Tag Archives: Climate

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

[ends]

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Greater South Dunedin Action Group

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

Agenda
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.

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Planning for South Dunedin, but wait….

Received from Malcolm McQueen
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 at 8:44 p.m.

Planning for South Dunedin in the face of the rising sea level
20/4/2016

The floods last year in South Dunedin have provoked discussion as to what are appropriate policies that Dunedin should adopt regarding planning for this area.
Concern that rising sea levels as a result of global warming brings urgency to consider this problem.
The area is low lying and even a modest rise in sea level may make the frequency of flooding a serious problem at some time in the future, possibly to the extent that the area becomes unviable as a residential area. A rise of 300mm may increase the danger of severe flooding to an unacceptable level.
A timely but not precipitate response is required. The cost of the response may be huge in both financial and social costs for the city if a solution such as “a retreat from the sea” is undertaken.

But predictions are predictions, they are not yet actual.

We are fortunate in Dunedin to have an accurate and reliable record of sea level. Indeed the safety record of our port attests to this. This record indicates that the sea level in Dunedin is rising at the rate of 130mm per century. Figure 1 shows the sea level as measured at Port Chalmers taken from the “PSMSL Data Explorer” http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/map.html. And note that there is no observable increase in the rate of rise over time.
At this rate it will be 230 years before a 300mm limit is reached, well beyond our planning horizon, say 2100.

Figure 1. Sea Level measured at Port Chalmers via PSMSL Data Explorer [psmsl.org]Figure 1. [click to enlarge]

However, claims are made that the rate will greatly increase and so pose a threat that we must consider immediately. But note that in order to reach a 300mm rise before 2100 the rate of sea level rise would have to increase by a factor of 270% above that currently observed.
It would be irresponsible in the extreme to undertake extreme action without carefully examining the validity of the claims.
We must consider if and when a response is required. What reasons do we have to expect such a catastrophic rise?

I address four points as to why I do not consider the predictions of catastrophic sea level rise to be well founded.

Validity of predictions

1) As discussed above, the available sea level data gives no indication of an impending catastrophic sea level rise.

2) Rising sea levels are a claimed consequence of rising temperatures. Thus for the prediction of rising sea levels a precondition is that temperatures should be rising. That this should be so is confidently accorded to by the IPCC. However, reality is not quite so simple.
Figure 2 shows the average temperature as recorded at the Musselburgh Pumping station by NIWA in its CliFlo database. http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz/

Figure 2. Average temperatures at Musselburgh [cliflo.niwa.co.nz]Figure 2. [click to enlarge]

Although this is a local measurement and rising sea levels are claimed to be a consequence of rising global temperature, the absence of significant warming and no evidence for any increase in the rate of warming must cast doubt on predictions of imminent catastrophic sea level rise.

3) The track record of predictions regarding climate change does not give rise to confidence in the validity of those predictions.
For instance in 2007 the Australian Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery, claimed that Sydney was “facing extreme difficulties with water”, in 2008 that: “The water problem is so severe for Adelaide that it may run out of water by early 2009.“ and others regarding an endless Australian drought.
These claims were influential in the decision to construct desalination plants in Australian seaboard cities at a cost of about $10 billion. His predictions have not come true, the drought broke and the plants have not been needed. This expense is probably not a complete waste as the plants do provide insurance against future droughts which are sure to occur.
Other predictions that have been made:
– from the UN in 2005, “50 million climate refugees by 2010”
– from Dr David Viner, of University of East Anglia, who confidently asserted that within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
– and many others too numerous and many too silly to comment on.
All these predictions have failed to eventuate.
I suggest that we should not take at face value the predictions of claimed experts without corroborating evidence such as trends in the historic record or the success of previous predictions.

4) Sea level rise is largely due to melting of continental ice sheets exceeding their gain from snowfall. This is not an easy measurement to make accurately. It has been assumed that melting exceeds accumulation thus contributing to sea level rise. However, recent satellite measurements by NASA cast this in doubt. In fact they indicate that the opposite is the case.
Ref. http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greaterthan-losses

Conclusion

It is critical that we should have a high degree of confidence in the predictions of sea level rise before committing ourselves to very expensive and socially destructive remedial or mitigation policies.
The issue at hand is not one of the reality or otherwise of global warming, we need make no commitment on that issue before deciding the fate of South Dunedin. The climate has changed over the millennia and will continue to do so. The issue is the making of a timely and appropriate response to its flooding problems.
The points I make above are intended to show that the confidence in alarmist predictions is misplaced and are insufficient in themselves to provide a sound basis for planning.
It is clearly unnecessary to address this problem immediately but continued attention is required so that appropriate actions can be taken if the situation is observed to change.

Fortunately in New Zealand the data relevant for making decisions such as that posed by planning for South Dunedin’s future is publicly available and of high quality. Citizens should avail themselves of this the opportunity of consulting the data themselves to draw their own conclusions rather than rely on second hand interpretations.

“You don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows” Bob Dylan.

[ends]

█ For more, enter the term *flood* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Douglas Field counters DCC climate change bunkum

Received.
Mon, 8 Feb 2016 at 5:19 pm (GMT+12:00)

Douglas Field Published on Feb 7, 2016
Dr John Christy testimony US House Committee 2 Feb 2016
Comparison between local politicians’ opinions on climate and Professor John Christy’s testimony at US senate committee hearing.

The full text of Christy’s testimony to the Senate Science committee. It really reinforces the little clip above and is so clear and easy to comprehend.

[begins] I am John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Alabama’s State Climatologist and Director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. I have served as Lead Author, Contributing Author and Reviewer of United Nations IPCC assessments, have been awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
It is a privilege for me to offer my analysis of the current situation regarding (1) the temperature datasets used to study climate, (2) our basic understanding of climate change and (3) the effect that regulations, such as the Paris agreement, might have on climate. I have also attached an extract from my Senate Testimony last December in which I address (1) the popular notion that extreme climate events are increasing due to humaninduced climate change (they are not), and (2) the unfortunate direction research in this area has taken.
My research area might be best described as building datasets from scratch to advance our understanding of what the climate is doing and why. Cont/

█ Download: https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-WState-JChristy-20160202.pdf

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Tauranga: Office leases to cover potential losses from hotel

OH WOW, another $100M baby!!!!!!

Tauranga - carpark on Durham St [bayofplentytimes.co.nz] 1This council carpark on Durham St could be home to a long-awaited $100 million hotel and commercial building development.

### ODT Online Wed, 24 Jul 2013
$100m hotel plan for city
By John Cousins – Bay of Plenty Times
A massive $100 million building is proposed for council-owned land in Tauranga’s downtown after plans for an international hotel escalated into a combined hotel and commercial office development.
Mayor Stuart Crosby announced that negotiations between the council and Tainui Holdings, the Waikato iwi’s investment arm, had seen a substantial high-end office development added to the original plans for a $40 million hotel. The council’s ambitions for the block of land on Durham St are now only a week away from a firm direction being given on whether the project went ahead.
Tainui Holdings and its hotel operator partner, Accor group, had until July 17 to carry out due diligence and had kept the council abreast of progress.
Mr Crosby said the much larger project had been driven by the opportunity that the income from office leases would cover potential losses from the hotel: “Hotels are notorious for not making profits in their early years.” APNZ
Read more

Tauranga downtown’s emerging skyline

Recent Additions
$30m ANZ Building on the corner of Cameron Rd & Elizabeth St
$14m Sharpe Tudhope Building on the corner of Devonport Rd & 1st Ave
$21m police station, Monmouth St

Planned Additions
$1m-plus 3-storey retail & office building on The Strand’s Grumpy Mole site
$10m office building on the corner of Willow St & Harington St
$30m TrustPower head office
$67m tertiary and research campus
$100m international hotel and office development

PS. Dunedin is SO not Tauranga. The Bay is poised to boom as the fruit bowl of Asia. Meanwhile on the Taieri, Dunedin City Council lets a councillor and friends build speculative housing and a plant nursery turn into a gravelled ‘destination hub’ (without a legal water connection?) on high class soils, with impunity.

Recent Post and Comments:
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

For information on the proposed $100M ‘Dunedin Hotel’, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Superficial Dunedin sloganism

NO SLOGAN REQUIRED

We see ODT is voicing its campaign using the word “brand”, despite taking the front page today to push slogans mostly. Hmmph.

The slogan search was a bit of fun but comes at the cost of exposing the negative self-deprecatory ‘irishness’ of the place.

More than that, helpfully, it shows some of the wider demographics of people’s exposure to what Dunedin might seem like during a dull, chilly summer, or what their memories are of the city having the hit the wider world in adulthood. Some childishness enters the fray of sloganism.

Users of the internet demonstrate how widely the debate is cast, and how lively the medium is for brainstorming, discussion and famous last words – in which Dunedin comes to resemble hapless prey, underscored by truths, comparisons and denials of sorts.

One thing is clear from the battery charge of slogans online, in particular (!!!!), Dunedin is sufficiently well regarded as ‘being’ its own place – otherwise, it would have attracted little or no comment at all.

Dunedin always has something to do with learning, leaving and the test of arriving with little known, until you get past the glint in its eye.

Cloyingly, in business it appears to have lots to do with OBHS. There’s room to explore the city’s identity through other mirrors and charms, make that soon, make that comprehensive.

For these days in the news we’re saying we’re debt funded here to an unholy degree. We are for this matter on watch to emerge, we hope, without deep scars, parochial chips on shoulders – divorced from our good side.

****

### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jan 2010
City brand search hots up
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s plan to develop and launch a new brand for the city has sparked a strong city-wide response, and the search is now on to find the “essence” of the Dunedin experience to promote the city to the rest of the world.
Read more

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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False impressions

Just happy, shiny people, wandering around town without purpose, direction or ambition.

### ODT Online Thu, 9 Jul 2009
Opinion
Citizens in a dreamworld
By Chris Skellett

Do the artists who create the snazzy “impressions” of future construction projects live in the same Dunedin as the rest of us? Chris Skellett doubts it.
Read more

– Chris Skellett is a Warrington writer.

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