Greater South Dunedin : Public Meeting, Monday 12 June 6.30pm

Public Meeting South Dunedin: It’s your future!
Monday 12 June 6.30pm Nations Church. Please come!

It’s almost two years since the devastating 2015 floods which hit the suburbs of Greater South Dunedin, affecting more than a thousand homes, businesses, community organisations and schools.

It is timely to hold another public meeting in order to give you a voice and to provide an opportunity for some information sharing and discussion about the priorities for our community.
We hope you will attend.

Ray Macleod, Chair
The Greater South Dunedin Action Group

Background Information:

There’s been a lot of talk about the future of Greater South Dunedin.

Some of that talk has been muddled by poor quality information collected and published around the extent and causes of the flooding on our community. Eventually the Dunedin City Council acknowledged that its lack of maintenance of the mud tanks and its lack of oversight of the performance of the Portobello Pumping Station contributed 200mm to the flooding that occurred.

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, warned earlier in 2016 that South Dunedin presented the “most troubling example” of high groundwater in the country.

The DCC and the Otago Regional Council have produced reports on the flooding and the issues facing Greater South Dunedin due to rising groundwater and the impact of climate change. Their reports are largely based on predictions and modelling assumptions.

There have been reports by GNS Science and the University of Otago’s School of Surveying of potential subsidence in South Dunedin and other parts of the city. At the time, GNS cautioned against reading too much into the subsidence data, as more work was required.

The DCC has finally announced a temporary community hub will open at Cargill Enterprises on Hillside Road mid-year.
After much public outcry, the South Dunedin Work and Income and Police station re-opened their doors.

The DCC formed a stakeholder group of organisations and government agencies, some of whom have a presence in South Dunedin, which meets every month or so.

Heavy rainfall over Easter demonstrated that the City’s civil defence preparedness and response has improved, although local people are yet to be fully informed about how they can be better prepared and understand how a civil defence emergency may affect them.

The DCC’s Second Generation Plan has held hearings into the Hazard 3 (Coastal) Overlay which covers the area bounded by Forbury Rd to the west, Victoria Road to the south, the Caversham bypass motorway to the North and Portsmouth drive to the east. This includes a provision to require new residential dwellings to be “relocatable”.

The DCC also recently announced new “minimum floor” levels for new buildings in South Dunedin of 500 mm for those not affected by the 2015 floods and 400mm above the floodwaters for those affected by the 2015 floods. This will result in some new houses having to be a metre above ground level in order to get a building consent. GIVEN THE DCC CONTRIBUTED 200MM TO THE 2015 FLOOD LEVEL THIS RAISES A QUESTION REGARDING THE NEED FOR ANY MINIMUM FLOOR LEVEL REQUIREMENT OR A CASE BY CASE EVALUATION AS THE NEED ARISES.

If you live or work in the Greater South Dunedin area, all of these proposed changes and approaches affect you. Put together they provide a confusing picture of an important community which is receiving mixed messages about its future and doesn’t yet feel it has a strong voice and a plan.

In all of the discussions about the future of Greater South Dunedin, the people who call these suburbs (of South Dunedin, St Kilda, St Clair, Forbury, Caversham, Caledonian, Portsmouth Drive, parts of Musselburgh and Tainui) home or work are not yet part of the discussions.

You may have attended a public meeting after the floods which resulted in the formation of the Greater South Dunedin Action Group. We consider you to be an important part of this group as it aims to:

• Facilitating effective communication between the community and the city and regional councils
• Advocating, representing and promoting the present and future interests of the community
• Ensuring the area is well serviced by Council in terms of social and infrastructure services as a foundation for a vibrant community
• Exploring the opportunities for the area including inner city redevelopment, renewal, and support for new job opportunities & enterprise
• Developing a sustainable plan for the future of the Greater South Dunedin area and its community



Greater South Dunedin Action Group

Public Meeting
6:30pm Monday 12 June 2017
Nations Church
334 King Edward Street South Dunedin

Meeting Chair: Hon Stan Rodger

1. Welcome: Hon Stan Rodger

2. Apologies

3. Dunedin City Council & Otago Regional Council on what has been achieved over the past two years. Response to questions submitted to DCC copies are which will be circulated to the meeting. (15 Minutes)

4. Dr Simon Cox: A geoscientist’s perspective on the problem at hand.
(15 minutes)

5. Mr Geoff Thomas: Property Council of NZ. Impact on property values.
(10 minutes)

6. Questions from the floor (if wishing to ask questions please try to write these down and direct them through the Hon Stan Rodger).

7. Proposed resolutions:
a) That the meeting provide a mandate to the Greater South Dunedin Action Group to act as an advocate for the community interests.
b) That the DCC are requested to provide an initial engineering plan and response by 1 December 2017 with the intention of providing protection and support to people, homes and businesses in the Greater South Dunedin area.
c) The DCC be requested to commence the establishment of a community board to represent the interests of the Greater South Dunedin Community.

8. Any other business.

9. A wrap up and thank you from the Chair of the Greater South Dunedin Action Group. (5 minutes)

10. Final words from the Hon Stan Rodger.

█ Download: SDAG Public Meeting Agenda (DOCX, 25 KB)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Climate change, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Housing, Infrastructure, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, South Dunedin, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

24 responses to “Greater South Dunedin : Public Meeting, Monday 12 June 6.30pm

  1. Elizabeth

    Totally Aside…. and ahoy

    Two of the houses in the video below featured in a series of Grand Designs (UK) – already aired in New Zealand, including the UK’s “first amphibious house” built on an island in the River Thames, it rests on fixed dock-like foundations, but rises up within these when buoyed by an influx of floodwater.

    Dezeen Published on Jun 9, 2017
    Baca Architects proposes floating settlements to combat overcrowding in cities
    The latest instalment of our Dezeen x MINI Living video series explores the “aquatecture” of Baca Architects, which includes plans for floating houses, villages and even a Grand Prix track.

    Read more at Dezeen:

    Not for a moment does South Dunedin development require impractical buildings on stilts: see DCC’s crazy CRUNCH DOWN bureaucratic red tape.

  2. Elizabeth

    That’s to say if DCC engineers appropriate stormwater drainage – and maintains that – for South Dunedin, no need for radical building design…. rather South Dunedin is incredibly liveable when infrastructure services are optimal.

  3. JimmyJones

    I don’t think the SDAG understand the problem: one of the proposed resolutions for the meeting is to request from the DCC a plan to provide protection and support to people, homes and businesses in the Greater South Dunedin area. The problem is that the DCC already has a plan and it has very different priorities. The DCC’s plan is to turn South Dunedin into a marketing tool for their Global Warming crusade. The well-being of the citizens is a much lower priority.

    The DCC with their fellow crusaders (ORC, GNS, PCE, Green Party NZ etc) want to see the place become an economic wasteland. The move to portable new buildings and very high floors is a first step at branding the area as being unsafe. I expect that their future marketing efforts will continue to discourage new homes, new building and new businesses. Doing it that way is still a form of “managed retreat” but is politically less damaging than wide-scale demolitions and evacuations. Either way it is economic sabotage.

    Some of the DCC zealots are likely to believe their own bullshit and be hoping to see water pools forming in the streets any year now – but we know that sea-levels are changing only very slowly and not accelerating, which means that there will be no problem with South Dunedin ground water levels before the arrival of the next ice-age. Also, ORC measurements show no increase in the ground-water levels since measurements began. Even if their dream came true and sea-levels began to accelerate rapidly, there is no evidence that South Dunedin’s groundwater level is linked to sea level except in some places very close to the shoreline. There is no problem, except for the DCC and their foolish fantasies.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Would it be an idea to have a little sticker or letterbox campaign using these –
    “sea-levels are changing only very slowly and not accelerating”,
    “ORC measurements show no increase in the ground-water levels since measurements began”
    perhaps giving years these have been recorded?

    No need to go OTT, just a bit of Fact sprayed around the suburb to counteract the smell of bullshit.

    • JimmyJones

      Since the flood, the DCC’s bullshit factory has been working at maximum output, with additional production from the ORC, GNS and Allied Press. The South Dunedin bullshit is knee-deep and rising. The clean-up won’t be easy. The GSDAG meeting can help by challenging the carefully crafted messages to be delivered by the DCC, ORC and GNS. Publicising the real facts is a good idea.

      {Moderated. -Eds}

  5. JimmyJones

    Some other things that the GSDAG seems not to understand are these:
    ● The June 2015 rain severity has been established by the ORC as being a 1 in 50 year rain event
    ● The recommendation from the ICMPs was that the DCC upgrade the stormwater performance to cope with a 1 in 10 year rainfall for the onset of flooding and a 1 in 50 year rainfall for protection from floor-level flooding. This is also the standard for most cities of New Zealand and of the civilised world
    ● The obvious conclusion is that if the South Dunedin stormwater system performed to this normal standard, then there would have been no floor-level flooding. There would be puddles in the garden, but no damaged houses
    ● Before the flood, South Dunedin and many other parts of Dunedin were at risk of flooding because of the substandard stormwater systems caused by deliberate underfunding of the replacement of end-of-life components. Funding was diverted to other projects
    ● After the flood, the DCC improved the mudtank maintenance and the main pump screen, but the South Dunedin stormwater system is still substandard and comes nowhere near meeting the 1 in 50 year standard. South Dunedin is still at risk as are other parts of Dunedin
    ● The DCC admits that the South Dunedin stormwater system has degraded in performance since it was installed many decades ago. Over this time we expect that it should have been progressively upgraded to meet modern standards, instead it has become worse
    ● Until the flooding, the DCC has never had any plan to achieve a modern standard – after the flooding the DCC still has no plan to achieve the normal standard for stormwater performance
    ● in 2015 the government auditor warned the DCC about the growing renewals backlog affecting water and waste. Since then the funding for stormwater pipe and equipment renewals has continued to be seriously underfunded and the stormwater renewals backlog has increased. Every year it is getting worse. The DCC is creating a crisis.
    ● The DCC has talked about a funding boost to upgrade the stormwater systems. The Long Term Plan in fact included some modest (and inadequate) funding increases, however the DCC now has some financial problems and so the Annual Plan, agreed to recently, removes those funding increases. The renewals backlog will continue to increase and the performance of our water, sewerage and stormwater systems will continue to get worse. This is the DCC’s plan. Staff are fully aware of this, but councillors mostly are not.

    As far as I can see the residents of South Dunedin are being exposed to about the same unacceptable risk as they were before 2015. Nothing significant has been done to improve the stormwater performance. The improvements of the mudtanks and pump screen will not be apparent because of the other serious existing restrictions. To achieve something useful for South Dunedin the GSDAG needs to insist that the DCC work towards achieving the goal of no floor-level flooding with a 1 in 50 year rain event. The work for this will take 10 years and it should start now. The DCC should be asked to agree to a completion date for this work.

    • A

      In Grey, 1 in 50 years was ‘Old Man Flood’. This was very unfair on Mr Flood, who got rivered like the rest of us. I think also of Edgecumb, seemingly wiped out by a one in a 100. Both those locations are river valleys, of course. I don’t disagree, J, but I don’t follow speculative chronology, preferring proaction based on experience.

  6. Elizabeth

    Mon, 12 Jun 2017
    S. Dunedin meeting tonight
    South Dunedin residents are still searching for answers to questions about the area’s long-term future two years after it was devastated by flooding.
    Greater South Dunedin Action Group chairman Ray Macleod said those questions would be discussed at a public meeting at One Nations Church, King Edward St, at 6.30pm today.
    Fears about insurance cover, a council proposal for new homes to be relocatable and plans to protect people, homes and businesses would be on the agenda  at the  meeting, Mr Macleod said. The two-year anniversary of 2015’s flood was a good time to hold another public meeting. Cont/


    At Facebook:

    • lyndon weggery

      It was a very well attended meeting but the disppointment was having to listen to the DCC B Team. Soothing noises were made about extra money going into the LTP for stormwater renewals but Council still seems hamstrung by lack of reliable data emanating from the ORC on the long-term effects of climate change and more importantly for South Dunedin just how fast the sea level is rising. We all know it isn’t but they keep dredging up the terrible data from Green Island which doesn’t line up with the official data from Port Chalmers (1.76mm per year). Anyway, GSDAG received a good public endorsement from the meeting to carry on the fight with DCC to get better support for South Dunedin. The other significant development was that the B Team advised that abandoning South Dunedin was no longer official policy of the DCC.

      • JimmyJones

        Lyndon: Why do you keep saying that Dunedin’s long term sea-level rise is 1.76mm per year? it seems like everyone else accepts that it is 1.3mm per year (measured at Port Chalmers). Those that have said so are:
        — the New Zealand Government (Statistics NZ)
        — Professor John Hannah (Hannah and Bell 2012)
        — the ORC (South Dunedin Natural Hazards report, page 34)
        — Professor Jim Flynn (private communication)

        There is no lack of reliable data emanating from the ORC. The only reason that the DCC wouldn’t like the ORC’s data is because it shows that there is no significant rising trend of South Dunedin’s groundwater. This throws a big spanner in the works of their imminent apocalypse.

        Keep in mind that there is no apparent link between sea-level and the main part of South Dunedin’s groundwater level – some places near the shoreline have a tidal effect, but not elsewhere. The ORC has tried and failed to establish this link in a fake report (Rekker 2012) and the ORC and DCC constantly repeat the claim that the groundwater level is linked to sea level. This link is an essential part of their fantasy: prosperity and economic activity causes Global Warming causes rapid sea-level rise causes South Dunedin groundwater rise causes flooding and evacuation. That’s their doctrine, but it’s flawed, because there is no Global Warming, no rapid sea-level rise and no established link from sea-level to the groundwater level of the main part of South Dunedin.

        • Elizabeth

          Once minutes of the meeting emerge we will invite your critique JimmyJones.
          Last night showed some movement in the minds of some climate change hardliners away from their pronouncements of doom. However the sea rise Labour Party needs to back off.

        • Lyndon Weggery

          Jimmy – the reason I keep saying 1.76mm is because in 2015 that is what the Global Network people said the average since the 1950s for Port Chalmers site was. My concerns about ORC are very real because their staff are portraying a false picture of accelerated rising sea levels based on the Green Island site which has shown consistent higher levels than that of Port Chalmers. And as you well know Green Island was only established last year and still doesn’t measure up to the Global Tidal Measurement Network standard. Yet DCC staff are constantly fed its data as backed up by UN IPPC computer modelling speculation. Recently I made formal submission to the ORC Annual Plan Hearings pointing all this out and politely asking for the G.I. site to be urgently upgraded because DCC staff are quite freaked out by the data they receive from ORC staff. At that Hearing even the Chairperson was annoyed that his staff had not bothered to turn up to my appearance and it was quite noticeable last Monday night that despite being invited no ORC representative came to our meeting. GSDAG will be following this up as they have officially offered to supply us with data from the Green Island and Dunedin Wharf sea level recorders but no mention of the Port Chalmers one. It was also clear from the GNS scientist last Monday night that ORC are failing in their civic duty to establish more drilling sites under the South Dunedin basin to gain a better understanding of groundwater levels. At the moment we only have four compared to the dozens in Canterbury. Unfortunately South Dunedin suffers from a lack of clear civic leadership to co-ordinate all scientific data “in the one room” so that true science can tell us what exactly is happening; so that the appropriate solutions (including engineering) can be worked out in time.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          It’s like “anecdotal evidence” isn’t it. The reading that conforms most closely to the Model must be right, right?
          Anecdotal evidence is used to dismiss real-life experience. I have been noticing this so much re cannabis, it’s anecdotal when ordinary people in their numbers report that pain was reduced with fewer side effects. No, no, we can’t decide without Research. Pain, distress, disability are what a person experiences, if it’s hurting you but I don’t feel pain, your pain is still real. So what’s research on real-life effectiveness? Probably it’s someone collecting a heap of ordinary people’s experience of using cannabis and other substances for pain and telling the research which ones worked best.
          So back to water levels – ask Calvin about what happened re water levels in 1976 during construction 581 Andersons Bay Rd. Ask people who dug holes to plant shrubs, put in foundations, bury the dead dog – going back a long way. They’ll tell about water levels, the people who live there know about water levels. Those people also knew that heavy rain > flood wasn’t a sudden rise in sea level.
          But what would they know, it’s only ANECDOTAL evidence. And it’s not in accordance with the current CC-Panic model

        • JimmyJones

          Lyndon: I agree that the ORC needs more groundwater level sensors in South Dunedin. I have told them this myself. My impression is that the ORC and DCC are happy with anything that looks scientific that supports their Climate Change Crusade. When did politicians ever need real facts?

          The ORC’s Green Island tide gauge should not be improved. Instead it should be dismantled. Its main purpose, so far, seems to have been to provide misinformation as a way of trying to discredit the validity of the Port Chalmers tide gauge which is providing very accurate readings and the data is useful because it has a very long history. Any attempt to use the Green Island gauge to calculate the long-term trend of sea level will be invalid – because there is no long-term data. From their short-term data they will not be able to properly remove the effects of the long-period tidal cycles (18.6 years, 8.8 years etc).

          The Green Island tide gauge is redundant as a measure of sea-level trend because it is measuring the same sea and the same sea level as does the Port Chalmers gauge. If they continue to provide misinformation, then this should be apparent because of discrepancies with the Port Chalmers data. Their miscreant deeds will be publicised. Improvements to the G.I. gauge will make their misinformation seem more credible. Our focus should be on the Port Chalmers gauge.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Problem: Mr Ray MacLeod seems sold on the Climate Change thingy. If he or they want any progress they have to get themselves divorced from that idea. They are going to be browbeaten by the DCC tonight with the basic principle of Climate Change, no getting away from that if they agree on the principle. Therein lies the guts of the problem.

    • Elizabeth

      Labour Party not helping….

    • JimmyJones

      Calvin: Ray is not a Climate Change zealot. The quote from him in today’s ODT is:
      discussions about South Dunedin’s future had been dominated by scaremongering, including questions about whether homes and businesses in the area would continue to be insurable and talk of massive sea-level rises.
      There was no evidence to suggest sea-level rise in the area was accelerating, he said. He accepted the world’s climate was changing and human behaviour “may influence that”.

      My guess is that some GSDAG members may have been deceived by the DCC’s scaremongering, but I hope there are many others at the meeting that will question the experts and question the DCC’s decisions.

  8. Rob Hamlin

    This is an interesting article. Might this just be the thin end of a very thick wedge? Just look who pioneered it…Yes, that particular bastion of democracy and fierce persecutor of the well connected!

    Just wait for this particular pseudo-formalised, public enforcement/ judicial procedure avoidance concept to appear big time at an authority near you. The only difference may be that the negotiations and community ‘benefits’ extracted are ‘fully confidential’ to protect the feelings and privacy all involved (You betcha!!)

    One might imagine the sliding scale:

    Act: Demolishing heritage buildings, building new ones that grossly breach regulations.

    Remedy: A slap up apology dinner for the relevant committee and staff held at a top local restaurant (thus maximising local economic impact). The increased networking opportunities thus created for all concerned will reduce the chance of any future misunderstandings of this type, and the irritating but related requirement of issuing retrospective consents for any future similar acts.

    Act: Receiving long-term payment for public infrastructure maintenance contracts, without having any of the necessary equipment and personnel to fulfill them.

    Remedy: The organisation concerned will for five years fully fund leased top of the range 4×4’s for all relevant elected representatives concerned so that they may personally inspect said infrastructure to ensure that said maintenance has been done. Due to existing pressures of public work upon said representatives, such inspections that require longer distance travel are likely to take place at weekends and on public holidays.

    Each vehicle will be equipped with a set of foot mats embroidered with the company’s logo and the words “We are soooooo sorry!”. The company logos may be replaced with images of ratepayers’ faces if it is deemed by those concerned to be too hurtful/harmful to the company concerned. If this is the case, the word ‘sorry’ will be replaced with ‘grateful’.

    Act: Knowingly maintaining an illegal connection to the public water supply for several years.

    Remedy: A very, very severe telling off (in private).

    • Diane Yeldon

      The Resource Management Act meddles with the very concept of law, as clearly stating what you can and cannot do. It’s hardly surprising that now the penalties for ‘breaches’ also become a matter of negotiation. But, of course, the problem with all these negotiations is lack of transparency. Without transparency, no-one knows how the power of the consent authority is being used, whether fairly and honestly or not.
      Basic principle of law – justice should be public.

      Very worrying trends in local government: losing democracy AND open justice.

  9. Elizabeth

    Tue, 13 Jun 2017
    South Dunedin wants solutions
    By John Gibb
    The Greater South Dunedin Action Group received a strong mandate last night to advocate for the area’s “community interests”. Group chairman Ray Macleod said a  meeting attended by about 150 people in South Dunedin wanted answers to questions about the long term future which residents were still asking two years after the area was hard hit by flooding. “We can’t wait 10 years” for effective leadership and planning, Mr Macleod emphasised. The meeting also backed another motion that the Dunedin City Council provide an action plan “structure” by December 1, to provide “protection and support to people, homes and businesses” in the area. […] Much more work, including modelling studies, was needed to find the best ways of countering potential flooding risks, and the council could not meet a  December 1 target, proposed by the action group, to produce “an initial engineering plan and response”. Cont/


    It was duly noted By All at the meeting that no Mayor of Dunedin, no deputy mayor, no DCC chief executive, no DCC general managers, and no ORC representatives attended the meeting. They did so WITHOUT tendering their apologies.

    it is a Public Courtesy to indicate you have other engagements in your individual apology to the independent chair of the meeting, or the chairman of the Greater South Dunedin Action Group.

    If you don’t have a ‘viable excuse’ and your absence is Purely Political then you will be soundly remembered for that discourtesy and blindness – that brick wall to the constituents your council’s incompetence flooded on 3 June 2015, at the cost of $138million and more besides.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    Why would they have attended? What could they have said that added to the known position? Nothing, I venture. Mayor Dave Cull is on record as saying that there are many “Flat Earthers” about. Implying that more than a few would be at that meeting. I think we see the DCC and the ORC as captured by the “Climate Change” culture as indeed are the Academics and a host of grants people, none of whom would be at that meeting. In a word it’s a “dead letter” as far as they are concerned. Watch the consultant engineers etc circling for deals that produce profits, but little value.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      They could have shown up to throw doubt on the perception that they are, some or all, gutless, clueless, delusional, couldn’t give a rat’s, need replacing with a bulk consignment of garden gnomes to ensure better performance in future.

  11. Elizabeth

    ### Tue 13 June 2017
    From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, about 1 hour ago
    South Dunedin residents still wanting answers Link
    South Dunedin residents are still waiting for assurances about future proofing the area against adverse weather events nearly two years on from devastating flooding. A group of around 150 people were at a meeting last night organised by the Great South Dunedin Action group. They are looking to get some answers about plans for the area in the longer term which is still susceptible to flooding due to rising sea levels and land subsidence. Ray MacLeod is the chairman of the group and he speaks to Jesse about their ongoing concerns.
    Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (6′34″)

  12. Elizabeth

    Wait a minute. There is no suggestion the negiotiated settlements are Not a matter of public record through councils, the Environment Court or the High Court. We have been in negotiated settlement processes ever since the RMA was first established as the way forward. As far as I’m concerned the ability to find good community outcomes through negotiated settlements is always better than using ratepayer funds to slag matters out through lawyers at full hearings of the Courts, which is typically the last resort in many cases, whether (environmental) infringement based or not. Each case on its own merit.

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