Monthly Archives: October 2012

DCHL borrowed $23 million to bail DCC

Why are the Otago Daily Times (Allied Press) and DScene (Fairfax) refusing to print the truth about Dunedin City Holdings accounts?

The $23 million that DCHL reportedly PAID as dividend etc to Dunedin City Council, is borrowed.

DCHL borrowed $23 million to bail the spendthrift DCC and make it look like we have a 5% rates increase instead of the real 25% increase without the new borrowing.

You’ll find all the details here:

DCHL Annual Report 2012 (PDF, 2.1 MB)

The ‘debt-deniers’ from DCHL are trying to characterise this year’s disastrous council-owned companies annual accounts as one of ‘ups and downs’.
ODT 18.10.12

The DCHL annual report actually shows:

● Delta business goodwill – Down
● Jacks Point/Luggate property values – Way Down
● City Forests carbon credits, log returns and valuations – All Down
● City Forests Milburn Wood Processing Mill – Down
● DCHL cashflow – Down
● DCHL profit – Down and Out and Negative: minus $5 million
● The only significant ‘Up’ is more DCHL borrowing

What DCHL has delivered is another $23 million of debt which they have had to borrow against company assets because the council has already spent it.

The claim that DCHL’s borrowing to supply dividends will stop from next year is a claim with onerous consequences.

– The council’s gross spending continues unabated.
– Together, DCC and DCHL have racked up all possible debt.

Without serious moves to slash staff and shrink the number of company directors, the only option that remains is Asset Sales.


A note on two DCHL subsidiaries

The directors of Delta Utility Services Ltd and Delta Investments Ltd are guilty of having made the decision(s) to speculate on property at Queenstown’s Jacks Point and Luggate, using ratepayer funds. No other conclusion is able to be drawn, they are all responsible. They are all liable.

The value of the properties has been written down by millions of dollars, a loss to the ratepayers who were unaware of the purchases until the deals were concluded.

This is not simply a matter of loss of ‘book value’.

The directors of the two companies had real and perceived conflicts of interest in conducting the property deals. They continue as directors with clear conflicts of interest.

The directors should be SACKED. Meanwhile, we await news of ‘board restructuring’. [see post]

DCHL chairman Denham Shale should be SACKED for misrepresenting the facts and condoning the actions of the two boards.

Who are/were the directors responsible?

Delta Utility Services Limited
[formerly Delta Energy Limited; The Electric Company of Dunedin Limited]
Michael Owen COBURN
Norman Gilbert EVANS
Ross Douglas LIDDELL
Raymond Stuart POLSON

Delta Investments Limited – property subsidiary
[formerly Newtons Coachways (1993) Limited]
Grady CAMERON [also, Chief Executive of Delta Utility Services]
Michael Owen COBURN
Raymond Stuart POLSON

Throw out Athol Stephens, DCHL Secretary, for good measure.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

No cloud has lifted off DCC, the sins are too great and numerous

Dunedin City Council
Media Release

More transparent official information

This item was published on 26 Oct 2012.

A New Zealand first has been launched on the DCC website with Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) responses now published at

Mayor Dave Cull is thrilled with this significant step towards improved transparency of the DCC’s information.

“We are constantly looking for ways to make our information and our processes more transparent. Alongside recent changes, such as releasing previously non-public committee items, this will be another step towards ensuring open and transparent local government.”

Not every request will be placed on the site, to ensure Privacy Act considerations are met (such as ensuring requesters cannot be identified if they do not wish to be). If requests are made that have no public interest, they won’t go up either.

Responses to media requests will always be published on the site as will responses to public organisations and Members of Parliament.

DCC Governance Manager Sandy Graham says, “The site is a first iteration and we invite users to provide feedback and suggestions, which can be directed to .”

The site includes an online form for requesting information under LGOIMA. The form will enable staff to track and collate data more efficiently, to ensure the information requested is clear and accurate and help ensure responses are provided within the statutory time frame. A search tool will be added as the store of information grows, to ease the process of searching topics that may have already been requested.

The first three months of responses, from July – September of this year, have been made available and it is expected that the site will be updated monthly.

Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 477 4000.

DCC Link

### Updated at 12:34 pm today
Dunedin council puts more information online
Dunedin City Council has begun publishing its responses to official information requests online – the first in the country to do so.

The Ombudsman, Beverley Wakem, says she is delighted with the council’s move and hopes it will spread to other councils.

Like all authorities, the council receives dozens of official information requests a month from ratepayers, the news media, public organisations and Members of Parliament. Many are multiple requests for the same information, creating double-handling for council staff, and are only selectively made public. The council’s governance manager, Sandy Graham, says from now on every response with a public interest will be available on the Dunedin City Council website. It is part of a wider transparency drive at the council which has already shifted large parts of its meetings from closed-door sessions to the public agenda, and will soon begin publishing its credit card spending records online.
RNZ Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Name, People, Politics, Project management

DCHL: New directors for Aurora, Delta, City Forests

Dunedin City Council
Media Release

New Directors for Dunedin City Holdings Company Boards

This item was published on 26 Oct 2012.

Appointment of New Directors to the Board of Aurora Energy Limited and Delta Utility Services Limited

The Board of Dunedin City Holdings Limited is very pleased to announce that Dr Ian Parton and Mr Dave Frow have been appointed as new Directors of Aurora Energy Limited (“Aurora”) and Delta Utility Services Limited (“Delta”). Both of the new Directors come to the Company with distinguished careers as engineers and extensive governance backgrounds.

Effective from 1 November 2012, the directors will join Mr Ray Polson and Mr Stuart McLauchlan on the two boards which will comprise four members in the meantime.

Dr Parton is a Distinguished Fellow and Past President of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand. Dr Parton was for fifteen years Managing Director of Meritec Group Limited (formerly Worley Group Limited) and more recently was Transition Chief Executive of Watercare Services Limited managing the integration process with respect to amalgamation of the wholesale and retail water companies which resulted from the “Super City” initiative in Auckland. Dr Parton is a Director of Auckland Transport Limited and Skellerup Holdings Limited and is also Pro-Chancellor of the University of Auckland.

Mr Frow’s background since coming to New Zealand from South Africa in 1979 has largely been in the electricity industry. He worked with the Ministry of Energy for nine years before joining Electricity Corporation of New Zealand where he became Chief Executive in 1992 through until 1999. Subsequently Mr Frow has served on the Boards of Waste Management Limited and Unison Networks Limited. He was a member of the Telecom Independent Oversight Group through to December 2011 and is currently a Director of ETEL Limited and Holmes Fire & Safety Limited both of which companies are involved in the electricity industry. Mr Frow is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand.

Dunedin City Holdings Limited is very pleased to have obtained the services of these two Directors who will bring to the Boards of Aurora and Delta vast experience in the areas in which each of these companies operate.

Appointment of New Directors to the Board of City Forests Limited

Following agreement from the Dunedin City Council, Dunedin City Holdings Limited is pleased to announce the names of two new directors for the board of City Forests Limited. The appointments are to be effective from 1 November 2012.

The two new directors, both from Dunedin, are Mr John Gallaher and Mr Tony Allison. They will join Mr Ross Liddell and Mr Mike Coburn on the board which will comprise four members.

Mr John Gallaher is a senior investment professional with Forsyth Barr Limited who began his commercial career with roles in banking, finance corporate management and marketing 35 years ago. John is Chairman of TracPlus Global Limited, Daestra Holdings Limited, United Way NZ Limited, Tui Motu Foundation Inc. and the Upstart Investment Committee and he has several other directorships.

Mr Tony Allison is currently the CEO of Night ‘N Day Foodstores Limited that in the last few days ranked very highly in the Deloitte Fast 50 List. Prior to that he was the Chief Operating Officer and a director of Calder Stewart Industries Limited where he gained experience of forestry operations. Tony is also currently a director of AA Cleaners (Otago) Limited, St Clair Beach Resort, Southern Team Co 2008 Limited and the Southern Steel Netball Team.

Both these two Dunedin directors have excellent corporate governance understanding and collectively they will bring to the board experience of governance and the forestry industry relevant to the business of City Forests Limited.

Contact Denham Shale, Chairman, DCHL on 021 375 112.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Economics, Geography, Name, People, Politics, Project management

Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – CULPABLE #pokierorts

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

### ODT Online Fri, 26 Oct 2012
Trust audit labelled ‘a white wash’
By Hamish McNeilly
[Whistleblower Martin Legge] says an Internal Affairs audit is a “whitewash” after it failed to act on his material involving the Otago Rugby Football Union, South Auckland bars and a pokie trust.[…]An audit of The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCFL) was released last week under the Official Information Act. Earlier this year, the ODT reported the union had bought three Auckland-based bars and entered a relationship with the pokies trust, then called The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF).

“At each change of ownership, it was looked at, and there was no evidence of illegality, and we had no reason to not approve the changes,” the [DIA] audit noted.

Mr Legge alleges that relationship – concerning the ownership of the South Auckland bars known as the “Jokers Group” – resulted in the union receiving more than $6 million in pokie grants from the trust between 2005 and 2011.
The Internal Affairs audit, which covers the period April 1, 2010, to January 31 this year, noted “the Department has undertaken a number of separate investigations into ‘Jokers Group’ and its ownership company over the years”.

ORFU general manager Richard Kinley said he could not comment because the audit concerned an earlier administration, and he had not read the released audit.

The audit also examined three Jokers Group grants given to the ORFU from the trust totalling $379,767 in approved payments. They were found to be compliant.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

Dunedin Venues Limited – 2012 Annual Report now 2 months overdue

UPDATED POST 26.10.12 at 1:46 am

JimmyJones at ODT Online today mentioned this timing anomaly. DVL is late with its 2012 annual report. We all know how steep the numbers will be and just approximately, how decimating!

We don’t hold out any hopes for DVL.

● DVL 6-monthly result, $5.2 million loss.

● DVML (with the same board as DVL) annual result, $1.9 million loss.

● DCHL annual result, $5m loss for the group.

Dunedin City Council, the companies’ owner, persists in keeping public eyes away from the true state of the books, and the activities and wrongdoings that have led to gross mismanagement of council finances.

Fudging, obfuscation, corruption, fraudulence, lack of transparency and accountability – this is your council. Breaching its own prudential limits…

It keeps coming… (sample)
26.7.12 Cull’s council thinks $750,000pa to DVML represents good value?
30.8.12 DCC seen by Fairfax Business Bureau deputy editor Tim Hunter
11.9.12 Delta Utility Services Ltd

Denham Shale, Bill Baylis and Co have been hired to make it all go away.

Then, ah-ha! There’s our man Slippery aka Warren Larsen, who authored the report to salve DCC’s conscience and not much else.

Governance = ineptitude, manipulation and lots and lots of crime…

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

Council bid lacks cost/benefit analysis: Fifa under-20 World Cup 2015

Interesting. DCC and DVML aren’t sharing information on the cup bid. General manager Sue Bidrose looks like a fool again (perhaps she is), and Darren is Darren. Nevertheless, all councillors are responsible for the lack of a full cost/benefit analysis.

### ODT Online Thu, 25 Oct 2012
Code clash with cash implications
By Chris Morris
The Highlanders could be kicked for touch, and the company running the Forsyth Barr Stadium left out of pocket, if Dunedin secures a share of hosting rights for the Fifa under-20 World Cup in 2015. That was because Fifa required exclusive use of all tournament venues, beginning 10 days before each venue’s first match and continuing until a day after the last match, tournament organising committee interim project manager Peter O’Hara said. That could mean a clash between Fifa’s tournament and the Super 15 rugby competition at stadiums around New Zealand, as the two tournaments would overlap.

[Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden] did not yet know the details of Dunedin’s bid, which was being handled by the Dunedin City Council, but hoped “sensible solutions could be found”.

The council was expected to contribute up to $450,000 towards Fifa’s tournament costs if its bid was successful, but council city strategy and development manager Sue Bidrose said that was if the city won the right to host a number of matches, including the final. The cost could be reduced if the city’s bid was only partially successful, but the true cost – including lost revenue if other stadium events were disrupted – was not known, she said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

Bad press for ORFU –NZ Herald

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

### 5:30 AM Wednesday Oct 24, 2012
We’re relying on money poured through pokies
By Brian Rudman
The latest Pub Charity advertisement, promoting the $20,186,931 distributed to good causes over the past six months, has a certain similarity to the advertising blitzkrieg being conducted by the cigarette industry. Both try to distract us from the distinctly unpleasant underbellies of their respective industries.[…]Pub Charity chief executive Martin Cheer, in last Sunday’s advertisement[…]claimed that “charitable donations” that are “critical for causes from air rescue to opera” will be in jeopardy. He said Auckland Council was about to feed community groups and charitable organisations “a super size pile of bull about the future of charitable gaming machines in their territory” and that staff were using incorrect and misleading statistics to persuade community boards that “gaming machine funding is not that important or effective”. Mr Cheer’s comments are just a rehash of an earlier statement he issued in May, but they did draw my attention once more to where Pub Charities funds come from.

Two years ago, the former chief executive of the Community Gaming Association, Francis Wever, wrote to the Minister of Internal Affairs claiming that corrupt behaviour in his own industry was “all-pervasive and pernicious” with “endemic non-compliance”.

This year we read of how the Otago Rugby Union bought three South Auckland pubs then siphoned $5 million in pokie profits out of the areas – mainly Manurewa – to help prop up the failing Dunedin sporting body. What’s protecting the pokie industry from reform is that it props up respectable New Zealand.
Read more

● Brian Rudman is a Herald columnist looking at Auckland and national issues.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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