calculations still done according to the old patterns of household water use?

    • Diane Yeldon

      Lyndon: yes, I remember reading (from the same document) how many (few?) days’ water supply Dunedin had if it simply didn’t rain for a while. Interesting that my memory, usually very good, doubled it. Guess I found it hard to believe that the actual figure is only 20 days. You hear so many OPINIONS that Dunedin has potable (drinking quality) water security of supply that you get to think it must be true. Twenty days does’t seem that much to me. Compares with us all being reassured after the Dunedin/South Dunedin floods last year that the ‘water infrastructure stood up to the challenges as well as it could be expected to under the circumstances’ – implying that any damage is an Act of God. What is its capacity? For a one in fifty years adverse weather event? I’ve forgotten now but I know it’s extremely low – and that’s human choice.

      • Elizabeth

        With regard to infrastructure capacity – we really need DCC’s take on things PEER REVIEWED by independent experts that local engineers (not in the ’employ’ of DCC) can agree will be capable of that technical review, and not sitting in the pockets of anyone, least of all insurers.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Bruce Hendry wrote to the ODT telling a tale of woe of the neglect resulting in the system failure in the June event. That amounted to a peer review in my book.

    {See post for release of Correspondence & Debriefing Notes to Elizabeth Kerr under LGOIMA. -Eds}

  15. Rob Hamlin

    It’s a marketing outcome. There is now a (manufactured) expectation that an acceptable house has two bathrooms/toilets. Enslaved to that expectation, I installed a second bathroom/toilet in my last house. We had it for ten years – and used it for storing dead flies.

    In the new house (similar, but with 3,500 square metres more land, largely bought with the premium on the second toilet) we only have one. Having had the chance to think it over, I have concluded that as I do not possess two a***holes, I do not need two toilets. It seems to work OK.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Rob, you mention “we”. The modern view is that nobody should have to wait, all wishes should be gratified instantly including the wish to use the shower for a 30 minute period of meditation, or blank eyed indifference to anything beyond the self.
    Sometimes I’ll bet someone has to wait a minute or two because you and your single a***hole are occupying the single toilet.
    Have members of your household been made aware of how cheerfully roses respond to widdle?

  17. Calvin Oaten

    Hype. It’s not the a…hole, it’s the nitrogen that pleases the roses.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Nitrogen, sure. That and organically blasting the aphids off with vindaloo fire-power. Just ask Conservation Minister Maggie Barry MP.

  18. Calvin Oaten


    • Hype O'Thermia

      Open da Vinda, this is worse than Eau de Offalpit.
      Reminiscent of the stench of corruption drifting down the Octagon….

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