The proposed amendment bill raises significant concerns about the maintenance of current building stock, the character and identity of towns and cities, and the economic and financial wellbeing of provincial councils and their communities. More than 7000 buildings south of Timaru would require upgrading, at a cost of $1.77 billion over a 15-year period.
### ODT Online Mon, 24 Feb 2014 Councils aghast changes could cost billions
By Andrew Ashton
South Island councils are expected to offer a ”united front” in opposing new Government building regulations that could cost councils billions of dollars to implement.
Last year the Waitaki District Council joined the Dunedin and Invercargill city councils and the Central Otago, Clutha, Gore, Mackenzie, Southland, Timaru and Waimate district councils to present a joint submission on a discussion paper detailing proposed changes to the way earthquake-prone buildings are managed. Read more
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: Town Halls and auxillary functions (clockwise from top left) Invercargill, Dunedin, Timaru and Oamaru – posterised by whatifdunedin
Dunedin, March 2010. Benchill (Wikimedia Commons).
### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jan 2014 Streetlight ideas from US trip
By Debbie Porteous
Seeing the bright lights of some major American cities has given the man responsible for a street lighting revolution set for Dunedin some solid ideas. Dunedin city council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring went to the United States last year to look at different technologies and visit cities that have started updating their street lighting. Read more
Puzzled. The news story says Peter Standring went to USA.
But lower down, it says (our emphasis):
“Los Angeles was in many ways the world leader in the procurement, installation and development of LED technology, and the group was “very lucky” to have had one and a-half hours of Mr Ebrahimian’s time, Mr Standring said.”
What group? A DCC group? (or a USA group he tagged along with?) What have we paid for? A 2013 trip for one person to Los Angeles, Durham, Racine, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco —or a trip for a group of staff and their wives?
[via Upstart Incubator (@UpstartDunedin) who tweeted at 9:29 AM on Tue, Dec 31, 2013]
### mckinsey.com September 2013 How to make a city great
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. That could mean great things for economic growth — if the cities handle their expansion wisely. Here’s how.
What makes a great city? It is a pressing question because by 2030, 5 billion people — 60 percent of the world’s population — will live in cities, compared with 3.6 billion today, turbocharging the world’s economic growth. Leaders in developing nations must cope with urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, while those in developed ones wrestle with aging infrastructures and stretched budgets. All are fighting to secure or maintain the competitiveness of their cities and the livelihoods of the people who live in them. And all are aware of the environmental legacy they will leave if they fail to find more sustainable, resource-efficient ways of managing these cities.
Explore six diverse initiatives aimed at making cities great places to live and work.
To understand the core processes and benchmarks that can transform cities into superior places to live and work, McKinsey developed and analysed a comprehensive database of urban economic, social, and environmental performance indicators. The research included interviewing 30 mayors and other leaders in city governments on four continents and synthesizing the findings from more than 80 case studies that sought to understand what city leaders did to improve processes and services from urban planning to financial management and social housing.
The result is How to make a city great (PDF, 2.1MB), a new report arguing that leaders who make important strides in improving their cities do three things really well:
█ They achieve smart growth. Smart growth identifies and nurtures the very best opportunities for growth, plans ways to cope with its demands, integrates environmental thinking, and ensures that all citizens enjoy a city’s prosperity. Good city leaders also think about regional growth because as a metropolis expands, they will need the cooperation of surrounding municipalities and regional service providers. Integrating the environment into economic decision making is vital to smart growth: cities must invest in infrastructure that reduces emissions, waste production, and water use, as well as in building high-density communities.
█ They do more with less. Great cities secure all revenues due, explore investment partnerships, embrace technology, make organisational changes that eliminate overlapping roles, and manage expenses. Successful city leaders have also learned that, if designed and executed well, private–public partnerships can be an essential element of smart growth, delivering lower-cost, higher-quality infrastructure and services.
█ They win support for change. Change is not easy, and its momentum can even attract opposition. Successful city leaders build a high-performing team of civil servants, create a working environment where all employees are accountable for their actions, and take every opportunity to forge a stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community. They take steps to recruit and retain top talent, emphasise collaboration, and train civil servants in the use of technology.
Mayors are only too aware that their tenure will be limited. But if longer-term plans are articulated — and gain popular support because of short-term successes — leaders can start a virtuous cycle that sustains and encourages a great urban environment. Link to source
*Image: commons.wikimedia.org – Central city view of Dunedin, New Zealand, at night from Signal Hill lookout. The dark horizontal band above the centre of the photo is the Town Belt. Some landmarks including First Church of Otago and the Dunedin Railway Station are visible near the centre. Photo by Benchill, 9 March 2010.
“It’s like the next version of NHNZ. It’s like NHNZ version 3.1 in a lot of ways, version one being when we were part of TVNZ, version two being when [former managing director] Michael Stedman took over and gave us a new lease of life, and this is another step.” –Kyle Murdoch, NHNZ
### ODT Online Wed, 27 Nov 2013 Children’s TV for NHNZ
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin’s NHNZ is preparing to take on the likes of Disney with the launch of its own international children’s television channel. NHNZ managing director Kyle Murdoch said, in preparation for the launch of the channel next February, 54 staff were hard at work in Dunedin producing content for it. About 40 were new staff who had joined the office since the middle of this year. Read more
● Michael Stedman, former managing director, retired at the beginning of this year.
North Dunedin [flickriver.com] re-imaged by whatifdunedin
### ODT Online Sun, 20 Oct 2013 Census data tests planning assumptions
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council will review some of the assumptions underpinning its planning efforts, after census data revealed slower-than-expected growth in the city. Council city development manager Dr Anna Johnson yesterday told the Otago Daily Times the city’s growth rate was lower than council planning had anticipated. The city’s resident population had increased from 118,683 in 2006 to 120,246 this year, which equated to annual growth of just 0.19%, she said. That was below 2006 expectations, which had anticipated annual growth of 0.4%, she said. ”The growth is slower than was expected or planned for, and it is lower than the estimates that we have been working with.” There was nothing in the data as yet to suggest the council should change urban development policies included in its spatial plan, which anticipated demand for an extra 7600 residential units in the city by 2031, Dr Johnson said. Read more
This council carpark on Durham St could be home to a long-awaited $100 million hotel and commercial building development.
### ODT Online Wed, 24 Jul 2013 $100m hotel plan for city
By John Cousins – Bay of Plenty Times
A massive $100 million building is proposed for council-owned land in Tauranga’s downtown after plans for an international hotel escalated into a combined hotel and commercial office development.
Mayor Stuart Crosby announced that negotiations between the council and Tainui Holdings, the Waikato iwi’s investment arm, had seen a substantial high-end office development added to the original plans for a $40 million hotel. The council’s ambitions for the block of land on Durham St are now only a week away from a firm direction being given on whether the project went ahead.
Tainui Holdings and its hotel operator partner, Accor group, had until July 17 to carry out due diligence and had kept the council abreast of progress.
Mr Crosby said the much larger project had been driven by the opportunity that the income from office leases would cover potential losses from the hotel: “Hotels are notorious for not making profits in their early years.” APNZ Read more
Tauranga downtown’s emerging skyline
$30m ANZ Building on the corner of Cameron Rd & Elizabeth St
$14m Sharpe Tudhope Building on the corner of Devonport Rd & 1st Ave
$21m police station, Monmouth St
$1m-plus 3-storey retail & office building on The Strand’s Grumpy Mole site
$10m office building on the corner of Willow St & Harington St
$30m TrustPower head office
$67m tertiary and research campus
$100m international hotel and office development
PS. Dunedin is SO not Tauranga. The Bay is poised to boom as the fruit bowl of Asia. Meanwhile on the Taieri, Dunedin City Council lets a councillor and friends build speculative housing and a plant nursery turn into a gravelled ‘destination hub’ (without a legal water connection?) on high class soils, with impunity.
Folks, we’ve reached Nirvana – through partnership.
Mayor Dave’s been working our (Hidden Dunedin) sister-city relationships with great success. The council’s consolidated debt is CANCELLED, pending further notices!! Disaster AVERTED.
Monday, 22 July 2013 12:38 p.m.
### telegraph.co.uk 6:19PM BST 21 Jul 2013 Dunedin bucks investment trend with new £300m fund
By James Quinn
Dunedin, the London-based private equity firm, has closed its third fund at £300m, it can be disclosed. The total is approximately £50m higher than the £250m Dunedin had initially been aiming to raise, and bucks the trend in an otherwise lacklustre private equity and venture capital fundraising market. Approximately 60% of the funds have come from outside the UK, as overseas investors want to benefit from Dunedin’s focus in the small and mid-sized company market.
The proportion of international backers is three times that from Dunedin’s previous fund, when foreign money made up just 20% of the total invested.
The new fund, the closing of which is expected to be announced as early as today, is understood to have been particularly popular among north American and Scandinavian investors. There also has been increased interest from backers in Germany and France, it is believed.
The Dunedin Buyout Fund III, as it is formally known, is understood to have received investments from sovereign wealth funds, state and private pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and so-called “fund of fund” specialists. In addition, some £60m of the new fund is understood to have been committed by the Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The fundraising was led by Shaun Middleton, Dunedin’s managing partner. Read more
BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013 Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”
The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation. Read more
● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.