Otago’s state of emergency has been lifted.
Emergency Management Otago this morning lifted the state of emergency which existed since deluges and heavy wind battered Otago’s eastern coast over the weekend. The region has now officially entered a recovery phase with teams moving on to assessing the damage and checking on the needs of those affected by the devastating floods. Emergency Management Otago group controller Chris Hawker, in Dunedin, said the move towards recovery did not signal any reduction in effort.
● Dunedin City Council (03) 477-4000
● Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
● Otago Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254
DUNEDIN CITY COUNCIL
Dunedin July Severe Weather update
10.45am Monday 24 July 2017
State of Emergency lifted
The Dunedin State of Emergency was lifted at 9am today. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 we are now operating under a Notice of Local Transition Period as we move into the recovery phase.
The transition period is in force for 28 days (expires 9am 21 August) unless extended or ended earlier. The notice still gives the local authority powers to carry out essential emergency-related work.
More information about the work happening as part of the recovery phase will be provided today. The work will be led by Dunedin City Council Recovery Manager Simon Pickford.
OPINION received from Neil Johnstone
Sat, 10 Sep 2016 at 12:42 a.m.
Richard Stedman produces (below) a succinct review of the causes of, and failures after, the South Dunedin flood of June 2015. His frustrations appear to match those of Hilary Calvert that were published a few hours earlier. My reviews previously published on What if? Dunedin commencing back around February give more detail.
For your readers’ further consideration, Richard has highlighted the ‘200mm increase’ in flood level as a result of Portobello Road pumping station failures. The figure was derived by me, and appears in my review of the first DCC flood report. To my knowledge the only clear comparable DCC concessions have come from chief executive Sue Bidrose who admitted the figure publicly at the 20 June 2016 (yes, 2016) South Dunedin Action Group-organised public meeting, and subsequently.
The first DCC flood report (30 Nov 2015) is adamant that high groundwater was the cause of the flooding, and enough Councillors bought right into that excuse at the following Infrastructure Services Committee meeting. Just go back and view the video, if you’ve forgotten.
Dunedin City Council Published on Dec 7, 2015 Dunedin City Council – Council Meeting – November 30 2015
Discussion of the report starts at 1:09:52
The second (mudtank) DCC report of 26 April this year states: “Although Portobello Road’s performance did explain some of the length of time flooding was evident, much of the flooded area was below road level…” (para 31). No mention of increased depth of flooding there either, you will note.
[View report at Infrastructure Services Committee: Agenda & Reports 26 April (Part A, Item 5) pp 6-27.]
Neither DCC report mentions the additional depth of flooding caused by inaction at the Musselburgh pumping station.
History and ongoing design may rely on written commentaries. For the wellbeing of South Dunedin people, we must therefore continue to counter the misinformation contained in DCC reports, and in the more recent ORC (DCC-backed) South Dunedin “hazards” report. Even if ODT has switched off.
The ODT editorial department is peopled by closed minds, a number of whom subscribe to the climate change/rising sea level mantra and therefore manipulate their content to support their distorted view of the world. Mr Morris is captured by the former/present regime at city hall, a fate which befalls every reporter assigned to that round once they get their feet under the table.
Two weeks ago I prepared an opinion piece re the election and South Dunedin, outlining some of the issues as I see them in the hope that it might be published. I thought it was honestly held opinion, but it was rejected because it added “nothing new” to the debate, yet they run to Cull at every turn and run column after column of repetitive nonsense.
The following is my submission submitted on 24/8 and rejected the same day in this message: “Thanks for this submission, but we have had a “deluge” of flood letters and op eds from all sides so I don’t feel the need to highlight the issue again at the moment – certainly if there’s not anything new in it, as such”.
I have seen little evidence of the cited “deluge”.
The South Dunedin flood of June 2015 may be a tipping point during next month’s local body election. Many voters will look at the burgeoning candidates list for the Dunedin City Council and ask “who will provide the cornerstone elements of responsibility, accountability and integrity?”
Residents and business owners in South Dunedin have been sorely tested in recent times through the failure of the DCC to maintain its infrastructure. Among those adversely affected were elderly residents at Radius Fulton Home, including a number of dementia patients, the most vulnerable in our community, who were subjected to floodwaters containing sewage and transferred from the safety of their home in a crisis beyond acceptance. Some were accommodated as far away as Balclutha and Oamaru and three months passed before the facility was re-opened.
Following the flood, obfuscation clouded the failures that led to the inundation of homes and businesses and the investigation and report into the affair was 12 months in gestation. Officials and councillors, captured by the twin mantras of climate change and rising sea level, avoided any suggestion of culpability to limit the likelihood of litigation, and offered no solace that might have been construed as admission of liability.
The mayor and others were quick to blame rising sea level causing increased groundwater, combined with an “extreme weather event”, the result of climate change, and went so far as suggesting that a planned retreat from South Dunedin may be necessary in the future. The rainfall was described as a one-in-100-year event then gradually downgraded, but none of these pretexts are realistic. Questions arise over who is responsible for what, and how serious are the threats of rising sea level, more frequent adverse weather caused by climate change, and the “sinking of South Dunedin”, not to mention “retreat”.
Dunedin and environs have been subjected to much larger weather events in the past. Flooding of the entire city is well recorded and in particular photographs of the 1923 flood depict rowing in floodwaters in the city as well as inundation in South Dunedin. During a storm in 1898 large tracts of St Clair Esplanade were destroyed by the sea which damaged many houses, leaving some partly suspended. More recently, the storms of 1968 were greater than last year’s, delivering 10% more rainfall. In 1968 there were 90 properties invaded by floodwater, whereas last year some 1200 properties were flooded and many contaminated with effluent. Clearly last year’s event was exceptional only for the damage created and lives disrupted.
At a public meeting in South Dunedin on June 20, more than 12 months after the event, those affected had an opportunity to hear an explanation in the hope that someone might take responsibility for the extent of the damage. Despite a good representation of councillors there was no empathy and no likelihood of accountability. What the meeting heard was a long explanation of how the three-waters system works, or doesn’t work, as the case may be, and of failure at the pumping station from chief executive, Dr Sue Bidrose and other staff. The question is “when did the city’s councillors abdicate?”
South Dunedin June 2015 [radionz.co.nz]
It can be argued that the damage and distress was the result of neglect, but the DCC says problems at the pumping station added only 200mm to the flooding which would have occurred anyway. Which 200mm was it? Maybe the first 200mm flowed across the ground, reached blocked drains then deepened throughout the area, or perhaps the last 200mm increased the depth and entered homes and business premises carrying undesirable flotsam. Without the extra 200mm would the water have stopped at the thresholds rather than flowing inside?
What of the rising sea level threat? Is it as urgent and as devastating as the commissioner for the environment, some DCC councillors and the Green Party say? The Greens proffer that the Government should help to pay for the reconfiguration of South Dunedin. Why? There has been no disaster on the scale of the Canterbury earthquakes and there is no immediate danger condemning South Dunedin, for if sea level were to rise according to some projections, north Dunedin and other areas are also in jeopardy meaning protection on the coast is futile because the flat land would be inundated from the harbour.
Could it be that models of sea level rise around New Zealand are exaggerated and distorted by the multiplier effect have been grossly over stated? And do the $7 million apartment complex at the Esplanade to be completed next year and the DCC’s belated discussion on a South Dunedin hub indicate mixed messages on the subject?
There is no doubt that the infrastructure must be maintained to the highest level and upgrading implemented with haste. The seafront calls for a level-headed approach to protect the sandhills which shelter the city from the ocean. In the past a network of groynes captured the sand, maintaining a broad beach to dissipate the energy of the waves. The network succeeded for nearly 100 years, but without maintenance fell victim to the ocean, so is it time to reinstate a similar system and then plan carefully for the next 100 to 200 years?
Council says that infrastructure will require “tens of millions of dollars” we cannot afford, but plans to spend some $37 million on George Street and the Octagon, followed by development of the harbourside. These “tens of millions” surely must be re-allocated to South Dunedin for infrastructure, to build a second pumping station, and provide realistic coastal protection.
Dunedin needs new councillors who will make hard decisions, reduce spending on fripperies and attend to basics; people who are prepared to drill deep into reports and costings and who are not afraid to make unpalatable decisions when needed rather than govern with slogans and platitudes.
Declaration: Conrad Stedman is my nephew.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.
There is little or no RISING GROUNDWATER at South Dunedin – this is an attack on the local community by Anthropogenic Global Warming (manmade climate change) believers like Curran, Clark, and Cull.
So-called ‘authorities’ are running their Politics over the top of the local Community, Failing to canvass the views of the local residents, property owners, service providers and businesses through agreed consultation methods Before pronouncing upon the area. This is disrespectful, dangerous behaviour. Unwarranted.
A lot of us will remember Labour MP David Clark’s importune speech on climate change at the public meeting held at South Dunedin on 20 June. He completely didn’t register the mood and understandings of the local audience.
Greenie Cull and the Labour Party are deliberately or inadvertently using South Dunedin as a Political Football. There are few votes to be earned from bullying and interference, thank god.
Listening —what is that.
Speaking after the tour, Mr Little said the area was a “prime candidate” for urban renewal under the party’s proposed Affordable Housing Authority.
### ODT Online Tue, 26 Jul 2016 Labour timeline for South renewal
By Timothy Brown
South Dunedin’s renewal will be showing “good progress” within six years of electing a Labour government, party leader Andrew Little says. Mr Little toured South Dunedin with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran, Dunedin North MP Dr David Clark and list MP David Parker after the area was earmarked by the Opposition as one urgently needing urban renewal. The group walked from Bathgate Park School, in Macandrew Rd, down Loyalty St into Nicholson St and on to Nelson St before returning to the school. They were accompanied by members of various social groups from South Dunedin. Read more
### Dunedintv.co.nz Mon, 25 July 2016 Labour leader tours South Dunedin
Labour Leader Andrew Little has visited South Dunedin today, alongside a contingent of MPs and social service agency stakeholders. The group wandered around the areas hardest hit by last year’s floods, looking at the handful of houses still empty more than a year on. And Little took the opportunity to offer up his party’s plan to fix some of the issues. Ch39 Link
Channel 39 Published on Jul 24, 2016
Labour leader tours South Dunedin
DUNEDIN – JUNKET CITY FOR LGNZ
“How do we Efficiently capture NZ Ratepayers’ Money for our Comfy Salaries”
### Dunedintv.co.nz Mon, 25 July 2016 Local government conference kicks off
The country’s annual Local Government conference is back in Dunedin for the first time in almost a decade. More than 560 delegates have piled into the Town Hall to discuss how to make New Zealand a better place to live and work. But it’s also serving as a way to address the tension between local and central governments. Ch39 Video
LAWRENCE YULE GO HOME
█ For more, enter the terms *flood*, *sea level rise*, *stormwater*, *hazard*, *johnstone*, *hendry*, *south dunedin action group*, *debriefing notes*, *listener* or *lgnz* in the search box at right.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.
*Images: mrhudyma.com – Listening | linkedin.com – Larry King, Listen
### ODT Online Thu, 7 Jul 2016 Flood review clears DCC staff findings
Dunedin City Council staff have been vindicated by peer reviews which backed their findings over the cause of last June’s devastating floods. The reviews, carried out by infrastructure consultancy firm Opus, backed the council’s findings South Dunedin and other parts of the city would have been flooded even if the city’s stormwater system was running at full capacity. Read more
Opus peer reviews of DCC flood reports received (same day) following a LGOIMA request made on 7 July 2016:
A truly independent inquiry into the council’s performance around last year’s South Dunedin floods remains long overdue, writes Dunedin engineer Neil Johnstone.
### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jul 2016 Opinion: Report skims surface of South Dunedin flood saga
By Neil Johnstone
OPINION Readers of the Dunedin City Council-funded independent peer review of its post-flood reporting (ODT, 7.7.16) should be wary. The council’s delight with the review may prove short-lived. In brief, the Opus review:
● Recognises the 1968 rainfall event was bigger than that of June 2015 (contrary to repeated council claims).
● Fails to explore the reasons why the 2015 flood was a disaster, and the 1968 event was not.
● Makes assumptions about groundwater levels without referencing the actual data.
● Appears to consider the council’s assumption of zero ground infiltration has merit (note: the data disproves this).
● Believes mud-tank blockage impacts of the flood were “localised” (too bad if you were a local), but fails to consider the likely widespread impacts on South Dunedin of blocked mud-tanks in the St Clair catchment.
● States council reviews “suggest” its failures at the Portobello Rd pumping station caused an increase in flood levels of about 200mm.
● In fact, the first council review leaves the reader with no more than an opportunity to infer this, while the second council review only states that the failures may have influenced “the length of time flooding was evident”.
● I do not recall the council actually publicly admitting the 200mm figure before the South Dunedin Action Group meeting of June 21.
● Fails to address the flood impacts of the council’s total failure to operate its Musselburgh pumps for stormwater relief.
● Makes general statements to the effect that “primary” flooding would have occurred under any circumstance. South Dunedin residents know that “overwhelming” of stormwater infrastructure was not the concern; the avoidable flooding of our people’s houses and businesses was.
For all of the above reasons, and more, the Opus finding the council report’s conclusions were “robust” is concerning. A truly independent inquiry into the council’s performance pre, during and post-flood, at staff and political levels, is long overdue. ODT Link
Sam Eagle Uploaded on Jun 27, 2008 Stars & Stripes FOREVER!
I, Sam the Eagle, present a musical salute to America.
(c) 2009 The Muppets Studio, LLC
From: [Dunedin City Council] Sent: Monday, 4 July 2016 11:55 a.m. To: Elizabeth Kerr Subject: Response to Information Request
Dear Ms Kerr,
Official information request for CEO SPEECH SOUTH DUNEDIN
I refer to your official information request dated 27-June-2016 for “a full copy of DCC Chief Executive Sue Bidrose’s speech and overhead slides presented to the public meeting hosted by the South Dunedin Action Group on 20 June at Nations Church, King Edward St.”
The information you have requested is available on our website at:
If you wish to discuss this further with us, please feel free to contact the chief executive and request an appointment.
The following report by Anna Johnson shows that very little was done [public consultation] in 2014. In fact only 17 people turned up to the DCC workshop in South Dunedin and their Appendices show that less than 10 people commented on their draft natural hazard policy.
*Bullet points indicate comments entered after the public meeting 20 June.
█ For more, enter the terms *flood*, *sea level rise*, *climate change*, *pce*, *stormwater*, *hazard*, *johnstone*, *hendry*, *south dunedin action group*, *debriefing notes* or *listener* in the search box at right.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Election Year. This post is offered on the public interest.