ODT on DCC : LGOIMA takes an age….

[onscreen toons]

DCC home page tweaked 5.8.16

A Common Problem.
If all else fails, take up star gazing as Ian Griffin would say.

Posted Elizabeth Kerr

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

*Image: DCC home page tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Democracy, Dunedin, Fun, Hot air, Media, Name, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Public interest

40 responses to “ODT on DCC : LGOIMA takes an age….

  1. Bev Butler

    If the ODT is unhappy with the lack of response for their official information requests then why do they not use the democratic process and make a complaint to the Ombudsman?
    Why also does the ODT not report on the letter from the Ombudsman (https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/letter-from-ombudsman-to-bev-butler/) which wraps the DCC over the knuckles for the DCC’s failure to adhere to the statutory requirements of LGOIMA?
    Why also does the ODT contact me twice, interview me after seeking comment from DCC over the Ombudsman letter, tell me they are going to then seek comment from Farry then not publish the story? What power play happened behind the scenes to prevent the story being published? Who is protecting the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and their trustees?

    • Elizabeth

      ODT do use the Ombudsman, Bev. As news reports show.
      On the other, ongoing nightmares…..

      • Peter

        The ODT does use the Ombudsman, but some would be better at follow up than others.
        Bodies like the DCC etc muck people around for months or over a year.
        Obfuscation or incompetence? Probably both.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    There’s a technique used in TV when someone refuses to show – an empty chair. Fair Go showed the names of those who refused to respond to complaints.
    The ODT could print the question asked and the fact that answer was refused, with as in that case the additional insult to democracy – “then being told to wait until after October’s election.”

    It’s the ODT that looks lame and worse, looks like DCC’s butt-kisser for not asking the hard questions. It’s time the DCC took its share of the blame for dishing out mushroom treatment to readers/voters.

  3. Elizabeth

    Received via Brian Miller
    Fri, 5 Aug 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Subject: Democracy Cycles
    Applies to NZ too!

    In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

    “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a Dictatorship.”

    “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage.”

    The Obituary follows:
    “United States of America” – Born 1776 – Died 2016

    Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election:

    Number of States won by:
    Obama: 19 | Romney: 29

    Square miles of land won by:
    Obama: 580,000 | Romney: 2,427,000

    Population of counties won by:
    Obama: 127 million | Romney: 143 million

    Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
    Obama: 13.2 | Romney: 2.1

    Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.  Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government Welfare.”

    Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of Democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

    [Unreferenced. -Eds]

    • Billy, from 'Easy Rider'

      Those Mitt (with) Romney are the kind of bible belt, NRA, right wing, pick up driving ranchowners a must to avoid.

  4. Gurglars

    The difference is that NZ is already a stage further “apathy to dependence”. Which is why “Cull de Mayor” will win again. Our average voter fits in the Obama constituensts, not the Romney

  5. Colin Stokes

    DCC hasn’t even acknowledged receiving my LGOIMA request.

    ODT printing it might awaken ratepayers to DCC having voted to donate the $25m debt due to them by the developers at Noble in Christchurch back to the developers…. and reducing it to a $13m debt of which they can also be ripped off.

    The developer may pass the property again in another mortgagee sale with DCC’s vote to reduce the debt even further…. ODT readers might think comic strips have come back in word form.

  6. Bev Butler

    Further to my comment above, the ombudsman is currently investigating another complaint. This relates to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust allegedly removing government owned documents without the DCC’s knowledge or permission. Dunedin ratepayers paid $17.3 million for the CST to produce these documents – well, just the investigation stage of the stadium project. When I requested where the CST had transferred the government owned documents to my request was declined. After the first stage of the ombudsman investigation the whereabouts has now been released. These documemts are stored at Roslyn Storage. Odd that this information was not released when I first requested it a year ago.
    What is even stranger is that I am now told that no one knows the exact or approximate date these documents were transferred to Roslyn Storage. I am also told by the CST that no invoices exist for the cost of the storage.
    The CST have a duty of care as trustees of a charitable trust to ensure the safety of these documents. How is it then that they can claim no one knows the transferral date?
    The Chairman of CST, Malcolm Farry has no idea, the Chairman of Forsyth Barr, Eion Edgar has no idea, the Chancellor of the University of Otago, John Ward, has no idea, the Director/Shareholder of Arrow International, Ron Anderson has no idea, Accountant Bill Baylis has no idea, Businessman Stewart Barnett has no idea and Kereyn Smith has no idea. All these trustees have a duty of care to know.

  7. Elizabeth

    Where are ODT Online comments attached to their stories ?
    Missing presumed drowned. I doubt it’s just the typical ODT Weekend Lull in Moderation to blame ?!
    The new website design must’ve driven everyone to ODT’s Facebook for mutterings of little substance.
    A Disaster.

    • ab

      There must be a two tier system for online comments. Subscribers to dig ed get more say? Certainly, there’s b nothing happening for the registered non payer. Mind you, there’s no comment from your ‘Tonky’ strata, either.

    • Peter

      You would think the ODT would want to maximise opportunities for exposure.. the easier access to online comments now killed off.
      The Canberra consultant hired by Julian Smith, l understand, to restructure the business, has got a lot on his plate to sort out how you grow the business. Not kill it off.

      • Elizabeth

        Peter, Canberra eh ? Another independent paper mogul by any chance?

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I’d have thought that the online comments page, being so lively, would have been an asset for the way it kept ODT on the minds of readers & commenters. Stuff.co allows very few stories to be commented on, and their moderators keep them from being hard-hitting or worse, intellectually stimulating. The odtonline site was a great example of how to have real community engagement, and we knew the kind of stories they didn’t allow comments on were exactly the topics we could read and write about here!

        • Hype O'Thermia

          By the way, has anyone here who contributed to the ODT online comments page been able to log in again? I’ve tried using my old password – no luck. Tried going through the “lost password” procedure – no email turned up.
          Rare bad luck, or snafu FAIL?

        • Elizabeth

          Have to register there anew.
          BUT I can’t get beyond the email code they generated, it doesn’t allow me to finish registration. Had six goes. Given up.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          That’s right, Elizabeth, tried log in, tried re-registration. It’s broken.

        • Elizabeth

          More views for us, very good Stats last 7 days for What if? Dunedin 😂

        • Elizabeth

          ODT Online registration says:

          If you are a subscriber to print or e-edition you will get unrestricted access to ODT online. Please check yes and we will verify your details against our database.

          The fact I have to buy ODT from the shops each day because they won’t deliver to my apartment in Pitt Street means I’m paying over the odds AS A LOYAL CUSTOMER.

          Previous experience with their Digital Edition while I had a broken leg was depressing – their software was olde worlde and slow as a freaking slug.

          Yours, Deterred.

  8. Jonathon O'Donohue

    That’s interesting. I’ve heard ODT circulation has dropped 40%.
    Not good for advertisers, I would think.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Grant McKenzie (Don Quixote) is riding to the rescue. He just left a broken windmill, let’s see if he can tilt at this one. Pancho Stewart won’t be much help either. Still, there’s always Chris Morris and David Loughrey. Huh? I can’t believe I just said that.

    • Elizabeth

      My money is on the perceptive journalist Vaughan Elder and those at ODT that support his investigation and reporting.

    • Peter

      Calvin. The ODT need to do some serious soul searching. Their product is amazingly cheap…. $2 at a shop, half that by subscription. So, their problem is not price. Half to a quarter of the price for a flat white.

      If the paper is so cheap, why aren’t enough people buying it? Not even worth it to line the budgie cage?
      It comes down to quality for what’s on offer.

      It is still easier to buy a paper copy than scroll through a digital version.
      As owner, and editor, of the ODT I would feel humbled by this reality and want to make substantial changes to quality.

      Playing with new, pretty formats is not enough. Pretending to innovate with more non existent investigative reporting doesn’t cut the mustard.
      The ODT seems to forget this is largely well educated town with a university. As it stands there is still too much home town dross above substance.

      {Moderated. Decency. -Eds}

      • ab

        Well educated, certainly, but there should always be a local paper for ‘just folks’. Folk educated in Life, at night school, and by taking WEA courses. As for ODT, DL, Bex Fox, Eileen, Ms Breslin (currently in The Listener) and others are top flight writers. However, (Calvin), I have no association with any organization or agency you may find fault with.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          I’m with you on the importance of local news, ab. It’s the news you don’t get on any of the alternatives. World news – there are left-leaning, right-wing, intellectual and knuckledragger news providers online. National – that’s available in shops in paper version and online. But local, there is only the ODT, Allied Press, where local news is gathered and reported and to a certain extent commented on, though this site is stronger in commentary and “move along nothing to see here” news on topics within its interest range.

        • ab

          I’m sure you will recall the expression ‘I take the (name of paper)’, for ‘get’ the paper. Subscribers were well served by ‘The Times’, of London, Jo’burg and the Singapore Straits, ‘Daily Mirror’ for comic cuts, ‘Saturday Evening Post’ (USA), ‘The Free Lance’ (was Lance subsequently freed?), ‘The Tatler’, aristo gossip, and..’USSR Today’ (Shostakovich x 6), arriving in the mailbox. A well rounded if peculiar reader was the outcome.

        • Peter

          Don’t get me wrong, ab. I like local news, like anyone, but it is the nasty stuff that emanates politically and we know who to blame for that don’t we.
          The ODT do have had decent journos… in the past and the present. By necessity, they move on in time given the stifling torpor from the top.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Peter, re “scroll through a digital version” – the new version home page takes a terrible lot of scrolling to get past the vast amount of white space and coloured pictures, only to find the same story over and over again under various headings. Such a waste of time!

        {For some clarity to readers, sort of…. the free but reductive and (yes) repetitive ODT Online is not the full digital edition. To find out more, go to https://www.odt.co.nz/subscribe -Eds}

        • Hype O'Thermia

          I know it’s not the full digital edition, I was commenting on the online “front page” that presents to anyone who has not subscribed to the full digital edition. On the basis of what is presented there, who’d bother subscribing?

        • Elizabeth

          Clarity for our readers not simply Hype.

  10. Colin

    Peter, maybe the ODT doesn’t want to alert lots of people in its role as the “Fourth Estate”, and that profiting comes by other means. Good reporters who know more and may want more printed of what they write can not get it printed without their ODT bosses and owners permission.

    How does this stack up then when DCC’s Grant McKenzie joins ODT in having essential “Fourth Estate” matters exposed that point at him and his comrades in DCC robbing Dunedin ratepayers and Christchurch residents to profit the developer of the Noble subdivision in Yaldhurst Christchurch?

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    DCC affirms transparency commitment
    By Chris Morris

    The Dunedin City Council says it remains committed to transparency, despite a nearly year-long delay responding to an official information request……..

    {See new post DCC trifecta : openness, transparency, accountability —All dead? -Eds}

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