The Star and RNZ on raised flood levels #SouthDunedin

The Star 23.6.16 (page 9)

[click to enlarge]
The Star 23.6.16 Tense moments at South D meeting p9 [water insert]

### 8:45 am on 21 June 2016
RNZ News
Dunedin council concedes flood worsened by faulty pumping station
By Ian Telfer in South Dunedin
Dunedin City Council has admitted a faulty pumping station made last year’s South Dunedin flood 20cm deeper than it would have otherwise been. The Council made the admission at a rowdy public meeting at the Nations Church last night about the flooding a year ago which damaged 1200 homes and businesses. Chief executive Sue Bidrose […] made a major concession, saying the council now accepted a key pumping station was blocked, adding an extra 20cm of water to the area. […] Shortly after the flooding, Mr Cull linked the event to climate change and warned South Dunedin may have to beat a managed retreat. Local woman Kathinka Nordal Stene said she was shocked Mr Cull undermined the community at the time when it most needed his support. She said the future of South Dunedin had become a major election issue, on which Mr Cull would be judged. Mr Cull was not at the meeting because he was visiting China. […] Leaders of the newly formed South Dunedin Action Group accused the council and its leaders of having a secret plan to abandon the suburb and blame it on climate change.
RNZ Link

23.6.16 Ch39: Candidates using flooding for political gain (+ Video)
21.6.15 ODT: Anger about South Dunedin’s future

Related Posts and Comments:
● 23.6.16 Sa pièce de résistance @ #DUD
● 21.6.16 Mayoral Statement to South Dunedin
● 20.6.16 Public Meeting: South Dunedin Action Group #tonight
18.6.16 South Dunedin stormwater pipes —getting past the desktop ICMP
● 17.6.16 So we’re going to play it this way #SouthDunedinFlood
● 16.6.16 Public Meeting: South Dunedin Action Group #AllWelcome
● 6.6.16 Listener June 11-17 2016 : Revisiting distress and mismanagement
6.5.16 South Dunedin Action Group: Notes of meeting with DCC (3 May 2016)
14.4.16 South Dunedin flood risk boosters #ClimateChangeCrap #PissOffPCE
26.2.16 Mudtanks and drains + Notice of Public Meeting #SouthDunedinFlood
● 31.12.15 2016, have mercy !@$#%^&*
10.4.15 DCC: Natural Hazards

*Bullet points indicate comments entered after the public meeting 20 June.

█ For more, 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, DCC, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Heritage, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

9 responses to “The Star and RNZ on raised flood levels #SouthDunedin

  1. Richard Stedman

    Unfortunately the media have tried to sensationalise the meeting of April 20, and my view of the Star’s effort has already been canvassed. It has all the hallmarks of having been written by a 14-year-old trying desperately to mix it with the grown-ups and really should have been checked for accuracy. Not only is the heading misleading but the first three paragraphs are factually incorrect, and then we get to paragraph seven which speaks of a number of imaginary apologies. It reflects badly on the newspaper and misleads readers.
    If only one of the councillors other than the acting mayor had felt it possible to address the meeting those residents of the southern part of the city so badly affected by the floods may have been able to take some small comfort from the acknowledgement of their distress by the elected arm of the city.
    Instead the meeting was used by the city’s management staff as a PR exercise to explain how they have cleared the mudtanks and are working on the pumping station, which should have been maintained as a matter of course.
    They remain determined to continue the line that even with the system fully functional it would have still been overwhelmed and homes would have been flooded, but not as badly. Those who had sewage running through their properties would take no comfort from that.
    It is worth noting that in the storm events of 1968, which were 10% worse than last year, 90 properties were flooded while the number last year was 1200. It is time to take some responsibility for the very poor maintenance of our essential infrastructure. It is no wonder they would rather look forward.

  2. Elizabeth

    ODT 29.6.16 (page 12)

    ODT 29.6.16 Letters to editor Scarf Cunninghame p12

    • Elizabeth

      Ian Scarf, now retired (circa 2002), is a former ORC Engineering Manager. He was the regional council’s highly experienced, longtime Flood Manager.

  3. Elizabeth

    [whatifdunedin: TRUE or FALSE ?]

    Found at the DCC website quite by accident while searching something else:


    How much rain fell on the day?
    142mm was recorded in a 24hour period at Musselburgh – 2nd highest since records began in 1918.

    How large is the stormwater network?
    Council operates 371km of stormwater pipes and outfalls

    How many mud tanks are there?
    Nearly 7500

    What is a pump station and why are they important?
    A stormwater pump station can be used to remove stormwater from an area where it cannot be drained by gravity, or to assist a gravity system to increase capacity. In flat areas of the City such as South Dunedin and Mosgiel pump stations are used to transport stormwater against gravity from the network to the outfalls such as a river or the harbour.

    How many pumps stations are there?
    There are 10 pump stations predominantly serving flat areas.

    Is stormwater pumped in South Dunedin/St Kilda area?
    The stormwater system operates predominantly via gravity, draining toward a terminal pump station at Portobello Road.

    Where does most of the water get discharged to?
    Most of the city’s stormwater is discharge into the harbour via gravity.

    How does South Dunedin’s stormwater reach the harbour?
    It is pumped from Portobello Road.

    Where does Mosgiel stormwater discharge to?
    Predominantly into the Silverstream or Owhiro Stream through a combination of gravity and pumped outfalls.

    When were mud tanks inspected or cleaned?
    In and around the commercial area of South Dunedin mud tanks in various streets were inspected between November 2014 and January 2015, from that inspection a number would get immediate attention others would be programmed on a cleaning regime.

    Why did some mud tanks appear not to be working?
    Many were blocked with debris being washed onto them on the day of the heavy rainfall, and many couldn’t physically empty into the stormwater pipes, as the drains were too full.

    How much has been budgeted for renewals and new capital work?
    Over the next 30 years, $94m for renewals and $12m for new capital work has been budgeted specifically for storm water infrastructure.

    Will pump stations be upgraded?
    The pump and screen performance at the Portobello Road pump station is currently being reviewed, replacement and/or upgrade may be a result of this work.

    What is the Three Waters Project?
    The Three Waters project is an investigation and modelling project which was completed in 2010-2012. Outputs from this project will see an increase in renewals expenditure over the next 8 years from $12.4m to $21.6m per annum.

    What does the Three Waters renewals include?
    Includes targeting manhole overflows, removal of cross connections and mitigating tidal influences on the capacity of the wastewater and stormwater system.

    DCC Link

    █ The above information is not page dated. I have requested the date of publication from the DCC webmaster.

    • Elizabeth

      The page was published on 8 September 2015.

      • Elizabeth

        Um, about that DCC information….

        In light of current available information (public domain), er good to know the flood of March 1968 didn’t exist (!!!) and that the debris in mudtanks was washed in during the 2015 event (!!!).

        Probably some other gems there too.

        DCC people reading this thread might like to update DCC website information about the June 2015 flood – so that all council information available to the public is factually correct. And consistent.

        We will enter a LGOIMA request as follow up to ensure this is tracked.

  4. Elizabeth

    DCC Tender Portobello Rd Pumping Station [screenshot 2016-06-30]

    [whatifdunedin screenshot as at 30.6.16]

    Neil Johnstone, in his independent review of DCC’s Nov 30 2015 report on infrastructure performance during the June 2015 flood event, was critical of the need for an expensive new stormwater screen at Portobello Rd Pumping Station. He says:

    “16. The report states that a “high level” report has been received to redesign the screens at a cost of $500,000. This seems an unduly significant sum, especially as recent work has recently been undertaken to improve access to the screens for cleaning, according to the Three Waters Strategy of 2012 (page 47). The report should have explained why such expenditure is planned, rather than ensuring that current maintenance staff have adequate training and equipment to keep the screens cleared.”

    Ms Bidrose spoke to this ‘need’ at the SDAG public meeting held on 20 June 2016. I have requested her presentation via LGOIMA; and will check the audio record.

  5. Elizabeth

    On the $500,000 screen replacement, Darrel Robinson says “a bit of maintenance could have done the job just as well for far less money”. [NZ Listener 11-17 June 2016, p27]

  6. Richard Stedman

    The tardiness of this posting on the DDC website being left out of date is indicative of the culture of the organisation. If you don’t check anything you won’t have to do anything which is why the work of contractors goes unchecked by staff and unquestioned by council. Surely someone on their communication team checks these things or maybe it suits their purpose to leave it as it is? Didn’t they promise on 20 June (yet again) to improve communications?

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