Zen at What if? Dunedin


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Democracy, Design, Fun, Inspiration, Leading edge, Name, New Zealand, Project management, Resource management

58 responses to “Zen at What if? Dunedin

  1. Elizabeth

    Like, what happened?

  2. Elizabeth

    Nothing happened.

  3. Elizabeth

    Did I hear yelling, was that it?

  4. Elizabeth

    I couldn’t say.

  5. Elizabeth

    And you’re alright, aren’t you?

  6. Elizabeth

    I don’t get it, who would want to hurt you?

  7. Elizabeth

    No idea.

  8. Elizabeth

    Why are you commenting like this?

  9. Elizabeth

    It’s fun. And there’s bigger deals need fixin’.

  10. Swinging Vicar

    Carry on. This, is the Spirit of the Blitz. Not by just Keeping Calm do we. Carry on. Amongst our weaponry are defiant humour, and litotes. A clever Q & A does the trick. Harold Pinter did. Did so.

  11. Elizabeth


  12. photonz

    DCC [deleted] the lead story in New Zealand Herald –

    {Moderated. Scan down left hand column at NZH home page, story re-prioritised. -Eds}

    NZ Herald 6.4.16 home page sample at 12.22 pm [nzherald.co.nz] screenshotNZ Herald 6.4.16 home page at 12.22 pm [screenshot tweaked]

    • Hype O'Thermia

      From the Herald story,
      “ “I’m not obstructing the footpath,” he said. “It’s really nonsense. I just want to be left alone.”
      He had phoned the council to discuss the tickets, but had found….” [deleted]

      {Moderated. -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “I call DCC’s parking enforcement to deal with the three or so vehicles who obstruct my driveway each week during business hours.
      When the officer arrives they tell me that there’s nothing they can do because I’m not using my driveway………” http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/378702/fined-blocking-own-drive#comment-82712

      • Elizabeth

        A lot of comments at ODT Online – not all complimentary, in fact I think ODT is having a field day with this story.
        Good grief, someone turned on the light.

        • Elizabeth


          Fri, 8 Apr 2016
          ODT: Driveway parking not issue
          The Dunedin City Council has denied it has ticketed a Dunedin resident for parking his vehicle over his own driveway. […] He [Todd Treweek] said he only raised the issue in the Otago Daily Times to raise awareness of his struggle to communicate with the council.

        • Mike

          What no one seems to have asked him is why he doesn’t just park his car in his garage.

        • Elizabeth

          I believe there’s a vehicle parked in the garage. (??)

        • Mike

          Maybe he should park this not so often unused car at the end of the street and park the car he uses every day in the garage …. I also suspect he’d be the first to call the DCC if someone parked in front of his own driveway.

          The problem in his tight little street may in fact be that everyone expects to have two vehicles but there’s only room for one car (or a driveway) outside each house – some people may in fact have to park somewhere else simply because physics means 2 objects can’t take up the same space (well mostly, in the real world, quantum wave functions and all that)

          He also seems to have 10 times more unpaid parking tickets from the past 2 years than I have accrued (and paid) during my lifetime.

        • Elizabeth

          Possibly has other problems eg making executive decisions – that’s a common brain health thing, I mention it fairly as a potential consideration. There are workarounds.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          I found this part of the ODT story particularly interesting in view of the “other party’s” explanation of the number of tickets:

          “Mr Treweek did not dispute the [deleted]’s comments about his tickets.

          He agreed they were for parking too close to a yellow dotted line, parking too close to a fire hydrant, and parking on the footpath, but said they were all issued while his vehicle was parked across his driveway.”

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Yes he has another vehicle parked in his garage. It may be unregistered (rego on hold) eg restoration; reg & wof for holidays towing boat/caravan; belongs to family member on OE. If so parking it on the street would not be a sensible idea. Whether or not he would complain about other people parking over his driveway is immaterial. Someone wanting to get out of their own garage or driveway would be justified in doing so, but that’s not him. Another interesting point is that in the comments in odt online other people have written about complaining about people parking over their driveways yet no action whatsoever is taken. Spooky, as dear Dame Edna would say.

  13. Ray

    Carry on we do after calm…hmmm

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Absolutely comfortable with the decision says Mayor Cull. [deleted]

    {Moderated. -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Oh Calvin, what did you say! [No, don’t say it again!]
      Someone clearly heard a discouraging word

      • Calvin Oaten

        ‘Home, home on the range,
        where the deer and the antelope play,
        where seldom is heard a ‘discouraging word’
        and the skies are not cloudy all day.’
        ‘old western folk song.’
        Probably applicable to some local cowboys.

  15. Elizabeth

    Apologies to All Contributors. Today we’ll perhaps take a bit of a moment’s silence (delicacy), or exercise care in how we might refer to ‘the local’.
    Please could you ‘moderate’ your comments with a modicum of restraint, some sensitivities appear to have boiled over – Keep On, a trace calmly even if citing text available in public domain while we survey.
    What if? will accommodate you to the best of our ability.
    Rough guide: if you won’t say it to their face on the street, curb it here.

    Although some of us would.

  16. Elizabeth

    Every moderation tells a story.

  17. Elizabeth

    Artillery to my left flank.

    • Vic Arage

      What ho! Cannon/Canon. When you are close, seem to be far away. When you are far away, appear to be near. Say ‘We will carry on on The Beaches, and on The Landing Fields, Fields.’

  18. Elizabeth

    News. A rocket up an arse in no-man’s land is most explosive.

  19. Elizabeth

    Attrition warfare. Was reading widely about this on Sunday evening after Antiques Roadshow on PrimeTV – in relation to WWI and the Battle of the Somme in northern France [link].

    In brief
    Wikipedia: Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material. The war will usually be won by the side with greater such resources.

    Obviously, Industrial Warfare has changed the ‘how we kill’, not the fact that we will be killed, by anyone unmerciful : ruthless, remorseless, pitiless, unforgiving, uncharitable, unsparing, unpitying, implacable, inexorable, relentless, inflexible, barbarous, inhumane, inhuman, cold-blooded, hard-hearted, stony-hearted, heartless, harsh, callous, cruel, brutal, cut-throat, unsympathetic, unfeeling, illiberal, intolerant, rigid, severe, stern

    It’s right that we talk around offensives, inoffensively before the next strike. See here we are in our Safe Room. We have food, intelligence and good basic services to be holed up a while.

  20. Elizabeth

    On Monday (via Twitter) I was browsing ValueWalk.com, reading about “all sorts” as the Opinion on ‘change’ by Capital Exploits spiralled down to mention of disruptive technology.

    But this text and graph took my eye as a SIMPLY WONDERFUL EXCITEMENT – this before I knew about Panama Papers, I might add.
    It shows the Kim Dotcom debacle that the US (and NZ) is so exercised about on the drill field…. sprained an ankle, stumbling into the rabbit hole.

    Graph - Figure 8 File sharing and Global consumer IP traffic growth in Europe 2008-15 [valuewalk.com] [valuewalk.com – click to enlarge]

    Did Capital Exploits have insider knowledge about Panama or great prescience ?
    Regardless, right on trend.

    A Massive Shift Is Underway!
    By Capital Exploits | 2 April 2016
    ….Fast forward to 2016 and what is upon us, and taking place at an exponential rate, is a revolution driven by a coalescing of and a convergence of multiple technologies, each providing a magnifying effect on one another. Just as an amazing chocolate cake requires a number of ingredients today we have multiple ingredients (technologies) coming together, forming entirely new systems. And in doing so completely replacing and disrupting existing industries, products and power structures.

    This week is turning out very well, bunkered at the Safe Room.

    • Albert Townes

      What’s goin on? Your office is all Jodie Foster, and you’re like, writing ‘like’, like Heidi Klum.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Have been reading ‘The Writings of Aaron Swartz’, similarly on the topic of the massive social, economic and political changes as more and more individuals and groups devise new ways of making use of internet communications. To do business and to engage in politics. And art. And zen. Freeing culture. Making culture equally participatory with minimal financial barriers. Truly democratic hopefully. Swartz is a great source of inspiration.

  21. Elizabeth

    Douglas Field Published Apr 5, 2016 | Re-published Aug 17, 2016
    Ryoan ji
    Peace and tranquility

    • Calvin Oaten

      And zen ve move zee gravel and stones, zen ve make zee svimming pool. No? Yah!

      • Diane Yeldon

        Calvin: I first misread that as ‘gavel’. I have at times wondered whether the absence of both order and decisiveness at Dundin City Council meetings is due to the lack of a GAVEL. (eg ‘Um, …. ah, I think we’ll start now.’ As opposed to BANG! ‘I declare the meeting open.’)
        I saw a very nice wooden meat tenderiser in one of the $2 shops recently and wondered about buying this as a gift for the council. However, on closer inspection, it was clear that its rather tacky, bumpy metal ends would have given its true nature away.
        Does anyone know whether the DCC historically had, or still has, a gavel? (A gavel is a small wooden hammer which the chair is allowed to use to hit the desk with but not other councillors.)

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Diane, “…. allowed to use to hit the desk with but not other councillors” – requires not only full understanding of protocol but also self-control, mature ability to tolerate difference of opinion and not interpret it as personal attack.

      • Kleinefeldmaus


  22. Elizabeth

    Albert Townes fear not.
    What I learnt aged 12-17 at boarding school was jail [narrow confines] or the penury house is more fun, the mind oft takes you places the body can’t. Too much fun, of course, meant eyeing potatoes by hand before sending them through the peeler machine, at an early hour before breakfast. I have since been militarised in a number of ways contributing to zen awareness. ‘Like’ you would not believe, for all my apparent innocence.

  23. Elizabeth

    The question might be, where are the landmines and how deep beneath that cautionary raked sand of Douglas’s depiction.

  24. Diane Yeldon

    Keep calm ….and if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

    • Kleinefeldmaus

      There is a subliminal message here :
      ‘The rocks of the garden were arranged so that only fourteen of the fifteen stones may be viewed at any given time from any angle. This arrangement ensures that only through attaining enlightenment will one see all fifteen stones simultaneously.’

      It is a message to our venerable [deleted]. To attain enlightenment you need to be able to see all the rocks simultaneously. Our [deleted] might need to learn to listen to all at [deleted] table. Until [deleted] does so [deleted] will not achieve enlightenment.

      {Moderated. Some rocks redacted here. Important to have fair and proper regard for All at the business table. Your point is heeded. Keep to general principles, to carry on. -Eds}

      • Diane Yeldon

        And the public seating in the council chamber is arranged so that members of the public can see virtually nothing of the councillors or the mayor but instead a good view of the backs of the heads of ODT reporters and plenty of pillars and funny little wooden fences, no doubt to keep the plebs at bay. The not-so ‘subliminal’ message here is ‘sidelined’. To be fair, governance staff have told me I can sit wherever I can see. But the fact remains that the mayor is seated on a pretentious wooden throne with all the councillors BENEATH him. We need an on-the-level horseshoe arrangement, with the mayor in the centre, the ‘first’ amongst equals, and all facing the public, on whose behalf and for whose welfare the council is acting. This would be a change I could contemplate and KEEP CALM about. The current ‘artistic’ arrangement of the council chamber sucks.

      • Diane Yeldon

        And all council chairs, including the mayor, need to listen to all councillors without bias. Here is a transcript of part of the meeting of the full council on 17 March 2016 (7mins into meeting video)

        Mayor Cull: Further questions? Cr Vandervis.
        Cr Vandervis: Why does it not then say ‘more’ on page 15 where it says: “economic development, proposed funding, 790,000, in 2016-17, and 75,000 in 2017-18, why doesn’t it say that it’s more there. It actually says that that’s the proposed funding.
        Mayor Cull: The question related to the consultation document and the figures in the pages here .. there’s not the same need .. presumably .. for explanation because this is not the consultation document .. this is .. and the question from Cr Calvert was about the consultation document.
        Cr Vandervis: Right. My question is about what is written on page 15 because I had the same question but my question was about – because I don’t have that document – my question was about what’s on page 15 where it said that the proposed funding is – when in fact the proposed funding isn’t.
        Mayor Cull: I’m sorry. I was just distracted. Would you repeat the question, please.
        Cr Vandervis: Yes. My question is why, on page 15 of our agenda, under ‘decision’, it says, ‘economic development, proposed funding of $790,000 in 2016-17 and $750,000 in 2017-18. Why does it not say that that’s MORE funding?
        Mayor Cull: What it says on the first line above is that the table below summarises the decisions made with budget implication made during the January Annual Plan. That’s the answer to that.
        Cr Vandervis: Well, no. It says that the decision was made and it says that the proposed funding is $790,000 in 2016-17 and I don’t believe that that is correct. I believe that that’s the EXTRA funding that is proposed.
        Mayor Cull: I’ve given you the reason. The reason .. the reason .. the explanation is there. Any further questions? Cr Thomson.
        [Cr Vandervis remains standing.]
        Cr Thomson [standing to speak as required by Standing Orders]: I respect that the mayor’s given a ruling .. I’m not sure whether he’s given it quite .. [inaudible] .. way.. but nevertheless, I share the concern that the headline above it is ‘budget total’ and it’s not .. ‘increase over’..
        Cr Vandervis in an aside to Cr Thomson : Thank you.
        [Cr Thomson and Vandervis both sit down.]
        Mayor Cull to staff member [almost inaudible]: Can you speak to that?
        [Staff advice inaudible but much head nodding as if in agreement.]
        Mayor Cull (to Cr Thomson): It’s the budget total line that you’re concerned about? Is that the one that you were concerned about?
        Cr Thomson: Well, I share Cr Vandervis’s .. I agree that two men and his dog might actually read this, as opposed to the consultation document but, nevertheless, it clearly says ‘budget total’ and it’s not the budget total.
        [It seems document is corrected and the meeting moves on with no further comment.] (ends)

        So why does Mayor Cull, as chair, pay attention and follow up when Cr Thomson makes exactly the same (undeniably CORRECT!) point which Cr Vandervis has just made and which Mayor Cull has just (take your pick of any or all) misunderstood, ignored, discounted or overruled? I really can’t think of any other possible explanation – this is surely a breach of the council’s Code of Conduct.

        I have told Deputy Mayor Cr Staynes of my concerns here. (The proper procedure for Code of Conduct complaints is to address your concerns to the mayor but, if it is the mayor you are complaining about, then to the deputy mayor.) Cr Staynes did not seem to believe that the Code of Conduct was breached when, during a public council meeting, Mayor Cull publicly repeatedly called Cr Vandervis a liar. I wonder what it will take to have a Code of Conduct breach recognized.. Actual physical attack with that gavel if it is ever found? (Maybe that’s why they don’t have one – worry that irascible chairs can’t be trusted with one.)

        I am not kidding about members of the public bringing Code of Conduct complaints against councillors or the mayor for their bad behaviour during public meetings. There’s nothing in Standing Orders which says members of the public can’t make such complaints and I believe that the council staff, on legal advice, have determined that it is allowed. When you consider that council staff can’t reasonably do it (having to be non-political) but should address any concerns to the CEO, the CEO can’t do it (not part of her job description), and that when councillors do it, it can so easily look as if it is politically motivated and an attempt to blacken a political opponent’s name, then it looks to me that it’s in the public interest that members of the public CAN and DO make Code of Conduct complaints. This is particularly important when the complaints are about bad behaviour in public meetings, which can be a real embarrassment to Dunedin, let alone bringing disrepute.

        I have sat through plenty of ‘amateur hour’ DCC public meetings, feeling seriously challenged to STAY CALM! And seeing no mechanisms in place for improvement in the conduct of meetings. (But hooray for the new, on-the-spot legal advice on Points of Order – in the past, too often bungled and also often horribly politically abused). Standing Orders have legal force and the council’s Code of Conduct is part of Standing Orders. DCC needs to take itself and its own rules seriously and then other people might be able to take it seriously as well.
        (PS. Cr Calvert gets picked on too IMO. Am waiting, though, for an undeniable and inexcusable example.)

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Out of consideration for your valuable time, would it be a good idea if we composed our contributions ready-censored? I would be happy to do that.
        Could you please supply a list of the verboten words: [deleted…..] does the same censorship [deleted…..] rule apply to non-Dunedin entities?

        {Thanks for your consideration of this matter. The duty editor replies:
        My Stars (7.4.16) —Your life is a bit like an abstract painting or a song today in that it’s a work of art you really needn’t explain. People will wonder. Let them come up with their own interpretations. It will be more interesting that way.}

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