My Application to the Dunedin High Court against the DCC

Click on the download button to open the 13 page document.

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The case against George St pedestrianisation by stealth

Do you want the DCC to borrow $60 million on your behalf for pedestrianising George st to the Exchange?



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DCC DIGS DEEPER INTO DEBT DOO-DOO

Today some Councillors appeared surprised that the extremely expensive UNBALANCED ANNUAL PLAN BUDGET that they [except me] voted for in June has resulted in a $45 million increase in DCC debt that would next year breach our DCC-only $350 million debt limit legislated in the current 10 year Plan.
DCC COMPANY DEBT for which we are all liable is additional.
Rather than limit unsustainable spending increases such as the year on year 8% cumulative increases in staff costs, all except Cr. Radich and me voted to massively increase the DCC debt limit to 250% of annual revenue, more than doubling the DCC-only fixed debt limit to $698 million.
Extraordinary justifications for this rate and pillage of the next generation decision included:


Mayor Hawkins – “we are borrowing for intergenerational investment”.

Cr. Staynes – “we have to do infrastructure projects and we have no choice”.

Cr. Lord – “I don’t feel super-alarmed by increases in debt”.

Cr. Houlahan – “if we double the debt, does that mean we have to double rates?”.

Cr. Whiley – “this is not an open-cheque-book going forward”.

Crs. Whiley and Walker joined the staff chorus of “this proposal is for a debt limit, not a debt target”. Note – the current debt limit was already 98.9% taken up.


Staff claimed not to know if there had ever been a debt-limit reduction in the last 20 years.

Mayor Hawkins and Cr. Walker claimed the increase was in response to a “much demanded spend program” when in fact the vast majority of Annual Plan submissions [200] wanted a zero rates rise, and the second most submitted on item [172 submitters including almost all Community Boards] wanted the planned $60 million ‘surface treatments’ of the Central City upgrade to be shelved.

The yellow bar in the graph shows the debt extent of the June UNBALANCED BUDGET that now forces the massive increase of the the previous $350 million debt limit, which the Cull Council already increased by $65 million in 2018.



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ODT = Otago Denied Truth #3

ODT still refuses to report on the FIRST EVER DCC UNBALANCED ANNUAL PLAN BUDGET, and the exceptional circumstances claimed for the extra borrowings.
Note – my mistake. The words ‘unbalanced budget’ do appear in an ODT article text that I had missed seeing, but a report on this unprecedented decision has still not appeared.

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 15 July 2020 at 5:35 PM
To: Hamish MacLean <hamish.maclean@alliedpress.co.nz>
Cc: Grant McKenzie <grant@alliedpress.co.nz>, “Nicholas. Smith” <nicholas.smith@xtra.co.nz>, EditorODT <editor@odt.co.nz>
Subject: Public interest

Dear Hamish,

… 

I also find it incredible that your monopoly print media seem not to have reported the first ever DCC UNBALANCED BUDGET and much of what that involves including borrowing $7.5 million to pay for  ever increasing operational costs. Or have I missed a major article on this?  

You have real stories here, with factual documentation, yet these stories are only available on social media.

I look forward to some indication that further supply of information to you will be treated in the Public Interest.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

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ODT = Otago Denied Truth #2

Today’s ODT ‘Firebrand Councillor’ article falsely claims that I accepted my loudness crossed the line. “Even Cr. Vandervis accepted his loudness crossed the line”. Not true – I never accepted crossing any line. It was falsely accusing Councillors that crossed many lines, I was merely loud when falsely accused of ‘just having a go’.
The article also claims that in my defence to Councillors I “used up my time flinging insults”. Again not true. My response transcript below shows that I rejected an incompetent report, false accusations, insults and sexist accusations, and that I did not fling insults.
The ODT claims the investigator “believed witnesses did not exaggerate the severity of the incident”, yet the investigator’s report notes elsewhere that Cr. Radich [and the ODT reporter who were less than 10 metres away] “noticed nothing” of the claimed ‘screaming and yelling’.

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dcc/firebrand-councillor-case-and-against

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ODT = Otago Denied Truth #1

The ODT have repeatedly published ‘Screaming’ and ‘Yelling’ claims last week that they know to be false because their own DCC reporter was talking with Cr. Radich less than 10 meters away, and the investigator’s report confirms they heard nothing.

https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-national/screaming-vandervis-investigated-after-tirade-deputy-mayor

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Sad departure forced from Otago Museum Board and Dunedin Licensing Committee.

I have considered the resolution of the Council and decided that I cannot in good conscience deliver the apology insisted on as it would be dishonest and insincere.

I am disappointed that this means that I need to resign from the positions that I volunteered for as Councillor on the Otago Museum Trust and the Dunedin Licensing Committee. I have enjoyed the contribution that I have made to each organisation and I hope that the Councillor who replaces me will be able to contribute as I have in the interests of those organisations and Dunedin City ratepayers.
I will not be making any further comment on this matter.

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dcc/councillors-united-against-vandervis

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My response to the DCC Code of Conduct process that I do not recognise as properly constituted or balanced.

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020 at 1:23 PM
To: Emma Perry <emma.perry@odt.co.nz>
Cc: Hamish MacLean <hamish.maclean@alliedpress.co.nz>
Subject: FW: Alleged breach of Code of Conduct Final

Ta for your interest in this issue Emma,

The response I hope to have the opportunity to deliver is as below.

FYI

Dunedin City Council decisions and reports should be evidence-based and balanced.
In my experience they are increasingly not evidence-based, and this latest Code of Conduct report shows how evidence can be suppressed or simply ignored.

This Code of Conduct report has been written by an investigator whose previous DCC Code of Conduct report was so deficient that she omitted to interview or communicate in any way with the complainant, completely contradicted herself on the fundamental issue of materiality, and ignored written first-person email evidence.
I have complained about this investigator [which the ODT falsely reported as having found FOR my Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Hawkins] to our Acting Chief Executive.
I have also made a formal complaint to the NZ Law Society about this investigator, and was amazed that she was again chosen to investigate the current Code of Conduct complaint against me.
Last year’s DCC Code of Conduct process created a storm of negative publicity against me in the run-up to last year’s Mayoral election which came from a leak within the Council.  The Code of Conduct was a diversion response to a complaint I made about a Council employee and a faulty parking machine.  My complaint about the employee not doing her job was ignored.
I have personally financed Court Action against the DCC and the investigator of these abuses of bureaucratic process that is set down for a Judicial Review to be heard in the High Court on the 19th of November next month.

I do not recognise this current investigator, her report, or the current Code of Conduct process for these and other reasons, but I wish to speak to what has been alleged now as my only opportunity to publicly provide my evidence regarding my latest alleged Code of Conduct breach.

WHAT DID I ACTUALLY SAY and why is what I said never mentioned?

In many pages of evidence from Mayoral A-team Councillors Garey, Walker and Laufiso, the only words of mine recorded are my parting ‘I will point at whoever I like’, which was in response to Deputy Garey’s demand ‘Don’t you dare point at me!’.
My raised voice was in response to Garey’s false accusation that I “was just having a go”, cutting across my complaint of her not doing her job as Deputy Mayor.

The meeting video evidence shows Deputy Garey ruling without establishing what my Point of Order was. Garey simply parroted Mayor Hawkins’ inappropriate defence of himself on the Point of Order, absurdly claiming that “I didn’t mention you Cr Vandervis”, while at the same time admitting that it was inappropriate to rule on a Point of Order against himself.
Deputy Garey was not doing her job as she had an obligation to consider and rule on my point of order and not simply regurgitate what the Mayor claimed.

There is a history of my being critical of Deputy Garey’s actions as a Councillor, going back to her being the Councillor representative for over a year on the board of the Fortune Theatre, and not telling Council that the Fortune was in dire straits until the situation could not be saved and the decision was already made to close and sell-up all Fortune assets.
This Code of Conduct arose because I again criticised Deputy Garey for not doing her job, that she was instead parroting Mayor Hawkins’ ‘I didn’t mention you Cr. Vandervis’ absurdity, and was promoting Cr Benson-Pope to yet another 2GP paid position of power despite perceived conflicts of interest as highlighted by myself and others like Cr. Houlahan.

In the Code of Conduct against me, I am falsely accused by Cr Walker of Screaming and Yelling, which has made damaging ODT Headlines, but which was untrue and not even possible given the evidence of others in the room like Cr. Radich who is recorded as having heard nothing at all less than 10 meters away while talking with the ODT reporter.
The reason I raised my voice to Deputy Garey was that she refused to listen to my description of what my point of order actually was and she cut across my initially conversational tone with the false accusation that I was “just having a go”, which was untrue but exactly what Mayor Hawkins did, resulting in my Point of Order.
Overnight I recognised that it was a mistake to raise my voice even when provoked, and I sent an apology to all within earshot next morning for that and for not putting my complaints of Deputy Garey in writing.
I  also resolved in my apology to ensure that I make all such future complaints in writing. That should have been the end of it, but an opportunity was then seized on by Mayor Hawkins’ A-team, now an attack team, to publicly discredit the only serious challenger to their Mayoralty.
Also untrue is the claim that our faces were only 20cm apart. I am insufficiently fond of Deputy Mayor of Dunedin City Garey to have been anywhere near that close to her. 
Deputy Garey and Cr Walker have accused me in this Code of Conduct of being excessively tall, male and red in the face. As Cr. O’Malley noted, I have a ruddy complexion anyway. Regarding the other accusations, I refuse to have height-corrective or transgender surgery, or to employ make-up like Deputy Garey to hide my true face.
The accusation is true that I pointed at Deputy Garey to emphasise that it was her rather than those crowding around that I was addressing, but the accusation of ‘repeated stabbing motions to her face’ is untrue.
Another accusation from Cr Walker is that I was “almost spitting”.  Like being ‘almost elected’, this confirms that I was not spitting at all, and again confirms Cr. Waker’s bias as he will clutch at ‘almosts’ in an attempt to discredit me and to make damaging headlines.

As with previous Code of Conduct arguments against me, this one is entirely a ‘tone argument’ defined in Wikipedia as “a personal attack and anti-debate tactic based on criticizing a person for expressing emotion. Tone argument detracts from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself.”


While I reject all the Code of Conduct claims from Garey, Walker and Laufiso, and the one-sided investigator, I do admit that it was my mistake to complain to her verbally, and also my mistake to have raised my voice. I sincerely apologised for both of these mistakes in my email to her and others within earshot the following morning.
My undertaking in that apology to make all my future non-public complaints in writing should ensure that there is no further opportunity for such unpleasantness.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

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Another Code of Conduct complaint to smother my complaints.

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>

Date: Thursday, 22 October 2020 at 4:59 PM

To: Grant Miller <grant.miller@odt.co.nz>, Hamish McNeilly <hamish.mcneilly@stuff.co.nz>

Subject: Latest CoC

    Hi Grant,

    Like all previous Code of Conduct complaints against me, this Mayoral A-team loudness complaint serves to smother my initial complaints of Mayoral and Deputy abuses of position and of proper process.

    Calling out people who are not doing their job including the ODT who have still not reported on Council’s first ever UNBALANCED Annual Plan Budget, is the long evident pattern of my behaviour in the public interest.

    Regards,

    Cr. Lee Vandervis



https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dcc/screaming-vandervis-investigated-after-tirade-deputy-mayor

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Dunedin Heritage Fund Resignation.

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Tuesday, 22 September 2020 at 12:49 PM
To: Aaron Hawkins <aaron.hawkins@dcc.govt.nz>, Andrea Farminer <Andrea.Farminer@dcc.govt.nz>, Anna Johnson <Anna.Johnson@dcc.govt.nz>, Lauren McDonald <Lauren.McDonald@dcc.govt.nz>, ‘Andrew Barsby’ <ABarsby@heritage.org.nz>, David Benson-Pope <David.Benson-Pope@dcc.govt.nz>, Jane Macknight <JMacknight@heritage.org.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, Lisa Fitzgerald <Lisa.Fitzgerald@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: The Dunedin Heritage Fund

Dear Mayor Hawkins,

I have served on the DHF for many years, and it has been my favourite subcommittee in the days when our Heritage Planner Glen Hazelton worked cooperatively and effectively with property owners and developers to secure many threatened Dunedin Heritage Buildings, and who was able to persuade our Planning and Consents departments to ignore the ‘big box retail’ requirement for the Vogel st area, and allow successful private sector development and restoration of this superb Vogel st. Heritage Precinct.
All of this was achieved with pitifully small DHF funding, which we were able to leverage effectively as tokens of encouragement and positive publicity heightened by the Annual Heritage Awards, for which I routinely donated the sound systems.
Unfortunately The Heritage Awards later altered from a Heritage preservation/celebration focus to becoming a platform for political grandstanding, in particular by Mayor Cull and Cr. Benson-Pope, so I withdrew from the Awards but continued on the DHF subcommittee.
Cr. Benson-Pope’s increasing influence in the DHF had the welcome effect of significantly increasing the amount of annual DCC grants able to be dispensed, but his ‘rich-applicant bad, poor applicant good’ ideology, and his personal antipathy toward me as chair has made being on the DHF much less enjoyable. An example was the DHF agreeing to fully fund a complete residential slate roof replacement because the owner was hopelessly unable to afford any building maintenance. 
 
As Chair of this triennium’s DHF, I have instigated a review of the Heritage Fund original Deed which is outdated and no longer reflects the workings of the Fund, and I have proposed a new more independent structure for the Heritage Fund that would encourage donations and bequests, and free the Fund from possible conflicts with the DCC, especially from its regulatory departments.
Increasing DCC regulatory requirements have become a major impediment to restoring Heritage Buildings, and as Chair of the Fund I have had to front several complaints from long-established Heritage developers who are now so frustrated by detailed bureaucratic impediments that they will no longer attempt Heritage restoration in Dunedin.
I have had similar complaints as a Councillor from large and small Commercial Property developers [often not Heritage] that the DCC now makes things just too hard and frustrating and that they now only do development outside of Dunedin. I note that this has been a problem for some time, highlighted perhaps by the DCC developing its wood processing facility out of the Dunedin area, partly because of easier regulatory restrictions in Milton. 

My hopes for an updated legal deed basis for the DHF, and the development of the Fund as a more separate entity capable of attracting external funding appears to have been mired in the kind of low prioritisation that finally saw Cr. Benson-Pope sink my motion for a Unitary Council report after two years of inaction.

Most recently, I have been saddened by the increasingly proscriptive and punitive effects on DHF processes by Heritage NZ, who have long history of positive membership on the subcommittee. 
The recent forcing of a developer with conditions including requiring the use of poisonous expensive sheet lead over more modern materials, and the court order sought by HNZ forcing us to spend an additional $400,000 plus ongoing maintenance on a set of manuka sticks is detailed in my email to HNZ as below.

My role on the Dunedin Heritage Fund has now become so compromised that I feel I can no longer act effectively in the interests of Dunedin Heritage. I believe that silver lining to the cloud of Dunedin’s long lack of development, its Heritage Buildings, are essential to our future development and branding. Hopefully some new Chair and Heritage Fund member will be better positioned to take the Fund forward more effectively.


Please accept this email as my resignation from the DCC Heritage Fund.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Monday, 21 September 2020 at 10:37 PM
To: Jane Macknight <JMacknight@heritage.org.nz>, Sheila Watson <swatson@heritage.org.nz>
Cc: ‘Andrew Barsby’ <ABarsby@heritage.org.nz>
Subject: Heritage New Zealand in Dunedin

Hi Jane and Sheila,

I have had the pleasure of meeting Jane briefly at our last DCC Heritage Fund meeting, but hope you will both excuse me for providing an introduction of my heritage activities and description of issues I have experienced involving HNZ.

Following some limited restoration work on 2 buildings in London in the 1970’s, I have spent the last 40 years doing full restoration personally of a number of private and commercial buildings in Dunedin.
These include:
50 Dundas st.            Methodist church, Sunday School and Manse 1860s+

401 Moray place.     2 storey commercial building c 1920s 

31 Elgin road.            3 story villa residence 1890s

45 Garfield Avenue. 2 storey cottage 1880s

47 Garfield Avenue. 2 storey villa 1880s.  ODT cover story at beginning of blog  leevandervis.com
69 O’Connell road.   2 x 2 storey villas conjoined, one 1850s and the other 1910ish.


My builder father taught me much of the trade informally in NZ from a young age despite my clear intention to have a career in electronics which I pursued successfully in London and Australia before setting up Vandervision Audio and Lighting in Dunedin in 1982.
Since coming back to Dunedin, I have mixed my Vandervision electronics career with restoring Heritage buildings including those above, in any spare time I have had. 
Restoration of all of these buildings involved removal of later abominations, some asbestos, and many required removal of: lead-head nails, lead paint, pipes, valleys and flashings to make possible use of roof-supply water.




A fervent admirer of the work of the NZ Historic Places Trust in the 80s saw me working toward the saving of several Dunedin Heritage buildings and later the successful detailed application to the HPT to get Dunedin’s famous Carisbrook listed as a Category One site.
My first HPT shock came when the Category One protection listing for Carisbrook suddenly counted for almost nothing, as the HPT buckled to wanton mindless destruction of all but the old brick turnstiles to make way for a steel-supply shed and a wasteland. I was a City Councillor by this time, and had good information on the extraordinary losses incurred by the people of Dunedin, not just in the loss of their iconic rugby ground but the millions lost in the purchase and subsequent half cost sale of Carisbrook to ensure its erasure.


More recently his year, your HNZ advocate on the DCC Heritage Fund [which I chair] Andrew Barsby, has displayed worrying ideology with respect to only original materials to be used as conditions of Heritage Fund grants, in particular sheet lead which I have been in the business of removing for decades from all my Heritage restorations because of its toxicity.
I have gone along with some unnecessarily expensive requirements for e.g. the original slate type to be conditional for some Heritage Fund Grants, but I am not prepared to be personally associated with any requirement to forcibly introduce lead into our environment.  
HNZ seems to have buckled in this case to the absurd and contradictory claims of the NZ Sheet Lead Association, rather than making evidence-based decisions on lead for which there is no safe level in the environment.   I can forward a number of emails I have already sent to Andrew explaining some this evidence if required.

Most recently, I was appalled to discover that HNZ has gone to the trouble and expense of obtaining a Court Order to force the DCC to spend some $400,000 on the further preservation and display of a quantity of decayed manuka sticks that were unearthed in the ‘too hurried’ excavation of the Wall st shopping mall by the DCC over a decade ago. This new spend is now to come on top of the extraordinary sums already spent on a court case, photographic atrium display in Wall st, the environmentally controlled preservation of approximately a hundred manuka sticks, and the public display and preservation of sample manuka sticks at Toitu.
I am aware of a 2008 DCC legal undertaking to display not just a photo of the manuka mud-sticks [elevated by ideologs to the status of ‘causeway’], but the sticks themselves, but wonder why this absurd spend is being legally enforced by HNZ after all these years. 
My personal view is that uncarved manuka sticks of whatever age used to suppress mud are scarcely worthy of mention, leave alone expensive preservation and display, as I have about 10 acres of them on our farm as do thousands of other rural property owners. 

The issue now then, is one of the credibility of HNZ, its priorities [allow Cat 1 Carisbrook demolition, but must spend half a million dollars preserving muddy sticks] and what appears to be absurd materials ideology that is not in the public interest but is at great public expense.
Decades of valuable HPT/HNZ work has created a remarkable sympathy and compliance by developers and the public at large with real Heritage values in NZ, but this most valuable awareness is now at risk because of new ideologies, wasteful legal processes, and some failures to preserve what is of real Heritage value.

The burgeoning compliance disease that keeps growing in Planning and Consents is now infecting HNZ, and avoidance and non-compliance will inevitably result as the high-regard which HPT/HNZ had earned becomes eroded.
You are losing me as an advocate, and other important developers and industry professionals besides because of unreasonable priorities and overweening controls.

I write this in the hope that you may moderate your enforcement extremes and focus again on fostering Heritage goodwill and love of Heritage [rather than legislated power] 

That, in my view, is the only way to ensure widespread Heritage appreciation and survival.

Kind regards,

Lee Vandervis
021-612340

47 Garfield Avenue
Roslyn
Dunedin 9010

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Mayor Hawkins used his position to exclude non-compilant Councillors and my interview question despite my protest below:

On 16/09/2020, at 10:19 AM, Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz> wrote:

Dear Mayor Hawkins,

I have asked one question following a process inviting Councillor questions for CEO candidates to answer, as my only opportunity as a Councillor in this whole CEO appointment process to get a considered response from only the final cut of applicants.

This question was first left off the CEO applicant’s question list altogether, with a staff apology for somehow missing it, and now is still left off the list with your absurd suggestion below that “There was never an expectation that everything raised would be included verbatim.”.

When I ask a formal question for due consideration it is my express expectation that my question will be asked as I wrote it, and not some other related question.

My question which I insist you forward as written to the short list candidates for consideration is:

“What CEO experience do you bring to manage the restructuring required to deal with DCC CCO’s that have failed to perform for so many years despite some management changes?”

My question is precisely worded to flush out what experience of dealing with Council Companies the CEO applicant has, and what their awareness is of the state of our Council Controlled Organisations.
In your brief reign as Mayor, you have already excluded me from any Committee Chairmanship roles and from any other extra paid positions, as well as exclusion from the CEO appointment subcommittee. 
Excluding my one question of only the final cut of applicants is not acceptable.

Cr. Lee Vandervis


From: Aaron Hawkins <Aaron.Hawkins@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2020 at 8:40 AM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: Clare Sullivan <clare.sullivan@dcc.govt.nz>, “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: In confidence: Interview template 17 September

Kia ora Lee 

The suggestions people made for questions have been incorporated, amended, expanded, and in some cases left out completely for the sake of time.

There was never an expectation that everything raised would be included verbatim. 

I think the relationship between council and its companies is worth including, and thank you for the reminder to include it. It is a specific relationship to manage in the DCC context. 

Telling us whether or not they agree with your assessment is the opportunity candidates will have in responding to it. 

Ka mihi 

Aaron Hawkins

MAYOR OF DUNEDIN 
TE KOROMATUA O ŌTEPOTI

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SIGN-OFF?

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/hospital-business-case-gets-sign

so they intend to build our Hospital with this pre-election confirmation, but the detailed business case is further delayed, even the concept design remains unfinished and it does not get sign off until February next year.

The unsuitability of the site’s poor ground conditions has confirmed that due diligence was not done prior to site purchase, and now will involve extraordinary extra foundation costs, and the anticipation of site flooding will force further extra costs with having to raise the height of lower facilities.

“the ground floors of the hospital buildings would need to be much higher so they would remain operational in case of flooding.”

The problem of the new building lacking functional integration by being split across St Andrew st because of cost has been ‘solved’ by claiming that a stronger separation of services with connecting bridges is a positive.

Still no published plan for parking, but acknowledgement that Pete Hodgson’s suggestion of an underground car-park is not possible because of ‘unsuitable ground conditions…

This incompetent site selection was anticipated back in April 2017 https://leevandervis.com/2020/04/04/hospital-still-being-built-says-health-minister-clark/

 

odt.co.nz

Hospital business case gets sign-off

Dunedin’s new hospital is a step closer, with Cabinet signing off in principle on the development’s detailed business case. However, Health…

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Total disregard for this year’s Annual Plan Consultation result is highlighted on the video from 1.24 onwards. 1.26 onwards highlights no budget for new Landfill required for 2023.

ODT failed to report the budgeted DCC BILLION$ group debt all of last year until after the October election, and has this year failed to report the first ever DCC Annual Plan Unbalanced Budget, where we are borrowing to finance swollen operational budgets..

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Insights into DCC management ex Richard Healey today on FB

Richard Healey There are many people here who seem to believe the maxim “no smoke without fire”. I suggest they follow the link below and view staff comments on the culture of the organisation presided over by Bidrose – the maker of the list of “complaints” against Lee Vandervis.

Its not pretty reading, here is a small selection from among the many comments made by staff at DCC about their managers and their toxic workplace – managers and a workplace that Bidrose is responsible for.

“A job that would be good if it weren’t for the petty management. Bullying and harassment, lazy coworkers and pathetic management. The DCC is known for all of this but the higher ups don’t care, they are content with the cesspool of a work environment they have created and encourage.”

” The DCC is a place where some managers are able to yell and swear at staff, and bully people. Some of the managers are never there. When you try and raise a concern you just get told your concern isn’t relevant. I am trying to find a new job now because it’s so horrible coming to work each day.”

” If you want to be bullied, DCC is the place to go
Administration (Current Employee) – Dunedin New Zealand – 2 October 2018
If you want to be the bully, DCC is also the place to go as noone will stop you. They do have a whistle blower policy, but who is brave enough to use it.
Cons
Inappropriate behaviour from the top down”

“The negatives outweigh the positives I’m afraid. The leadership is dysfunctional. Some of the senior managers threaten and intimidate to get their way. Unprofessional leaders.”

“There is so much bullying and a lot of it starts with the managers and senior leaders. There is a lack of transparency and recruitment to positions is on a ‘who you know’ basis. Depending on who you are, there might not even be a recruitment process!! I have witnessed bullying from very senior people but people are too scared to say anything and if they do they ‘disappear’.”

Bureaucratic intransigent unprofessional full of gossip and lack of respect
Manager (Former Employee) – Dunedin, Otago – 16 July 2017
Chaotic and unsupported
Learned not to trust anyone in organisation.
Top down micro management, poor leadership skills
Lazy employees, supported non performers and didn’t support leaders and innovators. Not interested in new work methods.

https://nz.indeed.com/cmp/Dunedin-City-Council/reviews…

Working at Dunedin City Council: Employee Reviews | Indeed.com

nz.indeed.com

Working at Dunedin City Council: Employee Reviews | Indeed.com

Working at Dunedin City Council: Employee Reviews | Indeed.com

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8 years of DCC ‘events’ recorded by CEO…and falsely claimed to be Complaints.

A Complaint at the DCC needs to be logged as such, properly investigated, and the person complained of specifically advised of the Complaint and outcome.
None of this happened with the “11 Complaints” claimed for the 2016-2019 triennium by Mayor Cull and the ODT in the run-up to the 2019 election.

I own being loud going about it, but this is what you get for whistle-blowing: DCC Company subdivision scandals, Citifleet frauds, mud-tank contractors paid for cleaning zero mudtanks, unanimous Council report buried for years, confidential motions leaked, attempted burial of evidence with false claims of confidentiality, and many other DCC issues.

Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 6.09.48 PM

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The ODT has falsely claimed that “In the last triennium, 2016-19, there were 12 complaints against the councillor.” I will be progressing this with my lawyer on Monday.

'Harassment' responses

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Mayor Hawkins breached confidence on my non-public, non-staff CEO motions.

The ODT headline below misrepresents the breach of confidentiality identified in my Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Hawkins.

As the following emails sent a week ago to the ODT show, Mayor Hawkins breached confidentiality and did not apologise to me.
From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 at 7:25 PM
To: Hamish McNeilly <hamish.mcneilly@stuff.co.nz>
Subject: Code of Conduct Complaint against Mayor Hawkins – 3 of the issues

Hi Hamish,

There have been a number of remarkable claims/counterclaims surrounding my Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Hawkins.

Notably:
#1 – Investigator Dyhrberg below has said “that if the alleged breach is established, then the breach would be material.” and later, having established the very clear email-proven breach, somehow ruled that the breach was not-material. I have been unable to get a cogent response to this bare-faced contradiction.

#2 – The claim by Head of Governance Sandy Graham that her summation of the Code of Conduct decision had to remain Confidential. Clearly this attempt to keep it under wraps was  inappropriate, as confirmed by independent legal advice.

#3 – the claim that an apology has been made to me by Mayor Hawkins? I have not identified an apology as yet.

Email trails relevant to each of these issues follows.

Cheers,

Lee

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 at 7:25 PM
To: Hamish McNeilly <hamish.mcneilly@stuff.co.nz>
Subject: Code of Conduct against Mayor Hawkins, decision by Dyhrberg. Issue #1

#1 – Investigator Dyhrberg below has said “that if the alleged breach is established, then the breach would be material.” and later having established the very clear email-proven breach, somehow ruled that the breach was not-material. I have been unable to get a cogent response to this bare-faced contradiction.

From: Sharon Bodeker <Sharon.Bodeker@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 5 December 2019 at 3:07 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Subject: RE: Confidential – Code of Conduct

Dear Lee

Further to my email below, I wanted to update you on progress on your complaint.  Ms Dyhrberg has assessed that if the alleged breach is established, then the breach would be material.  She is now investigating if a breach has occurred.  A report of her findings is expected to be received sometime next week.

Kind regards

Sharon

From: Aaron Hawkins <Aaron.Hawkins@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 30 January 2020 at 4:43 PM
To: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct matter – email

Thanks Sandy

And may I add my apologies to all elected members for the lack of rigour around the appraisal process.

It would have been preferable for all parties to have a better shared understanding of how it would run, in advance of it coming to the meeting.

As you will have noted in the papers for tomorrow, the Chief Executive Appraisal Committee has not been reconstituted in this triennium. My intention is to outsource the facilitation of this work in future, to people with suitable expertise, involving all council members in that process.

Ka mihi

Aaron

Aaron Hawkins

MAYOR OF DUNEDIN 
TE KOROMATUA O ŌTEPOTI

From: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 30 January 2020 at 4:33 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@oa.dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Code of Conduct matter – email

Good afternoon Councillor

I can advise (after seeking a legal opinion)  that my email below is public information and is not confidential.

I have copied all Councillors as the email in question was sent to them all.

Regards

Sandy

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Sent: Sunday, 19 January 2020 9:18 a.m.
To: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: Confidential – Code of Conduct matter

Hi Sandy,

I understand that you want the Dyhrberg attachment to be confidential, but is there any reason for your email below to be confidential?

Cheers,

Lee

From: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Friday, 17 January 2020 at 3:11 PM
To: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Confidential – Code of Conduct matter

Dear Councillors

In confidence

Recently, a code of complaint against the Mayor was received from Cr Vandervis about a breach of confidence relating to the CEO appraisal process relating to the 12 November 2019 Council meeting.

An independent investigator was appointed as per the process in the Code of Conduct. As the complaint related to matters associated with the CEO, I was delegated responsibility for the process.

The investigator – Steph Dyhrberg –  has determined that there was a breach but that it was non-material. In the case of a non-material breach, the investigator informs the CEO and can make recommendations. The investigator’s decision and any recommendations are not open to challenge. The recommendations are non-binding.

Her report is attached for all Councillors information. This report is confidential as the matters discussed in it are non-public.

You will see from the report that there are a number of recommendations relating to operational and procedural matters. These recommendations have been reviewed and the recommended changes are being progressed. There will be a follow-up report on progress and the process improvements that have been made as a result.

If you have any questions, please direct them to me in the first instance.

Regards

Sandy

Sandy Graham

General Manager City Services               

From: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Tuesday, 19 November 2019 at 5:31 PM
To: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: Andrea Jones <Andrea.Jones@dcc.govt.nz>, Graham McKerracher <Graham.McKerracher@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: FW: LGOIMA information request. CEO travel.

Dear Councillors

Today we have answered a LGOIMA from Cr Vandervis (attached below) about the number of days was not in my office in the 365 days preceding the LGOIMA, from 26 October 2018-25 October 2019.  The answer given was that on 150 of the proceeding 365 days I did not work in my office/DCC premises.

I thought I would let you know about this in the light of a suggestion made, but not passed, at my Performance Review to add a KPI that I should be required to work from my office, or the city, on 90% of days in a year.  It is also useful because someone has informed the Otago Daily Times that there is disquiet around the Council table about the number of days I am out of Dunedin or the DCC, and leave or time in lieu I have  taken.  Please note this is not a question that has ever been raised with me so I was appalled to find that someone has raised this with the ODT on your behalf, without ever asking me and without any facts to either support or contradict such a claim.  As you are all my employer and have obligations to me accordingly, I have to assume none of you would behave in that manner, but some of you may have been approached by whoever has made the claim so it is important you have some facts behind you.

How many days did I work in that one-year period?

I would like to note first that being CEO is a full time, 24/7 job, where I am contactable pretty much all the time – much like yourselves.  And it is worth noting that modern work patterns include working on emails and reports, taking phone calls from any location – a lot of the time most of my staff would not know where I am, physically, unless we are actually meeting.  In addition, it is worth pointing out that I now have a very competent second-tier team (and third-tier for that matter) who run their parts of the business very well, but who also know they can ring me when I am of town, either working or on leave.  The figures below only relate to days of work needing my physical presence at meetings and events – like most of you, emails and phone calls happen every day, every evening.

By way of background, in an average 365 day period there are 142 non-working weekend/statutory/annual leave days.  This leaves 223 days where we expect DCC’s full-time employees to work, less any sick leave if required.  As best I can tell (noting that I have never kept a formal record because my work ethic has never been challenged), I worked over 275 days in that one-year period.  I am certainly comfortable that my number of working days well exceeds the 223 days above, and in a typical week I work 5 week days, plus one weekend day or part-day and a couple of evenings.

As Time in lieu was specifically mentioned to the ODT, in the 365 days in question I took 10 days as Time in Lieu (TiL) leave.   This is somewhat higher than other years, I think, because of the TiL taken for the for 5 of the 6 weekend days I spent in China.  In each case TiL was approved by the Mayor.   Although I worked on 45 weekend days, TiL was only taken for 10 of the weekend days where I worked a full weekend day and did not have home life time.   I have never taken TiL for evening or part-days worked.

What do I do when I work away from DCC?

Of the over-275 days I worked in that 365 day period, 62 were worked out of Dunedin – 41 weekdays and 21 weekend days.

 I travel within New Zealand for a variety of meetings to advance DCC’s interests, probably about once a month.  Wherever possible, such trips were arranged to have more than one meeting and serve more than one purpose.  The meetings in that year included topics such as waterfront development meetings, discussions with other local and central government CEOs about our work with government, meetings with national Union leaders, with the Minister of Local Government, the State Services Commission, work related to Civil Defence planning and the PGF, work touching on cyber security, meetings with central government CEOs that we work with, work to align Dunedin’s ‘construction pipeline’ with that in other parts of the country, and work looking at strategic drivers of change coming up in local government.  Some of these meetings were facilitated by or involved Local Government New Zealand or the Society for Local Government Managers, or occurred during meetings with LGNZ or SOLGM such as the quarterly ‘Metro Mayors meeting’, SOLGM board meetings and the SOLGM Central Government/Local Government CEO’s meeting.  Most were Wellington, some Auckland and a smaller number elsewhere.

Also in that year I made a single but sizeable a ‘project China’ visit of 16 days that year (10 weekdays and 6 weekend days).

A little over a year ago I was elected by Chief Executives internationally (but predominantly in the USA) to sit is on the international City Managers/CEO’s Association and their International Ethics Board.  This in a prestigious position where I was elected to represent the Southern Hemisphere, and it is important to point out that I was chosen at least in part because of my reputation in promoting excellence in Public Service Ethics.  My participation in this ICMA board for a three-year term was approved by the CEO’s Performance Committee, which agreed that I would use two of my weekend days and two work days for each quarterly meeting.  It usually also requires one leave day because of travel demands.  Between these quarterly meetings are teleconferences, usually at 5 or 6am because of time zones.  Council also allowed me, for my professional development, 4 days to attend the ICMA Annual Conference last month.  (DCC and I contribute equally to this time – there were 12 week days, 12 weekend and leave days).

I hope this answers any questions you may have.  If you do have disquiet about my work or what I do with my time, please feel free to come and talk to me, or raise it with the Mayor.

Kind regards

Sue

From: Sharon Bodeker
Sent: Tuesday, 19 November 2019 3:46 p.m.
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Subject: RE: LGOIMA information request. CEO travel.

Dear Cr Vandervis

I am writing in response to your LGOIMA request below about CEO travel.

There were 150 days of the 365 days prior to and including 25 October 2019 where the CEO did not work in her office or other DCC premises. Please note that this total includes weekend days, statutory days, annual and other leave days, and working days away from DCC.

The CEO visited two counties in these 365 days – China and the USA.

The trip to China was a ‘project China’ visit which was paid using Project China budget, and the CEO’s portion of that trip was $8,160.14. There were visits to three cities, and the purpose was to celebrate to 25th anniversary of the Shanghai Sister City agreement, the 150th anniversary of Otago University with Chinese alumni, to farewell the Mayor and to sign an MOU for deepening education collaboration, and to open the NZ-Shanghai Film Festival.

The CEO is on the International City Managers Association (ICMA) and their International Ethics Board.   The cost from the DCC CEO’s budget for this board participation and for ICMA conference attendance in the USA was $7,425.35.  The CEO also travelled within New Zealand for work purposes, and the total cost was $5,540.69.  Together, these total $12,966.04 of the CEO budget spent on travel over this period. (Note, there were no costs of any kind for ‘tours’ as mentioned in your LGOIMA request).

I trust this answers your request for information.

Kind regards

Sharon Bodeker

TEAM LEADER CIVIC               

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Sent: Friday, 25 October 2019 4:19 p.m.
To: Sharon Bodeker <Sharon.Bodeker@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: LGOIMA information request. CEO travel.

Hi Sharon,

Can you please tabulate how many days our CEO has been away from her DCC office in the last 365 days from today.
Can you also forward a list of countries our CEO has visited, the main reason for each visit, and what our CEO’s total national and international travel budget: flights/connections/ tours/accommodation etc. has cost during the last 365 days

Looking forward,

Lee

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 at 7:26 PM
To: Hamish McNeilly <hamish.mcneilly@stuff.co.nz>
Subject: Code of Conduct – Issue #2

#2 – The claim by Head of Governance Sandy Graham that her summation of the Code of Conduct decision had to remain Confidential. Clearly this keeping the Code of Conduct breach by Mayor Hawkins in non-public was inappropriate, as confirmed by independent legal advice.

From: Aaron Hawkins <Aaron.Hawkins@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 30 January 2020 at 4:43 PM
To: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct matter – email

Thanks Sandy

And may I add my apologies to all elected members for the lack of rigour around the appraisal process.

It would have been preferable for all parties to have a better shared understanding of how it would run, in advance of it coming to the meeting.

As you will have noted in the papers for tomorrow, the Chief Executive Appraisal Committee has not been reconstituted in this triennium. My intention is to outsource the facilitation of this work in future, to people with suitable expertise, involving all council members in that process.

Ka mihi

Aaron

Aaron Hawkins

MAYOR OF DUNEDIN 
TE KOROMATUA O ŌTEPOTI

 From: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 30 January 2020 at 4:33 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@oa.dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Code of Conduct matter – email

Good afternoon Councillor

I can advise (after seeking a legal opinion)  that my email below is public information and is not confidential.

 I have copied all Councillors as the email in question was sent to them all.

Regards

Sandy

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Sent: Sunday, 19 January 2020 9:18 a.m.
To: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: Confidential – Code of Conduct matter

Hi Sandy,

I understand that you want the Dyhrberg attachment to be confidential, but is there any reason for your email below to be confidential?

Cheers,

Lee

From: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Friday, 17 January 2020 at 3:11 PM
To: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Confidential – Code of Conduct matter

Dear Councillors

In confidence

Recently, a code of complaint against the Mayor was received from Cr Vandervis about a breach of confidence relating to the CEO appraisal process relating to the 12 November 2019 Council meeting.

An independent investigator was appointed as per the process in the Code of Conduct. As the complaint related to matters associated with the CEO, I was delegated responsibility for the process.

The investigator – Steph Dyhrberg –  has determined that there was a breach but that it was non-material. In the case of a non-material breach, the investigator informs the CEO and can make recommendations. The investigator’s decision and any recommendations are not open to challenge. The recommendations are non-binding.

Her report is attached for all Councillors information. This report is confidential as the matters discussed in it are non-public.

You will see from the report that there are a number of recommendations relating to operational and procedural matters. These recommendations have been reviewed and the recommended changes are being progressed. There will be a follow-up report on progress and the process improvements that have been made as a result.

If you have any questions, please direct them to me in the first instance.

Regards

Sandy

Sandy Graham

General Manager City Services               

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 at 7:26 PM
To: Hamish McNeilly <hamish.mcneilly@stuff.co.nz>
Subject: FW: Code of Conduct – Issue #3

#3 – that an apology has been made to me by Mayor Hawkins? I have not identified an apology as yet.

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Thursday, 20 February 2020 at 11:38 PM
To: Polly Martin <Polly.Martin@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>, Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: Monthly Meetings with the Mayor

Hi Polly,

The idea of having monthly private meetings with Mayor Hawkins was to share ideas and confidences in a respectful setting.

Unfortunately Mayor Hawkins has since abused his position and passed on sensitive confidences of mine relating to our CEO from a non-public staff-excluded meeting about our CEO, and worse, has failed to acknowledge this breach of confidence and gross abuse of his position.

This disrespectful blabbing of my confidential motions to the very person they were confidential from, on top of his failure to recognise and respect my Council and business experience, voter preference, and RMA training in his appointments, make it pointless and possibly dangerous for me to engage in any Mayoral discussion without witnesses.

Private monthly meetings have therefore been rendered unworkable.

Kind regards,

Lee

From: Polly Martin <Polly.Martin@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 19 February 2020 at 8:59 AM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Subject: Monthly Meetings with the Mayor

Hi Lee

I am about to arrange a monthly meeting for you and Aaron to catch up and I am unable to see your diary.

Are there times that won’t work for you or would you like me to just go ahead and arrange and you can get back to me with the dates that don’t work for you.

You may have another suggestion????

Thank you

Polly

 

Hawkins apologises for sharing information

Aaron Hawkins

Aaron Hawkins

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins has apologised to Dunedin city councillors after breaching the council’s code of conduct rules.Mr Hawkins shared confidential information from a public and staff-excluded meeting assessing council chief executive Sue Bidrose’s performance with Dr Bidrose last year.

And while in general the briefing Mr Hawkins gave was “usual”, some detail should have been kept confidential, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law partner Steph Dyhrberg found.

After investigating a complaint by Cr Lee Vandervis on the breach, in a 12-page finding obtained by the Otago Daily Times, Ms Dyhrberg determined the breach to be non-material, but recommended the council develop guidelines to ensure confidential matters were handled better — and that Mr Hawkins “apologise to Cr Vandervis and other members for his misjudgement”.

Mr Hawkins said this week when the council took office this triennium it inherited the chief executive performance review midway through “and I made changes to make it more inclusive of all elected members” but he should have made the process “clearer to all parties in advance”.

“I have apologised in writing to all of my elected colleagues for this oversight,” he said.

Ms Dyhrberg writes in her December report that at the staff-excluded November 12 meeting, a proposed “key performance indicator” for the council chief executive was raised.

Cr Vandervis proposed the chief executive should be “present and able” for 90% of normal working days.

At issue was how Dr Bidrose came to learn of the failed motion from the meeting when she wrote to all councillors a week later noting the matter of her attendance had not been raised with her previously, reminding councillors of their obligations to her as her employers.

Cr Vandervis complained the information was shared in such a way that future breaches could result in legal action.

Also, the confidentiality breach was compounded because Dr Bidrose shared the information with two of her staff.

When Mr Hawkins was interviewed for the investigation he did not recall discussing with Dr Bidrose who had put the matter up for a vote.

According to Ms Dyhrberg’s report, Mr Hawkins and Dr Bidrose travelled together by car to a meeting in Oamaru when they “chatted” about the performance review.

While councillors were “pretty happy” with her performance, one of two issues raised in conversation was the matter of the time Dr Bidrose spent in her office.

Dr Bidrose asked if Cr Vandervis had raised the issue, Ms Dyhrberg’s account states.

Dr Bidrose could not recall if Mr Hawkins said yes, “but she was certain he did not say no”.

Dr Bidrose then “put two and two together” as to who had raised the concern because of an official information request by Cr Vandervis into the amount of time she spent in her office.

Dr Bidrose then checked the minutes from the meeting she was excluded from, in order to correct the wording she used in her email to all councillors, which she also sent to communications staff due to interest in the issue at the time from the ODT.

While Dr Bidrose was found not have broken a council rule by authorising herself to see information from the staff-excluded meeting into her review, her power to do so should not be used “in that way”, Ms Dyhrberg advises.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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I miss Tremain, and the DCC group debt which was ‘only’ $200 million when I was first elected and is now budgeted to be $1,000 million, despite my years of effort.

Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 8.53.46 AM

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Aspriations – 10 Year Plan workshop

Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 7.07.16 PM
Today’s workshop produced a wide variety of aspirations from DCC elected representatives in response to the following questions. My response follows:

What are your THREE main ambitions/aspirations for your community over the next 10 years?
What are THREE key challenges you think need to be considered and addressed?

What are THREE key things you think can be done through the 10-year plan to help achieve or address these?

In my view the separation of these questions into triple tick-box answers is unhelpful as these issues are all interrelated and dealing with them is interdependent.

Over the next 10 years I believe we must walk the walk of sustainability rather than pay lip-service to it, especially financial sustainability.
To be financially sustainable, we must reign in our out-of-control Council Companies, optimise sale of identified liabilities, and reverse the unsustainable culture of increasing group debt.
We must reverse the culture of increasing bureaucracy size and cost, and become much more business-like and strategic in the way we organise contracting. We must reduce the costly virtue-signalling of demanding contractors to monitor CO2 impacts, energy use, living wage provisions, and other unnecessary compliance obligations.
We need an organisation-wide Post-covid compliance/affordability review.

We need a sustainable land-fill policy that recognises on-going landfill as necessary and affordable, and looks seriously at economically viable reuse and recycling of all Dunedin City refuse, not just the 19% collected by the DCC.

After having become more financially sustainable and given ourselves some real natural disaster headroom currently absent, we should then review our overall balance of investments in sports, culture, and environment, and optimise/prioritise what non-financial returns we get from our financial investments in all three of these areas.

A final over-arching review of how we consult with the public needs to be undertaken, with the addition of regular referenda [e.g. sent out with rates demands] on a range of issues, including: the importance of Port Otago [the South Island’s best natural harbour] to Dunedin and how it can best be developed, local government structure [e.g. public support for a Unitary Council] and general issues like reclamation, fruit trees instead of ornamentals, and provision of commuter/retail parking.

The overall issue of whether the DCC should be just a facilitator of Dunedin’s development primarily providing infrastructure services, or whether it should be pushing specific development initiatives should also be informed by referenda of various kinds over the next decade.
Looking forward,

Lee

 

 

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DCC Annual Plan promises Increased Rates, Debt, & Staff-costs again [far in excess of inflation] when the Tax-Payer’s Union has 102 Ways Councils can save money…

The DCC has done just some of 2 of the 102 ways…

102_Ways

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 10:40 AM
To: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>, Simon Drew <Simon.Drew@dcc.govt.nz>, Tom Dyer <Tom.Dyer@dcc.govt.nz>, David Bainbridge <David.Bainbridge@dcc.govt.nz>, Clare Sullivan <clare.sullivan@dcc.govt.nz>, Robert West <Robert.West@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: 102 Ways to Save Money in Local Government. attached

Dear Councillors,
During our Annual Plan deliberations it has been claimed that with rising costs we must always increase debt and/or rates to maintain current levels of service. Even if this were true, our increases so far above inflation are unjustifiable in my view. [e.g. staff costs up 7.4% last year on top of 8% the previous year]

The opportunities for reducing waste, better strategic contracting and getting better value for significant spending remain under-explored in my business-experienced view.
The TaxPayer’s Union 102 Ways to Save money in Local Government attached has 102 suggestions of which I believe the DCC have only actioned 2. [can you identify more than 2 actioned by the DCC?]

The other 100 ways of maintaining levels of service and saving money without raising debt and rates await serious consideration by Councillors and by staff.  [And there are many more DCC/CCO-specific opportunities to save money…]
Looking forward to comments,

Regards,

Lee

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