Tag Archives: Transparency

Cats —or, Infrastructure spending, Council debt, and Disenfranchisement of Ratepayers

Council cat squad checking rego fees [supplied]

After the great floods, the common affliction amongst leaders, “water on the brain”.

█ The ‘thinking’ – DCC cat control remit for LGNZ AGM

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At Twitter:

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“There may be issues with cats but they also serve a useful purpose in controlling pests. The cat population doubled to two at my place last year, and we have more tui and bellbirds around than ever, as well as visits by kereru and eastern rosellas and fantails and waxeyes. The cats occasionally catch a bird but most often it is a sparrow or a thrush. But it looks like the Dunedin council and some others are keen on requiring the herding of cats. They kept as quiet as they could on cats during the local body elections, and now mid term they try to foist it on the public. Devious.” –Pete George at YourNZ

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Councils will now lobby the government to finish its National Cat Management strategy.

### radionz.co.nz 6:05 pm on 25 July 2017
RNZ News
Councils seek greater powers to control cats
By Michael Cropp – Wellington Local Government Reporter
The country’s councils are calling on the government to give them extra powers to protect wildlife from cats including microchipping, de-sexing and registration. Local bodies have the power to control dogs and their behaviour, but they only have jurisdiction over cats when they become a health risk. While the remit presented by Dunedin City Council at the meeting acknowledged the companion role of animals, it noted cats are a danger to wildlife. […] The controversial remit scraped through with just 51 percent of the vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual general meeting.
….Auckland mayor Phil Goff said his council abstained from the vote because it was not sure what it would mean for the 500,000 cats in the country’s largest city. “We are in favour of practical measures to protect native birdlife …. We’re not in favour of bureaucratic measures that might involve millions of dollars of council time and energy but doesn’t achieve the objectives that we set out to achieve,” Mr Goff said.
Read more

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More about ‘LGNZ The Blight’:

Local Government New Zealand – Media Release
Local government to debate four remits and elect new President at AGM
News type: National news | Published: 21 July 2017
The local government sector will voted on four issues when it gathers for its annual AGM in Auckland on Tuesday 25 July. There is a focus on litter legislation, local government funding, cat management and health in this year’s remits. The AGM follows this year’s LGNZ Conference, when over 600 delegates from local government and its stakeholders, industry and community will gather in Auckland for the two day event [23-25 July]. The theme of this year’s conference is Creating pathways to 2050: Liveable spaces and loveable places. Remits are voted on in a secret ballot and if passed will become official policy and be actioned by Local Government New Zealand. Local government will also be voting for a new LGNZ President to replace Lawrence Yule, who steps down after nine years in the role.
….National legislation to manage cats
The third remit was proposed by Dunedin City Council and asks that LGNZ lobby the Government to take legislative action as a matter of urgency to develop national legislation includes provision for cost recovery for cat management.
Throughout New Zealand councils are tasked with trying to promote responsible cat ownership and reduce their environmental impact on wildlife, including native birds and geckos.  Yet, territorial authority’s powers for cats are for minimising the impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and regional councils’ powers are restricted to destruction of feral cats as pests.  The remit seeks the protection of our wildlife and native species by seeking regulatory powers for cat control, including cat identification, cat de-sexing and responsible cat ownership.
….The LGNZ AGM is open to members only. Following the meeting, LGNZ will advise of the outcomes of all votes.
Read more

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Cat rangers and collars with bells on are some of the ideas Dunedin City Council wants to lobby Government for.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated at 14:28, July 10 2017
Cat control: many Kiwi councils ready to lobby for national rules
By Libby Wilson
Councils around the country are looking to band together to rein in roaming moggies. Dunedin City Council has suggested its colleagues help it push the Government for national rules that could include cat rangers and shutting cats in overnight. Seven other councils around the country have given the idea, and its environmental focus, their backing ahead of a July vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting.
Read more

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‘Vacuum of cat management policy and services in Dunedin’, local submission says.

### nzherald.co.nz 29 Jun, 2017 7:02am
Dunedin council proposes registration of cats in New Zealand
A Dunedin proposal that could result in the registration of cats in New Zealand will be discussed nationally. The proposal from the Dunedin City Council, in consultation with seven other councils, will next month go to a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) vote. If it is successful, LGNZ would make it a policy, and begin lobbying the Government to have it made law. The proposal could see the Government called upon to develop legislation for cats similar to the Dog Control Act. It already has the support of the Otago Regional Council, one of 78 councils which will vote on the idea.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
DCC seeks support for cat control
The Dunedin City Council will seek support from other New Zealand councils to gain greater control of cat management. If additional support from councils was gained, a remit would ask Local Government New Zealand to call upon the Government to give councils statutory power to control cats. The DCC was researching a Wellington City Council bylaw on microchipping cats. However, the current bylaw could not be enforced by non-compliance fees. Cat management would focus on the control of wild cats.
Link

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S T O P ● P R E S S

At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
26.7.17 RNZ Morning Report : Guyon Espiner sticks claws in Cat Cull & Curfews
25.7.17 To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’
22.7.17 Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)
21.7.17 Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case
21.7.17 DCC ORC : Heavy rain warnings preparations #PublicNotice
1.7.17 LGNZ, don’t wish ‘his lordship’ on New Zealand #VoteRachelReese
3.6.17 ODT updates mayoral vehicle serious injury crash information
24.4.17 LGOIMA vehicle (DCC) : Hyundai Santa Fe (2016) written off Jan 2017
10.12.16 Oh christ ! [LGNZ bureaucratic dopefest]
21.7.15 Dunedin to host LGNZ 2016 conference —FFS TIME TO TAKE IT OUT
21.5.15 DCC and LGNZ, total losers
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
10.10.14 Cull consorts with losers at LGNZ
26.6.14 LGNZ #blaggardliars

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Business, DCC, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Travesty, What stadium

Pike River realities surface . . .

At Twitter:

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Video at ODT Online:

The father of one of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster says the families have always believed the Government wasn’t telling the truth about mine safety.

Mon, 1 May 2017
ODT: Pike video shows men in mine after blast
The Government has long said high concentrations of methane inside the mine make it too risky to re-enter to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 blast, because the gas could explode. But footage leaked to Newshub yesterday showed two Mines Rescue workers inside the mine three months after the explosion, with no gloves, apparently relaxed as they fashioned a makeshift cover for a robot out of cardboard and tape. The robot is seen to be steaming or smoking well inside the mine, but the workers do not panic – and nothing explodes. Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was killed in the November 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine, said the newly leaked footage did not come as a surprise. Cont/

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At Twitter:

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nzherald.co.nz Uploaded on Nov 23, 2010
Raw video: Robot camera inside Pike River mine
First pictures from inside the Pike River mine which show the miner’s helmet and mine damage.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Published on Oct 21, 2013
Case Study: Pike River
View the full case study here:
http://www.zeroharm.org.nz/leadership/case-studies/pike-river/

Graeme Axford Published on Oct 31, 2014
Pike River families believe photos show bodies
Friday 31 Oct 2014 8:06 p.m.
It is understood that a decision from Solid Energy on whether it will allow recovery teams to re-enter the drift of the Pike River mine is imminent. The drift is not the mine itself, but the two-kilometre tunnel that leads to the mine.
Families of the victims are desperate for a mission to collect evidence and to see if there are any bodies in the drift.
They say if Solid Energy won’t do it, they will. They say they know there are bodies in the mine, and tonight, with their blessing and for the first time, we can show you their evidence. Dean Dunbar, the father of lost miner Joseph Dunbar, spoke with Campbell Live producer Kate McCallum. Watch the full interview with Dean Dunbar.

Division of Humanities, University of Otago Published on Jul 4, 2016
███ Pike River – How could this happen in this day and age?
Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’? Find out why the Pike River Families have fought so hard and for so long. Colin Smith is a law graduate from the University of Otago and is a partner with the Greymouth Law Firm Hannan & Seddon.

RNZ Published on Jan 23, 2017
Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it’s safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint
Pike River mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes the mine’s drift is safe to enter, and is willing to be among the first party that goes in.

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davedobbynmusic Published on Dec 15, 2014
Dave Dobbyn – This Love (Live Perfomance)
‘This Love’ by Dave Dobbyn with the Orpheus Choir of Wellington is a moving tribute to the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.
The piece was first performed at a concert attended by members of the miners’ bereaved families and was recorded by Radio NZ Concert. The choral arrangement is by Mark Dorrell. Also performing are Wellington Young Voices, Mark Vanilau (piano), Jo Barus (bass), Ross Burge (drums) and Chris Clark (cornet). With special thanks to TVNZ and Satellite Media – taken from the TVNZ documentary ‘Dreams Lie Deeper’.

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

10 Comments

Filed under Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Education, Events, Geography, Health & Safety, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, Other, People, Perversion, Pics, Police, Politics, Public interest, Site, Technology, Travesty

No news : Appointment of Group CFO

dcc-private-briefing

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Consternation of Various Sorts

We note the Dunedin City Council’s very poor financial position generally, in face of the ‘explosive’ DCC-owned Aurora/Delta collapse of the Otago power network – notable for continuing poor governance and management, with contingent lack of transparency and accountability – affecting ratepayers and residents in three distinct council areas (DCC, CODC, QLDC); the city council’s snail-like attendance to infrastructure maintenance and upgrades including implementation of three waters strategy; the city council’s ongoing out-of-control stadium fiasco; and ALL The Council Debt / debt servicing costs etc etc – for the very low, ever passive and aging ratepayer base.
FANTASTIC TIMES.

How interesting then that DCC has – as yet – failed to appoint a new Group Chief Financial Officer following the resignation of Grant McKenzie last year (see announcement 11 June 2016 via ODT).

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Fri, 12 Aug 2016
ODT: Departure reshuffle
The departure of the Dunedin City Council’s group chief financial officer, Grant McKenzie, has triggered a minor reshuffle within the organisation. The rejig includes a temporary structure while Mr McKenzie’s replacement is recruited, but the council has also taken the opportunity to realign job titles and responsibilities for two of the council’s senior managers. […] Council financial controller Gavin Logie has also been named acting chief financial officer until Mr McKenzie’s replacement is named.

Sat, 11 Jun 2016
ODT: Sir Julian stands down, McKenzie appointed CEO
Sir Julian Smith, chairman and managing director of Allied Press, publisher of the Otago Daily Times, is stepping down from the day-to-day running of the company after nearly 40 years. Sir Julian (72), who will remain as chairman, told staff yesterday he has appointed Dunedin City Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie as the new Allied Press chief executive officer.

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Dunedin City Council – Media Release
DCC Appoints Treasury Manager
This item was published on 10 Sep 2014
Richard Davey has been appointed to the new position of Dunedin City Council Treasury Manager. Mr Davey, who is originally from Dunedin, has had more than 21 years of banking experience in New Zealand and Australia. His experience centres on dealing with corporate treasuries and solving their risk management and funding issues. As Treasury Manager, Mr Davey will oversee Dunedin City Treasury Ltd – a DCC-owned company provides funding and financial services to other companies in the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd group. Mr Davey will report to Group Chief Financial Officer Grant McKenzie. Read more

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Group Chief Financial Officer Appointed
This item was published on 14 Oct 2013
The University of Otago’s Director of Financial Services, Grant McKenzie, has been appointed as the Dunedin City Council’s Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO). Announcing the appointment of Mr McKenzie to this newly-created role, DCC Chief Executive Paul Orders says, “Grant will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and will be instrumental in ensuring the effective and efficient management of DCC group finances.” […] The new position of Group Chief Financial Officer replaces the DCC’s Chief Financial Officer (currently a vacant post), with the role expanded to include the provision of financial advice and support to the Board of Dunedin City Holdings Limited (DCHL). The role will also create more cohesive financial management between the DCC and Dunedin City Holdings Limited. Twenty eight applications were received for the position, from New Zealand and overseas.
Read more

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It seems DCC has slumped and trailed until 27 February (20 working days) to respond formally to my request for official information – with no phone call received (see postscript).

Tomorrow Monday is D-Day. No notice of extension has been received.

HOW HARD IS IT REALLY TO ANSWER BASIC QUESTIONS—
20 working days ? Get real DCC.

OFFICIAL INFORMATION REQUEST

From: [DCC Governance Support]
Sent: Friday, 3 February 2017 11:31 a.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Acknowledgement of LGOIMA request

03-Feb-2017

Dear Ms Kerr,

Official information request for: APPOINTMENT OF GROUP CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Reference Number: 289707

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request dated 27-January-2017 for information regarding the APPOINTMENT OF GROUP CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER as follows:

1. When will the DCC appoint a Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO) to replace Grant McKenzie ? 2. For what reason(s) has this appointment been delayed ? 3. Have applicants for the position been short-listed ? 4. Is there anything thing else DCC wants to say about the appointment process ?

We received your request on 27-January-2017. We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 27-February-2017, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

Your request is being handled by [Governance Support]. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact [Governance Support] on 03 477 4000. If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into account.

Yours sincerely

[Governance Support]

P.S. I have also sent your questions to our chief executive Sue Bidrose, as she may wish to provide an answer to you directly by phone or email.

Governance Support Officer
Dunedin City Council

Related Post and Comments:
10.6.16 g’bye & ’ello

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

13 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, What stadium

Our loss-making public bus system, as for the colours *spew

Inner city Dunedin is NOT a freaking circus or Disneyland.
Obviously, the bozos at ORC/DCC think differently.

Here is something CHEAP-NASTY-like:

Troughing consultants, transportation planners and those who purport to be ‘urban design’ from both councils appear to be barely out of grade school —my god, it shows (see video).

PRIMARY SCHOOL
Colouring in, by non-learned non-contextualists —who manage do it so very BADLY. This is absolute proof that Landscape Architecture at Dunedin is DEAD, BANKRUPT and bloody SMELLY. My cardboard box of pet maggots could design “the interchange” better. They could: swiftly, cleanly, without the disease that is ‘the carnival-scathed’ at local government.

Junior short-term work experience only, no proven local body management expertise or ‘factory floor’ experience whatsoever, now make for ‘team leader’ placements at Dunedin. That’s how tragic the workpool is. Low shoulder-tapping at the tertiary institution is no substitute for a smart council workforce, not that we have a hope in hell of attracting one.

Business leaders need to Take Dunedin!
By Storm, from the doughbrains at local government.
But Business leaders, Entrepreneurs and Investors now have the Largest, most IMMENSE PROBLEM.

At this un-populous sinking town :
At the productive, growth-generating Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes :
THERE IS NO AFFORDABLY SAFE AND SECURE POWER SUPPLY
None! This is All down to leaders, councillors, directors and executives at DCC, DCHL, Delta and Aurora.

And ORC/DCC think the sorry ratepayers and residents can afford an improved, convenient and efficient bus system. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Apart from or because of the buses making losses….

Clearly, the proposed changes to the bus system are NOT designed to embrace the Accessible Journey —to enhance the experience of city travel for mobility impaired citizens.

The Regional Public Transport Plan 2014 and the Dunedin City Integrated Transport Strategy 2013 DO NOT anticipate the growth of Uber, new technology or ‘other’ vehicular modes of travel, or indeed anything that is the future of transport at (Our Place) Dunedin.

The proposed changes are NOT subject to ANY ECONOMIC STUDIES to safeguard businesses, vehicle users, and the users of public transport, city-wide. None! So Predictable. So Deficient. So Grossly Negligent.

Coloured road markings, a Fun Distraction when there’s a MASSIVE POWER BLACKOUT at Dunedin.

*Note: DCC does not have a spare ONE BILLION DOLLARS in the bank to right Aurora/Delta’s wrongs.

The Otago Regional Council says:

Dunedin Bus Interchange (hub)
Dunedin’s public transport is changing. Since the adoption of the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) in 2014, Otago Regional Council (ORC) has been rolling out network wide changes to create an affordable and connected public transport system in Dunedin. While many of these changes focus on implementing direct and stable bus routes with regular frequencies, we are also looking to improve the accessibility of the bus services, information, and infrastructure. As part of these changes we are providing a bus interchange (hub) in the city centre to make your bus journey better.

█ To find out more and how to make submissions, go to http://www.orc.govt.nz/Information-and-Services/Buses/Bushub/

There are several things the ORC can do immediately to signal its serious intent in improving services to its ratepayers. (ODT)

### ODT Online Wed, 7 Dec 2016
Editorial: Bus hub challenges
OPINION Public transport is essential in any major centre and now Dunedin faces its own challenges with the release of the long-awaited central-city bus hub plans. The Otago Regional Council is seeking community feedback on the hub planned for Great King St, near the central police station. It includes five parking bays on each side of the street. […] The idea of a Great King St hub cannot be taken seriously if people are going to be forced off one bus and on to another in quick time. […] Dunedin’s central area is the Octagon and the regional council needs to recognise the need to keep buses flowing through the Octagon.
Read more

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Bus hub part of $3million transport project, including “super stops”. 38 car parks lost from Great King St between Moray Pl and St Andrew St.

### ODT Online Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Dunedin bus hub details released
By John Gibb
The Otago Regional Council has unveiled its long-awaited central Dunedin bus hub plans and is seeking community feedback. The bus hub, also termed the “bus interchange”, is, as previously signalled, in Great King St, near the central police station. It includes five parking bays on each side of the street. […] The size and style of bus shelters are partly dependent on public feedback, and also on any negotiations required with owners of nearby land, to be undertaken early next year. It is also proposed to use paints or other coloured materials, including on part of the street, to give the hub area a more lively appearance.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Highlanders, Infrastructure, Media, NZRU, NZTA, OAG, OCA, Ombudsman, ORC, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Delta Workers met with ‘mgmt’

Tomorrow’s ODT….

Day editor Dave Cannan at Channel 39 News:

“Delta workers today met with management to put some questions to them.”
“We’ll have a good story about that.”

We wait.

dilbert-by-scott-adams-19-12-12-engaged-via-pureparents-com
dilbert-by-scott-adams-26-7-13-ethics-boss-via-joyreactor-com
dilbert-by-scott-adams-27-9-10-brain-golfing-via-businessinsider-com

Or something.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: dilbert.com by Scott Adams via pureparents.com | joyreactor.com | businessinsider.com

4 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Delta, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Public interest, Resource management, What stadium

Kaipara rates row : High Court finds “serious and substantial” errors

“If the council had just accepted the money, admitted that the people withholding their rates were wronged, that their case had merit, we could have all moved forward together” – Mangawhai ratepayer Bruce Rogan
(via Checkpoint) Audio | Download: MP3 (3′04″)

### radionz.co.nz 6:01 pm on 16 Sep 2016
New Zealand: Northland
Northland rates rebels win partial victory
By Lois Williams – Northland reporter
The rebel ratepayers of Mangawhai in Northland have won a partial victory in the High Court. The court has found that rates levied from 2011 to 2014 by the Northland Regional Council, via Kaipara District Council rate demands, were unlawful. In an interim decision, Justice Duffy found the Northland Regional Council (NRC) has no power to delegate the assessment of rates or the recovery of arrears to other councils. “The errors I have identified are serious and substantial,” the judge said. “In short, the NRC has failed to exercise its statutory powers properly when determining rates resolutions and it has unlawfully sought to delegate the performance of a number of its functions in relation to rates to the Kaipara District Council.” […] The Mangawhai ratepayers’ chair, Bruce Rogan, said the ruling was very welcome, although the court did not uphold the group’s challenge to penalties and GST imposed by the Kaipara District Council. The council should now agree to negotiate a deal to end the six-year-old Kaipara rates row, Mr Rogan said.
Read more

From Kaipara Concerns (community website):

INTERIM HIGH COURT JUDGMENT RELEASED 16.09.2016
Duffy J has made an interim judgment in respect of the judicial review brought by the MRRA and Bruce and Heather Rogan challenging the lawfulness of rates set by the NRC and the KDC.

She has made the following decisions:

NRC
1. The NRC rates were not set lawfully for the 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 rating years. [27]
2. The NRC’s delegation to the KDC of the assessment of rates and recovery of rates for the rating years between 2011/2012 and 2015/2016 inclusive was unlawful. Accordingly those rates were not lawfully assessed. [58]
3. The NRC’s delegation to the KDC to add penalties to NRC rates was unlawful. Therefore the penalties imposed on rates in respect of NRC rates was unlawful. [74]
4. The Validation Act only validated the unlawful rates of the KDC. It did not validate the unlawful rates of the NRC. [111]

Result
[129] I make the following declaration: The NRC’s rates for the KDC region have not been lawfully set or assessed for the rating years from 2011/2012 to 2015/2016 inclusive.

Duffy J has not yet decided what order to make in respect of ordering the NRC to refund the unlawful rates charged. She has invited the NRC to make further submissions and especially to examine how this ruling might affect the legality of the rates that it has set for its other constituent areas – Whangarei and the Far North. Those rates might also be unlawful.

She will make her final decision once both parties have made further submissions.
Read more

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has issued a press release in respect of the Duffy J’s High Court decision:

winston-peters-16-9-16-lessons-for-govt-in-mangawhai-residents-court-win-1

Related Posts and Comments:
31.3.16 Ratepayers achieve for Kaipara District —what Dunedin counterparts…
3.10.15 Kaipara Concerns —ADOTROL* disease [Dunedin mention, again!]
13.2.15 Associate Minister of Local Government: Return democracy to Kaipara
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
27.11.14 Auditor-general Lyn Provost #Resign
31.10.14 Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC
9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
29.5.14 Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Assn wins at High Court
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Corruption, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Travesty

Cracking the truth : June 2015 South Dunedin flood

OPINION received from Neil Johnstone
Sat, 10 Sep 2016 at 12:42 a.m.

Richard Stedman produces (below) a succinct review of the causes of, and failures after, the South Dunedin flood of June 2015. His frustrations appear to match those of Hilary Calvert that were published a few hours earlier. My reviews previously published on What if? Dunedin commencing back around February give more detail.

For your readers’ further consideration, Richard has highlighted the ‘200mm increase’ in flood level as a result of Portobello Road pumping station failures. The figure was derived by me, and appears in my review of the first DCC flood report. To my knowledge the only clear comparable DCC concessions have come from chief executive Sue Bidrose who admitted the figure publicly at the 20 June 2016 (yes, 2016) South Dunedin Action Group-organised public meeting, and subsequently.

The first DCC flood report (30 Nov 2015) is adamant that high groundwater was the cause of the flooding, and enough Councillors bought right into that excuse at the following Infrastructure Services Committee meeting. Just go back and view the video, if you’ve forgotten.

Dunedin City Council Published on Dec 7, 2015
Dunedin City Council – Council Meeting – November 30 2015
Discussion of the report starts at 1:09:52

The second (mudtank) DCC report of 26 April this year states: “Although Portobello Road’s performance did explain some of the length of time flooding was evident, much of the flooded area was below road level…” (para 31). No mention of increased depth of flooding there either, you will note.
[View report at Infrastructure Services Committee: Agenda & Reports 26 April (Part A, Item 5) pp 6-27.]

Neither DCC report mentions the additional depth of flooding caused by inaction at the Musselburgh pumping station.

History and ongoing design may rely on written commentaries. For the wellbeing of South Dunedin people, we must therefore continue to counter the misinformation contained in DCC reports, and in the more recent ORC (DCC-backed) South Dunedin “hazards” report. Even if ODT has switched off.

Related Posts at What if? Dunedin
8.3.16 [Review 1] Johnstone independent review of DCC report
19.5.16 [Review 2] Johnstone review of 2nd DCC report

Correspondence supplied
7.3.16 Letter, Chief Executive Sue Bidrose to Neil Johnstone
10.3.16 Response from Neil Johnstone to CE Bidrose

sue-bidrose-south-dunedin-a-changing-environment-radionz-co-nz-detailSue Bidrose at ORC/DCC hazards presentation [radionz.co.nz]

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OPINION received from Richard Stedman
Fri, 9 Sept 2016 at 8:24 p.m.

The ODT editorial department is peopled by closed minds, a number of whom subscribe to the climate change/rising sea level mantra and therefore manipulate their content to support their distorted view of the world. Mr Morris is captured by the former/present regime at city hall, a fate which befalls every reporter assigned to that round once they get their feet under the table.

Two weeks ago I prepared an opinion piece re the election and South Dunedin, outlining some of the issues as I see them in the hope that it might be published. I thought it was honestly held opinion, but it was rejected because it added “nothing new” to the debate, yet they run to Cull at every turn and run column after column of repetitive nonsense.

The following is my submission submitted on 24/8 and rejected the same day in this message: “Thanks for this submission, but we have had a “deluge” of flood letters and op eds from all sides so I don’t feel the need to highlight the issue again at the moment – certainly if there’s not anything new in it, as such”.

I have seen little evidence of the cited “deluge”.

The South Dunedin flood of June 2015 may be a tipping point during next month’s local body election. Many voters will look at the burgeoning candidates list for the Dunedin City Council and ask “who will provide the cornerstone elements of responsibility, accountability and integrity?”

Residents and business owners in South Dunedin have been sorely tested in recent times through the failure of the DCC to maintain its infrastructure. Among those adversely affected were elderly residents at Radius Fulton Home, including a number of dementia patients, the most vulnerable in our community, who were subjected to floodwaters containing sewage and transferred from the safety of their home in a crisis beyond acceptance. Some were accommodated as far away as Balclutha and Oamaru and three months passed before the facility was re-opened.

Following the flood, obfuscation clouded the failures that led to the inundation of homes and businesses and the investigation and report into the affair was 12 months in gestation. Officials and councillors, captured by the twin mantras of climate change and rising sea level, avoided any suggestion of culpability to limit the likelihood of litigation, and offered no solace that might have been construed as admission of liability.

The mayor and others were quick to blame rising sea level causing increased groundwater, combined with an “extreme weather event”, the result of climate change, and went so far as suggesting that a planned retreat from South Dunedin may be necessary in the future. The rainfall was described as a one-in-100-year event then gradually downgraded, but none of these pretexts are realistic. Questions arise over who is responsible for what, and how serious are the threats of rising sea level, more frequent adverse weather caused by climate change, and the “sinking of South Dunedin”, not to mention “retreat”.

Dunedin and environs have been subjected to much larger weather events in the past. Flooding of the entire city is well recorded and in particular photographs of the 1923 flood depict rowing in floodwaters in the city as well as inundation in South Dunedin. During a storm in 1898 large tracts of St Clair Esplanade were destroyed by the sea which damaged many houses, leaving some partly suspended. More recently, the storms of 1968 were greater than last year’s, delivering 10% more rainfall. In 1968 there were 90 properties invaded by floodwater, whereas last year some 1200 properties were flooded and many contaminated with effluent. Clearly last year’s event was exceptional only for the damage created and lives disrupted.

At a public meeting in South Dunedin on June 20, more than 12 months after the event, those affected had an opportunity to hear an explanation in the hope that someone might take responsibility for the extent of the damage. Despite a good representation of councillors there was no empathy and no likelihood of accountability. What the meeting heard was a long explanation of how the three-waters system works, or doesn’t work, as the case may be, and of failure at the pumping station from chief executive, Dr Sue Bidrose and other staff. The question is “when did the city’s councillors abdicate?”

south-dunedin-flood-june-2015-radionz-co-nzSouth Dunedin June 2015 [radionz.co.nz]

It can be argued that the damage and distress was the result of neglect, but the DCC says problems at the pumping station added only 200mm to the flooding which would have occurred anyway. Which 200mm was it? Maybe the first 200mm flowed across the ground, reached blocked drains then deepened throughout the area, or perhaps the last 200mm increased the depth and entered homes and business premises carrying undesirable flotsam. Without the extra 200mm would the water have stopped at the thresholds rather than flowing inside?

What of the rising sea level threat? Is it as urgent and as devastating as the commissioner for the environment, some DCC councillors and the Green Party say? The Greens proffer that the Government should help to pay for the reconfiguration of South Dunedin. Why? There has been no disaster on the scale of the Canterbury earthquakes and there is no immediate danger condemning South Dunedin, for if sea level were to rise according to some projections, north Dunedin and other areas are also in jeopardy meaning protection on the coast is futile because the flat land would be inundated from the harbour.

Could it be that models of sea level rise around New Zealand are exaggerated and distorted by the multiplier effect have been grossly over stated? And do the $7 million apartment complex at the Esplanade to be completed next year and the DCC’s belated discussion on a South Dunedin hub indicate mixed messages on the subject?

There is no doubt that the infrastructure must be maintained to the highest level and upgrading implemented with haste. The seafront calls for a level-headed approach to protect the sandhills which shelter the city from the ocean. In the past a network of groynes captured the sand, maintaining a broad beach to dissipate the energy of the waves. The network succeeded for nearly 100 years, but without maintenance fell victim to the ocean, so is it time to reinstate a similar system and then plan carefully for the next 100 to 200 years?

Council says that infrastructure will require “tens of millions of dollars” we cannot afford, but plans to spend some $37 million on George Street and the Octagon, followed by development of the harbourside. These “tens of millions” surely must be re-allocated to South Dunedin for infrastructure, to build a second pumping station, and provide realistic coastal protection.

Dunedin needs new councillors who will make hard decisions, reduce spending on fripperies and attend to basics; people who are prepared to drill deep into reports and costings and who are not afraid to make unpalatable decisions when needed rather than govern with slogans and platitudes.

Declaration: Conrad Stedman is my nephew.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

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