Monthly Archives: August 2012

Dunedin City Council seen by Fairfax Business Bureau deputy editor Tim Hunter

### The Press Last updated 05:00 29/08/2012
Business: Opinion
Councils should stay away from business
By Chalkie – Tim Hunter
There are people who believe local councils should own businesses because they generate returns and ease the burden on ratepayers. Chalkie is not one of them. Your humble correspondent thinks councils should stick to their knitting. The reasons are many and varied. Taking a couple of examples at random:
a) Councils can start to think they are there to make money instead of, say, distribute water; and
b) Councils are not commercially savvy shareholders.
Poppycock, you say. Show me a single case of a council’s emptyheaded pursuit of unprofitable goals. In response, Chalkie invites you to consider Dunedin.

In that southern city the council is the proud owner of Dunedin City Holdings, whose job, according to its report, is “to manage the commercial investments of the Dunedin City Council to maximise returns”. The businesses under DCH’s umbrella include electricity network company Aurora, forestry company City Forests, the Taieri Gorge Railway Company and an engineering business called Delta Utility Services. DCH’s 2012 numbers are not yet available, but last year it trumpeted an improvement in revenue and profit and a total cash return to the council of $23.2 million. If you thought that was a good result, you’d be wrong.

When you look at several years of DCH numbers a disturbing pattern emerges of ever-increasing millions being borrowed and pumped into underperforming assets. The cashflow statements tell the story.

…A picture therefore emerges of a group prioritising asset growth over profit growth, and staying cashflow positive, just, through heavy borrowing. Chalkie suggests another term for this behaviour is empire building. Of course, it could be justifiable if the asset build-up is value enhancing in the long term, but is it?
Read more

[Reference: New Zealand Companies Office]

DELTA UTILITY SERVICES LIMITED
Previous names:
DELTA ENERGY LIMITED (13 May 1998)
THE ELECTRIC COMPANY OF DUNEDIN LIMITED (29 Mar 1995)

Company number: 453486
Incorporation Date: 16 Feb 1990
Company Status: Registered
Entity type: NZ Limited Company
Company Addresses:
Registered Office – 10 Halsey Street, Dunedin
Address for service – 10 Halsey Street, Dunedin

Directors (5 of 5):

Full legal name: Michael Owen COBURN
Residential Address: 154 Portobello Road, Vauxhall, Dunedin 9013
Appointment Date: 08 Oct 2003

Norman Gilbert EVANS
15 Irvine Road, The Cove, Dunedin
13 Jul 2005

Ross Douglas LIDDELL
33 Leithton Close, Dunedin 9010
24 Jun 1998

Stuart James MCLAUCHLAN
3 Walsh Lane, Maori Hill, Dunedin 9010
01 Jun 2007

Raymond Stuart POLSON
80 Browns Road, St Albans, Christchurch
21 Dec 1994

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

78 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site

Why US Congress does not pass a budget

[supplied]

This may appear to be a problem just for the USA – it’s their government’s debt, right? However, if the US ‘implodes’ from that debt, the world’s financial markets will implode too, and then we’ll all be in deep, deep trouble!

WARNING: IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE REALITY AND WOULD RATHER NOT KNOW WHAT IS PREDICTED FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DO NOT WATCH THIS.

Not so complicated when it’s laid out in simple math. The pain that he’s talking about? Remember, government’s biggest source of income is ORDINARY Americans. Start getting ready for it as best you can.

Why Congress Does Not Pass a Budget

Published on Mar 14, 2012 by Hal Mason

See parallels to Dunedin City Council and its debt, and who will have to pay

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

Filed under Business, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORC, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management

Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty

### ODT Online Tue, 28 Aug 2012
Universal child benefit a ‘dopey’ idea: Key
Prime Minister John Key has dismissed as “dopey” a recommendation from a panel of experts that a universal child payment should be reintroduced as a way of reducing child poverty. The expert advisory group brought together by Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills to find solutions to child poverty released its recommendations today.

Group members include AUT accounting expert James Prescott, Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army, Professor Ritchie Poulton of the Dunedin School of Medicine and Philippa Howden-Chapman, a public health expert.

Among [the group’s] recommendations for the longer term was a universal child payment for under sixes. The payment would be highest while the child was a baby, when costs were high, and would decline through childhood. Co-chair Dr Tracey McIntosh said the payment was about ensuring children had the best start in life. “Investment in the early years has a particularly strong link to better outcomes for disadvantaged children”.
Read more

Download report and related documents here:
http://www.occ.org.nz/publications/child_poverty

****

### ODT Online Sun, 26 Aug 2012
Child poverty costs country $6b a year: report
Child poverty is costing New Zealand $6 billion each year, according a new report commissioned by organisation Every Child Counts.

Every Child Counts chairman Murray Edridge defined poverty as children missing out on needed goods and services including adequate housing, nutrition, warm clothing and healthcare.

Manager Deborah Morris-Travers told TVNZ’s political programme Q+A 25 per cent of children in New Zealand are living in poverty. She said it was concerning to see how poverty affected different ethnicities with 40 per cent of Pacific Island children and 27 per cent of Maori children living in poverty. The report, “1000 days to get it right for every child – the effectiveness of public investment in New Zealand children”, released this week, examines initiatives from the Netherlands which could be applied here. APNZ
Read more

Download report here:
http://www.everychildcounts.org.nz/news/1000-days-to-get-it-right-for-every-child-poor-child-outcomes-costing-the-nation-billions/

Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2011 (Aug 2012)

Download report and related documents here:
http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-incomes/index.html

Related Posts and Comments:
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch…(TV3): Inside Child Poverty
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Media, People, Politics, Project management

DIA’s political cover-up of TTCF and ORFU rorts

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

“In the course of finalising the recovery package for the Otago Rugby Football Union, the NZRU became aware of potential issues relating to funds obtained by the union from gaming trusts,” public affairs general manager Nick Brown said.

### ODT Online Mon, 27 Aug 2012
ORFU pokie papers withheld
By Hamish McNeilly
Confidential documents relating to the Otago Rugby Football Union’s involvement with pokies are being withheld by the Department of Internal Affairs. The department declined an Official Information Act request to release the New Zealand Rugby Union-supplied documents on the grounds it “would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information”. The Otago Daily Times has lodged a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsmen seeking the release of the information, citing public interest.
Read more

See related comments and discussion at Keeping ORFU sweet [email]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport

Extorting, misappropriating funds… ‘the running tap’

[supplied]

Whatever you think of Alan Jones, you owe it to yourself to listen to this before it’s removed from circulation. Give yourself about 25 minutes, but I reckon it’s the most informative broadcast you will hear.
Remember, this is not about Iran or Pakistan or some mad despot, but this is happening here in Australia and refers to our powerful, power hungry union leaders who are now in charge of running this great country of ours. Unfortunately, the widespread corruption appears to lead direct to the PM’s office itself and one can understand their eagerness to suppress the news media and freedom of speech.
Social justice indeed!!
You may have a different slant on things of course, but that’s your democratic right.                

Subject: Interview by Alan Jones on 2GB — Re Julia Gillard

For all who may be interested, Andrew Bolt ran an abbreviated version of this story yesterday at 10 AM.

At 11.30 AM yesterday he got 2 death threats and a separate phone call from Paul Howse current AWU Secretary telling Bolt that the AWU intended to sue Bolt.

This morning the TV station hosting ‘The Bolt Report’ was told that it could expect ‘all sorts of trouble from service suppliers and transport companies servicing the network unless it retracted the story and sacked Bolt’.

Don’t be surprised if Alan Jones is also silenced in some way.

Listen carefully to this radio broadcast. It will make your hair curl… And this recording may not last long on line…

This matter has been touted around for some time, but a tight lid has been put onto it. Small leaks here and there…
Something has to give somewhere… And pretty soon…

Friday, 20 July 2012
Julia Gillard and the Australian Workers Union
Alan Jones is joined by Michael Smith to discuss the Prime Minister and the AWU. Listen to it at

http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=13667

****

### nzherald.co.nz 5:58 PM Thursday Aug 23, 2012
Gillard hits back at ‘defamatory’ claims
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she never personally benefited from a union fund which she helped set up for free, and off the books, when she was a lawyer 17 years ago. Ms Gillard held an hour-long news conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday to deal with “false and highly defamatory” claims about her work with law firm Slater & Gordon in the 1990s. AAP
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Geography, Media, Name, People, Politics

Dunedin’s 3 waters, no CCO

UPDATED POST

● Dunedin’s water, wastewater and storm water network

DCC Three Waters Strategy
Management of Water, Wastewater and Stormwater (The 3 Waters)
Our main objective is to protect public health and safety by delivering enough safe drinking water to, and safely removing waste and storm water from, everyone connected to the network, with minimal impact on the environment and at an acceptable financial cost. We also aim to provide protection from flooding and erosion as well as controlling and reducing pollution in stormwater discharges to waterways and the sea. As well as delivering services today, we need to plan for the future, making sure we will be able to deliver the service that future generations will need.
http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/council-projects/3waters

Dunedin City Council
Media Release

Working Party to Recommend Dunedin’s 3 Waters Remain In-House

This item was published on 24 Aug 2012.

The DCC’s 3 Waters Working Party has prepared a report for the Finance Strategy and Development Committee on 5 September, recommending that a Council-controlled organisation (CCO) should not be formed, but instead an enhanced status quo option should be developed.

With information gathered from numerous background reports, including the extensive assessment of the proposal from DELTA Utilities Ltd, commissioned from Morrison Low and Associates, the 3 Waters CCO Working Party has formulated a view on the preferred future structure for the delivery of 3 Waters services (waste [sic]* supply, wastewater and storm water).

The reasons supporting the recommendation that a CCO not be formed are:

● The DCC would be less able to directly manage and control a CCO to achieve its aims, particularly where those aims relate to a whole-of-DCC approach to achieve benefits for the wider city.

● The retention of full governance responsibilities with the Council means it can more directly make decisions about the present and future direction of the Water and Waste department.

● The DCC’s asset management capability is well-respected in New Zealand’s water industry and development of its capability has been underway for some time as part of existing business improvement processes. Retaining this sophisticated asset management capability in-house allows the DCC to have confidence in its ability to understand its assets and to plan for the future delivery of these services.

● Externally appointed directors bring additional skills but there are other ways such input can be provided for without requiring a change in governance structure.

The three subsequent recommendations in the report are to:

● Retain asset management in-house

● Review the service delivery options for operations and maintenance (This is in line with the review of other DCC services to ensure the best value for money.)

● Investigate the creation of an advisory board

The DCC’s Water and Waste Services staff, who are directly affected by this report have been informed today of its contents. They now await the decision that will be made when the report is presented to the Finance, Strategy and Development Committee on Wednesday 5 September.

The report and associated documents will be available shortly before the Committee meeting.

Contact General Manager City Operations on 477 4000.

DCC Link

* What if? suggests the paragraph should read: “…the 3 Waters CCO Working Party has formulated a view on the preferred future structure for the delivery of 3 Waters services (water supply, wastewater and storm water).” -Eds

Related Post:
16.8.12 Dunedin water assets

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

17 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Media, Project management

Martin Legge releases emails to Dunedin community #ORFU

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

Comment received.

Martin Legge
Submitted on 2012/08/22 at 9:58 pm

I am very concerned about what Gambling Director, Maarten Quivooy is representing to the Dunedin Community.

Mr Quivooy claims to have no jurisdiction to investigate ORFU and the Centre of Excellence. He is playing you for fools – making you all believe that those two groups were your standard grant applicants just like Plunket, a local Kindergarten or some other worthy community group entitled to apply to TTCF for grants. Nothing is further from the truth.

The DIA have over many years, spent countless investigation hours, watching the abnormal money flow from South Auckland to Otago, always trying to prove ORFU’s interest in the Jokers Bars and hold those accountable. As was told to me, my testimony and documents provided the missing link for DIA.

The internal TTCF 2005 email between Hodder and the TTCF Trustees (in previous post) is pretty clear about the deal with Jokers. It refers to changes with the Jokers bars and that ORFU and Harness racing now each have a share in those bars and what each groups expectation is from the bars. There are more emails and DIA were provided with them in 2010.

This email makes it reasonably clear that ORFU did indeed have an “ownership” or “interest” in Jokers but it now seems DIA are the only ones who chose to ignore their previous concerns. Why you may ask?

Because any proof of “ownership” or “interest” in the Jokers pokie bars significantly changes things – it elevates ORFU into the legal definition of being a class 4 Venue Operator, over which DIA does have jurisdiction and a statutory obligation to act.

Even if TTCF Inc and Centre of Excellence no longer exist as entities it does not prevent DIA from holding TTCF’s Trustees to account for allowing what has occurred.
Read more + Emails

Related Post and Comments:
15.8.12 Keeping ORFU sweet [email]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport