Daily Archives: June 18, 2013

SFO investigates Taupo District Council

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 16:49 17/06/2013
SFO investigates Taupo District Council
By Mike Watson – Waikato Times
The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into alleged fraud at the Taupo District Council but would not reveal the reason for the inquiry. SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley today confirmed the agency was investigating the council after a complaint had been lodged.
“We have received complaints in matters relating to Taupo District Council,” Mr McArley said. “The SFO is continuing its investigation of those matters but is unable to provide any further detail in relation to them at this time.”
Stuff Link

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### rotoruadailypost.co.nz 18 Jun 2013 11:45 AM Updated: 1:25 PM
Update: SFO investigating Taupo District Council
By Laurilee McMichael
Taupo Mayor Rick Cooper says he’s aghast, shattered and stunned at news the Taupo District Council is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. Mr Cooper said he doesn’t know what the alleged fraud is in relation to or who it involves but said it’s definitely not him. However he’s challenging whoever made the complaint or complaints to “put up or shut up” and notes that there is a local government election in October. He believes there’s a vendetta against the council and that people are trying to manipulate public opinion.

Mr Cooper and the Taupo district councillors were informed last week the SFO had launched an investigation but were given no more detail.

The SFO focuses on serious or complex fraud in which there are multiple victims, the sum of money lost exceeds $2 million, or has significant legal or financial complexity beyond the resources of most other law enforcement agencies. Its brief includes bribery and corruption crimes involving public officials.
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Bobbling off . . . #Democracy #Dunedin #Stadium

### NZ Herald 5:30 AM Tuesday Jun 18, 2013
Bob Jones: It’s vote-and-hope for competence at top
By Bob Jones
OPINION There was a time when the mayoralty of our major cities commanded considerable prestige as a cap on a successful professional or commercial career. History reveals many important mayors of an earlier age. Sadly no longer. Instead, everywhere there are mayors and councillors devoid of even the faintest credentials for any public office. Indeed, some have never had a job, suggesting they’re financially motivated. Given perks such as the sister cities silliness and ratepayer-funded jaunts to them, free cars, telephones, etc, being mayor is quite appealing for the unaccomplished.

Dunedin is unique as it’s been well served by competent mayors, evidenced by the last half dozen being repeatedly re-elected, in most cases for three terms, before retiring.

I suspect voters are conscious of that as I’ve observed how they repeatedly backlash against the most heavily advertised mayoral candidates, as if suspicious of such hunger for the office. We can only speculate why obvious potential candidates now shy away, but cannot condemn those who do stand, humdrum though they may be. Someone must or we’ll have no democracy.
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Meanwhile at ODT Online:

“Mr Cull has allowed himself to be captured by the town hall bureaucrats and the self-interest groups in exactly the same way as his predecessors. The Sir Humphreys of this world are clearly alive and well at the Civic Centre.” —Moore1967

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Hotel: COC’s greasy spoon race. Ugh!

### ODT Online Tue, 18 Jun 2013
Hotel supporters still in discussions
By Chris Morris
Alternatives to a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin are still being discussed as the clock ticks towards a decision deadline. However, exactly what the hotel developers’ next move will be remains a closely guarded secret after they were refused resource consent earlier this month.

Betterways Advisory Ltd has until June 26 to decide whether to appeal the decision of the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee to decline consent for the hotel at 41 Wharf St.

Betterways director Steve Rodgers – the man fronting the hotel bid – did not want to comment on any aspect of the hotel bid yesterday, saying only the full time allowed to decide any appeal would be needed. However, the Otago Daily Times understands several property owners have come forward with alternative sites capable of accommodating a hotel, and that parties were busy behind the scenes. That included the Otago Chamber of Commerce, which had indicated earlier this month it was talking to Betterways to try and rescue the situation.
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*[Otago] Chamber of Commerce, affectionately known as “COC”.

Related Post and Comments:
5.6.13 Hotel decision . . . (the vacuum)

For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

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