Category Archives: Politics

Delta #EpicFail and Metiria Turei : How Could This Be?

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 at 11:44 p.m.

Readers, I can hear the rumblings already – is your correspondent so bereft of new information that he has to tailgate the exploding Turei benefit scandal to catch some attention ? Is this the equivalent of Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66, who started well but could only survive by making instrumental covers of Beatles’ hits? (I admit, Day Tripper is a particular favourite…)

Get in behind, readers. Have yourselves a draught of Bells, and let me untangle the web that starts with the inexplicable antics of Ms Turei.

Any sentient citizen must be, by now, aware that Ms Turei attempted to make political capital out of her long term benefit fraud last week to assist in marketing the Green Party’s new welfare policy. Sadly for Ms Turei, a thing called the internet means that her previous fictions about the circumstances around her early solo parent years are all easily discoverable, and the Whale Oil blog has done a telling summary of Ms Turei’s various mendacities. (Thanks Cameron).

Overwhelmingly, the Kiwiblog and other commentariat have excoriated Ms Turei’s inexplicable move, but again, Whale Oil offered the most penetrating analysis (and no, I am not a Whale Oil subscriber, or have ever been in contact with Cameron Slater…). Mr Slater made the interesting points, repeated by Barry Soper and others, that not only was Ms Turei guilty of benefit fraud, but also received a study grant as well. Ms Turei refused to name the father of her baby to WINZ, who has now been subsequently revealed as Paul Hartley, son of Ann Hartley, former Mayor of North Shore. Consequently, no child support has ever been received from Mr Hartley. Ms Turei confirmed that “Grandma” (Ms Hartley) provided support – very likely including financial support, which undoubtedly has not been declared.

One of the unfortunate unintended effects of the whole affair is that this will be red meat to many right wing types of a particular gender and particular demographic to start a predictable chorus of “Welfare Queens” abusing the system. Middle aged guys, this was old (and not true) even when Ronald Reagan used it to get elected in 1980. As noted in the comments below, the amount of white collar fraud that goes unprosecuted is about 30 times the estimated amount of benefit fraud, so to the white collar industries of accounting and law that seek to advise on the fine line between tax “minimisation” and tax “avoidance” : let those without sin cast the first stone.  

While all this is very interesting and will lead to the certain demise of Metiria Turei after the election, if not before as the Green’s poll numbers continue to stagnate or decline, the commentariat has missed the bigger issue which is “What Did The Law Society Know and What Did They Do About It ?”.

Ms Turei initially declined to say if the fraud was disclosed to the Law Society in her 1999 interview to determine if she was “a fit and proper person” to be admitted to the bar, but then decided immediately afterward that refusing to comment would put her on a par with Jonathan Coleman and Todd McLay, so confirmed on July 26 that she had been “upfront” to the Law Society, and there had been a “long conversation” about it.

What is fascinating about this, and an extreme concern for anyone who has had to rely on or transact with lawyers, is that the Law Society, the body tasked with determining who is a fit and proper person to become a lawyer – to uphold the law – then on Ms Turei’s version of events confirmed to Ms Turei that this dishonesty did not matter.  

Readers, I too spilt Bells all over the sofa when I read that the Law Society had known about this for nearly 20 years and been complicit in Ms Turei’s dishonesty. How could it be that the profession dedicated to upholding the law could decide that some didn’t apply to them ? Following on from this if the Law Society did not think it was relevant or significant that a prospective lawyer had engaged in several years’ worth of benefit fraud, then what is the situation regarding her first employer, Simpson Grierson (one of the largest law firms in the country). Either they were lied to about the fraud, or they also had a relaxed attitude towards employing law graduates indulging in benefit fraud.

As we have often remarked in the Delta Epic Fraud series, truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and the facts of the matter are that the Law Society have previously allowed struck-off lawyers with convictions resulting from dishonesty to be reinstated to the bar.

One such lawyer is one Chris Gilbert, upon whom the fortunes of the Christchurch City Council (and indirectly, the DCC), rest in terms of the liability for the Yaldhurst Noble subdivision debacle, in the latest litigation. In reinstating Mr Gilbert to the bar, the Law Society ignored the opposition of three lawyers and two branches of the Law Society, including the Otago branch, who said the gravity of the offending made him unsuitable for reinstatement. Mr Gilbert “misappropriated” $44,000 of client funds in 1987 and 1988. Compounding this, a few years later, Mr Gilbert appeared to think that the Society’s rules were all overrated anyway and proceeded to sign legal documents on the fiction that he was still in fact a lawyer ! Brandishing a wet bus ticket, the Law Society warned Mr Gilbert “there would be no third chances !”.

Readers, like you I regard law firms as a bunch of parasitic sharks, and yes there are plenty of law firms with lawyers you would cross the street to avoid. But Mr Gilbert is not one of those. Mr Gilbert….is the legal services manager at the Christchurch City Council and was offered a job by the CCC with full knowledge of his dishonesty. NZ Herald (2004)

Readers, two hands on the cup : The Christchurch City Council actually said that Mr Gilbert “was the best candidate for the job”. This was rather against the advice of the Waikato Law Society, where Mr Gilbert committed his first fraud: they said in an affidavit Mr Gilbert was not a “fit and proper person” to be a lawyer.

Now place the cup down – you won’t cope with this : The Law Society gave Mr Gilbert his “third chance” on the basis that he could only work for the CCC. In other words, he wasn’t allowed to act for private individuals who had the choice to take or leave his services and make complaints if warranted. Instead he could be responsible for issues involving huge amounts of ratepayer funds, because the Law Society appeared to think that position required a much lower standard of integrity.

Readers, why would the Christchurch City Council employ Mr Gilbert ? Readers, feel free to draw your own conclusions. The most incredible fact of this rather incredible tale is that Mr Gilbert was no short-term stopgap to tide the CCC over a tight staffing spot. Mr Gilbert has been the team leader of legal services at CCC for 13 years. He seems to be part of the institutional furniture, and appears to be indispensable.

Your correspondent is advised that in relation to the Noble Yaldhurst litigation, Mr Gilbert is not surprising the plaintiffs with bursts of even-handedness.  

This perhaps is one reason why the pace of the Christchurch rebuild is glacial – Minister Brownlee and the Government would be fully justified in having serious reservations about the competence of the Christchurch City Council, and not just in the building control division.

Readers, tonight’s conclusion is surprising – we as Dunedin ratepayers can look with relief at Mr Gilbert and know that within the DCC itself (although NOT Delta and Aurora) this would never occur under the present management.

[ends]  

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Welfare fraud targeted more than tax evasion
White collar criminals get a better deal than welfare fraudsters because the system is biased before they even get to the courts, a lawyer says. Research by Victoria University shows 10 times more welfare fraudsters were prosecuted than tax evaders even though tax evasion costs the economy 33 times more. The research shows tax evasion amounts to at least $1 billion a year compared with $30 million for welfare fraud, but the courts are much harsher in their treatment of welfare fraudsters. RNZ News (2016)

Disclaimer: The site owner is not responsible for the currency or accuracy of content of contributed comments; and the inclusion of the information provided does not imply endorsement by the site owner.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

 

26 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Commerce Commission, Construction, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty

Christchurch City Council : Highly Dubious Entity #YaldhurstSubdivision

Subject: Ongoing Property Dispute at Yaldhurst Subdivision

Christchurch City Council held a full council meeting on 27 July 2017.

Readers, the CCC meeting video of Agenda item 26, about Yaldhurst Subdivision, is recommended viewing/listening.

Legal advice to Council is given by Rob Goldsbury, CCC Head of Legal Services – an atrociously lacklustre, unjust and obstructive performance.

The Council stupidly steps itself into (again!) the Constructive Fraud Action being progressed at the Christchurch High Court by Residents/Caveators of the Yaldhurst Subdivision. Although, we see that Councillors supposedly have no idea they’re already in it up to their eyeballs through the actions of Council staff and issues of non-compliance. Interesting.

Christchurch City Council Published on Jul 26, 2017
Christchurch City Council VIDEO
27.07.17 – Item 26 – Yaldhurst Village Subdivision – Dedication of Road – Sir John McKenzie Avenue

The video continues at about 1:26 after a preliminary silence [muted blue screen] – keep watching. The quality of picture is poor throughout. The discomfort of those seen in the public gallery is most perceptible.

Meeting Agenda and Unconfirmed Minutes follow here below – minus Attachment A, Yaldhurst Village Lots 601,613 Plan.

The Council did not vote unanimously.

The Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board motion was lost.

With the second motion, in short, the Council resolved that Lots 601 (residential) and 613 (commercial) on LT 448725 will be dedicated under Section 349 of the Local Government Act 1974 as a road, in order for the road to vest.

The resolution goes against the Residents’ private property rights.

See the previous post to refresh on the Residents’ situation.

Note, by the votes for, the dishonesty and incompetence present.

Note, by the votes against, the integrity of those supporting the Community Board and members of their community: the private property owners (the Residents), in their protracted, brave and courageous fight against an unjust malevolent council staff working in cahoots with unscrupulous developers.

Vicki Buck is a class act.
Rob Goldsbury, an utterly shameful man.

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Christchurch City Council
Agenda

Notice of Meeting:
An ordinary meeting of the Christchurch City Council will be held on:

Date: Thursday 27 July 2017
Time: 10.05am
Venue: Council Chambers, Civic Offices,
53 Hereford Street, Christchurch

….

[agenda item]
Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board

26. Yaldhurst Village Subdivision – Dedication of Road – Sir John McKenzie Avenue ………. [page] 529

[the report]
Council
27 July 2017

Report from Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board  – 13 June 2017
 
26. Yaldhurst Village Subdivision – Dedication of Road – Sir John McKenzie Avenue

Reference: 17/733313
Contact: Richard Holland richard.holland@ccc.govt.nz 941 8690
 
Note that this report was left to lie on the table at the Council meeting on 6 July 2017.
 
1. Staff Recommendations
 
That the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board recommend to the Council:

1. That Lots 601 (residential) and 613 (commercial) on LT 448725 will be dedicated under Section 349 of the Local Government Act 1974 as a road, in order for the road to vest.

2. Note that a Deed of Indemnity will be executed by Infinity Yaldhurst Limited which will indemnify and keep indemnified the Council from all actions, proceedings and claims made by any land owner in relation to the Council accepting the dedication of Lots 601 and 613 on LT 448725, as road.

3. Also note that the Council shall not be required to issue a Section 224(c) Certificate under the Resource Management Act 1991 in respect to Lots 601 and 613 on LT 448725 until all the safety audit requirements as specified by the Council, and included in the Variations of the subdivision consent, have been physically built to the Council’s satisfaction.

4. That the General Manager City Services be delegated authority to negotiate and enter into on behalf of the Council, such documentation required to implement the dedication.
 
2. Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board Recommendation to Council
 
Part A

That the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board recommend to the Council:

1. Option 2 of the staff report, namely, That the Council not agree to a dedication process and inform Infinity Yaldhurst Limited to pursue the matter through the Courts in accordance with the Property Law Act.
 
2. That the Council agree to meet with the adjoining property owners to discuss options on a way forward regarding the Yaldhurst Village Subdivision.
 
Vicki Buck and Anne Galloway requested that their votes against the above decision, be recorded.
 
Attachments
There are no attachments for this report.
Continue reading

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Filed under Baloney, Business, DCHL, Delta, District Plan, Events, Finance, Housing, Infrastructure, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty

Cats —or, Infrastructure spending, Council debt, and Disenfranchisement of Ratepayers

Council cat squad checking rego fees [supplied]

After the great floods, the common affliction amongst leaders, “water on the brain”.

█ The ‘thinking’ – DCC cat control remit for LGNZ AGM

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At Twitter:

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“There may be issues with cats but they also serve a useful purpose in controlling pests. The cat population doubled to two at my place last year, and we have more tui and bellbirds around than ever, as well as visits by kereru and eastern rosellas and fantails and waxeyes. The cats occasionally catch a bird but most often it is a sparrow or a thrush. But it looks like the Dunedin council and some others are keen on requiring the herding of cats. They kept as quiet as they could on cats during the local body elections, and now mid term they try to foist it on the public. Devious.” –Pete George at YourNZ

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Councils will now lobby the government to finish its National Cat Management strategy.

### radionz.co.nz 6:05 pm on 25 July 2017
RNZ News
Councils seek greater powers to control cats
By Michael Cropp – Wellington Local Government Reporter
The country’s councils are calling on the government to give them extra powers to protect wildlife from cats including microchipping, de-sexing and registration. Local bodies have the power to control dogs and their behaviour, but they only have jurisdiction over cats when they become a health risk. While the remit presented by Dunedin City Council at the meeting acknowledged the companion role of animals, it noted cats are a danger to wildlife. […] The controversial remit scraped through with just 51 percent of the vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual general meeting.
….Auckland mayor Phil Goff said his council abstained from the vote because it was not sure what it would mean for the 500,000 cats in the country’s largest city. “We are in favour of practical measures to protect native birdlife …. We’re not in favour of bureaucratic measures that might involve millions of dollars of council time and energy but doesn’t achieve the objectives that we set out to achieve,” Mr Goff said.
Read more

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More about ‘LGNZ The Blight’:

Local Government New Zealand – Media Release
Local government to debate four remits and elect new President at AGM
News type: National news | Published: 21 July 2017
The local government sector will voted on four issues when it gathers for its annual AGM in Auckland on Tuesday 25 July. There is a focus on litter legislation, local government funding, cat management and health in this year’s remits. The AGM follows this year’s LGNZ Conference, when over 600 delegates from local government and its stakeholders, industry and community will gather in Auckland for the two day event [23-25 July]. The theme of this year’s conference is Creating pathways to 2050: Liveable spaces and loveable places. Remits are voted on in a secret ballot and if passed will become official policy and be actioned by Local Government New Zealand. Local government will also be voting for a new LGNZ President to replace Lawrence Yule, who steps down after nine years in the role.
….National legislation to manage cats
The third remit was proposed by Dunedin City Council and asks that LGNZ lobby the Government to take legislative action as a matter of urgency to develop national legislation includes provision for cost recovery for cat management.
Throughout New Zealand councils are tasked with trying to promote responsible cat ownership and reduce their environmental impact on wildlife, including native birds and geckos.  Yet, territorial authority’s powers for cats are for minimising the impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and regional councils’ powers are restricted to destruction of feral cats as pests.  The remit seeks the protection of our wildlife and native species by seeking regulatory powers for cat control, including cat identification, cat de-sexing and responsible cat ownership.
….The LGNZ AGM is open to members only. Following the meeting, LGNZ will advise of the outcomes of all votes.
Read more

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Cat rangers and collars with bells on are some of the ideas Dunedin City Council wants to lobby Government for.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated at 14:28, July 10 2017
Cat control: many Kiwi councils ready to lobby for national rules
By Libby Wilson
Councils around the country are looking to band together to rein in roaming moggies. Dunedin City Council has suggested its colleagues help it push the Government for national rules that could include cat rangers and shutting cats in overnight. Seven other councils around the country have given the idea, and its environmental focus, their backing ahead of a July vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting.
Read more

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‘Vacuum of cat management policy and services in Dunedin’, local submission says.

### nzherald.co.nz 29 Jun, 2017 7:02am
Dunedin council proposes registration of cats in New Zealand
A Dunedin proposal that could result in the registration of cats in New Zealand will be discussed nationally. The proposal from the Dunedin City Council, in consultation with seven other councils, will next month go to a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) vote. If it is successful, LGNZ would make it a policy, and begin lobbying the Government to have it made law. The proposal could see the Government called upon to develop legislation for cats similar to the Dog Control Act. It already has the support of the Otago Regional Council, one of 78 councils which will vote on the idea.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
DCC seeks support for cat control
The Dunedin City Council will seek support from other New Zealand councils to gain greater control of cat management. If additional support from councils was gained, a remit would ask Local Government New Zealand to call upon the Government to give councils statutory power to control cats. The DCC was researching a Wellington City Council bylaw on microchipping cats. However, the current bylaw could not be enforced by non-compliance fees. Cat management would focus on the control of wild cats.
Link

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S T O P ● P R E S S

At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
26.7.17 RNZ Morning Report : Guyon Espiner sticks claws in Cat Cull & Curfews
25.7.17 To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’
22.7.17 Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)
21.7.17 Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case
21.7.17 DCC ORC : Heavy rain warnings preparations #PublicNotice
1.7.17 LGNZ, don’t wish ‘his lordship’ on New Zealand #VoteRachelReese
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21.5.15 DCC and LGNZ, total losers
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
10.10.14 Cull consorts with losers at LGNZ
26.6.14 LGNZ #blaggardliars

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Business, DCC, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Travesty, What stadium

RNZ Morning Report : Guyon Espiner sticks claws in Cat Cull & Curfews

*Guffaw – [got calls about this one] someone fell in a hole….

On Morning Report this morning delighted listeners heard Guyon Espiner savage and purrfectly upstage ‘Cull The President’ on the serious issue of Cat Curfews. Haahaaa!

Big Ups for Guyon !!

### radionz.co.nz Wed, 26 Jul 2017
From Morning Report, 8:39 am today
Councils want to control your cat
Dunedin’s Mayor Dave Cull says the measures like microchipping, de-sexing, and registering cats would reduce the risk to wildlife.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (6’24”)

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Similar poses

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Supplementary Question.
Directed to our Mayor of Climate Change : Do cats come down in the rain, too.

Related Post:
25.7.17 To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

16 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Dunedin, Hot air, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Travesty

To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’

At Facebook:

█ LGNZ – The New Zealand Ratepayers Blight

The Guardian : Books
Saturday 7 March 2009 00.01 GMT
Author, author: Persons from Porlock
Hilary Mantel on literature’s great interruptions

Most readers (though perhaps not most hairdressers) know how Coleridge, waking from what we take to be an opium-induced slumber, scribbled down some lines of the poem he’d been composing in his sleep, but was interrupted “by a person on business from Porlock”; when he returned to work, “Kubla Khan” had evaporated, he said, except for “some eight or ten scattered lines and images”. Ever since this mishap in 1797, writers have grumbled about the crass interrupters who wreck their inspiration; they probably grumbled before, but they didn’t have a name for the phenomenon. No one has ever identified the nature of the Person’s business. Some believe it was Coleridge’s dealer dropping by with his narcotics supplies, in which case it was doubly ungrateful of him to complain. Thomas de Quincey is said to have originated this theory, which I like very much; I came across it on the internet, which is the same as saying “I read it in the Beano.”

Stevie Smith had Coleridge bang to rights:

Coleridge received the Person from Porlock   
And ever after called him a curse,
Then why did he hurry to let him in?   
He could have hid in the house.

In excerpt, Stevie Smith’s poem ‘Thoughts about the Person from Porlock’ continues….

/ He was weeping and wailing: I am finished, finished,   
I shall never write another word of it,
When along comes the Person from Porlock
And takes the blame for it.

It was not right, it was wrong,   
But often we all do wrong.

/ I long for the Person from Porlock
To bring my thoughts to an end,
I am becoming impatient to see him
I think of him as a friend,

/ I felicitate the people who have a Person from Porlock   
To break up everything and throw it away
Because then there will be nothing to keep them   
And they need not stay.

*

Why do they grumble so much?
He comes like a benison
They should be glad he has not forgotten them
They might have had to go on.

*

These thoughts are depressing I know. They are depressing,   
I wish I was more cheerful, it is more pleasant,
Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting   
To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting
With various mixtures of human character which goes best,   
All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us.   
There I go again. Smile, smile, and get some work to do
Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.

The full poem is published in The New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1988); reproduced online by the Poetry Foundation (United States).

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*The Beano is the longest running British children’s comic, published by DC Thomson. The comic first appeared on 30 July 1938, and was published weekly.

[dcthomson.co.uk]

1 Comment

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Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case

The ever-deepening storm centred on the Joanne Harrison fraud case just became a hurricane. Yesterday’s State Services Commission investigation report is likely to trigger a new chain of events that could extend well beyond embattled Auditor General Martin Matthews, writes Peter Newport

### thespinoff.co.nz July 21, 2017
Politics
The Ministry of Transport fraud case: Why the rot goes deeper than Joanne Harrison
By Peter Newport | Contributing writer
The State Services Commission investigation, published yesterday, makes one thing very clear: Joanne Harrison influenced the exit of four fellow Ministry of Transport employees who tried to tell their bosses that she was a fraudster. She managed to hire friends and steal over $700,000 from the ministry despite numerous staff attempting to call attention to her actions. This all happened while she was reporting directly to then-chief executive Martin Matthews, who is now our auditor general – albeit on temporary leave. The Commission has now apologised and is offering compensation to those former staff members. Its report also highlights many other issues at the Ministry, arguing that the 17-year-old legislation that covers whistleblowers needs to be changed and improved.

A second investigation, into whether Martin Matthews is a suitable person to continue as auditor general, is due from Sir Maarten Wevers in the coming days. Matthews is currently constructing his response to the unpublished, but complete, Wevers investigation. He has been given until the end of this week to complete it.

The Harrison case has some similar dynamics to the Todd Barclay drama. It’s become less about the initial problem than how it was handled. Who told the truth and who tried to obscure or even bury the truth. The difference with the Harrison situation is that she is now in jail and the truth is coming out – fast.

The Spinoff has been looking at exactly who did what, and when. That job has been made easier by a new, recent MOT whistle-blower who has produced and provided to us a detailed timeline noting all the evidence, which we publish here, utilising material released by the Ministry of Transport and available to view here. The same whistle-blower has shared a bizarre insight into Martin Matthews’ statements during his time at the Ministry of Transport.

But first, a quick tour of the jigsaw puzzle of documents that reveal a picture of Martin Matthews being given not clues, or hints, but what appear to be multiple solid facts that highlighted Joanne Harrison as a Grade A con artist and thief.
Read more

Founded in 2014, The Spinoff is New Zealand’s fastest growing media startup, amassing a monthly New Zealand audience of over 500,000 in less than three years.
We’ve assembled a team of agenda-setting journalists and critics, working across text, audio and video to create a true 21st century media brand. In just two years, The Spinoff has been nominated for 24 Canon awards, winning six. Our growth has been driven by a creative editorial style and innovative business model, emphasising long-term relationships with like-minded brands and a close connection with a young, educated and urban audience. Duncan Greive won both NZ Marketing Magazine‘s Editor of the Year as well as the People’s Choice title for Editor and Media Visionary in their media issue, July 2017. The Spinoff also claimed the title for Digital Media Brand of the Year as well as the People’s Choice title for the same award.

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Comment received from russandbev
2017/07/21 at 10:52 am

The recent revelations about what happened to the whistleblowers in the Ministry of Transport have, I’d suggest, application in Dunedin. Think of the parallels. In the MoT case a manipulative person with a barely-hidden track record of fraud and vindictiveness as well as a well developed sense of entitlement goes about systematically defrauding a government department of close on 3/4 million dollars. Not through some incredibly complex fraud, but one of simply creating business that didn’t exist and creating invoices from them for services that were never provided. Not exactly something that would take a lot to investigate.

Whistleblowers blow the alarm whistles to their managers and nothing happens and the further up the chain the questions were asked, the more dismissive the denials became. Meantime the fraudster moves against the whistleblowers. The Head of the Ministry moves on to even more wondrous things as Auditor General (is that ironic or is that ironic?) and the Minister dismisses all suggestions of wrong-doing. Even the Speaker of the House who employs the Auditor General doesn’t want to get involved.

Now found that the whistleblowers were entirely vindicated by their concerns and they get private and public apologies and a confidential settlement to, in part, recompense them for their treatment by both a fraudster and by management and governance failures. The Protected Disclosures Act [2000] is supposed to protect whistleblowers in BOTH public and private sectors.

Now, I don’t think anyone is suggesting fraud in the case of Aurora/Delta and that should be made plain. However look at the track record of these companies. A fearful record of stupid property speculation costing many many millions which is still going on thanks to Yaldhurst. A willingness to go along with borrowing to supply dividends to the DCHL and the DCC. Decades of ignoring maintenance on the Aurora network closely linked to the governance requirements to minimise costs, maximise profits and supply dividends to build vanity projects by the owners and now the spendup of northwards of 3/4 billion dollars on urgent maintenance bought about these years of neglect.

And then think of the years and layers of denials that these things happened over. When Richard Healey found he could no longer keep working in the company because of all that was being hidden, he gets vilified by EVERYONE that should have listened. EVERYONE is in denial including his past Managers who continued to receive their grossly inflated salaries and those in governance – many of whom refused to even sit down with him and discuss his concerns.

Am I the only one to see the parallels in how a Ministry or a City company deals with whistleblowers? I wonder if we will ever see similar end results in the case of Richard Healey?

{Link added. -Eds}

Reply from Elizabeth
2017/07/21 at 1:02 pm

Not involving Aurora:

Charges of Constructive Fraud have been brought, by joinder, against Delta Utility Services Ltd in the Christchurch High Court by the caveators (original property owners of the Noble Subdivision) at Yaldhurst. The case proceeds.

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Transparency International New Zealand
http://www.transparency.org.nz/

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19.7.17 Southern Police : Nothing changed since Tom Lewis wrote Coverups & Copouts
18.7.17 Delta | Infinity | CCC staff collude to defeat Yaldhurst residents (again)
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22.2.17 Some Councils/CCOs get cleanup from FRAUD and CORRUPTION #NotAll
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23.7.15 Publicise: laudafinem.org
13.5.14 Stuff: Colin Espiner usefully defines Corruption

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Commerce Commission, Construction, Corruption, Crime, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, SFO, Transportation, Travesty, What stadium

Fletcher Building subject to investigation by NZX

### tvnz.co.nz 11:54am
1 News
Source: NZN
Fletcher Building to be investigated by NZX as company announces much-reduced earnings
The New Zealand stock exchange says it will be investigating Fletcher Building’s additional profit warning for the year ended June 30 and the departure of chief executive and managing director Mark Adamson.
“NZX will be making inquiries into today’s disclosures, given FBU’s continuous disclosure obligations under the listing rules,” the NZX Head of Market Supervision Joost van Amelsfort said in a release.
Separately – in accordance with NZX’s routine surveillance processes – trading ahead of today’s announcement would be assessed in detail, it said.
That would be on top of NZX’s ongoing investigation into the disclosure of FBU’s previous earnings downgrade in March 2017,” it said.
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### interest.co.nz
Posted in Property July 20, 2017 – 09:13am
Fletcher Building has announced the immediate departure of chief executive Mark Adamson and says operating earings this year will be around $100 million less than previously indicated
By David Hargreaves
Construction giant Fletcher Building says chief executive Mark Adamson is leaving immediately, while the company’s now forecasting operating earnings of around $100 million less than its last forecast.
Additionally, the company says it’s writing down the value of two business units by about $220 million. This will not be a ‘cash’ loss per se, but will carve about 3% off the value of the company’s assets.
The share price fell – down about 8.5% to $7.40.
….The $220 million write-down relates to the Iplex Australia and Tradelink subsidiaries.
Fletcher indicated that most of the reduced earnings forecast would come through two major projects: “A major project subject to previous write-downs, which has required an increase in project resourcing and therefore cost as it nears completion,” and “a second major project where construction timelines and the likely completion date have been extended”.
This is the third major profit warning the company has issued this year. After the last one in March it was speculated – and never denied by the company – that the two projects causing the biggest problems were Government projects; namely the new Sky City International Convention Centre in Auckland and the new Justice and Emergency precinct in Christchurch.
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Sky City International Convention Centre

Remember the National government waffle:

### ODT Online Wed, 28 Oct 2015
Fletcher signs with SkyCity
By Simon Hartley
SkyCity’s $700 million convention centre and hotel project in central Auckland has contracted Fletcher Building for $477 million of the work, expected to begin by December. […] Despite controversy over the project, there was negligible political response to yesterday’s announcement, other than Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce talking up the importance of the “national facility”.
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20 July 2017
STATEMENT FROM FLETCHER (via interest.co.nz)

– Fletcher Building announces expected earnings for the financial year ended 30 June 2017
– Operating earnings expected to be approximately $525 million, down from previous guidance of $610-$650 million
– Likely impairment up to $220 million relating to Iplex Australia and Tradelink business units
– Departure of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Mark Adamson
– Appointment of Francisco Irazusta as interim CEO, effective Monday 24 July 2017

Fletcher Building has today announced it expects operating earnings before interest, tax and significant items (‘EBIT’) to be approximately $525 million for the year ended 30 June 2017.

Trading in the Building Products, International, Distribution and Residential and Land Development divisions, as well as three of the four business units in the Construction division (Infrastructure, Higgins and South Pacific), are in line with the Company’s expectations, previously provided at the time of the interim results on 22 February 2017.

However, as work on major projects in the Building + Interiors (‘B+I’) business unit has progressed, it has become apparent that losses in B+I will exceed those previously estimated. The deterioration is due to:
– A major project subject to previous write-downs, which has required an increase in project resourcing and therefore cost as it nears completion;
– A second major project where construction timelines and the likely completion date have been extended;
– Reduced profit expectations on a number of smaller projects in the remainder of the B+I portfolio.

Fletcher Building Chairman Sir Ralph Norris said: “It is very disappointing to see further losses being reported in our B+I business, particularly when the vast majority of the remaining Fletcher Building business units have performed so well during the year. I know our people in B+I are working incredibly hard to deliver a number of projects for our clients and I would like to acknowledge their efforts.”

In addition, consistent with standard practice at the end of each financial period, Fletcher Building has undertaken a review of the Balance Sheet carrying values of its business units. This review has indicated that the value of two business units, Iplex Australia and Tradelink, are likely to be subject to an impairment charge of approximately $220 million, when the company finalises its financial statements in August. An impairment of this nature would be reported below the EBIT line and have no impact on cash earnings.

An impairment charge of $220 million would represent approximately 3% of the group’s total assets as at 30 June 2017. The amount of asset impairment is indicative at this stage and is subject to finalisation of the year-end audit.

“With regards to the impairment of Iplex Australia and Tradelink, while we do see progress in these business units the Board felt it was prudent to recognise that the near to medium term estimates of profitability in each business are not aligned with current carrying values,” continued Sir Ralph.

The Board also announced the departure of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director, Mark Adamson.

Sir Ralph Norris said: “The Board believes it is the right time for Mark to leave the Company, to allow a new CEO to lead Fletcher Building through this period and into the next phase of its strategy. The Board would like to thank Mark for his work and we wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

Mark Adamson said: “I am disappointed to finish my tenure on the back of a challenging result in the Construction Division, however I am proud of what has been achieved over the last five years – most notably the turnaround of Formica, double-digit earnings growth in Distribution, our acquisition of Higgins and the significant progress in our residential development division.”

The Board has appointed Francisco Irazusta interim CEO effective Monday 24 July 2017.

“Francisco joined Fletcher Building in March 2015 and is currently Chief Executive of the International Division. Prior to joining the Company he held senior leadership positions with a number of building products companies in North America and Europe and will provide stable leadership for the business during this transition, with the support of myself and the Board,” finished Sir Ralph.

The Board will now commence a process to appoint a new CEO.

[ends]

Fletcher Building http://www.fletcherbuilding.com/

Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct

Other news:
NZH: Fletcher CEO sorry for inflammatory internal email: Chairman
Stuff: SkyCity confirms delay to international convention centre as Fletchers feels ‘pain’
NZH: CEO departs amid Fletcher’s $415m fortune turnaround, stock drops to 16-month low

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