DCC severely FAILS councillor #naturaljustice #contempt

Updated post Sun, 26 Apr 2015 at 2:45 p.m.

Meeting of the Dunedin City Council on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 at 1:00 PM, Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers

Agenda – Council – 28/04/2015 (PDF, 96.6 KB)

Report – Council – 28/04/2015 (PDF, 172.7 KB)
Conduct Committee Report to Council

Received from Lee Vandervis
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 at 6:22 p.m.

█ Message: Your readers may be interested in this email exchange below.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:58:40 +1300
To: Sandy Graham
Cc: Stuart Anderson [University of Otago], 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, Sue Bidrose
Conversation: Code of Conduct public announcement
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct public announcement

This does not answer my governance question Ms Graham, as to why I was not advised that this was coming out.
There has been nothing standard about any of this Code of Conduct process.
Cr. Lee Vandervis


On 23/04/15 11:48 AM, “Sandy Graham” wrote:

Dear Councillor

The report formed part of the public agenda that was delivered to all Councillors last night in advance of Tuesday’s meeting.

The media receive a copy of the agenda at the same time as per our standard process.



On 23/04/2015, at 10:34 am, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Code of Conduct public announcement
Dear [as in expensive] all,

I have been rung by media this morning wanting my comment on the outcome of the Code of Conduct claims against me.

Nobody has had the decency to inform me of what these outcomes might have been, despite the exceptionally long time the production of these outcomes has taken.

Can anyone advise me why the media seem to have this information well in advance of me, or is it just standard process for a show ‘trial’, in which I have not even been allowed to see 2/3 of the ‘evidence’.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

Received from Lee Vandervis
Thu‎, ‎23‎ ‎Apr‎ ‎2015 at ‎7:12‎ ‎p.m.

Re: Code of Conduct decision

I have sent my response to today’s Code of Conduct decision just sprung on me to you since I can not rely on ODT reporter Chris Morris to accurately present it.
Fortunately most interested parties read your blog anyway.

I am innocent of the Code of Conduct claim that I have misled the non-pubic Audit and Risk committee regarding the Citifleet fraud investigations.
The guilt lies with those DCC staff and some elected representatives who for years failed to act on my Citifleet fraud and other whistle-blowing allegations despite the DCC records evidence available to them. Some of this evidence has recently emerged in the Deloitte reports which I continue to seek.
If my allegations and evidence had been appropriately acted on, many matters of grave concern would have been dealt with when the record shows I raised them as early as 2011.
DCC staff refusal even now to let me see the full main unredacted Deloitte Citifleet Fraud report, or the Deloitte staff report, or the digitised relevant DCC records evidence, further increases my suspicion of a cover-up.
Questions regarding the role of new DCC CEO Bidrose as senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming CEO, and of what she knew of my allegations in the years prior are some of the many questions yet to be answered.

What has been shown is that the Police investigation was certainly very narrowed up until my complaint of this narrowing to CEO Bidrose and the Police investigating officer, some six months after the Citifleet manager’s sudden death. Subsequent claims by Area Commander Jason Guthrie that the investigation has been widened have not been supported by Police following up on the evidence I tried to interest them in: the Citifleet maintenance contract fraud, DCC credit card use fraud, etc. or by any convictions, or other widened investigation action that has been visible to me.

The two loudness claims, evidence of which I have not been allowed to see and therefore defend, both come back to the shutting down of the wider DCC contract fraud debate, and the resulting multiple abuses of Code of Conduct process to try and shut me down.

The four prescribed penalties suggested in the Code of Conduct report are:

1 -Censure
– the Mayor has already done this on pubic and non-public occasions.

2 -Request Apology
– I already apologised for loudness at the time

3 -Suspension of voting right only in Committees, not Council
– abuse of my representative function, but a wet bus ticket given my continuing right to debate

4 -Dismissal from positions of Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or deputy chairperson of a committee
– Mayor Cull already did this at the beginning of the triennium.

The Mayor’s recommended members of the Code of Conduct Committee have run an expensive Kangaroo Court with only my loss of two months committee voting rights to be recommended. It will be interesting to see if enough Councillors will vote for that.
It will also be interesting to see what the voting public think – do they want wide investigation and full disclosure or do they just prefer good news stories from the DCC.

Kind regards,
Cr. Vandervis

Received from Lee Vandervis
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 at 7:17 p.m.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:15:55 +1300
To: Chris Morris [ODT], Nicholas George S Smith [ODT]
Conversation: Code of conduct report
Subject: Re: Code of conduct report


I have sent my response to the What If site, as I can not rely on you to accurately present it.

I was out last night, and the first I heard of the Code of Conduct decision today was radio media wanting comment.



On 23/04/15 3:34 PM, “Chris Morris” [ODT] wrote:


I’ve sent you a text with a very basic outline of the key findings. Happy to hear from you at any time today or tonight for a detailed response once you’ve read the report in full. I understand it was hand-delivered to your house last night.



—— End of Forwarded Message

Related Posts and Comments:
15.4.15 Cr Lee Vandervis: Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee
18.3.15 Lee Vandervis releases emails #Citifleet investigation
17.3.15 DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?
13.3.15 Cr Lee Vandervis: LGOIMA…. Citifleet Investigation – Deloitte Report
26.2.15 DCC and the day(s) of Madness
23.2.15 Lee Vandervis on DCC Code of Conduct process #emails #naturaljustice
15.2.15 DCC…. ‘CEO Bidrose confirms no Vandervis complaint with a hug’
6.2.15 Cr Lee Vandervis apology
5.1.15 DCC: Chairman denies true and correct Council record
19.12.14 Vandervis: Deloitte and Police Citifleet investigations
19.12.14 DCC Citifleet by email . . . . woops! (another timeline proof)
18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet #whitewash
24.10.14 DCC Citifleet, more revelations….
21.10.14 DCC Citifleet, undetectable….
1.9.14 DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis
30.8.14 DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts….

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

35 responses to “DCC severely FAILS councillor #naturaljustice #contempt

  1. Elizabeth

    Received from Quo Vadis
    Submitted on 2015/04/23 at 11:36 pm

    Those bastards. Thomson presides over a $16M fraud on his watch at the DHB, Cull takes water from the City for something like 18 years as I recall, and they dare to judge (and condemn) a man who is doing nothing more than that what he is elected to do. Nothing truer than the maxim that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Stay strong Lee – they will be exposed. It’s a long lane that has no turning.

    • Todd

      Quo Vadis. I seem to remember Cull paid for five years’ worth of water that was obtained from a dodgy connection to a town water supply. Initially he was only going to pay three years until pressure was put on by the former Ratepayers Association. That left the remaining twelve years unpaid.
      In this context it makes you understand why, along with Thomson’s tardy actions with the Swann fraud,the GD group of councillors stick together and put the boot into Lee Vandervis. They really don’t want to pursue possible fraud when it stares them in the face.
      I must say l am surprised that Jinty MacTavish has got into this. I thought she had more integrity.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “Jinty, I’ll keep on supporting your cycle lanes and other greeny initiatives, because LOYALTY (nudge nudge) and SOLIDARITY among us councillors is important to me.”

        I’ll scratch your itch, you scratch mine. Feels go-o-ood doesn’t it? Better than letting an exterminator rid the House of fleas, bedbugs and cockroaches.

      • Jacob

        When Hagart Alexander Drive in Mosgiel was being constructed, the water boys came across an illegal connection, and were told to look the other way.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      This article is one of the ODT online’s “no comments” special be-nice-to-our-mates numbers.
      Funny thing, Vandervis seems to be attracting more “mates” every time he does something for which the dirty fingered bunch punish him.
      There are people who respect integrity when they see it, and they are seeing it and its opposite often enough to learn to distinguish them at 200 paces in a heavy mist.

  2. Anonymous

    Ok, that arrogant shite offered up in “Voting rights loss ‘punishing wrong people'” would have made me cancel my subscription – if I’d considered to restart it after the paper’s stadium love. It seems Richard Thomson, Dave Cull and Chris Morris have found their purpose. What ever this is intended to distract from is going to be real bad.

  3. Rob Hamlin

    This from a Finance and Strategy Committee meeting a few years ago where I was personally present. The committee was considering a massive (but predictable) black hole that had just opened up in its finances.

    Q (Vandervis) “Do you have a problem with submitting information to this committee that you know to be false?”
    A (Council officer) “No.”

    Outcome: No further questions from the Chair or committee at the time, no known further action on the officer’s comment taken subsequently.

  4. Cars

    It seems that the maxim “you can’t fight city hall’ is being personified in this case. An investigation into the theft of at least 152 cars plus credit card theft and fraud possibly involving a previous CEO is shut down, whilst an investigation into a frustrated elected official raising his voice is going on full steam.

    All I can say is that until the DCC is totally overhauled and its powers to rort the citizens of Dunedin minimised such anomalies will continue and their manipulators will become more brazen.

    It might be you next!

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Huh!!!? What!!!?? The sniveling whining ‘gits’ have won a hollow, empty victory. Cr Richard Thomson in his usual devious magnanimous manner, offers a dead olive branch to Cr Vandervis after having been part of the engineered trumped up charge in the first place. As Elizabeth says, this is the ‘dullard’ that presided over (and lost his position because of) the $16M fraud at the DHB. The panel under the auspices of ‘Pontius Cull’, consisted of an out of touch legal academic, a time expired less than forthright councillor, plus a former Minister of the Crown (who was dismissed as a proven liar by the Prime Minister of the time). And what was the alleged crime? Cr Vandervis did first and foremost conduct due diligence on his own initiative into the matters pertaining to cause unease regarding the management of council’s ‘Citifleet’. These actions were ignored for many months despite the accused constantly bringing to the attention of the council CEOs, both Paul Orders and latterly Dr Sue Bidrose. He did present via a number of emails over a period of time, evidence which was largely ignored until the heat grew, resulting in the untimely death of the department manager. Then, and only then, was an investigation carried out by Deloitte under instructions from Council. The brief appeared to be quite specific and confined, as indeed was the briefing to the police. The result was no recovery of proven losses amounting to possibly $millions. Nobody has been held to account and the only recompense was to accept a token payout from the City’s insurer. This of course will be recovered through time by the insurer via adjusted future premiums. All this took place whilst Cr Vandervis was receiving further information from the motor vehicle trade which when he passed it on was largely ignored. And then these incompetent ‘nincompoops’ wonder why he became frustrated and raised his voice at the odd committee meeting. “Unbelievable!!!”
    If the outcome is that by a 75% margin Councillors do vote to instigate the censures recommended by the aforementioned panel then it will be a very sad day for democracy in Dunedin. It will be seen as a culmination and a victory of vindictiveness by Mayor Cull towards Cr Vandervis right from the inception of his taking the oath of the mayoralty. Persecution of arguably the most capable councillor at that table. Truly a sad day and a sad affair.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Calvin, you raise another unsettling point: “evidence which was largely ignored until the heat grew, resulting in the untimely death of the department manager”.
      What would Mr Bachop’s fate have been had the car business been addressed when concerns were first raised? The loss to us, the ratepayers of Dunedin, would have been far less, for sure. And the matter if caught early enough would still have been serious but not massively serious, could have been explained to a fairly face-saving extent as “inadequate processes in place” and “lack of clarity” about disposal of vehicles and use of credit cards etc. Shame and trouble yes, bad enough for fatal consequences though? Who are responsible for turning blind eyes until a man was so deep in trouble and shameful actions that he could see no way forward?

    • Cr T left in a ‘ffuH’.

  6. Cars

    Having now read the report of the committee containing Mr Benson-Pope, my initial question is , if the police are indeed investigating the activities of council staff including alleged credit card fraud etc, where is the police report on these activities alluded to by Cr Vandervis?

  7. Whippet

    ” I genuinely like the guy.” That is why I shit on him.

  8. Simon

    Mr Swann was seen recently in the Marlborough Sounds having some R & R.

  9. Peter

    Do l sense some furious backpedalling here? These councillors who instigated this are prosecuting the whistleblower who first raised the Citifleet issue years ago and was ignored till it was no longer possible to do so. How dumb is that?
    They know Lee Vandevis has got them over a barrel on this one. Big brain indeed.

  10. Bev Butler

    It states in the Conduct committee report that the Area Commander had explicitly told the investigating officer that he had misinterpreted his instructions, and then goes on to say the Area Commander told the officer to broaden the inquiry to cover the other matters in the Deloitte report and undertook that that would happen.
    It hardly leaves the public with much confidence that the fraud is being investigated thoroughly when the investigating officer “misinterprets” the Area Commander’s instructions!

  11. Due process is the standard for organisational systems. It is not happening here.

  12. Calvin Oaten

    Re-reading today’s ODT item covering the outcome of the Cr Vandervis Code of Conduct hearings I can’t help but notice the impact on the whole sordid episode of Cr Richard Thomson. There is a definite touch of ‘Machiavellianism’ inherent in his actions.
    First, he with Cr Staynes decide that (“though I genuinely like the guy”) felt compelled to lodge a Code of Conduct charge on the grounds that Cr Vandervis misled the council’s audit and risk subcommittee on December 3rd, in comments about the scope of a police investigation into the Citifleet fraud.
    Now, when we refer to Cr Vandervis’ email at the head of this thread we can see that his work goes back as early as 2011. During that time and up to the time of the meeting in dispute, Cr Vandervis had communicated his concerns regarding the preventing by staff of allowing him access to an unredacted Deloitte report which would be tantamount to concealing information regarding staff involvement in the alleged fraud.
    He had also communicated his concerns to CEO Dr Bidrose with regard to the police involvement of which Cr Vandervis is accused of misleading, it is documented in his earlier trail of emails that he had discussions with another police officer about the limitations put on the extent of the investigations.
    If Crs Thomson and Staynes had been half as diligent as Cr Vandervis they would have been equally informed and thus not be misled. The fact that chair Susie Johnstone refused to allow a debate at the same meeting and claiming that Cr Vandervis had been “aggressive and abusive” towards her. Again, a cause of inherent frustration of covering the business on hand for no purpose other than to upset Cr Vandervis, who had done a substantial amount of work on the subject.
    Now Cr Thomson in commenting on the outcome, that he urges Cr Vandervis to accept his behaviour as “inappropriate” and offer a genuine apology. (Is there any other sort?) He was saddened to be among the councillors to file a complaint against Cr Vandervis “because I genuinely like the guy’.(With friends like that who needs enemies?) “I just wish that he would see that his behaviour is completely counterproductive.”
    Now if we ponder on the fact that all the main players promoting these complaints, are Crs Thomson, Staynes, Wilson and MacTavish, and it is no coincidence that they are all members of the “Greater Dunedin” cabal headed by Mayor Dave Cull. Now we also have seen aggravated friction between Cr Vandervis and Mayor Cull from the beginning of this trimester, when Cull famously stated publicly, “I have given you nothing!” when setting the committees, chairs and deputy chairs. Since then he has been pointed in his rebuking of Cr Vandervis, even evicting him from council meetings on precious little evidence, even hearsay.
    Studying this obsession one can’t help but come to the conclusion but that Cull’s ‘acolytes’ have concocted what Cr Vandervis himself describes as a “Kangaroo court” in order to debase his reputation, despite he being perhaps the most effective and diligent councillor round that table. Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday’s meeting requiring a 75% majority to convict, there is no credit to fall to those who so obviously tried to kneecap Lee Vandervis. Even to the appointment of the ‘panel’.

    • Peter

      The Machiavellian game playing you refer to, Calvin, is good in one sense. Over time it becomes very difficult to remember what was said by whom and when. This wears down the game players as their inconsistencies and lies are exposed and this provides ample evidence for prosecution.
      Lack of sleep at night and increased anxiety because of stress take their toll on people’s lives. They have only themselves to blame because they have not played things straight. I have no sympathy.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, RT is confused about the word ‘friend’. At one council meeting earlier this year he said ‘my good friend’ indicating Cr Vandervis – then this: (whatifdunedin added the star)

      Richard Thomson Facebook entry

      Then, RT’s evidence at the conduct hearing. Followed by the ODT interview in which he is stupidly up for ridicule.

      DCC profile: https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/councillors/cr-richard-thomson

      • Calvin Oaten

        So, he is an ‘ex clinical psychologist’. Remarkable that he can be so naively egotistical, but I guess that’s a genetic fault which we can hardly blame him for. He marvels at how someone could write a report about Swann for the Parole Board and not ask the DHB whether there is evidence of co-operation and remorse. We in turn marvel at how he as a trained psychologist occupying the position of chair of the DHB couldn’t even see the anomaly of a Lamborghini motor car being parked in the spot reserved for the head of IT operations at the DHB. He of course would not even see why the Minister of Health relieved him of his board chairmanship as being any relevance to his competence over the $16 million fraud which took place on his watch. Equally marvellous is the latest pathetic bleaching of his fellow councilor, “who he genuinely likes”, but was so moved by the angst portrayed that he was just compelled to lodge a ‘code of conduct’ charge against him. One wonders why he is now an “ex psychologist”. Could it be similar to why former Cr Michael Guest is an “ex lawyer”? Or is it simply a case of ingratiating oneself to the ‘Great Punjab’ Dave Cull?

        • Peter

          Psychology is so often a stamping ground for sorting out your own shit while you try to sort out someone else’s shit. Ironic.

  13. Elizabeth

    [Cr Lee Vandervis] said the council “haven’t deemed fit to let me know what the contents are”, despite the report being hand-delivered to his house on Wednesday night, the Otago Daily Times understands. Cr Vandervis said he was “out last night” but, when offered an outline of the findings by the ODT, dismissed the “bloody absurd” idea and hung up.

    Instead, in an email posted online* last night, he insisted he was “innocent” of misleading the subcommittee.

    The two “loudness claims” against him also relied on evidence “which I have not been allowed to see and therefore defend”, he wrote.
    Read more ODT inanity and DCC hearsay at http://www.odt.co.nz/report/news/dunedin/340015/penalty-urged-councillor

    *Posted online at What if? Dunedin

  14. Rob Hamlin

    It really is down to Council now. Or at least three (other than Vandervis if he is allowed to vote) who comprise the 25% required to vote this thing down. Calvert and Hall should stand up and be counted here. Then you only need one more.

    Vandervis, he needs to carefully check if he is allowed to vote or not BEFORE Cull tries to eliminate him at the meeting.

    • Anonymous

      It will be interesting to see who votes which way. Is this the culmination of some strategic planning on behalf of Cr Richard Thomson and his masters? I’d say Mayor Dave Cull, but, you know. This is actually quite a serious matter when you consider what it could represent behind the scenes. Who will side with who after the break-up? What will it mean to stand up with Cr Lee Vandervis or sit down with the Mayor Cull? How will the Key Stakeholders greet you? How will the ODT report about you? How will both treat you at the next election?

      I hope they ignore short term political gains and think about consequences because the outcome of this vote could become the next Stadium Councillors list.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    When he votes or does anything else in council he’s not there on Cull etc’s behalf, he’s there for me. Me and all the others who voted for him. How dare they take away my voice on issues that concern me as a ratepayer? How dare they disenfranchise me?
    Since they want to make this personal (fuelled by Cull’s anti-Vandervis obsession) they should look at who else is personally involved. How many votes did he get?
    Is it OK to remove our chosen representative’s ability to do what we voted for when we chose him as one of the candidates to put our mark beside?
    Democracy, great idea till you get people in power who prefer to re-write the contract when voters didn’t give them precisely what they wanted.

  16. Peter

    What a mess this council is in. While they should be dealing with, and concentrating on, the Draft Annual Plan/Ten Year Plan (LTP), and how to deal with debt and rates rise pressures, they are wasting time with a show trial against Lee Vandervis who is only trying to bring some accountability to people and finances. If anything screams dysfunction, this is it.
    At the same time, on another tangent, we see Dave Cull now prevaricating from his previously strong opposition to the absurd multinational, Compass frozen meals deal with the SDHB. We also see the Cricket Association people piling on pressure for night lights at the University Oval…..if they ‘contribute’ half of the cost (shades of the Mosgiel Pool…’promises’ only till the council commits) while the ratepayers stump up for the other million odd dollars. Let’s also mention other special interest groups who now know the council is an incredibly soft touch for financing their own interests.
    I have no doubt the council will fold and talk about ‘finding money elsewhere’ which is their usual modus operandi to get people off their backs and shift the ‘finding the money problem’ down the road.
    The council gives the strong impression it is in freefall. The SDHB and the DCC share many problematic similarities. They even have a member in each who has a pivotal role in the finances of both organisations.

  17. Night Rider

    The word down in Bath St is that there is a lot of pressure going on a couple of flaky Councillors, who are not sure on how to vote come Tuesday.
    Telephones have been running hot all weekend with promises and pressure, to put the bad boy away on this one. By the sound of things there could be a few red faces after the vote.

    • Elizabeth

      Night Rider, whatever the silly Councillors do by vote – we will splash what we think at What if?

      ODT will do some sycophantic piece about it, setting up if not bowing to Cull’s prescience. Grab the sick bowls.

    • Diane Yeldon

      If it is true that there is an attempt to influence DCC councillors votes on the Code of Conduct Committee’s recommendation to censure Cr Vandervis, then I am shocked. Quite apart from the fact that this seems more like character assassination than justified censure.) Because local government law allows no parties and so no party whips.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Does local government law allow the restriction of one elected representative such that he cannot adequately represent us, the voters who selected him to represent us? I for one have been well pleased with the efforts of Cr Vandervis to discover what is going wrong and find ways to improve DCC’s performance, which goodness knows could do with improvement.
        I am not at all pleased to see my most on-the-ball choice of representative, subjected to kangaroo court by Mayor Cull and the tame joey courtiers.

  18. Calvin Oaten

    Trying to get a consensus from that rabble will be like trying to bag a bunch of cats. It would take a ‘clinical psychologist’ to achieve that, and the only one available is a ‘dud’.

  19. Jacob

    For the first time since amalgamation with the City, it would appear that the City council had no city Councillors attending Mosgiel’s ANZAC service.

    • Peter

      Jacob. Too busy making their own war and trying to shore up allies in their final assault tomorrow. Well, a number of them at least.
      Those councillors have everything to lose and nothing to gain in joining in Lesser Dunedin’s bitchy campaign. Why would they want further fallout to fall on them? A smart politician would,aside from moral duty, want to portray himself as above the fray and call for the end of this nonsense and urge fellow councillors to get back to the serious business of council.

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