City Council not the healthy democracy we crave #Delta

We have lost more than one useful community-orientated local body politician to the bullying green sludge running this council. No one quitting the council table these last weeks has been exactly forthright about that, until now. Each has been raising points in common with Councillor Calvert, privately and publicly, in their own way.

Over the last 18 months in particular, Councillor Calvert has been on her game with work and enquiry, and yes, regrettably, only a small part of which can be shown via recorded council meetings; but that says more about Mayor Cull’s chairing and questionable efforts at maintaining political control – as Councillor Vandervis will attest.

Indeed, most of council politics presents behind scenes in non public, but also Covertly as ‘Politics’ has always done —except this time, the public beneficiaries of the fabrication and obfuscation are increasingly irate with not only the dangling Mayoral Chain but also his rather awful menagerie of toothy accomplices and mouldy sidekicks.

The lack of public faith in these numbskulls has brought on a seething concentration of ill will, exasperation and litigious-minded wrath such that Anything could happen, and may, before and after the October elections. Typically, for Dunedin, this goes somewhat understated. But it is real, not imagined. Presbyterian attendance to the cost of unbridled war is uppermost…. until the last ganglion strains and bursts.

Hilary CalvertWith the problems besetting South Dunedin caused by DCC and ORC lamebrains…. there has never been a more Simple time to gain a Strong Majority of sincere and principled elected representatives willing to work hard for the whole of Dunedin City. Cull is eroding public confidence. Walk right over the top of him and the greenies – for Our better future.

Last word: Hilary Calvert, please stand for the Mayoralty and the Council in the 2016 elections.

The big issues for ratepayers – cycleways, fraud, what council-owned companies were doing, and maintenance of mud-tanks – were “never on the agenda of council meetings until a rearguard action happens after the problems are identified by others”. –Cr Hilary Calvert

### ODT Online Wed, 20 Jul 2016
Disillusioned with council
By David Loughrey
Dunedin city councillor Hilary Calvert announced yesterday she will not stand in this year’s elections, but not before taking parting shots at some of her colleagues and Mayor Dave Cull. […] She said she was unable to make a difference in a council dominated by councillors “whose focus is on carrying out activities for the benefit of the planet and on advising central government on how they may go about their business, not ours. This preoccupation has been at the expense of the proper and transparent governance of the city.”
Read more

****

Received.
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 at 8:32 a.m.

The following was forwarded to me by a city councillor. I subsequently obtained Cr Calvert’s permission to publish.

—— Forwarded Message
From: [Dunedin City Council]
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2016 23:39:51 +0000
To: “Council 2013-2016 (Elected Members)”
Cc: [DCC Comms]
Subject: FW: Response to LGOIMA request attached

Dear Councillors,
For your information please find attached a response to a LGOIMA request made by Cr Calvert related to Delta and Gold Band.

[Dunedin City Council]

[attachment – click to enlarge]

02497816 DCC Letter reply to Calvert LGOIMA request 1.7.16

*Names removed by whatifdunedin

Note: Ask strong clear questions when using LGOIMA to access information held by the councils.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

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50 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

50 responses to “City Council not the healthy democracy we crave #Delta

  1. Elizabeth

    Why was the letter dated 1 July 2016 released by DCC to all Councillors and DCC Comms on 18 July 2016 ?

    What happened there.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      And why is the reply a series of “won’t answer because we are ain’t got no information” about v, w, x, y and z. You name it. We ain’t got no paperwork and we’re thoroughly uninformed. Well, I guess that explains a lot!

      • Elizabeth

        Suspiciously a lot. Until people known to DCC end up in jail.

        Next question. What will the parties do to try and avoid those people going to jail. I guess no documention will exist for that until a judge(s) pens a ‘finding’. Plural.

  2. ab

    It was great until “Presbyterian War”. Are we to be angry with the Catholics again? Will Convenanters ride looking for Stuart Street?

  3. Diane Yeldon

    I agree this looks messy but I think it’s clumsiness on the part of the DCC rather than deceit.
    There’s various legitimate sources of information about Delta’s business dealings but the only part of all this info which is properly the council’s business is the council companies’ official reporting to the council. So information which legitimately comes through other public sources may be properly excluded from discussion by the council in public meetings. Think if the DCC had been clearer about which information was the proper business of public council meetings and what wasn’t, there might have been less confusion. In addition to sometimes saying, “I don’t know.” there might have been times when staff might have usefully and accurately said, “I don’t belief that matter is part of required public financial reporting to council.” Certainly, Mayor Cull looking irritated and flustered and snapping and muttering, “You don’t have to answer that.” was not a good way of handling it. Sounds like a lawyer trying to prevent a guilty client from incriminating himself. Trying the old ‘commercial sensitive ‘ rubbish isn’t a good idea either. Better to focus on legal requirements to report.

    A more subtle point is the manner and demeanor of the financial reporters. It did not strike me as respectful of councillors but I suppose such a judgement is very subjective. All the same, as a general rule, grins and smirks should be avoided as likely to unnecessarily get others hot under the collar.

    Of course, this whole problem of public info about council companies goes right back to their legal set up. The idea is to hold them at ‘an arm’s length’ from the council’, so they can fairly compete commercially with other companies. But IMO that system also holds them too far from public scrutiny.

    When DCC says the information does not exist, (even though the enquirer is pretty sure it does), that answer may still be correct according to the definition of information in LGOIM Act, where ‘information’ is defined as something which the council holds. The information might indeed exist somewhere else with a different organisation but then it mightn’t be subject to the provisions of the LGOIM Act. But it might be clearer and more accurate if a council said that the information does not exist in their archives.

    It would be nice to think the timing of the release of this document was in some way related to the What If discussion the night before. Perhaps resulting in some kind of clarification of the issues from different points of view?

    • Elizabeth

      Where to start, Diane.
      Actually, no. No need for any of us to reply. We do so only at our own risk.

      My little hum.
      That a council owned company is embroiled in constructive fraud to defeat the prior interests of Christchurch landowners is of no consequence. Let’s turn a blind eye to lying and cheating in the name of Dunedin ratepayers and residents. This is not the wild west, at all. Unlawful conduct, what.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Diane, “Sounds like a lawyer trying to prevent a guilty client from incriminating himself.”
      Waddles like a duck. Quacks like a duck. Shits all over your yard like a duck.

  4. Elizabeth

    Received from Neil Johnstone
    Wed, 20 Jul 2016 at 7:52 p.m.

    Message: You are welcome to post the most recent obstructive response (below) as a complement
    to Cr Calvert’s experience.

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Acknowledgement of your email
    Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2016 4:13 p.m.
    From: [Dunedin City Council]
    To: Neil Johnstone

    15-Jul-2016

    Dear Mr Johnstone,

    OFFICIAL INFORMATION REQUEST FOR : INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR EARLIER REQUEST, OPUS PEER REVIEW

    REFERENCE NUMBER: 255529

    _ _

    I acknowledge your email of 10 July 2016. You have sent us the following questions:

    1. Why, almost 2 months after my LGOIMA request, I have still not received a concession (however embarrassing for some within DCC) that the peer review sought by me does not exist, and never did ?;

    2. Or, alternatively if it does exist, why it has not been provided?;

    3. Why it took a month after my request for me to be merely told (irrelevantly) that a (different) peer review was being prepared, but with no attempt to satisfy my simple, legitimate request?;

    4. When were the 2 recent Opus reviews commissioned? Note, your Ms Stokes has been unable to supply me even this information.

    Your questions will be answered under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, and you will receive a decision on your request within 20 working days.

    We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than August 5, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

    Your request is being handled by [the] Manager Civic and Legal.
    If you have any queries, please feel free to contact [the officer] on 03 474……..

    If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into account.

    The Council has responded to the Office of the Ombudsman on your complaint, and we will deal with any additional matters when they are referred to us.

    Yours faithfully,

    [Dunedin City Council]

  5. Elizabeth

    Neil Johnstone, you have a matter that is unlikely to satisfy the Ombudsman given his recent shake-up (if I may say it this way!) of DCC’s poor handling of LGOIMA requests in the last year or so.

    See post 27.5.16 Letter from Ombudsman to Bev Butler

  6. Gurglars

    Hasn’t there been a ruling (in the case of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust) that associated companies are subject to LOGIMA requests. In which case McKenzie must find out the answers to the questions re Delta a wholly owned subsidiary??

  7. Observer

    When it was stated in the Council meeting there was “no relationship between Delta and Gold Band … financial or otherwise”, this was [not correct].

    Several signed agreements from as early as at least April 2010, and media releases by Delta, prove so.

    Delta constructed these agreements with Gold Band Finance and the developer Noble Investments (NIL) to specifically cheat those with known prior caveated interests in the land. The caveats are mentioned in the agreements and Delta’s lawyer David Smillie – as the poster Christchurch Driver quoted from Court documents – described this design.

    Delta advanced credit behind the caveats on the basis Gold Band agreed to use its first mortgagee powers in relation to the caveats as instructed by Delta, ie to cheat the caveators of their known prior interests (a constructive fraud).

    The Council is not being open about Delta’s relationship and partnership with Gold Band. Delta (illegally in breach of the Property Law Act s84) has power over and owns two-thirds of Gold Band’s first mortgage which is being used to cheat the private parties for the benefit of Delta’s subordinate debt and its security sharing partners.

    (“remove the obstacles” was the phrase Delta used to describe this cheating in their 3 March 2016 media release)

    So when Cr Calvert asks how can it be accurate “that there was no relationship”, the simple answer is that it is NOT accurate. Cr Calvert is not asking for an “opinion” as the Council’s response to her claims; documents do exist to prove this fact which the Council does have access to.

    Dunedin City Council should be wide awake to the dirty deeds of Delta cheating private parties to profit those related to its security sharing partnership and developer.

    What’s worse, if Council chooses to ignore this it means ratepayers MUST take a multimillion-dollar LOSS in Delta doing so. That’s ridiculous. If Delta complies with the law by ensuring the known prior interests are provided for, they can control the mortgagee sale as first mortgagor for a far higher price and recover ALL their debt as the first and second mortgagor.

    Ratepayers need to get behind Cr Calvert and Cr Vandervis to expose the truth and prevent this fraud on themselves and the other private parties.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

  8. Gurglars

    All true, Observer, except this bit – “If Delta complies with the law… they can control the mortgagee sale at a far higher price and recover all their debt as first or second mortgagor”.

    In law you are possibly correct, but in practice there will be nothing left to recover.

    If you drive through the property, see the state of it, assess the cost of returning it to legal status and understand that any buyers will be unwilling to take such risks as Delta, you will realise that there will be nothing left.

    Now, if Delta is able to sell to a willing partner who will allow Delta to continue to waste money to fix up the exposed problem, Delta may be able to surf the wave through to calmer waters, after the election, but only at the expense of more major capital input by Delta, meaning the DCC and you the ratepayers.

    In reality there is no profit in going forward, only further additional losses, longer periods with no Delta dividends to the council amd more obfuscation by Delta and DCC leaders.

    • Observer

      I’ve walked through the property. It looks bad because the grass needs cutting and weeds sprayed.

      The Delta consortium (developer Noble Investments Ltd (NIL), Gold Band and Delta) wants it looking bad to justify passing it at a low price to a new company related to the crook developers.

      There is $13million of sealed roads and infrastructure installed, about 80 sections of the 270-odd consented sections ready to sell, and 6 Ha of fully resource consented commercial area inclusive of supermarket, medical centre, fitness centre, bars, cafes, numerous shops, offices, and full carparking … this property is worth far more than what the Delta consortium are convincing Dunedinites of.

      There is no reason why Dunedin ratepayers should lose $1 to this mob. They are both first and second mortgagee on this land and should they get ALL the first money with their first mortgage *PARTNER Gold Band*(another porky pie by Delta they falsely denied). Gold Band’s 32.5% share of the first mortgage is max $2.8million so all the rest is Delta’s.

      Delta is doing an excellent con job on Dunedinites to get them to accept multimillion-dollar losses so the developer’s people can profit and rip off the private land owners by Delta’s and Gold Band’s illegal use of first mortgagee powers.

      • Elizabeth

        Wrong, Observer. Simply, Delta, DCHL and DCC are saying nothing and Dunedin ratepayers on the whole are even ignorant of the Noble Subdivision’s existence. You need to dial back your claims for ‘knowingness’. Probably in the same way your estimation of property value isn’t properly taking into account the fact transmission lines pass through the block. I have yet to meet anyone who would want to reside under or near transmission lines let alone, as a colleague says, work anywhere near them – I will add, without danger money at least….

        In reading Noble Subdivision we need to stay flexible and nimble in our thinking. A golden shower is very unlikely for Dunedin ratepayers and talking it up helps nobody. Let’s see what comes of the current court action and be prepared to re-adjust maths, position and hopes or not. Feet on the ground.

        • Observer

          With respect Elizabeth – (and I wouldn’t want to live near power lines either) however these power lines continue through the adjoining new completed Delamain subdivision and split two ways making the effects even worse; yet sections near these power lines were snapped up and built on regardless. Only landscaped stormwater basins are located under the power lines in both subdivisions, and some people evidently value that open space view of being near these basins (and power lines). My “knowingness” knows this as “fact” and my estimates include that fact; I don’t believe I’m talking Delta’s invisible figures up.

          Again respectfully, Dunedinites couldn’t be any more flexible – they are accepting (or at least the Council is if ratepayers have no idea what is going on) that they should write off millions of dollars just because Delta personnel SAY they should. Where is Delta’s proof of the value of the property? How come when Delta was asked this year how much they were owed under their mortgage’s over Noble land, McKenzie said he didn’t know and that Cr Calvert or Vandervis would “have to ask Noble”? How bizarre.

          Further proof that the Delta/Gold Band/NIL consortium is leading DCC up the garden path in relation to value of the land is in the first mortgagees/respondents (Gold Band 32.5% / Delta 67.5%) 27 June 2016 court submissions opposing Judge Osborne granting a stay of his own decision to allow the first mortgagees to cheat the caveators of their prior interests…. They say at paragraph 14.2 “Interest at the rate of 22.5% (daily) continues to run on the Respondents first mortgage debt. Any further delay will be to the detriment of the mortgagor (NIL) and subsequent secured parties.”

          This must assume that Delta/Gold Band will get FULLY paid. If the mortgagor NIL (and other subsequent parties related to NIL) is expected to get any return out of this land (transferred to it solely for interests it reneged on), then why is Delta as both the first and second mortgagee and with numerous other agreements to mortgage from NIL telling DCC to accept multimillion-dollar losses for debt and doubtful debts so that NIL and its associates proffer? It doesn’t stack up.

        • Elizabeth

          The DCC has simply Failed to provide Any useful information on the hit to Ratepayers if when Delta is found dangling from the transmission lines, immolated.

          That indicates DCC is either thick – or a subset of the Council, including Mayor Cull (a groupie of McLauchlan), is well up on the deviousness [euphemism] that ensures Delta is a party to the property purchase. In either scenario there is likely to be activity which goes against the good name of the city council. And much worse, legally, in aligning the council-owned company, therefore DCHL and DCC also, in such a way as to cheat and defraud the original landowners and caveators. Achilles Heel to Dave Cull’s mayoral campaign it is safe to guess. Count down.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    It seems the only options are for the ratepayer/shareholders to take the loss on the chin and hope through due processes of law that those responsible are brought to account. In reality this is synonymous with the Stadium’s ongoing ‘fiasco’ and look how honest that is. When you have all from the Mayor to CEO, GCFO, Directors, Delta staff all witholding the truth from those ratepayer/shareholders we can only come to the conclusion that a crime is being committed in slow motion.

    • Elizabeth

      Perhaps Calvin, we can say they are not yet ready to make a forthright statement. “Things precarious.”

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Oh Calvin, “those responsible are brought to account” – the nearest it ever gets to that is “leaving to spend more time with family” without a generous confidential severance payment.
      Ratepayers lose? Yes, then ratepayers lose. Blessed be the poor ratepayers.

    • Observer

      Respectfully, believing “the only option is to take a loss on the chin” is believing Delta’s ongoing bs.

      Just because Delta tell you something does not mean it is so. That’s proven.

      Just because Delta tell DCC there has to be multimillion-dollar losses (multimillion-dollar gifts to their consortiums people) it does not mean there has to be.

      Given Delta is the 67.5% owner of the first mortgage, has the only second motgage, and has agreements to first mortgage (combining now to over $20m; max 2.8m being Gold Band’s) then why did Delta insist ratepayers must accept multimillion losses???

      Crs Calvert and Vandervis, and Christchurch Driver, have Delta on the ropes, in the corner and on a knee … while the mayor and the rest of the Council offer up the ratepayers’ chin … and purse.

      That DCC has not launched a criminal or other investigation into this purported to be multimillion-dollar loss/fraud and put the mortgagee sale on hold while doing so is neglect.

      Putting the mortgagee sale on hold protects the ratepayers’ investment/gift/debt from the fire sale to pass the property to a new company relating to the same personnel. This is particularly so when the ratepayers’ first mortgage is returning 22.5% daily and that the property is worth far more than the Delta consortium want everyone to believe.

      • Elizabeth

        Once again, Observer, Delta’s position is not so cut and dried. There has been so little transparency for Dunedin ratepayers that the only useful step in an election year is to Commence putting the decisions to date of the Delta CE and Delta Directors under an independent microscope – a fully independent forensic audit. But this is DCC we’re talking about and it will never happen, not even if central government replaced the mayor and councillors with a commissioner(s).

        Crs Calvert and Vandervis will never be enough. And neither will CD. Early days. A crunch will come – but will it be initiated by Osborne J.

        Don’t overestimate values.

        • alanbec

          Osborne, J. Will he Look Back in Anger, call us ‘genuflecting sin jobbers, little gidding, church raddled establishment weed poisoning inhabitants of electro magnetic fields’, as he did in, er, 1956?

        • Observer

          Osborne J already decided that fraud made for commercial reasons is not a fraud. He can’t be relied on, only the resilience of those being defrauded can be.

          Re: Values? Has Delta advised of its estimate or provided its valuation? Can what Delta advise DCC be trusted? Do Delta personnel care that they’re writing off what Dunedin ratepayers are owed so NIL profits?

          The property was mortgagee marketed over the xmas holidays with unnecessary legal complications draped all over it. It was conducive to getting a low price to pass it cheaply to a new selected party to benefit related personnel.

          If a bona fide independently obtained valuation showed the property was worth substantially more than the short xmas marketing ploy “obtained” then it would be negligent for Delta (as the 67.5% and 100% controller of the first mortgage) to accept such a dubious tender and tell DCC to suck up the multimillion-dollar “discrepancy”.

          Keep up the good work Elizabeth, with your stellar work, along with Cr Calvert, Cr Vandervis and CD’s work, and others’ input, it might well be enough.

      • Calvin Oaten

        I have to admit I am shocked that what seems to be the case Observer is postulating is potentially a criminal extortion of DCC treasure for the benefit of a few nameless persons.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but what Observer seems to be postulating is in process, is a systematic programme to rob the DCC Treasury of vast sums in order to enrich a few unnamed individuals.

        Is he sayng that the plan is to basically, as holder of the first line of securities, have Delta accept a “fire sale” mortgagee transaction to an unarmed company which could immediately on sell or develop. The resultant profits accruing to the shareholders of the acquiring company?

        If so, I can see a precedent when then chairman of DCHL Paul Hudson (perhaps naively), arranged the sale of the assets of the Waipori Generation system, only to see it on sold for a greater price to TrustPower. Nothing is a crime till caught.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          It was a Good Deed X protest against powerful acting against powerless during the depression for auctions of bankrupts’ property (down to tools, kitchen table – everything) when seized by the bank to be attended by his community who “discouraged” outsiders from bidding. No bids, then at last someone would offer a pittance. The property was then returned to the unfortunate person. This was behaviour based on respect and mutual support. Greatly different from rorting and mutual back-scratching + backhanders.

        • Observer

          You’re correct Calvin. The personnel of the developer Noble are partners with Delta’s personnel in a consortium with also Gold Band. They’ve signed several “Security Sharing Agreements together”.

          The basis of the agreements was 1/ to attain Dunedin ratepayers’ money for the consortiums benefit; and 2/ to cheat private parties with known prior caveated interests.

          If NIL personnel are to profit from this (under a new company) after any mortgagee sale as NIL and Graham Crombie was confident they would in the ODT 15 March 2015 (long after the 11 June 2014 first mortgagee sale PLA notice on Noble) then why is Crombie telling DCC that ratepayers MUST forgo millions in debt legally due to them by Noble so Noble can illegally proffer?

          Crombie is quoted … “Delta was a secured creditor and was confident of retrieving a “significant portion” of the potential bad debt, worth millions of dollars, which partly comprised penalty interest.”

          ie this means LOSING a “significant portion” of a multiple million-dollar debt legally due, despite later down in the article it is stated about Crombie that … “He was confident Noble Investments would work through the situation, and be able to sell sections and pay secured creditors.”

          ie Noble would work through and profit whereas Dunedin ratepayers would forgo multiple millions in debt due from Noble and secured in the land.

          {Please cite the ODT article or provide the weblink. -Eds}

        • Observer

          ODT 15 March 2015 Graham Crombie
          http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/336566/expects-delta-be-paid-millions

          ie expects to also lose millions (and told DCC early 2016 they would lose millions that are legally owed)

        • Elizabeth

          Thanks, Observer. This website expects citations to be referenced wherever possible. Helps everyone understand the issues rather than depend on secondary referencing or worse, ie none.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth, I think you are being magnanimous to an extreme.

  11. Elizabeth

    Emeritus Prof John Highton deplores the declining health of democracy in Southern New Zealand.

    Fri, 22 Jul 2016
    ODT: Rule by statute undermining public voice
    OPINION A report in the ODT (16.7.16) reignited my concerns about the health of the democratic process in New Zealand, particularly here in the South. […] With the proliferation of unelected bodies making important decisions that affect all of our lives in Southern New Zealand, I think it is important we recognise the distinction between democratic processes and “statutory requirements” being met. One allows us all to have a say, the other facilitates imposition of the will of the current government, regardless.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Emeritus Prof John Highton is worthy spawn of admirable parents with high professional standards plus integrity and down to earth sense. He’s been in a position to absorb “medical politics” since he wor a wee’an, so he’s looking at today’s situation with background knowledge. If only the people who make these frightful decisions had grounding instead of believing nothing relevant happened before the outbreak of the neoliberal virus.

    • Elizabeth

      Comment at ODT Online:

      And in addition…
      Submitted by Otakou on Fri, 22/07/2016 – 10:16am.

      Such reliance on “statutory requirements” rather than the will of the people allowed the building of the stadium despite 80% of Dunedinites not wanting to be saddled with the ongoing expense, estimated now at $20 million per annum, plus interest on $250 million plus.
      Lawmakers both national and local are imposing their minority will and sometimes jaundiced view of the future upon a majority of citizens who do not wish to be so manouevred.
      Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise demonstrate that this kind of social engineering has a very short lifespan and budding politicians would do well to align their views and platforms with the majority of the people rather than the vocal minority.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Please excuse if this wanders off topic.
        “Such reliance on “statutory requirements” rather than the will of the people…” is what I’ve been thinking about re the Wests fiasco. Dr Marian Poore says she is obliged to etc-etc, in effect persecute Wests despite there being no discernable problem and their high level of support from the community. But don’t police have both the requirement to deal to lawbreakers, and discretion to choose their targets? Think what would happen if they hauled every jaywalker back to the station, arrested everyone they heard using naughty words in public places!
        There has to be a careful balance between sensible turning of blind eye and deaf ear, and favouritism/persecution. It takes good judgement, maturity and being in touch with the community’s needs and priorities. Clipboardists, boxtickers – nah, we can do better.

  12. Gurglars

    I’m having a quiet drink in Caloundra, Qld, and I said goodday to the next bloke at the bar when he remarked to me that the biggest problem with Auatralia was the minority views being backed by various state and national governments destroying the fabric of Australian society. (Some may say the fabric is a carpet as in carpetbaggers, but don’t let the natural bias interfere with the analogy.)

    He quoted the unilateral decision made by NSW state premier Mike Baird deciding to ban Greyhound racing in NSW from next year. Now whatever you think of the dishlickers racing, this correspondent with no prompting offered the information that towns like Richmond, Dapto and Young, all country towns depended upon the greyhound trainers for their livelihoods.

    This chilling unilteral decision based on spurious evidence from one US dog trainer with no experience of Australian greyhound racing, will be strongly opposed.

    But the lesson remains, elected persons and their bureaucratic lackeys are overstepping their elected briefs

    The potential mothballing of South Dunedin is our greyhound racing test case.

    • Unilateral is not good. In Aushtralia, you should have a plebiscite, then regulate the industry. In my view, people are more important than dogs. But Greyhounding is an industry heretowith vicious, greedy, cruel and immoral. Live baiting is a live animal on the leader post, not a stuffed rabbit. The choice is to be infra dig about the State law, or welcome animal protection by statute. We have little to learn from a nation that exterminated indigenous populations of Tasmania.

      • Gurglars

        There is definitely one thing that New Zealand can learn from Australia and it was an uprising against government oppression by gold miners led by Peter Lalor at Ballaarat in the 1850s.

        Naturally the rozzers (mobile police force) put down the rebellion fairly quickly, however the cost of the ever rising mining right was at least held at a tolerable level subsequently.

        Taxes rise until the customer complains.

        Unless we learn to complain more then we can expect government theft a lot more. In particular local government theft will be on show at the LGNZ conference.

        Watch Larrican Lawrence and his bicycle riding confreres, particularly Celia Wade-Brown, the Auckland philanderer, Cull de Mayor gang up to promote a local government additional tax.

        And remember the actions of Peter Lalor (an Irishman, if you cannot stomach learning from the West Island).

        • brownestudy

          Eureka stockade! Mutiny at Ypres! Burnt bazaar in Cairo! Chips Rafferty. Ettamogah. The ABC received in Westland in summer (‘Hello, I’m Brian Stevenson of NZ. Today, I’m talking to James Laurenson, who plays Police Inspector Boney, the part Aboriginal tracker. He’s from Marton, NZ’.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Racing, horse and dog same-same, needs strong regulation and frequent honest inspection. The gains to be made are too great, it’s like drug dealing, they’re corruption magnets.
      If they can be conducted without cruelty to non-consenting parties (horses, dogs, other animals) I’m in favour. If not, not.

  13. Elizabeth

    After reading an opinion piece in today’s The Mix by the creepy Scott Willis, I wonder if we could export him and the Waitati/Blueskin like-minded to NSW anytime soon as live bait. Along with the ‘energy mafia of U o O’, and the brainless PCE he cites. God knows South Dunedin doesn’t need their soulless gospel of climate change to confound seaside living conditions in an old suburb simply in need of excellent drainage, building insulation and good home heating. Perhaps the creepy crawler could initiate a district heating system, ie do something useful for once that doesn’t involve non-economic industrial wind turbines draping our shared cultural heritage landscapes along the coast or destroying tracts of our tussock lands. To the dogs!

  14. Gurglars

    Plebiscite
    (Pleb Aside)

    A corner of the mouth remark from a blowsy sheila in a country pub with a half smoked fag in her nicotine stained hand.

  15. Elizabeth

    Received from John Evans
    Mon, 25 Jul 2016 at 7:24 p.m.

    Not published by ODT……………

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: John Evans
    Date: Sunday, July 24, 2016
    Subject: Wider Electorate!
    To: editor@odt.co.nz

    Sir, Philip Temple (Letters, ODT 22.7.16) remarks that Hilary Calvert’s views seem to be at odds with where the DCC is taking us and the views of the wider electorate.

    As one that might be considered “Wide” I would suggest that where the DCC is taking us may be the view of the wider electorate, or not, to conduct a survey of us “wide boys” (Girls are always svelte) would be very difficult in today’s PC climate.

    However Hilary’s view did seem to be those of the majority of the ratepayers of Dunedin, a much easier group to measure.

    Certainly all of the intelligent people I come upon on a daily basis have serious reservations about the DCC’s direction or perhaps it may be better described as Missdirection.

    John Evans
    Otakou

    ****

    ODT 22.7.16 p12

    ODT 22.7.16 Letters to editor Temple Armstrong Evans p12 (1)

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Newsflash! Cull has an (AFAIK) unpaid fan, Philip Temple! What a rebel!

    Also, there’s a lonesome positive commenter on his facebook page, Rebecca Twemlow. Nice. It’s better not to think about her being from Firebrand Marketing who are running our current Mayor’s campaign, it might cause some of us to ponder about the reasons for expressions of admiration.

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