Category Archives: SFO

RNZ Morning Report: Damning indictment of Aurora Energy #Listen

Aurora Energy has not maintained the lines utility because for years the company passed over lines profits in the form of dividends to DCC and subvention payments to cover Stadium debt servicing. Central Otago power users faced silly-huge increases in their lines charges. Otago power users, generally, having already paid for upgrades and renewals through their lines charges, have regrettably lost their safe and secure supply of electricity, and must now pay twice. The people responsible for this critical state of affairs need to explain and face the consequences.

How does this stack up for the Commerce Commission, the industry regulator ?

### rnz.co.nz Mon 12 Jun 2017
Morning Report with Guyon Espiner and Susie Ferguson
8:47 AM Many electric lines companies have outdated equipment -ComCom Link
A report by the Commerce Commission says many electric lines companies have outdated equipment that should have been replaced years ago. Our reporter Eric Frykberg has been looking into it.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (3′29″)

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Commerce Commission New Zealand
Media Release 9 June 2017

The Commerce Commission has published one-page summaries of key performance measures for each of New Zealand’s 29 electricity lines companies.
The summaries are designed to promote a better understanding of each lines company’s performance by providing high-level statistics such as profitability, capital and operating expenditure, asset condition, revenue and network reliability.
Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said that the Commission has pulled together the data to make it easily accessible for industry, Government agencies and consumers, and to enable comparison across lines companies. The statistics are sourced from more detailed public disclosures.
“Electricity companies reach every New Zealand household and business so over time we want to make it easier for consumers to understand how their own lines company is performing year-on-year. The information in the summaries is still quite technical in nature, but we expect this kind of exposure will in itself help improve lines companies’ overall performance,” Dr Gale said.
“The summaries are a high-level snapshot of the lines companies and are not intended to represent a thoroughly detailed picture of performance. However, they suggest some differences between the performances of different lines companies, such as the health of assets including poles, lines and substation equipment. In cases of apparent poor performance, we will follow up with the companies to better understand their circumstances. We will also undertake further analysis in the future.”
The performance summaries are available on the Commission’s website.

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Performance summaries for electricity distributors
Under Part 4 of the Commerce Act these 29 electricity distributors are required to publicly disclose information to help people better understand how the sector is performing.

Click areas on the [interactive map at the ComCom website] to download the distributors’ 2016 performance summaries.

[screenshot only]

The performance summaries provide high level statistics on each lines companies’ performance, including measures such as profitability, capital and operating expenditure, asset condition, line charge revenue and network reliability.

See more details in the documents below.
← Back to Performance analysis and data for distributors

Documents
Explanatory notes for electricity distributors’ performance summaries – May 2017
(PDF, 464 KB) Published on 31 May 2017

Total electricity distribution 2016 – June 2017
(PDF, 488 KB) Published on 06 June 2017

Performance summaries for electricity distributors – May 2017
(MS Excel Spreadsheet, 2.1 MB) Published on 31 May 2017

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[screenshot, details]

Aurora Energy 2016 One Page summary

█ View Online: http://www.comcom.govt.nz/assets/Downloads/Aurora-Energy-2016-one-page-summary.pdf

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

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.

18 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Commerce Commission, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Stadiums, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

City Property . . . .

### ODT Online Sat, 10 Jun 2017
Property boss quits
By Chris Morris
The man in charge of the Dunedin City Council’s multimillion-dollar property portfolio has quit following a review by independent auditor Deloitte. [A] Council spokesman ….yesterday confirmed city property manager Kevin Taylor resigned last week. [DCC] responding to Otago Daily Times questions by email, declined to say what Deloitte’s review had found, insisting the final report was “still being considered”. The development came three months after the ODT reported the department responsible for property worth hundreds of millions of dollars was being reviewed ….The role was expected to change in future, with a “specific focus” on community and civic properties ….Mr Taylor’s departure was the latest upheaval for the city property department, following the departure of former city property manager Robert Clark in 2014, and his assistant manager, Rhonda Abercrombie, the following year.
Read more

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### ODT Online Fri, 10 Mar 2017
Council’s property department under review
By Chris Morris
The performance of the Dunedin City Council’s city property department is under the scrutiny of an independent auditor. It was confirmed yesterday Deloitte had been called in to examine the department responsible for property worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It is understood the review’s focus was on the department’s performance, and any suggestion of impropriety has been ruled out. Deloitte has been brought in to provide extra resources for the review, but city property manager Kevin Taylor has been replaced in the day-to-day running of the department.
Read more

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### ODT Online Tue, 15 Sep 2015
Property manager quits DCC
By Chris Morris
Dunedin City Council manager Rhonda Abercrombie has resigned abruptly, but nobody is prepared to say why. Mrs Abercrombie, the council’s assistant city property manager, handed in her notice last week but was no longer working at the council’s Civic Centre building.
Read more

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### ODT Online Tue, 29 Apr 2014
Quick exit for another DCC senior manager
By Debbie Porteous
Another senior manager is to have a quick exit from the Dunedin City Council after the announcement yesterday of his departure. Economic development and property group manager Robert Clark will clear his desk on Friday. He is returning to the commercial sector after six years with the council. Mr Clark’s withdrawal from the organisation comes after a proposal was circulated to staff last month in which his position was effectively disestablished, his responsibilities split between new positions to be created under a new council operating structure. The structure was developed by chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose in a review of the council’s property and economic development operations.
Read more

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Manager Economic Development and Property moving on

This item was published on 28 Apr 2014
The Dunedin City Council’s Group Manager Economic Development and Property Robert Clark is leaving the organisation after six years to return to the commercial sector. General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Tony Avery says Mr Clark’s last day at the DCC will be on Friday, although he will continue to do transitional consulting work in the coming months on some significant projects.
Read more

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For some weeks, independently of today’s news, the Dunedin grapevine has been rattling (autumn leaves) with tales of the missing City Property reserves, worth millions.

WHAT, you say. Noooooo.

Let’s hope our elected representatives are onto it.
Historical, it appears.

Thus the shadow boxing about town: raising all the circular questions of who and how, historically.

New blood to a system is supposed to flush out nasties, this takes hard analysis of past annual reports and investments, and of ‘figures’ present and correct —or not. Anything strange or unseemly, a mere whiff of stray fur, should be swiftly signalled to the chief executive for immediate independent audit, especially if to do with a property division.

The age-old question for local government continues to be: if you’re not a business person, how do you smell rats in your balance sheets and upon whom do you rely for sound advice, internally and externally, for the health and solid whereabouts of your ratepayer funds and assets. Indeed, without this staunch critical oversight how on earth can a council operate or even run its companies.

And how do you screen applicants; and monitor job performance.
Without great gaping holes in the cheese and skirtings, People!

[pennlive.com]

Related Post and Comments:
A selection only. Some comments or links to related posts under these post titles are very telling in the collective sense.
26.2.17 No news : Appointment of Group CFO
14.2.17 DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
9.9.16 Calvert on DCC, ‘We could have a much more democratic and transparent operation of council’
12.8.16 DCC trifecta : openness, transparency, accountability —All dead?
10.6.16 g’bye & ’ello [GCFO resigns]
3.12.15 DCC factory crew issues, ELT, CEO….
16.11.15 DCC operating deficit $1M worse than budget
6.11.15 DCC non compos mentis
8.9.15 DCC Citifleet: Council steered off SFO investigation
17.3.15 DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?
23.2.15 Wall Street Mall drops glazing panel to George Street
29.12.14 DCC gets QLDC talent…. the weft and warp deviously weaves
18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet
18.9.14 DCC considers sale of “149 properties”
15.9.14 Cull’s council spent the cash
11.9.14 DCTL: New treasury manager
8.9.14 Jim Harland and the stadium MESS
1.9.14 DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
22.8.14 DCC: Deloitte report referred to the police #Citifleet
31.7.14 DCC: Services and development #staffappointment
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . .
28.12.13 Sue Bidrose, DCC chief executive
18.11.13 DCC: New chief executive
24.9.13 DCC chief executive Paul Orders recommended for Cardiff
14.10.13 DCC: New chief financial officer
7.9.13 Stadium: $266 million, more or less?
2.8.13 DCC, Stadium —sorry picture
24.7.13 DCC / DCHL shake up !!!
4.7.13 Carisbrook: DCC losses
25.5.13 Paul Orders: Dunedin or Cardiff ???
11.5.13 Stadium: Truth, usual whitewash or prosecution ?
21.3.13 DCC: Opportunity created by Stephens’ departure
20.11.12 Dunedin City Council vs Anzide Properties decision: The road “has no legal basis”
31.10.12 Dunedin City Council – all reports posted, belatedly!
26.10.12 DCHL borrowed $23 million to bail DCC
22.8.12 Mr Orders, sir! About your staff expertise…
9.6.12 City Property to compete more obviously in the market (their excuse: PPP)
4.5.12 Who was it – Malcolm Farry? Peter Brown?…
9.11.11 Paul Orders for change!
17.9.11 Paul Orders starts Monday
19.5.11 Information received today
29.12.10 Jim Harland
29.10.10 DCC Chief Executive resigns – timing is everything!
16.8.10 Dunedin City Council security for borrowings
29.7.10 Dunedin social housing
12.6.10 DCC Media Release – CEO salary and performance
18.5.09 Mayor Peter Chin: ‘not about social housing’

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

9 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Health & Safety, Heritage, Housing, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Travesty

#Aurora —“What was that?!” Huh? What?! [a council mutters, suddenly]

Really, we haven’t heard much lately from the DCHL chairman about the dwindling source of funds to the city council…. counting down to June 30 perhaps, with lawn mowing to look forward to in Spring. But what of an associate commissioner’s five-year term at the Commerce Commission.
A few things are not being said in ‘above Board’ fashion.

Around a billion dollars to retrieve Aurora, is it worth it and how?
By the beg, borrow and ‘TAX’ ratepayers method ?? When Otago power consumers have already paid their line charges to cover network upgrades and renewals that never happened. Look at this winding garden path, so much leafy cover and fat plums for the picking, but —WHERE did the money go and WHICH ENTITIES AND WHICH INDIVIDUALS are responsible for wrongful application of lines monies to other unrelated activities.
Thankfully, in this situation, a raft of New Zealand legislation (laws) and statutory regulation applies.

DCC’s budget resilience, helped by accelerated debt repayments and reduced debt-servicing costs, meant the council had “some room to move”….“we are already in a constrained situation and we’ve got some buffer in the system”.

Friday, 2 June 2017
DCHL dividends to council in doubt
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council expects dividends from its companies to “flatline” as Aurora grapples with the $720million cost of rebuilding its electricity network. But Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says improvements in the health of the rest of the council’s books means it is up for the financial challenge. His comments came after council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose, speaking at this week’s council meeting, said the council faced fresh uncertainty over future dividends. […] The money helped ease the pressure for rates rises […] The change reflected the need to get DCHL’s books in order — after years of borrowing to pay dividends — and reinvest in Aurora’s network […] speaking this week, Dr Bidrose said the projected dividends were at risk because of Aurora’s investment plan. “We will be reviewing that, in light of the high level of asset maintenance required by Aurora. It seems it would be a fair assumption it will be at least longer before that dividend payment recommences,” Dr Bidrose said.
Read more

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *crombie*, *thompson*, *grady*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble* or *yaldhurst* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

[pinterest] – shoes on line bricked by whatifdunedin

16 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Hot air, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Sport, Stadiums, Technology, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

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

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Powerlines at sunset [garp.com]

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.

ASK QUESTIONS. RESEARCH. DO YOUR SUMS.
DON’T BE TOLD WHAT TO DO. ACT RESPONSIBLY FOR THE FUTURE PROSPERITY OF YOUR KITH AND KIN.
DO NOT PLACE FAITH IN OLD SPIN MAESTERS AND THEIR DEPUTIES.

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?

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[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

CRITICAL ABHORRENCE FOR TOP CHAPS IN THE AURORA / DELTA / DCHL ‘EXECUTIVE’ (PAST AND PRESENT) WILL CONTINUE UNABATED IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE UNTIL THEY AND THEIR FRIENDS ARE OUSTED AND MADE ANSWERABLE TO HIGHER AUTHORITIES.

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.

9 Comments

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

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).
Read more

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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.
Read more

█ 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.

14 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Health & Safety, Highlanders, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, 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, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

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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