DScene reflects on DCC’s unholy mess

### D Scene 21 Mar 2012
Butler lifts lid on ‘deception’ (page 2)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Stadium opponent Bev Butler has handed confidential project papers to council commissioned auditors in her bid for a major inquiry into Dunedin’s stadium project. Butler has passed previously withheld information to a PricewaterhouseCoopers forensic auditing team reviewing variances in stadium completion costs identified by the Dunedin City Council (DCC) earlier this month.
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Fury over bail-out of ORFU (page 3)
By Mike Houlahan
The Otago Rugby Football Union ‘‘desperately’’ needed to be put in to liquidation so it could be properly audited, Cr Lee Vandervis says. Vandervis was one of five Dunedin City councillors who voted against approving a bail-out of the cash-strapped ORFU in an extraordinary council meeting last Wednesday. […] The DCC’S decision came after a marathon night meeting and sparked immediate outcry. Council offices were flooded with angry calls and emails, and D Scene understands councillors who voted in favour have received abusive messages.
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We’re rugby-mad but not in a good way (page 7)
By Mike Houlahan – Editor
As the Otago Rugby Football Union faced liquidation, a lot of rhetoric was heard about a ‘‘proud rugby province’’ and the depth of feeling Otago had for the game. Otago, people said, could not be left in the lurch. Otago rugby administrators got caught up in the spirit. ORFU president Wayne Graham – a man who had looked aghast on February 27 when revealing the union’s plight – seemed stunned last Wednesday when interviewed on Campbell Live at 7pm. He thought the rescue package Dunedin City Council was weighing up at that moment was so good that they would sign the deal in half an hour, and seemed perplexed they were still thinking about it.
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Opinion (page 8)
The truth, the whole truth . . .
By Bev Butler
It is expected that every large project undertaken by a council will require extensive consultation with all ratepayers but the crucial element missing from consultation in this case [the stadium] was the requirement to adhere to the principles of good faith – openness and transparency – during the consultative process. It was that failure by the DCC to truly listen and act to placate the genuine concerns held by so many that draws the inevitable conclusion that the DCC totally failed to act in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, STS, Town planning, Urban design

9 responses to “DScene reflects on DCC’s unholy mess

  1. With regards to the last comment (Opinion page 8) Maybe the easiest or at least most fair way to do things would be a government appointed observer when ANY spending above X amount, say $50 million by any council was even talked about, never mind actioned. It might help to stop the bullshit.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    I happened to channel surf just as the Silver Fern farm donation was announced by their manager to John Campbell. Was anyone else? Because from what I heard it wasn’t like this, from http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/202235/orfu-gains-200000-full-creditor-payment-unlikely :
    “Silver Fern Farms support was to do with sponsorship and was not related to fundraising for creditors, Mr Curragh said.” The way I heard it they wanted to see the small creditors get what they were owed, and show their support for Otago rugby, not sure of exact wording of the 2nd part but am sure they were concerned first of all for the small creditors.

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting that D Scene reported the council, the original Stadium Councillors and the new Stadium Councillors came under fire for supporting the ORFU bailout. This would certainly be the case as I’ve overheard much displeasure voiced over the matter (only the ORFU stakeholders and that tv talking-head John Campbell appear to be supporting the charge). What I don’t recall is much on this in the Otago Rugby Times. Generally any “heckling” of their stadium councillors would warrant a very public reprimand in the paper.

    Worth noting another observation this week is the vocal rugby supporters I know seem to have gone unusually quiet over their ORFU. Last week they were all up for it but this week there appears to be a whiff of shame around the topic.

  4. Amanda Kennedy

    To the Deloittes employee whistleblower, thank-you. We need more like you.

    • Elizabeth

      Incorporated Societies Act 1908 – Reprint as at 7 July 2010
      Public Act 1908 No 212 – Date of assent: 15 September 1908
      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1908/0212/latest/whole.html#DLM176111

      ****

      Ending an Incorporated Society
      http://www.societies.govt.nz/cad-docs/F/FS_End_Inc_Soc.html

      [excerpts]
      Dissolution by the Register
      If the Registrar is satisfied that a society is no longer operating, he can dissolve the society. This may happen:
      – If the society fails to send a copy of its annual financial statements to the Registrar, he may assume it is no longer operating, or
      – If the society has no assets or liabilities, an officer of the society can send a request to remove a society to the Registrar advising that it has ceased to operate.

      The High Court
      The Registrar, a member of the society or a creditor of a society may apply to the High Court to have a society put into liquidation. An application can be made in one or more of the following circumstances:

      – The society has suspended its operations for the period of a year
      – The number of members has fallen below 15
      – The society is unable to pay its debts
      – The society carries on operation from which members make pecuniary gain
      – Any other circumstances which a High Court Judge considers acceptable.

      The liquidation process
      Once the society is in liquidation, the process is the same as it is for a company under the Companies Act 1993. Effectively, “liquidation” of a society involves stopping the activities of a society, paying its debts and distributing any assets in accordance with the rules of the society. Once a society is removed from the register at the end of the liquidation, it is not possible to restore it again.

      • Elizabeth

        NZ Lawyer Online
        CHARITIES AND SOCIETIES

        Why incorporate?
        Opinion
        By Mark von Dadelszen, partner, Bannister & von Dadelszen
        [excerpt] An incorporated society or trust executes documents as a separate legal person under common seal and can, subject to its rules, enter into contracts in its own name, buy, sell, own, lease, and rent property, borrow money, and give securities, and can also sue and be sued in its own name.
        The members of an incorporated society enjoy ‘limited liability’, and the trustees of an incorporated charitable trust obtain the similar exclusions from personal liability to the directors of a company. Thus, when an incorporated society or trust incurs any debts or other legal liability, it is sued in its own name, and its members cannot normally be held personally responsible […] There are exceptions to this – members may be liable where they do not make it clear that any liability they incur is for their society, and where the liability is incurred in the course of a society activity intended to make a financial gain. Trustees may also face potential liability if they act in breach of trust.
        http://www.nzlawyermagazine.co.nz/Archives/Issue145/145F7/tabid/2632/Default.aspx

        NZLawyer magazine, issue 145, 17 September 2010

        Other articles on Charities and Societies by Mark von Dadelszen:
        http://www.bvond.co.nz/content/view/112/35/

  5. Anonymous

    Members of an incorporated society can be liable for debts that are incurred within the society for financial gain or when debts are occurred as the result of unlawful actions.

    Unlawful actions? Hmmm.

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