Cr Lee Vandervis: Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee

Updated post Fri, 17 Apr 2015 at 6:45 p.m.
Correspondence from Lee Vandervis in reply to Sandy Graham and Sue Bidrose; and forwarded note to Code of Conduct Committee – entered below last update to post.

Updated post Fri, 17 Apr 2015 at 1:46 p.m.
Correction received by email from Sandy Graham, DCC General Manager Corporate Services entered below Open Letter.

Received Wed, 15 Apr 2015 at 11:24 a.m.

█ Message: I have forwarded this Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee in an attempt to debunk the many misleading claims around the DCC Citifleet fraud investigations.
I am happy to provide supporting email evidence for anything stated below that your readers may find questionable.
Cr. Vandervis

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2015 22:48:00 +1300
To: John Bezett, David Benson-Pope, Stuart Anderson
Conversation: OPEN LETTER TO THE DCC CODE OF CONDUCT COMMITTEE
Subject: OPEN LETTER TO THE DCC CODE OF CONDUCT COMMITTEE

OPEN LETTER TO THE DCC CODE OF CONDUCT COMMITTEE

Dear Sirs,

Three separate Code of Conduct issues have been raised against me this year following my Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Cull which Deputy Mayor Staynes decided, without giving his reasons to me, not to refer to you.
There has been an uncomfortable mix of assertions and facts in the limited evidence that has been presented regarding the claim that I misled over Citifleet investigations, which I would like you to consider.

Provable facts include my long mostly non-public attempts to clean out dysfunctional management at the DCC since I was first elected in 2004. Partial success keeps me going.
I never expected whistle blowing to be popular, but neither did I expect such personal attacks for my trouble on behalf of our ratepayers.

Regarding the Citifleet frauds, my records show my many 2011 complaints to senior DCC management of: inappropriate DCC vehicle disposal, Citifleet manager selling vehicles to himself, credit card fraud, vehicle maintenance tender fraud, and tyre fraud are all well documented.
What is equally clear is that nothing was done to seriously investigate these complaints which all turned out to have substance until almost 3 years later when the Citifleet manager’s ‘sudden death’ resulted in new CEO Sue Bidrose ordering the DCC accountants Deloittes to investigate.
Dr. Sue Bidrose had been the most senior manager in charge of Citifleet and many other DCC departments prior to becoming CEO. It is my view that whatever evidence she might have given is not only inadmissible in terms of process because I had not been advised in advance of her evidence or her intention to give evidence, but that Dr. Bidrose is compromised because of her years as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death.

In the month following the Citifleet manager’s sudden death I repeatedly urged CEO Bidrose and head of Governance Sandy Graham to resist the temptation to minimize the frauds’ fallout by narrowing the investigation or by blaming it all on the dead manager. Although later admitting that the initial request for investigation related mainly to missing vehicles, CEO Bidrose gave me assurances from the beginning that Deloittes and then later Police would conduct a wide investigation. This provably did not happen with the Police, and I have no evidence other than yet another management assurance that it has or will really happen.

CEO Bidrose also gave me assurances from the beginning of the investigations that if I could provide hard evidence of DCC staff stealing even one dollar she would ensure prosecutions followed. Unfortunately the DCC records evidence which I have sought to complete hard evidence cases against both DCC staff and those involved outside the DCC has been denied me by CEO Bidrose, despite my making LGOIMA requests for it last year, namely: both the full unredacted Deloittes report, the Deloittes staff report, and the digitised evidential files which Deloittes collated for their investigation.
In that month following the Citifleet manager’s death I became very concerned when CEO Bidrose did not achieve a proper Police investigation apparently ‘because Police lacked the resources’, and that only the accounting investigation by Deloittes was to take place. I was relieved that Deloittes’ investigator Kyle Cameron seemed to have a good grasp of the many Citifleet complaints that had been made to me during his detailed interview of me, and that subsequent to the Deloitte reports Police were to investigate fully after all.
My concerns about Police having a belated investigation three months later are recorded, as are my concerns that Police requested that no public statements be made about Citifleet while their belated investigation was in progress. This despite Mayoral and CEO public statements that the Citifleet frauds were all the work of one now dead man.

I have highlighted with evidence to the SFO and CEO Bidrose the extreme slowness of a previous Dunedin Police investigation into DCC Landfill frauds that took more than three years before one individual was finally prosecuted, and I have written to the Serious Fraud Office unsuccessfully urging them to have an outsider’s independent investigation into the Citifleet frauds because local Police seem unable to do the job. CEO Bidrose claimed that the SFO had been contacted re the Citifleet frauds, but curiously the SFO’s Sara Morris said to me that no request from the DCC to investigate had been received by the SFO prior to my request for them to investigate.

My worst fears for the hoped for DCC investigation were realised when the Police investigating officer Detective Mathew Preece interviewed me at my home six months after the Citifleet manager’s tragic death, in what he described as the last week of his investigation. Detective Preece said that the scope of his investigation was only the missing vehicles and that he had already interviewed all other people he intended to interview. He said that all those he interviewed regarding missing vehicles offered the defence that they thought the deceased Citifleet manager was authorised to dispose of the vehicles in the way that he did, and that subsequently there would be no prosecutions of anybody.
I told Detective Preece that I had received many Citifleet complaints for years regarding not only vehicle disposal but fraudulent Citifleet credit card use, tyre supply, fuel supply, and fraudulent Citifleet maintenance contracts and that I had a motor trade business owner and others prepared to give evidence on these issues.
That night I wrote the following email to CEO Bidrose, Head of Governance Sandy Graham and to Detective Preece voicing my concern at the very limited scope of the investigation, and the investigating officer’s understanding that he could not investigate anything else because he did not have any wider complaint from the DCC to act on.

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:57:31 +1300
To: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, “PREECE, Matthew”
Conversation: Police Citifleet Investigation
Subject: Police Citifleet Investigation

Dear Sue,

An hour and a half spent with Detective Matthew Preece and another Policeman called Regan has left me with deep concerns regarding the Police Citifleet investigation.
Mr Preece has informed me that the scope of his investigation has been limited by the complaint the DCC has made to the Police, and that this complaint only concerns missing or inappropriately sold DCC vehicles.

Mr Preece says that because Police have not had a complaint from you or the DCC regarding;
– fraudulent Citifleet tender processes,
– fraudulent Citifleet tyre supply contracts,
– fraudulent Citifleet maintenance contracts
– fraudulent use of DCC Citifleet vehicle fuel
– fraudulent DCC accounting of Citifleet credit cards and other payment methods used and Citifleet managerial oversight
– and fraudulent use and conversion of DCC Citifleet vehicles [eg the conversion of a DCC-owned vehicle by Mrs Bachop]

and that consequently none of these fraud areas is being investigated!

Mr Preece did say that if you as CEO were to request that he broaden his investigation to include these other areas and not just the missing cars, that he would broaden his enquiry to include them. He insisted that he would have to have a broadened complaint from you as CEO for this to happen, and implied that a complaint from me as a City Councillor would not be enough to act on.

I have highlighted to Preece and Regan the urgent need to use the Citifleet manager’s tragic death to investigate and prosecute all Citifleet fraud areas, as a failure to do so will result in the loss of an unprecedented opportunity to clean out the culture of entitlement at Citifleet and in other DCC departments.

Can you please with urgency broaden the DCC complaint to include the 6 areas of potential Citifleet fraud listed above, so that Mr Reece can broaden his enquiry to include them.

Can you please also now with urgency, forward to me all instructions to Deloitte regarding the Citifleet investigation as previously requested in my email of 26/10/14 as below.

Is it possible to meet with you at any time tomorrow at your convenience to learn whether you have broadened the DCC Police complaint or not?

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 18:23:41 +1300
To: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham
Conversation: LGOIMA requests
Subject: LGOIMA requests

Hi Sue,

Further to my verbal requests of a week or two ago please forward copies of all original correspondence and or other direction given to Deloittes in regard to their investigation of Citifleet.
I wish to have the original brief stating the terms of reference, the subsequent brief where the investigation needed to be extended, and any other direction written or otherwise given to Deloittes regarding the Citifleet investigation.

I am deeply disturbed by what I have seen in parts of the investigation conclusions appearing without covering page or any details identifying them as parts of the Deloitte findings in non-public parts of the Audit and Risk subcommittee meetings.

I note a severe slowing on responses to my recent LGOIMA requests, and hope this has been a temporary frustration.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

Subsequent email from Police Area Commander Guthrie claimed as follows:

From: GUTHRIE, Jason [mailto:Jason.Guthrie@police.govt.nz]
Sent: Saturday, 15 November 2014 10:48 a.m.
To: Sue Bidrose
Cc: COSTER, Andrew; INGLIS, Malcolm
Subject: RE: Investigation Update

Hi Sue.

I can confirm that DCC staff did not (and have not) in any way attempted to restrict, curtail, or limit the scope of the Police investigation stemming from the Deloitte report either at the 1 September meeting or at any other time.

At no stage has any undue influence been exerted by DCC staff on Police as to what should be investigated and what should not be investigated.

At the 1 September meeting it was agreed that the focus of the enquiry would be limited to activity around the 152 vehicles as this was considered to be the most likely aspect to potentially lead to a criminal prosecution.

To avoid any confusion, from the outset the Dunedin City Council has been clear in it’s desire that Police investigate matters arising from the Deloitte report independently, fully, and thoroughly as Police sees fit. The DCC has also been very clear in it’s desire that if any individual(s) are identified as being involved in criminal activity linked to the matters within the Deloitte report that those people be held accountable for that criminal activity.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

regards Jason.

Inspector Jason Guthrie
Area Commander | Dunedin Clutha Waitaki | New Zealand Police

Dunedin Central Police Station, 25 Great King St, Private Bag 1924, Dunedin, www. police.govt.nz
Safer Communities Together

Area Commander Guthrie’s response above says that “DCC staff did not (and have not) in any way attempted to restrict…the Police investigation”, but then goes on to say that …”it was agreed that the focus of the enquiry would be limited to activity around the 152 vehicles…”!

Commander Guthrie’s subsequent claim that the Police investigation would be widened has thus far failed to result in my being contacted to provide the further evidence I have already tried to give Detective Preece regarding credit card fraud, vehicle maintenance contract fraud etc. The lack of any prosecutions after so much time adds to my concern.
This seems to me to be another example of management claiming one thing but investigating officers doing another.

I am yet to be convinced either by Police taking an interest in my offered evidence or by any Citifleet related Police prosecutions that a serious Police investigation has really been effectively widened despite stated intention to widen, even at this now very late stage. I do not dispute Police management intentions, but see them as quite different to actual Police investigating actions, which seem to me to be more interested in sidelining me as a critic of their investigation than getting to the bottom of Citifleet fraud.

Regarding the two other loudness Code of Conduct claimed complaints, I do not recognise them and I remain far from content that CEO Bidrose and Cr McTavish at least have made ‘loudness’ statements to your Code of Conduct Committee [Cr. McTavish read hers] but not provided these statements to me in advance so that I could defend them. I see these loudness complaints as politically motivated attempts to ambush me outside of proper Code of Conduct process, and I do not accept that they can have any force.
The two staff that might have had reason to complain of my loudness, namely CEO Bidrose and Sandy Graham, have made no complaint and both have independently assured me that they did not make any complaint, CEO Bidrose with a hug, and Sandy Graham with an eye-roll.

I particularly resent the swearing allegation that no Councillor has admitted to claiming, despite Mayor Cull’s publicly repeatedly saying in the ODT that my swearing had been claimed by a Councillor. I note the irony that when Code of Conduct complaining Cr. Thomson left an earlier Audit and Risk meeting in a huff using the ‘F word’, that no complaint was forthcoming from anybody.

I take this opportunity to register my complaints regarding the running of this Conduct hearing.
1 – That the loudness complaints should never have been recognised as complying by the Committee for want of evidence.
2 – That I was not permitted to record the public part of the hearing in which I spoke, but that Media were allowed to take short-hand and thus given the opportunity to misquote me with impunity.
3 – That no reason was given when asked for, for not being able to record the pubic hearing.
4 – That parts of the hearing evidence were in public, but that apparently some evidence parts were non-public.
5 – that I have been given an extract only from your draft report, on grey paper marked confidential, ensuring that I can not as a result comment on it. The claim that “This is to ensure that the principles of natural justice and due process are observed.” is absurd, given that natural justice and due process have been absent throughout.

Looking forward to having this wasteful exercise in enmity drawn to a conclusion.
Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

*Email addresses, phone numbers and web links removed. The company referred to above is “Deloitte”. The councillor surname is “MacTavish”. -Eds

CORRECTION

From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎17‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎1‎:‎31‎ ‎p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr [What if? Dunedin]
Subject: Correction

Dear Elizabeth

As discussed, I wish to correct a statement made by Cr Vandervis in his “Open letter to the Conduct Committee” which is published on your website.

The statement that the CEO Sue Bidrose had “years as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death” is incorrect. Sue had Regulatory Services (which included Citifleet, Building Control, Environmental Health, Parking Services) added to her General Manager portfolio for less than five months in 2013, immediately prior to being appointed CEO. This is clearly not “years” and needs correcting. Cr Vandervis’ assertions that Sue’s evidence to the Conduct Committee was therefore compromised is not supported by the facts.

Regards

Sandy

Sandy Graham
Group Manager Corporate Services
Dunedin City Council

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎17‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎5‎:‎01‎ ‎p.m.
To: John Bezett, David Benson-Pope, Stuart Anderson
Subject: FW: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet

Dear Code of Conduct Committee,

Please accept my apology for ignorantly overstating the length of time Dr Bidrose was most senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming our CEO.
‘Years’ should read ‘5 months as the senior manager of Citifleet and then 6 months as CEO’ prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death.

Kind regards,
Cr Lee Vandervis

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:12:33 +1300
To: Sandy Graham, Sue Bidrose
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr [What if? Dunedin]
Conversation: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager
Subject: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager

Dear Sandy and Sue,

Thank you for correcting my overestimation of the time Sue was senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming DCC CEO.
I sincerely apologise for my inaccuracy.
To avoid future inaccuracy on my part, can you please clarify which departments Sue was in a managerial position over and for what periods in the years Sue was at the DCC prior to be coming our CEO.

Kind regards,
Lee

—— End of Forwarded Message
—— End of Forwarded Message

█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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68 Comments

Filed under Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Name, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics

68 responses to “Cr Lee Vandervis: Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee

  1. Peter

    The limited Citifleet fraud investigation and the Conduct Complaints against LV are a classic case of game playing by key people who have unwisely not played a straight ball, but played games instead. Utterly stupid thing to do as they have tied themselves in knots which even Houdini would have difficulty getting out off. I have no sympathy.

  2. Peter

    The position of whistleblower might be onerous but it is extremely powerful because their exposure of the truth is at stake. It gives us an amazing insight of how people, who want to hide truth and accountability, scatter.
    It is not surprising when they try to hit back at the whistleblower, but this creates its own problems. For them.
    So much better for a good night’s sleep, and job security, if you work with the whistleblower instead of working against him/her.
    Whistleblowers have fire in their bellies. Watch out.

  3. Cars

    We must all continue to demand from the DCC and the police a complete investigation of all matters raised by Lee Vandervis.

    The DCC is an organisation that has impoverished each and every Dunedin home owner and resident and the only way to stop their profligacy is a determined investigation to find the truth, prosecute those responsible and change the culture for the next ten years. That is how long it will take for the finances to recover to a situation of equanimity at a minimum. The beauty of this solution is that it is the biters that will be bit rather than the ratepayers.

  4. semper fidelis

    Well done Lee. You have gone for the jugular by laying the facts bare. These cretins now have nowhere to hide. Up until now your silence has been their friend. The cretins are now in a very difficult position because for them to compete, they have nowhere to go. That is, their means of competing are limited to (either) engaging in more falsehoods to support earlier deceptions/lies (always a dangerous choice) or to ‘fess up’ and concede that they have been busted. It remains to be found whether they have the wit to charter an honourable exit. Thomson, Staynes, Cull et al should not be sleeping well. The one exposure (which I had not considered) that your dissertations have revealed is [how] Bidrose [stands] in all of this when her former role at DCC is factored in. Go Lee – you f#c#ing beauty. Who was that iconic USA President who said “when injustice becomes the rule, revolution become a duty”? Can’t remember which President said that, but I very much like the way he thought.

    Abridged. Actionable. -Eds

  5. Peter

    Dave Cull should regret his petulant move to sideline Lee at the beginning of his mayoralty by saying he will get nothing…in terms of responsibilities. Yet, this in a funny way has been good because Lee has been able to take up the role of critic and conscience within the council. It is clear that people outside talk to him, he listens and then acts, while the council prevaricates and tries to contain investigations that should take place in a thorough manner. This seems to be done in conjunction with the police.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Thanks, thanks, unlimited thanks for this site where sensible moderation keeps content from being swamped by noise, and therefore it remains a valuable resource.

    And thanks by the truckload to Lee Vandervis for trying so hard within the system but then, when it failed him AND US don’t forget, putting his information out to the public. We deserve to know how our council deals with our city and our money and our resources – and our light-fingered insiders and their cover-uppers.

    Wikileaks provided a similar facility on a world-wide scale!

  7. helenback

    Poor Lee – Bogged down with such unnecessary crap, while the real issues get sidelined by diversionary tactics employed to draw out and down-play the situation. Clearly there’s bigger stuff to hide.

    DCC management have become so focussed on damage control they can do little else. It makes them nothing short of dysfunctional!

    Keep gunning for the answers Lee, as the truth will out eventually.
    Big thanks from two very grateful ratepayers.

  8. Whippet

    Keep up the good work Lee. These corrupt arseholes need exposing. If only this town had more like you. We might just become the greatest small city in the world. If only.

  9. Elizabeth

    Correction to Lee Vandervis’s Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee (dated 15.4.15) received from Dunedin City Council’s Group Manager Corporate Services today – added to bottom of post at the top of this thread.

    Site Admin

    • @Elizabeth
      April 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm
      Updated post Fri, 17 Apr 2015 at 1:46 p.m.
      Correction received by email from Sandy Graham, DCC General Manager Corporate Services entered below Open Letter.

      God almighty!

      If you substitute ‘years’ for ‘time’ in the following offending ‘inaccuracy’ it would be factually correct.

      “Dr. Sue Bidrose had been the most senior manager in charge of Citifleet and many other DCC departments prior to becoming CEO. It is my view that whatever evidence she might have given is not only inadmissible in terms of process because I had not been advised in advance of her evidence or her intention to give evidence, but that Dr. Bidrose is compromised because of her [years] time as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death.”

      I suppose nitpickers are needed in this world but they sure as hell come at a great cost to the ratepayer. But rest assured we do ‘get’ ALL the messages from the City Council – including the subliminal.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    This is slightly heartening. “The statement that the CEO Sue Bidrose had “years as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death” is incorrect. Sue had Regulatory Services (which included Citifleet, Building Control, Environmental Health, Parking Services) added to her General Manager portfolio for less than five months in 2013, immediately prior to being appointed CEO.”

    I really want to believe that Dr Bidrose is not a fully paid up card-carrying member of the Rorters & Ratbags Assn. With the DCC and associates and “trusts” these days, every hint of honesty, competence and integrity is welcome, it’s just too depressing viewing the R&RA goings-on, one revelation after another.

  11. Elizabeth

    Post at top of thread updated yet again – subsequent correspondence copied and forwarded from Cr Lee Vandervis this evening.

    • Elizabeth This is truly descending into the aforementioned opera buffa ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ aka ‘A Day of Madness’. Are we past the third Act yet? Can’t wait for the fourth – it will be a ‘doozi’. Will the Count (Daaave) finally get to seduce Susanna? (the fragrant cyclist). Will Dr Bartolo (of the hospital) finally get his revenge on Figaro (the whistle-blower)? Will the Count finally make it up with Rosina (the out of favour and less fragrant lawyer)? Will Antonio get his gillyflowers to grow again? See and hear it all with perfect acoustics at the refurbished (at your expense) FUBAR. (Tickets a steal at $1,000)

      {Link added. -Eds}

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Gracious acknowledgement of error by Vandervis, and typical request for full and correct information so he won’t make the same mistake again.
    Wouldn’t it be loverly…
    ….if some others tried harder not to keep making the same mistakes over and over and over, what say you Eliza?

    • Elizabeth

      Yes it is gracious.

      Answering for Doolittle… The others that make mistakes over and over have some absolutely soul-destroying motives that add nothing to social responsibility in this fair city. In fact “fair” is a misnomer (understatement).

  13. Simon

    5 months as the senior manager of Citifleet, and still couldn’t see the wood for the trees. One would expect with qualifications like that, and an income to match that 5 hours, or at the most 5 days, is all it should have taken to suss that one out, and for how long did Tony boy know about it ?

    • CORRECTION

      You know that this is the same Sandy Graham penning this ‘correction’:-

      Dear Elizabeth

      ‘As discussed, I wish to correct a statement made by Cr. Vandervis in his “Open letter to the Conduct Committee” which is published on your website The statement that the CEO Sue Bidrose had “years as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death” is incorrect….’

      As this one who received this:-

      From Lee Vandervis
      Dated 16th August 2011
      To Sandy Graham
      Subject info Needed to progress various issues

      ……All details of DCC credit card spending by DCC employee Brent Bachop from 2004 onwards. In particular any vehicle tyres paid for on this card, but all transactions of interest, I recognise that this information may well be confidential………Looking forward to getting to the bottom of several complaints with the help of this information.

      The point I draw attention to here is that this is the very person who was made aware of the likelihood of fraud concerning Citifleet way back in 2011 who in April 2015 is fussing about a nit-picking detail in Lee Vandervis statement. I see this person as the continuity ‘element’ linking this whole sorry saga. At the very least I see this as a totally dysfunctional governance structure. Do these people not talk to each other? Even over morning tea?

      It took a very long time didn’t it.

      Now I do not wish to single out any one person here. But there seems to have either been a concerted decision to isolate, ignore or dismiss Lee Vandervis from the very beginning. Then they have the gall to nit pick about the time Sue Bidrose was in charge of this department.

      Concerning this latter point I think that Simon’s comment hits the nail right in the head.

      • Elizabeth

        Mick, only a minimum of 152 vehicles LOST (backdated to 2003 ONLY). And a few spare car parts, tyres, service contracts, lost cash for parking meters. Oops, MORE THAN ONE CREDIT CARD. And much more. What’s your problem Mick !!

        DCC = i.r.o.n.y.

        • Ha ha Elizabeth – I understand! Right now? – Gnats and Camels! long term – willful pigheaded hubris permeating that place. It ain’t gonna change either it seems. Root and branch is needed – all the way down from the very top.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Was Lee’s information received, or on record, during those 5 months?

  14. Simon

    The real question should be. For how long did top dog Tony know about this? As it appears this issue goes back to Paul Orders days as CEO.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    The timing of Lee’s information is IMO highly relevant to any examination of how the defalcations and property “improper disappearances” were addressed.
    When, who received the information? If others didn’t get to see it when this was relevant to their duties, who failed to pass it on OR deliberately kept it away from other senior staff?

  16. Calvin Oaten

    Then General Manager Infrastructure and Networks had to know early on and either turned a blind eye or was in on the deal. How else could it have dug such a deep hole? 152 vehicles, years not days weeks or months. He might have gotten a subliminal message from on high, or even from the same floor. That one has gone as well. Rumour has it that he sorts transport details now.

    █ SITE ADMIN
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  17. Peter

    The thing is with this Citifleet fraud, along with the tentacles of the stadium fraud octopus, we know that the DCC knows the details of fraud and they know because astute individuals have told them.
    It is as if everyone there is among polite company and someone drops a very loud and smelly fart in the room and they
    all look around embarrassed with their eyes fixed on the chandeliers.
    Sooner rather than later they will no longer breathe through their noses, pretending the scent is good, because the smell has become so overpowering. Questions will be asked like, ‘What took you so long?’ Why didn’t you do something?

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Compare:
    “I didn’t know the 50inch TV was stolen, and I thought $25 was a fair price to pay the complete stranger in that bar, sorry I can’t remember the name of the bar.”

    • Hype O’Thermia
      April 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm
      Compare:
      “I didn’t know the 50inch TV was stolen, and I thought $25 was a fair price to pay the complete stranger in that bar, sorry I can’t remember the name of the bar.”

      Compare also this from LV:
      “…. when the Police investigating officer Detective Mathew Preece interviewed me …. [he] said that the scope of his investigation was only the missing vehicles and that he had already interviewed all other people he intended to interview …. all those he interviewed regarding missing vehicles offered the defence that they thought the deceased Citifleet manager was authorised …. He said that all …. offered the defence that they thought the Citifleet manager was authorised to dispose …. there would be no prosecutions of anybody.”

      With this:
      “Commander Guthrie’s subsequent claim that the Police investigation would be widened has thus far failed to result in my being contacted to provide the further evidence I have already tried to give Detective Preece regarding credit card fraud, vehicle maintenance contract fraud etc. The lack of any prosecutions after so much time adds to my concern.”

      Surprise me. Will anything more be done by the police? Insurance will cover? …. premiums will go up? …. ratepayers will pay?

      So we are back to square one with only Lee Vandervis asking the hard questions and the rest – all of them – sweeping it all under that thick carpet.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    Mick, I’ve heard anecdotally that there is a move afoot to issue ice axes and crampons to negotiate the carpets in that building.

  20. Hype O'Thermia

    Eggs zactly, Mick.

  21. Elizabeth

    I was looking up an ex general manager at LinkedIn and found this off to the side – just thinking about who remains (how many managers does DCC have now ? still over 40 managers on the payroll from a staff of +600 ? that’s a lot of managing possible for care of the carpet); Kevin Thompson has gone via resignation (fact: no prosecution):

    DCC managers from LinkedIn 19.4.15

    • Elizabeth

      Comment received:
      “These civil servant types love putting up photographs portraying themselves as dynamic and sophisticated when the reality is they are just overpaid bumbling fools who go to work to eat their lunch, attend meetings and collect their “too much” pay.”

      I might have agreed, saying something about “bunch of bloated prunes”.

      Reply was:
      Ricky Gervais and his hit TV series “The Office” springs to mind.

  22. Elizabeth

    [ex GM excerpt – my highlighting]

    “I’m now looking for that next important career step. While still employed at the Dunedin City Council, it is time for a change. […] One of my key skills is in finding solutions to problems that involve multiple parties, complex real world situations and a range of community views.”

  23. Elizabeth

    I hesitate, to see more reasons for why the Citifleet investigation by police was narrowed by DCC.

  24. Rob Hamlin

    I wonder what an ‘information solutions manager’ is?

  25. Elizabeth

    Further to Cr Lee Vandervis’s thread at the post above:

    From: Lee Vandervis
    Sent: Friday, 17 April 2015 8:25 p.m.
    To: Sandy Graham
    Cc: Sue Bidrose, Elizabeth Kerr
    Subject: Re: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager

    Thank you Sandy,

    Could you also please additionally roughly establish when Sue became aware of my my 2011 email complaints from Turners Auctions, the motor trade and others alleging Citifleet/Bachop: vehicle disposal issues, tyre fraud, credit card misuse, and vehicle maintenance fraud issues?
    Most of these emails went to you and Paul Orders, but I understood that for years you shared most issues with Sue too.

    Looking forward,
    Lee

    ——————

    On 17/04/15 9:45 PM, “Sandy Graham” wrote:

    Dear Lee

    I will get this information on my return to work on Monday.

    Regards
    Sandy
    Group Manager Corporate Services
    Dunedin City Council

    ——————

    On 17/04/2015, at 4:12 pm, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

    Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager
    Dear Sandy and Sue,

    Thank you for correcting my overestimation of the time Sue was senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming DCC CEO.
    I sincerely apologise for my inaccuracy.
    To avoid future inaccuracy on my part, can you please clarify which departments Sue was in a managerial position over and for what periods in the years Sue was at the DCC prior to be coming our CEO.

    Kind regards,
    Lee

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Oops, a hard to misinterpret request for disambiguation.

    Can’t have that, Lee. It could cause dangerous unevenness in the surface of the carpet beneath which inconvenient truths have traditionally been ambigger’d.

    • Hype O’Thermia
      She will find a nice little roller for that from down in room 13 in the basement that Bob left – no problem – sweet as. Promotion assured.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    The way things are developing, it looks as though there were more questions left out than put in, to the brief to Deloites/Police inquiry into the ‘Citifleet’ debacle. When you rile the only diligent, honest councillor as Mayor Dave Cull has, then you better be prepared for the backwash. Clearly, Mr Cull has little political ‘nous,’ and it is starting to look like a very frazzled trimester that he is presiding over. Could / should well be his last.

    • Calvin Oaten
      April 20, 2015 at 10:38 am
      You say ‘Clearly, Mr Cull has little political ‘nous,’ and it is starting to look like a very frazzled trimester that he is presiding over. Could / should well be his last.’

      Of course, but what else is there around the table at present?
      We saw that article in Saturday’s ODT supplement ‘Mix’ about how Mayor Skeggs sorted the DCC out some 30 years or so ago. It would take someone of his calibre to deal with the current situation. Who is there?

      At this stage it seems that nothing short of a Commissioner is needed to deal with our problems. The current debt alone seems insurmountable. Compare these: –

      NZ $8,666,000,000 Population circa 4,000,000 per capita $2,167
      *Note where NZ sits in the world debt league.
      Dn $612,000,000 Population circa 120,249 per capita $5,089
      And our present council is embarked upon a continuum of expanding its only growth industry – debt. And stupid diversionary ‘wet’ dreams.

      At the very least it must be the last.

      • Elizabeth

        I’m not sure Skeggs represents the sort of calibre Dunedin ever needed.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Mick, “And our present council is embarked upon a continuum of expanding its only growth industry – debt. And stupid diversionary ‘wet’ dreams.”
        Technical term, Headless Chook.

      • Peter

        Mick. Skeggs wanted to demolish the Municipal Chambers, but thankfully it was saved. Presumably his vision and getting things done included demo projects on the kind of buildings we now value more for their aesthetic appeal and their ability to generate visitors to Dunedin.
        He also wanted an aluminium smelter at Aramoana …. another project to scare away another more productive, longer term industry, such as tourism, and not a destructive shorter term industry with the likes of Tiwai Point at Bluff that is now on the skids.
        Not a sophisticated man by any means despite the title …. bestowed on him by a Labour Government! (The same one which gave Douglas and Palmer one in the dying days of that government.)
        One thing I can congratulate Cull and Co on is their support for heritage in this city.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Dunedin was extremely lucky that it was relatively poor back then – not a patch on today’s gigantic debt, but not bulging with bubble prosperity. At that time today’s heritage buildings were generally regarded as worthless old places taking up valuable space. Auckland was lucky to -ahem- benefit from Progress, Mirror glass! Chase Corporation! Out with the mouldy-oldy, welcome Today! Dunedin stuck in shabby yesterday. It’s taken a long time for those “heritage” buildings to come back into fashion. It’s not down to anyone in power’s “wisdom” that we still have so many of them, it’s a happy consequence of slow population and economic growth.

          Had Dunedin not been a sad backwater we’d have an abundance of mirror glass too.

          A few people value old things during the period they are out of fashion, the majority are delighted to throw them out in favour of bright new stuff. Did you realise Edmonds baking powder tins are now collectibles? Chelsea golden syrup put out a “retro” tin as a special line for a short time to appeal to retro fans. Probably the current tin will eventually become a retro collectible, after golden syrup has been packed in plastic for a few years.

          The Aramoana smelter (and yes, it was a shit idea even then) was about the Clyde dam. Aluminium smelting wasn’t a short term industry, then. What factors have led to “Tiwai Point at Bluff [being] now on the skids” and were they predictable, then? What, for instance, was China’s status, then?

          It’s easy to condemn the decisions and ambitions of the past, but to be fair, before pointing the finger at (e.g.) Skeggs how about looking at what were the accepted truths and the economic and style and markets and business prospects in that time, not today’s wisdom – and wisdom-in-hindsight.

        • Elizabeth

          With respect Hype, a trace too simplistic wrt how many at NZ have always valued cultural heritage and cultural heritage landscape across the decades.
          I went to Architecture School with the children of Chase and Fletcher – they highly valued (dismay etc) what their parents were smashing down and replacing with cheapness….
          A Mainzeal crane driver that flatted in the same Takapuna house by the sea as I, was not happy with the replacements….
          Earnestness and sense of place cross speculator divides EVERY DAY.

        • @Hype O’Thermia
          April 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm

          Today! Dunedin stuck in shabby yesterday. It’s taken a long time for those “heritage” buildings to come back into fashion……it’s a happy consequence of slow population and economic growth.
          Had Dunedin not been a sad backwater we’d have an abundance of mirror glass too.…..to be fair…. how about looking at what were the accepted truths and the economic and style and markets and business prospects in that time, not today’s wisdom – and wisdom-in-hindsight.

          Agreed Hype and not only that, the ‘cherished’ natural landscape context that our city is set in would have been razed to the ground and infilled with crappy ‘development’ had we not settled back as a backwater since 1900.

          Fortunately these qualities are being recognised and valued today. It might take a new influx of wealthy Indian and Chinese migrants who would understand, value, buy and gladly pay for their survival. By lucky co-incidence, we still have them today and they just might be the way of this city’s future. There is sod all else that I can see.

        • Elizabeth

          Grow food/food services for export. Otago Southland regional knowhow. Dunedin has to look wider than Cull. Look to being a rural service centre, once more. No shame in that, and a power of R&D and investment to come. Deal in essentials – FOOD. That’s leadership.

        • Elizabeth

          Mick, perhaps thinking too traditionally. I didn’t confine in any way what I meant as regards food production, or “food” (wasnt confining to cropping/horticulture, lean meat, dairy, egg product or fish)…. The world moves on, high class soils are one thing, what I’m privy to is rather more dazzling! Long term investment. Wider application.

        • @Elizabeth
          April 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm
          The world moves on, high class soils are one thing, what I’m privy to is rather more dazzling! Long term investment. Wider application.

          Well you have me there, Elizabeth. I can’t imagine the more dazzling investment that you are privy to– beyond the Sterne flammenden Königin and spuds. When you get time you might let give me a clue.

        • Peter
          Yes I knew all that – re the municipal chambers there was (fortunately) an administration in place that worked – there was a level of technical competence, not now though. Re the smelter yup – that was touch and go at the time – fortunately it went! Sophisticated – of course not – but those sophisticated sorts don’t often succeed. However, Skeggs did galvanise action and things did happen in this town. Maybe some bad but in balance good IMO. But what we have now is a bunch of non achievers. I will always agree about saving the heritage where it can but don’t credit Cull much for that. Less said the better re that maybe.

  28. @Elizabeth
    April 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm
    Grow food/food services for export. Otago Southland regional know-how. Dunedin has to look wider than Cull. Look to being a rural service centre, once more. No shame in that, and a power of R&D and investment to come. Deal in essentials – FOOD. That’s leadership.

    Elizabeth
    This I can agree with you on. For example Total horticulture merchandise exports in 2013 were over $3.6 billion. Horticulture is now 8% of New Zealand’s total merchandise exports. But here the Taieri plains are the key for this production where intensive cultivation on high-lass soils can add value. But there are climatic limitations that affect the range and nature of production. The production has to be targeted for the tastes and demands of the Pacific Rim countries that would buy these products. I don’t see the DCC focussed upon that sort of thing. More inclined to subdivide the good soil land for houses. Beyond the Taieri is higher country with poorer soils and harsh climatic conditions not conducive for high quality plant production.
    Look wider than Cull. Absolutely essential.

    • Peter

      Meanwhile in the background we have these Compass mongrels who don’t give a damn about local food production and prefer to send frozen, prepared meals from Auckland, increasing the carbon footprint in the process.
      This issue is really pissing people off. Any SDHB members who oppose this could collectively threaten to resign. The Board, knowing it is teetering on the edge of oblivion is vulnerable, will come to its senses.
      BTW. Where does Richard Thomson stand on this proposal.

  29. Peter

    Mick. l do think give credit where it is due, even with reservations. The council could have got in the way of those wonderful developers who are doing great things with our heritage buildings, but they have facilitated their efforts. Saying that we were close to undoing this good work in the Exchange area with the proposed 28 storey hotel by Sing Song. We all remember the futuristic promo video showing what it would look like. I remember Dave Cull and Paul Orders saying they would roll out the red carpet and not the red tape. Also there was that old darling, Eion Edgar and other hangers on.
    Fortunately it did not happen, but it could easily have done so and f..ked that area.
    That aside, the council has been responsive to heritage issues from what I can see.

    • Peter. Yes agreed. But don’t give Cull or the councillors any credit there – it was the planners who dealt with it – and full credit to them. But I think that there might have been a lynching party commissioned for someone had things gone in the other direction.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes Peter, quite so.

      It started early with liaison between Glen Hazelton (Policy Planner – Heritage) and hand-picked property investors, leadership and steering groups, and the likes of Heritage New Zealand (then NZHPT); and briefings/meetings involving the mayor and senior DCC management. Luckily, the market economy provided the incentives to strengthen and upgrade buildings with icing on top through rates relief and grants which had been actively campaigned for by many of us through our agencies involved in advocacy for built heritage and urban design. The University of Otago is also another proactive agency for built heritage given the number of Category 1 historic places it actively maintains on campus.

      Local availability of experts in the engineering design and building work necessary are one of Dunedin’s amazing strengths.

      All up, hard work – often done in straightening circumstances what with fire engineering (by peer review process), building code, insurance, financing, et al.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        HUGE appreciation and chocolate fishes in perpetuity to the dedicated minority who appreciated the unfashionable old buildings and the shape and texture of our cities and countryside, long before the $-tourists signs went up.
        Seeing McMansions cluttering Taieri prime soils is vile, wangled and approved by people who deserve opprobrium in perpetuity unto the fifth generation. But things could have been so-o-o much worse.
        It’s good to be reminded of past frightfulness both avoided and perpetrated. Learning from past experience can only happen if people know about the past.

  30. Toby

    The two best carrot growing soils in the world is an area in Belgium, and was Wingatui. Was Wingatui. It became to difficult to grow carrots under houses.

  31. Jackie Elliott

    Well done on Citifleet Lee,
    I’m about to run a fine tooth comb through DCC Code of Conduct (providing it is publicly available on DCC website) because I assure you, ours, (based on the LGNZ model) does NOT allow for the removal of an elected members’ right to vote’ under ANY circumstances. What it does allow for though is witch hunts, Kangaroo courts, reputational assassination and bullying through intimidation. LGNZ are well aware of this, they agree their document is dysfunctional and well overdue for an overhaul, scheduled for next year they tell me.
    Kia Kaha
    Jackie Elliott
    The Kapiti People’s Districtwide Councillor

    {The document you need. -Eds}

    Dunedin City Council – Standing Orders (PDF, 1018 KB)
    12 Aug 2014: The Standing Orders set out rules for the conduct meetings of the Dunedin City Council and includes the Code of Conduct for Elected Members, as adopted at the inaugural Council meeting Oct 2010.

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