Tag Archives: Election year 2013

Shrinkwrap the Mayor of Dunedin —Cull snubs Dalai Lama #shame

Shortsighted removal of diplomacy by ‘city leader’.

There were also no plans to stage a civic reception for the Dalai Lama, Mr Cull said yesterday. He defended both decisions, describing the Nobel Peace Prize laureate as “a representative of a minority religious faith” and questioning the benefit of engaging with him. –ODT

Politically awkward, after DCC/COC flying visits to Shanghai.

The decision was confirmed publicly just days after Mr Cull led a Dunedin delegation to Shanghai to help foster closer ties with one of the communist powerhouse’s major economic centres. –ODT

British Prime Minister David Cameron met the Dalai Lama last year. He was duly scolded by China and later cancelled a state visit after strong indications he would not be granted meetings with senior figures. –ODT

Good on former mayor Sukhi Turner for speaking up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

### ODT Online Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Mayor denies bowing to wishes of China over Dalai Lama’s visit
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull’s decision to sidestep a speaking engagement with the Dalai Lama appears to be aimed at avoiding the ire of China, a University of Otago academic, Dr Nicholas Khoo, says. However, the move has backfired in the eyes of former Dunedin mayor Sukhi Turner, who said the city was in danger of adopting a ”cargo cult mentality” and becoming ”supplicants to China”. It was confirmed yesterday Mr Cull had declined an invitation by tour organisers to introduce the Dalai Lama at a public talk in the Dunedin Town Hall, before up to 2000 people, on June 11.
Read more

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### ODT Online Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Who else has sidestepped the Dalai Lama?
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has some high-profile company when it comes to sidestepping the Dalai Lama. US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard are among political leaders who have declined to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Read more

[St Farry suggested the Dalai Lama could be a use for the stadium, wtf]

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The Royal Society carries news coverage of THAT ‘cargo cult’ address:

Turner slams business mentality in ‘state of city’ speech
Posted: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 under Science in the News

Dunedin, April 23 – Dunedin should abandon its “big industry fetish” and encourage smaller, environmentally-friendly businesses, Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner said in her first “State of the City” speech last night.

Addressing combined members of Dunedin Lions Clubs, she pushed a strong “green” message in her vision of Dunedin’s economic future. The city’s first obligation was to stop behaving like primitive tribespeople, expecting foreigners to bring jobs and prosperity into the town, she said.

She rejected recent public accusations of being seen as opposed to development and “a very poor advocate” for Dunedin. But she said the cargo-cult mentality among Dunedin’s business community was a major obstacle to any serious discussion of the city’s future.

“Whether it be an aluminium smelter at Aramoana, a meat-processing plant on the Taieri or an environmentally suspect timber mill… the message is the same: only monstrous, ecologically damaging and socially destructive projects, preferably foreign-owned and financed, can rescue Dunedin’s fortunes.”

Many people saw environmental and developmental concerns as diametrically opposed. But in modern thinking the two were integrated imperatives.

“An industry that throws chemically stable toxic waste into our ecosystems is storing up disaster for us all.

“It is not a question of the environment versus development, it is simply a question of how much we are going to pay and when.”

Dunedin City Council and Otago Chamber of Commerce and Industry should be helping out small, knowledge-based businesses such as Animation Research Ltd which had developed computer graphic technology for America’s Cup races.

Dunedin would never again dominate New Zealand’s economy and its residents must stop trying to recapture a past which had gone forever, she said.

Education and health were two crucial industries under-pinning the city’s economy. Both could help generate whole clusters of subsidiary enterprises based on knowledge resources ready-to-hand at tertiary institutions.

“Small-scale, knowledge-based, high-tech and environmentally-friendly industries do not only open up the prospect of lucrative export contracts, they play to the strengths of the Dunedin community with its solid tradition of smallness and deep-seated love of learning,” Mrs Turner said.

After the speech she said she was not opposed to large-scale industry, as long as it “made sense”, was pollution-free and met Resource Management Act regulations.

However, the belief that salvation would come from large businesses was simplified reasoning. “It doesn’t work like that,” she said.
NZPA ODT ps 23/04/96 09-38NZ
RS Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

31 Comments

Filed under Business, CST, DCC, Economics, Events, Geography, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, University of Otago

DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 for consultation #RIOTmaterial

Email received from Lee Vandervis this evening.

My overview regarding the Annual Plan that has gone out for consultation today is that little has changed.

Rates rises continue to be disguised, first by getting DCHL to borrow up to $23 million on our account, continuing to take more than policy allows from the Waipori Fund [proposed relaxing Waipori rules to justify], continued significant underspending on drains, and now buying $3 million in paid-up share capital of DVML – yet another multi-million dollar gift to bail out overspent Stadium operations.

The official result – the long heralded 4% rates rise.

I believe the real rates rise to be somewhere between 25% and 30%, as the DCC continues to amass all kinds of liabilities and debt that will have to be paid for in the future. CEO Paul Orders has made real gains finding significant DCC staff efficiencies, but most are simply going to bail out Stadium operational inefficiencies.

Stadium annual drains on the ratepayer now include:
● $1,666,000 rates subsidy via a ‘Stadium Differential’ [LTP 2013/14 – 2021/22 p8]
● $750,000 annual ‘Stadium Community Access’ fund
● $725,000 ‘Stadium Capital Repayment’ fund for each of the next 4 years
● Annual $400,000 ‘Stadium Event Attraction’ fund.

The Dunedin City Council is now going to buy the events that the Stadium was supposed to attract by itself. These further Stadium subsidies will only prolong the currently unaffordable wasteful Stadium operations, and entrench the directorships, fat contracts, and rugby cronyism that plague current Stadium costs.

If anyone can think of any other type of ‘fund’ that might possibly go to the Stadium please don’t tell the DCC or we will shortly be paying that annually too.

From an email I sent to senior staff and the Mayor last Monday:
“I have been uncomfortable with the timing and presentation advantages enjoyed by DVML in being perfectly positioned to come into our workshop and present and pluck us for millions yet again, but I accept that their issues needed to be addressed.”

Many Annual Plan issues have not been addressed but they have been bought into.

The predetermined Plan has just happened again.

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

96 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

Sunday Star Times Business News: Woops DCC

### Stuff Online Last updated 11:52 27/01/2013
Auckland councillors reveal interests
By Rob Stock
The shutters of secrecy around the personal commercial interests of elected councillors and local board members are beginning to lift at the country’s largest local council. In May last year Auckland mayor Len Brown pledged to the Sunday Star-Times that Auckland Council would work towards the establishment of a register of pecuniary interests of councillors, something other major councils have long provided to their ratepayers.
Read more

Near the end of the article we love the reference to “the heavily indebted Dunedin City Council” being without a public register of pecuniary interests of councillors… Something “major councils have long provided to their ratepayers” (see Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, and now Auckland).

It’s the remainder of the sentence about Dunedin that really amuses, but let’s reproduce the paragraphs which implicate DCC.

In fact, the lack of registers at some councils – the heavily indebted Dunedin City Council was another without a public register – seems in direct contravention of the Local Government Act that requires councils to operate “in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner”.

Local Government New Zealand told the Government it believes the model set by MPs needed to apply to local councillors, arguing that it would “strengthen public confidence in public bodies like local government”, and it turned out that Auckland City Council was supporting the call.

Best we demand a register of Dunedin City councillors’ interests well before the October 2013 local body elections – make the request via public submissions on the Draft Annual Plan 2013/14, and DCC public forums.

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design