Tag Archives: Junkets

DCC v LGNZ : questions about junkets and 2x dipping

Should Dunedin ratepayers and residents be worried about lack of performance at home.

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Message received.
Sat, 5 Aug 2017 at 8:04 p.m.

[begins]
Ratepayers of Dunedin must have mixed feelings now that their Mayor has been elected to the position of President of Local Government New Zealand. Mixed, as some estimates of the time necessary to undertake this onerous role seem to indicate about 3 days a week. Representing more than 70 local authorities certainly would seem to take that time at least, and much of that time will be out of Dunedin in lobbying central government. Some of the ratepayers may think that it might not be a bad thing to have the Mayor paying attention to matters out of Dunedin, but some may be thinking that he should be in Dunedin as much as possible to undertake what has been, and should be, a full-time role.  It’s not that there aren’t pressing matters to deal with. The crumbled Aurora network and the resultant huge borrowing by the DCC company to bring the network up to an acceptable standard, the sad state of much of the infrastructure which now includes the Taieri Plain, the problems of not having dividend payments from DCHL, the prospect of another ratepayer funded swimming pool at Mosgiel when the private funding dissipates, the issue of the hospital – the list goes on and on and on.

Many mayors of much smaller local governments view their role as a full-time one and some may even wonder if the previous President of Local Government, Lawrence Yule, had been paying a bit more attention to local matters then the horrific situation whereby his local ratepayers were supplied with dangerous drinking water could have been avoided. Who knows, but we do know that Mr Yule not only had the Presidency of Local Government in his mind, but he was also eyeing up ending up in central government as the local National Party member.

All those things aside some practical questions arise.

If the Mayor is now also working as a President of LGNZ for say, 3 days a week, does his remuneration as Mayor of the DCC get reduced on a pro-rata basis? Does the position of President of LGNZ also attract an honorarium?  If so, should a pro rata proportion of that be paid to the DCC to offset the lack of availability of the Mayor to attend to his DCC duties? Or does the Mayor simply add any honorarium of the LGNZ role to his income as Mayor? And what of the role of the Deputy Mayor of the DCC? Does increased responsibilities to this role because of the absence of the Mayor lead to an increased honorarium?

I do note that the Mayor intends embarking on a national road show/tour to introduce himself to the 70+ local government authorities that he now heads up. Let us hope that this showcasing of the Mayor’s profile is done at a time when it is convenient and appropriate to those that are paying his wages. And I wonder what advice and guidance he will be giving to Mayor Dalziel now that the pro-rugby lobby is winding up to provide a covered stadium in Christchurch? What interesting times we live in.

[ends]

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The Dunedin City Council Annual Plan 2017/18 indicates the Council will borrow an extra $100M during the next LTP period; this debt borrowing is fully separate to the Aurora Energy debt borrowing – and is not at all explained to the Ratepayers.

It was Cr Lee Vandervis who highlighted this massive extra borrowing at the full council meeting on 27 June 2017, when the council signed off (item 20) the 2017/18 Annual Plan. This query received No credible response from the mayor and councillors; or examination by the ODT reporter present.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Shitload of planners @ Dunedin #conferencejunket

Over the rainbow - NZPI Conference 2016 - Dunedin (12-15 April)Official Image: NZPI Conference 2016 (12-15 April), Dunedin

“Power attracts pathological people. It’s not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the pathological.” –Frank Herbert

One for us, and them:

From the archives at Bonner & Partners (USA):
It’s about something that affects us all in ever greater measure – the arrogance of central planners.

From BB’s Diary:
Bill Bonner, Chairman – April 13, 2016

WHY ALL CENTRAL PLANNING IS DOOMED TO FAIL

We’re still thinking about how so many smart people came to believe things that aren’t true.

They believe they can manipulate the future and make it better. Not just for themselves… but also for everyone else.

Where did such a silly idea come from?

After the Renaissance, Aristotelian logic came to dominate Western thought. It was essentially a forerunner of positivism – which is supposedly based on objective conditions and scientific reasoning.

“Give me the facts,” says the positivist, confidently.

“Let me apply my rational brain to them. I will come up with a solution!”

BEYOND THE HERALD’S CRY

This is fine, if you are building the Eiffel Tower or organising the next church supper.

But positivism falls apart when it is applied to schemes that go beyond the reach of the “herald’s cry”.

That’s what Aristotle said: Only a small community would work. Because only in a small community would all the people share more or less the same information and interests.

In a large community, you can’t know things in the same direct, personal way. You have no idea who made your sausage or what they put in it. You have to rely on “facts” that are no longer verifiable by direct observation or personal acquaintance.

So it’s hard for people to work together in the same way.

In a large community, central planners’ “facts” are nothing more than statistical mush, wishful thinking, and theoretical claptrap – like WMD, GDP, the unemployment rate, and the Übermensch.

Large-scale planning fails because the facts upon which it is built are always unreliable and often completely bogus.

It fails also because people don’t really want it.

HIDDEN AGENDA

In a small community, the planners and the people they are planning for are close enough to share the same goals.

But in a large community, the planners are a small minority.

And in a large community, the planners usually have their own agenda… often a hidden one.

They call for stricter law enforcement… while getting campaign contributions from the prison industry. They seek a cure for cancer… and depend on the pharmaceutical industry for job offers. They promote a united Europe… and hope to be its head man.

Large-scale planning provides almost countless opportunities for corruption. But it’s not the dirty dealing that dooms it. It is that the planners don’t know (or care) what people really want… and don’t have the means or the information necessary to achieve it anyway.
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Hundreds of DCC Staff receive fraud detection/prevention training #OMG

RORTS, SORTS, JUNKETS, BACKHANDERS, MAKE-WORK SCHEMES, AGENDA 21-DRIVEN IDEOLOGY, OVERSPENDING, DEBT FUNDING, LIES, CORRUPTION & FRAUD

Total immersion into “fraud-excellence” at DCC ….ain’t gonna clean up with belated classing, Grant.

The means to de/fraud is not a static thing.

And, the downright convenient use of white paint —what of that? About stadium DEBT, about DELTA (Luggate, Jacks Point, Noble Village), about CITIFLEET and CITIPARK, about Carisbrook, about years of UNDECLARED ratepayer subsidy to professional Otago Rugby (ORFU + Highlanders), about the black-tie dinner with Ms Mains benefitting firstly, about DVL/DVML (no good words to say), about the council-owned CST files and the merely indicative Screaming Orgasm cocktails, about Mosgiel-Taieri private wealth garnered with help from DCC planning decisions (with loss of HIGH CLASS SOILS), about the Town Hall redevelopment project, about City Forests, about AURORA, about the Representation Review, about consolidated council debt, about OVERexposure to the IRS market, about the conduct hearing, about the South Dunedin cycle network stuff-up, about the South Dunedin flood and blocked mud tanks, about the number of council staff, about the number of staff managers, about FULL RATEPAYER FUNDING of the proposed Mosgiel pool. The fairytale about lights for professional Cricket. The wreckless dependence on multipliers for PR/propaganda.
The distortions and coverups about everything we’re too lazy to type…..

On it goes.
Issue after sordid issue to take money OFF THE RATEPAYERS.

This without detailing frequent JUNKETS. Or mentioning GIGATOWN.
No wonder the effortless queasy media silence of the executive.

█ See tomorrow’s ODT about the ‘training’, shall we.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Vandervis identifies mayoral JUNKETS #China —with gloss from Aussie friends

█ Spent jet fuel makes the girlfriend cry.

“I really do wonder what the value is of all these trips overseas, especially when we have so many issues that need dealing with here at home.”
–Cr Lee Vandervis

### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jul 2015
Mayor’s China trip spurs clash
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is heading back to China later this year, but the trip has already sparked a fresh clash with one of his outspoken councillors. Mr Cull has been invited to attend the inaugural New Zealand China Mayoral Forum 2015 in Xiamen city, China, in September, at a cost to the council of about $8000.
Read more

Report – Council – 27/07/2015 (PDF, 111.2 KB)
New Zealand/China Mayoral Forum 2015

$8000? Don’t forget the mayor’s entourage, MikeStk….
[buzzz! Cling-on ALERT]

Meanwhile, Mayor Cull reflect…. with light shed on conduct across the Tassie.
Weddings, parties, opera, airfares, helicopters and limousines on the taxpayers later….

Link received from Australian Tie
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 at 10:44 a.m.

### canberratimes.com.au July 24, 2015
Bronwyn Bishop claimed Sophie Mirabella wedding trip as official business
By James Robertson
It was the scandal that quickly swept through a new government.
Soon after the Coalition was elected in 2013, Senator George Brandis became the first Abbott government minister forced to repay the public almost $1700 in expenses claimed to attend the wedding of shock jock Michael Smith. High-profile ministers Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce soon had to follow suit, repaying taxpayer money they claimed for travel to weddings. Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself repaid $1600 worth of airfares, car transport and allowances claimed for attending the weddings of two Liberal colleagues, Peter Slipper and Sophie Mirabella. “To avoid doubt, I paid the relevant money back,” he said in a warning to his colleagues. “That’s what people should do.”
One MP ignored the Prime Minister’s instruction, weeks of media coverage and public outrage at MPs’ habit of billing the taxpayer for trips to friends’ weddings. Embattled Speaker Bronwyn Bishop claimed $600 for return flights from Sydney to Albury for Mrs Mirabella’s wedding in 2006 – and she has never repaid the money, Fairfax Media has confirmed. Previously unreported documents released under freedom of information laws show Mrs Bishop told bureaucrats that the trip constituted government business.
█ [It gets worse. The Video is a must see.]
Read more + Video spoof

[screenshot] – credit: Canberra Times
Canberra Times 24.7.15 Bronwyn Bishop + Video Spoof 1 [screenshot]

Related Posts and Comments:
13.7.15 Jeff Dickie: Edinburgh tough, Dunedin (DUD)
21.5.15 DCC and LGNZ, total losersDCC and LGNZ, total losers
21.10.14 DCC adds staff positions, significant ratepayer cost
22.9.14 Daaave Dodo Cull —highly evolved from turkey
14.8.14 Mayor Cull’s reflections on Edinburgh #SisterCity #Junkets
23.7.14 Eddie Cull suffering lead singer’s disease?
21.4.14 Dunedin economic development strategy — low flying Year 1

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Mayor Cull’s reflections on Edinburgh #SisterCity #Junkets

Edinburgh - New Town Old Town [thathideousman.blogspot.com]

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 at 11:36 p.m.

Message: I thought it might be of interest that there has been no response from the Mayor, or from anyone else regarding my criticism of the latest round of Sister City tourism as below.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:10:12 +1200
To: Dave Cull, Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Lee Vandervis, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Cc: Tony Avery, Grant McKenzie
Conversation: File – reflections on Edinburgh visit.docx
Subject: Re: File – reflections on Edinburgh visit.docx

Dear Dave,

Thank you sending us your preliminary reflections on visiting Edinburgh, which I know from personal experience to be especially pleasant at this time of year.
Since being elected in 2004 I have read many similar reflections on Sister City visits all of them similarly generic.
I note that your statement “So most of our time in Edinburgh was devoted to meetings with Edinburgh arts and cultural organizations, people or institutions.” is a fair definition of tourism, unless you are heavily into sports which might not necessarily be caught by the words ‘cultural organizations’.
Your claim that you went to “reinvigorate the sister city relationship” is untenable since there never has been any vigour in the relationship, as anyone who has done years on the Edinburgh Sister City Committee will confirm. The previously overused but safer ‘breath new life into the relationship’ would also fail as it is not possible to breathe new life into a corpse.
Ditto Otaru.
I take it that Dunedin will now be hosting some official reciprocal Scottish tourists by return when the Scottish winter bites.

At least Harland pretended to come back with a viable Scottish wind power design.

Kind regards,
Lee

On 6/08/14 4:26 AM, “Quickoffice” wrote:

Hi Colleagues, Attached a preliminary report on the Edinburgh experience. Dave

Colleagues,
The following is a preliminary report/reflection on our recently completed trip to Edinburgh while it is still fresh. There is considerable detail and learnings yet to be brought together from our various meetings.

This Sister City visit to Edinburgh was timed to coincide with the opening of the NZ in Edinburgh Programme. That included a national kapa haka group being a central part of the tattoo, an exhibition by Commonwealth artists partly curated by Aaron Kriesler of DPAG and many more performances/exhibits. NZ was the country of honor at the umbrella Edinburgh Festival. Our Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae was a guest of honor with the 2nd Lord of the Admiralty at the Tattoo opening night.
Dunedin received invitations to Edinburgh from the the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Creative Scotland and the British Council.
The visit was timed to coincide because one of the objectives of going was to reinvigorate the sister city relationship, potentially through the medium of arts and culture. This was timely as Dunedin is currently developing an Arts and Culture Strategy, our Economic Development Strategy recognises the important potential of the whole creative sector and we are awaiting confirmation of UNESCO City of Literature status. The two cities obviously already have many cultural connections, going back to Dunedin’s founding and naming by Scots.
So most of our time in Edinburgh was devoted to meetings with Edinburgh arts and cultural organizations, people or institutions. They include Creative Scotland (equivalent of Creative NZ), Edinburgh University (2 depts), Councillor convener of arts and future committee, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh City of Literature, British Council, Institute of Scottish Studies, and Centre for the Book Edinburgh Napier University. We also met with the Lord Provost, attended the Tattoo and the opening of Aaron’s exhibition.
We are still processing what we learned, but a number of things made us very positive about the potential opportunity Edinburgh, and our relationship with her, could offer Dundin. First everyone, without exception, has been welcoming and has gone out of their way to engage, spend time with us and provide any information we asked for. Several organizations have express a desire to collaborate with Dunedin. One or two came to meetings with specific proposals! We have even had an approach from the Edinburgh suburb Corstorphine asking about partnering with Corstorphine, Dunedin. The bigger picture is that Edinburgh has essentially reinvented itself as a cultural/festival city. Certainly after World War II Edinburgh’s economy diminished drastically. Edinburgh was the first UNESCO City of Literature. Now festivals of various cultural complexions bring hundreds of millions of pounds into the city. Edinburgh views and defines itself as a creative, literary artistic city. So if nothing else Dunedin can learn an
enormous amount from Edinburgh’s experience across a range of initiatives. In addition there is considerable potential for collaboration and exchange between Dunedin and Edinburgh institutions, to their mutual benefit. There was emphatic interest in Dunedin performers performing in both Edinburgh and Glasgow at major events. Indeed Neville and Cara saw the Chills in Glasgow on Saturday night.
So while we have yet to fully de-brief and weigh up what we learned, it is clear that there is huge potential culturally, economically and academically for Dunedin in refreshing and developing our relationship with Edinburgh specifically and Scotland in general.

Related Post and Comments:
8.4.14 Cinderella Shanghai + 75 ugly sisters

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: thathideousman.blogspot.com – Edinburgh, Scotland

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DCC: Jaunt to USA, explain

Dunedin at night [commons.wikimedia.org] 1Dunedin, 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?
Clarification, please.

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[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

McKinsey&Company The material on this page draws on the research and experience of McKinsey consultants and other sources. To learn more about their expertise, visit the Infrastructure Practice, Public Sector Practice, Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*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.

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