Tag Archives: Debt

Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!

Received from our northern friends (html email partially rebuilt here).
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 4:10 p.m.

MRRA 1aGetting the Validation Bill ready for Parliament

● The new Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) website can be viewed here.
● “When Government Goes Bad” – see the MRRA video on YouTube.

The KAIPARA VALIDATION BILLMRRA 3

KAIPARA’S PROBLEMSMRRA 4Parliament “solves” the problems of Kaipara with the Validation Bill

LATEST NEWS
OAG report: Summary
OAG report: Full Report* (click the sections on the left)
*Link to download report (PDF, 2.6 MB; 423 pages) is broken at OAG website.

A MESSAGE FROM THE MRRA
3 February 2014
The day that JUSTICE finally comes to Kaipara

Come to the Court Case in Whangarei 3-7 February
The High Court is located at 105-109 Bank Street Whangarei
The hearing commences at 10 AM.
You have paid for this, so come and watch it play out. Those who came last time were glued to their seats for the whole day. Watching our justice system in action when the matter is one you are involved in is a riveting experience.
[Six days at court] might be needed but we won’t know until Feb 3rd. The hearing should play out as follows: Administrative stuff first, then MRRA puts its case (possibly all of Monday and some of Tuesday), then KDC puts its case Tuesday and all of Wednesday. Then MRRA replies, which will take part of Friday. The judge will then sum up and indicate what he is going to do, and perhaps reserve his decision which he would then hand down in writing some time later.
The Judge has instructed that a second courtroom be made available with closed-circuit TV to accommodate the large number expected to attend this hearing.
In an earlier decision the Judge said that this judicial review raises important legal questions of wide public interest.
It may be one of the most important cases in connection with Local Government that has ever gone to trial in New Zealand. The issues at stake are of fundamental significance to everyone who lives in this country. This is not a tiff over rates. This is a test of what power elected and appointed officials really have to take money from ratepayers and taxpayers and use it in any way they choose. The Government and the Kaipara District Council (KDC) both say that councils must have the power to take any amount of money they want, for any purpose whatsoever, and the ratepayer has no say at all in the process.
If you think that’s OK, then we have not reached you. If you think it is not OK but nothing can be done about it, please be assured that something can be done — and it is in the High Court where that will happen. Eventually, the people will call a halt to the madness.

COUNCIL INCOMPETENCE 29.01.14
Frank Newman comments here on the Dunedin City Council’s fancy $230 million covered stadium that “will forever be a black hole that eats ratepayer money”.
There will be no easy fix for Dunedin’s ratepayers. Their elected representatives of the day were reckless and ratepayers will be punished for a very long time because they (as a society) elected a reckless bunch of people to make decisions on their behalf.
I do not know of the Dunedin Councillors complied with the law and consulted with ratepayers but Kaipara ratepayers find themselves in a very similar situation.
The debt for EcoCare is completely unmanageable for a small council such as the KDC but the Commissioners and the Banks have so far delayed the inevitable day of judgement by mesmerising ratepayers with promises of only three percent rate increases over the next ten years.
How can that happen, you might ask, when there is such a massive debt to pay? The answer is that it can’t. But to levy high rates now and charge extra capital payments per household right across the district would result in a massive rate strike and civil disobedience and the collapse of the KDC.
To prevent that, the Commissioners and the Banks have made promises of minimal rate rises that cannot be substantiated and are so dishonest that they border on the criminal. They are nothing more than a confidence trick and the reality is that, sooner or later, ratepayers across the district will be billed for the principal of the debt. Generations of Kaipara ratepayers will pay for the EcoCare folly just as generations of Dunedin ratepayers will pay for their Stadium folly.
The only difference is that the MRRA has challenged the validity of the Kaipara debt in the High Court and is asking that Court for a ruling that ratepayers are not responsible for an illegal debt that was secretly entered into by the Councillors.
Never before have ratepayers made such a challenge and no doubt many ratepayers across the country will be awaiting the outcome.
If Councils can operate outside the law with utter impunity, with all the watchdogs sound asleep, and the ratepayers have to pay all the bills, then we have been conned into being the peasants at the bottom of a 21st Century feudal system.
That is not a good place to be but unless we get behind the MRRA and support its action, then that is where we will end up.

[ends]

****

LAST WORD from What if? Dunedin…
Will DCC’s stadium review be enough? Answer: NO
We’re staying busy —can’t blog it.

Related Posts and Comments:
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

DCC Annual Report 2012/2013

The annual report is now available at the DCC website and below.
It is provided by sections in .PDF format.

Standard & Poor’s
Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, provides independent financial information, analytical services, and credit ratings to the world’s financial markets. For more information go to Standard & Poor’s.

S&P Full Analysis Dunedin City Council (PDF, 321 KB)

Annual Report Documents
Annual Report 2012/13 Full version (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Organisational and Financial Management Report, Significant Activities Report and Council NZIFRS Financial Statements

Annual Report 2012/13 Section 1 (PDF, 399.4 KB)
Organisational and Financial Management Report

Annual Report 2012/13 Section 2 (PDF, 448.8 KB)
Significant Activities Report

Annual Report 2012/13 Section 3 (PDF, 361.1 KB)
Council NZIFRS & Financial Statements

Annual Report 2012/13 Appendix (PDF, 172.6 KB)
Community Outcome Monitoring, Supplementary Information

Annual Report 2012/13 Summary (PDF, 531.8 KB)
Dunedin City Council Annual Report Summary

OPEN MEETING ABOUT DCC FINANCES
When: Wednesday 27 November 5:30pm-7:00pm
Where: Meeting Room One, Municipal Chambers
ALL WELCOME – hosted by DCC Finance Committee

Related Posts:
23.11.13 DCC: Finance Committee [public forum] 27 November
17.11.13 DCC Finance Committee: Public meeting 27 November [INVITE]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

36 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Politics, Project management, Stadiums, What stadium

Northland council amalgamation

### radionz.co.nz Tuesday 12 November  -  12:20 pm NZT
(Updated 38 minutes ago)
RNZ News
Single council for Northland proposed
The Local Government Commission has recommended a single unitary council for the whole of Northland.
The commission at Waitangi on Tuesday revealed its draft proposal for reorganising local government in the region. It proposes one council and one mayor for Northland and a second tier of community boards.
A new nine-member council, to be based in Whangarei, would replace Far North District Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council and Northland Regional Council.
The commission also proposes a special council committee to represent Northland’s large Maori population.
RNZ Link

Northland RC boundary map (400) 1

Related Posts and Comments:
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabet Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Stupidity

DVML works media/DCC to spend more ratepayer money

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) has been testing the stadium sound system since February, and has discovered it is only working at 20% of what is needed.

Queries about the sound system were only some of a barrage of questions from Dunedin city councillors before they adopted the annual reports of DVML and Dunedin Venues Ltd this week.

### ODT Online Sat, 12 Oct 2013
Stadium PA fix up to $800,000
By Debbie Porteous
Permanently fixing problems with Forsyth Barr Stadium’s public address system would cost between $500,000 and $800,000.
DVML chief executive Darren Burden said the cost did not include permanently fixing sound issues with the wider auditorium, such as those experienced at concerts. They would continue to be addressed by temporary measures installed by promoters.
He said DVML had been working with acoustic engineers and sound system experts, including the company that installed the system. There were problems with the transmission of sound from microphones on the pitch to the sound box that delivered sound to speakers around the stadium.
The solutions, which ranged in price depending on what standard of sound delivery was wanted, involved improving the sound transmission from the field and installing more speakers around the stadium.
The cost of fixing it had to be dealt with internally by DVML.
Read more

****

Darren Burden, DVML [odt.co.nz]Head in the Sand Award?
Cr Richard Thomson said he appreciated Mr Burden (pictured) might wonder why he bothered when faced with such a barrage of questions from councillors. ”But it is really important for the city that this delivers as much revenue as possible.” (via ODT)

Comment at ODT Online:

Who is accountable?
Submitted by russandbev on Sat, 12/10/2013 – 9:06am.

Just another example of the difference between reality and hype. Ratepayers have been assured since the building of this rugby stadium that the PA system was state of the art. Indeed, the hype from the Carisbrook Stadium Trust before the build indicated that it was even better than that. Now ratepayers are told that it will cost the best part of a million to get right for the most basic of requirements, and that the costs of running the stadium will rise. Who is being held accountable? Not those responsible for this ongoing shambles, but only the ratepayers.

Related Posts and Comments:
7.10.13 DCC councillors, no idea of annual cost of owning and operating…
4.10.13 DVML . . . | ‘Make the stadium work’ losses continue
20.8.13 DVML foists invoices on DCC
20.6.13 Stadium: DVML, DVL miserable losers! #grandtheftdebt
30.12.12 To DVML Board, from Ian Tayor [sic]
11.12.12 Stadium: DCC runs amok with $750K annual subsidy to DVML
2.11.12 Stadium financials: Calvin Oaten on DVML, DVL and DCHL
2.11.12 Stadium financials: JimmyJones v Peter Hutchison (DVML)…
19.10.12 LGOIMA request: Breakdown of DVML recruitment costs [emails]
19.10.12 Weak boys, Cull and Burden on rugby stadium
11.10.12 Darren Burden plays LGOIMA game like Davies #DVML #PsychoAnswer

For more, enter the terms *dvml*, *darren burden* or *stadium* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Design, Disinformation, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity, What stadium

DCC councillors, no idea annual cost of owning, operating FB Stadium

Updated 2013/10/08 at 10:47 am.

DCC departing councillors [ODT Files 8.10.13] 1Platitudes — and much more, including seriously remiss untruths about the ‘value’ of councillor contributions — flew at yesterday’s city council meeting. Dunedin City Council members farewelled five long-serving councillors at their final meeting: Neil Collins, Syd Brown,
Bill Acklin, Fliss Butcher and Colin Weatherall.

Councillors said Cr Brown was a fair-minded and trusted member, a consistently hard worker who made a ”very substantial” contribution, especially on financial issues and as a strong advocate for Mosgiel, in his 15 years on council. ”He is a wise old owl. When he speaks, I listen and know we all do,” Cr Collins said.

Read more at ODT Online.

——————

Comment received.

JimmyJones
Submitted on 2013/10/07 at 6:31 pm

The average DCC councillor still has no idea of the annual cost of owning and operating the FB Stadium. They have been misled by the way the annual reports are arranged and they get confused because there are two stadium companies with similar names, as well as an interest cost to the DCC for the loan to buy the shares to buy the stadium.

Jim Harland, Paul Orders and their staff have been asked many times to disclose the total financial impact of the stadium. Mr Orders eventually promised to do this at an annual plan public meeting, but it hasn’t happened.

The annual reports of the stadium companies (DVL & DVML) to be approved today by our hapless councillors, have enough info to calculate a good estimate of the total cost.

These figures are from the annual reports page 6 (DVL) and page 9 (DVML). Remember that in these reports the term “subvention payment” means “subsidy” and has the effect of disguising the size of the companies’ losses. The city’s renters and ratepayers end up paying for both the disclosed losses and the subsidies so we need to add them together to get the total impact.

Total Stadium Impact:
Item:___Disclosed Loss_____Subsidy_______Total Loss
DVL:______$4.8 million______$7.3 million_______$12.1 million
DVML:_____$1.0 million______$0.6 million_______$1.5 million
Cost of interest on debt for DVL shares:________$5.1 million
Cost of rates subsidy for DVML (approx):_______$2.0 million
Total Ratepayer Impact (approx):_______$20.7 million

The DCC held stadium debt is $78 million and I have chosen the interest rate to be 6.5%. There might be some other costs that I haven’t thought of. The actual interest rates paid by DVL seems unrealistically low to me at 5.87%. Most DCC projects are charged 7.00%, so DVL’s low interest rate could amount to a secret subsidy of $1.6 million.

Anyway, $20.7 million per year is a lot of money and citizens and councillors need to know what is going on. We have heard DCC mayors and councillors promise financial transparency, but it seems that some of them have wanted to keep this figure quiet.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: odt.co.nz – departing city councillors who brought you the stadium, one way or the other . . .

19 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!

Received from Martin Legge
Saturday, 29 June 2013 9:53 a.m.

Learn how the Kaipara council was repeatedly given a clean bill of health by Audit NZ despite the massive debt and obvious governance problems.

Compares with how OAG assured me they were closely monitoring the TTCF investigation into how it was that ORFU and Racing were able to fleece $7 million from the South Auckland community. The truth is, DIA lost that file and therefore didn’t investigate and instead deliberately covered the loss up. OAG appear OK with this and issued DIA with a clean bill of health.

Our trust and faith in the work of these well resourced “highly educated desk jockeys” is misplaced!!!

### NZ Herald Online Saturday, 29 Jun 2013 8:48 AM
Fresh probe begins into debt-ridden council
By Andrew Laxon
The commissioners of debt-ridden Kaipara District Council have begun a new inquiry into its past financial decisions, including the advice it received from former chief executive Jack McKerchar. The tiny Northland council is struggling under an $80 million debt, a long-running rates strike and court action by its own ratepayers over more than $17 million of illegally set rates dating back to 2006. Its former councillors stepped down last year in response to a damning report, making way for Government-appointed commissioners.

Three inquiries are under way into what went wrong. They consist of

● An Auditor-General’s investigation into how the cost of a sewerage scheme at Mangawhai blew out from $11 million in 1999 to $62 million, creating most of the council’s debt.
● An independent inquiry into how the Audit Office failed to notice the excessive debt and repeatedly gave the council a clean bill of health.
● The commissioners’ investigation into other financial transactions they have discovered since taking over last September and see as questionable.

Northland MP Mike Sabin told Parliament ratepayers had been woefully let down by the council’s “mismanagement, incompetence, carelessness and dysfunctional governance”. Mr Sabin, who is sponsoring a local bill to retrospectively validate the illegal rates, said the bill was necessary to keep the council functioning but it would not allow anyone responsible for poor decisions to duck the consequences.
The separate inquiry into the Audit Office’s actions, undertaken by Auditing and Assurance Standards Board chairman Neil Cherry, was not finished.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
31.3.13 DIA and OAG stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
3.11.12 Stadium: DCC caught in headlights
29.10.12 DCC consolidated debt substantially more than $616m
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

7 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity, What stadium

Stadium: DVML, DVL miserable losers! #grandtheftdebt

### ch9.co.nz June 20, 2013 – 6:18pm
DVML forecasts small profit
The company that runs Forsyth Barr Stadium has forecast a small surplus for the first time in 2015. DVML has been running at a loss, but forecasts that will change to a $10,000 surplus. But the company that owns the stadium, DVL, has forecast its loss will be about $1 million more than expected, at more than $5 million. DCC chief executive Paul Orders said both were just projections, and the DVL loss was due to tax changes. The forecasts will be considered by the council on Monday.
Ch39 Link [no video available]

SURPRISE
Reports for the Council meeting to be held on Monday 24 June 2013 at 1pm not yet available at the DCC website.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Concerts, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Hot air, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity, What stadium