So we’re going to play it this way #SouthDunedinFlood

ODT 17.6.16 (page 10) —[click to enlarge]

ODT 17.6.16 Letter to editor Johnstone p10


1. The claim of “factual errors” is surely able to be substantiated or thrown out by a suitably qualified (named) EXTERNAL peer reviewer acceptable to DCC and engineer Neil Johnstone. The ‘matter of degree’ (serious ?) is a matter for the peer reviewer to comment on. As are issues of professional competencies —which only an independent and transparent peer reviewer with nationally recognised engineering expertise can deal to. Not an in-house operational.

2. Neil Johnstone has issued three reviews, two of these deal to DCC’s formal reports on the June 2015 South Dunedin “flood event”, dated 30 Nov 2015 and 26 Apr 2016 respectively; and the third deals to comments (video recorded by Ch39 and published at DCC’s Youtube channel) during the DCC Infrastructure Services Committee meeting held on 26 April 2016. The reviews are published at this website – enter the term *johnstone* in the search box at right.

3. Neil Johnstone has requested that factual errors noted by DCC be made discoverable. DCC appears to be side-stepping qualification and quantification of its verbal assertions every which way.

4. It is highly likely that no expert external peer reviews exist or they would have been made public by now. More than a year after the “flood event”, we wait.

5. A peer review(s) is not something to hide. Why is DCC doing secret squirrel when challenged to substantiate its earlier comments (publicly stated on more than one occasion, recorded by mainstream media – for example, by Mayor Cull and Transportation’s Ian McCabe, who later resigned) – that external peer reviews of its formal reports did happen. After the fact is a little squiffy, if DCC is writing them now.

“Technical qualifications and experience with stormwater infrastructure design and management” are not provided. Rhetorical.

Holes being dug, an epitaph.

█ For related posts and comments, enter the terms *flood*, *sea level rise*, *stormwater*, *hazard*, *johnstone*, *hendry*, *south dunedin action group*, *debriefing notes* or *listener* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Climate change, Construction, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, ORC, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

17 responses to “So we’re going to play it this way #SouthDunedinFlood

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Whenever I see an important matter of public interest raised in a letter to the editor, and the other party says they will answer the letter-writer in person, if they contact my office blah-blah….

    … the whiff of a deceased rodent ….

    • Anon

      Yes, Hype, a very smelly dead rat. The letter writer has written a public letter requiring a public response in the interests of all. Not just himself. The arrogance of it all with the assumption that no one else is entitled, and is deserving of, a public response.
      ….after creating a very good impression in dealing with the cycleway mess, in an open and honest manner, has blundered here. This gives credence to the possibility of a coverup???
      [Another] fallen victim to the same backsliding as with the stadium coverup and the refusal to investigate red flags of possible/likely fraud?

      {Moderated. -Eds}

  2. Rats! A political answer to factually based questions by someone who knows a lot about the issue and has submitted 3 reports on the floods already.
    Other smelly rodents are the instances of the police, no less, and the annoying DCC actions of covering themselves in silence on the stolen vehicles “investigation” with the same clothing the Emperor wore in that old Hans Christian Anderson story.

  3. Gurglars

    The simple Furphy, wait for it

    “The Peer Review”

    The DCC peer review is a review of all of the peers in Dunedin.

    So far we have Le Comte Rollande de Gurgelars, a count of the French court.

    We have “Cull de Mayor” a self appointed Count of no account.

    Malcolm Farry- A thee Ving peer of PF ( Public Funds)

    Sir Clifford George Skeggs- Sometime Mayor.

    Sir Julian Smith- Recently retired replaced by Mr. Dream Financial Figures.

    Ben Smith- Who should be raised to the peerage

    Robbie Burns- Noted Statuary.

    Sir Albert Apere-? Recently in charge of Weed Distribution for the DCC

    Fill in your own noms!

    • alanbec

      Peer Review of men on Parade.

      “Parade!..wait for it! wait for it! Ease! What A Shower. I am Major Barbara, a peer. A peer is a better man/woman than you communist fools pledged to NOT ending your Lives as a Peer!”

  4. Calvin Oaten

    “Engaged with several City Engineers on this.”
    Trevor Williams was the last City Engineer, following on from the late George Armstrong. Haven’t heard that Trevor Williams has been consulted, least we’ve heard no comment from him. Darrel Robinson was a senior water and drainage person as was Bruce Hendry and we know their thoughts on the subject. Neil Johnstone is a highly qualified hydrology professional engineer, MIPENZ (Member of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand). He is totally familiar with the infrastructure through his works for the Otago Regional Council which has an overall brief for water, streams, rivers and rights. The City engineering department of course was disestablished by Jim Harland way back around 2002 or thereabouts. Ever since, the city has consulted independent offices for their so-called expertise, the St Clair Sea Wall would be one classic example. Sorry, but Ruth Stokes’ comments just don’t ‘cut it’.

    • Calvin Oaten

      On revisiting the commissioned report from URS NZ and Opus International I notice particularly on page 67 figure 4-13 a prepared schematic of South Dunedin showing an absolute plethora of installed mudtanks. It has since been conceded that as many as 67% of these were blocked or compromised in some manner. Then there was the admission of the blocked inlet screens at the Portobello Pumping Station. It seems obvious that the answer to the flooding lies almost totally at the feet of these two faults. Then there is on page 69, figure 4-14 schematic showing the ages of the pipes in the installed SW system, followed by page 72 figure 4-15 schematic showing perceived ‘criticality’ of the respective portions.
      Of particular note is that this report and figures were prepared and signed off in September 2011 as for the ‘Three Waters Strategy’ of the DCC. That is five years before the event in question. So this leaves the DCC in a position of trying to defend the indefensible matter of why the lack of maintenance and perhaps of more urgency, plus the lack of any accommodation in the Annual Plan process to budget for what is obviously necessary infrastructure works as opposed to trivia like Cycleways, the Mosgiel Aqua Centre and such like. Again Mayor Dave Cull has been seen in recent publications as dismissive of reality.

      • Wingatui Flyer.

        Calvin. Back then it was more important to spend millions on storm water pipes out Mosgiel way for a new subdivision.

  5. Elizabeth

    Note question 5. in Neil Johnstone’s letter to the editor at the post above:

    “Why has no information on Musselburgh (Tainui) pumping performance during the 2015 flood been presented in DCC’s subsequent reporting?”

    Coincidentally, conveniently, we learn today that the building housing the wastewater pumping station is earthquake prone. Was this information available to DCC before the South Dunedin June 2015 flood ?

    Hmm. Probably?
    Typically, an initial assessment will precede a full assessment.

    1959 building found to be at only 20% of new building standard (NBS) for earthquake risk, after a detailed seismic assessment was carried out in June and July last year.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 20 Jun 2016
    Quake risk to ‘critical’ building
    By Vaughan Elder
    The Dunedin City Council has set aside $3.5 million for strengthening work after finding a “critical” piece of the city’s infrastructure is housed in an earthquake-prone building. The council is now faced with the complex task of strengthening the Musselburgh Pumping Station, which is the main pumping station for metropolitan Dunedin, while keeping the important piece of sewerage infrastructure running.
    Read more

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Andrew Noone must have been a real bastard in a past life. Why else did he, not Kate or Jinty or one of the yes-team boyz, get to read Dave’s electioneering statement to the meeting?
    Where was Our Glorious Leader? Where he usually is when a horse muffin is in close proximity to the air conditioner – China!
    China’s Dave’s “Cheers”. Friends recently returned from 15 years in London spoke of an encounter with a Welsh architectural draughtsman who had a droll experience with language. To his bafflement he had been greeted wherever he went by Chinese noodle sellers, taxi drivers, bar tenders, all manner of folk, smiling and asking “You friend of Mayor Cull?”
    This would have been strange enough to the chap from some place 2 hours by bicycle from Cardiff.
    What took it into major oddness was that as he reported it, and the returned Kiwis heard it, was this: “You friend of Merkel?”

    We explained to the Kiwis. By now the Welsh chap will have been told too – but I expect he thinks the truth is no less weird, I mean, who’d believe the range of “achievements” one small city mayor could chalk up, and still have the brass neck to stand for the next election!

  7. Elizabeth

    ### 6:31 pm on 20 June 2016
    Checkpoint with John Campbell
    Dunedin Council hosts flooding meeting
    A meeting is underway in Dunedin tonight to discuss the impact of last year’s June floods and the work being undertaken by the Council to ensure South Dunedin doesn’t flood again.
    Audio | Download: Ogg   MP3 (5′ 10″)

  8. Elizabeth

    ODT 22.6.16 Letters – To the point (page 12)

    ODT 22.6.16 Letters - To the point Chave p12

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    I could understand her not being up to speed with all the details of her role yet, it’s a complex situation and she has not been in the job long, I’d understand if she wanted more time before being obliged to answer difficult questions.
    But she has enough confidence in her own knowledge to criticise Neil Johnstone’s report, just not in public, not giving reasons for disagreeing with him.

  10. Elizabeth

    Thu, 23 June 2016 at 8:39 p.m.

    Neil Johnstone advises:
    Hypothermia is correct that such discussions involving me as alleged by Ms Stokes would be of little use to the public if they remained private. The reality is that I have had no such discussions with DCC staff on the issues that I raised in my letter to ODT. This is yet another issue that will be covered in my forthcoming report. For the record, I have never had any discussion with Ms Stokes, Ms McElhone or any other pertinent employee on any of the points raised in my letter. Hypothermia is one of many who may have understandably misinterpreted Ms Stokes’ response.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    “Hypothermia is one of many who may have understandably misinterpreted Ms Stokes’ response.”
    I’m sure that’s the last thing imaginable, until it happened! What a woeful thing it is…

    …to be misunderstood.

    • Elizabeth

      Good night, All.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Not Understood, by Thomas Bracken

      Not understood, we move along asunder,
      Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
      Along the years; we marvel and we wonder
      Why life is life? And then we fall asleep—
      Not Understood!

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