Category Archives: Corruption

Vogel Street parking on a quiet Sunday afternoon #petroltheft

A colleague and I decided to go to the ‘street’ kitchen on Sunday afternoon. We parked in front of the back doors to Sammy’s. At the kitchen we ordered tea and coffee and talked for a couple of hours. In that time someone unseen by us siphoned off about half of what remained in the petrol tank of my companion’s specially modified vehicle. Whoever did the job didn’t put the fuel flap down carefully before exit.

Naturally, some dusting to do…. was it an opportunistic one-off, or ?

We shall see. A few weird things going on lately. The driver and owner of the vehicle has only had it for about 6 days; they’re monitoring fuel consumption as well as other things in their daily life quite carefully just now.

Then too, there’s someone acting weirdly about town, who has an expired licence (not talking driver’s licence). Check this out at the Justice website. They coffee at Marbecks (Wall Street mall) despite protestations they do not.

Just putting it out there.

Small world.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

5 Comments

Filed under Business, Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Dunedin, Events, Fun, Hot air, Other, People, Perversion, Police, Public interest

Topical debates on Corruption in New Zealand

At Twitter:

Other media items:
22.5.17 Can the Auditor-General be trusted to combat corruption?
21.2.17 NZH: Ex Ministry of Transport manager jailed for $726k fraud
26.8.16 Former Ministry of Transport fraudster denied bail

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Read Bryce Edwards’ full opinion piece linked below, and the associated reference links.

It’s Worth Your While Dunedin
Because you know instances of this bigger story, and you know them well.

The following is an abridgement.

This website has bolded some words provided by Mr Edwards and the commentators he cites. Words that bloggers increasingly have a ‘steam problem’ to include in everyday use of the English language.

So much for district heating schemes, eh.

### NZ Herald 2:48 PM Tue May 23, 2017
Political Roundup: The unaccountability of elites
Politics
By Bryce Edwards
OPINION —How much accountability is there in New Zealand politics and public life? Not enough, it seems, going on recent controversies. Mistakes by those in authority can lead to disasters and misfortunes of various magnitudes. Yet a number of recent examples – ranging from the Pike River tragedy through to the Havelock North water contamination crisis – suggest that there is often a worrying lack of consequences or accountability for the authorities involved.
Following on from yesterday’s Political Roundup column about managers failing to prevent serious fraud in a government department (Can the Auditor-General be trusted to combat corruption?); an obvious question is whether New Zealand has a culture in which there’s a lack of accountability for elites who make serious mistakes.
This need for this question is further underlined by Peter Newport’s strongly argued opinion piece, Is fraudster Joanne Harrison’s old boss really fit to lead NZ’s top public watchdog? In this must-read piece published yesterday, Newport details all of the whistle-blowing attempts to alert Ministry of Transport managers to the crimes being committed in the government department, and how those whistle-blowers then lost their jobs, seemingly as a result. Reading Newport’s account, it seems that much of the fraud was entirely preventable. He asks: “Where was human resources? The Public Service Association? The police? The SFO? The auditor general? The chief executive? This all happened in a modern New Zealand government ministry. In the full light of day.”
He concludes that “the chief executive, and his successor, have consistently refused to properly investigate either what she got away with or the further systemic failings behind the scenes… It’s disgusting. Where does the buck stop and who gets the whistle-blowers their jobs back?”
….[break]
Part of New Zealand’s democratic deficit relates to a lack of a culture of accountability in public life and governance. According to Karl du Fresne, “Accountability, the long-established principle that someone should be seen to take responsibility for serious mistakes, is frequently talked about but rarely practiced” – see his column, Accountability the price of keeping the system honest. He makes some important points about the apparent decline in standards of accountability in political and public life in New Zealand, pointing out that the end result, is “public confidence in ‘the system’ continues to be steadily eroded.” This is a major democratic problem, says du Fresne: “If no one ends up accepting personal responsibility and incurring a penalty, there’s little incentive to make sure it doesn’t happen again. […] Part of the problem is that “genuine political commentary and critical analysis in New Zealand has been eroded almost to the point of non-existence over the past few decades”. This is the view of Bob Gregory of the Victoria University of Wellington, who links the decline of accountability to the decline of public debate and information…..
….[break]
So, does all of this lack of accountability mean that New Zealand is possibly more vulnerable to corruption than people assume? This is discussed by former parliamentary staffer Grant McLachlan in his opinion piece, NZ should raise the bar on corruption. McLachlan suggests that New Zealand isn’t well protected from corruption: “Our processes to deal with corruption are flawed. […] When a judge in our highest court doesn’t declare a conflict of interest, the Attorney-General shouldn’t offer the judge a golden handshake to save the taxpayer the cost of an inquiry. When a dodgy mine explodes killing 29, out-of-court payments should not influence the dropping of a prosecution. The Protected Disclosures Act was meant to protect good faith whistle-blowers when reporting ‘serious wrongdoing’. Poor internal processes, however, have resulted in witch-hunts and whitewashes.”
….[break]
Finally, does the culture of misinformation and opaque politics play a part in limited accountability? Graham Adams thinks so, and says that there’s good reason for being appalled by the deception that comes out of government these days. He says “Kept in the dark and fed endless bullshit, it’s difficult for even engaged citizens to make sense of much in New Zealand’s public and political life” – see: Information underload: We’re all mushrooms now.
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█ Bryce Edwards, until recently a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago, researches and critiques New Zealand politics, public policy, political parties, elections, and political communication. His PhD, completed in 2003, was on ‘Political Parties in New Zealand: A Study of Ideological and Organisational Transformation’. He is currently working on a book entitled ‘Who Runs New Zealand? An Anatomy of Power’. He is also on the board of directors for Transparency International New Zealand.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

[picdn.net]

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thoughts and faces #loosematerial

My father [never a follower of the FedUp Farmers, as he deemed them; always the campaigner for removal of farm subsidies, to enhance production and market competition] had ‘stock’ phrases with which to judge the faces of female adversaries, those with little brain or spine in politics, pretenders. One adept phrase that sticks in my mind is “like a horse eating thistles” —so I look on the following with my tinted lens, and laugh, rurally (ruefully). No one target.

On 19 May @StuFleming tweeted: “Spend $200k, revenue projections of $2.4M to others, 10% margin yields say $240k net”
[minus ODT news photo of face]

[DUD ‘money hype’ typically depends on false multipliers, anechoic silences, and arrogant self-belief —this (yes) bleak statement applies across a broad range of proposed deals and associated marketing detritus in the city, especially to events, conferences, sport, hospitality and accommodation, and even the re-use (Not conservation) of truly rare and precious instances of historic heritage] Here’s to all the fricking horses out there, including hypocritical colleagues and friends with blinkers like demo balls prepared to squeeze the last dollar and pass us to Hell. Anyway, back to “the business”…. cargo cult tourism. The wider effects of tourism are like those of dairying. Too many eggs in one basket and everybody (I mean, everybody) ends up doing it badly —killing Our Place for generations. Greed, like endorphins, like a running addiction, binds them up. They think they’re bright, they think they’re enablers (read risk takers/investors centred on their own gains only), they think they’re entrepreneurs, better than others (but because I for one will tell you things you don’t want to hear, you’ll say “I’ll ring you tomorrow”, that silence again) but they’re just funneled, tunneled sheepybaas – doing it wrong. Like cows, deer, Chinese gooseberries (Kiwifruit!), wines, stadiums….. or ‘getting a room’ behind the poorly remembered, heavily made-up, Disney’d facade of our city and nationhood. The worst kind didn’t, or didn’t bother to, ‘grow up’ here. They get desperate, create mess, import other yes men. Ring you like nothing happened, their exploits —not to ask deeply madly who and how you really are.

### ODT Online Sat, 20 May 2017
Trenz prompts high aspirations
By David Loughrey
Next year’s Trenz conference in Dunedin is set to cost ratepayers $200,000, but the long-term pay-off should run well into the millions.
The Dunedin City Council will next week be given an idea of the costs to the city of hosting the conference from May 7 to 10, and also the estimated benefits. The city learned last week it would host the tourism industry event next year, bringing up to 1200 international travel and tourism buyers, media and New Zealand tourism operators to Dunedin. It will be the first time the event, run by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), has come to Dunedin and the first time it has been hosted outside Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch or Queenstown since it began in the 1960s. Trenz is an opportunity for New Zealand tourism operators to sell their product to buyers, effectively overseas travel agents who put together itineraries for overseas tourists. Attracting more than 350 buyers to experience the tourism products on offer here is considered a huge coup. On average, each buyer sends 4000 visitors a year to New Zealand, totalling 1.5 million. It comes as figures show New Zealand’s tourism market is expected to continue to grow strongly, topping $15 billion by 2023. Tourism contributes more than $690 million to Dunedin’s economy every year.
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Meanwhile, although we (‘our stock’ NZ) and the UK farm gate look pretty much the same……

‘Herdwick Shepherd’ aka James Rebanks (@herdyshepherd1) farms Herdwick sheep in the English Lake District. Author of bestselling memoir, The Shepherd’s Life:

### ODT Online Saturday, 20 May 2017
OE to Britain set to get tougher
Prime Minister Bill English says the Conservative Party’s new plans to clamp down on immigration will sting New Zealanders wanting to live in the United Kingdom, including on the traditional OE, but there is little he can do until Brexit is completed. The British party’s election manifesto includes plans to drastically cut net migration from 273,000 to less than 100,000 by targeting students and those on working visas. It proposes cutting the number of skilled migrants to get visas, higher levies on employers who take on migrant workers and tripling the National Health Service immigration health surcharge from £200 to £600 ($NZ380 to $NZ1130) a year for those in the UK on visas of more than six months and 450 for international students. That surcharge increase will also affect those on the traditional OE, although there is no mention of scrapping the two-year youth mobility visa which allows young New Zealanders to get a two-year visa to work and travel in the United Kingdom. Mr English said the changes would affect those on their OE but they would have to grin and bear it until Brexit was completed. NZME.
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Super City mayor Phil Goff has a plan for getting money from tourists – it bears some similarity to that of the Mongrel Mob……

### NZ Herald Thu, 18 May 2017
Winston Aldworth: Seeking the smart money
OPINION What do Phil Goff and the Mongrel Mob have in common? As hundreds of travel industry figures from all around the world gathered in Auckland for last week’s Trenz conference, one of the many topics up for discussion was the Auckland mayor’s enthusiasm for a hotel bed tax on visitors to the city. Meanwhile, up north at Ahipara on Ninety Mile Beach, three German tourists were approached by two local Mongrel Mob members who told them that they were on Maori land, and had to pay koha. They also told the tourists they’d be taking a few of their cigarettes. A tobacco tax, if you will. Perhaps their plan for putting heavy taxes on visitors was inspired by the Super City mayor. Goff’s bed tax is about as blunt an instrument as the Mob’s shakedown. “Look there’s a foreigner! Let’s get a couple of bucks off them.” The airport tax introduced by John Key a year ago is equally clumsy. It’s a travesty that these tariffs are the best we can come up with for making money out of tourism. Yes, other countries put dull levies on visitor arrivals, but that’s no reason to follow suit. We New Zealanders pride ourselves on being innovators, so let’s find innovative ways to get more money out of the tourism sector. Both Goff and Key were ministers in governments that did everything they could to remove tariffs from the dairy trade. Today, the best and brightest marketing wallahs of Goff’s inner circle are putting forward a plan no more sophisticated than one devised by two Mongrel Mob members standing on a Northland beach. I’m not against making money out of tourists — quite the opposite, in fact. I think it’s terrific that our country can be boosted by an industry that encourages us to care for our environment, celebrate the things that make our culture unique and spreads revenue quickly and efficiently to the regions. But how about instead of putting a dumb tax on the visitors, we upsell them? Take their money at the gate for sure, but give them something special in return.
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Enough randomising. More rain and ice falls.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Condition of Warrington Domain screwed by DCC lack of enforcement #CampingControlBylaw23

Freedom campers are ignoring closed signs at Warrington Domain.

Photographs and accompanying letter received from a Warrington resident (name withheld) on Monday, 8 May 2017 at 10:52 a.m.

All comments to the photographs are by whatifdunedin.

APPALLING
Dunedin City Council trashes Warrington ratepayers’ and residents’ recreational amenity asset:

Warrington Domain 2 May 2017, ground condition before the domain closed.

Damage to the village green is all down to the deliberate decision by Dunedin City Council to allow uncontrolled freedom camping at the Domain over the 2016/17 summer period (read no enforcement of Camping Control Bylaw 23); this for reduction and avoidance of freedom camping happening in metropolitan Dunedin. Out of sight, out of mind. The Warrington community receives no proper help from the scrubbers on the politicised local community board, to protect the asset.

It’s a bloody scandal – someone (plural) should lose their job.

In these photos freedom campers continue to park outside the closed domain totally ignoring the DCC signage but with apparently no repercussions:


Due to email file size limits a video recording was not forwarded to What if? Dunedin. Hopefully this will come available shortly via YouTube.

Warrington resident receives no reply to their polite yet pointed email sent to Waikouaiti Coast Community Board (WCCB) and DCC. How surprising!

From: [Warrington resident]
Sent: Saturday, 6 May 2017 8:50 p.m.
To: Waikouaiti Coast Community Board; Dunedin City Council Customer Services; Ashley Reid [DCC]; Jendi Paterson [DCC]
Subject: Freedom campers ignore closed signs

Hi DCC and WCCB,

I became aware there are freedom camper vehicles outside the domain this evening from their music and the noise of car doors.

FYI 13 non-self-contained freedom camper vehicles are parked outside the Warrington domain tonight and a 14th is parked in the surf club carpark.

When asked they denied seeing the signs that clearly state the domain is closed to camping.

Our points are:
– the freedom campers are clearly ignoring your signs
– there doesn’t seem to be anyone controlling the area at night
– it is unreasonable for local residents that the freedom campers choose to park wherever they like

Regards
[Warrington resident]

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Dunedin City Council
23. Camping Control Bylaw 2015 (PDF, 2.5 MB)
The purpose of this bylaw is to protect, promote, and maintain public health and safety by regulating freedom camping within the district; and restrict freedom camping in public places within the district. Link
Date approved: 01 November 2015

DCC 23. Camping Control Bylaw 2015dcc-bylaw-23-camping-sites-warrington-recreation-reserve

Related Posts and Comments:
● 9.4.17 DCC obfuscates : Open slather for freedom campers at Warrington
● 16.3.17 WE have the information, unreasonable delay providing it #LGOIMA
● 15.2.17 Warrington : DCC dictates loss of community’s grassed recreation reserve to freeloaders
8.2.17 Hands Off Enjoyment of OUR Beaches #DCC
● 6.2.17 Uncontrolled freedom camping at Warrington Domain this weekend —DCC ‘hell model’ [no enforcement]
● 1.2.17 “Fake news” from DCC boffins & Community Board re freedom camping at Warrington Domain #TheBlight
10.2.16 Dunedin freedom camping #DCC #enforcement
16.12.14 DCC: Freedom Camping issues
7.12.09 Coastal protection zones

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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

At Facebook:

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.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Pike River realities surface . . .

At Twitter:

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Video at ODT Online:

The father of one of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster says the families have always believed the Government wasn’t telling the truth about mine safety.

Mon, 1 May 2017
ODT: Pike video shows men in mine after blast
The Government has long said high concentrations of methane inside the mine make it too risky to re-enter to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 blast, because the gas could explode. But footage leaked to Newshub yesterday showed two Mines Rescue workers inside the mine three months after the explosion, with no gloves, apparently relaxed as they fashioned a makeshift cover for a robot out of cardboard and tape. The robot is seen to be steaming or smoking well inside the mine, but the workers do not panic – and nothing explodes. Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was killed in the November 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine, said the newly leaked footage did not come as a surprise. Cont/

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At Twitter:

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nzherald.co.nz Uploaded on Nov 23, 2010
Raw video: Robot camera inside Pike River mine
First pictures from inside the Pike River mine which show the miner’s helmet and mine damage.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Published on Oct 21, 2013
Case Study: Pike River
View the full case study here:
http://www.zeroharm.org.nz/leadership/case-studies/pike-river/

Graeme Axford Published on Oct 31, 2014
Pike River families believe photos show bodies
Friday 31 Oct 2014 8:06 p.m.
It is understood that a decision from Solid Energy on whether it will allow recovery teams to re-enter the drift of the Pike River mine is imminent. The drift is not the mine itself, but the two-kilometre tunnel that leads to the mine.
Families of the victims are desperate for a mission to collect evidence and to see if there are any bodies in the drift.
They say if Solid Energy won’t do it, they will. They say they know there are bodies in the mine, and tonight, with their blessing and for the first time, we can show you their evidence. Dean Dunbar, the father of lost miner Joseph Dunbar, spoke with Campbell Live producer Kate McCallum. Watch the full interview with Dean Dunbar.

Division of Humanities, University of Otago Published on Jul 4, 2016
███ Pike River – How could this happen in this day and age?
Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’? Find out why the Pike River Families have fought so hard and for so long. Colin Smith is a law graduate from the University of Otago and is a partner with the Greymouth Law Firm Hannan & Seddon.

RNZ Published on Jan 23, 2017
Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it’s safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint
Pike River mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes the mine’s drift is safe to enter, and is willing to be among the first party that goes in.

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davedobbynmusic Published on Dec 15, 2014
Dave Dobbyn – This Love (Live Perfomance)
‘This Love’ by Dave Dobbyn with the Orpheus Choir of Wellington is a moving tribute to the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.
The piece was first performed at a concert attended by members of the miners’ bereaved families and was recorded by Radio NZ Concert. The choral arrangement is by Mark Dorrell. Also performing are Wellington Young Voices, Mark Vanilau (piano), Jo Barus (bass), Ross Burge (drums) and Chris Clark (cornet). With special thanks to TVNZ and Satellite Media – taken from the TVNZ documentary ‘Dreams Lie Deeper’.

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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DCC Proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw : Real-deal submission

[click to enlarge]

Dunedin City Council
Current consultations: Proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw 2017

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Received from JimmyJones
Sat, 17 Mar 2017 at 10:03 p.m.

Subject: RE: Reserves and beaches consultation failure

Message: Find attached an outstanding submission on the horse-hating bylaw. I am sure there were many good subs, but I noticed this one from an 11-year-old who has a horse called Tonka. She makes a very good case for freedom. Like many of the other submitters, she bypassed the professionally organised DCC misinformation and understood that the DCC are threatening a total ban on horses on beaches.

I think other people should see it, I have removed her name from the submission in case she wasn’t expecting widespread publicity.

The submitters tell us that no other Council has a ban on horse riding on beaches in New Zealand.

Related Post and Comments:
8.2.17 Hands Off Enjoyment of OUR Beaches #DCC

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

14 Comments

Filed under Adventure sport, Business, Corruption, DCC, DCC Bylaws, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Geography, Health, Health & Safety, Heritage, New Zealand, ORC, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Public interest, Resource management, Sport, Tourism, Transportation, Travesty, What stadium