Scandal : DCC / Delta obfuscate over destruction of Heritage Rose Collection

northern-cemetery-dunedin-dbimage-cwgc-orgNorthern Cemetery, Dunedin []

DCC indicates support for efforts to track down rare rose varieties across New Zealand. Initial focus on replacing up to 100 memorial roses and rarest roses in the collection.

█ This is not the same as DCC and Delta taking responsibility for the crime.

### ODT Online Wed, 18 Jan 2017
Six years to replace rare roses after mystery spray
By Vaughan Elder
Returning an internationally significant rose garden at Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery to its former glory will be a “huge job” and likely take six years. This news comes as Delta, the contractor responsible for looking after greenspace at the cemetery, was criticised over a lack of accountability at how a mystery substance came to be sprayed on the roses. Heritage Roses Otago convener Fran Rawling said it was becoming apparent more roses were affected than initially thought. About 500 roses, more than 40% of the about 1200 at the cemetery, were showing signs of damage. Despite some regrowth, she believed most would have to be ripped out along with any contaminated soil.
Read more

Otago Daily Times Published on Jan 17, 2017
Rare roses damaged in Dunedin Cemetery
Heritage Roses Otago convener Fran Rawling talks about damage to roses in Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery.

Heritage Roses Otago committee member Robyne Selbie has hit out at Delta saying it had shown a lack of accountability over the damage to the roses. “Accidents happen. We can accept that but the culture of ‘cover up and deny responsibility’ until proven otherwise seems to be established in this company,” she said in a letter to the Otago Daily Times. (ODT)

DCC is rather good at unbelievable (faith breaking) spin, its well-practised hopeless resort when all else has already failed. Interested public v DCC (1 : 0)

Robyne Selbie maintains that ‘As the contractor responsible for spraying, it was up to Delta to prove it was not responsible.’

Hear hear, Robyne! Don’t hold your breath.


souvenirdelamalmaison-northern-cemetery-dunedin-fionaknox-files-wordpress-com-jan-2015Souvenir de la Malmaison – Northern Cemetery [Fiona Knox]

█ [blog] Fiona Knox: The 1,001 roses of the Dunedin Northern Cemetery
There are well over 1,001 roses in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery. About one hundred of these are Memorial Roses – roses planted as by descendants and relatives for those buried in the plots – and the remainder are roses that Heritage Roses Otago have purchased and planted, and continue to care for. The roses chosen are those in keeping with the age of the Cemetery, which was opened in 1872. You’ll find species roses; once-flowering European roses of delicious perfume: Gallica, Alba, Centifolia, and Damask roses; the elegant ever-flowering roses of Asian extraction: the Chinas and Tea roses; and their hybrids, up to, but not including Hybrid Tea roses. None of our roses are ever sprayed, and we never water the roses. 
Read more

Website: Heritage Roses Society New Zealand
Facebook: Heritage Roses New Zealand

Website: New Zealand Rose Society/Otago
Facebook: The Otago Rose Society [Dunedin]

Picloram herbicide (amine salt formulation) controls the likes of old mans beard, spindleweed, wild ginger, japanese honeysuckle, willows, gorse, wandering dew, woolly nightshade, ivy and many more hard to control woody weeds.


Earlier coverage

### ODT Online Sat, 17 Dec 2016
Anger after cemetery roses sprayed with herbicide
More than 380 roses in Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery, some of which are more than 130 years old, have been sprayed with some kind of herbicide. Heritage Roses Otago convener Fran Rawling told the Otago Daily Times yesterday she was shocked and angered by the action, particularly by the damage to 40 memorial roses planted by families of some of those buried at the cemetery in the 1870s. […] Dunedin City Council parks operations manager Hamish Black said the council was working to identify the source of the chemical damage.
Read more

ODT 22.12.16 (page 2) [click to enlarge]

Is DCC shielding Delta over the spraying ???? Because now we find no report until after Christmas ???!!!! Damage control in more ways than one, perhaps.

### ODT Online Sat, 24 Dec 2016
Damage to roses, bushes, trees
Trees and native bushes are now thought to have been damaged by a mysterious substance which decimated heritage roses at a Dunedin cemetery. The results of tests to determine what damaged as many as 500 roses in the Northern Cemetery, some  more than 130 years old, were expected to be released this week. However, council parks operations manager Hamish Black yesterday said  results were now expected to be released next month.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Heritage, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Site, Tourism, Travesty

14 responses to “Scandal : DCC / Delta obfuscate over destruction of Heritage Rose Collection

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Is there no record of who (person, with a name and a position in the company or in their contractor’s) was applying [picloram herbicide], and when? Can any-old-bod in a reflective vest go into the store and pick up restricted spray without anyone checking their certification for use of such chemicals, filing a plan of where they are to be used etc?

    If not it’s dodgy use of restricted poisons – time they checked the regulations about handling of agchem materials.

    {Until the official lab test results are released please don’t use proprietory names of weedkillers in association with this spray incident, thanks. The name you mentioned applies to a number of products available not all of which contain picloram herbicide. The spray that damaged the roses may not be a restricted use chemical in New Zealand. -Eds}

  2. Elizabeth

    ### Wed, Jan 18, 2017
    Spray-damaged roses could take years to replace
    A mystery substance sprayed on roses at Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery has impacted more plants than initially thought. About 500 of the 1200 bushes at the significant rose garden are showing signs of damage. Heritage Roses Otago convenor, Fran Rawling, says it’s likely to take six years to return the space to its former glory.
    Ch39 Link

    Channel 39 Published on Jan 17, 2017

  3. Elizabeth

    Note to Hype O’thermia:

    There is no suggestion that Delta doesn’t have spray protocols in place for staff assigned to reserves work.

    As yet Delta is just one of the suspects. There are a few who a) don’t like Delta and could have used the roses as attack method on the company’s already tarnished reputation b) don’t like roses and other vegetation wrecking the fabric of historic headstones, statuary and grave sites c) d) etc

    The GROWSAFE RCA Register lists two Delta staff as Registered Chemical Applicators, one for Otago and one for Southland.

    At this stage there is little to suggest that the person(s) responsible for the spray damage at Northern Cemetery was using anything other than commonly available herbicides (plant pesticides).

    Product formulations containing picloram may be purchased at most new Zealand garden centres, farm supply stores and supermarkets.


    [US] DOW: Product Safety Assessment : Picloram

    Picloram is a systemic herbicide used to control deeply rooted herbaceous weeds and woody plants in rights-of-way, forestry, rangelands, pastures, oil seed rape, corn, and small grain (cereal) crops.

    In the United States, some picloram formulations are classified as Restricted Use pesticides by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on their hazard to nontarget plants. As a consequence, only certified personnel or those under the direction of certified personnel may apply these products in the United States.


    See the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority for more information:

    Some picloram-based herbicides are required to be under the control of an Approved Handler if, and when, they are used in a wide dispersive manner, by a commercial contractor or applied onto or into water. There are no restrictions on the sale of these pesticides to people who are not Approved Handlers. The Approved Handler control only applies at the point of use.

    [knapsack application does not apply, but motorised spray application does]

    Meanwhile, let’s wait for the Cemetery’s lab results.

  4. Rob Hamlin

    I am fascinated by this comment from His Worship in this morning’s ODT:

    Mayor Dave Cull said many maintenance issues had been discovered….Mr Cull said changes to contract supervision since then had come at a cost.
    ”When we did restructure the contracts they cost more, because we were actually having to pay for the work we wanted done.”

    Can anybody make any sense whatsoever of that last sentence?

    • Gurglars

      Sure the original contracts were negotiated to suit two parties one of which was not the payer.

    • Calvin Oaten

      Yes Rob, the Mayor Cull is running for the bushes while hoping against hope that nothing else goes wrong on his watch. He is of course the number one fool and will latch onto anything told him as long as it’s non defamatory or sticks in the people’s minds. The defamatory bit is his specialty.

    • Anonymous

      It means the contractors saw them coming, knew roughly what the budgets and political pressure on getting results were, and priced accordingly.

  5. Gurglars

    I take your point about a Delta hating conspiracy Elizabeth, but if we are considering the declension of conspiracies then let’s look at a conspired Delta stuffup with the roses to detract from the main public concern – line and pole replacement.

  6. Elizabeth

    Thu, 19 Jan 2017
    ODT: Hope in huge response to Heritage Roses plight
    The woman who runs New Zealand’s largest rose nursery says there is hope many of the sprayed roses in Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery can be saved. The offer of help from Cath Matthews, of Matthews Roses in Wanganui, came as Heritage Roses Otago was inundated with support after the plight of the roses was again featured in the Otago Daily Times yesterday. Cont/

  7. Elizabeth

    Delta’s records show it did spray in the cemetery in October, and in good conditions. The die-off of the roses matches spraying at that time.

    Sat, 21 Jan 2017
    ODT Editorial: The monumental rose debacle
    OPINION ….Heritage Roses members, and the public of Dunedin […] have every reason to continue to be upset and even angry about what has happened, and about the lack of accountability. […] Clearly, a monumental blunder took place, and the council’s cemetery contractor Delta is under scrutiny. All the circumstantial evidence points to its role, for how could a common or garden vandal have the motivation and means to spread such destruction? Yet, obfuscation and red herrings seem to be the order of the day, so far at least. Cont/

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Good editorial. There’s been too much dodging around in the shadows, holding “We’re-waiting-for-a-report” masks over faces…
      …but we can see you, just waiting for you to speak up.
      We’re not forgetting, in fact we’re putting together more and more pieces of knowledge, and it’s building up like a jigsaw puzzle. Are you going to wait till horticulturists, ag-chem experts and whistle-blowers complete the puzzle while you duck’n’dive?

  8. Gurglars

    Deloitte have been appointed to evaluate who poisoned the roses.

    Rumours emanating from the Octagon and Moray place area suggest that D N Spray, a former employee of D odgy E rudite Lying T otally A voricious ltd., a man who unfortunately died in 1917 was responsible for the death of the rosebushes as he had purchased 1 oz of weed killer just before his demise. A requiem for Mr Did Not Spray to celebrate the 200 years since will be held in the stocks outside the offices of Deloitte in Moray place today. Those employees of D odgy etc including Mr over pay grade Cameron will be expected to attend and bring roses to celebrate his martyrdom.

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