Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 7 Aug 2016 at 11:08 p.m.
Your correspondent was heartened to read Saturday’s ODT editorial. It was mostly on the money, apart from the fabrication that Delta pays a dividend most years, when it is well known that for many years it borrowed to provide dividends, and it will not pay a dividend for the next three years.
In its diplomatic way, the editorial conveyed the (accurate) impression that
Mayor Cull is a either a devious and unfaithful turnip or he is a blundering nincompoop. Given his disgusting complicity with DCHL Chair Crombie, last week, making simply absurd and risible statements as to why Delta CEO Cameron did not need to appear at the Council meeting and explain to Council how Delta, for the third time, had created a stinking financial mess, and done so under his approval to proceed at Noble in 2009, to build an illegal and unconsented subdivision. All Mayor Cull had to do to show some integrity and leadership was to insist to Delta and DCHL that Mr Cameron appear as per Councillors Vandervis and Calvert’s request. Ratepayers now know that he is unfit to be Mayor and has not a shred of any concern for the interests of Ratepayers but is simply part of the Dunedin establishment who protect each other. It is clear a great many Ratepayers have already come to this conclusion : As part of his mayoral campaign, Mayor Cull’s Facebook page invited feedback in recent weeks and it was so overwhelmed by negative and derisive comments – that he could not refute – that he simply stopped attempting to respond after two attempts. Readers should find the site – it may well have been taken down after the avalanche of negative feedback – and make THEIR views of Mr Cull known.
Named and shamed the four Delta Directors, Frow, McLauchlan, Kempton and Parton, and that they contributed to the history of “secrecy and limited transparency” of Delta, a culture that “continues to envelope a company which is effectively owned by ratepayers”. ODT readers did not have to join too many dots to see that the ODT is saying that these directors are not fit to be directors of a Ratepayer owned company and need to be sacked. This is very strong (and welcomed) from the ODT.
We should consider the curious case of Mr McLauchlan, who has had his nose in the Delta trough since 2007 : It was around that time that Mr McLauchlan gave accounting evidence to the High Court for Scenic Circle in a dispute, reported in the ODT, with the co-owner over the then –new Scenic Circle Dunedin City Hotel. Mr McLauchlan, as seems to be the pattern with Delta, tried to tell the Court that black was white, that effectively, debits were credits and vice versa. Unfortunately for Mr McLauchlan, the opposing side had a much more credible accounting witness, whose evidence was the complete opposite of Mr McLauchlan’s. Needless to say the Court much preferred the evidence of the opposing side, so it is a statement of fact that the Courts have found Mr McLauchlan to be an unreliable witness. One wonders if Delta knew this when they appointed him, or if it was part of the job description….
And then there was the other curious case of Mr McLauchlan’s short tenure as the “Crown Monitor” for the SDHB, where an outgoing board member publicly questioned if he had any utility at all, and what did he actually do for the approximate $30,000 a year he received for acting as the Crown Monitor. Mr McLauchlan then confirmed to the ODT he hadn’t actually done anything as Crown Monitor except attend the board meetings and make some phone calls to Wellington. He had not written any reports – at all.
The ODT did not dwell on CEO Grady Cameron. Your correspondent was wrong in his last post – Mr Cameron was not left to sweat it out in front of Council, but probably had so much dirt on the Directors and DCHL that they could not risk him appearing, and they conspired to put Mr Crombie in front of Council.
However, the true dirt tonight is the identity of ‘The Buyer'(?) of the Noble Subdivision : (ODT – feel free to pick this up and make any inquiry you want). It is of course truly unbelievable that Council would approve a loan of $13.4M to a buyer that they do not know, which shows that a wholesale cleanout of Councillors is necessary. More on that later. However, Councillors are not going to want to know the identity of the Buyer because they make the dismal NIL (Noble Investments Ltd), Tom Kain, Gordon Stewart, et al look like paragons of commercial acumen.
Your correspondent’s information is that the Buyer may be or very well includes Infinity (of Wanaka). A caveat, readers : We seek through the glass, darkly, and are not privy to the full machinations of Mr Crombie and his cronies. It will not be certain until this is confirmed publicly, but we do know that Delta, via Mr Murray Frost, have been working on this “arrangement” for months. Perhaps the ODT might like to make inquiries of Mr Paul Croft, General Manager and CFO of Infinity Investment Group Holdings….
Now at one level Infinity and Delta are birds of a very, very similar feather, and it is clear why they would seek to stick together : Like Delta, this will be Infinity’s third attempt at a Canterbury subdivision. Like Delta, the other two have been failures. Readers, hold those cups of Tiger Tea tight…. Infinity’s abysmal financial performance on those projects makes Delta look like seasoned and competent professionals !!!
The amazing truth that is stranger than fiction : Infinity have lost MUCH MUCH MORE than Delta on their two failed Canterbury projects…… IN EXCESS OF $100M. I can hear the teacups rattling now, readers, “Prove it CD, prove it !!” Elementary, my dear readers : Here is the link to the Stuff.co.nz story that appeared last year. It takes a special effort to lose $100M on one deal, but Infinity pulled it off. Perhaps Delta’s Mr Cameron and CFO Dixon, having had their subdivision trainer wheels on since 2009, are ready to move up to the big leagues at Infinity and lose serious amounts of someone else’s money.
It beggars belief that Mr Frost, who has been acting for Delta (but mostly Noble, it appears), would actively court Infinity as the Buyer, and place at risk $13.4M of Dunedin Ratepayers’ money with a company with this recent history; when there was a far safer option of Dunedin City Council taking control of the project, perhaps in concert with a developer that HAD NOT lost $100M on the same sort of project. Let us not forget either, the other $12M that Mr Crombie has “given up on” reported by the ODT last week, as though it were a trifle as light as air. If it were your money, Mr Crombie, I don’t think you would be quite so cavalier.
Readers should remember that essentially the deal is that the Buyer (Infinity ?) will pay around $2.7M to Gold Band Finance, and $1M to Delta (probably for consultant and court costs !) and NO OTHER MONEY CHANGES HANDS. If that is the best that Delta / Gold Band could do I will eat my tea cosy.
Bottom line : This deal smacks of cronyism.
And here is the interesting part : Murray Frost, Graham Crombie and Stuart McLauchlan are all well known to each other. We hope that there will be assurances that there will be NO INVOLVEMENT or REMUNERATION either directly or indirectly to these three, or any other Delta or DCHL personnel, on the Noble Subdivision.
Mr Crombie – as someone allegedly with an IQ greater than room temperature – how could you think this deal passes the smell test for a Ratepayer owned company ? What if? understands you conspired to conceal key information about this deal from Councillors. As the ODT infers, you are a pathetic guardian for the Ratepayers’ interests and you need to conduct that cost/benefit analysis we advised you to do months ago, and prepare the resignation letter – before a new mayor orders a “review” of the DCHL structure, which as we all know is code for : “Get rid of those incompetents, ASAP”.
█ 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.
*Image: Screenshot of ODT Online (detail) tweaked by whatifdunedin