Monthly Archives: June 2013

Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!

Received from Martin Legge
Saturday, 29 June 2013 9:53 a.m.

Learn how the Kaipara council was repeatedly given a clean bill of health by Audit NZ despite the massive debt and obvious governance problems.

Compares with how OAG assured me they were closely monitoring the TTCF investigation into how it was that ORFU and Racing were able to fleece $7 million from the South Auckland community. The truth is, DIA lost that file and therefore didn’t investigate and instead deliberately covered the loss up. OAG appear OK with this and issued DIA with a clean bill of health.

Our trust and faith in the work of these well resourced “highly educated desk jockeys” is misplaced!!!

### NZ Herald Online Saturday, 29 Jun 2013 8:48 AM
Fresh probe begins into debt-ridden council
By Andrew Laxon
The commissioners of debt-ridden Kaipara District Council have begun a new inquiry into its past financial decisions, including the advice it received from former chief executive Jack McKerchar. The tiny Northland council is struggling under an $80 million debt, a long-running rates strike and court action by its own ratepayers over more than $17 million of illegally set rates dating back to 2006. Its former councillors stepped down last year in response to a damning report, making way for Government-appointed commissioners.

Three inquiries are under way into what went wrong. They consist of

● An Auditor-General’s investigation into how the cost of a sewerage scheme at Mangawhai blew out from $11 million in 1999 to $62 million, creating most of the council’s debt.
● An independent inquiry into how the Audit Office failed to notice the excessive debt and repeatedly gave the council a clean bill of health.
● The commissioners’ investigation into other financial transactions they have discovered since taking over last September and see as questionable.

Northland MP Mike Sabin told Parliament ratepayers had been woefully let down by the council’s “mismanagement, incompetence, carelessness and dysfunctional governance”. Mr Sabin, who is sponsoring a local bill to retrospectively validate the illegal rates, said the bill was necessary to keep the council functioning but it would not allow anyone responsible for poor decisions to duck the consequences.
The separate inquiry into the Audit Office’s actions, undertaken by Auditing and Assurance Standards Board chairman Neil Cherry, was not finished.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
31.3.13 DIA and OAG stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
3.11.12 Stadium: DCC caught in headlights
29.10.12 DCC consolidated debt substantially more than $616m
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

State of the City —DCC or Dunedin?

ODT LATEST
Carisbrook sold, down by Christmas
Calder Stewart has been confirmed as the new owner of Carisbrook, with a condition of the sale being its demolition by Christmas. Council Chief Executive Paul Orders today confirmed the purchase had been finalised, saying: “It is pleasing the due diligence process has been completed and that the sale has been confirmed.”
In a variation to the original agreement, the historic brick turnstiles, plus 400m2, have been given back to the DCC at no cost, apart from minimal shared surveying costs. This recognises the New Zealand Historic Places Trust classification of the turnstiles and creates the potential for a ‘pocket park’ to be formed.
Calder Stewart will pay $3.5 million for Carisbrook, with $200,000 to be refunded by the DCC as long as all the buildings, apart from the hospitality complex, are demolished within six months.
Read more

DCC Media Release
Now that the transaction has been completed, a large number of documents relating to both the original purchase and subsequent sale of Carisbrook, will be released publicly later next week on the DCC website.

Dunedin Jan-03 [flyinn.co.nz] 1

### ch9.co.nz June 27, 2013 – 6:40pm
Residents to give view on state of city
Dunedin residents are about to be called on to give their views on the state of the city. Video

### ch9.co.nz June 27, 2013 – 6:33pm
First stage of public process begins
The first stage of a public process to develop an Energy Plan for the city began last night. Video

Dunedin [mastermaintenance.co.nz]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (top) Dunedin Jan-03 flyinn.co.nz (bottom) mastermaintenance.co.nz

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Filed under #eqnz, Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

Updated 2.7.13

Tweet:

peter mcintyre @macthebroker
Hotel decision to be appealed | Otago Daily Times Online News : Zealand & International News shar.es/x85Pq via @ShareThis

5:11pm · 25 Jun 13 · Tweet Button

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### RNZ News Updated 24 minutes ago
Dunedin hotel plan heading to court
The developer planning a 27-storey waterfront hotel in Dunedin is taking its case to court. A Dunedin City Council panel declined resource consents for the $100 million project three weeks ago, saying it failed a key legal test and the glass tower would be too high for its industrial-zoned site. The five-star hotel and apartment complex has been hotly debated since being announced a year ago. On Tuesday afternoon, the company behind the project Betterways Advisory Limited, announced it will be appealing to the Environment Court against the council’s decision. The appeal will mean the court will attempt to broker a compromise between the developer, the council and any of the public submitters who want to get involved.
However, it seems likely that the court will have to hold its own full hearing into the project, probably early in 2014.
RNZ Link

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We really love Jing Song, Steve Rodgers, and their gift that keeps on giving. FO.
A source reveals Betterways’ appeal cites Consultancy House as a precedent. Interesting, the owners of Consultancy House strongly objected to the application in their submissions.

Related Posts and Comments:
18.6.13 Hotel: COC’s greasy spoon race. Ugh!
5.6.13 Hotel decision . . . (the vacuum)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

[screenshot]ODT 25.6.13 Hotel decision to be appealed [screenshot]

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Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Heritage, Hotel, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

DCC Annual Plan 2013/14

DCC IS PULLING THE WOOL OVER YOUR EYES, DUNEDIN

### ODT Online Tue, 25 Jun 2013
Rates rise of 4% adopted; staff efforts praised
By Chris Morris
There were words of praise, but also of caution, as the Dunedin City Council yesterday locked in a 4% rates rise for the coming financial year. Councillors at yesterday’s full council meeting voted to adopt the 2013-14 annual plan, and the 4% rates rise, after months of discussion, debate and public consultation. The changes would come into force on July 1, but prompted little further debate yesterday, as councillors instead praised chief executive Paul Orders and his staff for their efforts.

Confirmation of the budget meant a $400,000-a-year events attraction fund for Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, the company running Forsyth Barr Stadium, and other budget proposals were confirmed.

Finance, strategy and development committee chairman Cr Syd Brown said the increase included headroom within the budget. That had allowed debt repayments to be accelerated, saving the council millions in interest payments, while keeping the rates increase within the goal of no more than 4%. Without the debt repayments, the increase would have been closer to 2%, Cr Brown said. ”I think that’s a sterling effort by the chief executive and his staff and I think the city’s been well served,” he said.
Read more

What is Cr Syd Brown really saying?

Is he saying the stadium debt, the council’s consolidated debt, the council’s lack of insurance for infrastructure, the seedy DCHL’s lack of traction, and DVL/DVML running significant losses requiring ‘unheard of’ ratepayer funds, is Okay and everything’s well in hand?

Or is he snide, skipping out of council before the engulfing mudslide hits, the one he’s made with help from the Good Old Boys.

Nothing like an old fox, or an old fool.
Syd Brown’s personal fortunes have been tidily aided by his position on council for the implementation of Taieri plan changes, council spending on ‘localised’ drainage, roading systems, and more. Then there are the persistent rumours about connections to pokie trusts and big brothers in racing and rugby. It’s not a clean slate.

Can you believe anything Syd Brown has to say about your council’s financial position? DCHL will soon report to councillors on the results of a review of its subsidiary companies. This will be interesting. Cr Richard Thomson opines that from the figures it appears the only way DCHL can meet its dividend payment forecasts will be by borrowing or selling assets, either of which would cause ”considerable concern”.

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 4.7 MB)
Dunedin City Council, 2013/14 Annual Plan for Adoption on 24 June 2013

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 72.5 KB)
Adoption of the Annual Plan 2013/14

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 703.3 KB)
Setting of Rates for 2013/14 Financial Year

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 26.6 KB)
Statements of Intent of DCHL Group Companies

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 306.1 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin City Holdings Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 284.2 KB)
Statement of Intent – Aurora Energy Limited

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 251.0 KB)
Statement of Intent – Delta Utility Services Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 375.1 KB)
Statement of Intent – City Forests Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 351.4 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin City Treasury Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 440.3 KB)
Statement of Intent – Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 241.9 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin International Airport Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 218.0 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin Venues Limited

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 235.4 KB)
Statement of Intent – Dunedin Venues Management Ltd

Report – Council – 24/06/2013 (PDF, 728.7 KB)
Statement of Intent – Tourism Dunedin

Other reports tabled at yesterday’s meeting of the Dunedin City Council.

DCC homepage portrait nightmares 6.1.13 (screenshot)

Related Post and Comments:
22.1.13 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2013/14 – ‘Liability Cull’ and council chasten for election year

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC Community Boards

MOSGIEL-TAIERI COMMUNITY BOARD
Discretionary funds: Conflicts of interest? Accountability? Rort?

”They provided no quotes for what they say they need funding for, and other applications, like the BMX track at Outram, we asked them to go away and come back to us with quotes before we could grant them the funds.”
–Brian Miller

### ODT Online Sun, 23 Jun 2013
Member calls his board a shambles
By Tim Miller – The Star
A member of the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board says the board is a shambles and has abdicated its responsibilities in giving money to a community group last week. Brian Miller believes the granting of $4500 to the Taieri Community Wellbeing Strategy Group, which aims to promote the Mosgiel and Taieri community, meant the board was handing over its responsibilities to an unelected group. Other community board members spoken to by The Star said the board had done nothing wrong and worked well. Mr Miller said the group would overlap the responsibilities of the board and its funding application did not face the same scrutiny other applications did.

”This would be the worst board I have been on. It’s a shambles.” The group had an unfair advantage because chairman Bill Feather and board member Teresa Christie had been working with it behind the scenes, Mr Miller said.

Board member Martin Dillon also voted against the funding. Mr Dillon said he had issues with the way the funding application had been made, but had no problems with Mr Feather and Mrs Christie being part of the group asking for funding.
Read more

*Teresa Christie is the wife of Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

30 Comments

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

Dunedin’s former Chief Post Office

Dunedin Chief Post Office [topnews.net.nz]

### ODT Online Sat, 22 Jun 2013
Post office conversion ready to go
By Hamish McNeilly
A multimillion-dollar project to transform the former Dunedin chief post office has been delivered. Work on converting the 10-storey heritage building into a 120-apartment hotel and office space for Silver Fern Farms and other commercial tenants could begin within weeks.

Dunedin Chief Post Office [distinctionhotels.co.nz]Building owner Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, told the Otago Daily Times: “I just love the building and it was just about trying to find a way to make it stack up.”

Arrow International would spearhead the fit-out of the office space and hotel and the construction of a multilevel car park at the rear of the building. The four-star plus Distinction Dunedin hotel project would cost more than $15 million, but those involved with the project declined to confirm a figure.
However, the anchor tenancy of Silver Fern Farms, which would occupy the first two floors, and unnamed commercial tenants the third floor, would help to “underpin the building”, Mr Thomson said.
The commercial floors would be fitted out by the end of the year. Construction of a three-storey car park on its Bond St car park at the rear of the building would also be done by then. Designs had yet to be finalised for the remaining seven floors of the hotel apartments.
Read more

[history and significance]
█ Heritage New Zealand (HNZ) registration report: List No. 2145 (Category II)

Related Posts and Comments:
16.3.10 Public meeting: planning the future of Dunedin heritage buildings [updates on SFF]
2.7.12 Demolition by neglect. Townscape precincts.
6.12.11 Distinction Hotels: more work on former Chief Post Office
5.3.11 Former Chief Post Office, Dunedin – magazine feature . . .
14.8.10 No surprises with former CPO redevelopment
27.5.10 Distinction Dunedin: former chief post office
12.5.10 DScene – Geoff Thomson buys back former CPO
11.5.10 DCC Media Release – Chief Post Office
10.11.09 Dunedin public library services
23.10.09 Weekend ODT looks at The Exchange
3.9.09 Dunedin Public Library feasibility
26.8.09 DScene: Delta, STS, DCC larks
20.7.09 DCC + former CPO + others(??) = a public library (yeah right)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (from top) topnews.net.nz – Dunedin Chief Post Office, 283 Princes Street, Dunedin; distinctionhotels.co.nz – thumbnail; rootsweb.ancestry.com – 1930s b/w

Dunedin Chief Post Office 1930s (2) [rootsweb.ancestry.com]

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Heritage, Hotel, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Urban design, What stadium

Stadium: DVML, DVL miserable losers! #grandtheftdebt

### ch9.co.nz June 20, 2013 – 6:18pm
DVML forecasts small profit
The company that runs Forsyth Barr Stadium has forecast a small surplus for the first time in 2015. DVML has been running at a loss, but forecasts that will change to a $10,000 surplus. But the company that owns the stadium, DVL, has forecast its loss will be about $1 million more than expected, at more than $5 million. DCC chief executive Paul Orders said both were just projections, and the DVL loss was due to tax changes. The forecasts will be considered by the council on Monday.
Ch39 Link [no video available]

SURPRISE
Reports for the Council meeting to be held on Monday 24 June 2013 at 1pm not yet available at the DCC website.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Concerts, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Hot air, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium