Delta blues . . . and Easy Rider

ONE News: Victim’s relative feels ‘sorry’ for Easy Rider widow
Published: 9:17AM Wednesday March 19, 2014
A relative of one of the people who lost their lives in the Easy Rider sinking in 2012 says he feels sorry for the woman charged over the tragedy. Judge John Strettell released his judgement today, finding Gloria Davis and her company AZ1 Enterprises guilty of three charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and the Maritime Transport Act in relation to the tragedy. She originally faced five charges but two were dropped. Ms Davis is the sole director of the company that operated the fishing boat which capsized in Foveaux Strait on March 15, 2012, claiming eight lives, including Ms Davis’s husband, Rewai Karetai, who was skipper of the vessel. Link to Video/Article

Stuart McLauchlan ONE News 19.3.14 (re-imaged by whatifdunedin) 1Stuart McLauchlan

From the video:
The New Zealand Institute of Directors agrees the judgement serves as a warning. “When you take on a role as a director you cannot sit there passively,” says NZID’s Stuart McLauchlan. “You’ve got to understand what the risks are, you’ve got to understand the operations of the business, and ultimately you’re responsible.”

The same applies in the failed Delta land deals at Luggate and Jacks Point. Board directors for Delta Utility Services Ltd, Delta Investments Ltd (previously, Newtons Coachways (1993) Ltd), and Dunedin City Council’s holding company (DCHL) are ultimately responsible to Dunedin ratepayers for the multimillion-dollar loss.

Note: Stuart McLauchlan has been a director for Delta Utility Services Ltd since 01 Jun 2007; Delta Investments since 16 Jul 2009; and Dunedin City Holdings Ltd from 01 Jun 2007 to 31 Oct 2011. Altogether, this represents a “perceived conflict of interest” and more.

█ Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point. The Auditor-General’s Overview and Full Report are available at

Related Post and Comments:
20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: – video still re-imaged by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Queenstown Lakes, Site, Stadiums

20 responses to “Delta blues . . . and Easy Rider

  1. Comment via The Standard blog:

    Penny Bright
    25 March 2014 at 10:28 am

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 13 others

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into why New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost did not disclose that she was a shareholder in Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd at the time she declined to conduct an urgent investigation into the failure of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand to carry out ‘due diligence’ on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (Bill) 2013.

    Petition number: 2011/101
    Presented by: Denis O’Rourke
    Date presented: 12 March 2014
    Referred to: Finance and Expenditure Committee

    The NZ Auditor-General Lyn Provost IS A SHAREHOLDER IN SKY CITY and was so at the time I asked her to investigate a matter involving Sky City (which she declined).

    This petition is now before the Finance and Expenditure Committee of the NZ Parliament.

    In my considered opinion, (and I have told her to her face), I believe that NZ Auditor-General Lyn Provost is UNFIT FOR DUTY – CORRUPT and SHOULD BE SACKED.

    So far NO mainstream media have picked up this story!

    ‘Believe it or what’?!

    Don’t you think one or two members of the public (locally, nationally and internationally ) might be just a little bit interested in this, given that NZ is supposed to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ and all that crap ….. ?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’


    • Elizabeth

      ### Updated at 10:47 pm on 19 December 2014
      RNZ News
      Sky City reveals $128m funding gap
      Sky City has revealed a potential $128 million funding gap for its controversial international convention centre in Auckland. Under its agreement with the Government, Sky City would build and design the centre for up to $402 million.

      Listen to Steven Joyce on Checkpoint ( 6 min 15 sec )

      In return, it would be able to operate another 230 gaming machines and 40 tables. In a statement released a short time ago, Sky City’s chief executive, Nigel Morrison, said the estimated cost of the convention centre could now potentially reach up to $530 million. Mr Morrison said that was because of significant recent and expected construction cost inflation.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        The taxpayer had supposedly hit the jackpot – a convention centre built for free, in exchange for more pokies. Not anymore.

        3 News: Tuesday 10 Feb 2015 6:04 p.m.
        SkyCity deal political jackpot for Little
        The SkyCity pokies deal looks like it could clean out the taxpayer. [article]


        SkyCity National Convention Centre and Nelson House, cnr Nelson and Wellesley Sts [via]SkyCity National Convention Centre and Nelson House, cnr Nelson and Wellesley Sts

        ### NZ Herald Online 12:42 PM Tuesday Feb 10, 2015
        John Key warns of SkyCity ‘eyesore’ if more money is not found
        By Nicholas Jones
        Prime Minister John Key won’t rule out using taxpayer money to stop SkyCity’s convention centre becoming an “eyesore”. Mr Key expressed doubts over the wisdom of insisting the casino operator sticks to the initial $402 million spending plan for the building of the convention centre. “I’m keen to see the best convention centre I can for Auckland, because this is a very long-term asset, so I would hate to see some sort of eyesore constructed down town. There are issues around the construction of it. Obviously you can spend more and get something that looks a lot better, or spend a bit less and get something that looks worse.” However, he said it was “very unlikely” Auckland ratepayers would be asked to foot the bill for cost overruns. […] in December last year, SkyCity managing director Nigel Morrison said cost over-runs and “design improvements” had seen the bill blow out to between $470 million and $530 million. Mr Morrison told financial analysts SkyCity was unwilling to contribute more than $10 million to the gap without compensation for his shareholders, and floated the possibility of financial support from central or local government.
        Read more

  2. Supplied to What if?:

    Lynn Provost’s bio lists her as an ex Deputy Commissioner of the NZ Police. Just in case you’re all thinking that surely such a senior ex cop would be more thorough than what she has demonstrated in her role as Auditor-General; the fact is she’s never walked a beat nor investigated a crime she was simply one of those Police appointments from civilian street – could say an experiment.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Pot’s musings on Kettle:
    “When you take on a role as a director you cannot sit there passively,” says NZID’s Stuart McLauchlan. “You’ve got to understand what the risks are, you’ve got to understand the operations of the business, and ultimately you’re responsible.”

    • Black days at fireside, Hype.

      Received email messages from two different OAG people today in response to an initial email I sent pointing out an error in the OAG’s report on Delta. The report is being reissued with one page change as a result, I’m told. Didn’t like to tell them I have more… just that my substantive feedback and critique of the report will be addressed to Lyn Provost when complete.

  4. Whippet

    Two similar cases (lives were lost at both) Pike River and Easy Rider. Only Easy Rider held accountable ???

    • Difference being the Pike River case was subverted by a deal… Presumably private prosecution is still pending.

      As posted at another thread:

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Easier “structure” to hit. Pike River complicated, not least by failure of clear standards and structure of inspection, permits etc due to government dismantling of oversight by neutral party (govt inspectors), replaced by “Industry, do your own inspections, we won’t check that you’re doing them right because the private sector is more efficient than governments in business. We know you won’t cut corners to save time and money.”
      One person to prosecute – or a tangle of governance, management, company policies, incentives, day-to-day practice, training, individual/organisation; proportion of disaster due to systemic fuckedness / cumulative “minor” faults / shit-happens…..

  5. Hype; the ability of personel to hop ship before the shit-happens helps dodge the truth aw well. Witness the senior Dept of Labour man responsible for mine safety oversight, one Maarten Quivooy who mysteriously turns up in the hot seat of the DIA. He then puts his hands up, does a Sgt Klink “I know nuthink!” on the pokie rorts inquiries. See the pattern? Lyn Provost ought to be put in charge of any and all F—ups, that way the carpet will look like a mountain.

  6. Fairfax business bureau deputy editor Tim Hunter, writing as Chalkie, takes a long deeply critical hit at the Auditor-General’s probe and report on the Delta land deals at Luggate and Jacks Point. Turnips receive mention. Hunter is derisive, dismissive and perturbed at what the AG has cooked up. He doesn’t mess about. He knows how ratepayer millions have been lost and sees the AG as a fool who is swayed. He doesn’t have to spell it out. The AG has obfuscated the obvious and…. held no-one to fiscal account by referral to SFO or FMA. The Mayor and his pal, a local accountant and professional director, we intute, have done a massive snow job and massaged the wrists of the AG, indeed with lavender oil. Only SNAKES know how that works at the mentally and criminally challenged OAG office.

    At Stuff today:
    Report finds nothing wrong with property debacle
    Last updated 05:00 26/03/2014
    By Chalkie
    The Auditor-General appears to have swallowed The Little Book of Calm.
    In the offices of the A-G, Chalkie reckons there are no raised voices and no words of conflict. No-one wears shoes.
    The soothing scent of lavender is infused into every report.
    Reading “Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point”, Chalkie could hear waves lapping on a shingle beach and his mind went to a happy place full of children’s laughter and ambrosia.
    It was tempting to stay there, but a sense of indignation kept creeping in to ruin the moment.
    This was a series of deals that burned several million dollars of Dunedin ratepayers’ money in a manner that involved the handling of conflicts of interest, structures that avoided public scrutiny and commercial acuity about as sharp as a turnip.
    Sometimes commercial turnips can’t be helped, so Chalkie will focus on the handling of conflicts and public scrutiny.
    Read more

  7. The depth of the farce is eye-watering.
    Here Mr McLauchlan continues to step up as an “authority” on the role of Directors. Stop sniggering in the back row, What if? readers.

    Why you ask?

    Someone’s been playing friends at the casino table at the same time controlling how and which cards are dealt. Normally, the scam’s caught on close circuit TV and the footage ‘lost’, but hey… Wild Card !! – own Security stops being loyal, dials 111.

    What topples that house of cards, do ya reckon? Let’s pause to peel some Turnips.

    Why didn’t MBIE and NZID take a roadshow around New Zealand to specifically deal to CONFLICTS OF INTEREST and CORPORATE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION (rhetorical).

    The damp squib compared to CHALKIE at Fairfax:

    ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Mar 2014
    Safety liabilities stop with directors
    By Simon Hartley
    Company directors are set to be held more accountable for employee injury or death under tougher new health and safety regulations, highlighted by Gloria Davis’ recent conviction over the eight deaths attributed to the sinking of the Easy Rider fishing vessel last year. The national Institute of Directors backs the expectations placed on directors, regardless of the company size or number of employees, saying ultimately the ”buck stops” with company directors. […] Professional Dunedin director Stuart McLauchlan said the directors’ institute and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment last year ran roadshows together around the country, specifically outlining directors’ health and safety responsibilities, and have a template on the institute’s website, on health and safety requirements and obligations.
    Read more

    █ Stuart McLauchlan is the chairman of Scott Technology, Pharmac, UDC Finance and Dunedin International Airport Ltd, and also a director on the boards of 14 other, separate companies.
    McLauchlan was named and slighted in the OAG probe as a Director of the following DCC-owned companies: Delta Utility Services Ltd (currently), Delta Investments Ltd (currently) and, simultaneously, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (formerly) at the time of the property deals.
    McLauchlan is Pro-Chancellor of the University of Otago. He is one of the people behind the University of Otago’s recent sponsorship of The Highlanders; and the moves afoot to offload the DCC-owned Forsyth Barr Stadium onto the university.
    Despite being chairman of Pharmac, McLauchlan was appointed Crown Monitor of the Southern District Health Board and has close business connections to the people who established the troubled South Link Health.
    Along with professional directors Denham Shale and Bill Baylis, McLauchlan had a part to play in the final demise of South Canterbury Finance and the government insurance payout to major investors (note: DCC brought in Messrs Shale and Baylis to restructure council-owned companies following the Larsen Report).
    McLauchlan is a strong influence upon and acquaintance of Mayor Dave Cull.

  8. Russell Garbutt

    McLauchlan was connected with the SCF collapse, the SDHB nonsense, the whole Delta/DCHL debacle. Has he got a solid, sound reputation as a quality Director or is he just full of BS? Up to you to figure. But one thing is for sure, his services don’t come cheap and it is surprising just how many tentacles round Dunedin lead back to the little man with his head below the parapet.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage (old song)
      Stuart McLauchlan, organisations/projects where large amounts of money being misspent and hard to trace through a maze of anthropogenic fog,
      ……go together like…
      ……….like, awfully often, it’s spooky how often they go together possums.

  9. Suggest people read this succinct overview of the OAG report, published by ODT today. Great selection of photo to go with it, ODT say much by their selection.

    Dunedin City Council critic Russell Garbutt reacts to the recently released report by the Office of the Auditor-general on Delta’s move into property development.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 27 Mar 2014
    City ratepayers let down again
    By Russell Garbutt
    I have two major concerns. The first is the quality of the report and the second is that of a lack of accountability – particularly on the part of directors of council companies.
    Audit NZ provides audit services to many local bodies, but the fact is the Local Government Act 2002 gave councils the power of ”general competence” – sweeping powers to undertake many projects or actions.
    At the same time, the Office of the Auditor-general (OAG) provides investigative services such as this report into the actions of Delta.
    It may seem strange, but if a local government body goes feral, the body which investigates this and the one which provided audit services to that local body are both business units of the Auditor-general.
    So, bearing that in mind, what has the OAG found about the dealings of Delta and its foray into property development? It found the actions of Delta and its directors and the directors of council umbrella company Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) as well as the actions of the Dunedin city councillors at the time were such that ”expensive lessons were learned”.
    This is corporate gobbledygook for saying this was a gigantic cock-up.
    Read more

  10. An outsider’s view of these Dunedin affairs from Chris Lee:

    • Thanks Alistair, interesting read and helpful in skirting the SFC disaster with names! However, Chris needs to do his homework correctly on the current directors for Delta Utility Services Ltd, Delta Investments Ltd, and Dunedin City Holdings Ltd. As I’ve already mentioned at What if?, McLauchlan continues on the boards of both Delta Companies, and has resigned from DCHL. This error makes me wonder about how much might be wrong with what else Chris claims as history and fact. Nevertheless it can be quickly checked – his heart is in the right place.

  11. Elizabeth

    ### 9:28 am, December 27th, 2014
    SkyCity’s expected subvention explained for John Roughan
    By lprent
    In February 2013, Eddie reposted an earlier warning post from April 2012 which detailed the reasons why SkyCity would inevitably be wanting to extort money and particularly a operating subsidy from governments, local and central. People like John Roughan at the NZ Herald ignored such warnings and the linkages to the material behind them. Today he writes plaintively in the Herald this morning about how he has been a sucker for sweet words. While it is nice to read that he has finally woken up to the problem. It would have been preferable if he and others like him had actually read intelligent analysis before snapping hungrily at the false fly of a ‘free’ convention centre and incurring the taxpayer and ratepayer costs to date. Not to mention those legislative boondoggles that our sucker representatives have committed us to.
    Read more [see comments]

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