I intend to make myself available for election again for both Council and for Mayor in the hope of being able to affect a positive DCC course-correction that will bring back Democracy instead of party political agendas that threaten the loss of our One-Way traffic system, loss of Dunedin control of our 3 Waters, worsening DCC group debt rocketing up beyond 1.2 BILLION$, and loss of public say on major issues such as turning George st into another cycleway.
Push to remove Melbourne’s bike lanes
The ODT have printed my letter to the editor in full!
We need to keep the One-Way system as one way obviously, as NZTA/Waka Kotahi have explained, but to suggest that our One-Way works perfectly well as Cr. Whiley claims is being too kind. We lost hundreds of carparks, and half a million$ in annual parking revenue to the ugly train of concrete space-wasters and an underused cycleway that should have been routed thought the Gardens, the Campus and Leith st, rather than dangerously mixing cyclists with heavy traffic and inconsistent stop-light turning options.
To be perfect we need to reverse these changes and reinstate our lost parking or add a third One-Way lane to allow uncongested arterial traffic flow for our growing vehicle numbers.
My previously published solution for new Hospital access given its unfortunate site is a multi-story car-park over the Countdown carpark with safe overbridge pedestrian and ambulance access above the One Way.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
$2.5 million per year just to avoid making an inevitable decision?
It is my unpopular duty to let Dunedin people know how far gone options are for the Middlemarch track. Can anybody suggest where the first $20 million might come from for the deferred line maintenance before we start rebuilding carriages and finding new customers?
Taieri Gorge Railways is now much less viable, as even in the good times of mostly cruise-ship passengers it failed to address necessary track maintenance accumulating at around $1.5 million every year for more than the last decade.
The dreamworld DCC is currently throwing $2.5 million per year at a hopeless mothballing operation because they don’t want to make the unpopular necessary business decision to accept that the Middlemarch track with 37 bridges is beyond anybody’s ability to repair.
Worse, the hope that this line could be made safe for cyclists is also impossibly expensive for capital works and ongoing maintenance. Who is going to pay to safely pave and fence 37 bridges and then repair those bridges with no significant financial return?
New safety requirements for carriages now also require side-impact resistance strengthening, making the reuse of older carriages unaffordable as well.
Storage costs, and mothball maintenance at $2.5 million annually is unsustainable whether better times come or not.
This from ex-Southland Regional CEO Ciaran Keogh:
abridged to meet FB word limit.
Sent: Thursday, 21 April 2022 3:14 p.m.
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Christopher.Luxon@parliament.govt.nz
: re your 3 waters article in Stuff 21 April
Kia ora Morgan
I find it ironic that you have fallen victim of this government’s propaganda on 3 waters considering your claim that The Three Waters reforms are subject to a good deal of fake news, Facebook speculation, and outright racism – your failure to research the veracity of the Ministers claim has resulted in you doing a wonderful job of spreading fake news yourself . I acknowledge there has been some pretty awful commentary about 3 Waters – a lot of that arises because many people can see it as a really bad idea but don’t have the knowledge to attack it any other way. 3 Waters is relying on fake news rather than facts to progress its agenda – the “cartoon” on TV was a gross (offensive) misrepresentation of the present situation, the claims about the levels of water borne disease in NZ are fanciful speculation, and the insinuation that this disease burden is caused by council owned water supplies is not supported by any factual evidence and ample factual evidence to refute the claim.
The statement that According to Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta, ‘each year approximately 34,000 people fall ill from drinking water, and thousands of households are required to boil their water in order to drink it safely. Absent reform, those numbers will only increase’ is a complete fiction that is relates to private water supplies, not to council operated infrastructure…
There is ample evidence of waterborne disease outbreaks in New Zealand to indicate a significant risk of contracting GID from drinking-water that is untreated or inadequately treated. An average of 16.8 waterborne outbreaks (range from 6 to 27) occur annually, affecting an average of 145 cases/year (range from 18 to 370). While the largest reported waterborne outbreak affected 3,500 people (Queenstown, 1984), the number of cases involved in most outbreaks is small, averaging nine cases per outbreak in 2001-2005, and is smaller than other countries for which data are available. This probably reflects the larger proportion of water supplies serving small communities in New Zealand compared to most other developed countries. This is consistent with the relatively poor compliance with the DWSNZ of the small community drinking-water supplies compared to that of the larger community supplies.
Based on currently available data, two separate estimates of the burden of endemic drinking-waterborne gastro-intestinal disease are ca. 18,000 and 34,000 cases per annum…
Firstly those numbers are fiction – they represent the upper end of an “estimate” of the annual number of gastro-intestinal infections from drinking contaminated water. This figure comes from a Ministry of Health report that stated that the author estimated that between 14,000 and 38,000 cases of GI was caused by contaminated drinking water the report – so even with that flimsy basis the Prime Minister was overstating things by claiming that at least 34,000 people get sick each year from drinking tap water – the report implies that at most 34,000 people get sick from contaminated water each year.
The information contained in that report is substantially speculative and grossly misleading, the worst historical outbreaks in NZ (Havelock North and Queenstown) were from untreated council supplies … In both cases the problem was easily foreseeable, and the resolution quite straightforward and not expensive in the context – simple UV treatment and competent management of the bore field would have removed the risk in Havelock North…
This finding also contradicts an earlier MOH report (An Integrated Approach to Infectious Disease Priorities for Action 2002-2006 (November 2001 Ministry of Health) that was actually based on research into infections from all transmissible sources. This report stated that … Although drinking-water in New Zealand is now very safe for the majority of New Zealanders and water-borne enteric disease is rare, maintaining current quality standards requires ongoing monitoring and preventive action. In addition, some poorer rural communities, as well as institutions such as rural schools, hospitals and marae, still lack good-quality water systems…
None of the information contained in the MoH report reflects the current risk situation in New Zealand from properly maintained and operated council owned and operated water treatment supplies. By taking the Ministers words as gospel you have become an unwitting mouthpiece for government propaganda. If our water supplies were as bad as 3 waters implies there should be a raft of hard data to support it – in fact there is none – only very creative misrepresentation of the facts by various vested interests (and I don’t include Maori interest here – I am a strong support of Iwi involvement in water policy development at a regional level). If 3 Waters was justifiable I would expect there to be ample factual evidence in support – the fact that its advocates have to grasp at straws, misrepresent the facts and use grossly emotional imagery and overstatement – only lends support to the conclusions that the initiative is a really bad idea. There are certainly water supplies and water treatment services that need work but they need work on a case by case basis on not on the basis that most schemes are problematic. Expenditures on public infrastructure also need to be made on a value for money basis – do you get better public health outcomes from spending $10s of billions on hospitals, safer roads, community poverty reduction, or water and sewer – the pot of gold is not unconstrained – I think you would find that NZ was far better off making investments in hospitals and poverty reduction long before in investing in any but a few water schemes. And then the communities involved should be fixing up their own infrastructure – why should the rest of us who have paid our way support those who have chosen not to – some schemes are simply uneconomic – it would be cheaper better and healthier to simply service them with roof tanks and household UV and filtration – I personally have lived on such systems for the past two decades – and I can assert honestly that it is cheaper than the more marginal community schemes – even if a tanker or two of water has to be purchased each year to top the supply up.
The 3 waters initiative also fails to consider the harm it will cause to local government as it removes core public service functions from within local government and away from direct community control. It also fails to consider that much of the issues with water generally occur at a higher level – at regional and central government through a lack of sound policy at both national and regional level – regional councils must have to be considered to be a failed concept after 30 years of not doing their job – but also central government does not hold any of these agencies accountable for their performance – there is lots of palming off of responsibility from the senior level of government without passing on sufficient resources/ let alone any system of audit or accountability for performance. 3 waters is simply another bad idea that ignores the facts, fails to address the real need for reform of local and regional government, and as usual fails to critique the fundamental failure of central government to provide leadership to and require accountability of, its subordinate agencies.
Sammy’s should never have been purchased without a clear intended use, especially since Council does not own the land under it and Council seems not to have explored earthquake, asbestos and other issues with the building prior to purchase.
It is difficult to know what should be done with Sammy’s without knowing whether the asbestos can be easily sealed in and whether structural stability can be cheaply achieved.
Good that Dunedin residents feel their quality of Life to be good, second only to Wellington.
But look at the real data – Export Revenue and Business Growth – and we are bottom of the list.
Dunedin needs to face realities and build on our currently sleeping strengths: for instance we have the best natural harbour in the South Island but let Timaru and Lyttelton take most shipping, we have extraordinary engineering and other inventive creative skilled people but fail to build businesses…
We have lost Local Democracy and look like having control of our multi-billion$ 3 Waters Infrastructure taken from us as well.
MP Mahuta’s promise of us having the ability to opt out of her 3 Waters asset grab was shamelessly broken after 60 of 67 Councils wanted to opt out.
Our Mayor, Labour and Communist Councillors who believe that ‘Democracy has never served minority groups’ have today succeeded in strengthening control over us by the central government party machinery that got them elected. This narrow revocation of our previous decision to join the majority of South Island Councils already in ‘Communities 4 Local Democracy’ is a sad turning point for Dunedin.
Again the ODT falsely claim my court action against the DCC was about an unpaid $12 parking ticket. I had in fact overpaid my parking time, the $12 was never demanded, never appropriate and never paid.
The issues began with a DCC customer services employee refusing to record the Identification Number of a faulty parking machine that I went to get sorted [it soon was], then my complaint to DCC Management of the employee not doing her job, her subsequent complaint of my manner [see the full video on leevandervis.com] and the unprecedented escalation to an improper Code of Conduct complaint against me that was slanderously leaked to the media and FaceBook by DCC staff in the run-up to the 2019 Mayoral election which I narrowly lost.
My initial complaint of the staff member went nowhere and my court action has been necessary to learn whether it is legal under the Code for a staff member to make a Code of Conduct complaint against an elected representative [the reverse is impossible] and whether the process run by CEO Bidrose was fair.
If the Appeal Court decides in favour of the DCC, then criticism of Council staff by an elected representative becomes fraught and dangerous, and staff and CEO ability to skew election results will be extended.
My cheaper underpass than flyover suggestion for our dangerous Pine Hill road/Great King St intersection.
From: Lee Vandervis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, 7 March 2022 at 7:25 PM
To: Grant Miller <email@example.com>
Subject: FW: Great King/SH1 from Pine Hill intersection grade separation
Not wishing in any way to have pre-empted Cr. O’Malley’s $400 million plus massive multi-lane multi-block undergrounding of the One Way street past the new Hospital, I made the following short single lane underpass suggestion as a cheaper solution to the massive overpass dyke that was being suggested for the Pine-Hill Great King Street intersection as below back in December of last year.
Apparently my suggestion was passed on to NZTA, but no response or confirmation of receipt has been received by me.
From: Lee Vandervis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, 13 December 2021 at 7:34 AM
To: Jeanine Benson <Jeanine.Benson@dcc.govt.nz>, Simon Drew <Simon.Drew@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <email@example.com>
Subject: Great King/SH1 from Pine Hill intersection
I was impressed with our paperwork which details the risks and problems that have long existed with the at-grade intersection of Great King Street and Pine Hill road.
The problems of driver frustration at this intersection, high traffic volumes of 10,000 per day, the T-bone crash issue, the brake-failure issue of especially truck brake failure due to overheating descending from Pine-Hill, the 17 crashes many of which could have been far worse resulting in many more fatalities, site line issues and bottle-neck queuing of north-bound traffic on Great King st are all very well described and are well illustrated.
Grade separation is obviously called for but as someone who has studied Physics at University level and been a Truck driver for 40 years, I have serious concerns about how this grade separation with a massive long high truck overpass has been conceived.
In my view the proposed solution of creating a raised curved dyke for downhill trucks with smoking brakes to be able to rumble over the top of Great King traffic is ill-conceived and creates many new problems in the process of curing the current at-grade collision problem. It also significantly worsens the current ‘truck falling off the road’ problem, as the bigger they come, the harder they fall.
I believe that the desired grade separation should be achieved instead by creating a narrow underpass for Great King northbound traffic to NEV and slightly realigning Pine Hill and Great King Southbound lanes to facilitate the proposed truck containment barrier [much cheaper to build at ground level] that would separate the co-joining of them.
A Great King/NEV underpass would have the following advantages:
1 – the existing gradual decline from Pine Hill would be retained but with an unimpeded run-off down to the One-Way south.
2 – the existing Duke street intersection would not be lost and could be improved.
3 – extraordinary amounts of hard fill would not be required to make the massive high ugly raised dyke proposed that would have to have enormously expensive side support barriers built up even higher to try and contain trucks that would otherwise be at risk of falling off this raised blot on the landscape.
4 – the existing intersection could be simplified with the less-used Pine Hill to NEV turn removed as this route is easily available with the existing left turn off Pine Hill 200 m earlier.
5 – further intersection simplification is available by removing the Great King right turn onto the One Way south in favour of the retained earlier Duke st right turn option.
6 – cycleway/pedestrian options are improved in all directions, with much less turning traffic danger to cyclists.
7 – the Botanic Carpark can be retained [although I recognise that for some the retaining of carparks may not be weighted as a positive].
An underpass instead of overpass achieves the same desired grade separation, but with much less impact visual impact, less roading space required, reduced risk of trucks ‘falling off’ the road, better sight-lines, better cyclist/pedestrian options, and likely less cost.
If this overpass proposal goes ahead, there will invariably be an awful future ‘I told you so’ issue, as there was with sticking those stairs and ramp on the front of the St Clair seawall only to be pounded to bits by the surf.
Please forward this suggestion to NZTA Waka Kotahi technical staff and decision-making administrators along with any comments/improvements you may have for their consideration.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
Check my difficulties getting my doctor’s Ivermectin prescription supplied in my FB post of 12th October 2021.
And note that the ODT again smeared me with false claims that I was promoting a horse medicine.
Rodney Hide thinks the Protestors have already won. The Mandates must end. Over two years New Zealanders have lost so much (see Freedom of Choice below) Is it too soon to move forward, together?
It took my objection, a number of hours, and for the video below to go viral before Facebook reversed its decision and allowed the video to reappear on my page :<)
Not content with wasting $60 million turning George st/Exchange into a cycleway and wasting a further $53 million on ‘park-and-ride’, ‘way-finding’ and ‘traffic diversion’ projects to empty our city centre, our DCC Chair of Infrastructure now wants to throw a stadium-sized budget into a hole in the ground to further hide our cars from the ill-sited Hospital.
The Hawkins’ car-canceling Council majority is barking mad in my view.
Organised resistance to the forced takeover of Dunedin’s $2.5 BILLION water assets by a self-selected 50% Iwi elite is ‘futile’ according to our Mayor.
Not surprising when Mayor Hawkins unsuccessfully tried to get Council approval for his letter to MP Mahuta claiming ‘broad support’ for her takeover proposal, but when Councillor questions became too numerous and oppositional he abused his Mayoral role by pulling the Zoom Meeting plug before the meeting could even move from questions to debate or to a vote.
Sitting in my lazy-boy looking at my silenced speech notes in disbelief was just one reason I now refuse to be excluded from doing my Councillor job in person.
Our Ministry of Health withdraws its own recent advice to Doctors because it misrepresents Government segregation Policy.
Thursday, 9 December 2021
Paper Vandervis used often misrepresented: MoH
By Grant Miller91468
Lee Vandervis. PHOTO: ODT FILESA document Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis relied on to argue against Covid-19 vaccine passes was revised by the Ministry of Health because of its use — or misuse — by anti-vaccination groups.
The ministry had told health professionals in mid-November that, when there was high vaccination coverage, transmission of the disease was “more likely to occur from a vaccinated than an unvaccinated individual”.
Version 2.0 had no such phrase, although it continued to argue denying access to healthcare on the basis of vaccination status would be unacceptable.
Cr Vandervis, who was served a trespass notice this week after he tried to attend a council meeting without a vaccine pass, suggested the council had fostered misconceptions about transmission rates and had mischaracterised the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness.
Ministry of Health chief medical officer Dr Andrew Connolly provided clarity yesterday.
Transmission of Covid-19 was indeed more likely to come from a vaccinated person than an unvaccinated one, because of sheer weight of numbers in a highly vaccinated population.
“That said, the severity of infection and the absolute risk of passing on the virus is dramatically higher in unvaccinated people.”
A recent study had shown when a vaccinated person had Covid-19, they were far less likely to infect unvaccinated households.
Dr Connolly said changes were made to the the ministry’s document after consultation.
It was revised “because aspects were being misrepresented by anti-vaccination groups and we did not want to dilute the overarching message that pre-consultation testing of unvaccinated patients was generally not necessary”.
The Otago Daily Times asked University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis about another ministry statement cited by Cr Vandervis: “The legislation will be very clear that access to essential services, including healthcare services, cannot be restricted based on vaccination status.”
Local government was essential, Cr Vandervis argued.
Prof Geddis said places people could not be excluded from were spelled out, but local government offices were not on the list.
Cr Vandervis could challenge the DCC’s policy in the High Court, but Prof Geddis said that would be costly and time-consuming, and if Cr Vandervis argued for interim access the council could argue access by Zoom was sufficient.
Council chief executive Sandy Graham said remote access had been in place for Cr Vandervis for Tuesday’s meeting, but he “walked past a security guard and into the Civic Centre and Municipal Chambers”.
“The security guard asked to see Cr Vandervis’ vaccine pass, but could not prevent him from entering, as he had limited powers to physically intervene.”
A three-month trespass notice was issued, which Prof Geddis said would need to be lifted early if Cr Vandervis got vaccinated.
Ms Graham said the law was clear access to council premises could be denied after a health and safety risk assessment.
A Local Government New Zealand spokesman said councils had adapted to online meetings before, or at the start of, the pandemic — and while attending meetings online “can be less than ideal for some, it is an effective way for an elected member to perform their duties as a representative of their community”.
From: Lee Vandervis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Friday, 10 December 2021 at 8:03 AM
To: EditorODT <email@example.com>, “Nicholas. Smith” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Grant McKenzie <email@example.com>, Grant Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Out of the room on zoom? Letter to the Editor 129 words
Letter to the Editor
Out of the room on zoom?
The DCC CEO claim that I can still do my Councillor job by being needlessly excluded from the room and given a public camera feed on zoom is ridiculous.
Not only have lock-down Council zoom meetings proved to be awful with ongoing technical glitches, speaker order disputes, inability to read the room and motion amendments, hear Points of Order sources and supplementary information all made worse by Mayoral abuse of his zoom mute button facility, but when everybody is on zoom there are at least 18 selectable cameras in play for each participant that everyone can access, which can’t happen for just one remote zoom participant.
The only ‘advantage’ to a zoom Council meeting is that you can get away with partaking in your underwear if you are clever.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
Letter to the Editor
The Silencing of the Councillors.
Mayor Hawkins never allowed Council’s 3 Water’s Reform response to even get to discussion as claimed in the ODT [21/9/21]
In an unprecedented Mayoral move, the Zoom meeting was shut down during question time when it became obvious that too many Councillors were not going to accept the Mayor’s proposed letter to MP Mahuta in which he claimed “Common goals with the Government”, and ”broad support for reforms that enable Ngai Tahu to meaningfully participate” in the proposed 50% Iwi Governance of Mahuta’s 3 Waters Reform.
Mayor Hawkins is proposing to redo the meeting again next week, again in remote Zoom, despite Councils such as Christchurch and Wellington being back in public venues again.
Perhaps this is because Zoom has the advantage of allowing our Mayor to easily silence and boot everybody out when he does not like the way too many Councillors are questioning his agenda.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
If you want to print a NEWS story concerning me, you should ask me for comment first, especially since there has been no time pressure as in this instance.
My comment would have been as follows, which you might still usefully print if indeed news is what your business is, rather than advertising.
The Court case and the Appeal have been necessary to challenge the DCC bureaucracy’s public attack on an elected representative during an election process, to get rulings on unprecedented uses/abuses of Code of Conduct provisions, and to preserve elected representatives’ ability to criticise Council employees and/or management.
It has nothing to do with trying to get off a $12 parking ticket as repeatedly falsely claimed.
The Appeal issues before the Court are:
1. Did the Chief Executive of the Dunedin City Council follow the procedures in the Dunedin City Council Code of Conduct in forwarding the complaint against the Appellant to the 2nd Respondent for investigation;
2. Was the 2nd Respondent validly appointed to investigate complaints under the Dunedin City Council Code of Conduct;
3. Did the 2nd Respondent act contrary to the principles of natural justice and the investigation he carried out pursuant to the Dunedin City Council Code of Conduct;
4. Should the Appellant obtain the declarations sought;
5. Should the decisions of the Dunedin City Council on 11 December 2019 be set aside;
I have personally paid for all my own legal costs to settle these important issues in the public interest, while the DCC Bureaucracy has used public funds via supposed Code of Conduct which influenced the Mayoral election and frustrated my Judicial Review of their actions in their own interests.
A significant confirmation from the Court process so far has been the acknowledgement that ex-CEO Bidrose ‘was concerned that Cr. Vandervis might become Mayor’.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
“News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising.” – Lord Northcote