Tag Archives: Property

City Property . . . .

### ODT Online Sat, 10 Jun 2017
Property boss quits
By Chris Morris
The man in charge of the Dunedin City Council’s multimillion-dollar property portfolio has quit following a review by independent auditor Deloitte. [A] Council spokesman ….yesterday confirmed city property manager Kevin Taylor resigned last week. [DCC] responding to Otago Daily Times questions by email, declined to say what Deloitte’s review had found, insisting the final report was “still being considered”. The development came three months after the ODT reported the department responsible for property worth hundreds of millions of dollars was being reviewed ….The role was expected to change in future, with a “specific focus” on community and civic properties ….Mr Taylor’s departure was the latest upheaval for the city property department, following the departure of former city property manager Robert Clark in 2014, and his assistant manager, Rhonda Abercrombie, the following year.
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### ODT Online Fri, 10 Mar 2017
Council’s property department under review
By Chris Morris
The performance of the Dunedin City Council’s city property department is under the scrutiny of an independent auditor. It was confirmed yesterday Deloitte had been called in to examine the department responsible for property worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It is understood the review’s focus was on the department’s performance, and any suggestion of impropriety has been ruled out. Deloitte has been brought in to provide extra resources for the review, but city property manager Kevin Taylor has been replaced in the day-to-day running of the department.
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### ODT Online Tue, 15 Sep 2015
Property manager quits DCC
By Chris Morris
Dunedin City Council manager Rhonda Abercrombie has resigned abruptly, but nobody is prepared to say why. Mrs Abercrombie, the council’s assistant city property manager, handed in her notice last week but was no longer working at the council’s Civic Centre building.
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### ODT Online Tue, 29 Apr 2014
Quick exit for another DCC senior manager
By Debbie Porteous
Another senior manager is to have a quick exit from the Dunedin City Council after the announcement yesterday of his departure. Economic development and property group manager Robert Clark will clear his desk on Friday. He is returning to the commercial sector after six years with the council. Mr Clark’s withdrawal from the organisation comes after a proposal was circulated to staff last month in which his position was effectively disestablished, his responsibilities split between new positions to be created under a new council operating structure. The structure was developed by chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose in a review of the council’s property and economic development operations.
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Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Manager Economic Development and Property moving on

This item was published on 28 Apr 2014
The Dunedin City Council’s Group Manager Economic Development and Property Robert Clark is leaving the organisation after six years to return to the commercial sector. General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Tony Avery says Mr Clark’s last day at the DCC will be on Friday, although he will continue to do transitional consulting work in the coming months on some significant projects.
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For some weeks, independently of today’s news, the Dunedin grapevine has been rattling (autumn leaves) with tales of the missing City Property reserves, worth millions.

WHAT, you say. Noooooo.

Let’s hope our elected representatives are onto it.
Historical, it appears.

Thus the shadow boxing about town: raising all the circular questions of who and how, historically.

New blood to a system is supposed to flush out nasties, this takes hard analysis of past annual reports and investments, and of ‘figures’ present and correct —or not. Anything strange or unseemly, a mere whiff of stray fur, should be swiftly signalled to the chief executive for immediate independent audit, especially if to do with a property division.

The age-old question for local government continues to be: if you’re not a business person, how do you smell rats in your balance sheets and upon whom do you rely for sound advice, internally and externally, for the health and solid whereabouts of your ratepayer funds and assets. Indeed, without this staunch critical oversight how on earth can a council operate or even run its companies.

And how do you screen applicants; and monitor job performance.
Without great gaping holes in the cheese and skirtings, People!

[pennlive.com]

Related Post and Comments:
A selection only. Some comments or links to related posts under these post titles are very telling in the collective sense.
26.2.17 No news : Appointment of Group CFO
14.2.17 DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
9.9.16 Calvert on DCC, ‘We could have a much more democratic and transparent operation of council’
12.8.16 DCC trifecta : openness, transparency, accountability —All dead?
10.6.16 g’bye & ’ello [GCFO resigns]
3.12.15 DCC factory crew issues, ELT, CEO….
16.11.15 DCC operating deficit $1M worse than budget
6.11.15 DCC non compos mentis
8.9.15 DCC Citifleet: Council steered off SFO investigation
17.3.15 DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?
23.2.15 Wall Street Mall drops glazing panel to George Street
29.12.14 DCC gets QLDC talent…. the weft and warp deviously weaves
18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet
18.9.14 DCC considers sale of “149 properties”
15.9.14 Cull’s council spent the cash
11.9.14 DCTL: New treasury manager
8.9.14 Jim Harland and the stadium MESS
1.9.14 DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
22.8.14 DCC: Deloitte report referred to the police #Citifleet
31.7.14 DCC: Services and development #staffappointment
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . .
28.12.13 Sue Bidrose, DCC chief executive
18.11.13 DCC: New chief executive
24.9.13 DCC chief executive Paul Orders recommended for Cardiff
14.10.13 DCC: New chief financial officer
7.9.13 Stadium: $266 million, more or less?
2.8.13 DCC, Stadium —sorry picture
24.7.13 DCC / DCHL shake up !!!
4.7.13 Carisbrook: DCC losses
25.5.13 Paul Orders: Dunedin or Cardiff ???
11.5.13 Stadium: Truth, usual whitewash or prosecution ?
21.3.13 DCC: Opportunity created by Stephens’ departure
20.11.12 Dunedin City Council vs Anzide Properties decision: The road “has no legal basis”
31.10.12 Dunedin City Council – all reports posted, belatedly!
26.10.12 DCHL borrowed $23 million to bail DCC
22.8.12 Mr Orders, sir! About your staff expertise…
9.6.12 City Property to compete more obviously in the market (their excuse: PPP)
4.5.12 Who was it – Malcolm Farry? Peter Brown?…
9.11.11 Paul Orders for change!
17.9.11 Paul Orders starts Monday
19.5.11 Information received today
29.12.10 Jim Harland
29.10.10 DCC Chief Executive resigns – timing is everything!
16.8.10 Dunedin City Council security for borrowings
29.7.10 Dunedin social housing
12.6.10 DCC Media Release – CEO salary and performance
18.5.09 Mayor Peter Chin: ‘not about social housing’

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

10 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Health & Safety, Heritage, Housing, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Travesty

DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Readers 

We are at an interesting time in our local history. Your correspondent like hundreds of others was busy cleaning up yesterday, after what NIWA described as a fairly standard thunderstorm where just 13.6mm of rain fell. 

Also like hundreds of others no doubt, the question in the mind of your correspondent as he dutifully mopped, was : What is the next public asset to be exposed as poorly run, badly maintained and starved of funds ? 

Never before have the executive few lied so comprehensively about the true state of so much degraded public asset. Never before has so much public asset been destroyed by the actions of those few, as Winston might have said. 

Economists your correspondent is familiar with would call this the “tragedy of the commons”. We await the “macro-prudential” responses from Central Government. With the stupefying level of underfunding for DCC drainage and other underground services identified by the Auditor-General, coupled with Aurora Energy’s $1B deferred maintenance and capital work, plus the existing DCC debt, there is around $3B that will need to be extracted from ratepayers and power consumers over the next 30 years (see the Dunedin City Council Infrastructure Strategy). Dunedin has achieved its dream as a world leading small city – of debt per ratepayer. Dunedin will be broke beyond comprehension with the policy of 3% annual rises. The 3% limit is a mirage. Rate rises will be much, much more. Not this year, but quite possibly before the next election; if this council does not address the looming crisis there is the increasing possibility of the removal of the council and appointment of a commissioner. 

It seems that every week brings some fresh disaster or new development that the DCC attempts to cover up. 

Yesterday was a small but telling episode. David Loughrey of the Otago Daily Times kindly confirmed what your correspondent mentioned some months ago, that the DCC had terminated the services of Logic FM because the company would not look the other way while the DCC wilfully failed to fix hundreds of obvious fire rating defects at two of their major assets. 

Mr Kevin Taylor wrote that the council [fired] Logic because the company had been “interpreting code compliance…..beyond that required by the law”. Logic publicly scoffed at this saying – correctly – that the code is “relatively black and white”. 

What actually happened is that as well as the uncompleted fire penetrations, there is a case of simple DCC incompetence, which was only hinted at by infrastructure networks general manager Ruth Stokes in the ODT article. Here are the facts : The Wall Street mall required daily inspections of certain of its building safety systems. The DCC did not want to pay outside consultants to do this work. Fair enough, said Logic, we will train your staff to inspect the systems and they will then sign off a daily inspection sheet, which Logic as the IQP (Independent Qualified Person) need to sight every month. 

wall-street-mall-interior-teamarchitects-co-nz[teamarchitects.co.nz]wall-street-mall-logo-1wall-street-mall-exterior-wallstreetmall-nz-1

Month after month, the monthly reports could not be signed off because no one had completed the daily sign-off sheets. There were offers of more training to the apparently mule-like staff responsible but City Property could not be bothered to do it properly —and thought they could get away with not doing these daily inspections by appointing another more compliant IQP in-house and seeking cover with a further fire report by Beca. 

It is very relevant that after sacking Logic FM, and commissioning the report from Beca, DCC refused to provide a copy of the Beca report to Logic. Logic had asked repeatedly for the report to see what the alleged areas of “over compliance” were. 

It is ‘madeira cake to margarine sandwiches’ that there were no areas of over compliance, and but for Elizabeth Kerr’s LGOIMA request and latterly, the ODT, City Property may well have gotten away with inaccuracies! 

As it is, your correspondent sees only static for Mr Taylor in the DCC crystal ball. He is merely the latest in a line of unlamented DCC property managers, including Robert “Hydraulic” Clark, and Dave McKenzie.

Ruth Stokes also needs to very careful about stepping into this mess – and dissembling to protect Mr Taylor. Stating that “things could have gone a bit better, but they’ve all been addressed” does not fool anyone. Mr Taylor may have have fantasised to Ms Stokes that “all” the fire rating faults were fixed but remember your correspondent advised there were hundreds of faults, not just a few faults in one single wall as has been pretended. There is no way all the faults have been fixed. 

This is what Richard Healey would describe as the Delta dishonest reduction defence…. no, not a 1000 dangerous poles without red tags, but perhaps there are just a few…. and now we learn on that fiasco, that the ‘new’ Delta plan, unannounced to the region’s mayors, is that they can be magically restored to full strength by yet another re-classification.

Chief executive Sue Bidrose started her tenure with a promise of greater transparency and openness (read “honesty”) that was sorely needed. There was some early progress, but the transparency project appears a priority no more.

With the financial storm clouds assembling over the DCC that the chief executive cannot fail to be aware of, some honesty about the actual costs the DCC faces over the next decade is needed. It ranges from the small – just how much will it take to fix Wall Street mall to the $1B existential Aurora problem. The CEO and her staff have been invisible on this critical issue, instead producing reports of risible fantasy such as last year’s effort that valued Delta at over $50M, and Aurora at over $200M. Facing up to an austere decade is the only way that Dr Bidrose and Councillors will avoid having their careers and reputations destroyed by the appointment of a commissioner. 

[ends]

Council Documents:
DCC Infrastructure Strategy
DCC Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25
Audit Opinion – Independent auditor’s report on Dunedin City Council’s 2015-25 Long‑Term Plan. Author: Ian Lothian, Audit New Zealand on behalf of the Auditor‑General, Dunedin NZ.

ODT Stories:
14.2.17 Councils, Aurora poles apart on ‘removing risk’ definition
13.2.17 Without warrants for years
11.2.17 Aurora affected by pole, staff shortages
8.2.17 Action by Delta decried
29.12.16 Director for $30m pole project
2.12.16 Resignation blow to pole work

Related Posts and Comments:
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
30.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 7 : Kyle Cameron —The Money or the Bag?

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *wall street mall*, *richard healey*, *steve thompson*, *dchl*, *epicfail*, *epicpowerfail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images by Parker Warburton Team Architects

17 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Travesty, What stadium

Hamilton Mayor has it right —DCC has lost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars

The misuse of public funds at Dunedin is far from being over……

Received Sun, 8 Jan 2017 at 5:21 p.m.

hcc

Questions mount over Hamilton City Council’s commercial nous. By comparison, how does Dunedin City Council stack up ?

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:03, Jan 6 2017
Business: Property
Hamilton City Council urged to stay away from property ‘gambling’
By Aaron Leaman
….Hamilton Mayor Andrew King said the city council has a poor record when it comes to commercial property deals. And he doesn’t want any more ratepayer money risked on commercial developments. Records obtained under the Official Information Act show the Hamilton City Council has taken a multimillion-dollar hit on a raft of property deals dating back to the mid-1990s. The council incurred heavy losses after selling properties at well below their purchase price.
….In 2017, city councillors will consider restoring the council’s property development company, Hamilton Properties Ltd, after an almost 20-year hiatus. Last term, the council voted to transfer the city’s municipal and domain endowment funds, valued about $52 million, to the council-controlled organisation. The decision can be overturned by the new council. Hamilton Properties Ltd was set up in 1989 and retired in 1998 after developing a host of commercial and community sites, including the BNZ building and Novotel Hamilton Tainui in the central city.
….King said the council should enable developers and investors to risk their money to build Hamilton. “We’ve got $50 million sitting in these funds and I think the proposal to give it to Hamilton Properties Ltd is very, very scary, in my opinion,” King said. “It’s not our job as councillors to risk ratepayers’ money and go into competition against others. The record clearly shows that we are way out of our depth. We’re not specialists in this field and anything council does seems to cost twice as much as what the specialists in the field can do it for.” King’s views, however, are at odds with senior council staff, who have defended the city’s investment nous.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Media, New Zealand, OCA, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Dunedin Law Courts | ODT editorial

Dunedin Law Courts IMG_0193 a2 EJ Kerr 13.5.15

The Dunedin courthouse is one of the city’s finest historic buildings, and part of a heritage cluster impossible to match anywhere in this country.

We await an “unequivocal commitment” from the Government to return court services to their Dunedin home.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 Sep 2015
Editorial: ‘Nonsense’ courthouse costs
OPINION Really? Would earthquake strengthening of Dunedin’s courthouse really cost more than $15million as officials claim? Or is this another example where supposed post-earthquake costs are used as an excuse? Or can the Government simply not design and commission building work for reasonable prices? There is probably a bit of both.
Read more

Dunedin structural engineer Stephen Macknight called the Government’s $15million strengthening figure “absolutely ridiculous”.

Director of Dunedin construction company Lund South, Russell Lund, said his experience suggested the $15million figure was “just not even credible”.

### ODT Online Sat, 19 Sep 2015
$15m bill for court rejected
By Craig Borley
Dunedin engineers and construction experts have rubbished the Government’s claims the city’s historic courthouse needs earthquake strengthening work worth more than $15 million. […] Lou Robinson, director of Hadley Robinson Engineering, said he knew the courthouse intimately after being involved in the 2002 work on the complex. He estimated an “upper limit on strengthening of perhaps $3 million”.
Read more

Save Our Courthouse█ Website:
http://www.saveourcourthouse.nz

█ Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/SaveOurCourthouse

█ Petition to Justice Minister Amy Adams:
http://bit.ly/1FlZIWy (via Avaaz platform)

Related Posts and Comments:
7.9.15 Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Post and image (2015) by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL

BAD UTTERLY BALD moral decrepitude —roll on corruption/rorts/rorters Delta, Luggate/Jacks Point, Noble Village, Carisbrook Stadium, Otago Rugby Football Union, Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust, Town Hall Redevelopment, Wall Street, High Performance Sport NZ, Taieri Community Facilities Trust, et al.

In future, property matters could be referred to the new board of Dunedin Venues Ltd, the company which owned the stadium building.

The group would advise council on its $89million investment property portfolio, including Wall Street mall, although council would still make final decisions about the portfolio’s future.

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Sep 2015
Wider advisory role mooted for stadium board
By Chris Morris
A new board being recruited to oversee Forsyth Barr Stadium’s physical requirements could also advise the Dunedin City Council on its $89 million investment property portfolio, it has been suggested. Council staff have been referring significant property matters to the full council in recent years, after an earlier property subcommittee lapsed after the last local body elections in 2013. But a council staff report, to be considered at today’s full council meeting, suggested that could be about to change.
Read more

Report – Council – 21/09/2015 (PDF, 118.9 KB)
Proposal for new Property Governance Arrangements (Sandy! wth ?)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Business, Carisbrook, Construction, CST, DCC, Economics, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

NZ Herald plays up Bezett story! #nationalnews

Received.

Screenshot_2015-06-29-10-47-55[screenshot – NZ Herald 29.6.15]

A Dunedin resident is threatening legal action against a city councillor amid claims of bullying in a neighbourhood dispute. Steve Hawkins says councillor John Bezett told him to “be prepared to catch the bus” after using his Toyota Rav4 to block the Hawkins’ cars into their Portobello Rd driveway.
NZ Herald Link

Source: Otago Daily Times

█ DCC Profile: Cr John Bezett

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

7 Comments

Filed under DCC, Democracy, Fun, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Property

DCC: Natural Hazards

Abbotsford landslide 1979 (GNS Science, Dunedin) via ORCMass movement (landslide) hazard, Abbotsford 1979 (GNS Science, Dunedin)

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Natural Hazards Approach Being Revised

This item was published on 10 Apr 2015

The Dunedin City Council is responding to community concerns and revising its planned approach to managing natural hazards such as landslides, flooding and sea level rise.

Following public feedback from consultation carried out from June to September last year, the planned approach now has greater provision for flexible case-by-case assessment. This would apply where the level of risk is more uncertain or variable. In areas where risk is lower, there would also be opportunities to manage risk through measures such as minimum floor levels.

A technical assessment of the risks posed by natural hazards was prepared by the Otago Regional Council. DCC staff used this to develop a proposed approach for managing land use and development in at-risk areas. This approach, or preferred option, sees natural hazards managed through a set of hazard overlay zones.

Rules attached to the hazard overlays set out what activities and development would be permitted, the standards for some types of development and what may be assessed on a case-by-case basis through resource consent. Under the original proposal, approximately 8600 of Dunedin’s about 46,600 houses in residential zones were affected in one way or another by the proposed overlay zones.

DCC City Development Policy Planner Sally Dicey says the preferred option is still to manage natural hazards through hazard overlay zones. However, following submissions from 184 individuals and organisations, a peer review of a flood risk assessment and discussions with experts in the natural hazards and risk management fields, a revised approach is being developed.

Feedback highlighted the difficulties in limiting development where there was uncertainty around assessments of natural hazard risk, due to limited data, variations in and changes to topography, and site specific factors.

“Allowing for more case-by-case assessment provides greater opportunities to take site specific factors into account. Where the risk from a natural hazard is lower, mitigation measures will be required. These are likely to include higher floor levels for houses or requiring homes to be relocatable.”
–Sally Dicey, City Development Policy Planner

Developed areas within dune systems have been removed from what was originally proposed to be the extreme hazard overlay. This is because there is a lack of information about how erosion might occur over the next 100 years along our coastline. These areas are likely to be the subject of future studies and may be included in mapped hazard areas in the future. A strict management approach has been limited to areas where there is a high degree of certainty about the risk from natural hazards. Prohibited areas are no longer proposed.

“This is a sensible and practical response to balancing the known risks we all face and the concerns of the community. Staff should be congratulated both for the thorough way they have researched and prepared these documents and for responding in this way to the matters raised at public meetings and in submissions.”
–Cr David Benson-Pope, Planning and Regulatory Committee

Ms Dicey says it’s important to remember the proposed changes mainly affect new development. In general, existing activities will carry on as usual.

Hazard overlay zones are proposed for floodplains, low-lying coastal communities and hills prone to landslides. This includes areas such as Brighton, Karitane, Macandrew Bay, Waikouaiti, Waitati and parts of the Taieri Plain.

The Dunedin City Council is preparing a new District Plan, the second generation District Plan (2GP). The ultimate goal of the Plan is the sustainable management of Dunedin’s natural and physical resources. Under the Resource Management Act, the DCC is responsible for managing land use to avoid or mitigate the effects of natural hazards. The DCC is also required to consider the effects of climate change and keep a record of natural hazards. The District Plan is scheduled to be publicly notified in September. The revised approach to natural hazards will be released as part of that consultation process. That will give people an opportunity to raise any remaining issues or concerns on the revised approach.

█ A report summarising the feedback received last year on the preferred approach to natural hazards is available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/2gp

Contact Sally Dicey, Policy Planner on 03 477 4000. DCC Link

Related Post and Comments:
10.12.13 ORC restructures directorates
30.7.12 ORC on hazard risks and land use controls
24.8.09 1. STS response – appeal. 2. Coastal protection – comments

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under #eqnz, Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, New Zealand, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium