Carisbrook: Call for OAG investigation into DCC / ORFU deals

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Time for Public Vote of No Confidence in your Council?

Latest via Fairfax . . . local residents Bev Butler and Russell Garbutt are calling for an investigation into Dunedin City Council deals involving Carisbrook and the ORFU (professional rugby).

### Last updated 10:38 15/02/2013
Call for Carisbrook losses to be investigated
By Wilma McCorkindale – DUNEDIN
Critics of Dunedin City Council say more losses of millions of dollars for city ratepayers from the sale of Carisbrook should be included in a current Auditor General’s investigation. The Office of the Auditor-General is investigating other property deals by the council’s companies.
Russell Garbutt and Bev Butler, both critics of financial arrangements between the council and the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU), say the millions of dollars in losses incurred by city ratepayers in the sale of Carisbrook require explanation.
The council has entered a conditional sale agreement to unload Carisbrook, which it bought from the financially ailing ORFU for $6 million in 2009. It paid $1 million for adjacent housing owned by an ORFU trust resulting in the council borrowing the $7 million total package price. The council is releasing few other details about the sale agreement but it is being widely reported that construction company Calder Stewart is the buyer, for $3.5 million. Council had reportedly already sold half the car parking for $727,000 and the housing was sold some time ago for $692,000.
Ms Butler believed an investigation should be included in one under way by the Office of the Auditor-General into council-owned company land deals in the Lakes District. ”Obviously there are some questions that still need to be answered in terms of the actual value of the Carisbrook property.”
Mr Garbutt described the Carisbrook deals as extraordinary.
Read more


Councillors Kate Wilson and Richard Thomson should be DUMPED

### February 15, 2013 – 6:49pm
Auditor General advises councillors they can participate
The Auditor General has advised two DCC councillors they can participate in decisions on an Events Attraction Fund. Richard Thomson and Kate Wilson declared their business interests at an Annual Plan Meeting in January. Both said their businesses benefited from the Elton John Concert. They were excluded from participating and voting on proposed events. The Office of the Auditor General says while they were affected in a similar way to the public they would not be prohibited in participating.
Ch9 Link

Related Post and Comments:
29.1.13 Pecuniary interest: Crs Wilson and Thomson in events fund debate

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

32 responses to “Carisbrook: Call for OAG investigation into DCC / ORFU deals

  1. Anonymous

    An option beside each councillor’s name to tick No Vote Of Confidence would be awesome. It would be revealing to both councillor and public. Well, for those councillors who have a genuine interest for working in the best interests of the city. Unfortunately those with self-serving agendas and the stink of corruption on them would likely hold the majority vote to dismiss it.

  2. On an issue like this should they even have any say on whether it’s an option?

    • No, I don’t think Crs Wilson and Thomson should be anywhere near the debate (“deliberations”) or the Annual Plan decision.

      • DCC wellbeing strategy adopted.
        A new strategy for Dunedin that aims to address the challenges of an ageing population, low incomes and poor housing has been signed off by the council. Councillors at this week’s full council meeting voted to approve the new social wellbeing strategy, which covered areas ranging from economic, community and city development to transportation.

        This is covered on page 30 of today’s ODT.

        The message to Sister Rosebud (council general manager and member of the ORFU board, no less) might be: “charity begins at home” and not for Carisbrook, fubar or rugby thieves.

        DCC giveth $millions and $millions… as it taketh away close to a $billion from our most vulnerable citizens. All for rugby and the scummy Old Boys’ own private gain.

        Wellbeing Strategy ?
        What a disgusting farce.

        Despicable Dishonourable DCC
        White Collar Crime

        [Updated comment: 17.2.13 ODT DCC seeks to meet city’s future challenges]

        • Dump the stadium, find gold seams under Dunedin… no need for a strategy!

          Dunedin City Council – Media Release
          Official Launch of Social Wellbeing Strategy

          This item was published on 14 May 2013.

          From providing social housing and civic and arts grants to supporting businesses, the Dunedin City Council contributes to the city’s social wellbeing in a raft of ways. The Council adopted the Social Wellbeing Strategy in February and it is being officially launched at an invitation-only function at the Zingari Richmond Rugby Club on Thursday night. Since February, the DCC has been assessing the depth and breadth of the work it does to support social wellbeing in Dunedin. DCC Events and Community Development Manager Rebecca Williams says this work covers a huge range of activities and services. It includes providing recreational and leisure facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and sportsgrounds, working with the Māori community, and working with tertiary institutions to improve student rental accommodation.“Like the Strategy, the launch is an opportunity to celebrate what is great about Dunedin. We will be showcasing the talent that lies in our communities to help illustrate that each and every citizen has something to share and is important.”
          Read more

          If you haven’t got an invitation to Thursday night’s launch you can sod off and live under your bridge!

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    I’d like to see local and central government voting include a NO option with a value of 50% of a YES vote. I envisage the list being like this –
    CANDI, Date (Rorters United Party) [YES] [blank] [NO]
    DEE, Cent (Honourable Service Party [YES] [blank] [NO]

    So if you had no particular reason for definitely wanting a candidate NOT in parliament/council you could tick the blank. No votes at the value of 50% would be subtracted from a candidates Yes tally to get the final figure.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    The sudden outbreak of Carisbrook $figures has brought more comments to McPravda online. From unfamiliar names what’s more.

  5. Anonymous

    It seems when a business is in a hole it employs people with titles that sound great but achieve little. Since ratepayers of this city have been sold a hole the size of a billion dollars you can expect people with really meaningless roles, spouting ideas that sound great but return little of any value. They’re above any marketing propaganda. While the council is seeking savings it is still employing, and over-paying, talking heads like these.

    It is definitely interesting the number of comments appearing at the ODT. The frustration and anger has been boiling for some time now, dismissed by the paper, Syd Brown and those people noted above. Rage is an unhealthy place but that is where this council is leading its people.

    Watching the rugby bludgers go with more, with such ease, while everyone else suffers is lighting another match.

  6. And what has been amazing me is WHO is actually getting hot under the collar about it when talking to various bods.

    • “Carisbrook” is what you call a very bad f***up on the part of mayor, councillors, EMT, and the new DCC FIVE MILLION DOLLAR Spooks Unit.

      • I’d say Carisbrook has all but ended Dave Cull’s campaign for the mayoralty. YAY

        Oh, and Dave – take your Lesser Dunedin councillors with you, down the road.

        Sydney, John, Paul, Andrew, Colin and Bill have become unusually usually QUIET.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    There was no way of getting away from the word “Carisbrook” in the headlines and body of these various pieces of news and “news”. And Carisbrook is a name that means a lot to a lot of people, they were going to read about it, they were going to talk about it even if they’d skipped past all the other bad-news stories for years, that were minimised and given a goodnews (or really boring) gloss in the first paragraph to signal “don’t worry your little head about this, we’ve got it under control”. As if – but it worked awfully well for much longer than I’d have predicted.

  8. Anonymous

    (The same Five Million Dollar Spook who wrote into the Otago Daily Times to clear up that wee misunderstanding about parking wardens cruisin’ with personalised license plates including A1ERT? Apparently it was just a coincidence, just what was there at the time… except it’s not a conventional plate so that’s some big whopper. That’s go-out-and-get-a-Lotto-ticket sort of coincidence. Apart from being overtly arrogant on a parking warden’s bike, personalised plates are expensive and another extravagance of that corrupted council run by Chin and Harland. So I’m wondering if that Spook has a rather inflated view about his brainwashing talents and doesn’t realise people see him as the fool rather than the other way around. Either way another talking head that fits the mold of those above.)

  9. Phil

    Doesn’t the handling of contaminated soils require Resource Consent from the ORC ?

  10. Walrus

    What about contaminated Councils Phil ? Do they need a resource consent to operate.

  11. JimmyJones

    Good question Phil. Because the DCC say that they sorted it all by themselves.
    Remember that this is ”potentially contaminated soil”, not necessarily actually contaminated. It seems reasonable to assume that there has been no testing to confirm the contamination otherwise it would not be ”potentially” contaminated soil. It is clear to me that the contamination is either exaggerated or non-existent and has been used as a way to pay the buyer a low price (via the cash-back) but proclaim to the newspapers that a high price was received. More media manipulation.

  12. Phil

    Maybe they are including the ORC consent in their consent comments. Who would know these days. Merely touching the stuff invokes the requirement for a “Discharge to Air/Land/Water” consent from ORC, plus being recorded into the ORC Hazardous Sites register. The only way to avoid removal is to do what DCC did at the LPG gas filling depot and asphalt over it. Personally I think that’s a weak option as it only addressed Discharge to Air, not to Land or Water.

  13. ODT 18.2.13 (page 8), Letter to the editor [scanned]

    ODT 18.2.13 Letter Russell Garbutt (page 8)

  14. Anonymous

    Pop goes the weasel. I’ve been wondering where the old ODT has been hiding. Its favourite senior councillor Syd Brown attempts to shut down a colleague for challenging reports provided by staff with that old chestnut electioneering. Some may remember he did this to Dave Cull in December before the last election – oddly enough, after that gut punch they became bestest friends and the Mayor promptly gave him one of the top chairmanships in council (bullying can affect everyone differently).

    Of course this disagreement can be easily resolved: Vote out Syd Brown.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 26 Feb 2013
    Accused of electioneering attack on staff
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis has been accused of electioneering after turning a procedural item at yesterday’s Dunedin City Council meeting into an attack on council staff. Tensions began to rise at the meeting when attention turned to the 2013-14 draft annual plan, which councillors had to approve before it could be released for public consultation. Instead, Cr Vandervis and told the meeting the draft, as it stood, did not have his ”full confidence”.
    Read more

  15. Tony

    Cr Brown criticizes Vandervis for trying to disrupt the council’s consultation with the community. That’s the pot calling the kettle black, under Brown’s reign out at Mosgiel the public consultation has gone from full house public meetings on the Annual Plan down to nothing. How is that for disrupting the council’s consultation with the community? It is easy to see who controls the board out at Mosgiel.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Oddity comments aren’t impressed with Cr Brown. He’ll have to hurry up and get his own claque on the job or the impression will be that it’s another gold star on Cr Vandervis’s report card, in public opinion.

  17. Peter

    I suspect Syd Brown pretends to take umbrage in support of those council staff – not all – who yield to what sector interests want out there in the community. Particularly to the business interests of the rugby sector. By going all ‘gosh’ at Lee Vandervis’ comments he ingratiates himself as a so- called friend of council staff and attempts to win-pardon the pun – Brownie points. (We know the more astute staff realise where Brown is coming from.)
    This inept Chris Morris ‘story’ is all part of the ODT’s campaign to try and discredit those who question the status quo and to get the voters in behind the likes of Syd Brown. They love painting LV as a loose cannon, which I guess he is, but for good reasons to change things for the better.
    (Note how Morris loves to drag things up from the past, which have no relevance to the current issue. I remember he did this with STS in order to try to discredit the group.)

  18. Anonymous

    Tony, are you from Mosgiel – Taieri ward? I hope so. The wider community needs the constituents of that ward to go out, pick up their markers this election and vote new representation. Otherwise the same old self-interested parties will put him right back in the seat again and then the whole of Dunedin suffers another three years.

    Put it on billboards, in letterboxes, at crossings, on poles, anywhere there’s a space that can inform voters. The message must be clear: No vote for Syd Brown. Never, ever, again.

  19. The OAG was yet to announce whether complaints relating to Carisbrook warranted a full investigation.

  20. Could be a giggle. If they want they could get Dave Cull to do the ‘Kapa Haka’ instead of talking. It would make more sense and would save time. That way they could get right into the business of ‘brown nosing’.

    {Treading a delicate line. –Eds}

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    Nice to see they’re “working with the Māori community”. I suppose it would be too much to ask that they work with the non-Maori community too.

  22. Hang on, pull up, STOP THE BUS!

    We have just paid and are still paying for how many conference centres around the town, what two or three or something? Yet this is getting done at Zingari Richmond Rugby Club. Are the new ones too flash or can they not afford the rates they charge themselves to use them?

  23. Mike

    well of course we could hold public meetings in a public building, but we have to keep finding novel ways to funnel ratepayers’ money to the local rugby community

  24. The Rugby Times fails to mention which members of the public sought the OAG inquiry – typical behaviour from ORFU/DCC supporters and Sir. Answer: Bev Butler and Russell Garbutt each sought an inquiry into the Carisbrook deals.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 28 May 2013
    No Carisbrook inquiry, auditor says
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council’s possible multimillion-dollar loss from the sale of Carisbrook does not warrant an investigation, the Office of the Auditor-general says.

    ”We do not regard the purchase and disposal as raising issues that relate to our Delta inquiry, which is focused on the property investment actions of a council subsidiary.”

    OAG staff have confirmed that there will be no investigation of the council’s purchase, and pending sale, of Carisbrook properties, which could end up costing the council more than $4 million. That followed two separate requests received by the office in February, asking for the Carisbrook deal to be added to a wider OAG investigation of land purchases by council-owned company Delta. An OAG statement yesterday said the decision not to proceed came after reviewing council documents, which showed the issue ”does not warrant further inquiry”.
    Read more

    It’s not over yet. The letter from the OAG is a classic (sighted).

    The OAG (Office of the Auditor-General) is politically aligned to the National-led government and has not been performing credibly or honestly for a very long time, and in relation to several investigations, nationally. The Auditor-General Lyn Provost should be made to resign immediately. She is weak and long past her use-by date. Her bumbling staff and scribes are no better.

    The inquiry that’s really needed is one into the political manipulation of the OAG, the OAG’s complicity in that, and the OAG’s overall failure to serve the public when accountability and transparency are shot to hell. Forget any “independent assurance” where the OAG is concerned.

    The role of the Auditor-General in public sector accountability (speech/paper)

    The role of Controller and Auditor-General (webpage)
    [Lyn Provost] The Controller and Auditor-General (the Auditor-General) is an Officer of Parliament. Her mandate and responsibilities are set out in the Public Audit Act 2001. The Auditor-General is independent of executive government and Parliament in discharging the functions of the statutory office, but is answerable to Parliament for her stewardship of the public resources entrusted to her. Parliament seeks independent assurance that public sector organisations are operating, and accounting for their performance, in accordance with Parliament’s intentions. There is also a need for independent assurance of local government. Local authorities are accountable to the public for the activities they fund through locally raised revenue. As an Officer of Parliament, the Auditor-General provides this independent assurance to both Parliament and the public. This independent assurance is provided through the reporting requirements set out under the Public Audit Act 2001 and other statutory requirements. Page last updated: 8 November 2011

  25. Calvin Oaten

    All good fodder to present to Dave Cull once he hits the campaign trail. His footwork will be a joy to watch. Why him? Well he was the guy who promised to run a transparent council if elected. He would put a stop to the unbridled spending on the stadium and the peripheral issues surrounding that monumental ‘cock up’. Result; this Carisbrook business is a chapter of financial disasters. The Highway 88 issues with Doug Hall is a disaster. The add ons of monies to try and make the stadium more event user friendly is a disaster. His obfuscation and ‘lily livered’ capitulation to the ORFU ‘bullies’ over the defamation case was a disaster. His handling of the Dalai Lama’s visit was a public relations disaster. In a word his whole tenure is a disaster. He must go. If not, that will be the biggest disaster.

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