Monthly Archives: September 2012

Wake-up call for Christchurch #eqnz #SeriousFraud

The content of the following news item by New Zealand Herald has been reproduced here in full, in the public interest. -Eds

### nzherald.co.nz 5:45 PM Sunday Sep 23, 2012
Business
Stamp out Chch fraud early – SFO boss
Fraudulent activity during the Christchurch rebuild should be acted on quickly rather than mopped up afterwards, departing Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley says.

His comments come after Deloitte international corruption expert Peter Dent last week warned of the potential for huge amounts of fraud as the systems in place for the rebuild get stretched to the limit.

Mr Feeley said enforcement and regulatory agencies had made the mistake of mopping up after the fact at failed finance companies – but the office would not let that happen in Christchurch.

“It’s incredibly important that we don’t mop afterwards – we act now, we act in a very co-ordinated fashion, and we act in respect of what we know to be the problem,” he told TV3’s The Nation.

“The problem is at the moment, we’re not sure what the problem is. But we every reason to believe – unless New Zealand is some unique anomaly in the world – that post-natural disaster you have fraud, and you have fraud on quite a big scale.”

The Serious Fraud Office would focus on three key areas in Christchurch.

“One is around public awareness – to get people to speak up, to come and contact us, police or other agencies if they see things either within their work or just publicly going on that they have concerns about.”

The second was to use intelligence “a lot more cleverly”.

“You need to analyse data, and the sheer volume of data that happens after a natural disaster means you have to be more sophisticated in the way you look for anomalies that might suggest fraud.”

The third and most important focus was to act quickly.

“Far more quickly than we have in the past.”

Mr Feeley said the office would use methods as unsophisticated as hearing something in a pub.

He said it seemed taboo in New Zealand to “snitch” but people needed to speak up if they knew about crimes being committed.

“It’s New Zealand – we know what’s going on and we want to encourage that culture,” he said.

“It is very, very rare that people commit crimes without someone knowing there is a problem happening.”

Mr Feeley leaves the Serious Fraud Office next month to become the chief executive of the Lakes District Council in Queenstown.
NZ Herald Link

Related Comments: (Adam Feeley)
https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/dunedin-city-council-seen-by-fairfax-business-bureau-deputy-editor-tim-hunter/#comment-26677

https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/pokie-fraud-odt-fails-to-notice-own-backyard/#comment-25826

https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/st-clair-sea-wall-and-beach-access/#comment-20321

https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/2011-rwc-eden-park-consents/#comment-5830

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

3 Comments

Filed under #eqnz, Business, Construction, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

ODT preamble on Davies story

UPDATED POST 30.9.12

Released via Twitter.

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Sep 2012
Stadium boss fires some parting shots
David Davies is a happy yet frustrated man. The former Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive has ended nearly three years as the public face of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, but not before firing some parting shots in an exclusive interview with Otago Daily Times reporter Chris Morris. He has precious memories of his time in Dunedin, insisting the city would – in time – be convinced one of the most controversial projects in its history was worth it. But Mr Davies admitted to “mixed feelings” about the results of his time at DVML, and urged the city to do more to work together if its citizens wanted to make the most of the stadium.

For the full story, buy today’s Otago Daily Times.
ODT Link

****

Former Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies is winging his way back to England after firing some parting shots in the Forsyth Barr Stadium debate. He gave his final interview to reporter Chris Morris.

### ODT Online Sun, 30 Sep 2012
Promises, politics and the stadium
By Chris Morris
David Davies is flying home a happy yet frustrated man. The former Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive last night boarded a plane for England, ending nearly three years as the public face of the Forsyth Barr Stadium.[…]Since arriving, Mr Davies said, he had confronted unrealistic promises and expectations about the venue, a flawed funding model and, in some cases, a lack of political will to do what was needed. “I came here to do a job I have never been able to do, for various political reasons. I go back happy with my time here, but disappointed that I wasn’t allowed to do the job that I was recruited to do.”[…]The details of any settlement package with Mr Davies were not yet known, and he was coy when asked about his future.
Read more

### ODT Online Sun, 30 Sep 2012
Chin: no regrets; Cull: need lure
By Chris Morris
Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin rejects claims Forsyth Barr Stadium was oversold and says he has no regrets over the decision to build it. However, the man who replaced him as mayor, Dave Cull, has reiterated his belief the stadium model was designed “to convince people to build it”, and says changes are needed. That could include a new events fund to pay incentives to lure promoters to Dunedin, which would be considered as part of the review of the stadium and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

33 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Turkey. Cull.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/228055/mayor-apologises-ex-orfu-bosses

As noted in a lead up post, the f****** gave into Mains and Graham, the twerps who didn’t want DCC or the general public to see into ORFU’s books.

The ‘full’ story in tomorrow’s ODT. Don’t bet on it if the DCC Spooks have anything to do with it.

Cull is OVER.

Thanks for the following link, M

“I am however pleased that we can now put this behind us so that all concerned can continue to work together for the benefit of the city and citizens.” -Cull

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 20:45 28/09/2012
Ratepayers stung for mayor’s defamation
By Wilma McCorkindale
A defamation case against Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has been settled out of court, with the city’s ratepayers stumping up $29,000 towards legal costs of two former board members of the cash strapped Otago Rugby Football Union. However, Cull has not admitted liability to the two men. Dunedin City Council released details of an out of court settlement between Cull and former ORFU chairman Wayne Graham and board member Laurie Mains after a request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The pair filed for defamation after Cull’s comments on Radio New Zealand in March in the wake of the union’s financial crisis. The previous day Dunedin City Council had voted to forgive almost $500,000 owed to it by the ORFU as part of a controversial financial package designed to prevent the rugby union from going in to receivership.

Two councillors — Lee Vandervis and Fliss Butcher — voted against the payment.
Read more + Cull’s Letter

Related Posts and Comments:
24.7.12 Defamation, word is
26.6.12 Defamation
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

113 Comments

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The End of The Golden Weather?

Received from Calvin Oaten

Are we coming to the end of the ‘Golden Weather’? I say this, not in the meteorological sense, but rather in the sense that perhaps our society and its economic construct might be on the verge of a catastrophic change. Why? Well it seems that many signposts are pointing to an approaching collapse of the present model of the economy as constructed. This requires constant growth in order to sustain an ever increasing social budget. That in turn requires full or near full employment, a buoyant consumer market and a consequent ever increasing supply of energy and raw materials. None of these are finite, neither in New Zealand nor the Planet. The current model has, in order to foster this growth, taken upon itself to ‘jazz up’ consumption by cultivating a culture of instant gratification, fueled by intensive marketing, planned obsolescence, and last but not least, very easy credit.

This easy credit has been promoted heavily by governments, local bodies, banks, retailers and all manner of financial institutions. This has brought about a dynamic shift in society’s attitude to debt. It has encouraged folk to spend beyond their immediate ability, to the point where their indebtedness is assuming dangerous proportions. This is manifested by ‘economic bubbles’ forming, none more so than our own housing market. The people in the industry, real estate companies, banks, financial institutions all rev up the market by convincing people that property is a great investment which will always hold its value. But we only have to look at Ireland, the UK, the USA, and lately Australia to see the lie of this claim. Property can always go down just as it can go up. Take a look at Japan. Its property bubble burst in 1989 and has never recovered. Off by as much as 70-80%.

The result of all this is a hugely indebted developed world, including NZ. What caused this to happen? It seems to date back to around 1971, when then President Nixon was experiencing difficulty in financing the Vietnam war. At that time printing of money was constricted with the dollar being pegged to what is known as the gold standard. This meant that the amount of currency in circulation was limited by how much gold was held by the federal government. By leaving the gold standard the federal treasury was free to set its own parameters and to print accordingly. That resulted in a vast increase in all paper currencies around the world with a burst of inflation throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Historically, all monies eventually revert to the mean, and this has always been to a standard unit of value, GOLD. Throughout history, even before Roman times this has always prevailed. Trust in paper currencies sooner or later fail and there is a collapse.

We’ve seen it in modern times with Germany (in the 1920-30s), Argentina (several times), Greece, and very recently Iceland. The USA federal government has just breached its self-imposed debt ceiling of $16 trillion. If anyone wonders what $1 trillion represents, look at it as a time equivalent. Let’s say one was to repay $1 trillion at the rate of $1 per second. Working 24/7, 360 days per year it would take “32,000 YEARS”. So multiply that by 16 and it is easy to see that this debt will never be repaid. Worse, it is growing as we speak.

Those with the power are unbalancing the fairness factor.

This reckless attitude has permeated into the human psyche and we see evidence of it here in little old Dunedin. Our society has degenerated into a selfish me world. Those with the power are unbalancing the fairness factor.

Take remuneration for example, fewer and fewer people are taking a greater share of the economic cake, and are quite blatant about it. Wealth is flaunted while many are moving into poverty. Financial rewards are all out of line with production balance.

It is noticeable that many of the highest remunerated are drawing their rewards from the public’s purse, without so much as a blush. Here in Dunedin we have a local MP tabling a bill in Parliament seeking a minimum wage of $15 per hour. This, on a 40-hour week equates to $600 per week. It would be up from $13.50 per hour or $540 per week. This is being vigorously opposed by many. But on the other hand we see public servants and others receiving enormously higher rewards. We have seen several instances in the last few weeks.

The retiring CEO of the Otago Museum with a salary of $310,00 per annum (pa) or $5,961 per week (pw). The DVML CEO receives $250,000 pa or $4,807 pw. The council owned company Delta, where the CEO is paid $380,000 to $390,000 pa or $7,500 pw. 41 additional staff paid over $100,000 pa or $1923 pw. Our own DCC CEO is rewarded with between $340,000 and $360,000 pa or $6,730 pw. The Vice-chancellor of our University of Otago receiving over $500,000 pa or $10,000 pw. Our DCHL group of companies last year paid its 7 directors $725,444 for what would optimistically involve about four weeks equivalent work each. This is repeated up and down the country and if anyone thinks this is sustainable they have to be in “cloud cuckoo land”.

On our local public scene we have seen the city’s debt burgeon from $212.486 million as at 30 June 2005 to $602.008 million at 31 December 2011. We now know that this has considerably changed for the worse, since. The stadium is a financial disaster, in serious damage control, the Otago Settlers Museum is over $40 million, the Town Hall/Conference Centre is over $50 million, and we are looking at somewhere near $100 million for the Tahuna upgrade. No-one in office seems to either understand, or simply passes it off as someone else’s problem.

We elect these people to conserve and look after our treasure, and what happens? It just goes from bad to worse, with all manner of rascals leaching off us in different ways. If only someone in office had the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say, “enough, this has got to stop”. But sadly, it gets back to that culture I mentioned. “I’m OK Jack”, never mind anyone else.

Is all this sustainable? Ask yourself. We don’t know when the situation will break, but it is certain that it will. The whole developed world is awash with debt and frantically creating more by the day, in a desperate move to save the situation. But it is pretty simple, how can more debt solve a chronic debt malady? It is pretty much synonymous with supplying a chronic alcoholic with more whisky. We are in for very interesting times.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

27 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Stadiums, Urban design

Cull’s state of denial…

See previous post:
24.9.12 DCC against imposition of local government reforms

Comment received.

Calvin Oaten
Submitted on 2012/09/25 at 7:43 pm

Dave Cull and Paul Orders submitting on the proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing is entertaining to say the least.
Dave says “the DCC should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government”. Is he ‘avin a laugh’? It is just that which brought about the Government’s interest in this problem in the first place. He says rates and debt were two issues already at the top of his council’s agenda, and the Government’s proposed changes risked “unintended negative consequences”. He’s ‘avin a laugh again’. The man’s sense of humour knows no bounds. The proposed limit on rates rises would erode council’s previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates, he says. It’s almost like he is in a ‘drug rehabilitation programme’ and is in denial about his addiction. Classic response, don’t admit any problem, just leave me alone and I will sort it.
Sorry Dave, but you and your equally drug driven cohorts are in serious denial and the citizens are paying a very big price. He worries that to restrict them now would upset the ‘drug peddlers’ (banks) and cause the price to rise. That, of course would increase the pain and he just couldn’t stand that. It would seriously affect his sense of wellbeing and confidence in his own ability. The man is desperately in need of being loved by all.
Lee Vandervis, as our only hope, I hope you can mediate around that table and get some traction. I am not holding my breath.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC against imposition of local government reforms

For once, Central Government has it right – the unreasonable burden on Dunedin ratepayers and residents is beyond the pale, following ten years of excessive debt loading by the Dunedin City Council, fueled by the sheer lack of conservative management and fiscal prudence (a requirement clearly set out in the Local Government Act). Something has to give. Cull’s council has no wish to be made transparent or accountable – without Government intervention the Dunedin community has NO protection from this council’s excesses, brought about by deliberate deception and oft times the financial ineptitude of councillors and senior management of council departments; ditto the boards and senior management of council-owned companies and related entities. Meanwhile, the old chestnut – Council pouring rates funds into professional rugby without ratepayer sanction, with no end in sight.

A proposed limit on rates rises would erode councils’ previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates. –Dave Cull

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Sep 2012
Cull opposes debt, rates intervention
By Chris Morris
Local authorities such as the Dunedin City Council should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Mr Cull and Dunedin City Council chief executive Paul Orders made their case this week, while presenting the council’s submission on proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing in Christchurch.
The reforms – unveiled in March – included plans for new benchmarks to assess the financial performance of councils, as part of a push to control local government debt levels and limit rates increases.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stadium Councillors back coastal oil exploration

Backing seen as re-election bid by councillors.

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Sep 2012
Support for oil giant
By Debbie Porteous
Dunedin businesses, and several city councillors, are throwing their arms wide open to oil exploration giant Anadarko. A group of six Anadarko representatives, in the city this week for a series of “community engagement” meetings, will be greeted this morning with a two-page spread in the Otago Daily Times and an open letter from the Otago Chamber of Commerce welcoming the company to the city. The letter is supported by 155 businesses and organisations, MP Michael Woodhouse and seven city councillors.

The city councillors listed in the advertisement are Crs Bill Acklin, Syd Brown, John Bezett, Colin Weatherall, Andrew Noone, Paul Hudson and Neil Collins.

The company plans to explore for oil off Oamaru in late 2013, after a global shortage of rigs delayed its exploration drilling programme. The Anadarko group met local iwi representatives and Mayor Dave Cull yesterday and are to meet the chamber and others early this week.
Read more

Related Comments (see thread):
https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/stadium-deathwatch/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

29 Comments

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