Ratbags for your avoidance #elections

█ Placement! Who is paying for online ads at Whaleoil, none other than the plodding lesser Stains of Dunedin.

Whaleoil 4.9.16 detail

There’s ultra-supreme love for the whole wordy splash:

### whaleoil.co.nz September 3, 2016 at 7:30am
New Zealand’s Dodgiest Local Government Politician Awards
By Cameron Slater
With two weeks until the local government voting papers are mailed out it is time to kick off our dodgiest local government politician competition again.
Who are the rooters, boozers, money wasters, drink drivers and assorted criminals who think they should stick their nose in the public trough?
Who are the incumbent candidates who are so useless that they couldn’t get a job in the real world and only stay standing because they need the money?
Who are the people with appalling records in business or with public money who want to get their hands on more public money?
If you want to nominate a ratbag for the competition please email the tipline.
We already have some nominees, and we are working on a boozy mayoral candidate who made an arse of himself in Japan, and a boozer and a rooter who played away in Hong Kong.
Whaleoil Link

Mayoral redundancy – His Delta Noble-ness of Yelledhearse

Exhibit A | The Star 1.9.16 (page 4)

The Star 1.9.16 Cull (page 4) tweaked

Exhibits B and C | ODT 3.9.16 (page 2)

ODT 3.9.16 Friction, flak - Cull profile p2 (1)ODT 3.9.16 Friction, flak - Cull profile p2 (2)

Exhibit D | Did someone mention flood, honestly ?

█ How are we feeling now ? edified ? gutted by lack of real choice ?
Then, in came someone new called …….

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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


Filed under DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Finance, Media, Name, People, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Travesty

26 responses to “Ratbags for your avoidance #elections

  1. Observer

    The biggest loss Delta made in Christchurch’s Noble subdivision was the loss Cull’s Council voted for last month (1 August 2016).

    DCC and the public were advised Delta bought $3.39 million of the Gold Band/Noble first mortgage in two tranches going back some years. This amounted to 67.5% of the first mortgage and had nothing to do with infrastructure debt and what secured that.

    The infrastructure debt had been secured in 2009 by a $5 million second mortgage that the caveators had consented to for Delta to do the work on tick, and about another $15 million in later agreements to have first mortgagees subject only to the caveators caveats being removed (in an honest society by providing the interests protected).

    The caveators wanted to remove their caveats in return for Delta as the controller of the first mortgagee and mortgage (and therefore the development) to include their interests, at no cost to Delta and less than $1 million to the development.

    Cull’s DCC voted last month not to do this and to instead make the biggest loss making decision in this Noble Delta saga.

    It was known to DCC the first mortgage returning 22.5% had grown to around $8.4 million by the time of the mortgagee tender and that Delta’s 67.5% share was therefore around $5.7 million first ranking in any sale.

    (Again this $5.7 million first mortgage investment had nothing to do with the infrastructure debt and the $5 million plus $15 million agreed to secure it.)

    So how can Cull claim the acceptance of just $0.9 million in lieu of the $5.7 million legally required to be received was a good decision? Where is the $4.8 million “shortfall” between theses figures?

    Delta’s 2009 $5 million second mortgage (so plus interests since) plus its around $15 million in agreements for first mortgages was also reduced in a second mortgage alongside two other creditors.

    Cull’s DCC decision reinvested the first mortgage $4.8 million “shortfall” into the second mortgage $12.5 million lending … meaning DCC is only chasing $7.7 million of Delta’s published approx $25 million debt and is gambling the $4.8 million ratepayers’ shortfall in doing so.

    Cull’s DCC decision to cheat the caveators of the known prior interests cost ratepayers from receiving their first mortgage $5.7 million share, the $5 million plus interest since 2009 second mortgage sum, plus the converting of around $15 million of agreements for first mortgages into first mortgages.

    Cull has therefore assisted Delta to rip off the public to this very day, and not put a stop to their [damaging] activities at all.

    {Moderated. Criminal and fraudulent are good words found in the dictionary. -Eds}

  2. Gurglars

    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

    Dave Cull the spin maestro.

    “We brought in new management and they found the theft of the cars?”

    Wasn’t it his opponent Lee Vandervis who identified the theft of the cars years before the management and Cull were dragged kicking and screaming to that conclusion. And then they minimised the bad news for the DCC by conveniently forgetting the theft of cars prior to the ten year period they chose to evaluate.

  3. First LOL of the morning, I looked under the line on Whaleoil “Vote Chris Staynes for Council”
    ……and what did I see?
    “the Energy Behind Dunedin’s Economic Development”!

    This LOL was brought to you by Hype O’Thermia, the brains behind British-based kakapo-wrangler Stephen Fry.

  4. russandbev

    No doubt about it – the current cabal residing in City Hall are the ultimate spin merchants. The only person who has consistently raised the issues where a fatal mix of incompetence, ignorance and in some cases criminal activity has run riot has been Lee Vandervis. Generally Cull has had to be dragged kicking and screaming to confront anything that he couldn’t brush under the table. Let’s hope that the ratepayers are informed enough to make good decisions.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      russandbev, “Generally Cull has had to be dragged kicking and screaming to confront anything that he couldn’t brush under the table.”
      And don’t forget his “heroic” efforts to brush Cr Vandervis under the table – or out the door – or ANYWHERE, so as to avoid the “issues where a fatal mix of incompetence, ignorance and in some cases criminal activity has run riot”.
      It’s probably the one endeavour he has put the most effort into – shutting down Lee Vandervis. Thank goodness he was as useless at that as at ‘most everything else.

      Be kind, voters. Put Cull out to pasture, it’s what he really wants:
      Oh give me a home where the bicycles roam,
      Where people believe what I say,
      Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
      And I never never never never never never never hear Lee Vandervis and his discoveries of rorts and misjudgements ever ever for the rest of my life ever ever ever…..

  5. Elizabeth

    From issue #43 of FYI Dunedin:

    HAVE YOUR SAY Make sure you have your say in the future direction of our city by voting in this year’s council and community board elections.

    █ Voting papers should arrive in your letterbox in the next few weeks (between 16–21 September). All you need to do is complete them and post them back so that they arrive by lunchtime on 8 October.

    Only people who are correctly enrolled will receive voting papers in the mail. If yours don’t arrive, you may not be enrolled to vote. But you can still have your say. In many situations you may be able to cast a special vote, including if your address is out of date, you enrolled after the printed roll closed, or you lost or spoilt your voting documents.

    Special voting facilities will be available at the Civic Centre from Friday, 16 September until 12 noon on Saturday, 8 October.

    Alternatively, special votes may be posted out to applicants if requested.

    Find out more about voting, whether you can make a special vote and other information about the election, including candidate profiles on the DCC website. http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/electoral-information


    Why you should vote You pay for your electricity bill monthly, and if you’re a typical Dunedin household you are probably paying about $2000 a year for power. You pay for what you use to run your heater, dishwasher, lights, vacuum cleaner and Xbox. You also pay for the cost of building hydro dams and the power lines that get electricity to your house.

    You pay your rates bill quarterly and the typical Dunedin household pays about $2000 a year for Council services. This gets water to your house and your sewage taken away. It pays for every road and footpath in Dunedin (except state highways), for traffic lights, street events, sports fields and the green belt. It also pays for walkways, cycleways, Civil Defence, business support, environmental and biodiversity initiatives, grants to community groups and overseeing regulations that ensure your buildings and neighbourhood are safe. And it pays for older people’s housing, planning a city that’s an attractive place to live, public art and community development. The art gallery, museums and a network of libraries filled with books and other things to lend you.

    So what has this got to do with why you should vote?

    Councillors and community boards are your representatives. Councillors decide where rates are spent and the community boards identify local needs.

    Sue Bidrose DCC Chief Executive Officer

    • Gurglars

      Sue Bidrose missed a few things your rates pay for as detailed below.

      700 DCC staff including Sue at $350,000 plus overseas trips
      The theft of cars
      Stuffing up Cycleways
      Reduction of car parks
      Huge losses on Delta’s very dodgy if not criminal involvement in land development.

      She did get one right- Traffic Lights – just as unnecessary expense as cycleways.

      Incidentally on a personal note, the main things she outlined, sewage treatment and water she does not provide to me AND I still get a rates bill and they do not provide a rubbish collection. They do allow me to pay for the provision of recycling stock for their business, but no rubbish collection.

  6. Elizabeth


    Yesterday I emailed Lee:
    Probably bloody unwise to do that water placement IMHO. Legal or not. Plain dumb. Trumpicide. All the wrong messages – you don’t give a canary or an oyster catcher about our coastal marine environment. This is not mayoral material or dignified. Nor is it a concrete mixer. Which may have been your better bet. And more believable. Hopefully ORC will have you for breakfast. Or righteous zealots like me will react by No Vote.

    [I hardly ever visit Facebook except for spying purposes. I prefer Twitter for news and entertainment. As a courtesy I’ve checked out the links he supplies.]


    Lee’s reply:
    The marine environment is not polluted by an informative electoral sign that will be removed before 8th October, and which has stirred much needed political debate.
    Debate you have traditionally welcomed and wanted more of Elizabeth.
    The information on the signage is definitely Mayoral, in fact can only be progressed with the support of the Mayor.
    Righteous zealots will react, and hopefully will begin to think as a result of this out-of-usual context temporary sign.
    How dare someone think outside the signage box?!

    Lee Vandervis Mr Paul Le Comte apparently wants to take 6 bites of this non-existent cherry. Perhaps he protests too much. One relevant fact he seems unaware of comes from CEO Bidrose over a year after the June 3rd flood and is copied direct from her paperwork as below. What she belatedly admits after all the ‘sea-level rise’, and ‘150 year flood event’ BS, is that the one blocked screen at the Portobello pumping station lowered water flow, and further “There is no doubt that added to flood depth – modelling suggests 195mm. About 8 inches.” Another fact he may not know was that I was filling sandbags with scores of volunteers well into the early hours of that terrible flood-peak night, and I was delivering some of these sandbags in my old 4WD Landcruiser to save houses and businesses that were slowly getting their floors inundated. I can assure you that all of those houses and businesses I witnessed delivering sandbags would have kept dry floors and carpets if the flood level was 195mm lower and the pump screen was not blocked. Mr Le Compte may also be unaware that the rubbish blocking the screen enters the system via mudtanks if the mudtanks have not been cleaned out regularly, and that I have been at DCC staff about contractor’s failure to clean mudtanks since 2011 and have over 100 sent items emails concerning mudtank maintenance and flooding. I called a meeting with DCC staff and mudtank contractor Fulton Hogan in 2011 to please explain why no mudtanks had been cleaned in my dog-walking area [I often took a torch to check]. Fulton Hogan admitted that no mudtanks had been cleaned in a year despite having been paid $281,000 by DCC managers for not doing the job, because their sucker-truck was in ChCh doing urgently needed earthquake repair work. To Mr Le Compte I say that I stand firmly on both legs as having both first hand and long investigative knowledge of the flood’s damage to homes, and am glad he has allowed me to highlight the incompetence and subsequent attempted cover-up that has long marred the Cull Council, from multimillion dollar losses on DELTA subdivisions , to Citifleet multiple types of frauds, to his attempt to blame the weather for so much misery and lost millions due to avoidable flooding. South Dunedin deserves to have a second screen in case its redesigned version fails again and it deserves to have mudtanks regularly cleaned, which is now finally happening as a result of my exposing of the past non-maintenance. Looking forward, in our latest annual plan we are still only spending $2.2 million on drainage when the depreciation [keeping it up to scratch figure] is $2.6 million. As Mayor I will ensure that sufficient spending to more than maintain drainage is spent, and that the other massive pump we have at the Tainui pumping station actually gets used in another major rainfall event, with or without ORC permission.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 3 mins


    • Hype O'Thermia

      Elizabeth do you seriously think Lee’s sign is a pollutant or danger to the marine environment, or are you parodying the M&M over-zealous jobsworth
      attitude? I do hope it’s the latter, likewise the call to dob in anyone whose sign doesn’t perfectly conform. Can’t candidates and their buddies and the DCC do that. do we really want to encourage petty snitching on WhatIf? I like to think it’s about matters a tad larger (!) than that.
      If it were a request to dob in people seen tearing down and vandalising any candidates’ signs – even real waste-of-skin candidates’ signs – I’d say “Good call!”

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Lee Vandervis, I’m sure the people of South Dunedin are well aware of who was with them on the night and afterwards, and who has been spreading alarm and bullshit.

      Where was Cull, where were the other councillors, where were DCC staff when Cr Vandervis was filling sandbags and doing everything you could to keep buildings from being flooded?

      Not only that but where were the other voices saying, “Hang on, Dave – perhaps there’s something in what Lee’s saying about missing vehicles / mudtanks not being cleared / money being lost on insane Delta “investments”, and so on”? Why have we had such a bunch of simpering ninnies, afraid to look at the problems let alone try to solve them? Why have they been too sleepy or too intimidated by Cull’s temper to take notice of what’s been going on?

      It’s time we got rid of gutless wonders, and people whose heads are too far away in green pastures with bunny rabbits and bonny organic flowers to look at the jobs they were elected to get done – we need people who are practical and notice practical things e.g. Lee Vandervis noticing the state of mudtanks, not that it did much good because nobody else was prepared to see the job paid for got done.

      We need people who know the value of a dollar because they’ve worked for them, they’ve been responsible for managing the prudent spending of them, and just because it’s rates money and they can grab what they want by putting the rates up to cover wastefulness incurred on their watch, it’s no excuse for going off-task into fads and nice-to-haves.

      “Spare” money, unspent in one part of the budget, is not “mad money” for throwing at another nice-to-have no, it’s money that can make an extra payment on the massive debt we’re in. And the sooner the debt is paid down, the less money we’re sending overseas to the Australian banks.

      Debt makes Dunedin weak. Interest payments keep it weak. Don’t elect another council with an abundance of fluffiness, eager to organise our leisure and neighbourliness and compost heaps – we can do that. The council is for getting the big stuff done that we can’t do ourselves. Drains and sewers and roads’n’stuff. Practical men and women who know better than to waste money and don’t fall for slick sales-talk, skeptical types who don’t believe everything they’re told, who are willing to think for themselves and check the facts and figures, that’s what we need. Lee Vandervis is a fine example of the type I mean.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Bravo!!! Lee Vandervis shows once again he is not of the ‘me too brigade’, but shows a stubborn streak of pushing against the system which has been shown to be of little use when it comes to serving the public, which is its only reason for being. The whole system of elected members and bureaucracy has ignored their correct reasons for being, which is to simply organise on behalf of the citizens that which can’t realistically be done by individuals. Infrastructure, potable water, waste and grey water disposal plus stormwater collection and disposal. Social facilities as affordable, parks and gardens for asthetics, regulate building standards etc. at the lowest possible costs. Then simply get out of the way and let the citizens get about their business unfettered. That was our forefathers’ intentions, and if one looks at Dunedin’s history you would wonder how it could ever have happened if the ‘bean heads’ running the Town Hall today had been there at the start.

  8. Elizabeth

    Another ratbag. Signage.

    A report received that Cr David Benson-Pope has put up campaign signs in unauthorised areas including affixing double signs low down on power poles in Caversham Valley Rd leading up to Lookout Point; and another sign in the grassed area near the Fish & Chip shop (un-named here) on Main South Rd, Caversham.

    █ If you see any outsized or unauthorised campaign signs, do send us photos so we can have them checked out by DCC. Or contact City Planning’s Phil Marshall via 03 477 4000. Phil is looking after election signs.


    I’m not sure anyone in South Dunedin/Caversham still loves Benson-Pope.

    What was that about the Parkside Hotel ?
    Also, the 1980s Dunedin Sex Ring ?


  9. Elizabeth

    Received from Douglas Field
    Mon, 5 Sep 2016 at 4:17 p.m.

    You better believe me

    • What? He doesn’t sleep straight in bed? and his pants are not on fire? What does this tell you? ….and it’s NOT about the quantum of debt? So does that mean that he thinks it’s OK to have limitless debt? On your tab? Would you buy a car from this man?

  10. Elizabeth

    Fun is fun, Hype O’Thermia. But more seriously.

    Received Wed, 31 Aug 2016
    [poor quality images as supplied]

    View: corner Hillside Rd and Fox St – oversize ‘one sign’ banner mounted on two stacked shipping containers. Lawful dimensions overlaid (white line rectangle). Reported.



    • Gurglars


      No your $15,000 debt per capita is not our problem says Cull –

      It’s yours!!

      • Elizabeth

        Gurglars, DCC is about to tell you tomorrow in the ODT that Council has reduced the consolidated debt faster than anticipated, so wonder wonder :

        Should Council SPEND MORE since interest rates are low, goes its thinking
        ? ? ? ? ?

        Cull Council with OUR MONEY


  11. Calvin Oaten

    Brilliant!!! Paul Le Comte in what seems ‘a fit of pique’ has unleashed the greatest act of promotion of this election by highlighting the clever posting by Lee Vandervis of his placard in the tide, demonstrating a constant reminder of the South Dunedin 2015 Floods. This is one of the most contentious issues of this election. The most galling image for Dave Cull to drive past to and from his Peninsula home. Hamish McNeilly of Fairfax has published it where it catches the notice of people far and wide. The ODT again miss the angle.

    {Link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/83908964/dunedin-mayoral-candidates-hoarding-all-at-sea -Eds}

  12. Numbers game

    @Observer – A lot of numbers here that are confusing me. The 2nd mortgage registered on the titles in favour of Delta shows a priority sum of $24.6m plus the $0.9m they have been paid – seems to align reasonably well with the $5.7m + $5m + $15m you suggest they were due originally so how have DCC been short changed, aside from not having the 1st mortgage position?

    • Thanks for taking an interest “Numbers” – when you know the full picture I promise you’ll be shocked.

      A “priority sum” is not the “actual sum” of a mortgage.
      Delta have advised in their media statement that they got a $0.9m payout plus a $12.5m second mortgage along with “two other” funders. So Delta’s “actual” second mortgage is $12.5m according to Delta ($13.4m less the $0.9m received). (If the mortgage document said “$50m priority sum” it doesn’t change a “12.5m actual sum”.)

      Delta also owned 67.5% of the Gold Band first mortgage which Delta and Councillors knew stood at around $8.4m at the time of the mortgagee sale. (This was a completely different matter than the securities Delta held to secure the infrastructure works they did on tick).

      For Delta’s 67.5% of the $8.4m first mortgagee sale they should by law have received $5.7m, not the $0.9m they did.

      Delta recommended and Councillors voted that the $4.8m cash shortfall ($5.7m less $0.9m = $4.8m) be given to the developer and secured within a $12.5m second mortgage.

      The $12.5m second mortgage is therefore only securing $7.7m in relation to the $25m plus interest infrastructure debt, and the $4.8m cash that DCC gave the developer.

      ($7.7m + $4.8m DCC cash to developer = $12.5m)

      If “Infinity” decide to pass the property like “Noble” did, Delta could not only lose the $25m existing debt but the $4.8m cash it voted on 1 Aug 2016 to give to the developer.

      • Calvin Oaten

        Thanks Observer for the details, but the fact that Delta were holding 67.5% of Gold Band’s ‘$8.4m first mortgage’ entitling it to $5.7m but receiving only $0.9m, with the shortfall of $4.8m being given to the developer and secured within a $12.5m second mortgage. Why would Delta do that other than the sale realised a significantly lesser sum? If that is so then what chance of receiving any more now that the outstanding amount is subordinated to ‘second mortgage status’? Seems to me that there are some seriously foolish parties involved here. Even I understand that when you get into distressed mortgagee sale territory that second mortgages usually are just confetti. I could be wrong but……?

        • Colin Stokes

          Thanks Calvin. Your assumptions are made on the basis that the mortgage sale process and price was bona fide and that the parties involved were bona fide.

          ie if you compare this to DCC’s Citifleet you’d be saying they were foolish to give away cars.

          Delta 100% controlled the first mortgagee Gold Band, by way of a joint venture security sharing agreement entered into in 2009 which included also the mortgagor/developer Noble Investments.

          Delta’s 100% control was strengthened by its 2013 and 2015 purchases of 67.5% of the first mortgage debt off Gold Band. Delta was in control of the “foolish” mortgagee sale like Citifleet was in control of the “foolish” car sales.

          The joint venture consortium of Delta, Gold Band and Noble set out to defeat the known prior and caveated interests of the original land owners (as is set out in the security sharing agreements and in Delta’s lawyer’s correspondence).

          Noble failed in their Court attempts to defeat the caveats so their joint venture partners Gold Band and Delta defeated them instead by way of a “mortgagee sale” that passed the property to Noble’s joint venture’s chosen entity at a “price” they alone agreed and kept secret.

          However, there is about $13m of infrastructure and roads completed and about 80 sections on 3 hectares ready to sell, 6 hectares of designed and consented commercial land ready to sell, and a further 15 hectares of residential land consented for about another 250 sites ready to sell, and so plenty of value in the land for Delta to have recovered their full $25m to +$30m debt and investment.

          Delta just needed to work with the caveators as they requested and they could have registered all their agreements to mortgage into first mortgages totaling well over $20m to $25m. Instead, Delta chose to cheat the caveators of their known prior interests, and referred to them as “obstacles to remove”.

          Thanks for asking.

  13. Calvin Oaten

    The grand moustache wearing, retiring (thankfully) Finance Committee chair Richard Thomson, in his valedictory at his last meeting raved on about the importance of a rethink on future council’s approach to debt. The raving fool, it was him who has ignored that aspect during his terms on council. He gives himself helpings of praise and hand clapping for the fact that the DCC’s debt at the end of June was just $217.25million. $30.6million below budget and well below the target of $230million by 2021.
    Does this financial genius think he understands the subject or is it that he’s so infatuated with his narcissistic image that he conveniently ignores the truth?
    It’s an established fact that the DCC’s debt peaked at $360million at the completion of the Stadium. That’s when it was decided on the use of smoke and mirrors to disappear $140million of that debt. Yes folks, that was when this nincompoop and his Greater Dunedin compatriots and mayor in their wisdom decided to disestablish DVL from the DCC and let it stand alone together with the Stadium debt component of $140million. It was subsequently absorbed into the DCHL group together with its debt. So the debt was neither repaid nor extinguished, simply transferred to DCHL leaving the DCC/DCHL Group debt unchanged.
    The result is in one swoop the DCC’s debt reduced to $220million, plus or minus a few fiddly bits of other wasteful endeavours. Since then the debt has been added to and extracted from over five or six years to end up pretty much where it was all the time.
    I suppose if he was deluded enough to believe (and he is) then I guess he can claim a reduction of $2.75million over those years. The man’s a genius alright and his tenure as chair, then deputy-commissioner of the SDHB confirms that. Perhaps that is what he means by a “rethink”. He might have, over those years thought about the crap that he and his fellow ‘nincompoops’ frittered untold $millions on subsidising the Stadium, the Otago Settlers Museum, and the Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment (which holds a dozen events per year if its lucky, well short of its break-even budgeted of 36 events per year). We shan’t even mention the put down and torn up South Dunedin Cycleways that less than 1% of the population uses.
    Result: the consolidated debt still hovers north of $600million.
    Thank God he’s going, closely followed by Jinty MacTavish and, hopefully, Dave Cull.

    {Link: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/time-debt-rethink-councillor-says -Eds}

  14. Elizabeth

    Unauthorised signage seems to be happening here and there all round town.

    As regards the above, Mayor Cull and Staynes’ double banner – design by Firebrand, we assume, given the same images appear on the bus-backs – we now note that only Staynes’ banner remains on the container. DCC enforcement ?

    This in not long ago this morning, remember the one sign only rule:


    • Elizabeth

      My spies tell me Cr Andrew Whiley has an outsize sign up at the SH1 approach to Waikouaiti – possibly larger than the now taken down Cull/Staynes double banner cnr Hillside Rd and Fox St.

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