At ODT : DCC (oblivious) sound bites on Delta/Aurora #letters

Updated post
Sat, 19 Nov 2016 at 3:16 a.m.

ODT 18.11.16 (page 10)


Douglas Field 18.11.16cull-evades-the-question-again-18-11-16

All the street lights between Green Island and North East Valley went out earlier this evening (Friday). The CBD now has lights back on, no idea about the rest.


### ODT Online Fri, 18 Nov 2016
Street lights out in Dunedin
By Timothy Brown
Dunedin was plunged into darkness tonight after the city’s streetlights did not turn on. Delta marketing and communications manager Gary Johnson said the lights were scheduled to turn on at 8.52pm, but the automatic activation never occurred. Reports of the issue from around the city started circulating social media about 9.30pm. The lights were switched on manually from 9.50pm and all lights were confirmed on by 10.10pm, Mr Johnson said. “We apologise for any inconvenience and will be carrying out further investigation to pinpoint the reason the switching did not operate automatically as scheduled,” he said. Link

Updated at ODT Online: Street lights fail to turn on

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


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

8 responses to “At ODT : DCC (oblivious) sound bites on Delta/Aurora #letters

  1. russandbev

    Cull’s evasive and incomplete answer to the points raised in Calvin’s letter are expected. Transparency and accountability have long disappeared.

    What I have found through asking, is that virtually no-one knows about, or understands that Aurora/Delta have financed the stadium build and are paying for its continuing operation. The totals that they have provided to this white elephant are eye-watering and yet people don’t know that it has been going on.

    I am certain too that the 3 inquiries taking place – or 2 to be more accurate as there is no doubt that the DCHL inquiry is totally designed to create additional spin on top of that generated by Delta/Aurora/DCHL/DCC who are all joined totally at the hip – will fail to address the long-standing failures of Aurora to maintain its network, of Delta to keep to its knitting and reward obscene amounts to incompetent management, of DCHL’s failure to fulfill its role as a governance safety net, and of DCC to blur the rapacious need of the stadium. Can anyone truthfully imagine the so-called DCHL inquiry to be anything other than a whitewash?

    Lastly, Cull’s assertion that Aurora can simply borrow to pay Delta this additional $26m is not an issue at all is correct in that all that Aurora needs to do is to up its line charges to all Dunedin and Central Otago users who are a bottomless pit of dosh. But Cull didn’t say that did he? Wonder why? Is he embarrassed at the total debt by DCHL?

    • Elizabeth

      Currently, the Commerce Commission as industry regulator ‘docks pay’ to Aurora if line charges rise ‘out of sight’ – colloquially put. There is a financial penalty (disincentive) if Aurora tries clawing money back from power consumers through raising lines charges; meaning Aurora will have less money for ‘improvements’ to the network. As mentioned on another thread by Richard Healey, in 2020 there will be a review of lines charges…. we should worry.

      Obviously Richard can explain this better than I can.

  2. Elizabeth

    Received from Richard Healey
    Sat, 19 Nov 2016 at 10:24 a.m.

    I’ve updated my Facebook post from last night to expand a little on the likely cause of the problem. The upgrade of the Network Operations capability at Delta has been a story of delay and missed opportunity.

    What should have been a series of good outcomes now leaves me extremely worried about how this critical safety system will cope with the extra load of the many additional work crews that will be needed to fix all the other problems we have been discussing.

    I’m sure that Delta will say “Look, we just spent $25 million on this shiny new thing. Everything is great!” Unfortunately spending $25 million on something that can’t reliably turn a light on tells another story.


    Anyone else noticed that every street light in Dunedin is out tonight? Guess I’ll have to read the ODT tomorrow to find out why.

    Well the ODT wasn’t much help. Delta are being as open and honest as usual.

    You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that it was probably a fault with the new network operations system. Ironically Delta is spending $25M to “upgrade” the systems and software used to monitor and control the network. That’s a good thing right?

    Well it should have been, but most of the previous street light failures were because of work related to that system.

    Not unusually, it is behind schedule and over budget. In fact it came as a great surprise to the asset management delivery team to find out that there would be a recurring bill for, wait for it, software maintenance that would make your eyes water. Unbudgeted spend is never a nice surprise.

    The introduction of the system is a classic story of missed opportunity and the “I know best” attitude that prevails at Delta. Well before the system was specified I had a conversation to one of the engineers most associated with the project. He has resigned from Delta in the last few weeks.

    During that conversation we talked about the fact that the new system could provide some serious improvement to the safety of our live line crews. These guys get up front and personal with live high voltage lines every day. It is a highly skilled job where when things go wrong there is the potential for serious harm.

    The new system could be configured to lower the amount of energy available in any explosion if guys were working on a circuit alive. Think of it as like being able to change the size of a fuse in your house at the touch of a button.

    Pretty good right? If an accident occurs then the system will shut off power much earlier, less energy escapes into the arc flash, less cooking of linemen. When you finish the work the protection settings are returned to normal at the touch of a button.

    You know what’s coming don’t you? After the specifications had been finalised I had another conversation with the same engineer. The idea of building that capability into the system “didn’t make the final cut”.

    An opportunity to significantly reduce arc energy and reduce harm, potentially saving lives, was lost.

    Nice new system guys, pity it can’t turn the lights on reliably.


  3. Elizabeth

    Douglas Field 19.11.16


  4. Calvin Oaten

    Cr Vandervis has advocated selling Delta/Aurora for quite a period. He has been treated as an outcast in all discussions, even called a ‘liar’ and sent out of the chamber. Now we see the results coming into focus, and a sad picture it is. Unfortunately selling it is not going to immediately remove the problem nor restore the situation. At least we have the Stadium. Yipee! I wonder if that will do, and will Dunedin still be one of the worlds great little cities. Meanwhile Mayor Cull is off to China again on a quest to enhance his mana there. The pity is he will return.

    • Elizabeth

      Let’s proceed – Not according to Cr Lee Vandervis, hell’s sake, who wants to hock off Aurora/Delta like family silver – with close regard for other owner/operator models for the power network.

      Models suggested by others last week outside this website domain include, for example, the establishment of a Community Trust. We need nimble, experienced and entrepreneurial, well-connected experts to bring the palatable workable energising part- or whole solutions.

      More importantly, for anyone (elected or employed) getting a pay cheque at DCC, if you’re not a businessperson don’t pretend to be one. Tired local body politicians will run us further into the ground.

      Reform means getting rid of the Old Boys and their lackeys —that same bunch who brought us the loss-making stadium and shoved our council’s consolidated accounts into MASSIVE Debt without so much as a sniff. Who now live comfortably-off amongst Queenstown Lakes real estate for their own good fortune, if not their own protection.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Mayor Dave Cull in reply to my letter: “The top priority is safety– both of the public and the workers.”
    Then he’s off to China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s