Tag Archives: Concerned people

POLITICS of Place —New Year glums (read glue and screws)

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IS DUNEDIN weighed down by local body politics?

How do citizens separate governance from management?

How do ratepayers and residents separate truth from something else, from someone else?

Finding value in plain speaking, will the place be any better? Will the same players get knuckled, while others with over generous salaries and stipends commit more strongly to the unrelenting string of make-work schemes.

As they ignore basic infrastructure.
For a heightened slavishness to global politics.

Then, early this morning Diane said: “When will you drag us all back to politics, Elizabeth?”

Good question. Thinking about the HOWS and WHYS.
And the WHAT WOULD HAPPENS.

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[a construct] Octagon picnic table
Octagon picnic table [ana-white.com] 1

With others, I received an email from an esteemed and powerful colleague in the United States. It focused my mind. The afternoon email was one of a series of calls and messages proceeding across the holiday break (as committed Canterbury people fortify, lobby and fundraise – lawyers and QCs amongst them) within the all-out campaign to fully restore Christchurch Cathedral.

The man-writer was responding to letters to The Press published today (28 December), each decrying any moves to restore the Cathedral but meanwhile expressing strong desire to resuscitate the heart of the City.

It’s understood the Press editor has been hard to win over on restoration for some years although chinks in that armour did appear after cathedral campaigners BOUGHT space to balance and convey the other side of the Anglican hierarchy’s argument to demolish Serious cultural heritage.

Right now, Christchurch is my favourite POLITICAL City in New Zealand. There is a force for intelligence, compassion, honest endeavour without fear, free speech (multiple voices joined in hardship), and far more than simple zeal for Justice there is public and private leadership in a Place recovering from the political aftermath of a damnable naturally occurring tragedy. Throughout, Christchurch people have got ‘more like themselves’ to cope, to battle —to try for the Egalitarian in the face of disgusting bureaucracies and god-awful top down disparages.

Dunedin faces something else – THAT (nameless but real) is the reason for the What if? Dunedin website. Letting it out, spilling, building confidence to challenge what is handed down as fact.

For the strong and interested, there is no acceptance of stray conduct at PUBLIC MEETINGS caught by privately-owned television for the PUBLIC RECORD. There will be no silencing of what is in PUBLIC DOMAIN. Information existing in PUBLIC DOMAIN, put there by local bodies as their official reports and media releases should not be stopped. Information requested by the public and released by local bodies under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) should be freely disseminated. No picnic.

And now, the substance of that email:

All;

It is with profound regret that I note the United States does not have a monopoly on short-sighted, narrow minded, culturally blind idiots. We have so many of them it’s easy to assume we have them all. I guess there are Rednecks and Bogans everywhere.

Fear not…neither does the US have a monopoly on brave, stalwart, far-sighted stewards of our common Heritage who are willing and able to stand strong and see this important work through to completion. You are an inspiration to me and people around the world.

Have faith…stand strong and fear not.

christchurch-cathedral [tfttphotography.wordpress.com] 1Christchurch Cathedral [tfttphotography.wordpress.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.15 Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator Miriam Dean QC [read report via link provided]
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

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D Scene has its turn

Late news, sorry – no delivery of the free community paper to my inner city place of residence (again). In yesterday’s D Scene there is a splurge about the public meeting. Did try to find online version to link to but accessing the Fairfax-owned paper is quite obscure.

UPDATE – Peter says:
“Digital editions of D Scene and the Taieri Herald are available for free at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/
You will need to register at the site but that’s all …”
Use the left sidebar to sign up. This time it let me register, gremlins on holiday.

### D Scene 1-4-09 Front page:
The crowd goes wild. Stedman’s stadium salvo to councillors: “Take a deep breath, step back, listen to your community. Stop listening to each other. The dismissive arrogance is breathtaking.”

Set against a photo of Mr Stedman at the mike.

Quite good. We then turn to page 4:
What the speakers said

GERRY ECKHOFF, Otago Regional councillor:
“Will produce not one dollar of worth. Make no mistake – the stadium is being built to replace Carisbrook so you have a world-class facility for the Rugby World Cup. It’s not multi-purpose, it’s to provide a facility for the New Zealand Rugby Union to satisfy international pay-masters. The consultative process was a sham.”

ALISTAIR BROAD, Dunedin businessman:
“Guaranteed maximum price contract – it’s fixed price with areas where the price can fluctuate. There’s huge potential for variability – foundations, cost of steel, delays due to weather. A stadium is not a way of making money – it’s a way of spending money. Even if built for nothing, it would still run at a loss. That loss will be real and borne by the ratepayers. If the stadium was ever a good idea, it’s not now.”

SUKHI TURNER, former Dunedin mayor:
“Grossly naive view that this bit of concrete and plastic will fix the survival of Dunedin for good. Dunedin does not need a $200 million roofed temple to rugby to survive. It took 10 years between 1995 and 2005 for $100 million to be spent on a city water upgrade. Now they’re prepared to spend that on not only a non-essential project but one that will drain the pockets of citizens for decades.”

MICHAEL STEDMAN, Natural History NZ boss:
Lambasted DCC, ORC for “condescending” treatment of “real concerns of the citizenry”, took issue with opponents being called “Luddites, whingers”. “As someone opposed to this folly I deeply resent those labels and dismissive arrogance of the councils. This is not a time to take huge risks, saddling the community with a huge amount of debt based on very questionable assumptions.”

ROB HAMLIN, Otago University lecturer:
“I believe it will cost $400 million. I would be very surprised if this stadium stays to cost given the environment we’re in.”

DAVID CULL, Dunedin City councillor:
Cull noted cost savings had reduced the stadium’s flexibility to cater for events outside rugby. It would also lower the standard of finish so “while initial costs are lower, long-term maintenance costs are higher”. He was concerned by council’s “cavalier” treatment of the community, and embarrassed that assurances weren’t honoured. “Via submissions send the council a message it cannot mistake.”

****

D Scene’s on the button. At page 5 it styles a text box containing the two resolutions unanimously approved at the meeting:

1. Accept local Government Minister Rodney Hide’s offer and invite him to Dunedin to examine the DCC/ORC processes surrounding the stadium.

2. Request city council makes no binding contract for stadium construction until after public has opportunity to submit on draft annual plan.

The main item on page 5 contains the clever shot from Dunedin property lawyer Hilary Calvert, that councillors could be sued.
[Bravo Hilary, we thought so too.]

### D Scene 1-4-09 (page 5)

‘Doom’ day extension
By Michelle Sutton and Ryan Keen

Dunedin is doomed if the controversial stadium “folly” is the best local authorities can come up with, a city-based heavyhitter warns.
{story continues}

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