Mon, 1 Aug 2016 at 9:54 a.m.
Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 at 9:50 p.m.
Readers and Councillors, there is a way out of the Noble Quagmire— but first, not before there is a wholesale clean out of the Delta senior management and directors, or those that have either created this toxic mess or allowed it to continue, which is all of them.
As time is tight, we will not dwell yet again on this topic…. but we will return.
After spending many months considering this toxic mess and the abysmal management and governance that is evident, your Correspondent has come to a conclusion that shocks even him, but desperate times call for if not desperate, then extreme lateral thinking :
After a clean out at Delta, we must hold our collective noses and Council must do the unthinkable and spend MORE ratepayer funds and BUY OUT GOLDBAND’S 32.50% SHARE OF THE FIRST MORTGAGE and take control of the ENTIRE SUBDIVISION.
Council need only to buy the $2.7M Gold Band First Mortgage to have complete control of the project. There of course remains the issue of the Neighbours and the ongoing court actions, but the Neighbours are very willing to work with Council (not Delta) and they have estimated that a solution to provide for their interests could cost around $2M.
The Neighbours have offered to meet with Councillors immediately, at any time to discuss and resolve the issue. The alternative is ongoing legal action with the Council in a very weak positon. Certainly, Crs Calvert and Vandervis, and other Councillors also share this position.
█ Here is the Outline Plan
1. DCC – (Preferably NOT Delta or DCHL) spends $2.7M to buy the remaining first mortgage. To be free of the toxic taint of the DCHL, ideally a separate Council Owned Company may need to be created. Tax issues may mean it has to stay within Delta but every effort should be made to avoid this. Once the $2.7M mortgage is bought there are no external interest costs, just some rates and insurances, which are minimal in the overall scale of things. Council then has time to make informed decisions. THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO AGREE TO BUY THE MORTGAGE AND STOP THE CURRENT MORTGAGEE SALE (which is possible with the agreement of the Neighbours under s102 of the Property Law Act).
2. BEFORE the remaining mortgage is bought, do a deal with the Neighbours to satisfy their interests which will cost around $2M, plus some amount for Neighbours’ costs – this might be around $500-600,000. The legal costs might grate but that is the cost of acting like a corporate criminal. This step provides certainty to Council there will be no more legal delays that have added years to the project.
3. The DCC appoint a directly employed project manager that is answerable directly to the DCC CEO, and set in place very clear KPIs and make a very large proportion of his/her remuneration subject to those KPIs. NOT a “Consultant” and DEFINITELY NOT Mr Mike Coburn or any other person associated with past or present Directors.
4. That project manager will have full visibility of absolutely all costs relating to the subdivision past and present, and will present full and detailed monthly reporting to Councillors and DCC Management and appear at all Council meetings. The project manager will have complete control over the Delta CEO on this matter.
5. Resolve with Christchurch City Council and Yaldhurst Community what is required to make a workable and safe subdivision.
6. Complete the work required to sell the first stages of the residential subdivisions – there are around 80 sections ready to go and if a deal was offered to a housing company like Mike Greer Homes that had demonstrated expertise and capacity to build cost effective homes, the deal would be done in a week. The remaining work would NOT be done by Delta but by a small efficient company. Above all, it is important that the work awarded by the DCC project manager is an open and transparent process and there are no links to Delta or DCHL Directors, past or present.
7. Councillors must understand the land will never be worth less than it is now – they must avoid Denham Shale-like stupidity that occurred at Luggate where land was sold for a fraction of the cost, only for the sections to be marketed several years later at prices that would have yielded Delta all of its funds spent there, interest and a profit besides. Council must learn from the mistakes past, not repeat them, otherwise there will be more Auditor-general and Ombudsman reports, and it won’t be good for Council.
8. Councillors must resist temptation to bow to the Delta / DCHL Directors recommendations to sell now – the overriding concern of these
incompetents is to sweep this toxic mess under the carpet and hope that Ratepayers will buy the TINA line – there is no alternative, we just had to move on with another $10-20M loss….
9. The directors will be pushing hard for a quick sale and say in effect : “If you don’t accept this mortgagee offer there won’t be another as good” which is utter rubbish. There were several mortgagee offers, despite the property being marketed over the holiday break and with a lot of complexity in the sale document that wrote off large chunks of value. But the essential point is that the first sections that are almost ready and all or part of the commercial land is sold off separately, then Delta plus get MORE than what is currently available :
10. What is the ultimate value of the land ? Very quickly, there is over 35,000 m2 of commercial land, for a major commercial centre including retail anchors and specialty shopping that is already master planned with the main entrance road virtually complete. This excludes the main entrance road and shared parking circulation roads. Even in a fire sale this land is worth around $90-100 /m2. This alone is a value of $31M minimum, Councillors. Admittedly it will take time to sell down, but the upside is huge again – even industrial land in Christchurch is $250-300 /m2, and commercial zoning is worth more again. Completed, in an orderly sell down over time, 35,000 m2 at $300 /m2 is …. too big to contemplate !! The 80 completed sections would be worth around $9M nett after selling costs, and then there are 190 consented but undeveloped sections that your Correspondent says are worth around $9M also. These end value figures are why Noble are fighting so hard to regain control of the asset. Yes, there is some re-work and further costs, but they are small in relation to the total asset. The key is not to pass that value to some bottom feeding vulture at mortgagee sale that is likely to be NIL in disguise. NOTE : Your Correspondent has not calculated in detail the area of the commercial land.
11. The Delta Directors and Mr Crombie, Mr Dixon and Mr Cameron cannot be trusted. They have not ever given Councillors the full facts about a range of matters, have at best misled Mr McKenzie. Their willingness to simply close the door and accept a huge loss on this deal is plainly evident by the fact they wrote off in excess of $10M in their 2015 accounts. They just want to forget this mess ever existed, because it is Other People’s Money.
12. Councillors should consider 2 final facts : The only way that the $24M investment that ratepayers have made in this project to be protected and repaid is if Council finishes the project, even if just in part. With what has gone on, there must be full accountability and transparency which can only be achieved by full Council control. The other thing to remember is that Council has already set a precedent to bail out loss making Council enterprises : It’s called the stadium. Council agreed to reduce the rent by $1.85M per year. If Council takes an amount equal to around 18 months of Stadium rent subsidy to DVML, it can have control over the subdivision and very likely make back at least the $10-15M in interest costs that would pay for the Luggate and Jacks Point debacles !! Result !!
Go on Councillors, make a sensible and decision tomorrow and make us proud.
█ 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.