Delta/Aurora warned, renewed calls for Grady Cameron to resign

The review was evidence Mr Cameron’s actions went beyond “wilful ignorance” and were in the category of “feathering your own nest at the risk of other people’s wellbeing”. –Richard Healey

grady-cameron-delta-ceo-newshub-co-nz-detail### ODT Online Wed, 9 Nov 2016
Delta ignored warning
By Vaughan Elder
Delta was warned six years ago about the exact scenario unfolding now involving rotting power poles, but failed to act. The warning, in a review by LineTech Consultants, which was given to the Otago Daily Times by a fresh source, has prompted renewed calls for Delta and Aurora chief executive Grady Cameron to resign over his failure to address the issues it clearly signalled. Senior consultant Alastair Glyn-Jones said in the review unless Delta significantly accelerated pole replacement it would be forced in the “immediate future” to replace “very large numbers of poles” in a short time.
Read more

█ Alastair Glyn-Jones is now the Service Delivery / Maintenance Manager at Transpower New Zealand, responsible for managing service providers for transmission cable assets, and site grounds and buildings in the north of the north island (NNI), including maintenance of station assets from Auckland to Kaitaia.

Related Posts and Comments:
8.11.16 Delta/Aurora neglect, letters to ODT
6.11.16 Healey responds to DCHL terms of reference for Delta review
4.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 6 – Thick as a Brick
2.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset…
1.11.16 Delta/Aurora/DCHL corporate whitewash #dangerousnetwork
31.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends
29.10.16 Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force
28.10.16 Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: – grady cameron, tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Tourism, Travesty, What stadium

23 responses to “Delta/Aurora warned, renewed calls for Grady Cameron to resign

  1. Gurglars

    The danger here is the demise of the sacrificial lamb. What we need is a completely new method of farming. Getting rid of the whole flock of sheep, all Delta directors, most if not all of the DCHL directors, the DCC chiefs who all place personal salary above public service. Is this likely or a possibility?

    No, a lamb will be slaughtered and another sheep at the same price will replace the muttonhead.

  2. Rob Hamlin

    Grady’s cornered – Don’t you believe it!! A call for swift action here. In an earlier post I noted that Delta crews were out on Saturday morning uplifting concrete blocks and their associated rotten sticks in St Clair.

    Yesterday, I went out down Gladstone Road North to take a photo of a real ‘Delta Doozy’. This consisted of a system of two poles about five feet apart. One was ‘OK’, the other was rotted off at the base. Both carried power lines. A VERY careful very application of the Healey Push’n’Wobble Test (as seen on TV) produced a remarkable degree of motion in this second post, which made the lines passing from it across Gladstone Road curtsey towards the ground most fetchingly.

    This motion was delimited somewhat by the ‘repair’ installed some time previously by Delta. The repair consisted of a length of scruffy yellow nylon rope looped around both posts about three quarters of the way up. The rope was carried around both posts several times and secured by a most formidable looking granny knot.

    Alas, the rope’s axis passed between the two posts which lay along the axis of Gladstone Road. But the load on this particular pole, and thus the direction in which this pole would most likely have fallen was across Gladstone Road, and at 90 degrees to it, thus rendering this particular Delta solution pretty much ineffective.

    Of course I am presuming that it was a Delta solution and not an act by some concerned/desperate local householder.

    This really did deserve a photograph, but a scene of activity presented itself upon my return, with traffic control and Delta stuff all around. The old pole was down (yes appeared to be rotted right off), the rope was gone, and the ‘OK’ post treated to a new crossbar, to which presumably the old pole’s wires were attached.

    This morning as I walked in to work, convoys of Delta trucks were heading out loaded with all sorts of poley looking stuff.

    Is this a good thing? Yes, of course it is, but with one important caveat. The most openly unarguable and visible evidence of this appalling neglect is fast disappearing. We are waiting for the following admission:

    “Yes, we neglected the network and only Healey’s sacrificial act caused us to do something about it. We will now maintain the network to an adequate standard in future which will involve a much higher maintenance budget.”

    It is pretty clear from recent statements from His Worship downwards, that we will never get it. Instead, at some future point once the more awkwardly visible evidence is gone, we may well get this:

    “We run an aged but safe network, which by its aged nature will occasionally have very local issues that may be missed by our impeccable safety policies and maintenance algorithms. In this recent unfortunate case, a disgruntled contractor (who we were going to sack anyway) exploited these very local issues to present a totally false impression of the state of Delta/Aurora’s network. The public within Aurora;’s network area and the authorities (who have since emitted various tones of paper-based white noise) may be confident that the current policies are both adequate and compliant and that public safety with an open information policy is our highest priority.”

    Impossible?. I think not. Just look at the shyte that we have been served over the Stadium, DCTL and the water/drains in the last few years.

    I therefore urge all readers of this website to submit photos to it of any Delta/Aurora neglect/bodges that they are aware of – And to do it now before they are gone. Surely, we owe Mr Healey that much at least.

    • Elizabeth

      Photographs can be emailed with location and date – to ejkerr

      However, as Richard Healey has been at pains to point out, it’s not just about the poles. Degraded network facilities and cables etc will be massively expensive to bring up to standard.

      A quick fix isn’t possible and cannot be afforded without external resource.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Rob. That’s a sensible idea and I think everyone should consider using their cameras or mobile devices to photograph neighbouring poles, regardless of condition. Including a picture encompassing the pole for identification and up-close of any wear and damage. Those poles can have a significant impact on our lives and when something goes wrong you know these bureaucrats and accountants will be more concerned about their interests than yours.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Love it or hate it, Facebook is a useful tool. It doesn’t belong to any one of us and it’s not impressed by bully moves by hicktown heavies. Also it is familiar to SO many people who are accustomed to posting photos to it, so it should be possible to build up a good and permanent record of shoddy poles and perhaps widen out to other infrastructure that needs fixing but nobody’s listening. Links to more in-depth info here are also easy to post, for those people who want more information than photographs and brief anecdotes.
        We’ve seen how “motivating” public sharing of information can be, when going through the proper channels, as Mr Healey did for years before resigning, gets no result at all.

  3. Elizabeth

    Received from Richard Healey
    Wed, 9 Nov 2016 at 11:10 a.m.

    The ODT has not reported on all of the report. Chris Morris will release that on Saturday. Here is the response I posted to Facebook this morning.


    I feel kind of foolish. Throughout this battle I’ve often paused to wonder what the motivation was for the people on the other side. The ones who blocked spending on a neglected asset, or the guys who didn’t seem to understand what the phrase not fit for actual load meant. Also the people who couldn’t seem to understand that the condition of the network posed a serious, possibly fatal, risk to their workforce and the community.

    You know the people, like the ones who saw a high voltage line that had hung down alive near Larnach Castle for two days, remember that Kevin Wood. I personally took you to site to see that.

    What about you Matt Ballard, and Derek Todd, do you remember me taking you to the spot where a high voltage line had lain on the ground alive for seven hours? Do you remember me digging out pieces of soil that had been melted like glass for you to handle?  Do you remember me pointing out the yard full of kids toys just over the fence?

    I do, but then I would. That was a tour that I took every GM on. I know the sites by heart.

    Foolish, yes that describes how I feel.

    I’ve been confused, was your apparent blindness to this problem caused by ignorance? I mean some of you have that defence available.

    Kevin, you were given a senior role in the management of an electricity asset while having almost no technical background at all.

    Matt, I’m thinking a few years working for Deloitte wouldn’t have done much for your knowledge of the electricity industry.

    What about you Steve Sullivan? How did your study of accounting prepare you for the role of head of asset strategy? I guess you think pretty well considering your willingness to personally guarantee the safety of reinforced structures without the benefit of any meaningful engineering background.

    What about willful ignorance? Did some of you just not want to know? I certainly got that impression at times.

    The third possibility is that you are all stupid. It’s been suggested to me many times but I frankly don’t buy it. True, I’ve seen most of you do really stupid things, but what we are looking at here is a sustained pattern of behaviour over years.

    And that’s why I feel foolish. The release of this report from 2010 has made me wonder why I spent so much time wondering. It’s obvious now isn’t it. Delta, YOU had the position laid out for you in black and white in 2010. 

    Roger Steel was killed on your network AFTER you received this report. Vince Moore was horribly injured on your network AFTER you received this report.

    You chose to ignore the warnings for four years and then make little more than a token effort to improve the situation from 2012.

    Great decision for the bottom line. Every dollar not spent on maintenance went straight back to dividend. Man you looked good Grady. It’s a wonder Deloitte didn’t name you young executive of the year.

    Why do I feel foolish? Because I thought the drivers for the behaviours I’ve witnessed could have been ignorance, or even willful ignorance. I think we have the real answers now don’t we?

  4. Calvin Oaten

    I think we do. Yes Richard, the numbers just don’t stack up do they. The next time any of them are at the Stadium they might just cogitate as to why it is there. It seems no-one else can, least of all our illustrious Mayor.

  5. Rob Hamlin

    ‘Sacrificial lamb”? I personally wouldn’t be piping my eye over that poor ickle lambkins Gurglers. That boy’s got a bright future ahead of him – if not here, then elsewhere in similar executive positions within publicly funded entities that are in the gift of those few who are well informed enough to truly appreciate what he has done for their community.

    Aspirational career paths that might be illustrated in that particular careers brochure include: 1) CEO of a local city with input to juicy civil engineering and supply contracts, resigning and swiftly moving on to: CEO of state roading agency. ditto. 2) Senior officer in charge of local city department with input into juicy civil engineering and supply contracts resigning and swiftly moving on to: Senior officer in charge of another local town department (but a very fast growing one), ditto.

  6. Rob Hamlin

    Perhaps we focus too much on Grady. This appears to be an asset run down on a strategic scale both in quantum and duration if this new report can be viewed as a definitive and demonstrable (provable) ‘start’ point. Grady, after all, is a chief executive who should execute upon strategic directives from the board. Boards of Governance should be more than mere spectators – whatever Cr. Staynes may say about the governance process to newly elected governance neophytes.

    It’s worth looking at the CV’s of Delta/Aurora’s board as they appear on the companies’ websites. The same board serves both entities. One thing that the DCC cannot be accused of is appointing a board who did not have the necessary skills and experience to adequately oversee the activities of what is basically a civil/electrical engineering enterprise.

    Likewise there appears to be enough corporate knowledge here to run basic balance sheet /income statement ratio analyses against industry norms/standards with regards to maintenance expenditure and long-term capacity of the companies to generate profit/dividends. The setting of dividends is entirely a board function, as is the setting of the strategy to generate them sustainably. What has these four directors’ role been in the development of this situation? We have heard little from any of them as yet as Grady toasts in public.

    Here they are:

    Dr Ian Parton Non-Executive Chairman

    Ian Parton (BE Hons, PhD, DistFIPENZ, CFInstD) joined the Aurora Energy Board in October 2012. He is a professional company director and has an extensive background in consulting engineering. He is the Chair of Delta Utility Services Ltd and Director of Auckland Transport Ltd, Skellerup Holdings Ltd and Construction Techniques Ltd and was previously Chairman of Babcock Fitzroy Ltd. He is Chancellor of the University of Auckland. Previous roles include transition chief executive of Watercare Services Ltd and managing director of consulting engineering firm Meritec Group Ltd (formerly Worley Group Ltd). Ian is a Distinguished Fellow and Past-President of the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

    Dave Frow Non-Executive Director

    Dave Frow (BScEng, CFInstD) joined the Aurora Energy Board in October 2012. Dave has an extensive background in the energy industry and was the former chief executive of the state-owned enterprise Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ). He is a Director of Delta Utility Services Ltd, ETEL Ltd, ETEL Pty Ltd (Aus) and Holmes Fire LP. He was formerly Chair of the Bioresource Processing Alliance, Bathurst Resources Ltd, Transpower NZ Ltd, DesignPower Ltd and of Powermark Ltd. He was formerly a director of Waste Management Ltd and Unison Networks Ltd and was a member of the Telecom Independent Oversight Group. Dave is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

    Linkedin profile:

    Trevor Kempton Non-Executive Director

    Trevor Kempton (BE Hons, MIPENZ, FNZIM, CMInstD) joined the Aurora Energy Board in November 2013. He is a professional Engineer with 40 years’ experience in civil and environmental engineering, project management, construction and business. He was managing director of Naylor Love Construction from 2001 until his retirement in 2010. He is a Director of Delta Utility Services Limited and The Academy of Construction Excellence (NZ) Limited and Director and consultant to Constructing Excellence (NZ) Ltd. He is Chair of Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand Trust. Trevor was a member of the Ministerial taskforce on Construction Industry Productivity in 2008/9. A Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, he is also in his second term as an Otago Regional Councillor.

    Stuart McLauchlan Non-Executive Director

    Stuart McLauchlan (BCom, FCA(PP), CFInstD) joined the Aurora Energy Board in 2007. He is a practising chartered accountant and partner in the firm GS McLauchlan & Co. Ltd. He is Chair of PHARMAC, Scott Technology Ltd, UDC Finance Ltd and Dunedin International Airport Ltd. He is a Director of Delta Utility Services Ltd, AD Instruments Pty Ltd, Cargill Hotel 2002 Ltd, Dunedin Casinos Ltd, Otago & Southland Employers Association and Scenic Circle Hotels Ltd. He is Pro-Chancellor of University of Otago. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

    • nick

      Yes, but can any of them poach an egg . . .?

    • Elizabeth

      And from 1 June 2016, new boy Non-Executive Director (Rugby!) Steve Thompson (BCom, Accounting & Finance 1977). Office Managing Partner/Tax Partner at Deloitte and former investigator for Inland Revenue.

      Background via
      Mr Steve R Thompson serves as Partner of Deloitte. Mr Thompson serves as Chairman of Alpine Energy Limited and has been its Director since 1999. He also serves as a Director of Deloitte and Arthur Barnett Investments Ltd, Arthur Barnett Savings Ltd, Belwash Holdings Ltd, Cairnmuir Road winery Ltd, Deloitte Ltd, DIC Stores Ltd, F.S.Investments Ltd, Golden block Car Park Support Ltd, Highlanders Franchise Ltd, Integrated Contract Solutions Ltd, Meridian Centre Ltd, Millenium Solutions Ltd, Minaret Resources Ltd, Otago Rugby Football Union, Prospectus Nominees, Prosectus Nominees Services Ltd, Wanaka Bay Ltd, and Westminster Resources Ltd.

      • Elizabeth

        DCHL’s Mr Crombie announced a Review of the power companies would be carried out by Deloitte.

        The conflict of interest – having Steve Thompson of Deloitte on the Delta/Aurora Boards AND for Deloitte to be carrying out the Review is a LUDICROUS JOKE of non-independent non-ethical business proportion.

        Now we know ALL Directors must be sacked as previously consistently stated at What if?

        Those of Delta/Aurora, and DCHL.

        Grady Cameron can go – and so can the Mayor of Futility Dave Cull.

  7. nick

    It really does beg the obvious question Rob.

    Just how many top flight directors and highly paid managers does it take to run down an electricity network?

    Especially when it only takes one brave and honest man to blow the whistle.

  8. Pip

    Pretty sure its the same Steve Thompson, of Deloitte, part of the team that formed the Murrayfield Trust in order to fund professional rugby in Otago with pokies. The plan was to buy 3 high turnover pokie bars situated in South Auckland that could supplement the cost of running ORFU and professional rugby. ORFU interests purchased the bars for about $3million but needed to create legal separation or veil around the true ownership and control. They set up Roseburn Holdings Ltd and appointed two local Dunedin Directors to front the company. The two got nervous when the authorities started lifting the veil of ownership and banned ORFU from receiving any pokie grants from those bars. It was a major problem for the ORFU and threatened a return on the $3million investment in pokie bars. The Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport was set up as a means to receive pokie grants that ORFU could not. ORFU later sold a share of those bars to Mike O’Brien and Harness Racing who was singled out and arrested by the SFO, he chose the wrong sport. Thompson has all the skills for Delta!!

    • russandbev

      None of us should ever forget this sorry saga which was unlawful in all sorts of ways. What was far more sinister was the way in which unlawful acts were covered up and papered over by those entrusted to look after honesty and transparency in our society.

      Exactly the same thing is happening now.

      Having conflicts of interest or just plain jacking things up so that no fault will be found is, in many ways, worse than the original crimes.

      I have said this before, and I’ll repeat it, until the Boards of Delta/Aurora and DCHL are dismissed and Cameron sacked then nothing will happen. Cull will not do that for obvious reasons that the DCC were party to the “rape and pillage” of Delta and allowed all of the property speculation rorts. The inquiries will be a waste of time as the terms of reference have already been stacked.

  9. Peter

    Grady Cameron will need to go as the sacrificial lamb or else the Board/ Council will look corrupt for keeping him on despite all the Delta cock ups, aside from the rotten poles network. Not a good look.
    At this moment I wouldn’t be surprised if they were looking around for another job for him to go to. We will hear that it is time to ‘move on’ to new challenges as he has achieved all the goals he set when he got the job. Or we will hear that he is going for ‘family reasons’.
    Dave Cull, Graham Crombie etc will thank him for all the good work he has done for Delta and wish him all the best for the future.

  10. Elizabeth

    Stuart McLauchlan, whom Cull ‘follows’, has a lot to answer for. —With Delta/Aurora since 2007. Instrumental (!?) in the Auditor-general’s whitewash (another limited brief of inquiry) for Delta’s activities in relation to Luggate and Jacks Point – however, will the Noble Yaldhurst caveators finally deal to the crooks in the Courts on Constructive Fraud ? The current electricity network debacle doesn’t make Yaldhurst go away but it is laughable that Graham Crombie in recent media statements promised Dunedin ratepayers that “millions” would follow from the Delta deal made on 1 August. He should now be looking in the mirror at a bilious yellow.

  11. Rob Hamlin

    Thompson, a director of Delta/Aurora. Well I didn’t know that. Yes, given these reported activities Mr Thompson does seem to represent a plausible link between the producers and major beneficiaries of these dividends/subvention payments.

    Isn’t it odd that, despite the massive and massively paid management staff available for the task, after four months, neither he nor his prior activities record have been added to the public governance profiles of either company along with the other four directors? Apart from the Companies Office there appears to be little public announcement/record of this appointment either. A Google search of ‘thompson delta aurora’ brings up no high ranking hits other than this website.

    Mr Thompson’s apparent triple status as a director of Delta/Aurora (dividend/stadium subvention producer), director of Highlanders Franchise/ORFU (stadium beneficiary) and a partner/director in Deloitte (referee) also does make the status of Deloitte as an independent referee/reviewer of the practices within Delta/Aurora that supported the generation of these dividends questionable….if you know that that is the case.

    I am no believer in the effectiveness of Chinese walls, bar the tangible and original version. Any associate of a professional services company will know that one can only pupate and emerge as a partner/butterfly if you do not ever, ever seriously piss off one or more of the current winged incumbents.

    Associates of the larger firms are normally highly intelligent, pragmatic (some might say cynical) and ambitious young people, with a keen interest in personal networks and social consequences. They are recruited and advanced on these qualities, upon which the future revenues/billable hours of all of these organisations depend.

    Given this, do you think it likely that the associates, who will likely produce this report, will be unaware that its outcomes will have the capacity to significantly please or irritate this particular Delta director/Deloitte director/partner? Do you suppose that any associate (see profile above) would genuinely believe that said director/partner would be unaware of the authorship of said outcomes, and that they would not act accordingly?

    You see the gist?….Get out and get those photos taken!

  12. Greta Good

    Golly…having to investigate your own boss….that must be awkward….but I’m sure this conflict of interest is being managed by….???? Nope, can’t think of a single mechanism to achieve that which would stand up to much sunlight. How much longer must we endure this farce?

  13. Simon

    Didn’t the ORFU recently announce a big profit ? That should be easy for them if they still don’t front up and pay their bills. Like the outstanding Black Tie piss up bill.

    • Elizabeth

      16.3.16 ODT: Otago rugby back in the red
      After three consecutive years of profit, the Otago Rugby Football Union recorded a loss of $162,000 last year, attributable, the union says, to declining gate sales, commercial revenue and not hosting an All Black test. […] When the All Blacks played England at Forsyth Barr Stadium in 2014, the union made $113,915 from the test. But last year the union did not host an international, which cost it more than $100,000. Mr Kinley said the ORFU’s commercial income was also down last year – $819,578 compared with $1.09 million in 2014 – as it was hard to get sponsorship in a tough business environment. Gate takings were also below budget. Reserves now sit at just under $700,000. New Zealand Rugby was now the ORFU’s main funder, pumping $1.02 million into Otago’s coffers last year.

  14. Gurglars

    How much did they pay the stadium/DCHL?

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