Tag Archives: National Government

Greater Dunedin: developing image

Received from Anonymous
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 at 4:40 p.m.

Monkeys GD

Message: “Clever” monkey Cull would have to be the one on the left smiling and staring blankly into space. At least the other monkeys know something is wrong! An apt Dunedin variation on “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. Maybe a new logo for Greater Dunedin?
[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image supplied

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Extraordinary editorials

The ODT bellows: “They should be more open.” Their editorial today is a form of tirade directed at the Southern District Health Board (SDHB); with a wrist slap to the University of Otago. The message, however, has sticky parallels.

### ODT Online Fri, 3 Aug 2012
Editorial: Open communication
It is natural organisations want to control news about themselves. They want “good news” to spread and bad news to remain as hidden as possible. No-one wants their dirty linen flapping in the breeze. Thus, public relations firms and communications specialists are paid to develop strategies and to help massage and control information. Of course, it pays to be upfront and open because the consequences of not doing so could well be much worse publicity. Often, public relations advisers will, sensibly, advise openness, recognising the longer-term benefits. But no-one should be fooled into thinking that they are operating for wider altruistic reasons. They are serving their clients or bosses.
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We’re in NO DOUBT the ODT editor has chosen their words very carefully, but in so doing perhaps they should pause to reflect on their own production of what constitutes local news in the Southern Region. We use the plural.

And here’s the thing, it’s hard for the ‘average reader’ to work out who is ‘speaking’ in each of the newspaper’s editorials these days, since there’s a discernible movement and variance of principle, voice and direction, or so it appears.

The anonymity of the editor – or the actions and beliefs of the team producing editorial material – erodes believability and reader confidence; in much the same way as when the newspaper’s ownership comes to bear (do we detect?) on the printed editorial stance.

‘Open communication’ is the headline. It’s something we expect from the independent newspaper, owing to the less than edifying antics and misdeeds that riddle city power structures and business, tied to in-your-face indiscriminate spending of public funds for little or no perceptible public gain.

In an effective democracy, and particularly when public money at stake, however, transparency should be fundamental. Not only does this diminish the opportunity for the cancer of corruption, but it also – as noted last week by the Law Commission in its report on the Official Information Act – promotes accountability. -ODT

ODT itself should be in no doubt that if it wants to play ‘dumb blonde’ or ‘dull brunette’ then the community’s quest for transparency, exposure and lack of newspaper bias will simply change gear – we’ll slip quietly to other news sources for the information we seek, some published, some underground. Motivated people get what they need, where they can. The work-arounds: internet and web sources are all-powerful for constant/instant messaging and exchange of visual data. The underground news economy.

The newspaper – while the physical paper appeals to the eye and hand – is ‘maybe’ something we’ll continue to buy, as a habit. For the most part, Southern news (and morality) is coming to us via social networking services, phone calls and person-to-person meetings – it’s fast and unabridged. People are taking charge of their information sharing. It’s exciting, it’s risky, it works for good and bad. It’s addictive.

We know that lumbering institutions have trouble sending the ‘real news’ by official means – there’s a lot to hide, wheelings, dealings, and slights.

Watch the silence of city councillors. Most are scared of communicating with their constituents by media; god forbid that social media should come between them and their council paychecks or, for some at least, the kickbacks and advantages received from private interests to propel decisions through council committee and departmental processes.

It’s a small world and the Otago Daily Times could adopt a neutral independent newspaper stance to capture most of the undercurrents. Does it? No. Especially not, if when things get too close.

Why are letters to the editor not printed? Why are online comments deleted, rewritten or abridged without explanation on certain topics? Frankly, it’s not all about bad grammar or actionable comments.

Most of the time we’re allowed to read ‘what is safe’, things guaranteed to not upset the Applecart of Order established by the Otago Daily Times in conjunction with (we suspect…) Dunedin City Council and the old boy networks. Intelligent networked people watch for what’s NOT being printed by the patriarchy.

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The Catholic Bishop of Dunedin has come out as a misogynist… that ODT won’t allow comments at the online post in the interests of widening the debate for female and male subscribers is a sad indictment on the newspaper. Loudly, it shows the inability of All to participate in ‘open communication’ through the newspaper at yet another critical moment for the great ink-blackened unwashed.

Related Post:
28.7.12 Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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National Government puts champagne and stadium before shelter housing

A replacement stadium for the earthquake-damaged AMI Stadium in Phillipstown will be built on the old Turners & Growers site, on the edge of the CBD’s new eastern frame. It will be a covered stadium with natural turf and seating for 35,000 people. –The Press

Christchurch residents in the eastern suburbs are left to fend for themselves…

The first project to get underway is the river precinct along the Avon

### thepress.co.nz Last updated 18:03 30/07/2012
Bold plan for a new Christchurch
By Lois Cairns
Christchurch’s new city centre will be compact and low rise, with all key facilities and precincts corralled between the Avon River and a new green ‘frame’. The 100-day blueprint released by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) outlines a bold plan to significantly shrink the size of the CBD by designating two strips of land – one in the east of the city and one in the south – as open spaces. These spaces, along with the Avon River, which will be widened in stretches and developed into a riverside park, will serve to frame the new CBD, ensuring that all development is concentrated within a tight geographic area. Building heights in the city will be kept at a maximum of 28 metres, although exceptions may be made in some areas around the planned convention centre to accommodate hotel developments. The convention centre will occupy a prime site next to Victoria Square and will be big enough to allow the city to host three events simultaneously. It will stretch the entire block between Gloucester and Armagh streets and incorporate two new hotels.
Read more + Flyover and Interactive Map

At The Press…
Excerpt from comment made by Nicholas Lynch #8 06:34 pm Jul 30 2012
“The whole thing is a racket,” Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby recently observed. “Once again the politicos will expand their empire. Once again crony capitalism will enrich a handful of wired business operators. And once again Joe and Jane Taxpayer will pay through the nose. How many times must we see this movie before we finally shut it off?”

At Otago Daily Times…
Wider Earthquake Communities’ Action Network (WeCan) spokesman Mike Coleman said today marked further evidence of a “corporate recovery” while residents in the eastern city suburbs were being “left to flounder”. “They open up the champagne bottles for the CBD but there’s mere drips of water for the plebs in the suburbs.” APNZ (ODT Link)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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“We all know that growth brings prosperity. Except, apparently, when it doesn’t.”

### citiwire.net For Release Sunday, January 30, 2011
Oops! Fast City Growth May = Lower Incomes
By Mary Newsom / Jan 28 2011
Optimists prefer to look forward, not back. But especially during a month named for the two-headed Roman god Janus — a month when state legislatures are convening only to face mammoth budget shortfalls — maybe we all need a clear-eyed look backward as well as ahead.
A look back at the past decade from an Oregon consulting company, Fodor & Associates, ought to get plenty of people thinking about whether some assumptions of the past need re-examining. The report looked at growth rates and prosperity in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas. Its findings may challenge a bedrock assumption for many local and state government leaders, that “growth” in and of itself automatically brings jobs and more wealth.
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-Mary Newsom is an associate editor and opinion writer at the Charlotte Observer.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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The bull**** from National continues unabated

“The impression I get is the city has moved past the controversial issue and decided it is an important piece of infrastructure for the city.”
-Murray McCully

### ODT Online Wed, 10 Mar 2010
Praise for city’s ‘important piece of infrastructure’
By Steve Hepburn
Murray McCully says he is impressed by progress made at the Forsyth Barr Stadium and feels the Rugby World Cup is on track. McCully, Minister for Sport and Recreation and for the Rugby World Cup, visited Dunedin yesterday, firstly having a look at the stadium then visiting the Academy of Sport (South Island) facilities at Logan Park. From what he could see, the stadium was looking “terrific”.

Another lie, another deception:

If anything, decisions made by Auckland mayors showed how most people could not wait to see the overhaul of the Auckland governance system, he said.

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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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More of the same won’t fix NZ’s economic problems

### sstlive.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/02/2010
Epoch-defining insight … and the govt missed it
By Rod Oram – Sunday Star Times
Opinion: Rip, shit and bust is a classic strategy, seductive to many corporates and countries. It often looks good in the short term. Exponents exploit abundance such as natural resources, cheap labour or lax regulation to make quick profits.

Yet in their careless haste, they sow the seeds of their own destruction. They over-exploit their present opportunity and under-invest in their future. In due course, the enterprise or nation goes bust.

Take an oil and gas producer such as the UK. For 40 years it has lived high on the hog of cheap fuel and lavish royalties from the North Sea. Now both are dwindling fast, it has a crippling hole in government revenues, energy policy and industrial strategy.

Or take investment banks in the US and Europe and finance companies in New Zealand. They profited by scoffing at feeble regulations over the past decade. Now their heavy losses are borne not by their shareholders but by savers and taxpayers.

Not all disasters are purely financial. Exponents can also blight the land they exploit, as colonial foresters did here or plantation farmers are today in the Amazon and Indonesia.

Yet, this is exactly the economic strategy our government is proposing for New Zealand.

Yes, the government understands our natural resources are the key to our prosperity. But it can only see how to flog them harder, not nurture them smarter.

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NZHPT restructure: branch committees disestablished, oh but we’ll keep the 23,000 membership

Press Release by New Zealand Government at 4:06 pm, 27 Jan 2010

Preliminary findings of the 2009 review of the New Zealand Historic Places Act will help to focus the Historic Places Trust on its significant regulatory responsibilities while providing opportunities for more effective advocacy in local communities, Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson announced today.

The National Party arts, culture and heritage policy during the 2008 election campaign promised a review of the Historic Places Act. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage is undertaking the review and the Government is considering changes to the way the New Zealand Historic Places Trust operates, as well as archaeological consenting processes.

“The Government intends for the Historic Places Trust to focus on its important regulatory role while allowing for better advocacy in local communities,” Mr Finlayson said.

“The Trust has been a Crown entity since 2005, and exercises significant regulatory powers to effectively protect and preserve heritage sites on behalf of the Crown, which contributes around 80% of its funding.”

The review confirmed the Trust will remain a mass membership organisation providing access to heritage sites and education (the Trust currently has about 23,000 subscriber members, who contribute around 5% of its funding). However, the new arrangement would clarify the respective roles of the Trust and its membership.

Under the proposals local branch committees, which are involved in advocacy by members, would be disestablished. The Trust will discuss with branch committees ways in which new arrangements might be put in place for local heritage advocacy.

“Separating the local advocacy interests of branch committees from the regulatory functions of the Trust along the lines of the British model means better outcomes for both,” Mr Finlayson said. “For example, local activists will not be constrained by having to work within the priority-setting framework of a Crown entity.”

The size of the Trust’s national board would be reduced from nine members to eight. All members of the new board would be appointed by Government. Currently, three positions are elected by the wider membership of the Trust. The preliminary review concluded that this change would clear up confused accountabilities on the board.

Letters have been sent to all members and branch committee chairs advising them of the proposed changes, and meetings will be held with committees across the country to discuss and present the changes.

ENDS

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Listen to the Minister’s interview:

### Radio New Zealand National Thurs, 28 Jan 2010 at 06:42AM
Historic Places Trust branch committees may be disestablished
The Government is backing a proposal to scrap the local branch committees of the Historic Places Trust.
Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (duration: 4:02)

Note: The members of NZHPT branch committees are elected by their local membership.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

Disclaimer: Elizabeth Kerr is a former NZHPT Otago Branch Chair (2000-08). Elizabeth is no longer a subscription member of the Trust. She left the Trust to pursue her interest, fostered during her time with the Trust, from 1998, in heritage matters for Dunedin City.

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