Category Archives: SFO

***Pssst #Delta CEO Grady replaced

An INTERNAL appointment has been made for the position of Chief Executive Officer at Delta Utility Services Ltd.

Which likely means few external executives with relevant experience wanted to apply for lead position in the ‘degraded’ council-owned company —but then, not many executives were left internally. What does that say…….

Related Post and Comments:
5.3.17 Seeking the New Grady #Delta

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

10 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Housing, Infrastructure, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Stadiums, Travesty, What stadium

Councillor don’t tell us, we know Dunedin industry and manufacturing is Tops

But Rachel Elder did need to inform Mr Mayor, since it’s he who opines that [singularly ???] “weightless” manufacturing will one day make Dunedin great.
A while back Mr Mayor lauded expansion at Speight’s, Emerson’s and Greggs ….but recently, dreadfully, when interviewed by John Campbell on RNZ Checkpoint, Mr Mayor had trouble remembering these and other multimillion-dollar manufacturing investments in the good people, raw products and knowhow of Dunedin City. As well, he slipped past the convenient fact that the deputy mayor is a director of Scott Technology Ltd, and his old flower Mr McLauchlan, advisor and confidant, is the company’s board chairman.

Notwithstanding, Ms Elder thought it necessary to set herself a free writing project, an op-ed to ‘tell’ Mr Mayor, as well as advertise her paid work skills. Yes, yes, we’re all for free speech and pumping political mileage; however, we are the converted and connected, we know just how great Dunedin manufacturing is and can be —if not for DCC.

It must be said, though, that Mr Mayor’s speech at the Cadbury protest in the Octagon last Saturday was a large complimentary step up from the fatal Checkpoint phone interview.

“Messaging that it is too expensive to export from Dunedin and that we are too far away from markets and that manufacturing is best not done here does not support the many families and individuals who work in this sector.”
–Rachel (take that Dave Cull) Elder

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Mar 2017
We have skilled workers and can make it all here
By Rachel Elder
OPINION As an employment consultant and someone who advocates for a wide range of jobs in Dunedin, I am keen for Dunedin to be advertised nationwide as a place that is great for manufacturing and production as this will supply jobs to our skilled workers. The fact is Cadbury is owned by a multinational that has caused its demise. Manufacturing can be done here well and efficiently.
Read more

Comment published at ODT Online:

ej kerr Wed, 15/03/2017 – 7:59pm #
As a city councillor Ms Elder should be overtly aware that the Dunedin City Council-owned power distribution company Aurora Energy Ltd does not and cannot offer a safe and secure electricity supply network for businesses, manufacturers and other large power users (this aside from the now obvious inability to offer safe supply to residential users). The mayor and councillors are not listening and not communicating clearly on the state of Aurora’s burnt asset. Thankfully, the Otago Daily Times has filled that void with strong news reporting. At a cost of one billion dollars to repair and upgrade the existing lines and facilities – not counting the cost of new development work required in Central Otago and Lakes District to meet growth and increasing infrastructural demand – there will shortly be a very heavy impost landing on all local businesses via rates increases. Such an unpopular debating topic at the head-in-the-sand Dunedin City Council.

****

Truly fine examples of the sort of thing your grandmother and mother will tell you about Dunedin that Mr Mayor can’t:
. . . .

McMeeking Manufacturing, 123 Maclaggan St

Jaytee Baking Cups have been a household name since the 1930s, when the company was founded by a printing engineer James Thomas Williamson, hence the name Jaytee. Since acquiring the company in 1979, McMeeking Manufacturing has been the largest supplier of Baking Cups in New Zealand with exports to Australia and the Pacific Islands. Due to the dramatic increase in bakeries, cafes etc, the range of products – all manufactured in the Dunedin factory – has grown to fulfil customers requirements and follow the latest trends. Read more at https://www.jaytee.co.nz/

. . . .

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Mar 2017
Machine tool smart, versatile
By Simon Hartley
Farra Engineering’s latest $1.3 million machining kit not only has the capacity to work 24/7, but can text its progress to operators day and night. The DMG Mori “multi-pallet (work bench) horizontal machining centre”, supplied by a German-Japanese merged company, has been running for about a fortnight, at Farra Engineering, Dunedin, chief executive John Whitaker said. The DMG Mori could work on castings weighing just a few grams, on pieces weighing up to three tonnes, and castings up to 1.4cu m in size. “Being so productive, we’re going to the marketplace to fill the spare capacity,” Mr Whitaker said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: jaytee.co.nz – jaytee baking cups

29 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, What stadium

D’oh [Mayor Cull can’t name all the successful manufacturers at #Dunedin]

Rather, Daaave promotes the SHONKY programmed spend on non-essential CBD tart-ups. Not reprioritising council budgets then, Daaave….. to solve the Superduper-Mystery of council-owned Aurora/Delta LOST OR MISPLACED FUNDS, WHERE DID THEY GO ? WHERE WERE THEY SPENT ? Hundreds of millions of dollars lost from Otago ratepayers and electricity users, Daaave…..
You are going to make them pay again.

ODT 25.2.17 (page 34) tweaked

odt-25-2-17-letter-to-the-editor-crick-p34-tr[click to enlarge]

Otago Manufacturers need a Safe and Secure supply of Electricity.
The Mayor of Dunedin is making sure this won’t happen.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Corruption, Crime, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Aurora Energy at ODT 24.2.17 follows #LGOIMA

Broad spectrum (?!) LGOIMA request from earlier this week and interim acknowledgement:

From: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Monday, 20 February 2017 7:24 PM
To: Grady Cameron
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Aurora Energy Ltd – Official Information Request (LGOIMA)

Attention Grady Cameron
Chief Executive, Aurora Energy Ltd

Dear Grady

How is Aurora Energy Ltd funding the $30million pole replacement programme you speak about – from capex (capital expenditure), opex (operational expenditure), a combination of the two? or by other means? (please state)

Will Aurora Energy Ltd attempt to raise line charges for Otago power consumers, to achieve the number of (dangerous) pole replacements required in the next 3-5 years – how soon will line charges increase and by how much given regulatory scrutiny by the Commerce Commission?*

Is Aurora Energy Ltd solvent at this time? Explain.

Please provide any financial detail(s) salient to these matters.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Kerr
Dunedin

*emphasis added 24.2.17

—————————————-

From: Grady Cameron
Sent: Wednesday, 22 February 2017 1:02 p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Aurora Energy Ltd – Official Information Request (LGOIMA)

Dear Elizabeth

Thank you for your enquiry. We acknowledge receipt of your official information request received by us on 21 February regarding Aurora Energy (our reference 0945).

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 21 March, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

Kind regards,
Glenda

****

Received.
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 at 1:58 a.m.

[click to enlarge]

ODT 24.2.17 (page 4)

odt-24-2-17-aurora-planned-power-outages-p4

ODT 24.2.17 (page 5)

odt-24-2-17-aurora-energy-notification-of-electricity-delivery-prices-p5

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

2 Comments

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

Some Councils/CCOs get cleanup from FRAUD and CORRUPTION #NotAll

Stephen Borlase (centre) and Murray Noone (right) at Auckland High Court [NZ Herald]

### NZ Herald Wed, 22 Feb 2017
Herald Business
Two jailed over NZ’s largest bribery case
By Matt Nippert
Two men convicted of corruption in New Zealand’s largest bribery case have been sent to prison. Former Auckland Transport manager Murray Noone, and roading contractor Projenz managing director Stephen Borlase were investigated by the Serious Fraud Office and in December found guilty on six and eight charges, respectively, of taking and giving bribes involving more than $1 million. Justice Sally Fitzgerald this morning at the High Court at Auckland jailed Borlase for five years and six months, and Noone for five years.
Read more + Video | Documents

During the eight-week trial, Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey laid out what he considered to be a “culture of corruption” in the roading department at RDC and Auckland Transport centred on the two accused. Dickey outlined hundreds of thousands of dollars in entertainment spending by Projenz on council staff, and in cross-examining Borlase claimed the arrangement had bound the pair tight.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

7 Comments

Filed under Business, Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Public interest, SFO, Transportation, Travesty, What stadium

Gurglars visits the Delta/Noble JV subdivision at Yaldhurst

Received from Gurglars
14/02/2017 9:07 p.m.

yaldhurst14-2-17-1George Noble Rd, Yaldhurst

yaldhurst14-2-17-2Who wants to live near power lines? They run right through the subdivision.

yaldhurst14-2-17-3No one is working at Yaldy, this glass has been on the road for a long time.

yaldhurst14-2-17-5A digger strategically placed to suggest action – reality, inaction.

yaldhurst14-2-17-4The crowning glory – unbelievable, no ads for Yaldhurst sales but an ad on the property for a subdivision near Pegasus!

whatifdunedin replies:
Nearby subdivisions sold well with power lines and pylons…
Weird mentality at CHC.

That hoarding (not that old… months only) originally featured marketing for the commercial area at the Yaldhurst subdivision. Recently pasted over with Infinity’s other project.

[“Ravenswood, half an hour north of Christchurch, is being offered for sale by developer Infinity Investment Group, which says the project is too big for it.” See last note at (28.3.15) Stuff: Gloomy outlook for solar housing in Christchurch; and (9.8.16) Stuff: Work to begin on Ravenswood development after sale abandoned.]

****

Received from Gurglars
2017/02/15 at 6:51 am

News Flash
The word on the street is that a well-heeled solid respectable group offered $12,000,000 actual cash, money, moolah, for Yaldhurst.
The idiotii accepted a notional nonexistent $13million from a $1000 capitalised company who have subsequently made no moves towards repair, consents, or even inspected their new purchase.
If they have inspected it, one would have thought they would clean glass from the road (been there so long it’s almost fused and embedded). Maybe they would have mowed the grass? Or perhaps they would have found the keys to the lone token digger. Having commenced these $5 dollar cleanups they may have been able to put a sign up advertising the properties.
And why is activity important to a Dunedin ratepayer or councillor?
Because honey, we do not get any money until they sell profitable sections.
That’s why the $12,000,000 cash was the only offer that the idiotii should have accepted and folks that’s why you do NOT elect Greens, flakes and dreamers, because it’s your money they have, and will enjoy wasting.

whatifdunedin replies:
Your point is well made, Gurglars. But. It’s much more complicated than that. Seller was the buyer. And we have Graham Crombie (accountant!) as middle man, we wonder who he is really working for, Gordon Stewart? Justin Prain? Murray Frost? Previously/still, Stuart McLauchlan? Who.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

4 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 10 : Grady Cameron : The Counterfeit Comet

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 at 12:15 a.m.

Dear Readers

Local cyberspace has run hot tonight with the news that Grady Cameron has finally taken Richard Healey’s advice and fallen on one of his many splintered power poles, tendering his resignation. But just like a funhouse hall of mirrors, nothing at Aurora/Delta is as it seems. Mr Cameron is leaving later not sooner. It should be sooner, much sooner, like now.

As pointed out several times by Jarrod Stewart and Richard Healey, Grady is entirely the wrong individual to “oversee the transition process, along with the accelerated pole programme now under way”, which was the vague treacle proffered by Gary Gyroscope Johnson and Mr Thompson as an excuse for Mr Cameron to cling on for another year.

What the somewhat dim Mr Thompson does not know is that most of Delta already know what provision for early termination is in Grady’s package, and it is….12 months’ salary. (Hard to keep anything secret at Delta these days, Mr Thompson!) Go on, refute that “unfounded speculation”, Mr Gyroscope!

Therefore Mr Thompson had the two terminally unattractive options of 1) Paying Grady $600,000 to do nothing or 2) Paying Grady $600,000 to hang around and pretend that his help is “appreciated”. Chairman Thompson knew he would be sacked if he agreed to pay Grady $600,000 to do nothing, because What if? Dunedin and many others would find out in short order, and it would be curtains for Mr Thompson – sooner rather than later. However, Mr Thompson has made an elementary error. When you sack someone, get them gone. This is not Personnel Management 101, it’s 001. Despite $600,000 being a lot of cash, it was still the right thing to do because Grady’s other great failure as CEO was to preside over the accelerated decline of the staff at Delta.

odt-16-2-17-cameron-not-seeking-new-role-p3-underlined

It is past the tipping point and on its way to collapse, and if Grady stays another year collapse it will. At this stage in your correspondent’s post, the Greek chorus begins, accompanied by the rattling cups of Choysa : Evidence, evidence, give us the factual evidence!

Very well readers, have the Gaviscon ready, here are some stomach turning informational nuggets to show the appalling state of the Delta engineering department, the essential core of the organisation. Desk executive types like Grady and Matt Ballard can come and go, but the engineers make the place run.

While Mr Gyroscope and Mr Thompson trumpeted the two new external appointments today, they failed to mention that there are 45 vacancies – yes 45, that is 4 lots of 10 plus 5, Steve, at Delta.

Your correspondent understands these are in the main technical positions that any reputable company will have trouble filling, let alone a basket case like Delta.

Very recently, a capable senior design engineer was asked by either Matt Ballard or Grady “What would it take to get you to stay?”, as they had been alerted that the engineer was about to vote with his feet. “Nothing could convince me to stay” was the response and the engineer who was in the prime of his career and had worked for Delta for 6-7 years, departed to the North Island.

Next fact: There are now fewer than 10 design engineers left at Delta. There will be one less tomorrow because another resigned today but hadn’t advised The Management.

Alarming fact : Your correspondent is advised that of those left, at least three already have plans in place to leave that are not negotiable.

Strange but true : A design engineer recently resigned. Mule-like, Mr Cameron and his cohorts “refused to acknowledge his resignation”. This would appear to be code for “we will pay you absolutely anything you want because we know we will get no applicants for your position”, much like the example above. We can conclude from the example with Derek Todd quoted in #EpicPowerFail 9 that the practical limit is a tripling in salary.

There’s more : After deducting out those engineers, there are others actively looking to leave also. We can know this with confidence as a Wellington power company advertised a position for a design engineer recently. The recruiter called a contact at Delta and asked “What the heck is going on down there – we have had 4 applications and 3 of them are from Delta !!”

Grady’s response to this is to hire engineers from around the world, and try and fill engineering positions with “Project Managers” (Godfrey Brosnan is just the latest example). This is not to denigrate those with overseas qualifications or from a different culture but as Richard Healey notes, this is a dangerous high risk industry and ‘culture’ is important. Experienced local engineers with institutional knowledge and memory are priceless – and absolutely essential. The legacy of Grady and successive incompetent boards is that Delta and Aurora, are very likely to be left with somewhere between very few and almost none.

Your correspondent is given to understand that there is a funereal level of staff morale. Many staff around all departments have the view that (Delta)Aurora is only a few more key resignations away from being unable to function as a lines company. Richard Healey may be able to comment further on this.

The common theme from departed staff is that they would not work any longer under the management regime.

Normally your correspondent likes to finish with what he fondly imagines to be a witty riposte, but after surveying the decayed remnants of Aurora, humour is not appropriate. 

Since 2009, Grady Cameron has blazed across our power line landscape like a counterfeit comet. Grady’s disastrous tenure has created a giant financial crater for the city that will have to be made good by ratepayers for around twenty years – most of a generation.  

While not solely responsible, he encouraged a culture of cynical disinterest in the long-term health of the company he was charged with protecting, to flourish.

There is no wit to be had here, but justifiable anger. 

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: ODT 16.2.17 Cameron will not seek new role page 3 detail tweaks by whatifdunedin

16 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Electricity, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Structural engineering, Technology, Travesty, What stadium