Category Archives: Structural engineering

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

26 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

How Safe Are We/Our Businesses with the Corporate Disaster that’s Aurora, owned by DCC ? #reliability

Latest Aurora ‘safety’ ads at ODT Online this week [screenshots]

A N O T H E R ● L E A K —Aurora confirms it has breached standards over the average amount of time power has been cut per customer after its data was leaked to the Otago Daily Times.

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Mar 2017
Aurora fails reliability for third year
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora Energy could be fined or face court action after breaching a limit on power interruptions for the third year running. The Dunedin City Council-owned company said it took the breaches “seriously” and would probably ask the Commerce Commission to relax its reliability standards. If the Commerce Commission agreed, Aurora would be only the second lines company to operate under relaxed standards under a system called a customised price-quality path. The only other company to operate under such a system was Orion, after its infrastructure was damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes. Meeting the standards is important because the Commerce Commission takes into account liability when setting limits on how much lines companies can earn. …[Aurora] would not be drawn over whether a lack of investment had contributed to the breaches. […] A Commerce Commission spokesman said it was not aware of the reported breach as Aurora was not required to provide the information until June. However, if Aurora had breached standards its response could range from warning letters to administrative settlements and court proceedings. It could also penalise Aurora by cutting up to 1% of its revenue.
Read more

We hear poor Steve Thompson is not coping with all these leaks….

Related Posts and Comments:
16.12.16 Tim Hunter, NBR —Aurora/Delta, DCC and ComCom
12.11.16 Delta/Aurora : Current strategy to “fix on failure” [extreme neglect]
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL in slipslidy mode
● 9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *grady*, *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.

16 Comments

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

Downer EDI buys Hawkins businesses

At Facebook:

Downer EDI – Media Release
Downer acquires Hawkins businesses in New Zealand

08/03/2017
Downer EDI Limited (Downer) announced today that it had signed an agreement to acquire the construction, infrastructure and project management businesses of Hawkins, a New Zealand company, from the McConnell Family.
The Chief Executive of Downer, Grant Fenn, said Hawkins was an excellent strategic fit for Downer’s New Zealand business.
“Downer has a long and proud history in New Zealand that can be traced back more than a century,” Mr Fenn said. “Today we are a leading provider of services to our customers in a range of markets including transport, telecommunications and water.
“Hawkins is a New Zealand industry leader in construction and infrastructure and this acquisition will complement our existing Engineering, Construction and Maintenance capabilities while also providing a platform for growth. It is estimated that over NZ$50 billion will be invested in non-residential construction in New Zealand over the next five years.”
Mr Fenn said Hawkins would continue to operate under its current brand.
“Hawkins was founded in New Zealand 70 years ago and its highly skilled management team has built a strong reputation for delivering quality projects for its customers in both the public and private sectors,” he said.
Hawkins has a number of high profile projects across its portfolio including the SH16 Lincoln to Westgate upgrade, the construction of Auckland’s Park Hyatt Hotel, the Pier B Extension at Auckland Airport, Wellington Airport’s Rongotai Control Tower, Wellington City Council’s Arlington Housing Project, the Christchurch Town Hall, and the Avon River Precinct (Christchurch).
Mr Fenn said the acquisition would be funded through existing debt facilities and be earnings accretive in its first year.
The transaction is due to be completed on 31 March.

[ends] Downer EDI Link

****

Hawkins – Media Release
Hawkins Ownership to Change

8th March 2017

Hawkins is pleased to announce that Downer is acquiring Hawkins’ construction, infrastructure and project management businesses from the McConnell Family. This offers a new era of opportunity for both organisations. Hawkins Construction will retain its brand and continue as an ongoing business. Hawkins Infrastructure, which complements Downer, will be integrated into its existing Infrastructure business. Together we look forward to continuing our proud New Zealand heritage of building better communities, with passionate people and great projects. Link

[Hawkins full announcement]

DOW / Announcements
Downer acquires Hawkins business in New Zealand
8:39am, 8 Mar 2017 | ASSET

8 March 2017
DOWNER ACQUIRES HAWKINS BUSINESSES IN NEW ZEALAND
Downer EDI Limited (Downer) announced today that it had signed an agreement to acquire the construction, infrastructure and project management businesses of Hawkins, a New Zealand company, from the McConnell Family.
The Chief Executive of Downer, Grant Fenn, said Hawkins was an excellent strategic fit for Downer’s New Zealand business.
“Downer has a long and proud history in New Zealand that can be traced back more than a century,” Mr Fenn said. “Today we are a leading provider of services to our customers in a range of markets including transport, telecommunications and water.
“Hawkins is a New Zealand industry leader in construction and infrastructure and this acquisition will complement our existing Engineering, Construction and Maintenance capabilities while also providing a platform for growth. It is estimated that over NZ$50 billion will be invested in non-residential construction in New Zealand over the next five years.”
Mr Fenn said Hawkins would continue to operate under its current brand.
“Hawkins was founded in New Zealand 70 years ago and its highly skilled management team has built a strong reputation for delivering quality projects for its customers in both the public and private sectors,” he said.
Hawkins has a number of high profile projects across its portfolio including the SH16 Lincoln to Westgate upgrade, the construction of Auckland’s Park Hyatt Hotel, the Pier B Extension at Auckland Airport, Wellington Airport’s Rongotai Control Tower, Wellington City Council’s Arlington Housing Project, the Christchurch Town Hall, and the Avon River Precinct (Christchurch).
Mr Fenn said the acquisition would be funded through existing debt facilities and be earnings accretive in its first year.
The transaction is due to be completed on 31 March.

For further information please contact:
Michael Sharp, Group Head of Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations +61 439 470 145

About Downer
Downer EDI Limited (Downer) is a leading provider of services to customers in markets including: Transport Services; Rail; Mining; Utilities Services; Technology and Communications Services; and Engineering, Construction & Maintenance. We build strong relationships of trust with our customers, truly understanding and predicting their needs and bringing them world leading insights and solutions. Downer employs about 19,000 people across more than 200 sites and projects, mostly in Australia and New Zealand, but also in the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Southern Africa. For more on Downer, visit: http://www.downergroup.com.

About Hawkins
Hawkins was established in Hamilton in 1946 by Fred Hawkins and has steadily grown over seven decades to become a leader in New Zealand’s infrastructure and project delivery. Hawkins employs about 700 people and specialises in the design and construction delivery of buildings and infrastructure that create stronger communities across New Zealand and also the Asia Pacific. For more information on Hawkins, visit http://www.hawkins.co.nz

Attachments
Downer acquires Hawkins business in New Zealand (PDF)

[ends] Hawkins Link

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, Innovation, Inspiration, Leading edge, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Structural engineering, Technology, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design, What stadium

Christchurch Cathedral : Marcus Brandt and the People’s Steeple Project

christchurch-cathedral-steeple-by-country-farm-garden-photos-cfgphoto-com-render1-1

While Bishop Victoria and the Anglican church property trust (CPT) continue to sit on their hands perhaps awaiting devine intervention, who knew, it turns out that a group of stalwart people in New Zealand – with an incredible level of international assistance – are busy planning a very special Cathedral project.

From: Mark Belton
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:11 PM
To: [Elizabeth Kerr + RCC Mailing List]
Subject: Introducing The People’s Steeple

Dear Cathedral Restoration supporters

Below is a link to a video clip of the People’s Steeple proposal being demonstrated by its creator Marcus Brandt. Marcus has been in CHCH this last week promoting the People’s Steeple Project.

The People’s Steeple is a mind blowing proposal…audacious, visionary, inspiring. Lifting telescoping timber sections of the spire 60 metres into the sky…powered by about 500 trained people working 16 capstan winches placed around Cathedral Square, watched by up to 50,000 people in the Square.

The US based Timber Framers Guild (TFG), a professional organisation of engineers and timber framers has offered to be the lead contractor to build, assemble, and erect the People’s Steeple. The lead NZ engineers would be renowned CHCH timber engineer – Prof Andy Buchanan whose report on the project is attached.

Skilled TFG members from the US and around the world would gift their time, working in the Square preparing and assembling the timbers, and then helping lead the steeple’s erection. Up to 300 TFG members along with locals could be involved working in the Square over a period of about 6 months.

The TFG have successfully undertaken 75 community building projects over the last 25 years in the US and around the world. They are super keen to offer their services to CHCH. The TFG emphasise their projects are about ‘building communities’.

Marcus says would take only 2-3 hrs to lift and secure the telescoping sections. Flooring and bells would be assembled the same day and in the evening the bells would ring out…proclaiming to the world – ‘Christchurch is back’….and a Hangi feast would be opened…for a crowd of 50,000! International media would broadcast the event around the world…the whole enterprise being about engaging our community in the most positive way…and it would ignite fund raising for the restoration of the cathedral. It is envisaged the construction of the People’s Steeple would lead restoration of the cathedral and the Square.

It is noted huge pro bono contributions from the Guild’s members are being offered, and Blakely Pacific NZ Ltd, a US based forestry company has offered to provide the timbers at no cost from giant 125-year-old Port Orford Cedar from its Pioneer Forest in South Canterbury.

The Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group is strongly supportive of the People’s Steeple.

We hope this inspiring project will help engage and enthuse Christchurch people with recovery of the cathedral, and help get the cathedral restoration programme underway.

Warm regards

Mark Belton
Co-Chair, Restore Christchurch Cathedral

Mark Belton
Managing Director
Permanent Forests NZ Limited
PO Box 34, Lyttelton 8841, New Zealand

See attached reports by Marcus Brandt, Andy Buchanan, and the TFG.
TFG People’s Steeple Project approach notes-10-2-16
Steeple 16-8-12
M Belton report on Timber Framers Guild conf and People’s Steeple 23-9-16
Engineering the People’s Steeple v9

The People’s Steeple | Whare Films Published on Feb 23, 2017

christchurch-cathedral-tonyhphotography-co-nz-bw-render1-1

The People’s Steeple
Rebuilding the Bell Tower at Christchurch Cathedral

Marcus Brandt: An Introduction

For the last thirty years or so, I’ve been restoring historic stone and timber buildings, mostly in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I’m a working master carpenter and stone mason. Most of the historic buildings I am called to work on are 150 to 300 years old. Solid and well crafted, these old buildings tend to age well, but neglect and damage can take a toll. Much of my effort is spent in repairing and strengthening the timber frames of barns, bridges, houses, gristmills and churches. I’ve had several commissions to build new structures in the old style. I have organized and led many barn raisings, in which hundreds of volunteers gather to raise a barn’s frame in a day. A good crew will have the sides and roof on too.
Straightening, plumbing and repairing damaged stone walls is often called for. It is not uncommon to straighten a wall 10 meters high that is out of plumb by 400 or 500 mm. Having studied and worked with several Scots masons, I’m a strong believer in lime based mortars and good masonry practice. The interface between stone and timber is of particular interest to me.
Since 1989, I’ve been a professional member of the Timber Framers Guild (TFG) and a member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group (TTRAG). That part of the Guild focuses on understanding the past practice of the craft with a view that the past might help inform future practice. I have advised many historical and preservation societies and sat on many review boards.
As a result of my participation in Guild efforts and projects, I was invited to go to both Scotland and China to investigate “lost” technologies for the Public Broadcast Service series NOVA. We built working siege weapons in Scotland and in China we built a bridge design that hadn’t been built since the Mongol invasion.
I teach Traditional building skills at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. I’m particularly interested in ways that the pre-industrial past practice can inform building in the greener, sustainable post-industrial world of the future.
I serve as a sailor, boson and ship’s carpenter aboard the tall ship Gazela (www.Gazela.org). That experience has taught me much about rigging and raising heavy loads in confined spaces. It’s taught me about erecting tall, secure, flexible, stable structures that get tossed about and shaken mercilessly. A sea captain in her own right, my wife serves as First Mate aboard Gazela. She out-ranks me, and helps keep me humble.
Since 22 February, I have been working as much as possible to develop a method to rebuild the Bell tower at Christchurch. With the help of friends and students, and the forbearance of my wife, I developed a plan that is beautiful, solid, strong, flexible, earthquake resistant, buildable, durable, and familiar. But more than anything, I want to use the rebuilding of the steeple as a vehicle for rebuilding and strengthening the community. And, once built, serve as an outward witness to the inward love we have for each other as fellow humans.
I look forward to doing this project with the able help of my best friends in the world…many of whom I haven’t yet met.

█ More information about the People’s Steeple Project and participants at http://thepeoplessteeple.org/

christchurch-cathedral-detail-mygola-com-tweaked

Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.15 Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator…
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

christchurch-cathedral-detail-with-chalice-sisson-photography-photoshelter-com

christchurch-cathedral-mudbirdceramics-blogspot-co-nz

christchurch-cathedral-5-aug-2003-by-cindy-staticflickr-com-tweaked

*Images: Christchurch Cathedral – (from top) colour render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Country Farm Garden Photos at cfgphoto.com]; black white render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Tony H Photography at tonyhphotography.co.nz]; colour photo of steeple detail [mygola.com]; cathedral with chalice by Sisson Photography [via photoshelter.com]; black white photo by Mudbird Ceramics [mudbirdceramics.blogspot.co.nz]; colour photo by Cindy taken on 5 Aug 2003 [via staticflickr.com]

3 Comments

Filed under #eqnz, Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Innovation, Inspiration, Leading edge, Name, New Zealand, People, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

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

Richard Healey on Aurora’s asset value —heralds “massive increase in rates”

Just some little things our beloved leader Mayor Cull isn’t talking about urgently with his Councillors and Dunedin ratepayers at large.

M U S T ● R E A D

Excerpts from Richard Healey’s Facebook 14.2.17:

[click to enlarge]
richard-healey-facebook-14-2-17-comment-excerpts

Related Posts and Comments:
14.2.17 DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt
11.2.17 Shudder : Aurora Energy programme leader likely delusional…
6.2.17 Delta #EpicPowerFail 9 —The Curious Case of Godfrey Brosnan and…
19.1.17 Jarrod Stewart is EXACTLY RIGHT [what would Steve Thompson know]

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *steve thompson*, *richard healey*, *dchl*, *epicpowerfail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

8 Comments

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

DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Readers 

We are at an interesting time in our local history. Your correspondent like hundreds of others was busy cleaning up yesterday, after what NIWA described as a fairly standard thunderstorm where just 13.6mm of rain fell. 

Also like hundreds of others no doubt, the question in the mind of your correspondent as he dutifully mopped, was : What is the next public asset to be exposed as poorly run, badly maintained and starved of funds ? 

Never before have the executive few lied so comprehensively about the true state of so much degraded public asset. Never before has so much public asset been destroyed by the actions of those few, as Winston might have said. 

Economists your correspondent is familiar with would call this the “tragedy of the commons”. We await the “macro-prudential” responses from Central Government. With the stupefying level of underfunding for DCC drainage and other underground services identified by the Auditor-General, coupled with Aurora Energy’s $1B deferred maintenance and capital work, plus the existing DCC debt, there is around $3B that will need to be extracted from ratepayers and power consumers over the next 30 years (see the Dunedin City Council Infrastructure Strategy). Dunedin has achieved its dream as a world leading small city – of debt per ratepayer. Dunedin will be broke beyond comprehension with the policy of 3% annual rises. The 3% limit is a mirage. Rate rises will be much, much more. Not this year, but quite possibly before the next election; if this council does not address the looming crisis there is the increasing possibility of the removal of the council and appointment of a commissioner. 

It seems that every week brings some fresh disaster or new development that the DCC attempts to cover up. 

Yesterday was a small but telling episode. David Loughrey of the Otago Daily Times kindly confirmed what your correspondent mentioned some months ago, that the DCC had terminated the services of Logic FM because the company would not look the other way while the DCC wilfully failed to fix hundreds of obvious fire rating defects at two of their major assets. 

Mr Kevin Taylor wrote that the council [fired] Logic because the company had been “interpreting code compliance…..beyond that required by the law”. Logic publicly scoffed at this saying – correctly – that the code is “relatively black and white”. 

What actually happened is that as well as the uncompleted fire penetrations, there is a case of simple DCC incompetence, which was only hinted at by infrastructure networks general manager Ruth Stokes in the ODT article. Here are the facts : The Wall Street mall required daily inspections of certain of its building safety systems. The DCC did not want to pay outside consultants to do this work. Fair enough, said Logic, we will train your staff to inspect the systems and they will then sign off a daily inspection sheet, which Logic as the IQP (Independent Qualified Person) need to sight every month. 

wall-street-mall-interior-teamarchitects-co-nz[teamarchitects.co.nz]wall-street-mall-logo-1wall-street-mall-exterior-wallstreetmall-nz-1

Month after month, the monthly reports could not be signed off because no one had completed the daily sign-off sheets. There were offers of more training to the apparently mule-like staff responsible but City Property could not be bothered to do it properly —and thought they could get away with not doing these daily inspections by appointing another more compliant IQP in-house and seeking cover with a further fire report by Beca. 

It is very relevant that after sacking Logic FM, and commissioning the report from Beca, DCC refused to provide a copy of the Beca report to Logic. Logic had asked repeatedly for the report to see what the alleged areas of “over compliance” were. 

It is ‘madeira cake to margarine sandwiches’ that there were no areas of over compliance, and but for Elizabeth Kerr’s LGOIMA request and latterly, the ODT, City Property may well have gotten away with inaccuracies! 

As it is, your correspondent sees only static for Mr Taylor in the DCC crystal ball. He is merely the latest in a line of unlamented DCC property managers, including Robert “Hydraulic” Clark, and Dave McKenzie.

Ruth Stokes also needs to very careful about stepping into this mess – and dissembling to protect Mr Taylor. Stating that “things could have gone a bit better, but they’ve all been addressed” does not fool anyone. Mr Taylor may have have fantasised to Ms Stokes that “all” the fire rating faults were fixed but remember your correspondent advised there were hundreds of faults, not just a few faults in one single wall as has been pretended. There is no way all the faults have been fixed. 

This is what Richard Healey would describe as the Delta dishonest reduction defence…. no, not a 1000 dangerous poles without red tags, but perhaps there are just a few…. and now we learn on that fiasco, that the ‘new’ Delta plan, unannounced to the region’s mayors, is that they can be magically restored to full strength by yet another re-classification.

Chief executive Sue Bidrose started her tenure with a promise of greater transparency and openness (read “honesty”) that was sorely needed. There was some early progress, but the transparency project appears a priority no more.

With the financial storm clouds assembling over the DCC that the chief executive cannot fail to be aware of, some honesty about the actual costs the DCC faces over the next decade is needed. It ranges from the small – just how much will it take to fix Wall Street mall to the $1B existential Aurora problem. The CEO and her staff have been invisible on this critical issue, instead producing reports of risible fantasy such as last year’s effort that valued Delta at over $50M, and Aurora at over $200M. Facing up to an austere decade is the only way that Dr Bidrose and Councillors will avoid having their careers and reputations destroyed by the appointment of a commissioner. 

[ends]

Council Documents:
DCC Infrastructure Strategy
DCC Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25
Audit Opinion – Independent auditor’s report on Dunedin City Council’s 2015-25 Long‑Term Plan. Author: Ian Lothian, Audit New Zealand on behalf of the Auditor‑General, Dunedin NZ.

ODT Stories:
14.2.17 Councils, Aurora poles apart on ‘removing risk’ definition
13.2.17 Without warrants for years
11.2.17 Aurora affected by pole, staff shortages
8.2.17 Action by Delta decried
29.12.16 Director for $30m pole project
2.12.16 Resignation blow to pole work

Related Posts and Comments:
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
30.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 7 : Kyle Cameron —The Money or the Bag?

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *wall street mall*, *richard healey*, *steve thompson*, *dchl*, *epicfail*, *epicpowerfail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images by Parker Warburton Team Architects

17 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Travesty, What stadium