Ridding DCHL of conflicts of interest, Otago business monopoly ‘by director’, and other ghouls

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 12/08/2011
Council votes to revamp City Holdings
By Wilma McCorkindale – Southland Times / D Scene
The Dunedin City Council has voted to accept radical recommendations in a confidential report that slams governance of its holdings company. Mayor Dave Cull last night said the council was seeking legal and accounting advice on how it could implement the measures suggested by the report’s author, governance and business leader Warren Larsen. Mr Larsen suggests a radical overhaul of governance of the council-owned holdings company Dunedin City Holdings Ltd and a review of the “fit” of its subsidiary companies to council requirements.

The Dunedin City Holdings board should be “entirely reconstituted”, it said, recommending three externally sourced directors for an initial three-year term. All should be independent and drawn from a New Zealand-wide recruitment search, initially beyond the Otago region. Ideally, there should be an increase in the pool of women directors and “younger, high-potential, competent directors”.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

49 Comments

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49 responses to “Ridding DCHL of conflicts of interest, Otago business monopoly ‘by director’, and other ghouls

  1. Thomas Van Guard

    Great, so people who have no interest in our city will be able to sell off our assets with no concern for the benefits they accrue here. Brilliant, carpetbaggers at their finest.

    • Elizabeth

      This has to be one of THE most belated editorials to ever emerge from the crevices of the Otago Daily Times.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 15 Aug 2011
      Editorial: Getting governance right
      Hindsight is a wonderful thing, affording as it does the most glaring and uncompromising of perspectives. With the aid of a review of the Dunedin City Council’s trading companies, it is now clear just how inadequate the governance structure of those companies had become. The report, conducted by independent reviewer Warren Larsen, identified a “high level of dysfunction” in the umbrella organisation, Dunedin City Holdings Limited (DCHL), and financial problems with the potential to become “very serious”, if they had not already. The diagnosis confirms the basis for widespread public concern, historical and recent, in relation to the debt of those companies, and their governance.
      Read more

      ****

      The editor says “Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull seems to have set a conciliatory tone”.
      Rest assured, the interested residents and ratepayers of Dunedin take no such conciliatory position and will be calling for heads to roll. As they should. Anything that Cr Paul Hudson or Mr Paul Hudson might care to say from a governance perspective at this juncture is worth precisely NOTHING to Dunedin citizens.

  2. Amanda kennedy

    Well, Thomas, having long-time councillors and Dunedin stakeholders on committees sure has not worked either. They have not been looking out for Dunedin’s assets. Hudson is clearly not overly bothered about selling them or he would have vetoed the stadium spend.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Thomas, “people who have no interest in our city” aren’t the people who got our city into this mess, for which one remedy is likely to be selling off our assets. This is a shameful position to be in, very damaging in the longer term. It’s like a tradesman having to sell the tools of his trade so his future ability to earn goes down the dunny. But when the alternative is having no food and being evicted, what can the tradesman do?
    And that’s the no-exit cliff-top track our elected and unelected “leaders” have led us onto. Can outsiders do worse? With any luck they won’t be part of the cosy Dunedin network that does deals at mates’ rates with their own you-scratch-my-back buddies.

  4. Thomas Van Guard

    I don’t think it’s in Hudson’s interest to sell them is it? After all he’s actually benefitting substantially from continuing on as one of their directors. This Council has indicated quite clearly that assets would be sold well before recent events. That is part of the political philosophy that is present in Council currently. My concern is why ask people from outside of your community to do that on our behalf? Surely as a city we should be controlling our own destiny and the management of our own assets, not offering ourselves up as sacrificial lambs to people who probably don’t care.

    The whole DCHL issue is not about governance, it’s about political control and the sweetening of asset sales to the electorate for political ends. Cull was warned about the borrowing on dividend payments months ago and the public has known about it since at least March. This issue is about making the existing political alliances clearly distinct so that come election time there will be one group able to play “the I told you so” card. It’s about creating a palatable election brand, while for the sale sign goes up quietly in the background. We shouldn’t be fooled by what is clearly a diversionary ruse.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Thomas, let us get some things straight.

    Firstly, if this was still the Chin, Walls, Brown Council, the Larsen report wouldn’t have been written, and even if the truth had been known within that particular closed shop, no information from the Council would have seen the light of day. No doubt whatsoever that there has been a radical change in ensuring that the public get to know what is actually happening.

    Your theory about the consolidation of existing political alliances doesn’t hold a lot of water. The likes of Acklin, Collins, Bezett would all scream that they are independent Councillors, and from what I’ve observed the Greater Dunedin grouping is hardly some high powered, highly organised party machine. The real groupings are those with vested interests who want those interests kept quiet and protected at all costs. Think of what Larsen said between the lines in his report – some Councillors knew what was going on and others didn’t have a clue. The ones that knew had motives that only they really knew but they were certainly part of a group. Such groups have been identified in the past – some had political grouping names and others were a lot more anonymous and were generally known as the Tartan Mafia.

    Some of those interests are blindingly obvious – the more than $200k per year that Hudson receives from the DCC in one form or another and those benefits are plain to see although a lot of people don’t seem to understand the extent of those payments. Other interests are less clear and it isn’t until close scrutiny is made of companies that have benefitted by various Council business that some links can be possibly made. Have a look for example at the extent of the benefits gained from companies controlled and owned from Christchurch.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the same names keep appearing time after time right across a number of entities that are closely intertwined and that they cannot help but having a number of conflicts that they shouldn’t have.

    Think of another position. If ever the Minister actually got off his useless chuff and installed a commissioner to run the City, one thing would be for sure – it wouldn’t be a local that was currently within the local “club” – or at least it shouldn’t be. The other thing to think about is if Cr Hudson is defending the current position then it is, ipso facto, something to be wary of. There are people out there who specialise in Local Government performance and one that springs to mind lives nowhere near Dunedin, but knows more about Local Government than a significant number of existing Councillors.

    Many many people warned Chin, Walls and Hudson in particular about the folly of what the DCC and DCHL was doing prior to any Greater Dunedin people were on Council, but they ignored all the advice they were proffered. Why do you think that was?

    Finally, the whole DCHL position is about honest governance and that is clearly identified in the Larsen report. I believe that the entire Boards within DCHL should resign forthwith, Cr Hudson should resign as a Councillor, and the current DCC should join with others in asking for a complete examination of the processes that were followed within all the DCC controlled entities including the CST, DVL, DVML, DCHL and all their companies.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Russell, right on the button as usual.
    Another thing, what on earth is the point of having all those Boards, all that separation & duplication? All those extra fees for what are really rather small enterprises compared with a great many in the private sector that don’t require double-decker busloads of separate chairmen and board members.

  7. Peter

    Pretty succinct summary of what needs to be done, Russell. I have also come to the conclusion that we need an outside Commissioner to sort out the mess we are in. I honestly can’t see any alternative. Those entities you speak of are dysfunctional and not even a fresh election, which we’d have to wait two years for, would necessarily fix things given the ratepayers’ propensity to return a number of known names. It concerns me when you have at least one person making financial decisions on our behalf when their own financial affairs are not in order.
    I understand one of the DCHL directors has been working hard to keep his job, by being ‘helpful’, and seems to be getting a good hearing in the right place. ALL of them have to go or else nothing changes.

  8. Thomas Van Guard

    The tartan mafia is a myth in this city, a bogey man created to take the blame for the abysmal political and business representation we’ve had in this City both in the past and at present. Political appointments such as DCHL have gone on for centuries in politics, that is the nature of the beast. The Greater Dunedin grouping is using the DCHL report only to ensure that its own political appointments are more suited to its own ends, which are asset sales. This issue has nothing to do with transparency of governance, but the division of the baubles of office for a select few. There will be absolutely no difference in the appointmemt process of the board that we have now and the board that we will end up in the future. It will be cold comfort when we’ll all be paying market rates for our water once our assets are sold by a board who will dance to the current council’s tune.

  9. Russell Garbutt

    Thomas, the Tartan Mafia is not a myth, and I challenge you to say why you believe it is not. Even Chris Laidlaw in a Radio NZ interview with Farry referred to the Tartan Mafia. Its not the same people as it used to be, but in many ways it is a much more covert and powerful grouping than ever. Political appointments do take place, but over the last ten years or so, these appointments have been aided by a wilful neglect of basic governance principles.

    Thomas, let me also address the issue of asset sales that you raised.

    Firstly, selling the assets in DCHL would certainly not be in Hudson’s interests. He has been ludicrously paid for years to do a job which has been shown to be well short of what could reasonably be expected from a Director looking after the interests of those companies or groups of companies of which he was a Director. So, certainly he wouldn’t be advocating their demise for the same reasons as not wanting to shoot the layer of the golden eggs. But lets look further than this.

    The DCHL group’s prime purpose in life is to both provide a range of services to Dunedin residents and to provide a dividend to their owners – the ratepayers. By selling off any of those well-run assets (and I’m not saying that they are currently well-run) this would, as you say, destroy the ability to try and mitigate the mess that the Council with the avid assistance of the current DCHL Directors, have got us into.

    I think we agree that we should not sell the assets, but we should get rid of the entire Boards to re-assert the prime functions of the entities. This current lot are far too well ingrained with the wrong culture. We should ensure that there is a particular forensic scrutiny of the dealings of Delta, its borrowings, its operations, and its culture.

    Some of DCHL and the DCC may well want to introduce more business opportunities – and I think that Dr Rob Hamlin has set out very well the legislative openings so all ratepayers can be charged for water and the well-defined shortcomings of that legislation that put the water company’s interests before the ratepayers. We should be VERY wary of that solution. Charging for water is the same as putting up the rates but its actually worse as it can possibly lead to a higher rate of increase through the loss of Council control. You and I agree on that and we only need to look at Central Otago to see how successful that planned process was halted in its tracks.

    Ratepayers do want some positive answers, but part of that process is a feeling that we also want those responsible for this mess to be publically outed and the depths of their involvement, shortcomings and possible accrued benefits at our expense, well publicised if not prosecuted where appropriate. We deserve honesty, we deserve transparency and we certainly deserve better governance than we have had.

  10. Thomas Van Guard

    Yes we do deserve honesty and transparency but that is not the motivation of what Mayor Cull and Greater Dunedin are actually doing here. Like I said political appointments will continue, no matter what spin they put on it.

  11. Russell Garbutt

    What do you think that Mayor Cull and GD are being motivated to do? I think it is easy to identify what has happened so far, but the evidence so far is that GD have caused the Larsen report to come about. I would have thought that if GD have something to hide then transparency and disclosure would be the last thing they would want. Are you supportive of what Chin and Hudson were all about?

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Thomas, I wonder how you come to have such intimate knowledge of the motivation of “Mayor Cull and Greater Dunedin”. Perhaps you would care to enlighten us, if indeed your assertion is based on inside knowledge and not on conspiracy theory.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz August 12, 2011 – 7:17pm
      Larsen report highlights several areas to be attended to
      The Larsen report into Dunedin City Council practises has highlighted several areas its authors believe need to be attended to. The review covered the governance of companies in which the Council has a more than 50% financial interest. One of the main problems highlighted was cases where councillors were also directors of Council-controlled organisations. The report also recommended that Senior Managers should not be company directors. Council discussed the report at a closed-door meeting this week.
      Video

  13. Peter

    The proof of the pudding, as to real change occurring, will be whether ALL of the directors on DCHL go or not. Any independent report’s findings and recommendations can be ignored if the decision makers on council so choose to do so. If one or more survive you’d have to ask yourself why this has happened? The reasons will be political.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Hence my call for all Directors to resign. If any existing Directors could prove they were capable then they could be considered. But it seems to me that the entire culture was faulty and tainted.

    • Elizabeth

      List of Directors as at June 30, 2010 (ODT 12/8/11, page 4):

      Dunedin City Holdings Ltd
      Paul Hudson [Chair], Ross Liddell, Michael Coburn, Norman Evans, Stuart McLauchlan

      Aurora Energy Ltd
      Raymond Polson [Chair], Ross Liddell, Stuart McLauchlan, Paul Hudson, Michael Coburn, Norman Evans

      City Forests Ltd
      Ross Liddell [Chair], Paul Hudson, Michael Coburn, Norman Evans, Stuart McLauchlan

      Dunedin City Treasury Ltd
      Ross Liddell [Chair], Stephen Wilson, Athol [Stephens], Bevan Dodds, Grant Dodson

      Dunedin International Airport Ltd
      Richard Walls [Chair], Stuart McLauchlan, Geoffrey Thomas, Kathleen Grant

      Delta Utility Services Ltd
      Raymond Polson [Chair], Ross Liddell, Stuart McLauchlan, Norman Evans, Paul Hudson, Michael Coburn

      Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd
      John Farry [Chair], Gary Williams, John McCall, Kate Wilson [resigned 2011], John Chapman, Brian Wolf

      Citibus (sold to Invercargill Passenger Transport)
      Paul Hudson [Chair], Ross Liddell, Michael Coburn, Norman Evans, Stuart McLauchlan, Bevan Dodds

      ****

      ODT Online (3/8/11) Opinion: Duplication cost for council companies

      Combined, those directors received a total of $591,623 in the 2010 financial year for their duties as DCHL directors and directorships of the companies owned by the council.

      Mr Hudson earns a total of $116,026 from five boards.
      Mr Liddell earns $170,118 from six boards.
      Mr Coburn earns $93,430 from five boards.
      Mr Evans earns $94,930 from five boards.
      Mr McLachlan earns $117,119 from six boards (including Dunedin International Airport).

  15. Chirpbird

    It’s good that some people in the Council led by Dave Cull has had these reports done. But I have been following DCC Meetings and Minutes and process has not been legal [in my opinion], with only the ‘inner circle’ of a handful of Councillors being allowed to know what is going on. Worse, Mayor Cull simply seems not to understand transparent process. For example, I can find no Council Resolution to make these reviews of CCO governance. So who made the decision and how?

    {The editors reply:

    Confirmation of CCO committee http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/minutes_agenda/0010/172738/ma_fsd_m_2011_03_14.pdf

    Report to form CCO http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/minutes_agenda/0019/171019/ma_fsd_r_ccoliaison_2011_03_14.pdf

    Minutes confirmed at Council http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/minutes_agenda/0003/173577/ma_council_m_2011_03_28.pdf }

  16. Thomas Van Guard

    Peter makes an excellent point, that reports can be undertaken with recommendations, but that does not always mean there will be change. Those decisions are always politically motivated and that will be the case with the DCHL board. Take for example Kate Wilson’s resignation from the [Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd board], that was clearly (and forgive the stadium pun) political grandstanding (I miss you Carisbrook). It was the taking of the moral high ground “where Caesar’s wife is beyond suspicision”. It was clearly a planned and orchestrated move to ensure that for Greater Dunedin shit wouldn’t stick. Restructure, ensuring transparency, reorganisation or whatever you want to call it, the board selections will be ones that are “favoured” by the Mayor and his party. That will mean bringing in the new and probably retaining some of the old.

    Chirpbird makes a very good point that there is an inner circle of favoured councillors making less than transparent decisions. That has been painfully obvious since Lee Vandervis gatecrashed one of these meetings some time ago and refused to leave. There is a clear demarcation in Council at present between the “old” and the “new”, the select and the non select. This is the standard operating practice for divide and rule and is currently being practiced in the Council chamber at present. So, if there are no minutes or council resolution for the review of DCHL it has had to come from a select few and not debated in the wider council theatre. That makes this decision clearly a highly politically motivated one, and makes trusting this current council even more difficult.

    {See reply to Chirpbird below. -Eds}

  17. Amanda kennedy

    Thomas. Who do you think will buy those assets? ‘Stakeholders’ in Dunedin who cannot be named. I think Hudson will do very nicely if water is privatised.

  18. Amanda kennedy

    Thomas is clearly here to defend the stadium councillors. He is taking the same argument that Bezett and Brown have; that Cull and his Greater Dunedin councillors are to blame for the debt situation. Bezett and mates want to deflect attention from the fact that they are responsible for the debt. I wondered when someone would come here to defend them.

  19. Thomas Van Guard

    Rubbish, I’m saying to you that despite all the pontification that Cull has made about transparency and consultation the reality of the situation is quite different and that the DCHL decision will be as politically motivated as they always have been. It is quite clear that there are decisions being made in the present council that are not transparent or in the open forum of the Council chamber as Chirpbird alludes to. I reiterate my earlier view that appointments to boards are and always will be politically motivated to favour the ruling cadre.

  20. Amanda kennedy

    Except you have only made your disapproval quite clear in relation to Cull and his Greater Dunedin team. I am not hearing you make any sort of disapproving noises towards those who have created the obscene debt we have; Hudson, Bezett and mates. I have no problem if you are all for the stadium cabal keeping on doing what it is doing. I am just not going to buy your particular on the situation, Thomas.

  21. Amanda kennedy

    And who are the ‘ruling cadre’ Thomas? According to you. Who are pulling the shots?

  22. Peter

    I think Thomas makes a valid point about the potential of appointing political appointees to boards – not just DCHL. These posts are often a good source for political patronage. Not so much of a problem if the appointees are at least competent, but if they are not, we are in trouble. For argument’s sake, if all the directors of the present DCHL are replaced we would probably be wise to withhold breaking open the champagne until it is clear the new appointees are not just inheritors of the old guard, taking their turn at the public trough for directors’ fees. You’d have to check out their backgrounds. Hopefully, the council appoints good, ethical and competent people. Is that too much to ask?

  23. Amanda kennedy

    Sure. That I have no problem with. But I am wary of Thomas’ attack on Greater Dunedin and Cull. No mention of the councilors who have put the ciy in the financial straights it is in. This seems to be the angle of the media in this town too. ‘Lets all forget who is responsible for the debt’ seems to be the motto. Cull has to sing this tune too in order to not annoy the stadium cabal on Council, of course.

  24. Thomas Van Guard

    Thank you Peter, that has been exactly my point which seems to have eluded Amanda. There are often strong political motivations for appointments rather than core compentencies. Amanda, I commented earlier that Dunedin has been poorly represented at a business and political level. There’s a number of reasons for that, including electoral apathy, the cult of personality and the societal narrowness of our community in terms of the creation of real political choice. That feeling is only reinforced when one casts a critical eye over the existing councillors who are survivors of the stadium escapade and the new councillors found within Greater Dunedin. I for one don’t see one truly inspirational public leader among them, nor do I see anyone capable of making the kind of changes that need to drag this city up by its bootstraps. We need people prepared to roll up their sleeves and break some economic and political rocks. Let’s get away from failed business owners, radio personalities, former board chairmen, perpetual students, television handymen, and band leaders. This city needs serious financial, social and political ledership that is done in a fair and transparent way, not the same old dross delivered to a long suffering local electorate ad nauseum.

    • Elizabeth

      Thomas, have you read the Larsen report, its recommendations and opinion – minus the deletions?
      Knowing the content of the deletions?
      Are you standing for Council in the next elections?
      That is all.

      (it is fair to say I agree with you on the clean broom, but concur with Russell that without the efforts of some councillors on the GD ticket, we wouldn’t be entertaining the current process of can-opening at all; therefore some credit is due – this is not the same as thinking the present incumbents have any chance of staying around the Council table in the next triennium)

  25. Peter

    Thomas, I guess one of the problems in attracting good people to stand is that those same people wonder whether it is worth the frustration of having to work in such a dysfunctional system. It is potentially such a dispiriting experience. Being on council would certainly be a challenge for a new, conscientious councillor.
    Not sure what the answer is. Certainly higher pay is no guarantee of having good candidates – though it might be for a person in mid-career, elsewhere, who would otherwise be financially worse off on council. Councillors are allowed to double dip with other work, but these days, with the job now more complex, we need councillors whose main job is actually council related business.
    On another note, I think it is redundant to speak of pro and anti stadium councillors, past and present. All bar – one or two or three councillors – are now free wheeling stadium spenders/supporters, including the mayor.

  26. It is good to see the issues with DCHL being brought in to the open. But Dave Cull and Greater Dunedin have done little to change the essential problem with the Dunedin City: reckless spending. Despite GD’s campaigning on the issues of debt and promising to slash operational spending, existing plans have largely continued with the addition of new costs in areas such as “sustainability”, etc.
    Residents are now getting their rates bill and it is a shock, with an increase of 10% (incl GST) since a year ago, with more big rates increases to come.
    DCHL can no longer be used as a cash cow, so the urgent task now is to slash spending.

    • Elizabeth

      I would add reducing DCC staff numbers and achieving greater efficiencies.

      No part of the enterprise is immune. But ad hoc thinking about a reduction in council spending is not always in resident and ratepayer interests.

      Don’t jump into that short-sighted hole, like every other lemming.

  27. Peter

    Let’s hope the council implements the Larsen Report and doesn’t shy away with all the pressures likely to be put on them to do so. There is the danger that expectations of real change are raised and then dashed if the council hasn’t, in the end, got the balls to deliver.
    I don’t think there is any ‘danger’ of reducing spending soon by this council. When they throw $70k towards the ODT’s 150th Birthday Party, you know they still love to spend the dosh – borrowed variety of course.

  28. Phil

    DCC is grossly overstaffed in the wrong areas. Extremely top heavy and people doing un-necessary work or work that does not justify a full time position. I understand the concern about redundancy costs, but this is the perfect opportunity to bring about a long term sustainable solution, rather than adopting a quick fix approach.

    One major inefficiency which could be tightened up on straight away is to introduce occupied office cleaning. This is standard modern practice around the world, and commercial cleaning contractors in NZ are very keen to embrace it here. There is no reason why the Civic Centre building needs to be lit up like a Christmas tree at 8pm every evening, and the Public Library until nearly midnight. Doesn’t the DCC still employ a full time (see above) in-house energy “expert” who’s sole job is to see to these things ?

  29. Amanda kennedy

    I see Peter, where you are coming from. I think a bit differently. I do think there is every good reason to remind people of the stadium cabal and those who opposed it. The only possible chance we have to ‘influence’ council is to divide and conquer(!). They hide behind ‘the council’ I think. But I can see why you would think that way. I am not overly impressed with Cull’s complete lack of transparency, but just remind myself that he is on the firing line if the stadium fails.

  30. Amanda kennedy

    And as I have said twenty-thousand times, having Crs Hudson, Brown and mates decide whether we privatise our water to get out of our debt situation they created? Well, frankly, that turns my stomach.

  31. Peter

    Amanda. We already know the stadium will fail, not IF it fails. So why throw more ratepayer money at it? David Davies has admitted that the stadium’s ‘bread and butter’ will be conferences and meetings. Not rugby and, clearly, not concerts with the Meatloaf and Rod Stewart debacles. However, these conferences can also be held elsewhere. Note Town Hall/ Civic Centre upgrade. (By digression I notice even the Port Chalmers Town Hall is open for conferences as advertised by Channel 9. Very swanky. $400 a pop for a conference. Can you beat that Mr Davies? Nearby cafes and restaurants to boot in Historic PC. Beats an ugly stadium to hold an event.)

  32. Amanda kennedy

    You’re talking to the choir here! But if Cull stops sending funds to the stadium he will be blamed for its failure (Hudson and mates will just say he made it fail due to not sending funds to it). The media the same. He will be politically destroyed and he cannot rely on a strong team at his back to support him unlike Hudson who has his own team ‘which must never be spoken of’.

  33. Amanda kennedy

    This is just my take on the situation and I have no inside knowledge!

  34. Phil

    Quite right, Peter. This is already the next card trick being played. Conferences are being credited to the stadium which would previously have been held in existing conference venues in the city. Just a couple of years back, 1500 Plunket representatives held an extremely successful national conference in Dunedin, utilising the Town Hall and Regent Theatre. How much money would those 1500 people have spent during their lunch breaks had they been housed down in a waterfront industrial area ? I guess the local pie shop would have done well. The much touted 300 delegate Botanical Gardens conference could have easily slotted into any of the existing conference venues. Any gain made by the stadium is going to be offset by a loss for an existing ratepayer owned venue. The Edgar Centre is already heavily subsidised in order to keep it operational. Moving key revenue generating events such as trade shows away from there just to create the false impression of demand for the stadium is going to create further problems for a venue which is a genuine community health and leisure asset.

    • Elizabeth

      City Property Manager Robert Clark told our executive committee of Hands off Harrop Inc last week (AGM) that David Davies has brought in some New York gal to run things between Dunedin City Council venues. Robert was very diplomatic, to give him his dues.

      ****

      This in reply to our concerns about how the stadium will [by deplorable underhand means, read DVML’s agenda] sap the Dunedin Town Hall Complex of business for which it is designed, and yes surrounding central city businesses. Just wait until Malcy gets his hotels up at the ‘marina’.

      However, Mr Davies wasn’t present to give his side of the story. Unfinished business.

  35. Peter

    Things seem to have gone quiet with this DCHL restructuring as recommended by the Larsen Report. Is progress still underway or are the DCHL directors holding tight and deciding not to fall on their swords?

  36. Elizabeth

    D Scene notes (page 2) that DCHL delivers its annual report this Friday!

  37. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
    No comment on council companies
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says it will be at least a week before he can reveal the contents of a two-hour council committee meeting held in private to discuss governance changes for the council’s companies. Councillors took the unusual step of moving into non-public at the beginning – rather than the end – of the council’s finance, strategy and development committee meeting on Monday.

    [The Mayor] told the Otago Daily Times he could not comment on the discussion or any outcome yet, “but we will make an announcement, or provide information, as soon as we can. It will be a week or so”.

    Read more

  38. Hype O'Thermia

    Gotta be happy about this: “Mr Cull last month indicated a healthy return by DCHL in its latest annual report would not save Mr Hudson”. Let’s hope Dave doesn’t wimp out now.

  39. ### ODT Online Mon, 3 Jun 2013
    Report soon on DCHL
    By Chris Morris
    Recommendations for change within the Dunedin City Council’s group of companies are soon to be unveiled, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd chairman Denham Shale says. Mr Shale has been overseeing a review of the group’s subsidiary companies since last year, which was due to be presented to the council earlier this month. Mr Shale told the Otago Daily Times last week his report was not finished but was due for completion within the next two months.
    Read more

    • I’m sure nothing about the forthcoming report will ease concerns about the cronyism that controls ‘DCC’ and its finances. I doubt the boys want to shoot themselves in the feet.

  40. Calvin Oaten

    I’m betting the report won’t go near “conflicts of interest”. For the survivors it would be too much of the, “there but for the grace of God go I.” No, it will be a gentle whitewash all round, with vows to turn things around, leave the same players and trust the Mayor and council to go ‘rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb’ and adjourn for a cup of tea. In a word, business as usual, leave it for the incoming council, by which time it will be gathering dust on the shelf

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