Veteran Dunedin/Brighton Rally Speech

Veteran Dunedin to Brighton Rally.                                                                           18/01/2020

Thank you all for coming here today on the first day of summer to celebrate our brilliant Vintage fossil-fueled Heritage.
I am Cr. Lee Vandervis and on behalf of the Dunedin City Council I welcome all Vintage car enthusiasts, and especially the car owners/drivers and their understanding partners, without whom this spectacular, fascinating and historic event would not be possible.
I would like to add personally that without the magnificent men who have continuously evolved such fossil-fueled machines, our most healthy and wealthy and numerous civilisation would not be possible.

I have a bit of history here regarding the Veteran Dunedin to Brighton Run, which has kindly been provided by one of the key organisers of this annual event, Mr Mark Wilkinson. [Unless you have organised such a public event, it is difficult to appreciate just how much focused preparation and coordination goes into making it happen, so thank you Mark and all the others who have cleared all the Health and Safety hurdles to allow this assemblage of Magnificent Machines!]

The Event started in 1955 after the Mayor at the time Sir Leonard Wright wanted to have an event similar to the London to Brighton Run, which then resulted in the Dunedin to Brighton Run being formed. At around the same time it was decided by the city fathers to also run an Annual Festival Week and the Brighton Run became one of the events that started the festival. After the crowning of the Festival Queen the Mayor would flag the vehicles away for the time trial to Brighton. The Dunedin to Brighton Rally is the only surviving event from the Festival still continuing and has run continually since.
The event is open to members of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand with vehicles registered on or before 31 December 1918 – therefore all the vehicles are over 100 years old and this event is the oldest continuous all-Veteran Rally in the Southern Hemisphere. One example of the vehicles competing today is the 1900 Wolseley owned by Colin and Judy Winter, the oldest privately-owned Wolseley in the world.

It is testament to the members of the Dunedin Vintage Car Club that these vehicles which were an important part of our history are still running today and not sitting in museums, and long may this continue.
All the best to all participants, and may everybody enjoy this 66th Veteran Dunedin to Brighton Rally.

a wonderful turn-out of people and machines




chatting with enthusiasts…


almost ready with Dougal Stevenson providing the informed commentary…


will it start?


and away they go…



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and the last away one of the quickest, Alan Dippie and Dad in a French racing car…


a happy day with family fun – Lukas and Juliette   :<)


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The DCC 2GP has made the housing crisis worse, but ODT Hawkins-friendly reporter Chris Morris fails to mention that Crs Hawkins and Benson-Pope were highly-paid Cull-appointed commissioners on the 2GP that pushed through the crazy zoning and other rules that have reduced building options in Dunedin and made the few available sections unaffordable.

Reporter Morris does say that the DCC Second Generation Plan “had been blamed for holding up the development of hundreds of new homes”, and says that “The 2GP itself has also been described by one property developer as “broken” despite rezoning 190ha of new land for residential development.”
Reporter Morris fails to report that Crs. Hawkins and Benson-Pope pushed through new harsher 2GP rules for residential building in rural and semi-rural areas where the 15 ha rule for a house has been increased to a draconian 40 hectares, massively decreasing housing section possibilities, and massively devaluing many rural and semi-rural property values. Morris fails to mention the absurd 2GP rule for granny flats requiring them to be only for a family member…
“Mr Hawkins favoured infill development over urban sprawl” says Morris, but in fact his green ideology has limited both – the 2GP won’t let you build in the country hills and the 2GP absurd requirements for houses on the low-lying flat to be ‘relocatable’ means you can’t build economically on the flat either.
The housing ‘crisis’ has been created by those that now disallow a quick fix because of their ideologies.

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Why ‘Pedestrianisation’ works in ancient European capital Downtowns but won’t work here.

Passenger Transport UK

From: Lee Vandervis <>
Date: Wednesday, 30 October 2019 at 2:11 PM
To: Monique Elleboode <>, “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <>
Cc: <>, Sue Bidrose <>, Sandy Graham <>, Simon Drew <>
Subject: Re: Cycleways and pedestrianisation [#ABE06C]

Dear decision-makers and Councillors,

As well as reading the suggested stories about pedestrianisation in Oslo – Norway’s Capital of nearly 700,000 of the most oil-rich people in Europe, or reading similar stories of equally dissimilar to Dunedin ancient Capitals like Copenhagen, Berlin etc. it would be in the interests of relevance to consider the pedestrianisation experiments of two small English University cities of similar population to Dunedin – Ipswich and Norwich.
Here, even after decades of pedestrianisation the results have been much more mixed, with many regrets about the downsides of pedestrianisation.

Closer to home, the pedestrianisation of Christchurch’s Cathedral Square had already banished the vibrancy and character that existed in the Square before the earthquakes permanently unsettled the whole city centre.
Christchurch’s  Square was the functional equivalent of our Octagon, the intersection and crossroads of the cities’ two main central streets, a portent of what is to come for Dunedin if our most successful George st is to become a cycleway using the biggest debt-funded street ‘surface treatments’ budget in our history.
I caution careful consideration, not of population-dense ancient European capital city centres designed before automobiles, but of how much we will certainly lose financially, as well as lose functionally, by removing parking and motorised transport from the heart of Dunedin.

Kind regards,


Sent: Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:26:12 p.m.
Subject: Cycleways and pedestrianisation

I would like the following article added to the reading list of all the councillors. I think that it could crystallize their thinking.


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What was it that enraged so many about the latest Tremain measles cartoon?

Several people have asked me why Tremain has been censored by the ODT because they had not seen the cartoon, just heard the fallout. So here it is:Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 9.00.23 PM.png
Tremain has been accused of ‘casual and subliminal racism’, with this cartoon which the ODT Editors were slow to admit was offensive to many.
This is one of several Tremain cartoons printed dealing with measles’ resurgence. The disease transmission vector of holiday tourism is highlighted, but racial sensitivities surrounding 60+ recent measles deaths in Samoa are ignored. RNZ has reported that an outbreak of measles in Papua New Guinea killed 72 children last year and that there was a high of 7 measles deaths in NZ in 1991.

My view is that cartoonists need to criticise, offend, and indulge dark humour to make current, insightful or political points.
Sensitivity, virtue signalling, and tact should not be expected of cartoonists if they are to deal humorously with serious issues or social problems.
Human Tragedy is regularly dealt with in cartoons, both highlighting and sometimes defusing issues, and any subject that is political, tribal, racial or religious will always be offensive to some.
Measles has been a regular fatal scourge in most countries until the recent success of vaccination. Tremain has repeatedly dealt with the subject:Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 9.38.01 PM
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I miss Tremain’s candid cartoons in the ODT. Are we no longer allowed to be enraged or offended or to engage in black humour?
I look at the wimpy unimaginative cartoons that now take Tremain’s place and am saddened by the loss…

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Some surprises in Election Spending and Donations, especially Cr. Garey at just under the legal $55,000 maximum just topping Cull’s last spend with the same PR business [if the 2016 $42,000+ share claimed by Cr. Staynes can be believed].


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Missing Tremain

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BILLION $ DEBT only admitted after Election.

DCC seeking $1b of debt facility

Photo: ODT files

Photo: ODT files

The Dunedin City Council wants to increase the amount of money it and its companies can borrow – if needed – to almost $1 billion.But it also insists the extra budget headroom created by the move will not result in the council, or ratepayers, taking on extra debt beyond what it has already committed to.

The proposal is outlined in a staff report to be considered by councillors at today’s full council meeting.

The report, by DCC finance and commercial general manager David Tombs, recommended the change to allow the council and its companies to borrow money needed for their capital spending plans.

That included Aurora’s major network upgrade, work on which was continuing.

Mr Tombs, in his report, said existing arrangements allowed DCC group debt – spread across the council and its companies – of up to $850 million.

Already, group debt was forecast to exceed $850 million by late next year, as it increased from $691 million in June this year to $927 million by 2022.

The increasing debt levels were being driven largely by the capital spending plans of the council and Aurora.

That meant the council either needed to find ways to reduce debt or ways of increasing the amount that could be borrowed, to deliver on spending plans already developed.

Mr Tombs recommended an increase in uncalled share capital in the companies’ parent body, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, as the best way for increasing the group’s borrowing capacity.

The uncalled shares provided security for DCC group debt, and had previously been increased from $600 million to $850 million in 2010-11.

Mr Tombs said another change in uncalled share capital would not incur any “significant” cost, but would “simply enable the future debt to be available” and provide some “liquidity headroom”.

That headroom could be useful if needed, for example if a natural disaster struck the city, he said.

The council could consider joining the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency, and borrowing from it, selling some of its $93.5 million investment property asset portfolio or cashing in part of its $92.7 million Waipori Fund.

However, Mr Tombs ruled out those suggestions, saying selling all the council’s investment properties could keep group debt below $850 million but would leave little headroom.

It was also unlikely all the properties could become “sale ready” within required timeframes, he said.

The Waipori Fund also generated $8.6 million in investment returns in 2018-19, a return of more than 9%, and using the fund to offset borrowing would have “adverse commercial ramifications” given the return it was generating, he said.

He recommended the change to DCHL uncalled share capital, while noting group debt could still not increase beyond $927 million without “explicit” approval from the council.

I GAVE CHRIS MORRIS THIS BILLION$ DEBT GRAPH MANY MONTHS AGO but the ODT refused to print it despite the proof that it was made from DCC accounting figures.

DCC Group Debt=updated 190625

I have warned repeatedly all year in public meetings of the inevitable Billion$ DCC Group Debt coming mostly from out-of-control DCC Companies, but was contradicted by ex-Mayor Cull’s misrepresentations that DCC debt was actually going down claiming “Core council debt – including stadium debt – was lower now than when he became mayor.” ! ODT 28/9/2019. He seemed to forget that most Stadium debt had been transferred to DCC Council Companies, and that the Companies, especially Aurora had committed to $100 million extra debt every year for the next 3 years, and that massive deferred maintenance by Aurora and by the DCC was an even worse kind of debt.

Yesterday, in Council I reminded the DCC Chief Financial Officer that his claim that the proposed new higher BILLION$ debt level headroom “could be useful if needed, for example if a natural disaster struck the city” [ODT 10/12/19] was misleading Council.

In fact the new BILLION$ DEBT level is already committed to fund increased DCC spending and especially DCC lines Company Aurora massive committed spend to deal with years of deferred maintenance.
There is not going to be any debt headroom for any natural disaster, because the un-natural disaster of out-of-control DCC Company Aurora is already budgeted to suck it all up. We are going to continue to throw good 100s of millions after bad because nobody has wanted to admit that Aurora is a hopeless financial and reputational liability that should have been sold long ago, as I have regularly suggested since 2010. The longer we continue to fail to act with Aurora, the deeper in unsustainable debt we get.
Mayor Hawkins has no business experience and no understanding of what changes are needed, so just keeps pushing up the debt and going with the status quo.

DELTA, the DCC maintenance company recently separated from Aurora, is not much better because of similar dysfunctional management, [DELTA CEO Grady Cameron left with a $900,000 pay-out last year] but it is smaller and therefore less damaging.
This smaller DELTA liability also needs urgent review of its operations, its liabilities, and a report to Council on whether it is worth keeping.

I again reminded Council yesterday that the previous massive increase in Debt Headroom up to $850 million was also justified as ‘liquidity headroom’ needed in case of natural disaster, but that it had simply been spent without any natural disaster.
None of these extensive year-long ‘BILLION$ elephant in the room’ and ‘I told you so’ speeches had been reported in the ODT before the election, but yesterday’s comments have come out today.

The Dunedin City Council is ‘‘locked in’’ to lifting its group debt to almost $1billion, councillors have heard.

The comment came from Cr Lee Vandervis after council staff confirmed planned spending by Aurora — a key driver of the council’s group debt position — could not be reversed.

Council finance and commercial general manager David Tombs, in a report to yesterday’s meeting, recommended lifting the amount of money the council’s ability to borrow money to $975million.

The mechanism for doing so involved increasing the uncalled share capital for Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, which provided security for debt across the council and its companies.

Increased debt was already forecast to fund council projects already committed to, including the major upgrade of Aurora’s network and council capital projects.

However, at present the council group debt was limited to $850million, and spending was forecast to push debt beyond that by late next year, as it increased from $691million in June this year to $927million by 2022.

Increasing the limit would allow the council to deliver on planned spending, but also provide some ‘‘liquidity headroom’’, for example if a natural disaster struck, he said.

Cr Vandervis told the meeting he had heard similar assurances before, including when the council lifted its ability to borrow from $600million to $850million in 2010-11.

At the time, it was also said to provide headroom to cope with any natural disasters, but had since been ‘‘gobbled up’’ by another form of disaster — Aurora, he said.

‘‘I’m having a deja vu experience,’’ he said yesterday.

He pressed Mr Tombs, asking him whether Aurora was committed to spending on its network, and therefore increased debt, contributing to an almost $300million overall increase in group debt by 2022.

When Mr Tombs said Aurora could not perform a ‘‘U-turn’’ on its spending plans, Cr Vandervis said critics — including himself — had been proven right.

‘‘We are absolutely locked in. We do have to spend this money. Richard Healey’s predictions of $1 billion, and mine earlier this year, have come true.

‘‘We told you so.’’

Delta employee-turned-whistleblower Richard Healey had predicted Aurora’s neglected network would end up delivering a $1billion bill.

The mounting council group debt had funded a wider variety of projects, including everything from the Peninsula Connection upgrade to Forsyth Barr Stadium, as well as Aurora’s network upgrade.

Mr Tombs said lifting the ability to borrow was simply about delivering on previous spending decisions, and the council’s debt-to-equity ratio would still be at the lower end of the scale compared with other councils.

Cr Mike Lord said the debt picture had been clear for more than a year, ever since the council decided not to sell properties to offset debt, and he had no issue with it.

Cr Carmen Houlahan also ‘‘fully’’ supported the report, saying investment in infrastructure was key, while deputy mayor Christine Garey said the council and its companies were investing in the city at a fiscally advantageous time, when interest rates were low.

Cr Jim O’Malley also reminded councillors the level of risk was ‘‘negligible’’ when much of the debt was secured against company assets, like City Forests, which could be sold.

Cr Vandervis maintained the council would have been ‘‘hundreds of millions’’ of dollars better off it it had sold
Aurora years ago, but Cr Jules Radich said that would have led to the kind of price hikes seen in the private sector elsewhere.

Councillors voted 13-1 to increase the council’s ability to borrow, to $975 million, although any increase beyond $927million would require a specific council resolution.






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