Tag Archives: Education

Education: Art and Design #UK

UK NSN report responds to the ongoing concern over the decline in the number of young people studying art and design, prompted by statements from numerous industry figures.

Brexit Effect | National Society for Education in Art and Design said art and design in schools was being eroded while the Creative Industries Federation described the failure to educate a new generation of creatives as “economic suicide”.

Art and design can help drive up standards in schools, says UK government
Amy Frearson | 8 February 2017 ● Dezeen
The UK government is urging schools to promote art and design subjects, after a report found that schools with more creative pupils achieve significantly higher grades. Released today, the New Schools Network (NSN) Arts Report reveals that schools with more arts GSCEs per pupil achieve above-average results. This was proven to be the case for schools in deprived areas, as well as those in affluent neighbourhoods. It shows that offering a broad mix of subjects, in addition to those included in the controversial English Baccalaureate (EBacc) system – which favours more traditional subjects like science and history – leads to better performance. At a launch event for the report earlier today, digital and culture minister Matt Hancock said the government is doing all it can to support creative subjects, but it is up to schools to deliver a varied curriculum. “This should not be an argument about a battle between the arts and other subjects, but instead a battle for stronger, better, well-rounded education,” he said. “Ultimately, the best schools in the country do this. They combine excellent cultural education to complement excellence in other academic subjects,” Hancock continued. “This report backs up that analysis. It looks at the data and says, if you want to drive up standards across the board, push your arts and music offer.”
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Note: The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a performance measure for schools, awarded when students secure a grade C or above at GCSE level across a core of five academic subjects – english, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language.

Corned beef at NZ….

installation-view-of-povi-christkeke-by-michel-tuffery-1999-christchurchartgallery-org-nz-1Installation view of Povi Christkeke by Michel Tuffery 1999
Education | Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu [christchurchartgallery.org.nz]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Helen Clark resigns from UN position

helen-clark-bbci-co-uk[bbci.co.uk]

### NZ Herald Online 2:16 PM Thursday Jan 26, 2017
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark stepping down from her position at UN
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has told the UN she will step down as head of the UNDP when her term ends in April. Clark sent a letter to staff this morning to advise them of her decision not to seek another term … Clark was appointed in April 2009 and her role was renewed in 2013 for a second four year term. Clark unsuccessfully ran to be Secretary General of the UN earlier this year – but Portuguese politician Antonio Guterres was selected for the role instead. In her time as head of the UNDP, Clark oversaw a major restructure which ruffled feathers internally but pleased some of the donor countries to the UNDP, such as the United States, which had criticised the UN for ineffective use of money … Her departure coincides with the election of US President Donald Trump who is reportedly considering executive orders to drastically cut US funding to the United Nations.
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Helen Clark’s letter reads:

“Dear colleagues,
I am writing to advise all staff that I have informed the Secretary General that I am preparing to leave my position as Administrator at the end of my second term on 19 April.
This will allow the Secretary General to appoint a new Administrator as soon as possible. I stand ready to support the transition to the new leader of the organisation. I have full confidence in our Associate Administrator, Tege Gettu, to act as Administrator if there is a gap between my departure and the arrival of the next Administrator.
This is not my final message to staff – there is much to be done between now and 19 April. There is, for example, a timetable for tabling the draft of the next Strategic Plan to enable it to be discussed at the Executive Board’s Annual Meeting on 31 May. It is my desire to see all aspects of the organization in a strong and sustainable state when the next Administrator assumes office.
These are times of change across the UN system. There are post-QCPR reviews being commissioned which may impact on UNDP. While these processes are unfolding, I urge you all to continue to deliver to the high standards for which UNDP is known. Making progress on the SDGs and on supporting national development achievements must continue unabated.
It has been a privilege and an honour for me to lead UNDP for eight years. Our staff are our greatest strength, and I will miss you all. I will offer my thanks and gratitude more fully nearer to my departure.”

Helen’s political timeline
• 1981:Elected to Parliament in Mt Albert
• 1984 – 90: Minister in Labour Government, including Health and Housing, deputy Prime Minister in 1989.
• December 1993: Rolls Mike Moore as Labour leader after National formed Government after a close-run 1993 election.
• 1996: Low polling prompts Labour MPs including Annette King, Michael Cullen and Phil Goff to ask Clark to stand down. Clark refuses.
• 1999: Labour wins election, Clark becomes Prime Minister.
• 2001: Refuses to send troops to Iraq for US-led war after September 11 bombings. Clark deploys SAS troops to Afghanistan and in 2003 sends the reconstruction team to Bamiyan province, visiting them later that year.
• 2008: National wins election, Clark stands down as Labour leader on election night.
• March 2009: Clark is confirmed as Administrator for the UN Development Programme.
• April 2014: Clark is renewed for a second four-year term at UNDP
• 2016: Clark campaigns to be UN Secretary General but the role goes to Antonio Guterres.
–NZ Herald

Al Jazeera English Uploaded on Oct 2, 2010
One on One – Helen Clark
New Zealand’s former prime minister and the first woman to lead the UNDP talks about her career.

TEDx Talks Published on Aug 20, 2013
Yes she can: Helen Clark at TEDxAuckland
Helen Clark is Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — the first woman to lead the organization — and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. Prior to joining the UNDP Helen served as Prime Minister of New Zealand for three terms, during which time she was widely engaged in policy development and advocacy across international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Now living in New York, Helen is a passionate supporter of the arts as evidenced by her promotion of the arts, culture and heritage portfolio during her time as Prime Minister.

APEC Published on Jun 4, 2014
Interview with Helen Clark, Administrator, UN Development Programme
Helen Clark shares her perspectives on the occasion of APEC’s 25th Anniversary

UNDP Youth Published on Feb 6, 2016
Helen Clark: Remarks at 2016 ECOSOC Youth Forum
Closing Remarks by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator at the 2016 ECOSOC Youth Forum (1-2 February, 2016). Full text: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/speeches/2016/02/02/helen-clark-closing-remarks-to-2016-ecosoc-youth-forum-.html

█ Twitter: Helen Clark @HelenClarkUNDP

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Cracking the truth : June 2015 South Dunedin flood

OPINION received from Neil Johnstone
Sat, 10 Sep 2016 at 12:42 a.m.

Richard Stedman produces (below) a succinct review of the causes of, and failures after, the South Dunedin flood of June 2015. His frustrations appear to match those of Hilary Calvert that were published a few hours earlier. My reviews previously published on What if? Dunedin commencing back around February give more detail.

For your readers’ further consideration, Richard has highlighted the ‘200mm increase’ in flood level as a result of Portobello Road pumping station failures. The figure was derived by me, and appears in my review of the first DCC flood report. To my knowledge the only clear comparable DCC concessions have come from chief executive Sue Bidrose who admitted the figure publicly at the 20 June 2016 (yes, 2016) South Dunedin Action Group-organised public meeting, and subsequently.

The first DCC flood report (30 Nov 2015) is adamant that high groundwater was the cause of the flooding, and enough Councillors bought right into that excuse at the following Infrastructure Services Committee meeting. Just go back and view the video, if you’ve forgotten.

Dunedin City Council Published on Dec 7, 2015
Dunedin City Council – Council Meeting – November 30 2015
Discussion of the report starts at 1:09:52

The second (mudtank) DCC report of 26 April this year states: “Although Portobello Road’s performance did explain some of the length of time flooding was evident, much of the flooded area was below road level…” (para 31). No mention of increased depth of flooding there either, you will note.
[View report at Infrastructure Services Committee: Agenda & Reports 26 April (Part A, Item 5) pp 6-27.]

Neither DCC report mentions the additional depth of flooding caused by inaction at the Musselburgh pumping station.

History and ongoing design may rely on written commentaries. For the wellbeing of South Dunedin people, we must therefore continue to counter the misinformation contained in DCC reports, and in the more recent ORC (DCC-backed) South Dunedin “hazards” report. Even if ODT has switched off.

Related Posts at What if? Dunedin
8.3.16 [Review 1] Johnstone independent review of DCC report
19.5.16 [Review 2] Johnstone review of 2nd DCC report

Correspondence supplied
7.3.16 Letter, Chief Executive Sue Bidrose to Neil Johnstone
10.3.16 Response from Neil Johnstone to CE Bidrose

sue-bidrose-south-dunedin-a-changing-environment-radionz-co-nz-detailSue Bidrose at ORC/DCC hazards presentation [radionz.co.nz]

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OPINION received from Richard Stedman
Fri, 9 Sept 2016 at 8:24 p.m.

The ODT editorial department is peopled by closed minds, a number of whom subscribe to the climate change/rising sea level mantra and therefore manipulate their content to support their distorted view of the world. Mr Morris is captured by the former/present regime at city hall, a fate which befalls every reporter assigned to that round once they get their feet under the table.

Two weeks ago I prepared an opinion piece re the election and South Dunedin, outlining some of the issues as I see them in the hope that it might be published. I thought it was honestly held opinion, but it was rejected because it added “nothing new” to the debate, yet they run to Cull at every turn and run column after column of repetitive nonsense.

The following is my submission submitted on 24/8 and rejected the same day in this message: “Thanks for this submission, but we have had a “deluge” of flood letters and op eds from all sides so I don’t feel the need to highlight the issue again at the moment – certainly if there’s not anything new in it, as such”.

I have seen little evidence of the cited “deluge”.

The South Dunedin flood of June 2015 may be a tipping point during next month’s local body election. Many voters will look at the burgeoning candidates list for the Dunedin City Council and ask “who will provide the cornerstone elements of responsibility, accountability and integrity?”

Residents and business owners in South Dunedin have been sorely tested in recent times through the failure of the DCC to maintain its infrastructure. Among those adversely affected were elderly residents at Radius Fulton Home, including a number of dementia patients, the most vulnerable in our community, who were subjected to floodwaters containing sewage and transferred from the safety of their home in a crisis beyond acceptance. Some were accommodated as far away as Balclutha and Oamaru and three months passed before the facility was re-opened.

Following the flood, obfuscation clouded the failures that led to the inundation of homes and businesses and the investigation and report into the affair was 12 months in gestation. Officials and councillors, captured by the twin mantras of climate change and rising sea level, avoided any suggestion of culpability to limit the likelihood of litigation, and offered no solace that might have been construed as admission of liability.

The mayor and others were quick to blame rising sea level causing increased groundwater, combined with an “extreme weather event”, the result of climate change, and went so far as suggesting that a planned retreat from South Dunedin may be necessary in the future. The rainfall was described as a one-in-100-year event then gradually downgraded, but none of these pretexts are realistic. Questions arise over who is responsible for what, and how serious are the threats of rising sea level, more frequent adverse weather caused by climate change, and the “sinking of South Dunedin”, not to mention “retreat”.

Dunedin and environs have been subjected to much larger weather events in the past. Flooding of the entire city is well recorded and in particular photographs of the 1923 flood depict rowing in floodwaters in the city as well as inundation in South Dunedin. During a storm in 1898 large tracts of St Clair Esplanade were destroyed by the sea which damaged many houses, leaving some partly suspended. More recently, the storms of 1968 were greater than last year’s, delivering 10% more rainfall. In 1968 there were 90 properties invaded by floodwater, whereas last year some 1200 properties were flooded and many contaminated with effluent. Clearly last year’s event was exceptional only for the damage created and lives disrupted.

At a public meeting in South Dunedin on June 20, more than 12 months after the event, those affected had an opportunity to hear an explanation in the hope that someone might take responsibility for the extent of the damage. Despite a good representation of councillors there was no empathy and no likelihood of accountability. What the meeting heard was a long explanation of how the three-waters system works, or doesn’t work, as the case may be, and of failure at the pumping station from chief executive, Dr Sue Bidrose and other staff. The question is “when did the city’s councillors abdicate?”

south-dunedin-flood-june-2015-radionz-co-nzSouth Dunedin June 2015 [radionz.co.nz]

It can be argued that the damage and distress was the result of neglect, but the DCC says problems at the pumping station added only 200mm to the flooding which would have occurred anyway. Which 200mm was it? Maybe the first 200mm flowed across the ground, reached blocked drains then deepened throughout the area, or perhaps the last 200mm increased the depth and entered homes and business premises carrying undesirable flotsam. Without the extra 200mm would the water have stopped at the thresholds rather than flowing inside?

What of the rising sea level threat? Is it as urgent and as devastating as the commissioner for the environment, some DCC councillors and the Green Party say? The Greens proffer that the Government should help to pay for the reconfiguration of South Dunedin. Why? There has been no disaster on the scale of the Canterbury earthquakes and there is no immediate danger condemning South Dunedin, for if sea level were to rise according to some projections, north Dunedin and other areas are also in jeopardy meaning protection on the coast is futile because the flat land would be inundated from the harbour.

Could it be that models of sea level rise around New Zealand are exaggerated and distorted by the multiplier effect have been grossly over stated? And do the $7 million apartment complex at the Esplanade to be completed next year and the DCC’s belated discussion on a South Dunedin hub indicate mixed messages on the subject?

There is no doubt that the infrastructure must be maintained to the highest level and upgrading implemented with haste. The seafront calls for a level-headed approach to protect the sandhills which shelter the city from the ocean. In the past a network of groynes captured the sand, maintaining a broad beach to dissipate the energy of the waves. The network succeeded for nearly 100 years, but without maintenance fell victim to the ocean, so is it time to reinstate a similar system and then plan carefully for the next 100 to 200 years?

Council says that infrastructure will require “tens of millions of dollars” we cannot afford, but plans to spend some $37 million on George Street and the Octagon, followed by development of the harbourside. These “tens of millions” surely must be re-allocated to South Dunedin for infrastructure, to build a second pumping station, and provide realistic coastal protection.

Dunedin needs new councillors who will make hard decisions, reduce spending on fripperies and attend to basics; people who are prepared to drill deep into reports and costings and who are not afraid to make unpalatable decisions when needed rather than govern with slogans and platitudes.

Declaration: Conrad Stedman is my nephew.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

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Govt Debacle : Lost-luggage bill #universities #conscience

Lost luggage[whatifdunedin]

The sole purpose of National MP Nuk Korako’s bill is to require airports to advertise lost property more widely than in the newspaper.

### NZ Herald Online 9:15 AM Wednesday Aug 17, 2016
Lost-luggage bill has MPs in stitches
By Isaac Davison – political reporter
The National Party backbencher thrust into the spotlight by his bid to help recover lost property at airports has mounted a spirited defence of his widely mocked proposal. […] When it was pulled from the member’s bill ballot last week, Labour said it showed National had “lost the plot”. Today, Labour MPs set about picking it apart in Parliament, tabling a series of questions for the National MP. Korako, in his most high-profile moment since entering Parliament, thanked them for the opportunity to “profile his bill”.
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Tweets:

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Students’ changing preferences have forced a difficult task on the University of Otago.

ODT Online Wed, 17 Aug 2016
Jobs must be cut now to secure division’s future
By Prof Tony Ballantyne
OPINION The proposed changes in staffing in the Humanities Division at the University of Otago have been subject to sustained media comment and critical commentary. […] The reason for the proposed changes is quite simple: there has unfortunately been a sustained decline in student numbers over the past seven years. Because of this, there is a growing gap between the division’s cost and income and it now depends on subsidies of many millions of dollars each year from other parts of the university.
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The place of humanities in a university raises issues that extend far beyond one department.

ODT Online Wed, 17 Aug 2016
Universities succeed when they produce thoughtful leaders, not technocrats
By Emeritus Prof Gareth Jones
OPINION […] We need lawyers who understand biomedical science or elements of commerce; we need doctors who have an appreciation of the medical humanities, let alone of English literature or Maori worldviews. The examples are endless but each one in its own way points away from any silo mentality and towards the notion that universities should be producing well-rounded, thoughtful and well-educated graduates.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

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Labour messing with South Dunedin, like Cull, unbidden

Not Listening [octavehighereast.com]Not Listening [octavehighereast.com]

There is little or no RISING GROUNDWATER at South Dunedin – this is an attack on the local community by Anthropogenic Global Warming (manmade climate change) believers like Curran, Clark, and Cull.

So-called ‘authorities’ are running their Politics over the top of the local Community, Failing to canvass the views of the local residents, property owners, service providers and businesses through agreed consultation methods Before pronouncing upon the area. This is disrespectful, dangerous behaviour. Unwarranted.

A lot of us will remember Labour MP David Clark’s importune speech on climate change at the public meeting held at South Dunedin on 20 June. He completely didn’t register the mood and understandings of the local audience.

Greenie Cull and the Labour Party are deliberately or inadvertently using South Dunedin as a Political Football. There are few votes to be earned from bullying and interference, thank god.

Listening —what is that.

Speaking after the tour, Mr Little said the area was a “prime candidate” for urban renewal under the party’s proposed Affordable Housing Authority.

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Jul 2016
Labour timeline for South renewal
By Timothy Brown
South Dunedin’s renewal will be showing “good progress” within six years of electing a Labour government, party leader Andrew Little says. Mr Little toured South Dunedin with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran, Dunedin North MP Dr David Clark and list MP David Parker after the area was earmarked by the Opposition as one urgently needing urban renewal. The group walked from Bathgate Park School, in Macandrew Rd, down Loyalty St into Nicholson St and on to Nelson St before returning to the school. They were accompanied by members of various social groups from South Dunedin.
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### Dunedintv.co.nz Mon, 25 July 2016
Labour leader tours South Dunedin
Labour Leader Andrew Little has visited South Dunedin today, alongside a contingent of MPs and social service agency stakeholders. The group wandered around the areas hardest hit by last year’s floods, looking at the handful of houses still empty more than a year on. And Little took the opportunity to offer up his party’s plan to fix some of the issues.
Ch39 Link

Channel 39 Published on Jul 24, 2016
Labour leader tours South Dunedin

DUNEDIN – JUNKET CITY FOR LGNZ
“How do we Efficiently capture NZ Ratepayers’ Money for our Comfy Salaries”

### Dunedintv.co.nz Mon, 25 July 2016
Local government conference kicks off
The country’s annual Local Government conference is back in Dunedin for the first time in almost a decade. More than 560 delegates have piled into the Town Hall to discuss how to make New Zealand a better place to live and work. But it’s also serving as a way to address the tension between local and central governments.
Ch39 Video

LAWRENCE YULE GO HOME

█ For more, enter the terms *flood*, *sea level rise*, *stormwater*, *hazard*, *johnstone*, *hendry*, *south dunedin action group*, *debriefing notes*, *listener* or *lgnz* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

Listening ear-hand [mrhudyma.com]Larry King - Listen [via linkedin.com]

*Images: mrhudyma.com – Listening | linkedin.com – Larry King, Listen

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Misero-mercenary at U of O

misero mercenary

Just in, Rhodes says:

Naylor Love stiffed by U of O.
$100M Dental School to be awarded to Leighs Construction.

But…
Naylor Love’s consolation prize is the new $18M Otago Polytechnic Hall of Residence, where they were significantly more expensive than other local rival Amalgamated Builders, but scored much higher on non-price attributes, which gave them top ranking.

Amalgamated Builders, clearly not flavour of the month at either Polytech or University —it’s understood the same thing occurred at the recent Commerce Building Upgrade.

Related Post and Comments:
1.7.16 No one wants to work for U of O
31.5.13 University of Otago development plans

For more enter the term *university*, *campus master plan*, *property services*, *leith flood protection* or *landscaping* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

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Johnstone disputes Opus review #SouthDunedinFlood

### ODT Online Thu, 7 Jul 2016
Flood review clears DCC staff findings
Dunedin City Council staff have been vindicated by peer reviews which backed their findings over the cause of last June’s devastating floods. The reviews, carried out by infrastructure consultancy firm Opus, backed the council’s findings South Dunedin and other parts of the city would have been flooded even if the city’s stormwater system was running at full capacity.
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Opus peer reviews of DCC flood reports received (same day) following a LGOIMA request made on 7 July 2016:

DCC Nov2015 rpt review-final (PDF, 395 KB)

DCC Apr2016 rpt review-final (PDF, 329 KB)

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A truly independent inquiry into the council’s performance around last year’s South Dunedin floods remains long overdue, writes Dunedin engineer Neil Johnstone.

### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jul 2016
Opinion: Report skims surface of South Dunedin flood saga
By Neil Johnstone
OPINION Readers of the Dunedin City Council-funded independent peer review of its post-flood reporting (ODT, 7.7.16) should be wary. The council’s delight with the review may prove short-lived. In brief, the Opus review:

● Recognises the 1968 rainfall event was bigger than that of June 2015 (contrary to repeated council claims).
● Fails to explore the reasons why the 2015 flood was a disaster, and the 1968 event was not.
● Makes assumptions about groundwater levels without referencing the actual data.
● Appears to consider the council’s assumption of zero ground infiltration has merit (note: the data disproves this).
● Believes mud-tank blockage impacts of the flood were “localised” (too bad if you were a local), but fails to consider the likely widespread impacts on South Dunedin of blocked mud-tanks in the St Clair catchment.
● States council reviews “suggest” its failures at the Portobello Rd pumping station caused an increase in flood levels of about 200mm.
● In fact, the first council review leaves the reader with no more than an opportunity to infer this, while the second council review only states that the failures may have influenced “the length of time flooding was evident”.
● I do not recall the council actually publicly admitting the 200mm figure before the South Dunedin Action Group meeting of June 21.
● Fails to address the flood impacts of the council’s total failure to operate its Musselburgh pumps for stormwater relief.
● Makes general statements to the effect that “primary” flooding would have occurred under any circumstance. South Dunedin residents know that “overwhelming” of stormwater infrastructure was not the concern; the avoidable flooding of our people’s houses and businesses was.

For all of the above reasons, and more, the Opus finding the council report’s conclusions were “robust” is concerning. A truly independent inquiry into the council’s performance pre, during and post-flood, at staff and political levels, is long overdue. ODT Link

Related Posts and Comments:
● 7.7.16 Where is the unreserved DCC apology to … South Dunedin ?
● 4.7.16 Presentations available —a) 4 July USA —b) 20 June SDAG
● 28.6.16 The Star and RNZ on raised flood levels #SouthDunedin
● 27.6.16 CULL commingled #AGWbullsfeatherartists
● 21.6.16 Mayoral Statement to South Dunedin
● 20.6.16 Public Meeting: South Dunedin Action Group #tonight
18.6.16 South Dunedin stormwater pipes —getting past the desktop ICMP
● 17.6.16 So we’re going to play it this way #SouthDunedinFlood
● 16.6.16 Public Meeting: South Dunedin Action Group #AllWelcome
● 6.6.16 Listener June 11-17 2016 : Revisiting distress and mismanagement
6.5.16 South Dunedin Action Group: Notes of meeting with DCC (3 May 2016)
14.4.16 South Dunedin flood risk boosters #ClimateChangeCrap #PissOffPCE
26.2.16 Mudtanks and drains + Notice of Public Meeting #SouthDunedinFlood
● 31.12.15 2016, have mercy !@$#%^&*
10.4.15 DCC: Natural Hazards

*Bullet points indicate comments entered after the public meeting 20 June.

█ For more, enter the terms *flood*, *sea level rise*, *stormwater*, *hazard*, *johnstone*, *opus*, *hendry*, *south dunedin action group*, *debriefing notes* or *listener* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

4 Comments

Filed under Business, Climate change, DCC, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Heritage, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design