Delta Utility Services Ltd

UPDATED POST 3.10.12

Dunedin has been dealt another blow with confirmation Delta plans to make up to 30 workers in the city redundant, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. –ODT

Comment received.

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2012/09/11 at 2:39 pm

Wouldn’t it be good if Mr Cameron of Delta – who owes his living to the ratepayers of this City – would answer the following questions:

1. How much cash has he authorised to be given to professional or other rugby in this town in the last 10 years?*

2. What is the value of donated services from Delta to rugby in the same period?

3. What is the value of donated goods from Delta to rugby in this period?

4. What is the total cost of all purchase of “product” by Delta for the new rugby stadium?

5. How much money has been spent on entertaining clients at the new rugby stadium?

6. Which Board members or senior management staff have been recipients of Delta hospitality at the Delta corporate box at the new rugby stadium?

7. Where does the cash component of all services and goods provided by Delta to the developments at Jacks Point and Luggate appear in the books of Delta?

8. What independent advice did he obtain or insist upon before agreeing to all public and private arrangements entered into with the developers of Jacks Point and Luggate?

9. What is the total write-down of the land purchases of Jacks Point and Luggate?

10. When will he front up to those being laid off to explain his actions in regards to points 1. – 9. above?

11. When will he resign?

Grady Cameron at LinkedIn
Chief Executive Officer, Delta Utility Services
*January 2009 – Present (3 years 9 months)

National Coverage:
30.8.12 DCC seen by Fairfax Business Bureau deputy editor Tim Hunter

Related Posts and Comments:
28.9.12 The End of The Golden Weather?
24.8.12 Dunedin’s 3 waters, no CCO
16.8.12 Dunedin water assets
7.3.12 DScene: Call for full inquiry into stadium project
20.12.11 Delta and the GOBs #DCHL #DCC
29.7.11 WE ALL SAID IT #DunedinCityCouncil #SHAME
9.2.11 DCC and DCHL, was there ever any doubt?
13.3.10 Dunedin City Holdings Ltd
26.8.09 DScene: Delta, STS, DCC larks
9.7.09 Delta dawn what’s that flower…
18.11.11 Delta rebrand

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

83 Comments

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

83 responses to “Delta Utility Services Ltd

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 12 Sep 2012
    Employee critical of Delta bosses
    By Chris Morris
    Delta on Monday announced plans to axe up to 30 staff from its Dunedin roading and drainage operation as part of an ongoing review, citing continuing tough market conditions. That prompted one senior Delta worker, based in Dunedin, to contact the Otago Daily Times and voice concerns yesterday.

    The worker told the ODT pending job losses raised questions about the value of Delta’s management structure. The company last year had 41 staff earning over $100,000 each year, including one, believed to be Mr Cameron, earning $380,000-$390,000 a year, he said. “To be honest there’s a lot of distrust, and there’s no confidence in the way they’re running the business.”

    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      [Reference: New Zealand Companies Office]

      Reminder, the boards of directors:

      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

      DELTA INVESTMENTS LIMITED
      Previous name: NEWTONS COACHWAYS (1993) LIMITED (01 Jul 2011)

      Company number: 626697
      Incorporation Date: 26 Nov 1993
      Company Status: Registered
      Entity type: NZ Limited Company
      Company Addresses:
      Registered Office – 10 Halsey Street, Dunedin
      Address for service – 10 Halsey Street, Dunedin

      Directors (4 of 4):

      Full legal name: Grady CAMERON
      Residential Address: 50 Balmacewen Road, Dunedin 9010
      Appointment Date: 01 Jul 2009

      Michael Owen COBURN
      154 Portobello Road, Vauxhall, Dunedin 9013
      01 Jul 2009

      Stuart James MCLAUCHLAN
      3 Walsh Lane, Maori Hill, Dunedin 9010
      16 Jul 2009

      Raymond Stuart POLSON
      80 Browns Road, St Albans, Christchurch
      08 Jun 2007

  2. amanda

    Excellent question Russell, when will Cameron, ratesbludger of the first order, remove himself due to massive fiscal incompetence? When will Mayor Cull wake up and realise he is protecting the wrong people?

  3. Anonymous

    I cannot believe that Grady Cameron can be the chief executive officer of Delta Utility Services and a director of Delta Investments. That must be a massive conflict of interest especially with three directors sitting on both boards and advising on his role as chief. Both are public companies with almost unrestricted access to public money and therefore a completely inappropriate arrangement.

    Grady Cameron must be stood down and Delta investigated for its decisions alongside the other major concerns about council spending. And for the love of Dunedin, will someone please root out Michael and Stuart from all public companies.

    They’re like parasites you can’t reach draining the life out of Dunedin City.

  4. Peter

    Let’s not forget that Delta bought a corporate box at the stadium, for its high end employees/ friends, and they called it ‘private’ funding.

  5. Anonymous

    Yes, Peter, it all sounds like the Stakeholders’ Melody:

    The Dunedin City Ratepayer Owns Dunedin City Council
    Dunedin City Council Owns Dunedin City Holdings
    Dunedin City Holdings Owns Delta
    Delta is an Infrastructure Services Company
    Delta Bought Some Land and Buildings to Rescue Old Boys
    And then it Bought a Rugby Box and called it Private Funding
    And oh the Delta Boys, They did Rejoice
    Drunk Beer and Watched the Men Grab Crotches
    Chase Balls, Smash Heads and Huddle
    And the Rugby They Watched Too
    The Dunedin City Ratepayer Picked Up Their Tab
    Now it wants You Pick Up Their Nine Million Loss
    And for You to support Their Firing the Staff
    Merit to your Mayor, he Performed for their Play with Flair.

    (All sung to the Stakeholders’ tune with dance steps provided by Media.)

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous, it’s exciting that the new multipurpose stadium has strongly inspired turning this blog into a new ‘multimedia’ corporation. What if? dance videos, rap, hallelujah choirs, music uploads, as well as Otago-made docudramas, animations and sitcoms – some heavily influenced by Syd’s Army (oops, Dad’s) and Monty Tartan’s Flying Circus – are being storyboarded and refined for our commercial backers, presently. Production values will be at an all time high. It’s not like the material isn’t rich, recognisable, and relevant. All this for when the old boys finally turn on each other. We’ll be ready.

      • Elizabeth

        All matters around Delta’s deals at Jacks Point and Luggate should be made public, writes Russell Garbutt, of Dunedin.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Sep 2012
        Opinion
        Delta issues should be aired publicly
        By Russell Garbutt
        Recent revelations relating to the proposed write-down in asset values of one of the Dunedin City Council companies, Delta, raise serious issues that require more than a cursory once-over in some carefully worded company statement. The auditing process that allows information to be either concealed or made difficult to access when public money is at risk also needs examined. Delta is but one of a group of ratepayer-owned companies under the umbrella of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL). Readers will recall that somehow, over time, the number of highly paid directors blossomed within the DCHL group to the point where many prominent individuals held positions on most of the DCHL family of companies as well as DCHL itself.

        On the surface, there appear to be conflicts of interest where shareholders and owners of a development or others involved in land transactions are also on the boards of companies entering into contracts and land purchases related to the development.

        What is now really clear is that the decision to pay nearly $9 million for sections at Jacks Point was a bad one and that this view is upheld by the recent proposal to write down this “asset”. The only people to suffer in this process have been the city ratepayers, who no longer have assets with a realisable value close to what they paid for them.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          [Reference: New Zealand Companies office]

          AURORA ENERGY LIMITED
          Previous name:
          DUNEDIN ELECTRICITY LIMITED (01 Jul 2003)

          Company number: 471661
          Incorporation Date: 26 Jun 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
          Residential Address: 15 Irvine Road, Rd 2, Dunedin 9077
          13 Jul 2005

          Ross Douglas LIDDELL
          Residential Address: 33 Leithton Close, Dunedin 9010
          31 Oct 1994

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

          Raymond Stuart POLSON
          Residential Address: 80 Browns Road, St Albans, Christchurch
          31 Oct 1994

  6. Anonymous

    Saw a Dunedin City Council warden ticket a Delta vehicle on Moray Place today. A mere pebble thrown against its foundation of obscene spending and arrogance but maybe a sign of greater things to come? It seemed fitting.

    (Apologies for missing what was a wicked photo opportunity.)

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Whatever else you don’t have time for, don’t miss today’s Tremaine cartoon.

    {Link: http://garricktremain.com/gallery/Cartoons/4734-15-Sep-2012 -Eds}

  8. Elizabeth

    Grady Cameron is some piece of work…

    The company says the restructure reflects tough market conditions.

    ### ch9.co.nz September 20, 2012 – 6:00pm
    Delta confirms redundancies for city workers
    The numbers are fewer, but DCC-owned company Delta has confirmed there will be redundancies for city workers. The company has announced 23 job cuts will go ahead, following a restructure of its Dunedin-based roading and drainage operations. It was originally suggested 30 jobs would go. Chief executive Grady Cameron says the original proposal – announced last week – was modified following consultation with staff and their representatives. He says the company is making every practical effort to assist employees through the change.
    Ch9 Link

  9. Anonymous

    Fire Grady Cameron.

  10. Anonymous

    Oh for god’s sake!

    ‘Mr Cameron conceded not all staff would have the required skills for all of the vacancies, which included project manager positions…’

    Project Managers don’t do work. They compile lists and delegate. This idiot is stripping hard-working staff of their employment and livelihood to replace them with more bureaucracy?

    What the hell is wrong with business today? The Dunedin City Council AND its public companies are corrupt through and through.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    TO save money without dropping productivity fire someone expensive and make sure the grunts are WELL-managed – and listened to. I’ve seen “humble peasant workers” doing dumb things. Take time to ask them why in a friendly manner and they KNOW it’s futile, what they’re doing, but not half as futile as trying to tell management. Plus, management don’t like being told they’re wasting everyone’s time and money and that’s not good for the lowly person’s prospects in the job.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 21 Sep 2012
      Men ‘in tears’ over Delta redundancies
      By Chris Morris
      Men were reportedly in tears as Delta confirmed the loss of up to 23 jobs yesterday, although some workers could yet be offered a reprieve. Delta chief executive Grady Cameron confirmed the redundancies in a written statement, just over a week after announcing up to 30 jobs could go from the company’s roading and drainage operation in Dunedin. […] The job losses came just months after the company announced redundancies in the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes areas, and amid lingering concern over its decision – in 2008 and 2009 – to invest in property at Jacks Point, near Queenstown, and at Luggate.
      Read more

  12. Calvin Oaten

    Hype, you got a stutter?

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Not a stutter, Calvin – a typo I couldn’t fix after posting so I’m hoping “someone” will kindly remove the first version.

  14. Anonymous

    Fire Grady Cameron. Stand down the directors. Investigate the Stakeholders. Delta is corrupt. Pass it along.

    Staff of Delta:

    Don’t go quietly, that’s what they want you to do. That’s what those wealthy Stakeholders expect you to do. They don’t really give a shit about you or your future. Get together. Get angry. Get an employment lawyer. Go loud and bring unwanted attention to the corrupt institution and its self-serving directors.

    Get even for years of loyalty and service.

  15. Anonymous

    When I see the Delta brand I think of Grady Cameron making staff accountable for his financial decisions. I think of inappropriate property speculation. I think of massive failings and increased debt. I think of its directors. I think of those Stakeholders and I am reminded once again of Michael and Stuart.

    I think a lot about why this was allowed to occur and why it still is. It makes me think the whole Dunedin City Council is corrupt.

    THINK.PROPERTYSPECULATION
    THINK.MASSIVEFAILINGS
    THINK.STAKEHOLDERS
    THINK.CORRUPTION

    There are plenty of others before getting to infrastructure.

  16. Elizabeth

    ### DScene 3.10.12 (page 4)
    Directors tight lipped
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Questions levelled at directors of Dunedin City Council group of companies about their part in land purchases remain unanswered, Dunedin councillor Lee Vandervis says. The outspoken councillor said he was increasing pressure on directors of the debt-laden Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL). He sent each involved in property purchases at Jacks Point and Luggate in 2008 and 2009 a set of questions asking for details of the investments. Mr Vandervis said he had been told the directors had met in the past week to discuss how they would respond. But they continued to take their time in delivering their replies. The investments represented millions of dollars of ratepayers money, and were unwise, Mr Vandervis said.
    {continues} #bookmark

  17. Anonymous

    ‘DCHL chairman Denham Shale dismissed the Vandervis concerns, saying the holdings company would not borrow in the future and had made a policy statement to that effect.’

    See what he did there? Denham Shale dismissed his concerns because the company would not repeat those same questionable “investments” in the future…? That’s not an answer. It’s called avoidance. And avoidance is an excuse for a cover-up.

    I no longer believe Mr Shale is the right person for this role, especially if he is unwilling to answer questions from a Dunedin City councillor, regardless of any personal prejudices he may have hold that person.

    Cr Vandervis is representing the best interests of the company’s true shareholders, the Dunedin City ratepayers. As a ratepayer we are entitled to those answers and to ensure those responsible are brought to accountability.

    Answer the questions Mr Shale.

    Dunedin City Holdings Limited
    THINK.PROTECTING.THE.STAKEHOLDERS
    THINK.HIDING.THE.TRUTH

  18. Talking with an EX Delta worker a couple of days ago, guys leaving flat out ’cause they are sick of standing around with nothing to do (engineering dept).

    Makes one think how they will pay the ‘dividend’ to council next year, seems the circle is missing a big chunk………..

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    What’s the engineering dept not doing that it used to do, and why not?
    Has work been sent off to be done “cheaper” elsewhere a la Hillside?
    Is maintenance being skimped?

  20. I’m guessing here, but…..council tightening the belt means less for Delta on spending whether that is maintenance as well as major works I don’t know. but it has always been an odd setup where Delta get to price outside work BUT other companies haven’t been able to price council work.
    Very dodgy indeed, then we come to expect that from both council and Delta.

    • Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

      ### DScene 3 April 2013
      Delta inquiry to be a case study (page 2)
      Common CCO themes examined
      By Wilma McCorkindale
      A major investigation into Dunedin City Council company Delta Utility Services will become part of a broader national study of council controlled organisations (CCOs). A present inquiry into property investments by Delta would be used as a case study investigating common themes that arose in CCOs, a recently-released report by the Office of the Auditor General of New Zealand said.

      ‘‘We plan to further consider the governance arrangements between the Auckland Council and its CCOs and, in other metropolitan councils, including Dunedin City Council,’’ the report said. ‘‘Our work on the Delta Utility Services Ltd inquiry discussed in part nine [of the report] will contribute to our study of the Dunedin City Council group.’’

      In November 2012, the auditor-general’s office agreed to requests for an inquiry into Delta’s land deals at Luggate and Jacks Point. The investigation covers how and why Delta decided to acquire an interest in both investments, its compliance with legislation, identification and management of conflicts of interests, and consultation with or involvement by the council. The Auditor-general’s office said its findings would contribute to its planned analysis of council controlled organisations and subsidiaries in the coming financial year, 2013/2014.
      {continues} #bookmark

  21. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting that the ODT have failed to post this comment I made many hours ago on the Delta mess of not even making the first cut on a DCC major contract.

    “Is this any wonder when Delta’s overheads are so high because of the hugely inappropriate salaries paid to their management following years of lack of governance? Not to forget the exorbitant fees paid to all those Councillors sitting round the Board table for years and years. And yes, don’t forget their undisclosed financial support of the ORFU and ridiculous land speculations. A public utility company that has been allowed to operate like some sort of private club. As usual, the people to pay have been the unfortunate Delta employees and the ratepayers.”

    I thought this a fairly restrained comment and it is not the first instance where the ODT fails to post comments that are critical of Delta. Why should this be?

    For this audience, I’ll put it a little blunter.

    For years we have had the likes of Cr Hudson raking in the dough for sitting on the Boards of DCHL as well as other companies under the DCHL umbrella exhibiting a total lack of governance ability. He, and the other twerps like him undertook a regime of borrowing to pay dividends which alone is indicative of gross stupidity and incompetence.

    The governance of DCHL and Delta has been so incompetent to allow the management of Delta to run amok. I assert that their actions border on widespread community theft. Undisclosed and irresponsible financial assistance – still not quantified – to professional rugby, land speculations involving their mates, totally unsupportable salaries – the list just goes on and on.

    Delta is a wonderful example of everything that can go wrong going wrong. The only way out of this is for a complete clean out of the idiots responsible for this including the majority of DCC Councillors who simply choose not to hold anyone accountable. Prosecutions should follow under the Local Government Act where it can be shown that people have acted contrary to the interests of the ratepayers.

    • ### ODT Online Fri, 28 Jun 2013
      Delta falls at first water contract hurdle
      By Debbie Porteous
      Embattled Dunedin City Council- owned company Delta Utilities has taken another hit, and this time from its own parent. The company has failed to gain even a call-back for the $3 million city council water network maintenance contract. The development followed other recent bad news that Delta was to close its Christchurch-based civil engineering and water construction business, with the loss of 40 jobs and that the company was expected to post a reduced profit this year.
      Read more

      • Allied Press Ltd is getting a whole lot of news in the lead-up to the elections, such that ODT is still shedding pages, ah well. Being thin is fashionable.

        ### ch9.co.nz July 4, 2013 – 6:51pm
        Delta Utility Services announces more job losses
        Delta Utility Services has just announced another 77 jobs will be lost across the south.
        Video

        • ### ODT Online Thu, 4 Jul 2013
          77 Delta jobs set to go in South
          Delta Utility Services announced today another 77 jobs are set to go in the South. Two weeks ago, the company sacked 40 workers when it closed its construction arm in Christchurch. An extraordinary meeting was called at the DCC this afternoon, after which the council-owned company announced it plans to close all three remaining civil construction units over the next six months. The move, if confirmed after staff consultation, would mean the end of 41 jobs in Dunedin, 20 in Central Otago and 16 in Southland. The company said it could only transfer six affected staff to other parts of the company.
          ODT Link

          – Read the full story in tomorrow’s ODT

  22. The fact that Delta didn’t make the cut for consideration in the DCC’s water maintenance contract suggests either that they were so far out in their indicative capacity to compete, or the DCC’s management (at long last) have seen this as an opportunity to shut Delta down. Either way, that puts the pressure on the DCHL directors to clean out the dust and corruption permeating the Delta operation. This in turn leaves the way open for the sale of the city’s assets in order to reduce the city’s debt. It is just a case of “the chickens coming home to roost”. In the end the city will be the poorer for it. But it has been so predictable.

  23. Anonymous

    When does C****n go to jail?

  24. Anonymous

    Replace that git on a half-million and all the useless money-suckers on the board and executive. Shortly there will be few people employed by Delta who can actually do any real work. It is the Stakeholders who should be persecuted. The employees are not the ones who entered into failed investments. The other day I saw a Delta ute parked alongside works on Kaikorai with a sign on its rear warning RADIOACTIVE. I looked for one of the executive but figured it must have been a mistake – it was an area where getting dirt under your fingernails would have been the greater worry to them. I think the warning is still appropriate though.

    DELTA
    THINK.TOXIC.EXECUTIVE

    • ### ODT Online Fri, 5 Jul 2013
      Delta to axe 77 more jobs
      By Chris Morris
      Infrastructure company Delta is again wielding the axe, with plans to cut an entire division’s 77 jobs in Dunedin and other southern centres. The Dunedin City Council-owned company yesterday confirmed it planned to close its entire civil construction operation across Otago and Southland. The proposal – to be confirmed next week – would result in 41 job losses in Dunedin, 20 in Central Otago and 16 in Southland, out of a total workforce of about 580, Delta chief executive Grady Cameron said. The news was delivered to staff across the company at 3pm yesterday, and left some ”white-faced” and distraught, it was said.
      The company’s latest hit came to light yesterday, as Dunedin City Holdings Ltd – the parent company of Delta – sought councillors’ approval for Delta’s plans. However, Mr Cull said that was a technical step for the council as shareholder, and the council did not accept responsibility for the company’s situation. Delta – like other council companies – was there to provide dividends to the council, which were used to offset rates, and was not to be subsidised by the council.
      Read more

      At what point does Grady Cameron get booted.

  25. Peter

    How long can incompetence and greed be tolerated, with Delta, by the council? They have to move quickly before more damage is done. With this news, plus the Jacks Point/Luggate debacle, accountability (yes, I know, Dave and Co don’t like this word) is required. It is a matter of justice for those who have suffered the fallout.

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter. “accountability” is the opposite of current virtues like Moving On, Not Re-litigating The Past, and prevents learning from experience so we can do the same thing all over again (and again, and…) and really-truly expect a different result.
    O the shock, O the disappointment when a replay of the old script results in a repeat cl*sterf*ck!

  27. Russell Garbutt

    Have a little look at this website and tell me what has happened.

    Click to access TAFMCabinetPaperApril09.pdf

    The DIA’s role is set out clearly, but we know they are riddled with incompetence, the Local Government’s role is also set out clearly but the appetite to enforce accountability is zero, and the Local Government Minister is nothing other than a trailing lapdog. Such super fun!

  28. This, as I have said before is a mirror image of Solid Energy’s fall from grace. Difference? For Solid Energy the whole population is ‘stiffed’. With Delta it is just Dunedin’s ratepayers who are stiffed. In our case it is a ‘double whammy’. Watch Cameron get a golden hand shake. But the other 40 plus over $100,000 staff will be scratching to maintain their lifestyles. Again, the revenue producers with the dirty fingernails will just get the ‘picture’. Pretty sad really.

  29. Russell Garbutt

    The feeling of sadness will last as long as the overpaid and underperforming Cameron takes to drive home. About the same time for the Board of Delta to do the same. About the same time for the Board of DCHL to do the same. About the same time for Hudson, Brown and co to do the same. I doubt that there will even be a single crocodile tear for an ODT shot. The collective ineptness is mind-numbing and will be comforted by the knowledge that absolutely no accountability will be enforced.

    The real tears will be shed by those workers out in the field and their families.

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    This is from http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/263521/finance-firm-heads-admit-your-failings.
    It is an opinion piece in the ODT “Finance firm heads: admit your failings”
    by Peter Lyons, published on Thu, 4 Jul 2013. Although he is pointing the finger at the finance companies in particular, and also at those who use their high profile and reputation as sportsmen, politicians etc to go on to high earnings with (it appears) damn-all sense of responsibility it is of wider relevance. The common burglar is rightly condemned and punished, yet look at the disgustingly soft consequences to those people who take the big-bucks payments when they have either no relevant experience or ability or no inclination to do the work, and then when it turns to custard it’s the little people who suffer – again. See what you think about the end of the article’s relevance to Delta – etc, etc.
    “Yet, not one person has even admitted to getting it wrong, at least none I know of. No-one has taken any public responsibility for his actions in any capacity. The use of male pronouns in this article is deliberate.

    No director has offered to return his fees. No promoter has offered to put the amount for which he sold his reputation into a fund for compensating the victims. Many continue to fight the obvious fact of their ineptitude, incompetence, or culpability. The evidence of their failure as businessmen and in some cases, decent humans, is there for all to see.”

  31. Where to now for the DCC with its Annual Plan incorporating $10.45m interest/dividend, $5.25m injection to DVL, $3.561m from Waipori Fund plus $7.25m subvention payment to DVL from Aurora? All these are Annual Plan requirements. Failure to deliver sends it crashing in flames. Watch for the fire fight in the run up to the elections.

  32. amanda

    That is the way it has always been, Cameron and co., Hudson and co., are looking out for their children (grandchildren) and empire building for them. Sentiments are pushed aside when it is their own that they want to help. Look at Hudson and how his offspring have done so well from his place on council. Blood before sentiment just as it has always been.

  33. amanda

    Hudson’s integenerational stadium debt is coming home to the average Dunedin person.

  34. amanda

    Those Delta workers can thank Hudson’s incompetent seven and Cull’s gormess five for their loss of jobs. Oh and let’s not forget St Farry, genius ‘businessman’ extraordinaire!

  35. Hype O'Thermia

    My uncle and aunt had a little newsagent business. They went bust, bankrupt. They didn’t wait till the time was up so they could wave the debts bye-bye no worries. No, the family lived poor till all the creditors were paid. Let no-one doubt I always felt big Respect along with love for them. Another thing, they didn’t whine “poor me” and blame the economy though at the time extremely tight credit and import restrictions made things very difficult.

  36. Elizabeth, you have to admit Mr Cull (your description) in the clip had a very nice suit, a lovely gray tie and white shirt. If I didn’t know better I could have thought that he was on his way to a ‘wake’. Come to think of it, he might be, come October.

  37. Hype O'Thermia

    Calls for fresh inquiry into Delta’s expansion drive
    Expressions of confidence in Delta’s senior management have not stopped calls for a fresh inquiry into the company’s troubled expansion drive.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/263857/calls-fresh-inquiry-deltas-expansion-drive

  38. Dave Cull says that “Delta was an investment – not a service company – and existed to return a dividend to the council”. Funny, I always thought it was a ‘council controlled trading company’ (CCTO) set up with the people and assets of the former DCC works and services department. This happened around 1989 when the then Labour Government’s Dr Bassett introduced legislation designed to make these operations more efficient and accountable. I remember the late Richard Walls advising that with this new structure, the CCTOs, under the umbrella of DCHL, the holding company, would all be profitable, with the profits coming back to the shareholders (ratepayers). He even said he could foresee the day when there would be no need for rates to be struck as the profits would cover the city’s financial requirements. May God rest his soul.
    So I doubt that Dave Cull has the faintest understanding of the fact that what resulted was a whole bunch of ‘wannabe’ managers let loose to set up and fleece the operations for all they were worth. Aided and abetted by an inept bunch of self-opinionated directors who themselves immediately dived into the trough and doled out copious quantities of the goodies for themselves. The new bunch are into the same trough.
    Dave, they were never an investment, they have never delivered to anywhere near expectations, they were simply a transfer of city assets into the control of a bunch of incompetent ‘assholes’ none of whom are remotely concerned over the welfare of the city, only in their own gratification. So please open your eyes and face the truth just for once.

    • I doubt Liability Cull knows what left and right hands are doing. Especially not, when the monster that is Denham Shale, chairman of DCHL, states he has confidence in the snake Grady Cameron, Delta Chief Executive. The public is being left in the dark completely over DCHL’s recommendations for restructuring the council companies; the time being taken for full accountability and transparency is a continuing bad sign. Ignore Cull when he says there’s no threat.

      DCHL chairman Denham Shale said he had confidence in Mr Cameron. ”From where I sit, I’m quite happy with the situation.” –ODT

      • Any suggestion the council was to blame for Delta’s job losses was ”clearly rubbish.” –Cull

        ### ODT Online Tue, 9 Jul 2013
        Cull, Acklin at odds over Delta
        By Chris Morris
        A Dunedin city councillor says the Dunedin City Council isn’t doing enough to support local businesses, as one of its own companies – Delta – prepares to axe another 77 jobs. However, the claims by Cr Bill Acklin yesterday prompted a hot retort from Mayor Dave Cull, who labelled the comments ”rubbish” and ”grossly irresponsible”.
        Cr Acklin was the only councillor to vote against Delta’s restructuring plan at an extraordinary council meeting held behind closed doors last Thursday.

        ”I reject the idea that it is the responsibility of the ratepayer to preferentially subsidise any business, even if council owns it.” –Cull

        Council staff confirmed yesterday an initial assessment of council spending – undertaken as part of an ongoing review of procurement policy – had found about 75% of the council’s spend went to local suppliers. The figure rose to 81% when council wages and other spending was included, and the council’s procurement policy also included a clause favouring local suppliers for contracts worth less than $50,000, a spokeswoman said.
        Read more

        ****

        ### ODT Online Tue, 9 Jul 2013
        Editorial: Responsibility of care
        Further redundancies announced by Dunedin City Council-owned Delta have come at a bad time for the city, the region and regional neighbours Southland and Canterbury. Last week, Delta announced a further 77 jobs would go, most based in Dunedin but 36 of them spread between Central Otago and Southland. In June, 40 staff lost their jobs with the closure of the Christchurch civil construction business. Last year, 30 staff lost their jobs in various Delta divisions. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd chairman Denham Shale and long-time Delta chairman Ray Polson were quick to say ”don’t blame us”. Apparently, the running of the city-council owned company comes down to the Delta executive team, led by Grady Cameron. […] Amalgamated Union Workers Union official Calvin Fisher, who has been involved with the city-owned companies as far back as Citiworks days, has now called for a fresh inquiry into the company’s troubled expansion drive. Already, the Auditor-general is scrutinising Delta’s multimillion-dollar land purchases at Jacks Point in Queenstown, and at Luggate, but other investments also need to be reviewed, Mr Fisher says. However, it is not likely an investigation into the overall activities of Delta will be held in an election year. Messrs Cull, Shale and Polson are distancing themselves from any blame. Mr Cameron does owe it to his employers, the ratepayers of Dunedin, to be accountable for his actions. But so too, to various degrees, do the other men. Mr Cull cannot entirely wash his hands of this matter and not provide leadership on this serious situation. Accepting the dividends from this company comes with a responsibility of care – as does good governance.
        Read more

  39. Hype O'Thermia

    ”I reject the idea that it is the responsibility of the ratepayer to preferentially subsidise any business, even if council owns it.” –Cull.
    Except the Fubar Stadium.
    “Only enough more money to make it work” said Cull before the election. I thought he meant “not leave it 99% built so it couldn’t have been used for anything”. Not so.

    It’s not working, it’s still requiring extra funding on top of the construction costs and interest on all the money borrowed. Free use for some, bribes to use it for commercial users.

    I wonder if this election – if he hasn’t the sense to get out while he’s losing credibility at an accelerating rate – he’ll still be saying “No more money, just what’s needed to make it work.”

  40. Russell Garbutt

    Don’t know about what others think but I think the ODT today makes it pretty plain that Grady Cameron and the current and past Boards of DCHL have much to answer for.

  41. Whippet.

    Well done Russell Garbutt with today’s opinion piece, and well done by the ODT for publishing it.

    {Link added. -Eds}

    • Are the Dunedin City Council-owned companies out of control, asks city councillor Lee Vandervis.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Jun 2013
      Council firms must get back to basics
      By Lee Vandervis
      OPINION Revelations in recent years regarding our DCC-owned companies’ performances has taken my councillor levels of concern up to serious worry.
      My early suspicions when first elected in 2004 that Dunedin City Holdings Ltd dividends to council were being funded by DCHL debt, and that the rosy profit pictures painted were illusory have been compounded by persistent business rumours of self-serving management in some DCHL companies, and of wholly unwise lurches (by Delta for instance) into new business areas and into property speculation.
      The major property speculation I began investigating in 2009 was a $14 million acquisition by Delta at Jacks Point and Luggate in a tranche of property deals which raised nationwide concerns and comment at the time and since. Trying to get answers and spreading gleaned information on Jacks Point-Luggate has resulted in more than 350 emails in my sent items file since 2009, before a recent investigation by the Office of the Auditor-general which will hopefully answer many long-standing issues surrounding those purchases. Other purchases of businesses all over New Zealand by Delta, and the Milburn wood-processing plant by City Forests, have continued to raise business-world eyebrows and failed to deliver hoped-for returns.
      Casual roadside conversations with Delta staff, the ones who dig the holes and climb the ladders and do the actual work, suggested a remote and top-heavy management might be contributing to Delta’s problems, which include current revenue being $7 million below the budgeted $87.1 million, coming after a $5.8 million loss last year – mainly due to the forced write-down of the Jacks Point-Luggate speculation. Digging a bit deeper into Delta management pay and numbers revealed alarming costs and numbers. Annual accounts suggest that CEO Cameron is earning more than $460,000 per year, and has had significant bonuses included despite awful financials and ongoing layoffs. For perspective, Delta’s CEO pay is more than $100,000 higher than that of the CEO of the whole city council. Looking up the annual accounts list, there appears to be a heavy line of 53 employees paid more than $100,000, which adds weight to my top-heavy managerial suspicions about Delta.
      Read more

      Delta management pay (via ODT)
      Employees’ remuneration
      $100,000-$110,000 … 18
      $110,000-$120,000 … 7
      $120,000-$130,000 … 9
      $130,000-$140,000 … 4
      $140,000-$150,000 … 4
      $150,000-$160,000 … 2
      $160,000-$170,000 … 1
      $170,000-$180,000 … 1
      $200,000-$210,000 … 3
      $210,000-$220,000 … 1
      $220,000-$230,000 … 1
      $240,000-$250,000 … 1
      $460,000-$470,000 … 1
      Total … 53

  42. amanda

    Grady Cameron. You are a greedy greedy boy. Can see why Delta was outpriced by other non local firms, after paying for ol’ Grady and pals’ salaries. This town is one messed up little backwater, look at the obscene top heavy salary distribution. When only Cr “what’s a business plan” Acklin challenges this you know you have a problem. Wake up council.

  43. amanda

    And no, Acklin, we are not fooled. We know you could care less about Delta staff, after all your incompetence is part of the reason they were laid off; no more council money now after paying for your loss making entity. You are just hoping real hard that enough voters don’t know that. The ODT are helping you out there.

  44. amanda

    What a nice deal those who are protected by the council have huh?

  45. amanda

    Hawkins seems to have a bit more of spine than gormless Cull, he is actually daring to challenge one of the muppets on council and to suggest an OAG investigation of Delta could be a way to drag out accountability to, oh, just after the elections at least.

    • Yep, soon as Mayor Liability Cull said he’d already been “talking to OAG” when Cr Lee Vandervis laid a formal complaint to the OAG about Delta… we knew, through ODT, that Cull was up to “no good”. Then, the politicking ensued… OAG ‘handily’ put a (national) budget to playing Delta like a ‘random case study’, post the October elections. The letters from OAG have been most instructive. And at this time OAG has not enlisted the help of their buddies SFO to do forensic auditing.

      No fear, plenty of time left to get the GOBs to jail.

  46. Hype O'Thermia

    Sane intelligent working men from Delta yesterday up our way – “DCC got rid of its own [roadway & footpath clearing, in this case] department because that was too expensive, now they’re hiring Fultons and Fultons hire us, ticket clipped all along the way.” And Delta are too expensive to tender for jobs, isn’t that the story? So I wonder what Fulton Hogan charge for this branch of their activities so there’s money for them on top of what they pay Delta so Delta can pay its $100,000 and over VIP-class, indulge in “investments” a.k.a. speculations, pay the interest on the money the were forced to borrow to pay “dividends” to the Council, and pay the guys in the hard hats & fluoro vests. No wonder they have to lay off workers, all those hats and vests must cost a fortune.

  47. Hype; I don’t understand you, what is more stimulating than to see our Mayor and “dignities” fitted out in fluorescent jackets and ‘silly ill fitting hard hats’ every time they go out to perform? It is what is termed ‘making a statement’ or creating a target.

  48. amanda

    Well Thomson is fine and happy with Delta and feels that Delta management are just fine. Loved the little dig at the end that those wanting accountability are like the knitting woman at the foot of guillotine in the French revolution, very revealing from Thomson. http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/264322/strong-evidence-support-actions-those-charge.

    • The headline reads:
      Strong evidence to support actions of those in charge

      Yes, Richard Thomson is well out of his depth with today’s opinion piece. The term blithering idiot comes to mind as I read his ‘sanction’ of ill doing by he and others in governance at DCC. More votes lost for you and clan, on the basis of your simpering! Just think, here’s Mr Thomson with each foot in a failing governance body: SDHB and DCC. I hope your shops are doing better.

  49. Hype O'Thermia

    Ignore the past. Move on. Next time will be different, even if we do the same things, next time we’ll get a different result. Responsibility? That’s just another word for shaming, and we don’t do that these days, we give to the people who fubarked-up a golden handshake instead because, you know, there but for the grace of godnose-what and so on. And on.
    Relitigate the past? That’s on a par with the old-time nasties like signs on the picture theatres saying “No Maoris”. Please don’t use that kind of language now. We’re dedicated to Moving Forward…
    …what’s that you say about drag-anchors and shackles on our ankles? Nonsense, you silly naysayers!

  50. Peter

    I’ll have to remember that if I lose a lot of investment money with a certain group like Delta that I let bygones be bygones and give them another chance to invest my remaining money wisely.
    I didn’t realise Richard Thomson was such a Christian fellow. Would he be so charitable with his own losses? I guess he must be so charitable. Should I invest in Acquisitions? Should you?

  51. Sack all the management in Delta (take them to court on some real charges). Sack the idiots in council that made it a company.
    Put the council workers directly onto the council books as it was 20 years ago.
    Stop the council from using these companies to launder money and hide facts from the ratepayers.

    • ### ch9.co.nz July 12, 2013 – 6:29pm
      Delta confirms civil construction exit
      Delta Utility Services has confirmed it will exit its Otago and Southland civil construction businesses. The proposed decision, with the loss of more than 70 jobs across the south, was announced last week. The Dunedin City Council-owned company confirmed the move today. The company says there was no viable alternative other than to close the businesses. Delta chief executive Grady Cameron described the closure as a sad day for the company and its people.
      Ch39 Link [no video available]

      • ### ODT Online Sat, 13 Jul 2013
        Delta axes up to 76 as civil arm culled
        By Chris Morris
        Up to 76 jobs will be lost with confirmation Dunedin City Council’s infrastructure company, Delta, is axing its entire civi construction business. Delta chief executive Grady Cameron confirmed the move yesterday after a week of consultation with staff in Dunedin, Central Otago and Southland. The company last week announced plans to close the entire business arm, and shed 77 staff – 41 in Dunedin, 20 in Central Otago and 16 in Southland – citing a lack of work. Yesterday, Mr Cameron said the total number of job losses in Dunedin had dropped by one, from 41 to 40, as one worker had taken another job. The total could drop again, as the company was still considering the fate of four carpentry roles within Delta’s Dunedin office, which could be spared.
        Read more

  52. Jock Strap

    ODT. 4/04/2015 Employment section.
    Delta are advertising a position for a Senior Learning Advisor.
    Never too late I suppose.

  53. Elizabeth

    Re-reading comments on this thread is a complete education. And we wonder why Cr Vandervis is now unearthing Delta’s activity at Noble Village Subdivision at Yaldhurst Rd, Christchurch. While McLauchlan is involved on the Delta Board, think the worst. The worst is happening.

  54. Calvin Oaten

    First it axes its entire civil construction business with a loss of 76 jobs then it advertises for a Senior Learning Advisor to undertake the development of staff Learning and Development skills. Huh!? Hasn’t the horse bolted? With the operation reduced to maintenance and development of the areas’ energy distribution systems and some infrastructure activity which is in fact the company’s time honoured disciplines, what is this ‘new johnny’ to offer? How to minimise losses in ill fated property speculations? It smacks of the thrashings of a dying beast.

  55. Anonymous

    Too many bosses, especially those at the top of public companies, have succumbed to the me-first route to success, he said. That’s often because they’re rewarded for meeting short-term financial goals that can come at the cost of employee well-being. Meanwhile workers grow increasingly cynical and learn not to depend on the filtered information they get from the top…

    ### Stuff.co.nz Online Last updated Mon Apr 06 19:53
    Self-centered bosses wreaking havoc, Robert Hall
    By Cheryl Hall
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/67621424/selfcentered-bosses-wreaking-havoc-robert-hall

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