Profligate behaviour : MYTH paraded as fact…… just like Aurora Energy’s propaganda campaign

Council infrastructure and networks committee chairwoman Cr Kate Wilson said last night the project would go ahead “regardless”. There was funding for three years, she said, and the fourth year’s funding would be part of next year’s long-term plan, and the one after that. The project was needed for safety reasons to prevent vehicles driving into the harbour and climate change making the road undriveable. (ODT) *Emphasis by whatifdunedin

Yeah right.

### ODT Online Fri, 26 May 2017
Botched cycleway estimate short by $13m
By David Loughrey
A bungled Dunedin City Council cost estimate to complete safety improvements and a cycle/walkway on Otago Peninsula has left the project more than $13 million short. The council announced yesterday an estimate for the project on Portobello Rd and Harington Point Rd that includes a cycle/walkway from Taiaroa Head to the city had risen from $20 million to $49 million. The earlier estimate, drawn up  in 2011, did not include parts of the cycleway to be built, land that had to be bought and a contingency fund to cover unforeseen expenses. […] Despite the cost rise, the council will start construction this year, with a shared cycle/walkway design.
Read more


Powerlines at sunset []

Meanwhile WE will be paying for our Otago power network TWICE, at a crippling cost to business and residential power consumers well into the future —thanks to Dunedin City Council’s unsatisfactory governance of the companies Aurora Energy / Delta Utility Services and Dunedin City Holdings and, above all, the Council’s unfettered use of public funds to realise the dream of the Tartan Mafia and Professional Rugby to build the now frequently empty and under-utilised Forsyth Barr Stadium. (three concerts by Ed Sheeran in highly doubtful acoustic conditions inside ‘the roof’ does not a Christmas make).

All this because the Council conveniently fails to ensure it covers the infrastructural basics (in this instance: the safe, secure and continuous supply of electricity) – affordably – for the static if bearly stable City of Dunedin, and the sparcely populated Otago region in the mode of fast pumping growth. (There are simply too few permanent ratepayers to uphold ‘big bloated dreams’ and money siphoning on the rates take).

The Council did not ensure that Aurora Energy / Delta Utility Services were sufficiently well structured to Avoid profligate spending, making subvention payments to the stadium companies, or borrowing to pay dividends to the Council. (Probably the least of it).

There have been YEARS of dangerous neglect, embellishing the lack of repair and upgrade to the Community of Otago’s electricity network.

The Council is not well enough controlled (corporate and financial oversight) in order to Avoid its own profligate spending —so to protect, support and upgrade Otago’s power network as the solid basis for regional economic development and SAFE living —with CERTAINTY and SECURITY OF SUPPLY.

Instead, The People will now be plunged into further debt by the circus wheel of local body politicians and the morally thin and rather malevolent boards of directors (masters of spin) controlling the companies.

It’s time the People of Dunedin and Otago took control of their power infrastructure. Resolving, if they will, to adopt a different ownership and delivery model – one option is to form a democratically elected Community Power Trust to own and oversee the network; this is a sound regional model that is proven to work in other jurisdictions, with all due care.

WE have to Safeguard our future.
Not leave decision-making to unvetted members of the Tartan Mafia.
Especially not those in thrall to the likes of Gordon Stewart and his ilk (a vague reference to Delta’s speculative dealings at Yaldhurst, Christchurch – Delta is presently in a discovery process via an action brought to the Christchurch High Court by Caveators claiming Constructive Fraud).

DO NOT sell the ‘fragments remaining’ of the Otago Power Network (as bleated by some in power who can’t/won’t maintain a local body balance sheet – like you trust them, already?!) – to overseas corporates who will hike power prices disastrously to satisfy their shareholders.

Proceed carefully, OTAGO.


We’ve seen them all before and have the new $1+ BILLION ‘invoice’ from Aurora Energy to prove it. Yes, we thought we had already paid over that amount in electricity and lines dues.

The suited ones bringing the clamour are looking after themselves – not US, not OUR COMMUNITY.

This is now a ransom.

The UGLY sister companies remain joined at the hip : Delta is Aurora Energy’s “preferred contractor”. And Steve is new, so don’t blame him! ….Really?


[propaganda – Aurora Energy]

After facing unrelenting pressure to up its game, Aurora Energy says it has stepped up to the challenge.

Sat, 27 May 2017
Dawn of a new Aurora era
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora chairman Steve Thompson said it had been under the “spotlight and the heat lamp” since accusations broke last October that it was endangering the public and workers by leaving its network, and in particular power poles, to deteriorate. That pressure turned ugly at times and workers had been verbally abused, including while out doing their supermarket shopping. Mr Thompson blamed the abuse on what he described as unfair criticism and media coverage. But Mr Thompson said in the face of adversity, Aurora and its sister company Delta had achieved a “hell of a lot” in a short space of time. The two companies were well on their way to splitting up in a divorce which Mr Thompson said would cost money in the short-term but reap huge benefits in the long-term. Aurora was also mid-way through an ambitious accelerated pole replacement programme and this week announced a $720million plan to upgrade its ageing network.
….Mr Thompson said its actions should help renew the public’s faith in both companies, but emphasised he believed that faith had been unfairly shaken by what he described as over-the-top criticism in the past seven months. He said safety concerns about the 2910 red-tagged poles across Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes had been overblown. At the same time, Delta and Aurora’s efforts to confront the problem, both before and after the story broke in October, had been under-reported, he said.
….Despite his anger at the way Aurora had been treated by critics and in the Otago Daily Times, he was under no illusion the network was in top shape, saying it was the second oldest network in New Zealand and acknowledged major work was needed to improve it in the next 10 years. But he would not be drawn on whether the situation had come about as a result of decades of underinvestment, which has been one of the main criticisms levelled at Aurora since October. He said he was not in a position to comment given he only started midway through last year.
Read more


Otago people must busy themselves.
Time for formal inquiries. Time to REMODEL.

Related Post and Coments:
24.5.17 SCANDAL : Aurora Energy Ltd set to burden Otago ratepayers and residents with massive rates increases

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, delta*, *epic fraud*, *poles*, *healey* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Climate change, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

9 responses to “Profligate behaviour : MYTH paraded as fact…… just like Aurora Energy’s propaganda campaign

  1. Ray McKendry

    It seems obvious to me, but I think we picked the wrong Council, again!

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, as a whole Dunedin is not engaged with local government sufficiently well to see the disasters of voting for low-lifes. Or to put up credible, knowledgeable, fiscally prudent and responsible candidates.

      A majority are there around the table to pick up the stipends and hearing fees as own welfare.

  2. Elizabeth


    What has escaped generations of councillors and council-owned company directors is the companies are ratepayer-owned. (ODT)

    Sat, 27 May 2017
    ODT Editorial: The future of energy
    OPINION —Aurora Energy is going to spend more on a massive upgrade of its ageing infrastructure, a move which will bring both good opportunities for the Dunedin City Council and extra costs for ratepayers. The council, which owns Aurora, will receive significantly lower dividends as the work is carried out, forcing it to either reduce its spending, or increase borrowing, to maintain its existing functions.

    The total surprise of elected councillors being told Dunedin City Holdings — the entity which oversees council-owned companies — was reducing, or in fact not paying, a dividend should have been a lesson. But it was ignored. Instead, the council companies were gouged for money as councillors paid for vanity projects instead of concentrating on the life and soul of a city — it’s people.

    Ratepayers face the prospect of rising power prices from 2020 as Aurora seeks to cover the cost of increased spending. Apparently, Aurora is to produce some fairly ordinary financial results in the next few years as it scrambles to complete its upgrade programme. Instead of providing so much cash in previous years, it might have been prudent to spend money on infrastructure in the past. But there is no going back. It is time now to look to the future and the ever evolving rule of technology in the energy sector. At first glance, there seems to be a no-win for ratepayers. However, there is much to be said for finally having elected councillors realising there is no pot of gold at the end of a transmission line. Cont/

  3. russandbev

    Steve Thompson seems to be saying that the media and some individuals – read Richard Healey – have overblown their stories and all was under control and after all there will be oodles of jobs now they are about to spend $720m on doing things just because it’s a really old network.

    Well, for one, I don’t go along with this blatant BS spin. It’s an old network, Steve, because Aurora didn’t renew it. And as for this claptrap about you don’t know anything about all the dividends going down the toilet on vanity projects – well unless you have had your head somewhere where you couldn’t read or couldn’t listen, then you are just spinning.

    You knew exactly what the City was doing in terms of finance, and you know exactly the history of the Aurora/Delta debacle. What a shame you don’t bother to tell us where the $720m is coming from, how much that will cost, and how little you will provide to DCHL? Could it be because you want to correct any “perceptions” that people have that this company has been bled dry and that there are people who are actually accountable to the consumers?

  4. Elizabeth

    Media Releases

    Aurora Energy seeks pricing change from 2020 to fund network investment
    26 May 2017
    Electricity network Aurora Energy has confirmed it will apply to the industry regulator, the Commerce Commission, to switch to a customised price-quality path (CPP) from 2020 to fund the future investment across its network required to maintain reliability of supply.

    Aurora Energy outlines large-scale asset renewal programme
    24 May 2017
    Aurora Energy is planning to spend more than $720 million in the Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes districts over the next decade.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Steve Thompson has in his ORFU interests been in the midst of all that the ORFU and the CST have been doing re the establishment of the Stadium. Since then in his capacity of a practicing accountant plus his involvement in the affairs of the ORFU been deeply complicit in the doings of the CST, DCC, and the CST. All this tangled by his being on the directorate of the Delta and Aurora management, during which time dividends and subvention payments of over $60million have been extracted, leaving the bodies short of trading investment capital, which surely has brought the situation to a head, where it is that we are at, right now. God help us because the DCC can’t.

    • Elizabeth

      Steve Thompson has also been Deloitte; so strange then that Deloitte (via Kyle Cameron) was brought in to sort the the DCC-owned companies Aurora/Delta. A little too close for comfort and independence of approach, methinks – despite noble (Noble!…) intentions.

  6. russandbev

    Yes, it is more than spin for Mr Thompson to say that he knew nothing of what went on before now – his involvement with Deloitte, ORFU, Aurora, Delta is all well documented. I really hope that the region’s power consumers are not so stupid to believe the spin coming out of the Aurora boardroom – but then again unless there is some well informed enlightenment in the MSM then he may get away with it…

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