Tag Archives: Landscapes

ORC New HQ : Reminder, fiduciary duty and core responsibilities

Land ● Water ● Air ● Coast ● Built Environment ● Biota ● Natural Hazards ● Energy ● Wastes and Hazardous Substances

The core business of the Otago Regional Council is environmental protection, not real estate investment. –Eckhoff

### ODT Online Tue, 21 Jun 2016
Environmental cost to building
By Gerrard Eckhoff
OPINION The decision the Otago Regional Council will have to make on a new administration block sometimes means deciding on the lesser evil. Whatever the decision, councils don’t get much thanks for avoiding one bad choice in favour of another. The option of leasing space in an existing building, thereby leaving a large amount of capital free for the ORC’s primary environmental functions, has been summarily dismissed by the chairman of the ORC. This is despite matters of “significant investment” (such as a new building) requiring special consultation with our ratepayers, who will in turn expect that their or any suggestion will not be so easily dismissed. […] The ORC’s failure to understand that environmental inaction simply transfers cost from this generation to the next and with a multiplier effect is inexcusable. What price must environmental imperatives pay for a new building? That is the real question the ORC must ask of itself.
Read more

● Gerrard Eckhoff, of Central Otago, is an Otago regional councillor.

Otago Regional Council meeting
█ [today] Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
Council Chamber, 70 Stafford Street, Dunedin
Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Download: Agenda includes minutes and reports (PDF, 2402 KB)

Go to Part C Item 7 (pages 68-70)
Report: ORC Head Office Accommodation Update. DCS, 16/6/16
The report provides an update on the Council and staff workshops held to help inform the next stage of the project.

[extract]

ORC 22.6.16 Council Agenda Part C Item 7 pp68-70

Related Posts and Comments:
● 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

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

18 Comments

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Delta #EpicFail : L is for (Slow) Luggate Learner and T is for Turnip.

turnip [pinterest.com]Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Wed, 4 May 2016 at 12:55 a.m.

Readers, I must admit defeat. I have I think, even if I say so myself, achieved some quite good lines in my quest to succinctly describe the various acts of stupidity committed by Delta at the Noble Subdivision. But recently, an associate (probably keen to cut me down to size !) sent a piece from Fairfax by Tim Hunter, now at the National Business Review, following the Auditor-General’s report in 2014. I saw immediately I had been bested by a better scribe : He memorably described the Delta management as having “commercial acuity about as sharp as a turnip” . That I could reach such cutting brevity !! Mysteriously, no threat of defamation was forthcoming to Mr Hunter….

And as the coast is clear, to honour Mr Hunter, Delta management shall henceforth be referred to as the Delta Turnips….

Your correspondent was intrigued to read of the Lazarus like re-emergence of Luggate Park as a premium lifestyle subdivision destination of choice with prices for sections between $325,000 – $495,000. (Note, no offers are entertained – these are fixed prices say developers Willowridge !) If this goes according to plan, there appears to be a profit even larger than the reported Delta loss of $5.9M* for the enterprising Mr Allan Dippie, the latest owner of the ex Delta land.

Now, your correspondent understands that Mr Dippie may not have as many university degrees as the Delta directors, or possibly not one at all. Mr Dippie does not breathe the same rarefied directorial air as the likes of Mr Stuart McLauchlan, Mr Denham Shale and other ….directors. However Mr Dippie does know his Central Otago subdivision market very well, and further knows that land development sometimes has to be viewed long term, the way a Japanese banker views the deadbeat property loans they made in Tokyo in the 1980s that are still underwater. That is, if you still own the asset you haven’t lost anything, and time will do its work and lift values. The critical thing is to have the courage of your initial convictions, and stay the course. Yes, yes, I know, the Japanese banks are still waiting, but no waiting is required, it seems, in Luggate.

Readers, take a good long draught of Choysa : Delta had TWO choices in 2012 : Sell the land for basically nothing ($1M vs a total Delta investment of around $7M), or…wait until the market improves. Of course, Delta chose to destroy ratepayers’ funds value in a desperate attempt to show ratepayers they had “moved on” and it was all a bad dream –

If Delta had an ounce of the foresight of someone like Mr Dippie, who has been both very successful, and also very patient at times, they would have held the land. A few facts about the land – the 42 entry level sections to be sold in the next stage will be worth around $6M, added to the $9.17M of the 22 premium sections, gives a total of $16.2M. There possibly could be further sections that would increase the value, but the glass is dark on this detail.

After allowing for subdivision infrastructure and selling costs, the land that Delta sold for $1M three years ago would now realise them $9-10M. Yes readers, Delta could have made a genuine, non Aurora subsidised profit and got the civil work they wanted, at good prices. They could have even paid Mr Boult’s bank debt off, paid off the $1.935M bank loan, some interest to DCC treasury and the entire $5.5M advance and still have a bit left over.

What possessed them to act like lemmings jumping off a financial cliff ? Two words … Denham Shale. Mr Shale was the alleged heavy hitter brought in to clean up the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) and Delta mess after the Larsen report in 2011, along with Mr Bill Baylis and others. He knew even less about property development than the likes of Mr Ray Polson. L for Learner developers indeed. As Mr Hunter exclaimed, turnip acuity was all around. Mr Shale was of the school that says when you have a mess, a clean out, not a clean up is needed…. A clean up keeps the items that have a chance of retaining value. Mr Shale told Mr Polson to write down the value of Luggate and get shot of it in April 2012. Mr Polson, being the invertebrate mild mannered accountant he is, then parroted that line to the Delta board a month later. The rest is well known. A bath. This is all in the Auditor-General’s report, in Section 6, for readers that doubt your correspondent.

Mr Denham Shale’s legacy to the City of Dunedin is a $8-9M loss due to turnip advice (aka profoundly stupid advice) to sell land for a fraction of its cost and value. Any developer or person involved in land in Central Otago for any length of time has seen huge fluctuations in value, generally in a 7-year cycle… Your correspondent is one such person, who lays no claim to visions of the future, but who has had to hang tough for extended periods in Central Otago on various deals.

All Delta had to do was talk nicely to DCC Treasury, to explain the $5.5M advance they gave Delta was a couple more years away – they had already waited for five years, who’s counting anyway ? Make an offer to Mr Boult of his 50% share of slightly more than the $1M they received (he had already asked Delta to buy him out having seen the Delta trough was empty), and start paying interest on the $1.935M bank loan. Not difficult. But required some vertebrates.

Mr McLauchlan, Mr Shale, Mr Cameron and the other directors, yes, they all displayed “commercial acuity about as sharp as a turnip”. –How I love that phrase ! This band of Delta Directors could not grasp what to Mr Dippie is as natural as breathing – that they stopped making land a long time ago, around the time of the flood and Noah’s Ark. That people want to live in Central Otago, so therefore the land price will rise, maybe not when you think, but given time rise it will. This, Mr Shale, Mr McLauchlan, and (2014 Young Director of the year) Mr Cameron is called, SUPPLY & DEMAND. Your elementary lack of foresight and myopia has cost the City of Dunedin millions. L is for Learner, T is for Turnip. Which one applies, readers ?

[ends]

Election Year : This post is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Related Post and Comments:
30.4.16 Luggate à la Dunedin’s lad, Dippie

Auditor-General’s overview
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point. Access the Auditor-general’s full report here:
http://www.oag.govt.nz/2014/delta

*The ‘Auditor-General’s overview’ states (page 5):
“Delta lost about $5.9 million on the Luggate investment and has projected a loss of about $2.8 million for Jacks Point. These losses are before tax, and Delta expects that they might yet be off set by tax credits of about $1.5 million for Luggate and about $0.8 million for Jacks Point. If so, the overall loss would be about $6.4 million.”

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *auditor-general* or *noble* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Image: pinterest.com – turnip

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Luggate à la Dunedin’s lad, Dippie

L-plate [roadcodepractice.co.nz] 1

The jovial CD was driving towards Dunedin this morning…. gave me a wake-up call to foreshadow a new post pending for that old spectre : “L” for Luggate, or learner plates for Delta Directors and Mr Cameron.

Yessss. While the Noble subdivision at Yaldhurst heads for the rocks, it appears DCC Ratepayers have been doubly triply shafted at Luggate. Anyway, won’t steal CD’s thunder. He is in the offing!

Sat, 30 Apr 2016
ODT: Former Delta sections in Luggate hot property
Part of the big Luggate Park subdivision that lost Dunedin City Council-owned infrastructure company Delta $5.9million before tax in 2012 is being advertised for sale. The 22 sections in “Luggate Heights”, near Wanaka, range in price from $325,000 to $495,000, providing the owner, Willowridge Developments Ltd, with a potential gross return of $9,170,000. Similarly-sized sections at lower altitudes nearby were selling for as little as $128,000 five or six years ago.

Willowridge, owned by Allan Dippie, bought the 50ha, 160-section Luggate Park development last year from Auckland development company Dentils Ltd, which was unsuccessful in attempts to sell the sections. Dentils had bought the development from Delta and Queenstown property developer Jim Boult.

█ Willowridge Developments Ltd http://www.willowridge.co.nz/
█ LUGGATE PARK http://luggatepark.co.nz/

Luggate Park - Willowridge

Auditor-General’s overview
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point. Access the Auditor-general’s full report here:
http://www.oag.govt.nz/2014/delta

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *luggate*, *jacks point* and *auditor-general* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: roadcodepractice.co.nz – ‘L-plate’

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RMA and Key’s right-wing slashers

BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.Anton Oliver [stuff.co.nz]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013
Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”

The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation.
Read more

● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 *fashionable* Heritage Dunedin and the RMA holocaust
17.3.13 RMA Bill: Public meeting 21 March
6.7.12 Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Anton Oliver

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Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Technical advisory group’s report recommends significant changes to section 6 of the RMA…the proposal to drop the requirement for decision makers to provide for the preservation and protection of indigenous vegetation and habitats as matters of national importance ignores Environment Court case law built up over the last 20 years.

### ODT Online Thu, 5 Jul 2012
Proposed changes reduce RMA protection
By Adam Bennett – New Zealand Herald
A Government-appointed advisory group has recommended a significant rewrite of the Resource Management Act removing references to the protection of coastal areas, wetlands, lakes and rivers and indigenous flora and fauna. Environment Minister Amy Adams released the report from a technical advisory group established after the Canterbury earthquakes with the primary task of looking at natural hazard issues relevant to the RMA arising from the quakes. “After the Canterbury earthquakes, it became clear that consents for subdivisions had been granted without any consideration of the risk of liquefaction,” Ms Adams said in a statement. However, the group’s report addresses much wider issues and recommends significant changes to section 6 of the RMA.

As it stands [section 6] instructs local authorities to recognise and provide for the protection or preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, wetlands, lakes and rivers when considering RMA applications. They must also provide for the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes and areas of significant indigenous vegetation or wildlife. Protection must also be provided for historic heritage and protected customary rights while public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes and rivers must be maintained. However the group’s recommendation proposes removing the words “protection” and “preservation” from the section entirely.
Read more

****

### radionz.co.nz Friday 6 July 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport

08:13 Independent report a major assault on the RMA – Opposition
Opposition parties say recommended changes to the Resource Management Act by independent advisory group are a major assault on the sustainable management of the environment. (3′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

More reading via Scoop
Greens – Report ‘Major Assault On The RMA’
NZ Govt – Report on Resource Management Act principles released
Labour – RMA changes risk more litigation
ACT – RMA Principles Report Encouraging But More Boldness Required
Maori Party – Māori Party comfortable with direction of RMA report
Fish and Game NZ – RMA rejig a disaster for the environment

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Delta and the GOBs #DCHL #DCC

### ODT Online Tue, 20 Dec 2011
Jacks Point depot proposal draws nine opposing submissions
By Olivia Caldwell
A [macrocarpa] hedge drew attention at a resource consent hearing last week for Henley Downs Farm Ltd’s application to establish a Delta services depot at Jacks Point. Henley Downs, owned by Jacks Point developer John Darby, proposed the subdivision and land-use consent to operate the depot within the resort zone, as the infrastructure specialists look to expand their depot from their Ladies Mile-Frankton site. It would include eight buildings, two of which would exceed the 4m height limit, and three storage containers, all covering 1sq km. The proposal attracted 11 submissions, nine in opposition.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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