Tag Archives: Debt management

D Scene – Election year annual planning

### D Scene 13-1-10
Action plan? (front cover)
The city’s annual plan is about to be drafted. What should Dunedin’s priorities be for the financial year ahead? See page 6.

New slogan (page 3)
By Mike Houlahan, editor
It turns out that Dunedin needs a new slogan. Certainly if an office straw poll is anything to go by the old one wasn’t working, with only two people aware there was a city slogan and just one of those knowing what it was. What this highly unscientific exercise did prove was that 100 per cent of respondents thought promotional slogans were stupid, and ripe for disparagement.
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Visions for council (page 6)
Next week Dunedin City councillors begin considering the early draft of the city’s annual plan. The plan – the spending blueprint for the year ahead – is often a contentious document, with a range of worthy projects battling it out for funding. All the while, councillors have to be mindful of balancing the city’s books – especially in an election year, when a big rates rise could cost votes.
D Scene asked three leading figures in the city for their views on what DCC’s priorities should be in the year ahead.

The council’s proposed harbourside plan change and revamp was top of the Chamber’s hit list…the Chamber believed the plan was not only “bad for Dunedin” but yet another expenditure item.

Council will approve the draft annual plan in March, and then issue it for a month of public consultation.
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What if? wonders if D Scene is “Number One for Circulation* in Dunedin” as claimed in the advertisement on page 17. Deliveries in the inner city have been hit and miss for months…
*48,479 per issue. ABC Audit Jan – Dec 2008. http://www.abc.org.nz

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Urban design

ODT: The debt millstone

### ODT Online Thu, 7 Jan 2010
Editorial: The debt millstone

Few Dunedin ratepayers would disagree with the city council’s finance and corporate support general manager Athol Stephens’ observation that any new spending during the next decade had to be “reined in” given the extraordinary total debt which is forecast to peak in the next financial year at $360 million.

The council has long disappointed ratepayers with its history of failing to curb rates increases and rising charges, of heavier drawing down from debt-laden council-owned companies, and of encouraging ballooning liabilities.

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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

DCC’s grim picture for ratepayers

### ODT Online Tue, 5 Jan 2010
City debt spiralling to $360m
By David Loughrey
At some point in the next financial year, the Dunedin City Council’s total debt will reach its forecast peak of $360 million. In the past 10 years, the figure has increased more than 10-fold: in 1999, the city owed a mere $32.5 million.

“Nobody questions debt when it’s their pet project.”
-Cr Richard Walls, Chairman, Finance and Strategy Committee

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We know what you mean, Richard, if you’re talking about, say, spending on infrastructure such as water and waste treatment; or refurbishment of the Dunedin Centre – BUT NOT THE STADIUM, MATE.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management, Stadiums, Urban design

Wellington issues

Thanks to James’ twitter feed…

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 02/01/2010
Wellington ratepayers bail out tourist attractions
By Dave Burgess and Emily Watt – The Dominion Post
Some of Wellington’s key visitor attractions are in dire financial straits, and it is ratepayers who will be asked for a bailout.
Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience has received another $2.3 million in a secret deal sealed behind closed Wellington City Council doors – and it now wants more money to set up a cafe.
Council documents reveal funding issues for other organisations, including the St James Theatre, which is so broke that it tends to avoid risky shows, the cable car, which might have to ask the council for more money to pay for safety upgrades, and the Basin Reserve, which cannot afford to maintain its LED replay scoreboard.

The Wellington Regional Stadium Trust is not controlled by the council but is included in the briefing papers, which warn that it may be unable to repay a $15m council loan due to ground upgrades ahead of the Rugby World Cup. The trust has also yet to renew the contract for the NZI Sevens from 2012 and beyond.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast and council chief executive Garry Poole refused to answer questions.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management, Town planning, Urban design