Category Archives: SFO

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

At Facebook:

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“Overall, the planning period will be characterised by the delivery of the largest work programme in Aurora Energy’s history.” –Steve Thompson

Read: The Otago power network is THAT DEGRADED – caused by various rugby supporting and clip-ticket gentlemen, whose names we all know so well. Described by civil words (not cuss words) that start with F and C.

The “laundry” was well and truly harsh, leaving the network in threadbare tatters…. while private pockets were filled. That’s One Billion Dollars worth of power asset the Otago ratepayers have had to pay for TWICE. Talk about ‘power’ and corruption, Bryce Edwards (?) – Dunedin in the last 30 years was built on it, solidly at source.

The “gents” might like to explain where all the money went, and how the hell they think they can make us pay for their near limitless mismanagement and fully reckless endangerment (to workers, citizens and the regional economy) over three decades …..without shoving them in deep at the NZ Court system —for processing.

█ Today an Aurora/Delta executive had the audacity (after spinning out their LGOIMA response to the 20th working day, following my request made 26 April) to want to charge me for official information at the vindictive “maximum charge” (their words) of $190.00. Shove that, boys. Other council owned companies have provided the information free of charge and very promptly and courteously.

Tuck it back in your pants Aurora/Delta, or be sliced.

At Facebook:

● Aurora will spend $347 million on asset renewal, including a total of 14,000 poles…..

### ODT Online Wed, 24 May 2017
Aurora plans $720m upgrade of network
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora Energy has unveiled a $720 million plan to upgrade its ageing electricity network over the next decade. The plan is a more than $300 million increase on the 10-year plan the Dunedin City Council owned company released last year. […] In a press release this afternoon, Aurora Energy said the plan would have an extensive impact on the region’s economy through job creation and spill-over benefits to other businesses. […] Other major projects included a new substation at Carisbrook, which would replace the 60-year-old Neville St substation by 2019 and a new Wanaka substation on Riverbank Rd, Wanaka. […] Aurora Energy chairman Steve Thompson said an additional $81 million would be spent on growth and security of supply projects to support the region. […] The remaining expenditure was tagged to maintenance and operating expenditure ($192 million), and capital expenditure primarily related to new consumer connections and safety and reliability ($101 million).
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The vertiginous mountain of HEALTH AND SAFETY DANGERS due to Aurora mismanagement and neglect of the power asset across Otago.

And the WorkSafe option could be “…..an infringement notice”, possibly not PROSECUTION.

Hmm, have the good old boys been dealing in the way they usually deal ??? Is WorkSafe a soft touch. To date it certainly hasn’t been Acute. Or at all worried about the danger to electrical workers or the general public. What a damnably prolonged and sordid farce this is.

### ODT Online Wed, 24 May 2017
No decision to prosecute Aurora
By Vaughan Elder
Worksafe is yet to decide whether it will prosecute Aurora Energy over the state of its power poles. WorkSafe has been looking into Aurora and its sister company Delta since October over accusations dangerous power poles across Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes were putting the public at risk. The government entity gave fresh details about its audit of the two companies in response to an Official Information Act request from the Otago Daily Times. WorkSafe high hazards and energy safety general manager Wayne Vernon said it had completed an “initial” audit of a sample of the network’s assets and provided a report to Aurora. […] “WorkSafe has not to date made a decision to prosecute or not to prosecute Aurora over health and safety issues associated with the state of its poles.” Mr Vernon emphasised prosecution was one of many options available to it, which also included issuing instructions to remove or minimise the potential for danger and issuing an infringement notice.
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█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *epic fraud*, *poles*, *healey* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Topical debates on Corruption in New Zealand

At Twitter:

Other media items:
22.5.17 Can the Auditor-General be trusted to combat corruption?
21.2.17 NZH: Ex Ministry of Transport manager jailed for $726k fraud
26.8.16 Former Ministry of Transport fraudster denied bail

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Read Bryce Edwards’ full opinion piece linked below, and the associated reference links.

It’s Worth Your While Dunedin
Because you know instances of this bigger story, and you know them well.

The following is an abridgement.

This website has bolded some words provided by Mr Edwards and the commentators he cites. Words that bloggers increasingly have a ‘steam problem’ to include in everyday use of the English language.

So much for district heating schemes, eh.

### NZ Herald 2:48 PM Tue May 23, 2017
Political Roundup: The unaccountability of elites
Politics
By Bryce Edwards
OPINION —How much accountability is there in New Zealand politics and public life? Not enough, it seems, going on recent controversies. Mistakes by those in authority can lead to disasters and misfortunes of various magnitudes. Yet a number of recent examples – ranging from the Pike River tragedy through to the Havelock North water contamination crisis – suggest that there is often a worrying lack of consequences or accountability for the authorities involved.
Following on from yesterday’s Political Roundup column about managers failing to prevent serious fraud in a government department (Can the Auditor-General be trusted to combat corruption?); an obvious question is whether New Zealand has a culture in which there’s a lack of accountability for elites who make serious mistakes.
This need for this question is further underlined by Peter Newport’s strongly argued opinion piece, Is fraudster Joanne Harrison’s old boss really fit to lead NZ’s top public watchdog? In this must-read piece published yesterday, Newport details all of the whistle-blowing attempts to alert Ministry of Transport managers to the crimes being committed in the government department, and how those whistle-blowers then lost their jobs, seemingly as a result. Reading Newport’s account, it seems that much of the fraud was entirely preventable. He asks: “Where was human resources? The Public Service Association? The police? The SFO? The auditor general? The chief executive? This all happened in a modern New Zealand government ministry. In the full light of day.”
He concludes that “the chief executive, and his successor, have consistently refused to properly investigate either what she got away with or the further systemic failings behind the scenes… It’s disgusting. Where does the buck stop and who gets the whistle-blowers their jobs back?”
….[break]
Part of New Zealand’s democratic deficit relates to a lack of a culture of accountability in public life and governance. According to Karl du Fresne, “Accountability, the long-established principle that someone should be seen to take responsibility for serious mistakes, is frequently talked about but rarely practiced” – see his column, Accountability the price of keeping the system honest. He makes some important points about the apparent decline in standards of accountability in political and public life in New Zealand, pointing out that the end result, is “public confidence in ‘the system’ continues to be steadily eroded.” This is a major democratic problem, says du Fresne: “If no one ends up accepting personal responsibility and incurring a penalty, there’s little incentive to make sure it doesn’t happen again. […] Part of the problem is that “genuine political commentary and critical analysis in New Zealand has been eroded almost to the point of non-existence over the past few decades”. This is the view of Bob Gregory of the Victoria University of Wellington, who links the decline of accountability to the decline of public debate and information…..
….[break]
So, does all of this lack of accountability mean that New Zealand is possibly more vulnerable to corruption than people assume? This is discussed by former parliamentary staffer Grant McLachlan in his opinion piece, NZ should raise the bar on corruption. McLachlan suggests that New Zealand isn’t well protected from corruption: “Our processes to deal with corruption are flawed. […] When a judge in our highest court doesn’t declare a conflict of interest, the Attorney-General shouldn’t offer the judge a golden handshake to save the taxpayer the cost of an inquiry. When a dodgy mine explodes killing 29, out-of-court payments should not influence the dropping of a prosecution. The Protected Disclosures Act was meant to protect good faith whistle-blowers when reporting ‘serious wrongdoing’. Poor internal processes, however, have resulted in witch-hunts and whitewashes.”
….[break]
Finally, does the culture of misinformation and opaque politics play a part in limited accountability? Graham Adams thinks so, and says that there’s good reason for being appalled by the deception that comes out of government these days. He says “Kept in the dark and fed endless bullshit, it’s difficult for even engaged citizens to make sense of much in New Zealand’s public and political life” – see: Information underload: We’re all mushrooms now.
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█ Bryce Edwards, until recently a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago, researches and critiques New Zealand politics, public policy, political parties, elections, and political communication. His PhD, completed in 2003, was on ‘Political Parties in New Zealand: A Study of Ideological and Organisational Transformation’. He is currently working on a book entitled ‘Who Runs New Zealand? An Anatomy of Power’. He is also on the board of directors for Transparency International New Zealand.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

[picdn.net]

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thoughts and faces #loosematerial

My father [never a follower of the FedUp Farmers, as he deemed them; always the campaigner for removal of farm subsidies, to enhance production and market competition] had ‘stock’ phrases with which to judge the faces of female adversaries, those with little brain or spine in politics, pretenders. One adept phrase that sticks in my mind is “like a horse eating thistles” —so I look on the following with my tinted lens, and laugh, rurally (ruefully). No one target.

On 19 May @StuFleming tweeted: “Spend $200k, revenue projections of $2.4M to others, 10% margin yields say $240k net”
[minus ODT news photo of face]

[DUD ‘money hype’ typically depends on false multipliers, anechoic silences, and arrogant self-belief —this (yes) bleak statement applies across a broad range of proposed deals and associated marketing detritus in the city, especially to events, conferences, sport, hospitality and accommodation, and even the re-use (Not conservation) of truly rare and precious instances of historic heritage] Here’s to all the fricking horses out there, including hypocritical colleagues and friends with blinkers like demo balls prepared to squeeze the last dollar and pass us to Hell. Anyway, back to “the business”…. cargo cult tourism. The wider effects of tourism are like those of dairying. Too many eggs in one basket and everybody (I mean, everybody) ends up doing it badly —killing Our Place for generations. Greed, like endorphins, like a running addiction, binds them up. They think they’re bright, they think they’re enablers (read risk takers/investors centred on their own gains only), they think they’re entrepreneurs, better than others (but because I for one will tell you things you don’t want to hear, you’ll say “I’ll ring you tomorrow”, that silence again) but they’re just funneled, tunneled sheepybaas – doing it wrong. Like cows, deer, Chinese gooseberries (Kiwifruit!), wines, stadiums….. or ‘getting a room’ behind the poorly remembered, heavily made-up, Disney’d facade of our city and nationhood. The worst kind didn’t, or didn’t bother to, ‘grow up’ here. They get desperate, create mess, import other yes men. Ring you like nothing happened, their exploits —not to ask deeply madly who and how you really are.

### ODT Online Sat, 20 May 2017
Trenz prompts high aspirations
By David Loughrey
Next year’s Trenz conference in Dunedin is set to cost ratepayers $200,000, but the long-term pay-off should run well into the millions.
The Dunedin City Council will next week be given an idea of the costs to the city of hosting the conference from May 7 to 10, and also the estimated benefits. The city learned last week it would host the tourism industry event next year, bringing up to 1200 international travel and tourism buyers, media and New Zealand tourism operators to Dunedin. It will be the first time the event, run by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), has come to Dunedin and the first time it has been hosted outside Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch or Queenstown since it began in the 1960s. Trenz is an opportunity for New Zealand tourism operators to sell their product to buyers, effectively overseas travel agents who put together itineraries for overseas tourists. Attracting more than 350 buyers to experience the tourism products on offer here is considered a huge coup. On average, each buyer sends 4000 visitors a year to New Zealand, totalling 1.5 million. It comes as figures show New Zealand’s tourism market is expected to continue to grow strongly, topping $15 billion by 2023. Tourism contributes more than $690 million to Dunedin’s economy every year.
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Meanwhile, although we (‘our stock’ NZ) and the UK farm gate look pretty much the same……

‘Herdwick Shepherd’ aka James Rebanks (@herdyshepherd1) farms Herdwick sheep in the English Lake District. Author of bestselling memoir, The Shepherd’s Life:

### ODT Online Saturday, 20 May 2017
OE to Britain set to get tougher
Prime Minister Bill English says the Conservative Party’s new plans to clamp down on immigration will sting New Zealanders wanting to live in the United Kingdom, including on the traditional OE, but there is little he can do until Brexit is completed. The British party’s election manifesto includes plans to drastically cut net migration from 273,000 to less than 100,000 by targeting students and those on working visas. It proposes cutting the number of skilled migrants to get visas, higher levies on employers who take on migrant workers and tripling the National Health Service immigration health surcharge from £200 to £600 ($NZ380 to $NZ1130) a year for those in the UK on visas of more than six months and 450 for international students. That surcharge increase will also affect those on the traditional OE, although there is no mention of scrapping the two-year youth mobility visa which allows young New Zealanders to get a two-year visa to work and travel in the United Kingdom. Mr English said the changes would affect those on their OE but they would have to grin and bear it until Brexit was completed. NZME.
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Super City mayor Phil Goff has a plan for getting money from tourists – it bears some similarity to that of the Mongrel Mob……

### NZ Herald Thu, 18 May 2017
Winston Aldworth: Seeking the smart money
OPINION What do Phil Goff and the Mongrel Mob have in common? As hundreds of travel industry figures from all around the world gathered in Auckland for last week’s Trenz conference, one of the many topics up for discussion was the Auckland mayor’s enthusiasm for a hotel bed tax on visitors to the city. Meanwhile, up north at Ahipara on Ninety Mile Beach, three German tourists were approached by two local Mongrel Mob members who told them that they were on Maori land, and had to pay koha. They also told the tourists they’d be taking a few of their cigarettes. A tobacco tax, if you will. Perhaps their plan for putting heavy taxes on visitors was inspired by the Super City mayor. Goff’s bed tax is about as blunt an instrument as the Mob’s shakedown. “Look there’s a foreigner! Let’s get a couple of bucks off them.” The airport tax introduced by John Key a year ago is equally clumsy. It’s a travesty that these tariffs are the best we can come up with for making money out of tourism. Yes, other countries put dull levies on visitor arrivals, but that’s no reason to follow suit. We New Zealanders pride ourselves on being innovators, so let’s find innovative ways to get more money out of the tourism sector. Both Goff and Key were ministers in governments that did everything they could to remove tariffs from the dairy trade. Today, the best and brightest marketing wallahs of Goff’s inner circle are putting forward a plan no more sophisticated than one devised by two Mongrel Mob members standing on a Northland beach. I’m not against making money out of tourists — quite the opposite, in fact. I think it’s terrific that our country can be boosted by an industry that encourages us to care for our environment, celebrate the things that make our culture unique and spreads revenue quickly and efficiently to the regions. But how about instead of putting a dumb tax on the visitors, we upsell them? Take their money at the gate for sure, but give them something special in return.
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Enough randomising. More rain and ice falls.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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DCC fails to meet LGOIMA request re ‘lost’ secure storage of CST files

The Dunedin City Council OWNS the Carisbrook Stadium Trust files, note.

Received from Bev Butler
Mon, 8 May 2017 at 1:40 p.m.

Subject: Complaint Dunedin City Council/storage of stadium documents

Message: Attached is the letter from the Ombudsman Office. I have sent a response to the Ombudsman letter.

[screenshot – click to enlarge]

● Download: 0_1-408161-3117439

Related Posts and Comments:
2.6.16 Official Information at Dunedin City : Bev Butler maintains pressure
10.7.15 Ombudsman complaint re DCC reply to LGOIMA requests #CSTfiles
9.7.15 DCC: Council-owned CST files whereabouts not declared
27.6.15 Ratepayer boxes #saga
20.6.15 DCC / CST document scramble #LGOIMA

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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TOMMYROT from ‘academic’ local authorities…. #SouthDunedin it’s PUNCH BACK TIME

At Facebook:

More in tomorrow’s newspaper.

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Chairman of the Otago chapter of the Property Council New Zealand Geoff Thomas says policymakers need to be careful not to damage property development opportunities in South Dunedin.

### ODT Online Wed, 10 May 2017
Policy could hold back South Dunedin
By Margot Taylor
Residential property development in South Dunedin could be “squashed” by the Dunedin City Council’s overly cautious natural hazards policies, the Otago branch president of the Property Council New Zealand warns.
Geoff Thomas said a proposal under the proposed second generation Dunedin city district plan (2GP), to require all residential properties in the area to be movable, could stymie the replacement of housing stock. The proposed policy ignored costs associated with residential development, including land, compliance costs and construction materials. “Making residential housing relocatable doesn’t make sense. I, personally, have sold a 1980s house with aluminium joinery for $1 to be moved.” If approved, the proposal would result in either more substandard houses, or houses that would be “very expensive” to build, he said. The natural hazards policies did not adequately consider current and potential technologies to manage sea-level rise and floods. “I think South Dunedin is full of opportunity. A lot of the housing stock is from a day gone by. It is an opportunity to do something with the area and our concern is we don’t want to end up with a caravan park out there.” Water drainage was a clear issue. A more reasonable approach to protect the economic viability of the area could be taken to address it.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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As predicted —Aurora Energy delivery stuffed on pole replacement

I T ● W A S ● N E V E R ● G O I N G ● T O ● H A P P E N

Aurora Energy board chair Steve Thompson should shuffle back under his rock.
DCHL chairman Graham Crombie, mowing lawns at Clyde, has nothing to say.
The largest risk to the Otago Community continues to be Aurora itself.

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Apr 2017
Aurora sets new date to ‘remove risk’
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora Energy has abandoned a target to have all condition-zero poles replaced by the end of this month, saying it was now on track to “remove the risk” of 2910 poles by the end of this year. […] An Aurora spokesman said it had abandoned its original plan to replace all 1181 condition-zero poles, which are the worst-rated poles on its network, by the end of this month.
“Our target is to remove the risk around 2910 priority poles by the end of the year and we are on track to achieve that. That’s the target we are working towards. The April target was an initial working target before detailed programme planning had been completed.” After being given more than two weeks to respond, the spokesman did not say how many new condition-one and zero poles had been discovered during its fast-track programme, saying: “We don’t have these figures to hand today”.
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The article also says: “Aurora had stepped up customer service support and communication so its customers were informed when power needed to be cut.” As far as we know this support and communication has been seriously deficient in many instances.

█ Customers should check the Aurora website on outage days for cancellations.
http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/outages/

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At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.17 Why would DCC shaft its own company instead of investing in its change and development ?!
14.4.17 Dunedin homes face power blackout #Delta #Aurora
11.3.17 How Safe Are We/Our Businesses with the Corporate Disaster that’s Aurora, owned by DCC ? #reliability

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *grady*, *godfrey*, *poles*, *asset management plan*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *epicpolefail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Proposed hotel *height and design* —the very least of it #sellingoursouls

At Facebook:

[screenshot]

Channel 39 via YouTube [screenshot]

Related Post and Comments:
5.6.17 Application lodged for FIASCO Hotel by Tosswill #DunedinWrecks

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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