Aurora/Delta (same crew!) rips off Central Otago farmers and hort industry producers

Grady Grady Grady, tell us you can do something right, something straight, anything!? For an award-winning (Deloitte!) bright young executive you’re living a Very Slow Death.

Save your health, man, and OURS, by writing that letter of resignation with immediate effect. We’ll feel better if you don’t carry on. Please KNOW that we have to pay the full extremes of YOUR Total Cost To Us and the companies …. “thinkdelta” -of Us- while you’ve got your feet up at home.


Penury. Jail. Is worse.

Aurora Energy has been warned by the competition watchdog over using its market dominance to force farmers to use its sister company, Delta, as a contractor.

If Aurora was found guilty of breaching the Act, it could be fined more than $10million or three times the commercial gain resulting from the breach.

### ODT Online Mon, 28 Nov 2016
Aurora in firing line over policy
By Vaughan Elder
….The Commerce Commission warned the under-fire company its policy, which forces farmers in the Cromwell and Clyde area to give work to Delta when installing irrigation which had to be connected to its network, could be in breach of the Commerce Act 1986. The commission decided not to take further action, saying the  cost of proceedings could be “disproportionate to the harm”, but told Aurora to be more careful in future. “While the commission does not intend to take any further action against Aurora, you should be aware that we had real concerns about Aurora’s conduct; and our decision to issue this compliance advice letter does not prevent any other person or entity from taking a private action through the courts.”
Read more

Received from nick
2016/11/17 at 5:49 pm
How does the DCC stand with its Aurora company charging Central Otago orchardists prohibitive lines charges for seasonal irrigation pump connections? It’s been this way for years.
Orchardists so close to renewable hydro energy from Roxburgh and Clyde dams are burning imported fossil fuels to power their pumps because it’s cheaper.
It is absolutely absurd to see the big fuel delivery truck and trailer units filling up the orchard diesel tanks each month.
Any comments from the Council’s ethical investments committee?

Received from nick
2016/10/21 at 7:00 am
Another chapter in this company’s dysfunctional management and governance story.
If it was not continually propped up by the guaranteed and lucrative income stream of Lines Charges, it would have disappeared years ago.
As an aside, Aurora decided in 2013 to exclude private electrical contractors from connecting new irrigation pumps to its Central Otago network – simply because it was not getting any of this work (unable to compete with private enterprise).
The Commerce Commission began an investigation into Aurora’s breach of the Commerce Act over this matter, but Aurora retracted from this policy in April 2016 before the ComCom had completed its determination. They remain on notice, with a warning over this matter.

W O R T H W H I L E ● R E A D
2.11.16 ODT: History shows power to the people lost
Delta’s woes will be shared with Central Otago, writes Nick Loughnan.

aurora-bovver-boys-29-11-16-1Douglas Field 29.11.16 [click to enlarge]

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: – home detention unit


Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Corruption, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

7 responses to “Aurora/Delta (same crew!) rips off Central Otago farmers and hort industry producers

  1. Elizabeth

    We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. –Charles Bukovsky


    STONE DEAD without Aurora/Delta budget or capacity to build the Central Otago power network to meet increasing demand………

    Mon, 28 Nov 2016
    ODT: Central Otago economic hot spot
    Massive growth in the tourism industry has rekindled economic activity in the Central Otago region and is flowing through into substantial increases in demand for workers, housing and support services. A new Infometrics report names Central Otago, which includes Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell, as one of the regional hot spots in the country. Infometrics chief forecaster Gareth Kiernan said of all the hot spots, Central Otago had by far the lowest population density. Within the region, it was easy to pick out Queenstown as being the focal point for growth — especially given the 8.7% growth in the town’s population over the past two years. “But focusing on only Queenstown would mean missing out on other towns within the region enjoying a surge in popularity in tandem with Queenstown’s ongoing expansion as a lifestyle and tourism destination.” Cont/

  2. nick

    There is one area where Aurora/Delta is exposed to market forces and have had to be consumer focused. This is an extremely rare occurence, and has happened on the Frankton Flats in Queenstown.
    It is the boundary where Aurora’s network meets the Power Company network based in Invercargill.
    Aurora has been falling over itself offering inducements to developers in this area to connect to their network and not Invercargill’s. The deals have been eye-wateringly generous for this strategic piece of turf. Pity the rest of us who have no choice.
    We pay at their whim, which was why Delta was so keen to see other independent contractors stopped from making irrigation pump connections to their network from grid exit points at Cromwell and Clyde. This covered all the Upper Clutha, Alexandra basin and the Manuherikia and Ida Valleys – a very large area.
    Fortunately the ComCom saw differently and let Delta off with a warning to stop breaching the Commerce Act.
    Now all that same work is being done by a company which is very cost-competitive, customer focused and provides timely service delivery. And that company is certainly not Delta.

  3. photonz

    Under the Fair Trading Act, the Commerce Commission has the power to require lines companies to meet quality standards.

    If any lines company in NZ should be looked into for quality standards, it should be the one who has 100 times more dodgy poles than the average of all other companies.

    • nick

      Yes, the CC set reliability standards for each of the lines networks in NZ. Aurora is already on notice for its breach those standards in 2 of the last 3 years. The Commission can impose substantial fines on networks for exceeding their limits.

      We now know Aurora’s network is a serious cot case – thanks to Richard Healey for alerting us to it. No thanks to Grady Cameron and his highly paid executive management team who have been fudging the extent of the problem for years.

      Aurora/Delta is supposed to report honestly on network outages to provide the CC with this info. However it appears that rotten poles blowing over have been misreported as storm damage for which different allowances are made. In fact they are outages which are directly attributable to Delta’s appalling lack of maintenance. The Commission will not appreciate this duplicity.

      However, the reliability issues are now small change. DCC as owner of Aurora is facing a massive problem of paying the refurbishment cost of allowing the network to fall into such a shocking state of disrepair. It will be unaffordable.

      It is a disgrace to Dunedin and Central Otago that this has been allowed to happen under the stewardship of a crop of overpaid plonkers who have either not been able to see the obvious, or who have chosen to hide the truth about the chaotic state of our network.

      Just what have we been paying them to do all these years?

  4. Calvin Oaten

    “Just what have we been paying them to do all these years?” Actually they have been providing the Stadium’s DVL and DVML with subvention funds to remain afloat. Dave Cull knows this as well as all councillors, bureaucrats and the ‘hangers’ on at the Stadium. The great unwashed of course go and shout to the players and pay extortionate prices for their beer and then come away happy. If their team won it was great. If not then not so happy. Still, it comes for them at some $7 or $8million per year from Aurora, so whats not to like?

    • nick

      If they had been making a half decent job of operating capably and efficiently, we could excuse the Stadium subvention subsidy from our monthly household meter readings.
      However you know about the Jacks Point fiasco.
      And the Luggate Park losses.
      And the Yaldhurst giveaway.
      And the extraordinary salary increases and additional dozens of managers that have been added to the Delta fold since Grady Cameron was appointed. His salary has alone doubled in 6 years.
      We are talking many tens of millions spent with negative ROI.
      Any publicly listed company would have shown these inept executives the door long ago. DCHL instead have rewarded them handsomely for what.

      Perhaps my point would be better made thus.
      How much worse would Delta need to have performed before nil salary increases for its executive management team kicked in? This debacle has given performance pay a whole new meaning.

      This whole saga is very sad for Dunedin. The many voices, including yours, who tried to warn City Hall off building the stadium were all ignored. The cabal pushed ahead, surely meaning well for the city, but somehow believed that they could achieve what no other small city in the world has ever managed – to build a stadium that didn’t incur substantial annual losses.

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