Tag Archives: THE FARCE

DCC: Residents’ Opinion Survey 2014

Remember last year’s DCC Comms spin on the ROS results?
Another farce this year, look at the Council’s headline.
[in case DCC won’t say it] “DEEP DISSATISFACTION WITH STADIUM BLOWOUTS AND THE CITY’S STALLED ECONOMY”

████ DCC: Public finance forum [invitation]
Tuesday 12 August 2014 at 5:30 – 7:30 pm | Venue to be confirmed

DCC mayor and councillors (2013-14) 1
Residents’ Opinion Surveys
These surveys measure residents’ satisfaction with the Council’s performance and with Council owned facilities. The output of the surveys enables the Council to assess the extent to which the Council has met its performance objectives.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Residents’ Satisfaction Still on the Up

This item was published on 28 Jul 2014

Residents’ satisfaction with the Dunedin City Council’s performance continues to rise. Results of the 2014 Residents’ Opinion Survey, released today, show 58% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the DCC’s overall performance. This is the highest level recorded since the question was first asked in its current form in 2003. The survey also shows significant increases in satisfaction with customer service (Customer Services Agency up nine percentage points to 88%), communication (FYI newsletter up seven points to 77%), the suitability of the roading network for cyclists (up seven points to 29%) and retention of businesses and jobs (up six points to 22%).

Acting General Manager Services and Development Nicola Pinfold says, “These substantial jumps in satisfaction are fantastic and reflect the organisation’s hard work and commitment.” Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “It’s great to see satisfaction with economic development and cycle facilities moving in the right direction. These are two key areas where the Council has been putting in a particular effort.”

Once again, satisfaction was highest with the Dunedin Botanic Garden, Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin Public Libraries and rubbish collection – with satisfaction scores of more than 90% in these areas. Decreases in satisfaction were noted with the Dunedin Ice Stadium (down 10 percentage points to 71%), stormwater services (down seven points to 59%), the look and feel of the South Dunedin retail area (down six points to 25%) and traffic flow at peak times (down six points to 47%).

Survey respondents identified encouraging economic development, reducing DCC spending, debt and rates, providing cycleways and improving the look and feel of the city as the top priorities for the DCC over the next 12 months. Mr Cull says, “The overall results are pleasing and show the DCC is increasingly responding to the needs of Dunedin residents. The information gathered through the survey will help the Council as we begin preparing our Long Term Plan for 2015-25.”

Of 4,500 residents randomly selected from the electoral roll and invited to complete the survey, 1,248 did so – a response rate of 27.7%. A further 705 residents independently chose to complete the survey online. The results of the ‘opt-in’ sample are analysed separately, but still provide the DCC with valuable feedback on how it can improve its services. The survey was carried out by independent research company Key Research of Tauranga. [We can’t possibly contract Dunedin companies because they might conduct honest research or sneak in survey questions DCC won’t approve for the results it doesn’t want, horror!]

www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros

Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 027 434 6917.

Related Posts and Comments:
27.6.13 State of the City —DCC or Dunedin? [2013 ROS here]
13.6.12 DCC: 2012 Residents’ Opinion Survey
25.4.11 Oh wait, you mean…. | 2011 Residents’ Opinion Survey
1.5.10 DCC: Residents’ Opinion Survey – complete it online
6.7.09 DCC 2009 Residents’ Opinion Survey

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Carisbrook, COC (Otago), Construction, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Geography, Highlanders, Hot air, Hotel, New Zealand, NZRU, NZTA, Offshore drilling, ORFU, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Queenstown Lakes, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design

Stadium: DVML, DVL miserable losers! #grandtheftdebt

### ch9.co.nz June 20, 2013 – 6:18pm
DVML forecasts small profit
The company that runs Forsyth Barr Stadium has forecast a small surplus for the first time in 2015. DVML has been running at a loss, but forecasts that will change to a $10,000 surplus. But the company that owns the stadium, DVL, has forecast its loss will be about $1 million more than expected, at more than $5 million. DCC chief executive Paul Orders said both were just projections, and the DVL loss was due to tax changes. The forecasts will be considered by the council on Monday.
Ch39 Link [no video available]

SURPRISE
Reports for the Council meeting to be held on Monday 24 June 2013 at 1pm not yet available at the DCC website.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Concerts, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Hot air, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

DCC: 2012 Residents’ Opinion Survey

We re-present this piece of PROPAGANDA in full, for non T-shirt residents’ edification and delight. Do note, this is the first year everyone can comment on the stadium project. Everyone is welcome to use the online survey – open at this link from Friday, 15 June 2012.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
2012 Residents Opinion Survey

This item was published on 12 Jun 2012

Purpose of Residents’ Opinion Survey
One way the Council gauges the views of the “silent majority” is through the annual Residents’ Opinion Survey, or ROS. The Council has been undertaking the ROS since 1994 and by giving expression to all sectors and areas of the community it has become a valuable tool for guiding its decision-making process and prioritising expenditure. The ROS survey focuses on service delivery and effectiveness, and asks questions about people’s perceptions of the Council’s performance. The ROS survey is also a crucial part of the Council’s performance monitoring. Most DCC departments have customer service and other performance targets in their Activity Management Plans which they are required to meet every year. A lot of the set targets come from the ROS survey results. In addition, there are also quality measures in the Long Term Plan which emanate from the ROS results.

Changes made as a result of Residents’ Opinion Surveys
Not only do the ROS results help the Council measure its performance, but the results also show us areas where we can make further improvements. For example, in 2010 the ROS showed relatively low satisfaction with ‘the amount of public consultation undertaken’ by the Council. The Council is making significant efforts to improve its performance in this area and this was reflected in the results from the 2011 ROS.

Examples of the Council’s continued focus on improving its consultation include:
● Drafting a community engagement and consultation policy which should be completed by the end of the year
● Reviewing and restructuring all of the Council’s marketing and communications activities to help improve the quality and scope of information disseminated by the Council
● Jointly developing a new collaborative Draft Economic Development Strategy for the City
● Using a range of methods to canvass stakeholders’ opinions on the Draft Spatial Plan
● Undertaking significant community consultation and engagement to develop the South Dunedin Retail Centre Revitalisation Plan, and in particular improvements to King Edward Street

The Council has also continued, and stepped up, its efforts to improve the suitability of the road network for cyclists which is another area that has consistently received low satisfaction ratings in the ROS survey.

For example the Council has:
● Developed plans for a Strategic Cycle Network and included funding in the Long Term Plan allocating $1.5 million each year for the next three years and $350,000 each year thereafter
● Included funding in the Long Term Plan to complete a continuous cycleway between Portsmouth Drive and Harington Point
● Working with the Otago Tunnels Trust to investigate and potentially implement the opening of the Caversham Tunnel to pedestrians and cyclists;
● Completed cycleway connections around the Forsyth Barr Stadium, the harbour front and Anzac Ave and preparing to install cycle lanes along Anderson’s Bay road in the 2012/13 year
● The installation of 65 cycle stands in around 20 locations around the city
● Updating the Council’s cycle map/leaflet outlining commuting routes and tracks across the city

The New Zealand Transport Agency has also approved funding to complete the shared path between the city and Port Chalmers over the next three years after lobbying from the Council.

Method and Timeline
4,500 surveys will be posted to randomly selected residents on 15 June 2012. The survey will also be available online at www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros.

Providing an online survey allows all Dunedin residents to have their say and gives residents who receive the mailed questionnaire another method of completing the survey. To ensure the statistical validity of the survey results, the responses from residents who were randomly selected to complete the survey are used as the official survey results. Responses from residents who independently chose to complete the survey online are analysed separately but also provide the Council with an extremely valuable source of information. For example the Council gathers a lot of valuable ideas for improving its services and the city from residents’ responses to the open ended questions contained in the survey. The more residents that complete the survey, the more ideas it receives. Last year, 899 people responded to the survey after receiving a posted questionnaire and a further 67 people independently responded to the online survey.

█ All surveys, including the online survey, need to be completed by Tuesday, 10 July. The results will be analysed by Research First, an independent research company based in Christchurch, who is conducting the survey on behalf of the Council. The results will be available to the general public in mid-late August 2012 and will be posted on the Council website.

Contact Hamish Orbell, Policy Analyst on 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

Cr Dave Cull speech to Town Hall Meeting

TOWN HALL SPEECH 29TH MARCH 2009-03-31
CR DAVE CULL —Copy supplied.

[begins]

A year ago I opposed public funding of the Stadium project on three grounds:
• Affordibility – This city cannot afford a project this expensive, largely paid for with borrowed money, and showing little or no return.
• Risk – of building budget blowout and on-going revenue shortfalls.
• Opportunity costs – what will we not be able to do or afford because all of the City’s spending and debt carrying capacity is committed to the stadium?

However, although it had already ignored a number of its own deadlines, Council decided to proceed with the stadium project subject to a number of conditions.

Some of those conditions were:
• Project cost not to exceed $188m. Remember “not a penny more”?
• Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for construction.
• Contract entered into with Uni and we would have written confirmation of facilities they proposed for land.
• We would sight and approve occupation and revenue agreements between CST and ORFU
• That Council continues to identify ways to reduce ratepayer contribution by $20m.
• Minimum of 60% of Private Sector Funding (PSF) $45.5m be signed up, and Council to be satisfied as to funding the remainder (incl funds to service any bridging finance required). That last condition was added some 6 months later.

In addition:
• Community Trust of Otago was to contribute $10m.
• The stadium promised was a state of the art, multi-purpose venue that would set a new bench-mark for stadia in NZ.

Fast forward almost exactly a year to now, and what do we find with those conditions?

• The total project cost has risen by $10m. That’s a lot of pennies.
• The GMP contract offer contains exclusions that potentially expose DCC to risk of price increases. The Otago Regional Council was specifically warned about that by its chief executive. If those exclusions remain and something unforeseen turns up then there is a very real possibility of cost increases.
• A contact has not been finalised with the university
• An occupation and revenue agreement between CST and ORFU has not been finalised.
• The $20m has not been found or even any part of it.
• The CTO promised only $7m
• The design and specification of the stadium had been changed in order to keep the construction cost within the agreed budget. And those changes have:
They have:
1) reduced the ability and flexibility of the stadium to cater for much more than rugby without spending a lot more money.
2) lowered the specification and standard of finish so that while initial costs are lower, long term maintenance costs will be higher.

• 60% of PSF had not been obtained. But Council decided to accept unsigned agreements for corporate boxes and seating as if they were finalised.

But in any case, and far more worryingly, the whole concept of the PSF had been changed. In fact to call it PSF now is farcical. It was initially reasonably understood as money raised from non-public sources (ie not ratepayers or taxpayers) and contributed to the construction cost of the stadium. So there was an expectation that the money (or most of it) would be available on Day 1 of construction. However by March last year, a shortfall was already predicted and some $10m bridging finance was identified as being needed to make up the difference at the start of construction.

Well the PSF fell even further short of target. The private sector didn’t buy in. So the marketing was changed and now the PSF will be:
• obtained from the sale of seating products (corp boxes/lounge memberships and sponsorships)
• no payment for these will be required until the stadium is built
• after that payments will be made annually

But as I said, the money is needed for construction. And the amount of bridging finance required to tide things over has risen now to $27m loan + $15m underwrite. That’s some $42m + interest on some of that over time, required to achieve the balance of $45.5m now.

The CST obviously can’t raise that debt itself because it can offer no security, so Council will effectively borrow the $27m and the govt will underwrite the $15m. That’s an additional liability on ratepayer and taxpayers and that borrowing will have to be repaid from the revenue from those seating products etc after the stadium is operating. I’ll come back to this.

So a year ago I had concerns about Risk, Affordability and Opportunity Costs. But we now have a further reason to be extremely concerned about this proposed project. And that is the process by which Council has progressed it.

Because all of those failures to meet the Council’s own conditions are CHANGES from what was promised a year ago.
Individually, some of them might not seem so important. Taken together however, they amount to a significant change to the whole project and impose a huge amount more risk and liability on the ratepayer.
In brief:
• The overall cost is higher.
• The stadium isn’t the same as the one the community was promised.
• Ratepayers’ liability for debt is increased markedly because Council is effectively taking responsibility for the PSF.
• the GMP is really a Claytons GMP because if the exclusion clauses remain the price could rise.
• And that doesn’t even start to take into account the deepening world-wide economic recession. If ever there was a time to be careful, to limit your risk, to keep your powder dry and your cash liquid: it’s now.

These are all have pretty ominous implications but before I look a bit closer at the PSF I’ll touch on the GMP:

Other speakers have looked at this so I will simply point that once Council is locked into a construction contract, with clauses allowing the construction price to increase under certain circumstances, there is no way out. If those clauses are activated, we will have to keep going and paying and the ratepayer will have to foot the bill. So much for a GMP.

Now the PSF.
We have been told that just 3% of the so-called PSF will be paid up on the day the stadium opens. After that the revenue stream from the leasing of corporate boxes and lounge memberships and naming rights sponsorships and other revenue will come in each year. So in fact, apart from some naming rights and sponsorship deals, the PSF is actually revenue earned by the stadium for facilities or services offered. In any case, most of the other 97% will have already been borrowed by Council, and that debt is expected to be serviced AND repaid by those on-going revenues.

BUT, and here’s the catch; the reason that extra borrowing is necessary is because the revenue stream, the cashflow, the PSF was so weak. But hang on. Isn’t that the very cashflow that is now expected to be strong enough to cover the borrowing AND pay interest on it as well as the operating costs?! Spot the contradiction.

If that cashflow stream is not forthcoming, or it peters out for whatever reason, like the Highlanders franchise disappearing followed closely by its audience, Council will be left with a debt and few funds to cover it and they will also have a football stadium with no user. Who will have to stump up year after year in that event? The ratepayers. You.
So not only has the PSF been largely taken over by the ratepayer, the means provided to cover it could be shaky.

But how likely is that?
A couple of professional reviews of the CST’s cashflow projections have been done. Those reviews described the predicted cashflows as “not conservative”. In other words they thought the Trust was being overly optimistic about what the place could earn. So the reviewers reduced the cash quantum of some assumptions, and even after that they still reckoned there were “significant risks” that even the reviewers’ reduced predicted revenues would not be achieved. Indeed the reviews concluded that there is very real chance that the stadium will run at a considerable loss. And that’s after Council and its companies (read ratepayers) have paid the bill for interest on the main borrowing and depreciation. After all, almost no stadium anywhere in the world makes a profit.

And it gets worse. The changes made to the design to reduce construction cost, like no synthetic turf reinforcing and no dividing curtain at the east end, also reduce the stadium’s useability. So it’s earning power is also reduced.

Anyway by the time the money promised in those seating contracts and sponsorships has started coming in, the Council will own the stadium, and the PSF obligations will have been passed to Council. It will be Council’s job to find the money, the so-called PSF, and make the place pay, if it can.
How on earth can that be called PSF?

The worst case is the combined effect of the two possibilities: PSF revenue shortfalls and a blow-out in GMP could see double digit rate rises for years just to stay where we are! No possibility of anything else being afforded. You can forget other capital projects.

In that case the cost to ratepayers over the 22 odd years it takes to pay this off are likely to be much, much higher than the $66 per annum for the average residential ratepayer that is so often quoted. That is the very real risk this project carries.

I am deeply concerned about that risk of increased cost: either from increased construction cost and operating deficits or both.

But I am even more concerned by the cavalier way the Council, of which I am a member, has treated this community. I am deeply embarrassed to acknowledge that:
• Assurances have not been honoured.
• Conditions designed to give the public confidence that risks were being contained, have not been met. Indeed risks have been allowed to escalate.
• Promises have not been kept.
• And the community has not been listened to. And I’m sorry to say it looks as if a deaf ear will continue to be turned your way. The projected spending for the stadium is contained in the draft annual plan currently going out for consultation with, and submissions from, the community. “We want to hear what you think.” You are told.

But despite that and despite all the changes to this project in the last year: its funding problems, its increased costs and liabilities and ratcheting risks; despite all of the clamorous protest, letters to the newspapers, submissions to Council, and overwhelmingly negative survey results; it is quite possible that a contract for construction will be signed before a single one of your submissions is heard.

I wonder how this community can have confidence that they are being listened to, that their opinions, their interests and most importantly their futures are cared about, when this project continues to be rammed through regardless of so many ominous indicators, changes for the worse, unachieved targets and greatly heightened risks; all of which ratepayers will ultimately have to pay for.

What can you do? Council needs to know the weight of your opinion. Tell us. Make submissions. And send Council a message that we can’t mistake.

[ends]

****

### ODT Online Tue, 15 Mar 2011
Extras for stadium approved
By David Loughrey
Forsyth Barr Stadium extras with a combined cost of $5.15 million have been approved by the Dunedin City Council. The funding has been described by Mayor Dave Cull as an “underwrite”.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
11.3.11 Stadium funding

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

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