Daily Archives: June 9, 2016

ORC empire building again : Consultants give questionable options for new office solutions

ORC offices, Stafford St [abl.co.nz] 1█ Should ORC be made to stay at its current Stafford St site for greater efficiency and cost saving ?

whatifdunedin says:
● Is new officing needed for ORC ? —Not clear.
● Is officing for ORC a worthy use of the prime site to Queens Gardens ? —NO, definitely not.
● Has there been full diligence around the building and site options available at Dunedin ? —Instant laughter. Look at the options listed at ODT, really ? That list has been utterly contrived for ONE set outcome, no more and no less.
● This “ORC Quest” (paraded as diligence for All councillors’ consideration) is empire building by a small rough set bunch of local body bureaucrats and their nest-feathering consultant-buddies with construction industry connections to particular councillors who should know better than not to declare their strong conflicts of interest, right now.

In the Otago Daily Times, developer and heritage building owner Russell Lund writes: “Public scrutiny is required to ensure the most efficient solution is found for the ORC’s new Dunedin building”. He goes on to detail that the regional council “does not have a good track record of project control in relation to its previous attempt to build”.

Wed, 8 June 2016
ODT: Where to now for ORC and its desire for new headquarters?
By Russell Lund
OPINION The Otago Regional Council wants a new facility, in all likelihood a new building, that it owns. When the ORC last attempted to build a new headquarters in 2008, the cost was about $38million … the most expensive office buildings ever constructed in New Zealand to cater for 105 staff … The 2008 building had a floor area of 5600sq m. This equates to 53sq m a staff member, when the recently completed ECan HQ building in Christchurch has just 17sq m a staff member. Cr Kempton, who has been on the new building working party since 2011, will be aware of the cost and size of the ECan building as his company, Naylor Love, built it.
Read more

*whatifdunedin notes: Trevor Kempton is also a Director for Boards of the Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta Utility Services Ltd and Aurora Energy Ltd.


Thu, 9 Jun 2016
ODT: ORC considers Dowling St HQ
After a decade of controversy and delays, an Otago Regional Council committee yesterday recommended a car park in Dowling St, Dunedin, as the preferred site for the council’s new head office. […] The ORC wants a 3000sq m building, either new or redeveloped, with at least 60 car parks, and including a 240sq m council chamber. Its preferred option is now to build a two-storey building on the Dunedin City Council-owned Dowling St car park. It is understood a considerable part of the car park, at 15 Dowling St, would not be required for the proposed development, and could remain as parking.
Read more

[click to enlarge]
DCC Webmap - Dowling St carpark JanFeb2013 (ORC preferred site) 1DCC Webmap – Dowling St car park JanFeb2013 (ORC preferred site)

Dunedin Street View [Google] - Dowling Street Carpark from SH1, Queens Gardens 1Dunedin Street View [Google] – Dowling St car park following the line of the Harcourts building, off lower High St parking area, Queens Gardens

Related Posts and Comments:
11.8.12 ODT editorial (spot on!) — ORC temporary headquarters
26.6.09 ORC headquarters [incl news items to present day]

ORC offices proposed, Kitchener St - sketch render by Mason & Wales Architects (2009) 1ORC offices proposed, Kitchener St - sketch render by Mason & Wales Architects (2009) 3Expensive. ORC harbourside proposal, Mason & Wales Architects (2009)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

█ Suppliers of electricity lines services are subject to regulatory provisions under the Commerce Act 1986.

Commerce Commission Media Release
New report details profitability of electricity lines companies

8 June 2016
The Commerce Commission has today released a new report detailing the profitability of the 16 electricity distributors subject to price-quality regulation in New Zealand between 2012 and 2015. Commission Deputy Chair Sue Begg said the analysis shows the revenue limits were effective at limiting excessive profits, while investment in the electricity distribution network also increased. The Commission’s analysis is based on information that distributors are required to publish under information disclosure regulation. Cont/ page link

Commerce Commission
[Report] Profitability of electricity distributors following first adjustments to revenue limits
8 June 2016
Under information disclosure regulation, 29 electricity distributors are required to publically disclose information to help people better understand how the sector is performing. The focus of this report is on profitability. Amongst other things, we hope this work will go some way towards answering questions that are frequently asked of the Commission about whether the average level of distribution pricing is appropriate. While the report comments on the profitability of all distributors, our detailed analysis centres on the distributors that are subject to price-quality regulation. Cont/

Download: EDB profitability infographic for interactive version
(PDF, 2.4 MB)

● Profitability of electricity distributors following first adjustments to revenue limits [page link to 8 documents for download]

“Given lines companies are natural monopolies it’s important that consumers can be confident that the revenue limits we set are working as intended,” Ms Begg said. “This report helps reassure consumers that lines companies’ returns are appropriate and infrastructure investment is continuing to be made.” –Begg, Commerce Commission

### National Business Review Wed, 8 June 2016
Regulatory curbs limit excessive profits from lines companies
By Paul McBeth
The Commerce Commission is hailing the success of revenue limits in curbing excessive profits at electricity lines companies, although Auckland’s Vector and Wellington Electricity were among five distribution firms showing a material deterioration in network reliability. Returns for the 16 companies subject to price-quality regulation ranged from 5.33% for The Lines Company to 8.37% for Network Tasman between 2012 and 2015, with the majority falling within one%age point of the regulator’s expectations and the remainder below those predictions, commission deputy chairwoman Sue Begg said in a statement. Vector, the country’s biggest lines company, generated an internal rate of return of 7.04% in the period and the Commerce Commission estimates profit would have been about $110 million more had the revenue limits not been in place.
Read more

As NBR reflects, the Dunedin City Council-owned company, Aurora Energy Ltd comes in for harsh criticism from the Commerce Commission (“the regulator”):

[Today’s profitability report spanning 2012 to 2015] …. “also showed five companies – Aurora Energy, Eastland Network, Electricity Invercargill, Wellington Electricity and Vector – had a material deterioration in network reliability between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2015, and didn’t meet the ‘two out of three years’ quality standard, which allows for poor performance in one year.

The regulator has issued warnings to Aurora, Eastland and Electricity Invercargill, and may take stronger responses to Aurora and Eastland for future breaches after its engineering advisers raised concerns about those two firms’ asset management.”

Aurora Distribution Map:
Aurora Energy Limited 2015 Annual Report 2 (distribution map)

Aurora Energy Limited 2015 Annual Report 1Images: Aurora Energy Limited 2015 Annual Report [screenshots]

Aurora Energy Ltd (471661) has the same Board of Directors and Chief Executive (Grady Cameron) as Delta Utility Services Ltd (453486) which is seriously mired in the debacle for the Noble subdivision at Yaldhurst, Christchurch – a parallel but more expensive nightmare for ratepayers than the Luggate and Jacks Point subdivisions fiasco.

Note: Representatives for the ‘Noble parties’ surfaced at the High Court in Christchurch on Friday 3 June (details to come).

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *auditor-general* or *noble* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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


Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty