Tag Archives: Lesser Dunedin

Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC

Whale Oil Beef Hooked logo### whaleoil.co.nz Fri, 31 Oct 2014 at 5:20pm
Why is there no law to rein in dodgy ratbag local body politicians?
By Cameron Slater
Former ARC Councillor Bill Burrill is not the first dodgy ratbag Councillor to trough from abuses of power to his own pecuniary advantage in recent years. A few years back in 2009 Council Watch was calling for a number of Councillors from the Canterbury Regional Council to be prosecuted and sacked from their positions after an investigation by the Auditor General Lyn Provost found that four individuals had broken the law by acting in conflict with their official role. Back then those Canterbury Councillors failed to declare a conflict on interest that [led] to a financial benefit for themselves by participating in discussion and voting on proposals before Council. Under investigation the Auditor General’s office chose not to prosecute stating that whilst the Councillors should have withdrawn as a matter of principle – they had each received and shared legal advice that they could participate. And here in lies the problem. The Auditor General and Office of the Ombudsmen publish clear guidelines for Councillors and council staff but the reality is that the law is erroneously filled with holes that are exploited and there is precious little oversight of Local Government leading to the Auditor General loathing to bother and the Courts uninterested.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Council appointments (rumbles)

ODT 1.11.13
Vandervis rejected other posts, including subcommittee role: Cull

While the detail might be considered “divisive”, the following email exchange is in the public’s interest. Readers can make up their own minds on the content and politics.

Received.
Friday, 1 November 2013 10:37 a.m.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 10:49:07 +1300
]To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Conversation: Appointments
Subject: Re: Appointments

Hi,

Clearly my long business and Council experience has been sidelined by Mayor Cull as all inside Council Committees positions were closed to me, not just the really influential Chair positions but all other Council Committee positions as well. This is what Mayor Cull meant when he said of positions of responsibility – ‘I have given you nothing’.
The supposed ‘roles’ outside Council Committees that have been offered have been roles of so little use or interest that the Mayor was having trouble getting any Councillor, experienced or otherwise, to go on them. I volunteered for three of these outside Council Committee ‘roles’ but again was denied all of them.
Many of these outside Council ‘roles’ have been recently scraped or numbers of Councillors on them reduced, recognising that they are largely a waste of Councillor’s time. In the past the Mayor has had trouble finding Councillors willing to serve on them, and then trouble getting Councillors to show up once they had agreed to attend. At least when I was on such outside Council committees like Olveston , Regent Theatre, Settlers Museum, etc my attendance record was second to none, and I have done my long stints on minor committees, inside and outside Council since 2004.
My three years on the Otago Settlers Museum outside Council Committee was particularly frustrating as I was unable to influence the waste of vast amounts being spent on ridiculous items like the $700,000 glasshouse for the AB Steam Locomotive with cheap reflective glass!, or the insincere pushing of an insane observation tower to boost other budgets.

The Mayor should make up his mind whether he stands by his statement that ‘I have given you nothing’ or by his other claim that he has offered me roles. He can not claim both. The ‘roles’ he now claims have been offered to me are are all outside Council Committees and of so little consequence that the Mayor can not even remember which ones he has offered me. There is nothing to ‘work hard’ at or points to prove in such outside Council roles offered. My record of hard work and attendance on Council stands second to none.

I do not recall the Grants subcommittee offer, but I would have rejected it because I have done Grants before and am opposed to the wholesale degradation of the Grants process which used to promote Community Projects when I was first elected in 2004, but now has become largely a rate-paid gravy-train for the well-connected.

Hopefully that fully answers the contradictory claims by Mayor Cull that he both has, and has not, given me nothing.

Kind regards,
Lee

On 31/10/13 9:54 AM, “Chris Morris” [ODT] wrote:

Hi,

A couple of follow-ups from your email.

1. You haven’t really directly addressed the second question in my original email (below) – how you can claim to be sidelined when you were offered roles, albeit ones you didn’t really want, and turned them down?

2. The mayor says you have, to some extent, sidelined yourself by declining roles you didn’t like. Would you not have been better to accept whatever you were offered, and work hard at it to prove a point, than say no?

3. The mayor says you were (either in writing or via staff) offered at least three roles – the Toitu board role, a spot on the grants subcommittee, and a third one he can’t recall. Do you recall the grants subcommittee offer? And, if so, why did you turn that down (my understanding is that subcommittee would be an internal role)?

Chris.

On 30/10/2013 6:40 PM, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Re: Appointments

I was refused all 3 outside appointments that I indicated I would be prepared to work at, as well as all possible inside appointments by Mayor Cull.
I was only belatedly offered Toitu [which I had already just served 3 years on] and one other reserve nothing type appointment because staff could not get anyone else to agree to serve on them.

Mayor Cull has been unusually true to his word when he said “I have given you nothing”. That he now tries to pretend he has given me something after all is laughable.

I do not just claim to be sidelined, but to have been personally abused by Mayor Cull who has accused both me and Cr Calvert on nationwide TV as ‘having shonky policies’ without saying what these are.
I have great ability and experience which the biggest-spending and money-wasting Infrastructure Services Committee desperately needs and now will not get as its Chair because of a petulant Mayor who can not bear being exposed or criticised, and has given the Chair to a well-meaning Councillor with irrelevant legal training and no engineering understanding.

I wanted the University role because I have strong University connections, knowledge and mutually beneficial ideas for the University/DCC relationship which has stagnated in recent years. My wife is a senior lecturer there, I still have staff relationships for when I got my degree there, I have been a provider of sound and lighting system to the University for 30 years [and lived in Dundas st for 15] and want to improve parking, 30 km safety zones, better conference business cooperation rather than the current competition, and get real Uni/DCC joint ventures happening.

I wanted Otago Museum because I have worked there [eg supplied Butterfly House and other sound] because it is a Committee I have never been on before, and because Dr. Ian Griffin is a brilliant bloke who is open to new ideas. We share a love of astronomy and technology which few other Councillors understand.

Gasworks is again a Committee I have not been on before, and the opportunities for what could be done there became evident in my time as Chair of the Heritage Fund, and Heritage Buildings re-use Committee. Love of technology and its history also make this attractive.

My time on the Toitu Board was unrewarding mainly because of a management [since moved on] that were impervious to suggestions or my input. The extraordinary amount of money that was not well spent on the Toitu development was kept out of reach in terms of information [especially by Graeme Hall] and then Linda Wigley. I always felt that I was being treated like the proverbial mushroom when trying to get better value for the enormous spend at Toitu.
I am unaware of being offered any 3rd role unless it was some reserve Committee that nobody wanted to go on and staff were trying to get anybody at all.

On 30/10/13 3:02 PM, “Chris Morris” [ODT] wrote:

Hi Lee,

You’re probably aware I’ve had released to me today some emails relating to your run-in with Mayor Cull over the appointments process. In particular I’ve had emails relating to the outside appointments process released. They show you went for three roles, including the University Council role, but also that you were offered (and turned down) the offer to continue in your Toitu board role. Cull has also told me, in a subsequent interview this afternoon, that you were offered at least two other outside appointments verbally, the grants subcommittee and another (which he couldn’t recall), but also turned them down.

I’m interested in your comments on all this, particularly given your comments last week about the Mayor wanting to “completely sideline” you.

Can you respond to the following by 5pm:

1. Why did you turn down the outside appointments?
2. How can you claim to be sidelined, when you are offered roles and reject them?
3. The Mayor says you have sidelined yourself – what is your response?
4. Why did you want the University Council role, when it is (I’m told) traditionally always taken by the Mayor of the day?
5. Why did you want the other two roles (Otago Museum and Gasworks)?
6. Why did you consider your time on the Toitu board “unrewarding”, and the offer to continue in that role “insulting”? Aren’t there other councillors that have also accepted roles they would rather not have?
7. What was the third role you were offered and turned down? Were there any others, and why did you say no?

Feel free to add anything else and I’ll take a look.

Cheers,

Chris.

—— End of Forwarded Message

Above, Cr Vandervis says: I do not just claim to be sidelined, but to have been personally abused by Mayor Cull who has accused both me and Cr Calvert on nationwide TV as ‘having shonky policies’ without saying what these are.

[Interviewed by 3News before the elections] Mr Cull says he’s quietly confident he’ll get another term in office, and isn’t worried about his eight rivals. “Six of them have no public office experience, and the other two that do have a pretty shonky record at public office experience. You know, extreme, nutty policies.”

Mayor Cull screenshot [3 News 7.10.13] 2Screenshot —Mayor Cull (3News 7.10.13), read and view the item here.

Related Posts and Comments:
31.10.13 FYI Dunedin, through the post
29.10.13 DCC: First meeting, tidy or not
26.10.13 Mayors ‘more culpable for their council’s failings’
25.10.13 Dunedin: “no-growth city”
20.10.13 Doh, low growth for Dunedin
18.10.13 DCC: Final vote tally + St Clair boat ramp
13.10.13 Pressuring Cull and his GD Party . . .
29.9.13 Alert: Dunedin voters —Mayors gain more powers

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

FYI Dunedin, through the post

DCC FYI Dunedin 12 (November 2013)DCC News: FYI Dunedin Issue 12 (November 2013)
[click to enlarge]

This issue and others at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/fyi-dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy

Read the draft strategy here. [DCC webpage and links]

Comment received.

BlueBottle
Submitted on 2013/09/03 at 1:28 pm

Lee Vandervis was very impressive at the transport strategy hearing on Monday. Lee challenged all the ridiculous assumptions that the strategy is based on. He did this using factual well researched arguments. Council staff were forced to back down on many points because there was no factual basis for their conclusions. Lee’s performance was remarkable because there was one of him against 4 Councillors and the Transport Planning/City Development staff who had a whole weekend to find ways to respond to Lee’s challenges. Although Lee helped to make some improvements to the strategy, the thing is still deeply flawed and will be harmful for Dunedin if it is accepted by the whole Council.
The Network Operating Plan (fig. 24) has been kept quiet by the DCC and the ODT. The plan is to make a big chunk of the CBD either car-less or mostly car-less. The methods of hindering motor vehicles haven’t been described but will be achieved with total bans from some streets as well as removing parking and restrictions on turning and entry. Another plan is to fiddle with the timing of traffic lights so as to cause intolerable delays to motorists. Have a look to see which streets are affected. While in their vision they see hoards of cyclists and pedestrians, more likely the CBD will become empty and turned into an economic dead-zone. The Network Operating Plan and the rest of the Transport Strategy are among the biggest threats that Dunedin faces.

Developing a Network Operating Plan [DCC]

Figure 24. Draft Network Operating Plan for the central cityFigure 24. Draft Network Operating Plan for the central city

Email received.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:05 PM

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 01 Sep 2013 09:06:00 +1200
To: Wendy Collard, Sarah Connolly, Emerson Yeoman, Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Paul Orders
Cc: Kate Wilson, Andrew Noone, Jinty MacTavish, Teresa Stevenson
Conversation: Draft Transport Strategy Hearing additional data requested.
Subject: Re: Draft Transport Strategy Hearing additional data requested.

Ta Wendy,

Questions as follows:

Can I see Data to justify claims of:

1 – significant car ownership increase in the last 15 years/many Dunedin households now do not have access to a car. [A graph would be ideal]
2 – reduced fatalities and serious accidents [increasing safety] when transferring from automobile to pedestrian and cycling modes of transport [Elvik’s opinion on safety in numbers is not data and suggests only possibility with very large numbers of transfer not possible in a hilly city]
3 – increasing fossil fuel prices since 1974 “rising fuel costs” “Rising fuel prices are likely to lead to changes not only in travel behaviour and people’s choice of transport mode” “Assumption 1: The cost of fuel will continue to increase”
4 – increasing fuel efficiency of cars since 1974
5 – “much of car travel in Dunedin [or anywhere else] is non-essential”
6 – “other options are available for most trips”
7 – “deaths/serious injury of vulnerable road users [cyclists pedestrians] around schools” and “Safety problems at the school gate” “The research highlights that the transitory nature of traffic around schools has tended to hide the risks this situation presents to all users, but especially to children.”
8 – “poor provision for other modes and little congestion has led to high crash rates”
9 – “In part due to wide, high-speed urban street environments (such as the one-way system, Andersons Bay Road, Princes Street, and Hillside Road) and poor provision for other modes (such as buses, walking and cycling), road safety has suffered in Dunedin”
10 – “provision for private motor vehicles has also meant amenity, pedestrian connectivity and, in some instances, surrounding land use value has suffered”
11 – “Demand for cheap, convenient, and consistent on and off-street parking availability is no longer a realistic expectation with Dunedin’s modern high level of car use”
12 – “despite the fact that many children would prefer to cycle, scooter or walk to school”
13 – “it appears the cost of transport fuel will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. This is already having an effect on the way people are choosing to travel.”?

If reliable supporting data is not available, then these unsubstantiated claims and resultant aim to spend $47 million on cycling infrastructure should be removed from the Draft.

Kind regards,
Lee

——————————–

On 30/08/13 5:44 PM, “Wendy Collard” wrote:

Hi Lee

The deliberations have now finished. Kate has asked if you could please have the questions that you require to be answered be [sic] to staff by 12 noon on Sunday.

The hearing is going to carry on at 1pm on Monday as Public Forum has now been cancelled.

Regards

Wendy Collard
Governance Support Officer
Dunedin City Council
50 The Octagon, Dunedin; PO Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand
Telephone: 03 474 3374, Fax: 03 474 3594

Related Posts and Comments:
30.8.13 Transport Strategy: Is this responsible local government?
29.8.13 The Don, imagines . . .
4.8.13 World War I memorial project
24.11.11 Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC
8.7.13 Bloody $tupid cycleways and Cull’s electioneering . . .
28.3.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point…
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Transport Strategy: Is this responsible local government?

DRAFT Dunedin City Transport Strategy (2013)

The Otago Chamber of Commerce (COC) gets brownie points for taking a stick to Dunedin City Council and the politicised ‘sustainability crew’, this week… A crew primed with council staff, (spuriously-appointed) leadership and steering groups, university academics (with their little students in tow, aww) receiving substantial research funds into energy research, and the like; but let’s not forget the undue influence of Greater Dunedin and its two councillors, MacTavish and Wilson (paid $250 a day, was it?), sitting on the strategy panel – who, having spruced up their images lately (cutesy dyed haircuts, necklaces and dresses in adornment – closely resembling the old ‘pearl and cardy set’), will find the clobber just too awkward for bike riding.

It’s recognised the Chamber can’t hope to represent the wide breadth of Dunedinites – but it’s fair to say the Chamber’s focus and agendas (collectively and personally) are experienced as being unbearably narrow at times and slant at others – for example, its handling of the Dunedin harbourside plan change appeal, and its support for the new stadium (knife to the throat of Dunedin’s economy) and the proposed apartment and hotel development at 41 Wharf Street (cheap bling, with strings). All up, the Chamber is a mysterious if not loose male-order assembly of ‘business minds’.

Nevertheless, DCC, give your dog a bone…
But don’t think the Chamber will accept more stupidity from your transportation planners and general managers controlling the whole (desktop) strategic exercise —or from the ‘mission’ of idealistic ‘non-business’ greenies who lack the commonsense, experience, resilience and determination of Dunedin companies (the ones who actually make the dollars happen!), and which greenies will surely fail if pitted hard against Otago’s most successful export earners!!

The Transport Strategy is not a statutory document – but where it attempts to flow into District Plan changes, well, let’s wait for all the costly appeals to Environment Court. The council can hardly afford more legal battles – it can’t fund the challenges it’s already immured by.

The worst fear with the transport strategy revolves around pending changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) which could see council-driven and developer-driven projects bulldozed through without public consultation; with few benefits to anyone or the environment, except to the proponents. The new legislation will mean even less accountability and transparency in local government than ever before – thanks to the National-led government. You know who to vote for in 2014.

Do you know who to vote for in 2013?

### ODT Online Fri, 30 Aug 2013
Attack on transport strategy
By Chris Morris
The Otago Chamber of Commerce has launched an attack on Dunedin’s draft transport strategy, saying it pushed a ”questionable agenda” of sustainability while ignoring major transport issues. The strongly-worded rebuke came in the chamber’s submission on the Dunedin City Council’s draft strategy, presented on the first day of a two-day public hearing yesterday.
However, Prof Herbert Harris, a member of the chamber’s logistics committee, also offered an olive branch at the hearing by suggesting a joint working party be formed to fix the document’s flaws.

Prof Harris said the strategy was of ”major concern” because it ignored the inadequate arterial route through the city, a lack of commuter parking and the significance of the road link to Port Otago.

The draft strategy sought to identify and address key transport challenges facing the city over the next 30 years, beginning with improving the city’s poor road safety record. Initiatives proposed included everything from a multimillion-dollar central-city upgrade, to improved cycleways, bus services and a new eastern freight bypass. Prof Harris said the strategy was of ”major concern” because it ignored the inadequate arterial route through the city, a lack of commuter parking and the significance of the road link to Port Otago.
Read more

Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy 2013 (1)GREY AREAS… If you received this DRAFT Summary by post in late July, look no further than the grey back cover – it’s easier to read than the illegible and contrived contents, having about the same informational content.

****

### ODT Online Fri, 30 Aug 2013
Transport transfer considered
By Chris Morris
The Otago Regional Council says it will consider handing responsibility for public transport to the Dunedin City Council.
Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly confirmed a report on the issue was being finalised, and the chief executives of both organisations, Paul Orders and Peter Bodeker, would be briefed within weeks. Councillors from both organisations were yet to see the report, but a decision on how to proceed would be decided after the briefing, she said.
The news came two years after the Otago Daily Times reported the DCC and ORC were in talks about a possible transfer of the public transport network to the city council.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
29.8.13 The Don, imagines . . .
4.8.13 World War I memorial project
24.11.11 Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC
8.7.13 Bloody $tupid cycleways and Cull’s electioneering . . .
28.3.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14: Portobello Harington Point…
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

60 Comments

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Cull on senility (firing up graduates)

HOW TO CAPTURE THE UNIVERSITY VOTE ?!?

[Mayor Cull] also noted the “mental sclerosis and settled habits that so often accompany age”.

F***erama! The Old Fool Codpiece spins towards his grave, with the Jinty espied as Angel.

Dave Cull merge copyAgeist: A person who discriminates based on age…usually an old dude or a dumb blonde [Urban Dictionary]

### ODT Online Mon, 19 Aug 2013
Graduates urged to take place as leaders
By John Gibb
Planet Earth and its inhabitants are facing a “perfect storm” of extreme climatic and environmental challenges and the future will have “no precedent in the past”, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has warned. The pace of change was now so great that University of Otago graduates should not wait to become what was “sometimes patronisingly” termed “the leaders of tomorrow”, but should start leading now. That was Mr Cull’s message in an address to about 350 graduates, in a wide range of disciplines, during the university’s latest graduation ceremony, at the Dunedin Town Hall at 3pm on Saturday.
Mr Cull said that over the past few years he had “learned more from younger people than older”. And, including while hearing submissions on various plans and strategies, he had been ”incredibly impressed by the commitment, intelligence, passion and values of so many of the young people”, particularly those in the city’s tertiary education sector. “That’s not undervaluing the wisdom of age, just appreciating the vibrant pertinence of so many younger voices and minds.” And he also noted the “mental sclerosis and settled habits that so often accompany age”.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
16.8.13 DCC nominations —All the mops, brooms and feather dusters

● Ageism, or age discrimination is stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination. This may be casual or systematic.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Photomerge by Whatifdunedin – Mayor Cull explains the loss-making sale of Carisbrook to Calder Stewart (stills from Channel 39 footage)

4 Comments

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Fall Down Otago —The Summit (gasp!)

ON THE AGENDA

• Regional decline wider than Dunedin issue.

• No government hand-outs wanted.

• Working cohesively with the government of the day a priority.

• Report from summit presented to AgResearch and Government.

Dead trout [environmentalgeography.wordpress.com]

WHO IS ATTENDING
All dead trout, some ‘performed’ the [DCC] Economic Development Strategy

Representatives from Central Otago, Clutha, Gore, Invercargill, Waitaki and Dunedin local authorities, Otago Regional Council, Environment Southland, Federated Farmers, Clutha Development Board, Council of Social Services, Ministry of Social Development, Ngai Tahu, Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association, Otago-Southland Employers Association, the Otago Daily Times, the University of Otago, Otago University Students’ Association, local MPs, unions and Venture Southland.

ODT Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: environmentalgeography.wordpress.com – dead trout

38 Comments

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