Don’t hold any hope that Coved-19 will be over in a short period of time.

The 4-week lock-down is just the first stage.
Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.33.30 PM

Ex Wikipedia –

“The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic,[2] was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic. Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million people—about a quarter of the world’s population at the time.[1] The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million[3] to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.”

Two years is also the Covid – 19 estimate from the prestigious Rupert Koch institute.  Yesterday’s Economist reports that “the Robert Koch Institute, a German government health agency, in saying that, in extremis, tough restrictions may need to remain in place until a vaccine can be made, tested and put into use—a period it sees as lasting up to two years.”

Today’s STAR front page highlights economic impacts but only scratches the surface of immediate recession effects and suggests people must prioritise spending on accommodation, food and power.
I suggest talking to any old people or grandparents who have had direct experience of privation in WW2, to get an idea of how to build your own supportive social network, because both local and central governments will be unable to help much other than printing money and imposing martial law. Slowing the spread of Coved-19 will help Health Support services cope, but there is no stopping Coved-19, even if a super-vaccine is invented tomorrow.
The label ‘tulip muncher’ stems from widespread starvation in Holland in WW2 and the eating of stored tulip bulbs to stay alive. “The war bulbs were old and dry and did not taste like fresh tulips. A fresh tulip bulb has a sweet, milky flavour that is actually not very bad. The tulip bulbs that were eaten during the war had a very bitter and dry taste instead.”
What got my forbearers through WW2 was a good network of friends and acquaintances that they could trust to do certain things and barter a range of skills and resources.
My advice is to look beyond what money may currently buy, since current currency values will change, and look to building your social capital, your connections with people that you can trust and barter with. Decide what you really need, and how you can help those around you with their needs at the same time. It is never too late to build social capital.
Do this on-line, on the phone, or over the fence, keeping the 2 meter distance at all times.
The economic ‘reset’ that was delayed by printing money in 2008 can no longer be delayed, and those responsible can now blame collapse on the virus.
The negativity of this post reflects the negativity of our current world, but suggests positive changes everyone can make to lessen the impacts. Gardening, reading to increase your gardening and other skills, and getting to know your neighbours and friends better to learn how we can all help each other.


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DCC request for remote meetings a week ago…

From: Lee Vandervis <>
Date: Monday, 16 March 2020 at 8:53 AM
To: Sue Bidrose <>, Sandy Graham <>, “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <>
Cc: Karilyn Canton <>
Subject: Remote meetings

Hi Sue and Sandy,

Further to my wife having to organise contingencies for Coved 19 at Otago University [she is Head of Program for Cultures and Languages] I wish to suggest that we change our Standing Orders to allow Council meetings to legally conducted remotely, so that the decision-making functions of our Local Government can continue in the event of panoramic public meeting cancellation.
My experience of being able to engage in Council meetings while overseas with a simple audio link, suggests that we might be able to tweak standing orders for Emergency Meeting Purposes only so that voting may become legal remotely.
I am suggesting basic audio links only because the better video links would involve more people,  more bandwidth and more complexity, and in tough times the KISS principle has proven to be best.

Similarly, a redeployment plan for many Council staff who have the potential to work from home should be immediately drawn up in my view.

Looking forward to some rapid responses and further suggestions that our evolving technology may permit to keep DCC functional in a self-isolation scenario.



Response a week later…

From: Aaron Hawkins <>
Subject: Council Meetings
Date: 23 March 2020 at 4:20:21 PM NZDT
To: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <>
Cc: Sue Bidrose <>, Sandy Graham <>
Kia ora koutou
Under the new regime, we all live in self isolation for the next four weeks at least.
In light of this, and given that we don’t have the capacity to hold meetings remotely, tomorrow we will formally cancel our meeting for March 31st.
Our ongoing governance arrangements will covered off in the coming days.
Stay safe (and now, dry).
Ka mihi
Aaron Hawkins
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3 NOTICES OF MOTION for the next full Council meeting 31/03/20

Following discussions with Councillors I have limited the number of needed responses to our drastically impacted society to these urgent first 3 Motions.

From: Lee Vandervis <>
Date: Friday, 20 March 2020 at 9:39 AM
To: Sue Bidrose <>, Sandy Graham <>
Cc: “Council 2019-2022 (Elected Members)” <>
Subject: 3 x Notices of motion

Dear Sue,

To help reassure our Dunedin citizens I believe we need to move with urgency to confirm the following recommendations to help stem the tide of personal fears, business failures, unemployment, and financial defaults that are now inevitable.

To help ease Coved-19 effects, please include the following 3 Notices of motion in the full Council agenda of 31/03/2020:

1 – that Council cancel Rates Non-payment Penalties [currently 10%] for the next 12 months to give our citizens an opportunity to defer rates expenses if hardship is claimed.

2 – that Council defer non-essential DCC projects for 12 months but continue with infrastructure projects, especially drainage, to keep local contracting businesses going.

3 – That Council reprioritise the Annual Plan budget: change to ‘Zero Rates Increase’ this year and to ‘Cover Rates Deferment for struggling families and businesses’, to be afforded by deferring non-essential projects including: George st surface treatments, University precinct surface treatments, and Waterfront development.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

[Electronic scanned signature attached]


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GOOD that Central Government have finally closed our borders.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.33.30 PMThere is still a chance of containing Covid-19 on our remote under-populated islands.
My personal advice is to keep physical distance, avoid travel [especially in public transport like buses], and do not go to work if that involves significant social contact or close shared spaces.
Look after family members, do what work/education/entertainment you can on-line, and find some good books. [All the great books in History are available free on-line.…/]
Garden, if you have that option.
Conserve resources and be prepared for social and financial upheaval. Tourism and Education, our two biggest industries are being forced to change…

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STAY HOME – Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Section 83 of the Health and Safety Act details your rights;

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 10.33.30 PMRight of worker to cease or refuse to carry out unsafe work


A worker may cease, or refuse to carry out, work if the worker believes that carrying out the work would expose the worker, or any other person, to a serious risk to the worker’s or other person’s health or safety arising from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.

Additional virus considerations.

My personal advice is to keep physical distance, avoid travel [especially in public transport like buses], and do not go to work if that involves significant social contact or close shared spaces.
Look after family members, do what work/education/entertainment you can on-line, and find some good books. [All the great books in History are available free on-line.] Garden, if you have that option.
Conserve resources…
Call me on 021-612340 if you would like to discuss reasons or details.   Lee

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Unsustainable DCC – the practice of our sustainability preachers.

A summary with Neil McMillan on Otago Access Radio…


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