Level responses to Dunedin mayor’s hippo soup #Jun2015flood

Comment at ODT Online:

Flood of misinformation
Submitted by JimmyJones on Wed, 03/02/2016 – 1:25pm.

Mayor Cull makes a multitude of false statements to justify his opinion that the June flood was caused by Global Warming and not by the DCC’s decrepit, underfunded and poorly functioning stormwater system.
The first point is that Mayor Cull is wrong to keep saying that sea-level rise has been 3.3mm/yr: he has chosen to use the ORC’s Green Island tide gauge, but this is a DIY arrangement held together with rubber bands and string. It has no GPS system and is not tied to the Dunedin Datum – it’s data is therefore not valid, covers only a few years and should not be used for long term trends.
Sea-level rise has been officially established for the Dunedin area at 1.3mm/yr using good quality long run data from Port Chalmers. The Port Chalmers tide gauge is used by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (www.psmsl.org) and it forms part of their global network of tide gauges. The Green Island tide gauge is not used by the PSML, but Dave Cull finds the exaggerated figures from it useful for his political purposes.



In reply to:

Neil Johnstone, of Macandrew Bay, calls for rational and responsible discussion on sea-level rise and risks in South Dunedin.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 Dec 2015
Cull’s flood remarks a ‘mishmash’
By Neil Johnstone
OPINION Having spent several decades as a professional practitioner in flood control and hazard management, I feel obliged to comment on Mayor Dave Cull’s latest contribution on South Dunedin flood risk (ODT, 16.12.15). I am currently reviewing hazard reports used by the Dunedin City Council in its woeful approach to natural hazards across the city, most obviously in respect of landslips, but also on flood issues. My conclusions differ from those of Mr Cull. The council originally claimed the extensive flooding in June was caused by “a 150-year flood”, and not by infrastructure failure. Having subsequently seen the 150-year claim thoroughly debunked, Mr Cull is now blaming sea-level rise (and still not infrastructure) for the flooding.
Read more


In reply to:

Courage on everyone’s part, and some tough conversations are required in the Dunedin’s battle against sea level rises, writes Mayor Dave Cull.

### ODT Online Wed, 16 Dec 2015
Tough decisions to be made
By Dave Cull
OPINION Over the past few years the effects of climate change have crept up on Dunedin – albeit in full view. Now we must act. We must act to adapt to what is happening, and we must act to slow down or mitigate the rate at which the effects get worse. Since 2008, central government has advised councils to allow for sea-level rise as a result of climate change when planning for development or infrastructure investment. Currently, that advice is to allow for 1m over the next 100 years. […] In June 2015 Dunedin suffered an extreme rain event which caused serious flooding in South Dunedin, Mosgiel and other parts of the city.
In November 2015, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment published a report about how sea-level rise would affect New Zealand. […] It found that Dunedin is the most extensively and severely affected centre in New Zealand and explained that the main problem here is groundwater levels being forced up by rising sea levels.
Read more

Otago Daily Times Published on Jun 4, 2015
Raw aerial video of Dunedin Flooding
Video courtesy One News.



### ODT Online Thu, 4 Feb 2016
Councillors briefed on climate change
By Carla Green
Dunedin officials got a climate change briefing yesterday from an unlikely source: students at the University of Otago. The students, who were enrolled in a summer course titled Climate Change and Law, had researched Dunedin’s action on climate change from a variety of fronts, including renewable energy, the landfill and flooding. […] In particular, [Mayor Dave Cull] agreed with one presenter who had pointed out the importance of public education in South Dunedin, considering the extent to which it was at risk of flooding.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
25.1.16 DCC: South Dunedin Integrated Catchment Management Plan (ICMP)
19.1.16 Listener 23.1.16 (letter): South Dunedin #Jun2015flood
16.1.16 NZ Listener 16.1.16 (letter): South Dunedin #Jun2015flood
5.1.16 Hammered from all sides #fixit [dunedinflood Jun2015]
24.12.15 Site notice: posts removed
3.11.15 South Dunedin Flood | Correspondence & Debriefing Notes released by DCC today #LGOIMA

█ For more, enter the term *flood* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

chicanery [via google]hippo bathing-cartoon [tophdimg.com]

*Image: tophdimg.com


Filed under Business, Climate change, DCC, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

16 responses to “Level responses to Dunedin mayor’s hippo soup #Jun2015flood

  1. Gurglars

    Educating the South Dunedin public.

    “Climate change caused the South Dunedin floods”

    Educating the Dunedin public

    “Only one DCC employee was involved in the theft of 152+ cars”

    Educating the Dunedin electorate

    “Vote for me to unravel the Stadium funding fiasco”

    Some Dunedin people just will not be educated by words or tears!
    It must be very frustrating.

  2. Elizabeth

    Gurglars, you get a heavy gold necklace as recompense for the stress. OK it’s borrowed but oh The Status.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Ah, the wisdom of youth:
    **Marco Wilkins: ‘‘Dunedinites are massively reliant on their cars.‘‘Instead of prioritising cars, we have to prioritise other means of transport – like cycling.”
    **One student, speaking about changes to New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, delivered her speech in rhyme.

    Definitely worth every minute spent taking notice of their views.

    Then, on to the leaders of our community, and this is the point where I wondered if hitting my head repeatedly with a ball-peen hammer would make everything seem okay… for a little while….

    **Mr Cull said his response would be ‘‘stream of consciousness stuff” because he had not had a chance to take notes or prepare this thoughts.

    **‘‘At the top of my mind, for me at the moment, is South Dunedin.”

    Blocked channels and remnants of effluent plaqueing up the synapses, I suppose he meant. Know the feeling, I’ve been reading the article, remember?

    **Council votes on climate change-related issues were ‘‘sitting on a knife edge” , Cr Benson-Pope said…

    Ow ow owww! Ah, that felt good.

  4. Diane Yeldon

    “stream of consciousness stuff’ = a poncy way of saying he had done no preparation. ‘Educating people’ = try to brainwash them.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Done no preparation, Diane? But he already knows it through and through, knows climate change is not only true but is definitely occurring now and can be halted by Dunedin people using bicycles and electric cars.

  5. Douglas

    The level of chicanery reached its apogee especially in ‘climate science’ with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in the last decade or so but it seems it may be at an end. We live in hope that it might also be coming to an end here too. Read below!

    But you can see that the real scientists were never sucked in by this as Art Raiche makes clear.

    February 3rd 2016
    The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 350 research jobs are to be cut at the government CSIRO.

    Climate science to be gutted as CSIRO swings jobs axe

    Fears that some of Australia’s most important climate research institutions will be gutted under a Turnbull government have been realised with deep job cuts for scientists to be announced to staff later today.

    Fairfax Media has learnt that as many as 110 positions in the Oceans and Atmosphere division will go, with a similarly sharp reduction in the Land and Water division.

    Total job cuts would be about 350 staff over two years, the CSIRO confirmed in an email to staff, with the Data 61 and Manufacturing divisions also hit.

    The cuts were flagged in November, just a week before the Paris climate summit began, with key divisions told to prepare lists of job cuts or to find new ways to raise revenue.

    “Climate will be all gone, basically,” one senior scientist said before the announcement.

    SMH Link

    For background information read this from Art Raiche.

    Dr. Art Raiche worked for CSIRO for 35 years, the last 15 with the rank of Chief Research Scientist. This is a transcript of the speech he gave at the “Convoy of No Confidence” protest in Canberra.


    • Elizabeth

      Douglas, it does seem ‘Australian government’ (for their own reasons) is streets ahead of ours and the NZ trickle down to local government continues unabated – cf report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), which Dave (and no doubt his idealist young confrères MacTavish and Hawkins LOL) has swallowed like a tadpole.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Art Raiche’s piece is a good read. Perhaps he has the real explanation for treating computer models as more accurate than on-site, long term observations of actual water, soil, temperature, snowfalls and so on. It’s puzzled me for a long time, since it’s been producing predictions less reliable than the ODT star signs.
      Mind you I would say that, typical Scorpio.

  6. Elizabeth

    councillors on knife edge [Douglas Field] 1Councillors on knife edge by Douglas Field

  7. Gurglars

    The CSIRO has sacked over 350 scientists because they have been seen to be not scientists but acolytes following a mantra.

    In 2016, Dunedin gets a huge chance to sack some more acolytes in the form of the Greater Dunedin acolytes.

    Methinks we should as the Chinese have the year of the dog, rat etc, that we also could have our years named. It seems to me that we have had the years of the dog and the rat, the stadium and cycleways are evidence of that.

    Let 2016 be declared the “Year of eradication of acolytes”.

    In this way our society could go back to gentler times with no tears and gnashing of teeth, no traffic lights holding us up from going home for lunch, no parking inspectors, car parks at the hospital and so on.

    And just a thought. Given the large reduction in car parks as evidenced has anyone seen a commensurate budgeted reduction in the numbers of car parking officers?dcc

  8. Chicane: protruding layby at the Grand Prix Motor race course. Mixed chicory and cane sugar. Chic Anne.

  9. JimmyJones

    Following my ODT comment at the top of the page, there was some discussion with Richard Seager (a geologist, I think). Then the next comment from me was Flood Of Misinformation 2, but the ODT didn’t like that one and they closed the thread. Never mind the ODT, here is the comment:

    Mayor Dave Cull misrepresents the report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment which is about her view of the future. The report makes no attempt to deal with the causes of the June flood – it only talks about what she thinks might happen in the future, not the present. As for the future, in my view, the PCE has an inadequate grasp of the hydrology of South Dunedin. We know that the land is low lying, but the influence of the sea-level on the inner parts of South Dunedin is thought to be negligible (ORC). South Dunedin’s ground-water level is not directly tied to sea-level (except near the coastline). There are other factors that determine the ground-water level and sea-level is likely to be an insignificant factor for most parts of the area.

    Dave Cull uses an exaggerated figure for sea-level rize. He says 200mm over the past 100 years (2.0mm/year), whereas the actual measurement is 1.3mm year for Dunedin. This equates to 130mm/yr which is slightly less than the length of the average pen. We also know that there has been no measured acceleration in this rate, indicating that in the next 100 years we can expect another harmless 130mm.

    Mayor Cull is wrong to rely on the forecasts of Professor Blair
    Fitzharris who was selected to write his report because he was a Global Warming campaigner. The report, which predicts 1000mm of sea-level rize over the next 100 years is not credible in my view. The victims of last years DCC flooding do not deserve to be tormented by exaggerated sea-level rize predictions.

  10. JimmyJones

    Here is the last part about Dave Cull’s wrong information about the DCC flooding in June. Before being split into three comments, this was rejected by the ODT (23/12/2015):

    Mayor Cull is wrong to claim that the groundwater levels in South Dunedin were very high before the flooding. The ORC data shows that this was not the case, it shows that the ground became saturated because of the overflow from the defective DCC stormwater system – this is the exact opposite of what he claims.

    Dave Cull is wrong to not acknowledge that the reduced capacity of the Portobello Rd pumping station was one of the primary causes of the severity of the South Dunedin flooding. The DCC report makes this very clear – it calculates that if the pumps were fully functioning the flood waters would have been 195mm lower. At this lower level, there would still be some flooding, but the number of damaged dwellings and businesses would have been severely reduced. Possibly there would have been none.

    Mayor Cull and the DCC CEO owe the citizens of Dunedin an apology for the poor state of the stormwater system resulting from years of funding being diverted into wasteful, unwanted, loss making pet projects. Currently the water, stormwater and wastewater renewals are $60 million behind schedule (LTP, Auditor report 2015).

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Jimmy. This pretty much concurs with specialists currently mining the DCC report and all causes of the 3 June flood.

      Wait for the Transport Dept report in April.

      Still no reply from DCC (via LGOIMA) on whether the first infrastructure performance report (WWS) was peer reviewed and if copy is available.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Stop Press!
    Dunedin’s Burning Pants festival
    Not the measly week of Burning Man, Dunedin’s looks like lasting till April or beyond!

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