DCC Politics : Release of Infrastructure Report #SouthDunedinFlood

Election Year : The following post is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Flooding South Dunedin June 2015 photo by Paul Allen [listener.co.nz]Photo: Paul Allen

New Report [excerpt]—
DCC Flood Report 2 (2016) excerpt

Next meeting of the Infrastructure Services Committee will be held on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 at 1:30 pm or at the conclusion of the Planning and Regulatory Committee meeting (whichever is later) – Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers

1 Public Forum (page 4)
2 Apologies (4)
3 Confirmation of Agenda (4)
4 Declaration of Interest (5)
PART A REPORTS (Committee has power to decide these matters)
●● 5 South Dunedin Public Infrastructure Performance during June 2015 Flood Event Follow up (6-27)
6 Recycling Markets and Bin Contamination (28)
7 Northern Wastewater Schemes’ Options (34)
PART B REPORTS (Committee has power to recommend only on these items
8 Resolution to Stop a Portion of Peel Street, Allanton (44)
9 Road Name – Three Hills Subdivision (54)
PART A REPORTS (Committee has power to decide these matters)
10 Notification of Agenda Items for Consideration by the Chair

Agenda – ISC – 26/04/2016 (PDF, 6.3 MB)
The agenda and reports are located together in this file.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Report on South Dunedin infrastructure performance during June 2015 flood released

This item was published on 20 Apr 2016

The report on the South Dunedin infrastructure performance during the June 2015 flood event was released today as part of the agenda for the Infrastructure and Services Committee meeting next week.

The report concludes that while a number of factors contributed, the main factor was the highest 24-hour rainfall total in Musselburgh since 1923.

General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Ruth Stokes says the report outlines the known challenges with managing the South Dunedin catchment and highlights concerns about the performance of mudtanks and the Portobello Road pumping station during the event.

“Changes in the South Dunedin catchment since the stormwater network was designed, combined with operational challenges and high ground water levels, all contributed to the effects of the extreme rainfall event that occurred in June 2015.”

Mrs Stokes says the report shows that mudtanks weren’t maintained as required. As a result, a number of steps, including a full review and retendering of road maintenance contracts have been adopted. Other measures include accurately capturing data on the status of the mudtanks, a redesign of the Portobello Pumping station screen and the development of a communications plan to inform the community of the local infrastructure challenges and how to best plan for future events.

“However, given the volume of rainfall and the system at capacity during the June event, the water would have been unable to enter the network even if all mudtanks were clear.”

She says the DCC must now look at what measures can be taken to mitigate such events in future.

The DCC will soon be engaging with the community about these issues and what the long term responses might be.

Contact Ruth Stokes, General Manager Infrastructure and Networks on 477 4000.

DCC Link

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

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Heritage, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

94 responses to “DCC Politics : Release of Infrastructure Report #SouthDunedinFlood

  1. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online:

    DCC infrastructure degradation
    Submitted by JimmyJones on Tue, 19/04/2016 – 9:56pm.

    The only serious threat facing South Dunedin residents is that the DCC councillors and staff will continue to be obsessed by exaggerated claims of sea-level rise, the old peak-oil scam and the twisted ideology of Sustainable Development. While they find expensive solutions to these imaginary problems, South Dunedin continues to be exposed to the real risk of a severely substandard stormwater system. For years, the funding for the city’s stormwater pipe replacements and upgrades has been diverted into stadiums and bicycle lanes and other wasteful projects. It is not only Mayor Cull that has taken advantage of this convenient source of extra money, the Council of Mayor Chin also re-prioritised spending from the essential to the non-essential in a similar way.

    If it is any comfort to the residents of South Dunedin, Climate Change and sea-level rise played no part in affecting the severity of the 2015 flooding. The flooding resulted from the deficient stormwater system. An independent review (2011 ICMP) determined that most parts of the South Dunedin system could only cope with a very feeble one in two year rain event, whereas the design target was for the severity of a one in ten year event. The system still does not meet the design target. If it did, the 2015 rain event would have produced only minor flooding (lower than floor level).

    The city’s stormwater upgrades need to be accelerated and other essential infrastructure spending should be prioritised over the wasteful, unwanted and non-essential spending. More details »HERE«

  2. Anonymous

    Does Cull resign now?
    I mean he stated baldly that the mudtanks had been maintained.

    This report says they haven’t.
    Does he resign, or what?

    • russandbev

      Of course he should, but the question is whether he will. I would suggest that the next question is whether he needs his mayoral stipend too much to even consider the honourable course. Maybe he should consider a period of containment in the Octagon confined by some camel shackles? Until November?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      If he were to resign it would weaken even further his chance of being elected in October, and now there is a young fresh-faced career politician of impeccable Greenness also standing for Mayor it’s not a move I’d expect him to make.
      Turkeys don’t crowd the New Year sales to shop early for Christmas.

  3. Elizabeth

    Here’s um, a general sort of editorial statement.

    {Election Year. The comments at this thread are definitely in the public interest. -Eds}

  4. Elizabeth

    We invite a rigorous independent peer review.

    And you know what INDEPENDENT means….. it’s when DCC isn’t part of briefing the review or its findings (except to provide council information, technical data, frames of reference, and reference sources in a timely manner when requested by the peer reviewer) is what !!

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    “Changes in the South Dunedin catchment since the stormwater network was designed, combined with operational challenges and high ground water levels…” so I’m, um, wondering – where did ground water come up to back when the network was designed? Two spadesworth down from ground level? Halfway up a standard banjo (long-handled shovel)?

    • Elizabeth

      Speaking of smoked red herrings on the DCC platter.

    • JimmyJones

      Hype O’Thermia: The ground-water level should be lower now-days with all the extra area of roofs, and asphalt. That means more water for the DCC pumping station and less to soak into the ground. The need to upgrade the system capacity should have been obvious for many years. My guess is that the decision-makers knew what was needed, but spent the money on other things.
      On the day before the June flood the average depth of the groundwater, measured at four locations, was 628mm below the ground surface. For all four bore sites, the ground-water level before the flood was completely within the normal range. Mayor Cull and this new report are wrong to claim that the ground-water levels were high – they were not. Ground-water levels were not a factor.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “On the day before the June flood the average depth of the groundwater, measured at four locations, was 628mm below the ground surface.”
        But is that no nearer the surface than the depth at the time the stormwater network was designed – since this is one of the “factors” instanced as causative in the report?

        Benefit of doubt… if evidence can be produced that groundwater level has changed since the year the stormwater network was designed…..

        Yes I know, you’re going to tell me another of those bacon fly-pasts is on the upcoming events schedule.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    The reason that report has taken ten months from the event to surface looks to be due to a shortage of ‘whitewash’. Tahuna site claims the heaviest rainfall since 1923. Has that been peer reviewed, or is it just taken as gospel. I’ve lived in Dunedin for most of my life and I cannot for the life of me believe that the June 2015 event was anything but a solid rainfall. Where – apart from South Dunedin and Glen Rd – was it memorable? The Leith and Lindsay creeks were up, but nothing unusual,
    The report glosses over the Portobello Pumping complex, saying there was a reduced volume due to inlet screen blockages. How much reduction, and for how long? Doesn’t say. Why? Because they either don’t know or it is not convenient to know. How many mudtanks were blocked? We don’t see that either. If mudtanks were choked with solids (as we think many were), wouldn’t there be a strong likelihood of solids carry over into the piping system? Being intrinsically a flat or low fall system how much of that carry over would be restricting the capacity of the system to carry a full water volume? Without a sluicing factor due to fall then not paying full attention to mudtank cleansing is setting the system up for failure. After having been privy to Bruce Hendry’s assessment, together with that of Neil Johnstone’s engineering opinion, one can only dismiss this as a long awaited endeavour to pull the ‘sea level rise’ and ‘climate change’ rabbits out of the hat as the excuse for the DCC’s serious shortcomings. It is a classic example of attention to the basics being down played in favour of funding glamour projects like stadiums, museums, conference centres and cycleways. It all gets back to money and budget priorities. That’s where this and previous councils have failed the citizens miserably.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, if properly conducted, peer reviews are published out…. We know the Group Manager for Transport has said in mainstream media that this report would be peer reviewed – that means by suitably qualified independent external reviewers. So let’s see those reviews, shall we.

    • pb

      Click to access Rainfall%20event%203%20June%202015%20East%20Coast%20and%20Dunedin.pdf

      A lot of the “highest” claims came because the flowmeters were installed the day before yesterday.

      A big rain sure, but nothing biblical. One in 63 at the heaviest recorded location. Rainfall intensity tends to be sporadic over short distances. On average, a lot lower than 1 in 63 for Dunedin.

    • ab

      Memorable, yes. Large scale evacuations, flooded homes, rest home residents transferred to Milton etc. Naturally, this doesn’t happen on elevated suburbs. I tend to get irritated by pronouncements on SD by non SDinites, who may not have experienced our flood night and day.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        ab, the rainfall wasn’t a big deal. The neglect of performance of contract and of oversight; delays in appropriate response while flooding was occurring and water was coming closer and closer to people’s homes – and then into them – these were a helluva big deal. Unlike when and where rain falls, these are matters that need urgent detailed examination, followup, accountability where any individual or organisation was at fault, so nobody can say again “we didn’t know” and “It wasn’t our fault” and “Dolly did it”.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Calvin – “How many mudtanks were blocked? ”

      Today: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/380490/mud-tank-maintenance-failure
      Mud-tank contract ‘dual failure’ – Cull
      A long-awaited report into last June’s flood has found 75% of mud tanks in South Dunedin were not properly maintained.

  7. Hype O'Thermia


    no cornflake diploma with honours in Sepia Nostril Creation & Maintenance

    qualified and

    not hand-picked cuzzies who borrow one another’s holiday homes


  8. Elizabeth

    Are we seeing the straw that broke the camel’s back. Feels like it.

  9. Elizabeth

    Dunedin South MP Clare Curran:
    ‘While the report mentioned operational challenges, what had happened was “operational failures”.’

    ODT: Mud-tank contract ‘dual failure’ – Cull
    ODT: Flood report findings ‘no surprise’ to residents

    █ During cleaning and testing of 1046 mudtanks at South Dunedin, contractor City Care found 75% were not up to standard, of which 26% were “totally blocked” and 36% “partially blocked”.

    To come:
    ● Peer review of DCC November report about the impact pumps and pipes had on flood volumes.
    ● Independent review on contract management of mud-tanks and road maintenance.
    ● “Independent audit” by the council’s internal auditor, Crowe Horwath.

    Otago Daily Times Published on Apr 20, 2016
    South Dunedin flood report findings no surprise to residents
    In South Dunedin last night, Nelson St resident Bronwyn Bradshaw said she wanted accountability.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Noteworthy absence of badmouthing:
    “Mr Cull said it was particularly concerning issues with mud-tank maintenance had previously been brought up by Cr Lee Vandervis, but problems identified were not properly addressed.”

  11. Elizabeth

    Radio New Zealand (RNZ) National have done the most amazing job of pinning Dunedin City Council (DCC) over the latest South Dunedin Flood report.

    ● RNZ Checkpoint can be watched live on FreeView Channel 50.

    █ Watch the full Checkpoint programme from Wednesday 21 April at 7:08 pm here. Dunedin flood item from 14:00. Dunedin feedback from 46:05.



    Clare Curran: “There was a Massive failure of infrastructure….Council-owned infrastructure that wasn’t working properly, hadn’t been cleaned out…. and nobody has taken responsibility…. the Council took its eye off the ball… Why is no one taking responsibility for it? Why are they still ducking from that responsibility, John?” [Abbrev. -Eds]

    ### radionz.co.nz Wed, 21 Apr 2016 at 5:27 pm
    Checkpoint with John Campbell
    Infrastructure in Dunedin found to be sub-par Link
    A report into the severe flooding in Dunedin last year finds 75 percent of mud, overflow and storage tanks were non compliant. The South Dunedin MP, Clare Curran, says the report is damning.
    Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (3′45″)

    ### radionz.co.nz Wed, 21 Apr 2016 at 7:11 pm
    Checkpoint with John Campbell
    Report author explains findings Link
    The author of the report, Ruth Stokes, says Dunedin City Council has not done its job properly by letting the stormwater system get into such disrepair. [Dunedin City Council, stormwater infrastructure]
    Audio | Download: OggMP3 (6′37″)

    ### radionz.co.nz Wed, 21 Apr 2016 at 9:16 pm
    Checkpoint with John Campbell
    Insurance Council says flooding payouts will grow Link
    [Interview with Tim Grafton, CEO of the New Zealand Insurance Council]
    Insurers say not enough is being spent on infrastructures, as the number of flooding claims increases – and the Insurance Council says that will eventually mean higher premiums.
    Audio | Download: OggMP3 (4′40″)

    █ It’s not too late to send a messages and feedback to John Campbell:

    Your Feedback
    Email: checkpoint @radionz.co.nz [close the space beffore @ to go live]
    Facebook: facebook.com/checkpointrnz
    Twitter: @CheckpointRNZ
    Text 2101, texts cost 20 cents



    ### radionz.co.nz 8:40 pm today
    Dunedin ‘warned about old drains before flood’
    By Mei Heron, Political Reporter
    A company contracted to look after Dunedin’s stormwater network said it warned the council about the infrastructure’s poor condition before last year’s damaging flood. […] Fulton Hogan held the council contract to look after the stormwater network. It said it warned the council four months before the flood that effective maintenance was a challenge due to the age and historical nature of the network. The company said it was confident it met all the requirements of its contract. It had worked for the council for the past two years and had passed numerous performance audits.

    At the time of the floods, Fulton Hogan told the council 30 percent of the tanks in South Dunedin – the worst-hit suburb – were blocked, which was over the allowable limit in the contract. But, in last month’s inspection, the council found 75 percent were not working properly and more than a quarter of those were completely blocked. It had to remove about 230 tonnes of debris.

    Dunedin City Council infrastructure general manager Ruth Stokes said she did not know why there was such a massive difference between what the council discovered and what Fulton Hogan had been reporting. […] But Ms Stokes said given the huge amount of rain, it was hard to know whether fewer houses would have been flooded if the tanks had been working properly. “Because there are so many variables at play, it is impossible to identify whether there was any localised impact due to mudtanks that couldn’t operate correctly. The amount of rainfall in South Dunedin exceeded our system’s capacity for 17 hours.”
    Read more

    ### radionz.co.nz 9:34 am today
    Dunedin flood drain tanks blocked
    By Mei Heron, Political Reporter
    An inspection prompted by Dunedin’s devastating flood last June has found many of the tanks that drain water from roads are blocked. The mud tanks catch debris that washes off the road and allow rainfall and floodwaters to drain into the stormwater system. Last year, more than two months worth of rain came pouring down in just 24 hours and South Dunedin’s drains couldn’t cope. Just over 1200 properties were flooded and 280 families had the miserable job of clearing out ruined carpet and furniture and trying to dry out sodden homes. At the time of the floods, Fulton Hogan, the company hired to keep the mud tanks clear, said 30 percent of the tanks in the worst hit suburb were blocked – which was over the allowable limit in the contract. But in last month’s inspection Dunedin City Council found 75 percent were not working properly and more than a quarter of those were completely blocked. It had to remove about 230 tonnes of debris.
    Read more



    ### radionz.co.nz at 8:54 am today
    Morning Report with Susie Ferguson
    Dunedin tanks blocked during extreme flooding last year Link
    An investigation into Dunedin’s one in one hundred year flood last June has found many of the tanks that drain water from the road in the city’s worst hit suburb were blocked.
    Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (3′23″)

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Feedback has clearly been fast – and furious. The DCC interviewee was singled out for special mention which this site cannot repeat since sensibilities are such that WhatIf is constantly at risk, being small enough to threaten unlike RNZ and the ODT.

      • Elizabeth

        Thankyou Hype. It’s better criticism of Mayor and Council management comes from forums set up by experienced journalists with legal advisors provided care of their editors and producers. Either way, Tuesday’s Infrastructure Services Committee meeting might need to transfer to the Town Hall or Glenroy, from the Edinburgh Room. (joke – uprise city). But I would rather see restitution to affected residents, businesses and insurers.
        Which I think would trumpet a Commissioner for Dunedin –

        • Hype O'Thermia

          There won’t be restitution until there’s responsibility in place of excuses, bizarre narratives, duck-shoving and “business as usual”.
          What does it take – thumbscrews?

  12. Gurglars

    Stokes claimed on RNZ Checkpoint that the council erred in not managing mudtank clearing contract, but that did not cause or affect the flooding. She maintained that with that amount of rain, flooding would have happened anyway. Perhaps we should just block up all the mud tanks they obviously have no use. The council would then save about $200,000 on the cleaning contract and could eliminate however many staff they appointed to manage the tank cleaning contract.
    She also maintained that the water table was higher prior to the floods despite evidence here to the contrary.

    Just what is in the water in the Octagon it seems to cause an inability to find facts, face facts and accept facts.

    However, cant, tooth fairies, palm reading, tarot cards, climate change guff, Al Gore, and the three monkeys all seem to have a desk and a chair and a computer able to connect to Trade Me.

    Just a piece of unrequested data.

    The Mud Tank report was held up until Mayor Dave Cull’s visit to the Chatham islands, the only place in New Zealand that the bulldog NZ media could not reach!

  13. russandbev

    While RNZ are asking some questions, the ODT, which you would expect be at the front of those asking pertinent questions remain muted and unwilling to publish the views of all the residents of this province.

    For example, I submitted the following post on the ODT website at noon today – it has not appeared, nor have any of my recent submissions. While I don’t for a moment believe that my views are worthy of publication at all times, I leave it up to readers of this site to determine whether my questions are pertinent to the current shambles over the June 2015 floods.

    This is what I submitted:

    Some questions flow from this very long overdue report which the ODT should be reporting on:

    1 Where is the independent peer reviewed report which was promised?

    2 Has Mayor Cull any intention of publicly apologising to Cr Vandervis for ignoring the warnings made on lack of infrastructure maintenance?

    3 Is Mayor Cull now prepared to retract his statements made within a day or so of the June 2015 weather event that the prime cause of the flooding was a rise in sea level water under South Dunedin – something which has been now shown to be incorrect?

    4 How many staff are going to be held accountable for not ensuring that the stormwater infrastructure was not being maintained to a level where it was fit for purpose?

    5 Will Mayor Cull offer his resignation as a measure of governance failures to adequately provide for necessary infrastructure to the Dunedin ratepayers?

    I really look forward to reading of the ODT’s follow up to this damning report.

    My own view is that since the inhabitants of the Council buildings have recently developed a heightened sensitivity to criticism and have adopted a “say it and we will sue” attitude, it is more than obvious that this is merely a strategy to divert anyone taking a hard look at the abject failure of the Council to meet the reasonable expectations of the ratepayers.

    I hope, I think in vain, that the ODT will show some guts in publishing the views of ALL their readers and they will start to do some real investigative journalism. After all, if you sit by and let it happen, then you are as guilty as the perpetrator.

    Published at ODT Online. -Eds

    • russandbev

      One of the interesting “tricks” used by the ODT is to publish comments hours after they have been submitted. This ensures that they vanish down the pages. Seems like the ODT is still part of the problem.

      • Elizabeth

        Perhaps worth putting a direct question about delay of publication to the Online Editor – clearly, not all delays are because of the ODT’s need for legal checks.

        • russandbev

          I have done in the past, but they seemingly cannot publish comments in chronological order of being sent – only when they have been processed. Which begs the question, what order do they get processed?

        • Elizabeth

          Thanks Russell – they’re clear as mud, so your theory holds. Maybe we should contact the Editor in Chief for something more definitive (but maybe you’ve already done that).
          Would love to know how many erstwhile comments they Bin.

  14. Anonymous


  15. Ray

    What concerns me is that the people of Dumbnedin i.e. the electorate are so badly informed and poorly educated on political matters that we may see a change in faces at next years’ election, but a similar result in the decisions that are made for another 3 years.

  16. Gurglars

    With Hawkins and Vendervis standing, Cull will win by default.

    {Moderated. See if ODT will publish… -Eds}

  17. Calvin Oaten

    Cull said definitively in June last year that the prime cause of the flood was a rain event combined with ‘sea rise’ due to ‘climate change’. “We’ve got it in spades,” was the emphasis he made. Now in view of the report showing that 75% of the mud tanks were compromised, at next Tuesday’s [26 April at 1:30pm] meeting Cr Vandervis would be entitled to say, “Mayor Cull you are a [deleted] , please leave the chamber.” Would that go down?

    {Moderated. What if? Dunedin website and its owner are still under the city council’s legal duress, until there’s a change of council governance. -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Council’s legal duress” is brave enough to lean on “What if? Dunedin website and its owner” but in my opinion this results in adding emphasis to the very discussion topics they wish to candy-coat, and awareness that there are behind all decisions some people with names and job titles and (generally) salaries paid from our ever-increasing rates. And when topics discussed with “[deletions]” here are picked up by other media – what good is “legal duress” then?

      Meanwhile readers and contributors have assembled a rich resource of information and are in most cases well able to fill in the “[deletions]” gaps. In the wake of John Campbell’s interviews about the South Dunedin flood report and associated fiction, we can expect to hear and see more since media love a good clusterf*ck especially when there’s a cast of characters who can be relied on to produce quotes fit to put satirists out of work.

  18. Elizabeth

    █ Updated Radio New Zealand (RNZ) National news and interviews about the latest DCC flood report found at this comment.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    To be fair to Ms Stokes she catches the flak as ‘head honcho,’ but in all honesty she is just as much a victim here, as she has only recently walked into [the job]. A great chance for her to make her mark if she accepts the ‘Herculean’ task and cleans the stables. Little consolation I know for the poor folk in South Dunedin, but they will have their opportunity in October to aid and assist Ms Stokes by cleansing the Council Chamber.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

  20. Elizabeth

    I have left out Mr Grafton’s nonsensical references to sea level rise and climate change generally – the guy represents substantial vested interests capable of leveraging off loose “climate change predictions”, well ahead of the concerns of those buying insurance, if they can or must afford it for mortgage purposes or other. An ugly business. You can hear Mr Grafton in last night’s interview with John Campbell here or here.

    Where Mr Grafton says: “Insurance companies would not be chasing the council for any liability as the amount of rain that fell meant “damage to properties was going to occur in any event”.” – you have to wonder at the conversation had between DCC and its insurers last year, with what business arrangement and how; and with agreement of the Council’s legal advisors. I wouldn’t have thought DCC as a corporate entity stands beyond civil claims – particularly since not everyone at South Dunedin was insured, or had the necessary cover to…. meet damage costs associated with the (now admitted) staggering failure of council-owned infrastructure and the wider issues of non-performance …. or the ability to meet increased premiums in the medium and longer term if the council fails to bring the infrastructure network up to a collectively agreed satisfactory standard to meet storm events…. fast enough.


    Fri, 22 Apr 2016
    ODT: Millions needed for South Dunedin
    A report identifying failures in the lead-up to last June’s floods has highlighted the need for investment in South Dunedin infrastructure which could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. […] Unless infrastructure was improved, flooding, similar to last year’s event in South Dunedin, would occur again during big storms, [Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton] said. […] Insurance companies would not be chasing the council for any liability as the amount of rain that fell meant “damage to properties was going to occur in any event”.

  21. Elizabeth


    Comment at ODT Online:

    South Dunedin flooding
    Submitted by Ray Macleod on Fri, 22/04/2016 – 11:41am.

    Council and some key staff are demonstrating a callous and ideological disregard for the welfare of not just South Dunedin but the emotional and economic welfare of an entire city. It has to stop.

    • I’ve probably said this before and will no doubt say it again, South Dunedin people need support, hope, reassurance and the realisation that there is a plan for their welfare and protection of their community.

  22. JimmyJones

    This was released today. This is the group initiated by MP Clare Curran. They seem focused on the exact problem – no Global Warming voodoo-mumbo-jumbo:

    Press Release: South Dunedin Action Group
    Friday, 22 April 2016, 1:38 pm
    South Dunedin Action Group seeks urgent meeting with Council

    The South Dunedin Action Group today calls on the Dunedin City Council to meet and determine the immediate actions needed to ensure the community’s infrastructure is maintained and is to a standard to protect the community against a flood event such as last June.

    Having considered the Infrastructure report on the June floods released this week we are very disappointed that it focuses only on mudtanks, not the entire system reticulation and pipeline, or the Musselburgh pumping station.

    We have advice that the stormwater system did not perform to its designed capacity and that the methodology used by the Council to prepare this report is flawed.

    It is our view that the extent of the flooding would not have occurred if the system had been operating to its designed capacity.

    We note there are no engineering or other practical initiatives to take the community forward.

    We would like to focus on an immediate practical action plan for the wider South Dunedin community that addresses the operation of council infrastructure. This must occur before any longer term issues in South Dunedin are addressed.

    We are concerned that the infrastructure issues have implications beyond South Dunedin and must be addressed immediately.

    We are concerned that there are retailers and residents who are continuing to suffer financially and emotionally due to the distress suffered during the floods and the subsequent uncertainty about South Dunedin’s future.

    We will work with the DCC in good faith but we need the Council to acknowledge our concerns and our expertise to reassure this community that South Dunedin is a vital part of Dunedin with a future.

    Our focus is on the future and not on affixing blame to individuals and we will work constructively with council to fix these problems.

    (via Scoop)


    • Calvin Oaten

      The South Dunedin Action Group are the directly affected, and as such deserve recognition as the aggrieved section of the community. What they are saying is expressing their concerns that council and staff are not competently addressing the problems as manifested by the June 2015 flood event. They desperately seek remediation but are not seeing it to date. The ball is now squarely in the council’s court. The Mayor must action this and arrange the URGENT MEETING sought by that concerned body. Assuming he returns from the Chatham Islands.

  23. Gurglars

    Personally, Paul the last thing that the good folk of South Dunedin, East , West or North Dunedin need is useless platitudes.

    What the people of Dunedin left right, up and down need is a competent, well managed DCC, that focuses on fixing infrastructure, picking up all the rubbish, eliminating traffic lights, stops being the mother duck of social engineering and reduces the number of staff back to about 250.

    If at the same time it got rid of Delta, cycleways philosophy which is going to kill half of the mad cyclists, the stadium and other blots on the landscape, all of the citizens of Dunedin would have no need for victim support – there would be no victims.

    • I totally agree, and for all of the ‘strategies’ we’ve seen released in recent years, not one has has an implementation plan or a budget line put beside it. As much as people can promote the feel good projects, the reality is that it’s the spade in the ground that counts. For all of the Council’s recent activity on climate change and sea level rise there has been little done on protecting South Dunedin or the dune areas. In fact how long has it been since the Fitzharris report was released? This is what I find so strange about the Council’s inaction over the real needs of local people. It seems as though South Dunedin has simply been given up as a lost cause which says a lot about the mentality of the Council’s thinking on climate change and sea level rise. It has taken a view that there will be collateral damage and the South Dunedin community will be that cost. Not only is that heartless and inflexible, but it shows a lack of any really serious analysis and thinking since the Fitzharris report. It also lacks empathy which is why I said earlier, South Dunedin needs reassurance and the belief that there are people out there that have a plan.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Paul, the attitude to South Dunedin is bizarre, though it ties in with things some people say re climate change & sea level rise. To hear them it seems they picture a metre depth of “extra” sea arriving not only soon but suddenly. Not millimetres, not even a couple of centimetres a year. No opportunity to (leaving aside the bleeding obvious – get on quick-smart with keeping the nearest dunes from vanishing) raise buildings on higher foundations, shift others when owner finds a suitable section, in other words rely on people to do what they have always done. And if the stormwater removal system were not buggered up by ineptitude this would not mean “grab your family photos and a change of underwear, and run!”
        People move, sometimes with community (local or central govt) help, more often individual decisions to shift. People move of their own volition all the time – bigger house or smaller, more/less garden, closer to family, divorce/re-partnering, new job, fear of flooding…..

        IF, and I don’t share our glorious leader’s confidence that Hargest Island will become literally, nature-formed not anthropogenically blundered at our expense, a mooring place for paddle steamers… IF sea level rises in a manner that indicates the planet is doing its natural cyclical thing and that includes innundation, there will be plenty of time to organise those people who can’t organise themselves.

        Christchurch suffered near-instant uninhabitability – some houses among unaffected ones, and some suburbs. Now ignoring for a moment the fact that there are still people living in houses with sloping floors, and more indoor-outdoor flow and ventilation than is appreciated for yet another winter – we have a model of how to do and not do relocation. And South Dunedin’s “sea level rise” won’t be overnight.

        So let’s see less headless chook pronouncements, immediate cessation of “The End is Nigh” false prophecies. And as Paul says, large helpings of purposeful activity on necessary projects.

        What’s more important use of council discussion time and planning – setting a good example to the rest of the world by ethically losing money on investments, or working out the best, most cost effective (NOT simply cheapest) ways to do what is needed. Too much time and money have been spent on busy-bunny projects. It’s time for the grown-ups to change out of their party costumes and put on the work gear that has spent too long untouched in their lockers. Steel-capped boots, steely resolution to Get On With It in the short time left till next election.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          But-but-but Paul – they’ve put our money into greenly unprofitable planet saving investments and forbidden offshore exploration for gas, what more could they possibly do? Cycle lanes will prevent waves from vehicles driving around the salty shallows of South Dunedin from washing over the cunningly placed islands and protrusions – yet you say “they have never bothered to create any workable or viable response”!
          Was “managed retreat” ever, really, about South Dunedin, or did it spring unbidden from the subconscious? Theoretical anthropogenic climate change, a faith position with rituals that develop quickly around faiths, that was one thing. The CC Gods could be appeased by bicycles and giving up meat on Fridays, uh, sorry about the confusion, I mean giving up fossil fuels, ritually.
          But then something happened that wasn’t theoretical, wasn’t a matter of faith. Real water, really flooding the real homes of real people.

          Cognitive dissonance!

          “In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.” (Wikipedia)

          The choices are not easy, and depend a lot on innate qualities of intellect, temperament and abilities. Snap into practical mode, clear-eyed without filtering reality through faith-tinted glasses, or retreat into denial mode trying desperately to jam facts into the faith narrative like big feet into small shoes, refusing to acknowledge they don’t fit.

          The “managed retreat” can have little to do with theory, since even CC faith puts sea level rise in terms of “by 2050 /2100”.

          More immediately there is the temptation to retreat into the wardrobe with cuddly blankie, a block of chocolate and the cooking sherry, and close the door. Being consistently grown-up isn’t everyone’s forté.

      • JimmyJones

        Paul on the Peninsula: you seem to be drifting off into fairy-land, the place where the Fitzharris report came from. Professor Fitzharris is an activist, a fully paid up global warming crusader, as were the people that selected him to write the report. My point is that the report is extremely unbalanced and has no value as a source of information. It has been useful, however, to help the faithful promote their twisted apocalyptic vision of the future.

        You and Dave Cull should desist from clouding the issue. The thing that will protect the citizens of South Dunedin, Mosgiel and elsewhere from another heavy rain, is a fully functioning stormwater system. The South Dunedin system is defective and so it can only cope with a fairly feeble one in two year rain event. The design target is to cope with a one in ten year rain event which, it seems, would have ensured that flood-waters did not reach floor levels of houses and shops in the June downpour.

        Do not believe anything Dave Cull has said:
        — there is no evidence that South Dunedin ground-water levels have risen – in fact ORC measurements show no significant change
        — the claims of high ground-water levels being a contributing factor to the flooding are a fabrication. Ground-water levels were completely normal before the big rain (628mm below ground surface – average of 4 locations)
        — the rates of sea-level rise proclaimed by Fitzharris, Cull, MacTavish etc are a fantasy and are inconsistent with the quite modest rates of the official historical measurements. The ORC’s Green Island tide gauge is not a valid source of sea-level data for this purpose.

        Stay focused on the problem, Paul: the only plan that is needed is the one that gets the city’s stormwater system working properly in the shortest possible time.

        • You miss my point completely. Council greeted the Fitzharris report with glee and accepted it and all of the other material on climate change as gospel. Yet despite swallowing that they have never bothered to create any workable or viable response. Again, they have looked at South Dunedin as an acceptable casualty. That means that despite the divestment, the Cycleways and all of the other plans and strategies this Council don’t really believe that they can do anything about the mantra they espouse. Don’t you think that’s strange and concerning given the money that has been spent on these issues. So, why would you accept a mantra but not accept that you must help the people affected? What’s now become worse for the Council (which many people including myself knew) is that mantra has been exposed by the reality of its performance and that of its infrastructure.

        • JimmyJones

          Paul: the DCC enthusiasts liked the Fitzharris report and the Peak Oil (Krumdieck) report and the BECA (options for South DN) report. They liked them because they ordered them off the menu. They are all very low quality reports, but they provide support for the DCC’s ideological obsessions. I think that Fear-mongering is the main aim of the DCC as a way to gain converts to their Sustainable Development (Agenda 21) religion. They see the June flood as a fantastic marketing opportunity for this purpose. Sustainable Development is now one of two overarching goals for the DCC. Decided secretly and without public consultation.

          Nothing in any of these reports is of any use in preventing another South Dunedin flood – the ground-water levels were not high. Also there is nothing unusual about some of the sand dunes being washed away. It is unusual that the DCC has taken so long to repair the damage and disappointing that the nearby residents were tormented unnecessarily.

          Council staff continue with their “Climate Change Adaptation Project Plan” which includes the option of “Managed Retreat” (aka “non-protection options”) for South Dunedin (SAS 18/4/16). Managed Retreat is a special surprise for the residents of South Dunedin – they get to be a ritual sacrifice for Dave’s Sustainable Development religion. The stupidity of this idea is extreme.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Wellington’s sea level rise is higher than other cities’ including Dunedin’s, I heard on the radio. All had long records and (apparently) robust measuring methods.

          Does this suggest, perhaps, that land movement may be significant?

          Wellington would not be the shape it is now, were it not for the 1855 Wairarapa magnitude 8.2 earthquake – the most powerful ever recorded in New Zealand. Significant uplift occurred in Wellington City – does this not suggest that just as a garden thoroughly dug over looks deeper then settles to a lower level with time? On a huge scale does not uplifted land tend to settle? And that’s not the first or most recent of the region’s earthquakes.

          Sea level predictions appear to be silo’d, then sellotaped to bicycles and ridden to absurdity.

  24. russandbev

    [Scoop] A well worded communication aside from the final point. Unless those who caused this fiasco to occur are held accountable and are out of the mix of those working to fix things then nothing will change. As long as the foxes remain in charge of the henhouse then NOTHING will change.

  25. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Thursday, April 21, 2016
    Council concedes inadequate infrastructure
    A report into last June’s flooding shows most mud tanks in South Dunedin weren’t properly maintained. The Dunedin City Council report highlights serious inadequacies within the organisation and its maintenance contractor Fulton Hogan. It also states heavy rainfall on the 3rd of June last year was the highest in a 24-hour period in almost a century. It’s believed that even if all mud tanks were up to standard, flooding would still have damaged the city. But the council’s planning to improve its maintenance and management of infrastructure. It’s also set on engaging further with the community about associated issues.
    Ch39 Video

    • Hype O'Thermia

      South Dunedin Action Group: “Our focus is on the future and not on affixing blame to individuals…” – good news for our glorious leader.

      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/380772/cull-says-no-apology :
      “Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is refusing to apologise over the council’s mud-tank failures as the South Dunedin Action Group calls for an infrastructure overhaul.
      Mr Cull was responding to a call by Cr Hilary Calvert, who is being tipped as a likely mayoral candidate in this October’s elections, to apologise to the people of South Dunedin.

      “I don’t think it’s appropriate to apologise for the fact that both the South Dunedin community and I have been let down by staff assurances that maintenance had been carried out properly,” he said.

  26. Anonymous

    Never apologise, never look back. Never litigate the past, let alone relitigate it. Game-changing economic boost.

    That’s quite the re-election platform.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      He’s right:
      “As I said [on Wednesday night], what I said was wrong was the contention that poorly maintained mud-tanks caused the flooding, and they didn’t.”

      If it hadn’t been for rainfall there would have been no flooding at all.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    Cull sees no need for apologies on his behalf. Well, he wouldn’t would he, as it was staff that misled him on the question of maintenance of the stormwater infrastructure. So, the buck stops nowhere. He clings to the ‘likelihood of more frequent extreme weather events’ despite the June event not being extreme, but more like a frequent slightly more than normal event, exacerbated by a lack of maintenance of mudtanks and intake screens. Clearly a human failing. Cull sticks to the ‘complications of rising ground water levels’, again despite there being no evidence of this, as indeed there being no evidence of ‘sea level rise’ either in fact, or “in spades”.

    The Editorial in today’s ODT (Saturday) compounds the nonsense by ‘blabbering on’ over the ‘climate change’ being dire. Again it repeats the point that already since pre-industrial times the world’s temperature has risen “1 degC”, with 2degC being a crucial threshold. Does anyone question how the “scientists” establish that fact? Two hundred years ago the world was largely new territory to science with no-one having set foot on Antarctica, the North Pole, nor vast areas of the major continents. Oil was 100 years from happening, coal was just starting to replace wood as the principle energy source, technology for measuring and recording temperatures were rudimentary at best and very narrowly confined. So what exactly was the world’s average mean temperature then? Answer that definitively first, and then perhaps some credence could be put to the theories being bandied about by the extremists preaching ‘apocalypse’ being just around the corner. The media and large amounts of the tertiary sector are committed to this unproven mania for reasons one can only speculate upon. Political grandstanding, taxing opportunities, financial rewards in the form of grants, research funding, and plain ‘lemming like’ acceptance of group think, promulgated by the United Nations ‘agenda 21’ followed by the IPCC’s ‘god like’ utterances based on nothing more than anecdotal opinions and computer generated models based on human opinion inputs, seem to be the order of the day. Difficult to believe really.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      One of the things that continues to puzzle me is the certainty in figures given about temperatures a long time ago, and temperatures in parts of the globe where the information collected and remembered was what was relevant to the people who lived there, but not necessarily to observers in the European scientific tradition.

      Google search gives some hints to the availability of information, for example:

      The History of the Thermometer – Inventors – About.com
      inventors.about.com › … › Famous Invention History – T
      In 1593, Galileo Galilei invented a rudimentary water thermoscope, which for the first time, allowed temperature variations to be measured. … What can be considered the first modern thermometer, the mercury thermometer with a standardized scale, was invented by Daniel Gabriel …

  28. Elizabeth

    “I don’t think it’s appropriate to apologise for the fact that both the South Dunedin community and I have been let down by staff assurances that maintenance had been carried out properly,” he said.

    Noir es’ Blanc said:
    ‘It wasn’t my fault that I blamed climate change.’
    ‘No one mentioned the city’s infrastructure massively failed, until Clare said so in the media this week.’
    ‘I got a real fright over that.’

    • Gurglars

      Perhaps the saddest thing (of many sad things occurring during the mayoralty) is the lack of management skills.

      At least one (Vandervis) of the councillors advised of car thefts, mudtank non-maintenance, and staff rorts. But [Ostrich-like it was believed] the staff who stole cars, took backhanders, watched one website (Trade Me) during working hours for 550,000 hours were all diligently working like worker ants not needing direction or instruction.

      The elected councillors and mayor are clearly the body responsible for the good GOVERNANCE of the city and ensuring the staff at the DCC do their jobs honestly, frugally and efficiently.

      In this, [the Governance] has been a complete failure.

      {Moderated. In the public interest. Delicate times. -Eds}

  29. Elizabeth

    Tuesday, 26 April – Edinburgh Room at 1:30 pm
    Infrastructure Services Committee Meeting – flood report to be tabled.

    Chair: Cr Kate Wilson

  30. Calvin Oaten

    Expect some tears from the chair if some angry South Dunedinites vent their spleens at that meeting. Could be entertaining.

  31. Elizabeth

    Search engine term used at this website early this morning:

    *what if a local council is acting in ultravires and bullying and intimidating rate payers*

  32. Gurglars

    Here is the very contretemps, that the gloriously worded Hype comment suggests.

    Zealot #1– If we build cyclelanes, people will get thinner and tourists will come – Result a fortune spent on SOUTH DUNEDIN cycleways.

    Zealot #2– Climate Change means SOUTH DUNEDIN may have to be abandoned.

    Can anyone tell me how discoordinated, discombobulated, an entity would have to be to spend a fortune on cycleways in a region they expect to abandon because of rising water levels?

    Just how many cyclists ride underwater?

  33. JimmyJones

    Chairman MacTavish on her FaceBook page shows us why she should not be involved in infrastructure decision-making: “I loved Bristol when I visited in 2014, and its deliberate efforts to usurp functionality with humanity were one of the reasons for that.
    Anyone that doesn’t like functionality should not be on the Infrastructure Services Committee. I wonder if she has thought up some fun activities to do in the flood-waters of the next South Dunedin flood.

  34. JimmyJones

    Many of our DCC councillors are fairly gullible and not that clever. They tend to believe what the staff tell them and like to appear loyal to their leader, Mayor Cull. Many of them will believe Mayor Cull and the misinformation contained in the two DCC flood reports. The most serious examples of the misinformation:
    ● the South Dunedin groundwater was very high before the rain fell and this was a major cause of the flooding
    ● the South Dunedin groundwater is rising
    ● the poor mudtank maintenance (mudtanks – 75% defective) made no difference to the flooding
    ● the DCC is doing something useful to fix the severely deficient stormwater system

    Many councillors might accept these as being true, but Jinters The Sustainable might be in a quandary because she has ready access to hydrological expertise and should be clearly aware that some (or all) of the DCC spin-doctoring is blatantly wrong. At the same time she understands that fear-mongering is a great way to promote her political/religious ideology which is shared by Dave Cull and the staff. The question is, will she be truthful or will she support Dave Cull and collaborators. Let’s see what happens at the ISC meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 26/4/16) at 1:30 pm.

    {Moderated. It’s expected that Councillors will collectively attempt to minimise all discussion of the flood report to be tabled at tomorrow’s ISC meeting. Some Councillors have stated they are individually concerned about the Council’s risk and liability given latest statements of blame promoted in the media. The chair of the ISC has to properly remain neutral and should exercise close attendance to standing orders particularly when it comes to the vote. Over the long weekend, strategising by phone for some to present as one. -Eds}

  35. Elizabeth

    jan wright baking pie Douglas Field 25.4.16Douglas Field 25.4.16

  36. Gurglars

    What the clandestine meetings suggest is an incorrect response to the Flood report and a plan [deleted] to ensure no future liability for the council for causation of the floods.

    The problem with that approach.

    Non truths do not lead to action gainst those who erred and a reason for better decisions in the future.

    Just an example. A man murders a woman. Although his name is known, it is repressed and no action is taken against him. The signal is given to him that he can murder with impunity as can all his friends, associates and contacts and any others who are aware of the situation.

    Will that lead to more murders?

    What do you think?

    If you allow the rabbit to eat your lettuces – you will have no lettuces.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

  37. JimmyJones

    From the 2014 DCC Annual Report we see (p70) that the DCC failed to meet the target for the Level of Service for Stormwater services. The explanation of this failure is: [Resident Opinion Survey] comments suggest that the major cause of dissatisfaction is flooding. Negative perceptions relating to mud tank maintenance are particularly prevalent. This was long before the June 2015 flooding.

    For only one Councillor (Lee Vandervis) to be aware of this problem means that we have a problem with DCC.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

  38. Hype O'Thermia

    JimmyJones, our glorious leader at the end of today’s meeting was more confident than ever that blocked mudtraps had s.f.a. to do with the S Dunedin flooding, and rainfall / rainfall removal was only part of the cause, the other part being the high level of ground-water.
    So now you know.

    • JimmyJones

      Thanks, Hype O’Thermia. [Someone] is sticking with the plan. [who was it who] told us: The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.

      {Moderated. What H(e) said. -Eds}

    • JimmyJones

      Thanks, Hype O’Thermia. Dave has it badly wrong about the high ground-water levels. N.P. Johnstone’s independent report (March 2016) makes this very clear. He says (page 3):
      There was no hindrance to infiltration caused by pre-existing groundwater levels, contrary to DCC’s claims. The most
      obvious of conclusions is that groundwater levels rose simply and solely as a result of direct infiltration of rainfall. DCC’s oft-repeated claim of impeded (to zero) infiltration is without
      foundation. Key paragraphs 2 and 5 (both from the “Executive Summary”) of the DCC Report are therefore misleading and/or irrelevant, as are paragraphs 36, 40, 54, 55, 56, 57, 62 and 66. The DCC Report provides no evidence to back its conclusions on this issue.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Baby steps, JimmyJones.
        In today’s version the high ground water was not now due to sea level rise but to recent rain that had pre-soaked the ground. I hope I’ve got that right. By the time this was being communicated my mind scurried into self-protective mode, curling like a hedgehog to protect itself from contamination by bovine faecal matter..

  39. JimmyJones

    Stormwater has been somewhat neglected because it comes under the Transport, whereas the water and sewerage (aka “wastewater”) is under the Water and Waste. The Water and Waste department has skills better suited to managing the city’s stormwater systems.
    All of the 3-waters have a large backlog of renewals that need to be done. The councillors are rubber stampers and don’t really know what’s going on when they vote on the annual plan. I think that, mostly, the staff do what they can with what they are given, but the top level decisions are defective.

    {Moderated, severely snipped SORRY. -Eds}

  40. Elizabeth

    The Infrastructure Services Committee meeting today was troubling in many respects, apparently it is OK for a new executive to apologise to ‘Governance’ for executive failure, then everyone went ‘wide’ in low IQ discussion – still not addressing the questionable content of the April flood report, the false premises it is based on, and the subject content not addressed! nor integrated! as a technically competent report should do (100% Fail) – further, ‘Governance’s’ PCE bib-feed today was off the planet while trying to be on it in Agenda 21 style. Not one constructive word of apology or genuine contrition for the VICTIMS of the floods, their distress and impoverishment DUE TO TOTAL COUNCIL FAILURE – the fact of South Dunedin people present in the gallery surpassed DCC minds, our lousy council SHOWED NO RESPECT WHATSOEVER.

    The above is not an excuse for Contributors to suddenly lapse back into accusatory claims of lies and Hitler returned, or re-start attacking individuals who find it OFFENSIVE if when required to be accountable and transparent…. Nope! An Election is required to change that. And three high-ranking resignations in particular.

    This website is still on notice to be sued; yes because the same people continue to run the empire their way not the way, I might add, that the South Dunedin Action Group and other interested people at the meeting today will tolerate.

    There was a point made near meeting start to watch comments that might make the council liable. A bit late for such snivellings amongst the highly paid representatives and the very comfortably salaried who blow such cautionary winds.

    But that is between the good people of Dunedin, and their lawyers and accountants.

    • Gurglars

      I’ll say it again.

      Until the truth is accepted and the perpetrators and makers of the mistakes are placed in the stocks or the modern equivalent, the same indeed worse errors will be made.

      Not only that, but the perpetrators will be more highly paid by YOU each year, because that is the whole point of “no blame”.

      No reduction, but an annual increase, even a bonus!

      In income and benefits.

      And worse, the genuine, well performing article will probably not be so rewarded.

  41. Elizabeth

    If your comment has not appeared it has been trashed. Moderation wouldn’t leave much to read….

  42. Simon

    Elizabeth. Is there any particular reason why Stokes gave the apology. I would have thought that it would have been the head administrator’s job (CEO) to do that. Isn’t that where the buck stops ?

    • Elizabeth

      The whole meeting was a setup. Pre-orchestrated. What can I say.
      Except that it gave the public teeth for Election Year cutdowns.

  43. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Tue, 26 Apr 2016
    Mud tank issues not new: Vandervis
    Email correspondence has revealed the Dunedin City Council knew about mud tank problems before last June’s flooding. The DCC has released a report into the failings of South Dunedin infrastructure during the severe weather event. And now staff are looking to the future to see how they can prevent it from happening again.
    Ch39 Link

    One life, one love… Uploaded on Jun 14, 2011
    Blue feat Elton John – Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (2nd version). Official video (2002)

    It’s sad, so sad, it’s a sad sad situation
    And it’s gotten more and more absurd
    It’s sad, so sad, why can’t we talk it over?
    Oh it seems to me
    Sorry seems to be the hardest word
    What do I do to make you love me?
    What I got to do to be heard?
    What do I do when lightning strikes me?
    What do I got to do? What do I got to do?
    When sorry seems to be the hardest word

  44. Elizabeth

    More on mudtanks in the ODT tomorrow.

    Meanwhile Cr Vandervis released some of his emails on mudtank failure to What if? this morning and they will be published here shortly.

  45. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Submitted by Barnaby on Wed, 27/04/2016 – 10:39am.

    Like many people who made submissions year after year opposing the foolish squandering of ratepayers’ money on ego-driven vanity projects, I am not at all surprised at the DCC’s failure to attend to even basic core services.
    A matter of weeks ago Cull and Chief Executive Sue Bidrose claimed the mud tanks were cleaned and flooding was an act of God caused by global sea level rise. Neither attended the meeting in South Dunedin where 2 very qualified speakers, former DCC Drainage head Bruce Hendry and [Hazards] Engineer Neil Johnstone, each with over 30 years professional experience, laid the blame for flooding squarely at the feet of the DCC.
    In fact, Bidrose wrote a response to Johnstone’s excellent peer review report on the DCC’s account of the event. Despite having no expertise in drainage, Bidrose refuted this valuable review document point by point. This was simply a cynical exercise in propaganda, spin and politically motivated damage control. [Abridged]

    Related Post and Comments – see Neil Johnstone responses to DCC and CE Bidrose here:

    Johnstone independent review of DCC report #SouthDunedinFlood (8.3.16)

    [at least one more response is pending: the Johnstone peer review of DCC’s April flood report]

  46. Elizabeth

    “WE don’t know what happened.”
    Can’t publish anything WE know from informers that goes to Probable Cause —that being distinct from the undoubted integrity of the individual electing to leave. You might just ask, “Who is left ?” and How. I know they drive me to drink.

    Mon, 2 May 2016
    ODT: Second DCC manager departs
    The Dunedin City Council has lost its second transport group manager in less than six months. Ian McCabe has resigned, citing personal reasons, just five months after replacing Gene Ollerenshaw in the role in November last year. Council staff had been informed of Mr McCabe’s departure and were said to be stunned by the news, a source said.

    ODT articles:
    5.11.15 DCC transport manager vacancy filled
    24.8.15 DCC cycleways man quits

  47. Calvin Oaten

    What’s the problem? [Deleted]

    {What if? cannot comment on ability to ride a bike, or if a suitable desk was available. Or if ‘fiscal reasons’ were causal. This website is still under the DCC legal thumb until October. Then it’s gloves off. The women should be afraid. -Eds}

  48. JimmyJones

    Sue Bidrose, the DCC’s CEO, makes an interesting suggestion in yesterday’s ODT (“Second DCC manager departs”). She suggests Mr McCabe left because he disliked being in the public eye. We read that:
    There was no doubt Mr McCabe’s council role came with a bigger public profile than his former position with the NZ Transport Agency, she said.
    “That is hard.
    “It is a very different kind of job, being in the public eye, and being in a department where they’re trying to make change.”
    She had been given no indication the extra pressure of the role was behind Mr McCabe’s decision to depart, however.

    It is worth considering if this suggestion is true, given that no evidence is given. In case this was designed to […] divert attention from the real reason for the resignation(s) then I think the CEO owes [the public] an apology and should improve her standard of behaviour.

    [Moderated. Awkward turf JimmyJones – we at What if? are not to discuss DCC staff except with some care – for example, it is likely appropriate to do so when a staffing matter is widely reported in mainstream media, and where a chief executive, a member of an executive leadership team, or a general or group manager has exercised speaking rights in the public interest.

    It is the website owner’s discretion to publish this your comment in the unusual circumstance that two managers have exited within a short space of each other. Further, it is the website owner’s personal and professional view that a CEO is far better to avoid and resist making unqualified value judgements on the character or ability of an individual no longer in their employ. Discretion is required.

    Post resignation in any workplace there is No court of opinion a CEO should attempt to exercise ‘judiciously’ in fairness or in haste. Meaning no shovel, no pile of late autumn leaves, wielded by top dog.

    Less is more.

    All I can say is if the DCC interprets what I say here as an independently (not cumulative!) Offensive Item, then I am prepared to immediately remove JimmyJones’ and my comments. The statement is my erstwhile attempt to be fair and reasonable.

    The Site Owner]

  49. Hype O'Thermia

    Indeed. It is difficult to believe that the DCC would object to remarks on the appropriateness of a boss speculating without a shred of evidence about the reason a good employee left.
    Personally I think it is unkind to put such speculation out in the public arena when a departed staff member is now going to be looking for a new job.
    Some people might even interpret such baseless speculation as a try to “put their weights up” in other words undermine their appeal to other potentia.
    Exceptionally unlikely, I know. But you know how people talk, drawing unwarranted conclusions from the slightest, often misunderstood, careless words.

  50. ODT has been on a fishing expedition, asking leading questions, I suspect. DCC CEO’s comments were about the ROLE, not the person holding it. I think it is the ODT who is being irresponsible and mischievous reporting these general comments within the context of a specific resignation. Only a very careful reader is going to notice the critical difference between the words ‘Mr McCabe’s role’ and ‘Mr McCabe’.

    • Elizabeth

      We can note the qualification supplied by ODT, as JimmyJones cites:

      She had been given no indication the extra pressure of the role was behind Mr McCabe’s decision to depart, however.

      Even that I regard as leading. Agree with your comment, Diane.

    • JimmyJones

      Diane: the CEO is saying that the role has more public exposure than what Mr McCabe was used to at his NZTA job. Some might interpret the rest of her comment as suggesting that Mr McCabe was uncomfortable with that exposure and that is why he resigned.

      The “role” is mentioned but the focus is on Mr McCabe and why he might have resigned.

      • Elizabeth

        Publicly, we don’t know anything of why a resignation happened. Concerned staff have shared information.

        It’s up to the Council (elected representatives) to provide governance and direction where media messaging may have strayed.

        Comments are closed.

  51. Calvin Oaten

    What is good enough for the ‘Goose’ should be good enough for the ‘Gander’.

  52. Elizabeth

    Thu, 14 Jul 2016
    ODT: Interim manager for transport section
    A senior Dunedin City Council staff member has been placed in charge of transport in the latest of a string of personnel changes in the department. Parks and recreation group manager Richard Saunders took over the position as acting group manager of transport this week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s