Tag Archives: Debate

Calvert on DCC, ‘We could have a much more democratic and transparent operation of council’

leunig-cartoons-%e2%80%8fleunigcartoons-%c2%b7-aug-21Leunig Cartoons ‏@leunigcartoons · Aug 21

### ODT Online Thu, 8 Sep 2016
Scope for more democracy with checks and balances
By Hilary Calvert
OPINION In the past three years Dunedin City Council has functioned just as central government does, with a government and an opposition. But the problem is that in Dunedin it means central government-style politics without the checks and balances. Because the mayor of the day is allowed to choose the chairs of the council committees, if the mayor anoints those who are similar in their views to him or her, effectively a “government” is formed. Those on the “government” side support each other, forming a version of the “cabinet”, with meetings between themselves alongside senior council staff to discuss the issues of the day. Those who are not part of this grouping are obliged to form a loose “opposition”, because this is the only place where any public challenges and questions are likely to come from.
In Dunedin […] the chairs of committees forming the “cabinet” meet secretly and without any minutes which can be accessed. They may be part of working parties with other groups, which never report back to the council, for example groups meeting with NZTA about cycleways. They may have information either before the rest of the council or outside the rest of council papers, never to be seen by council. […] In Dunedin, the ODT describes what happens in council meetings, talks to the chairs of the meetings, and prints press releases, having clarified the situation with a relevant staff member. There is little chance for any challenge of prevailing views unless a major debate happens during meetings, or unless the issues raised are ones which the ODT chooses to follow up in an in-depth way.
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● Hilary Calvert is a Dunedin City councillor, who is not standing for re-election.

luenig-political-substance-8-9-16Leunig Cartoons ‏@leunigcartoons · Sep 8

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B L O W N ● O U T ● O F ● P R O P O R T I O N ● B Y ● C U L L

If, for example, the solutions involved “massive urban renewal or massive pumps” then Government help could be sought.

### ODT Online Fri, 9 Sep 2016
Work on South D issues
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says it is too early to make a formal approach to the Government for help with the problems facing South Dunedin. Mr Cull made the comments while outlining the council’s response to its vote last month to “immediately engage” the Government over the threat groundwater and sea-level changes pose to the low-lying area. Mr Cull said that in recent weeks he and chief executive Sue Bidrose briefed local MPs on the situation in South Dunedin and in the past he had spoken to ministers Bill English and Paula Bennett about the possibility of “collaboration” between local and central government in addressing South Dunedin’s issues.
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Animal Cognition @animalcog · Mar 27 [Birdie Cull, the wrecker]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

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Filed under Business, Climate change, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Public interest, South Dunedin, Travesty, What stadium

Stadium: Climate change benefits

Sat, 12 Jul 2014 at 6:49 p.m.
YouTube link received with comment — “The Ratepayers will be praying for a climate change storm that puts the stadium in the hands of insurers but without reaching Emerson’s Brewery.”

Published on May 11, 2014

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Climate Change Debate (HBO)
John Oliver hosts a mathematically representative climate change debate, with the help of special guest Bill Nye the Science Guy, of course.

Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens: www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight

Find LWT on Facebook like your mom would:
http://Facebook.com/LastWeekTonight

Follow LWT on Twitter for news about jokes and jokes about news:
http://Twitter.com/LastWeekTonight

Visit LWT’s official site for all that other stuff at once:
http://www.hbo.com/last-week-tonight-…

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘Yellow Balloon’ —Blue Oyster invitation to (TOWER) Submitters et al

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp) 15-4-13 IMG_3188alrTo Everyone who enjoyed the sight of artist Shane McGrath’s Gelber LuftBallon flying HIGH over Customhouse Quay on Monday 15 April

AND

To ALL Submitters on the (LUC-2012-212) Betterways Advisory Ltd application to construct a 28-storey hotel and apartment building at 41 Wharf Street

_____

You are warmly invited to the forthcoming exhibition hosted at Blue Oyster Art Project Space | Basement, 24b Moray Place, Dunedin

[public domain] Submitters may find their submissions pinned to the wall.

BO_GELBER_B4_WEB

Gelber LuftBallon (Dunedin Research Project) is a series of new work created by Melbourne-based artist Shane McGrath.
McGrath’s practice has used rockets, planes and zeppelins as metaphors for escapism, exploration, memory and tragedy. For this series McGrath has been investigating the public debates around Dunedin’s proposed wharf hotel development. McGrath sees the issue as one that concerns the city as a whole, which has the potential to impact dramatically on the city’s future.

During the public submissions process there were calls for an on-site, tethered balloon to be used as an indication as to how tall the hotel would be. Using this suggestion as an entry point for his investigation, McGrath launched a balloon near the proposed site on Monday 15 April. In this context the balloon is not only a practical object for measuring height, but also references times of conflict (barrage balloons) which were designed to allay fears of attack and also to indicate that the city was under attack.

Gelber LuftBallon is not a didactic work or a protest, but simply a catalyst to encourage debate and add to the ongoing dialogue. The results and ephemera of the research project and balloon launch will form the core of the exhibition at the Blue Oyster which opens on Tuesday 23 April.

Watch the video at http://blueoyster.org.nz/upcoming/shane-mcgrath/

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Shane McGrath has a BFA and an MFA from Massey University. In 2011 he was commissioned by City Gallery Wellington to create a permanent sculpture in Wellington’s Glover Park as a part of the The Obstinate Object exhibition. He is represented by Bartley and Company, Wellington.

Blue Oyster Art Project Space
The Blue Oyster Arts Trust (BOAT) was founded in Dunedin in 1999 as the governing body of the Blue Oyster Art Project Space that provides a high quality, dynamic program of experimental and innovative contemporary art practice. BOAT is a non-profit and non-commercial organisation that is made up of practicing artists, curators and other creative professionals. The art project space allows a diverse range of artists to work experimentally, free from commercial restraints and irrespective of the stage of their career. Blue Oyster aims to broaden the interest and understanding of contemporary arts by providing a forum for discussion and debate regarding contemporary art issues.

The Blue Oyster is supported by Creative New Zealand | Toi Aotearoa and Dunedin City Council | Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Sunday Star Times: Stadium story: any sliced bread in the murk?

Major debate and valid questions remain about how the stadium was funded and built and whether the council made the right decision to throw in so much public money (originally $91m, but later $148m) as explained in the sidebars to this story.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 03/06/2012
Dunedin’s House of Blame
By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star Times
The prospect of yet more glittering new stadiums being constructed by ambitious city fathers – as being debated right now in Christchurch and Auckland – is met with scorn by some in Dunedin, where the saga of the Forsyth Barr Stadium has left a city divided and its ratepayers facing vast debts.

“five years of internecine warfare in Dunedin, three High Court actions, claims of conflicts of interest, a divided council, a pile of debt and an even bigger pile of documents”

A covered stadium was a grand concept for a city of just 125,000. At various times, it was imagined that it might host international soccer, rugby league and even swimming; that penguins would frolic in a (converted) adjoining quarry, and not just that the biggest names in rock music would visit, but, perhaps, the Dalai Lama and British royalty. With significant “private finance” support, the cost to the taxpayer would be capped at a mere $91 million and the stadium delivered to the dollar at a total cost of just $188m. Now it’s been built, there remains debate on quite how much it actually cost. Its creator says it came on time, on budget. Some critics argue double that. Dunedin council engaged consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers to give them a figure, and explain any blowout.
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UPDATE: Steve Kilgallon’s story reposted at Stuff Sport
Stadium plans met with scorn [05:00 03/06/2012]
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/7038067/Stadium-builds-under-fire

In full here, the sidebar appearing in Sunday Star Times print edition:

ON THE MONEY

Council wasn’t meant to bear all the weight of the stadium: a much spruiked “private sector finance” contribution was kicking in $45m.

The latest PricewaterhouseCoopers report says just $700,000 of a promised $45m had been found by last November (two months after opening day), and reported how various updates to the council scaled back the timing of that funding from 100 per cent received before completion to just three per cent. Peter Chin says when he left office in 2010, it was “on track”; however his successor, Dave Cull, dismisses the private sector finance (PSF) as “risky”.

It’s argued, perhaps validly, the PSF was really just advance operating revenue: it wasn’t philanthropic donations but long-term seat sales, sponsorships and lounges. If used to fund the build cost, it begs the question: what would offset operating costs once it was open?
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Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Design, DVML, Economics, Events, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, STS, Urban design

And we love talking

Hi all,

I’m not much into back-room secrets here at What if?, there are some things that go no further than Elizabeth and I who are the only two who administer this site such as email addresses etc (just for your piece of mind), but some stuff I am more than happy to share with you.

The statistics are one thing we are very happy to share with you folk. As you all know I started this as a place for criticism and discussion around the design and architecture of the building. It bubbled along nicely for a long time, then the day politics entered the fray, all hell broke loose. Some time over the last day or two we have reached a milestone for a single issue small city issue – 50,000 visitors.

Some folk can’t believe I haven’t had advertising on this site given the traffic it generates (still pretty small really), others have accused me of being in the pocket of the CST. Unfortunately I haven’t made a single dime from this site, and I’d hate to think of the time Elizabeth and I have put in (not to mention the contributions you have all made).

The chart is generated by WordPress on the statistics of visitor numbers. As you can see over the last few months things really have taken off and this site is now averaging a stunning 7500+ visitors a month (we haven’t yet finished this month either!).

stats

So in the light of reaching 50,000 visitors to a site about a single issue (well not lately) in a small part of the world, cheers all and hope you are getting as much out of it as we are.

Thanks

Paul Le Comte
Founder & co-AdminP

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Filed under Design, Economics, Fun, Hot air, Inspiration, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, STS, Town planning

Where to for What if?

First of all I would like to thank every single person who has contributed to this blog/forum on the debate surrounding the development of a new multi-purpose stadium in our town. From those whose opinions I don’t agree with, I thank you for voicing your concerns. For those who have contributed actual expert knowledge, and those who just wanted to put their two cents worth in, again thank you very much, this is your forum. More latterly we must all thank the StS for imploding (several times) and allowing us to have Elizabeth Kerr on board as the resident dissenting voice. I think you will all agree that this site is much richer for the range of material now presented on the topic, and that is in no small part down to the hard work of Elizabeth.

When I first started this blog (and some with their heads up their neither regions won’t remember this), the original intention was to start a discussion around the design and function of the building. I was critical of the form (and thus function) of the thing, and while it is not our Sydney Opera House or even Water Cube, the subsequent refining of the concept has resulted in a much greater product (although still far from my wishes – but then I don’t have half a billion to give to the project). The site was exclusively about the design, I wanted to keep the politics out of it altogether, as I had seen the exceedingly unpleasant fights that take place on the NZ political blog scene. But this didn’t really interest anyone, or perhaps the debate wasn’t hot enough back then, and the site kept turning over with 5-20 interested souls a day visiting the site (bless them). However as soon as I took the bait from Peter Entwisle one day (thanks Peter) and the site took on a political feel, things went a little crazy. I remember looking at the stats one day, thinking 85 people looked at this today – madness. This may also surprise many, but it wasn’t until I was pigeon holed as ‘the pro-stadium guy’ that I actually took on the role, I was for the idea but still wasn’t convinced of the merits of it.

Well that is long in the past, and while the discussions have come and gone, there has been thrust and parry, jibes and compliments, on the whole this site has been one of the main stopping points for reasoned argument on the merits and concerns of the stadium development. Once public opinion really got heated up by the frenzied campaign of the StS, the stats went through the roof, and journalists, experts and politicians also referenced and visited this site, contributing from time to time (thanks Richard).

I guess what I have been most proud of, has been the fact that this site has become a forum for ideas, to be debated, applauded, shot down, chewed through, rejected, acclaimed, and it’s all been about Dunedin. I can’t remember another site like this, about Dunedin exclusively, and many of you may well know that there is another venture on the way. This has enabled Dunedin folk (or concerned and informed citizens of NZ) to contribute a voice, whether I like it or not. Unlike the StS site which has engaged in banning and censoring those whom it doesn’t agree with, this site, despite its obvious Pro Stadium stance, has been a place where free and frank discussions can take place, about the place we love to live in.

This isn’t the end of What if?. It is however me finally having the time to thank everyone for their contribution to this argument, whatever side of the fence you sit on. Below is a chart of the stats for this site. If you are involved in any of the big weblogs in NZ, these are laughable, but to me and for such a single issue site, I think this is pretty bloody impressive. I could hardly see Kiwiblog surviving for over 2 years and actually increasing the numbers on a SINGLE ISSUE only.

Thanks very much everyone, it’s been a blast, I hope you have all taken something from this site, be it that South Dunedin isn’t going to float away (I can honestly assure you all of that), through to the still tight economics of the development.

Site Stats

This graph shows the cumulative monthly ‘unique’ visitors to this site. Going from 155 average visitors in the very first month March 2007, through to an average of 6,500 April 2009. There have been 308 Posts, which were commented on 1,409 times over 21 Categories, using 1,006 Tags.

And what does this all show us, that you want to talk about the town you all live in, that is a great thing, cheers all.

Posted by Paul Le Comte

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Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Other, Politics, Stadiums, STS, Town planning

Real Debate

stadium

I love it, all this democracy, taking action into one’s hands etc. The death of Democracy we’ve all heard time and time again, the bemoaning of the lack of debate, the inability of people to be informed or voice opinion. Sure these things conceptually might have happened – I don’t know, personally I feel well informed.

But look at the above picture. What do you see? Concerned ex-Mayor re-splendid in here Scottish heritage outfit. Seated on the left, anti-stadium speakers, in the middle a very considered adjudicator and seated on the right anti-stadium speakers. Is this debate – no? Is this considered opinion, in many cases no.

If the likes of Eckoff et al think that the CST (wrong messenger) has been remiss at conducting public consultation forums, well who the bloody hell are the adult here. Why hasn’t the StS been organising it. If they were genuine about any meaningful debate on the subject they would have taken the time to hire a hall (hmm like last night), invite speakers (hmm like last night) and allowed voices and opinion from all sides to speak – whops so not last night.

I thought the meaning of the word debate meant it was necessary for there to be two sides to every story. The ability to question, investigate and question again is a uniquely human trait that has been sorely ignored through this whole debate.

If the StS thinks that there was genuine lack of debate on this topic, why hasn’t any of it’s meetings included the actual meaning of debate. I mean I have opened this forum to both sides of the story, and I think you will all agree that there is an intelligent level of debate which up until recently has been missed in this whole story.

Come on StS, put your money where your mouth is and organise a debate, I’ll turn up happily (I mean I really want to see the literature that Prof Harris is holding on to, to confirm her Global Warming doom scenario). I would love someone to actually confront someone over the continue “Poo on our Beaches” rants…

But just like all things, there will be the mad and bad (not pointing the finger at anyone within the StS hammering things to Council doors) who will wish to shout out rational debate – bring one’s boxing gloves?

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