Aurora/Delta : RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan with Rod Oram

Updated post
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 at 10:41 p.m.

ODT tomorrow….
On Channel 39 news, editor Barry Stewart says “Half of the Delta executive management team have jumped ship, since the pole scandal erupted.”


### Tue, 20 Dec 2016 at 11:06 am
Nine to Noon Link
Among the topics Kathryn Ryan talks to Rod Oram about, is the Electricity Authority’s tweaking of its controversial re-pricing of transmission charges, amid a chorus of opposition.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (14′58″)

Within the interview Oram speaks to the Deloitte report for Aurora/Delta.
He finds the report sobering “although the language was very moderate”.
Listen from 04:05 to 08:09

Kathryn Ryan: “…possibly they’ve dodged a really really bad news story and a really really bad event in the process.”

Oram: “They have.”

Oram: “…I just find it pretty inexplicable that council owned companies should have… I’m choosing my language, obviously, carefully here …have had inadequate oversight from the Council over such a long period and that there hasn’t been a disaster as a result of this.”

He goes on to say “the potential for one is identified”…
See Aurora/Delta’s prioritisation of pole replacements around schools and hospitals.

[The numbers for pole replacements in the Deloitte report goes under-reported.]

It will be a very very long while before the dangerous Aurora electricity network is made SAFE. In that time a really really bad news story or more could hit.

Sadly, the death of Delta lineman Roger Allan Steel (63) near Millers Flat on 9 December 2010 was the first really really bad story….

NZ Herald (30.1.13) —“Delta was prosecuted under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and was fined $75,000 in the Alexandra District Court in October 2011 after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work. The charge was laid by the then Labour Department … The pole that fell had earlier been placed by a Delta work gang, in the footing of the pole it replaced … The hazard identification procedure adopted by Delta and its employees was unsuitable and needed to be improved, Coroner David Crerar said.”

Famous last words.
Grady Cameron: “As the coroner noted, Delta has reviewed and made enhancements to our work practices. We wanted to make sure that we never have another workmate in this position again.”

“Cameron said Delta had taken remedial action including red-tagging all poles deemed unsafe to climb, the introduction of systems to quickly locate vehicles and employees wherever they were working and had also made changes to work instruction forms.”

Fast-forward to October 2016. Whistleblower Richard Healey reveals major SAFETY CONCERNS with the Aurora/Delta electricity network. As a consequence, Grady Cameron is found severely wanting in not meeting the claims he made to Coroner Crerar about taking remedial action ….sufficient to safeguard the lives of lines staff and the public. Gross mismanagement and negligence applies.

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *grady*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: – rod oram


Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Sport, Town planning, Travesty, What stadium

28 responses to “Aurora/Delta : RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan with Rod Oram

  1. Raymondo

    Really, really bad stories may be hidden purposely only because the DCC mayor and the media work together to make it so. The stories are not hidden to What If? people and all I ask is that the What If? people publicise them widely and continue to do so.

  2. Elizabeth

    Chief executive disputes whistleblower Richard Healey’s claim the accelerated pole replacement programme was a “knee-jerk” reaction and overly ambitious.

    Wed, 21 Dec 2016
    ODT: Third executive jumps Delta ship
    Half of Delta’s executive leadership team has jumped ship as fallout from the pole scandal continues to rock the company.
    Whistleblower Richard Healey said staff had been informed this week that capability and risk general manager Matt Ballard was leaving the Dunedin City Council-owned company. This followed the resignations of asset management general manager Derek Todd and energy and communication general manager Kewal Bagal.
    The confirmation three of Delta’s six executive leadership team have resigned comes as it and its sister company Aurora face renewed pressure from WorkSafe over Delta’s accelerated programme to replace close to 3000 compromised poles. A WorkSafe spokesman said it expected Delta to prioritise the replacement of poles in high-risk areas, including near schools. Cont/

    [page recorded by screenshot, for posterity]

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “And if another red sticker’d power pole should accidentally fall…….”
      (song for farewell functions, culminating in solo by Grady)

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Local media spent years “reporting” by DCC info handout and the kind of patsy interviewing that you see in paid advertorials. National media got interested in the “other” half of NZ a few years ago but that interest didn’t often stretch beyond quake-stricken Christchurch. And who can blame them when the on the spot media – the independent newspaper (!) – was so tactful, nothing to see here, move along, here’s a heart-warming photo of daffodils.

    The stories wouldn’t have been so easily hidden if Ministers and government departments and agencies that are supposed to investigate rorts and ripoffs and mismanagement and waste, had followed up on the many MANY tip-offs and written reports of concerns, had got off their useless bums and done their job. They could have noticed the number and themes of LGOIMA queries. Just saying.

  4. Elizabeth

    Richard Healey: In my view, bringing three times as many new workers, who don’t know the hazards they will face, onto the network introduces an unacceptable level of risk.

    At Facebook:

  5. Simon

    Where have our city’s Labour and Green representatives been hiding during all the revelations about Aurora/Delta. Their silence has been deafening. Are they staying silent not wanting to upset the Green/Labour-led city council.

    • Elizabeth

      Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Green Party, has been lining herself up for a minister outside Cabinet position…. um, not yet successful.

    • Peter

      Simon. The silence of these two left of centre parties concerns me. They are in danger of a drift of votes away to a new Trump type party or a more positive variation of it. Same for National. Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party?
      Labour can hardly afford to lose more votes. The Greens, I think, will never get much beyond 15% of the vote on a good election day.
      Both parties need to breathe more fire to get noticed.

      • Elizabeth

        The Greens and Labour agreed to work together and in the effort, to ensure more of their members got into local government in 2016 – that was widely broadcast before the elections – so to exert more pressure before the General Election in 2017. Follow Twitter and Party blogs to stay up to date. Both Greens and Labour use social media extensively, daily, as do the other political parties. They’re noisy not silent.

        • Peter

          Trouble is party blogs and Twitter pass me by! Call me old fashion.

        • Elizabeth

          Cheaper via social media to put their messages out in support of their electorate, press and national statements when they go into overdrive in the new year. Social media gives New Zealanders direct access to the politicians – they have been quick, along with national media, to use Twitter and other platforms for Years now, to give direct access and conversation to all those with phones or computers. The politics has increased = doesn’t have to be filtered by MSM. It’s all public domain – you can listen in if you don’t want to say anything…. or just keep watching Parliament TV (or online) – the best education of the lot, I think.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    News flash: Grady Cameron applies for 3 unadvertised vacancies and appoints himself, saying “It’ll be a piece o’ post taking those 3 extra salaries, I mean taking on those 3 additional roles.”

  7. Elizabeth

    Channel 39 News tonight:

    Dave Cannan says: “Power poles back in the news. There was a big incident today down in Port Chalmers where a power pole broke and caused a fire and electrified a fence and caused general chaos. So we’ve got extensive coverage of that tomorrow in the ODT.”

    • Peter

      No. No. No. It’s a conspiracy theory and it’s only a public perception the pole fell over and did this damage. Ask Dave and Grady if you don’t believe me.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Yes, a grass fire warmed the base of the pole causing the poley molecules to become agitated to the point of misalignment. Meanwhile, friction from a few tall grass stalks rubbing against it afflicted the fence with static electricity which leapt into the pole, causing a shock that resulted in its collapse. As indeed would be the same for any of us in similar circs.

  8. Elizabeth

    Richard Healey tells me it was the Port Chalmers 33 kV line. The pole had a completely rotten cross arm. The cable fell across an electric fence and started multiple fires.

    Exactly the same scenario, he says, as the photos of the dead sheep at Three Mile Hill last New Year’s Eve.

    At Port Chalmers today —“Anyone near that fence would have been toast.”

  9. Gurglars

    All fires are caused by global warming or by oil or petrol driven vehicles resulting in less car parks and more cycleways. Delta, DCC inaction and the poles falling over are a coincidence.

  10. JimmyJones

    The ODT says Despite the failure, he [Delta operations manager John Campbell] stood by Delta and its sister company Aurora’s assertion the network was safe.
    I suppose it was safe, until the equipment failures, the poles and crossbars going rotten and the severe underfunding of worn out things.
    No comments from our Mayor and DCC staff, who are desperately trying to avoid being blamed for their role in this situation.

  11. russandbev

    Of course the Dunedin Mayor, DCHL, Aurora and Delta will always say that the network is “safe” because once they admit to it NOT being safe then they are liable. Actually that raises an interesting issue. My understanding is that if an officer of the Council is aware, or made aware, of an unsafe environment or practice on or around any Council property – and that includes roadways, pathways, parks etc and does nothing about it, then that officer is personally liable for any subsequent issue. Surely Cull, as an officer, is now aware through his much delayed meeting with Richard Healey that the network is unsafe. He only needs to read the ODT to learn of the continued failures if he still can’t bring himself to accept the truth from Mr Healey. Why then is Cull not being pursued by Energy Safety or WorkSafe or the DCC internal Health and Safety personnel?

  12. Elizabeth

    Thu, 22 Dec 2016
    ODT: Deadly risk in downed line
    A downed line that sent a high-voltage current down an electric fence on a Port Chalmers property yesterday could have been deadly. The 33,000-volt Aurora Energy line came down after a cross-arm broke off, sending a potentially lethal current down the fence […] Firefighters, who were called to the property about 3pm, were at first unaware the fires had been caused by a downed power line. Cont/

    “At that voltage you are not talking about getting an electric shock and getting thrown across the room. That’s instantly blowing off body parts and almost certain death.” –Richard Healey

  13. Alex Brown

    Click to access leadership-sme-guide.pdf

    Page 2 Directors Duties – “ensure company has appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise those risks and uses them”

    Prioritising funds for a sports stadium would not be a defence.

    Ask any small business (easy target) slapped with instant fines for incorrect scaffold or any commercial truck driver who receive huge fines for safety issues.

    If ever the law should be applied it is in this case. WorkSafe needs to send a clear message to troughers who love sitting on boards under the safety of Council always backed up by the ratepayer.

  14. Alex Brown

    Penalty for the Directors – 5 years imprisonment, $600k fine.

    So our lawmakers also intended it be taken very seriously.

  15. Elizabeth

    Thanks for the information Alex.

    I mention to other contributors that this website won’t publish any comments that imply connections individuals may have to WorkSafe personnel and their inquiry into Aurora/Delta via Energy Safety. It’s in no one’s best interests to meddle in or corrupt what we hope is an independent investigation of this potential magnitude.

    Obviously, what happened at Port Chalmers yesterday with the 33,000 V cable is quite likely to happen again – given how dangerous and degraded the electricity network has become owing to Dunedin City Council’s armslength ‘non management’ of its companies (….prioritising dividends and stadium subvention payments) and the attaching exceptional disregard of Health and Safety compliance standards for companies Aurora/Delta and DCHL – directly placing line crews and the public at severe risk of injury or death. The same appalling lack of care and compliance powerfully applies to the Aurora/Delta and DCHL company directors and the executive leadership – their individual and collective mismanagement and gross negligence must attract the stiffest legal tests and court-assigned penalties.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s not hard to see why Mayor Cull hasn’t a critical word to say about Delta/Aurora’s Grady Cameron.
    “When Delta was first alerted to the problem, it incorrectly traced it to some trees touching a line in Halfway Bush, he said. This version of events was later backed by Mr Campbell.”

    “Ground water level rise” caused South Dunedin flooding, Cull’s post-truth reaction, later modified to anthropogenic sea level rise. Blood bruvvers, like Jedward they merit a collective noun. Gravy?

    “When the Otago Daily Times arrived at the scene of the blaze, firefighters had crossed the electric fence and were fighting the fire with a water hose.”

    What a wide range of people are exposed to extreme danger as a result of the DCC demanding money Delta/Aurora didn’t have to spare, and Delta/Aurora prioritising DCC’s demand over doing their duty.

  17. Gurglars

    The stadium has now become a herd of mammoths in a very small town and the Directors and management of Delta have become the lemmings heading blindly towards oblivion.

    Let’s hope they have a very sanguine Christmas.

  18. Elizabeth

    Sanguine, Gurglars ? The long Kiwi summer holiday represents a useful opportunity for turkeys to move their funds around in the attempt to better safeguard them. Laundering never hurt anybody, right ?

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