Tag Archives: Rich and Poor

Garrick Tremain GOLD #housing

23 May 2017

In a statement provided to the Otago Daily Times Mr  Cull said it was not the council’s place to lead discussions, but it would be happy to take part in  Government-led discussions.

### ODT Online Sat, 20 May 2017
Affordable housing hitch
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has declined a request from local MPs and social agencies for the Dunedin City Council to lead a crisis meeting over a lack of affordable housing. This comes as a group of social agencies, including the Salvation Army and Presbyterian Support, agreed to a statement saying the situation was reaching or had reached “crisis point”. The group said rising rents were making it hard and sometimes impossible for people on low incomes  to find affordable rental properties. “We are seeing a trend of landlords ending and not renewing leases, which forces tenants into a rental market they often cannot afford.” Waiting lists for social housing were growing and more families were living in cars and garages or being put up in motels while they waited for social housing. The group, led by Dunedin South MP Clare Curran, called on the council to co-ordinate a city meeting focused on identifying the problems and finding short-term solutions. “We believe the Dunedin City Council can play a strong role given it provides social housing and that housing quality and availability is an objective of its social wellbeing strategy.” They also believed the  Government was not doing enough to remedy the problem and that it should be involved in finding a local solution to the problem.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: An idea promoted by the mayor: relocatables for managed retreat [Shadow Man 2013 – Matakishi’s tea house (detail) via matakishi.com]

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Technology, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

DCC: Forensics for kids

Crime scene - forensic animation 09 - Tim McGarvey [tmba.tv] 11

Fairfax Media has obtained Audit NZ letters of management to the DCC from 2005 to 2012, released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The letters show that in the years 2007-2010 auditors consistently urged the DCC to tighten up its risk-management policies and processes.

Audit NZ expressed concern over what it indicated could be inadequate controls over several internal processes, including verifying signatures of those authorised to sign invoices and purchase orders, independent review of creditor files, and controls of sensitive areas such as sale of council assets to staff. (Fairfax)

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 08:17 26/08/2014
Dunedin council officers ‘not kids’
By Wilma McCorkindale
The Dunedin City Council (DCC) appears to have ignored calls by Audit New Zealand to improve its risk and fraud processes, saying its officers were “supposedly people with integrity … not kids”.

The DCC revealed in June it was investigating a suspected major fraud within its Citifleet unit. The fraud was suspected to have been carried out over a decade. Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop died suddenly in May. His death has been referred to the coroner. Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said the alleged fraud of $1.5 million included alleged illegal transactions resulting in the loss of profits from the sale of 123 council fleet vehicles. The findings have been passed to the Dunedin police for further investigation.

Fairfax Media has obtained Audit NZ letters of management to the DCC from 2005 to 2012, released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The letters show that in the years 2007-2010 auditors consistently urged the DCC to tighten up its risk-management policies and processes. It appears Audit NZ was compelled to repeat similar advice over the period and noted the DCC met only minimum requirements.

Council managers’ response to the Audit NZ findings in 2010 was to say the council had considered creating an audit and risk committee but concluded its finance and strategy committee adequately performed the role. In December 2010 Audit NZ raised the issue of reviews of areas “susceptible to fraud”, but management commented that specific audits in the “most sensitive areas” had found “no transactions of concern or deficiencies in controls”.
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Crime scene - forensic [scottthornbury.wordpress.com] 2b

Five council staff were involved in “employment processes”, with some facing the prospect of losing their jobs, the ODT understands.

[Irony] Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule yesterday told the ODT the “mind-boggling” alleged fraud was the biggest involving a local authority he could recall.

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Aug 2014
Council overlooked audit advice
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull concedes a chance to detect the alleged $1.5 million Citifleet fraud may have been missed, after the council twice overlooked advice from Audit New Zealand. The revelation came in Audit New Zealand’s annual reports to the council, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, which highlighted gaps in council processes dating back to 2003. […] The findings have triggered finger-pointing between past and present council staff, councillors and Audit NZ, but council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said responsibility for failing to detect the alleged fraud rested with the council.
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Related Posts and Comments:
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
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
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images (tweaked by whatifdunedin): tmba.tv – Tim McGarvey: 3D forensic animation (TMBA Inc. Animation Studio, New York City); scottthornbury.wordpress.com – F is for forensics (illustration by Quentin Blake, from Broughton, G. (1968) Success With English. Harmondsworth: Penguin)

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Filed under Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, CST, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)

The ten powerslides presented by DCC group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie, as discussed at the public finance forum held earlier this month are available for download (see PDF below).

Finance - top secret (yahoofinance at facebook) 1Figures might be, but the forum was advertised….

Public notices advertising the forum and the warm invitation extended by Cr Richard Thomson, chair of the Finance Committee, were unfortunately met with low attendance on the night. Few of the well-known vocal commentators on DCC’s financial position, or indeed, leaders of the Otago Chamber of Commerce, bothered to show. Those individuals lose a measure of credibility. Where were all the beleaguered ratepayers and residents? The local ‘interested’ accountants, economists, board directors, investors, and successful business people? Their apologies? Has everybody drowned with rising sea levels or been knocked from their bikes on the one-way? Blame Dave Cull.

Rob Hamlin and ‘JimmyJones’ did make the effort to be there, solidly plying their observations and questions in debate. Other members of the public also engaged. We didn’t hear the names of people who forwarded questions prior to the meeting, or what their questions were. Notwithstanding, the slides are the Council’s attempt to respond to issues commonly raised, in summary.

Finance your next car (goodcars.co.nz)The first public finance forum was held on 27 November 2013. The second on 12 August was an opportunity to hear Grant McKenzie who arrived at the Council in January. He proves to be approachable, mild-humoured and self-effacing. Grant explores the expanded GCFO role ably supported by senior finance staff; his already onerous duties include the overlay of current fraud investigations, new systems for accountability and risk management, as well as the stadium review (due in September).

[click slides to enlarge – scanned from forum handout]

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DCC Finance Forum (powerslides 1-10) (PDF, 18.6 MB)

For more information on DCC, enter the terms *finance*, *dcc*, *dchl*, *delta*, *cst* *dvml* or *stadium* in the search box at right.

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Other Reading – link supplied by Calvin Oaten
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 at 12:08 p.m.

Finance (nzvf.co.nz)

An interconnected world was meant to reduce inequality – but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

### blogs.telegraph.co.uk August 22, 2014 13:18
Finance
Nobel gurus fear globalisation is going horribly wrong (technical)
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
David Ricardo’s Theory of Comparative Advantage has broken down after 200 years, or so I learned at the Lindau forum of Nobel laureates in Bavaria. The theory published in 1817 has been a guiding principle of free trade, taken as a given by every student of economics in the modern era. It has served us well, but just as Newton’s theories ran into limits and were overtaken by Einstein’s relativity, comparative advantage no longer explains the world. Under Ricardo’s model, inequality was supposed to narrow within countries as globalisation accelerated exponentially in the Nineties. Instead it is getting wider. The Gini coefficient measuring the spread between rich and poor is narrowing between countries, but is widening almost everywhere within countries, leading to a corrosive concentration….
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● Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has covered world politics and economics for 30 years, based in Europe, the US, and Latin America. He joined the Telegraph in 1991, serving as Washington correspondent and later Europe correspondent in Brussels. He is now International Business Editor in London.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (from the top) Facebook – yahoofinance (advert); goodcars.co.nz – Finance your next car (advert); nzvf.co.nz – New Zealand Vehicle Finance (advert)

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Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Highlanders, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

‘Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising’

The gap between New Zealand’s rich and poor is growing faster than any other developed nation, a new OECD report shows.

### 3news.co.nz Tue, 06 Dec 2011 12:48p.m.
Rich, poor gap growing fast
The report, called Divided We Stand, charts the widening gap between the top 10 per cent wealthiest residents and the poorest 10 per cent. The richest Kiwis now claim an income 10 times that of the poorest residents. This is considerably less than the huge margin seen in the worst countries Brazil, Russia, China and India where the wealthy earn 50 times more, but New Zealand won the dubious honour of the gap widening the fastest. On an inequality index called the Gini coefficient, where zero means everybody has the same income and one means the richest person has all the income, New Zealand scored 0.33. This is up six percentage points from 1985, when it scored 0.27, constituting the biggest jump of any OECD country.
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### freshbusinessthinking.com 05/12/2011
Divided we stand: rich-poor gap hits 30 year high
By Maximilian Clarke
The richest 10% of OECD member states own 9 times more than the poorest 10%- the highest income disparity for more than 30 years. A new report by the Paris-based OECD (the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) entitled Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising urges governments to act quickly to prevent the growing discord between the haves and have-nots, which – particularly during times of economic decline – can fuel political instability.
The main driver behind rising income gaps has been greater inequality in wages and salaries, as the high-skilled have benefitted more from technological progress than the low-skilled. Reforms to boost competition and to make labour markets more adaptable, for example by promoting part-time work or more flexible hours, have promoted productivity and brought more people into work, especially women and low-paid workers. But the rise in part-time and low-paid work also extended the wage gap.
Tax and benefit systems play a major role in reducing market-driven inequality, but have become less effective at redistributing income since the mid-1990s. The main reason lies on the benefits side: benefits levels fell in nearly all OECD countries, eligibility rules were tightened to contain spending on social protection, and transfers to the poorest failed to keep pace with earnings growth.
The income gap has risen even in traditionally egalitarian countries, such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, from 5 to 1 in the 1980s to 6 to 1 today. The gap is 10 to 1 in Italy, Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom, and higher still, at 14 to 1 in Israel, Turkey and the United States. In Chile and Mexico, the incomes of the richest are still more than 25 times those of the poorest, the highest in the OECD, but have finally started dropping.
Income inequality is much higher in some major emerging economies outside the OECD area. At 50 to 1, Brazil’s income gap remains much higher than in many other countries, although it has been falling significantly over the past decade. FBT Link

OECD Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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