TOMMYROT from ‘academic’ local authorities…. #SouthDunedin it’s PUNCH BACK TIME

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More in tomorrow’s newspaper.

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Chairman of the Otago chapter of the Property Council New Zealand Geoff Thomas says policymakers need to be careful not to damage property development opportunities in South Dunedin.

### ODT Online Wed, 10 May 2017
Policy could hold back South Dunedin
By Margot Taylor
Residential property development in South Dunedin could be “squashed” by the Dunedin City Council’s overly cautious natural hazards policies, the Otago branch president of the Property Council New Zealand warns.
Geoff Thomas said a proposal under the proposed second generation Dunedin city district plan (2GP), to require all residential properties in the area to be movable, could stymie the replacement of housing stock. The proposed policy ignored costs associated with residential development, including land, compliance costs and construction materials. “Making residential housing relocatable doesn’t make sense. I, personally, have sold a 1980s house with aluminium joinery for $1 to be moved.” If approved, the proposal would result in either more substandard houses, or houses that would be “very expensive” to build, he said. The natural hazards policies did not adequately consider current and potential technologies to manage sea-level rise and floods. “I think South Dunedin is full of opportunity. A lot of the housing stock is from a day gone by. It is an opportunity to do something with the area and our concern is we don’t want to end up with a caravan park out there.” Water drainage was a clear issue. A more reasonable approach to protect the economic viability of the area could be taken to address it.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “TOMMYROT from ‘academic’ local authorities…. #SouthDunedin it’s PUNCH BACK TIME

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Dave was dead keen on “sea level rise” and “South Dunedin will have to be relocated”. Brain-dead keen, one might say were one to attempt wit at the expense of compassion for a poor soul out of his depth.
    These OTT building regs may be a way of achieving the emptying out of South Dunedin while avoiding embarrassment, after all it’s about Safety, the 21st century god to whom no sacrifice is too extreme. Particularly as the sacrifice will be “voluntarily” made by “independent private decision-makers”.
    Rebuilding being made too expensive by a long way, they will “choose” not to live in South Dunedin. Totally without coercion, don’t’cha know!
    No wonder the South Dunedin Hub is designed as a “pop-up” that can as easily pop down.

    • JimmyJones

      I agree. Dave Cull and DCC staff’s policy of “managed retreat” is obviously very stupid. They have also realized that it is very harmful to their political reputations – so that is why they no longer call it “managed retreat” and why it is being implemented in a very sneaky way, by discouraging new construction in South Dunedin by adding significant costs and by damaging its reputation as a safe place to live.

  2. JimmyJones

    The DCC continue with their economic vandalism of South Dunedin:

    ### ODT Online Fri, 12 May 2017
    Higher floor levels for some houses
    By John Lewis
    From today, floors in houses to be built in low-lying areas of Dunedin could be up to 1m off the ground following the introduction of new “interim” minimum floor levels. The Dunedin City Council has made the changes in response to concerns following the floods in June 2015.
    DCC building solutions principal adviser Neil McLeod said staff had been analysing flood data and other information as it became available, and found it was now necessary to implement new minimum floor levels for residential accommodation in areas such as South Dunedin, the Taieri Plain, Brighton, Tomahawk and parts of Kaikorai Valley.
    “The new levels will provide a greater level of protection for new residential buildings in heavy rainfall events. “The changes are a practical, interim solution for these types of buildings to deal with flooding associated with one-in-50-year rainfall events,” he said.
    Read more

  3. JimmyJones

    These costly new measures of requiring new houses to be portable and with elevated floor heights is Dave Cull and the DCC pretending that the 2015 flooding wasn’t their fault. They want us to see these new measures as a demonstration of the severity of the natural hazards of the affected areas. The truth is that the only hazard to South Dunedin, Mosgiel etc is the long term policy of DCC staff and governance to downgrade the city’s stormwater, sewerage, and drinking water.

    The policy was, and still is, to divert rates money that is essential for the maintenance, renewals and upgrades of our water systems. By stealing this money and using it for wasteful and unwanted projects, our Council is being dishonest and continues to put citizens at risk of more flooding because of the severely substandard stormwater systems in Mosgiel, South Dunedin, Green Is, Kaikorai Valley, Brighton etc.

    As an indication of the seriousness of the South Dunedin stormwater problem, the DCC water manager last year told us that the South Dunedin stormwater was built to a performance standard of being able to cope with a rainfall severity of a one in three year event. This was in the 1960s (I believe) and while this is a low standard, it was probably good for the time and much better that having no stormwater system. She then told us that many parts of that system now only perform to a one in two year standard. So not only has the DCC policy failed to achieve the normal global/national standard of one in ten, they have gone backwards and are now worse than in the 1960s. This is appalling.

    This degradation has always been inevitable, given the severity of the underfunding (pilfering). This has been the policy of DCC staff and Mayors Peter Chin and Dave Cull. These scumbags gambled with our safety, property and sense of security so that they could fund their pet projects. They gambled that there would be no heavy rain. They got their money and the citizens paid the price with many homes having sewerage flowing through their living rooms in 2015.

    The measures just announced by the DCC only affect new buildings, existing houses are not protected from the policy of underfunding our infrastructure. Most of the councillors deciding on the DCC Annual Plan next week are too stupid and ignorant too understand how underfunding infrastructure causes a degradation in service levels and how severe the underfunding currently is. This years Annual Plan will be no different to the last ten.

    This year should be when our councillors decide to stop the infrastructure degradation and start funding some severely large upgrades – large because of the long duration of the infrastructure neglect and the accumulated degradation. Councillors should not expect more money to do this – we have already paid for this. Because the DCC has diverted this funding to other purposes, we expect councillors to cut their spending in other, non-essential areas.

  4. Wingaui Flyer

    Council have fixed the flooding problems for the new subdivision in Mosgiel. They have built a dam.
    By raising the height of Wingatui Road by 150mm (no resource consent from ORC), they have successfully diverted the natural flow of the flood plain away from an exclusive development, with its $2 million stormwater ratepayer funded upgrade. Just wait till Mosgiel gets its next heavy rainfall and see how those that live on the wrong side of Wingatui Road get on.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Jimmy, don’t be silly, the punters want additional libraries, Mosgiel aquatic centres, foolish things like Stadiums, Conference Centres, Five Star Hotels and closer relations with China, all before good adequate drainage and safe electricity installations. Face it most of that ‘stuff’ is underground and out of sight anyway, while if the Highlanders can stay away from cocaine and women in airport toilets then what else is important.

    Sorry, but you sort of make sense, while nothing but good vibes is the essential.

    • JimmyJones

      I guess it’s a question of priorities. It seems like Mayor Cull and the Chief Executive have different priorities to the occupants of the 1250 homes that were affected in the 2015 DCC flooding. You would think that if the DCC was going to decide to put those same people at risk of another flood, then they would have the courage to ask them. I think we can guess that their preference would not be the option of various unwanted pet projects, all guaranteed to loose money every year. So there is no consultation and not even the honesty to accept responsibility for their very serious failings. What is it going to take to make them understand that sub-standard infrastructure is not acceptable and that people matter more than politics?

      • Elizabeth

        I’m absolutely sickened by the council stance.

        DCC politicians and Infrastructure Services completely failed the South Dunedin community and the affected Mosgiel community – the council is the main contributor to and reason for the June 3 2015 flood.

        More so, I’m ANGRY that the community is not suing the council arse for abandonment of its core business and responsible prioritisation of essential spending.

        Of course suing ‘merely’ costs the ratepayers and residents… but council leaders face individual liability – they are responsible for extremely poor governance and operational decision making.

        • JimmyJones

          Yes. For the 2016 Annual Plan, councillors had the chance to begin the upgrade of the water infrastructure to normal (safe) standards, but they did nothing. Next week they have the same opportunity for the 2017 Annual Plan, but they will continue to ignore the problem. Staff have been saying that some extra infrastructure work will be considered as part of next year’s LTP. But the problem is that next year, our dumb-arse councillors, will find that their options will have been severely limited by the spending commitments they will be making next week. The severely neglected 3-waters renewals and upgrades need to be considered now, because the cost will be large and on-going and not compatible with what they have planned for this Annual Plan.

  6. Elizabeth

    JimmyJones, a further comment and caution from me after discussion with a proponent for South Dunedin –

    Some things fed to you by ‘the so-called good’ at DCC that are incorrect, Careful who you believe.

    See your paragraph:

    As an indication of the seriousness of the South Dunedin stormwater problem, the DCC water manager last year told us that the South Dunedin stormwater was built to a performance standard of being able to cope with a rainfall severity of a one in three year event. This was in the 1960s (I believe) and while this is a low standard, it was probably good for the time and much better that having no stormwater system. She then told us that many parts of that system now only perform to a one in two year standard. So not only has the DCC policy failed to achieve the normal global/national standard of one in ten, they have gone backwards and are now worse than in the 1960s. This is appalling.

    I would rather believe the initial labour, engineers and surveyors who put the pipes in the ground and those who know what exists underground and the performance levels the system is fully capable of delivering.

    The truth will come out as DCC tries to paper over its own cracks. Even if it takes a Formal Inquiry (as I’ve been reminded offline) of the likes of Havelock North and Edgecumbe. The Dunedin floods of 3 June 2015 ARE THAT SERIOUS.

    A great pity the vehicles for the South Dunedin Community gaining a voice and the leadership to empower a legal strong arm have been so very very, astonishingly weak.

    That however does not stop an inquiry from being raised.

    ****

    Here’s some pretty funking cartoon bullsh** wallpaper:

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Changes to minimum floor levels

    This item was published on 11 May 2017

    Most new houses in low lying areas of Dunedin will be built higher off the ground than previously under changes now in effect.
    The Dunedin City Council has responded to concerns following the June 2015 floods and is introducing new minimum floor levels for mainly residential buildings, including new homes, house extensions and resthomes, across low lying parts of the city. In most areas, these levels will be higher than the current specifications.
    DCC Chief Executive Officer Sue Bidrose says, “The key issue is that we are taking practical but manageable steps to protect new homes in low lying areas. This is not about making development difficult, it’s about being responsible and responding to the concerns of our community.”
    DCC Principal Advisor Building Solutions Neil McLeod says staff have been analysing data from the June 2015 floods and other information as it has become available, which has led to new minimum floor levels for residential accommodation in low lying areas such as South Dunedin, the Taieri Plain, Brighton, Tomahawk and parts of Kaikorai Valley.
    “The new levels will provide a greater level of protection for new residential buildings in heavy rainfall events. The changes are a practical, interim solution for these types of buildings to deal with flooding associated with one in 50 year rainfall events.”
    The DCC already has minimum floor levels in some areas of the city, such as low lying coastal areas, and these levels would continue to be applied. For areas which flooded in 2015, the new minimum floor levels will be set at the height of the floodwaters, plus another 400mm. In other areas identified as flood prone which were not affected by the floods, the new minimum floor levels will be ground level plus an additional 500mm.
    In most other places around the city, the minimum floor levels will remain at 150mm above the crown of the road, which is the ‘acceptable solution’ contained in the New Zealand Building Code.
    The effect of these levels on individual properties is very site specific and depends on where the property is and what information is known about it.
    The new minimum floor levels apply to buildings in the categories of housing (e.g. a house, flat, multi-unit apartment or marae), communal residential (e.g. a resthome, hospital or holiday camp) and communal non-residential (e.g. a church, kindergarten, school, cinema, hall or clubrooms).
    The changes are likely to affect small numbers of proposed buildings. At the moment there are four building consent applications in the system where the new levels apply, so at this stage the DCC is working with individual applicants. Staff will also be talking to industry groups and other stakeholders about the changes and what they mean.
    The DCC hopes to be able to provide detailed maps over coming months that show what levels apply to individual properties.
    Mr McLeod says, “We are still working with other agencies to gather and present that data, but we do have sufficient information now to be able to broadly apply the new levels.”
    The new levels are interim because the DCC and other organisations are continuing to gather information around climate change and other challenges which may have a flow on effect for minimum floor levels.
    “We need to be able to respond as new information comes through.”
    The changes mean it may cost more to build the types of properties outlined above, or extensions to them. The extra costs could relate to more engineering design required and because material costs will increase as foundations have to be higher.
    People can still propose an ‘alternative solution’ to the new minimum floor levels if they believe they can come up with a design that will reduce the flooding risk to the property in other ways and which complies with the Building Code.

    Minimum floor levels – FAQs

    Contact DCC on 03 477 4000. DCC Link

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Oh come on, please! The problem of the 2015 South Dunedin Flood has been obvious from the start. Mud tanks blocked, inlet screens at the pumphouse blocked, end of story, full stop. Get the preventive maintenance set and get the idea of sea rise out of your head Mr Mayor and CEO. Just get your feet on the ground and get the underground fixed. You all know what the problem is, it’s lack of acceptance of your own shortfalls, and grasping at nebulous garbage to cover the shortfall of adequate maintenance and upgrading to meet increased demand. Just, for Gods sake do it. Two years later, still hanging on sea rise and Climate Change is not even accepting the fact that it is the finances that are the restrictions, like the Delta/Aurora debacle. None of these things will fix it if nothing is done to ignore the fancies and do what councils are supposed to do : attend first to the essentials, like Power, Water, Stormwater and Sewerage requirements, and Roads and Footpaths. When these are all operating at top rates then if there is any freeboard to spend on fripperies, like Stadiums, Conference Centres and Sister City relationships, then do that within reason. Just get your hands dirty, not flying off to China trying to massage your Ego. It won’t work with the Chinese.

    Just wait till the next event touches the St Clair Sea Wall, which has been studiously ignored for years as nature has left it alone. But when it comes back and bites again we’ll see.

    {Moderated. good comment however DCC is testy/legalistic about staff members’ names being bandied about acrimoniously. -Eds}

  8. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth: the current level of performance of Dunedin’s stormwater system is a matter of critical importance. If everything is fine, then we can all relax, otherwise some action needs to happen to protect the property and well-being of the citizens. My view is that parts of the stormwater system are so run down that they are not fit for purpose and so we are at risk of more flooding, even after the improved pump-screen and better maintenance. I am aware that you think I am wrong about something. I hate being wrong, so I look forward to hearing about anything that needs to be corrected.

    In the paragraph that you highlighted, I made these claims:
    ● The DCC water manager said that the South Dunedin stormwater system was built to a one in three year standard.
    ● She told us that many parts of that system now only perform to a one in two year standard.
    ● The DCC has failed to achieve the normal global/national standard of a one in ten performance standard.

    Which are the things you disagree with? I hope that you or your expert can support your arguments with facts. Another point is that people commenting here do disagree with each other now and then. Why do you expect the viewpoint of your “proponent” to be the Word Of God instead of just one more opinion? Disagreements are opportunities for discussion and I don’t see why you feel the need to take a position in this case.

    • Elizabeth

      JimmyJones – my information is that DCC floated the line that existing infrastructure is only good for a two- or three-year rainfall. This has been explained to me as being a story of convenience to help explain away the 2015 flooding.

      Open to this debate – obviously I’m not an engineer and do rely on expert advice. Besides that, I have immense trouble with what DCC has been spinning about the floods, and the pipes and pumps – starting from their reluctance to deliver reports on the flood in response to LGOIMAs I submitted soon after the floods occurred – then when the reports finally appeared they were riddled with hazy reckonings to avoid Council Liability.

      Those with engineering knowledge (not available this evening) who are independent of DCC may care to elucidate when time.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Neil Johnstone and Bruce Hendry, both former people who had a hands on part in the design and implementation of the South Dunedin stormwater system upgrade of the sixties. Both of whom have impeccable qualifications for both the job and to comment. Their collective comments seem without doubt to have fallen on deaf ears in the building. Much rather hang off the words of some two bit consultant who tells us the sea will submerge South Dunedin by the turn of the next century. Mayor Dave Cull calls people who oppose his views as ‘Flatearthers’, a term that says all who disagree are ‘nutters’. Meanwhile the nonsense goes on and on till we see South Dunedin returned to swampland with a few residences on stilts. God, we are in the hands of idiots.

  10. JimmyJones

    The DCC displays a glimmer of honesty: in the DCC press release shown above, is a link to “Minimum floor levels – FAQs”. In FAQ #2 we read that Buildings in the categories listed below should be built so they don’t flood in a one in 50 year rainfall event. It is accepted the June 2015 flooding was such an event.

    At the time of the 2015 flood, the first reaction of the DCC’s public relations disaster recovery plan was to tell us that the flooding wasn’t their fault because the rainfall was gigantic and no normal stormwater system would have been able to cope. We were told that the rain was a 1 in 150 year event, then later they reduced this to 1 in 100 year rainfall severity. This misinformation was initially supported by the ORC, but eventually they determined that the severity was only a 1 in 50 year event (in the ORC South Dunedin Natural Hazards report 2016).

    The one in 50 year severity is important because this is the normal standard for stormwater systems nationally and globally to provide protection from floor level flooding. This one in 50 year standard for floor level protection equates to the one in 10 year standard for the onset of surface flooding. The South Dunedin ICMP recommends that the DCC achieves a 1 in 10 year level of service for stormwater, and avoids habitable floor flooding during a 1 in 50 yr ARI rainfall event..

    What the DCC are now (very quietly) admitting, is that: if the city’s stormwater system had been maintained and upgraded to the recommended standard, then there would have been NO FLOOR-LEVEL FLOODING from the 2015 rain event. There certainly would have been surface flooding, but no sewerage soaked carpets, no damaged houses and no problem at all. South Dunedin and many other areas continue to not reach this standard (commonly described as a 1 in 10 year capability).

    The DCC has wanted you to believe that the stormwater problems were all sorted with the new pump screen and better mud-tank cleaning, but a variety of other serious and systemic defects were the main problem and these continue to put citizens at risk of more flooding. Some modest rain events this year show how ineffective the current system is. The DCC’s top priority should be to stop putting its citizens at risk from its reckless planning/budgeting decisions. We need to achieve the one in 50 year standard for floor level protection as soon as possible.

    Note: The ORC’s estimate that a rainfall of 142mm over 24 hours corresponds to an expected frequency of 1 in 50 years, seems to me like an exaggeration, but it is a lot more honest than before.

    Disclaimer. The site owner is not responsible for the currency or accuracy of content of contributed comments; and the inclusion of the information provided does not imply endorsement by the site owner.

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