Delta EpicFail #8 : Cr Calvert goes AWOL, 23 Questions for Mr McKenzie —Saddlebags !!

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 21 Jul 2016 at 1:11 a.m.

Readers, we must observe a minute’s silence for Councillor Calvert, who will be greatly missed. Councillor Calvert was one of few – very few – willing to shake off the soporific torpor afflicting so many of the elected representatives, ask penetrating questions, and not follow the herd. Some other Councillors think that simpering naivety is a fetching and winning look (and not just limited to one particular female councillor), but on the very few times your correspondent has been able to withstand viewing parts of a council meeting, he had a heaving feeling and it wasn’t stale milk in the Choysa.

Ms Calvert did make some missteps in her term, and the Court of Appeal judgement in relation to the James Queenstown Development undoubtedly might have affected her confidence to run, but this correspondent says, all is forgiven Hilary, the city needs you. A suggestion : Why not just go all out and stand for Mayor on the premise that you have done your time as Councillor and got treated like a mushroom by Mayor Cull et al, so you now know that to achieve reform in the city of Dunedin, you need to be at the top, and nothing else will do. That would be a powerful message and it would resonate with many. Please consider it. Readers, please post your support to show Cr Calvert there is a mayoral Calvert constituency – offers of assistance also appreciated !!

So the DCC has refused to answer Cr Calvert’s questions in relation to Delta. Instead, Mr McKenzie, “has been asked to contact” Cr Calvert. It is not recorded by the DCC if Mr McKenzie agreed to do this, or alternately, had been instructed to, ie couldn’t refuse to. Bureaucrats !!

But Mr McKenzie wants to hold a “workshop” with councillors on this issue. We can be so very very sure that without the efforts of What if? this workshop would never have seen the light of day. Your correspondent says this workshop is the first of the plaintive cries of ignorance and fast & furious duckshoving predicted in the EpicFail #6 post. What is not needed is some vague platitudes from the departing Mr McKenzie, who now has no stake or future in the DCC, but some evidence and history of the issue in writing, that can be considered by the people footing the bill, ie us. And there had better be something comprehensive and truthful – in writing, or the Ombudsman (who is already watching the DCC for its appalling LGOIMA performance on other matters) will be involved.

To this end, your ever helpful correspondent has prepared some additional questions for Mr McKenzie’s workshop in addition to Cr Calvert’s questions, that all ratepayers will be VERY interested to know the responses to. Councillors, feel free to pick and run with as many as you like. Goodness knows, even Mr Vaughan Elder of the ODT may want to pursue some : Breaking news is that the ODT is sick of being pummelled by What if? on this issue (and others) and has assigned Mr Elder to pursue the Delta / Noble story. Welcome to the party Mr Elder, good to have you aboard, unless you get captured by the DCHL / Delta party line that is, in which case you will receive no mercy from this correspondent.

Q_LOGOweb [] 1Questions for Mr McKenzie (No, not you Graham, Grady and Delta directors…. but it’s coming….)

1. Do you agree that as DCC Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), you must answer all questions truthfully and disclose all material facts known in relation to issues you are reporting or advising on ?

2. When did you become aware of the partial assignment security sharing deeds with Gold Band Finance and Avanti Finance ?

3. Have you read the above documents ?

4. If you have read the documents, have you ever in your career seen a document with the same sort of provisions, and if not, did this create any alarm to you ?

5. If the document was not one you had ever experienced before, as the GCFO of the DCC, did you seek a further opinion on the legality or enforceability of the document ?

6. If you had read the document, why did you say that there is no relationship between Gold Band and Delta when this is demonstrably not true ?

7. If you had read the document, why did you say that the actions of Gold Band are “out of our control” when this is demonstrably not true ?

8. If you hadn’t read the document, how could you accurately say what sort of relationship there was between Gold Band and Delta ?

9. Did someone else advise you of this, and if so, who was it ?

10. Was pressure from the Mayor, Delta Management or Directors, or DCHL Directors brought to bear on you to say that there was no relationship between Delta and Gold Band ?

11. Do you consider the current court action, which is being paid for by Delta, a prudent use of ratepayer owned funds ?

12. How much has been spent on legal and staff costs on the current, ongoing court cases ?

13. If the document, ie partial security sharing deed that is the subject of the current court action is found by the Court to be illegal, do you think it is appropriate for the CEO and Directors who have allowed this happen and who were in place at the time the document was prepared, approved and signed, to remain in their positions ?

14. If the document is found to be illegal, what is your plan of action you will recommend to Delta/ DCHL/ DCC ?

15. If the document is found to be illegal, will you recommend to Delta/ DCHL/ DCC that legal action be taken against the law firm that prepared the agreement ?

16. Have you been advised in any way informally or formally, of any proposed Delta or DCC or DCHL involvement in the entity that is purchasing the land at the Noble Subdivision mortgagee sale ? And when were you made aware of it ?

17. If yes, precisely what information has been disclosed to Councillors ?

18. If nothing has been disclosed to councillors, why not ?

19. What amount of funding is proposed for this “involvement” and where will it come from ?

20. Is there any limit to further funds being committed to this proposal, if as often happens, budgets and timeframes are exceeded ?

21. As GCFO, do you think it is appropriate that Delta should have spent $3.39M on a questionable at best partial assignment when it’s five-year profit average is $2.6M ?

22. If you were the Delta CEO, would you have done this ?

23. Do you consider that the Management and Directors of Delta have acted ethically and within the law, and in a manner appropriate for a ratepayer owned company during your tenure at the DCC ?


█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

10 responses to “Delta EpicFail #8 : Cr Calvert goes AWOL, 23 Questions for Mr McKenzie —Saddlebags !!

  1. Gurglars

    And just why CD should these questions not be put in a LGOIMA to Grady Cameron and DCHL chairman Graham Crombie, also coincidentally one of the $900 daily men at the SDHB?

    • Observer

      I agree they should be put in LGOIMA requests. Unfortunately these Delta personnel would likely respond as they did to Cr Calvert that “the questions are for opinions which they don’t have to give”.

  2. Elizabeth

    ### Thu, 20 Jul 2016
    Nightly Interview: Hilary Calvert
    Dunedin City Councillor Hilary Calvert this week announced her decision not to stand in this year’s upcoming elections. She’s cited issues with fellow councillors and staff as one of the reasons behind her choice and she joins us now to talk more about it.
    Ch39 Link

    Channel 39 News Published on Jul 20, 2016
    Nightly Interview: Hilary Calvert

  3. Elizabeth

    The below comment published at ODT Online perhaps points to an inability to register what the misdeeds of the current and past councils have been. Not helped by staff activity. Is Diane now a lawyer, or a finance wizard ? Neither I suggest. I’m mystified why people are being told their jobs.

    Diane comments here from time to time. However, Very puzzled by Diane’s closing which comes across as (warning to Gurglars!) “babe in the woods”. Unless my powers of comprehension are completely defunct…. the line she trots appears to defy everything this website has been at pains to explore in regards to Council porkers and porkies, via lack of transparency and underhand dealings which are Costing Ratepayers their arms and legs, bugger it.

    Questions at council
    Submitted by Diane Yeldon on Sat, 23/07/2016 – 1:57pm.

    Councillors are allowed to ask questions at meetings but they are not allowed to cross-examine staff. Genuine questions seek an answer as yet unknown, whereas cross-examination is designed to create an effect on an audience. […] Councillors may try [cross-examination] because it’s the only way they can think of to get a discussion they believe is important into the public arena, as generally only the Mayor and the committee chairs have the power to set agendas. Councillors may also feel frustrated that important issues may be explained and discussed only at non-public workshops, something which is arguably contrary to the legal requirement to conduct all of the council’s business in public, not just the limited formal decision-making aspect of it. […] If a councillor is not allowed to continue with a question, either by a chair’s ruling or a point of order made by another councillor, it would be jumping to conclusions to assume that any kind of cover up is necessarily going on. That possibility does, indeed, exist. However, it might instead be a matter of astute political grandstanding, sometimes rather tough on council staff who are there to give information only, not opinions, and can be awkwardly tangled up by councillors willing and clever enough to outwit them. Getting the balance right between achieving good answers to genuine questions and checking political game-playing depends on the ability, patience and tact of the meeting chair. Looking annoyed and muttering something like, “You don’t have to answer that,” as Mayor Cull has so often done, may be giving a far more sinister appearance than is really warranted. [EK’s bolding]

    Time to abandon flightless pigs and factory farming, Diane.
    Dishonesty, Scams, Misuse and Misappropriation of rates funds is everywhere. Stadium. ORFU. Highlanders. Rural Zone rorts. Citifleet. Luggate. Jacks Point. Noble Subdivision. Let’s not forget “the accidents” like the South Dunedin Flood of June 2015 or the consented subdivision above 240 Portobello Road. Or what about Dear Mr Dunckley’s Leith Valley 19-lot subdivision at 259 Malvern Street Dunedin (LUC-2014-631).

    Need one go on. The list grows.
    Suggest you become a forensic auditor.

    Recommendation: Do not tell the FAs their job, that would be suspicious.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The bolded passages in Diane Yeldon’s comment (above) raise the question in anyone’s mind: Why?
      Why prevent someone asking a follow-up question when there is every reason to believe the intention is to clarify and obtain a clear answer, not to harass? Why. if the Preventer would rather the question remain unclearly unanswered?
      Why tell staff they need not answer? Don’t they know their own job? It looks suspiciously like another variant of preventing information getting out – getting out to the other people we elected!
      “Getting the balance right between achieving good answers to genuine questions and checking political game-playing depends on the ability, patience and tact of the meeting chair.”
      Who’s indulging in preventing “good answers to genuine questions”? Why?
      Who’s indulging in “political game-playing”? Why?
      Who’s scared of the emergence of facts on a multitude of shockers that have occurred on their watch?

  4. russandbev

    I too was puzzled by Diane Yeldon’s published comments. If it is not plain as a pikestaff that this Council have FAILED in their core duties and responsibilities then I don’t know what else they have to do. Anyone that looks at the conduct of the Council meetings chaired by Cull cannot believe for an instant that the meetings are being conducted in a way to best govern the City.

  5. Gurglars

    Diane protecting Gurglars!

    Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have this sordid bunch of mentally deficients sue me for defamation.

    As long as the truth is still a justification for free speech, I’ll be OK thanks.
    As to commercially attacking me as the Westland council is currently attacking Western Paradise owner who won’t give them a cycleways easement due to their breaching of agreements, I can tell you that the DCC has commercially attacked me on at least three separate counts. All of which were providing jobs and annoying no citizens except council dictators. So I have personal knowledge of their methodology and I can tell you that the only way they will get to 10,000 extra jobs is if they employ them themselves.
    Which with a 3% rates rise in a period of zero inflation, they are well on the way to so doing.

  6. Gurglars

    Poor old Hilary, like a rabbit in the headlights in that interview, knowing that if she spoke the absolute truth, the electorate and TV watchers would misread the message. How far we have come down when elected persons are afraid of speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    • Elizabeth

      There is an impressive personage in the offing that I feel the likes of Hilary Calvert may very well support for the run at the Dunedin mayoralty – her ability to speak out with impunity may be only a short while ahead.

      If that intending ‘arrives’ as a candidate then some or most of my prayers will be answered – where at the moment none are.

  7. Gurglars

    Stop Praying
    Start Prey-ing

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