Stuff: Dunedin council CEO won’t resign

Latest at Southland Times by Wilma McCorkindale:
03/09/2014 at 17:03

Dr Sue Bidrose said she would not follow two of her general managers out the door in the wake of the $1.5 million alleged fraud investigation.

Southland Times 3.9.14 Dunedin council CEO won't resign ( - screenshot) 14

We all know it was never a question.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

31 responses to “Stuff: Dunedin council CEO won’t resign

  1. Anonymous

    Spot on. She has no reason to. She has every reason to keep going down the track she is on, open up all the books and nail every single miscreant from the last 15 years.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Go girl! I mean, “Please Dr Bidrose, unless you eventually find yourself infected by the corrupt-and-gutless virus from the council woodwork, stay here and keep on doing what you’re doing till you have Winston’s Gold Card in your handbag.”
      Wouldn’t it be great to think we’ve got many good years ahead, instead of risking another of the less than wonderful overpaid wallies recruited at great expense and given silly contracts by Council that rewards them automatically just for breathing all year, and then again when they’ve made stinking messes, for leaving!

  2. Call Security

    Why would anyone think a CEO in a role for six months when a long standing fraud came to light should resign?!

  3. Cars

    Because the staff who have not yet gone, want her out, how bizarre, how bizarre.

  4. Elizabeth


    Rising investigation cost justified, CEO says

    “Chartered accountant Patrick Houlihan – in an email to the ODT – questioned why police or the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had not investigated, and incurred the cost, from an early stage.”

    Other stories at ODT today:
    Citifleet case goes further
    DCC manager bought vehicle from Citifleet

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s something many of us wonder, “why police or the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had not investigated, and incurred the cost, from an early stage”. Makes them look work-shy, unwilling to take responsibility in the job they’re paid to do, getting away with Extreme Delegating.

  6. Peter

    There is no set price on executing accountability. It is actually cost effective to do so because other crooked people may not take the risk in the future if they know the will be pursued to the ends of the earth if caught out.
    Interestingly, that the ODT mentions Bachop’s predecessor so unflatteringly. They obviously know something, but the guy is dead… unfortunately. Even Chin says Bob Heath was ‘a law unto himself’. If only other people who must have known something was wrong, even if they weren’t implicated, had spoken up earlier.
    There are still people on council who shy away from seeking accountability. One can only assume they are either gutless to confront or have their own skeletons in the closet that can be thrown back at them if need be.
    Once again, transparency goes hand-in-hand with accountability.

  7. Don’t forget that Cr Lee Vandervis was agitating about Citifleet as far back as 2011. Cull should have at least taken heed and asked for a report then, instead of allowing his personal prejudices to over sway prudence.

    • Peter

      It’s a shame when personal dislike of someone is factored in as to whether you take up on their sound suggestions.
      Hell, if someone like Malcolm Farry had a sound idea I would support him. Not that I can think of anything at the moment where he has been sound. Can anyone out there help me see something worthwhile he has done? I might post a reward.

  8. Peter, Malcolm took a ‘Sydney or the bush’ approach, stood for the Mayoralty only, reputably spent $50,000 and lost to Peter Chin. ‘Outsky’ from the Town Hall. That’s got to be worth a reward.

    • Peter

      I have learnt something, Elizabeth and Calvin. My promised reward amounts to nothing. I have taken the Eion Edgar line of promising donations.

  9. Elizabeth

    Responsibility for the council’s financial reporting and controls rested with Mrs Clarke, as financial controller. –Sue Bidrose

    Another DCC manager resigns
    The Dunedin City Council’s Citifleet scandal has prompted a third senior manager to resign. Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose this afternoon issued a media statement confirming the resignation of the council’s financial controller, Maree Clarke, had been accepted “with sadness”.

    SO FAR…….

    █ Sue Bidrose told Fairfax yesterday Bachop had told her all council vehicles were sold through Turners Car Auctions. Stuff Link 4.9.14 [Stuff 3.9.14]

    DCC managers/executive gone (minus reasons or whether connected to Citifleet investigation): Bob Heath, Jim Harland, Grant Strang, Graeme Hall, Athol Stephens, Bruce Miller, Robert Clark, Steve Prescott, Brent Bachop, Tony Avery, Kevin Thompson, Maree Clarke. [ODT 30.8.14]

    Declared: 5 council staff in “employment processes”.
    Declared: 7 lawyers involved.

    152 cars sold (2003 onwards).

    Car buyers (25 past and present council staff): Grant Strang, Kevin Thompson, Maree Clarke.

    Car buyers (members of the public): Carl Lapham – used Motor Trade Finances to pay for the vehicle. [ODT 2.9.14]

    Car buyers (councillors): Maurice Prendergast. [ODT 9.8.14]

    Unrelated (no suggestion of a link):
    MTF managing director resigns suddenly (29 Aug). [ODT 30.8.14] [ODT 2.9.14]

  10. Elizabeth

    Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
    Thu, 4 Sept 2014 at 7:05 p.m.


    —— Forwarded Message
    From: Graham McKerracher [DCC]
    Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2014 15:05:38 +1200
    To: Council 2013-2016 (Elected Members), Community Board – Chalmers 2013-2016, Community Board – Mosgiel Taieri 2013-2016, Community Board – Otago Peninsula 2013-2016, Community Board – Saddle Hill 2013-2016, Community Board – Strath Taieri 2013-2016, Community Board – Waikouaiti Coast 2013-2016
    Subject: Media Release Resignation of Maree Clarke

    Dear Councillors and Community Board members,

    Please find the attached media release announcing the resignation of the Council’s Financial Controller Maree Clarke. The release will be sent to the media at 3.30pm.


    Graham McKerracher
    Council Communications and Marketing Manager
    Dunedin City Council
    —— End of Forwarded Message

    DCC Media Release (by attachment) – on behalf of the DCC Chief Executive:

    It is with sadness that I have today accepted the resignation of the Council’s Financial Controller, Maree Clarke. Maree joined the Council in 2003 and was promoted to Financial Controller in 2008. In her time at Council Maree has provided leadership to the Finance team and has led by example in working with staff to achieve the best outcomes for the Council and City.

    Maree is well regarded by her colleagues and Councillors and the Deloitte report makes it clear there is nothing to indicate that Maree was aware in any way of the alleged fraud. Maree purchased a Council vehicle through Citi Fleet, this was the normal practise in place within Council at that time. The funds for this purchase were received by Council.

    Ultimately the responsibility for finance reporting and controls sits with the Finance Controller and Maree has told me that she believes the ongoing process of improvement of the Council’s systems will benefit from fresh leadership and I have accepted her resignation on that basis.

    Maree has agreed to continue to work in the interim to help in the transition period and will finish up prior to Xmas. I am grateful she has agreed to stay on as we look to find a replacement and carry out a thorough handover.


    • Elizabeth

      ### Thu, 4 Sep 2014
      Checkpoint with Mary Wilson and Jim Mora
      Another manager resigns over the Dunedin council car scam ( 3′ 44″ )

      17:08 A third senior Dunedin City Council manager has resigned over the growing Citifleet scandal.
      Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3


      ### Updated at 6:27 pm on 4 September 2014
      RNZ News
      Third council manager quits over car scandal
      By Ian Telfer – Otago Reporter
      A third senior Dunedin City Council manager has resigned over the growing Citifleet scandal. The council announced today that financial controller Maree Clarke will leave by Christmas.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        DCC Group CFO Grant McKenzie seems to have recruited someone he knows from UoO.

        ### January 16, 2015 – 5:43pm
        DCC hires new financial controller
        The Dunedin City Council has hired a new financial controller. Former financial controller Maree Clarke resigned in September, over the Citifleet fraud. Her replacement will be chartered accountant Gavin Logie. He has a commerce degree from the University of Otago, and has spent more than 25 years working in the financial sector. For the last 15 years he’s worked in the university’s financial services division. Logie will start at the council on the 9th of February. He’s the latest to be employed by the council, to replace senior staff who resigned last year over the Citifleet scandal.
        Ch39 Link [no video available]

        • Elizabeth

          ODT 17.1.15 DCC finance post filled
          The Dunedin City Council has named a replacement for former financial controller Maree Clarke, who resigned last year in the wake of the Citifleet scandal. Gavin Logie, a senior financial accountant at the University of Otago, was yesterday named as Mrs Clarke’s successor. Mr Logie was a chartered account with 25 years’ experience in Dunedin and the United Kingdom, and has worked for the university’s financial services division for the past 14 years. Mr Logie was a chartered account with 25 years’ experience in Dunedin and the United Kingdom, and has worked for the university’s financial services division for the past 14 years. Read more

  11. Phil

    We’re doing well on this forum. Picked 2 of the 5 so far. Kevin was the person responsible for the department, and Maree carried out the previous audit. A shame that they get to walk on their own terms, but I guess it saves DCC money in lengthly employment processes. That being said, I imagine that the 7 (quoted) lawyers hired by staff have been paid for by DCC.

  12. Whippet

    I find it very interesting watching our major TV channels at news time, for what is not considered news.
    With the DCC managerial staff resigning over the Citifleet scandal and Council accumulating a bigger debt than the number of seats at the stadium.
    The two major TV channels mention nothing of this catastrophe that is happening within our city council, but they can make a major news item about a fucking blackbird nesting in traffic lights in Dunedin.
    Corruption in Dunedin cannot make the TV news, but a blackbird can.

    • Elizabeth

      Last week on the Paul Henry Show (TV3 late news) Paul strongly ribbed Cull over losing 152 cars! Poor Mr Cull.

      Meanwhile RadioNZ News is carrying Citifleet items at their Regional News, thanks to their Otago correspondent Ian Telfer.

      Bigger news will come, early days.
      Plus, hey all we have at Dunedin is an empty rugger stadium, nothing happening here.

    • Cars

      The bird’s nest in the traffic light is not the only bird nest in the whole Dunedin traffic light disgrace.

  13. Elizabeth

    Just for you Cars, the bird would need to be removed…

    Published on Sep 2, 2014 | Otago Daily Times
    A hardy Dunedin blackbird chose to make a Crawford St light’s cowl its home while raising its young.

    ODT article – another great photo by ‘birdman’ Stephen Jaquiery
    (he did the scrawny video too)

    • Cars

      Elizabeth, i have a solution. Get rid of the traffic light and the bird will no longer be a problem. Ditto the “climate changers”.

  14. Those blackbirds are probably on staff. Quality control testing. The traffic controllers have quite a few ‘bird brained staff’. They are probably on the $62,000 pa salary scale just like Jinty’s new, yet to be appointed ‘Policy Analyst – Food Resilience’ person. And face it, they don’t need vehicles provided, they just fly to and from the office. Nothing in it there for ‘Citifleet’ being required to provide vehicles. No credit cards either, just a bit of birdseed three times a day. Dave must have really meant what he said about economising. Power to him.

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 6 Sep 2014
    Editorial: The Citifleet warning
    The Citifleet scandal at the Dunedin City Council is a clear warning for other organisations and businesses. […] At least, it appears the chief executive Sue Bidrose has been taking decisive action. […] The parade of senior staff falling on their swords has been a sight to behold.
    Read more

  16. Elizabeth

    ### September 10, 2014 – 5:48pm
    Your word on the DCC losing senior staff
    The alleged Citifleet fraud has prompted several high profile resignations at the Dunedin City Council. Senior staff members Maree Clarke, Tony Avery and Kevin Thompson have resigned after a combined 42 years. So with that in mind, the 39 Dunedin News word on the street team asked members of the public if they’re concerned about the loss.

  17. Cars

    Queueing theory states that persons at the front of the queue and at the end are optimistic and those in the middle pessimistic.

    The first two posters here follow the theory, Ms Sue Bidrose will clear out all corruption and may she stay until she retires. This poster must be in the middle of the queue, however as Ms Bidrose shows her spots!

    Investigations ceased, results swept under the carpet, nobody found guilty!

    As Lenin so aptly described, the next revolution after the workers revolution with workers all acting in concert and running the world will be the bureacrats running the world to suit them.

    We’ve now got that horrendous state of affairs, god help us, let’s bring on the next revolution, which we hope will not be a religion based incursion.

  18. Calvin Oaten

    I don’t know much about ‘queue theory’ except that the DCC’s staff queue is either getting longer or fatter. I see in the budget that there is a $2.3 million increase in staff’s wage bill. Now, when the workers (excluding the top 10%) average income is at best static or falling, on an inflation based rational, it would seem that there has been some substantial increases apportioned within that building. But then that would be the norm for those ‘sucking off’ the public purse.

  19. Rob Hamlin

    I think when it comes to rules governing DCC senior staffing appointment decisions ‘No new senior management with any prior professional, business or ‘networking’ experience south of the Equator.” would be a good start. It might help with effectiveness of the more numerical ones to recruit people who can’t speak any English either. They would then be able to review the numbers without the accompanying fictional narratives. Some clearer analysis and response might well be the outcome.

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