Monthly Archives: February 2016

Healthy views Monday midnight to 6:00 p.m.

Top 12 Posts & Pages

1. Home page / Archives
2. Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : If I were a rich man / Delta Director
3. Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
4. Jonkey a flag!
5. Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders
6. Dunedin: University students into excess alcohol, party…. #CRIME
7. Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent Contracting
8. Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
9. Dunedin Symphony Orchestra to former Hanover Street Baptist Church
10. CELEBRATE !!! Greater Dunedin has DIED #boombustcycle
11. Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie and McKenzie
12. Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

[132 posts viewed]

PuffDaddyVEVO Published on Feb 22, 2016
Puff Daddy & The Family – Auction ft. Lil’ Kim, Styles P, King Los
Directed by Hype Williams
(C) 2016 Bad Boy Entertainment

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People

Jonkey a flag!

nz-flag2 [flagz.co.nz]

Prime Minister John Key has warned if people vote against changing the flag they will not get another chance until New Zealand becomes a republic.

### radionz.co.nz Updated at 12:46 pm today
RNZ News
Has the PM mistaken himself for a flag?
By Finlay Macdonald
OPINION: To borrow a title from the late, great Oliver Sacks, we appear to have a prime minister who mistook himself for a flag.
John Key is now arguing that a vote against the silver fern flag in the March referendum is really a vote against him. He is echoing those commentators who have already tried to depict opposition to a new flag as simply anti-Key sentiment in red, white and blue drag.

Last chance to change flag before republic – PM
Only citizens should vote on flag change – NZ First

The flag debate, they claim, has been “politicised” by the Left out of bitterness and spite. Aside from their own absurd partisan assumptions, what those arguments can never address is the ideologically diverse nature of so much opposition to the Lockwood flag.
How else to explain the informal alliance of lifelong republicans and ageing anti-establishment boomers with monarchists and RSA traditionalists? If anything unites these camps it seems less likely to be a shared loathing of the prime minister than a nose for what you might call a false dichotomy – an unnecessary choice between two inadequate options.
Because you can say a lot of bad things about the alternative flag, but probably the worst is that it makes the current flag look good.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
14.11.15 New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel…
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Tweets:

63 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Sport

Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders

Updated post
Mon, 29 Feb 2016 at 7:28 p.m.

The NBR (National Business Review) on Monday, 22 February 2016, featured an article by Christchurch Bureau reporter Chris Hutching, who says:

“The latest problem [for Delta] involves the Noble Park subdivision (managed by interests associated with Apple Fields) on the western outskirts of Christchurch where some of the properties are the subject of a mortgagee sale. Tenders close on February 12 and parties related to the developers and Delta are understood to be bidders.

And

“Another hurdle has been a series of actions by a handful of neighbours who have lodged caveats. They were the unsuccessful respondents in last year’s High Court case brought by Gold Band but have subsequently appealed. However, their cause of action may become null and void in the case of a mortgagee sale, according to another court ruling.”

█ To read the full article, go to NBR Print and NBR ONLINE subscriptions: http://www.nbr.co.nz/subscribe

Previously, What if? Dunedin sources had it that Jim Boult and Mike Coburn were back in the picture…. two names mentioned in Auditor-General Lyn Provost’s investigation and report (March 2014) on Delta’s failure with subdivisions at Luggate and Jacks Point.

In a more recent article, NBR business journalist Tim Hunter gets stuck into Delta issues – providing a general overview on concerns he has with Delta’s position to date. More is likely to follow.

The National Business Review
February 26, 2016 Page 2 Comment – Hunter’s Corner
Tim Hunter

How council company handed millions to shaky developer
The risks of local authority over-reach are again on display in Dunedin

Excerpt (closing):

The timing, size and nature of the security deals between Delta and Noble imply the council company was advancing millions of dollars in credit to Noble to finance the work.
Delta’s accounts say one counterparty defaulted on two principal sums of $6.35m and $5m, as well as other financial commitments, although it held security in the form of mortgage and general security agreements.
The implication is that Delta is owed the eyewatering sum of $11.3m by one single customer, plus interest and penalties, with the only hope of recovery being from the exercise of its security over property in the subdivision, which may or may not be worth enough to cover it. Tenders closed on a mortgagee sale on February 12.
If so, Hunter’s Corner is amazed that a council-owned company would take on work on such terms and hopes it will in future remember that ratepayers unwillingly carry the can for its cock-ups.
It should also be a reminder that councils would do well to kill off their commercial risks.

█ To read the full article, go to NBR Print and NBR ONLINE subscriptions: http://www.nbr.co.nz/subscribe

Related Posts and Comments:
● 28.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble… If I were a rich man / Delta Director
● 27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
● 27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : If I were a rich man / Delta Director

Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 28 Feb 2016 at 9:10 p.m.

Your correspondent has used strong words to criticise the Delta Directors in recent posts in respect of the Noble Subdivision.
“Ineffectual”, “serial head nodders”, “slumbering”.

Doubtless some of the Directors concerned will disagree, violently.

Has this correspondent been too harsh ? After all, it is easy to have 20/20 hindsight.

So today let’s look at the “WWYD” test – What Would YOU Do – in the same situation.

Your correspondent had given this some thought on this sunny Sunday, and while not a captain of industry or commerce as the actual directors, is willing to give it a go.

Yesterday’s post asked if the Directors had any ability to rein in Delta’s management when necessary. This correspondent thinks that is the key issue.

In any company the executive team is tasked with running the company day to day, meeting their various KPI’s and targets, and quite properly that is their focus. No one is perfect and there will be mistakes and duds that could not have been foreseen.

The Directors are there to provide governance and limit the risk to the shareholders. This was doubly important for Delta, as Warren Larsen said DCC companies needed to have a particularly low risk threshold, being publicly funded, and because Delta was operating in the very high risk property development arena.

A further even more basic duty is to ensure that the company operates lawfully at all times.

That is the lens through which I as a Director, would view Delta’s activities.

With that in mind, I thought how I as a prudent Director would respond when at a Board meeting in late 2009, or very early 2010, when it is assumed the Directors learned of the plan change at Noble Yaldhurst just two months after starting work in October 2009.

As a Delta Director I would know that at some point it was likely there were going to be some thorny issues ahead on Noble, particularly given the experiences already encountered at Luggate and Jacks Point.

As a professional Director I would expect the management to have a response to the problem. I would also know that ‘when things go wrong’ is where there is always potential for greater risks to be assumed so Directors would need to be especially vigilant when evaluating management’s plan to fix the problem.

As a Director I would know that management in general don’t like problems – they just want to get rid of it in the fastest way generally and focus on the business and meeting their KPI’S.

They often don’t get a good perspective on the bigger picture. That’s what the Directors are for.

So when it was explained that yes, there was an “issue” with budget costs, but the plan by the Developer was to change the subdivision layout, alarm bells would have rung and the following questions spring to mind (Answers by Delta management).

1. How much of the work has already been done ?
Answer : Not very much just general site excavation.

2. How does this affect the Resource Consent and Engineering Consent ? Answer : Noble (NIL) are or have already applied for a variation.

3. Weren’t there specific provisions for the roading and layout for this zone ?
Answer : Yes there were.

4. What can we do in the meantime while we wait for the varied consent ? Answer : We can do some site clearing but NIL have assured that the consent is a formality and are keen for us to continue.

5. But we cannot do work without a consent surely ?
Answer : Err…NIL have assured us that it won’t be a problem, the CCC are relaxed about us continuing.

6. Is there anything in writing from CCC to say this ? This seems very risky – Councils have to comply with the Building Act, they don’t have a choice, otherwise people would be doing deals with Council inspectors all over the place, and Council would be liable.
Answer : No, we don’t have anything in writing yet.

7. Why don’t we just stop work until it’s sorted ?
Answer: We’ve already set up on site and we want to make the most of the Summer.

8. Directorial discussion ensues : My position would have been : We think the risk is too great. We are already financing the subdivision and not getting paid until sections are sold. We have the upper hand here. Noble will just have to wait. Changing the roads is a major. We don’t need a court case about working on a major subdivision without a consent with the CCC to tarnish the company at this point.

Clearly, a majority of Directors did not agree with the above, and voted to continue.

A key point is that the Directors didn’t only get one chance to exit Noble. From this point Noble would have been on the agenda at every meeting, and they had many opportunities to stop work, when things went from bad to worse. Instead, it appears they took ALL those opportunities to look the other way and, and one result, apart from many millions written off, was to be a party to illegal work.

Delta may say that CCC were relaxed about working without a consent, or some other vagueness, but the Yaldhurst community and the neighbours were far from relaxed. They were never going to stand by and watch a Developer cynically try to ram through a major change on a land zoning that the CCC had just spent years formulating and with public consultation, etc.

So, readers, what would YOU do ?

New Zealand Companies register: Delta Utility Services Limited (453486)

█ Directors: David John Frow (appointed 25 Oct 2012), Trevor John Kempton (01 Nov 2013), Stuart James McLauchlan (01 Jun 2007), Ian Murray Parton (25 Oct 2012)

More: Historic data for directors

Related Posts and Comments:
● 27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
● 27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional

Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sat, 27 Feb 2016 at 10:08 p.m. Last updated at 10:32 p.m.

Your correspondent would like to issue a warning to any Dunedin ratepayers venturing into this website : What you are about to read is hazardous to your stress levels. Please fortify yourselves with a nice cup of tea and a big saucer to catch the spills.

We return to the scene of the Christchurch Delta demise today to examine a few “timing and consent” issues.

These may appear to be innocuous words designed not to cause alarm, and indeed, Graham Crombie had assured Dunedin ratepayers more than once that the whole Noble Subdivision problem is merely one of “timing”.

It is now apparent that we cannot take at face value anything that is said by Mr Crombie in regard to Noble, and readers, yet again, not far below the surface, lies another tale of absolute Delta stupidity.

First a few facts to set the scene.

Noble Investments Ltd gained Christchurch City Council consent for 304 lots in May 2009. The subdivision had a small commercial area and a variety of lot sizes.

Crucially, the roads were designed to best practice with a 25m carriage way. The carriageways were separated by a median strip and it had recessed parking bays and cycle lanes. (No cycle lane jokes please!)

Delta started work in late 2009 on the site.

Then in December 2009 NIL (yes readers, NIL by name and NIL by value and many other measures !) applied for a variation to their consent.

This was no minor variation : the commercial area increased by over 200 per cent and the eventual analysis by Abley Transportation Consultants was that the main spine road would have more than double the original vehicle movements.

Readers, please hold your cups tightly :
Delta then ignored the original consented drawings and built the subdivision’s main roads and layout according to a completely NEW plan that had NOT BEEN CONSENTED to by the Christchurch City Council (CCC).

This was not for a day, a week or a month. Delta continued to build the main collector road THAT WAS 4 METRES NARROWER than the consented roadway for at least NINE MONTHS.

Linking back to yesterday’s post your correspondent surmises that the nuclear budget explosion must have happened in late 2009, and the variation being a desperate attempt to cheapen up the subdivision by making the roads narrower and the more commercial area was to pay for the stormwater work that Delta failed to budget for.

Let’s back the truck up here : Can anyone possibly imagine what the DCC would do to a Contractor that continued to work on unconsented work on a massive subdivision for a year in Dunedin ?

The DCC prosecutes landlords for adding an extra room to their student flats, not to mention trying to close down the Saddle Hill quarry which actually has some sort of consent.

In August 2010 neighbours complained to CCC that unauthorised work was occurring on the subdivision and things then got VERY messy. The CCC did issue a retrospective consent, but the Yaldhurst community and many CCC councillors are up in arms about the decision to grant retrospective consent. The Yaldhurst community are seeking a judicial review of the decision. The situation is still not resolved.

Oh, and by the way the December 2009 variation to the consent deleted a road connecting the neighbouring land that NIL had agreed to build, which is another reason why, five years on, the project is still mired in legal action.

Yep, Delta knew how to pick em ! Delta being Delta were too stupid to realise that if NIL were happy to clothesline the neighbour whose co-operation it needed, it would have no compunction doing the same to them.

But readers, that’s not all : there’s is more utter ineptitude :

The CCC got around to warning NIL at some point that any unconsented work was done at the Developer’s risk.

And the Developer, NIL, told CCC that it continued to work because ….., OF THE AVAILABILITY OF THE CONTRACTOR.

There is no way NIL could insist that Delta break the law and continue to work.

In other words, Delta continued to work on the site because it wanted to, because it was easier than finding other work. Another possibility is that Delta felt compelled to continue because it created the whole problem with its monumental stormwater mistake. However two acts of stupidity is still stupidity.

In an act of supreme hubris, it knew the work was unconsented but thumbed its nose at the CCC and did it anyway.

This, from a CCO.

Yes the Developer, NIL are the laughing stock of the industry and have no credibility. But Delta were their enablers. Delta were stupid enough to indulge them when any other contractor would have walked away in disgust.

Words have nearly failed this correspondent. (Apologies again for the caps – stress!)

So, let us return to the directors.

What did they know and when did they know it ?

Did they ever ask management the first and most basic question on a project, “Have you got consent ?”

or, each month, “are there any changes we should know about ?”

or “any changes to our risk profile ?”

Can they read a plan ?

Did they ever visit the site ?

Do they have any aptitude at all to keep tabs and rein in the management of a civil contracting firm?

This correspondent does not believe that the management of Delta, a Council Controlled Organisation, would have kept the Directors in the dark. They are bureaucrats, after all, and would be careful to pass on anything contentious.

On Luggate and Jacks Point, the Auditor-General actually commented that the board had been fully involved and Warren Larsen noted that more transparency and communication was required at the DCC companies.

In the troubled history of the directorial shortcomings of the DCC companies, this is a new low point.

Your correspondent, also, is incredulous that the ODT had never bothered to investigate any of the specific acts of stupidity at Noble.

The information is all public record. We can be grateful to What if? Dunedin that they have provided a forum for this issue.

The Noble Subdivision is an intermodal multiple train wreck.

Correction received.
Sun, 28 Feb 2016 10:27 pm

At the above post, your correspondent made two errors in regard to the reduced width of the main roads on a number of items :

The reduction in carriage way was from 19.5 m to 11.5 m, a reduction of 8 m, not 4 m….

The roads reduced in width was not the main collector road : It was both the main collector road AND the loop roads…. that is, the majority of the roading.

Delta advert p58 MarApr2011 canterburytoday.co.nz

Related Posts and Comments:
● 27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Noble Village Subdivision, Yaldhurst Road – Site Plans Dec 2009
Source: CCC Archives – Proceedings (March 2012)

NIL Yaldhurst Site Plan Dec2009 PS-01
NIL Yaldhurst Site Plan Dec2009 PS-02
NIL Yaldhurst Site Plan Dec2009 PS-03
NIL Yaldhurst Site Plan Dec2009 PS-04
NIL Yaldhurst Site Plan Dec2009 PS-05

41 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent Contracting

Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 at 11:03 p.m. Last updated Sun, 28 Feb 2016 at 2:49 p.m.

Subdivision 101 : Don’t forget the STORMWATER DISCHARGE

Firstly, your correspondent apologises for the teenage habit of using caps in text for emphasis, but recently acquired knowledge some of which is shared below, defied conventional grammar.

An aside: your correspondent was overly fulsome in his praise of Delta CEO Grady Cameron’s transparency this week, when he revealed that Delta spent $3.3M “strengthening their position” vis-à-vis the $20M + debt owed to Delta on the Noble Subdivision at Yaldhurst, Christchurch.

It would have been a lot more credible had Mr Cameron revealed this TWO YEARS AGO, when as outlined in the National Business Review today, the deal was actually agreed.

Your correspondent now knows why the cone of silence has descended upon the Delta Directors, Grady Cameron, GCFO Grant McKenzie and Mayor Cull on this matter.

Mayor Cull has claimed this is just a bad debt. With all respect to the Mayor (that he is due) that statement is simply bovine excrement.

Mayor Cull on Morning Report sounded desperate when he claimed that Noble was not the same as the Jacks Point and Luggate debacles. In this he is correct —it was worse.

It is a tale of a perfect storm of contracting ineptitude as well as directorial torpor.

It is well covered by various posts and indeed the Auditor-General’s report that Delta had severe governance problems, due at least in part to a preponderance of accountants and numbers men. Warren Larsen in his 2012 report, politely said that this led to a culture of “excessive collegiality” (lovely phrase) at the board level. A more accurate description would be the Board acted as a band of serial head nodders.

Your correspondent can report that Delta executive management, and without doubt Dunedin City Council (DCC), knew that the project was in default in 2010 for millions, if not before.

Delta started work on the subdivision in 2009. Your correspondent understands that one arm of Delta / DCC loaned money to the contracting arm so that wages, suppliers and outside contractors could be paid.

This is important because there were it seems some parameters around the loan advances from the finance arm to the contracting arm.

Delta took around two years to complete the development. This is also very instructive because this correspondent’s information is that Delta left site several times because the finance arm would not advance money. Delta’s directors knew they had a dog by the tail in 2010.

So the critical question is – why was the project in default to a degree that caused Delta to leave the site several times between 2009-2011 ?

Readers might think : What was that deadbeat developer up to that caused this default ?

Sadly : the really, really dispiriting fact is that Delta themselves appear to have been the architect of the default that led us to this utter shambles through sheer contracting incompetence.

It seems that Delta provided budgets and estimates to the developers for the subdivision work. In return for one arm of Delta advancing money to pay the other arm, Delta got to do the subdivision work at prices somewhat over market rates.

The Developer relied on the Delta numbers for their budgets to their funders and to set section prices.

The elementary and fatal mistake that Delta look to have made is that they priced the work off incomplete drawings. This was only fatal because they did not know what any other experienced Canterbury civil contractors knew, which is that the STORMWATER DISCHARGE requirements which is controlled by the Canterbury Regional Council, were becoming ever more complex and were a very big cost.

Even if the exact design was not known, a competent contractor would have made some allowance or sought further information, particularly when they were not in a competitive situation. However without knowing the exact details, it looks like the Delta staff had their blinkers on, priced what they saw on the incomplete documents, and catastrophe resulted.

While Delta destructed millions of public funds on Noble, the directors slumbered on. They either had no clue about what questions to ask management to certify if things were under control at Noble, or knew and covered it up.

From what this correspondent can ascertain, Delta started work onsite before the Canterbury Regional Council Consent was issued, which is an issue in itself that bears scrutiny. For a short while earth was being moved, roads built and things were OK.

Then while work onsite is charging on….. BOOM !!!! a NUCLEAR budget explosion emerges when it is discovered that Stormwater discharge requirements will cost $6-7 MILLION, which is MORE than Delta’s ENTIRE contract. The Stormwater discharge had to be installed for all stages which meant there was no quick recovery for Delta at the end of Stage 1.

From there, the financial future of the project and Delta’s payday was doomed. This correspondent understands that the gross realisation of Stage 1 of the subdivision was $6M LESS than the COST of the work. Releasing more stages required more advanced funds from Delta, which appears to have happened, but other legal action then held up any release of sections to market.

By starting the subdivision and agreeing to be at risk (ie forgoing progress payments until sections were sold) Delta were doomed by their own actions. Once they started, they had to keep going until it was finished, otherwise they had no chance of ever seeing any money. Their budget mistakes made sure that the developers who already were spurned by the banks and dealing with 3rd tier lenders had no chance of additional funding.

Delta continued to pour money into the project and watch while problem after problem continued to bedevil the project.

The final indignity and rebuke to Delta is that the mortgagee sale documents apparently treat the land as a bare land development and do not even consider it a subdivision, ie NO value is attached to the $11.3M of Delta work, because the completed work wasn’t built to CCC specifications. Delta must share some blame for this also – it is another example of Delta’s inexperience in the Canterbury market.

This correspondent is determined to bring the directors to account and this will be the subject of future posts.

This correspondent acknowledges that he is seeing through a glass darkly as it were in relation to the precise facts. Some figures and details may not be quite right, but the overall picture portrayed we can be confident of. Mr Cameron is urged to release the full facts about Noble and ignore the ineffectual Mr Crombie before more unpleasant facts about Noble and other Delta matters emerge.

It is clear that the past and present directors (with perhaps one exception) have erected a wall of silence to keep the Public and Councillors in the dark about the massive destruction of public funds they have presided over. They are unfit stewards.

It is now this correspondent’s opinion that the Auditor-General’s investigation of Delta is essential.

Related Posts and Comments:
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

Mudtanks and drains + Notice of Public Meeting #SouthDunedinFlood

█ PUBLIC MEETING – SOUTH DUNEDIN FLOOD
South Dunedin MP Clare Curran is convening a public meeting on Monday 7 March at 6:00 p.m. in the Nations Church Auditorium, 334 King Edward Street, to look at why South Dunedin “flooded” on 3 June last year. All Welcome.

Notice of Public Meeting 1

Received from Jeff Dickie
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 at 8:09 p.m.

Message: Snapped Fulton Hogan diligently sucking for all they’re worth this afternoon in St David Street. Still. Probably better now than waiting for the anniversary!

Fulton Hogan in St David Street 25.2.16 [Jeff Dickie] 1Fulton Hogan for Hire, St David Street 25.2.16

Only recently, there was a comment to ODT from Phil Dowsett complaining of a sucker truck working in a Dunedin residential street at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday.

What’s happening out there. Or.
Everywhere but not South Dunedin ?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

20 Comments

Filed under Business, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Infrastructure, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium