Monthly Archives: August 2016

Johnstone on ORC report : ‘The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin’ (July 2016)

The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin – July 2016 [read online]
Otago Regional Council
ISBN: 978-0-908324-35-4
Report writers:
Michael Goldsmith, ORC Natural Hazards Manager
Sharon Hornblow, ORC Natural Hazards Analyst
Reviewed by: Gavin Palmer, ORC Director Engineering, Hazards and Science
External review by: David Barrell, Simon Cox, GNS Science, Dunedin

Received from Neil Johnstone
Sun, 29 Aug 2016 at 8:17 p.m.

Message: Misinformation on the causes of the June 2015 South Dunedin flood have abounded since the event. As if the victimised residents haven’t suffered enough from others’ inactions (before and during the event), they are now being subjected to a hazards discovery process whose vigour appears to be exceeded only by its own recklessness. Following are a commentary of the hazards approach adopted by the Otago Regional Council (ORC), and a summary of my investigations into the flood event that I commenced after the publication of Dunedin City Council’s first flood report back in November 2015.

You can download Neil Johnstone’s report or read it below (formatted slightly differently to suit the WordPress template).

█ Download: A REVIEW OF ORC REPORT THE NATURAL HAZARDS OF SOUTH DUNEDIN (1) (PDF, 587 KB)

AN APPRAISAL OF RECENT REPORTING OF SOUTH DUNEDIN HAZARDS

N.P JOHNSTONE, BEng (Civil), MIPENZ

1. Introduction

There is some irony that DCC and ORC should be planning “drop in” sessions for residents in respect of South Dunedin hazard issues during September 2016, some 15 months after the major flood. The prime cause of flooding in June 2015 was DCC’s failure to maintain its infrastructure (not just mudtanks), and its failure to operate its pump stations to their intended capacities. The subsequent spread of misconceptions (i.e. groundwater levels, rainfall significance etc) surrounding the flood causes was at least partly due to inaccurate ORC analyses and reporting.

Repetitive and new doubtful information emanating from ORC via its latest report has been noted. Presentations and an over-simplistic video production have been observed. A footnote covering these observations is included at the end of this appraisal.

Long-delayed DCC reports on causes of the South Dunedin flooding have already been strongly criticised by the author. Specifically discredited are misrepresentations of sea level, groundwater and rainfall ranking. Accepted now by DCC as factors (somewhat grudgingly, and depending on the audience) are mudtank blockage and Portobello Road pump station failures (plural); still to be fully acknowledged are the failures at Musselburgh Pumping Station.

Attention is now turned to significant parts of hazard reports produced by the Otago Regional Council and utilised by DCC.

2. Coastal Otago Flood Event 3 June 2015 (ORC, published October 2015)

This report deals with a wider area than South Dunedin. It is apparent that ORC staff never visited the flooding areas of South Dunedin on 3 June, but took advantage of fine weather to take some water level readings the following day. The opportunity for useful progressive surface water level recording was thus lost. Levels were collected at some 150 points on 4 June. ORC’s main conclusion was that “localised variations in topography were probably the main driver of flood depth”. Or, put another way, water depth was deepest where the ground was lowest. This seems hardly surprising, and even trivial. No attempt was made to explain the photographic images presented of extensive ponding remaining well after the rains had ceased. The phenomena of blocked mudtanks and unutilised pumping capacity went seemingly unnoticed.

The report does usefully reference ORC’s four borehole recorders of groundwater, but makes the somewhat misleading assessment that groundwater levels were “elevated” prior to the rainstorm. This misinformation was seized upon by agencies such as DCC and the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to highlight climate change impacts.

Having obtained the actual groundwater level data from ORC via the LGOIMA process, the author was able to reveal this “groundwater fallacy” in reviews from February 2016, but it was not until the publication of NZ Listener’s article (June 11-17, 2016) entitled ‘FLOOD FIASCO’ that ORC admitted that pre-flood groundwater levels were in fact “just a little bit above average”. ORC now seems intent on resurrecting this fallacy.

The ORC report fails to address the real and key issues of pumping station failures (Portobello Road and Musselburgh), or comparisons with much lesser flood impacts in the larger rainfall event of March 8/9 1968.

The report states that the 2015 24-hour rainfall was the largest since 1923. This was patently incorrect, but again was utilised by DCC to divert blame from their role in the disaster.

3. The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin (ORC, published July 2016)

The report states unambiguously in its Opening Summary that the major flooding of June 2015 was “a result of heavy rainfall, surface runoff, and a corresponding rise in groundwater”. By now, most people are aware that the causes of the flooding’s disastrous impact were failure to optimally operate pumping stations, failure to clear mudtanks, and failure to deploy staff to key areas during the event. Again, none of these factors is addressed in ORC’s report.

The report presents a table on its second page entitled “Factors Which Can Influence Flood Hazard”. Examples of exaggerated negativity include:

1. Heavy Rainfall:
– Many recorded instances of rainfall leading to surface flooding.
– Heavy rainfall events have occurred frequently over the last decade.

Comment: These conclusions do not appear to be supported by the report’s text, and are vague, factually challengeable and alarmist. Prior to 2015, no major flooding had occurred in South Dunedin since 1968, and even that was minor by comparison.

2. Sea Level:
– Groundwater level fluctuates (by up to 0.5m near the coast) on a twice-daily cycle in response to normal ocean tides.

Comment: All of South Dunedin is near the coast; most of the area does not experience such large fluctuations. This should have been made clear by the inclusion of groundwater data from all 4 ORC sites across the plain, not just from Kennedy Street.

3. Seismic:
– Large earthquakes could result in increased flood hazard on the South Dunedin plain, due to liquefaction-related land subsidence or direct, sudden, changes in land elevation relative to sea level.

Comment: All areas of NZ have some susceptibility to earthquake damage. Dunedin is amongst the areas at lowest risk; no incidences of even minor liquefaction have ever been reported in South Dunedin, and little or no clearly liquefiable materials have been identified (Refer GNS, 2014*). Continue reading

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Economist Liam Halligan says crude oil has gone into “bull market” territory!

Received from Douglas (Mick) Field
28 Aug 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Message: Good summary here on the oil situation. Especially clear opening comment on the dependency on fossil fuels in the foreseeable future. But full article (warning: pay wall) also good on the situation re the economic battle for supply.

oil drums [sputniknews.com][sputniknews.com]

### telegraph.co.uk 27 Aug 2016 • 2:19PM
Why I’m sticking with my forecast of oil rising to $60 a barrel
By Liam Halligan
In the absence of a major financial meltdown, oil will end 2016 north of $60 a barrel,” this column stated at the turn of the year. It was a forecasting flourish possibly fuelled by one Christmas brandy too many. With just four months of 2016 to go, though, I’m sticking to my Yuletide view.
Attempting to predict the oil price is crazy. Yet no decent economist can afford not to. The world economy still revolves around oil –used in everything from transport and electricity generation to the production of plastics, synthetics and so much else. And for all the breathless talk about renewables, and the grim inevitability of growing nuclear dependence, we remain addicted to oil.
As recently as 2005, world crude consumption was just 84.7 million barrels a day. That’s since gone up to 95.1 million daily, a 12pc increase in just 10 years. And that rise came during a decade when global GDP growth was rather sluggish. Had the world economy not endured the 2008 financial crisis, and subsequent stop-start recovery, oil consumption would have grown even more. But still, for all the expansion of wind and solar, and endless hype about a “post-petroleum world”, oil consumption continues to rise relentlessly and that won’t change any time soon.
The oil price has surged this month, up from around $41 a barrel in early August to almost $52 last week, before falling back slightly. This 20pc-plus increase puts crude technically into “bull market” territory. This is striking, not least because from mid-June to the end of July, oil was in “a bear market”, having dropped over 20pc. Despite this summer volatility, though, the direction of travel is clear. Oil has been climbing steadily, if not always in a straight line, from its February low of $28 a barrel. This August rise in oil prices stems from market fundamentals on the one hand, and geopolitical speculation on the other.

Earlier this month, the highly respected International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report suggesting global crude supply will fall short of demand during the third quarter by nearly a million barrels a day. This projected deficit comes despite the fact that the Opec exporters’ cartel continues to pump like billy-o. Having traditionally restricted supply to keep prices high, Opec has over the last two years been doing the reverse, of course – flooding global markets with oil, lowering prices to squeeze high-cost US shale producers out of existence. Amidst record production by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE, total Opec output hit an eight-year high in July, up no less than 840,000 barrels a day on the same month in 2015. This Opec supply surge was more than offset, though, by the dramatic ongoing slump in output from producers outside Opec. Declines in the US, China, Canada and Mexico combined to push non-Opec production down by more than 1.1 million barrels a day compared to July 2015. […] If there is a deal in Algiers, and it binds with Opec holding together, and the Russians staying on board then my end-of year oil prediction, in the absence of a Lehman-style global meltdown, will almost certainly come true. Such geopolitical stargazing has helped push up oil prices this month. During the first week of August, short crude oil positions on the NYMEX, one of the world’s leading commodity exchanges, were at a 10-year high. A large number of traders, in other words, thought oil was set to fall back towards $30. That view has now been thoroughly trounced, with the resulting “short squeeze” helping to drive this latest 20pc oil price rise. Aside from speculation and diplomatic wrangling, though, there’s growing evidence of an emerging supply-demand deficit. Buried in the IEA’’s latest report is the significant observation that it expects a further 900,000-barrel reduction in non-Opec output by the end of this year. This Saudi-driven price war has seen global investment in oil exploration and field development cut by $300bn, some 41pc, since 2014. The “active rig count”–, the number of wells being pumped worldwide, is down 37pc. Before these trends are slowed, let alone reversed, oil will need to spend at least six months, and probably a year, firmly above $60 a barrel, if investors are to be convinced profits can be made, so persuading them to put serious money back into future crude production. Unless global markets crash, I say that year of $60-plus oil will be 2017.

Full article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/08/27/why-im-sticking-with-my-forecast-of-oil-rising-to-60-a-barrel/

● Liam Halligan (@LiamHalligan) – Economist/Writer/Broadcaster, Telegraph Columnist, BNE Editor-at-Large, Proud member of http://www.thehooligans.co.uk Locations: London, Saffron Walden, Moscow.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

3 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Finance, Geography, Leading edge, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Public interest, Resource management

Cull’s city council is Not democracy : VOTE CULL OUT

PAINT BOMBERS WANTED. Apply here.
Dave Cull’s marketer, Ms Firebrand, is using LOL “brand” recognition to attempt to Fire up and Win over the Good Voters of South Dunedin. Was it a $7,000 billing on the railway viaduct entry to King Edward Street. Rhetorical. Cull has already LOST South Dunedin. Better spent on Lobotomy. Any mayor who Floods You or lowers Your Private Property Values is Not To Be Trusted EVER. Parade Cull at dawn to the public stocks. YOU OWE Dave Cull NOTHING except Projectile rotten eggs and rancid tomatoes.

Cull paint bombed [scarfyblog.co.nz + mylifemysite.com] tweaked by whatifdunedin

Meanwhile….
A new mayoral candidate, in 2016, with No Previous Experience on the city council thinks he should run the city council like a Rugby Team.

What ‘BUSINESS'(!) does he have representing Ratepayers and Residents for the next trimester —given how Professional Rugby has Rorted Dunedin down to the Last Dollar, multiple times over. We all know how a stadium draws ‘tourism’.

WHO IS HE ?
Solve the mystery.

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F O R C E D ● L O C A L ● G O V E R N M E N T ● R E F O R M S

Such companies, like Delta or City Forests in Dunedin, would operate along more corporate lines and at arm’s length from the councils that owned them.

so what’s new $$$$$$$$………….. ?

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 – Chris Morris
ODT: Fight for local democracy
At their heart, the [National government-led local government] reforms sought to promote greater efficiency through the use of council-controlled organisations (CCOs). […] But, worryingly for some councils, the Local Government Commission would have the power to create and impose “multi-council” regional CCOs that operated across traditional council boundaries. That could include “pre-approved” regional water and transport CCOs, responsible for everything from local roads and public transport to water delivery, such as Auckland’s Watercare. The commission would also have the power to transfer existing council assets — in some cases built up over generations — to the ownership and control of the new entities.

ODT: Criticism ‘just electioneering’

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

*Image: scarfyblog.co.nz + mylifemysite.com – Cull paint bombed
[tweaked by whatifdunedin]

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Filed under Baloney, Business, Citifleet, Climate change, DCC, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Finance, Hot air, Name, People, Pet projects, Politics, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, South Dunedin, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Travesty, What stadium

Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 26 Aug 2016 at 9:47 p.m.

Readers, you must allow your correspondent some iced cupcakes with his Choysa tonight, go on then, the ones with the cherry on top….your correspondent, with a modicum of luck was in fact 100% successful in the dire prediction that Infinity, of Wanaka, are indeed the purchasers of the Noble Subdivision. Our friends at Delta have issued a breathless press release explaining they are or have received $0.9m – yes $0.9M, from their friends at Infinity. The sky is blue, houses will be built, Delta’s financial fruit will follow. Fancy that !! Let us allow reality to intrude : This is the first, and only guaranteed payment that Delta will receive for the outstanding $25M+ debt they have incurred there. That’s not low hanging fruit, it’s been trampled underfoot and is not even worth stewing (over). Trampled underfoot also is the small matter of the outstanding interest. Would it be churlish to remind readers that Delta, of course, has written off about $12M in interest because it wanted to protect certain reputations more than it wanted to protect ratepayers ? Would it spoil Delta’s collective fist pump to remind them that $0.9M is no more than (and likely less than) 4% of the outstanding debt ? Yes I thought so. Delta as debt collectors ? = EpicFail.

Missing in Delta’s gushing remarks from Grady Cameron was any mention of the Constructive Fraud action. It seems that the hapless Mr Smillie has taken Delta down a dark cul-de-sac yet again this week. Mr Smillie has opposed Delta being joined to the constructive fraud action, with a mistaken understanding of High Court rule 4.56. However, that rule is not relevant and it is trumped by High Court Rules 4.1 and 4.3 which allow parties to be joined. Basically, the rules allow that a plaintiff can joinder anyone at any time, and the plaintiff caveator in this action is 100% unlikely to allow the central party to the constructive fraud action (yes, that is you Grady as CEO of Delta) to smile bashfully and say “can I go now?” after having undermined the interests of the neighbours on occasions too numerous to count at this point. Oh well Mr Smillie, another unpaid legal bill….

This is an important point because our Delta friends seem oblivious to the impending legal actions they are facing. Delta think that because the caveats were lifted, all is well, but that is still subject to a court of appeal hearing, and the way is open now for Delta to have another action brought against them by the neighbours. Delta and the DCC’s pockets are deeper than Gold Band’s, and they can’t go broke, so from the neighbours’ view, what’s not to like ?

Delta’s utter stupidity is revealed when the press release acknowledges that they have allowed a bank lender to take the first mortgage over the property, and have put themselves, yet again in the same weak position. As noted in the Delta —EpicFraud #10 post, Dunedin City Council just needed to show a scrap of acumen and take control of the subdivision. Now their fortunes are tied to an even weaker developer than Noble (how is that possible ?), who has managed to lose, much, much more money than Noble (truth stranger than fiction), and to cap it off, are in the same second mortgage position. This is not logical. But it is a windfall – for Infinity. Could there be a quid pro quo somewhere ?

Turnips all round. Readers, consider when voting, that Cr Lee Vandervis is the only surviving councillor (there were only ever two, Hilary RIP from Council) who grasps this major issue and has fought for the ratepayers. Cr Vandervis has never been one to accept Mr Crombie’s vague platitudes and was always wary of Mr McKenzie. Vandervis for Mayor.

[ends]

From: Gary Johnson [Gary.Johnson @thinkdelta.co.nz]
Sent: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 at 4:21 p.m.

Message: Please find media release attached regarding a breakthrough on recovery of outstanding debt owed to Delta in relation to the Yaldhurst Village subdivision.

160826 Media Statement_Breakthrough on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

160826 Media Statement_Breakthrough on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

“With a new developer, new financing and removal of the caveats, the way is now clear for the Yaldhurst Village subdivision to restart….” Mr Grady (sic) said. –emphasis by whatifdunedin

### ODT Online Fri, 26 Aug 2016
Delta sells Christchurch subdivision
By Vaughan Elder
Delta has hailed the sale of a controversial Christchurch subdivision as a breakthrough in its efforts to recover $13.4 million in bad debt. The Dunedin City Council owned infrastructure company yesterday announced Wanaka-based developers Infinity Group purchased the Yaldhurst Village subdivision. […] The purchase means Delta has entered a new loan agreement with Infinity Yaldhurst Limited, to replace the existing $13.4 million debt owed to Delta by the original developer.
Read more [See tomorrow’s ODT]

● INFINITY YALDHURST LIMITED (5886102)
Incorporation Date: 09 Feb 2016
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/5886102

Ultimate holding company :
● INFINITY INVESTMENT GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED (1004601)
Incorporation Date: 06 Dec 1999
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/1004601

Related Posts and Comments:
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

13 Comments

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

U o O please explain!

The University of Auckland was ranked in the top 151-200 universities, an improvement on 2015 when the institution was ranked in the top 201-300.

### ODT Online Thu, 25 Aug 2016
Otago drops in academic ranking
By Margot Taylor
The University of Otago has dropped in an annual list of the world’s top universities. The university was ranked in the 300-401 band of the top 500 universities in the world in Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016, the first time in eight years it has not been in the top 200-301. […] Otago University was the only New Zealand institution to drop in the list since it was last ranked.
Read more

University of Otago Capping Sextet, 2015 - John Key Tugs [youtube.com]University of Otago Capping Sextet, 2015 [youtube.com]

█ For more, enter the terms *u o o*, *university*, *harlene* or *student* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

*Image:

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Heritage, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, Public interest, Site, University of Otago, What stadium

Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult under investigation

Stonewood Homes New Zealand Ltd was placed in receivership on February 22, 2016, owing unsecured creditors $15M.

Jim Boult [Stacy Squires - stuff.co.nz] bw### ODT Online Tue, 23 Aug 2016
Investigation of mayoral candidate
By Mark Price
Queenstown mayoral candidate Jim Boult is to be investigated in relation to the collapse of Stonewood Homes New Zealand Ltd, something Mr Boult says he welcomes. Ernst and Young liquidator Rhys Cain said yesterday an investigation into the failed company would begin “in the next few days”. It would examine the workings of the company during the two years before its collapse, with a “specific focus” on its final six months. […] Mr Boult was a member of the board of the Christchurch building company for about a year and acted as executive chairman for a period. He stood down from the board on February 1, 2016, telling Mountain Scene later he had done so because he had been part of an attempt to buy Stonewood before receivers were called in and he considered he had a conflict of interest. […] Asked if he could rule out action against Mr Boult, Mr Cain said: “No”.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
11.3.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes and ancient Delta history

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Jim Boult by Stacy Squires

1 Comment

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Andrew Noone on what it takes #localbodypolitics

ODT 20.8.16 (page 51)
ODT 20.8.16 Cr Andrew Noone p51 (1)

Wed, 10 Feb 2016
ODT: ‘Liberal’ council spending a worry
Cr Andrew Noone is concerned about how “liberal” the Dunedin City Council has been when it comes to spending ratepayer money. He made the comments during pre-draft annual plan considerations yesterday […] Cr Noone said he was worried the council had been too willing to increase spending during the annual plan process. “It does make me nervous we have approached the last day and a-half … in a fairly liberal way in terms of adding things in. I’m nervous … the headroom that we have is disappearing rapidly without having considered the majority of core services.”

Fri, 26 Feb 2016
ODT: Council veteran ‘unlikely’ to stand
Long-serving councillor Andrew Noone says he is “highly unlikely” to seek re-election to the Dunedin City Council. The six-term councillor has represented the Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers ward for 18 years, but yesterday told the Otago Daily Times it was time for fresh blood.

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█ Noone is standing for the Otago Regional Council

ORC Dunedin Constituency (6 vacancies)
– Deaker, Michael
– Kempton, Trevor
– Neill, Sam
Noone, Andrew Independent
– Robertson, Gretchen Anna
– Rutherford, Andrew
– Scott, Bryan Independent
– Threlfall, John
– Wall, Pat Green Dunedin
– Yardley, Dave Independent

More ORC candidate profiles

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

3 Comments

Filed under DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Media, Name, People, Politics, Public interest