The Dunedin City Council is considering new spending on “Food Resilience“.
With the Council’s current financial situation, it should be limiting spending to it’s core responsibilities. This is certainly the intent of the revised purpose for local government:
“to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses”.
Currently, markets and supermarkets and home and community gardens are providing a variety and supply of food to Dunedin which has never been better.
If groups or businesses in the City wish to support or profit from new food initiatives, then they should join together and do so without ratepayers having to pay for Councillors or Council staff to become involved.
Also see What if? Dunedin… and ODT
Dave Cull believes that there is a pot of gold at the end of the digital rainbow. But the Digital Office has little to show from the hundreds of thousands of dollars which it has spent so far.
The Dunedin City Council is creating a new position of Gigatown Project Co-ordinator to try and win Chorus’s Gigatown promotion. If Dunedin wins the competition then it will have been good decision. If Dunedin does not win, then it will have been a waste of money.
I have sent this email to the Council, asking for more details:
Could you please give me more information on this position:
What is the expected remuneration?
Is it a full time job?
What kind of budget is available for the project?
Watch this space for the response.
The Dunedin City Council sought residents views on oil and gas exploration.
This is my submission:
Exploration for oil should be encouraged.
Exploration, and any subsequent production of oil, would be good for the economy of Dunedin and of NZ.
NZ has strict rules to prevent damage to the environment.
Oil provides relatively cheap energy which would be a welcome addition to alternative forms of energy generation which are proving to be unreliable and expensive.
The theory that increasing carbon-dioxide from fossil fuels is causing dangerous global warming has proved to be wrong. The test of a scientific theory is the accuracy of it’s predictions. The predicted increasing temperatures have not happened, with measurements showing no significant increase in the last 17 years.
If diverse views within the city mean that exploration cannot be supported then the Council should make no submission at all.
A submission opposing exploration would reinforce the Dunedin City Council’s reputation as being anti-business, which is already damaging the City.
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The Otago Chamber of Commerce has labelled the city’s Harbourside Project a mistake, and Mayor Dave Cull suggests it should never have got off the ground.
Yet again assurances have proved fruitless, and even more money is required for the Stadium: $500,000 to $800,000 for the sound system.
But a good point was raised at the meeting:
Richard Thomson was concerned that when DVML began reporting on its Town Hall and Railway Station venues, the financial results would be reported on separate lines.
DVML is getting the income from the other venues, but is not paying any rent. It will also be interesting to see if Town Hall has attracted the large of conferences on which the business plan justifying the $45 million upgrade was based.
It is great to see that Doug Hall has been elected to the Dunedin City Council. His priority is “getting the truth out there” about “where all the money goes”, and he says “I can work with anybody if they tell the truth”.
With Hilary Calvert also on the Council, there are interesting times ahead.
The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust newsletter says that they have had very positive meetings with City Forests who are interested in community wind opportunities.
In a letter to the Otago Daily Times, I asked:
Can Mayor Cull assure us that the Dunedin City Council or it’s Companies, will not increase debt and risk ratepayers’ money in this area without full public consultation?
Mayor Cull’s response:
Whether City Forests invests would be a decision for its board to consider, presumably based on the board’s view of the projected risks and returns from the project.
Dunedin Mayor, Dave Cull, has been caught-out making a misleading claim in Greater Dunedin’s election campaign.
The Mayor has claimed that he has made saving of $128 million in interest costs by reducing the term of the Stadium loan from 40 years to 18.5 years.
But Councillor Lee Vandervis has pointed out that the term of the loan had been increased from 20 years to 40 years just weeks before.