Where is the unreserved DCC apology to the Community of South Dunedin ?

Updated post
Thu, 7 Jul 2016 at 5:45 p.m. [link to peer reviews via LGOIMA]

And where are the Opus International ‘peer reviews’ for public scrutiny.

All we have is the self-congratulatory propaganda from DCC and the motley crew, propagated by friends at ODT.

Flood review clears DCC staff findings


We hear from inside DCC that the peer reviews are not up to much.

Opus, you say?


News. Farce. Like an incessant rash.

Reasons for political Removal.

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, Finance, Geography, Health, Heritage, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, South Dunedin, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, What stadium

70 responses to “Where is the unreserved DCC apology to the Community of South Dunedin ?

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Ask at your local library for “How To Be a Successful Peer Reviewer with Happy Clients” by O Pussycat Whereareyou

  2. The removal vans are lining up!

  3. Elizabeth


    Your correspondent Le Comte Rollande De Gurgelars VC and bar, Medaille d’or twice and Croix de G.U.R, has not been online for some time. I must apologise to my readers. Up until this week I have been undercover in the UK studying Brexit.

    For those who have not been following the news Brexit is a new breakfast food invented in Great Britain to assist those poor persons who have become poor as a result of too many taxes in their gut leading to a complete failure of their expulsion system. They have been unable to expel – well, anything or anyone at all. It has all been one way traffic with too many traffic lights.

    The poms however have banded together (banding) and the result can now be announced. Brexit has been released and large numbers of poms have collectively farted and then expelled the excess bureaucrats from Brussels. Sprouting from this is another revelation, politicians have resigned everwhere. The Prime Minister has resigned, the mayor of London Borisov Johnson has resigned, the leader of the design team at Brexit, Mr Julian Farange, formerly holed up in the Chilly embassy building has also brexited.

    There are obvious lessons for those of us who chose to live in sunny Dunedin. Our aim to warm Dunedin without raising ground water levels has been derailed somewhat by the interfering busybodies trying to get four man bikes with outer coverings banned, no place to park them, red lights at every corner to stop them and green curbing and white poorly drawn pictures to scare us off most of the road.

    However we are a  resilient lot.

    I have identified two stragedies to assist us take back Dunedin for the majority of sensible Dunedinites in Roctober.

    Stragedy one is simple.

    1. Ask your neighbour whether he does not want a warmer Dunedin.
    1. Note his/her answer on a small piece of paper and don’t lose it.

    2. Go to Pak n’ Save South Dunedin, watch out for the large surf break in the car park, but at low tide perhaps, enter the front door go to the breakfast section and buy a packet of Brexit. It is not too difficult to find, there is a picture of me on the packet with my croix de Guerre, and a rule book in my hand on G.U.R.

    Take the packet of Brexit home and pray that like Great Britain Brexit will produce the demise of most of the local politicians. Like London mayor Borisov Johnson’s resignation as a result of Brexit, Brexit at your place could lead to the demise of “Cull de Mayor” we fervently hope so.

    Secondly, tomorrow take the note from your neighbour out. If he has signed for a warmer Dunedin he is obviously sane and of sound mind. Who would not want less frosty roads leading to car driver and cyclist deaths, warmer beaches in summer for swimming and higher prices on the Dunedin equivalent of le Cote de’Azure, Otakou beach (I have a bathing box for sale incidentally)??

    If he is proven thus sane gently remind him that a number of politicians in Dunedin city council, including at least these but not necessarily all named, “Cull de Mayor”, Jinty McTavish, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins, Kate Wilson et al are all dead against a warmer Dunedin. Now if that is not insanity what is. So eat your daily Brexit and vote out the insane in October.

    If alternatively your neighbour is against a warmer Dunedin, take the note ideally signed to ward 9B at Wakari Hospital, where I imagine the car parking is better than highway 1 outside the main hospital, the insane have not yet put a cycleway up Mt. Cargill, and drop the letter in the small box. I imagine it is a small box as one cannot believe that many citizens will be against a warmer Dunedin.

    Trundle home on your four wheeled bicycle with an outer shell, have a serving of Brexit and wait patiently. Your neighbour who voted for a colder Dunedin will soon be in a straight jacket and headed to mental hospital on his bike, the politicians who voted for a colder Dunedin (see above) will resign or be pushed in October, and in time we will have a warmer Dunedin in more ways than just climate.

    Stop Press.

    Your co-respondent is off (right off according to some) to Oztrails ya, to investigate the demise and erection of yet another group of madmen who arranged a new vote to diminish their own influence. I have imported another batch of breakfast cereal to Oztrails ya, under a new name – Groupidity.

    It is the name of a number of people banded together to result in their own demise. It was called Greater Dunedin, but after last month’s fiasco it will be-

    First Brexit, now Groupidity, what will it be called in New Zealand,

    I have an inkling after October my cereal will be named.

    Wait for it (drum roll and bar)


    {More from Le Comte at Measuring sea level at Dunedin #DUD -Eds}

  4. Peter

    Dave does not do apologies. Some would call this pride. I would call it arrogance.
    All the peer reviews seem to do is confirm that the water drainage infrastructure was badly maintained…..helped by lack of oversight by the council and its poor checking processes.
    The argument that some flooding would have still occurred, even if FH and the DCC had done their jobs properly, is a fair enough assumption. However, the degree of flooding can only be estimated by the ‘experts’ after the fact. This is a face saver for the council and, let’s face it, Opus doesn’t want to be in the position of not being called upon….and paid…again.
    Needless to say we can all remember Dave’s initial, alarmist, knee jerk reaction, which he subsequently blamed on poor advice from DCC officials,only for him to now subsequently praise them for being upfront and not covering up the issue.
    We know excuses are always the first port of call by politicians and bureaucrats until they are questioned and found wanting and are forced to tell the truth.
    A big thank you to those people who have closely followed this issue and challenged the bullshit and lies.
    Lessons learnt, let’s move on…….we wish!

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes Peter, “the degree of flooding” is the important point. Flood water on path: nuisance. Flood water in house: disaster.
      How many premises had to be evacuated,
      how many insurance claims have been made,
      how many people like the woman who sold her house to the builder for what she paid for it years earlier, losing bigtime on their main asset,
      how many people still worried, exhausted, living in damaged houses because they have no alternative,
      how many people’s health adversely affected……

      ……by the difference between the flood level that occurred, and the level that would have occurred if systems had been maintained appropriately over the years, therefore functioning properly when needed?

      Dave? Opus? CEO?

      Nah, better go to the respected independent experts – thanks you guys for cutting through the fluffy icing on the bullshit cakes.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Despite the air of congratulations spun around the Opus opus:
        “The analysis shows that the pump station capacity shortfall caused flooding experienced by the community to increase in extent, depth and duration. DCC’s analysis suggests that the flood depth may have increased by approximately 200mm as a result of the pump station capacity limitation.”

        So the questions I asked, re the flooding equal to or greater than, compared with under 20cm is extremely relevant and as such approached using the Nelsonian protocol: telescope to blind eye.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        The “damage” numbers should have been separated from the “inconvenience” affected, by DCC, ODT and Opus – repeating that flooding would have occurred blah-blah gives the impression that ALL the damage would have occurred…etc
        ie there was nothing the DCC could have done to prevent it because it was such astoundingly heavy rain (yeah).

        Not far from lying by omission – is it?

      • JimmyJones

        Just to emphasize Peter’s thoughts, the flood depth in the affected areas is said to be about 500mm and we know that the nominal floor height is 300mm above ground. The DCC has admitted that their deficiencies were responsible for 200mm of additional flood depth, so the question is how big a difference did that make?

        It looks to me that the difference was huge. Some arithmetic shows that without that extra 200mm the average flood damaged house would have had 300mm of flooding which would just reach the floor boards. Without that extra 200mm many citizens would not have silt and sewerage flowing through their living rooms. It is reasonable to assume that the majority (perhaps 80%) of the flood damaged houses/buildings would have suffered no damage at all.

        BUT: the 200mm extra flood height comes from the DCC’s very simple modelling and should not be taken to represent any real-world situation. Independent assessments should show that all 500mm of the flood height would not have existed were it not for the DCC’s stormwater system deficiencies. That’s right, NO FLOOD: no houses damaged, no lives disrupted, millions of dollars saved. OPUS should have explained that.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          JimmyJones, it depends (conveniently) on how “flood” is described and I think they could still claim flooding would have occurred. That’s if the definition includes “water across the road” and “some lawns covered with water”.

        • JimmyJones

          Exactly right, Hype O’Thermia. To say that flooding would have occurred, even without the multiple deficiencies of the DCC stormwater system and procedures, is very obviously (to me) dishonest. Lying involves an intention to mislead, and these words have been chosen to give the impression that the flooding would have been destructive with or without the DCC failures. There is a clear intention to mislead. This theme/meme “it would have flooded anyway”, is one of a number of contrived messages which are part of the Flooding Communications Plan from the DCC spin-doctors.

          The $5 million per year that we pay for the spin-doctoring department, would go a long way towards halting the worsening capabilities of the stormwater system and help to bring it up to a first world standard of coping with a one in ten-year rain capability – currently in South Dunedin, Mosgiel etc we can expect minor flooding one year in two (ie 50% chance of some flooding each year). The one in ten-year performance seems sufficient to prevent the serious flooding that we suffered in 2015 with that moderately heavy level of rainfall. This was about a one in 25-year rain event – not one in 66 years and certainly not the enormously exaggerated one in 150 year rain that gushed from the mouth of Dave Cull last year.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Dave does not do apologies. Some would call this pride. I would call it arrogance.”
      He could learn from this man:
      “A High Court judge has made a public apology to John Banks’ wife after questioning her credibility as a witness………”
      Dunno about you, I think more highly of the judge for admitting when he was wrong and apologising. He demonstrated integrity and (despite having been mistaken) trustworthiness because when he discovered he had been wrong he put A into G to put it right.
      Dave? Daaaave?????

      • Peter

        Yes, Hype, when a person makes an unreserved and sincere apology their reputation is enhanced. The matter is laid to rest.
        Even white collar criminals can be forgiven for ripping us off if they make proper amends for their fraud. IE BY PAYING UP.
        If you get my drift.

  5. Elizabeth

    Clarification. -Eds

    raymac97 is not Ray Macleod, chairman of the South Dunedin Action Group.

  6. Elizabeth

    This morning I put a LGOIMA request to DCC for copy of the Opus peer reviews. They were emailed accordingly at 11:43 a.m.

    DCC Nov2015 rpt review-final (PDF, 395 KB)

    DCC Apr2016 rpt review-final (PDF, 329 KB)

    • Peter

      Boy, that was quick, Elizabeth.lt would be good to see this become the norm instead of playing the twenty day wait…or longer…game.
      This would help the DCC to keep itself sweet with the citizens who request information as well as make a better impression with the Ombudsman.
      Saying that, the ODT has failed to report the rark up the DCC has received from the Ombudsman and promises made by DCC to tidy up their act with Ombudsman requests and reports back to the Ombudsman.
      We might assume a bit of friendly collusion between the DCC and the ODT to keep this mum.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Sag situations are where the mud tank is located in a dip in the topography, preventing bypass flow and forcing the approaching water to come to a complete stop where it can be effectively captured. Many of South Dunedin’s mud tanks are located at the ends of blocks where the crown of the intersecting road creates a sag situation. Grate inlet capacities are much more limited in sloping or steep catchments due to flow bypassing around or overshooting the grate, but this case is less common in South Dunedin. ”

      No mention – still – of the observations of a South Dunedin woman at the SD meeting who pointed out that those annoying kerb protrusions effectively form dams. Having lived there for many years she seemed to know what she was walking about. Previously she had observed if a mudtank was blocked the water would flow along to the next one. Since they were added to the roading mess, excess water goes down the nearest low point which is driveways onto people’s sections.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      *** I found section 3 rather interesting……***

      DCC Apr2016 rpt review-final

      “Comments on Mud Tank Maintenance
      DCC’s contract specification for mud tanks requires that: 95% of mud tanks shall have at least 150mm below outlet clear of debris We note that this specification could permit up to 5% of mud tanks to remain blocked on
      a continuing basis, which we consider unsatisfactory. However, for the 95% of tanks where the 150mm rule is met, a sediment storage space of approximately 600 x 400 x 150mm, or 36 litres should be available. Conservatively assuming the captured sediment has a density of 1ooo kg/m3, this will equate to one year’s sediment storage at the ARC
      accumulation rate.
      Thus the 150mm rule could be a suitable basis for a roughly annual maintenance programme. However, another difficulty with the specification is that since mud tanks are almost always full of water to their outlet level, it is not feasible to determine by eye their sediment level, as this is below water level. Instead the level must be felt with a suitable probe, and this is problematic since the material is saturated and easily

      *** Remember the observation of a mudtank sucker truck operator who said when tanks are emptied regularly it’s an easy job but when they have been left too long the silt at the bottom goes solid and hard and has to be laboriously dug out. When it is like that I doubt if a probe would reach the actual bottom of the tank, it would strike solid material which would be solidified ancient sediment. ***

      “The likelihood of sediment wash-out also increases as the sediment depth
      increases, which is another reason for keeping sediment levels below the tank outlet level by a good margin.
      The contractor’s proxy, that tanks should be no more than 30% full of sediment is no more helpful, since the same problems relating to determining sediment level occur. We also note that for tank depths of 600-1100mm, the proxy allows sediment depths of 180-330mm. With actual outlet pipes anywhere from 0 to 900mm above the tank base, there is once again a likelihood that some outlets will remain blocked.”

      *** Oops. Here comes a discouraging word. Not only did the DCC fail to make sure the work was done to the standard they were paying for, but their standard was crap! ***

      “In conclusion, we consider both the mud tank cleaning specification and the contractor’s proxy to be inappropriate for ensuring the long-term efficacy and availability of the stormwater system. However, it is unreasonable to expect 100% of mud tanks to be clear 100% of the time, so further work will be required to arrive at a contractually fair and reasonable performance standard that will also deliver optimum system performance.”

      *** I’d like to think the DCC would gather as much information as possible before “solving” the stormwater problem. We don’t want to see another SD cycle lane standard of planning, no matter how good it looks in computer modelling. Find out from people who were there, living there and helping with sandbagging and rescuing during the flood, find out from old-timers what previous floods had been like – in detail – and find out from workers on sucker trucks and emergency services, everything they can add to the knowledge on which to base what will be expensive works, worse than the cycle lane cockups. ***

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Two very “soothing” reports that simply confirm in the ‘nicest possible way’ what any reasonably intelligent person would have deduced for themselves, ie Neil Johnstone and Bruce Hendry. Opus have been diplomatic to say the least, thus preserving their place in the ‘invitations to drinkies’ list in the Town Hall.

    • Elizabeth

      Reports for hire.

      Um, very skimpy short documents – I wonder how much they charged for these ???

      [aside – ODT’s Dave Canan said another high level DCC manager has resigned and we will read about it in Friday’s newspaper]

  8. JimmyJones

    In tomorrow’s ODT we get to read about the resignation of another DCC high-profile manager – according to the Channel 39 ODT preview tonight. Who is it this time? It’s never the one who should be gone. It’s never the one responsible for the problem.

    • Elizabeth

      Our comments crossed, JimmyJones.

      • JimmyJones

        To lose one manager may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness, but to lose 5 (or however many) indicates a very serious problem. If Dave Cull doesn’t have the courage to fix it, then hopefully our councillors will be able to apply pressure to get some change. DCC councillors are not known for clear thinking and collaborative action, so all we can do is hope.

        • Calvin Oaten

          Jimmy, you say, “DCC councillors are not known for clear thinking and collaborative action, so all we can do is hope.”
          Good news Jimmy, Cr Aaron Hawkins, recovering from a recent accident resulting in a serious broken arm says while a bit limited physically, he is enjoying putting his brain to work. Hurrah! He elaborates saying “it is good to be using my brain (a whole new experience) even if I’m a bit restricted at the moment”. He will launch his campaign for the local body elections on Saturday. He is standing for mayor and the council on the Green Party ticket. Just what we don’t need is another ‘do gooder’, pushing a personal agenda to ‘improve’ the world for all. Can he not read what it means to be an effective councillor? It requires intelligence and a full understanding that he is there for the interests of the greater community, not to push his fanatic beliefs on saving the planet regardless of all else. We have had more than our fill of these tendencies with Mayor Cull and Cr MacTavish’s cranky delusions at great cost to the community. Best he puts his brain back into its box, takes a pill and rests.

  9. Gurglars

    The amazing thing about that “peer report” is that the conclusion seems at complete odds with the balance of the opinion?

    • Elizabeth

      We gets what we instructs and pays for.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        The customer is always right.
        People like to hear what they like, and they like good news. That’s why Farry and his colleagues and patsies got such a warm reception for the $188M multipurpose stadium with first class sports vying with major stars of the entertainment world queuing up to appear in it, bringing riches greater than our wildest dreams to enrich us one and all.
        There’s almost no price people won’t pay for people prepared to tell us we’re right, and sexier and more gorgeous and handsome, and much more intelligent than other people, and we deserve that recently discovered Milo tin of diamonds Great Uncle Zaphod’s bank vault in Nigeria.

  10. Gurglars

    Where do I pay for all that ??

  11. Elizabeth

    Sun, 10 Jul 2016 at 5:00 a.m.
    Stuff: Property investors in the gun
    Property speculators are in Labour’s sights, with extra taxes to crack down on profiteering.

  12. Ro

    I’m surprised this was presented as a vindication by council. It finds that the mud-tanks DID contribute to localised flooding. Hitherto DCC has only admitted to the Pbo pumping station’s contribution. This explains here why Peter Sandring (have I got the right person?) has resigned:

    “In conclusion, we consider both the mud tank cleaning specification and the contractor’s proxy to be inappropriate for ensuring the long-term efficacy and availability of the stormwater system. However, it is unreasonable to expect 100% of mud tanks to be clear 100% of the time, so further work will be required to arrive at a contractually fair and reasonable performance standard that will also deliver optimum system performance.’

    But generally I’m struck by what a brief and cursory summation of the facts compared to Neil Johnstone’s this one is.

    • Elizabeth

      Ro: Your post up tomorrow. Apologies for delay, been away in Central Otago.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Ro, they got around it by saying flooding would have occurred, blah-blah. Flooding undefined therefore water across the road qualifies. No mention of flooding damage caused by 20cm extra, due to neglect, higher water than should have been the case.
      No mention of how many properties WOULD NOT have been damaged, how many people wouldn’t have had to move out, if that 20cm extra depth had not occurred.
      But “flooding would still have occurred” – bloody hell, people would have got their slippers wet nipping out to the letterbox, due to FLOODING over their paths.
      They’re bullshitting, Ro – least said soonest mended or something :”brief and cursory summation of the facts”. Bullshitting by omission.

    • JimmyJones

      Ro: I think to a large degree it doesn’t matter to the DCC what the peer reviews say. They know that hardly anyone will read them and they know that as long the ODT sticks to the script, then the people responsible will be smelling like roses and keeping their jobs. The ODT headlines and the spin are what counts.

    • JimmyJones

      We don’t know why DCC roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring resigned – he hasn’t said, because he is contractually prohibited from doing so. Instead of a statement from Mr Standring, we […] read that The council yesterday declined to comment on the circumstances of Mr Standring’s resignation, saying it could not comment on individual employment matters – but then […] comments like: staff have been in the spotlight and failings identified in the aftermath of last year’s floods and mud-tank maintenance – as an area which was lacking.

      We don’t know what Peter Standring would like to say, but the filthy, backstabbing comments in the ODT might be relevant to the situation. The ODT claims that their reporter Vaughan Elder wrote this story, but it looks to me like it was pre-written by the DCC.

      […] Another serious error is to not fix the problem that is causing the mass exodus of trained senior staff.

      {Moderated. This website is not at liberty to say much about employment matters at DCC unless these are already in public domain. DCC have created own spin (read: utter drivel) which appears to be a pattern under the current management regime to belittle exited or exiting staff after the event of their resignation even while they work out their notice. Nothing a good litigant paid for by the individual resignees couldn’t make hay with. DCC is not above the law, FACT. -Eds}

  13. Elizabeth

    throwing up
    The CULL BS Machine spews forth diesel clouds – a reason NOT to vote for Labour in 2017

    Tue, 12 Jul 2016
    ODT: Cull hails Labour’s promise
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has welcomed a promise of “meaningful urban renewal” for South Dunedin. Commenting on the Labour Party’s new infrastructure plan for South Dunedin, Mr Cull said the Dunedin City Council would work with any government on the issue. “We know there are challenges facing South Dunedin. The quality of housing in the area has long been a concern, there are increasing demands on our infrastructure, and groundwater levels are high and are predicted to rise even further.”

    Italics by whatifdunedin

    Dave Cull is going to rip the s*** out of South Dunedin without asking. Except that we have the upper edge on his political existence and we’re going to fight his first, middle and last breath. Cull is completely irrelevant to the positive future of South Dunedin.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Cull is completely irrelevant to the positive future of South Dunedin.” Not irrelevant. If only he were!
      That flatulence in human form is INIMICAL to the positive future of South Dunedin.

    • JimmyJones

      Dave Cull seems to be trying to hitch a ride to an election victory with Labour, but Dave and Labour are heading in opposite directions as far as South Dunedin goes. Dave and his club of alarmist zealots have already begun their economic sabotage of the area and they continue to do nothing about the low level of service of the neglected stormwater system.

      On the other hand, the Labour leader Andrew Little is quoted on Radio Dunedin today as saying that Labour will rejuvenate South Dunedin and that the suburb’s ageing infrastructure needs urgent attention. It’s good that Labour doesn’t depend on Allied Press for knowing the state of the infrastructure, but I suspect that the South Dunedin residents don’t want to be rejuvenated. They like their small houses in the sunny part of town. They don’t need low-cost housing because they have their house that they paid £4000 for in 1955. All they want is a bunch of councillors that will sort out the stormwater system before the next big rain.

  14. Gurglars

    “All they want is a bunch of councillors that will sort out the stormwater system before the next big rain.”

    Exactly, Jimmy all we as ratepayers want is councillors that will look after infrastructure, not SOME TURKEYS with social agenda, moral high ground, primary school values, ex labour dodgy parliamentarians and caped crusaders.

    God or whoever else has a say, please save us from these malodorous priests of agenda 21 and chicken little worries about mean high water marks on southern rugby clubgrounds on a rainy day!

    • Calvin Oaten

      Gurglars, “God or whoever else has a say, please save us from these malodorous priests of ‘agenda21’ and chicken little worries about mean high water marks on southern rugby club-grounds on a rainy day!” I suspect we have the next best one to God in Cr Hawkins. His announcement of candidature in the ODT prompted me to write to him as:

      Hello Aaron,
      I read your announcement of your intentions to ‘transform’ Dunedin into New Zealand’s ‘first living wage city and establish a local currency if elected.’ All very aspirational, but have you though this through beyond the concept? I doubt that it really is council business to do this sort of thing unless it has considered the unintended consequences.

      For instance, if council instituted this ‘living wage’ within city hall, it would immediately create an additional burden on the ratepayers and renters in the city who would not necessarily be part of this equality. Council of course cannot coerce business to follow the trend if their operations are already stressed by competition and forces dictated from outside Dunedin.
      Then there is the DCC’s avowed intention to reinforce the ‘open tendering’ system of purchase for all goods and services. This of course is the basis of holding costs, which over the years have seen DCC costs rising far and away beyond inflation rates, thus suggesting that maybe there is already a surplus of ‘fat’ in the system which would need to be seriously remedied before restructuring the base in-house ‘living wage.’
      Do you plan on aggressively addressing this fact and make the necessary staff adjustments? There already seems to me to be more than a basic ‘living wage’ structure among at least senior staff, which is set by the ‘Higher Salaries Commission,’ outside council’s control.

      If I might suggest, a fairer way would be to take a further look at the concept of a ‘Citizens’Bank’ being set up in Dunedin, confined (at least initially) to citizens and businesses domiciled in Dunedin, and of course used exclusively by DCC and DCHL for all transactions. It could encourage citizens to deposit and borrow (within conservative limits) and
      accommodate properly based LVR mortgages. If interest rates were structured competitively for both depositors and borrowers alike, this would have the benefits of lowering costs all round plus retaining the monies involved largely within the Dunedin ‘money churn.’

      In the fullness of time I believe that Dunedin could only benefit by owning its own ‘Public Bank.’ A far more positive and realistic pathway than establishing a ‘Dunedin Dollar’ which would realistically be seen as ‘slightly weird, akin to ‘monopoly money’.

      As you may remember I submitted to the 2015 AP on the concept and the response was deafening by its absence. Of course I realise it may be too cerebral for most around that table, particularly the incumbent mayor. If you would like to re-aquaint yourself with the concept I can make that available should you want.

      Aaron, if you really want to help the city then you need to address the many more important problems facing it than forcing these financial burdens upon the system before first addressing those very burdens. Might I suggest first up the Stadium as the biggest ‘elephant in the room’. If you can bring that into at the very least, a genuine stand alone break even position, then you would be well on the way to easing the city’s burden.
      Then of course there is the problem of fixing the south Dunedin storm-water problems which you may well be aware of.

      I wish you well but ‘airy fairy’ stuff like the ‘living wage and ‘fiat dollars’ just won’t cut it I’m afraid. Notwithstanding your rarefied existence, most people live in the real mundane world.

      Calvin Oaten

  15. Elizabeth

    ODT 12.7.16 (page 6)

    ODT 12.7.16 Letter to editor Cull p6

    • JimmyJones

      Dishonest Dave starts twisting the truth in the first paragraph of his ODT letter – he writes “No-one can say that the specific event last June was caused by climate change”, but he misquotes himself: in the actual SDAG speech it says this, “No-one can say that the specific event last June was caused simply by climate change”. One word makes a big difference here. In the speech he then continues with the Global Warming theme – “But we can say that such events had been predicted to occur more often”. Most of the rest of the speech is based around his global warming apocalyptic visions and seems designed to scare people.

      In the speech he says: “[heavy rain] events had been predicted to occur more often”, but this is misleading because he is trying to associate the June heavy rains with the fake forecasts of the Global Warming crusaders, who predict more frequent extreme weather. Fortunately for Dunedin there has been no increase in extreme rainfall – in fact there seems to be less extreme rain events now-days. This is the difference between reality and fearmongering for political purposes.

  16. Ro

    JimmyJones: £400 for in 1955 – $4000 in 1975. ;-)

    • JimmyJones

      Thanks, Ro – it was just a guess. For South Dunedin, prices might be heading back down with Dave Cull’s economic sabotage campaign.

  17. Calvin Oaten

    “However we cannot complacently believe fixing known infrastructure issues will mean the current systems will cope with future events.
    Scientists predict it won’t.”
    I wonder if Dave Cull can name those scientists and reference their ’empirical data supporting their contentions’? That seems to me to be a crucial factor required in order to sustain his arguments. Of course he can’t and won’t, as truth is not what he is on about. He is just (to use his favourite euphemism) creating a “red herring” to massage his ego in front of the Sth Dunedin folk..

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes Calvin, that part of Cull’s letter to the editor ODT leapt out at me.
      It was the same kind of “promise” as his stance before his first (and unfortunately successful) mayor campaign.
      Cull the anti-stadium hero!
      Yet during the campaign what he said was that he would be against spending any more on the Fubar Stadium, “only what it takes to make it workable” or some similar expression.
      It’s never worked, never earned its own keep – so good old Dave has kept on voting to pump money into its various aliases and avatars.

      Now he’s just as dedicated to the preservation of the South Dunedin community, but I’m not falling for his syn(thetic)serity again, no way! He’s signalled his warning against taking him seriously, whatever he appears to promise: “However we cannot complacently believe fixing known infrastructure issues will mean the current systems will cope with future events.”
      And clinging to his climate change faith – and we know the way people with overdeveloped warped “faiths” behave towards the rights of others – “Scientists predict it won’t.”

    • JimmyJones

      Calvin: slimy Dave Cull uses these very slippery words to justify his policy of not upgrading the severely substandard parts of the water systems (3-waters). His logic is that, because there could always be some “future event” (earthquake, hurricane, tidal wave etc.) that exceeds the capabilities of our infrastructure, then we should complacently ignore the known infrastructure problems and gladly accept the extra risks of living with substandard infrastructure.

      This is the same manipulative technique that he used to tell us that the additional 200mm of flood depth caused by the DCC, made no difference to the flooding. We know it did. He wants his readers to ignore quantities – to believe that a small flood is the same as a severe flood and that a small earthquake is an earthquake just like a big earthquake. People will be deceived by this.

      • Hype O'Thermia


        Interesting article, don’t be put off by the shock-horror doom speculation headline.

        And as for yet another of Dave’s reasons for abandoning South Dunedin, liquefaction –

        ……Otago University marine geophysicist Associate Professor Andrew Gorman said there were early indications the liquefaction hazard in South Dunedin from a large, local quake might not be as high as in Christchurch. However, lateral spreading of reclaimed land around the harbour edge was still expected.
        “The near-surface geology of flat-lying areas in Dunedin is very different than in Christchurch. In Dunedin, coastal and harbour sediments, mostly sand and silt, lie in a shallow basin less than 100 metres deep. Christchurch is underlain by more than 600m of alternating beds of river gravels and marine sediments containing a number of highly pressured aquifers.”………………

  18. Elizabeth

    Wed, 13 Jul 2016 at 8:48 a.m.

    Subject line:
    ‘Why Aaron Hawkins should take up growing veggies’
    This article explains that the administration costs of the Bristol Pound are outrageous, see here:



    Mr Hawkins might be best to jump to another policy train if he wants to be taken seriously.

    Or he could join Farmlands.

    Anonymous sent me this, to help Mr Hawkins’ mayoral monopoly campaign:

    monopoly money

    Daaave Cull will have to come up with a better ‘bored game’.

    Head to head, green to green.
    With Jinters for decoration. Or Cluedo.

    • Tussock

      “Why Aaron Hawkins should take up growing veggies”
      What a bloody insult to the professional vegetable growing industry.

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    Does anyone remember the Green Dollar? Years before the political party called Greens. The equivalent political party was Values… but they weren’t behind the green dollars, it was a hippy peace love flowers era movement. The idea was to exchange goods and services, and it would have been a good idea if the people who got into it had equal amounts of “capital” – goods, skills. What happened was someone would ask “Can someone fix the gearbox of my car please” and by way of earning green dollars with which to pay they offered to make macrame wall hangings…………
    Or do a tarot reading :-[
    just what a backyard mechanic needs.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Of course, giving Cr Hawkins the benefit of the doubt, we should remember around three hundred years ago the Dutch had a great run with ‘tulip bulbs’. With the new propagation facilities at the Botanic Gardens he could perhaps cajole Richard Thomson into supporting that concept.

  21. JimmyJones

    Calvin: I am pleased that you are opposed to the so called “Living Wage”. You said For instance, if council instituted this ‘living wage’ within city hall, it would immediately create an additional burden on the ratepayers and renters in the city who would not necessarily be part of this equality. One thing you and Aaron Hawkins have in common is that you haven’t been told that the DCC has already introduced The Living Wage. This was a decision made by Chief Executive Sue Bidrose on behalf of Dunedin’s renters, ratepayers and DCC councillors.

    As far as I know there has been no public announcement and it looks like the councillors haven’t been told either. CEO Bidrose revealed this the other day on Marvin Hubbard’s radio program. Some info for job applicants says The DCC has adopted the living wage where your starting hourly rate will be $18.65. I don’t recall any announcement, nor anything from the ODT about this – so it seems that either the ODT hasn’t been told or it has been told to keep it quiet. Previous CEO, Paul Orders was opposed to the so-called Living Wage because would add to DCC’s costs. Does anyone know more about this and why it seems to be a bit of a secret?

  22. Calvin Oaten

    Jimmy: you say that Sue Bidrose stated on a radio programme that there already was a ‘Living Wage’ structure based on an hourly starting rate of $18.65. That staggers me, as obviously Aaron Hawkins is not aware of it or else he is going to claim it to his credit. If in fact council are not only unaware nor debated and approved the policy then one would wonder why it is that we go through the charade of electing a mayor and council to oversee governance of the ratepayers’ interests.

    • JimmyJones

      It’s a remarkable and very foolish decision to implement a “Living Wage”. To do this is to submit to union, political and political-media (TV3, RNZ etc) pressure at the expense of Dunedin citizens. Listen to DCC CEO Bidrose in this interview with political extremist Marvin Hubbard (Otago Axcess Radio) » http://cdn2.firecrestsystems.com/StationFolder/otago/NZOA64k-2016-07-05%20-%20Com%20or%20Chaos.mp3

      Living Wage discussion starts at 22:55 and there follows discussion and some disputable claims about the 2015 DCC flooding.

      Interestingly, she said that the decision was made 4 years ago in consultation with the union. That would have been in Paul Orders time. We would need to verify that claim before blaming Paul Orders because in 2013 he indicated that no decision had been made and careful consideration would be needed. See his comments here » DCC living wage concerns (ODT 24/05/13) Sue Bidrose became CEO on 22/11/2013. Sue might have her dates wrong.

      The most recent instance of this quote: The DCC has adopted the living wage where your starting hourly rate will be $18.65 was captured by google on Jul 1, 2016. Interestingly, the bit about the adoption of the Living Wage has now been removed – replaced by The hourly rate starts at $19.43 for this position. $19.43 must be the enhanced Living Wage.

      See the google cached version HERE.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    Paying less than the Living Wage is wrong. It’s not even good for the city. Sure, it costs more – but of all the spends on non-core responsibilities this is one that has most likelihood of good returns. Almost all those extra dollars will be spent and largely spent locally, unlike the high salaries at the other end of the DCC salary list. If businesses get a boost from events held here – debatable actually, and even if so it doesn’t include many businesses – they will get more from having more people with a few extra dollars in their pocket. A significant portion of the community living on the bones of their arses is not good for them, not good for business.
    Begrudge extravagance with out rates, by all means. In 99.9% of examples I’m beside you holding the other end of the banner. But don’t begrudge paying the Living Wage, it’s morally right and it’s more helpful than not for keeping the money-go-round that keeps a city ticking over between conferences and rugby tests (subsidised, please remember).

  24. Calvin Oaten

    Hype: “The Living Wage, it’s morally right” Yes. But it’s not equitable! Like you, I support the concept of a “Living Wage” but it’s got to be ‘sustainable'(to quote Jinty) and fair. It can and should only be legislated by Central Government, not ad hoc councils demonstrating ‘feel good’ gestures at the expense of the ratepayers and renters. That is the height of inequity and has no justification in politicking such as seen by Aaron Hawkins. It simply demonstrates the lack of depth of intellect at work. God help Dunedin if he ever held the chain of office.
    At the end of the day these ideas have to be ‘sustainable’ (there’s that word again) and to be this then a re-distribution of incomes would need to be seriously looked at from the top down. In this current governance society the chances of that happening are similar to the ‘Second Coming’.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “It can and should only be legislated by Central Government” – no, anyone who hires labour should have the decency to pay it.
      “Sustainable”? Sustained by whom? And why is it only the wages of the lowest paid that can be subject to sustainability test, not rent of business premises.
      “If I have to pay decent wages my business won’t survive” “OK you’re right to exploit the poor” but “If I have to pay the going rate for lease, supplies, licenses, permits my business will go under” – answer being “OK, just pay what you can afford”? Or “Tough shit babycakes, join the real world”?

  25. Gurglars

    Hype, you missed Calvin’s real point.

    The total wage bill needs to be carved up differently!

    Reductions by those who decided to pay the living wage and their confreres, the “managers” to allow sufficient budget room to pay cleaners and other workers not yet paid the minimum wage.

    Again, an organisation even a council must live within its rates vote. And the rates vote should/must never rise above the level of inflation (measured by a system embracing all common costs including food, rent, cost of travel etc).

  26. Elizabeth

    So Mayor Cull shows up electioneering….
    with news of progress on site options for the South Dunedin Community Hub [detestable jargon] – inviting public consultation, suddenly.

    This while he maintains the area will be flooded with more extreme rain events and rising sea levels affecting groundwater levels… requiring strategic withdrawal of people from the area, leaving behind their homes and businesses.

    And now a “community hub” —which has been the Totally Missing Gift to South Dunedin people following local body amalgamation yonks ago. Desperate times like the elections call for…..

    What changed then, Daaave, if it wasn’t climate change (anthropogenic global warming) ?

    Because Folks, the hub can very well happen without him.

    Top community wishes for hub include library, internet space, youth hub, public toilets, bike library and creative spaces.

    Sun, 14 Aug 2016
    Search for hub site
    The Dunedin City Council is about to unveil plans for a proposed South Dunedin community hub and wants residents to provide feedback. Council representatives will hold a █ community open day on August 20 at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum to discuss potential locations for a hub.
    Council staff had considered seven options for housing a South Dunedin community hub. These would be discussed during the open day on August 20, which would run from 10am to 4pm. Two discussion sessions will held, at 11am and 1pm.

    █ Top of list —the former BNZ bank site in King Edward St along with part of the adjacent DCC car park. It could also incorporate part of the Gasworks Museum for community activities.

    █ DCC has tagged $2.6million for the South Dunedin community hub project in the 2016-17 financial year and $3million is tagged for the 2018-19 financial year.

    • Elizabeth
      I’m pretty certain the only ‘Hub’ that could ever be generated by the likes of Cull is the two syllable one as defined below – vis:

      noun hub·bub Simple Definition of hubbub – with the emphasis on confusion.

      : a loud mixture of sound or voices

      : a situation in which there is much noise, confusion, excitement, and activity.

      • Elizabeth

        Perhaps he could lock himself >quietly< in the South Dunedin community hall in King Edward St for the duration of the elections. Without food and water, well away from harm to Us.

  27. Will there be a hub cap or is this another money no object, cock it up, pull it down, do-si-do-it-again, and swing your voters till the last coins falls out of their pockets?

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