Tag Archives: Carisbrook

DCC Long Term Plan: Green-dyed chickens home to roost

Updated post Wed, 25 Mar 2015 at 12:49 p.m.

Cute little chicken over green natural background.[todayifoundout.com]

With a self-imposed aim to keep rates rises to no more than 3%, the council still needed to find millions of dollars in savings each year for the next decade.

### ODT Online Wed, 25 Mar 2015
Council accused of being in denial over long-term plan
By Chris Morris
Councillors say the Dunedin City Council is in “denial” over the need to raise rates, or cut services, to plug a $68 million budget shortfall over the next decade. The claims came amid warnings from Crs Aaron Hawkins and Jinty MacTavish yesterday, as councillors met to sign off on a public consultation document summarising the council’s long-term plan.
Read more

Quelle surprise…. it’s not like these latest mumblings from Councillors on DCC budgets and projections is “News!” to the Dunedin ratepayers and residents who closely follow Council fortunes.

What IS news is the “greenie sustainables” of Greater Dunedin have finally woken up!

Is there a political split forming in Greater Dunedin? – when indeed, historically, we’ve been told by the ‘loose connection with incorporated society’ that its members have no shared policy, that their elected representatives are free to (think) and vote independently…. with some cohesion, nevertheless.

Well might Cr Lee Vandervis provide a standing ovation to Cr Aaron Hawkins’ voicing of major concerns. It was incumbent on Cr Jinty MacTavish, practically and politically… to agree with her Green Party confederate.
Interesting times. Wait for the YouTube video.

Dunedin City Council Extraordinary Meeting 24 March 2015 at 12 noon
Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers

Agenda – Council – 24/03/2015 (PDF, 28.3 KB)
Extraordinary Meeting

Agenda Item 4
ADOPTION OF DRAFT LONG TERM PLAN 2015/16 – 2024/25 SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AND CONSULTATION DOCUMENT
Report from the General Manager Services and Development (Simon Pickford). Refer to pages 4.1 – 4.8.
Supporting documents and consultation document circulated separately and are also available on the Dunedin City Council website.
Reports and recommendations contained in this agenda are not to be considered as Council policy until adopted.

Report – Council – 24/03/2015 (PDF, 176.8 KB)
Adoption of Draft Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25 Supporting Documents and Consultation Document

Report – Council – 24/03/2015 (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Adoption of Draft Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25 Supporting Documents and Consultation Document
Attachment 7 – Dunedin City Council Draft Long Term Plan Consultation document for adoption 24 March 2015

Report – Council – 24/03/2015 (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Adoption of Draft Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25 Supporting Documents and Consultation Document
Draft Infrastructure Strategy for adoption 24 March 2015 (replaces previously issued document)

Related Posts and Comments:
12.3.15 Snaky Stedman —not answering … questions ratepayers must ask
4.3.15 DCC internal audits
20.2.15 Audit NZ making up for previous huge inadequacies over DCC books ?
21.1.15 Dunedin City Council to set rates WAY ABOVE….
21.11.14 Stadium Review: Mayor Cull exposed
19.11.14 Forsyth Barr Stadium Review
31.10.14 Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC
28.5.14 DCC: Audit and risk subcommittee
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ … LynProvost
26.2.14 DCC: New audit and risk subcommittee a little too late !!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Cycle network, DCC, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, NZTA, OAG, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums

‘Stadium liability’, from the ODT unprintable letters file

Received from Lee Vandervis
Sun, 14 Dec 2014 at 10:42 a.m.

Message: I have been advised by Nick Smith that the ODT Editor will not print my letter as below.
You may well have ideas on what the reasons for rejection may be.
Cheers,
Lee

ODT 10.12.14 Letter to the editor (page 14)
ODT 10.12.14 Letter to editor Diehl p14

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:43:28 +1300
To: EditorODT, Nicholas G S Smith [ODT], Dave Cannan [ODT]
Conversation: Stadium liability
Subject: Stadium liability

Dear Editor,
Despite all the evidence, contributors like Bev Diehl still have everything wrong regarding the Stadium.
We do not “have it” – it has us till it is paid for. In the meantime the lenders have it and us by the debt short and curlies.
It is not “an asset” but a rates liability. We are not having major artists, they occasionally have us, as in the estimated $6 million Elton took back overseas for his one-off no-charge use of the Stadium. The mostly empty stadium has other events, mostly rugby, which are heavily subsidised by rates bail-outs and differential, Community Access fund, Event Attraction fund, and millions in interest, staff and maintenance payments. The DCC Stadium Review Committee was stacked with Stadium Management who recently succeeded in again increasing funding for their already wasteful operational spending.
Everything can never “fall into place”, until Stadium operational costs are reduced to the bare minimum required for the rare large events that only the Stadium can host, now that Carisbrook has been levelled.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

Perhaps an inkling here, Lee ?

Ch39 News (11.12.14) talks to Phil Somerville about the ODT Opinion page.
We’re told it’s about bringing forth ideas. Different views from different perspectives – but STOP.

What are some of the main recurring topics?

“Often they tend to be on the main news of the day. For a while of course they were on the stadium, try to avoid that now, most views are extremely entrenched. Probably could run something on climate change every week….”
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC

Whale Oil Beef Hooked logo### whaleoil.co.nz Fri, 31 Oct 2014 at 5:20pm
Why is there no law to rein in dodgy ratbag local body politicians?
By Cameron Slater
Former ARC Councillor Bill Burrill is not the first dodgy ratbag Councillor to trough from abuses of power to his own pecuniary advantage in recent years. A few years back in 2009 Council Watch was calling for a number of Councillors from the Canterbury Regional Council to be prosecuted and sacked from their positions after an investigation by the Auditor General Lyn Provost found that four individuals had broken the law by acting in conflict with their official role. Back then those Canterbury Councillors failed to declare a conflict on interest that [led] to a financial benefit for themselves by participating in discussion and voting on proposals before Council. Under investigation the Auditor General’s office chose not to prosecute stating that whilst the Councillors should have withdrawn as a matter of principle – they had each received and shared legal advice that they could participate. And here in lies the problem. The Auditor General and Office of the Ombudsmen publish clear guidelines for Councillors and council staff but the reality is that the law is erroneously filled with holes that are exploited and there is precious little oversight of Local Government leading to the Auditor General loathing to bother and the Courts uninterested.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: Forensics for kids

Crime scene - forensic animation 09 - Tim McGarvey [tmba.tv] 11

Fairfax Media has obtained Audit NZ letters of management to the DCC from 2005 to 2012, released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The letters show that in the years 2007-2010 auditors consistently urged the DCC to tighten up its risk-management policies and processes.

Audit NZ expressed concern over what it indicated could be inadequate controls over several internal processes, including verifying signatures of those authorised to sign invoices and purchase orders, independent review of creditor files, and controls of sensitive areas such as sale of council assets to staff. (Fairfax)

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 08:17 26/08/2014
Dunedin council officers ‘not kids’
By Wilma McCorkindale
The Dunedin City Council (DCC) appears to have ignored calls by Audit New Zealand to improve its risk and fraud processes, saying its officers were “supposedly people with integrity … not kids”.

The DCC revealed in June it was investigating a suspected major fraud within its Citifleet unit. The fraud was suspected to have been carried out over a decade. Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop died suddenly in May. His death has been referred to the coroner. Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said the alleged fraud of $1.5 million included alleged illegal transactions resulting in the loss of profits from the sale of 123 council fleet vehicles. The findings have been passed to the Dunedin police for further investigation.

Fairfax Media has obtained Audit NZ letters of management to the DCC from 2005 to 2012, released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The letters show that in the years 2007-2010 auditors consistently urged the DCC to tighten up its risk-management policies and processes. It appears Audit NZ was compelled to repeat similar advice over the period and noted the DCC met only minimum requirements.

Council managers’ response to the Audit NZ findings in 2010 was to say the council had considered creating an audit and risk committee but concluded its finance and strategy committee adequately performed the role. In December 2010 Audit NZ raised the issue of reviews of areas “susceptible to fraud”, but management commented that specific audits in the “most sensitive areas” had found “no transactions of concern or deficiencies in controls”.
Read more

Crime scene - forensic [scottthornbury.wordpress.com] 2b

Five council staff were involved in “employment processes”, with some facing the prospect of losing their jobs, the ODT understands.

[Irony] Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule yesterday told the ODT the “mind-boggling” alleged fraud was the biggest involving a local authority he could recall.

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Aug 2014
Council overlooked audit advice
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull concedes a chance to detect the alleged $1.5 million Citifleet fraud may have been missed, after the council twice overlooked advice from Audit New Zealand. The revelation came in Audit New Zealand’s annual reports to the council, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, which highlighted gaps in council processes dating back to 2003. […] The findings have triggered finger-pointing between past and present council staff, councillors and Audit NZ, but council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said responsibility for failing to detect the alleged fraud rested with the council.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
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
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images (tweaked by whatifdunedin): tmba.tv – Tim McGarvey: 3D forensic animation (TMBA Inc. Animation Studio, New York City); scottthornbury.wordpress.com – F is for forensics (illustration by Quentin Blake, from Broughton, G. (1968) Success With English. Harmondsworth: Penguin)

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Stadium: Who is being protected?

Received from Russell Garbutt
15 July 2014 at 4:30 PM

What is an advertisement, and what content of an advertisement needs to be able to be verified?

Readers of the Otago Daily Times, and followers of the on-going stadium debate which shows no signs of lessening in its intensity may be intrigued to know just where the sensitivities of the ODT lie.

Let us look at some simple facts which cannot be in dispute.

The Carisbrook Stadium Trust which was acting as an agent of the Dunedin City Council, decided to publish a full page advertisement in the 31 May 2008 issue of the ODT. The advertisement was headed up “The Facts about the New Stadium”.

In this advertisement it was claimed that “The funding target establishes a debt free stadium. On this basis the business plan for the stadium shows that it makes a profit. Unlike nearly all other Council owned facilities it will not need annual funding support. This assessment has been confirmed by two of New Zealand’s leading accountancy firms”.

This is published and accessible and the wording of the advertisement cannot be interpreted in any other way as the heading refers to all that followed as “facts”.

The advertisement also claimed that the Trustees of the CST were “committed to delivering this stadium, under budget, on time and to achieve its financial, social and economic goals”.

Now of course some advertisements for wrinkle cream use all sorts of phrases like “clinical tests prove etc etc”. Many people are ready to pounce on claims that are unable to be substantiated, or are untruthful, or are misleading, or cannot be proven. In other words, the makers of the wrinkle cream need to be able to show that there were indeed “clinical tests”. The fact that the clinic may have been part of the company making the cream is sometimes understood, and in any case, the makers of the cream hardly ever claim that “totally independent clinical trials using double blind processes found what we are claiming is true”.

But this is not some pot of wrinkle cream.

The CST claimed a number of facts in their advertisement that they said were verified by two of New Zealand’s leading accountancy firms.

So, I submitted a very brief letter to the Editor of the ODT that simply asked this:

Dear Sir

In light of the continuing operating losses of the Awatea Street Rugby Stadium, and the on-going debt costs from its construction, it would be interesting to be informed of just who the two leading NZ accountancy firms were that confirmed the Carisbrook Stadium Trust’s claims published in the ODT in 2008 that the stadium would be built debt free and would return an annual operating profit. Maybe these two companies could now tell us how the reality differs so much from the published claims.

Yours sincerely

The ODT has informed me that my letter was noted but not selected for publication. This is newspaper speak for it’s been binned.

Why should this be?

Should the ODT not be interested in ensuring that an advertisement of a major size on a subject that had divided the City was not at all misleading in the same way that claims were made that may not be able to be substantiated, or could be shown to be unfactual?

Is the ODT particularly sensitive to the views of those that decided to publish this advertisement?

Had the ODT entered into any understanding or arrangement that the paper would support the stadium project which may have led to less than stringent standards of advertising being followed in this case?

But perhaps more telling is that to my knowledge, the ODT has not followed up on the obvious story of just who these two leading NZ accounting firms were that supported the claims of a debt free stadium and an annual operating profit. My point is that time and distance show us that these claims were so at odds with the claims made and published, that serious questions remain unanswered on just how the CST and these two companies got it so wrong.

Maybe another newspaper sees the story that the ODT doesn’t?

[ends]

CST advert ODT 31.5.08 detail

odt may 31 2008-1 (pdf cleaned)

█ Legible copy: CST Advertisement, ODT 31 May 2008 (PDF, 200 KB)

Related Posts and Comments:
9.7.14 John Ward, no mention of stadium or CST trusteeship
23.5.14 Stadium | DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 ● Benson-Pope…
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
12.3.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: Financial statements year ended 30.6.13
8.3.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust subject to LGOIMA
24.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: ‘Facts about the new Stadium’ (31.5.08)
22.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust costs
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass… [stadium review]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stadium: NZRU in the sights

NZRU takes a very high percentage of the returns from professional rugby matches at Fubar and other regional stadiums around New Zealand. NZRU’s Steve Tew doesn’t want you to dwell on that, he’s making money.

Dunedin’s Mayor Cull and City Councillors need to wake up.

ODT 28.6.14 Letter to editor (page 34)

ODT 28.6.14 Letter to editor Garbutt (page 34)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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ORFU: Black-tie dinner on ratepayers

Correspondence received.
Monday, 17 March 2014 9:28 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: Steve Tew [NZRU]; Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]; Rebecca Fox [ODT]; Murray Kirkness [ODT]; Ian Telfer [RNZ]
Subject: FW: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:26:55 +1300

Monday 17th March 2014

Dear Steve

It is a while since we corresponded and Doug [Harvie] has indicated he doesn’t intend to respond any further (always best to keep the lines of communication open when in a leadership role) so thought I would let you in on the current situation of the ORFU.
Please read from the bottom up and then read the rest of this email.

Either Doug doesn’t fully appreciate the situation or is just hoping the issue will go away.
Let me explain the situation from a different perspective so that both you and Doug may have a deeper understanding of the full implications.

Let’s say that you and Doug decide to borrow a considerable amount of money to build a new restaurant with a state of the art glass roof. Absolutely stunning – is going to be just wonderful for me to conduct my business dealings there. Just days after your restaurant opens I come along and make a booking for 350 guests. Unfortunately, my business hasn’t been going that well so am using your new restaurant to have a fund-raising dinner. I employ one of my close friends, Elly-May, to organise the dinner for my business. She sells tickets for this dinner for $250 each. Now 350 guests at $250 each is $87,500. You charge me about $75 per guest – a total of about $26,000. Now after the event I pay my close friend Elly-May about $10,000 and have a few other expenses which leave me with a ‘profit’ of $52,000. BUT instead of paying you the $26,000 I put the lot in my ‘pot’ and cry that I’m poor. You and Doug were such wonderful hosts, our guests were well fed, plenty of booze and cleaned up after us. Thanks for that.

One of your colleagues gets a bit shirty and accuses me of being dishonest. How dare him [sic]. I just wanted to spend the money on something else – I had other bills to pay even though my 350 guests were under the impression they were paying for the night out I just wanted to use the money for something else. Done it before – ask Jeremy Curragh. Well. I have some very important friends, you know. So I get them to sue him for defamation. Felt good when your colleague had to apologise.

Do you really think I have acted honestly and with integrity?

Now do you understand why the Dunedin ratepayers are still angry about this?
I am still being approached by people (as recently as yesterday – some of them rugby coaches) upset by the ORFU’s actions.

I suggest you two have a chat and do the right thing and pay this bill now that the ORFU have announced a ‘profit’ for the year. Someone needs to show some leadership over this. The Dunedin community deserve better. Personally I believe you have a moral obligation to pay this bill and set this wrong right. It is but a small gesture for the many indiscretions perpetrated by the ORFU on the Dunedin community.
Some people in the Dunedin community think that the ORFU are rotten to the core but I don’t actually agree with them. I am an optimist at heart and believe that there is human decency in everyone. In the ORFU’s case it just requires a bit of deeper prodding.

The ORFU have a moral obligation to show some human decency and pay this bill. It is a matter of principle. I will not be silenced on this. You have my word on that.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

—————————–

From: Bev Butler
To: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 09:43:19 +1300

Dear Doug

Saying that “ALL creditors have been satisfied in full, in one way or another” is not the same as saying that all creditors have been PAID in full.
I know it is uncomfortable for you to be reminded of this but it still does not excuse the ORFU from doing the decent thing and paying their obscene black-tie dinner given they already had the money but decided to pocket it instead.
How about showing some decency or goodwill towards those that bailed you out of your financial mess now that you are flush with $406,859 profit?

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

—————————–

From: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:16:32 +0000 [sic]

You have your facts wrong Bev – ALL creditors of ORFU have been satisfied in full, in one way or another.

I will not be responding to any further correspondence on this matter.

D J Harvie

Partner
Harvie Green Wyatt

(P O Box 5740, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. Phone +64 3 4775005 or +64 21 2234169. Fax +64 3 4775447

—————————–

From: Bev Butler
Sent: Friday, 14 March 2014 7:32 a.m.
To: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
Cc: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill

Friday 14th March 2014

Dear Doug

In today’s ODT the ORFU have reported a profit of $406,859 for the 2013 financial year and a profit of $134,656 for the 2012 financial year. Part of this so called profit is just pocketing of monies from unpaid bills.

As you are fully aware, the ORFU ran up a DVML bill of $25,352 for their black tie fund raiser at the stadium on 5th August 2011. This was for food, booze, soft drinks and cleaning.

Not only did the ORFU run off without paying this bill but the ORFU paid no venue hire for this brand new venue. Then to top it off the ORFU pocketed $52,000 from this fundraising event into their ‘pot’ which then is reported as profit for the 2012 financial year.

The fact that the ORFU then pressurised the Council to ‘write it off’ does not excuse the ORFU from the moral obligation to pay this bill.

I was quoted in the ODT as saying this was ‘obscene’. It is like booking a large restaurant, gorging yourselves on all their food and drink and hospitality then doing a runner.

It is ‘obscene’ and I expect this bill to be paid in full.

Laurie Mains, and his wife, Anne-Marie, refused to answer questions as to whether Anne-Marie was paid for her services in organising this event. I actually have no problem with her charging for her professional services. What I do have a problem with is that it is standard practice for professional event organisers to ensure all outstanding bills are paid before the ‘surplus’ is paid to the organisation. This did not happen. I don’t know whether Anne-Marie was paid $10,000, $12,000 or even more but whatever the amount the issue is that the other bills should have been paid first.

I fully expect this bill to be paid as the ORFU did actually have sufficient funds to pay this bill as evidenced by the reported profit of $134,656 for the 2012 financial year.

I also remind you that the $350 guests to this black-tie dinner paid $250 per ticket which would have been paid with the understanding that this would cover the costs. When a function such as this is organised, the ticket price is to cover the costs of the meal, venue hire, cleaning etc. Once the bills are paid, then any surplus is genuine ‘profit’ and the organisation then can legally pocket this ‘profit’.

The fact that the ORFU pocketed this money instead of paying their bill is unacceptable.

It is time the ORFU did the decent thing and pay this bill.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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