Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

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

Received.

From: Gary Johnson
Sent: Friday, 19 February 2016 5:18 p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: 160219 Media Statement_Delta half year results – update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

Elizabeth

We see there has been interest on the What if? Dunedin… on the current position on Delta’s recovery of an outstanding debt related to the Yaldhurst subdivision, Christchurch.

I hope the attached information provides a useful update, ahead of Delta’s half year report for the six months to 31 December 2015, due for release next week.

Kind regards, Gary

Gary Johnson
Marketing and Communications Manager
[Delta Utility Services Ltd]

ATTACHMENT [click to enlarge]

160219 Media Statement_Delta half year results - update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery (scanned)

Related Posts and Comments:
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
21.16 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

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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52 Comments

Filed under Business, Delta, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Urban design

52 responses to “Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

  1. Elizabeth

    LADIES MILE TREES, QUEENSTOWN LAKES

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Right trees; wrong power company
    Submitted by Challispoint on Fri, 19/02/2016 – 3:47pm.

    If you read the history of this issue you will see a thoughtful landowner planted the trees many years ago and I and many others have watched them grow into a beautiful feature entrance to Queenstown. Then along comes Delta – which used to be a company dedicated to providing services in Dunedin – who installed a new power line above the growing trees.
    For many years the landowner maintained the trees at his own expense until he died. Now Delta want to destroy the beautiful entrance to Queenstown to save costs. Perhaps if they focused on providing core services instead of losing millions on risky property developments they would have enough cash left to do this job properly.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Delta “installed a new power line above the growing trees”! Oh dear. Ohhhh dear. And it’s the TREES that are in the wrong place? Oh very dear!

  3. russandbev

    I see in the ODT this morning that Delta and the DCC are scrambling for safety, but this surely is the last straw in any belief in the financial management and governance of the DCC and its 100% controlled companies. Jacks Point and Luggate were supposed to be the places where lessons were learned and now Yaldhurst can be added to the sorry list of endeavours that this woeful company has got involved in leading to millions and millions of ultimately ratepayer’s money disappearing down the toilet. And like it or not, every million that is on the debit sheet is another 1% on the rates unless it can be offset elsewhere, or put another way, every million that is lost is another 1% loss of subsidy on rates.

    There will be further bleating from the likes of Richard Thomson that this latest mess is different to the gambling using ratepayer money at Jacks Point and Luggate but it isn’t at all. It is plain and simple that services and goods were supplied and continued to be supplied when there was no hope of recouping the cost of supply. Where is the financial oversight at management level and where is it at governance level? Short answer is that there wasn’t any. And in the meantime the CEO of Delta continues to be obscenely rewarded for the trail of financial woes. And ditto to those at governance level. Just when will the good people of Dunedin wake up and force change?

  4. Elizabeth

    The tiniest bit of MSM pressure (oh dear, the tardy ODT) causes finance chair, Cr Richard Thomson, to cough – due to deliberate silences previously, it’s not like he really wants to keep the public and ratepayers informed. It will be more than $13.3M of ratepayers’ funds lost before this third turgid example of speculation on property subdivisions by the Delta Board and management ends.
    Luggate, Jacks Point, Yaldhurst – THE SAME PEOPLE MADE THESE MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR LOSSES HAPPEN.

    Suddenly, the DCHL chair Graham Crombie and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull have nothing to say!

    —-

    ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Feb 2016
    Delta in $13.3m wrangle
    By Chris Morris
    The decision by Dunedin City Council-owned company Delta to involve itself in a Christchurch subdivision may end up costing ratepayers millions of dollars. The company is now owed $13.3 million for infrastructure work carried out inside the Yaldhurst Village subdivision, on the outskirts of Christchurch, more than three years ago, Delta staff confirmed this week. 
    Read more

  5. russandbev

    Of course Cull and Crombie (sounds like a dodgy law firm doesn’t it) have nothing to say. Cull too busy editing any reports on DCC South Dunedin flooding and reading up the latest Green stuff, and Crombie probably hiding in Central.

    Fact is that Delta has been mismanaged and mis-governed almost since its inception and the people in both management and governance have adopted the position of “spray and walk away”. Their incompetence is rewarded time and time again. Why would they change? The buck for Delta stops with the DCC in the end and Cull as its head doesn’t want to say anything……..what a surprise.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Over the time this leak from the pool of rates money has been occurring, has ANY elected representative done ANYTHING to protect us, the voters and ratepayers and citizens, from this? Nobody with a tube of No More Gaps, not even handyman Dave?
      It’s well past time for a big trades-pak of No More Salary.

  6. Elizabeth

    You always know there’s trouble afoot (if not at the shut doors of DCC/DCHL/Delta) when ODT closes comments. Thanks for the signal ODT, and your regard for the reputations of players who are again losing Dunedin ratepayers the millions.

    ODT Online 20.2.16 [screenshot tweaked by whatifdunedin]
    ODT Online 20.2.16 - Delta in $13.3 wrangle 1

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth, when ODT closes comments on a controversial topic is there any significant change in numbers accessing this site?

  8. russandbev

    You would wonder just why the ODT restricts comment on this and other subjects that would seem to be at the core of any investigative work. It can’t be that comments could be actionable as they themselves have the power to moderate. The suspicion is that the ODT doesn’t want to be embarrassed at being exposed for NOT doing what it should be doing to bring readers unbiased and truthful NEWS. By restricting comment they are essentially saying that this is the story and no more – walk away, nothing to see here. Would be interesting to read just what the internal guidelines are for allowing comment – there certainly isn’t court action taking place so that can’t be it……

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Stuff – just to put it in depressing perspective – allows comments on only the most anodyne topics – nothing remotely political, that’s for sure. By comparison the ODT is a beacon of light into darkness.
      Have I effluented your weekend with this comment? Sorry. You won’t be feeling any more p’d off than I am, so harden up and do something about it – make sure everyone you know who is interested in further discussion, other points of view, independent information in addition to what the DCC and ODT chums decided was enough for the peasantry to know about, are aware of this site. Perhaps add the URL as a sig file to your emails……..

      Some very fine additional info came into the odt online comments e.g. personal real-life, real-time observations of the South Dunedin “sea level rise” flooding and the many factors involved. What If goes further and deeper, comments are VERY seldom abridged and only when some aggrieved entity with access to free legals comes rattling their writs – and then we find a way to say the same things without giving them direct grounds for shutting the site down.
      Big congrats to Elizabeth and all others who refuse to allow silent burial of relevant facts in the dark woods behind the spinney!

  9. Calvin Oaten

    I can’t help but notice how much more attractive Richard Thomson appears in ‘negative’. A good clinical psychologist could perhaps explain the reason, does it indicate a deeper perspective? Hard to believe with that man.

  10. Elizabeth

    To the players for DCC, DCHL and Delta

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    Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser playing their arrangement of Thunderstruck by AC/DC BaRock style! From their album Celloverse. Video by Kristijan Burlovic. Story by 2CELLOS. Special thanks to Friends of Giostra Society, Poreč, Croatia.

  11. Rob Hamlin

    An interesting media statement by Delta

    “A successful conclusion of the sale by the first mortgagee will remove the main obstacle to the subdivision being put on the market and Delta beginning to recover its outstanding debt.”

    That’s an arresting sentence. In all the mortgagee sales that I have witnessed, the property is sold by the first ranking secured creditor, and the second secured creditor gets what’s left (if anything). The purchaser gets the asset free of any interests once they have paid for it.

    This statement seems to suggest that Delta will begin to recover debt off somebody after this mortgagee sale process is complete (concluded), and the property is put on the market again by its new owner. I am at a loss to see who that ‘somebody’ could be.

    It could be the developer, but I would assume that they are the standard practice pop-up plc set up for the purposes of creating this subdivision, which will have no remaining assets to put against any debt beyond any surplus cash that might possibly be left after the mortgagee sale. They certainly won’t have the subdivision either wholly or in part as that’s already been sold by the first mortgagee and is no longer their property.

    The statement seems to suggest that the new owner (mortgagee purchaser) will have some sort of residual liability to Delta that will fall due as the eventual sections are sold off. If that’s so, then it will be the first time that I have seen liabilities as well as assets transferred in a mortgagee land sale. However, I suppose that it can/may happen if a purchaser can be found on those terms.

    One would have thought that any residual liability to Delta would be discounted dollar for dollar by the purchaser, perhaps more than dollar for dollar if it makes it riskier for them, which would make any sale a very hard task indeed, and largely to the disadvantage of the first ranking mortgage holder, who would have no motive to bother with it in the first place, and no liability or obligation to Delta either I would think.

    Maybe we can get a clarification on how this will happen?

    • Gurglars

      Mortgagee Sale–

      Banks get what’s owed, or less, receiver/managers get $25,000 per week, unsecured creditors get zero.

      DCC are saying they through Delta are a secured creditor, so whoopty doo they may get a small piece of the pie.

      However the elephant in the room is the “difficulties”.

      Difficulties take time to resolve, the Receiver/Manager has a vested interest in taking as much time as possible, his cash register is going ka-ching ka-ching every hour of every day.

      So we know Delta and the development have some “legal problems with title”, “before the courts” etc etc, All taking time.

      At $25,000 per week the $13.3 million of Delta, DCC and ratepayers’ hopes will take about ten years to chop out, that is of course if there ever was sufficient profit in the whole subdivision to warrant Delta’s involvement.

      Will there be any meaningful amount of cash returned to Delta/DCC?

      Not if the receivers, lawyers and the secured creditor get their sums right.

      Because the secured creditor will also get interest on their investment, whilst the legal process grinds on.

      So Richard Thomson has a right to be gloomy.

      The final question – Which staff members authorised the investment in the Noble development, who evaluated the risk of getting paid and which directors approved the action and are they being held to account?

      • Elizabeth

        You got it Gurglars – precisely your last paragraph, accepting your preamble to it.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “Mortgagee Sale–
        Banks get what’s owed, or less…” .eady money pick up bargains because the bank only wants its money, with the least delay and fuss. So there is no push to get top dollar.
        In Delta’s case it doesn’t look like superb marketing and patience to wait for the best buyer would make any difference for us ratepayers. We’re screwed again.

        Dunno about you, you could be different: the first dozen times it hurts but I reckon it’s worth waiting for Stockholm syndrome setting in so it gets to be enjoyable. Rort me, baby. Harder, harder!
        This is why mortgagee sales are where people with r”

  12. We bring smart thinking to infrastructure…!!!!

    On 19/02/16 7:07 pm, “What if? Dunedin…” wrote:

    > Elizabeth posted: “Received. From: Gary Johnson Sent: Friday, 19 February 2016 > 5:18 p.m. To: Elizabeth Kerr Subject: 160219 Media Statement_Delta half year > results – update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery Elizabeth We see there > has been interest on the Wh” >

  13. Elizabeth

    Those embroiled in Yaldhurst through court action are really the ones we’d like to see commenting here if they legally could……

  14. Elizabeth

    Looking at today’s website stats…. Delta is streets ahead of any other post viewed (total of 126 posts received hits today so far) and has been since dawn. DCC or DCHL might consider it’s time to provide exacting detail on the financial position of the council owned company – for the avoidance of Grady slant and Thomson eeyore-itis and mewling.

  15. Oh, no, it’s Helen Reedy to sing ‘Delta Dawn; “Delta Ute, what’s the Yaldie you’re parked on?
    Could it be a faded deal from way back when..”/ Get her off! Were sorry, we thought she’d do ‘Delta Dawn’. Unreliable feminist icon. We’re keeping the 2/6d.

  16. Rob Hamlin

    Perhaps the most pertinent question here is: Why was Delta acting as a developer’s (piggy) bank rather than as a contractor/supplier? The formality of this medium/long term secured debt suggests this kind of relationship.

    Financing developers is a risky business best engaged in by dedicated professionals with sharp eyes, even sharper teeth and zip faith in human honesty.

    Given that this scale and duration of risk was taken, did Delta receive any interest in recognition of this risk? Developer bridging loans, which is effectively what this appears to have been, can be exceedingly risky and interest on formal exposures should be charged at a rate that reflects this – unless first ranking security on a negotiable asset that exceeds the value of the debt is offered. Which it clearly wasn’t in this case.

    Financing developments is thus better left to the developer, and those who specialise in these services to sort out between themselves. Contractors are not usually paid to take these risks, and thus should arrange not to expose themselves to them unnecessarily if they don’t want to be painfully ‘zapped’ – as any gib-stopper, carpenter or window manufacturer will tell you.

    Typically this means getting paid in full ASAP, and often on a progression basis. This means doing a bit, and then not doing any more until you are paid. This approach is particularly suited to the installation of high value items that are fixed (and thus irrecoverable) infrastructure. It may be argued that ‘supplier credit’ forms part of a customer’s requirements for the job. Up to a very limited degree, that might be true and justifiable, but at the end of the day, business that you don’t get paid for is considerably worse than no business at all!

    Extending terms of trade in any business is always unwise as even if you do (eventually) get paid, you may still be successfully pursued by the receiver/liquidator acting on behalf of other secured creditors if your customer goes under after paying you.

    It may be claimed as a justification for this Delta outcome that this type of thing is ‘normal’ in this particular trade. If this claim is made, then I would want some examples of comparable scale from private industry – along with the detail that demonstrates equal exposure to risk/default and no interest return. I suspect that such examples would be quite hard to find – with the company concerned still in business that is.

    Delta has now taken tens of millions of dollars in hits that appear to be tangentially related to its core business. It is hard to see how Delta would have survived these hits had they not had access to DCTL’s secured multi option variable rate note facility and thus to our (ratepayers’) back pockets. Certainly, even if they were prepared to finance such incidents, it’s hard to envision a group of private shareholders tolerating a management team that delivers this type of outcome to them with such regularity.

    Assuming an eventual $20 million hit, as an individual ratepayer my personal and individual liability for this particular Delta-delivered outcome, via DCTL’s secured-multi-option-variable-rate-note-facility, will be another c. $400 dollars on top of all the other dollars that I’m up for via this opaque arrangement (c. $15,000). I personally find this irritating as the asset in question is located in Christchurch, and thus not even a positive impact on the local economy can be argued in support of this particular exercise.

    But don’t worry, we’re each and every one of us all on the hook via DCTL’s secured-multi-option-variable-rate-note-facility to the tune of c. $17,500 each, so there’s still lots more headroom for other DCC and DCHL (ad)ventures to mature, or is that fester?, before that limit is reached. Watch this space!!

    • Calvin Oaten

      Second last question ought to be, why do the directors not direct, and equally important why do they condone paying the Delta CEO $490,000pa or thereabouts to produce such an abysmal performance?
      Last question: When are our elected Mayor and councillors going to front up, take some responsibility, and show the door to the directors and the CEO? Likely? When hell freezes over, maybe.

      • russandbev

        We already have the answer as to why they pay Grady Cameron this obscene amount – the Directors of Delta have already said that they need to attract top quality managers and pay them INTERNATIONAL rates. I wouldn’t mind if we got an international performer, but these coots are playing at big business knowing, as Rob says, that they will never suffer as they have the Dunedin ratepayers to bail them out each and every time they balls up. The total losses of Jacks Point, Luggate and Yaldhurst will be well over $20m but this horrific result means nothing to these guys. Grady Cameron will still drive home in his nice car to his nice house and no doubt, like Scrooge McDuck, will dive in and out of his hordes of cash. This whole mess is an obscene state with no real hope of being fixed – after all what is Cull and the Council to do? Nothing is the short answer – they are devoid of the concept of responsibility or accountability. It’s like taking candy from a baby, only easier.

    • Diane Yeldon

      A council controlled organisation IMO shouldn’t legally be allowed to do what Delta has done – effectively speculate on land development. The question is – why did they do it, not once, but about three times – and, as it happens, seem to have lost out each time? Was it a gamble to keep themselves in work, both at basic employment level and also at management level? So a work-creation scheme? Easy enough to figure this out for anyone with access to their financial history because if they did not have other significant work at the time of working on these subdivisions, then it would seem that these speculative subdivisions were job creation schemes. Totally the wrong reason for making business decisions – which should be to (prudently) maximize profit. Did they care about the odds of making this gamble? It seems not – because the ratepayers would foot the bill if it all went wrong and be little the wiser. I’d rather the DCC elected reps directly controlled their assets than have this company setup at a long arm’s length. The present system seems to make it too easy to pull the wool over ratepayers’ eyes and there is no accountability – apart from annual financial statements and statements of intent I can’t really understand. I’d rather be able to directly vote for someone I could trust to keep it all straight. And be able to vote them out if they did’t.

      • Elizabeth

        As we know Diane, the type of city councillors DCC attracts typically can’t read and analyse a balance sheet, let alone all complex financials. Local body voting is absolutely no assurance of good governance, transparency and accountability for ratepayers and residents. I suspect JimmyJones might have some interesting things to say, if he has time, upon this subject.

  17. Peter

    How is it possible for Delta to wrack up multi million dollars owed to it without some payment schedule, for ongoing work, as it progresses? Would you allow this if it was your business?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Would you GET this astonishingly favourable treatment if it were your house or shop the contractors were working on? Progress payments are normal for new builds. Even repairs, you only get billed at the end of the job if it’s a smallish job that they haven’t had to buy in too many materials for, you have dealt with that (generally only applies to self-employed) tradey for years, and you’ve always been a prompt payer.
      Too many of them have been burnt to be meh about business care. Besides, they don’t have ratepayers on standby to kiss it better.

      Come along, voters – lip salve and scrupulous attention to oral hygiene, please. Dib dib. Be prepared.

  18. Gurglars

    Elizabeth, Delta might have got a different view and thus result if one of the directors of Jacks Point had not also been a director of Delta! And Luggate may not have been a Delta investment if the director of Luggate had not been on other boards with the Jacks Point/Delta director.

    The concepts of vested interest and conflicts of interest come to mind here, and would do even if excusal is requested.

  19. Anonymous

    With this morning’s no-surprises update about Delta in the ODT, once again I get the feeling the paper is just informing its readership on behalf of council rather than reporting about it. This process has been about managing and diminishing the flow on effect. Cr Thomson appears to have accepted the position as cannon fodder on this matter which is a common enough ploy seen leading up to elections. Someone’s got to take the heat from the others and he’s already hands deep in the body of the health system.

    They do seem to have been caught with their pants down a little on the additional three million spent and there are wee gems of insight into how Dave Cull and Grady Cameron have responded.

    The “significant movement” mentioned by Mr Cameron might also describe what this company has done to Dunedin rent and ratepayers.

  20. Rob Hamlin

    Unbelievable. I am utterly at a loss as to how buying more debt higher up the security food chain improves one’s position with regard to existing debt lower down it. However, we do now know that there are (were?) at least two creditors further up that food chain. The possibility of there being more cannot be ruled out. It seems unlikely that any of this money will ever be recovered.

    One possibility (limp excuse) might be that this new debt was bought at a discount on the principal. In other words, a fresh gamble. If this was the case, then it looks like the vendors might have been better informed than the buyers about the chances of Yaldhust ever repaying the debt – which probably wasn’t difficult.

    There is a series of adverts. on TV at the moment that warns that you have a problem if you are gambling to pay off previous gambling debts. Seems very topical – except that these guys aren’t gambling with their own money of course. It is hard to see that the authority to sign on for this new entirely speculative banking exposure would reside within Delta, a higher level sign off would have been required methinks.

  21. photonz

    The ODT reports Cull shut the debate down.

    He was elected by the people, and being paid by the people, to represent the people, TO the council.

    But he continually fails to do this. And has done for years.

    It’s as if he thinks he works for the council, to defend it AGAINST the people.

    Effectively, the people have no mayor to represent them.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Be fair, photonz: “The people ” are highly important to the mayor, oh yes indeedy sir.
      Once every 3 years.

      All the rest of the time it’s much more beneficial to keep onside with ________ (fill in blank for 5 points).
      “Effectively, the people have no mayor to represent them.” Not all that many councillors willing/able to represent us, either.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Just in case anyone didn’t notice the eyewateringly “inappropriate” use of the term ‘probably “confidential” ‘ –

      ‘Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the details were probably “confidential” anyway, and told staff they did not need to answer further questions about it.’

      Inappropriate is a current code word for the purpose of avoiding plain language, denoting a wide range of undesirable behaviours, preschool to …well…. Naughty, disgusting, enraging, steadily more despicable, or references to a blowfly maggot in a longdrop.

  22. Elizabeth

    Delta chief executive Grady Cameron did the right thing, he gave ODT reporter Chris Morris details missing from yesterday’s full council meeting fronted by DCHL boss Graham Crombie and group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie.

    Grady Cameron confirmed that Delta’s exposure at Yaldhurst subdivision is $20M and climbing, and why.

    Morris successfully managed to catch the runaway train.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 23 Feb 2016
    Delta loss could top $20 million
    By Chris Morris
    Delta’s potential loss from a stalled Christchurch subdivision could top $20 million, and was still growing as the company pumped more money in to secure its position, it has been confirmed. But the Dunedin City Council-owned company has all but given up already on recovering at least part of what it is owed, which is included as a “doubtful debt” on the company’s books. The details came as Dunedin city councillors questioned Dunedin City Holdings Ltd chairman Graham Crombie about Delta’s position at yesterday’s full council meeting.
    Read more

    The untelling position report and (vague) hope statement:

    Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 2.5 MB)
    Delta Utility Services Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

    Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 111.3 KB)
    Delta Utility Services Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    “Morris successfully managed to catch the runaway train.” Can’t even congratulate him on odtonline – no comments allowed on that story!

    • Diane Yeldon

      Yes, pretty good work from Chris Morris here. Credit where credit’s due. But very strange that, as a member of the public, I learn more from reading this ODT article than from attending the DCC meeting where the issue is reported on. But maybe it isn’t exactly the same issue. As Cr Wilson successfully shut up Cr Vandervis’ questions by saying that the matter under discussion was council company financial reporting up to 31 December 2015 and Mayor Cull, as chair, ruled that anything (any ‘movements’?) subsequent to that would be off topic and so out of order.

      So councillors can discuss a report up to its final date and ask questions about financial performance ONLY covered by the report. Which is very like those who set the agenda (the mayor and the CEO) saying, “When we want your opinion, we will give it to you.” Well, not quite. But what councillors can talk, discuss and ask questions on at a meeting can be extremely restricted depending on how the chair (usually the Mayor) rules is or isn’t on topic. (Apart from being able to set the agenda in the first place.)

      I have noticed that Cr MacTavish can often woffle on completely off topic at some length but I do not recall her ever being cut short by Mayor Cull. Indeed, she often stops and corrects herself (eg “Well, I suppose that’s not really a question…” or “Well, I suppose that’s not really part of the agenda item.”). While Mayor Cull smiles benignly. But he’s just rearing to come down like a ton of bricks when Cr Vandervis starts asking IMO related and relevant questions about why serious losses by Delta have not been clearly reported on or why Delta has been buying up other people’s possibly bad debts. It’s: “Shhhh, shhhh, or I’ll have you thrown out,” from Mayor Cull. Okay, not overtly but that’s IMO clearly the underlying intention and threat.

      But what Cr Vandervis can’t say or ask in a meeting (to say nothing of not getting straight answers!), Chris Morris can say in the ODT. So much for democratic representation.

      • Elizabeth

        Chris Morris left the meeting earlier than Vaughan Elder, presumably to follow up his DCHL story – and the story for Delta, by contacting Grady Cameron directly, thus the extra information in today’s news, not tabled at the Council meeting.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Diane, “I have noticed that Cr MacTavish can often woffle on completely off topic at some length but I do not recall her ever being cut short by Mayor Cull.” Off topic burbling may waste everyone’s time but it’s no threat to the truths contained in the Fairly Immutable Word of Dave.
        Vandervis, on the other hand, is a strong argument for burning heretics at the stake. He’s lucky we’re too environmentally aware to countenance that here in pure Dunedin.

      • Elizabeth

        Cr Jinty MacTavish (hurts to type that name) was particularly cringe making yesterday when she chose, and had the liberty of the floor undampened, to ostentaciously thank the CCO Boards and their staff for great results (as shown in the six month financial statements to 31 December 2015), she repeated herself but was very “happy” [I had no idea what she was talking about, wondered what she was on]. You could see the pained forbearance on experienced Councillors’ faces while this ensued.
        I hope she doesn’t see today’s ODT re Delta – might send her off the edge.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Drat you Elizabeth – reading that about our local Pollyanna playing the Happy Game has made my teeth ache in places not even sticky toffee affected till now.

        • Elizabeth

          As proof of theory, Hype, closed comments on the Delta story at ODT have shot up views here particularly during the lunch period 12noon – 2pm.

          I feel a dose of repeat Minions coming on, I do.

          PharrellVEVO Published on Jun 18, 2013
          Pharrell Williams – Happy (Despicable Me 2 – Lyric Video)
          Despicable Me 2 Official Soundtrack

  24. Rob Hamlin

    “Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the details were probably “confidential” anyway, and told staff they did not need to answer further questions about it. ”

    Albert Speer, who despite being the third Reich’s minister of supply for the later years of the war and close confidante of Hitler when the final solution was in full swing managed to successfully claim at Nuremberg that the details of the concentration camps, from which many of these supplies came, were so ‘confidential’ that he did not know about them.

    Evidence subsequently emerged, quite some considerable time later, that he just might have done.

    However, he avoided the rope and lived to a ripe old age.

  25. Lyndon Weggery

    This latest debacle by Delta is another good reason why we must not let the CEO of Council lead us down the dubious path of letting our water become a Council Controlled Company under the guise of her push for a Section 17A Review. It makes good sense to “share services” between Otago Councils on important assets but let’s not lose control over our assets.

  26. Calvin Oaten

    This Delta ‘fiasco-disaster’ as in the ODT is bad enough in all conscience, as indeed is the silly comments from the mayor and several councillors re the ‘Conflict policy code reworking’ as requested. But the release from reality comes by the DCC moving to spell out the expectations it has from its companies for the first time. Cr Vanderrvis dismisses the document as a “feel good document” with “no legal force behind it”.
    Then we have the Cr Jinty MacTavish’s classic. ‘She was pleased by the initiative, which had been discussed for years. It would send a strong signal the council intended to work more strategically with its companies to deliver better results for the city.’ “For me this is really exciting. It’s enhancing the work we can do as a collective to deliver outcomes.” So there, she said.
    Mayor Dave Cull also supported the initiative, which would for the first time tell companies specifically what the council expected — avoiding the need for the companies to read councillors’ minds. That would be a relief for the companies at least, seeing as that latter point is an almost impossible task.

  27. Russell Garbutt

    It is hard to believe after so many major cockups that we get this gobblydegook. This Council must go.

  28. Gurglars

    It would be a lot better if the council owned companies realised they only had the one mission they were created for: Minimising rates!

    Once they have the airy fairy green and tear driven mantra of looking after hectors dolphin, borrowing to pay dividends, paying for the ORFU and its cocktail parties, supporting the Dunedin accountants benefit fund, investing in current and former directors’ foolish property developments, selling off sensibly acquired water assets, one realises that in fact we would have a clearer picture of directors’ and accountants’ competence without the companies and the accountants.

    Amen

  29. Gurglars

    And incidentally, the crap about moving up the mortgage tree is just that, crap. They are still well behind the eight ball in achieving any hope of real restitution.

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