The only thing up…. (for sale)

Email received.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 19:51:39 +1300
To: Debbie Porteous , Chris Morris
Cc: EditorODT
Conversation: DCHL claim of ups and downs
Subject: DCHL claim of ups and downs

Hi Debbie and Chris,

The debt-deniers from DCHL are trying to characterise this year’s City Companies Annual Reports as one of ups and downs.
Delta business goodwill is down.
Jacks Point/Luggate property values are way down.
[City Forests] carbon credits, log returns and valuations are down.
[City Forests] Wood Processing Mill is down.
DCHL cash flow is down and profit is down and out and negative.

The only thing significantly up is DCC funding requirements for the Stadium, met by significant borrowing again this year, but with a promise that the DCHL borrowing will now stop.
Without the courage to slash and burn staff costs and biff all directors responsible for scandalously speculative Jacks Point/Luggate, Wood Processing Mill etc, the only option that remains is asset sales.
Look out City Properties, Waipori Fund, Forests etc.

Kind regards,

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

21 responses to “The only thing up…. (for sale)

  1. amanda

    So the choice is we keep paying the massive salaries of craven incompetent directors or we sell off our assets, privatising them, and make a few stakeholders the winners they think they are? Gosh that is such a hard one. Useless directors or our assets? Wonder which way Syd’s stadium band of brothers and Greater Dunedin will vote?

  2. amanda

    Upcoming hopeful new councillors better think hard about their positions on the run up to next year’s election. Are they going to try and shut Vandervis down? Or do they dare to try and stop the stench of corruption and greed at the DCC? Are you more. If any sing the ‘Smile, let’s make the stadium work’ song, they are dead in the water as far as my vote goes. I’m not voting for anyone who does not have the courage to stop the gravy train.

    {Amanda, see “Are you more.” – text correction please. -Eds}

  3. amanda

    Any hint of attacking Vandervis by hopeful councillors, while staying quiet and meek about the corrupt councillors responsible for the massive debt, will tell me wannabe councillors are bullies who will stand shoulder to shoulder with the corrupt around the council table.

  4. Anonymous

    Fence sitters too. They will be flagged with the Stadium Councillors. Along with any Professional Rugby puppet glorified by Allied Press and its stadium jocks Otago Daily Times and “two horse race” poll stacker Ch 9.

  5. amanda

    Yes. Or any university president who seems to be getting an odd amount of space in the ODT. And who also happen to have local council ambitions.

  6. Anonymous

    Yep, supporting asset sales and lots of big, bright coverage in the Oddity. He has long since stopped ruffling features and appears to have fallen into line. Ticks their boxes so fairly standard fair for the next Allied Press Mayoral Candidate.

    Certainly looks like Logan Edgar has been warmly welcomed into the fold of the Stakeholders (probably just a coincidence the local Masons have inducted a new member recently) and that’s a nest of nasty vipers who never let go of their prey.

  7. Anonymous

    The ODT score:

    2012-10 – 8 and counting…
    2012-09 – 5 [announces intent to run for council]
    2012-08 – 2
    2012-07 – 6
    2012-06 – 8
    2012-05 – 10
    2012-04 – 9
    2012-03 – 9
    2012-02 – 10
    2012-01 – 5

    2011-12 – 3
    2011-11 – 2
    2011-10 – 2
    2011-09 – 6
    2011-08 – 9
    2011-07 – 9
    2011-06 – 3 [voted OUSA president]
    2011-05 – 1
    2011-04 – 2

    2010-07 – 3
    2010-05 – 1

    2009-03 – 1

    2008-09 – 1

    The ODT photos:

    Thrown in the deep end and swimming

    OUSA ‘committed’ to building a new student bar

    OUSA president to stand for DCC

    Just checking out some of those posed suit-and-tie photos with the casual rapscallion look, this guy could be bigger than Woodlouse. No wonder Julian’s betting on the young man. Probably not going to get much more return on Dave.

    Asset sales are the only thing left to make a quick million or ten for the Key Stakeholders in this town and dropping another $5M on the Rich List could mean reducing the Rolls Royce collection.

    The stuff of nightmares for some.

    • Elizabeth

      The point might be we need to keep asking out loud how much Julian intends to pay into Edgar’s fighting fund. Or is it Farry and chums. Which Tartan pillocks want a callous twat as a councillor for their voting regime.
      Oh wait, it’s all of them. How to fill a stadium with student rabble and more, while secretly plundering ratepayer assets and money laundering through CCOs. On the quest for the water asset.

      Pssst. Julian and Nick still have the Bentleys. (and the Model T)

      • Elizabeth

        Cr Staynes did not favour selling assets to reduce debt, but was open to selling underperforming assets to reinvest in others providing more reliable returns.

        ### ODT Online Fri, 19 Oct 2012
        New way of budgeting for DCC mooted
        By Chris Morris
        The Dunedin City Council should consider a one-year moratorium on cash from its companies while it changes the way it budgets for the income in future, deputy mayor Chris Staynes says. And, to avoid the one-off hike in rates bills across the city that would follow, the council could consider selling something to offset the drop in income from its companies, Cr Staynes told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

        “We knew there were problems. Some of them were governance, some of them were investment, and the results of that are flowing through.” However, the write-downs changed only the book value of the investments, did not necessarily affect future dividends, and were part of a “healthy” process. -Dave Cull

        Read more

  8. amanda

    The uni president is all for asset sales. So we cannot look to him to try and stop Syd’s stadium cabal from selling our assets to pay for fiscal incompetence. Keep an eye out for how many times the ODT manages to get their pet hopeful future councillor in the newspaper on the run up to the council elections. What other reason can this (former) uni president manage to get his mug in the local ‘media’? Who else are they pushing forward?

  9. amanda

    Poor councillor Stevenson will have to try and get her face and words in the old ODT then if The Young Prefered One has the backing of Mr Smith. Good luck to her. Lol. Looks like the the feral faced one is way ahead of her in mug shots in the ODT. And we know if Mr Smith likes a councillor, then they can do anything, even bring a city to its financial knees, in the safe knowledge that the local rag will not be concerned. No, actually, that the local rag might be waiting on the sidelines to pick off nice cheap assets sold to pay for the debt created by those self same councillors.

  10. amanda

    Dave is a dead duck, he has certainly served his purpose for the power holders in town, now time to chuck out the old and in with the young and greedy. Interesting to see whether the Chamber of Commerce will stand back and watch this city fall apart. I know some in that group are cool with it, they are returning favours or doing ok, but surely the smaller business owners can see the siphoning of funds into a few hands (assets sales) is not smart business for them? And that they, just like us, will not receive any of the money promised to ‘trickle down’?

  11. Jacko

    Question is: Who would buy what assets. If they are not making a decent return for the council, then who would want to buy them?
    The price offered would probably be so low that it would hardly make a dent in the recovery of the council’s debt, so why sell. The council is between a rock and a hard place. The assets are worthless, therefore their sale would not achieve council’s problem of high debt, that they created themselves. The way this council is going it could end up with no assets and high debt, that will led to high rate increases to meet the debt payments, ’cause they ain’t gonna have no other source of income.

    • Elizabeth

      Jacko, it all comes back to the Water Asset. That’s the clear gold.
      (we can’t get confused by John Key’s diatribes on water)

  12. amanda

    ‘This council’ is actually two cabals, the stadium group who created the massive debt so they want to hide that fact and get funds fast to pay off debt so things look better, and Greater Dunedin, who may not feel so lnclined to sell of assets for short term profit, but who knows? they don’t share their thoughts on this obviously, both groups are very keen to make it appear as if ‘council’ is homogenised. I would think that if the buyers of assets could then increase prices, they would do this; privatisation would mean profit becomes the overiding goal, not a happy electorate. This is what both cabals might do with the water asset- sell it. For the stadium group its funds their debt, for Greater Dunedin, they would not have to challenge the dominant group on council (with seven people) and if anything, Greater Dunedin has shown they really really do not want to go up against Syd’s boys and kow towing is the name of the game for them

  13. amanda

    What Greater Dunedin might do to make asset sales more palatable, is tell us that these assets are under performing, but again, who knows? Greater Dunedin are weak and have shown that they are not afraid of the electorate but of their fellow feral councillors and protecting the reputations of Very Important Stakeholders not of creating a transparent, democratic council. Want proof? Cull’s dismissal of Bev’s concerns around DCC debt as ‘personal’ attacks.

    • Elizabeth

      Was so trying not to think about the pimply faced Logan Edgar (surname brings out hives in all god-fearing citizens that might abhor the stadium or the proposed hotel tower), when I remembered the last little boy in shorts to be fawned over by the GOBs, he too promoted asset sales…

      29.5.12 Asset sales (remember the days)

      The Good Old Boys are into cookie-cutters.

  14. Elizabeth

    ### DScene 24.10.12
    Search for answers (page 5)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis is refusing to relent on criticism of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) performance as it announces a lacklustre annual return. Vandervis has been on the warpath over the Dunedin City Council group of companies, demanding directors answer questions about subsidiary company Delta’s foray into property development at Queenstown’s Jacks Point and at Luggate.

    Register to read DScene online at

    Vandervis said just one shared response, from DCHL chief executive Bevan Dodds, and Dunedin City Council financial chief Athol Stephens, had been received. The pair denied any involvement in the investments, including any prior knowledge of the plan to invest. The DCHL figure showing an annual loss of more than $5 million has steeled Vandervis’ resolve to out those responsible for what he believed were unwise investments.

    “Of all the individuals who I expected to have had decision-making input, [M Coburn, N Evans, R Liddell, R Polson, S McLauchlan, P Hudson, B Dodds, G Cameron, A Stephens], the only individuals to reply to my questions are those claiming to have had no part in the speculative Jacks Point/Luggate property purchases that have cost our ratepayers so many millions,” he said in a written statement. “It is of deep concern to me as an elected representative that I am unable to get any director, chief executive, chairman or secretary, to confirm having voted against, or to confirm advising against the Jacks Point/Luggate property speculation.”

    DCHL identified a reduction in asset value and goodwill for Delta on past business acquisitions, and land at Luggate and Jacks Point, among influencing factors on its annual results. #bookmark

    • Elizabeth

      ### DScene 24.10.12
      Council report makes for suspicion (page 6)
      By Mike Houlahan – editor
      The last sentence of the Larsen report – the 2011 Dunedin City Council-commissioned report into governance of its companies – reads: “To offset the need for increased debt, asset sales (however unpalatable from a historical perspective) need to be considered as an immediate solution.” When that report came out, Citibus had already been sold. Last week’s financial results from Dunedin City Holdings – the company exercising stewardship over the ratepayers’ assets – will do little to avert suspicion that more are to follow. As chairman Denham Shale is at pains to point out in his chairman’s review, the obligation to pay dividends to the DCC – which “had been promised by the previous board” – drives DCHL’s operations. Many of the operations are battling in a tough economic climate. Some, like electricity company Aurora, are actually doing OK but obliged to help pay for the stadium, so on paper are doing worse than hoped. There are some, like Delta Investments, which are far from OK.

      Register to read DScene online at

      Shale seems in no doubt its investments at Jacks Point and Luggate, again signed off under the previous administration, were unwise – an opinion confirmed by a multimillion dollar write-down in the asset’s “value”. Although Shale notes: “No actual loss has yet occurred, and will not, until the properties have actually been sold,” you get the feeling he’s not exactly betting the farm on the land turning a profit. The Audit Office are also interested in the transaction, singling out the value of Delta in its auditor’s report. While the office considers DCHL’s disclosures to be “adequate”, “inherent uncertainties” exist about the investment. Shale explicitly rules out as a matter of principle that DCHL should borrow to meet DCC’s needs. Which leaves three options: Either DCHL’s companies make more money; are sold off to increase cash flow; or the DCC decides it can cope with a lower dividend from DCHL. With an election looming and an increased rates bill the inevitable outcome, option three is unlikely. So, either the global financial crisis wanes and business booms, or option two will come more and more into the picture. Will Dunedin be told we are crossing the Rubicon? Asset sales are already a major issue at national level; they may well be the defining issue in Dunedin’s next local body election. #bookmark


      DScene – Business News
      Moneytalks: A year of ups and downs (page 7)
      Dunedin City Holdings Limited – the company with stewardship over ratepayer-owned assets and companies – endured mixed fortunes in the past financial year. Mike Houlahan reports.

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