Delta Utility Services Ltd, missing column . . .

Received from Hype O’Thermia
Friday, 12 July 2013 10:37 a.m.

What we earned, what we made, what we own.
Where’s the What we owe column?

DCC Delta webpage as at 12.7.13 (detail)Delta webpage as at 12.7.13 (detail)

Related Post and Comments:
9.7.12 Delta Utility Services Ltd, full investigation needed

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

36 responses to “Delta Utility Services Ltd, missing column . . .


    ### July 19, 2013 – 6:54pm
    Dunedin company takes on power retailing establishment
    A local company is taking on the power retailing establishment, after winning the right to operate. The company launched into the Dunedin market today with the help of Mayor Dave Cull, after forming a partnership with council-owned company Delta. It enters a market that has been undergoing some major changes behind the scenes.


    New Dunedin power company – Consumer NZ
    Dec 12, 2012 – If you’re in Dunedin there’s a new power company you could try. Payless Energy has set up shop and has just been added to our database.

    • ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Jul 2013
      Payless now a power broker
      By Simon Hartley
      New entrant to Dunedin’s residential and commercial electricity retail sector Payless Energy has already begun to move bigger players’ prices in the highly competitive, and contentious, sector. Payless supplies only the wider Dunedin area, from Port Chalmers, Portobello and the city, to Mosgiel and Outram and Brighton. According to the Electricity Authority, 57% of Otago consumers have during the past five years switched their electricity suppliers – the highest percentage in the country.
      Payless uses Dunedin City Council-owned Delta for meter reading, in tandem with transmission company Aurora. It can use any type of meter and does not have term agreements.
      Read more

      • ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Jul 2013
        Delta saves two jobs but still to lose 38 in Dunedin
        By Chris Morris
        Two jobs have been saved, but 38 will still go after infrastructure company Delta yesterday confirmed the details of redundancies within its Dunedin operation. Delta chief executive Grady Cameron told the Otago Daily Times a last-gasp proposal to save up to four carpentry roles within the company’s civil construction arm in Dunedin had failed. However, the company had decided to retain two other roles – foreman and construction worker positions – elsewhere within its Dunedin operation. That meant the number of job losses in Dunedin would reduce by two, from 40 to 38, as the company began shedding staff from its civil construction division from next month.
        Read more

  2. I wonder if the directors of Delta have any opinion as to whether Grady Cameron’s $460,000 – $470,000 pa salary ought to be brought into line with the reduction in responsibility due to Delta’s substantial reduction in operations? My guess: it just hasn’t occurred to them. If so, it might also call into question the degree of directorial responsibility and fees review. This is most definitely a no go area. It could also mean fewer “Super size Big Macs” for one of them.

    • Delta is now a company of meter readers. Baylis and Shale in their review of DCHL and the council companies seem unable or unwilling to address Shady Cameron’s grievous performance and unwarranted pay level.

      • Penance not wholly served, more to do to turn into a good corporate citizen…

        ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Aug 2013
        Delta gives $5000 to SPCA for a new aviary
        By Shawn McAvinue
        A “bedraggled” aviary at Otago SPCA in Dunedin will be replaced with a new purpose-built facility after a $5000 donation from Delta yesterday. The new aviary would be built on the ”old Dunedin City Council dog pound site” at Otago SPCA in Opoho.
        SPCA Otago animal manager Grace Hepburn said the new aviary would have stands for birds to perch on and boxes for the birds to sleep in. Ms Hepburn said it would be more hygienic and easier to clean. Delta’s chief executive, Grady Cameron, said the fundraiser was part of a Delta safety campaign. When Delta staff submitted a ”close call” or ”new hazard” report, money was deposited in a charity fund.
        Read more

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Oh Calvin, how could you! What about the enormous extra responsibility involved in fu-, I mean shutting up shop, disposing of premises, plant and something else, what was it, ummm, oh yes employees?

  4. At least this time, even though Delta are basically out the door financially, they are donating for some needy animals not to ravenous rugby ‘assholes’.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    Yeah Elizabeth – keep on waiting. It’s like the day the aviary is home to turkeys whose favourite food is thyme, sage and chopped onions.

  6. ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Oct 2013
    Delta equipment being auctioned
    By Chris Morris
    Infrastructure company Delta is planning another mass auction of vehicles and equipment as it moves to wind up its civil construction arm. It was confirmed yesterday the Dunedin City Council-owned company had contracted Turners Auction to sell surplus trucks, machinery, plant and equipment.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Tue, 12 Nov 2013
      Delta upgrades network
      By Nigel Benson
      Delta infrastructure company has been making some changes to improve Dunedin’s electricity network. The work is part of a $20 million upgrade of the Aurora Energy network in Dunedin to replace cables installed in the 1960s.
      Read more

  7. John P.Evans, council nominee

    Showing largesse with other people’s money is not actually tax deductible for the individual concerned!

    It does fit with the general attitude of council employees to their prudential management of our rates income.

  8. ### ODT Online Sun, 22 Dec 2013
    Delta lands contract for hydro work
    By Mark Price
    Dunedin City Council-owned Delta Utility Services has been awarded a contract to operate and maintain a big part of Contact Energy’s hydro-electricity generation system along the Clutha River.
    Read more

  9. Elizabeth

    Delta Utility Services Ltd loses part of its parks maintenance contract.

    Fri, 13 May 2016
    ODT: Delta to cut up to 13 jobs
    Confirmation from Delta up to 13 of its green-space positions could be lost comes after the council confirmed it had split the city’s parks maintenance contract in half. The new arrangement, which comes into force in July, has resulted in Delta covering the northern half of the city and City Care taking the southern half after a competitive tendering process.

  10. Gurglars

    Sell Delta!

  11. Brian Miller

    How interesting. A council owned company has lost work from the council that owns it to an out of town company, that will no doubt take the profits out of town.
    Wasn’t the council owned company put there, for among other things, to keep profits local to help to reduce rates, and give jobs to workers who would spend locally? 10,000 jobs etc. If the council owned company is not performing up to expectations, is it not the responsibility of our elected Councillors. Instead of putting local workers out of work, to be looking at the top, and how the company is being run, and make change if necessary. (Direct the Directors to do their job properly instead creating a business that punishes the workers for incompetent decision makers at the top.) The present setup offers no security of work for the locals. What security is there for our workers if some may get work with the new company and some may not, and at how much of a reduced wage ?
    At a time of the largest debt that the city has ever had, we have a council that appears to be ignoring the plight of its ratepayers, by sending a confused signal that on the one hand they want to create 10,000 new jobs, then on the other they are quite happy to have awarded contracts, and the profits to out of town companies that will see 13 local workers lose the jobs, and put their families through a stressful time, that is no fault of their own.

  12. russandbev

    Brian, let’s start from ground zero. The services that Delta “provide” used to be done in house, along with a heap of other services like sucking the shit out of mud-tanks. The workers and managers were all employed by the DCC to carry out that work.

    Delta was then started in order to create a profit for their owners – the DCC and the ratepayers – and part of this profit was supposed to be derived from contracting to the private sector. But then the philosophical mental giants all got together and said – let’s contract out everything. Theoretically, in some cases it could work. But it immediately fell over when the directors and managerial staff of Delta and their umbrella Council organisation started appointing themselves to numerous boards and started telling everyone that in order to “attract” superb managerial staff they had to start paying exorbitant salaries – mostly based on performance measurements which, in the end, didn’t mean a damn thing.

    The Directors and Managers then started to actually believe that they were clever and astute and without any personal risk to themselves, started dabbling in activities that were beyond their capabilities. Result, huge losses. What also happened was that the director and manager capability was also shown up in overpriced quotes to their actual owners and that gives rise to the last point. The dear old DCC says we can get this contract done for $1m by Delta, but we can employ a real outside contractor to do the same job for $0.8m, so we’ll save $200k if we give it to the real contractor. So what do the Delta staff then do? It reminds me of the situation at the Uni when some departments gave printing jobs to outside suppliers when a perfectly OK internal supplier could do the job using “internal” money. The Uni bosses soon put a stop to that nonsense.

    Answer? Clear out the lunatic fringe from within the DCC and Delta. Chances of that happening? Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Mark Weldon’s out of work now.
      Unlike TV3, the DCC already has little cohesion and at best patchy loyalty to the “brand” and to colleagues. Unlike TV3 there’s sod-all to lose from his approach to being an expensively suited wrecking ball. And then when he leaves to “spend more time with his family” or “spend a year building orphanages in Syria”, the council – always supposing voters have substituted people with sense and a background of practical success – could rewrite the CEO contract. Something with a low basic salary and many one-off bonuses that have to be earned by eg hiring non-faddists with strong work and all-round ethics, no or reduced bonus for staff who turn out duds.
      Since CEO hires other staff similar contacts would be likely to be introduced throughout, making sure non-performance affects non-performers, thus contracts would be carefully examined before signing, “work” would be checked to remove the quote marks, ie anything paid for would be done to acceptable standard OR ELSE.
      The budget for nice-to-haves would be tied to the bonuses fund, push your fads and you reduce the amount available for bonuses – at last, a disincentive!

      • Gurglars

        Very good ideas and a sensible programme Hype.

        Unfortunately this council is founded on stupid ideas and a series of dopey programmes and in order to implement the opposite alternative, we must unfortunately start at the top.

        Firstly, the mayor has to go, unless we want three more interminable years of ratepayer incredulity and suffering.

        Secondly, the CEO must show the first strains of sensible management practice by ditching the majority of report writers and policy makers and employ a few drainlayers, mud tank cleaners and traffic light eliminators.

    • Brian Miller

      I agree russandbev. The elected representatives must carry the can for this. The buck stops with them. They set up this mess. Made the appointments. This is just more proof that some of them are not capable of carrying out their elected responsibilities, and need to move on. At the end of the day it is the most vulnerable, the workers and the local economy that pay the price for such incompetency.

  13. Diane Yeldon

    There’s definitely something strange about a Christchurch owned CCO doing work for the DCC. It’s like a globalization business model but on a national scale. And globalization is generally seen as bad for local communities. (Can’t last anyway, as is totally dependent on cheap transport.)
    The argument in favour of CCO’s was ‘efficiency’. But I wonder if the real reason they are still around and increasing is that they pay tax to central government. If everything was ‘in house’, then some profitable local essential services could subsidize ones which weren’t. Under the present system, the profitable ones just pay more tax and ratepayers cough up for the unprofitable ones, as well as paying user charges. The central government which is going to change this is the same one which is going to remove GST from rates.
    Locally provided public transport is the essential service which most suffers from the present legislation. A good example of picking off the profitable bits into tax paying entities and leaving the dregs or not providing services at all.
    Is the legislation behind CCOs any more than a relic from the New Right fanaticism of the 1990s which wanted to have a competitive business model for everything, including hospitals? If central government really respected the self-determination of local communities, then I think it would be far less prescriptive about how local communities can organise and manage their assets and provide services. I am not convinced that there are any benefits in councils owning any businesses.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Or is someone now going to explain to me ‘subvention’ payments? But I think those can just reduce tax, not dispense with it altogether.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    The ‘subvention’ payments are a remnant from ages past where interhouse operations can avoid tax by distributing profits to those loss operations. The classic case here is profitable Auroa able to make subvention payments to losing operations like DVL, tax free, as opposed to paying a taxed dividend of $5.2million to its owner DCC. Hence DVL benefits while the DCC misses out on the divvy. Robbing Peter to pay a bit more to Paul. So we should be thankful that the Stadium is the main loss and can therefore suck up the tax rebates as well as everything else that’s not nailed down. It would only take a simple change of the tax laws to wipe that away in a flash, so just whisper lest you are heard questioning this anomaly.

  15. Elizabeth

    Wed, 1 Jun 2016
    ODT: Delta ordered to pay over worker’s fall
    Dunedin City Council-owned company Delta has been fined and ordered to pay reparation to a worker who fell six metres after low voltage arcing on lines he was working on in Cardrona. Delta had earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the Queenstown District Court yesterday on a charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the employee was not exposed to the hazard of low-voltage electricity while at work.

    The worker was completing a service connection in Cardrona, near Queenstown, in November 2014 but failed to disconnect the power supply before working on the line, a WorkSafe New Zealand investigation found.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      How does a company ensure an employee does “disconnect the power supply before working on the line”?
      Did they fall down on safety training? Did they not check that employees actually understood about electricity and the reason for not working on live lines? If they did this and it didn’t sink in, how likely is it that their written instructions would be read before commencing any job, since it seems as if every task requires separate step-by-step written instructions if employers are to escape punishment for workers’ actions. Do workers where there is the slightest possibility that they will ignore safety and rules need to be accompanied by a grownup, a Nanny, to read the instructions and watch that they are followed?

      • Elizabeth

        Did they never watch TV children’s cartoons – being electrocuted is a running gag.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          What are those wires? Fences, probably, fences for keeping ducks out of the paddocks. Or perhaps they’re for hanging Christmas tinsel on.

        • Elizabeth

          Birdies are so often seen to alight the wires or fly from them with no CRACKLE or BANG, like no one even explained what being grounded means to your average power worker.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    I’m dispirited at the dumbing down process exemplified by punishment of employers who assume that employees are not seriously intellectually subnormal. Yes, they make sure employees are cognisant of the way things have to be done in this business so they will be safe, the work will be done correctly to standard, and nobody else whether workmates or members of the public are put at risk.
    But eliminate ALL risks, including risks that employees will cut corners, ignore rules, make mistakes? Is that reasonable, is it fair? Is it not disrespectful to grownups to assume (in law) that they are never grown up enough to be held responsible for their own actions?

    Employers are grownups. Employees are infantile. Okay? NO!!!

    • Elizabeth

      Problem – this was Delta Utility Services Ltd.
      As What if? has been at pains recently to point out, Delta is without fail not very bright – as THREE subdivisions at MASSIVE ratepayer expense have shown.

      Now about that constructive fraud case…..
      Which not long ago seemed to result in a ‘batterie’ to take out What if? by blanket censorship was it. Well, things are moving, in the election year ballet, at a court action not associated with this website or DCC directly. \more soon.

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    Hmmm, yes, there’s employers and then there’s Delta and god knows what category it fits into. General purpose misfit a.k.a unfit for purpose, perhaps.

  18. Elizabeth

    Fri, 3 Jun 2016
    ODT: Maintenance contracts let
    The Dunedin City Council has awarded more than $1million in maintenance contracts. The contracts for cemeteries maintenance and trees maintenance were announced yesterday by council asset and commercial manager Tom Dyer. The five-year cemeteries maintenance contract was awarded to council-owned infrastructure company Delta for $552,000 and the three-year trees maintenance contract was awarded to national vegetation control specialist Asplundh for $496,000.

  19. Gurglars

    Please explain the tender process in these two appointments or is the methode’ too tender for such explanation ?

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