Tag Archives: Cycleways

West Harbour Recreation Trail —Devastation caused to Rotary project

The three-year $200,000 West Harbour Recreation Trail project by the Rotary Club of Dunedin aims to beautify the edges of a 3km section of the cycleway-walkway, from the Otago Boat Harbour to Maia.

On May 26, a Friday afternoon, two Rotarians turned up at the boat harbour end of the Trail to set out the location of new exercise equipment for public use (in preparation for a June 10 working bee) – the next phase of the harbourside project. The men were astounded to find a council contractor, ostensibly there to repair the harbour wall, running heavy machinery across the mown green strip, seriously damaging the designated public amenity area.

While Rotary’s West Harbour Recreation Trail is a council approved project, and the extended site receives maintenance from Taskforce Green, the DCC had completely failed to advise and coordinate with Rotary before earthworks commenced for repair of the seawall. How does this happen ??!

Not such a bad job until you look westward, other side of the orange safety nets:

DCC Webmap – West Harbour Recreation Trail (damaged section)

Apparently, DCC has assured Rotary that the damage will be put right by the contractor. However, because of no drying for some time Rotary’s scheduled work at this site is on hold (at least a five month delay).

Rotarians had raised funds from the public to carry out the project.

One of the Rotarians said he was ‘incandescent with rage’ over it – and did not often get incandescent!!

On Tuesday (May 30) I visited the area to take photographs.

This is yet another example of council ineptitude where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing. The council’s lack of oversight and the resulting damage may necessitate deeper foundations for the exercise equipment than Rotary had anticipated and budgeted. Their working bee planned for June 10 will be reduced in scale, with only installation of exercise equipment at Ravensbourne Footbridge taking place. The working bees for July and August have been cancelled as the site won’t be in a fit state to work on. Timing of the provision of barbeque facilities as part of the landscaping project is also affected.

There is the Huge Irony that Rotary have only just been awarded 1st Place by Keep Dunedin Beautiful, for their work on the recreation trail. The award came with a $100 cash prize.

Thankfully, say Rotarians, the damage wasn’t done until after the Trees for Babies planting was done on Mother’s Day (14 May).

The Keep Dunedin Beautiful Awards “celebrate and honour the people of Dunedin who are committed to beautifying their city and caring for their environment through volunteer action”.

“Each Autumn, in partnership with Rotary Dunedin, Keep Dunedin Beautiful organises tree plantings for babies and other family members in city reserves. Trees for Babies is a long-term native tree-planting project where family members can celebrate the birth of a child or any significant family milestone. It also contributes to a native re-vegetation project in a city reserve.”

Related Post and Comment:
7.8.15 Dunedin Rotary Club | West Harbour Recreation Trail

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Health & Safety, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Profligate behaviour : MYTH paraded as fact…… just like Aurora Energy’s propaganda campaign

Council infrastructure and networks committee chairwoman Cr Kate Wilson said last night the project would go ahead “regardless”. There was funding for three years, she said, and the fourth year’s funding would be part of next year’s long-term plan, and the one after that. The project was needed for safety reasons to prevent vehicles driving into the harbour and climate change making the road undriveable. (ODT) *Emphasis by whatifdunedin

Yeah right.

### ODT Online Fri, 26 May 2017
Botched cycleway estimate short by $13m
By David Loughrey
A bungled Dunedin City Council cost estimate to complete safety improvements and a cycle/walkway on Otago Peninsula has left the project more than $13 million short. The council announced yesterday an estimate for the project on Portobello Rd and Harington Point Rd that includes a cycle/walkway from Taiaroa Head to the city had risen from $20 million to $49 million. The earlier estimate, drawn up  in 2011, did not include parts of the cycleway to be built, land that had to be bought and a contingency fund to cover unforeseen expenses. […] Despite the cost rise, the council will start construction this year, with a shared cycle/walkway design.
Read more

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Powerlines at sunset [garp.com]

Meanwhile WE will be paying for our Otago power network TWICE, at a crippling cost to business and residential power consumers well into the future —thanks to Dunedin City Council’s unsatisfactory governance of the companies Aurora Energy / Delta Utility Services and Dunedin City Holdings and, above all, the Council’s unfettered use of public funds to realise the dream of the Tartan Mafia and Professional Rugby to build the now frequently empty and under-utilised Forsyth Barr Stadium. (three concerts by Ed Sheeran in highly doubtful acoustic conditions inside ‘the roof’ does not a Christmas make).

All this because the Council conveniently fails to ensure it covers the infrastructural basics (in this instance: the safe, secure and continuous supply of electricity) – affordably – for the static if bearly stable City of Dunedin, and the sparcely populated Otago region in the mode of fast pumping growth. (There are simply too few permanent ratepayers to uphold ‘big bloated dreams’ and money siphoning on the rates take).

The Council did not ensure that Aurora Energy / Delta Utility Services were sufficiently well structured to Avoid profligate spending, making subvention payments to the stadium companies, or borrowing to pay dividends to the Council. (Probably the least of it).

There have been YEARS of dangerous neglect, embellishing the lack of repair and upgrade to the Community of Otago’s electricity network.

The Council is not well enough controlled (corporate and financial oversight) in order to Avoid its own profligate spending —so to protect, support and upgrade Otago’s power network as the solid basis for regional economic development and SAFE living —with CERTAINTY and SECURITY OF SUPPLY.

Instead, The People will now be plunged into further debt by the circus wheel of local body politicians and the morally thin and rather malevolent boards of directors (masters of spin) controlling the companies.

It’s time the People of Dunedin and Otago took control of their power infrastructure. Resolving, if they will, to adopt a different ownership and delivery model – one option is to form a democratically elected Community Power Trust to own and oversee the network; this is a sound regional model that is proven to work in other jurisdictions, with all due care.

WE have to Safeguard our future.
Not leave decision-making to unvetted members of the Tartan Mafia.
Especially not those in thrall to the likes of Gordon Stewart and his ilk (a vague reference to Delta’s speculative dealings at Yaldhurst, Christchurch – Delta is presently in a discovery process via an action brought to the Christchurch High Court by Caveators claiming Constructive Fraud).

DO NOT sell the ‘fragments remaining’ of the Otago Power Network (as bleated by some in power who can’t/won’t maintain a local body balance sheet – like you trust them, already?!) – to overseas corporates who will hike power prices disastrously to satisfy their shareholders.

Proceed carefully, OTAGO.

ASK QUESTIONS. RESEARCH. DO YOUR SUMS.
DON’T BE TOLD WHAT TO DO. ACT RESPONSIBLY FOR THE FUTURE PROSPERITY OF YOUR KITH AND KIN.
DO NOT PLACE FAITH IN OLD SPIN MAESTERS AND THEIR DEPUTIES.

We’ve seen them all before and have the new $1+ BILLION ‘invoice’ from Aurora Energy to prove it. Yes, we thought we had already paid over that amount in electricity and lines dues.

The suited ones bringing the clamour are looking after themselves – not US, not OUR COMMUNITY.

This is now a ransom.

The UGLY sister companies remain joined at the hip : Delta is Aurora Energy’s “preferred contractor”. And Steve is new, so don’t blame him! ….Really?

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[propaganda – Aurora Energy]

After facing unrelenting pressure to up its game, Aurora Energy says it has stepped up to the challenge.

Sat, 27 May 2017
Dawn of a new Aurora era
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora chairman Steve Thompson said it had been under the “spotlight and the heat lamp” since accusations broke last October that it was endangering the public and workers by leaving its network, and in particular power poles, to deteriorate. That pressure turned ugly at times and workers had been verbally abused, including while out doing their supermarket shopping. Mr Thompson blamed the abuse on what he described as unfair criticism and media coverage. But Mr Thompson said in the face of adversity, Aurora and its sister company Delta had achieved a “hell of a lot” in a short space of time. The two companies were well on their way to splitting up in a divorce which Mr Thompson said would cost money in the short-term but reap huge benefits in the long-term. Aurora was also mid-way through an ambitious accelerated pole replacement programme and this week announced a $720million plan to upgrade its ageing network.
….Mr Thompson said its actions should help renew the public’s faith in both companies, but emphasised he believed that faith had been unfairly shaken by what he described as over-the-top criticism in the past seven months. He said safety concerns about the 2910 red-tagged poles across Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes had been overblown. At the same time, Delta and Aurora’s efforts to confront the problem, both before and after the story broke in October, had been under-reported, he said.
….Despite his anger at the way Aurora had been treated by critics and in the Otago Daily Times, he was under no illusion the network was in top shape, saying it was the second oldest network in New Zealand and acknowledged major work was needed to improve it in the next 10 years. But he would not be drawn on whether the situation had come about as a result of decades of underinvestment, which has been one of the main criticisms levelled at Aurora since October. He said he was not in a position to comment given he only started midway through last year.
Read more

CRITICAL ABHORRENCE FOR TOP CHAPS IN THE AURORA / DELTA / DCHL ‘EXECUTIVE’ (PAST AND PRESENT) WILL CONTINUE UNABATED IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE UNTIL THEY AND THEIR FRIENDS ARE OUSTED AND MADE ANSWERABLE TO HIGHER AUTHORITIES.

Otago people must busy themselves.
Time for formal inquiries. Time to REMODEL.

Related Post and Coments:
24.5.17 SCANDAL : Aurora Energy Ltd set to burden Otago ratepayers and residents with massive rates increases

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, delta*, *epic fraud*, *poles*, *healey* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

9 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Climate change, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

RNZ: Government crashes plans for a more pedestrian/cycle-friendly Christchurch

At Twitter:

Christchurch City Council proposes turning Victoria St into a cul-de-sac………

### radionz.co.nz Sun, 16 Apr 2017 1:37 p.m.
RNZ News: Politics / Canterbury
Govt threatens to pull funding for Chch downtown plan
The government is threatening to cancel its funding for a plan to make central Christchurch more pedestrian and cycle friendly if changes are not made. The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Gerry Brownlee, said the government was paying 60 percent of the funding for the Accessible City plan, but last week he was granted authorisation by Cabinet to suspend its funding. Mr Brownlee said the plan, which has been partially implemented, risked creating a dysfunctional central city. “Its absurd. I’m hearing all the time from people who are going to have lunch or coffee in the central city and simply can’t park their car. Or end up parking such a long way away from it that they decide they may as well just drive to one of the suburban malls.”
Read more

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Video link received Sun, 9 Apr 2017 at 9:53 p.m.

From the folks who brought you the self-driving car!

Google Nederland Published on Mar 31, 2016
Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands
This spring, Google is introducing the self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam, the world’s premier cycling city. The Dutch cycle more than any other nation in the world, almost 900 kilometres per year per person, amounting to over 15 billion km annually. The self-driving bicycle enables safe navigation through the city for Amsterdam residents, and furthers Google’s ambition to improve urban mobility with technology. Google Netherlands takes enormous pride in the fact that a Dutch team worked on this innovation that will have great impact in their home country.

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Link received from Hilary Calvert
Thu, 6 Apr 2017 at 7:53 p.m.

Message: Cycle lane cyclist truck turning left. Very dangerous.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:03, Apr 7 2017
Former Hamilton teacher killed in collision with truck at Hamilton roundabout
By Phillipa Yalden – Waikato Times
Mike Leach taught Fairfield College students for 34 years. Some of the things he was involved in at Fairfield were outdoor education and building drama sets. He was a geography and social sciences teacher, and also a Dean. On Wednesday, as he cycled through the rain down Te Rapa Straight, the father of two’s life was cut short in a collision. The 67-year-old was killed when his bike and a B-train truck and trailer collided at the Te Rapa Road and Sunshine Avenue intersection at lunchtime on Wednesday. […] Quite a few people witnessed the crash on Wednesday, Waikato road police Senior Sergeant Gill Meadows said. “There are a number of people who were quite traumatised by the incident and we have referred them to Victim Support. There is quite a bit of work to be done on that particular incident.” Initial inquiries showed that the Halls refrigeration B-train truck was heading north along Te Rapa Straight when it went to turn left at the roundabout into Sunshine Avenue. “He was in the lane to turn left, and the cyclist was going straight ahead, and was on the left side of the truck. But we are still doing inquiries in regards to that.” There is a cyclist lane that runs along the straight, feeding into the roundabout. The crash occurred metres from shops and cafes at 11.30am. 
Read more 

Hamilton roundabout crash site [Christel Yardley/Fairfax NZ via stuff.co.nz]

Related Posts and Comments:
22.2.17 SH1 Cycleways : the real story
26.1.17 SH1 Cycleway : Carnage for Dunedin road users and city parking
21.1.17 Mayor ignores serious plight of DCC’s FAILED Otago power network in favour of urban cycleways and CBD
5.8.16 Informed : Flurry of cycleway chills at Dunedin
21.7.16 Not a bicycle accident, not a burst water main —sugar!
21.7.16 Cycleway planning at #DUD

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

SH1 Cycleways : the real story

Received from Hilary Calvert
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:40 p.m.

[begins]

NZTA has produced a Q and A sheet for their project news update on our cycle lanes along the one-way streets.

An annotated version is provided for reality junkies:

Q: Why is there a need for separated cycleways on the one-way system?

NZTA: Cyclists and pedestrians are over represented in fatal and serious injury crashes. There have been 2 fatalities since 2011. Short-term safety measure were put into place in 2013. Separated cycle lanes are the long-term solution.

Reality: There have been no deaths since the cycle lanes were widened in 2013. The two deaths since 2011 were likely contributed to by the very act of creating cycle lanes in the blind spot of vehicles. Had these cyclists been on the road they would have been safer.

Q: Where else in the country are they using these?

NZTA: These lanes are becoming familiar in major cities including Christchurch. Busy urban routes such as the one-way streets in Dunedin need higher standards of cycle lanes.

Reality: No one in their right mind would direct cyclists to State Highway 1, where all the trucks go. If these two parallel roads were returned to two-way streets, you might put trucks on one and bikes on the other. But this is mad.

Q: Why put the cycleways on the right rather than the left?

NZTA: Because it increases cycle safety and separates them from bus stops.

Reality: Bingo! NZTA has finally realised delivering cyclists to the blind side of trucks is very dangerous. But it was NZTA who chose to do that last time. A simple sorry would be a start.

Q: why not on the right-hand side from Duke St to Otago Museum then?

NZTA: This has been done in response to feedback received and supported by further cycle surveys. And there is a large number of cyclists who use this route who would have to cross the road.

Reality: Really? So feedback overcomes safety? Surely this brings into question whether they really understand the safety issues with the left-hand side. WE all know that cyclists are no different from the rest of us, they will take their bikes on the shortest route they can find. Which will mean that they are spending most of their time not on the new cycle lane. Actually, most of their time will be spent walking around campus because the University won’t let cyclists inside – safety issues, apparently.

Q: What impact will this have on parking?

NZTA: Keeping the cycle lanes on the unsafe side of the road will mean we lose 20 fewer parks. Parking will be provided in high demand areas. (see revised plans).

Reality: We will lose hundreds of parks, particularly in the highest parking areas around the hospital (made worse by the DCC proposal to build on the car parking area at Frederick St). Parking is already squeezed in high demand areas. These guys are in la la land, and I don’t mean the award winning movie.

Q: Will these cycle lanes disrupt traffic flows?

NZTA: The lanes are likely to smooth traffic flows and provide more reliable travel times because there will be fewer parking movements.

Reality: Yes more reliably longer times, which are likely to double for anyone using the one-way streets. More phases for cyclists and pedestrians, more traffic trying to find parks, more time needed to get to hospital appointments. It wasn’t that broke. Why are those from out of town so determined to get in the way of traffic in Dunedin?

Q: How many cyclists are likely to use the cycle lanes?

NZTA: Current usage peaks at 500 per day, but this could easily double. We will measure the change.

Reality: Weasel words. Try looking north from Lower Stuart St along the one-way street. There will be several vehicles on the cycle lanes and likely not even 1 cyclist. The reality is that we are likely to have fewer than 1 cyclist per kilometre of cycleway in Dunedin at any one time. The maximum of 500 is not relevant to the usage in general. (And indeed 500 per day is 500 over 1440 minutes, about one every 3 minutes. At the absolute peak. For a moment in time. So it may double to 1 cyclist at the absolute maximum every 1.5 minutes.) And having measured it later, we are still stuck with the cycle lanes even if they don’t create double the usage. Meanwhile there is no proposed monitoring of the time wasted on getting to hospital appointments, or the time spent by students walking further from free car parking to lectures, or any other flow-on effects of decreased parking where it is currently available.

Q: When is work likely to start?

NZTA: May 2017, taking around 15 months and in such a way as to ensure the one-way system is able to operate effectively and any disruption is kept to a minimum.

Reality: These streets are groaning at the seams already. Our entire one-way system will become impossible to operate usefully, and it will take double the time. By this time those who came to Dunedin because the traffic wasn’t so bad will have the start of every working day diminished and their Dunedin experience effectively destroyed around the central city. We have an elderly population, and this will be the last three years of the lives of some of us.

Q: Who pays and what will it cost?

NZTA: NZTA will pay for the work directly related to the cycle lanes. $8million.

Reality: More weasel words. There are large costs not included in the direct costs. Agencies are keen on doing guestimates of the multiplier effect of benefits to the city for, say, acts at the stadium. What about a study of the likely costs to the city of loss of parking revenue, loss of time spent driving around, loss of time spent walking from vehicles, anxiety around hospital appointments, loss of business for those relying on easy car access for their custom etc. There are also costs for the work connecting roads and footpaths etc between the cycleways and the rest of our DCC infrastructure, and the inevitable landscaping in the vicinity. And then the costs of fixing what we had to redo because none of the agencies are working together. An expensive nightmare.

Q: What is being done to provide more integrated transport in Dunedin?

NZTA: NZTA, DCC and ORC are implementing transport related projects: this is one. These cycle lanes will connect with cycling lanes being considered in North Dunedin linking University, Hospital, Otago Polytechnic and the CBD.

Reality: These institutions are already handy to each other. As regards the University the biggest obstacle to cycling is the size of the campus which cannot be crossed by cyclists.

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Pity NZTA doesn’t have a booth in the heart of Dunedin where they could come and sit and listen to the issues. Perhaps on the corner of Stuart St and the one-way streets?

[ends]

NZTA Dunedin Urban Cycleways Programme
Cycling in Dunedin contributes to improving transport options, providing a more efficient and integrated transport network, improving health, economic and social outcomes and city liveability. The Urban Cycleways Fund, subject to council approval, will help to accelerate the City to Harbour Bridge and the Central City and North East Valley cycle network.

NZTA Urban Cycleways Programme [general information]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

█ GREEN ATTACK ON YOUR BUILT ENVIRONMENT

leisure-cyclist-on-beach-road-cycleway-auckland-nzta-govt-nz-1two-way-separated-cycleway-beach-road-auckland-nzta-govt-nzTwo-way separated cycleway on Beach Road, Auckland [nzta.govt.nz]

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Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Coastal erosion, Taieri Mouth : ‘DCC shouldn’t rush into potentially costly repair job’

Hands Off | Let’s Write Another Report | Let’s Take Another Year….

[The same appears to apply to repair and upgrade of the Aurora Energy power network (except, minus the DCC reports!) and Delta’s Yaldhurst subdivision (let’s spend UNTOLD MILLIONS with no due diligence by DCC itself!). And what was that about another subdivision hitherto unmentioned, patience Whatiffers…..]

Instead, DCC rushes to spend Public Funds by building cycleways on SH1 before external subsidies dry up.

The core infrastructure DEBACLE continues.
Thanks DCC, you’re a star.

taieri-mouth-by-alastair-smith-flickr-com-3287453742_5bd2f5cba4_oTaieri Mouth by Alastair Smith [flickr.com]

### ODT Online Sat, 28 Jan 2017
Board wants urgent action on erosion
By Chris Morris
The Saddle Hill Community Board is calling for “urgent” action to address worsening coastal erosion threatening part of Taieri Mouth Rd. A group including board chairman Scott Weatherall and Dunedin City Council staff visited the area, about 100m north of Dicksons Rd, again this week to inspect the damage. The area had been slowly slipping away for years, monitored by the council, but Mr Weatherall said  action was now needed.
It was reported last year erosion had stripped about 10m of the bank, exposing fence railings and a telecommunications cable, and Mr Weatherall said this week it was continuing to creep closer to Taieri Mouth Rd. “It’s absolutely getting worse,” he said. The problem was at its most “significant” at that location, but also a problem in other areas along the coastal route, he said.
The council, after monitoring the situation for years, had responded more recently with a traffic management plan, including cones and new fences, he said. However, the advice from council staff to the board had been that money to fix the problem was not available until the next financial year.
Read more

[click to enlarge]
google-maps-taieri-mouth-rd-and-flagged-dickson-rd-otagoGoogle Maps – Taieri Rd and (flagged) Dicksons Rd, Otago

google-earth-taieri-mouth-rd-and-flagged-dickson-rd-otagoGoogle Earth – Taieri Rd and (flagged) Dicksons Rd, Otago

dcc-webmap-taieri-mouth-rd-and-dicksons-rd-area-janfeb2013DCC Webmap – Taieri Mouth Rd and Dicksons Rd coastal area JanFeb2013

****

Comment received:

Donald
2017/02/08 at 2:03 pm
I see Cr Wilson’s at it again with her expert knowledge on road issues. First it was the cycle ways and the shambles she headed. Now she is giving her knowledgeable opinion about the erosion hazard on a section of Taieri Mouth Road. Even though the Chair of the Saddle Hill community board called for urgent action. Cr Wilson calls it concerning, but council should not rush a solution. Could the gestation period for this fix be another 20 reports and $200,000 later it is decided that ‘Oh we did have a problem, but not any more, we don’t have a road’. Clean out the swamp.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

Leave a comment

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Johnstone on ORC report : ‘The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin’ (July 2016)

The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin – July 2016 [read online]
Otago Regional Council
ISBN: 978-0-908324-35-4
Report writers:
Michael Goldsmith, ORC Natural Hazards Manager
Sharon Hornblow, ORC Natural Hazards Analyst
Reviewed by: Gavin Palmer, ORC Director Engineering, Hazards and Science
External review by: David Barrell, Simon Cox, GNS Science, Dunedin

Received from Neil Johnstone
Sun, 29 Aug 2016 at 8:17 p.m.

Message: Misinformation on the causes of the June 2015 South Dunedin flood have abounded since the event. As if the victimised residents haven’t suffered enough from others’ inactions (before and during the event), they are now being subjected to a hazards discovery process whose vigour appears to be exceeded only by its own recklessness. Following are a commentary of the hazards approach adopted by the Otago Regional Council (ORC), and a summary of my investigations into the flood event that I commenced after the publication of Dunedin City Council’s first flood report back in November 2015.

You can download Neil Johnstone’s report or read it below (formatted slightly differently to suit the WordPress template).

█ Download: A REVIEW OF ORC REPORT THE NATURAL HAZARDS OF SOUTH DUNEDIN (1) (PDF, 587 KB)

AN APPRAISAL OF RECENT REPORTING OF SOUTH DUNEDIN HAZARDS

N.P JOHNSTONE, BEng (Civil), MIPENZ

1. Introduction

There is some irony that DCC and ORC should be planning “drop in” sessions for residents in respect of South Dunedin hazard issues during September 2016, some 15 months after the major flood. The prime cause of flooding in June 2015 was DCC’s failure to maintain its infrastructure (not just mudtanks), and its failure to operate its pump stations to their intended capacities. The subsequent spread of misconceptions (i.e. groundwater levels, rainfall significance etc) surrounding the flood causes was at least partly due to inaccurate ORC analyses and reporting.

Repetitive and new doubtful information emanating from ORC via its latest report has been noted. Presentations and an over-simplistic video production have been observed. A footnote covering these observations is included at the end of this appraisal.

Long-delayed DCC reports on causes of the South Dunedin flooding have already been strongly criticised by the author. Specifically discredited are misrepresentations of sea level, groundwater and rainfall ranking. Accepted now by DCC as factors (somewhat grudgingly, and depending on the audience) are mudtank blockage and Portobello Road pump station failures (plural); still to be fully acknowledged are the failures at Musselburgh Pumping Station.

Attention is now turned to significant parts of hazard reports produced by the Otago Regional Council and utilised by DCC.

2. Coastal Otago Flood Event 3 June 2015 (ORC, published October 2015)

This report deals with a wider area than South Dunedin. It is apparent that ORC staff never visited the flooding areas of South Dunedin on 3 June, but took advantage of fine weather to take some water level readings the following day. The opportunity for useful progressive surface water level recording was thus lost. Levels were collected at some 150 points on 4 June. ORC’s main conclusion was that “localised variations in topography were probably the main driver of flood depth”. Or, put another way, water depth was deepest where the ground was lowest. This seems hardly surprising, and even trivial. No attempt was made to explain the photographic images presented of extensive ponding remaining well after the rains had ceased. The phenomena of blocked mudtanks and unutilised pumping capacity went seemingly unnoticed.

The report does usefully reference ORC’s four borehole recorders of groundwater, but makes the somewhat misleading assessment that groundwater levels were “elevated” prior to the rainstorm. This misinformation was seized upon by agencies such as DCC and the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to highlight climate change impacts.

Having obtained the actual groundwater level data from ORC via the LGOIMA process, the author was able to reveal this “groundwater fallacy” in reviews from February 2016, but it was not until the publication of NZ Listener’s article (June 11-17, 2016) entitled ‘FLOOD FIASCO’ that ORC admitted that pre-flood groundwater levels were in fact “just a little bit above average”. ORC now seems intent on resurrecting this fallacy.

The ORC report fails to address the real and key issues of pumping station failures (Portobello Road and Musselburgh), or comparisons with much lesser flood impacts in the larger rainfall event of March 8/9 1968.

The report states that the 2015 24-hour rainfall was the largest since 1923. This was patently incorrect, but again was utilised by DCC to divert blame from their role in the disaster.

3. The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin (ORC, published July 2016)

The report states unambiguously in its Opening Summary that the major flooding of June 2015 was “a result of heavy rainfall, surface runoff, and a corresponding rise in groundwater”. By now, most people are aware that the causes of the flooding’s disastrous impact were failure to optimally operate pumping stations, failure to clear mudtanks, and failure to deploy staff to key areas during the event. Again, none of these factors is addressed in ORC’s report.

The report presents a table on its second page entitled “Factors Which Can Influence Flood Hazard”. Examples of exaggerated negativity include:

1. Heavy Rainfall:
– Many recorded instances of rainfall leading to surface flooding.
– Heavy rainfall events have occurred frequently over the last decade.

Comment: These conclusions do not appear to be supported by the report’s text, and are vague, factually challengeable and alarmist. Prior to 2015, no major flooding had occurred in South Dunedin since 1968, and even that was minor by comparison.

2. Sea Level:
– Groundwater level fluctuates (by up to 0.5m near the coast) on a twice-daily cycle in response to normal ocean tides.

Comment: All of South Dunedin is near the coast; most of the area does not experience such large fluctuations. This should have been made clear by the inclusion of groundwater data from all 4 ORC sites across the plain, not just from Kennedy Street.

3. Seismic:
– Large earthquakes could result in increased flood hazard on the South Dunedin plain, due to liquefaction-related land subsidence or direct, sudden, changes in land elevation relative to sea level.

Comment: All areas of NZ have some susceptibility to earthquake damage. Dunedin is amongst the areas at lowest risk; no incidences of even minor liquefaction have ever been reported in South Dunedin, and little or no clearly liquefiable materials have been identified (Refer GNS, 2014*). Continue reading

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Cycleway planning at #DUD

T R U E ● O R ● F A L S E

bike cartoon by bob lafay [glendalecycles.com]

First we heard there were resignations via ODT.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/389654/fourth-high-profile-transport-department-resignation

Although some might be working out notice.

Online identities and job titles suggest people are still at DCC.

Simple. Not updated at LinkedIn possibly.

What’s your point ?!

“THE SUBSEQUENT NEWS” …. [pregnant pause]

The (friends ?)(professionals ?) have set up in the land of private enterprise.

Good for them.

But wait.

Someone has snaffled new cycleway planning and project management off DCC.

Noooo ! What ?

We thought we heard via SPOKES….. that “they” (the privateers) have ‘won’ (??) er, DCC’s new cycleway planning contracts to STUFF Dunedin roads.

Surely, they’d have had to go through an open tender process ?

Mmm. That remains to be seen.

Our Rates Money will go straight to the NOW Private Contractors in larger amounts probably.

Nah, don’t believe it. Can’t be True.

*Preferred Suppliers*—
Some Councillors know, some don’t.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: glendalecycles.com – Bob Lafay 12/03

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Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Fun, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium