Turkey. Cull.


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


Filed under Business, DCC, Hot air, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

113 responses to “Turkey. Cull.

  1. Pedant

    Wow. The capitulation is complete.
    He should have stuck to changing counterweights in double-hung windows.

  2. Anonymous

    Significant differences between the rugby-friendly ODT and the Fairfax news story by Wilma McCorkindale.

    ‘Council papers released to Fairfax show Dunedin City Council voted this month to contribute $29000 towards Graham and Mains legal costs. Two councillors — Lee Vandervis and Fliss Butcher — voted against the payment.’ – http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/7745175/Ratepayers-stung-for-mayors-defamation.

    Right there you have newsworthiness.

    Obviously there was no real money opportunity for these two professional rugby bludgers if they came to the table seeking an apology. Certainly not enough for another car or an extension on a Queenstown property. But apparently they just couldn’t drop it and still needed to feed their egos.

    Although points could be awarded for Dave Cull for apologising, I doubt it was necessary under the circumstances and the consequences are very likely not in the best interests of the Dunedin City ratepayers.

    All this does is keep the dirty washing piled in the backroom and that’s in the interests of the few.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    This would have to be right up there with the Neville Chamberlain / Hitler concession. Dave Cull has displayed a blatant disregard for anything to do with the city’s fortunes or welfare. First he engineers a crass bailout of the ORFU, by releasing it from some $480,000 owed to the DCC, then he sets up a deal whereby he takes the ORFU under the city’s wing and agrees to house it in the stadium, and pay all its health expenses, then he puts on a show via national radio to pacify the restless natives. Next, the patient shows its eternal gratitude by threatening a defamation case in the sum of $500,000 each for two aggrieved members. Then he grovels, stammers an apology, coughs up $29,000 of ratepayers’ funds to buy their forgiveness and considers the matter settled. Worse, our pathetic councillors except Lee Vandervis and Fliss Butcher, vote support and approval of the capitulation. As I say in ‘The End of the Golden Weather?‘, the greedy, kowtowing spineless culture pervading our sick little city is beyond redemption. Long may Cull and his cohorts ponder on this most disgraceful display of inept and callous disregard for the lot of the common people. And for what? A sick bankrupt stadium with a couple of terminal profitless tenants who struggle to field support for more than a pittance of citizens.
    In fact, if it is good enough for those to sue the mayor, wouldn’t it be reasonable the citizens were to charge the mayor for failing in his duty of care, in as much as he did recklessly put at risk the citizens’ treasure, a duty which he solemnly swore to protect through the office of Mayor of this city.

  4. Rob Hamlin

    Perhaps I’m missing something here, but wasn’t the Mayor covered by insurance? If this is so, then why did the Council have to vote to contribute to these two gentlemen’s legal costs? Unless of course this trifling sum just represents the excess and more has been paid to these two fine upstanding and outraged citizens by the insurance company.

    It is hard not to be deeply angered by the letter that the Mayor has delivered in addition to the wodge of ratepayer dosh. A letter that is now in the public domain. I suspect that that anger will translate into votes cast elsewhere on election day – which may be a little unfair on a man who found himself without support from his Council and holding what now looks to have been rather less than the shield that many would expect a legal indemnity insurance policy to be.

    It may well be a footshot for the insurance industry too. What usually happens in deepest private and is not spoken about thereafter by the insuree (usually by their own choice) has now taken place in a highly public arena. I have a suspicion that when they read all the gruesome details tomorrow, many professionals and public figures who are currently paying good money for such legal indemnity policies may be taking a fresh look at the fine print of their contracts and discovering just exactly what protection for their reputation, and what discretion to fight a case or not as they feel fit, they are getting for those fat premiums that they are paying.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Rob, you are probably right about the insurance and the excess payment. If so, as you say our lucky recipients might just have gotten a whole lot more. All strictly confidential of course. As a matter of interest, when I queried the fact that the case was not being defended in the courts thus bringing all the ORFU dirty linen out into the public arena (where it belongs), I was told that the insurance people were controlling the situation and that it was their instructions that it be mediated behind closed doors. I said then that it was wrong and reiterated that fact in emails to Dave Cull and Paul Orders more than once. But oh no, our illustrious Mayor kowtows to the insurance and this is the outcome. Not only are we citizens the poorer by $29,000 but the ORFU get recompensed and let off the hook as well. Tell me that there is not some very powerful movers and shakers behind all of this. Then again they wouldn’t need to be all that powerful with a wimp like they were dealing with.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Looks like Anti-Glare is affecting prominent NZers. The cloak’n’dags lads helped by the police (who seem to have been quickest on the uptake http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7745445/Police-had-queried-if-spying-was-illegal) have spattered Key’s hi-gloss finish with messy Dots, and here in Dunedin Dave Cull is getting excellent help to sand away the shine of apparent integrity that looked too attractive pre-election.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Looks like Dave Cull has crossed the Rubicon (in the opposite direction to Caesar) and his letter of appeasement / capitulation to the ORFU people is the nadir of his mayoralty. It is the most despicable display of weakness on the part of a Mayor (charged with upholding the welfare of the citizens) that one could imagine. He is now seen by the ORFU – in particular – as a ‘patsy’ who can be manipulated in any way they like. Instead of exposing the whole ORFU linen cupboard through the courts he simply buckled to the insurance and their legal eagles and crept through the door on his knees proffering humble apologies all round and agreeing to pay their costs. Mains and Graham will be aching all over with “high fives” they will be exchanging with all their rugby mates. So it will be downhill all the way to next year’s elections for our Dave. Can’t see him possibly survivng the fallout from this one.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Dave Cull has proved weak, spineless, gutless but probably not actively and venially corrupt. Come election time who’s the opponent? Will he stand again, that’s another pertinent question. If not won’t it be a 2-horse race between Slippery Syd and Lee Vandervis?
    Lee, get out there and kiss babies in a totally wholesome way, especially the well-fugly ones, starting TODAY! Their parents love’em and they’ve got the vote.

  9. amanda

    But to be fair to Cull he is surrounded by the stadium majority of stadium muppets, Brown, etc, who will do anything to ensure their negligence is not fully revealed (so they will support the Big Rugby bullies). Due to being the majority on council they hold the power, and the rest of them, Greater Dunedin, are all individuals with their eye on returning to council next year and not antagonising important people or the council majority. They each have their particular pet loves that they will go to bat for and do not seem to understand how they are weak compared to a strong united stadium majority. Stevenson, Vandervis and Butcher are just all lone wolves who will also not be able to unite against the stadium group.

  10. Mike

    I think it’s very telling that the ODT are so scared of the rugby powers, be that they feel they have to disable comments on the Cull sell out article because, heaven help us, someone might agree with Cull’s brief moment of honesty.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Looks like people will have to comment on Fairfax papers’ sites. Isn’t it sad when the “independent” local paper sends its readers to other papers for news, unbiased.

  12. amanda

    It is also important to be aware of the media climate Cull is working in. Clearly, the media is not interested in holding the negligent councillors responsible for the stadium debacle, to account. In the Chris Morris ODT article he forgets to mention the councillors responsible for the stadium debacle. Even when Davies says it is the council who is to blame, the article does not name the seven on council who have foisted the debt on the city. Is the ODT aware we live in a democracy? We have to vote according to the information the media gives us, if they cannot figure out the people responsible for the stadium debacle how can we hold them to account at next year’s election? Or is that the point? Crs Hudson, Brown, Bezett, Noone, Acklin, Collins, Weatherall all hide behind ‘the council’; a responsible media would name the councillors who voted for the stadium debt.

  13. amanda

    It seems the powers that be, the media, really really want the secret seven to be returned to council at next year’s election, no doubt so they can continue with the agenda to sell our city out from under us, the city’s assets? Water? Gone. Sold to stakeholders.

    • Elizabeth

      [On the subject of next year’s election… not sure we can believe what Dave says, given Julian has helped the Lesser Dunedin cause? If he wants Cull back in he’ll have to fork out large to overcome the latest mud on Dave’s shirt.]

      ### ODT Online Sat, 29 Sep 2012
      Two councillors support stricter donations law
      By Chris Morris
      Tougher rules proposed to police anonymous donations in local politics do not go far enough, two Dunedin city councillors say. The comments from Crs Lee Vandervis and Jinty MacTavish came after Local Government Minister David Carter announced plans for a new $1500 cap on anonymous donations – among other changes – for local body elections. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the move was unlikely to have a major influence on local body elections in Dunedin next year, given the small part donations played in financing previous campaigns.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Mon 1 Oct 2012
        Settlement a ‘gutless climbdown’
        By Chris Morris
        The decision to settle a defamation claim against Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull by two former Otago Rugby Football Union officials is a “gutless climbdown”, a Dunedin city councillor says. Cr Lee Vandervis yesterday criticised the settlement which resulted in Mr Cull apologising to Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains – despite not admitting liability – and the Dunedin City Council paying $29,000 towards their legal costs.
        Read more

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    So instead of a million dollars they settled for recovering their costs? As Lee Vandervis points out, they can’t have had a whole lot of confidence in the watertightness of their case – to put it mildly!
    I wonder if their lawyers had already advised them that, in view of the unwelcome revelations that were bound to come out, they would be wise to withdraw and subside with whatever grace they could muster… what’s the bet Cull was so busy fussing he didn’t take time to check whether fire had gone out of their eyes, replaced by rapid blinking and other nervous tics?

  15. Peter

    If politics is largely about perception Dave Cull, and those who voted for this climbdown, have a problem. Weakness, under threat of intimidation, is not a good look for any politician.
    Excellent point made by Lee Vandervis about the seeming lack of virility in Mains’ and Graham’s defamation case. They would have smelt the odium from the populace at large over the last few months for their intended action. Yet Cull, and those weak councillors who voted $29,000 damages to their tormentors, blinked first and caved in.
    Neither side has come out looking pretty in this. Only Crs Lee Vandervis and Fliss Butcher can hold their heads high in this sorry affair.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Looks like Fliss who had her meltdown due to an overload of personal stuff has come back stronger than the proudly “strong” whose melts are consistent steady progress to wobbly-jelly-hood.

  17. Robert Hamlin

    Hype O’Thermia,

    We do not know if the $29,500 is all they got. The ODT articles only report the payment by the DCC of the plaintiffs’ legal fees, any other direct settlement to these two gents by either the insurance company or the DCC is not reported – but neither is it denied/ruled out.

    The $29,500 may just be the sum that was not covered by the insurance policy. Because if it was – then why would the Council be paying it and not the insurance company?

    The fact that Cull did not admit liability does not guarantee that money was not paid out to these gents to compensate for supposed ‘wrongs committed’. There are precedents to this ‘take the money, but we’re not admitting liability’ position as part of an out of court settlement.

    Obviously there are potential political bonuses to this type of situation if all can be kept confidential and the flow of information controlled. If you feel that any direct payment might be unpopular/politically damaging, then you can put up a smaller payment, make a song and dance of it to attract attention to it and use it as a PR ‘lightning rod’, and meanwhile say n’more about anything else that might have been going on – That’s all the better if you think that the plebs might get pissed off if they knew what was truly up.

    Clearly a statement by any of these parties confirming that $29,500 represented the entire sum paid out to Mssrs Mains and Graham by the insurance company and the DCC with regard to this case would put any further speculation of this nature swiftly to bed. I look forward to this announcement in the immediate future.

  18. Mike

    Hmm – the ODT (or its lawyers) seem unwilling to recognise that others might feel that Cull spoke the truth – that bit seems to get chopped out of postings to their website

  19. Russell Garbutt

    Oh that we had a fearless truly independent newspaper that was not cowered by the veiled threats (perceived or otherwise) that seem to be delivered to those that dare rattle the cages.

    The usual rejoinder of all of these rorters is that they refuse to talk or say that it happened in the past and it is now time to move on going forward. I bet a coot that robbed a bank couldn’t use that excuse and I don’t see a lot of difference.

  20. Hype O'Thermia

    Looks like the claimants (or their lawyers) share that opinion, why else settle for costs to date plus a grovel, instead of going for real folding money as per original planned gouge? ORFU as an organisation, of which they are such high-placed leaders that they take adverse comment about it to be actual insults to themselves as individuals, has never held back on emptying council coffers.

  21. Mike

    BTW: it’s not just me EVERY posting in that thread has been abridged

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    Comments enabled here so it is probably worth raising points that will be given the Total Ignore treatment by our local birdcage liner::

  23. amanda

    It’s interesting reading Cr Wilson’s insights into the affair. She is glad that she can move on now, and Cr Stevenson too, so obviously they are happy to pay the $29,000 to do this, but they have no insight into how this move has signalled to Big rugby that they own this town and its council. They blinked first to a bunch of powerful bullies and now our city is in even more peril. The stadium cabal? Crs Hudson, Brown and mates? This is what they have wanted all along, of course, they proved that supporting rugby stakeholders is more important to them than citizens’ interests when they foisted the stadium con on the city. Politicians want nothing more than to keep the status quo and not rock the boat in order to be returned to council. As Stevenson said, she was very worried that the council would be left carrying the bag if the court costs were $1 million. So she and the rest caved in and did nothing. Fair enough, these are just average people covering their proverbial rear ends. They need clear messages from the people that in this context this is not good enough.

  24. amanda

    It’s important we make the message loud and clear that if Greater Dunedin, and the lone wolf councillors want to be returned to council next year, they must stand up to Stakeholders and rugby bullies, say no to the gravy train. So far the councillors are not doing a good job of this so may find they are kicked off their precious council seats. That possibility might give some resolution to their presently gormless ‘let’s all forget about it!’ stances. Of course the stadium councillors have caused the present problems and so should not be returned to council no matter what.

  25. amanda

    Yes, Mike, I noticed that too. Every post is abridged. The Otago Rugby Times is really nervous about comments on this topic! Very noteworthy to see what makes them nervous.

  26. Calvin Oaten

    I was first off the block this morning. My post got cleared, then revisited and abridged. Editorial interference no doubt. No wonder the ODT is in serious decline, when it takes on the position of DCC’s official censor.
    | New comment:
    | Author: Calvin Oaten
    | Title: Time to move on

    Cr Kate Wilson says, “she is glad it is all over and it is
    time to move on.” Does this mean we can expect a well-earned resignation? Cr Vandervis is the only councillor around that table with the nous to see the underlying harm done to the city’s mayoralty by Mayor Cull’s letter of appeasment / capitulation to the ORFU. This is the organisation which has received so much largesse from the city’s coffers (including the writing off of $480,000 of unpaid bills) that it ought to be eternally grateful, not biting the hand which feeds it. A totally despicable affair.

    | Link: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/228269/settlement-gutless-

  27. Peter

    If, for argument’s sake, a group formed calling itself ‘The Peoples’ Resistance Army For The Liberation of Dunedin’ and kidnapped Dave Cull, holding him for $1m ransom, to fund their campaign against the ORFU, would the council accede to this group’s demands and pay the $1m ransom? Open Question.

  28. Robert Hamlin

    No, regrettably Mr. Cull is a used firework lying on the lawn of life and enjoying approximately the same value.

  29. Anonymous

    Rob, it is interesting the DCC Censorship and Abridgment Team accepted your post “Is that all?” Now they can’t dismiss this important piece of newsworthiness outright. To do so would make them look like complete muppets.

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous, yeah I’m surprised there’s no media release on the DCC homepage. I feel ripped off, the council’s new $5 million dollar Spooks department have had no say! I thought that was their job. Maybe GM Rosebud’s message about no more massage has got through, such that there’s silence on the actual cost of the mayoral defamation suit. Non massage by omission. Very clever, DCC.


  30. Calvin Oaten

    Peter, I have no doubt that if that happened then it would be good business for council to pay $29,000 to kidnappers with the proviso that they keep him.

  31. Peter

    Hah, Calvin. I suspect there would be more than one agenda, on the present council, for such a group to keep him. Ambition. Power. Knives sharpening… and all that.
    Dave Cull has not done himself any political favours with this affair.

  32. Calvin Oaten

    My biggest worry out of this Cull decision is that there will be a concerted effort to “get” Cr Lee Vandervis. The Mayor and Councillors have already sent him to ‘coventry’, but the knives will be sharpened in other quarters as well. The DCHL directors are aggrieved at the exposure of the embarrassing Delta Jacks Point / Luggate land deals with conflicts abounding there. Mayor Cull’s defamation action being described as a “gutless climbdown” must rankle right across the board as the whole council – having approved his actions – are equally shown as complicit. With the election just twelve months away, a big effort to discredit Cr Vandervis will be in motion. I believe Cr Vandervis represents a real challenge to Cull’s position, and by extension all those ‘sycophants’ surrounding him (assuming that they also retain their seats), so it will be a concerted effort. With the ODT being so circumspect over how involved it will be it leaves it to the ‘Dscene’ and opinion sites like this one to muscle up and defend the principle of open, transparent governance with backbone and dedication to root out the decadent behaviour presently reigning within. Cr Vandervis is the only one in office capable of doing this, and given a number of new supportive faces around him I believe he could truly do the ‘biz’. He needn’t be popular, just effective.

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    Unfortunately it was necessary to have an appeasement mayor to demonstrate to the yea-sayers a.k.a. yes-men what a gigantic FAIL the stadium was. That’s been achieved. This election let’s hope voters’ appetites have turned from truthiness to truthfulness.

  34. amanda

    Absolutely Calvin, it has a silver lining though, those who try to silence Vandervis and his attempts for transparency tell us all that they are not interested in transparency for the whole sorry stadium con. That applies to people who come forward to try and get on council. Any mention of ‘wanting to forget’ about past negligence by politicians should be met with derision. I remember in the run-up to the last local election how many would-be councillors were foaming at the mouth to attack Vandervis, but they dared not make a tiny little peep of protest against the seven councillors who had foisted the stadium debt on the city, they clearly thought they were too powerful to even try to attack. That proved their political gutlessness and spoke volumes. Watch out for who ‘wanna be’ politicians’ and present powerholders’ attack on the run-up to next year’s election, the easy target like Vandervis, or are they too scared to stand up to the secret seven bully boys on council? Then we will know that they will not stand up to the Rugby bullies coming with hands held out for more ratefunds if elected.

    • Elizabeth

      amanda – my sources amongst the old boys this week say legal moves are afoot to damage Vandervis – what they said of ‘how’ is quite specific. If you can’t sue the Mayor of Dunedin for defamation….

      That DCHL/Delta ring of confidence.

      • Elizabeth

        Comment at ODT Online.

        Full settlement not disclosed
        Submitted by JimmyJones on Tue, 02/10/2012 – 1:53pm.

        Rob Hamlin makes a good point that as well as the legal costs of the ORFU officials, there is the potentially much larger cost to the city of the settlement. There has been nothing revealed about the size of the settlement (if any) nor any mention of the DCC’s legal costs.
        Read more

  35. amanda

    But any opposition to the gormless and the corrupt on council need to come forward now, maybe they can get an article in The Star like the ex student president did? They have only a year to get their message out, and they are competing on a very uneven playing field, with the present lot getting free advertising every time their faces and names appear in the ODT. They need to think if they can stomach standing up to bully boys, if they can’t don’t bother. We need strong people who can say no to the powerful stakeholders and Corporate Rugby thugs.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    Campaigning – there are rules about campaigning but when do they start?
    My thinking is, stickers could be put around before the pre-election period when there are no prohibitions. “Vandervis says transparency is needed in DCC.” When Vandervis says it he means it and he does it. Watch out for the people who bad-mouth him, they’re people who want to keep us in the dark.”

  37. amanda

    Oh no question, Vandervis will be destroyed politically, too many reputations depend upon it. Will be interesting to observe how it is done and by whom.

  38. Anonymous

    I agree Elizabeth. I think the corrupt Stakeholders are scared shitless. Their next pillaging of the Dunedin City ratepayer is dependent upon the stupid and cunning remaining in power. Their stripping of assets depends on the likes of Dave Grazed Knees Cull and Slippery Syd running the show. They will want to damage and destroy to feed their disease for power and money. People who stand up and make themselves accountable are a target in this city infested with corruption and blind followers of rugby.

  39. amanda

    If we the people let it happen, and let the bully boys do it, that is. That is why the rest of the council are so timid, they don’t expect any of us to kick up a fuss. They could end up being the prudent, if gutless, ones.

  40. peter

    I wouldn’t get too worried about Tartan Mafia moves against any opposition.Their best bet is to go to ground and weather the storm. If they can. Information is power and they haven’t got a complete hold on it. (That’s why the ODT likes to know what the stadium critics know… and not report it.) Any overt, aggressive moves run the risk of a nasty shit storm.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter. My information is good wrt Vandervis. Unscrupulousness knows no bounds – all you do is hide behind your briefs (lawyers). Trouble is, they know he’s not afraid of the Court of Public Opinion – his best protection.

  41. amanda

    I agree. The court of public opinion is on his side and in our power if only we use it; we need to show politicians and ‘wanna bees’ that weasel words of appeasement and the crony capitalists are not welcome on our council. Voting the gutless and corrupt off council sends the message that we want a transparent council that cares for all citizens not just those with big fat wallets. That’s democracy. We have to get around a Corporate Rugby grovelling media to do it though.

  42. Anonymous

    Absolutely Calvin. If the Stakeholders and their Stadium Councillors thought they had it tough last time they ain’t seen nothing yet. They can keep building their iRatepayer Fortifications, brainwashing their Customer Services Team and increasing CCTV surveillance in the Octagon “for our protection” but it won’t stop the hammering they’re going to get at the next election.

    They’re not going to get their greedy fat hands on the assets too!


  43. amanda

    Because that is what it comes down to, isn’t it? Syd’s cabal and the stakeholders aren’t done with Dunedin. There’s still plenty to suck dry, like assets, as you say. This is about our survival, ultimately, the very best incentive there is to not be apathetic about Cull’s gormlessness or Syd’s plans for the city (more money for a few mates, tough and too bad for the rest of us).

  44. amanda

    It makes me foam at the mouth that ‘Intergenerational Debt is Good’ Syd Brown is even on council let alone the DCC chair of Finance, Strategy and Development! The architect of our massive debt is heading Dunedin’s fiscal future. Can’t Mosgiel do us all a favour and chuck him out next year? Please? Pretty please Mosgiel!!!

  45. Elizabeth

    Calvin – whether good people love or hate Cr Vandervis, they should get past themselves and yes, make sure he isn’t fried for breakfast. Mayor Cull has always been tainted, he sure as hell didn’t get this way overnight. I’ve never voted for Vandervis or Cull – they’re not representative of my views of local government and (hoped for) democratic community representation in the urban and rural electorate. This doesn’t stop me, however, from making sure Vandervis isn’t thrown under a bus in the meantime – because folks, no other councillor has the fortitude or brainpower (call it Lee’s narly presence of mind) to challenge rorts, corruption and fraud present in the DCC/DCHL/ORFU/DVML/DVL chookhouse, and other lean-to hen runs. For that, Cr Vandervis has my respect.

    • Elizabeth

      There was once a board of directors
      Self-bailed using cash from electors
      They bought Jacks Point/Luggate
      The investment went fuggate
      And now they’re a bunch of deflectors

  46. Anonymous

    ‘Council papers released to D Scene show Dunedin City Council voted this month to contribute $29,000 towards Graham and Mains’ legal costs.’

    That suggests the whole council supported the vote. I’m a little surprised with that sentence, since two councillors voted against it and neither media has noted who specifically voted for it.

    Does anyone have the list of councillors who voted in favour?

  47. Calvin Oaten

    In a slightly (only just) lighter vein, I see where the New Zealand Parking Association (Huh?) has just concluded its 29th annual conference in Dunedin yesterday. This of course, would be funded and attended by local body employees, so NZ’s ratepayers get another ‘shellacking’. As an aside, it was interesting to note that they ‘have a sense of humour’, sorting out their favourite comical enforcement photo. I wonder if they then consult the subject of that winner and ask for his/her comments? Actually, when I come to think of it, I park my vehicle regularly, so if I asked to join perhaps I could go to these ‘gigs’ as well. And if I played my cards right, I might even get there on the city’s tab. What do you reckon?

  48. MichaelA

    There once was a council of Cull
    For whom life was terribly dull
    The money was spent
    None of their mates paid any rent
    And they were voted out at the next poll

  49. Elizabeth

    Mayor’s Defamation Case LGOIMA 28 September 2012
    Documents in response to multiple media requests for information related to Mayor’s defamation case.


  50. Calvin Oaten

    As we all know, what Dave Cull said was no more than an opinion shared by many. Having previously read the ‘letter of groveling appeasement’ one would have to wonder that if Dave Cull did a DNA test would there be a direct line to Neville Chamberlain? It is to me, the most flagrant display of ingratiating gutlessness, aided and abetted by elected councillors (excepting Vandervis and Butcher) seen in a long while. And all on the pretense of $29,000 being good value against going to court in defense. I am almost certain that the public would have been keen to underwrite the risk in order to have all the doings of the ORFU out for public scrutiny. Now we will never know. Thanks a bunch Dave!!

    PS. In fact we might just get to know if work being prosecuted as we speak by some good honest citizens come to fruition. That would certainly put our Mayor on the back foot.

  51. Rob Hamlin

    The Council agreed to pay $29,000 in full and final settlement….OK, that deals with the Council, but this still leaves us in the dark as to what the insurance company paid up for and/or agreed to. Did the insurance company pay nothing? Did having and paying for this policy in the end only end up with the Mayor being forced to aplogise and shell out our cash to these two gents? Did it only end up with the insurance company only ending up paying their in house lawyers to acheive this outcome? If that is so, I can’t say that I’d be rushing out to buy such a policy myself.

    Or is there a parallel agreement involving the insurance company that deals with their own exposure via the policy and the events that it covered? If so, is the insurance company, as a (presumed) contractor to the Council for rhe provision of legal defence and liability cover, subject to LGOIMA?

  52. Calvin Oaten

    Rob; ask and see.

  53. Anonymous

    See if they’ve bought a new property in Queenstown. Wasn’t that what this scam was about? Dave Cull putting on a wee show and then a couple of the Good Old Boys waddling in and grabbing from another public money bag. This settlement has a lot of stink on it.

  54. New subject. Another Turkey moment. The mayor, Liability Cull, gets upset about horse shackles that go up for auction and uses the Mayoral fund to secure them and thus promote them as Maori actifacts. Did anyone sample DNA here before signing the ‘cheque of stupidity’?? This will keep Cull in thick with the cussies, I suppose.

    ”They are still ours and we get the final call, but out of respect since it was their tupuna shackled up in the damn things, we will ask them what they would like to see happen to them.” [Turkey. Cull.]

    ### ODT Online Sat, 29 Mar 2014
    Shackle buy better than court: Cull
    By Shawn McAvinue
    Dave Cull The Dunedin City Council has paid $3900 for the leg irons Mayor Dave Cull pulled from an auction after an investigation he instigated confirmed they could have been used to restrain Maori political prisoners almost 150 years ago.
    Read more

    • Ma Fia

      I remember several months ago there was angst about Nazi memorabilia going up for auction at Hayward’s.
      Here we have leg irons purportedly used to shackle Maori in the nineteenth century. Interesting. We buy the shackles but not the Nazi stuff. To get them off the consumer shelf?

      • Hard to imagine how the Settlers Museum can sell the horse shackles (see Bill Dacker’s practical reading of the artifact’s functional use) as a new exhibit that could ever suggest Maori were imprisoned in the caves. This myth has long been dispelled, indeed by historian Bill Dacker and others. Maori artifacts are sold every day at market within New Zealand and an Act of Parliament governs what may be sold overseas or not. I’m really surprised (or am I) that ODT hasn’t sought to provide proper commentary on this to put a stop to Cull’s myth making, jumped on as it is by North Island iwi at their political convenience. God forbid anyone should be offended by animal shackles grabbed from a cave by an opportunist. At best this would nowadays be considered as interference/damage to a pre-1900 archaeological site, without archaeological authority, as covered by the Historic Places Act. A crime if the legislation was retrospective.

  55. Hype O'Thermia

    Cull is downright grovelly when it comes to Maori sensibilities, real or potential.
    Other ratepayers’ sensibilities? Meh.

  56. Anonymous

    I am glad that Dave Cull has saved ratepayer money by spending ratepayer money. Wait, what?

  57. Hype O'Thermia

    Spare no expense to avoid court. Poor Daaave, he’s got severe antihisamine-resistant court allergy.

  58. In other words, Cull is typically out of his tree (to maintain flow of dollars from Ngai Tahu). Any horse put in those size shackles (joke) would’ve already caught the boat home.


    Without much caution I choose to believe Dr Matt Schmidt ahead of anyone else – he is a recognised expert in his field, superior in qualifications and work experience to the other commentators, and he will have taken into account all past uses and significance of the caves. He’s independently knowledgeable and not a player in the mayor’s unwitting game.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 8 Apr 2014
    Report considers leg irons
    By Shawn McAvinue
    A Toitu Otago Settlers Museum provenance report on the leg irons the Dunedin City Council bought for $3900 has been released. […] Dunedin man Steve McCormack, who sold the shackles to the council, said he and his late brother removed them from the cave in the 1970s. […] The report released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday said the irons appeared to be from the late 19th century, the same period when Maori prisoners were held in Dunedin between 1869 and 1881.
    Read more

  60. “Dave Cull pulled the leg irons from an auction” What’s new? He’s been pulling our legs ever since he was elected Mayor.

  61. Gripper

    Came across some old taps and fittings, buried down the peninsula. I have a suspicion that they may have been used during the illegal water take. Wonder how much Dave will give me for these historical bits and pieces.

  62. Manu

    Quote from our dear mayor in today’s odity “Given that I don’t have any expertise in that. I don’t see that there’s much point in getting involved.” From that quote, how come he ever got into local body politics????

  63. Hype O'Thermia

    Mayor not involved?
    So it was a pixie living in a tree in the Octagon who decided to buy the “prisoners” leg irons. That explains a lot.
    Doesn’t explain how the pixie got hold of ratepayers’ money to spend, though.
    Next election do we get to vote on the pixies?

  64. Meantime, a LGOIMA request would clarify how the Mayoral Fund can be used?

    • Elizabeth

      Camels. Turkeys. Corny ‘bi-Cull-turism’ ($3900 cost to city ratepayers).
      Daaave knows no bounds.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 30 Jun 2014
      No regrets over buying leg irons: Cull
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says he has ”no regrets” about stepping in to buy leg irons destined for auction, despite new evidence they were used to hold camels, not Maori prisoners as had been believed.
      However, the conclusion by Toitu Otago Settlers Museum staff has prompted Mr Cull to call on the seller – Dunedin man Steve McCormack – to ”examine his moral position”.
      Read more

  65. Whippet

    Cull is reported in today’s ODT that he “was disappointed AgResearch had ignored opposition from farmers, industry and its own staff.” Sounds like AgResearch were just following council’s role over the stadium?

    • Not sure what all the chestbeating over AgResearch’s near-demise is about. It’s never been a crash-hot critically strong research unit for the farming industry, not for years anyway. One of two individuals have made their mark, but the whole of the establishment has been underwhelming. Practically, it’s only ‘the idea’ of AgResearch being vital to our developing export industry that has kept it afloat. That the opportunistic University of Otago currently and belatedly plays up ‘synthesis’ to grab more facilities is laughable. AgResearch has been flying at half-mast for too many years. Topic has now sunk down out of sight at ODT Online.

      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/304116/anger-still-over-changes-invermay [Cull cited]

      The changes(via ODT)
      – The majority of Invermay’s more than 100 staff – including animal genomics scientists – will shift to Lincoln as part of restructuring.
      – AgResearch plans to base 38 staff at Invermay by 2017, as opposed to 26 in its original plan.
      – Three deer researchers no longer relocating. An additional scientist to be recruited to the deer team at Invermay.
      – Deer farm and 900-strong deer herd at Invermay retained.
      – University of Otago to shift between five and 10 genomics staff and sequencing equipment to the Invermay campus.

      Other stories:

  66. Rob Hamlin

    I see that Steve McCormack is refusing to give Dave a refund. Quite right. Cull interfered in an open auction and effectively shut it down. His act, his responsibility, but unfortunately eventually not his financial risk/loss. How depressingly familiar – especially the ‘no regrets’ bit.

    Hey! I bought a ride-on mower with a rusty deck off Trade Me last week. Most definitely got some serious regrets about that. However, maybe all is not lost with regard to this item of unprovenenced, rusty crapped out ironmongery if I can only persuade Dave that Te Rauparaha ……

  67. Rob; not a problem. Just contact ‘Citi Fleet’. They’ll move for you no questions asked. Mind you it might cost you a few ‘slides’.

  68. jeff dickie

    I know of a camel trader and snake oil salesman who now lives in Central Otago. He might be able to get Dave a good deal on a camel to go with the camel leg irons. The camel could be used to ferry visitors around Dunedin’s White Elephants via a cycleway. A point of difference for the city?

    On the “no regrets”: someone once handed US General George Patton a cup of Champagne. He thought it was coffee and added milk. When it was pointed out that it was in fact Champagne, the General replied “I like milk in my Champagne!”

  69. Jacob

    Dave is only following a pattern of those who have gone before him, and didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing, like signing a contract for 999 years with Trust Power for a $1. Maybe BP could tell Dave what to use the cuffs for.

  70. Elizabeth

    Plonker Daaave is the ‘talk of New Zealand’…

    ### NewstalkZB Monday June 30 2014 12:25
    Latest Political News
    Mayor of Dunedin slammed over superfluous purchase
    By Adam Walker
    The Tax Payers Union is slamming the Mayor of Dunedin for what it’s describing as a superfluous purchase. Earlier this year Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull purchased historic leg irons before they went to auction after being informed they could have been linked to Maori prisoners. But it has since been found they were probably brought back by soldiers from the Middle East, where they were used on camels. Tax Payers Union executive director Jordan Williams says this isn’t the first time questions have been asked over the Mayor’s use of Council money.

  71. Toby

    When I was a young fella we would go out to the dances on a Saturday night. One of our favorite dances was the camel dance. Twice around the floor and outside for a hump, and we never needed cuffs.

  72. $29,000 to Mains/Graham, $500,000 forgiveness of debt for the ORFU, $3,900 for ‘leg irons’, Dave is an expensive little bugger isn’t he?

  73. Russell Garbutt

    One has to ask, just what training, skills, beliefs, specific expertise or background Mayor Cull possesses to do the job of Mayor. Mind you, apply that question to the bulk of the Councillors and see what you come up with.

    Next question is can you recall any of the “Stadium Council” having any skills apart from an uncanny ability to shift public money into private purses?

    • Russell; Dave Cull wrote a book about ‘icebergs’, does that not make him ‘one cool dude’? I’ve seen him give Cr Lee Vandervis some really ‘icy’ stares. Oh, and he can ride a bike. Err…rr, that’s about it really.

  74. Peter

    The wastage of public money aside, I can see the funny, if embarassing, side to this ‘historic’ purchase.
    The decision to buy the ‘leg irons’, in the first place, would have been political, as an act of homage to one group. It is always good for a politician to be seen to paying their respects to an important voter group.
    There is a danger here for Dave to take the moral high ground concerning this individual getting more than his fair share of the proceeds.

  75. Elizabeth

    If Otago historian Bill Dacker’s early call that they were animal shackles had been heeded – given his research into Maori history and history of the caves – Daaave could have saved himself a walloping. I admire Steve McCormack for the luck of his financial win on the back of fools. I wrote to ODT Online seeking a personal cheque to the value of $3900 to replenish the mayoral fund, saying an invoice could be supplied…

  76. Phil

    Bill Dacker knew what he was talking about alright. It isn’t easy digging out the earlier info, but I can’t find anywhere that Steve McCormack says that they are prisoner leg shackles. Did he ? I did read Dave saying that he didn’t know what they were but might consider buying them only if he got them authenticated first. Reads to me like he had his eyes wide open when he wrote the cheque. Mind you, Dave was also the expert who advised Council that the construction contract for the stadium was a great deal. Probably was a great deal, if you were the contractor.

  77. Elizabeth

    Five letters to the ODT editor today headlined ‘Mayor Cull explains shackles decision’ (page 10). Worth a look at these and Daaave’s reply which won’t pacify the ratepayer masses.

  78. Elizabeth

    Poor Daaave. BTW where’s that personal cheque to refund the ratepayers?
    Yes, so very lost in the mail.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Jul 2014
    Shackles for sale, without key
    By Shawn McAvinue
    More shackles are up for auction in Dunedin. Hayward’s Auction House owner Kevin Hayward said an Oamaru pensioner bought the shackles from a Brisbane garage sale in the 1990s and believed the set to be from the convict ship Charlotte.
    Read more

  79. Elizabeth

    More on settlement of the Mains/Graham (ORFU) defamation case against Mayor Cull

    Further to ODT’s article Mayor apologises to ex-ORFU bosses (28.9.12) and Stuff’s article Ratepayers stung for mayor’s defamation (28.9.12), we see the LGOIMA request put by RNZ’s Ian Telfer the same day —via DCC responses to LGOIMA requests 2013 (online information):

    Laurie Mains & Wayne Graham vs The Mayor – Defamation Case Settlement Details LGOIMA 28 September 2013 (PDF, 290.9 KB)
    The response includes a copy of the letter of apology from the Mayor, the Settlement Agreement (14 September 2013) between Wayne Graham, Laurie Mains and the Dunedin City Council and a copy of the Deed of Undertaking between the parties.

  80. Simon

    $29,000 paid out for legal costs to Mains and Graham. What did the lawyer actually do to claim $29,000?

  81. Elizabeth

    Simon, the overwhelming stench of a scam pervades from the illustrous gentlemen of Otago Rugby ill repute, in that Cull was always right in his broadcast opinions – based on what professional rugby has done to defraud the Dunedin ratepayers, time and time again. Unfortunately, I repeat, he was wrongly counselled to back down and not proceed to court where, he was independently advised, the ORFU could have been ordered to cough up all their financial records. But that would’ve WRECKED Cull’s chances of making the stadium “work” with the so-called anchor tenant in place….. Therefore, $29,000 was taxing pen and meeting work indeed, for rorts to continue – via DVML, to fleece us and pay ORFU. Liability Cull didn’t quite do the full calculations of how much cheaper it would’ve been to pursue court and for ratepayers to air those Otago Rugby financials and all the dirt on Jokers Bars, pokie trusts, and the money laundering through Christchurch lawyers and property trusts et cetera. But the DIA, meanwhile, holds a report from NZRU’s audit of ORFU that no-one is allowed to see. Time will tell.
    [Hello to the DIA managers tracking this site, btw.]

  82. Whippet

    I see Davey boy is going to be the leader of the pack as a cycling night rider. Shouldn’t have much trouble being the leader, as he has had plenty of practice leading another pack at taking the ratepayers for a ride in the dark.

    {DCC media release: Mayor issues fundraising challenge. An oblique reference to the Mayor’s cycle effort was also made at the bottom of this post Government’s council tax freeze (13.1.15), it reads:

    █ You might want to sponsor the dropkick…. anything to fix the Citifleet profile eh, Daaave —[McKerracher goes mad with PR opps]


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