Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 at 1:18 a.m.

Dear Readers

We must give plaudits to Vaughan Elder of the ODT for Saturday’s front page article on Delta’s court action over the Noble Subdivision. Readers should remember that the new CEO of the ODT Grant McKenzie, Mr Elder’s employer, stated in a Council Meeting in February that there was “no relationship” between Gold Band Finance and Delta, and continued to perpetrate that myth in Saturday’s newspaper : Mr McKenzie “stood by comments he made at the council meeting at February”. That is a classic piece of misdirection, in that most people will read it and construe that Mr McKenzie is saying his comments in February were true and accurate, but of course it does not say that —Mr McKenzie has thrown a lifeline to himself so that when the good ship Delta sinks, he can say that he “stood by” his comments in so far as what he knew or had been definitively confirmed to him at the time —or some other carefully concocted excuse that may or may not be true.

But readers, tonight we are not concerned with Mr McKenzie (you can go now Mr McKenzie, we know you read this site….), but the dismal and desperate Mr Grady Cameron. Saturday’s article was very telling in many respects :

Firstly, when Delta thought it had a chance of controlling the issue back in February, it issued a general press release via Gary Dixon and made contact with What if? to deal with alleged “misinformation” that was being perpetrated (mostly by your correspondent). Back then, Mr Graham Crombie, the DCHL chair, was also wheeled out to add gravitas and to try to stabilise the situation, which failed miserably, as your correspondent was happy to predict. See the earlier post Tea & Taxing Questions (6 Mar 2016). It was suggested in that post that Mr Crombie conduct a personal risk register cost/benefit analysis, for any Noble involvement. Mr Crombie has read the tea leaves, and neither him nor any other director are anywhere to be seen. Mr Cameron (Grady) is all on his own.


Let us examine the hole that Grady has dug for himself. Grady is quite clearly not really an earthmoving guy, and has obviously never read the early childhood earthmover’s bible written in 1939 by Virginia Lee Burton, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel : Four corners…neat and square…four walls straight down…We’ve dug so fast and we’ve dug so well that we’ve quite forgotten to leave a way out! —Yes readers, there is no way out, for Grady.

Over a Choysa (No sugar please, it’s late), let us examine some of his statements in Saturday’s ODT.

In a response emailed to the ODT, Mr Cameron disagreed

Well Grady, how about sending out a general press release or an email, as you did in February so that others like What if? who have been on your trail for months, can verify what you are saying is factual, and you are not merely trying to sidestep Mr Elder who is new to the issue.

“We remain fully focused on recovering the outstanding debt owed to Delta from the developer and have securities in place for the amount owing.”

That is a disgraceful misrepresentation of the truth, Grady Cameron, and you know it is. Your DCHL chair Mr Crombie confirmed that the amount owed in March including interest, was over $24M, and you have security for $13.3M. This is beyond doubt because the recent court documents show you were willing to allow Gold Band to sell the mortgage for $16M, which included your second mortgage interest of $5M. This meant after Gold Band was paid its –current– share of the 32.5% of the First Mortgage, Delta would receive $13M. Mr Crombie also confirms you are not telling the truth because he said in the ODT (23 Feb 2016) that Delta would have to write off millions, but not to worry, it was only interest and it was “horrendous”.

The mortgagee sale was being conducted by Gold Band Finance, not Delta, he said.

Grady, with this statement you are not fit to remain as CEO any longer. Your disdain for the collective intelligence of Ratepayers is clearly in the gutter. You –Delta!, dictate what Gold Band can and cannot do. See the earlier post #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie and McKenzie (24 Feb 2016). Grady, you spent $3.39M on a very likely illegal 67.50% share of the Gold Band first mortgage so you could dictate to Gold Band what they can and can’t do, and you have promised to pay all their costs, “legal or otherwise”. You have already dictated to Gold Band that they cannot sell the first mortgage to the other landowners, who offered to buy it. This is confirmed in Gold Band emails in court documents.

How about answering these questions Grady :

When purchasing the partial first mortgage amounts, what interest rate did Delta have to pay for the first mortgage amounts ?

Was it 22.50% compounding, or a figure close to that? If Delta has to pay 22.50% interest, why do you think it is appropriate for Ratepayers to receive no interest on the $13M approx. of core debt that has been outstanding for six years ?

It (Delta) had not been involved in any unethical behaviour

We could have hours of entertainment with this one, but gravitas and the impending council meeting this Monday mean we must play it straight.

Grady, that is another disgusting fabrication.

mike-mulligan-and-his-steam-shovel-illustrations [] 1

Did you allow the ENTIRE SUBDIVISION WORK COMPLETED BY DELTA AT THE NOBLE SUBDIVISION to be completed NOT to the CCC CONSENT DRAWINGS AND SPECS, but to radically different specifications, with roadways that were 8 METRES NARROWER than the CCC Consent Requirements ?

Did this continue for AT LEAST 18 MONTHS from late 2009 to mid 2011 ?

Is it normal for Delta to ignore the local authority consent conditions for projects and simply suit themselves and their clients ?

If not, how on earth could you consider it “ethical” on this project ?

Did Delta install stormwater systems at the subdivision that were undersized to cater for the neighbours’ land, but continue to assure them that their interests were being catered for ?

Do you consider that actively trying to defeat “known prior interests in the land”, that were specified very clearly in the sale and purchase agreements for the land that the subdivision was being built upon, ethical behaviour ?

Do you think that attempting to have your $5M second mortgage, that was registered after various caveats were registered, paid ahead of the caveated interests is ethical ?

Do you say the following -extracted from the post Epic Fraud #5 – Delta and the ghostly hand of Tom Kain (12 Jul 2016)- shows ethical behaviour ?

Mr Smillie (Delta’s lawyer) in an email of 11 February 2011 sets out step by step how the deception will work :

1. NIL granting a registered mortgage to Delta.
2. Philpott etc consenting to registration of the mortgage but the caveat remains in place ahead of Delta’s mortgage.
3. Gold Band agrees to Delta having 1st priority
4. Gold Band agrees to hold its 1st registered mortgage on lot 19 on trust for Delta (To allow sale / enforcement by Delta if necessary so as to avoid caveat issues

Mr Smillie concludes by stating “while not ideal that seems to be as close as we can get to a 1st registered mortgage position for Delta given the caveat issue”.

If you consider it ethical, what would it take for you to find there was unethical behaviour —murder ?

Are you willing to state categorically that you will resign if any of these allegations are true ?

tried several times to find a solution […] on the neighbouring land.

Grady, did any of these solutions involve actually working with the neighbours, or merely trying to deceive and cheat them of their prior known interests.

Provide email evidence of any assertion that you sought to satisfy their interests.

If you allegedly ‘tried to find a solution’ why was it necessary to go about a constructive fraud, designed by Mr Smillie, as noted above to defeat their caveats.

He denied Delta’s actions over Yaldhurst had been reckless.

Grady, if Delta has not been “reckless” then by your lights, Delta has acted with some degree of prudence.
Let us back the truck up here.
You, personally, approved Delta’s involvement in this subdivision, in 2009, with full knowledge of the following :

a) The land was in fact not even owned by the Developer NIL, but in a complicated buy-back scenario with a lot of obligations to the landowners.
b) Has a third (or fourth) tier finance company, Gold Band Finance, as first mortgagee (because the banks would not lend on it).
c) The first mortgage loan amount was only $1.75M, it was fully drawn down, and the finance company Gold Band had NO ABILITY to advance any further funds to pay for Delta’s work.
d) No other second mortgage funding was in place to allow Delta to be paid.
e) The Developer NIL had no capacity at all to make payments to Delta from its own resources.
f) The Developer and Owners, Apple Fields and NIL, were well known commercial hazards and aggressive litigants.
g) The subdivision has 33KV overhead powerlines running through it, and has limited market appeal.
h) Delta would not be paid until the most or all of the sections were sold and paid for, and the industry at the time would have forecast around a two-year sell down period.

In other words, you approved $11M of work, in a dodgy subdivision project, that had no chance of ANY meaningful repayment, for at least three to four years, on the absolute best case scenario, until the sections were sold.

Grady, if you consider this NOT to be reckless commercial behaviour for a Ratepayer owned company, you need to be sacked, now.


Readers, in conclusion, even in our children’s story, ‘Mike Mulligan’, there were consequences for non–performance. Grady, it looks as if the Delta Directors and DCHL have left you, and you are, indeed…. the weakest link, and expendable. Just like Mary-Anne, the steam shovel, along will come new management, just like the new diesel shovels, and electric shovels that made Mary-Anne redundant. There will be NO MORE WORK for you, and just like Mary-Anne, you will be GONE. “They left the canals, and the railroads, and the highways, and the airports, and the big cities, where no one wanted them any more….. and went away.”

Readers, if you have the patience, the best primer for the sorry saga is found in the first post Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud (5 Mar 2016).

█ 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.

*Images: [lessons in creative destruction, a shocked Mary-Anne] Illustrations from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), a book by Virginia Lee Burton – | |


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

20 responses to “Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

  1. russandbev

    Just because Crombie et al are no longer to be seen or are ducking for cover does not mean that they are less culpable. The same applies to Cull and McKenzie. All have governance and/or managerial accountabilities in this mess. The big question to ask is just who will be involved in any continuing cover-up to save embarrasment before the DCC elections?

  2. Gurglars

    The real fun will be the analysis of the whitewash!

    If when Cameron goes, what will “Cull de Mayor” say, or as it will most definitely be after the election what will the new mayor say, mea culpa?

    If when Cameron goes what will Crombie say? Grady was an excellent CEO, but clearly in order to replace him we will have to spend considerably more than the $450,000 he received.

    The ODT will say, the resignation of Mr Cameron is a tragedy for Dunedin, but the desire to provide (better, warmer, foreign) opportunities for his family means sadly we will no longer have his presence. In 2017, they will change the warmer to colder because global warming will make Dunedin too hot for most of the overpaid executives.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s here, isn’t it, the key to so much jiggery-pokery ending in voluntary retirements to Wanaka and Queenstown and other cities’ equivalent rorters’ retreats, with golden handshakes to keep the mice from the door: “he “stood by” his comments in so far as what he knew or had been definitively confirmed to him at the time”. Say nothing definite, “We confidently predict… our advisors assure us…. could be as much/little as… I give you my word that I would not be supporting this if I did not have total confidence….”

  4. Elizabeth

    Due to the interest in the events unfolding for Delta several comments have been received today from readers that are simply too acute to publish. Please bear with us. This is a Hot election issue, a lot is riding on Mr Cull because of it.

    We consider the Delta story must take priority over any reaction to ODT’s weekend advertorial on the stadium and Terence Davies (Another runaway leak of ratepayer funds to be plugged).

    • JournoMan

      Fair enough, Elizabeth. Your call. Though your aptly named ODT stadium advertorial by the useless so called investigative journalist, Chris Morris will get much attention too.
      So much going wrong with Delta/ DCC incompetence/fraud….not alone the ongoing stadium saga coverup.

      • Elizabeth

        Simply too much going on behind scenes for Delta, requiring resources.

        Can’t stretch to stadium this weekend – frankly, the stadium’s for another snow day..

  5. Calvin Oaten

    The saga is entering the exposure phase, the same, elegantly compiled by CD Epic fail 10. The dominoes are trembling as are the fortunes of Dave Cull, Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie. The people might just have trump card.

  6. Lyndon Weggery

    Elizabeth – have alerted RNZ News Ian Telfer to this developing story and the excellent backgrounder on What if? site. Be encouraged!!

  7. Rob Hamlin

    I do think that Christchurch Driver is getting a bit carried away when he says no more work for GC. Experience has shown that when a DCC manager with these demonstrated talents departs from our payroll they are seldom unemployed for long. Their specific capacities find a ready market elsewhere in the public domain. Look at JH &TA. It seems that picking a manager who is a ‘winner’ in this area is a matter of one’s personal perspective on the outcomes of their past and future actvities.

    • Elizabeth

      In some legal actions contemplated there is the prospect of incarceration, for some.

    • Elizabeth

      CD says:
      Obviously the “no more work” refers to “no more work” at DCC entities not No more work, ever ….Mr Cameron is a young man !

  8. Gurglars

    Elizabeth, there but for the grace of god go you and I. Let us hope that the old boy network does not save the overpaid and incompetent from the rozzers!

  9. Richard Stedman

    Elizabeth, Hilary Calvert on Pulse of Politics in 20 minutes on Access Radio.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Richard !

      • Elizabeth

        Go to to listen live or get podcast when available.
        Very good interview. Despite Hilary ruling out standing for council and commenting on that, the interview actually points out WHY SHE SHOULD STAND FOR COUNCIL AND RUN FOR MAYOR.

        • Peter

          Yes, that was an excellent interview. Hillary is measured and thoughtful.
          She will be a loss to council.
          The old prejudice against her because she once stood for Act is childish. The same for Gerry Eckhoff.At least both of them question things instead of towing a party line. We need independent thinkers on council, not Cool Cats who parrot the jargon they hear from their contemporaries.
          I like people who have the courage to cross over left/ right issues, who are not doctrinal and who have the courage to give up on pet issues when they quietly realise they are actually wrong.

  10. Gurglars

    Hilary suggests that council focus on South Dunedin rather than SHANGHAI.
    What is she thinking?
    The flights to South Dunedin have no first or business class.
    The hotels in South Dunedin don’t serve monkey head.
    There are no free dinners in South Dunedin.
    There are no frequent flyer miles on trips to South Dunedin.

    Such woolly thinking from a former ACT party member.
    She won’t be elected in a Labour town.

    Politicians must have their perks.

  11. Sally

    She came on the scene wanting to be mayor without any local body experience. All she achieved was a split in the vote for mayor, that allowed cull another three years. Now has decided to throw all her toys out of the cot and leave.

  12. Elizabeth

    I remind people that this is a thread about Delta – not the forthcoming elections particularly. Another thread can take that business.

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