Daily Archives: April 27, 2016

Vandervis emails batch 1 #Dunedin #infrastructure #flood #mudtanks

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Batch #1 being 5 of 21 emails
Received from Cr Lee Vandervis on Sun, 24 Apr 2016 from 08:45 AM

A second batch will be posted shortly; a small number of emails considered objectionable have been withheld.
Where appropriate, all contact information has been removed.
The original emails have been archived by What if? Dunedin.

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

_____________________________________

android-email-app [carleton.ca]EMAIL 1

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 08:45:35 +1200
To: EditorODT, Vaughan Elder, Tim Brown, Nicholas GS Smith [ODT]
Conversation: Flooding Mud-bath
Subject: Flooding Mud-bath

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Perhaps Mayor Cull only takes showers and does not realise that a bath won’t empty when the plug hole is blocked.
As the Councillor who was filling hundreds of sandbags into the early hours of June 4th in the tremendous community effort to fight back the floodwaters, I had first hand experience of the high water remaining long after the rain had stopped, and well into the next day. Hundreds of South Dunedin and other Dunedin residents took an appalling bath, followed by further property value damage from Mayor Cull ludicrously suggesting sea-level-rise greenwash as requiring a ‘managed retreat’ from South Dunedin. South Dunedin has great investment potential which should be realised, beginning with a big pump that works.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

android-email-app [carleton.ca]EMAIL 2

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 10:03:40 +1200
To: Ruth Stokes, Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Laura McElhone, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Lee Vandervis, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Conversation: Questions re June 3rd 2015 floods.
Subject: Questions re June 3rd 2015 floods.

Dear All,

In the interest of Tenders transparency, last month I enquired of staff whether FH had bought City Care, as City Care’s new ownership remained a closely kept secret and rumours circulated.

Given the City Care appraisal of mudtank maintenance in our Infrastructure Services Committee Agenda, knowing the new ownership of City Care now takes on increased importance.

Who are City Care’s new owners, and do Fulton Hogan have any financial or other interest in or influence over City Care?

In Item 5 a number of other questions arise:

1 – why is there no mention of Mayor Cull’s claimed contribution to flooding from sea-level-rise? Has this been contribution been assessed as nil? If not, why not?

2 – Is it true that City Care applied to do screen clearing prior to the June 3rd flood event, but were not authorised by DCC staff to do so in time for the flood? [28]

3 – Does the statement “a proactive maintenance regime is important to manage and maintain overland flows into the storm water system” mean that without this proactive maintenance, flooding effects will be more damaging due to the restricted ability to drain? [38]

4 – What is the contract specification for cleaning of the mudtank outlet lateral pipes which are compromised when mudtank debris has not been kept “at least 150mm below outlet”? [39]

5 – where/when is the FH ‘30% full proxy’ first recorded in DCC files? [41]

6 – If 26% of draining mudtanks were totally blocked, and a further 36% partially blocked, would this drainage blockage not mean that flooding effects would be made worse as a result? [52]

7 – Does 230T [52] mean 230 tonnes of debris was removed from mudtanks? When was this removed, and by whom, and at what cost to whom? [52]

8 – which ‘water’ “would have been unable to enter the network even if all mudtanks were clear”. Why would this ‘water’ not be able to enter the network? Is this because network screens were blocked or pumps not working adequately? [55]

9 – Was water below road level [57] a major contributor to flooding and damage of houses? Viz, how many houses’ floor levels are below road level in South Dunedin?

10 – What alternative internal management regime is being considered? [61] is an updated resident cellphone-photo-text-alert monitoring system being considered to replace our old fixagram system?

11 – Who have been the successful tenderers for the new separable portion of the Mudtank maintenance contract? And who were the businesses that tendered for this separable portion?

Looking forward to answers that will further inform debate on item 5.

Cheers,
Lee

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DCC meeting and apology NOT Enough— #SouthDunedinFlood

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

Received today.

android-email-app [carleton.ca]From: Hilary Calvert
To: Dave Cull
Cc: Golds [Godfrey Dodd], All Elected Members, Vaughan Elder [ODT]
Subject: Re: Flooding

Thanks for copying us in.

May we know when you requested that the mudtanks were cleaned thoroughly?

I had thought that it was an initiative from Ruth Stokes, as part of the looking into and reporting back on the flood.

I am also interested in your “fact” that the stormwater system is not capable even at optimal condition and performance……. Do you mean that it was not then, or that it would not be even if we made adjustments and sorted out the mudtanks and fixed the screen/pump and made changes which we have signalled to the general stormwater system which flows through South Dunedin?

If council modelling showed the extent of the flooding would be precisely as it was in the event of that magnitude, what relevance had the problems with the screen/pump and the mudtanks? I guess all the problems in South Dunedin during the flood were localised problems and many of them as a result of water lying about, so did our modelling show that as well?

I understood that there was still more work to be done to understand what we could best do particularly about the interconnection between the water from various sources and what we could afford of the options available.

Do you see the governance part of the Council completely blameless in this process?
Since you have apparently arranged for the mudtanks to be cleared, surely you/we could have done something sooner.

Do we have a role at all in your view, apart from advising people they are wrong when it turns out we may have incomplete information?

As seems true for all of the information surrounding this horrible flood, the more information we receive the more questions we have.

Kind regards,

Hilary

_______________________________

On 26/04/2016, at 5:30 AM, Dave Cull wrote:

Dear Mr Dodd,
Thank you for your email. I am puzzled by the apparent assertion that I have blamed the 2015 June flooding on Climate Change. While that may be the root cause I don’t recall saying that. The cause of the flooding, as has finally been comprehensively reported (for a meeting today) was the fact that the stormwater system in South Dunedin is not capable, even at optimum condition and performance, of coping with the amount of rain that fell over that period. That is a simple calculation given the capacity of the system in both volume and pumping terms, and the severity of the event. The mudbank maintenance failure was reprehensible from both a contractor and staff oversight perspective, especially as exactly the same issue had been raised some four years ago and assurances given that it would not happen again. The fact that some mudbanks were not up to scratch may have caused some localised problems and perhaps prolonged the water lying, but they did not cause the extent of the flooding. That was exactly as Council’s modelling showed it would be in an event of that magnitude.
Six years ago Council received reports stating (among other conclusions) two things. First that more frequent and severe rain events were likely. Second that the stormwater system in South Dunedin was not capable of handling those. So flooding was very likely. Last year the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment issued a report showing that rising ground water, pushed up by sea level rise will increasingly afflict South Dunedin.
It’s most important to recognise that while stormwater and groundwater can each affect the other, they are different and have different causes.
The failure was operational and managerial as Council was repeatedly assured that maintenance was up to scratch.
Council’s challenge now is to address both stormwater and groundwater issues. We have already, at my request, ensured that the stormwater system is in the best shape possible as winter approaches, by having all the mudbanks cleaned properly. Additionally the screen at the Portobello Rd pumping station, which was blocked by debris carried by the overwhelming amount of water, will be replaced by July.
Council will consider that report which has taken such a frustratingly long time to get to us, and determine the next necessary steps.
At your request I have copied this to all elected members.

Dave Cull

_______________________________

From: Golds [Godfrey Dodd]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 7:07 PM
To: mayor @dcc.govt.nz
Subject: FW: Flooding

Dear Mayor
I am sending you this email in that it may make you understand how one ratepayer views your complete failure in the flooding in South Dunedin
WE all know that climate warming is a fact but your glib PR spin and articles in the paper does nothing for your credibility and your lack apology shows that you and the council do not except responsibility for this lack of governance
It is sad that only one of the council appears to have enough bottle to ask you to do in an old fashion way the decent thing
My wish is that you pass this email as part of an agenda item a the next council meeting on how one ratepayer views your lack of understanding in the way a Mayor should carry out his role
I would interested in your reply

Regards
Godfrey Dodd

_______________________________

From: Golds [Godfrey Dodd]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2016 10:00 AM
To: Andrew Whiley [DCC]
Subject: Flooding

Hi Andrew
It is with disappointment reading the failure of governance by the council I was a chairman in those days that was the title of a high school board If the school had a problem which effected the community you had to stand up and take the blame
I do not expect the council elected members to clean mud tanks but when there is failure of this size then the expectation of the community that something is seriously wrong with the governance of the council The glib excuses as regards rise in sea level is the catch cry of the council which you as a member are part of
In my view the council members should of put on gumboots and gone out with the CEO and inspected the mud tanks instead of waiting a year for a report It saddens me to find that people in South Dunedin were not accorded this Instead we had articles written that showed how out of touch the council members were These articles were part of the green PR spin which now blights any decision that this particular council makes All that was needed was clean mud tanks and clear governance by the members of the council not excuses I hope that this is a lesson that you as a council member takes on board when making decisions in the future
Kindest Regards

Godfrey Dodd

ODT 25.4.16 (letter to the editor)

ODT 25.4.16  Letter to editor Vandervis p10

Tue, 26 Apr 2016
ODT: Vandervis forcing mud-tank issue [+ Letters]
A series of emails released by Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis show he was raising concerns about the state of Dunedin’s mud-tanks as long ago as 2011. Cr Vandervis said he released the emails because only publicity forced the council to change its ways. “This publicity is going to make sure it really is sorted once and for all this time.” The release of the emails follows a report released by the Dunedin City Council last week into last June’s flood, which found 75% of mud-tanks in South Dunedin were not properly maintained.

Tue, 26 Apr 2016
ODT: Staff apology for mud-tank failure
Council staff were responsible for not properly overseeing mud-tank maintenance in South Dunedin, not councillors or the mayor, a senior staff member says. Council infrastructure and networks general manager Ruth Stokes started today’s council infrastructure services committee meeting by apologising on behalf of council staff for the failings identified in a report on last June’s flood. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and Crs David Benson-Pope and Lee Vandervis were among those who had raised mud-tank performance prior to the South Dunedin floods, and been given incorrect information by staff. “For that I would like to, on behalf of the executive, apologise,” Ms Stokes. The failure was a management failure and not governance one, she said.

lee pushing head in mudtank words [Douglas Field 26.4.16] detailDouglas Field 26.4.16 (detail)

Comment at ODT Online:

Mayor Dave Cull outraged
Submitted by JimmyJones on Tue, 26/04/2016 – 1:49pm.

Mayor Cull says he is outraged at the failure of Fulton Hogan and council staff to adequately ensure that the mudtanks were in working condition. He should also be outraged at his own poor leadership and failure to respond to developing problems. Under his leadership the city continued to build up a backlog of worn-out stormwater pipes and equipment waiting for funding to be allocated. With this lack of funding we have seen the inevitable result of a deteriorating stormwater system. The poor state of the stormwater system was the primary cause of the severity of the flooding at Kaikorai, Mosgiel and South Dunedin last year.

This under-funding of the stormwater renewals is not an accident. Every year the DCC Mayor and councillors decide and vote on this spending – and every year they vote to under-fund the stormwater renewals because they think that a new stadium and a new swimming pool and more bicycle lanes are more important than a functioning stormwater system. The Annual Plan shows that the under-funding will continue next year. Expect the deterioration to continue.

Related Post and Comments:
20.4.16 DCC Politics : Release of Infrastructure Report #SouthDunedinFlood

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