### ODT Online Sat, 24 Jun 2017 Nocturnal creatures shine at carnival
By Vaughan Elder
The wild things came out to play in the Octagon tonight as luminous nocturnal creatures invaded for the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival. Thousands of people packed the Octagon and Stuart St for the annual event, which this year had the theme of Nocturnal Nature. Read more
█ WorkSafe NZ notified of the incident by the Boss family.
Dunedin man Wayne Boss’ eye was seriously injured during the fireworks display in the Octagon during New Year celebrations.
### ODT Online Mon, 2 Jan 2017 Fireworks end in anguish
A Dunedin family’s New Year celebrations in the Octagon took a gruesome turn when debris from a fireworks display left a man with blood gushing from his eye. Wayne Boss faces an excruciating wait to find out whether he will be able to see with his right eye again.
News of the incident prompted Dunedin woman Vicky Watson to come forward with a chillingly similar story.
Ms Watson said the same thing happened to her three years ago when she was celebrating and gazing up at the fireworks, standing in the same spot where the Boss family had been. […] “The next day, I rang the council and they just brushed me off. They said it would never happen again, it’s just a freak accident,” she said. “I never got an apology letter. I was so disgusted.”
Now she wanted answers. Read more
● Wayne Boss is an environmental health and safety specialist, working for Dunedin City Council.
Wayne Boss’s pupil is in three parts after the incident at the city council-run fireworks display.
### TVNZ 1 News Sun, 1 Jan 2017 at 5:31 p.m. ‘I’m just worried that I won’t see’ – Dunedin man hit in eye by fireworks debris [Video]
By Sean Hogan
A Dunedin man is facing the prospect of blindness in one eye after being struck by debris at the city’s public fireworks display. Wayne Boss was watching the city council-run fireworks display when the rogue piece of debris hit his right eye, throwing him to the ground. “I’m looking up at the Dunedin council Octagon building where the fireworks are being set off and it’s black obviously. And just for a split second I saw an object which I thought was a spent rocket. But we are talking milliseconds because then I get a blow to my right eye which was so hard it just floored me.”
….Wayne has spoken to WorkSafe about the incident and he and his family want answers as to what went wrong. “You go to events like that because they are meant to be safe. It’s a public event and people go there so they can experience fireworks in a safe environment where they don’t have to deal with them themselves. And if you can’t enforce a safe display it shouldn’t really be going on,” Ben Boss [son] told 1 NEWS. Read more + Video
“spendidly” —Unfortunate choice of words.
### ODT Online Sun, 1 Jan 2017 Dunedin welcomes New Year with a bang
By Rob Kidd
….Dunedin City Council community events co-ordinator Marilyn Anderson said the night went “splendidly” even with the rain. […] Ms Anderson said partygoers were a little slow getting into town but she reckoned there were about 18,000 there when the big hand hit 12. The thunderous boom of the Robbie Burns cannon marked the end of 2016 followed by a five-minute explosion of fireworks atop the Civic Centre which painted the sky above Dunedin’s eight-sided heart with the fluorescent hope of a new year. Read more
Dunedin’s Annual Santa Parade is now in its 19th year. This is Otago’s largest free public event! A dedicated team of volunteers are delighted to bring this Parade to Families and Children.
The Dunedin Santa Parade announces the Arrival of Christmas in Dunedin.
Exciting floats, many bands, marching, Fire Engines, animals, Clowns and of course –Santa. The Parade is followed by a family concert in the lower Octagon.
The parade route starts at The Regent 24 hour Night and Day Store on George street, at 3pm, and travels straight down the main street through the Octagon centre and finishes in Moray Place South by The First Church.
[click to enlarge] Octagon taxi rank [dunedin.govt.nz] – orange overlay by whatifdunedin (drinking holes / hospitality)
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
New trial site for evening taxi rank
This item was published on 22 Aug 2016
A new location for the evening taxi rank in the Octagon will be trialled for three months. From tomorrow, the evening taxi rank will move from outside the Municipal Chambers and Civic Centre to the central lane of the Octagon, where tour bus parking has been provided. The rank will operate from 7pm to 7am, Monday to Sunday. During the day time, the taxi rank will operate from the current location outside the Municipal Chambers and Civic Centre. Dunedin City Council Acting Group Manager Transport Richard Saunders says the covered walkway will provide shelter for people waiting for taxis. There will also be a sign to show where the taxi stand is and the area is monitored by CCTV.
“This proposal has been discussed with taxi companies, local businesses and the Police, and there is a lot of support for the trial. The trial site has several advantages over the current site and we expect it to be popular with the public too.” –Saunders
DCC staff have talked with the mobile traders who use that space during the day and the trial will not affect their use of the area. Mr Saunders says at the end of the trial, staff will discuss the results with taxi companies, the Police and local businesses before deciding whether to make it a permanent move.
Contact Richard Saunders, Acting Group Manager Transport on 03 477 4000.
Mon, 2 May 2016 ODT: Stabbing: ‘What is this place coming to?’
The stabbing of a 21-year-old man in central Dunedin early yesterday has left the man who rushed to his aid questioning the state of his city. Detective Sergeant Chris Henderson said the victim was taken to Dunedin Hospital after being stabbed in the neck and back outside the The Bottle-O store on the corner of Princes St and Moray Pl about 3.30am.
DUNEDIN IS UP THERE (2015 statistics)
### newshub.co.nz Mon, 2 May 2016 at 4:45 p.m. NZ’s most violent city spots revealed
By Lisa Owen
A Newshub investigation has revealed Auckland neighbourhoods dominate a leaderboard of the most violent city hot spots in the country. Statistics New Zealand has mapped 2015 police crime data, released to Newshub under the Official Information Act, to show the areas with the highest number of assaults, sexual assaults and robberies in public places. The crimes include anything from rape to being beaten up or being robbed of your cellphone at knife-point. Three of the five most violent city areas (precincts where there are more than 3000 residents) are in Auckland’s CBD. […] *By overlaying population data in the zones where crime has occurred, Statistics NZ has been able to work out the national average for incidents of public place violence. *Article uses 2015 statistics of victimisations by assault, sexual assault and robbery in public places. Read more + VIDEO
█ Dunedin = No. 7 on New Zealand’s top ten most violent city hot spots
The only South Island hotspot, the area running north from the Octagon. Newshub
█ For more, enter the term *octagon* in the search box at right.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.
How do citizens separate governance from management?
How do ratepayers and residents separate truth from something else, from someone else?
Finding value in plain speaking, will the place be any better? Will the same players get knuckled, while others with over generous salaries and stipends commit more strongly to the unrelenting string of make-work schemes.
As they ignore basic infrastructure.
For a heightened slavishness to global politics.
Then, early this morning Diane said: “When will you drag us all back to politics, Elizabeth?”
Good question. Thinking about the HOWS and WHYS.
And the WHAT WOULD HAPPENS.
We will get there.
[a construct] Octagon picnic table
With others, I received an email from an esteemed and powerful colleague in the United States. It focused my mind. The afternoon email was one of a series of calls and messages proceeding across the holiday break (as committed Canterbury people fortify, lobby and fundraise – lawyers and QCs amongst them) within the all-out campaign to fully restore Christchurch Cathedral.
The man-writer was responding to letters to The Press published today (28 December), each decrying any moves to restore the Cathedral but meanwhile expressing strong desire to resuscitate the heart of the City.
It’s understood the Press editor has been hard to win over on restoration for some years although chinks in that armour did appear after cathedral campaigners BOUGHT space to balance and convey the other side of the Anglican hierarchy’s argument to demolish Serious cultural heritage.
Right now, Christchurch is my favourite POLITICAL City in New Zealand. There is a force for intelligence, compassion, honest endeavour without fear, free speech (multiple voices joined in hardship), and far more than simple zeal for Justice there is public and private leadership in a Place recovering from the political aftermath of a damnable naturally occurring tragedy. Throughout, Christchurch people have got ‘more like themselves’ to cope, to battle —to try for the Egalitarian in the face of disgusting bureaucracies and god-awful top down disparages.
Dunedin faces something else – THAT (nameless but real) is the reason for the What if? Dunedin website. Letting it out, spilling, building confidence to challenge what is handed down as fact.
For the strong and interested, there is no acceptance of stray conduct at PUBLIC MEETINGS caught by privately-owned television for the PUBLIC RECORD. There will be no silencing of what is in PUBLIC DOMAIN. Information existing in PUBLIC DOMAIN, put there by local bodies as their official reports and media releases should not be stopped. Information requested by the public and released by local bodies under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) should be freely disseminated. No picnic.
And now, the substance of that email:
It is with profound regret that I note the United States does not have a monopoly on short-sighted, narrow minded, culturally blind idiots. We have so many of them it’s easy to assume we have them all. I guess there are Rednecks and Bogans everywhere.
Fear not…neither does the US have a monopoly on brave, stalwart, far-sighted stewards of our common Heritage who are willing and able to stand strong and see this important work through to completion. You are an inspiration to me and people around the world.
Received from John Evans
Mon, 18 May 2015 at 5:29 p.m.
P26 ODT Saturday May 16.
In an article headed Stadium sound on agenda, included some apparent proposed changes for DVML, one being the stripping of the rights to sell DMVL venues from the Regent Theatre Trust, considered an anomaly by the DCC or DMVL or both.
The nett effects
1. Immediate reduction in income of $110,000 to the Regent Theatre Trust. However the DCC are going to suggest a donation of $110,000 as a grant to the trust (unearned).
2. An increase in staffing levels for DMVL (to sell the tickets).
3. No reduction in ratepayers’ costs.
4. A presumed increase in DMVL income (gross but not necessarily nett) DCC looks better in financial accounts (hopeful).
5. Lost opportunity costs (the recipient of the $110,000 if the DCC did not give it to the Regent trust).
This is what is called by forensic accountants, creative accounting.
From ‘City’ colleague with an eye for the law, Wikipedia definition
Fri, 1 May 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
### ODT Online Fri, 1 May 2015 Apology lacking; voting rights go
By Chris Morris
Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis has been stripped of his voting rights after failing to apologise before a 24-hour deadline. […] In a statement last night, council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said Cr Vandervis was suspended from all council committees from today until July 1. Read more
[Cr Hilary Calvert] questioned the council’s right to delegate to council staff any final judgement on whether Cr Vandervis’ apology was appropriate, arguing that was a call for councillors to make.
“The process was open and fair, and, as far as I’m concerned, completely in accordance with proper meeting procedure. I question the motivation in quibbling about it now.” –Mayor Dave Cull
### ODT Online Fri, 1 May 2015 Mayor dismisses legality questions
By Chris Morris
Mayor Dave Cull has a one-word response to questions about the legality of stripping Cr Lee Vandervis of voting rights: “Whatever.” Mr Cull’s abrupt response came in an email to Cr Hilary Calvert yesterday, as she questioned whether the council had followed proper process when considering its punishment of Cr Vandervis. Read more
█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: Cover-up image by whatifdunedin with acknowledgement to Wikipedia
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
i-SITE to Relocate to Octagon Civic Centre
This item was published on 28 Apr 2015
Dunedin’s i-SITE Visitor Centre is to move to a higher profile central city location in the Octagon Civic Centre. The move, due to be completed by the end of September, will see i-SITE combine Department of Conservation visitor information services within its current visitor information delivery in a site that can present a seamless service.
Director Enterprise Dunedin John Christie says combining visitor services with DOC meant that it was a perfect time to consider the i-SITE’s location.
“The i-SITE is a key ‘shop front’ for all visitors and residents. Its location is of great importance as it sets a platform for city branding, marketing and delivery. After considering other sites we decided that the Octagon Civic Centre was best suited to cater for Dunedin visitors. The Octagon is an iconic, accessible area for Dunedin city and an obvious place to have our i-SITE. It will help create a sustainable and vibrant city centre by attracting people and providing economic impetus through improved promotion of Dunedin’s many tours and attractions.”
Dunedin i-SITE Manager Louise van de Vlierd says the new location and combining with DOC will help the i-SITE enhance Economic Development Strategy delivery.
“The i-SITE’s activities include providing information on all aspects of Dunedin to visitors influencing the visitor to stay longer and spend more in Dunedin. The new location, with its increased visibility, will help promote options for visitors in a more engaging way. We are very happy that we can achieve the move within current budgets, and expect that this prominent and central location will result in higher revenue for the city”.
Enterprise Dunedin is currently working on design of the new interior and plans to be in the premises by 30 September this year and will be joined by DOC at a later date. The Civic Centre site will provide a floor area of approximately 150m2 compared to 135m2 in the current Princes Street site.
Dunedin City Council Manager City Property Kevin Taylor says the Civic Centre site is a brilliant space and the move fits in well with their plans to make some modest changes to the i-SITE frontage. “It is a timely move and we certainly see them as a great tenant for that space.” Mr Taylor says they have plans for the Princes Street site once it is vacated and they hope to announce those in the not too distant future.
█ The i-SITE New Zealand visitor centres are the official visitor information network. The brand is owned and managed by Tourism New Zealand.
█ Dunedin i-SITE is 50% funded by the DCC with the other 50% being funded from the i-SITE’s revenue generating activities. Currently the i-SITE receives approximately 300,000 visitors each year, 62% of which is foot traffic, and generates $475,000 in revenue. 81% of product sold is for local Dunedin operators. The visitor satisfaction rating for i-SITE services is more than 95%.
Contact John Christie, Director Enterprise Dunedin on 471 8836. DCC Link
The “do minimum” option – one of five options councillors will consider – has the support of lower Octagon and lower Stuart St business owners and retailers, who have banded together to oppose any road closures.
### ODT Online Fri, 31 Oct 2014 Council cools on Octagon trial
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council may back away from trialling any ban or restriction on vehicles in the lower Octagon and lower Stuart St. Council staff are concerned rushing any “pedestrianisation” trial in the area could be costly and potentially have negative effects if it goes ahead without proper investigation. Read more
The Octagon is Dunedin’s key central public space. Its form defines the central city and the area has great historic, social, cultural and economic significance. As a consequence, the Octagon has a special place in the heart of Dunedin residents.
Looking to the future, there are a number of challenges and opportunities for managing, protecting and enhancing the Octagon. These include providing enough public space, improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists and investigating traffic use.
We also need to look at how to provide a safe environment both day and night, and how to reduce conflicts between different user groups and ensure commercial and non-commercial groups can both benefit from the area. Also to be considered is monitoring the health and future of the plane trees and appropriately recognising the historic and cultural significance of the area and its important heritage buildings. Other issues include improving urban amenity and the role of public art.
An initial concept put forward by consultants proposes a staged approach to the Octagon:
● Stage one would focus on improving pedestrian and public space in the lower Octagon within the road reserve outside existing bars, cafes and nightclubs on the northern side of the Octagon
● Stage two would focus on improving pedestrian and public space in the lower Octagon within the road reserve outside the Regent Theatre and neighbouring cafes, bars, and businesses
● Stage three would focus on the upper Octagon and the reserve area in the lower Octagon. The idea is to better link the two sections of the Octagon, maximise the area of usable public open space and views of significant heritage buildings, and look at traffic flows.
However, at this early stage no design has been chosen for any upgrade to the Octagon. The Council is keen to hear how people see the future of the Octagon and what they would like to see in the area, before launching a formal consultation process to discuss future options.
● To provide an attractive public open space in the central city
● To improve safety in and around the Octagon
● To increase room for pedestrians and make the area more vibrant and people-friendly
● To enhance opportunities for businesses around the Octagon
● To provide opportunities for a range of users, both day and night
● To provide a setting for key city events
● To respect and enhance the historical importance of the Octagon
Proposed improvements may include
● Pavement improvements
● Adjustments to road layouts
● New bins and seating
● Interactive play equipment and/or public art
● Enhanced lighting
● Street trees and planting improvements
● Cycle racks
● Project planning underway
● Consultation to be programmed
● Princes Street upgrade
● George Street upgrade
● Pocket parks
● Improvements to Queens Gardens and improved links to neighbouring tourist precinct
● Upgrade of Exchange Square
2011 concept for redevelopment of The Octagon up for debate again at last night’s Dunedin City Council CBD planning workshop:
The plan was not a proposal, and would need to be reconsidered by the council and implemented over time, but “may be able to happen”. –Kobus Mentz, Urbanismplus (Auckland)
### ODT Online Fri, 3 Oct 2014 Reimagined CBD proposals heard
By Chris Morris
Visions of a redeveloped Octagon, a more pedestrian-friendly George St and a buzzing network of free buses took centre stage at a Dunedin City Council workshop last night. The ideas flowed as about 45 people gathered at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for a second night to share their views on the future of the city’s central business district. Read more
### ODT Online Sun, 7 Sep 2014 Preparing for super-size cruise ships
Port Otago is planning simulations to see if it can handle the next generation of super-size passenger ships. Know as the Quantum class, the upcoming giant cruise ships are being built by Royal Caribbean International. Port Otago general manager Peter Brown said the cruise company had indicated it was interested in bringing the Quantum class to New Zealand ports for the 2017 season. In the next few months, Port Otago pilots would be using a computer simulation to determine whether the port could handle the Quantum class, he said. Read more
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Cruise News TV (Sydney Australia)
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 11:59 09/09/2014 Cruise ships keep dollars onboard
By John Anthony
Cruise passengers will spend less in New Zealand ports as cruise ships aim to increase revenue from onboard sales, a Canadian university professor says. Memorial University of Newfoundland Professor Ross Klein, who recently spoke at a New Zealand Tourism Research Institute seminar, said ports had unrealistic expectations for the revenue derived from cruise-ship visits. Klein has published four books and six reports for government organisations on the cruise industry. Cruise passengers would have less disposable income to spend in ports as cruise ships encouraged onboard spending, he said. Royal Caribbean Cruises announced last month a plan called the “Double-Double Program”, which aims to double 2014 earnings per share by 2017 and bring the company’s return on capital to “double-digit” percentages. Read more
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
New Cruise Ship Shuttle Stop Proposed
This item was published on 10 Sep 2014
Orange traffic cones may be a thing of the past when cruise ship shuttle buses park in the Octagon this season. The Dunedin City Council is proposing a trial for this cruise season, which starts on 8 October, which will see shuttle buses dropping off and picking up passengers on the lower, eastern side of the Octagon carriageway, rather than on the upper side.
Dunedin City Council General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Tony Avery says this option has several advantages. The lower side of the Octagon carriageway has a full canopy for shelter and a larger flat area for passengers to wait. Under the previous arrangement, orange cones were placed on the roadway to separate shuttle parking from traffic. Some people criticised this traffic management approach, saying it was visually unappealing. Under the proposed arrangement, the centre line would be moved and a 50m long bus stop for cruise shuttle buses only would be introduced on the lower Octagon side. There would be some traffic signal phase changes and right-hand turn options at either end of the carriageway would be removed.
Mr Avery says key stakeholders such as the Police, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Otago Regional Council, taxi companies, tourism operators and nearby businesses are being asked for feedback on the proposed change. Staff will review the feedback and make a decision in time for the arrival of the first cruise ship on 8 October. If the proposed change is introduced, the trial would last for the cruise ship season and be reviewed in May next year. During the trial, the DCC would monitor and assess traffic volumes and public feedback.
Cruise ship visitor numbers have almost doubled in five years to about 200,000 visitors a season. Cruise ship passengers now make up 8% of the city’s visitors. “This means cruise shuttle parking, as part of looking after our visitors, has become an important issue,” Mr Avery says.
Own Vision: Princes Street (entrance to Distinction Dunedin hotel)
Own Vision: Vogel Street
Own Vision: Octagon
Own Vision: Queens Garden 1
Own Vision: Queens Garden 2
The Central City Plan involves these projects:
(er, thanks again Spendthrift Staff)
● Warehouse Precinct Revitalisation Plan
● Central City Heritage Re-use Grants Scheme
● Street Improvements in Bond and Vogel Streets
● Making Crawford and Cumberland Street Two-way
● Queens Garden Upgrade
● Exchange Square Upgrade
● The Octagon Upgrade
● George Street Upgrade
● Princes Street and South Princes Street Upgrade
● Pocket Parks
● Improved Pedestrian and Cycle Safety in the Central City
●●●● Other Projects and Initiatives
What “Other Projects and Initiatives” ?!!
As well as specific place-based projects, the draft Central City Plan outlines other projects and initiatives relevant to the central city area:
● Investigate the location and provision of public toilets and restrooms throughout the central city in a toilet priority plan
● Design a plan for the incorporation of public art in the streetscape
● Investigate opportunities for using a range of public spaces in the central city for events as alternative/additional venues to the Octagon
● Develop a plan to improve the pedestrian experience along the routes from the campus to the ‘warehouse precinct’ (night and day)
● Investigate opportunities for more play equipment in central city spaces, such as the Library Plaza and Albion Lane
● Improve the quality of footpaths, including paving surface, furniture, trees and planting, and making them wider where possible
● Encourage building owners to add decorative lighting to highlight buildings that have heritage/ architectural values
● Improve lighting for pedestrians in some areas
● Improve processes and streamline procedures to help building owners re-use their buildings
● Work on a strategy to overcome procedural and financial barriers to revitalisation in the ‘warehouse district’
● Make District Plan changes to better reflect built form, help and promote quality development, review activity zones and activities, and protect special character in the central city and large-scale retail zone
● Prepare a development resource package telling prospective businesses about the Dunedin facilities, amenities and lifestyle
● Liaise with a building owner/developer to undertake a pilot project to help develop a creative quarter
● Consider the location of key tourist information facilities
● Investigate the desired model for a central city retail management body
● Work on a plan to encourage trucks coming from the Southern Motorway and heading to the port to follow Strathallan and Wharf Streets.
● Investigate the need for the development of a parking building in the light of the vision for a creative quarter
● Work with ORC to consider options for improving public transport flow and provision in the central city
● Assess options to improve pedestrian and cyclist connections across SH1, the railway lines and Thomas Burns Street
● Investigate the need for a transport hub for coach parking, cruise ship passenger drop-off and visitor parking, including campervans
● Improve visitor and information signage throughout the central city
● Build cycle storage facilities in strategic locations
● Undertake detailed investigation of measures need to promote the ‘Western Inner Relief Route’
● Encourage the freeholding of leasehold land.
Porter says leaders must decide which customers they are serving and then work out what are the needs of those customers that the business is a “master” at fulfilling.
“We can be pretty good at some things, but what are we going to stand out on? Customer services? Product design? Customisation? Which particular needs of that set of customers do we really want to meet and what price will we ask?”
Leaders should decide what the value proposition is and how it compares with competitors.
“Because, unless we have a unique value proposition, unless we have different answers to these questions than our competitors, then we have no strategy. We are just competing on operational effectiveness,” he says…..”
The university / rugby / stadium would do well to look at that and ask how their “marketing” lines up with that sensible advice.
Tourists and other visitors do not come here for a stadium. Some come here to watch a game, a concert. Where it is held is of little importance. When it’s what they want to see – it’s what they want to see.
Over-filling accommodation and eats and drinks venues once in a while is poor business. It’s a big boom, long bust strategy. It’s temp staff working their guts out, then days and weeks, possibly months, of having short hours and thin paydays.
Amusements as an attraction to students is likely to attract young people who are more interested in prolonged privileged adolescence than the quality of the teaching and research available. Fostering these people as bar clients is an effective way of parting them from their money, at some cost to the rest of us in terms of messy antisocial behaviour, and isn’t doing them any long-term favours. We have seen something in the drive to cater to students, that is not unlike the cynical placement of disproportionate numbers of pokies in low-income suburbs.
It comes to pass that the CBD’s most-used symbolic gathering place, The Octagon, carrying a cluster of historic buildings, the city’s public art museum, our main performance theatre (Regent), a cinema multiplex under redevelopment, shop and office buildings, the Athenaeum building on the comeback through new stewardship, the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral, the stately Municipal Chambers and Town Hall complex, the seat of local government administration (Civic Centre), and a slightly down-at-heels landscaped wide open space at the junction of surveyor Charles Kettle’s two main arterial roads (Princes/George Streets and Stuart Street), also takes a bevy of drinking bars and night spots that make a strong contribution to central city nighttime violence, disorder, and lack of public safety.
The Craft Bar homicide and the connected serious assault investigations started last weekend point up the Dunedin City Council’s lack of urban design and planning vigilance in Health and Safety matters.
This tied to recent years of lobbying by the Octagon bar owners on licensing and trading hours and conditions, sometimes tied to hosting after-match wakes for Stadium sport and events (even although major events at the stadium are tapering, as predicted), unsupported youth, gang sqirmishes, under-resourced local police, and society’s access to cut-price alcohol and its liberal use (pre-loading and regular binging) alongside other substance abuse, means the Octagon is devolving into a hell-hole of collective making – not dissimilar to what happened at Cathedral Square in Christchurch before the quakes.
What will the city council do to mitigate the situation, and how soon can we restore the space to 24/7 safety for all? Is this even possible with the cluster of ‘intemperance’ bars and no push for building owners to move to greater diversity in mixed ground floor tenanting on the lower Octagon? One way or another “Party Central” has to fold – changing the pattern of ground tiles will not suffice.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull speaks volumes when he says, at times, he does not feel comfortable near the Octagon.
ODT Editorial: Personal responsibility key (30.4.14)
Knowing Dunedin is one of the most statistically safest cities in New Zealand will bring no solace to the families involved in the tragic death of Ryan Court at the weekend. Read more
Sun, 1 Dec 2013
Perfect weather – the event went ahead as planned. The parade started at 3pm at the former BP service station, corner Regent Rd and George St, and travelled to the Octagon where free live music was provided for the crowd.
### ODT Online Mon, 2 Dec 2013 Santa parade crowd-pleaser
By Shawn McAvinue
The 78 floats ranged from a jaw-flapping dragon to referee-jumping roller-skaters and a giant albatross that bellowed Cliff Richard’s song Summer Holiday to mark the official start of the festive season. Dunedin Santa Parade Trust chairman Dean Driver said the parade was ”sensational”. Read more + Slideshow* [Captions with names of festival participants]
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Historic Athenaeum Building Sold
This item was published on 08 Apr 2013.
The Octagon Athenaeum has been sold in an agreement which provides an opportunity to meet community needs and protect the building’s historic features.
The Dunedin City Council agreed today to accept an offer from Lawrie Forbes, for a purchase price of $900,000. The offer is unconditional, with settlement on 1 May.
Mr Forbes has developed a number of historic buildings in Dunedin and was awarded the 2012 Dunedin City Council Supreme Award for Heritage Re-Use. Mr Forbes plans to earthquake strengthen the building using his company Zeal Steel and develop part of the building for an arts and culture use.
Mr Forbes also plans to place a restrictive covenant on the property title to ensure the heritage elements of the interior and exterior of the building are retained. The covenant is to be agreed between Mr Forbes and the [New Zealand] Historic Places Trust. If agreement cannot be reached on the wording of a suitable covenant within two years, this condition lapses.
Image: ODT Files
Following a December 2012 Council meeting, Colliers International were appointed as agents for the sale of the Athenaeum. A deadline treaty process began in January this year and four offers were received, ranging from $500,000 to $900,000.
Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says while Mr Forbes’ offer was the highest, the Council also took into account his plans to meet community needs by protecting the heritage of the building with a covenant and work closely with the arts and cultural sector.
“What makes Lawrie Forbes’ offer so attractive is the strategic alignment it has with the overall vision for the city. It is very much in line with the outcomes envisaged by the Central City Strategy, the Heritage Strategy and Arts and Culture Strategy which is being developed.”
In October 2007, the DCC bought the Athenaeum for $1,130,000, with the possibility of using the building in a large theatre development. The development did not proceed and so the decision was made to sell the property.
The purchase price will leave the DCC with an estimated debt of $100,565, which is unbudgeted and must be repaid in the current financial year. The total cost of owning the building (from 2007 to 2013), once the sale is completed, is $502,302.
On average the holding costs have been $74,000 a year and the sale means the DCC no longer has these ongoing costs, nor the risks associated with owning the property.
The Octagon Occupy (a peaceful legitimate protest) and the weekend’s North Dunedin fires (arson, threat to property, drunkenness and street fighting, threat to health and safety) are exerting pressure on the Dunedin City Council to enter meaningful – open and transparent – communication with residents and ratepayers; evidently, this should extend to the university and the police.
The protesters have won a significant victory and it will be even more difficult to move them now.
### ODT Online Wed, 9 Nov 2011 Editorial: Communication breakdown
Have the Dunedin City Council and senior police officers stopped talking to each other? After last Tuesday night’s public relations disaster when the council failed in its attempt to have trespassed protesters removed from the Octagon, the residents of Dunedin could well be forgiven for thinking sensible communication has ceased. The “Occupy Dunedin” protesters – some call them noble and brave and others bludgers and beneficiaries – pitched more than 30 tents in the upper Octagon on October 15, joining a global movement protesting corporate greed and social inequality and calling for greater protection of the environment. Read more
Facebook: Michelle Helliwell’s photos
Michelle Helliwell: Since this photo was taken, the DCC have broken and stolen our balls! (via Steve Mowat builder who contracts to them. Anyone who knows them, please advise them to return asap, as an official damage and theft complaint is underway. As members of the freeman society, our schedule of fees for damage of and removal of our property is quite expensive. Thanks.) 19 hours ago
DON’T MOVE. DON’T ACCEPT THE MARKET RESERVE. KEEP THE PROTEST CENTRAL AND HIGHLY VISIBLE . . . WHILE DUNEDIN CITY COUNCILLORS CONTINUE TO SELL OUR FUTURE DOWN THE TUBES.
### ODT Online Fri, 21 Oct 2011 Occupy protesters offered other site
By David Loughrey
Protesters in the Octagon have been offered an alternative site at the Market Reserve in Dunedin, a move Mayor Dave Cull said was designed to return the Octagon to all city residents. Mr Cull last night said council chief executive Paul Orders had organised a staff member to pass on the message to the group yesterday afternoon. The protesters had been invited to the council today to speak to Mr Orders, and give their response. Read more
### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Opinion Campers strike a common chord
By Simon Cunliffe
Brrrrr! Not great weather for camping. It’ll soon be a bog up there in the Octagon – where the good folk of the “Occupy Dunedin” movement have parked their tents. Can’t imagine they’ll want to stay long in this sort of weather but one or two of them seem determined to remain. There’s been a bit of a squabble over statutes governing occupation of the site. It’s been said a 19th-century bylaw allowing immigrants en route to the Central Otago goldfields to squat temporarily in the city centre is still in force. A neat irony that: it’s a gold rush of a different kind this mob have set up shop to condemn. Their focus is corporate greed, social inequality, free-market economics and environmental issues, much of which they would undoubtedly argue arises from the unfettered accumulation of the aforementioned “gold”. And, interestingly, it’s an echo that has been witnessed in large-scale demonstrations across the world. Read more
• Simon Cunliffe is deputy editor (news) at the Otago Daily Times.
### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011 Spirit of protest not dampened by rain
By John Lewis
Anti-capitalism protesters are yet to decide how long they intend to stay in the Octagon, but the Dunedin City Council is going out of its way not to put pressure on the group to respond to its request for a timeline. Read more
### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Opinion Importance of sharing our common wealth forgotten
By Alison MacTavish
The Rugby World Cup has predictably given rise to plenty of discussions about whether rugby is our national religion, or about its importance to our national identity. Election proposals that run counter to the more fundamental values of being a New Zealander, however, have attracted far less discussion.
John Key and his Government have said they will take re-election as a mandate for selling our assets. With most New Zealanders reportedly against asset sales, but with the National Party odds on to form the next government, the danger is that a vote for the National Party will be a vote for asset sales. And, of course, the National Government prefers to focus on how we can divvy up the spoils, rather than discussing the fundamental social justice issue.
Initially, did Ngai Tahu (Kai Tahu) get turned down for Dunedin City Council project funding towards the Haka Peep Show (‘black penis’), now resplendent in the Octagon?
Did Ngai Tahu then come back to DCC saying, more or less, that if DCC didn’t front up with the $50,000 then Council wouldn’t get any co-operation from the tribe with resource consents, etc?
No! This didn’t happen. In any case, the minutes of the Art in Public Places subcommittee (if released), or those of the Community Development Committee (which turned down the APP’s $100,000 funding request) wouldn’t be so specific as to the politics, surely?
No. No. No. A vile rumour, completely fictitious.
Not the way we do things in Dunedin!
### ODT Online Tue, 20 Sep 2011 Councillors join Ngai Tahu working party
By David Loughrey
Dunedin city councillors Fliss Butcher and Jinty MacTavish have joined a working party that will find “opportunities and mechanisms” for Ngai Tahu to contribute to the city’s decision making. Read more
ODT columnist Dave Cannan has been asking questions about the artwork. In today’s ‘The Wash’ (ODT, 21.9.11) he says, “The cost of Rachael Rakena’s much-discussed installation is “in the vicinity of $115,000″, although some accounts are still being finalised.”
### ODT Online Tue, 19 Apr 2011 New home for visitor centre
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s iSite visitor centre is about to move, but it will not be returning to its old home in the Municipal Chambers. Its move to a new home at 26 Princes St, next door to its current position, will allow the city’s Community Gallery to move back to its original Princes St premises. A report to yesterday’s finance, strategy and development committee by assistant city property manager Rhonda Abercrombie said the cost of the move back to the Municipal Chambers would be up to $80,000. Read more