South Dunedin Action Group: Notes of meeting with DCC (3 May 2016)

Friday, 6 May 2016 6:02 p.m.

From: Clare Curran [Dunedin South MP]
Subject: Notes from the Meeting with DCC on 3 May
Date: Fri, 6 May 2016 00:31:05 +0000

Dear everyone
Further to my last email here is the notes taken by office from the meeting with the Mayor and senior Council management on 3 May.
This is to keep you informed and for transparency purposes.

A new meeting date will be set up soon and I will keep you all informed

Kind regards

Clare Curran


Notes from meeting 3 May 2016
South Dunedin Action Group (SDAG) and mayor + senior management

Mayor Cull
– acknowledged that there was collective concern, that they were pleased to meet with the group and that the meeting provided the best place to provide clarifications
– Acknowledged that the process had been lengthy and frustrating, and “sloppy”
– Council was now very sceptical about evidence relating to the flood and had been let down. He added that they would not make any changes to anything without evidence.
– If the event occurred again even with the proper maintenance there would have been severe flooding
– Determined to make the system we have work the best that it can
– Agreed need another mechanism other than the ODT to communicate with the community
– Will consider the discussion and come back with a proposal for the next meeting with a smaller group

Laura McElhone. Group Manager Water and Waste
– All mudtanks had been cleaned in South Dunedin (marked with green spray)
– Screen has been redesigned at pumping station, work about to go to tender, installation expected July/August
– Screen currently cleaned weekly by contract with photograph for proof
– Proposed screen modifications would see a 4 part screen to allow for safer and easier cleaning – could not confirm bar spacing
– Approx. 100 manholes had been lifted (Oct/Nov 2015) to identify any siltation – none identified as a problem – map can be provided of manholes checked – this exercise will be repeated in Oct/Nov 2016
– Confirmed that with the work carried out or in progress expected reduction in level of water would be about 200mm – however difficult to predict because too many variable to undertake modelling
– On issue of foul sewage infiltration confirmed that work being undertaken in Kaikorai Valley was to reduce the pressure on the system before it came through to Caversham
– On the issue of diverting foul sewage to Green Island treatment works stated that it was only able to handle a certain amount as it had been set up for a different type of sewage
– With regard to pumping out to sea, confirmed that they now know who to contact at the ORC and will maintain valves to enable this to happen if necessary
– Advised Musselburgh pumping capacity cannot run at maximum [this is disputed by Darrel]
– Forecast received on 2 June was for 1/3 less rain – only after midday on 3 June did they receive prediction on the size of the event
– Definitely had contractors and staff monitoring and out in South Dunedin, but did not have enough people to cover the scale of event
– Door-knocking by DCC did not record the number of flooded houses [DCC has not been back to check]
– 1968 flood had two peaks so had time to recover [disputed by Darrel]
– Too many variables to accurately measure topographical data
– Understand need to reassure and quantify but have to be careful not to give false impression
– Advised that 4/5 engineers employed in planning and 6/7 at the delivery end – acknowledged the identified lack of a storm water specialist – currently under recruitment

Ruth Stokes. Infrastructure and Networks General Manager
– Contractors have been asked to verify status of periphery areas
– Need to build resilience in the community – have recognised need to contact secondary schools and community groups and extend beyond the ‘What’s the plan Stan” initiative

Sue Bidrose. Chief Executive
– Unable to provide a figure on the number of roads closed by DCC as the water washed the cones away.
– Civil defence, Fire and Police all advised DCC that only 20-30 houses had been flooded – suggested that volunteers sandbagging were not part of the information loop and therefore message did not get through to emergency services

Kate Wilson. Councillor
– Have been advocating for a rain radar for a number of years on the Taieri

David B-P. Councillor
– Not just South Dunedin affected but other areas also, we need answers to give the community reassurance that the system is operating


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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin

12 responses to “South Dunedin Action Group: Notes of meeting with DCC (3 May 2016)

  1. Elizabeth

    Statement from South Dunedin Action Group
    Wednesday, 4 May 2016, 2:23 pm
    Press Release: South Dunedin Action Group

    Statement from South Dunedin Action Group

    Some progress has been made in starting a dialogue between South Dunedin and City Hall but the council needs to work hard to rebuild trust, says the South Dunedin Action Group.

    11 months after the floods that badly affected South Dunedin, St Clair, St Kilda, Tainui and parts of Musselburgh and Caversham a meeting was held yesterday with the Mayor, senior Council staff at the instigation of the newly formed South Dunedin Action Group (SDAG).

    While the Council acknowledged it had got things wrong in maintaining and managing key infrastructure such as the pumping stations and drains, it was still not prepared to acknowledge that the flooding was made considerably worse by these issues.

    To some extent Council has admitted the effect of the pumping station issues in the November 2014 report by saying that flooding would have been about 200 mm less had the pumping station been working properly – and that would have saved water entering many houses and buildings.

    That admission has become somewhat lost with later comments by the Council that even if the whole system was working optimally, serious flooding would still have occurred.

    It is important that the community receives consistent evidence-based information on the causes of the flood and we note that there is considerable engineering knowledge and expertise of our stormwater and waste systems existing within the South Dunedin Action Group.

    Council did however agree that it could improve its performance around civil defence preparedness and communication with communities about how to deal with a major event such as a flood.

    The SDAG tabled numerous questions that need detailed answers from the Council and it was agreed that another meeting would be held soon.

    The Group stressed that better communication was needed with the wider communities affected by last year’s floods and a commitment to South Dunedin’s future.

    The SDAG will soon call another public meeting in South Dunedin to report back to the community


  2. Elizabeth

    ### Fri, 6 May 2016
    Nightly Interview: Dave Cull
    The city council is facing criticism from some South Dunedin residents over its response to last year’s flooding. Members of the newly-formed South Dunedin Action Group met with civic leaders about the issue recently, and mayor Dave Cull joins us to talk about it.
    Ch39 Link

    Channel 39 Published on May 5, 2016
    Nightly Interview: Dave Cull

  3. Elizabeth

    ### Friday, May 6, 2016
    South Dunedin leads property value increase
    South Dunedin is leading the city’s increase in house values. Residential properties in the suburb are worth 10.9% more than a year ago, averaging $306,000. But while the value of South Dunedin homes has increased the most, they’re still worth less than properties in other parts of the city.
    Taieri houses are the most valuable with an average of just under $330,000, followed closely by those in central and northern suburbs.
    Overall the city’s residential properties have increased in worth by 9% in the last year. The least change has been among coastal and peninsula homes.
    Ch39 Link [No video available]

  4. 'Tennessee' Birdwalk

    What are ‘different types of sewage’? Is any sewage not foul? Please explain the conduit passage that makes sewage more fouled on the way to, or beneath, Caversham. (What a liberty).

    Cr Wilson may have hit the Nile on the head with talk of rain radar. Rain events are now greater and more frequent. Open minded people can acknowledge this without arguing about Climate Change.

    • Elizabeth

      Are rain events more frequent – nothing seems to have changed much across recent years. [Had more heavy rainfalls during my childhood than now.] At the moment we have drought conditions in parts of the South Island.

    • JimmyJones

      Kate Wilson’s comment was related to rain, but was otherwise irrelevant to the failed stormwater system and not helpful. High intensity rain events seem to be less frequent here in Dunedin than they were 100 years ago.

      • ab

        You may be right. As early as 1978, the great Kevin Mills used to say ‘Rain. Again’. The great Owen Delaney broadcast from down the drain, like Harry Lime, though some doubters claimed it was prerecorded with FX.

        Progress for South Dunedin should not be contingent on disputatious differences of meteorological opinion.

    • Wingatui Flyer

      Cr Wilson is the council’s rep on the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board. No record of her ever bringing up the subject of rain radar, and the Taieri Plains is the most flooded area in her ward.

  5. Elizabeth

    Fri, 6 May 2016
    ODT: Anger as police station remains closed
    The South Dunedin community is tired of waiting for its community police station to reopen to the public after being closed for 11 months and is demanding answers. The Macandrew Rd building has been closed since floodwaters last June extensively damaged the ground floor.

    • 'Weather' Underground

      Citizen Patrol is a thin non blue line, but villains need to know SD is not fair game.

      • Elizabeth

        [I hit the thin blue line today in the CBD, after a business card was left under my door last night. More to come on this next week.]

  6. Weather Underground

    Blue, leave her alone. Trust the Weatherman, Line. You don’t want a visit from Doug and Dinsdale Perigo and Ayn.

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