|Watered down report gives few solid answers|
|Posted 26th Nov 2015|
Filed under: Dunedin South
|The long overdue Dunedin City Council report on the infrastructure performance during the June flood event point to a culture of “she’ll be right”, which has had huge implications for an already vulnerable community, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said today.|
“The release of this report has been long-anticipated by the public in the hope it would provide some answers to burning questions on the June flood event. Instead it raises more questions than answers, and provides little guidance to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
“Significantly, the report confirms the widespread belief that the Portobello Pumping Station, which serves as the drainage system for the flat area of South Dunedin, St Kilda, and lower Tainui, was not operating to capacity during the flood event. |
“We are yet to see whether flawed maintenance of the stormwater network and mud-tanks were a contributing factor, although it is anticipated that this will be the case. This will be revealed in a report expected in the New Year.
“What we do know is that some Council staff must been aware of the extent of the pumping system failure during the height of the flooding event yet Civil Defence, the Mayor and council staff manning the phones from an increasingly panicked public seemed oblivious to the serious situation building in South Dunedin, St Kilda and St Clair. Instead, the Council Call Centre closed at 5.30PM, and Civil Defence at 11.00PM, leaving residents vulnerable and in search of consistent answers.
“I also note that there were pockets of homes in other parts of Dunedin badly affected by flooding that may be linked to flawed maintenance systems such as Kinmont Crescent in Mosgiel, Brighton and Macandrew Bay. I expect the Council to fully investigate all of those.
“The report serves only to reinforce the widespread belief that the City Council were missing in action on 3 June. It makes no recommendations on future prevention, and gives only short-term solutions in its reporting of infrastructure improvements.
“Insurance costs have reached $30 million+, some people are still unable to return to their homes five months later, and those that raised questions after the floods were deemed to be ignorant of civil defence legislation or uninformed about the state of the drains or the pumps.
“Those responsible for the protection of our city owe its people an apology. They also owe an explanation as to why civil defence and council staff did not realise South Dunedin was at risk and act to protect them and their homes.
“Why were people not evacuated as they were in Wanganui a few weeks later? Why were there not extensive sandbagging operations put underway as soon as it was realised the Portobello Pumping station was unable to operate effectively?
“Why did Council staff not realise that rain events before 3 June had saturated the ground in South Dunedin and that surface flooding was inevitable even if the pumping station had been working properly.
“The DCC knows that ground water levels in the South Dunedin Basin are high. A report last week by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment highlighting the risks just confirms what we already know and makes it more urgent for us to address.
“The Council was not on the ball on 3 June. Many residents have paid a heavy price. Dunedin deserves better” says Clare Curran
|Offshore workers shipped in at expense of locals|
|Posted 18th Nov 2015|
Filed under: Communications & IT
|Cut-price contractor Visionstream is trying to bring in offshore workers for the UFB fibre roll-out while at the same time workers doing the same job are being cut at Downer, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.|
“Visionstream’s contract for the UFB roll-out is being expanded into Wellington. Instead of looking for local workers they are applying for the right to bring in workers from offshore so they can pay them low rates.
“Visionstream is notorious for paying their contractors poorly compared to other companies. Their role should not be expanded, especially when they are bringing in offshore workers.|
“At the same time Downer is cutting employees doing similar work. It is shocking that locals are losing their jobs while offshore workers are being shipped in.
“The Government needs to take responsibility for this. Amy Adams should call in Chorus and tell them to ensure locals aren’t cut out of jobs in the rush to cut costs.
“Unemployment is rising in this country. We should take a very dim view of a company trying to cut New Zealanders out of good jobs so it can make a quick buck,” says Clare Curran.
|TVNZ backtracks on chopping news jobs in the South|
|Posted 2nd Nov 2015|
Filed under: Broadcasting
|TVNZ has finally listened to sense and shelved plans to axe two fulltime frontline news positions from their Dunedin office, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.|
“The planned cuts to a news operation that covered 65,000 square kilometres of the South Island was short sighted. It is unfathomable that they would chop news gathering in an area bigger then Switzerland.
“TVNZ will still lose half a camera position in Dunedin.|
“This threatened cut to the bone was against a background of TVNZ announcing a profit of $28 million in August. This was a $10 million increase on 2014 in spite of a shrinking market.
“This cost cutting proposal was roundly attacked in the South by many who felt the Auckland-based broadcaster was obsessed with Auckland news.
“If TVNZ wants to be a national broadcaster then they should act like one. Today’s decision reinforces the fact that TVNZ is publically owned and must give New Zealand’s regions a strong voice,” says Clare Curran.
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© 2018 Authorised by Clare Curran
132 Hillside Road, South Dunedin