Tag Archives: Double dipping

DCC v LGNZ : questions about junkets and 2x dipping

Should Dunedin ratepayers and residents be worried about lack of performance at home.

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Message received.
Sat, 5 Aug 2017 at 8:04 p.m.

[begins]
Ratepayers of Dunedin must have mixed feelings now that their Mayor has been elected to the position of President of Local Government New Zealand. Mixed, as some estimates of the time necessary to undertake this onerous role seem to indicate about 3 days a week. Representing more than 70 local authorities certainly would seem to take that time at least, and much of that time will be out of Dunedin in lobbying central government. Some of the ratepayers may think that it might not be a bad thing to have the Mayor paying attention to matters out of Dunedin, but some may be thinking that he should be in Dunedin as much as possible to undertake what has been, and should be, a full-time role.  It’s not that there aren’t pressing matters to deal with. The crumbled Aurora network and the resultant huge borrowing by the DCC company to bring the network up to an acceptable standard, the sad state of much of the infrastructure which now includes the Taieri Plain, the problems of not having dividend payments from DCHL, the prospect of another ratepayer funded swimming pool at Mosgiel when the private funding dissipates, the issue of the hospital – the list goes on and on and on.

Many mayors of much smaller local governments view their role as a full-time one and some may even wonder if the previous President of Local Government, Lawrence Yule, had been paying a bit more attention to local matters then the horrific situation whereby his local ratepayers were supplied with dangerous drinking water could have been avoided. Who knows, but we do know that Mr Yule not only had the Presidency of Local Government in his mind, but he was also eyeing up ending up in central government as the local National Party member.

All those things aside some practical questions arise.

If the Mayor is now also working as a President of LGNZ for say, 3 days a week, does his remuneration as Mayor of the DCC get reduced on a pro-rata basis? Does the position of President of LGNZ also attract an honorarium?  If so, should a pro rata proportion of that be paid to the DCC to offset the lack of availability of the Mayor to attend to his DCC duties? Or does the Mayor simply add any honorarium of the LGNZ role to his income as Mayor? And what of the role of the Deputy Mayor of the DCC? Does increased responsibilities to this role because of the absence of the Mayor lead to an increased honorarium?

I do note that the Mayor intends embarking on a national road show/tour to introduce himself to the 70+ local government authorities that he now heads up. Let us hope that this showcasing of the Mayor’s profile is done at a time when it is convenient and appropriate to those that are paying his wages. And I wonder what advice and guidance he will be giving to Mayor Dalziel now that the pro-rugby lobby is winding up to provide a covered stadium in Christchurch? What interesting times we live in.

[ends]

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The Dunedin City Council Annual Plan 2017/18 indicates the Council will borrow an extra $100M during the next LTP period; this debt borrowing is fully separate to the Aurora Energy debt borrowing – and is not at all explained to the Ratepayers.

It was Cr Lee Vandervis who highlighted this massive extra borrowing at the full council meeting on 27 June 2017, when the council signed off (item 20) the 2017/18 Annual Plan. This query received No credible response from the mayor and councillors; or examination by the ODT reporter present.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

5 Comments

Filed under DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Hot air, LGNZ, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, Politics, Public interest, Travesty, What stadium

DCC: Growth v development contributions

Worth a read —Whaleoil link received from Anonymous
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 8:11 p.m.

Whale Oil Beef Hooked logo### whaleoil.co.nz February 10, 2014
Why do Property Developers hate development contributions?
By Cameron Slater
A property developer writes:
“Lately Developers and Councils have been busy preparing submissions on the proposed changes to the Local Government Act relating to development contributions. There are many issues. Firstly, the issue with charging developers for improvements that have nothing to do with growth.
(1) Hiding the real cost apportionment and charging developers for improvements that [have] nothing to do with new development growth:
When developing up capital works and budgeting the Annual Plan councils develop formula and apportion some of the costs to ‘growth’ – which is then charged to developers. Councils argue that as cities grow and intensify – the costs of that growth include replacing or improving infrastructure. Hence they want new developments to pay for it.
Developers take issue however with the amount of money required from them to pay for the infrastructure improvements not that they have to pay for their share of growth. As such the argument is about whether the right pro-rata apportionment is applied.
Obfuscating the debate is that all Councils must replace infrastructure as it ages and is due for replacement. Additionally, most Councils are in recent times adopting new development standards that increase the capacity of assets and they improve assets as technology advances.
Replacing assets is supposed to occur from a built sinking fund that is generated over the life span of an infrastructure asset. Council receive money over the lifespan in cash as depreciation as part of rates. Over time, and subject to annual revaluation each asset builds up a depreciation sinking fund that should be sufficient to replace it. Developers are concerned that Councils spend that money through internal loans to OPEX and other creative accounting and then hope to use ‘growth’ as a mechanism for replacing the assets. A psuedo ponzi scheme with ratepayers the duped investors.”
Read more

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DCC: Development Contributions Policy
Development contributions are charges paid by property developers to meet the increased demand for infrastructure resulting from growth.
The Council is proposing some significant changes to its Development Contributions Policy.
In April 2011, the Council released a Statement of Proposal to adopt a Draft Revised Development Contributions Policy (the Draft Policy). The proposal included a schedule of charges which could apply if the Draft Policy was adopted. Submissions on the Draft Policy closed in July 2011 and were followed by hearings in November 2011. After beginning its deliberations the Hearings Committee decided that more information was required from Council staff before the Draft Policy could be considered further. Deliberations started again in December 2012 with Council staff reporting back to the Committee on the information it requested. The Committee has yet to conclude its deliberations.
As a final decision on the Draft Policy is yet to be made, the Council’s existing Development Contributions Policy applies until further notice. Read more

DCC: Spatial Plan for Dunedin
‘Dunedin Towards 2050′ (The Spatial Plan), sets the strategic direction for Dunedin’s growth and development for the next 30+ years. It outlines a broad set of principles, strategic directions, policies, and actions and visually illustrates how the city may develop in the future. It will be used to guide land-use planning in the city as well as influencing how future infrastructure and services may be provided or limited. The Spatial Plan is primarily, but not solely, concerned with Dunedin’s urban form and design. Urban form and design refer to the spatial arrangement of a city, in other words, the shape of a city as seen from the air including the overall pattern of development, activities, and infrastructure as well as the design or ‘look and feel’ of the city and how it functions. Urban form and design have a significant impact on the sustainability, liveability and economic performance of cities.

DCC: Second Generation Plan for Dunedin
The Dunedin City District Plan controls what people can do on their land and how it can be developed. While there have been some changes and new zones added (eg the Stadium, Airport and Harbourside zones), most of the current Plan has not been reviewed since 2006 and a lot of it dates back to the 1990s. The council is reviewing the Plan as a whole to fix the parts that are not clear or working properly, to recognise the changes to land use and development within Dunedin, to discourage poor development and to align with changes in national policy guidance. The review will produce a second generation plan (2GP), which is the second plan prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991. This is a long process with a lot of research and analysis, and input from stakeholders and the community.

DCC: Strategic Directions
The Strategic Directions of the second generation plan will establish the overall management approach for the 2GP, stating the important outcomes for the city:
● Dunedin is Environmentally Sustainable and Resilient
● Dunedin is Economically Prosperous
● Dunedin is a Memorable and Distinctive City with a Strong Built and Natural Character
● Dunedin has Strong Social and Cultural Capital
● Dunedin has an Attractive and Enjoyable Built Environment
● Dunedin has Affordable and Efficient Public Infrastructure
● Dunedin has Quality and Affordable Housing
● Dunedin is a Compact City with Resilient Townships

On the local . . .
Meanwhile, developers across the Taieri are champing at the bit to re-create ‘Wanaka sprawl’ on the flood plain with little regard for the protection of high class soils —despite the objectives of the spatial plan that places wise emphasis on the rural area becoming the city’s food basket (resilience).

Pearl of the Plain (Mosgiel sign) 3### ODT Online Wed, 12 Feb 2014
Benefits seen for Taieri area
By Rosie Manins
Mosgiel, Middlemarch and the wider Taieri area will benefit from a new marketing approach by the Dunedin City Council, chief executive Sue Bidrose says. The establishment of an in-house marketing agency at the council, replacing Tourism Dunedin, would offer ”more bang for buck”, she said. The agency would use existing council staff, such as those in human resources and finance, and run alongside the council’s economic development unit.
Read more

sue bidrose [whatifdunedin]New chief executive Sue Bidrose says the council will review performance of the in-house marketing agency after 18 months, with a view to assessing if in the longer term the agency should become a council-owned company. (via ODT)

Other ODT stories:
Riccarton Rd widening set to begin Asked if the upgrade was designed to accommodate more heavy vehicle traffic, Mr Matheson played down those concerns. [Evan Matheson hasn’t referenced the revising ‘district plans’ then]
Trail trust awaits talks outcome The group behind a project aiming to provide a cycle link between Mosgiel and Dunedin is awaiting the result of crucial land negotiations.
Crematorium not yet begun Hope and Sons is yet to begin construction of its new Mosgiel crematorium, but hopes to have it operating this year. Managing director Michael Hope said it was still working on gaining building consent.
Police presence of concern
Town’s population to disappear Mosgiel’s Pearl of the Plain sign in Quarry Rd is to lose its population figure and receive a general spruce-up. [spot feathery bill]
Hope signal problems fixed

Syd Brown Mosgiel sign 1Syd Brown, Taieri property developer and ex city councillor/FSD chairman

Related Posts and Comments:
10.2.14 University of Otago major sponsor for Highlanders [rugby, a pool]
5.2.14 Mosgiel pool sluts get their tops off for ex ORFU guy
4.2.14 DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project . . .
30.1.14 DCC broke → More PPPs to line private pockets and stuff ratepayers
20.1.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 [see comment & ff]
18.11.13 DCC: New chief executive
16.11.13 Community board (Mosgiel-Taieri) clandestine meetings
7.10.13 DCC councillors, no idea annual cost of owning, operating FB Stadium
23.6.13 DCC Community Boards
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
6.12.12 Local Government Act Amendment Bill
6.12.12 DCC debt —Cr Vandervis
6.9.12 DCC pays out $millions to cover loss making stadium and rugby…
30.11.11 amalgamation, Anyone?
8.11.11 Development contributions
9.8.11 CRITICAL Dunedin City Council meeting
25.7.11 DCC Finance, Strategy and Development Committee – meeting postponed
16.7.11 Major Dunedin City Council infrastructure assets NOT INSURED
7.7.11 More than $1 billion of infrastructure assets NOT insured
23.3.11 Dunedin City Council’s rock and its hard place

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

22 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium