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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The George st 10kph Pedestrian Shared Space debate

Abuse of the Chair’s powers and Zoom muting of my comments – 18.10 is where these abuses begin.

I agree that DCC Standing Orders should be rigorously observed at meetings to promote transparency and Democracy. 
The relevant Standing Order 25.2 specifies:
A member who is raising a point of order must state precisely what its subject is. Points of order may be raised for the following subjects: 

(a)  disorder – bringing disorder to the attention of the Chairperson; 

(b)  language – use of disrespectful, offensive or malicious language; 

(c)  irrelevance – the topic being discussed is not the matter currently before the meeting; 

(d)  misrepresentation – misrepresentation of any statement made by a member or by an officer or council employee; 

(e)  breach of Standing Order – the breach of any Standing Order while also specifying which Standing Order is subject to the breach; 

(f)  request the recording of words, such as a request that the minutes record words that have been the subject of an objection. 


My statement that ‘Cr Staynes had misled Council by saying that it was impossible for him to attend a delayed meeting’ was manifestly true and relevant to the meeting that Cr. Staynes surprisingly did attend, and therefore not possible to be characterised by Mayor Hawkins as a Point of Order. Mayor Hawkins’ claimed point of Order simply was not a Point of Order and should have been rejected by Chair Benson-Pope. 

Since it was not a Point of Order and Mayor Hawkins had not stated precisely what the Point of Order subject is, it was inappropriate for Cr. Benson-Pope to rule on it as a Point of Order and to rule in favour of what was not a Point of Order.
Cr. Benson-Pope’s subsequent insistence that I should withdraw a true statement, and apologise for it, was inappropriate, and his threat to have me removed from the Zoom meeting on this pretext was beyond his authority, [Ultra Vires] and an abuse of the important right to Democratic vote due to follow. 
Cr. Benson-Pope’s repeated muting of my Zoom microphone connection was also an inappropriate breach of his responsibility to allow elected representatives to speak and to raise a real Point of Order or to object to his attempted removal of me from the meeting, especially as Cr. Staynes had confirmed that he did say what I had accurately quoted him as saying.

 

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George st now Pedestrian Shared Space

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.39.59 PM George st retail area Traffic Lanes have just today become a Pedestrian Shared Space, with speed humps, a 10kph speed limit, and over $10,000 worth of 10kph signs that were already purchased in advance of the Council 9-4 decision.
The change is claimed for space distancing safety and not pedestrian ideology.

Just in – a correction from DCC CEO Bidrose regarding her previously advised pre-purchase of 10kph signs:

From: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>

Date: Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 11:42 AM

To: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <council.2019-2022@dcc.govt.nz>, “Executive Leadership Team (ELT)” <elt@dcc.govt.nz>

Subject: 10kph sign purchase correction. There was NO commitment to spend for 10kph signs prior to your resolution.

Hi Councillors

During the meeting yesterday, I was asked about purchase of the 10kph signs and staff commitment to spending ten thousand dollars on those prior to any council resolution on the shared street resolutions. I had checked this out earlier and been told that street signs had been purchased, but if the resolutions did not pass, they could be used elsewhere. I interpreted that as ‘10pkh signs had been ordered’. During the meeting, I was corrected my Mr Drew, who’d been told that signs had been ordered but the arrangement was that if the slow street recommendation did not pass, council would not be paying for any 10kph signs.

I did advise the Mayor and Chair of that just prior to the meeting’s end, but there was no reasonable opportunity for me to make the correction during the meeting.

So – to be utterly clear, the road signs were made and produced without the ‘10’ in the centre – that was done immediately following the resolutions being passed. If the council had voted No yesterday, there would have been no money spent on any 10pkh signage, decals etc.

Regards

Sue

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Personally Positive ODT Letters this week.

My letter to the ODT:

“Don’t see the value”. Letter to the ODT Editor

Dear Barry,

Mayor Hawkins “don ‘t see the value in us going through a process where we significantly reconfigure what it is that we offer our community.” [ODT 1/5/20] He and Cr.Benson-Pope want the $60 million George st/Exchange ‘surface treatments’ project to proceed and the DCC pre-covid budget to mostly continue in blind ignorance of the economic world that has suddenly vastly contracted, along with Dunedin citizen’s ability to pay rates and Council Companies’ ability to pay dividends. We can do it on “increased debt” Hawkins says, proving his total lack of business understanding and the weakness in our already budgeted BILLION$ DCC group debt.
Kind regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

IMG_0759IMG_0758

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How the Dunedin 2019 Mayoral Election was won…

Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 7.37.08 PM

My submission to the Electoral Commission and the Minister of Local Government raising issues from the 2019 Election, with the Minister’s reply recently received:

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Friday, 28 February 2020 at 10:31 AM
To: Justice department <ju@parliament.govt.nz>, Nanaia Mahuta <n.mahuta@ministers.govt.nz>
Subject: Electoral Commission 2019 Dunedin election submission

Dear Nanaia and the Committee Secretariat,

As the Mayoral candidate with the majority of first preference votes in Dunedin in 2019 but still not the Mayor, I wish to submit that your proposed review is welcome and the suggested administration of elections by the Electoral Commission rather than local government staff is long overdue.

The inevitable codependence of Mayor and CEO compounded by agendas differing between Council staff and elected Councillors create many tensions and vested interests in election outcomes that speak against local staff running those local elections.

I have a largely different view to the DCC submission on the 2019 Election review created by our new Mayor Hawkins, who won on subsequent-to-first-preference votes with the help of a both Green and Labour Party machinery, and a local monopoly media smear campaign against me using DCC staff-leaked untrue claims of 11 staff complaints against me.

The Otago Daily Times DCC reporter responsible for the election-year smearing stories based on the untrue staff-complaint claims has now changed jobs post-election receiving the top Dunedin City Council Marketing and Communications job.
The undemocratic and self-serving role of the local monopoly media and our local Council bureaucracy has, in my opinion, skewed the Mayoral and Councillor election results in a number of anti-democratic ways:

The leaking of damaging scuttlebutt and the breaching of the Privacy Act by DCC staff in relation to a number of issues including election signage and supposed DCC staff ‘complaints’ of me have been pushed by the out-going Mayor Cull and the ODT in the election run-up, and further compounded on social media.
The only confirmed staff complaint against me [leaked in another breech of the Privacy Act pre-election by DCC staff] was a response to my initial complaint of staff, and the resultant staff Code of Conduct process against me which is currently being challenged at my personal cost by a Judicial Review.

I support your proposal to have local elections run at arms’ length by a non-local Electoral Commission group rather than by local council staff, and to review voting methods.

DCC CEO, senior staff, the Greens and Labour local politicians, and some local big business interests had very strong self-interests in maintaining a status-quo Mayor in the Dunedin 2019 election, and they only narrowly achieved this in a variety of ways.

I believe that DCC staff involvement in organising election events, [eg specifically targeting University voting], DCC staff provision of candidate advice and nomination information, staff handling voting papers and their delivery to Christchurch for counting, changing election signage rules, again breaching the Privacy Act leaking damaging signage rule stories to the media, and DCC staff leaking defamatory claims against me personally are all weaknesses in the current electoral system that need to be investigated.

Most of these issues could be avoided if local body election administration was undertaken by the Electoral Commission or other non-local delegated organisation.
I believe that there would be overall positive economies of scale with centralised electoral administration, and more confidence amongst candidates that there was a more level consistent campaigning field.

I have also vainly complained for many elections past about the hundreds, possibly thousands of voting papers that literally litter North Dunedin streets and student halls of residence during election time, and the opportunity they present of being hoovered up and used illegally. Anecdotal suggestions on social media that this has been happening, and even support of this vote tampering, are deeply concerning. The practice of sending out voting papers to students for years after they have moved on from Otago University has created a large-scale tampering opportunity that would be lessened by a secure on-line nation-wide [FPP] voting system which I support.

Local body staff interest in local body election outcomes can be significant, especially when some of the local bureaucrats very jobs may depend on a certain election outcome.
In my view the STV system [that was approved in Dunedin after a big Political Party and University push] has resulted in a more diverse range of elected representatives at the expense of democratically popular representatives. Our ‘modified’ STV system used since 2004 was cobbled together by 2 Internal Affairs computer programmers to rank winning candidates based on arbitrary thresholds, and the cumulative over-weighting of subsequent-to-first-preference votes that are severe weaknesses in the opaque STV system.

In our 2019 Mayoral election the STV system required more than 10 iterations to swamp the popular democratic first preference Mayoral votes.
Many voters have complained to me of STV complexity, and the confusion of having DCC STV voting alongside ORC FPP voting. Anecdotal evidence points to confusing voting systems that have put people off voting at all.
Even the University ‘experts’ Hayward and Geddes could not agree prior to the election on how to advise people to vote in the confusing, opaque, and unverifiable modified STV system.
Electionz’ Warwick Lampp has been unable to provide convincing evidence that our modified STV system outcomes are truly representative, saying only that the STV system gives consistent results when test run.

I was an initial supporter of STV based on University ‘expert’ claims, but since being involved and seeing how it really ‘works’ I am completely opposed. It is arbitrary, unrepresentative, unverifiable, and widely misunderstood and mistrusted by many voters.

The claim by the beneficiary of this STV system Mayor Hawkins in his DCC submission that STV is a more representative system than FPP is not supported by the facts or by the outcomes in my view.
STV is widely acknowledged now locally as punishing strong candidates with specific policies and strong first voter preference, in favour of candidates who forward few policies or specifics.

Other issues which speak against local election administration include a resistance by local staff to investigate hidden electoral donations, answering questions regarding the handling of votes, and creating electoral signage rules that favour some candidate’s traditional signage advertising while out-lawing others.

All of the above issues have email trails, many extensive, which I am happy to forward and to personally present when addressing an investigative Electoral Commission panel, which is now absolutely necessary to restore public confidence in our local government electoral process.

Kind regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis
021-612340

47 Garfield Avenue
Roslyn
Dunedin 9010

Office of Hon Nanaia Mahuta
MP for Hauraki-Waikato
Minister for Māori Development Associate Minister for the Environment
Minister of Local Government Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing)
Associate Minister for Trade and Export Growth
+64 4 817 8711 Private Bag 18041, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, New Zealand n.mahuta@ministers.govt.nz beehive.govt.nz
29 April 2020
Lee Vandervis
Councillor, Dunedin City Council
lee@vandervision.co.nz
Tēnā koe Lee
Thank you for your email of 28 February 2020, sharing your views on local elections in New Zealand.
I note your concerns with the Single Transferrable Vote (STV) system. This is a system that local authorities can choose to adopt, and it is a matter for the Council as to whether to keep the STV system or go back to First Past the Post electoral system.
You may be interested to know officials at the Department of Internal Affairs are working on options to modernise voting in New Zealand, which includes online voting trials. Online voting has the potential to assist certain groups of electors who currently have issues exercising their right to vote under the postal system, such as people voting from an overseas location.
You may also be interested to know that the Justice Committee is conducting an inquiry into the 2019 local body elections, to identify opportunities for improvements to the legislation. The submission period for this inquiry closed on 29 February 2020, and the Committee’s report will be made available on the parliament website. Further information can be found at http://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/scl/justice.
I appreciate your views and suggestions on improving local governance. As you know, the Productivity Commission has completed its inquiry into local government funding and financing. The Government was presented with the Commission’s final report and recommendations and will be responding to the Commission’s report in due course.
Thank you again for writing.
Heoi anō
Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Local Government

 

 

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DCC borrowing $60 million for “Surface Treatments” from George St. to the Exchange, is being ‘justified’ by underground pipe renewals.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.39.59 PM

I am all for spending on needed deferred maintenance of pipes and cables, but the $60 million still planned for Surface Treatments is unjustifiable.

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 29 April 2020 at 10:11 PM
To: <jared.oliver@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>, Simon Drew <Simon.Drew@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Discussions with ex DCC water manager Darrel Robison

Hi Jared,

Thank you for your engineering insights into the George st water systems today.

I have had a few discussions with Darrel on the subject recently, as it applies to the George st upgrade proposal.
Darrel was quick to point out that initially doing up the pipe-work while we were at doing up George anyway made some sense, but that this sound argument had lately morphed into ‘we have got to do up the pipe-work now so we should do the George st upgrade while we are at it’.

But to the technical stuff as below, Darrel seems to have a more optimistic view of pipe maintenance needs than I have heard recently. It was interesting to have confirmed that some brick/tile drains built by the Romans are still in use in London!

Looking forward to your further advice, and if it is similar to what Darrel lays out in detail below, including a block-by-block analysis:

From: Darrel Robinson <dlrobinson@xtra.co.nz>
Date: Saturday, 18 April 2020 at 1:45 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>

Comments of Wastewater, Stormwater and Water Mains in George Street from Octagon to Albany Street

Hi Lee

I have spent a bit of time looking at the DCC Water Services Maps and supplementing / verifying that information from my own recollections.  The maps themselves were put together by a diligent team who had excellent base maps which were created in the 1960’s to start with so I expect them to be extremely reliable.  However not all data would have been available to them and thus there will be some information gaps, particularly on repair data.

The extent of the proposed George Street upgrade I understand to be from the Octagon to Albany Street so will comment on the services on a block by block basis.

An area of significant risk of needing repair are the stormwater and wastewater drains serving individual premises.  These are owned by the properties they serve and thus are not the responsibility of Council.  There is much greater risk of structural failure on one of these drains than of the wastewater / stormwater sewer they connect to.  They may also be older than the sewer connected to as this area was originally served by a combined sewer system (both wastewater and stormwater in the same pipe) and it was only in the 1990’s that separation of these combined sewers was completed.  In the case of George Street, the separation work immediately preceded the George Street upgrade programme those almost 30 years ago.  I know that there is an investigation underway within Council staff about assuming ownership of these sections of private drains (and also watercourses) but am unaware of where that work has got to.  The same issue does not really apply to water services as the service from the main to the property stop cock is part of the Council’s asset and it is only the short (300 mm) section of the service from stopcock to the street boundary that is privately owned.  Given that these services are quite shallow, that does not pose an undue risk.  However the vast majority of water repairs are on water services so I would advocate that the services be replaced as part of any street upgrade.

There will be a number of fire services from water mains and connected to building fire sprinkler systems.  I am pretty sure that those too are owned by the property served. You would need to check on that.

Before a block by block comment, a general comment on the 300 mm water main and the 900 x 600 stormwater sewer running along the George Street centreline.

The 300 mm watermain is of cast iron material and is the City’s first main and dated from the 1860’s and installed as part of the system that followed the construction of the Ross Creek Dam and Reservoir.  It has been very reliable to the best of my knowledge.  When the concept to upgrade George Street along with the replacement of services was first mooted, I thought quite a bit around “if it was my call, would I replace the 300 mm watermain and the 900 x 600 mm stormwater sewer?”  I didn’t reach a firm position and to me, it is a very tough call to make.  To some degree, I guess it comes to the Council’s tolerance of risk which I perceive to be quite low.

Both are old but neither seems to give any significant trouble so it’s quite a big call to make.  The length of street being redeveloped is in the order of 900 metres and at a rate of say $1500 / metre on the stormwater and $1100 / metre on the water, that represents a spend of $2,340,000. To that must be added valves, hydrants, manholes, traffic management, engineering fees, and other sundry items so I would suggest the final figure would approach $3,500,000.  So quite a big spend if it’s not actually necessary.  To me, before making a decision, a robust engineering assessment of condition needs made.  Currently, a lot of emphasis seems to be placed on an asset’s age as an indicator of condition.  Sound engineering judgement has always been a fundamental input to sound asset management practice but it seems that element has been given reduced importance in the modern application of asset management.  Nothing can replace sound engineering judgement.

The 900 x 600 mm stormwater dates from the 1870’s and was part of the original drainage scheme for the Central City.  The sewers are egg shaped (pointed end down) and constructed of brick.  The brick was source from local brickworks and thus were of varying quality.  To counteract wear, the invert of the pipe was a shaped ceramic tile set in to the brickwork.  In most cases, the brickwork has not given rise to much in the way of structural issues; the issues are more cosmetic.  I would have thought by now that any structural issues would have emerged.  TV inspection surveys were done in 1970 and that showed the lines were generally in good condition.  Any that were not in good order were progressively relayed with concrete pipe or lined with plastic liners.  The pipes are hugely oversized so there is no issue relating to capacity.  A further inspection in the 1990’s showed little if any degradation in most lines.  The exception was the line down St Andrew Street and with it being quite shallow and the level of heavy traffic, significant cracking and structural deformation had taken place.  It has since been replaced. There will also be gas pipes in George Street but I doubt if they were still in service.  Those not in service were sold to Telecom so I suspect they are now part of the Chorus asset.

There are extensive ducts for phone and electricity cables.  In the case of phone ducts, they are massive – probably 6 pipes high by 6 pipes wide so they do take up a lot of space.  I recall they were laid near the western kerb.

So now to comments block by block.

Octagon to Moray Place.

  • Water.

There are 3 water mains in this block

  • 300 mm dia cast Iron main dating from 1860’s on eastern side of carriageway – no known faults or repairs.
  • 50 mm dia rider main in western footpath – no repairs recorded. As this main is so small, replacement is recommended if it is not in polyethylene pipe.
  • 100 mm main in eastern footpath (cast iron) constructed 1939 in eastern footpath – 2 repairs recorded, I at Bath Street and the other at the Octagon.
  • 900 x 600 mm brick egg shaped stormwater sewer laid in 1874 – thought to be in reasonable condition and no knowledge of faults. The backup fibre optic cable from the Civic Centre computer system to the Civil Defence basement is attached inside this pipe from opposite the Civic Centre George Street entrance and heads south.
  • 150 dia stormwater lines laid as part of the George Street upgrades of 30 years ago. These are shallow and will be in good condition.
  • Wastewater
  • The only waste water service in this block is a short 150 dia concrete line serving the Civic Centre and runs from Moray Place to the Civic Centre northern boundary. It was laid in 1982 and will be in good condition.

Moray Place to St Andrew Street

  • Water

Again 3 mains in this block.

  • 300 mm dia cast Iron main dating from 1860’s on eastern side of carriageway – 1 repair in the St Andrew Street intersection recorded. I am also aware of anecdotal evidence of a repair outside the Westpac Bank.
  • 100 /150 mm main in western footpath. The cast iron section running north from Moray Place dates from 1938 and there are no repairs recorded.  The 150 mm section near St Andrew Street is in asbestos cement pipe (laid 1966) again has no repairs recorded but should be replaced as asbestos cement pipe is now recognizes as having a much shorter life than other materials.
  • 100 mm main in the eastern footpath is in cast iron pipe, dates from 1938 and repairs are recorded near Blacket Lane and 2 repairs near Moray Place.
  • Stormwater
  • 900 x 600 mm brick egg shaped stormwater sewer laid in 1874 – thought to be in reasonable condition and no knowledge of faults.
  • 150 dia stormwater lines laid as part of the George Street upgrades of 30 years ago. These are shallow and will be in good condition.
  • There is a 150 mm concrete wastewater sewer for most of the block and joining the St Andrew Street system. The sewer dates from 1989 and is most likely to be in excellent condition.

St Andrew Street to Hanover Street.

  • 300 mm dia cast Iron main dating from 1867 on eastern side of carriageway. No repairs recorded
  • 150 mm asbestos cement / 100 mm cast iron in western footpath. The asbestos cement main was laid in 1966 and should be replaced.  The 100 mm cast iron section was laid in 1939 and there are 2 repairs recorded.
  • 100 mm cast iron main in eastern footpath (1938) and 2 repairs are recorded at the St Andrew Street intersection.
  • 900 x 600 mm brick egg shaped stormwater sewer laid in 1874 – thought to be in reasonable condition and no knowledge of faults.
  • Numerous short sections of 150 mm PVC pipe laid in 1990 as part of the George Street Upgrade. They are shallow and should be in excellent condition.
  • 150 mm PVC wastewater sewer in the carriageway laid in 1988. Should be in excellent condition.

Hanover Street to Frederick Street.

  • 100 mm cast iron (1939) in western footpath. 3 repairs recorded.
  • 300 mm dia cast Iron main dating from 1867 on eastern side of carriageway. No repairs recorded.
  • 100 mm cast iron main in eastern footpath. Laid 1939 and 7 repairs are recorded.
  • 900 x 600 mm brick egg shaped stormwater sewer laid in 1874 – thought to be in reasonable condition and no knowledge of faults.
  • 750 mm concrete pressure stormwater sewer in carriageway laid 1928. No knowledge of any issues with this sewer.
  • 150 mm PVC stormwater sewers on both sides of road laid in 1990. These are shallow and should be in excellent condition.
  • 150 and 225 mm pipes, mainly ceramic, laid in 1988 and should be in excellent condition.
  • Also there is an old (1915) 100 mm wastewater sewer crossing part of the carriageway near London Street. Given its age and being only 100 mm, it should be renewed in 150 dia pipe.  Not a big job.

Frederick Street to Albany Street.

  • Water
  • 300 mm dia cast Iron main dating from 1867 on eastern side of carriageway. No repairs recorded.
  • 100 mm cast iron main in eastern footpath. Laid 1939 and 1 repair recorded.
  • Stormwater
  • 900 x 600 mm brick egg shaped stormwater sewer laid in 1874 – thought to be in reasonable condition and no knowledge of faults.
  • 150 mm pipes from 3 lanes on east side. All are 1990’s and thus should be in excellent condition.
  • 225 mm concrete pipes laid 1996. Should be in excellent condition.
  • 150 mm pipes from 3 lanes on east side. All are 1990’s and thus should be in excellent condition.

I hope this information is of use to you.  After you have had a read, perhaps you could give me a call with any questions.

Best wishes

Darrel.

 

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Massive testing required to end lock-downs safely…

How to build and deploy testing systems at unprecedented scale – from today’s Economist magazine.

Countries will have to do it to end their lockdowns safely


SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, is an unobtrusive piece of biological machinery. It spreads parasitically through the respiratory tracts of human beings, often without provoking symptoms in those who carry it. Yet for some, particularly the old, it is deadly. This combination of properties make the pandemic both dangerous and difficult to stop. As of April 22nd it had killed 182,000 people.

So far, every country that has reduced covid-19 infection to low levels has relied to some degree on “social distancing”—that is, either encouraging or forcing people to stay at home, and to keep well apart if they find that they have to go out—to prevent the virus from spreading. On top of this many are in any case fearful to go out, lest they catch the illness. Without a vaccine or therapeutic drugs, neither of which is guaranteed, countries therefore face a future of bouncing in and out of lockdown every few months, with infection rates ebbing and flowing in response. The result will be mounting death tolls, depressed economies and confidence-sapping uncertainty. This can, however, be partly ameliorated by extensive testing for the virus. Testing enables the government to keep tabs on the disease, reveals which social-distancing measures work, and, if those testing positive remain at home, instills confidence in the public that it is safe to go out…

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Up-to-date Statistics for many countries…

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

 

 

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Is South Korea [50 million people] a covid-response model we should have followed? More testing, less lock-down?

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 9.42.47 PM

from today’s New York Times:

Lifted by virus response, South Korea’s governing party wins election

President Moon Jae-in’s governing party, credited with an effective response to the coronavirus outbreak, won a landslide victory in South Korea’s parliamentary elections.
Mr. Moon’s left-leaning Democratic Party won 163 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, and an allied party won 17 seats. It was the first time in 16 years that left-leaning parties have secured a parliamentary majority.
The president was initially accused of underestimating the threat from the virus, and his party was facing poor prospects less than two months ago. But that shifted once his government began large-scale testing in February to screen out infected people for isolation and treatment.
The outbreak: South Korea has gone from its early status as the world’s second-largest outbreak, with as many as 813 new cases a day, to reporting fewer than 40 new cases a day.
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