Tag Archives: CCC

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #5 – Delta and the ghostly hand of Tom Kain

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 10 July 2016 at 10:41 p.m.

Dear Readers

When your correspondent began to post on Delta’s involvement at the Noble Subdivision, he was expecting to find some noteworthy stupidity on the part of Delta, but had no idea the degree of disgusting amorality and contempt for the law that Delta and its enablers have displayed.  

Warren Buffet once said “show me the incentive and I will show you the result”. Your correspondent believes that Delta’s management team will do ANYTHING to avoid crystallising the loss at Noble, and will hide behind any fig leaf, legal or otherwise for as long as possible – because on a salary package of nearly $500,000 (not far from DOUBLE the salary of the DCC chief executive) Delta CEO Cameron (and possibly others) will have a portion of his salary at risk, subject to meeting certain KPIs. Booking a massive loss of many millions is not usually an acceptable KPI, let alone satisfactory job performance, particularly when CEO Cameron presided over the decision to proceed with Noble in 2009 and has never – publicly – raised any concerns.

This is despite Delta already having lost around $14M at the failed Jacks Point and Luggate subdivisions, and both of those subdivisions were in trouble in late 2009 when the final decision to proceed with Noble was made.

Yes, yes, readers, I hear the saucers rattling as the cups are slammed down, the Choysa leaking onto the Formica  – “this is old news…. CD is retreading ….get to tonight’s point!”

In a recent earlier post, WWTKD – What Would Tom Kain Do ?, your correspondent, somewhat tongue in cheek, posited that Delta had learnt from Tom Kain and had a fiendishly cunning plan A and plan B. Plan A being flouting the law – knowingly – and if that did not work, Plan B being “suing the stuffing out of their law firm”.

It turns out, following some explosive revelations in counsels’ submissions in the recent litigation, that this is ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENED in respect of Plan A.

In the most recent action discussed in Epic Fraud #4, the counsel for the landowners stated “defeating the applicant’s caveat was the sole purpose behind the Sharing Agreement, as noted by David Smillie, solicitor for Delta: “If the existing caveats are not withdrawn … then there will also need to be a Security Sharing Deed with Gold Band”.” [Email from David Smillie, 4 May 2011]

In an email dated 11 February 2011, Mr Smilllie sets out step by step how the deception will work:

“1. NIL granting a registered mortgage to Delta.
2. Philpott etc consenting to registration of the mortgage (but the caveat remains in place ahead of Delta’s mortgage).
3. Gold Band agrees to Delta having 1st priority.
4. Gold Band agrees to hold its 1st registered mortgage on lot 19 on trust for Delta (to allow sale / enforcement by Delta if necessary so as to avoid caveat issues).

Mr Smillie concludes by stating, “While not ideal, that seems to be as close as we can get to a 1st registered mortgage position for Delta given the caveat issue”.

Let us allow that to sink in. Delta and their lawyers, had in December 2009 approached the landowners to remove their caveats to allow Delta to register a first mortgage for their debt. The landowners did NOT relinquish their caveats, but instead gave Delta a “caveators consent” and allowed Delta to register a second mortgage behind their caveat on the express terms that Delta security include their caveated interests and provisions.  

Delta were then able to register a $5M second mortgage. However, no doubt in light of the Delta debacles at Jacks Point and Luggate that had made a massive hole in Delta’s finances by then, Delta wanted more than a second mortgage. Delta was 100% prepared to give the static clothesline to the very landowners who had provided them with security in the first place. (Without this second mortgage security, Delta would not have been able to even contemplate their despicable deceptions).

Bottom line, readers : Delta’s response to the landowners’ consent to provide them with $5M of security is this attempt to defraud the landowners of their known prior interests.

Readers, you may say say, oh well that is simply what CD thinks, and the landowners, let’s just wait and see what the Judge says, or, if necessary, the Court of Appeal. They are the experts, not some lightly caffeinated Christchurch Driver.   

Perhaps, readers, perhaps, but what does Gold Band’s lawyer say in light of this onslaught ? Unbelievably, the lawyer (a Mr Vinnell from Anthony Harper) states that “Delta ….has not given any instructions to Gold Band under the Security Sharing Deeds for those lots”. [see 13.6 (h) New arguments, in Respondent’s Submissions in Opposition to Stay Application, CR Vinnell for Gold Band, 27 June 2016]

WTH ? What about the email from Gold Band’s CEO refusing the landowners’ offer to redeem their first mortgage because Delta would not allow them to ?! Is an instruction the same as a prohibition or a refusal ? Delta did not need to provide any instruction to Gold Band as it was made perfectly clear to Gold Band, years before the official NIL default, what Delta’s expectations were – in Mr Smillie’s email of 8 March 2011, “so as to be able to overcome the caveat if it became necessary to enforce Delta’s security”. [para 20, Submissions of Counsel for the Applicants in Support of Application for Stay of Execution. Duncan Cotterill solicitors, 20 June 2016]

Mr Vinnell is out on a slim reed indeed. He then blusters that none of this is new. Maybe not new Mr Vinnell, but true.

Another excuse offered (and amazingly, accepted by Judge Osborne), was that it was “commercially expedient” for the security sharing agreement to cater for Delta rather than the applicants. [para 25, Submissions of Counsel for the Applicants in Support of Application for Stay of Execution. Duncan Cotterill solicitors, 20 June 2016] This is the basis of the appeal : That expediency is not a justification for land transfer fraud. And yes, readers, there is definitely more on this to come.    

Readers, we in fact don’t have to wait for the judicial system. We have an expert who has tried judges’ patience at every court in the land with similar spurious arguments, and there is no one, and I mean no –one!, who has a better view about how far the law can be bent and abused, having been arguably (how he loved that word!) the country’s leading exponent of vexatious litigation.

I refer of course to the late Tom Kain. Yes, Mr Kain’s palsied and quivering hand extends beyond the grave….

Their Zombie Bad Policies [wesharepics.info]

The smoking gun from Mr Kain : The landowners’ counsel writes [para 22], “It appears that Noble, Delta and Gold Band suspected their arrangement sailed very close to the wind, as an internal email of 13 October 2011 from Tom Kain notes:

“Some time ago when we asked Jim Keegan whether or not Delta could be granted security over Gold band’s mortgage and he did not think this could be done. However David Smillie, on behalf of Delta, believes this can be done….”

Jim Keegan is a senior partner at Cavell Leitch, a large Christchurch law firm. Mr Keegan graduated from Law School 44 years ago in 1972, and is the head of their (large) specialist property team. He is the go-to lawyer for a number of large developers. Mr Smillie, on the other hand…. is Delta’s lawyer.  

Tom Kain was the man, readers, who proffered an agreement to a party at another subdivision some years ago. The party signed the agreement, and then Tom Kain promptly sued the party for agreeing to it, having been the one who prepared the agreement. And it didn’t stop at the High Court. Tom Kain took the case all the way to the Privy Council, where he lost comprehensively. The Law Lords said derisively of Mr Kain’s argument, “it offends both equity and common sense”.

It has come to this. Delta will go to the dark places that Tom Kain – Tom Kain ! would not go. Delta offends not only equity, common sense, but integrity, honesty, commercial practice and common decency. It’s no wonder they had to shut down in Christchurch. They would be commercial pariahs. Even hard nosed Australian contractors would baulk at this. No one would trust them to clean even a mudtank (Sorry, Fulton Hogan!) after this behaviour.  

But readers, there’s more. The central defence of the Gold Band / Delta in opposition to the stay action discussed in Epic Fraud #4 was that there was a buyer for the mortgagee sale, and if the stay was allowed the buyer may walk. Gold Band wouldn’t disclose the buyer, but your correspondent understands that Delta / DCHL have already advised or intimated to the DCC earlier in the year that Delta is part of the buyer’s consortium, and if that is the case, Gold Band and their lawyers are misleading the court by omitting this very material fact.  

And then there is the inevitable Delta misdirection. In response to a letter about the Noble debacle (ODT 3.3.16), CEO Cameron stated categorically, “We are no longer involved in this type of civil construction, and won’t be again.” Grady, how can this statement be true if Delta is part of the mortgagee sale and will have ongoing “involvement”, and you knew this when you made this statement? If this is the case your credibility is further diminished (is there any left?).   

Mr Crombie, Mr Cameron, and ALL the Delta Directors (aka turnips) : If and when the courts find that Delta has acted outside the law, this will end some careers at Delta and DCHL. Massaging numbers to hit your KPIs is not going to help you now. There will be fast and furious duck-shoving and plaintive cries of ignorance. Your correspondent’s message tonight : The cover-up is always worse than the crime, and you are all complicit in that. This extra legal activity has been going on for years, on top of the actual massive debt, and not one of you has expressed any misgivings to your Owners, the DCC, that even ‘potentially’ illegal behaviour is going on. Not a single one of you emerges with any credibility.

Your correspondent understands that at this very moment, time is up for some of you. In the DCC garden, the overripe, malodorous turnips are being turned over. This is a very good thing.  

You heard it here first at What if?, readers.

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: wesharepics.info – their zombie bad policies, tweaked by whatifdunedin

Note | Litigation privilege requires:
1. that the document(s) come into existence when litigation was either already under way or was ‘reasonably apprehended’ (meaning it’s a serious or realistic prospect); and
2. the ‘dominant purpose’ for creating the document must have been to enable the client’s legal adviser to either conduct the case or advise the client on that litigation.
Can legal professional privilege be waived?
Yes. Legal professional privilege can be waived by the client – that is, the client can choose to release the information that is privileged.

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Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #4 : Tales from the Courtroom….

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 8 Jul 2016 at 1:19 a.m.

Readers, you were promised some instalments on the current Court Action(s), and your correspondent made a prediction that the “Security Sharing Deed” prepared by Delta would be destroyed and shown to be illegal and unenforceable with career ending consequences for Delta Directors, advisers and staff alike.

We can report that things are brewing nicely. In rugby terms, while the ref hasn’t pulled out the red card, he is definitely reaching into his pocket. There must be some collective buttock clenching at Delta, in the DCHL Boardroom, and particularly, at the law firm that wrote the Security Sharing Deed. But let us digress onto other matters tonight, and save the big security sharing reveal for next week, closer to when Osborne J releases his decision.

Pour a brew, pull up a chair, and digest with Bell’s Best the following :

This latest case (because there have been many court actions on the Noble Subdivision) is where the plaintiffs, being the original landowners of the Subdivision, are seeking a stay on a court decision that removes the caveats that protect their interests in the land. The landowners had already won in Court twice before on this issue, against the Owner, NIL, but now Gold Band and Delta are effectively re-cycling that argument, indulging in financial carborundum (wearing down) of the plaintiffs. The landowners have appealed the High Court decision to the Court of Appeal, but if the mortgagee sale on the land occurs, which is due to go unconditional on July 29 2016, then the plaintiffs will be unable to enforce any Court Decision, as title will have passed free and clear to the new owner. (Legal term : The appeal will be rendered nugatory).

Your correspondent has read the submissions of counsel for the Court Action (CIV-2014-409-716), and even though this is just an application for a stay, the oasis is blooming again with plenty of material that is of particular interest to Delta’s Owners. (That is you, readers). It will take several posts, but here is the bottom line that springs to mind : after reading the submissions, there are no shades of grey. There is a stronger argument, and a weaker one, and unlike Socrates, Gold Band’s lawyer is under no threat -whatsoever- of execution for tampering with that order….

The Delta / Gold Band lawyer has made a series of statements that do not stand up to forensic examination. Put another way, they are compellingly stupid assertions.

A bit of legal background, readers : to have the Court uphold a stay, a precedent ruling – Dymocks Franchise Systems (NSW) v Bilgola Enterprises establishes the factors that must be weighed

1. Will the appeal be rendered nugatory if the stay is not granted
2. Bona fides of the applicants
3. Will the successful party be injuriously affected
4. The effect of third parties
5. The novelty and importance of the question involved
6. The public interest in the proceedings.

In this case 1, 3, 5, 6 are the relevant factors.

Gold Band’s solution to 1. is to propose that if the plaintiffs are successful in the Court of Appeal, in order to enforce their rights for the wrongful removal of the caveats they would then have to sue Gold Band for damages, as the property would have been sold. In a classic foot-in-mouth manoeuvre, Gold Band’s lawyer then gives lie to the myth of Gold Band as a corporate colossus that is well versed and able in legal battles, by stating in para 11.4 that a paltry $1.2M mortgage plus interest is causing Gold Band “serious issues as to its ability to operate as a finance company within its Trust Deed”. Gold Band only has $6.4M total capital and made a profit of $532,000 FY 2015. We can be very sure it is in absolutely no position to face a court action for millions, and your correspondent says it would not exist by the time the action got to court. Advantage : Plaintiffs !

Having opened with that foolish position, the Gold Band defence then quickly descends to the ludicrous on 3. (Gold Band being injuriously affected) by stating that “The evidence on this is compelling” …. “Gold Band has spent $26,000 on Mortgagee Sale Advertising and $104,000 on legal fees associated with the sale”.

Gold Band claim that they entered into a contract for sale of the land on May 2 2016, and that “the contract is conditional and the purchaser could walk away as a result of the stay”. We then get the sob story about what a trial and a burden the first mortgage is on Gold Band, “serious issues….ability to operate….” as noted above, which is just utter rubbish. Gold Band made out like bandits when they sold parts of the first mortgage (as per our earlier post, The Little Finance Company that did (Delta). ). At 22.50% compounding, with an imminent settlement there would be lines out the door to buy this mortgage……IF IT WERE LEGAL TO SPLIT A FIRST MORTGAGE……

Putting that aside (just for the minute Graham, Grady, you can bank on more forensics on THAT little topic !) – our hapless Gold Band lawyer fails to disclose that in July 2014 Gold Band valued the Noble Subdivision – as is – at $20.58M, and Gold Band’s CEO, Mr Brennan deposed recently that the first mortgage is just $8M, so barring Delta-like incompetence, there is no way that Gold Band will not recover the $130,000 costs they spent on the sale, and until they get it, they get to charge 22.50 % on those costs !! What’s not to like !! Game : Plaintiffs!

To complete the rout (Game – Love), the plaintiffs’ lawyers note that under the terms of the tender, [21.4] Gold Band can defer settlement of the mortgagee sale up until August 2017 which will allow plenty of time to resolve the caveat issue before the land is “sold”…. but wait Batman, said Robin…. Is it actually going to be sold ?

Voiceover….
Conveniently, the identity of the purchaser of the mortgagee sale is not revealed because “The purchaser has not consented to its disclosure,” say Delta Gold Band.

Batman : How very, very interesting. We are now getting to the nub of the entire #EpicFail matter. I say this “Purchaser” is in some way related to the following parties or associated interests : NIL, Apple Fields, Tom Kain’s Estate, Gold Band, Justin Prain, Gordon Stewart, and of course the DCC, DCHL, and Delta, and that DCC, DCHL, Delta are going to have a CONTINUING INVOLVEMENT in the Noble Subdivision for YEARS TO COME.

Robin : But Batman, how do you know this ?

Elementary, my trailing junior sidekick : In the February 19 2016 Delta press release, there was the phrase, “A successful conclusion of the sale….will remove the main obstacle to the subdivision being put on the market and Delta beginning to recover its outstanding debt”. Robin, words are a universal form of communication – they mean what they say, and with my comprehension SKILLS it is clear that these obfuscating lawyers or PR people are trying to fool the good people of Dunedin that a sale of the land is imminent and Delta will get (some) of its money back. But look at the words. If there is a “successful conclusion of the sale” to an arms length purchaser, then it’s a one shot deal – Delta will get all they are going to get once the prior interests are paid. Nothing more to be done. Take the lumpen loss and move on. But then it says FOLLOWING the conclusion of the sale, “the subdivision being put on the market and Delta BEGINNING to recover its debt”. The only way this can be true is if Delta are involved in the party purchasing the land, and the crucial tell-tale word, BEGINNING, indicates that until sections are sold, then Delta will not receive any money, if they receive any at all. Your caped correspondent says that this is several years, and several court actions away.

Lastly, in a fit of supreme arrogance, Gold Band’s lawyer says that there is no public interest in the case, and there is nothing novel or important involved. Nothing to see here Judge, the Court can move on…. Must not waste “public resources of the court system”, although as noted earlier, the same lawyer happily recommends the landowners waste their private resources on yet more litigation against Gold Band instead of a stay. He demeans the landowners, saying, they have “a history of running appellate litigation in this manner”. Memo to lawyer : accuracy demands that you amend that to “successful appellant litigation”….

No public interest ? This lawyer clearly doesn’t read What if?, live in Dunedin, or read the National Business Review (who compared Delta management to turnips), and is oblique to the revolutionary idea that the ratepayers of Dunedin must have some way to know if indeed the company they own has acted like a corporate criminal, as has been alleged in court documents. Because dollars to doughnuts, the ODT will not be reporting on it.

Readers, this week’s Bat riddle

Q : Why won’t the ODT make any report on the court decision on the Security Sharing Deed arrangement outcome ?

A : Because new ODT CEO Mr Grant McKenzie said there was “no relationship” between Gold Band and Delta, when there are dozens of emails and a security sharing deed that show this is not true, and public humiliation is not generally considered an effective form of career advancement, especially if the “relationship” that was denied is held to be illegal and fraudulent.

Stay tuned readers, same bat-time, same bat-channel, same Bell’s Best.

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

8 Comments

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Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #3 : Security Sharing and not Caring….. who’s got that Constricting Feeling ?

Updated post.
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 at 9:23 p.m.

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 28 Jun 2016 at 10:33 p.m.

Readers, in recent posts we have kicked the tyres of the Delta assets, put it up on the what-if hoist and peered into the grimy underside of the business. Unlike the Delta’s hired hands Murray & Co, we have considered the running costs. Our conclusion was that Delta was a very tired machine, running badly, with an overpaid driver at the wheel. It failed all the financial leakdown tests and was going to be an early entrant to the knackers yard because it was pulling a grossly oversized semi-trailer of debt. There, that’s all of the earthmoving metaphors needed for the evening….

However readers, in addition to all the other bad news we have received as owners of Delta, there is one further thing not considered by Murray & Co in their ask-no-questions, see-no-problems report that will further decimate its value. That is the likely cost to Delta of the impending court case that alleges Delta is a party to constructive fraud.

The High Court was advised on 13 June 2016 that Delta and Gold Band Finance are to be joined to the existing proceeding against Noble Investments Ltd.

Readers, after tee-ing up the obligatory Choysa – just one cup tonight, thanks – may wish to refer back to the Epic Fraud posts to refresh their memory about the story so far. In the first post it was explained how DCC claimed that there was no “relationship” with Gold Band, but in fact Delta had prepared a Security Sharing Agreement which Gold Band signed, which was a dictatorship, where Gold Band could not act in relation to the first mortgage in any way, without Delta’s permission.

Delta is 70% owner and 100% controller of that mortgage. While Delta is not yet named in the Court action, Delta is hiding behind the name of their security sharing partner Gold Band. That is, Gold Band’s name is on the court papers with the authority and instruction of Delta who is controlling Gold Band.

court levin-2001-12-17 [newyorker.com] tweaked nz

In the second Epic Fraud post (What Would Tom Kain Do ?) it was noted that Delta’s law firm had received a letter alleging Delta was a party to constructive fraud. What if? did not publish this post until recently as it was concerned that Council would somehow deem this defamatory or some other breach of arcane local body law. (Council has plenty of resources to seek to stifle legitimate debate, but none it seems, to clean the filters in the Portobello Rd stormwater pumping station). As Cr Vandervis says, Council should stick to its core tasks.

Your correspondent, in the name of duty, re-opened the arid pages of the security sharing agreement that is pivotal to Delta’s public assurances that all is well and its “investment” of $1.2M over the face value of the debt to acquire, is prudent and sensible (?). Expecting only to find parched prose, and arcane legal minutiae, yet again, there was a blooming oasis of sustenance for more posts.

Tonight we shall hold some clauses of this deed up for scrutiny, allowing it to twist and flap forlornly in the breeze, just like the broken street signs at the desolate and unfinished Noble Subdivision.

Clause 2.4 d) of the security sharing document has the remarkable sentence : where Delta instructs Gold Band that it “May refrain from doing anything that would be contrary to the law”. In any document this correspondent has ever worked with, obeying the laws of the land is not optional. Most legal and contractual documents have words to the effect that nothing in the document shall be contrary to the laws and acts current at the time.

So a) this statement was entirely unnecessary…. if the law of the land was intended to be followed. But b) if some ultra vires legal deception was intended, then some “clarification” was needed.

“May refrain” is not a ringing endorsement of a party’s intention to stay on the right side of the thin blue line. And when the instruction is in response to a long and detailed list of obligations imposed by Delta on Gold Band, it is hard to shake the notion that Delta did contemplate that some illegal activities were possible or even probable to recover some of its wasted millions. So it instructed Gold Band that they “may refrain” from any Delta instruction that may not be legal and proper, in place of the usual expectation to act lawfully…. at all times. Delta’s priority was what was “enforceable” under the document; Delta of course not being overly concerned with proper form or legal niceties such as performing major subdivision work without a consent.

But while a nod is as good as a wink to a sharp commercial operator like Gold Band, Delta are literal in outlook, and so, two clauses later, is the payback for Gold Band agreeing to “may refrain” from illegal activities, instead of acting lawfully at all times. At Section 2.4 f) in return for Gold Band doing precisely what Delta bids in terms of protecting its first mortgage interest, Delta promises Gold Band “Delta will pay all costs and expenses, “legal or otherwise” of any action taken by the trustee”.

Now Delta’s lawyers will rush in and say, CD is a buffoon – and a barely literate one at that !! He doesn’t have basic comprehension SKILLS ! “Legal or otherwise” is referring to the “costs and expenses” not the following words that say “of any action taken by the trustee”. Readers, that may be so, but the words legal or otherwise in relation to costs and expenses are redundant. The phrase all costs and expenses means precisely that – all of them. On the other hand, a learned Judge, having already knitted their brows over the words “may refrain from illegal acts”, when they see the tangled syntax of 2.4 f), in regard to “payment of all costs and expenses, legal or otherwise, of any action taken by the trustee” will look at the context, and will very likely conclude that Delta are at least contemplating illegal acts and then are reassuring Gold Band that they will still pay for the costs and expenses of those same illegal actions.

[excerpts]

SSA 21.12.2011 GBF Delta NIL 1

SSA 21.12.2011 GBF Delta NIL 2

Yes, yes, readers, I hear you – CD is being sensationalist – grasping at straws ! Trying to stay relevant ! Delta would be completely stupid to try and document illegal activities !! Sadly, readers, hubris is contagious, and Delta have a history on this project of operating on Delta terms, and the law be damned. However, there is another reason and that is, if Delta did instruct Gold Band to act illegally, and the question of payment was not sorted out, Delta could pull another static clothesline tactic out of the Tom Kain archives and refuse to pay Gold Band. Delta would say, à la Kain, Gold Band should have known, as a finance company experienced in mortgage lending, that what Delta were asking was illegal…. and they did this at their own risk and cost ! Take that, and your spurious cost claims with you, Gold Band ! ….What a tangled web of suspicion and mistrust the Noble Subdivision has left !!

The bottom line : While Delta deny they influence Gold Band in any way, these clauses stipulate that Delta will fund Gold Band’s legal costs incurred in the attempts to defeat the landowners’ prior lawful caveats and interest in the land. And let us not forget that Gold Band wanted to sell their first mortgage interest to the landowners, and Delta refused to allow it. They had that power under the deed – a dictatorship, remember, readers ? Your correspondent says that this sort of cynical desperation moves Delta from the merely dense category to the despicable.

Readers, citizens, this talk of illegal acts is not conjecture. In upcoming posts, we shall count the ways in which Delta is alleged to have not acted lawfully. Delta’s potential joinder to constructive fraud is just the start. If the allegations of these further acts are upheld, the consequences for Delta, and various high level DCHL and DCC personnel are just too awful to contemplate…. for the moment.

But tonight, spare a thought for the lawyer(s) who prepared this security sharing deed. It was undoubtedly never intended to see the light of day, much less be forensically examined and trashed in the good pages of What if?

There must be a sense of dread and unease in the weeks to come. Your correspondent says this imprecise and unenforceable deed is going to be systematically destroyed. Someone, we dare not name, will have indeed, That Constricting Feeling….

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: newyorker.com – Levin 17/12/2001, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #2 : WWTKD – What Would Tom Kain Do ?

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 26 Jun 2016 at 11:59 p.m.

Dear Readers

The What if? site has attracted a lot of (unwelcome) attention from higher echelons of the municipality, in recent weeks, both in relation to the #EpicFail posts and others, with intimations some posts are defamatory. (What, this correspondent ? genteel to a fault !). Of course all the while claiming there is no problem with criticism and opinion….. just as long as it’s not too accurate.

This does the valuable service of confirming that we are getting close to the source of some very sensitive and awkward matters, and we need to box clever to avoid the constrictive embrace of harassments, and box clever we shall indeed.

Accordingly, your correspondent has taken a long tea break, but is soon to be active once more as the legal case regarding the Noble Subdivision first mortgage starts soon. This will be better than a soap opera :

Will Captain Crombie steer the good ship Delta from the treacherous legal waters ? Has the boat taken on too much debt and is it listing irreparably ? Will the head office staff make a safe escape with the aid of a golden parachute ? (Mixing airplane and boat metaphors here !)

Stay tuned readers, same bat-time, same bat-channel, and your correspondent will attempt to make the complex digestible, and show where Delta fits in all this.

Meanwhile readers, first some revision : cast your minds back to the Delta #EpicFraud post where your correspondent suggested that Delta were about to have an action brought against them for constructive fraud. It is your correspondent’s experience that Dunedin lawyers are notorious gossips (they make tea break at a primary school staffroom look like a sombre diplomatic forum).

Someone, who knows someone, who knows a person has confirmed that a letter was received by a Dunedin law firm in recent times, say… Friday April 1 2016, accusing Delta of constructive fraud under the Land Transfer Act and asking the firm if they were authorised to accept legal papers in relation to an action against them. Well, Gentlemen of Delta, I bet the Minties and Favourites got a thrashing, upon learning THAT ….now, on June 13 2016, the plaintiffs have formally made application to the High Court that Delta be joined to the action as a party to the alleged constructive fraud.

Alert readers of the #EpicFraud post will remember mention of the security sharing agreement for Delta, the “dictatorship” that would attempt to defeat the prior interests who had caveats, and how it is alleged that this was a form of constructive fraud. We can imagine there was a lot of rattling saucers, and a whole lot of Bell’s best consumed right now by its scribes… a local Dunedin law firm we dare not name. Writing unenforceable documents tends to give clients a good reason to blame the authors of such documents for difficulties, generate complaints to legal disciplinary forums, and claim damages and costs against a law firm.

This is the point of tonight’s teaser post….

This correspondent thinks that perhaps Delta have watched and learned from the dismal Noble Investments Ltd (NIL), and they have come up with a fiendishly cunning plan A and plan B. Plan A : Get an eager law firm to write an unenforceable document. If it works, great. If it doesn’t work, Plan B is to blame the law firm, apologise profusely to the offended parties and then sue the stuffing out of the law firm ! After all, it is a comprehensively feeble excuse for any law firm to say “But you told us to write it !”. Delta would then climb on their soapbox and say “We would NEVER do anything illegal, and if it was, why didn’t you advise us ?!”. Brilliant ! That is a static clothesline playbook right out of the Tom Kain archives !! A plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel !! (with apologies to Blackadder)

But readers, we must confine ourselves to the facts, not indulge in lateral speculations that may injure the feelings of parties.

So, Gentlemen of Delta, can we please have the facts ?

Your correspondent thinks this is the last station on the line for the Delta Gentlemen to have a semi-controlled exit from the Delta / Noble runaway trainwreck, with credibility intact, by giving Dunedin the full account of what, why and how, before the impending court action does it for you. It’s not your money, it’s ours, and if Delta is now facing an action for constructive fraud; on top of losing many millions (acknowledged in MSM by those authorised to speak); someone – we say, the Auditor-General – will look closely at who was responsible. Who might that be ? Some clues : Who was heading up Delta when this deal was inked in 2009 ? Who has allowed this deal to become a toxic malignant cancer for seven long years ? How on earth did Delta (it appears) come to be facing an action for constructive fraud ? If there is any truth to these allegations, then who is to be held accountable ?

In a previous post, we suggested a legal opinion be obtained on Delta’s culpability, from someone far from Dunedin. More than ever, that needs to happen. Are there local politicians who can find some intestinal fortitude to assist on this compounding mess in election year ?

And readers, let’s keep a weather eye on complaints to the New Zealand law society over the next 6-12 months…..
train derailment 1 [twitter.com]

█ For more, enter the terms *delta* or *noble* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: twitter.com – derailment, tweaked by whatifdunedin after reading the Delta SOI 2016/17

7 Comments

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

Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : [rephrased] Conflict of Interest

Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 13 Mar 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

Dear Readers and What –if Mobsters

Your correspondent is given to understand there are several of you who enjoy his posts, which is certainly gratifying to him, if not to the DCC. However readers are taxing mistresses, they demand fresh and current material for their reading pleasure.

Discerning readers of taste and sophistication, of which you are without exception, are firmly of the view that there is nothing as old as yesterday’s news, and tonight’s post is indeed recycled and somewhat elderly. But wait, as Noble Investments Ltd said to the Judge Osbourne, I can explain why I have reneged on my obligations….

This week Mr Graham Crombie did more than re-release Delta CEO Grady Cameron’s press release. He advised What if? that he considered this post below “defamatory” to Mr McKenzie. And said that in effect he will soon have a letter from his lawyers about this. Although, What if? hasn’t actually seen the letter yet. We think it is in Mr Crombie’s other pocket, tangled up with some minties wrappers and the latest Harcourt’s update on the Noble Subdivision mortgagee sale process. Yes, that document has gone missing too.

This Correspondent was cut to the quick. Him ? Defamatory ? A Tom Kain Klone ? Forsooth, he faints at the sight of his own blood !

Friends, Romans, Dunedinites, I come not to bury Mr McKenzie but to praise him. (Eventually).

Here is the post, with all traces of defamation removed…. for Mr Crombie’s reading pleasure….

****

Certain of you, have commented how in recent Council meetings DCC GCFO Grant McKenzie has several times now said he has a “conflict of interest”, when the question of the DCHL financial performance is raised by Councillors. He does not look comfortable in those situations.

OK, so what is this conflict of interest ? Mr McKenzie is the financial eyes and ears of the DCC. He is employed to preserve and maintain the financial stability of the DCC. This includes managing the hundreds of millions of debt that the DCC and its DCHL companies have; and having full oversight of the DCHL companies, which are in theory meant to be significant revenue generators for the DCC. (But, as Mr McKenzie admitted to Cr Lee Vandervis recently, DCHL companies will generate ZERO income (ie dividends) to the DCC for the next three years at least). However, despite the lack of dividends, they are still very significant DCC assets and it is completely right that Mr McKenzie should know in detail what is going on at DCHL.

This correspondent does not see how a conflict of interest can arise.

DCHL companies, owned by DCC, are for the sole purpose of generating a financial return to ease the rates burden. The historical amount of contributions provided by DCHL is shouted from the rooftops at every available opportunity by DCHL boosters. To this correspondent, there are only two ways in which Mr McKenzie could have “a conflict of interest” as he describes it. One is if the actions of the DCHL companies exceeded the risk profile that Mr McKenzie felt was appropriate for a DCC owned entity. The other is if the DCHL Companies were not in fact providing full or accurate information about their activities or intended activities to DCC or the elected representatives, and placing DCC at risk that way.

Readers, and Mr McKenzie, need to remember that Mr Larsen said in his report that the DCC needed to have a very low threshold for commercial risk, and much better communication. Mr McKenzie is there to make sure that DCHL doesn’t exceed a very low risk threshold and to tell us what he has found there. Tick the boxes for those items.

But who is paying Mr McKenzie ? The answer is the DCC. Therefore Mr McKenzie does not have a conflict of interest. He has a clear obligation to disclose to Council and ratepayers anything that is of concern at DCHL. He is not paid by council to shuffle from one foot to the other and claim a conflict of interest when asked questions of DCHL financial performance.

The clash_revolution-rock-w2 tee [www.the-rudy.com]

We should spare a thought for Mr McKenzie. He is the senior DCC staff member that has to represent the DCC’s interests. Those interests, first and foremost are to ensure that those DCC owned DCHL companies operate with a very low threshold for commercial risk. On the other hand, against him are legions of DCHL directors, who, if nothing else, appear extremely good at sugar coating bad news, or cloaking it in such a way as to make discerning the facts extremely difficult. (Mr Crombie, please read the Auditor-General’s report before you go reaching into your pocket). Add that to the subtle and not so subtle peer pressure, and it is easy to see Mr McKenzie has a tough job safeguarding the interests of ratepayers in respect of DCHL.

Refer to the video record (Part 1 and Part 2) for the full council meeting of 22 February 2016. This correspondent believes there is a (very) high possibility Mr McKenzie has not been told the full facts about Delta at Noble, or it has been spun to him with a few key, inconvenient facts omitted. If this is in fact correct and he acknowledged this, and then advised the city what he does know and provided an accurate assessment of the actual risk to ratepayer funds against the allowable “very low risk” threshold, he would have the support of DCC upper management and probably a job for life – if he wanted it.

Mr McKenzie would not have to look too far to find inspiration or a precedent in Dunedin. Just a couple of blocks away at the Hospital in fact. In 2008 the recently appointed Health Board Chief Financial Officer, Robert Mackway-Jones, discovered some unusual transactions that was of course the $16.9M Michael Swann fraud. Mr Mackway-Jones didn’t let up, pushed the issue and found that neither the Board Chair, Mr Richard Thomson, nor the Board CEO, knew of the transactions. Mr Mackway-Jones was the hero of the Swann case; and Mr McKenzie only has to present the facts to Dunedin ratepayers to achieve the same status.

This correspondent understands Mr McKenzie is already well regarded within DCC upper ranks. But if he did this he would be so popular with Dunedin ratepayers he could run for Mayor next time around….

Dunedin ratepayers just need Mr McKenzie to represent their interest, and forsake the tea and cakes, and mutual backslapping with DCHL Directors.

This will mean clashes with the DCHL directors at times……..

Tis food for thought, mobsters (as the Clash would say…. Revolution Rock, London Calling, 1979).

Related Posts and Comments:
● 11.3.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes & ancient Delta history
● 6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Tea & Taxing Questions
● 6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Nobel Subdivision : A Neighbour responds
● 5.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision —Epic Fraud
● 4.3.16 Delta —Noble Subdivision #EpicStorm Heading OUR WAY
● 4.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : Councillors know NOTHING
● 2.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : A Dog, or a RAVING YAPPER?….
● 1.3.16 Delta #EpicFail… —The Little Finance Company that did (Delta).
29.2.16 Healthy views Monday midnight to 6:00 p.m.
● 29.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders
● 28.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble… If I were a rich man / Delta Director
● 27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
● 27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● Gold Band Finance Prospectus No. 31 Dated 22 April 2015
View this 126pp document via the NZ Companies website at: https://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/321896/documents — go to Prospectus uploaded 23 Apr 2015 14:33

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: the-rudy.com – The Clash Revolution Rock w2 tee

3 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes and ancient Delta history

Stonewood Homes - Chow Bros [stonewood.co.nz]

Received from Chrsitchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 at 1:35 a.m.

Your correspondent is going to meander down some tangential subdivision side streets tonight (not the main collector road, the excavator won’t fit on those….) and consider the curious case of Stonewood Homes.

It was probably inevitable given the very shallow gene pool that South Island companies fish in for independent directors, that a name would pop up that had also had some previous form with Delta.

However, before we excavate that particular trench, let’s consider why the shoring gave way on Stonewood, why the temporary support from the bank buckled and the subsequent structural failure – (the engineering metaphors are flying thick and fast tonight….)

Your correspondent is very bemused at the vast sums that a large number of building and engineering companies seem to be able to generate – in the negative. An internet search shows a long and regular list of failures. (Delta Civil Division would doubtless have joined them had it not had ratepayer funds to prop it up). Hartner Construction in 2001, about $20M, Wellington Construction in 2012 (unknown), Mainzeal Construction in 2013 (between $60-130M, dependent on if related party transactions can be unwound) and, closer to home, Southland’s own Amalgamated Builders (also with a branch in Dunedin) who managed to lose $20M in just two years when they bought a reputable Auckland company, Goodall Construction, renamed it Goodall ABL and then proceeded to destroy it in 2001.

There is some illuminating information online that shows the insane amount of risk that companies in the construction sector assume for what appears to be very little reward.

In the ABL Goodall case, property commentator Bob Dey described Goodall ABL as “a victim of trying to win market share on no margin, with a maximum guaranteed price contract in place”. Quite why anyone would seek to perform somewhere between $60-80M of work in two years for no return sounds like Delta-level stupidity, and certainly, the result was the same : ABL Goodall went so comprehensively broke, mainly with subcontractors’ money, that it was a major catalyst for the Government of the day to introduce the Construction Contracts Act in 2002 which provided some protection for Subcontractors. Proof that Southlanders do have some uses other than milking cows (readers, I jest).

Delta may yet provide compelling evidence for the Government to remove the “power of general competence” that Territorial Authorities received from the Government in 2002 that started many down the path towards illusory piles of gold that vanished in a mirage, along with a lot of public funds.

Memo To Mr Crombie : The CCC have admitted defeat and are trying to sell their Delta equivalent, City Care : why not join up and make it a two-for-one deal ?

But back to Stonewood. A trio of heavy hitters arrived in February 2014 to help fix the Stonewood Homes brand. In the press release it was noted that in 2013, Stonewood had consented 407 homes, had a turnover of $133M, and was aiming for 500 consents in 2014.

Your correspondent now will do something unheard of – making excuses for Delta…. as follows :

Building houses is not the same as civil contracting or commercial building. Those sectors all indulge in unique one off projects, with different specifications, different designers and engineers who have different standards. Lots of risk with ground conditions, legal disputes are legion.

But “group” housing is just different variations on the same cookie cutter. Standard designs, tweaked a little here and there, flat sites, lots of repetition, production line type processes. Houses started and finished around 14-16 weeks. Deposits before you start, a sales force to keep the numbers flowing. Any amount of back costing and analysis off repetitive designs to check what the numbers should be. It’s all been done before, lots of other companies are doing it so “benchmarking” your company against your competitors is easy.

Stonewood weren’t building difficult or expensive homes : Their average house cost around $325,000 in 2013. (Turnover of $133M for 407 homes).

Receivers KordaMentha confirmed that Stonewood had built up “significant” debt since the earthquake. Let us assume that Stonewood’s losses began in 2012 continuing in 2013, 2014, 2015. The loss is currently $30M. Your correspondent understands that the ASB is owed $5M and that typically, of the 110 houses underway at any one time, only 30 were profitable, and this was known within the company.

That Stonewood were unable to make any money at all, but instead went deeper into debt over a four-year period of huge demand is certainly testament to some Delta-level management deficiencies. One, or one and a half years of losses is grave but understandable, two to three is indefensible, and four years just plain carelessness !

Assuming an average turnover of about $115-120M per year (ie a peak turnover of $133M in 2013), this means that each year they lost $7.5M on average. (It was probably less in 2012, a lot more in 2015).

Put another way, on every house they built, over a four-year period, they lost around $21,000. Yes, they can definitely have a seat at the Delta table. And one Stonewood Director has sat at that table before, and that is Mr Jim Boult.

Jim Boult [Stacy Squires - stuff.co.nz] bwNow Mr Boult, while no Tom Kain in terms of litigation, certainly knows his way to his lawyer’s office, so this correspondent shall confine his comments to the facts :

Mr Boult, you may recall, had a 50/50 Joint Venture (JV) with Delta on the failed Luggate Development, where Delta lost $5.9M. Delta’s terms there were similar to Noble : A $5M advance to cover the subdivision work, payable only when the sections were sold.

Mr Boult utilised a valuer on behalf of the JV who had previously valued the land for his company. The valuer, in calculating the value of the land assumed a figure of $55,000 per section for Development costs. The actual cost was $105,000 per section. The valuer assessed the value of the land Delta bought a 50% share in, at $10.7M. There were potentially 172 sections that could be developed on the land. Six of the 172 sections were sold. The remaining land, with (a relatively small amount of) Delta’s improvements, was eventually sold…. for $1.5M. This information is all contained in the Auditor-General’s Report (14 March 2014).

A small but noteworthy detail included in the Auditor-General’s report was that the terms of the Joint Venture meant that Delta staff were not paid for any time they spent on the JV or the project, unless it was directly related to the Civil Work. A Project Management firm, Signal, was employed to manage the project. However Mr Boult sought and received $5,000 per month “for his time” spent on the Luggate JV.

Back to Stonewood, it turns out that Mr Boult was unable to make any difference to turn around Stonewood’s fortunes in 2015. Mr Boult’s enthusiasm for Stonewood : “I am truly delighted to be the chair and help guide the company in its future direction” lasted just 12 months. Nonetheless he obviously saw something he liked at Stonewood as he confirmed last week that he had quit as a Director of Stonewood on 1 February 2016, because, in concert with some employees of Stonewood and some franchisees, he was trying to buy Stonewood. This seems unusual behaviour for the chair of a large company, but then your correspondent is not a member of the Institute of Directors, and is uncertain of the usual directorial protocols about directors or chairmen of the board trying to buy a company they just resigned from last week. Perhaps a reader experienced in such matters could provide enlightenment.

Yes readers, I can sense your impatience : Join the dots you say ! This correspondent’s opinion, and it is only an opinion from the outside looking in, is that Mr Boult, was looking to buy not only Stonewood, but is most likely involved with a mortgagee sale bid to purchase the Noble Subdivision at Yaldhurst. The intention being that Stonewood would be the builder of the subdivision, both effectively controlled by Mr Boult.

Mr Boult knows the subdivision business, and he now has an inside view of how housing companies are run (or more accurately, how not to run one).

Despite Mr Boult’s defeat at the hands of the Brothers Chow in respect of Stonewood, a bid for Noble may well be attractive to him.

Now given Mr Boult’s history with Delta, it would seem highly likely that if this were the case, there would have been some contact between Mr Boult and his people and Delta.

Can Delta or its Directors or Mr Crombie confirm ? And of course as is the refrain, that no more public funds will be put at risk ?

New Zealand Companies register: Delta Utility Services Limited (453486)

█ Directors: David John Frow (appointed 25 Oct 2012), Trevor John Kempton (01 Nov 2013), Stuart James McLauchlan (01 Jun 2007), Ian Murray Parton (25 Oct 2012)

More: Historic data for directors

Related Posts and Comments:
● 10.3.16 Noble Subdivision next on the shopping list !!! You couldn’t…
● 6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Tea & Taxing Questions
● 6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Nobel Subdivision : A Neighbour responds
● 5.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision —Epic Fraud
● 4.3.16 Delta —Noble Subdivision #EpicStorm Heading OUR WAY
● 4.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : Councillors know NOTHING
● 2.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : A Dog, or a RAVING YAPPER?….
● 1.3.16 Delta #EpicFail… —The Little Finance Company that did (Delta).
● 29.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders
● 28.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble… If I were a rich man / Delta Director
● 27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
● 27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● Gold Band Finance Prospectus No. 31 Dated 22 April 2015
View this 126pp document via the NZ Companies website at: https://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/321896/documents — go to Prospectus uploaded 23 Apr 2015 14:33

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: (top) stonewood.co.nz – Chow Bros | stuff.co.nz – Jim Boult by Stacy Squires

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision :   Tea & Taxing Questions

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 6 Mar 2016 at 10:23 p.m.

Mr Crombie has spoken. A press release on Thursday : Something old, something new, something borrowed, with no clue.

Your correspondent has a theory in relation to Mr Crombie’s press release. Your correspondent surmises that a copy of Delta CEO Grady Cameron’s press release appears to have stuck to Mr Crombie’s saucer (stress – jiggling – spillage !!) when he was having tea and cakes in Mr Cameron’s office last week, and Mr Crombie absent mindedly put it in his pocket. Mr Crombie being a busy man then noticed it a few days later amidst some empty Cadbury Favourites wrappers and Kit-Kat bars. Thinking that he was meant to have done something, and with Grady’s cell phone off, he panics, and emails off the release, which of course is a re-run of Mr Cameron’s effort.

Mr Crombie did say there had been “some misinformation” about the mortgagee sale process. There certainly has, and it is all from Delta and its directors.

Your correspondent and Delta are of one mind here : There is no need for any confusion, Dunedinites will have a lot less suspicion and worry if we had accurate information that Delta and its Directors were not the white collar robbers of the DCC public purse that your correspondent has made them out to be.

To this end, some public minded citizens might want to put in a LGOIMA request, or perhaps write to the ODT with the following questions for Delta, to assist with the excellent What if? efforts on Noble to date.

Let us relax with a cup of Bell’s best and have our fears assuaged. Or perhaps, let us watch the twists and turns of outrageous logic that Mr Cameron will use to explain away these very simple questions :

How much of the $3.3M Delta paid to “strengthen its position” has been paid to Gold Band and Avanti Finance. This is an easy one for starters – readers of course know the answer ($2.7M) because Gold Band have told us, but if Delta get this wrong, we then know it has a telling-the-truth problem as well as previously canvassed numbers, counting and comprehension problems.

What was the remaining funds of the $3.3M spent on ?

Or in case this isn’t clear enough :

How much of the $3.3M has been paid for any advice, fees, or any other sort of payment in relation to the Noble Yaldhurst Subdivision, that was not for the actual direct purchase of first mortgage securities ?

In regard to the question above, who was this money paid to ?

How much Head Office staff time has been spent on the Noble Subdivision since December 2009 and has it been charged to the project ?

Did Delta, or any party associated with Delta, instruct, or convey to Gold Band Finance in any way, that Delta would not allow Gold Band to sell its first mortgage security to other parties (ie, other than Delta) with an interest in the land ?

Can Delta confirm that it will not offer vendor finance, and will not enter into a profit / revenue sharing agreement to the eventual purchaser of the land from the mortgagee sale process ?

Can Delta confirm that in addition to the above, it will not offer any kind of assistance to the eventual purchaser of the land ?

How much has Delta or DCHL paid Mr M Frost for any services related to the Noble Subdivision since 2012 ?

Can Delta confirm that no past or present Delta Directors, and also Mr J Boult, and Mr M Frost, are not involved, or offered any kind of advice or assistance to any of the mortgagee sale bidders ?

Is it true that due to recent developments, and subsequent to the date that tenders closed for the mortgagee sale, the firm conducting the mortgagee sale process, and/or other parties, has been urging other parties, who did not make a bid, to make a bid, even though tenders have closed ?

Given that we are dealing with Delta, perhaps readers should just consider three at most per request so as not to overtax Delta capacities.

These are all critical questions. Memo to Grady and Graham : Better to answer them now, the next time these questions are asked you will be best advised to have a lawyer – your own personal lawyer that you pay for, not a Delta one – present. (Suggestion : NOT the ones that wrote the security sharing deed….). Memo to Graham : $900 a day will not go far on lawyers’ costs.

And Graham : Note to Self : Conduct cost / benefit and personal risk register of Delta involvement. (Memo to Grady : At a salary of $2,090 per working day, hire whatever lawyer you want).

Alert readers will have noticed some of these questions suggest there are yet more horror stories and shady dealings your correspondent wishes to bring to the surface. Indeed there are, but let us have Delta’s position first, to avoid speculation. Of course we will have no option to speculate if nothing is forthcoming, and speculate we will.

For your correspondent, Delta at the Noble Subdivision is the gift that keeps on giving.

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

20 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Nobel Subdivision :   A Neighbour responds

Comment received in reply to CD’s latest post (5.3.16):

Chutchings hut
March 5, 2016 at 9:06 am

The neighbours have a history of objecting, they are not the innocents you portray. The allegations about inadequate infrastructure are nonsense.

A Neighbour responds
Sun, 6 Mar 2016 at 3:26 p.m.

“Chutchings hut”, your post here resembles that of C(hris) Hutching’s from NBR. Maybe you’re both?? Either way your posting here and his on NBR, respectfully, is unsubstantiated and misinformed as many have been by NIL during this sad saga. Allow me to enlighten you.

The CCC stormwater experts, an external peer review, and even NIL’s own stormwater designer Cardno have confirmed the stormwater infrastructure IS “inadequate”. Existing roads need to be dug and pipes upsized. I can send you whatever evidence you want?

Further, the road infrastructure is not only “inadequate”, it was found by the Independent Safety Audit [Dr Turner and other traffic experts] to be have “numerous serious safety issues that cause frequent serious injuries and deaths”.

This is why the Elected Council voted to quash the retrospective decision CCC staff procured non-notified to consent the unsafe roads they had already permitted to be constructed without consent.

You are right though that resident stakeholders in the subdivision (neighbours as you refer to them) have a history of objecting, that’s because they have had much to object about. Your post here that they are “not innocents”, and Chris Hutching’s information in NBR that the objections were belated objections” … “after consents were obtained and the streetworks constructed is not correct. Public information proves otherwise:-

• Affected residents that will have to use these roads objected from mid 2010 when the roads were being constructed without consent to grossly non-complying standards.

• NIL and CCC staff had agreed to these gross non-compliances behind-closed-doors.

• CCC staff oppressed the affected residents and denied them (and the public) their legal rights under the RMA to oppose the gross non-compliances and dangers.

• The illegally built roads were retrospectively consented 12 months after the objections, in July 2011. (This was 19 months after the variation application was made in December 2009 to make the main spine road 7.5m narrower than required. Doubling of traffic on the narrow roads due to non-notified increases in residential density and the commercial area came later).

• The Elected Council voted for the Independent Safety Audit (against CCC staff’s strong advice). It found the non-complying roads had “numerous serious safety issues that cause frequent serious injuries and deaths”. This caused the Elected Council to quash the wrong, unsafe and “unreasonable” (“RMA term”) decision that CCC staff’s oppression of affected parties and CCC staff’s false tailoring of expert reports ensured.

• Yours and Chris Hutching’s NBR misinformation on this is respectfully forgiven; many have been misinformed of facts in this sorry saga.

Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision —Epic Fraud

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 4 Mar 2016 at 10:42 p.m.

teacupandsaucer [dreamstime.com] delta

Dear Readers

A preliminary, a disclaimer : Your correspondent is not Ms Ali Jones, or Felicity Ferret ….and is cut to the quick by such a comparison. (Well he isn’t actually sure who Ms Jones is but won’t let that get in the way of a good line). However, readers, he would never be so careless with the financial facts that affect Dunedites.

On a more serious note (unusual so early in a CD post), your correspondent has been shaken to the core with new information that has come to light in the last 2-3 days. By now you know the prerequisites : Strong tea, macaroons, and a big saucer. And today, some pepto-bismol. You will feel VERY queasy after this one.

Our correspondent has jump started the Delta long reach excavator and quickly unearthed a massive SOFT SPOT in Delta credibility.

Delta and the DCC are going to lose a lot of ratepayer funds at Noble. There is no happy ending, no handsome prince to kiss and revive Delta to financial health, where their $14.6M (11.3M + 3.3M) core debt will be paid. There is no bona fide mortgagee sale.

Let’s consider the statements of the DCC Group Chief Financial Officer at the full council meeting of February 22; he told the council there was no “relationship” between Delta and Gold Band Finance, the Noble First Mortgagee. Well now, that would depend on how one defines a “relationship”. In our modern world, it’s all about equality, having an equal voice in all matters. Both parties, facing the future, hand in hand, etc. And yes, by those rose tinted soft focus lights, no, there is not a Delta / Noble “relationship”. What there is, is a dictatorship. Gold Band will do whatever Delta say. This is in writing. It is in a thing called a “Partial assignment of Debt and security sharing deed”, and commits Gold Band to servitude to Delta. And readers, you can check for yourself the claims your correspondent makes about this document. The document is posted right here, below. Although there is no reason to doubt –-your correspondent does not work for Delta….

It is Delta that are behind the “mortgagee sale” of the Noble Subdivision.

Well and good, readers may say, we like that Delta are in control, and that fine Mr Crombie is steering the good ship Delta out of troubled waters. Really ? This correspondent thinks the ship is being steered…. straight into the High Court.

Your correspondent has been advised that a court action against Delta for CONSTRUCTIVE FRAUD (stress ! rattling cups !!) is imminent, from a party to the subdivision, due to this “security sharing agreement”.

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Delta —Noble Subdivision #EpicStorm Heading OUR WAY

Election Year : The following item is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Delta Alert

IMPENDING POST ALERT
CD has THE story for you……….. soon

█ For more, enter *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: thinkdelta.co.nz – delta-waste-digger tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : Councillors know NOTHING

ODT 3.3.16 (page 14)

ODT 3.3.16 Letter to editor White p14

THIS IS SURPRISING, DO WE BELIEVE HIM

“Delta has provided regular updates to its shareholder, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, which has in turn informed Dunedin city councillors in briefings throughout the project.” –Grady Cameron, Delta Chief Executive

IPAD BLANK, NO MESSAGES, BLUE TAPE

Delta-communications-ipad
delta-communications-ipad 1

Urban Dictionary
Blue Tape: A term used to express the ratio of service offered in an Emergency …. versus the quantity of seemingly available staff. Often considered to be greater in truth when expressed as the inverse of the service to staff ratio.

DUNEDIN CITY COUNCILLORS FEAR MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR LOSSES FROM DELTA BUT THEN WHAT IF? HEARD IT WAS DELTA DRIVING THE MORTGAGEE SALE AT YALDHURST

[timemanagementninja.com]
Blue tape is the start of something new.
A construction project. Building something new. Remodeling something existing. Producing something better than was there previously.
Blue tape represents constructive, productive activity.
So, which does your company deal in? Red or blue tape?

GRADY ????!!!!!!!

Related Posts and Comments:
● 2.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : A Dog, or a RAVING YAPPER?….
● 1.3.16 Delta #EpicFail… —The Little Finance Company that did (Delta).
● 29.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders
● 28.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble… If I were a rich man / Delta Director
● 27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
● 27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
● 25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
● 24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
● 23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
● 29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
● 21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

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Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : A Dog, or a RAVING YAPPER?….

Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Wed, 2 Mar 2016 at 12:50 p.m.

Your correspondent today was intending to provide his further investigations and suspicions as to what was in fact really happening with the “mortgagee sale” process at Noble, and what they are up to. Pausing here : The term “mortgagee sale” is used in the loosest possible way. Your correspondent has been at work on this, and as the trail to the mortgagee sale has unfolded in recent posts, your correspondent now thinks he has taken What if? readers down a couple of dead ends in an early post or two concerning where Delta may have ranked and what Delta / DCHL are plotting…. He made the mistake of thinking a mortgagee sale was in fact a true arms length mortgagee sale, where security holders went to the market to sell a distressed asset, at whatever price the market saw value at. That is the consequence of seeing through the glass darkly, with a group of men determined to keep secrets, but your correspondent has enlisted some help, and reckons he now has the measure of Delta’s machinations in regard to their ultimate plan.

Readers may be surprised to hear that your correspondent has no personal axe to grind with any of the public figures he has lampooned, merely that on the facts some of them are unfit to occupy the positions they do.

Over a cup of tea, it has been decided to give DCC and Delta a chance to respond to the recent posts by releasing clear information about what has happened and what plan Delta / DCC has to exit the Noble Subdivision. While any Delta / DCC disclosure will be a lot less entertaining than this correspondent (even if I say so myself….) we must sacrifice humour for accuracy at this critical juncture.

It is a critical juncture because this correspondent believes if pressure is not brought to bear on Delta / DCC now, a fait accompli will be soon presented that is going to involve more public funds at risk.

Mr Crombie will assume a sombre tone, and announce that there was no option. He will become TINA Crombie. – There Is No Alternative.

As Justice Brandeis said ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’ and all of Dunedin deserves precision as to what is going on. Of course, as What if? readers will know, if the Delta / DCC does not respond to the kind and gentle approach (we must give them a chance, readers) there are other avenues presently being explored….

Mayor Cull’s lack of transparency is extremely concerning, and is an indicator to what is happening. If indeed there was a proper mortgagee sale process occurring with negotiations with multiple bidders unrelated to Delta / DCC, there is absolutely no reason why he could not confirm that. This correspondent thinks he cannot because it isn’t true. Blatant falsehoods have a habit of being discovered.

Your correspondent is not a proud or vain man – (well, his wife may not agree) – he and most of Dunedin would be very, very happy if he was proven to be quite wrong, and Delta’s plan did not involve any further public funds. This of course doesn’t make the previous Delta ineptitudes go away. To labour the point : The directors must be held to account.

Today, instead of the headline act, we will tease out some of the implications of the Delta decision to continue work on the Noble Subdivision in December 2009, when the variation to the consented subdivision was revealed to them and they continued on.

This was the critical decision that led to Delta backing up a truckload of dollars off Yaldhurst Rd and tipping it into the freshly excavated ground at the Noble Subdivision. (Your correspondent likes earthmoving metaphors as much as the next man).

Quite apart from the ethical and legal considerations arising from committing a major offence under the Building Code, this correspondent believes this was also a very bad financial and strategic decision.

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Christchurch stadium

“No stadium can make money unless it has millions of moneyed sports fans living within its catchment area.” –Lee Vandervis

Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 1 (1)Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 3 (1)Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 1 | Christchurch Mail 30-1-14 page 3

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.14 [DCC announces review] Stadium: It came to pass . . .
10.5.13 Debate over new stadium
7.10.12 New stadium worries, NZ wide + a waterfront, ours
30.9.12 Wake-up call for Christchurch #eqnz #SeriousFraud
30.7.12 National Govt puts champagne and stadium before shelter housing
3.6.12 Sunday Star Times: Stadium story: any sliced bread in the murk?
8.11.11 Christchurch: new temporary stadium
9.8.11 Christchurch’s AMI stadium
16.1.10 Deans Stand at AMI Stadium: DONE

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Christchurch City Council live streams meetings

cartoon-man-using-video by R Leishman [vecto.rs]

Christchurch City Council – Media Release
Council meetings now online

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Christchurch City Council’s first full meeting on Thursday will be streamed live over the internet and be available to watch at anytime through the Council website.

The Council’s twice monthly meetings have always been open to the public but in a new spirit of openness and transparency, anyone can now watch Christchurch’s local government in action online when and where they want.

Chair of the Council’s Community Committee, Councillor Yani Johanson says: “The public now has the chance to the watch the issues debated by the Council, and get a better understanding of the reasons behind the Council’s decisions. This Council wants to make it possible for more residents to see their Council at work, and make it easier for people to get information on Council matters that affect them and their communities. The need for this was reinforced by the Communications Audit Review and it is great to see that it happened.”

Residents will be able to view any full Council meetings both live and on-demand the day after each meeting on their internet enabled computers, tablets or smart phones. They can also search for specific agenda subjects that they are interested in, replay the debates and see how Councillors voted.

Christchurch based Tandem Studios has been selected as a provider for the live streaming and storage of all Council meetings archived in the future.

The Christchurch City Council is among the first councils in New Zealand to offer this service, along with Taupo and New Plymouth District Councils, and Hamilton City Council.

See http://councillive.ccc.govt.nz/ for further information.

Related Posts and Comments:
29.10.13 DCC: First meeting, tidy or not
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: vecto.rs – Cartoon man using video by Ron Leishman
Filming with Charles…

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DCC in-house catering, pruned like CCC?

An interesting article. I’ve been away from DCC for too long to know whether the free lunches, after meeting drinks etc are still standard for Councillors after meetings. It was normal two councils ago, but you might know whether that is still the case or whether Paul Orders has got it under control. –Source

dcc catering [yelp.com]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 15:30 23/10/2013
No free lunch for councillors
By Glenn Conway
There is no such thing as a free lunch, especially at the Christchurch City Council from now on. Mayor-elect Lianne Dalziel has ordered her new-look council to bring their own lunches to work or buy from a local business rather than rely on the in-house catering service. The move is part of her deliberate shift in culture from a council that feels entitled to a council that is there to work for the community.

Today was a case in point – the new mayor brought some homemade chicken salad to work.

If councillors wanted to have a drink after a busy day, they could do that – “but it’s not going to be on the ratepayer”. Catering cost the council more than $45,000 in the past financial year, but Dalziel wants to keep councillors aware of the fact they are there to work for the ratepayers, not to be fed by them. Dalziel said it was a part of her push for a culture change throughout the organisation. On days of long meetings, some catering may be provided but, as a general rule, “I’ve told them it’s BYO [bring your own]”, she said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Local government

Local government in this country is not delivering to the expectations of communities, and not just in strife-torn Christchurch City, writes Mike MacLeod, chairman of the Draco Foundation.

### ODT Online Fri, 3 Feb 2012
Opinion
Christchurch symptomatic of system
By Mike MacLeod
If the local government sector was a person they would be ponderous, socially-inept and morally bankrupt. They would be filthy rich and very lazy. If you had a problem they would not care and if you complained because something they did hurt you or your family, their response would be “so sue me”.

Even though the Local Government Act 2002 clearly outlines how local authorities should be run, it seems to be treated more as a loose guideline than a statutory requirement. And there is absolutely no recourse open for the public to demand compliance with the Act, aside from the extreme provisions allowed to the minister.

Read more

The Draco Foundation is dedicated to the protection and promotion of democracy and natural justice in New Zealand and among its many activities operates Council Watch and the National Residents Association Database. Further information can be found at www.civilsociety.org.nz (via ODT)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Editor cites DCC as “open democracy in action”

Sometimes the penny does not drop. In today’s editorial, ‘Cavernous divisions in Christchurch’, the Otago Daily Times has its word on Christchurch City Council and in so doing comes up with this, the first paragraph:

“While no-one would claim they are perfect, and there is room for debate round the edges particularly where meetings closed to the public are concerned, the processes of the Dunedin City Council, as exemplified by this week’s pre-draft budget meetings, are an example of open democracy in action.” Link

A remarkable comment in the face of the rugby scrum that parades as the annual plan / long term council community plan process at Dunedin, a process well tinged with lies, deceit, incompetence and further mismanagement of ratepayer funds by our elected representatives. This after years of council grey papers, staff manipulations, and unholy alliances with gentlefolk in the private sector whose names are well known.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZIA members on Christchurch City Plan

Architects contribute ‘Early verdicts on the Christchurch draft Central City Plan’ in the latest issue of New Zealand Institute of Architects Cross Section magazine.

Christchurch’s draft Central City Plan, which the [Christchurch City] Council has been pressed to produce with some despatch, has met with a mixed response from local architects. Let’s start with the positive reactions. “The draft Central City Plan is a very good achievement in a short period of time and encapsulates a broad range of ideas and concepts that have been articulated to date,” says Warren and Mahoney’s Peter Marshall. “As a discussion document it will provide the necessary catalyst for a detailed evaluation needed in order to finalise the re-build framework for Christchurch.”

Various positives are expressed in reaction to Volume 1, followed by ‘criticalities’ and ‘explosions’ lobbed at the constraints of Volume 2.

A common critical theme is that the draft Plan is, in the words of Ian Athfield, “extremely prescriptive”, and that the regulatory regime revealed in Volume 2 would be inimical to the city’s recovery. “There are issues… that are going to need a more careful examination to ensure the urban design attributes do not compromise commercial realities,” says Peter Marshall. Peter’s remarks are a judicious expression of opinions that seem to be widely held by Christchurch architects.

“The more I look into Volume 2 the more concerned I get,” says Jasper van der Lingen (Sheppard & Rout Architects, and chair of the NZIA’s Canterbury branch). “Some examples: Volume 1 says you can get extra height for good urban design and a green building. Volume 2 translates this into mandating that a building owner must employ a green building council professional – bureaucracy and cost – and good urban design translates into a pitched roof between 30 and 60 degrees. Volume 1 talks about safety through passive surveillance. Volume 2 translates this into ridiculous rules about how much glazing you must have. Volume 1 talks about good scale of retail. Volume 2 translates this into a maximum size of retail of 250 square metres – no Ballantynes or Farmers. Volume 2 has some terrible stuff about blank façades that looks a lot worse than the old residential 20 metre rule, and it determines where neighbourhood centres should go without consultation with the local community – in dumb places, in my opinion.”

“There will be capital flight if this goes through unaltered,” Jasper says. “Volume 1 was a pass and appears to be written by designers. Volume 2 is a big fail and appears to be written by planners. It’s a huge worry for the future of Christchurch. The NZIA has a lot of work to do to fight this.”

It’s only a DRAFT. Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Central City Plan #Christchurch

Christchurch City Council
DRAFT Central City Plan opens for public consultation on 16 August 2011

CCC Media Release (via Scoop)
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1108/S00308/draft-christchurch-city-council-central-city-plan.htm

[Original PDF on the Christchurch City Council website
Scoop copy of full report:
13.Attachment1Volume1.pdf
13.Attachment1Volume2.pdf – Regulatory Framework]

Low res version of Central City Plan – http://bit.ly/phbpDH (7.78 MB)

****

(Radio NZ) Christchurch gets first glimpse of central city plan‎ (with audio link)

(Stuff) Plan to build a “city in a garden”

@LIVENewsDesk Mayor Bob Parker says the Christchurch rebuild will cost $2billion. He says 50% of money is already in the system

@PressNewsroom The $2 billion draft plan suggests limiting new buildings to 7 storeys, free parking & a covered market: http://bit.ly/raMuxJ #eqnz #chch

@odtnews Smaller CBD slated in Christchurch rebuild http://dlvr.it/fjcqn

@TVNZNews Bold plan for new Christchurch passed http://bit.ly/r2qeIT #tvnznews

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stadium Open Day 11 June – images/hype/so on

11.6.11 ODT Online: Video: Stadium Open Day

Over 10,000 people took the chance to look around Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

****

### ODT Online Mon, 13 Jun 2011
Stadium: Positive vibes, but still work to be done
By Debbie Porteous
Thousands of people had a peek inside Dunedin’s newest sporting arena on Saturday. Forsyth Barr Stadium is due to be completed by August 1, and people were allowed to the edge of the grass to make their own assessment of progress so far. A gold-coin stadium entry donation raised a little more than $21,000 for the Otago Medical Research Foundation.
Read more

Stadium open day photos…

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Remember when Vbase was floated to the good citizens of Dunedin as the sort of model DCC might want to adopt for the managment of the stadium and other council-owned venues?

Media Release
Joint Statement from Christchurch City Council and Vbase Ltd

10 June 2011

Christchurch City Council and Vbase Ltd today confirmed the Vbase business will now be governed and managed by Council. The decision is a result of Vbase’s deteriorating financial position due to factors outside of the company’s control. Vbase has been impacted by changes to the tax law around the eligibility of depreciation on buildings and also by the February earthquake with three of its four venues closed. Today’s decision by Council was based on achieving the most cost effective outcome. Vbase Ltd owns and commercially manages the Christchurch Convention Centre, Christchurch Town Hall for Performing Arts, AMI Stadium and CBS Canterbury Arena for community benefit – economically, socially and culturally.
Read more

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### tvnz.co.nz 6:06AM Monday June 13, 2011
Christchurch’s Vbase downsizing, jobs to go
Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB
Vbase staff will be given more details on the considerable downsizing of the business today. The company, which runs four key Christchurch venues, is being disestablished with the city council taking over its functions. Vbase chief executive Bryan Pearson has said there will be a large number of job losses.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Letter from Christchurch 2 #eqnz

UPDATED

Today’s Press has more examples of high-handed action.

The Piko Whole-Foods Co-op store – an important social and architectural landmark – had its top storey removed before the owners knew what was going to happen. The heritage team at Christchurch City Council worked with the owners to try and stop the demolition but the top floor had already gone by the time they got there and its landmark value has been completely destroyed. The building had been earthquake strengthened within the past few years and though it did have some serious damage it is far from clear that it was beyond repair.

It had the misfortune to be sited on a major intersection of the one way system and we all know that free movement of cars must be put ahead of buildings. There was absolutely no question of people being in the building and thorough shoring up should have ensured public safety.

There is some sort of process for group 1 & 2 listed buildings, plus NZHPT registered buildings – a cursory sort of report by the heritage planners (they are so overwhelmed that the reports are completely perfunctory) – and a report from the NZHPT and/or council engineer, but the Civil Defence Controller has the final say.

I am not sure that NZHPT is fighting too hard anyway from what I can gather – because people have been killed (mainly in modern buildings) they seem to have taken the view that they can’t push hard for heritage.

If the owner can be identified (not always easy) they might be given 24 hours notice so have a chance to argue for a delay. If buildings are unlisted and simply make an important contribution to the character of a precinct, no process is required at all. Nothing at all can be done to try and avert demolition.

There seems to have been some agreement made between Civil Defence and the council staff involved with Civil Defence, that no cordons to protect the public from buildings needing repair will be put in place if they would encroach into a road – as long as they take that view not much will be saved.

As a result of tonight’s meeting a delegation of heritage advocates and business people are going to try and meet the Civil Defence Controller tomorrow to urge a slow down, but whether they will even be granted an appointment is far from certain.

We are meeting again on Friday to plan our next steps, especially if the appeal to the Controller fails to have any impact. The scary thing is the Government can just keep on extending the state of emergency.

{Letter received by What if? on Tuesday, 8 March 2011 11.24pm. Names removed to protect identities. -Eds}

(9.00am) What if? learned the group has been granted a meeting today with the Civil Defence Controller.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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