The misuse of public funds at Dunedin is far from being over……
Received Sun, 8 Jan 2017 at 5:21 p.m.
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
One of the reasons applicants will seek positions in Tauranga (and not Dunedin) is the greater efficiency of the Tauranga local administration where Tauranga has less than half of the council employees, Dunedin ratepayers support.
Tauranga does not have an expensive indoor stadium (and it rains just as much), it does not have a $50 million overspend on council buildings, no Chinese garden, no Toitu museum.
Is it possible or even likely that Dunedin council has got the reasons for living in a city completely wrong.
New entrants want well organised RUBBISH collections, good management of water, waste water and SEWAGE.
They apparently do not want hare-brained schemes, and they don’t need mantra promising 10,000 more jobs, they are getting them due to increased population and an absence of stupid council schemes.
The only jarring note is that Tauranga is actioning 150km of cycleways. But my take on that is the cycleways are a National government pushed scheme and probably all of the cities are developing cycleways at our expense. What this means of course is that no city will have a cycling point of difference and therefore tourist numbers will be hardly likely to increase simply because of cycleways at ANY location. After all how many cyclists do you see on our cycleways. Apart from the rail trail (a genuine cycle path), the rest of them have SFA, bugger all, None basically.
Ah, Mr Coryn Huddy still has a top paying job after slinging a gun while drunk at Fubar Stadium, then losing it. Thanks Terry Davies for using our Rates to pay freaking idiots. See other references at What if? Dunedin. Why were the police never called by DVML management? —the firearm incident happened prior to Terry Davies’ arrival as chief executive.
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
New cycleway/walkway officially opened
This item was published on 06 Oct 2015
Dunedin City Council today officially opened the new cycleway and walkway linking the wharf area with the west harbour near Forsyth Barr Stadium. The walkway/cycleway completes the connection between the eastern and western parts of the harbour cycle network and also means safer and easier access for people going to the stadium. It includes well-lit shared paths across and under the State Highway 88 bridge over the Leith and connects with Wickliffe Street near the corner of Fryatt Street.
Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “The completion of this particular walkway/cycleway is an important milestone in Dunedin’s wider transport network. It ‘closes the loop’ on the harbour cycle network and also provides better connectivity and safety for a range of users.”
Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Chair Cr Kate Wilson says, “I’m very pleased to see the extension of this shared path providing better connectivity towards the centre of town from State Highway 88.” Cr Wilson says the new link will be great for families gaining confidence on bikes and she’s now looking forward to further cycleway extensions which will open up cycling over time for many more commuters and recreational riders.
The completion of the new link also has several benefits for people going to Forsyth Barr Stadium. Dunedin Venues Chief Operating Officer Coryn Huddy says, “It is now a safer journey for stadium patrons because they no longer have to cross the busy State Highway 88.” “There is also faster access to the venue with walking times reduced by around 10 minutes for people parking in the vicinity of Fryatt Street. There are potentially more car parking options available as well because other spaces near the harbour may previously have been considered too far to walk,” Mr Huddy says.
█ The new cycleway/walkway project cost a total of $440,000.
This walkway/cycleway is the final stage of completing the State Highway 88 realignment project, for which the New Zealand Transport Agency was a co-investment partner.
Contact Transport Projects Team Leader on 477 4000.
Douglas Field Published on Oct 6, 2015 cull and kate cycleway opening 6 10 15
Propaganda talk by ‘Hatter’ Cull and ‘Turkey’ Infrastructure Chair on central city cycleway link in Dunedin.
### ODT Online Tue, 6 Oct 2015 Safer way to get to stadium
A new cycleway and walkway linking Dunedin’s wharf area with the west harbour near Forsyth Barr Stadium will enable safer and easier access to the venue. The Dunedin City Council officially opened the $440,000 cycleway/walkway today, which completes the connection between the eastern and western parts of the harbour cycle network. It includes well-lit shared paths across and under the State Highway 88 bridge over the Leith, and connects with Wickliffe St near the corner of Fryatt St. Read more
Infrastructure and Networks General Manager Tony Avery resigned from Dunedin City Council on 28 August 2014, falling on his sword as a result of the Citifleet/Citipark fraud —something, the Council conveniently brushes under its carpet with ALL BLAME politically attaching (for insurance purposes) to the deceased former Citifleet manager Brent Bachop. Other council staff were clearly involved; one person alone does not dispose of 152+ cars, and related council assets. So Mr Avery, WENT…. But not really.
With all the scandal and corruption appearing, the Council supportively, extended “help” and salary repeatedly to Mr Avery, after initial news that he would work through to Christmas. Then, on Saturday 31 January the Council revealed that: “He would continue working fulltime, assisting [Ruth] Stokes and helping with the transition on key projects, until March 31, [Sue] Bidrose said.” (ODT 1.2.15).
But the latest DCC blinder:
“Tony Avery’s new gig (pun intended)
Helping Gigatown Dunedin secure sources of funding…”
Updated post 16.4.16
15.5.15 ODT: City readies to take advantage of Gigatown
Last month, [the Digital Community Trust] employed former Dunedin City Council infrastructure and networks general manager Tony Avery as interim project manager.
Council chief executive Sue Bidrose said in the statement she had “immense respect for the honourable action Tony has taken”.
### ODT Online Thu, 28 Aug 2014 Top DCC boss Tony Avery quits over Citifleet scandal
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council’s alleged Citifleet fraud has claimed another victim with the shock resignation of infrastructure and networks general manager Tony Avery. Mr Avery announced his decision to quit the council in a media statement this afternoon, saying he accepted “the management buck stops with me”. That was despite not being aware of, or involved in, the alleged fraud, or receiving information that alerted him to it, he said. Read more [comments closed, again]
● Today’s cosy news is an ODT/Ch39 exclusive – no other News Media given scoop. Tomorrow’s ODT will feature an exclusive interview with Mr Avery who says ‘he has done nothing wrong’ but he has ‘some strong things to say’ !! (ODT interview given prior to his statement, we hear)
● (Ian Telfer) RNZ News
Council manager resigns over fleet – DCC staff told this afternoon. ‘In a statement, Mr Avery said he was not involved with and did not know about the fraud, but relied on internal financial controls which let him down.’ Link (subtle dig at former CFO ?)
● (Wilma McCorkindale) Stuff via Southland Times
Dunedin council manager resigns amid fraud probe – ‘Avery, with the council since 2000, has fallen on his sword in the wake of revelation the DCC has been the victim of an alleged sizeable employee fraud within its Citifleet unit, which manages the council’s vehicle fleet.’ ‘An investigation by Deloitte was “very clear” there was nothing to indicate Avery was aware of the alleged fraud. Bidrose stressed Avery was not one of the DCC staff currently involved in employment processes resulting from the suspected activity.’ Link
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
█ The site owner reserves the right to take down or abridge any comment.
### ODT Online Fri, 11 Apr 2014 Draft budget feedback pretty good: council
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council says feedback on its draft budget has been “pretty good” despite some disappointing turnouts at public meetings in recent weeks. The council concluded a series of eight public meetings and drop-in sessions with a discussion of cycleway and road-widening work on Otago Peninsula at the Edgar Centre on Tuesday night.
Public submissions on the council’s 2014-15 draft annual plan were “flooding in now” and had reached 427 by late yesterday, council corporate planner Jane Nevill said. That was well above the 262 submissions received by the council on its 2013-14 draft budget. Read more
DRAFT DCC ANNUAL PLAN 2014/2015
The draft annual plan sets out the Council’s proposed annual budgets and performance measures for 2014/15 and updates the information for the 2014/15 year that in contained in the Council’s ten year plan or Long Term Plan (LTP) which was put in place last year.
Please tell DCC whether you agree or disagree with spending priorities for 2014/15 outlined in the draft plan by making a submission.
The consultation period is your opportunity to “Have Your Say” about what you want to see included in the Council’s plans.
Submitted on November 26, 2013 at 9:31 am
I submitted this to the ODT as an Opinion Piece following their editorial, but I have been told that it has not been selected for publication. Up to you to judge why.
“The ODT Editorial of Friday, 22nd November, 2013 headed “Stadium’s hard act to follow” is another stage in what has turned out to be a sorry chapter in Dunedin’s history.
Many residents of Dunedin were dismayed and astonished that the decision to build the new rugby stadium proceeded despite wide-spread protests and well-researched submissions detailing the experiences of other city’s decisions to build stadia which invariably had led to construction cost blow-outs, below budgeted incomes and over budgeted expenditures. As it turns out, these submitters have been proved right time and time again. What is patently obvious to all of those that have read the various reports into this project including the Larsen Report and the PWC report, the project was predicated upon counting future income as private construction costs, and assuming income levels and costs that would have resulted in an actual profit from Year one of operation.
The reality is a great deal different.
The DCC, and the ratepayers of the City, have been forced, through a complex set of financial arrangements, to provide substantial financial support by way of a payment of $7.25m per year to enable the debt to be paid off faster, a payment of $750,000 per year for “promotion of the stadium for community events”, a payment of $725,000 for other stadium debt round seats and pitch machinery, another annual $400,000 to subsidise or attract large events, and ongoing additional costs for financial advice and the like. All this on top of the huge costs for construction and the associated debt which is a very large component of the $12,000 debt owed by each and every ratepayer to the DCC. Read more
“On the eastern coast of New Zealand lies a world-first architectural icon – where 30,000 excited fans are drawn together to watch the action, be entertained, and celebrate. Welcome to Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza: New Zealand’s newest, largest and most versatile indoor events arena.”
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Facebook 22 July 2011 at 17:06
### ODT Online Wed, 20 Nov 2013 Leith walkway bridge proposed
By Rebecca Fox
The Otago Regional Council will consider funding a World War 1 commemorative walking and cycling bridge over the Water of Leith, at a possible cost of between $1 million and $2.5 million. The bridge, near Magnet St and the mouth of the Leith, would link the West Harbour cycle-walkway with a Dunedin City Council-funded extension to the inner-harbour walkway. Read more
### ODT Online Mon, 2 Sep 2013 Decision on SH88 looms
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council has until Friday to determine whether it will make a decision on the controversial designation of land for the realignment of State Highway 88 near Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium – or hand the responsibility for the decision to the Environment Court.
To opt for the latter would be a first for the council, which is both the authority requesting the land be designated, and the authority that would require it to be designated. It publicly notified the requirement for the land last month, after a previous non-notified designation was quashed by the court following the council’s admission it had not followed the proper consultation process. The new road has been built, but final measures including traffic lights have been in limbo while the designation issue is resolved.
Mr Hall has already indicated publicly he would ”fight” the proposed designation as notified because it still did not provide safe access to his property.
One of the affected landowners, Doug Hall, who is running for the DCC, took the council to court to argue the original designation was illegal because he was not notified as an affected party, and sought an injunction stopping the traffic lights from being switched on until the resolution of safety issues at that intersection and around access to his property as a result of the realigned road. Affected parties, including Mr Hall, were consulted on the new designation late last year, and again earlier this year after the notification of the requirement was delayed while negotiations with Mr Hall continued.
The council had received 13 submissions by Friday, the end of the submission period. Submitters included the University of Otago, Port Otago Ltd, the NZ Transport Agency, the Otago Regional Council and several heavy transport companies among others, but not Mr Hall, or his representatives. Read more
ODT Correction 3.9.13 (page 3):
Submissions from companies owned by Doug Hall, one of the parties affected by the realignment of State Highway 88 in Dunedin, were received by the Dunedin City Council within the statutory timeframe and will be included in the process for designating the land for realignment. The submissions from Anzide Properties Ltd, Hall Brothers Transport Ltd, and Dunedin Crane Hire (2005) Ltd were received by deadline on Friday, but were not processed until yesterday.
Fear not! More costly settlement is due.
There’s the perplexing State Highway 88 Realignment Project for Council to conclude with affected parties damaged by foul-play planning activity, and the new round of ‘proper’ designation! This will make Mr Barnett’s cheque seem like a 4% discount fuel voucher ripped from a mile-long supermarket receipt for your best ever, most hair-raising Christmas shop!
### ODT Online Tue, 27 Aug 2013 Apology, payout to developer
By Debbie Porteous
Dunedin developer Tim Barnett has received a public apology and a $200,000 payout following a lengthy battle to recover his costs after the Dunedin City Council restricted his ability to develop his harbourside property. The property, at 41 Wharf St, has since been sold to developers who are hoping to build a 27-storey hotel on it.
41 Wharf Street, Dunedin [DCC WebMap]
DCC chief executive Paul Orders yesterday apologised to Mr Barnett, of Arthur Barnett Properties, for the inconvenience caused by the council’s decision-making since 2008. The formal apology, issued by Mr Orders yesterday, read:
”Council apologises for the inconvenience, and also thanks Mr Barnett for working with council in good faith as the parties explored options over some years. Mr Barnett has a long history of commitment to the city of Dunedin. Council trusts that the good working relationship that has developed between Mr Barnett and the council over the years will continue.”
The $200,000 covers Mr Barnett’s out-of-pocket costs (just under $118,000), the interest on his costs ($41,000) and a contribution to his legal fees during his lengthy attempt to first remove the restrictions on developing the site and then recover from the council the cost of those restrictions. Read more
For more on 41 Wharf Street, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.
Doug Hall, who was informed about the designation process on Thursday, said he was going to fight the issue. ”I have no choice. It is a safety issue. Someone is going to get killed on that road.”
### ODT Online Sat, 3 Aug 2013 Hall to oppose designation
By Hamish McNeilly
Dunedin businessman Doug Hall remains defiant after the Dunedin City Council confirmed it was revisiting the designation process for an affected area of State Highway 88. Yesterday, the council announced it had lodged a notice of requirement to restart the designation process, after negotiations stalled following a botched handling of the original process.
DCC general manager infrastructure and networks Tony Avery said the section of road had not been legally designated and the council acknowledged it had made process mistakes when trying to designate it earlier.
Last year, the Otago Daily Times reported the council had spent $485,000 over 18 months to try to find a solution, and it was too early to say how much the designation process would add to the final tally. Read more
● Submissions on the notice of requirement, which is publicly notified today, close on August 30.
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Designation Process for Part of State Highway 88
This item was published on 02 Aug 2013.
The Dunedin City Council has lodged a Notice of Requirement to start afresh the designation process for the section of State Highway 88 near Anzac Avenue.
The Notice of Requirement is a formal process to have land designated as road. It will be publicly notified tomorrow.
DCC General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Tony Avery says the new section of SH88 has been in use since July 2011, but has not been legally designated. The DCC has previously acknowledged that it made process mistakes during an earlier attempt to designate the road.
Temporary traffic controls have been in place since the new section of road was opened, while the DCC negotiated with an adjacent landowner over access arrangements.
“Those negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful, despite the best intentions of all parties, so we are now proceeding with the formal legal process to have the road designated.”
Once the designation proposed is approved, traffic lights at the intersection of Anzac Avenue and Frederick Street would be activated, and the Ward Street bridge ramp would be re-opened to provide much-needed access to the Harbourside area, Mr Avery says. Access to the adjacent properties is to be provided as well, consistent with acceptable standards and in a safe manner.
The DCC is confident the changes are in the best interests of the public.
Submissions on the Notice of Requirement will close on 30 August.
Contact General Manager Infrastructure and Networks on 477 4000. DCC Link
DIS-2013-1 Fredrick St – Ravensbourne Rd Layout Plan
Territorial Authority’s Requirement for Two Designations
DIS-2013-1 Fredrick Street – Ravensbourne Road
The requirement is for:
The Notice of Requirement seeks to designate two areas of land. Designation 1 is for part of the Dunedin Harbourside Arterial and will link Anzac Avenue (D465) with Ravensbourne Road (D845) to the south of Parry Street West. Designation 2 is for the Dunedin Harbourside Arterial – Access Road which will provide access from the Designation 1 area to the site at 80 Anzac Avenue. Read more + Official Documents/Maps
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 18:04 20/11/2012 Dunedin City Council fined for road botch up
By Wilma McCorkindale – DScene
A High Court decision has slammed Dunedin City Council’s (DCC) handling of a roading realignment in the city, ordering the cash -strapped authority to pay affected parties more than $185,000 in costs. Justice Alan Mackenzie indicated in a written decision the legality of the stretch of State Highways 1 and 88 through the city remained in question because of the council’s botch up. Read more
Dunedin City Council fined for road botch up
A High Court decision has slammed Dunedin City Council’s (DCC) handling of a roading realignment in the city, ordering the cash-strapped authority to pay affected parties more than $185,000 in costs. Justice Alan Mackenzie indicated in a written decision the legality of the stretch of State Highways 1 and 88 through the city remained in question because of the council’s botch up.
Council acting transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly wants public input on the project, and for the council to consider what its priorities were in the area.
### ODT Online Thu, 31 Mar 2011 Major road rerouting back on agenda
By David Loughrey
A multimillion-dollar plan to reroute traffic through Dunedin is back on the agenda, and a major change to the city’s one-way system is heading the list of possibilities. The Dunedin City Council has been working with the University of Otago, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Otago Regional Council on the issue, and council staff plan to take the results of their work to councillors later this year. Read more
### ch9.co.nz November 3, 2010 – 7:33pm SH88 reconstruction work will disrupt traffic flow
One of the next major construction elements in preparing Forsyth Barr Stadium for opening has begun. The realignment of State Highway 88 to bypass the Stadium will result in some disruption to traffic flow from as early as next week. Link + Video
### ch9.co.nz November 2, 2010 – 7:30pm Motorists asked to patient during SH88 realignment
Motorists are being asked to be patient as work continues to realign State Highway 88 near Parry Street, around the stadium. Dunedin City Council Projects Engineer, Evan Matheson, says contractors have completed the round-a-bout, and are now in the process of joining it to Ravensbourne Road. Matheson says the road will be narrower than usual, but will remain two-way, so drivers are advised to exercise caution. He says the contracting firm has discussed the project with transport agencies and Port Otago to make allowances for large trucks. Link
### ODT Online Tue, 27 Jul 2010 Road realignment near new stadium begins
By David Loughrey
Work on the State Highway 88 re-alignment around the Forsyth Barr Stadium, in Dunedin, began in earnest yesterday, with diggers moving on to what will become the site of a new roundabout. Read more
### ODT Online Tue, 27 Jul 2010 ‘Fan zone’ planned for Octagon
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s Rugby World Cup “fan zone” is likely to be an on-again, off-again party. Dunedin City Council marketing and communications agency manager Debra Simes told the Otago Daily Times it was “unlikely” a permanent fan zone would be in place in the Octagon for the duration of next year’s tournament. Read more
### ODT Online Wed, 21 Jul 2010 Negotiations on land near realignment
By David Loughrey
A piece of land near the State Highway 88 realignment in Dunedin is holding up completion of land negotiations in the area, and the release of details. But the issue would not stop construction of the road, Dunedin City Council property manager Robert Clark said yesterday.
“There is nothing holding up the building of the road, but there is some adjacent land we are looking at, which we may do something with.”
We hear “they might retain a wall or some other remnant among the landscaping, so maybe this at least could be encouraged”.
“The brick building next door by architect Henry McDowell Smith for Fletchers looks as though it will stay, although it has been vacated by Downer Engineering in the past week, so there is some uncertainty regarding its future.”
Thumbnail: Fletcher Holdings Offices, Parry Street. The Fletcher Trust Archive.
In my submission to the proposed Notice of Requirement [‘for a designation’] for the proposed realignment of SH88, heard at the same time as the Stadium Plan Change, I successfully sought that historic heritage should be recorded and photographed prior to any demolition and copies of the information lodged with Hocken Collections and NZHPT. The hearing commissioners made this a condition of the NoR.
Is DCC taking care to hire the appropriate professional to do this recording work…
This week I start checking with the local authority.
By legal definition, just because a building with heritage values isn’t listed in the Dunedin City District Plan (Schedule 25.1) or registered by New Zealand Historic Places Trust does not mean it isn’t historic heritage.
### ODT Online Wed, 31 Mar 2010 Land deal for SH88 realignment nears completion
By David Loughrey
Negotiations over land needed for the realignment of State Highway 88 past the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin are “fairly close” to completion, Dunedin City Council property manager Robert Clark says. There appears to be only one party still to sign, after Mr Clark said some negotiations had been resolved. Read more
The Dunedin City Council is still waiting to confirm land purchases. Carisbrook Stadium Trust has been buying up some of the ‘necessary’ land – oh, and there is an agreement in place “for the trust to sell it to the council at the price at which it was purchased”. So wait a minute, DCC funds CST to buy the land, then has to buy it back from CST?
Surely, I have made a mistake? Although, I’m not the kind of person who would ever understand high finance. Small question: WHO is clipping the ticket here, and for what profits? The ‘good’ burghers of Dunedin – the very tight few – have some extraordinary explaining to do. That rhymes.
The ‘few’ names are apparent via the New Zealand Companies Office register.
### ODT Online Wed, 24 Feb 2010 Construction due to start on bridge
By Mark Price
Construction work is ready to begin in the next few days on the new bridge over the Water of Leith that will carry State Highway 88 past the new Forsyth Barr Stadium. Dunedin City Council general manager city environment Tony Avery said yesterday the first step would be to drive piles for the bridge. Read more
### ODT Online Fri, 20 Nov 2009 Price stalls SH88 land sale
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council is still locked in talks with Scenic Circle Hotel chairman Earl Hagaman over land needed for the realignment of State Highway 88 past the Forsyth Barr Stadium, just months before construction is to begin.
Council project engineer Evan Matheson said, when contacted, the realignment was expected to cost about $10 million, offset by a confirmed 65% subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency. That meant the council’s share would be $3.5 million, while NZTA paid $6.5 million but would take control of the road once completed, he said.