Tag Archives: Local government

Cats —or, Infrastructure spending, Council debt, and Disenfranchisement of Ratepayers

Council cat squad checking rego fees [supplied]

After the great floods, the common affliction amongst leaders, “water on the brain”.

█ The ‘thinking’ – DCC cat control remit for LGNZ AGM

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At Twitter:

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“There may be issues with cats but they also serve a useful purpose in controlling pests. The cat population doubled to two at my place last year, and we have more tui and bellbirds around than ever, as well as visits by kereru and eastern rosellas and fantails and waxeyes. The cats occasionally catch a bird but most often it is a sparrow or a thrush. But it looks like the Dunedin council and some others are keen on requiring the herding of cats. They kept as quiet as they could on cats during the local body elections, and now mid term they try to foist it on the public. Devious.” –Pete George at YourNZ

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Councils will now lobby the government to finish its National Cat Management strategy.

### radionz.co.nz 6:05 pm on 25 July 2017
RNZ News
Councils seek greater powers to control cats
By Michael Cropp – Wellington Local Government Reporter
The country’s councils are calling on the government to give them extra powers to protect wildlife from cats including microchipping, de-sexing and registration. Local bodies have the power to control dogs and their behaviour, but they only have jurisdiction over cats when they become a health risk. While the remit presented by Dunedin City Council at the meeting acknowledged the companion role of animals, it noted cats are a danger to wildlife. […] The controversial remit scraped through with just 51 percent of the vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual general meeting.
….Auckland mayor Phil Goff said his council abstained from the vote because it was not sure what it would mean for the 500,000 cats in the country’s largest city. “We are in favour of practical measures to protect native birdlife …. We’re not in favour of bureaucratic measures that might involve millions of dollars of council time and energy but doesn’t achieve the objectives that we set out to achieve,” Mr Goff said.
Read more

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More about ‘LGNZ The Blight’:

Local Government New Zealand – Media Release
Local government to debate four remits and elect new President at AGM
News type: National news | Published: 21 July 2017
The local government sector will voted on four issues when it gathers for its annual AGM in Auckland on Tuesday 25 July. There is a focus on litter legislation, local government funding, cat management and health in this year’s remits. The AGM follows this year’s LGNZ Conference, when over 600 delegates from local government and its stakeholders, industry and community will gather in Auckland for the two day event [23-25 July]. The theme of this year’s conference is Creating pathways to 2050: Liveable spaces and loveable places. Remits are voted on in a secret ballot and if passed will become official policy and be actioned by Local Government New Zealand. Local government will also be voting for a new LGNZ President to replace Lawrence Yule, who steps down after nine years in the role.
….National legislation to manage cats
The third remit was proposed by Dunedin City Council and asks that LGNZ lobby the Government to take legislative action as a matter of urgency to develop national legislation includes provision for cost recovery for cat management.
Throughout New Zealand councils are tasked with trying to promote responsible cat ownership and reduce their environmental impact on wildlife, including native birds and geckos.  Yet, territorial authority’s powers for cats are for minimising the impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and regional councils’ powers are restricted to destruction of feral cats as pests.  The remit seeks the protection of our wildlife and native species by seeking regulatory powers for cat control, including cat identification, cat de-sexing and responsible cat ownership.
….The LGNZ AGM is open to members only. Following the meeting, LGNZ will advise of the outcomes of all votes.
Read more

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Cat rangers and collars with bells on are some of the ideas Dunedin City Council wants to lobby Government for.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated at 14:28, July 10 2017
Cat control: many Kiwi councils ready to lobby for national rules
By Libby Wilson
Councils around the country are looking to band together to rein in roaming moggies. Dunedin City Council has suggested its colleagues help it push the Government for national rules that could include cat rangers and shutting cats in overnight. Seven other councils around the country have given the idea, and its environmental focus, their backing ahead of a July vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting.
Read more

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‘Vacuum of cat management policy and services in Dunedin’, local submission says.

### nzherald.co.nz 29 Jun, 2017 7:02am
Dunedin council proposes registration of cats in New Zealand
A Dunedin proposal that could result in the registration of cats in New Zealand will be discussed nationally. The proposal from the Dunedin City Council, in consultation with seven other councils, will next month go to a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) vote. If it is successful, LGNZ would make it a policy, and begin lobbying the Government to have it made law. The proposal could see the Government called upon to develop legislation for cats similar to the Dog Control Act. It already has the support of the Otago Regional Council, one of 78 councils which will vote on the idea.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
DCC seeks support for cat control
The Dunedin City Council will seek support from other New Zealand councils to gain greater control of cat management. If additional support from councils was gained, a remit would ask Local Government New Zealand to call upon the Government to give councils statutory power to control cats. The DCC was researching a Wellington City Council bylaw on microchipping cats. However, the current bylaw could not be enforced by non-compliance fees. Cat management would focus on the control of wild cats.
Link

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S T O P ● P R E S S

At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
26.7.17 RNZ Morning Report : Guyon Espiner sticks claws in Cat Cull & Curfews
25.7.17 To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’
22.7.17 Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)
21.7.17 Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case
21.7.17 DCC ORC : Heavy rain warnings preparations #PublicNotice
1.7.17 LGNZ, don’t wish ‘his lordship’ on New Zealand #VoteRachelReese
3.6.17 ODT updates mayoral vehicle serious injury crash information
24.4.17 LGOIMA vehicle (DCC) : Hyundai Santa Fe (2016) written off Jan 2017
10.12.16 Oh christ ! [LGNZ bureaucratic dopefest]
21.7.15 Dunedin to host LGNZ 2016 conference —FFS TIME TO TAKE IT OUT
21.5.15 DCC and LGNZ, total losers
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
10.10.14 Cull consorts with losers at LGNZ
26.6.14 LGNZ #blaggardliars

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Asbestos contamination at Dunedin Railway Station

[womentravelnz.com]

There’s a new tenancy at the Dunedin Railway Station.

People working on the project had been told the whole underfloor area was safe to enter; that there was plastic down.

Turns out the plastic cover ran short, and a number of site workers had crawled across bare dirt, kicking up a lot of dust as they went – it was found the area had been contaminated with asbestos.

We understand workmen from several companies have been affected.

The Dunedin Railway Station is a council owned property. Affected sitemen have since had their names added to the WorkSafe Asbestos Exposure Database; and Health and Safety meetings have been called to review safety drills and gear provision.

It appears a few people have slipped up along the ‘food chain’ of managerial responsibility for the workers, starting with DCC management (the building owner).

We hear DCC is now paying for workers to be educated on what protection gear they must wear on exposed asbestos worksites.

Related Post and Comments:
19.6.16 Thoughts on ODT Insight : Chris Morris investigates Asbestos plague

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Health & Safety, Heritage, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Site, Tourism, What stadium

Dunedin’s second generation district plan (2GP) —notes on Natural Hazards

Received from Neil Johnstone
Wed, 3 May 2017 at 7:19 p.m.

Message: Last Thursday (27 April) I presented the remainder of my submission on Natural Hazards. Notes attached in case they might help anybody’s further efforts.

{The notes from Mr Johnstone are public domain by virtue of the consultative 2GP hearing process. -Eds}

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2GP PRESENTATION NOTES: LANDSLIDES
Neil Johnstone

I have no property interest in any landslide hazard area (although I did previously), nor in the Water of Leith catchment, nor in South Dunedin. My main purpose in appearing at this stage is to bring to the panel’s attention that the expert (so-called) opinions received from Otago Regional Council’s (ORC) natural hazard analysts are often deficient to the detriment of the 2GP process and the city’s residents.

I am a long-term resident of Dunedin and am highly experienced in flood control issues and solutions. I am appearing here on my own behalf, therefore not strictly as an Expert Witness in this instance, although I have done so in past years both in both the High Court and the Environment Court. I also acted as lead technical advisor to the NZ Govt investigation into the massive 1999 Clutha flood. My detailed investigations have ranged from simple issues such as the Water of Leith (as Investigations Engineer at Otago Catchment Board and ORC) to the entire Clutha catchment (in varying roles). These investigations have often incorporated the construction and operation of accurate, properly verified models.

I am now semi-retired MIPENZ, but still running my own consultancy on a reduced basis. I am a highly experienced expert in flood issues, I am much less so wrt landslide identification and mitigation (but I know a nonsensical report when I read one). ORC hazard analysts responsible for the landslide buffer zones originally imposed across my former property (and many others) need to accept that their approach was seriously flawed, and far from expert. Paul Freeland has mentioned to me in a recent phone conversation that Dunedin City Council (DCC) should be able to have confidence that ORC hazard analysts are expert. I have no strong criticism of Mr Freeland, but those days have passed – in this region at least – when expertise was based on proven performance, and not on a position’s title. A property previously owned by my wife and me in Porterfield Street, Macandrew Bay was quite ridiculously misrepresented in ORC’s landslide report of September 2015. The landslide hazard zone on that property has apparently now been removed, but uncaring damage has been done to us, and no doubt to many others. The Hazard 2 zone was reportedly imposed without site inspection, or without anybody properly reviewing output or checking accuracy of references.

[Reason for submitting: Natural Hazards section of 2GP dominated (undermined) by ORC hazards staff input and DCC failure to verify/review; DCC presumption that ORC “experts” do/should have appropriate expertise. We appear to be witnessing a proliferation of Hazard Analysts in NZ Local Government with little relevant experience or skill.]

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2GP PRESENTATION NOTES: SOUTH DUNEDIN
Neil Johnstone

The comments re South Dunedin flood hazard contained in my original written submission were written prior to DCC’s producing its inaccurate flood reports in respect of the South Dunedin flooding of early June 2015 in which high groundwater levels were held to blame. These DCC reports were eventually released in late November 2015 and April 2016 respectively. My analyses (well after my original submission) demonstrated that the prime cause of widespread flooding in South Dunedin was DCC’s failure (in order of probable significance) to utilise the bypass facility at Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant, to fully utilise its stormwater pumping capacity at Portobello Road, and to maintain its stormwater infrastructure (mudtanks etc). Inflow of “foreign” water from the St Clair catchment added to the depth of inundation in some areas. All these can be remedied by a diligent Council. Some have already been remedied, as positively demonstrated in the admittedly rather over-hyped rain event of the subtropical cyclone remnant around this past Easter.

ORC natural hazard analysts were probably responsible for the origin of the groundwater myth as a cause of the South Dunedin flooding in their Coastal Otago Flood Event 3 June 2015 report. Reference was made there to “elevated” ground water levels. They followed up with a contentious report (The Natural Hazards of South Dunedin, July 2016). This opens by stating that the June 2015 flooding was caused by heavy rainfall and high groundwater levels, with no mention of mudtanks, or pumping failures (plural). Such reporting cannot be treated as balanced, nor its authors credible. Elsewhere, ORC essentially conceded the groundwater myth in Rebecca Macfie’s excellent NZ Listener article entitled Flood Fiasco (June 11, 2016).

Shortly after, however, ORC produced the aforementioned South Dunedin Hazards report (backed up by an embarrassingly inaccurate video presentation) that seems to reflect a desire to preach doom rather than convey a balanced defendable scientific analysis of South Dunedin realities and solutions where needed.

One of the worst features of the report and subsequent video was the depiction of projected permanently inundated areas of South Dunedin based on ORC modelling of rising sea level effects. These depictions made front page news in the Otago Daily Times with flow-on reporting nationally. The mapped areas of inundation are actually taken from an earlier ORC report entitled The South Dunedin Coastal Aquifer and Effect of Sea Level Fluctuations (October 2012). The modelling was based on limited information, and the findings would therefore be expected to be of limited reliability. The 2012 report essentially confirms this, noting that modelling of existing conditions overestimates actual groundwater levels (by the order of half a metre in places). Figure 2 (Scenario 0) of that report shows significant permanent ponding for current conditions. None exists in reality. Almost lost (in Section 3.8) are the following (abbreviated, and amongst other) concessions:

• Uncertainty of input data
• Potential inaccuracy of model predictions
• High level of uncertainty
• Groundwater system is poorly to moderately well characterised
• Aquifer properties are poorly understood or quantified
• Each of these uncertainties could have the effect of overestimating the groundwater ponding in the current setting.

The reader is advised to read the full Section 3.8 to ensure contextual accuracy. In my view (as an experienced modeller), a study that cannot even replicate known existing relationships is imperfectly calibrated and unverified. It cannot therefore be relied on. Strictly speaking, it does not qualify as a model. The relationship between possible sea level rise and consequent groundwater impact remains highly uncertain.

Unfortunately, the 2016 ORC South Dunedin Hazards report (and video) chose to reproduce the 2012 ponding predictions using more recent data (but without any better appreciation of aquifer characteristics), but the predictions are similar. It is noted that no Scenario 0 mapping is included in the latter report, nor are the model’s inherent weaknesses described. No admission of the potential modelling inaccuracies is presented other than the following note in Section 4.1: “Further discussion of the original model parameters, model calibration and potential pitfalls is included in the ORC (2012a) report, which can be accessed on the ORC website”. I believe that all parties were entitled to know unequivocally that the modelling was unreliable and unverified.

The 2016 report also makes reference to the fact that dry-weather ground water levels at the Culling Park recorder are at or below mean sea level. This is attributed by the authors to leakage of ground water into the stormwater and wastewater sewers. If that is correct (I would reserve judgement as to whether there may be other factors), then we are witnessing just one example of how an engineered solution could be utilised to dissipate increasing depth of groundwater. Such solutions are canvassed in the BECA report commissioned by DCC several years back.

To summarise, South Dunedin’s exposure to flood (current or future) is poorly described by ORC hazard analysts. The 2GP process seems to have seen these analysts “adopted” by DCC planners as their experts. I consider that to be an inappropriate approach to the detriment of our citizens.

The proposal to require relocatable housing in South Dunedin seems premature, and based on highly questionable information. The proposal for relocatable housing in South Dunedin also rather pre-empts the currently-planned DCC study of overseas approaches to sea level rise solutions.

Requiring relocatable houses will likely simply mean that aged houses that should in time be replaced will be repaired instead. Who is going to build a new relocatable house if they have nowhere to relocate to and probably insufficient money to acquire the requisite land? The proposal to require relocatable housing is ill-considered and premature in my opinion.

With respect to ground water issues across South Dunedin, the 2016 Hazard Report presents –

The reason for my pointing out these facts is to encourage Commissioners to take a step back from the current hysteria surrounding South Dunedin. Had the 2015 flooding extent been restricted (as it should have been) to that which occurred in a slightly larger rainfall event in March 1968, the event would have already been forgotten. Seemingly, at least partly as a result of that hysteria, the proposal to require relocatable housing in South Dunedin seems premature, and based on highly questionable information. Just as ORC floodplain mapping contradicts its in-place flood protection philosophy, so does the proposal for relocatable housing in South Dunedin also rather pre-empt the currently planned DCC study of overseas approaches to sea level rise.

Requiring relocatable houses will simply mean that aged houses that should in time be replaced will be repaired instead. Who is going to build a new relocatable house if they have nowhere to relocate to and probably no money to acquire the requisite land? The proposal for relocatable housing is ill-considered and premature in my opinion.

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2GP PRESENTATION: URBAN STREAM HAZARDS
Neil Johnstone

Urban Stream Comment re Leith and Lindsay Streams:

ORC’s mapping is said to be of residual flooding (post-flood protection works of the past 80-plus years), but actually represents what might have been envisaged many decades back in something considerably greater than the record 1929 flood with none of the very significant channel works of the 1930s, 1940s and 1960s; or even those lesser improvement of the 2010s in place. The ORC 2GP mapping includes areas that didn’t get flooded in 1923 or 1929. I agree with some potential dangers of stream blockage (especially in Lindsay Creek, and to a lesser extent at Clyde Street and Rockside Road), but one can only consider locations of feasible blockage in today’s conditions. Furthermore, accepted professional practice for flood plain mapping requires detailed hydrology, probability analyses, climate change allowance, hydrograph routing, in-channel modelling (allowing for stream capacity variability), and overland flow modelling. ORC’s flood mapping incorporates none of these fundamentals; instead, it reads as little more than a colouring-in exercise, when a professionally researched technical document is required. In short, ORC’s hazard analysts have carried out no fit-for-purpose analysis for a District Plan process.

Interestingly, the concerns expressed by ORC hazard analysts re channel blockage are entirely inconsistent with ORC’s own design philosophy and consent application evidence for the recent Flood protection scheme (so called). Design Philosophy minimises the issue.

Very briefly, the mapping is challenged for the following reasons (inter alia):

No descriptions of the effective flood protection initiatives (OHB -1920s and 1930s, DCC -1940s, OCB -1960s) are included. These works have ensured that overtopping is practically impossible in the George Street to Cumberland Street reach, the Clock Tower reach and Forth Street to Harbour reaches. Flood protection in these areas are all built to a much higher hydraulic standard than the so-called ORC scheme of the past decade, and to a far, far higher standard than existed pre-1929.

It is further noted that ORC’s own Design Philosophy Report (OPUS for ORC, 2005) for the proposed Leith/Lindsay flood protection scheme is adamant that debris traps recently (then) constructed at Malvern Street and Bethunes Gully would further mitigate any debris problems. Refer paras 7.7 and 10.6 of that document.

Ponding is mapped where water couldn’t even reach in 1929 (peak flood currently estimated at 220 cumecs, and predating flood protection measures) in the wider CBD area. Flows along George Street in the 1920s only occurred south as far as about Howe Street, then re-entered the river. Nowadays, the accelerating weir above George Street and the structural high velocity channel immediately downstream provide much more clearance than existed in 1929. [Most outflow then from the river occurred much further downstream.] In those downstream reaches, many of the bridges have been replaced or upgraded. Possible remaining points of interest are the hydraulically insignificant extension (circa 2015) of the St David Street footbridge, the historic Union Street arch footbridge, and the widened (circa 2012) Clyde Street road bridge. The flimsy St David Street bridge would not survive any hydraulic heading up so there would likely be of little flood consequence, and backing up upstream of Union St would be largely inconsequential because of the height of the Clock Tower reach banks immediately upstream. The Clyde Street bridge is acknowledged as being lower than optimum, but it has not created any issues in its half century existence. Any overtopping there could only impact on a limited area between the bridge and the railway line.

Overland lows beyond (east of) the rail line remain highly improbable because of the ongoing blocking effect of road and rail embankments. Flows as far as the railway station to the west of the rail line are also highly improbable nowadays as only the Clyde Street area could conceivably contribute.

The 1923 photograph showing ponding along Harrow Street is presented by ORC with an unfortunate caption stating that the water is sourced from the Leith. Some undoubtedly was, but the whole of the city was subject to “internal” stormwater flooding from Caversham tunnel, across South Dunedin to the CBD and beyond. To illustrate further, a NIWA April 1923 flood summary (accessible online) provides a summary of some of the information more fully described in technical reports and newspaper accounts, including:

• Portions of Caversham, South Dunedin, St Kilda, the lower portions of central and northern areas of the City and North East Valley were completely inundated.
• Water in South Dunedin was waist deep.
• The Water of Leith rose considerably and burst its banks in many places, causing extensive damage along its banks and flooding low-lying areas.

Today’s stormwater infrastructure is rather more extensive and effective (when maintained), and DCC has a continuing legal obligation to provide to maintain that service.

The levels plotted across Lindsay Creek seem highly pessimistic. Levels are shown to be of the order of 2 metres above North Road in some locations at least. I have [no] knowledge of any such levels ever having been approached. Care must be taken not to include unfloodable areas in the mapping. I don’t however discount localised channel blockage, and the channel capacity is substandard in many areas. The valley slope ensures that overland flow will achieve damaging velocities. Such velocities are noted in the NIWA summary.

Of greater concern to me, however, is that ORC’s mapping appears to have seriously underestimated the significance of potential Woodhaugh flood issues:-

The river channel through here is both steep and confined. The influences of Pine Hill Creek (immediately upstream) and Ross Creek (immediately downstream) add to turbulence and bank attack. The area was ravaged in 1923 and 1929, and there have been evacuations in some much lesser events in later decades. These areas are at considerable risk in a 50- to 100-year plus event. Hardin Street, Malvern Street had houses evacuated in the 1960s flood. High velocity, rock laden flows and mudslides can all be anticipated, and difficult to counter. Area below camping ground / Woodhaugh was overwhelmed in floods of the 1920s – a focus for flooding depth and velocity.

If the 2GP process is to include urban flood maps, these should be diligently derived, based on historical record and appropriate modelling. The mapping should reflect the real flood risks (including likelihood, velocity and depth). The decreasing flood risk from Woodhaugh (potentially high impact) through North East Valley (moderate impact) through to the main urban area south of the Leith waterway (localised and of little-to-zero impact) should be reflected in the mapping.

[ends]

2GP Hearing Topic: Natural Hazards
https://2gp.dunedin.govt.nz/2gp/hearings-schedule/natural-hazards.html

█ For more, enter the terms *johnstone*, *flood* and *south dunedin* in the search box at right.

Related Posts and Comments
6.6.16 Listener June 11-17 2016 : Revisiting distress and mismanagement #SouthDunedinFlood
10.6.16 “Civic administration” reacts to hard hitting Listener article

[DCC Map differs from what was notified]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DCC, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Education, Geography, Health & Safety, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, South Dunedin, Town planning, Urban design

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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Local govt and the question of general competence #North

Received.
Mon, 9 Jan 2017 at 10:56 p.m.

Subject: Did you notice……

Message:
Whangarei District Council was reported on TV3 as supporting protesters who have put a road block across four roads and are not letting trucks pass because they are pissed off with the dust from the roads, and want them sealed. Not that we wouldn’t have sympathy with their cause, but how is it right for a Council to support illegal road closures?
These Councils may have been given by law the power of general competence but they sure don’t warrant the confidence of central government in hope that they may become generally competent……

protesters-set-up-four-separate-road-blocks-along-pipiwai-road-newshub-co-nzProtesters set up four separate road blocks along Pipiwai Road [newshub.co.nz]

### newshub.co.nz 15/12/2016
Northland residents block dusty roads in protest
By Wilhelmina Shrimpton
Frustrations have reached boiling point as locals of a small Northland town fight to have a notoriously dusty logging truck route sealed. Locals have had enough and stepped up protest action by blocking logging trucks from using the gravel roads. “Don’t piss me off, you either do it or you go,” one protester yelled at a truck driver while blocking the road. “What you gonna do bro? What you gonna do? Cause you ain’t going down here today!” Puti Tipene says the dense dust clouds thrown up by the trucks are unhealthy and dangerous. […] Locals say up to 50 trucks drive along unsealed routes every day, and believe the council isn’t doing enough to help. […] Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai says the council wants the roads sealed but doesn’t have the money. “We’ve had money in our budget to do it … if there was a subsidy from our partners the NZTA, that hasn’t happened. Until that happens, we don’t think it’s appropriate for the wider ratepayers to pay 100 percent of that.”
Read more + Video

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pipiwai-valley-protest-puti1-ngapuhi-iwi-nz-2Pipiwai Valley protest [ngapuhi.iwi.nz]

### newshub.co.nz 09/01/2017
Protestors block trucks from dusty Northland road
By Newshub staff
Ten people blocked off a Northland road today in a fight to have the notoriously dusty logging truck route sealed. Protesters set up four separate road blocks around Pipiwai Valley on Monday morning, an area they say is plagued by dust kicked up both water tanks and trucks. They parked vehicles across Pipiwai Rd to deter trucks, but are letting locals through. Police were at the protest, which was kept low key. Protest organiser Alex Wright says truckers may have been tipped off and taken another route. Those truck drivers that did come their way had to reverse back down the gravel road. […] “It’s affecting our way of life… It’s horrific. We can’t handle it anymore and that’s why we’re here today. We’ve tried all avenues.” Ms Wright says they’re their new campaign won’t stop until the road is sealed.
Read more

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truck-generated-dust-at-pipiwai-issue-for-more-than-10-years-graham-wright-via-nzherald-co-nzTruck-generated dust at Pipiwai, an ongoing issue for more than 10 years.
Photo: Graham Wright [nzherald.co.nz]

### NZ Herald Online 10:47 AM Mon, Sep 14, 2015
Logging and trucking industries asked to pay $132k
By Alexandra Newlove – Northern Advocate
Logging and trucking industries will be asked to cough up cash to help solve a dusty road problem that has had residents up in arms for more than a decade. Whangarei District Council had allocated $400,000 over the next two years to seal ten 100m strips along the notoriously dusty Wright, McCardle and Pipiwai roads west of Whangarei, though the work was expected to cost $532,000, said WDC roading manager Jeff Devine. “We will be asking the industry if they can make up the [$132,00] shortfall,” he said. The New Zealand Transport Agency declined a $4.5 million funding request from council early this year for a full 9km seal of Wrights Rd and McCardle Rd. Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group spokeswoman Alex Wright said she was unconvinced that the strip sealing would make a huge amount of difference. “It’s our 11th year now. We’re heading in the right direction but need to do it properly and completely.” Mr Devine said he agreed that the dust was a health and safety issue. “The big issue is that when they shifted the port from Whangarei to Marsden Point the traffic direction changed. It was never planned when the forests were planted that this would be the [trucking] route.” Council would continue approaching central Government for money to seal the remainder of roads, Mr Devine said.
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Kaipara rates row : High Court finds “serious and substantial” errors

“If the council had just accepted the money, admitted that the people withholding their rates were wronged, that their case had merit, we could have all moved forward together” – Mangawhai ratepayer Bruce Rogan
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### radionz.co.nz 6:01 pm on 16 Sep 2016
New Zealand: Northland
Northland rates rebels win partial victory
By Lois Williams – Northland reporter
The rebel ratepayers of Mangawhai in Northland have won a partial victory in the High Court. The court has found that rates levied from 2011 to 2014 by the Northland Regional Council, via Kaipara District Council rate demands, were unlawful. In an interim decision, Justice Duffy found the Northland Regional Council (NRC) has no power to delegate the assessment of rates or the recovery of arrears to other councils. “The errors I have identified are serious and substantial,” the judge said. “In short, the NRC has failed to exercise its statutory powers properly when determining rates resolutions and it has unlawfully sought to delegate the performance of a number of its functions in relation to rates to the Kaipara District Council.” […] The Mangawhai ratepayers’ chair, Bruce Rogan, said the ruling was very welcome, although the court did not uphold the group’s challenge to penalties and GST imposed by the Kaipara District Council. The council should now agree to negotiate a deal to end the six-year-old Kaipara rates row, Mr Rogan said.
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From Kaipara Concerns (community website):

INTERIM HIGH COURT JUDGMENT RELEASED 16.09.2016
Duffy J has made an interim judgment in respect of the judicial review brought by the MRRA and Bruce and Heather Rogan challenging the lawfulness of rates set by the NRC and the KDC.

She has made the following decisions:

NRC
1. The NRC rates were not set lawfully for the 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 rating years. [27]
2. The NRC’s delegation to the KDC of the assessment of rates and recovery of rates for the rating years between 2011/2012 and 2015/2016 inclusive was unlawful. Accordingly those rates were not lawfully assessed. [58]
3. The NRC’s delegation to the KDC to add penalties to NRC rates was unlawful. Therefore the penalties imposed on rates in respect of NRC rates was unlawful. [74]
4. The Validation Act only validated the unlawful rates of the KDC. It did not validate the unlawful rates of the NRC. [111]

Result
[129] I make the following declaration: The NRC’s rates for the KDC region have not been lawfully set or assessed for the rating years from 2011/2012 to 2015/2016 inclusive.

Duffy J has not yet decided what order to make in respect of ordering the NRC to refund the unlawful rates charged. She has invited the NRC to make further submissions and especially to examine how this ruling might affect the legality of the rates that it has set for its other constituent areas – Whangarei and the Far North. Those rates might also be unlawful.

She will make her final decision once both parties have made further submissions.
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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has issued a press release in respect of the Duffy J’s High Court decision:

winston-peters-16-9-16-lessons-for-govt-in-mangawhai-residents-court-win-1

Related Posts and Comments:
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9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
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31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
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19.3.12 Local government reform
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

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Lee Vandervis . . . . v cull de mayor

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ODT 9.9.16 (page 10)

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

*Image: whatifdunedin – election hoarding above Olivier, 468 George St

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