Monthly Archives: February 2016

CELEBRATE !!! Greater Dunedin has DIED #boombustcycle

It has not quite gone to Hell, alas.

ODT editor Barry Stewart on tonight’s 39 Dunedin News, announed Greater Dunedin has ended.

This doesn’t mean the people from that popped cycle tyre won’t stand individually.

The reign of Incompetent Spending Terror continues.

But it’s a start. More spurning please.

[HUGE PITY] Dave Cull is running for Mayor again.

Who are they ???
● Dave Cull
● Chris Staynes
● Richard Thomson
● Kate Wilson
● Mike Lord
● Jinty MacTavish

Greater Dunedin caucus arrivesPhoto (retitled): The Greater Dunedin caucus leaves

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

68 Comments

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Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101

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

Updated post
Thu, 25 Feb 2015 at 5:22 p.m.

### radionz.co.nz Thu, 25 Feb 2016
Morning Report with Susie Ferguson & Guyon Espiner
Will Dunedin council’s Delta get paid for stalled subdivision? Link
8:44 AM. Critics of a council-owned company owed millions of dollars from a housing subdivision say the public has been kept in the dark.
Reporting by Otago correspondent Ian Telfer
Audio | Download: OggMP3 (3′ 48″)

Yaldhurst Village 1Image: Supplied

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 at 9:39 a.m.

Mayor Cull on Morning Report today demonstrated a minimal grasp of commercial reality. He claimed that Delta’s position could not be disclosed because there were “negotiations” with “a third party” (a buyer).

Memo to Mr Cull : A mortgagee sale is the first secured party saying – we have had enough – make us an offer. The amount owed on the other securities is of ZERO interest to the buyer except for the situation outlined below.

What IS of great interest to the buyer, and what Mr Cull DID disclose is that there was only a single party involved. Doh !!!! The “third party” now knows that there there is no competition and the price just went down.

The only time further ranking securities amounts would affect the sale price is when there is a chance that the sale might fetch MORE than the amount of the total debt. Mayor Cull was certainly not saying that, and we can be sure if there was any remote possibility that the Delta core debt of $11.3M with the additional $3.3M being all recovered he would be shouting that from the rooftops.

Mayor Cull confirmed again that there was nothing “dodgy”, or “illegal”, it was just a bad debt and there was no finance element to the deal.

Mayor Cull can then, after the sale process is concluded, reassure ratepayers that he is correct with a full report on the fiasco.

By his own words today he is obligated to do so.

Note : This correspondent was peripherally involved in a forced sale process of a recently completed project of a similar size to Noble (Yaldhurst) Subdivision. It had none of the planning or legal issues that plague Noble’s Yaldhurst. Debt was in excess of $20M and the forced sale process yielded a sale for less than a quarter of that.

[ends]

Yaldhurst Village location map [villagelife.co.nz][villagelife.co.nz]
Yaldhurst Village site received 14.2.16Image: Supplied

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:
● 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

● 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

16 Comments

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

Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie and McKenzie

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

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 at 10:02 p.m.

This correspondent was very interested to read today’s front page ODT article which appeared to confirm the suspicions of an earlier post.

Delta CEO Grady Cameron must be given credit for being honest and transparent, for confirming that Delta spent $3.3M last year buying more debt on the Noble (Yaldhurst) Subdivision. This is in contrast to the cabbage-like behaviour of DCHL chairman Graham Crombie, and DCC/ DCHL financial controller (GCFO) Grant McKenzie. It has hard to escape the conclusion that Mr McKenzie when questioned by city councillors must have known the amount of money Delta spent “strengthening its position”, ie buying up securities that ranked ahead of the Delta security. First, he said he did not know the figures involved, then he indicated to the ODT after Monday’s council meeting that the figure of $3M “was not accurate”, and that he “could not say” what the figure was. Simply put, if Mr McKenzie could not say what the figure was, how did he know that $3M was not accurate ? It seems clear he did know, and is dancing on the head of a pin. He could say the figure, but he would not. No one is counting the six figure amounts ! Maximum points for dissembling to that man.

This and other verbal pirouetting at a recent Council meeting where Mr McKenzie was unable to distinguish between dividends and debt repayment despite repeated questioning from Cr Lee Vandervis was also alarming. Perhaps the lure of a return to the relatively debt free safe haven of the University beckons, not subject to scrutiny of the citizens….

The other person of interest is DCHL chairman Graham Crombie, who also has trouble with numbers and counting. Cr Hilary Calvert surmised that the $11.7M already written off plus the $13.3M debt meant that Delta had an exposure of up to $24M. Cr Calvert was close, if not quite right as the $13.3M was the value of the debt Delta estimated, not its actual debt. Mr Crombie said the figure “never got that high”, and that the interest and penalties were “horrendous”. Mr Crombie’s nose is growing : Grady Cameron confirmed the core debt was $11.3M, plus $3.3M buying debt, plus the previous year’s debt write down of $10.7M which has already been attributed to Noble by Delta. These add to MORE than the $24M suggested by Cr Calvert, yet Mr Crombie was happy to sidestep Cr Calvert, Cr Vandervis and any other councillors who were keeping up – not many it seems.

We should pause re : Mr Crombie has consistently said since the Noble debacle became public that all would be well, Delta would recover its core debt and the penalties and interest weren’t of any moment – yesterday he described them as both “horrendous” and “irrelevant”. An interesting question is – why were the penalties and interest “horrendous” ? The answer is because Delta’s security was so far down the security chain as to be virtually meaningless, and as a consequence, its charges indeed were horrendous because they had little chance of ever being paid, and the rates reflect that.

This correspondent is alarmed that an accountant would describe the interest payable on a debt as irrelevant, especially when the company in question has in effect financed the entire core debt of $11.3M with either borrowed money from the DCC, or by foregoing dividends to the DCC. Mr McKenzie would certainly not agree that the interest charges are irrelevant because Delta’s loan funding has been arranged through DCC treasury at somewhere between 4-7% per year from 2012. Although, the actual figures might be 3.9% to 6.85%….

Delta  logo 2We now know, thanks to Grady Cameron, that Delta embarked upon this foolhardy venture with a security ranking somewhere between 4th and 6th in line.

The crucial question is : after this year’s debt purchases, where are they ranked now ? Delta and DCC refuse to confirm this. If they were ranked first, then it would be Delta themselves that had forced the mortgagee sale process. This seems unlikely since if Delta had control as first security, they would have no reason to hide this and the PR department would spin this as Delta taking firm and decisive action to recover their debt. Instead, Mr Cameron meekly says that Delta is a “secured creditor” and the mortgagee sale process is a “significant movement” towards payment. He doesn’t say to who….

It is also a concern why Delta invested a further $3.3M, if they still don’t have control of the project. Others have posited that they almost certainly bought the debt at a reduced value, but the key point is that they don’t have control and first security does not have to have any regard at all to the interests of lower ranked securities. This correspondent has seen at first hand several similar land deals where second ranking securities from large finance companies received zero. One can be sure that the first security will also have heavy penalty rates and other costs will emerge from the woodwork.

Delta were not some minor suppliers on the project. They supplied all of the infrastructure for the subdivision. There aren’t any other big parts to a subdivision. Typically, if the land is correctly zoned, the rule of thumb for the cost of a subdivision is a third land cost, a third infrastructure cost (Delta), and a third profit.

What is truly astounding is that there were at least three securities ahead of Delta and they knew this going into the deal. Any developer that needed three mortgages or debt securities just on the land and the resource consent process before they started work was doomed if there was any trouble, lack of expertise and unforeseen problems. This subdivision had all those, in spades. A further red flag should have been the involvement of one Mr Justin Prain, who previously touted the unique benefits of the similarly doomed 5 Mile town development at Queenstown. In fact the sales pitch was remarkably similar for both developments.

There are many questions to be answered about this debacle, but one that might unlock the whole saga is : what involvement did Murray Valentine, Mike Coburn and Peak Projects have in any entity related to the Noble Subdivision ?

This correspondent urges the other new Delta directors who were appointed after the Noble deal was entered into to show some cojones and order an inquiry. Clearly, it is just too hard for Mr Crombie.

This item via whatifdunedin:

### nbr.co.nz Monday May 25, 2015
Apple Fields’ directors fined $30,000 over filing omissions
By Suze Metherell
Justin Prain and Mark Schroeder, directors of the formerly NZX-listed Apple Fields, have been fined $30,000 each for failing to file financial statements for three years.
The Christchurch District Court found the two directors failed under the Financial Reporting Act to report Apple Fields’ accounts, according to Judge Emma Smith’s February judgment. The Financial Markets Authority brought the charges against the two directors after they failed to report the annual accounts for the financial years between 2011 and 2013. The FMA can seek fines of up to $100,000 for failure to report.
Christchurch-based Apple Fields, which listed on the NZX in 1986, was once New Zealand’s largest corporate orchardist and clashed with the Apple & Pear Marketing Board for the right to export fruit independently. The company moved into property development in the early 2000s, with Mr Prain appointed a director in 2002 and Mr Schroeder in 2003.
Apple Fields entered into a property development arrangement with Noble Investments in Christchurch, which was planning to subdivide land on Yaldhurst Rd into 254 residential sections as well as develop a village centre. After changes in the joint venture, Noble Investments could be considered a subsidiary and its accounts needed to be included in Apple Fields’ group accounts, according to the judgment. The Yaldhurst development stalled when Apple Fields ended up in a protracted legal battle with neighbouring landowners.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
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

● 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

34 Comments

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

DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015

Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers, Dunedin [architecturenow.co.nz] 1Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers [via architecturenow.co.nz]

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Dunedin City Holdings Limited Half Year Result to 31 December 2015

This item was published on 22 Feb 2016

Dunedin City Holdings Limited has reported a surplus of $8.7 million for the six months to December 2015.

The financial result was the first with the inclusion of both Dunedin Venues Limited (DVL – the company that owns the Forsyth Barr Stadium and is the landlord) and Dunedin Venues Management Limited (DVML – the event management company, which currently operates out of the Stadium and the Dunedin Centre) are now included in the Dunedin City Holdings Limited group of companies.

The net surplus for the group has decreased from the $10.1 million reported in the six months to 31 December 2014. Including the impact of DVL and DVML though, ie a like for like comparison, reveals a $2.7 million increase in surplus for the six months.

The continuing recent trend of debt reduction has also been a highlight of the financial period. Total debt has decreased from $593 million at the end of June 2015 to $588 million at the end of December, a $5 million decrease.

Dunedin City Holdings Limited Chairman Graham Crombie says, “It is pleasing to once again be able to show an improved financial result for the group. The like for like increase in surplus for the group, along with the reduction in debt levels, continues to reflect the improvement in the overall financial performance of the individual companies within the group.”

Aurora Energy Limited’s profit is down slightly on the previous year, but revenue has continued to grow. The company is continuing its major asset improvement and renewal programme, which is forecast to involve $372 million of expenditure over a 10 year period.

Improvements in both international and domestic demand, and a fall in the New Zealand dollar, were key factors for City Forests Limited. Along with reduced costs because of lower fuel prices and international shipping rates, this has led to healthy increase in surplus. The company’s net surplus has increased from $3.7 million in 2014 to $5 million in 2015.

Delta Utility Services Limited has also experienced a slight decrease in surplus for the six months, but continues to be in line with budget expectations. The company continues to develop its asset management, energy and environmental divisions.

Taieri Gorge Railway Limited has experienced an increase in revenue for the six months, reflecting a 10.2% increase in passenger numbers. Cost pressures over the reporting period have resulted in the surplus for the period being down compared with the same period last year.

The impact of increased event income, along with the implementation of the recommendations of the Dunedin City Dunedin Council’s Stadium review, has seen a significant increase in DVML’s financial result. The company has moved from a $1 million loss in 2014 to a reported six month surplus of $300,000. Mr Crombie says this is a significant turnaround for the company.

DVL has reported a net loss of $4 million compared to a loss of $4.4 million for the corresponding six month period last year. This is largely due to the impact of the Stadium review.

A rise in operating revenue, along with a decrease in interest costs, has resulted in an increase in the financial performance of Dunedin International Airport.

Contact Graham Crombie, Chairman Dunedin City Holdings Limited on 477 4000.

DCC Link

The Delta Affair by Douglas Field 23.2.16The Delta Affair [Douglas Field 23.2.16]

OTAGO DAILY TIMES
Corresponding DCC/DCHL reports below this group of news stories.

Councillors celebrate, criticise
By Chris Morris on Tue, 23 Feb 2016
A surplus of $8.7million delivered by the Dunedin City Council’s group of companies was cause for celebration and angst yesterday. The divergent views came as councillors discussed the results from Dunedin City Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries for the six months to December 31 last year at yesterday’s full council meeting.

Delta loss could top $20 million
By Chris Morris on Tue, 23 Feb 2016
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.

DCC stating expectations
By Chris Morris on Tue, 23 Feb 2016
The Dunedin City Council is moving to spell out the expectations it has from its companies for the first time. But the move has already been dismissed as window-dressing by Cr Lee Vandervis, prompting a debate at yesterday’s full council meeting.

Conflict policy code reworking requested
By Vaughan Elder on Tue, 23 Feb 2016
Fears of unintended consequences caused Dunedin city councillors to request more work be done on a code of conflict policy. The policy, which consolidates the management of staff conflicts of interest in one document, was considered for adoption at yesterday’s meeting, but was sent back to chief executive Sue Bidrose.

Councillors back rounding of pool charges
Tue, 23 Feb 2016
Dunedin City councillors have supported rounding pool charges to the closest 50c. Council staff said rounding pool charges would simplify the cash handling process for customer service staff and result in quicker transactions for people paying with cash.

Dunedin stadium in the black
By Chris Morris on Mon, 22 Feb 2016
The company running Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium has turned a $1 million loss into a six-figure profit, and is forecasting greater returns in future.
The result came as the Dunedin City Council’s group of companies released their latest six-month reports and statements of intent, which will be discussed at today’s full

Conflicts of interest policy
By Chris Morris on Mon, 22 Feb 2016
Dunedin city council staff could be forced to resign under a new conflicts of interest policy to be considered by councillors today. The new policy would cover all council staff and contractors, but not councillors, who would be the subject of a separate report still being prepared.

DUNEDIN CITY COUNCIL
A full council meeting was held on Monday, 22 Feb 2016, starting at 1:00 pm.

Agenda – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 53.7 KB)

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 63.8 KB)
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd Financials for the Six Months Ended 31 December 2016

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 542.4 KB)
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 66.1 KB)
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd Group of Companies Financials for the Six Months Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 2.0 MB)
Aurora Energy Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 206.1 KB)
City Forests Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

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, 191.6 KB)
Dunedin City Treasury Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Dunedin International Airport Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 493.6 KB)
Dunedin Venues Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 314.9 KB)
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 583.3 KB)
Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 174.4 KB)
Dunedin City Council’s Letter of Expectations for 2016/17

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 68.3 KB)
Draft Statement of Intent – Dunedin City Holdings Ltd

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 192.0 KB)
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 828.7 KB)
Aurora Energy Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 192.7 KB)
City Forests Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

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

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 92.5 KB)
Dunedin City Treasury Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Dunedin International Airport Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 50.3 KB)
Dunedin Venues Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 119.1 KB)
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 70.4 KB)
Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 130.6 KB)
Conflicts of Interest Policy (Council Officers)

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Wastewater Connection to 38 Church Hill Road

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 84.1 KB)
Community Engagement Plan for 2016/17 Annual Plan

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 295.4 KB)
2016/17 Aquatics Fees – Options for Annual Plan Consultation

█ Source: DCC webpage

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

36 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation

Hold on! DCC Annual Plan 2016/17 #CommunityEngagement

Tabled at the full Council meeting held on Monday, 22 February 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 84.1 KB)
Community Engagement Plan for 2016/17 Annual Plan
Report from Corporate Policy

DCC uneducated 22.2.16 Kate Wilson grey

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Await release of the DCC meeting video (via 39 Dunedin Television) on YouTube for a full transcription.

31 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

ODT headline: ‘Stadium in the black, more to come’

TERRY AND BOARD !!!

Very difficult to be transparently and accountably in the black if your company DVML (Dunedin Venues Management Ltd) is HIGHLY SUBSIDISED by Dunedin ratepayers.

Cut us a break from incredulity.

### ODT Online Mon, 22 Feb 2016
Stadium in the black, more to come
By Chris Morris
The company running Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium has turned a $1 million loss into a six-figure profit, and is forecasting greater returns in future. The result came as the Dunedin City Council’s group of companies released their latest six-month reports and statements of intent, which will be discussed at today’s full council meeting.
Read more

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 314.9 KB)
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 119.1 KB)
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 493.6 KB)
Dunedin Venues Ltd Six Months Financial Statements for the Period Ended 31 December 2015

Report – Council – 22/02/2016 (PDF, 50.3 KB)
Dunedin Venues Ltd Draft Statement of Intent 2017

>>> Off to the full council meeting, started at 1:00 pm
Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

43 Comments

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DCC infrastructure performance report (30.11.15) subject to ‘internal review’ only #Jun2015flood

Received.

From: Kristy Rusher
Sent: Sunday, 21 February 2016 9:59 p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: FW: Local Government Official Information request – 531354

Hi Elizabeth,

In response to the information request – 531354, I advise the DCC did not arrange a formal external peer review of the report you refer to. However the report and modelling was reviewed internally.
[site moderator’s emphasis]

After this report was made public it was scrutinised by external experts (Bruce Hendry and Trevor Williams) who had previously commented critically on the Council’s public statements. Feedback from these individuals was that the report was thorough and the numbers and analysis stood up to scrutiny.
Therefore we are unable to provide you with a peer review in digital format on the basis that the information you have requested does not exist (section 17(e) Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987).

As we have declined to provide information that you have requested, you are advised that you may request that the Ombudsman review our decision. The contact details for the Ombudsman are available at this webpage: http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Regards, Kristy Rusher

Kristy Rusher
Manager Civic and Legal, Civic
Dunedin City Council

The Official Information Form at the DCC website was used to lodge my request, however this removes all document formatting – therefore, and as an official file record, the request was also forwarded by email:

From: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Monday, 25 January 2016 12:23 p.m.
To: Sandy Graham
Cc: Kristy Rusher; Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: LGOIMA Request – Ref No. 531354

Dear Sandy

LGOIMA Request – June 2015 Dunedin Flood
Reference No. 531354

In reference to the news article in today’s Otago Daily Times, ‘April date for report on flooding’
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/370819/april-date-report-flooding
I note the anticipated report is subject to peer review:

“Mr McCabe told the Otago Daily Times the lengthy timeline was needed to ensure the report was “robust”, including an external peer review of its findings.”

I note the earlier council report, tabled at the full council meeting on 30 November 2015 (I attended this meeting):

Report – Council – 30/11/2015 (PDF, 553 KB)
Infrastructure Performance During June 2015 Flood Event

I request the following information:

1. Was the flood report of 30/11/15 peer reviewed?

2. What was the name(s) of the peer reviewer(s) and their professional accreditation and or relevant work experience?

3. Is the peer review(s) available for public scrutiny, and if so I request a copy in digital format by email.

I look forward to your reply.

Kind regards, Elizabeth

I was informed in person, in January, that the Water and Waste Services department report, ‘Infrastructure Performance During June 2015 Flood Event’, tabled at the full council meeting on 30.11.15, had been “peer reviewed” and the time taken for review was cause for delay of the report’s release.

We now learn an “internal review” happened at the council, with some external scrutiny. In considerable doubt, since DCC does not provide the evidence in its official response (21.2.16), is the claim that “Feedback from these individuals was that the report was thorough and the numbers and analysis stood up to scrutiny.”

An internal review is a long way short of an independent peer review – peer reviews are typically formally briefed as to scope etc with binding agreement of the parties.

Commonly, in New Zealand, the following is used as a guide to scoping peer review processes:

IPENZ Practice Note 02
Peer Review: Reviewing the work of another Engineer (June 2003)
ISSN 1176-0907 (PDF, 552 KB)

How does the ‘internal review’ stand against the news story,
Flooding: lack of maintenance blamed
(ODT 13.2.16) —where Bruce Hendry is cited: “A man who helped build South Dunedin’s drainage network says a lack of maintenance exacerbated problems caused by last year’s record-breaking flood. […] “Eight months after what has probably been the biggest and most expensive disaster in Dunedin since the 1929 floods, answers relating to the future and safety of those most affected, particularly residents of South Dunedin, have not been given,” he said in the report.” What report? DCC fails to produce it.

What will happen in April with the release of the report from the DCC’s Transport department on the performance of drains and mudtanks during the flood, and which in recent times have been subject to poor maintenance and lack of upgrade?

Related Post and Comments:
● 13.2.16 South Dunedin Flood (3 June 2015): Bruce Hendry via ODT
4.2.16 2GP commissioner appears to tell Council outcome… #hazardzones
4.2.16 Level responses to Dunedin mayor’s hippo soup #Jun2015flood
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
25.1.16 DCC: South Dunedin Integrated Catchment Management Plan (ICMP)
19.1.16 Listener 23.1.16 (letter): South Dunedin #Jun2015flood
16.1.16 NZ Listener 16.1.16 (letter): South Dunedin #Jun2015flood
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
5.1.16 Hammered from all sides #fixit [dunedinflood Jun2015]
● 24.12.15 Site notice: posts removed
● 3.11.15 South Dunedin Flood | Correspondence & Debriefing Notes released by DCC today #LGOIMA

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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