Tag Archives: Asset management

As predicted —Aurora Energy delivery stuffed on pole replacement

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

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

At Facebook:

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

The article also says: “Aurora had stepped up customer service support and communication so its customers were informed when power needed to be cut.” As far as we know this support and communication has been seriously deficient in many instances.

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

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At Facebook:

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

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

5 Comments

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Why would DCC shaft its own company instead of investing in its change and development ?!

ODT 20.4.17 (page 28)

At Facebook:

Related Post and Comments:
11.3.17 How Safe Are We/Our Businesses with the Corporate Disaster that’s Aurora, owned by DCC ? #reliability

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

Waste Management NZ Ltd is Chinese owned

16 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Stadiums, What stadium

Famous Fat Bros’ Aurora/Delta news trickles in…. but can the sisters divorce

### channel39.co.nz Wed, 29 Mar 2017
Delta and Aurora Energy to separate
About 95 Delta employees are expected to transfer to Aurora Energy by mid-year as the two companies separate. The business divorce is one of the recommendations from an independent review by Dunedin City Holdings Limited. Delta and Aurora Energy Chair Steve Thompson says they expect no redundancies from either business. Delta will employ just over 500 staff following the transition. Aurora Energy will be a network company with network renewal as its priority, while Delta will provide electricity distribution, green-space and solid waste services.
Ch39 Link

Review of Aurora Energy Limited / Delta Utility Services Limited – Network Safety Concerns (December 2016). Deloitte.

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### radionz.co.nz 9:22 pm on 29 March 2017
Dunedin’s Aurora Energy to take on Delta workers
Almost 100 employees from Dunedin power lines company Delta will transfer to its sister company Aurora Energy as the two firms separate.
The split of the council-owned companies was sparked by the discovery that thousands of power poles in Otago were rotting.
A whistleblower last year revealed thousands of power poles managed by Delta and Aurora were failing.
The Dunedin City Council released a report in December that recommended splitting the council-owned companies into separate entities, after three official inquiries.
A report by Deloitte recommended separate board management structures.
In a statement today, Delta said 95 employees would transfer to Aurora by mid-year, and there were no expected redundancies.
RNZ Link

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DCHL/DCC farming of the conjoined twins deserves a break….

█ The devilish ongoing loss of one billion dollars of Otago line user and ratepayer funds. And Steve Thompson can’t be contacted. Oh brother.

Yes we really believe the two council-owned companies have great governance and superb management!? We also totally believe DCHL is a solid grounded entity!? Pity about the number of executive and staff resignations from Delta to date, and the resulting inability to fill job vacancies. Would you touch these blighted babies. Oink.

At Facebook:

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### ODT Online Thu, 30 Mar 2017
Restructure proceeds
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora are a step closer to becoming separate entities. Aurora and Delta announced in a joint press release yesterday about 95 Delta staff were expected to transfer to Aurora Energy by mid-year as part of the companies’ transition to standalone entities. The transition comes after a Deloitte report into accusations Aurora dangerously mismanaged its power network and failed to replace compromised poles recommended the two companies be split. According to Aurora’s annual report, it employs no staff and the management of the company is carried out by Delta, which is also contracted to carry out network maintenance. The Deloitte report said the closely linked arrangement was “fraught” with challenges, but acknowledged Aurora had been working on a restructuring programme which would have split the two companies in any case. Delta and Aurora chairman Steve Thompson, who was not available to answer questions about the press release, said significant progress had been made in the reorganisation of both businesses.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
11.3.17 How Safe Are We/Our Businesses with the Corporate Disaster that’s Aurora, owned by DCC ? #reliability
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.

*Image: monsters international via blogspot.com – Siamese Twin Pigs by Alicia B Lim, ink on watercolour paper (US), tweaked by whatifdunedin

24 Comments

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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.

19 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

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

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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

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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

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Grader Cameron to step down as chief executive ● still on payroll

Frankly, until we see Grady Cameron up on charges in court as well . . . .
this is half-pie luke warm (PR managed) news mongering without ANY public accountability for the deliberate corporate degradation of Otago’s power network by Dunedin City Council, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd and the two council-owned companies Aurora Energy and Delta Utility Services.

As What if? noted about the dateline in previous posts care of DCC leaks:

OVERPAID Grady Cameron, chief executive of Aurora and Delta, announced today that he will step down from his position before 30 June this year.

However, we haven’t got rid of the award-winning burnt asset arsehole just yet.

● December’s Deloitte report recommended that Aurora (‘lines company and asset owner’) and Delta (‘civil engineering company and contractor’) be separated and governed by separate independent boards.

● Grady Cameron says he is not considering a new position with either company.

● Instead, Mr Cameron will take up an interim position to the end of this year, overseeing next developments for the entities.

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grady-cameron-delta-ceo-story-19-10-16-newshub-co-nzNewshub broke the story when whistleblower Richard Healey first went public on dangerous poles 19.10.16 [newshub.co.nz]

Deloitte review report – Aurora Energy and Delta Utilities (PDF, 1740 KB)
12 Dec 2016: Review of Aurora Energy Limited/Delta Utility Services Limited – Network Safety Concerns

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Media Release
Aurora Energy begins implementing recommendations of independent review

15 Feb 2017
Aurora Energy has begun the implementation of the organisational changes recommended by the independent review by its shareholder, Dunedin City Holdings Limited.
The first step is to transition to two standalone companies from the middle of the year.
Delta Utility Services and Aurora Energy Chair, Steve Thompson, says there have always been two organisations – Aurora Energy that owns the electricity network, and Delta that provides contracting services to Aurora Energy and other energy and environmental customers and employs the people who maintain the network.

“We about to begin the process of recruiting a new chief executive for Delta and aim to have that person in place by the middle of the year. As the Delta leadership team takes shape, we will provide further updates. We expect to appoint a permanent Aurora Energy chief executive in the latter part of the year.”

“The current chief executive, Grady Cameron, has advised me that he will not take up either of the new roles. He will remain in his existing role until 30 June 2017, after which he will be interim Aurora Energy chief executive until the end of the year.”

“The Board and I are particularly grateful that Grady has agreed to oversee the transition process along with the accelerated pole programme which is now underway,” says Mr Thompson.

A report by consulting firm Deloitte last year prepared for Dunedin City Holdings, made a number of recommendations, including separate board and management structures for Aurora Energy and Delta.

“Grady and his team have already started work on this process, and a number of senior management appointments have been made or are currently being finalised,” says Mr Thompson. The recent appointments establish the new management team and structure for Aurora Energy (see below for executive biographies).
Mr Cameron says the new structure will significantly change the leadership of the two businesses. “My focus now is on assisting the Board and the two organisations with the transition and delivering the pole programme before taking on another role.”

For media enquiries, please contact Gary Johnson on 021 224 2333.
Delta is the infrastructure specialist in energy and environmental services. www.thinkdelta.co.nz

Aurora Energy executive leadership team appointments

Warren Batchelor, General Manager Network Performance
(external appointment, starting 20 February)
Responsible for asset management strategy, planning and implementation; manages asset management, network engineering and design and programme delivery teams. Warren brings wide experience in the electricity distribution and manufacturing sectors with a strong focus on asset management, engineering and network operations. He was most recently managing the networks transformation programme for Vector, based in Auckland. Prior to that he has held senior management roles and carried out major change programmes with Aurora Energy (the state electricity provider in Tasmania) and Unison Networks, among others. He holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury.

Mark Corbitt, Chief Technology Officer
(external appointment, starting 20 February)
Responsible for information technology strategy and operations, network technology development for Aurora Energy, including the future implementation of its new asset management system. Mark brings deep experience in information and communications technology leadership to the organisation. He was most recently Chief Information Officer for Contact Energy based in Wellington. Prior to that he has held senior information and communications technology roles and undertaken significant projects with the Ministry of Justice, Housing New Zealand and Telecom NZ, among others.

John Campbell, General Manager Operations and Risk
(internal appointment)
Responsible for network operations and customer services, operation of network control centres, strategic risk management and network safety. John has been Operations Manager for the Aurora Energy network since 2015. Prior to that, John had more than 30 years’ experience in the electricity industry including engineering, operations and project management roles at national grid operator Transpower and network engineering and operations for Central Power (Manawatu).

Alec Findlater, General Manager Network Commercial
(internal appointment)
Responsible for network pricing, connection management, commercial development, customer solutions, regulatory affairs and resource management. Alec was most recently Commercial Manager for the Aurora Energy network. He has in excess of 30 years’ experience in electricity transmission and distribution, with senior roles encompassing design and engineering, contracting and commercial management.

[ends]

Aurora Energy Link

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

10 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Central Otago, Delta, Dunedin, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Stadiums, Technology, Travesty