Tag Archives: Environmental monitoring

Regional council builds Palace, refuses help to dredge Otago boat harbour

The ironies are Most Apparent.

The Otago Regional Council contributed $30m to the stadium roof (an activity beyond its local authority mandate), yet the council has no intention of helping the Otago Yacht Club to maintain the city’s marina, the Otago Boat Harbour.

[click to enlarge]
DCC Webmaps – Otago Boat Harbour at Mouth of Leith JanFeb 2013

Otago Yacht Club’s origin dates back to 1892, making it one of the oldest yacht clubs in Otago. The club caters for a range of sailing interests from keelboats to trailer yachts and centreboarders. The club also operates keeler haul-out facilities and welcomes visiting boats. The club manages a full events programme during summer, including harbour, coastal and ocean races. On Sunday mornings in the season the club runs ‘learn to sail’ and ‘learn to race’ programmes which cater for all ages. The clubhouse is a popular venue for private functions and for local organisations to hold meetings and events. Within walking distance of the city centre, the clubhouse offers showers, laundry facilities, email connections etc. The resident caretaker-manager will usually manage to accommodate requests for berthage for boats up to 50 feet. The alongside mooring facilities consist of several large punts inside a walled boat harbour. Due to silting, access to the boat harbour has only been tenable approximately two hours either side of high tide for boats with 2m draft. The Otago boat harbour was last dredged in 1995.
Source: otagoyachtclub.org.nz

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### ODT Online Thu, 20 Apr 2017
Club gets go-ahead to dredge boat harbour
By David Loughrey
The Otago Boat Harbour is about to get its first dredging in more than 20 years, after the facility reached such a state rescue vessels could not leave the harbour at low tide. The work, expected to start soon, has been described as a major achievement by the Otago Yacht Club, which leases the boat harbour. Club vice-commodore Blair McNab said the cost of the project – more than $300,000 – was being paid for from grants and club membership fees. […] The club recently received resource consent from the Dunedin City Council for the work. The consent allowed the club to deposit dredged sediment and soil on land in Magnet St, behind the club, for drying. Mr McNab said once the dredged material had been dried, which took about two weeks, it would be taken to the nearby Logan Point quarry. The consent said once the work was completed, about 100cu m would remain on the grass area at Magnet St to form a barrier around its perimeter, and provide better drainage. The consent decision said the boat harbour was in such a state that at low tide, craft used for harbour rescues could not get out. […] The club had hoped the Otago Regional Council might help with the cost of the dredging, as alterations to the Water of Leith meant more spoil was coming from the nearby mouth of the stream. Mr McNab said it appeared the council was not going to help.
Read more

The Star April 2014 via Otago Yacht Club. Also at ODT Online 22.4.14

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The Otago Regional Council’s “special consultation” over its Dunedin headquarters is flawed, writes former councillor Gerrard Eckhoff.

### ODT Online Tue, 18 Apr 2017
Review needed in lieu of proper consultation
By Gerrard Eckhoff
The Otago Regional Council’s annual plan is now open for public consultation. Implicit in the word consultation is the opening of a meaningful dialogue with the public. It would be entirely disingenuous for any local authority to enter into discussion on their annual plan by merely informing the public of council intent without showing a willingness to accept “the wisdom of crowds”.
….This year’s ORC annual plan contains four lines on “Dunedin building review” in its feedback document which could easily be missed at first reading. To its credit, the council has finally accepted its statutory obligation for “special consultation” on this $30million major project.
….The last time the council ventured forth on a new building project without any prior special consultation, it cost the ratepayers upwards of $3million for the concept design and drawings alone. The cost of that proposal was well over $30million and it was never built. It is, therefore, hard to reconcile how the new building/s is going to be around the projected $20million mark, unless building costs have halved in Dunedin from eight years or so ago. The potential cost of a new car park building must also be factored in, so the ratepayers could soon be the lucky owners of two new buildings, as well as a difficult-to-sell ORC headquarters building in Stafford St.
Read more

DCC Webmap – Dowling St carpark JanFeb 2013, ORC office site starred

Related Posts and Comments:
9.1.17 ORC $wimming in it —SHOULD afford more Otago environmental…
15.8.16 ORC : Official complaints show integrity
22.6.16 ORC New HQ : Reminder, fiduciary duty and core responsibilities
● 9.6.16 ORC empire building again : Consultants give questionable options…
11.8.12 ODT editorial (spot on!) — ORC temporary headquarters
26.6.09 ORC headquarters [incl news items to present day]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: Otago Yacht Club except where stated otherwise.

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DCC hideous ‘Adam of your labours’

ODT 28.1.17 (page 30)

2017-01-28-20-33-02[phoneshot scribbled – click to enlarge]

DCC is rubbish governance.

Comparing the two territorial authorities, ORC and DCC, ODT says “the regional council has been a wiser council-company owner”.

Ain’t that the sheer truth with bells on, oversewn with screaming sirens and flashing red lights.

Stuff that up your blood-soaked jumper, Dunedin City Council.

DCC takes the knife to Ratepayers’ private wealth, there’s no sign of let up. Blunt force trauma, gushing blood and the decimated entrails of a city once thriving.

The squalid recent history of Dunedin City Council is one of incompetence and worse : failed schemes, massive overburden of debt, inability to prioritise, budget and project manage, crippling levels of deferred maintenance and upgrades for essential infrastructure, unprosecuted thefts, corruption in certain of the CCOs and serious questions about the holding company (last year, a ‘partial audit’), Otago power network assets burnt off (no safety and security of supply), a dead loss-making stadium and associated companies clawing $20million per annum off ratepayers (no valid explanation, just mindless spin), destruction of high class Taieri soils for housing sprawl initiated by city councillor with a private profit motive, trite succession of gormless city councillors lining own pockets/inflating egos at the council table – leaches and nematodes have more credibility. On it goes at DCC.

Otago Regional Council is debt free.

### ODT Online Sat, 28 Jan 2017
Editorial: City and ORC merger unlikely
OPINION Any progress towards one or more unitary authorities in Otago will be difficult, largely because of the region’s geography. The Dunedin City Council this week ordered a report into a possible merger between it and the Otago Regional Council, and it would be surprising if proposals which might emerge make much headway with the Local Government Commission.
….Since 1988, the [ORC] has received a total of $148.9million in dividends and special payments from Port Otago. How the city must covet that cash. Given the city’s pressures on Delta/Aurora for dividends and the regional council’s hands-off attitude to the Port Company, it would seem, however, the regional council has been a wiser council-company owner.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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ORC $wimming in it —SHOULD afford more Otago environmental protection

….not a new office palace at Dunedin.

Spending figures on flood protection and river management, particularly on the Leith and Taieri systems, and public transport, are heavily weighted towards Dunedin.

### ODT Online Mon, 9 Jan 2017
‘Dunedin-centric’ ORC gets roasting
By David Williams
Michael Laws’ already poor appraisal of the Otago Regional Council just gets worse. Official council figures provided to the Otago Daily Times detail the council’s $56million in reserves, its plans for spending up to $24million on a new Dunedin headquarters and a breakdown of spending in the Queenstown Lakes, which is affected by lake snow. Mr Laws, who was elected to the council’s Dunstan ward in October, said: “It’s worse than we thought, to a degree. They’ve got a huge amount of money and they spend very little.”
….He accused the council of having a very hands-off policy towards Dunstan issues and particularly Queenstown and the lakes over the past five years. “It’s withdrawn staff from the area, it’s not monitored the lakes which is its basic statutory responsibility, it’s spent very little money dealing with pests, whether flora or fauna, and I think personally that the reason in large part is if you don’t live in an area you don’t properly understand it.”
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L A K E ● S N O W

10.6.16
The alga called Cyclotella, or recently renamed by algologists as Lindavia intermedia, is related to the ‘rock snot’ alga didymo. The recent appearance of lake snot is associated with the emergence and dominance in Cyclotella, according to a team of scientists from the University of Otago, Landcare Research and Université Laval (Canada).
–Erica Mather, Sciblogs: Southern NZ lakes congested with algal snot

lake-snow-stuff-co-nzLake Snow [stuff.co.nz]

ORC – Lake Snow
In recent years, a slimy substance called ‘lake snow’ has been found in Lake Wanaka, Wakatipu and Hawea. Otago Regional Council (ORC) is working with stakeholders and researchers to find out more about where lake snow comes from, what influences it, and how it could be managed. Read more

Lake snow brochure (PDF, 1 MB)

QLDC – Lake Algae
For a number of years the Lake Wanaka water supply has been affected by the presence of algae. The algae is not harmful from a health perspective, but has had an effect water filters, irrigation fittings, new appliances and other equipment. The algae is not noticed at all the properties in Wanaka and no pattern has been found. In mid-2016 QLDC began receiving reports of algae build-ups in a number of water filters around Queenstown that take water from Lake Wakatipu. It has been identified as the same algae that has affected the water system in Wanaka for the past eight years or so.
Identifying and managing lake algae

In 2004 Didymosphenia geminata, a diatom commonly known as didymo or rock snot, was discovered in New Zealand, the first time it was found in the Southern Hemisphere. To restrict its spread, the whole of the South Island of New Zealand was declared a controlled area in December 2005. All items, such as boats, fishing gear, clothing, and vehicles, that have been in a stream, river or lake, must be cleaned before they enter another waterway.
Wikipedia: Didymo in New Zealand

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### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:14, Sep 1 2016
Fears lake snow could make Lake Wakatipu ‘unfishable’
By Jo McKenzie-McLean
An experienced fishing guide fears Lake Wakatipu could end up “unfishable” with the invasive spread of the algae bloom, lake snow, and warns Lake Dunstan could be next. Queenstown fishing guide Stu Dever, armed with his rod and reel, voiced his concerns about the presence of lake snow in Lake Wakatipu to Otago Fish and Game committee members at a meeting in Cromwell last month. His rod was clogged with the thick globules of algae after only one day’s fishing on the lake … The mucous-like substance is produced by the algae cyclotella has now been observed in three South Island lakes.
Read more

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:49, Nov 4 2016
Lake snow discovered in Hawea as algae spreads through southern lakes
The nuisance algae known as lake snow has been confirmed in Lake Hawea as it continues to spread through the southern lakes. Officially known as Cyclotella bodanica, it has been present in Lake Wanaka for several years and has this year been confirmed in Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. It has also been found in Lake Coleridge in Canterbury. It does not present a health risk but can block water filters on commercial premises and residential appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.
Read more 

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 11:13, Dec 19 2016
Laws calls for Otago Regional Council to apologise over Lake Snow ‘inaction’
By Jo McKenzie-McLean
The Otago Regional Council needs to “apologise and atone” for its “grossly inadequate” action over the Lake Snow problem in the alpine lakes, newly-elected Otago regional councillor Michael Laws says. “Lake snow was notified to the Otago Regional Council in 2008. It did nothing until September 2016, and in that time the algae and its effects have taken a firm grip on Lake Wanaka and now spread to other lakes. As with the invasive weed lagorosiphon [oxygen weed], the ORC’s inertia on lake snow stands as an object lesson of what can go wrong when you react, and react late, rather than research. There are some massive lessons for our governance here. We dropped the ball big time and need to accept, apologise and atone.” Cr Laws said there needed to be a significant financial investment in the southern lakes and that any delay would only make the problems less manageable and more expensive. “The Otago Regional Council has no debt, and $56 million in reserves. It wants to spend $25 million on a new HQ in Dunedin. I say those priorities are dead wrong: The lakes and our waterways – along with pest destruction – must be our prime responsibilities.”
Read more

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Dr Schallenberg and other scientists have been frustrated by rejected funding applications on research into lake snow, and the Otago Regional Council only stepped up monitoring last year, although it has paid for some research on Lake Wanaka’s health.

### ODT Online Sat, 7 Jan 2017
Editorial: The lake snow threat
It is past time to drive action on “lake snow” (“lake snot”). The slime produced by an  algae in Lake Wanaka — it is also in Lake Coleridge and was found last year in Lakes Hawea and Wakatipu — is unsightly and a significant nuisance. More importantly, it could have long-term and unknown ecological impacts.
….It was first noticed in Lake Wanaka about 2004 as those fishing spoke of fouled lines and blocked engine intakes. Washing machine and other filters in Wanaka began to become clogged because the town water supply comes from the lake. […] The same algae had also been found in another relatively unpolluted lake in Seattle in the United States. Just like didymo (“rock snot”), under certain conditions cyclotella secretes large amounts of mucus. This can all join together to form a mat. Just why it appears is still a mystery.
Read more

### ODT Online Sat, 7 Jan 2017
Lake snot costs hit six figures
By Guy Williams
Queenstown hotels are being forced to install expensive filtration systems to prevent lake snot (also called lake snow) damaging or blocking their water systems. Sofitel Queenstown Hotel manager Vincent Macquet said a self-cleaning filter identical to one operating at Dunedin Hospital was installed at the hotel five weeks ago at a cost of “hundreds of thousands” of dollars. Lake snot began clogging its water system last winter, causing hot-water valves to fail and reducing water pressure. […] Macquet said it was a “touchy subject” with hoteliers, with representatives from seven hotels meeting Queenstown Lakes District Council staff about a month ago to express their concerns.
Read more

didymo-hawea-landcareresearch-co-nzDidymo, Hawea [landcareresearch.co.nz]

Didymo (aka rock snot) [jrn.com via knownews.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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