DCC: Tony Avery resigns

Council chief executive Sue Bidrose said in the statement she had “immense respect for the honourable action Tony has taken”.

Tony Avery 3### ODT Online Thu, 28 Aug 2014
Top DCC boss Tony Avery quits over Citifleet scandal
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council’s alleged Citifleet fraud has claimed another victim with the shock resignation of infrastructure and networks general manager Tony Avery. Mr Avery announced his decision to quit the council in a media statement this afternoon, saying he accepted “the management buck stops with me”. That was despite not being aware of, or involved in, the alleged fraud, or receiving information that alerted him to it, he said. Read more [comments closed, again]

● Today’s cosy news is an ODT/Ch39 exclusive – no other News Media given scoop. Tomorrow’s ODT will feature an exclusive interview with Mr Avery who says ‘he has done nothing wrong’ but he has ‘some strong things to say’ !! (ODT interview given prior to his statement, we hear)

● (Ian Telfer) RNZ News
Council manager resigns over fleet – DCC staff told this afternoon. ‘In a statement, Mr Avery said he was not involved with and did not know about the fraud, but relied on internal financial controls which let him down.’ Link (subtle dig at former CFO ?)

● (Wilma McCorkindale) Stuff via Southland Times
Dunedin council manager resigns amid fraud probe – ‘Avery, with the council since 2000, has fallen on his sword in the wake of revelation the DCC has been the victim of an alleged sizeable employee fraud within its Citifleet unit, which manages the council’s vehicle fleet.’ ‘An investigation by Deloitte was “very clear” there was nothing to indicate Avery was aware of the alleged fraud. Bidrose stressed Avery was not one of the DCC staff currently involved in employment processes resulting from the suspected activity.’ Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
█ The site owner reserves the right to take down or abridge any comment.

*Image: Tony Avery tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property

81 responses to “DCC: Tony Avery resigns

  1. Elizabeth

    Any jobs going at NZTA or Arrow ?

  2. Cars

    Very cynical Elizabeth.

    Will cynicism be replaced by reality?

    Watch this space!

  3. This finally might clear the log jam which has fouled up the workings of the DCC since the advent of JH. In that same time the city’s debt moved from $35 million the $360 million. To quote Winston Churchill: “never in Dunedin’s history has so much been spent for so little return by so few”. The stable isn’t cleaned out yet but step by step we might get there. But not until there is a substantial clean out of elected miscreants, starting from the top down. That of course, is up to the people and therein lies the problem.

  4. Martin Legge

    Strange how Bidrose and Cull claim to be constrained from comment because the matter is now with the Police and yet here we have Bidrose selectively heaping praise on Avery before any investigation is completed. Has DCC already made up its mind about who’s to blame and is it convenient that a man is dead?

    • Elizabeth

      Martin, since only ‘some people’ got to see the Deloitte report (some councillors, some lawyers, some….), I guess we have to wait a while for the answers. LGOIMA requests have been lodged. The wall of DCC legal privilege may be very high if not impassable.

      Plus the Coroner has yet to rule, so er, rule of thumb… not making assumptions there due to the Coroners Act.

  5. Tony Avery’s resignation opens the way for the appointment of a qualified engineer to add some professionalism to the mix. They could handle the ‘sea rise’ problem in-house instead of employing consultants. In fact, I came across the solution which Napier had arrived at back in 2012. You see, Napier apparently is to disappear around the same time as South Dunedin. I hope Cr Jinty MacTavish and Mayor Dave Cull are viewers here. Perhaps Jinty should be sent to investigate Venice as well.
    It is heartening to see that others take sea level rise as serious as we do.

    BayBuzz April 21, 2008
    Mayor Arnott’s secret trip revealed
    By Tom Belford

    In a HUGE investigative breakthrough, BayBuzz has discovered the purpose behind Mayor Arnott’s recent secret visit to Amsterdam and Venice. One clue was BayBuzz overhearing a Napier ratepayer at Raffles Café, who commented that he was asked in a recent Council-sponsored phone survey what he thought of the tagline — “Napier … Venice of the Southern Hemisphere”. Then our research staff noticed in the draft budget for next year a small economic development item called “Opus Capital Requirements Study: Canals versus Roads.”

    We snooped around in the Napier Planning Department and finally were told of a confidential Option 5 having been drafted for inclusion in the proposed Te Awa Structure Plan. This plan contemplates developing 125 hectares of land in the southeast of Napier City.

    So, here’s the scoop. As we know, most of Napier is or soon will be under sea level. This would of course include the area to be developed. Indeed, Napier is a water pump manufacturer’s wildest fantasy! But that doesn’t deter city planners and engineers, or private developers. Prodded by Mayor Arnott, who literally gushed with enthusiasm after researching firsthand in Amsterdam and Venice the delights of living below sea level, the planning team has risen to the hydraulic challenge and developed a scheme called Growing Under Water (GUW).

    GUW envisions a partially submerged residential development with homes connected by meandering canals. Residents would leave their cars at the edge of the development, and use personal gondolas to pole around within the complex. Deluxe homes would have underwater viewing rooms to watch sea life purpose-bred for a life of entertainment in the complex by a rejuvenated Marineland. A special canal for high speed vaporetto would ferry GymSports enthusiasts from the village to the proposed Regional Sports Park.

    Planners are dripping with excitement over the sustainability benefits of this approach — no carbon footprint within the village, a new lease on life for Marineland, and an estimated 175 new jobs for gondoliers, marine biologists, hydraulic engineers, water-proofing contractors and pump repair mechanics.

    A major glitch in the planning has been the problem of sewage disposal in an area where the water table routinely would be higher than the first floor of most dwellings. Mayor Arnott has voiced major displeasure that planners haven’t disposed of this messy matter. She was heard to explode: “I’m sick of this mental constipation. If Venice can live in sh*t and still be a world-class tourist attraction, you can bet your a** that Napier can do it.”

    Reactions around Napier have been mixed. Marineland advocate Clifford Church said: “I’m relieved … Arnott has finally stopped all the negative crap about Marineland. What a breathe of fresh air.” But enviro advocate Derek Williams warned: “It’s as plain as the nose on your face … GUW stinks. As if planning a new sewage plant that won’t work isn’t bad enough, now Napier City Council is wading deeper and deeper into the doo-doo just when the Regional Council is about to get tough on sewage matters.”

    BayBuzz, desperately looking for something to compliment the HBRC on, believes they might be on to something here.


    P.S. Flash: Il Duce Arnott has just phoned BayBuzz to emphasize that Phase 2 of the plan, which involves constructing a dike, complete with sea gates, from Cape Kidnappers across the Bay to Mahia will “absolutely not” proceed unless Sam Kelt raises the required $1.2 billion from private funders. “I think of this as handsome payback for the $3 million he’s sucking out of Napier City Council for the Hastings[struck out] Regional Sports Park,” she said.


    • Cars

      I believe that all overseas trips for public officers should be barred. All of the collective stupidity amassed from other international public officers becomes the mantra, particularly in little ol nzee.

      I propose an International forum to be held in Dunedin. That will mean we will earn some and save a lot.

      There will be only one topic allowed.

      “How to reduce rates.”

      It must be compulsory for everyone in International public office to attend.

      We’ll max out the stadium, fill the new hotel, but more importantly we’ll get the world moving back to sanity.

  6. Elizabeth

    Calvin, in terms of St Clair see new post: Stadium Review: dark yet rosy thoughts

  7. JimmyJones

    Moderated -Eds

    Calvin: Yes, there is still a lot of muck in the stable, but the departure of Tony Avery will be a big step in the right direction. My impression is that he has lacked …. {one word removed under legal caution -Eds, readers may guess instead, no offence JJ, interesting times} in his dealings with our councillors and has been a born-again car-hater (one of many).
    Who believes his departing message about how he is being a big hero by taking the bullet even though he didn’t know anything about the car scam (alleged)?

    Removing the elected miscreants is a difficult problem. My guess is that if the voters were made properly aware of the decisions and attitudes of the councillors, then not many would be re-elected. Our local media has been unhelpful with this. If you want to see what the ODT doesn’t report, watch Ch39 on Saturday afternoons or you can see (most of) the meetings on YouTube:

    • Elizabeth

      He probably read the Deloitte report.
      Tomorrow’s published interview may shed light.

      • Peter

        Not sure what the big deal was with the interview with Tony Avery in today’s ODT. Previewed as some big story. It wasn’t. Just a reiteration, basically, of the DCC Media Release.
        As we know the ODT fails to get excited about real stories concerning the whole stadium rort even when they are fed the information and don’t have to do any work. Funny that.

  8. Elizabeth

    This from an associate just before the midnight pumpkin:

    Sir Humphrey: ‘Ignorance and stupidity are essential skills in finance: when your partners are arrested you can always appear as a decent chap who was shamefully deceived by a lot of rotters.’

  9. Elizabeth

    The exclusive interview:

    Resigning ‘the right thing to do’
    An emotional Tony Avery wishes he could turn back the clock and stop the alleged $1.5 million Citifleet fraud.

    Mr Avery said he had stepped back from any involvement in Deloitte’s investigation, but had decided to resign after reading its findings and “lots of reflection”.

  10. Rob Hamlin

    I think that it’s very sad. I do hope that Mr Avery’s obvious emotions don’t get the better of him, and he decides to do something impulsive. Impulsive acts can be very damaging to the reputation as after certain impulsive acts, the person concerned acquires a particular status that makes it hard for them to subsequently express their own valuable knowledge, insights and perspective on specific matters that may be of particular interest to the community. This particular status also allows them to be libeled and slandered with absolute legal impunity – and they often are.

  11. Elizabeth

    My dictionary word of today is convenience. Less taxing as it speaks for itself. I do enjoy terms like this that require no elaboration or referral to roots. There it stands, with tissue.

  12. Mr Avery said he had ‘stepped back’ from any involvement in Deloitte’s investigation. Pity he hadn’t looked first, or he would have seen he was on the edge of a precipice. The righteousness of the protestations of innocence sends a hollow shiver down my spine. After all, the guy is one of the senior pioneers of the development and fostering of the Harland regime. How could he not know of a ten year episode? Was he an idiot? We won’t elaborate on that point. I think the truth is the inverse of the depth of feeling expressed over his departure by the CEO. The more voluble, the more the delight of his departure. Bit like the eulogies at the passing of a mafia ‘Capo’.

    • Elizabeth

      Obviously, he didn’t read Phil’s comments here of old about vehicle use. And for some reason hadn’t the acquaintance of Bob Heath.

      Notice how the alleged fraud has been ringfenced down to ten years duration in council dispatches – like I say, if Athol mentioned Arthur Daley then the matter is not clear cut where and when the rough diamonds did dwell.

      Cr Vandervis, of course, has been as a bloodhound on scent of disarray and deception in the ranks for a blessed long time and has on occasions endeavoured to bring the results of his hunts and observations to chief executives and more. A sort of shroud descended upon him. But not anymore.

  13. Whippet

    Make a great Tui ad.
    Spray and walk away

  14. Moderated -Eds

    Why won’t the ODT allow comment? I wrote to the Editor yesterday asking why the recent revelations of Council mismanagement are blocked from any public response. As yet I have received no reply and assume free speech is only as free as the ODT decides it should be. I have no sympathy for Mr Avery as he, according to Dr Bidrose bravely falls on his sword like some biblical hero. Dr Bidrose says this wonderful and decent man made up his own mind and was not part of the group of Council employees currently being scrutinised. It seems she has not yet considered the level of ratepayer anger and shock once the whole matter is finally made public … {Sentence removed under legal caution -Eds} It seems clear that he is taking what is left of his dignity and leaving before he is inevitably pushed out … {part sentence removed} he is smart enough to see the writing on the wall. The daily revelations and inferences that this may be one of many frauds perpetuated on the citizens of this City are building toward what I believe will be one of the biggest disgraces in the history of NZ’s local Government. The ODT would do better getting on the front foot before they are accused of lacking a willingness to call the DCC to account. What is their motivation for being so supportive of a Council clearly incapable of running this city? The DCC is fortunate they don’t have a local paper tearing them to pieces in relation to their record of consolidated debt, frauds, fiscal incompetence and a ratepayer per head indebtedness second only to that of Auckland. An impotent Mayor with all the personality and drive of stale loaf of bread, backed by yes man Cr Staynes and the likes of organic coffee drinking and financially clueless Cr MacTavish. Couple that with Council Management asleep on the job for 10 years and you have a recipe for utter disaster. It should be a reporters’ dream, the DCC is the easiest target since Richard Nixon.

  15. Elizabeth

    Further to the English class today, that comments are off at ODT places this website under greater scrutiny. Dunedin as we know is a litigious place when on a fine calm summer’s day. The current storm makes it trebly so. Please convey your thoughts in clever ways that do not and cannot bring an action against the site owner.

  16. Without appearing to be supporting the ODT on this issue, one would suspect it considers the Avery exit as being part of the Citifleet issue, and as such is ‘sub judice’. That places newspapers in a no go situation. Best cut it some slack.

  17. Fair enough Calvin but there are a myriad of issues they could take up. How about an updated report on the 10x10x10 program, the record debt, or something on Dunedin ratepayers having the second highest liability in the country at $15,088 per head. The shops closing all over town, lack of growth. Some questions as to the profitability or not of events held at the stadium. I read an article about Jinty MacTavish the other day, no hard questions, no in depth analysis of any plan she has for getting the city out of record debt. The ODT gives this council a very easy ride indeed.

  18. No argument there Stevesone. The ODT was very instrumental in getting the fledgling Greater Dunedin outfit over the threshold and ultimately into the Mayoral regalia. It has since been very circumspect re criticism of the GD’s record. Why, and for how much longer is anybody’s guess. I suspect that this Citifleet saga might be the turning point and the gloves will come off. Even the stadium is now getting some more attention. The Murray Stott opinion piece being printed is a watershed, I think. There are those of us who know that this one is about to break wide open due to a terrific amount of hard graft by one person in particular. That person will be vindicated I am sure, and some very substantial reputations will be exposed. One can only hope for the ODT to stand up on the side of the people when that happens.

  19. amanda

    Ha. That’s the question alright. The dear old ODT is into damage control with Avery presented as some kind of Hero by the newspaper. But of course nobody is allowed to challenge this, gosh no. The ODT and its grovelling to the DCC are a big part of why this town is in the pickle it is; our local media turns a blind eye to corruption, and actually lionizes Avery.

  20. amanda

    Moderated -Eds

    Sounds like he will be getting a big payout, him being such a big hero and all. How much will the DCC pay? How many thousands. That’s the DCC way right? Reward with ratefunds. I really want to know what it is costing the city to cut Avery free.

  21. amanda

    Moderated -Eds

    Or, as had been alluded to, where will he be set up in a nice tidy job next? ORC? the ORFU? or COC? Does Bidrose think Avery {having resigned -Eds} will settle calls for accountability? Are we supposed to smile and be relieved that all is well in the good ship DCC now?

    • I do hope Mr Avery doesn’t receive a payout, when someone resigns they get 2 or 4 weeks notice, any holiday pay and then go. Any additional golden handshake paid out with ratepayer funds would be an obscenity. Avery cut himself free told us all he takes full responsibility and that leaving is the honourable thing to do. Therefore no gold watch or brown envelope is required.

  22. Elizabeth

    Cull has just issued a media statement – await the broadcast media’s take on it. Adds nothing to Sue Bidrose’s comments yesterday and as regurgitated today by ODT. As such it may not make the news, or maybe it will only get as far as Ch39 News tonight.

  23. Phil

    I’m with amanda with regard to the issue of a call for accountability. It would not surprise me now if, thanks to the public ousting of the most high profile link in the chain, that those below, who should have been the ones to go, have just had their jobs saved for them. It was not practical for Tony to know operational details of all the departments in his portfolio. If it were, then he wouldn’t need department managers. The way the current internal system is structured, he needed to rely on the information being given to him by the those directly responsible for managing the departments. As he said, he has been let down by that information chain. Ultimately he had to go, but there’s no way he should be alone.

    Tony’s group is a little different to the rest of the DCC organisation, for some weird reason. In all other cases, the department head reports directly to a Group Manager, such as Tony. In Tony’s group, however, there is an extra link in the chain below Tony. A number of departments, with Citifleet being one, reported directly to a middle manager. That middle manager (in this case, Kevin Thompson) then reported to Tony Avery. So Tony only ever received the information that Kevin thought relevant, he never received the pure information direct from the source. That has always been a weakness and an un-necessary link in the chain. Kevin Thompson’s only job within DCC was to carry messages between individual departments and Tony Avery. Hopefully part of the process will be to identify weak links and dispose of them accordingly.

  24. Elizabeth

    CE Bidrose has said that Tony Avery isn’t one of the five staff undergoing “employment processes” currently – and who may lose their jobs. Time will tell.

  25. Willeaway

    “The arrival of council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie this year, who made changes and detected the alleged fraud “ALMOST IMMEDIATELY”.
    Just what did these other managers turn up to work for? To eat their lunch would be my guess.
    If Grant Mackenzie could pick it up so quickly, after starting in the job, just what the hell were all these high paid idiots doing over the last ten years and more? That’s the question that Dr Sue should be asking.

  26. Elizabeth

    Willeaway, and to operate any old paper mill of departmental reporting that made no sense at any time.

  27. Anonymous

    If my initials were “JH”, I would be getting worried.

  28. Elizabeth

    Oh boy, Phil. Thanks, what a great reminder of DCC incompetence. When it first ran I know we all disbelieved that tale of “nothing here” due to the self-evident stadium rort for starters, but in the knowledge of the Swann car jam. And gee, our council having been told by Audit NZ to do extra diligence which it chose to ignore – while WHK probably charged like hungry wounded bulls to do those little nothingness checks.

  29. Elizabeth

    Yes our Joyful Hero, I hope, is being interviewed – strenuously.
    Another of his former lieutenants down.

    *noose tightening sounds*

    Grant Strang, Graeme Hall, Athol Stephens, Bruce Miller, Robert Clark, Tony Avery. Not far now.

  30. Elizabeth

    So, what else does the resignee know that made him leave. I mean what does he REALLY know.

  31. So what does he REALLY know? I’d say ‘bugger all’ and that’s one of the principal reasons why this situation has got to where it is. He has always given me the impression of being a ‘hollow man’ just as Graeme Hall and the others were. I think Jim Harland was a person who was distinctly uncertain of himself and couldn’t bear the thought of being upstaged by people more competent than him. That’s why he surrounded himself with the ‘dropkicks’ he did. It all lasted so long only because of the pathetic ability of the elected body. Three totally inadequate Mayors and very ordinary calibre of councillors, with the exception of about three over the whole period. It is only now when the changes of CEO and GCFO that the structure is shown to be a disaster. I just hope for the sake of the citizens there is a calling to account from all these people. But with Mayor Dave Cull’s track record on accountability I am not holding my breath.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “I think Jim Harland was a person who was distinctly uncertain of himself and couldn’t bear the thought of being upstaged by people more competent than him.” (Calvin)
      This weakness made him an easy target for the OBs to gather to their fraternal bosom, present with a ready-made bunch of mates, a social life apart from work do’s, a role in the rugby club committee……. Beware of Jimmy No-mateses unless they are confident independents comfortable in their own company because if they’re not the latter it’s all too easy for them to attract the “wrong sort” of chums.

  32. Phil

    Regulatory Services manager has been on “stress leave” since the release of the report. I anticipate another DCM payout in an attempt to try and limit further public embarassment.

  33. Elizabeth

    Not buying it. What about the VERY COSTLY scandalous property deals and the VERY COSTLY re-notification of the SH88 Realignment, not to mention Doug Hall having to take the whole DCC mess to the High Court (VERY COSTLY). So much for the latest half-departed. Hmm.

    But hey! “Dave Cull, Best Practice”…….. Hahaha *weeps

    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull told the ODT there had been “enormous change” within the council in recent years, and he – like others – was committed to instilling best practice across the organisation.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Aug 2014
    Almost all DCC top brass gone
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council sees a hint of light at the end of the tunnel after four years of high-profile headaches, but it is counting the cost after an almost complete clean-out of its top managers. Tony Avery will follow a well-worn path to the door when he quits the Dunedin City Council sometime in the next few months. However, he will leave with his head held high, rather than under a cloud. Mr Avery (51) made the shock announcement on Thursday he was resigning over the growing scandal surrounding the alleged $1.5 million Citifleet fraud.
    Read more [+ photos of heads on pikes]


    Finally Cull’s media release surfaces, to say nothing!
    Integrity is a cheap non-descriptive word when used by DCC; this year in particular, a joke.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Aug 2014
    Avery’s integrity recognised
    By Chris Morris
    Mr Cull acknowledged Mr Avery’s 14 years of service to the council in a media statement issued late yesterday. Mr Cull said yesterday he also wanted to express his “personal acknowledgement” of Mr Avery’s decision and his service to the city. He [Mr Avery] is someone I have always found to act with integrity…
    Read more

  34. Pb

    Seems a good thing. If we reduce the size of dcc it’s easier to keep an eye on. What’s with all the high paid middle managers: that’s the fraud. People who bubble to the top of local government org structures will be sociopaths, the good an exception. Smaller govt, less regulation a better vision.

  35. Anonymous

    I hear that at least one Councillor had a big smile on his face yesterday morning.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    And quite a lot of ratepayers wouldn’t you say, Anonymous?

  37. Despite his semantics, Dave Cull can take no credit for all this. On the contrary, he has fought change and accountability all down the track. It is only because Jim Harland chose to quit when Peter Chin was dumped that we got a change at the top. If he had ‘ballsed’ it out and stayed, I don’t believe for a moment that Dave Cull would have removed him. It is not in the man, look how he rolled under the threat of Mains and Graham. It was just a lucky break. Paul Orders, rightly or wrongly set the changes on course. As the gaps developed, his replacements in Sue Bidrose and Grant McKenzie have been the inspired moves. Dave Cull had sod all input there other than to rubber stamp the appointments. The premature departure of Paul Orders and the accession of Sue Bidrose turns out to be fortuitous. I await with interest to see if Avery is replaced or a restructure of his duties will result.

  38. Time for Mayor Cull to go, he and his team have presided over this mess for several years now. One hopes that despite the awful debt we are in, we can finally get the books open, find out the real state of the finances, clean up the mess and move forward. It has to be obvious to all that Mayor Cull is utterly incapable of driving this process, he is bereft of ideas and has all the charisma of a wet fish. It was not long ago he told us he did not have a mandate to drive economic growth in Dunedin, he said it was Central Governments responsibility. Why then hire John Christie and head off overseas to supposedly promote Dunedin? Perhaps even he has noticed all the empty shops up and down the main street and the numbers of closed businesses. The last straw was when he went to meet Jinty to discuss Dunedin’s future sustainability by residents growing their own veg and keeping worm farms. They were going to enjoy an organic coffee or two but the cafe had shut down due to lack of custom. They both had a lonely ride home along their brand new cycle ways, at least that cheered them up a bit.

  39. Martin Legge

    I get the impression Cull is trying to claim some sort of glory for uncovering this fiasco. No doubt the Police will investigate and satisfy the public lust for blood but the reality is it could take months/years and the $1.5 million is not likely to be recovered.

    What should be of greater public interest and concern is that the above process could distract you from the elephant in the room – the culture of the organisation that failed to detect this activity over a long period of time and the fact that your recent rate increases ensured the loss was already recovered. A clean out and/or restructure of DCC would appear an immediate priority and to ensure the utmost transparency all elected members must know the facts and be involved.

    I think the DCC has been hijacked by the complex web of organisations it created for the purposes of avoiding transparency which has resulted in a serious and systemic lapse in the basics such as audits and other checks and balances required with public money.

    Not sure I’d be using the words ‘Public service’, ‘integrity’ and ‘honourable’ at this time!!

  40. Hype O'Thermia

    Martin Legge: “I think the DCC has been hijacked by the complex web of organisations it created for the purposes of avoiding transparency.” How DUMB is it to play the Three Card Trick against itself – and lose?

  41. Elizabeth

    The winds swirling in Dunedin are generally baying for Cull’s resignation – as the ultimate change required. That, together with speedy prosecution of former DCC top staff – which of course comes down to a specific shortlist of specific well-known (not respected) names. Then there are the GOBs of CST and their evil spending regimes such as skulling Screaming Orgasms at Alibi bar – all charged to the ratepayers of Dunedin – on a particular date after a particular DCC decision. Further, the former chair of DCHL and the Delta GOBs are not forgotten. Lawyers and Accountants should get above themselves and work with the Community to eek out this justice if not to redeem their sorry backsides for having privately profiteered in the wings.

  42. Peter

    Did anyone within the DCC… political and admin… beg Tony Avery to stay? Therein, I suspect, lies the truth as to the bleeding hearts who speak well of him.

  43. Elizabeth

    ODT let this through, whatever has happened to the filters??!!

    Head held high . . .
    Submitted by Bunter on Sat, 30/08/2014 – 3:58pm.
    Avery can ‘leave with his head held high’?! For losing 150 ratepayer-funded vehicles, he should hang his head in shame. Not being a crook is not exactly a sufficient KPI for an executive position, one expects a certain level of competence as well.

  44. Elizabeth

    Admit I wondered about the sudden resignation from MTF at Dunedin (ODT news).
    Nah, surely not.

  45. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 1 Sep 2014
    Second DCC manager resigns over Citifleet
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin City Council group manager Kevin Thompson has become the latest casualty of the alleged $1.5 million Citifleet fraud after opting to resign. The decision by Mr Thompson, the council’s regulatory services group manager, was confirmed in a council statement issued late this afternoon.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      (X-1) green bottles …
      …now 2 green bottles have jumped before a fall, (X-3) green bottles remain in City Hall.

    • Carol

      Another respectable and ??? honest DCC manager is abandoning the good ship Dunedin. It’s sounding more like the sinking of the Titanic with the crew pushing women and children aside as they rush for the lifeboats.

  46. Russell Garbutt

    No doubt that a toxic mix of criminality, fraud, senses of entitlement, illusions of grandeur, managed by incompetence, and allowed to happen by either failure or complicity by those empowered to regulate or enforce is what we are seeing. The honest and worthy are few in number. Whether we are talking about the DCC or the Key Government it matters not. Dunedin has been sent down the toilet by very few people and they ALL must be held to true and meaningful accountability which will not happen under weak governance. Orders and Bidrose are examples that should be followed by Cull et al but it is hard to see any indications of the strength of leadership required in governance.

  47. Phil

    At the rate they are jumping, there will be no one left to fire. Nice clean CVs and DCC can proudly say that no current employee is involved in the scam.

  48. Elizabeth

    Phil, I fear you are entirely correct about this, both now and before. Spray and walk away is a damnable phrase in much use since Mr Avery jumped. And indeed, Hype, the few DCC staffers under “employment processes” are not properly smashed against the wall.

    Lawyers have their stinky place in modern warfare at Dunedin.

  49. Elizabeth

    If JH and MF (and friends) are seriously taken to task I will overlook the slimy wormy sloping-off resignations of lesser pig-troughing but formerly highly paid managers happening now.

  50. Phil

    I note that unlike Tony Avery, the press release surrounding KT does not say that Kevin is not one of the 5 involved in employment proceses. I suspect similar offers will be made to the other 4, so that both staff and DCC can keep clean employment sheets.

    Kevin’s fate was sealed the moment that his boss resigned over something that Kevin had responsibility for. And rightly so.

  51. Interesting how they are all going out through the ‘go free’ gate. Can it be that simple? How much have they taken with them over the period? I remember Steve Prescott falling on his sword, but absolutely no mention of paying back any of the reputedly $100,000 rorted over a ten-year period. This is the time when our illustrious Mayor, if he had a single thought for the ratepayers’ losses would insist on a full inquiry of the total, and seek through the courts if necessary, a return of the monies. Likely? Snow on Xmas day would be a safer bet.

  52. Peter

    So, I gather, the culprits are the four or five further down the food chain who are ‘going through employment processes’. I hope they are named. It would seem unfair for Tony Avery and Kevin Thompson to take some ultimate responsibility for the Citifleet business without these other people identified. We shall see, I suppose.

  53. Phil

    Kevin was a pretty open and shut case. He was directly responsible for Brent Bachop. It was his job to know. He could have, and should have, stopped it years ago. For that reason I don’t think that he should have been given the opportunity to resign whilst on “stress leave”. Future employers have a right to know about the compentency of who they are hiring. Mind you, NZ is a small country. Tony could possibly have ridden things out but, given the scale, it would have hung around him forever. I don’t think it serves a great public purpose to name those lower down the chain (presumably either in Citifleet or Finance) who missed the fraud for whatever reason. They also had managers who were responsible for the accuracy of their work. I think we have a right to know WHICH department made the mistake, what they did wrong, and what changes have been made (including numbers of dismissals) in order to prevent this happening again, As with Kevin, I don’t think that DCC would be doing the business community any favours by offering the option of resignation for any of those who are being shown the door.

  54. Elizabeth
      Tue, 2 Sep 2014
      Another senior council staff member resigns
      Mr [Kevin] Thompson, contacted last night, would only say: “It’s an end of a chapter in my life.” […] The Otago Daily Times understands that – unlike Mr Avery – Mr Thompson was among five council staff involved in an employment process in recent weeks. […] In February, in an interview with the ODT, [Mr Thompson] said the council had 174 vehicles, together worth $2.5 million, but was looking to rid itself of surplus vehicles to make savings. Council staff last month clarified the council had 122 vehicles, although the value of the fleet was still “being worked through”.
  55. Elizabeth

    Chief executive won’t let him go too soon, obviously the history escapes the mind.


  56. Calvin Oaten

    He never resigned. He was simply told it would be better if he just shuffled off. And he did.

  57. Elizabeth

    Eagle has landed, temporarily.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Oct 2015
    QLDC work for Avery
    By Paul Taylor – Mountain Scene
    A former Dunedin infrastructure manager who quit in the wake of the city council’s Citifleet scandal is filling a gap in Queenstown. The Queenstown Lakes District Council’s planning department has been under strain – not only because of the resort’s housing and development boom but with resignations, including general manager Marc Bretherton’s last week.
    Read more

  58. Calvin Oaten

    Sheesh! Again the ‘brotherhood’ looks out for its own. Last I heard he was filling in time at the gym doing chin ups, but he kept slipping off the bar. This time he’s got his chin on the QLDC shelf. ORC also paying him for God knows what. Once you get the key to the ‘Brotherhood’ it seems a lifetime membership.

  59. Gurglars

    “Incompetence brotherhood”.

    Note, a contributor to the morning show today on Radio New Zealand stated that the strongest reason for not having digital elections was because council staffers did not have the technical or IT skills to write a failsafe programme to run the elections.

    I suspect that there are few if any council employees with the requisite skills to achieve any demanding task.

    Why would you have such skill when you are paid more to build a non productive or even criminal (in the case of parking and carfleet) organisation.

    The skill to fix, run or manage a sewage treatment plant, stormwater management or rubbish collection in fact would set one apart and therefore unemployable.

    • Elizabeth

      ### radionz.co.nz Thu, 8 Oct 2015
      RNZ National – Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
      New technology with Andy Linton
      11:08 AM. On-line voting and our increasing reliance on “big data”. Andy Linton has more than 30 years’ experience in computer networking in the telecommunications industry and the academic sector. He currently spends his time teaching and helping build networks in developing regions around the world.
      Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (duration 14′ : 12″)

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