Tag Archives: Central Otago

Maggie Lawton, RIP

Received from Russell Garbutt
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 at 12:47 p.m.

Extremely sad to learn this morning that Maggie Lawton died yesterday at Wanaka following a diagnosis of cancer a short time ago.
Maggie was the top polling candidate in the Dunstan Ward for the Otago Regional Council in the last Local Body Elections and she brought to the role a huge passion for the quality of our region’s waterways and lakes. Extraordinarily well qualified and a vast experience in all things water, her death will mean a huge loss in the Central Otago/Lakes area as well as a strong voice for the wider region. Just a few days ago we were emailing each other and she had said that she was amazed how cancer is both so random and so rampant.
Sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.

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Otago Regional Council
ORC mourns Cr Lawton’s untimely passing
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead today noted with sorrow the passing of Dunstan constituency representative Maggie Lawton on Sunday after a brief but determined battle with cancer.
Mr Woodhead said Cr Lawton, who was elected to the council as the constituency’s top-polling candidate at last year’s local government elections, was passionate about environmental issues and the region she served, and particularly water quality.
As chairwoman of the council’s technical committee, her contribution, while brief, was an indication of the time and effort she intended to put into her role as an elected member during the remainder of the 2016-2019 triennium, he said.
“All of us at ORC mourn Maggie’s untimely passing, and extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.”
ORC Link

At Facebook:

Tue, 14 Mar 2017
ODT: ORC pays tribute to late councillorThe Otago Regional Council is mourning and paying tribute to one of its own, following the death of Dunstan constituency representative Maggie Lawton. The Wanaka-based councillor was diagnosed with cancer about two months ago, after it was discovered during an operation, and died yesterday. She was 67 …. Cr Lawton told the Otago Daily Times last week she was determined to make sure the concerns of her constituents were still heard at the council and was receiving treatment at home, but still taking part in council business.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Central Otago, Democracy, Dunedin, Geography, Name, New Zealand, ORC, People, Politics, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes

ORC $wimming in it —SHOULD afford more Otago environmental protection

….not a new office palace at Dunedin.

Spending figures on flood protection and river management, particularly on the Leith and Taieri systems, and public transport, are heavily weighted towards Dunedin.

### ODT Online Mon, 9 Jan 2017
‘Dunedin-centric’ ORC gets roasting
By David Williams
Michael Laws’ already poor appraisal of the Otago Regional Council just gets worse. Official council figures provided to the Otago Daily Times detail the council’s $56million in reserves, its plans for spending up to $24million on a new Dunedin headquarters and a breakdown of spending in the Queenstown Lakes, which is affected by lake snow. Mr Laws, who was elected to the council’s Dunstan ward in October, said: “It’s worse than we thought, to a degree. They’ve got a huge amount of money and they spend very little.”
….He accused the council of having a very hands-off policy towards Dunstan issues and particularly Queenstown and the lakes over the past five years. “It’s withdrawn staff from the area, it’s not monitored the lakes which is its basic statutory responsibility, it’s spent very little money dealing with pests, whether flora or fauna, and I think personally that the reason in large part is if you don’t live in an area you don’t properly understand it.”
Read more

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L A K E ● S N O W

10.6.16
The alga called Cyclotella, or recently renamed by algologists as Lindavia intermedia, is related to the ‘rock snot’ alga didymo. The recent appearance of lake snot is associated with the emergence and dominance in Cyclotella, according to a team of scientists from the University of Otago, Landcare Research and Université Laval (Canada).
–Erica Mather, Sciblogs: Southern NZ lakes congested with algal snot

lake-snow-stuff-co-nzLake Snow [stuff.co.nz]

ORC – Lake Snow
In recent years, a slimy substance called ‘lake snow’ has been found in Lake Wanaka, Wakatipu and Hawea. Otago Regional Council (ORC) is working with stakeholders and researchers to find out more about where lake snow comes from, what influences it, and how it could be managed. Read more

Lake snow brochure (PDF, 1 MB)

QLDC – Lake Algae
For a number of years the Lake Wanaka water supply has been affected by the presence of algae. The algae is not harmful from a health perspective, but has had an effect water filters, irrigation fittings, new appliances and other equipment. The algae is not noticed at all the properties in Wanaka and no pattern has been found. In mid-2016 QLDC began receiving reports of algae build-ups in a number of water filters around Queenstown that take water from Lake Wakatipu. It has been identified as the same algae that has affected the water system in Wanaka for the past eight years or so.
Identifying and managing lake algae

In 2004 Didymosphenia geminata, a diatom commonly known as didymo or rock snot, was discovered in New Zealand, the first time it was found in the Southern Hemisphere. To restrict its spread, the whole of the South Island of New Zealand was declared a controlled area in December 2005. All items, such as boats, fishing gear, clothing, and vehicles, that have been in a stream, river or lake, must be cleaned before they enter another waterway.
Wikipedia: Didymo in New Zealand

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### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:14, Sep 1 2016
Fears lake snow could make Lake Wakatipu ‘unfishable’
By Jo McKenzie-McLean
An experienced fishing guide fears Lake Wakatipu could end up “unfishable” with the invasive spread of the algae bloom, lake snow, and warns Lake Dunstan could be next. Queenstown fishing guide Stu Dever, armed with his rod and reel, voiced his concerns about the presence of lake snow in Lake Wakatipu to Otago Fish and Game committee members at a meeting in Cromwell last month. His rod was clogged with the thick globules of algae after only one day’s fishing on the lake … The mucous-like substance is produced by the algae cyclotella has now been observed in three South Island lakes.
Read more

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:49, Nov 4 2016
Lake snow discovered in Hawea as algae spreads through southern lakes
The nuisance algae known as lake snow has been confirmed in Lake Hawea as it continues to spread through the southern lakes. Officially known as Cyclotella bodanica, it has been present in Lake Wanaka for several years and has this year been confirmed in Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. It has also been found in Lake Coleridge in Canterbury. It does not present a health risk but can block water filters on commercial premises and residential appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.
Read more 

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 11:13, Dec 19 2016
Laws calls for Otago Regional Council to apologise over Lake Snow ‘inaction’
By Jo McKenzie-McLean
The Otago Regional Council needs to “apologise and atone” for its “grossly inadequate” action over the Lake Snow problem in the alpine lakes, newly-elected Otago regional councillor Michael Laws says. “Lake snow was notified to the Otago Regional Council in 2008. It did nothing until September 2016, and in that time the algae and its effects have taken a firm grip on Lake Wanaka and now spread to other lakes. As with the invasive weed lagorosiphon [oxygen weed], the ORC’s inertia on lake snow stands as an object lesson of what can go wrong when you react, and react late, rather than research. There are some massive lessons for our governance here. We dropped the ball big time and need to accept, apologise and atone.” Cr Laws said there needed to be a significant financial investment in the southern lakes and that any delay would only make the problems less manageable and more expensive. “The Otago Regional Council has no debt, and $56 million in reserves. It wants to spend $25 million on a new HQ in Dunedin. I say those priorities are dead wrong: The lakes and our waterways – along with pest destruction – must be our prime responsibilities.”
Read more

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Dr Schallenberg and other scientists have been frustrated by rejected funding applications on research into lake snow, and the Otago Regional Council only stepped up monitoring last year, although it has paid for some research on Lake Wanaka’s health.

### ODT Online Sat, 7 Jan 2017
Editorial: The lake snow threat
It is past time to drive action on “lake snow” (“lake snot”). The slime produced by an  algae in Lake Wanaka — it is also in Lake Coleridge and was found last year in Lakes Hawea and Wakatipu — is unsightly and a significant nuisance. More importantly, it could have long-term and unknown ecological impacts.
….It was first noticed in Lake Wanaka about 2004 as those fishing spoke of fouled lines and blocked engine intakes. Washing machine and other filters in Wanaka began to become clogged because the town water supply comes from the lake. […] The same algae had also been found in another relatively unpolluted lake in Seattle in the United States. Just like didymo (“rock snot”), under certain conditions cyclotella secretes large amounts of mucus. This can all join together to form a mat. Just why it appears is still a mystery.
Read more

### ODT Online Sat, 7 Jan 2017
Lake snot costs hit six figures
By Guy Williams
Queenstown hotels are being forced to install expensive filtration systems to prevent lake snot (also called lake snow) damaging or blocking their water systems. Sofitel Queenstown Hotel manager Vincent Macquet said a self-cleaning filter identical to one operating at Dunedin Hospital was installed at the hotel five weeks ago at a cost of “hundreds of thousands” of dollars. Lake snot began clogging its water system last winter, causing hot-water valves to fail and reducing water pressure. […] Macquet said it was a “touchy subject” with hoteliers, with representatives from seven hotels meeting Queenstown Lakes District Council staff about a month ago to express their concerns.
Read more

didymo-hawea-landcareresearch-co-nzDidymo, Hawea [landcareresearch.co.nz]

Didymo (aka rock snot) [jrn.com via knownews.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Central Otago, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, OAG, Ombudsman, ORC, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Tourism, University of Otago, What stadium

OPINIONS : Otago Southland regional tourism

– Southland regional strategy pumps for another 10,000 residents
– Central Otago looking at healthy linkages – Chinese gold mining trail
– Queenstown Lakes means ‘business’, flourishing! [infrastructure demands]
– Quelle surprise, Dunedin City Council criticised on visitor strategy (what tourism plan ?)….

Broadcast from RNZ’s Dunedin studio
### radionz.co.nz 5 Jan 2017 at 5:12 pm
Outspoken: The Future of the Deep South Link
In this Outspoken, a panel chaired by RNZ’s Otago/Southland reporter, Ian Telfer, looks at the deep south of the country – what is the future for the country’s most southern region and how successful is the push to get more people to shift there?
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (27′22″)

● Virginia Nicholls, CEO, Otago Southland Employers Association
● Norcombe Barker, Director of Larnach Castle, tourism leader and board member of Dunedin Host
● Tim Cadogan, Mayor of Central Otago (speaking by phone)

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Just a tiny amount of what we know, from the Interior, in no geographical order whatsoever…. click on photo for source or go to Comments for credits.

queenstown-airport-day-aerial-photo-queenstown-airportss-earnslaw-engine-room-realjourneys-co-nzss-earnslaw-engine-room-real-journeys-shuttlerock-cdn-comcromwell-uniquelynz-comthe-nevis-bungy-aj-hackett-bungy-new-zealand-bungy-co-nzgrays-mining-earnscleugh-infomine-comabandoned-farm-homestead-becks-by-shellie-evans-flyingkiwigirl-at-flickr-comvulcan-hotel-aatravel-co-nzblue-lake-st-bathans-by-mclennan-outsideonline-comhayes-engineering-works-homestead-dbijapkm3o6fj-cloudfront-nethayes-engineering-shed-interior-otagocentralrail-trail-co-nzhayes-engineering-at-night-oturehua-by-simon-east-heritage-org-nzgibbston-central-otago-valli-vineyard-winetoursnz-comqueenstown-queenstownnz-co-nzqueenstown-the-mall-powderhounds-comskippers-canyon-adventurestoday-orgqueenstown-canyoning-canyoning-co-nzqueenstown-white-water-rafting-somekindofwanderlust-comclyde-dam-nzgeo-comdrybread-cemetery-omakau-otagocentralrailtrail-co-nzhyde-central-otago-talltalestravelblog-files-wordpress-compoolburn-viaduct-otago-central-rail-trail-by-m-hammel-ibike-dkqueenstown-par-3-in-the-sky-helicopter-golf-twistedsifter-files-wordpress-comthe-hills-clubhouse1-thehills-co-nzthe-hills-clubhouse-architect-pattersons-comhydro-attack-trover-queenstown-trover-comss-earnslaw-airnz-comair-new-zealand-queenstown-legacypartners-co-nz

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Christmas Lights Displays #Dunedin

[while the power is on, thanks Delta….]
Christmas Lights Displays you can visit at Dunedin
via ODT’s Dave Cannan at The Wash (29.11.16):

68 Campbells Rd, 79 Rudd Rd, 62 Salmond St, 17 Hastings St, 1 Ipswich St, 1 Isadore Rd, 2 Braeside, 6 Forth St, 4 Doon St, 15 William James Cl, 10 Cavan Pl, 26 Gladstone Rd Nth, 21 Shipka St, 503 South Rd, 1 Centennial Rd, 9 Flower St, 6 Alfred Pl, 19 Magdala St, 20 Magdala St, 3 Nelson St, 103 Richardson St, 4 Roy Cres, 8 Viscount Rd.

█ See map published at this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DunedinXmasLights

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

christmas-garland-topsailbeach-org

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Tim Hunter, NBR —Aurora/Delta, DCC and ComCom

Essential reading:

National Business Review 16.12.16
Hunter’s Corner by Tim Hunter (page 2)
Opinion: Lines companies: it’s worse than we thought

The article appears in today’s NBR print edition, available at bookstores and supermarkets, and by subscription. Short excerpt at right.

2016-12-16-16-55-48Tim Hunter has appraised the Deloitte report and the activity -or not- of the lines company Aurora Energy and ‘contractor’ Delta Utility Services. He also provides brief overview of the companies’ position as seen (problematically!) by industry regulator, the Commerce Commission. The award-winning business writer typically shows fine ability to crack code, applying thrift and plain sense in noting gross impediments to good governance and operational performance. Mr Hunter could write the book on Aurora/Delta, the ugly sisters, a true Horror Story —not the kitten tale by Deloitte, which anyway gets things rolling. As one of three investigations, Deloitte’s was always going to suffer lack of scope and independence given its commissioners:
the brothers Grimm —DCHL and DCC.

LineTech Report July 2010

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *grady*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: NBR excerpt by smartphone (screenshot)

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DCHL/Aurora/Delta ‘PR fashion statements’ fb DCC rates increases

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 11, 2016
Aurora Energy to implement review’s recommendations
A report on beleaguered Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora has called for a major shake-up to the way the companies are run.
[—Aurora had been guilty of placing too much emphasis on providing dividends to the council and keeping debt levels under control as opposed to investing in the network.]

Deloitte review report – Aurora Energy and Delta Utilities (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Review of Aurora Energy Limited/Delta Utility Services Limited – Network Safety Concerns.

What Shocks.

If the Otago Community has a BILLION OR SO DOLLARS WORTH of network replacements owed to it, but for the pleasure the Community must pay these sums Again —as well as having to meet the not insubstantial cost of new build facilities across the growth-focused districts of Central Otago— with the self-congratulatory psychology of the Companies and INDIVIDUALS running the Dangerous and Degraded Aurora/Delta power network, stringing along the bumbling Dunedin City Council as OVERLORD (meanwhile running its ‘static’ city)…….. exactly how does that affect DUNEDIN RATEPAYERS, do you think. [DCC steered by “SpongeBob” running the holding company; the mayor inane factotum to the GOBs.]

So yeah, if there’s no word yet (?) on how the INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE for constant rates increases (exceeding New Zealand’s rate of inflation) will be cleaned out financially themselves (along with their private trusts), with jail sentences to serve…….. Then you stand to be OUTRAGED by anything these knaves are saying.

We can’t call them liars.

But think about what these immoral money stealing mongrel-individuals are costing us. You are being robbed, mercilessly, repeatedly, over and over. Public funds through your rates have gone out both front and back doors in almost limitless fashion. The male mafia have been in your pockets doing what they like —across nefarious deals and rorts for “the past 25 to 30 years”.

You have been fully violated, the power network you rely on is completely stuffed. ‘They mongrels’ are not simply incompetent.

Personally, you bear the price; your extended family and descendants pay the price. ‘They mongrels’ each buy an expensive house or three in Queenstown Lakes, they live off the spoils, in style —while you and yours, your businesses and community run desperately out of hope for better times. Clearly, the Bad are being replaced by more of the Bad with unedifying track records.
Same, same again.

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 12, 2016
Delta whistleblower Richard Healey
Mayor Dave Cull said the whistleblower, Richard Healey, had been largely vindicated. The poles network was not as safe as it should be.

Newly-appointed chairman Steve Thompson [ex Deloitte head] said chief executive Grady Cameron would not be sacked as a result of the failings identified in the report, as he had confidence in his leadership. “I think he’s done a good job in difficult circumstances.”

### ODT Online Tue, 13 Dec 2016
Shake-up agreed for Delta, Aurora
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora are in for a major shake-up. The planned changes come as a result of recommendations included in a review by consultant Deloitte into Delta/Aurora network safety concerns, and in particular accusations Aurora dangerously mismanaged its electricity network and left thousands of poles to rot. The shake-up would involve having separate boards and chief executives for the two companies and introduce a more proactive approach to maintaining the network. After the review, commissioned by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, was released yesterday, Mayor Dave Cull said the changes could have a significant financial impact on the council, resulting in rates increases.

“I don’t believe it’s unsafe, but we just need to do more work on getting the infrastructure to a better level than it currently is.” –Steve Thompson

Mr Healey said he was satisfied for the most part with the report, but not with the response from Mr Cull, DCHL chairman Graham Crombie and Mr Thompson, who he said were all still trying to minimise the extent of the problem …. Mr Thompson’s claim the network was safe and his continued confidence in Mr Cameron were “mind-boggling”, Mr Healey said.
Read more

bill-english-stuff-co-nz-1Brief me, Paula.

—Without a Safe and Secure power supply for Otago, new Business Development, Tourism and Productivity are severely impacted, Prime Minister.

Who is responsible?
—Dunedin City Council, sir.

Agh, that lag Cull.
—He hasn’t mentioned climate change this time, sir.

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: stuff.co.nz – Richard Healey | Bill English PM

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Deloitte report released #Delta #Aurora

Updated post
Mon, 12 Dec 2016 at 11:56 p.m.

aurora-report [supplied by DCC]

Deloitte’s Steve Thompson – appointed to the Delta and Aurora Boards in 2015 – is to head two (new) separated (“armslength”) companies.

Grady’s future is between the lines.

2016-12-13-01-10-57

Monstrous understatement from our Mayor Cull:
“The poles network was not as safe as it should be.” ….LOL

Dear god, there appear to be a few capital raising issues to curtail the service delivery promised. Further, Dunedin City Council will receive the wrath of two other councils…. Let’s not be naive about the extent of problems with the DANGEROUS NETWORK. This is not a POLES ONLY exercise. And where, oops, have we seen Steve Thompson before, Deloitte and Otago Rugby governance. South Auckland pokie bars, ORFU, anyone ?

An inquiry into thousands of failing power poles has recommended major changes to the lines companies involved. Thousands of rotting power poles are due for replacement in Otago. (RNZ)

### radionz.co.nz 38 minutes ago
Rotting power pole whistleblower vindicated
By Ian Telfer, Otago-Southland Reporter
The Dunedin City Council-commissioned inquiry was one of three started in October after a whistleblower revealed almost 3000 power poles in Dunedin and Central Otago, managed by Aurora Energy and Delta, needed urgent replacement. Councillors debated Deloitte’s report, which covered the scale of the problem and management, for more than two hours. The report recommended health and safety upgrades and for Delta and Aurora’s board and management to split. Mayor Dave Cull said the whistleblower, Richard Healey, had been largely vindicated. Mr Healey accused the management of not understanding the scale of the problem and of not seeing just how dangerous it was. Deloitte found serious systematic problems in the network.
Read more

[Audio] Inquiry into failing power poles recommends big changes  (3′01″)
RNZ Checkpoint (12 Dec 2016)

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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