DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts and the record to be made public

Lee Vandervis + Dave Cull [photos via leevandervis.wordpress.com] BW (1)

The following correspondence is reproduced in the public interest.

Received from Lee Vandervis
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

Message: You may be interested in the following email trail, which I believe highlights a serious impediment to the cleansing process which is taking far too long at the DCC.
I am happy for you to publish.
Cr. Lee Vandervis


—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:36:35 +1200
To: Dave Cull
Cc: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Conversation: Recent events
Subject: Re: Recent events

Dear Mayor Cull.

Denial is not just a large river in Egypt.
You confirm the urgent need for facts and the record to be made public.

Cr. Vandervis


On 29/08/14 2:41 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

I do not believe that many of your claims below are borne out by the record or the facts and stand by my comments.


Sent from my iPad


[conversion code deleted from body text, punctuation restored -Eds]

On 29/08/2014, at 11:16 AM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

Dear Mayor Cull,

I believe that you have been long aware of my efforts to have Mr Bachop’s and other DCC departments investigated for the kinds of inappropriateness currently evident in Citifleet.
In particular you now know having read the Deloitte report, [and I believe have long known] that I have been calling for and instigated my own investigations into Citifleet vehicle disposals and contracting arrangements since at least 2011. I have been responding politically, then and since, to many business and individual requests and questions from, for example Turner’s Auctions, regarding Citifleet. Answers to many of my questions have been denied or not forthcoming, and the public right to know has been consequently frustrated. Your public claim that CEO Orders began the current investigative and restructuring process [by starting with DCHL?!] does not align with information I have, or with information and requests for investigation that I made to CEO Orders many years ago.

My understanding is that the Police were not moved to investigate Citifleet when contacted by the DCC over 3 months ago, even when the evidence was so tragically overwhelming that Deloittes were contracted by CEO Bidrose [costing us $200,000] to investigate. I am not convinced that Police requests for a further unspecified number of months of ‘no public comment’ is in the public interest, and my discussion with the Crown Solicitor was also unconvincing on this point.
You say below that ‘the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to’, yet you have the right and have read the Deloitte Citifleet Investigation Report and made numerous public comments, and I have been denied seeing it even on a ‘grey papers’ basis and am being muzzled. Your ‘operational only’ claim is generally questionable and in this case fails on all counts.
We will never know all the facts, especially if the withholding of the Deloitte report and more public muzzling continues.
In one of your media statements you say that Council have agreed not to comment until the Police have completed their belated investigation, but this is not true. Councillors have not been given the opportunity to even discuss a further number of months of no comment on Citifleet, leave alone agreed not to comment. I have certainly not agreed and do not agree.

Thank you for acknowledging my long standing demands that DCC ‘heads should roll’. My long political experience is that timely public disclosure will be necessary to ensure that the appropriate heads are dispatched, and that an embedded DCC culture of self-entitlement across many departments is permanently erased.

Cr. Vandervis


On 28/08/14 5:30 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

The investigation that the CEO has contracted Deloittes to conduct into Citifleet is an operational matter involving, among other things, employment and potentially criminal issues. From the outset the Police, Serious Fraud Office, and Dept of Internal Affairs have been kept informed.

The investigation and subsequent internal reviews were instigated within DCC.
However the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to, or responsibility for, interfering in or giving direction on, except as part of a whole of Council directive.

The investigation included the question of whether the problems uncovered at Citifleet had been the subject of previous allegations or questions, and if so, whether those had been responded to appropriately by management, including CEOs. Deloittes will report back on that.

The request not to release the report and the consequential request not to comment came not from the CEO (or me) but from Police and the Crown Prosecutor. Indeed both the CEO and I feel frustrated and disappointed as you do, that the report, which was completed only a week or so ago, must now sit under wraps for a further period.

However it is important that nothing jeopardises the ability of the CEO and police to hold people to account. You often demand that ‘heads should roll’
Your claims and demands, without knowledge of the investigation findings, could do just that: put the aims of the investigation to hold people accountable at risk.

I am not suggesting Councillors do not have the right to ask questions or make requests. What we do not have a right to do is step outside our governance roles, interfere with legitimate operational matters particularly without knowing all the facts, and unilaterally jeopardize Council and ratepayer interests. If we do we should be fully held to account for that.


Dave Cull
Mayor of Dunedin
—— End of Forwarded Message


Note: The auditors that Dunedin City Council has contracted to investigate fraud carry the name Deloitte New Zealand, or simply Deloitte. Link

Related Post and Comments:
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
27.8.14 DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens
26.8.14 DCC: Forensics for kids
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: leevandervis.wordpress.com


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property

23 responses to “DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts and the record to be made public

  1. Elizabeth

    See comments to this article posted by John Dickie, outstanding – think Dee-Cee-Cee !!!!! ie the legal type stuff DCC’s Daaave is trying SO HARD to not let happen……

    Kaipara District Council is undertaking to sue Audit NZ, the OAG…. and, the ex KDC CEO.

    Council votes to sue ex CEO for cost overruns http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11314938

  2. Mayor Dave Cull is in damage control here and as usual botching it. He almost gives the impression that he is a puppet with some invisible force or forces pulling the strings. His ignoring the fact that Clr Vandervis signaled his concerns “many years ago” , but was consistently ignored. It is quite possible that had action been taken then Mr Bachop might well be still alive and his children have their father. We’ll never know of course, but the whole exercise seems to have been a botch up from the get go. It’s only through Grant McKenzie and Sue Bidrose that it has got to this point. The fallout now is simply bigger, brighter and better. Leadership is the missing ingredient.

  3. Peter

    I can see Lee’s concern that the Police fluff this investigation by burying it for…how long?
    The Dunedin police do not enjoy widespread confidence. They get the council to do their job through Deloitte and THEN they pick it up! That hardly engenders confidence in them, does it.

  4. Elizabeth

    I will never forgive the mayor his part in blocking formal complainant, Lee Vandervis, from being interviewed by the Office of the Auditor General during the Delta investigation. A more sinister role of the elected mayor cannot be imagined with regards to a fraud of that scale against the Otago Community. MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS LATER. Makes Citifleet look like chicken feed. But same mayoral tendency to cover-up for Big Friends inside and outside the mayoral chain. Unless, I’m wrong.

    If the mayor disputes this then let him open the books on Delta and himself. In this case guilty until proven innocent.

  5. The Titanic that is the DCC is finally about to sink. For those of you who have waited patiently whilst millions was wasted and mismanaged the end is almost nigh. There is no way Mayor Cull can survive what is now an embarrassing debacle. One ugly revelation after the other, Council staff resigning or under investigation. Do the decent thing and resign Mayor Cull, you are the main man so have the guts to admit your Council is a dysfunctional and leave now for the sake of the city’s ratepayers.

    • Elizabeth

      On the Cull nose, from Stevesone57 http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/314266/almost-all-dcc-top-brass-gone#comment-61752

      Nice! Indeed we’re all wondering what CE Bidrose is thinking right now – perhaps an honest to god Address (state of the dcc) from her soon to slice through all the Cull crap. Needed, there’s a lot of support for her freedom to act without political interference so long as she is open and frank and not doing PR pap, if I may say. So Sue, stay well away from the dreadful DCC Comms crew. Be your own chief executive.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Stevesone, “There is no way Mayor Cull can survive what is now an embarrassing debacle.” Oh yeah? Haven’t you been watching events further north, where an elected woman who’s managed to survive “final warnings” at last “did the right thing” and mimed falling on her sword, by gently pressing herself against a butter knife. Knowing she can’t be replaced as a candidate – nominations have closed – so if she resigned as an MP the party would have no candidate in the election 3 weeks away, so the boss isn’t going to tell her “Hey Jude, final just happened, go forth and multiply instead of practicing divisiveness on my ranch.”

    A determined and shameless sticker with residual support from suckers and parasites – see above example, birds of a feather fouling the communal nest – won’t move. Castor oil and a crowbar won’t shift them. Not that they’re staying there for other than noble reasons, good heavens no, they make that plain. Despite all the troubles, none of which were their fault, they’ll keep on s[w]erving to save us the expense of a by-election…

    …and to keep Lee Vandervis out of the manger as long as possible.

  7. Rob Hamlin

    Dumping Jude? Actually Jonky could do just that. It’s worth more votes than not doing so. Disown her, suspend her party membership on the basis of new-to-hand info. Remove the posters. Tell her local party workers to go home or to the nearest constituency with a legit National candidate. Tell the residents of Collins’ constituency to vote Labour or whatever or not at all on the local member ballot. Take the credit for knifing her – She can’t have many admirers now outside of the network. And still get the same number of MPs via the party vote – Collins would be replaced by an oh so liable and eager to please ‘last in on the list’ MP.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Rob Hamlin, “Jonky could do just that. It’s worth more votes than not doing so.” I wish I could believe that. A handful of locals interviewed tonight showed less than heartfelt or general distaste for the woman, they’ve experienced her as an electorate MP and if she’s turned up at enough events, done enough for individuals in trouble to get a good reputation there they’ll keep on voting for her..
      There are people like us who are interested in politics and politicians. The blighters are in OUR lives after all. We take “small” breaches of decency quite seriously, in that the ones we hear about are signals about the overall quality of the person behind the media training and spin. Others, people I know and like and have quite a lot in common with, aren’t even following the current fast-moving drama with its excremental villains who delight in malicious acts, its secret correspondence revealed, treachery aplenty, and lashings of skullduggery!
      In other words, Rob, I think you’re mistaken.

  8. Rob Hamlin

    Sadly Hype, you may be right on that. Time will tell.

  9. Elizabeth

    Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act

    Received from Lee Vandervis
    Sun, 31 Aug 2014 at 7:52 p.m.

    Message: LGOIMA requests have answers as below, which I have confirmed are public. Note #8 was not answered – I have requested clarification.
    Kind regards,


    —— Forwarded Message
    From: Lee Vandervis
    Sent: Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:01 a.m.
    To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
    Subject: 8 x LGOIMA requests

    Hi Sandy,

    Can you please let me know asap;
    1 – when anyone at the DCC [presumably Sue] first contacted the Police regarding investigation of Citifleet issues.
    2 – how soon I can see the Deloitte Citifleet investigation report and whether redacted or complete.
    3 – whether the Mayor has sighted the Deloitte report or any part thereof
    4 – how many other Councillors have sighted the Deloitte report or any part thereof
    5 – how many lawyers not directly employed by the DCC have sighted the Deloitte report or any part thereof
    6 – how many other non-DCC personnel have sighted the Deloitte report or any part thereof
    7 – at what date the Deloitte report was given to the SFO
    8 – what request was made to the SFO regarding the Citifleet fraud issue.

    Kind regards,
    Cr. Lee Vandervis


    From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
    Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:44:30 +1200
    To: Lee Vandervis
    Subject: RE: 8 x LGOIMA requests

    Dear Lee

    I refer to your request for information under the provisions of LGOIMA and provide the following responses:

    1. Deloitte, following discussions with the CEO met with the Dunedin CIB on 30 June and discussed investigation matters with them. It was agreed that Deloitte would complete its work and the Police would start theirs once they had a copy of the report. The CEO raised the matter directly with the Police on 10 July 2014.

    2. The Deloitte Report will be released once the Police and Crown Prosecutor have determined that the release of the report will not be detrimental to the criminal investigation. It is not possible to say when this will be.

    3. Yes. The Mayor has sighted the report.

    4. No Councillors have seen the report. I note that Susie Johnstone, Chair of the Audit and Risk Subcommittee has viewed the report.

    5. Apart from the DCC lawyers, I believe that seven other lawyers have viewed the report. These lawyers include six lawyers engaged by staff in employment related matters, plus the Crown Prosecutor – Robin Bates. The lawyers engaged in the employment matters have all signed confidentiality agreements around the information contained in the report.

    6. Apart from Deloitte and the Chair of the Audit and Risk Subcommittee, to the best of my knowledge, the following non-DCC organisations have sighted either the full report or the executive summary: the Serious Fraud Office, The Office of the Auditor General, the Police, the Department of Internal Affairs, our insurer QBE and the Coroner.

    7. Deloitte briefed the SFO on 12 June 2014 (with a case officer and the GM Fraud and Corruption). At that time, the SFO decided that the best course of action was for Deloitte to complete its investigation and provide a copy of the report at the conclusion of its work. A copy was provided on 21 August 2014.

    8. As of today, we have not heard anything further from the SFO.

    —— End of Forwarded Message


  10. Pb

    Feathers flying entertaining, but real culprits will lie quietly, enjoying their cheap wheels. Like a seal on a beach. You think they’re dead, then whammo! Up they jump and scare you silly. We are on track to spend more on lawyers than was stolen, double crime! Lawyers will investigate and recommend: more laws more auditing more complexity more chance for fraud.

  11. Phil

    Good on you, Lee. Keep at them. Surprised that the mayor, an elected official, has a higher level of information access than other elected officials. That’s a bit dangerous.

  12. Elizabeth

    Shades of Delta.

  13. Martin Legge

    In terms of operational matters, I thought a Mayor had no additional status to that of his Councillors. If he has seen the report then Council members could rightfully ask why he did not disclose the report to them immediately and be united over one of the most serious situations faced by the DCC.

    We now learn that 7 lawyers, their clients and no doubt their clients’ wives have all seen or are aware of the contents of the report and have been able to assess the damage and protect their clients’ interests. Quite possibly, Avery was one of those employees and has front footed the media with public statements that protect his “honour”.

    Given the seriousness of the situation, the cost, the inevitable public speculation that is now playing out and the likelihood of further litigation against the DCC as a result of the report, I cannot believe Mayor Cull did not immediately disclose the report to all other Councillors even if it was under the same confidential terms and privilege afforded to the lawyers and their clients!!

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Whose council election pitch included the word “transparency”, someone please remind me.

    • Elizabeth

      Tony Avery said he had seen the Deloitte report.
      He was either ‘one of the staff and their lawyers’ – or the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) saw the report too. Or both.

      Or what?

  14. Again! Our “Little Hitler’ takes it upon himself to be the single arbiter of what council should or should not know. It is high time the elected body took him to task on this basic fundamental principle. We elect these folk to look after our interests, not to ‘kowtow’ to this pompous little Napoleon. What is needed is a “Dunedin’s night of the long knives”.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Cull’s method: keep ’em in the dark and apply plenty of horse shit. You’d have thought more than one (Vandervis) would have objected to being treated like mushrooms, esp his Greater Dunedin “colleagues” – or perhaps they’ve been accidentally left alone in a room with the report on a desk while he went away for a few hours to check one of his other fungal enterprises.

      • Elizabeth

        I was thinking more along the lines of the ancient game of Chess – that Cull the puppet got a copy to his private mentors/string jerkers on how to steer fellow councillors going forward !!

  15. Elizabeth

    New post, DCC reply to Cr Vandervis’ further official information requests.

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