Updated post Thu, 24 Mar 2016 at 12:26 p.m. | Last updated at 8:19 p.m.
The video animation by Douglas Field published at YouTube on 20 Mar 2016, entitled ‘The witless witch-hunt’, has been removed from this post where it was embedded; due to a complaint received from Dunedin City Council [voicemail received 10:19 a.m.; message cleared 12:07 p.m.].
The part text (after the break) was supplied by Mr Field to accompany the animation. The video can be viewed at the Douglas Field channel on YouTube (enter video title in the YT search box).
Reasonably, fairly, the text and video may be regarded as democratic political thought and free expression, a public commentary concerning well-documented events from world history. The text and video are not deemed to be upsetting or offensive to any local party.
Although some associated Comments at this thread have been moderated or removed as a caution and protection to the site owner, any attempts to unfairly ‘influence’, harass or threaten the site owner and contributors to What if? Dunedin will not be tolerated.
The Spectator The slow death of free speech
How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate — from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage
Mark Steyn 19 April 2014
The examples above are ever-shrinking Dantean circles of Tolerance:
At Galway, the dissenting opinion was silenced by grunting thugs screaming four-letter words. At Mozilla, the chairwoman is far more housetrained: she issued a nice press release all about (per Miss Alcorn) striking a balance between freedom of speech and ‘equality’, and how the best way to ‘support’ a ‘culture’ of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ is by firing anyone who dissents from the mandatory groupthink. At the House of Commons they’re moving to the next stage: in an ‘inclusive culture’ ever more comfortable with narrower bounds of public discourse, it seems entirely natural that the next step should be for dissenting voices to require state permission to speak.
Mon, 21 Dec 2015 ODT: Contract fraud call at DCC
Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis’ actions will form part of a fresh fraud investigation inside the Dunedin City Council, after he claimed to have paid a backhander to secure a council contract. […] The move came after Cr Vandervis, speaking at last Monday’s full council meeting, sparked a furious exchange after claiming he had given “personal evidence” of his backhander to Mayor Dave Cull.
Vandervis statement around the 1.25 mark
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: Douglas Field’s room with Easter Egg [liveinternet.ru] tweaked by whatifdunedin
23 April 2017
Note: Lauda Finem’s url with dot com has changed to dot org, as a result the post title and link references below have all been changed.
Received from Dunedin businessman
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 at 4:42 p.m.
Hi Elizabeth, do you know the above website? They are an Australia-based blog site that seem willing to print ANYTHING! It might be a valuable tool to use in conjunction with your own wonderful site …. Maybe you could offer a link to publicise? It would be a safe place to post anything that could otherwise get you sued. It already has quite a bit of NZ stuff. Maybe useful also to some of your bloggers etc.
There is frequent speculation and accusations about who ‘Lauda Finem’ is/are. It’s conspiracy theorist heaven. –Pete George
█ Twitter: Laudafinem (@Laudafinem)
Australian anti-corruption and injustice watch-dogs
Meanwhile, as Mayor Dave Cull’s council keeps up with massive spending on low priorities and unnecessaries, this comes to light:—
### ODT Online Mon, 8 Sep 2014 Stadium budget help was declined
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council declined an offer of specialist help to keep its Forsyth Barr Stadium budget on track, years before the cost jumped by millions of dollars, it has been confirmed. The decision, revealed in an Audit New Zealand report from 2010, has been criticised by Mayor Dave Cull, who said it was “a function of the attitude of the management and the executive at the time”. Former council chief executive Jim Harland defends the decision, saying the council’s oversight was felt at the time to be “appropriate”. The offer was detailed in the Audit NZ annual report to the council, dated December 2010, which covered the 12-month period to June 30 that year. Read more
The decision to build a debt-funded stadium – of which Jim Harland, Malcolm Farry, Athol Stephens, DCC stadium councillors, ORC stadium councillors, and professional rugby cronies are GUILTY – was ALWAYS the decision to bankrupt the Dunedin City Council but more especially, and insidiously, the ratepayers and residents of ‘greater’ Dunedin and Otago.¹
The Audit NZ offer was INANE and in any case a complete waste of time.
Audit NZ is what it is, a basket case. Of sheer incompetence and hypocrisy, nationwide.
Time for a full independent forensic audit of the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust, fondly known as CST, headed by Malcolm Farry. This will also entail an intimate look at the way Dunedin City Council treated CST invoices, the Council’s spending delegations, and its chief signatories.
Let’s hope somebody goes to clink before the accounting games are over.
¹Only now are Otago power users waking up to the fact of high line charges being levied by Aurora Energy Ltd to fund subvention payments to ‘the stadium’ (see recent letters to the editor in the Otago Daily Times).
Did the killer consolidated DCC think the people of Otago wouldn’t notice?
Read this post at Cameron Slater’s blog Whale Oil Beef Hooked.
### whaleoil.co.nz July 5, 2014 at 7:30am Google’s demise starts here, ctd
Not only are Google changing history, they are effectively censoring you, and me, and journalism too. This morning the BBC received the following notification from Google:
What it means is that a blog I wrote in 2007 will no longer be findable when searching on Google in Europe. Which means that to all intents and purposes the article has been removed from the public record, given that Google is the route to information and stories for most people. So why has Google killed this example of my journalism? Read more
Received from Bev Butler
Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:43:05 +1200
According to the latest DVL/DVML six monthly reports the debt is growing not reducing – that is a concern. The $146.6 million debt was passed over to DVL, many millions were poured into servicing the interest and capital repayments for this debt but even with that happening the combined short term/long term debt of DVML/DVL now stands at $157.6 million – $11 million more! The long term debt of $146.6 million has been reduced to $138.8 million but short term debt stands at $18.8 million. It is a major concern that the combined debt is growing not reducing – and this is during the stadium’s honeymoon period.
From: Bev Butler To: Sue Bidrose; Sandy Graham; Kate Wilson; Richard Thomsom; Chris Staynes; John Bezett; Lee Vandervis; Hilary Calvert; Doug Hall; Andrew Whiley; Mike Lord; David Benson-Pope; Neville Peat; Andrew Noone; Jinty MacTavish; Dave Cull; Aaron Hawkins CC: Calvin Oaten; Grant McKenzie Subject: Stadium $23.4144 million per annum Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:43:05 +1200
Dear Mayor Cull and Councillors
As a result of further discussions and more information obtained through further searching Council documents Calvin Oaten and I have updated the annual stadium costs which now stand at $23.4144 million. (See attached word document). No changes have been made to the spreadsheet I sent earlier which I prepared.
There are some costs which have not been included due to the difficulty in quantifying them to the accuracy of which I would be comfortable.
This $23.4144 million figure does not include any payments which may have not been fully transparent through the Council books.
By this I mean that I understand there were approaches by Darren Burden, former CEO of DVML, to obtain payments for bills which DVML were unable to pay but which another Council Department had shown some willingness to transfer their surplus unspent funds from that Department to DVML. In that particular case, I understand the transfer did not happen. However, I have no access to information as to whether this had occurred on previous occasions through other departments.
█ Also attached are Terry Wilson’s calculations coming from a different angle but which come to $23.1 million per annum. (See attached spreadsheet prepared by Terry Wilson).
Received from Bev Butler
Monday, 2 June 2014 4:10 p.m.
Message: During the presentation of my submission on the draft annual plan I was asked by Council to produce the figures to back up my claim that the stadium was costing approximately $20 million per annum. David Benson-Pope made a general statement questioning whether the claims in my submission were correct – though he didn’t elaborate when I asked him. I have followed up the Council’s request and the final figure is $21.337 million.
Please note there is a huge disparity between what the DCC has published in the Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 and what can be shown by the DCC’s own figures that are very difficult to find and interpret. The ratepayers should not continue to be kept in the dark – the real costs are more than double what is being published.
This has now been sent to the Mayor and Councillors.
From: Bev Butler To: Sue Bidrose; Sandy Graham; Kate Wilson; Richard Thomson; Chris Staynes; John Bezett; Lee Vandervis; Hilary Calvert; Doug Hall; Andrew Whiley; Mike Lord; David Benson-Pope; Neville Peat; Andrew Noone; Jinty MacTavish; Dave Cull; Aaron Hawkins Cc: Calvin Oaten Subject: Stadium Cost $21.337 million per annum Date: Fri, 30 May 2014 22:49:43 +1200
Friday 30 May 2014
Dear Mayor Cull and Councillors
Attached is a Word document prepared by Calvin Oaten outlining the annual stadium costs. The final figure of $21.337 million is based on figures sourced from and cross-referenced with DCC/DVML/DVL/DCHL documents.
Also attached is a spreadsheet, containing four spreadsheets, prepared by Bev Butler, showing the treatment of the $146.6 million portion of the stadium debt.
Explanatory Note for Calvin Oaten’s Word document:
I have expressly not mentioned nor quantified costs of what I would term ‘collateral’ effects of the Stadium Project. These of course are very real additional financial burdens to the citizens. These are: the realignment of SH88, the forgiving of considerable debt owed the city by the Otago Rugby Football Union, the costs of the purchase and sale of Carisbrook including the holding of same in the interim period. And of course, the ongoing operational losses of DVML’s operations. These particularly are proving to be a continual drag on the financial conscience of the ratepayer. It seems that if council cannot, or will not bite the bullet and raise the “pay to use” level to at least a break even figure then professional rugby is destined to have the last laugh at our expense. It is simply not fair.
I remain, without prejudice
Explanatory Notes for Bev Butler’s spreadsheets:
1. Sheets 1 & 2 titled “$117.541m” and “$29.059m” respectively outline the calculations for the two tranches of stadium debt outlined in the DVL six-monthly report, dated 31 December 2013. This report states that the $146.6m stadium debt has been divided into two tranches of $117.541m and $29.059m. The $117.541m is for a term of 17 years and the $29.059m is for a term of ten years with a weighted average of 6.05%pa. In the calculations I have assumed monthly compounding periods and assumed the first payment(s) were made between 30 June 2013 and 31 December 2013. If the compounding period is shorter then there would be a small reduction in the payments.
Note that in the DVL six-monthly report it states that a mortgage has been issued to pay for the two tranches. This is the first time this has been mentioned in the DVL reports so it is assumed that the mortgage was issued sometime between the last DVL Annual Report (YE 30 June 2013) and the DVL six-monthly report (31 December 2013). There is also mention of a GSA having been signed. I assume this is a General Security Agreement to secure the payment of the debt in the event of the stadium folding or the rental payments not being met. I acknowledge that I am unsure about this as I have no further information. Perhaps the Council staff could clarify this aspect.
2. Sheets 3 & 4 titled “$146.6m monthly” and “$146.6m weekly” respectively outline the calculations for the stadium debt had [regular repayments been made] from the time the stadium opened. It appears from the calculations and the DVL Annual Reports that this was not happening. If it was then the debt would have reduced to approximately $134 million. The DVL long term debt as of 31 December 2013 stands at $141.090m. So up until the mortgage was secured, it appears the debt repayments were for interest only on the bonds (and an average annual capital injection of $2m) which were issued to pay for the stadium land and other stadium debt.
The following is reproduced in the public interest. The Grant Norman King website contains other media references and the Court’s full judgement. –Eds
Lawyer Madeleine Flannagan said the judge’s decision showed free speech was alive and well. […] The unique nature of the case, setting a new precedent in harassment laws, meant it was already being used by media law professors at Auckland University.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 25/05/2014 Judge backs blogger’s fight against fraud
By Rob Kidd – Sunday Star-Times
A fraudster’s victim who fought back has won a landmark battle to name and shame the man who scammed him and dozens of others.
Nearly two and a half years ago, Steve Taylor contracted Grant Norman King to build a sleepout for his elderly father behind the family home in West Auckland. Taylor paid three-quarters of the price – $23,500 – as a deposit. The sleepout was never built and the money was not returned.
In a bid to get even, Taylor brought civil proceedings against King but when the cost of continuing the case became prohibitive, he took a different tack, setting up the website grantnormanking.com with the intention of warning others who might be drawn in.
Within months other victims were clamouring to tell their stories and it was not long before Taylor built a comprehensive timeline of King’s offending. King then tried to turn the legal tables on Taylor by using the Harassment Act to sue Taylor and demand the website be taken down. Taylor was forced into Auckland District Court to defend himself. However, that was King’s mistake. “What he did was open up the opportunity for every other victim to tell their story, which was the very thing he was advocating against,” Taylor said. Affidavits in support of Taylor’s cause flooded in and he said it was surreal to be standing in court with the public gallery full of people backing him.
Taylor said more than 70 victims had come forward, across a 32-year span, claiming losses of more than $3 million.
In court Judge David Wilson sided with Taylor and said the website, with all its explosive accusations, could remain online. “It would be inappropriate if a man in Mr King’s position could close down postings of essentially factual material on the basis that it interferes with his commercial plans and deprives him of customers,” the judge said. Full article
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Tell Us What You Think!
This item was published on 20 May 2014
Letters will be sent out this week to 4,500 Dunedin residents, inviting them to take part in the DCC’s annual Residents’ Opinion Survey (ROS). DCC Acting General Manager Services and Development Nicola Pinfold says, “The ROS provides a host of useful information and helps us gauge the views of residents who may be less likely to tell us what they think in other ways, such as the Annual Plan process.”
Last year, the residents randomly selected from the electoral roll were invited to complete the ROS online using a unique code, rather than receiving a hard copy of the questionnaire. A hard copy was made available on request. This was successful in raising the response rate and cutting costs so the same approach is being taken this year.
The survey is also open to all residents online at www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros and will be sent to all members of the Dunedin Peoples’ Panel. To ensure the statistical validity of the ROS results, the responses from the people who were selected are used as the official results.
“We have been using this Survey for 20 years and it has become a key tool for us to assess how well we are doing, and ultimately guiding our planning and decision-making. ROS focuses on how well we deliver our services, and asks questions about residents’ perceptions of our performance. Some of the results are used as official measures of the Council’s performance for audit purposes. But equally importantly, the feedback is used by staff and the Council to guide our thinking about how we might best deliver services to better meet the needs of Dunedin’s residents.” –Nicola Pinfold
█ The Survey is open until 18 June. A reminder letter and hard copy of the questionnaire will be sent to those who haven’t responded about two weeks after the initial letter, a practice that has proved successful in increasing the response rate. The results are expected to be publicly available in late July.
█ Responses from residents who independently chose to complete the Survey online are analysed separately but still provide the DCC with valuable feedback about how it can improve its services.
For the second year, all respondents will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a prize. Each prize is worth about $150 and three winners will be drawn who will be able to choose from a range of prizes, including vouchers, swim passes or a donation to a charity of their choice. The Survey, which costs about $40,000, will be undertaken by independent research company Key Research. The results of last year’s ROS can also be viewed at www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros
Contact DCC Acting General Manager Services and Development on 03 477 4000. DCC Link
A report on ethical investment opportunities, commissioned by Dunedin City Council, will be discussed by councillors later this month.
“This is an opportunity for us as a community to have a conversation about what we collectively feel comfortable making money from. It is important to have this conversation.” –Cr MacTavish (via ODT)
The councillor has written: “I think drilling for hydrocarbons is unethical because of climate change. At the Council, we’re already having to factor climate change planning into decision-making, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s not the cheap option.”
### newsbiscuit.com Jan 7th, 2014 Politicians to replace faulty moral compass with new Ethical Sat Nav
MPs are preparing for the arrival of a new piece of wearable technology that will help them navigate difficult terrain and always guide them towards the high moral ground. The EPS, or Ethical Positioning System, operates by triangulating a person’s political standpoint via a number of morally aware ‘smart satellites’. If a politician starts to veer off course, perhaps about to break a manifesto pledge, the Sat Nav will interrupt with the message: ‘You are no longer on the agreed route, please perform a U-turn now.’
The new system replaces the old and unreliable moral compass. ‘In theory the moral compass should have worked,’ explained philosopher AC Grayling, ‘but many politicians found it confusing and were clearly unable to tell which way it was pointing. All too often they either they left it at home or held it upside down and headed off in entirely the wrong direction.’ Read more
Those speaking at the inaugural Oil Free Future Summit included Gareth Hughes (Green Party), Jinty MacTavish, Prof Bob Lloyd, and photo journalist John Wathen.
### ODT Online Mon, 13 Jan 2014 Flotilla to hinder drilling
By John Lewis
Oil Free Otago has established a ”rapid response” team of up to 260 people to take to the waters around Otago to hinder Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s deep-sea drilling operations. Oil Free Otago spokeswoman Niamh O’Flynn said the team was established during the Oil Free Future Summit in Dunedin at the weekend, and hinted it may be used to block the shipping lane in Otago Harbour to stop Anadarko vessels from using Dunedin as a servicing port. Read more
### ODT Online Tue, 28 Sep 2010 Calvert sparks row with Walls
By David Loughrey
Only days into her tenure as Act’s latest MP, Hilary Calvert has become embroiled in a spat with a Dunedin city councillor over her criticism of the city council. Cr Richard Walls yesterday took a swipe at Ms Calvert, describing as unprecedented her comments criticising the Dunedin City Council’s support for the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Read more
### ODT Online Sat, 25 Sep 2010 Calvert called upon to Act
By Mark Price
The seat in Parliament left vacant this week by the resignation of Act New Zealand MP David Garrett will be filled by Dunedin Act list MP Hilary Calvert. Ms Calvert is a mother of three, a qualified but non-practising lawyer and the landlord of, among other things, one of Dunedin’s massage parlours. She thinks, but is not certain, that she stood for Parliament for the first time in 2002, she believes she has no criminal convictions but will be checking with police just to be sure and she owns quite a chunk of Oturehua. Mark Price spoke to her during the week. Read more