Jeff Dickie: Edinburgh tough, Dunedin (DUD)

Further to the contents of an email from Jeff Dickie last month, who was writing from a hotel on Orchard Road at the time:

Supplied. ODT 13.7.15 (page 6)

ODT 13.7.15 Letter to editor Dickie p6



TWO corrupt council officials and two businessmen who supplied them with cash and hospitality have been jailed with a warning they face “significant” sentences.

### Wednesday 17 June 2015
Corrupt Edinburgh council officials face lengthy jail term
[…] Former local authority employees Charles Owenson and James Costello were treated to dances and drinks in lap dancing bars as valuable Edinburgh City Council contracts were secured through bribery. Ex-directors of Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) Kevin Balmer and Brendan Cantwell provided the rewards over the allocation of work for public buildings including schools, care homes and cemeteries.
Following their earlier guilty pleas a sheriff told them that he would continue their case until tomorrow for sentencing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to consider the information he had been given. But Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC told the four men: “Having regard to the gravity of the offences, it is clear to me the sentences will require to be custodial and require to be significant.” He remanded all of them in jail ahead of sentencing.
Owenson and Costello were provided with hospitality, including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds and meals out as well as cash, by Edinburgh-based construction firm ABC Ltd (Action Building Contracts). The contractors even submitted inflated invoices to the local authority for work carried out to cover the costs of the bribes they were paying council officials. Fiscal Keith O’Mahony earlier told the court: “In essence, the council was being charged for the cost of bribing its own officials.”
[…] Police began carrying out enquiries in 2010 as a result of complaints about the statutory notices system and were later informed that senior management had received “a whistleblower letter” alleging that Owenson was showing favouritism when allocating work to contractors. The Crown has raised proceedings to recover crime profits in the case.
Read more

█ 18.6.15 BBC News: Four jailed over Edinburgh City Council bribes

Shades of the ‘Screaming Orgasm cocktails’ saga following Dunedin City Council’s decision to build the stadium. That evening, the board members of Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust went out to celebrate, booking their drinks at Alibi Bar & Restaurant to the Ratepayers.
Of course, there have been masses of local big-ticket ‘corruptions’: the stadium land purchases (including for realignment of SH88); the Carisbrook ‘deal’ with Otago Rugby Football Union, and further ‘Otago Rugby’ deals with Dunedin Venues (DVML); the Delta subdivisions and service contracts (Jacks Point and Luggate, and more recently Noble Village); the unravelling Citifleet fraud and insurance scam (substantially greater than 152 fleet vehicles lost off the inventory, allied to ‘traffic’ in car parts, tyres, service contracts, and fluid cash); the Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment Project (via City Property) yet to be fully detailed; and field lights for Otago Cricket Association…….. et al.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, OAG, OCA, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums

10 responses to “Jeff Dickie: Edinburgh tough, Dunedin (DUD)

  1. Calvin Oaten

    When Cr Vandervis acted as a “whistleblower” in connection to the ‘Citifleet’ fiasco he was excoriated and stood accused of ‘Code of Conduct’ breaches which were initiated out of frustration at the lack of action taken. Edinburgh could show our ‘weasely’ lot a thing or two on good governance.

  2. There once was a Clerk at Martins Bay

    an employee of our dark city

    Feted by a sheaf with International pay,

    but gone now, can’t be prosecuted.

    What a pity!

  3. Wisht! Lowlanders of Lanark dont give a tinker’s cuss for Edinburgh. What has Edinburgh ever done for us? The Otago Medical School, well yes, it was an Edinburgh influenced model, I grant you, without the body snatching for Anatomy 101, and possibly, the infirmary, basement DPH, is a bit Edinburghian, but the dead arent sayin’. Go Glasgow, if ye want a suster city.

  4. Elizabeth

    Hot air from DCC GCFO / Acting CEO. We were told One Man Did It.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 14 Jul 2015
    DCC still in talks over Citifleet fraud
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council is still in talks with its insurer over the Citifleet fraud, months after receiving a payout worth more than $1 million from QBE. […] Mr McKenzie told the ODT yesterday the council still had “a number of options” available, ranging from taking a civil case to a mediated settlement or the recovery of property.
    Read more

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    Does this suggest the insurance company isn’t convinced by “The dead guy did it”?
    They should have said “Dolly did it.”
    That’un always convinces.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Dunedin has no need to feel it is not progressive. Why, just yesterday the council announced two new ‘strategic plans’. This comes hard on the heels of a continuous screed of ‘strategies’. In recent times there has been the ‘Spatial Plan’ (whatever that is), the ‘Ten, Ten, Ten Plan’, which is aimed at increasing the population by ten percent, increase the job market by ten thousand and the average income by $10,000pa. Then of course there are the Annual Long Term Plans.

    Now we are to have this new draft environment strategy plan to secure the city’s environmental future. Plus the interrelated draft energy plan. These twin initiatives were interrelated because Cr Hawkins says so. Exactly how is yet to be seen in the detail. Cr MacTavish said the “most exciting” part of the plan was a new energy leader’s accord, under which the council would work with major energy users to share energy ideas and other initiatives. “That’s where the magic is going to happen,” she said. Cr Neville Peat said addressing energy issues was “the future of the world”, but “minimal progress” had been made until now. “This will lead us toward a low carbon footprint,” he said. Mayor Dave Cull told the committee meeting the energy plan aimed to tackle issues that were “fundamental” to the city’s economic and social future. “We need to be under no apprehensions — this is hugely important.” Now there’s some ‘learnings’ for Cr Benson-Pope to grapple with. It’s become the norm nowadays to expect this type of ‘silliness’ emanating from council. At what cost one can only wonder. More ‘green ideologies’ running rampant within our Town Hall.

    Why, just on the same page of the ODT above these strategic announcements we see “NZ slated for inaction on emissions”, an article in which it cites the comment that “if NZ doesn’t pull up its socks on the global warming issue it would likely exceed 3degC or 4degC — making a world in which oceans would acidify, coral reefs dissolve, sea levels rise rapidly, and more than 40% of species become extinct.”

    It is this “silliness” that will be the undoing of Dunedin as it increasingly becomes more and more irrelevant in this world. Energy is the ‘staff of life’ as far as modern society goes, whilst this city’s penchant for divorcing itself from the reality of this fact can only force that irrelevancy. Why history is totally ignored by this current ‘fad’ of ‘carbon’ hatred which is so prevalent is difficult to understand. ‘Horror to Betsy’, the atmosphere is reaching the point where CO2 content is 380-400 ppm. It’s been there before and much much higher and we have still survived. That means that 999,600 ppm is other stuff, mainly water vapour. It is water vapour plus solar cycles that have the greatest influence on Earth’s climate and consequent temperatures, CO2 is in the margin of error. Still, we are beset by this mania and I guess it will have to run its course until the IPCC and these ‘green’ acolytes finally accept the fact that they can no longer ignore history, the empirical facts, accept that they are wrong and there is no warming, sea level rise, and admit that the whole issue is a manmade concoction of ‘computer models’ not meeting the outcomes predicted. Until then Dunedin, like much of the rest of the gullible will tax itself to death and continue to bring forth the type of policies it does. Pity they couldn’t tax the ‘hot air’ within instead of CO2, then the problem would disappear from the political landscape overnight.

  7. Billy the Penguin

    Did anybody notice that MacTavish and Peat raved on about the statue of “Mum” the sea lion.
    How much of the dangerous climate changing Co2 was released into the air in “Mum’s” manufacture made up of polyurethane and fibreglass, and where was Oil Free Otago protesting about the petroleum based products that were used in making “Mum” and her pup?

    • Peter

      Billy. This is rather an old hat complaint zeroing in on the materials used for making Mum. What did you expect a sand sea lion sculpture? There…of all places.
      Even the most dedicated Greenies have to make compromises in the world we currently live in. I know many make lifestyle choices in which they forgo luxuries others would not dream of adopting.
      Did you know there are Green politicians who don’t dress in hemp made clothes or home spun woollies? That doesn’t make them fake.

  8. Billy the Penguin

    Peter. I can understand why Green politicians don’t dress in hemp. They would probably end up in a roll your own by the end of the night. As for mum they could have made a wooden frame, and stretched the skin of an Australian over it. Doubt if anybody would have spotted the difference.

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