How to drop Crombie and the mafia from City boards

Or read, how the new city council will continue to undermine the Ratepayers and Residents of Dunedin, as well as the power consumers and district councils of Otago, just like before…. by allowing ill-considered (shoulder tap) appointments of a ‘class of morons’ to the boards of the City companies.

Troughers Unite.

ODT 11.1.17 (page 4)


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Aurora Energy, Carisbrook, Central Otago, Construction, Corruption, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Highlanders, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty

8 responses to “How to drop Crombie and the mafia from City boards

  1. Gurglars

    Same Old, Same Old except for one key word in that iteration.


    Because of justified criticism of their dreadful decisions such as investing in land development Delta directors will need a pay rise to assuage the pain of criticism.

    DVML Directors unhappy about criticism of the $20 million dollar annual cost of running the stadium and other failed venues will need extra to weather the storm.

    So this meeting of the elected idiotii will not appoint practical intelligent persons with management experience to better manage the assets and liabilities of the council, but will continue to appoint yes men, probably accountants who will not embarrass councillors current and present and will increase their pay and emoluments.

  2. nick

    Of most concern at present has to be the potential for just another duplicate set of directors / managers required to give the Aurora – Delta marriage their much needed divorce.

    Incest has never been recommended at any level.

    If DCC is serious about seeing value for money with its investment in Aurora’s assets, it needs to cut Delta completely loose. Preferably sell it. To date it has been nothing but a soakpit for absorbing vast amounts of cash through inept mismanagement, disastrous property deals and overpaid executives.

    Delta needs to awaken to the realities of commercial competition, and submit competitive tenders for any maintenance contracts that are on offer. It has made an absolute meal out of this line of work so far, as shown by the loss of so many large contracts it had previously held.

    Without Delta, Aurora will need to rethink its arrangements over related party transactions which are already under the ComCom’s spotlight. There is a lot of unravelling to happen before we are going to see any honest commercial benefits for DCC from this embarrassing fiasco since Richard Healey blew ‘time-out’.

    If Crombie is the man for the job, then let’s see his business plan for the Aurora – Delta split. This is a fundamental first step.

    And let’s not forget Yaldhurst. There needs to be a whistle blown on that debacle too.

    I somehow get a nagging doubt that we don’t have the right people at the helm in Dunedin to set us on the best course.

  3. Rob Hamlin

    This is a key issue that needs to be addressed. Having made enquiries, the following appears to be the current system:

    Appointments to boards within DCHL

    Apparently within the remit of DCHL Board. Nobody seems to know how this happens, but seems to be a ‘shoulder tap’ system.

    Appointments to DCHL Board.

    Is the Council’s responsibility. It is not entirely clear as to whether the DCHL board reports to the CEO of the DCC or to Council itself. At present they seem to answer to the CEO as the Council’s sole ’employee’.

    Having spoken to a couple of councillors, the system of DCHL board appointment appears to be that a candidate for the DCHL board is nominated by ‘staff’ and the candidate is then submitted to the Council proper for approval. It appears that council are given little information and no alternatives with regard to said candidate. A swift decision, if it can be glorified with that description, is expected from them.

    There appears to no information as to:

    1) Which ‘staff’, and of which organisation, are doing the recommending.
    2) The process by which a pool of directorial talent is developed. However, public notification/advertising can be ruled out unless somebody has ever seen an advert for a DCHL Board job.
    3) The process by which the available talent pool (however recruited) is taken down to the single nominated candidate.
    4) Ditto the criteria used.

    I have submitted an LGOIMA request for details …..and have heard nothing.

    The outcomes of such a process are both predictable and observable in this particular case. It is also clear that nothing will change anytime soon.

    Were we to be in the novel situation of having a Mayor and Councillors who were largely not in an advanced vegetative state, then a clear course of action can be visualised. As requiring a DCHL Board to report direct to them may be subject to legal challenge, the first focus should be on stopping the secrecy and introversion in the DCHL Board appointments. A good DCHL board would solve many of the issues lower down.

    This may be easier than it seems. Council may not have the power to take over the recruitment process from the CEO, but they do have the power to reject its outcomes, and they have a legitimate right to base such a rejection, even a blanket one, on lack of observable due process.

    Thus council could rule that no DCHL Director will be approved for appointment unless due process/best practice is observed to be followed in the recruitment process. This observed due process/best practice would include:

    1) Recruitment of a pool of talent by extensive public notification (advertising). This process would NOT be contracted out to a third party.
    2) The generation of a shortlist of five from this pool of talent. This process would NOT be contracted out to a third party.
    3) The selection of a 2-3 candidates by interview and vetting. This process would NOT be contracted out to a third party.
    4) A final approval of one of these candidates by full Council.

    This due process would also include the formation of a subcommittee of Council with full powers of observation and discovery at all stages of the process – and an expectation that they would actively use these powers as a routine art of the process. Thus while the CEO will still run it, they cannot do it in private with various bods whispering in their ears.

    This committee, and not the mysterious ‘staff’, would then recommend these final candidates to full Council where a final decision would be made by majority vote. A committee who though that they were being railroaded or hoodwinked could either choose either not to recommend any candidates for this meeting (the nuclear option), or they could express these reservations in private at the meeting – and that means without the CEO or any other ‘staff’, including incumbent DCHL directors, present. They could also recommend specific candidates on an informed basis to the full meeting.

    This seems like a pain, but appointing DCHL directors is one of the most important decisions that a Dunedin City Councillor will be involved in, a bit like school boards appointing a principal. There is certainly no excuse for contracting any part of it out, and that particularly includes the early bits where you are looking for talent.

    There is nothing in the above that falls outside standard/best practice for those who genuinely wish to identify attract and recruit good employees. Council could put it in place tomorrow…….If they had the will. But they don’t. My feeling is that if current vegetative trends continue within the Council, the whole process will slither below Council’s radar with even final approval of DCHL directors being ruled to be ‘not a governance matter’, and thus not answerable to any democratic oversight.

  4. Elizabeth

    Long applause for your comment, Rob.
    Something along these lines should be sent imediately to Mayor, Councillors and DCC chief executive.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “But the present system works so well [for us and our buddies]”
      And it would be a shame to interrupt the vacuity snooze-over that leaves everyone in City Hall even more relaxed than John Key, except when Really Massive lumps noisily hit the fan.

    • russandbev

      I would also think that a letter to the ODT asking for an explanation of exactly how appointments are made to DCHL and the Boards of their companies such as Aurora/Delta would be appropriate and timely…

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    russandbev, I think you’ll find it’s “commercially sensitive”.
    Or one of the innumerable other excuses available these days for mushrooming those who pay and pay.
    Patient confidentiality… “we are patient with incompetents, they’re rather nice really since they don’t make us feel stoooooopid. Anyway we patiently await the miraculous appearance of a rainbow’s end in the Octagon.
    Till then we’re saying nowt.
    We’ve got a plan, see. No need to burden you with details, suffice to say that in that bright future we’ll have enough gold to get the city back out of the dungheap we got it into.”

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