Tag Archives: Chinese steel

Delta’s PR consultant

WHEN Delta’s ‘award winning’ young executive Grady Cameron, the Delta Board – woebegone* directors Ian Parton (from 25 Oct 2012), Stuart McLauchlan (1 Jun 2007), David Frow (25 Oct 2012), Trevor Kempton (1 Nov 2013) and Stephen Thompson [Deloitte!] (1 Jun 2016) – the rotten-tooth chair of DCHL Graham Crombie, and the Mayor of City Liabilities and Risk Dave Cull FAIL to Communicate Honestly with the concerned public on Delta’s utter degradation and collapse of Our electricity network —What Do You Do ?

You send in the crows or, a PR clown.

spiro-anastasiou-senateshj-comNone other than public relations consultant and former broadcaster Spiro Anastasiou. Mr Ana-sneeze rates himself as “a strategic communications specialist with extensive experience in managing issues of public and political sensitivity”. The newest partner in SenateSHJ’s Wellington office, who heads their government relations practice. He returns to consulting “from a role leading strategic communications at the Ministry of Health where he managed the Ministry’s public information programme during the Swine Flu pandemic and was seconded to the Canterbury earthquake response in the All of Government communications role during the two and half month state of national emergency”. Ana-sneeze joined the Ministry of Health “….after more than 10 years consulting in a range of sectors where he provided strategic advice and tactical support to CEOs and senior leaders. This included specialist projects such as industrial relations and change, many with a very high public profile.” Ana-sneeze’s strength is his experience in “….building successful working relationships and a proven track record in government relations. He has excellent media and communication skills developed during a 15 year career in broadcast journalism before he entered consultancy….a native Wellingtonian [blahblah] He enjoys reading and cooking, is a keen fisherman and an enthusiastic golfer.”

Let’s see where this goes —and if Grady and Spiro darling, are to be seen golfing together or co-occupying Delta’s corporate box at the Stadium – on which we have cameras trained. It was bad enough having to secret-squirrel GPS trackers to All (excessive numbers of) company vehicles two weeks ago.

*Understatement, meaning incompetent and grossly negligent.

The Varmints:

● Delta Utility Services Ltd http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/453486

● Aurora Energy Ltd http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/471661
[Mr Thompson of Deloitte appointed 20 Jun 2016]

● Dunedin City Holdings Ltd http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/559098

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

23 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Delta/Aurora : Current strategy to “fix on failure” [extreme neglect]

ODT stories provide truly abhorrent insights.

█ Power poles are just the tip of the iceberg as Dunedin’s creaking electricity network shows signs of neglect across the board.

“In 10 years, we’re looking at re-reticulating the entire CBD of Dunedin. What do you think that’s going to cost? Hundreds of millions ain’t gonna touch it.” –Richard Healey

power-pole-silhouette-by-robert-kim-karen-on-deviantart-ghwi7h-clipart### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2016
Insight | Aurora’s woes
Network ‘decayed, neglected’
By Chris Morris
Richard Healey says it is a miracle the lights have stayed on in Dunedin as parts of the city’s ageing electricity network threaten to implode. The former Delta worker, who resigned to blow the whistle last month, has been outspoken about the state of thousands of power poles across Aurora’s network. But the poles were just one symptom of wider neglect that has left Aurora’s network at risk of multiple failures, Mr Healey believed. And nowhere was that threat more critical than within the ageing web of high-voltage 33kV underground electricity cables, dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, still powering Dunedin. […] It was a claim reinforced by Aurora, which identified the cables as “perhaps the most significant risk of a catastrophic asset failure” facing the city in its 10-year asset management plan. The risk was also pinpointed by consultant Strata Energy Ltd, in a report on Aurora’s network for the Commerce Commission, in 2013. Despite that, Aurora’s asset management plan said failure of the 33kV cables remained “extremely rare”, and “as a result our current strategy is to fix on failure”.

Mr Healey said the network’s problems were the inevitable consequences of inadequate investment. “It’s not aged — it’s decayed. It’s not deferred maintenance — it’s neglect.

What was known was that other cities had “vigorously” replaced their cables, and Dunedin appeared to be “out of whack with the rest of the world”. He described a network littered with equipment either broken or operating well beyond manufacturers’ specifications. […] Delta chief executive Grady Cameron would not answer questions about the state of the network, the risks it posed to safety, or the likely total cost of renewal, this week. Instead, Aurora board chairman Dr Ian Parton, in an email, would say only the issues were being addressed “at an operational level” and it was not appropriate to discuss them with media.
Read more + Videos

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### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2016
Every day at Delta a ‘storm’
By Chris Morris
Aurora Energy is still insisting its electricity network is safe, despite logging more than 60 “high or extreme risk” public safety incidents — most involving falling power poles — in a year, it has been confirmed. The revelation came as another former Delta worker came forward to tell the Otago Daily Times it was a struggle on a “daily basis” to keep the lights on in Dunedin. Delta manages Aurora’s network. Geoff Lyell said he was shocked by the state of Aurora’s network when he took a job as system control operator in 2013.
….There were good staff at Delta but many kept their heads down and asset management staff were victims of the company’s “financial constraint”, he said. That constraint was a result of Delta and Aurora being expected to deliver large profits to the Dunedin City Council, which was “mainlining” on profits. “They can’t get off this drug.”
Read more

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### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2016
Pole hit, power cut to two houses
By Vaughan Elder
Power was cut to two houses in Mornington when an 86-year-old power pole was struck by a truck yesterday afternoon. A spokeswoman said police were called to Argyle St just before 2pm after a truck struck the pole, bringing down a telephone line. […] The Otago Daily Times understands the pole, which was red-tagged indicating it was unsafe to climb, was installed in 1930 and in 2013 was identified as “condition one”, meaning it was not fit for design load.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
11.11.16 Healey responds to statements in today’s ODT —Delta #WorkSafety…
10.11.16 Delta goes for *cheapie Chinese steel poles in replacement
9.11.16 Delta/Aurora warned, renewed calls for Grady Cameron to resign
8.11.16 Delta/Aurora neglect, letters to ODT
6.11.16 Healey responds to DCHL terms of reference for Delta review
4.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 6 – Thick as a Brick
2.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset…
1.11.16 Delta/Aurora/DCHL corporate whitewash #dangerousnetwork
● 31.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends
29.10.16 Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force
28.10.16 Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: clipart – power pole silhouette by robert kim karen on deviantart

23 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Healey responds to statements in today’s ODT —Delta #WorkSafety #PublicSafety

From: Richard Healey
Sent: Friday, 11 November 2016 9:04 a.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Latest ODT article response (also posted to FB)

Uh huh….. “while some functions and responsibilities might change”. Translation: Some of the people who have been fighting to get the hazards on the network fixed will now be reporting directly to the people who have been refusing to fix them.

Overall staff numbers will increase slightly – an accountant, two engineers and an asset management guy have already resigned in the last month. Yes, with an additional $30M dollars to spend you might need a few more people.

Why are you spending that money again? Oh yes, to appease public perception.

When I am told by my ex colleagues that their staff are coming to them in tears and that stress levels are through the roof then I am pretty sure that the guys minds will not be concentrating on keeping safe or keeping their workmates safe.

Remember what the chairman and the mayor were saying two weeks ago? If the allegations that the condition of the network posed a threat to the safety of the people who worked on it or the public then heads would roll.

I asked Deloitte, the terms of reference do not include that question. They ask if there are “other” high risk safety issues on the network. Mayor Cull is on record as saying he is now happy with Delta’s approach to handling the 3000 unsafe poles. An approach completely out of step with every other company in New Zealand.

And about Deloitte, the office managing partner of the Deloite Dunedin office, Stephen Thompson, is on the board of – you guessed it – Delta. Grady Cameron won the Deloitte young executive of the year award in 2014.

All you guys still battling at Delta, look after yourselves and look after each other. Your bosses may have their blinkers superglued in place but you and I know the stress you are under.

So here is my offer, I will take any Council member, or any Delta/Aurora board member on a tour of the network. I will show them at first hand dangers that are present. I will answer any relevant question they have. The offer applies to any Councillor who represents an area covered by the Aurora Network.

[ends]

The Question
DOES THE STATE OF THE AURORA NETWORK POSE AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK ON IT AND TO THE WIDER COMMUNITY ?

█ 27.10.16 Detailed map of dangerous poles [Dunedin]
The Otago Daily Times has been leaked a detailed map showing the location of dangerous power poles in Dunedin.

█ 29.10.16 Detailed map of dangerous poles – Central Otago and Queenstown
The Otago Daily Times has been leaked a detailed map showing the location of dangerous power poles in Central Otago and Queenstown.

Note: Aurora’s “aged network” also comprises other assets and facilities requiring replacement, not just power poles.

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### ODT Online Fri, 11 Nov 2016
Lines staff also facing restructure
By Vaughan Elder
Delta staff already reeling from the power-poles scandal are being hit with the threat of restructuring. This comes as Mayor Dave Cull suggested whistleblower Richard Healey should stop being critical in the media and instead focus on helping the Deloitte investigation into Aurora and Delta. Mr Healey said Delta should put its restructure on hold for a few months while the company rolled out its accelerated plan to replace almost 3000 poles and dealt with three separate investigations. This meant already stressed staff members had the added stress of potentially losing their jobs, which was a “recipe for disaster”. […] Mr Healey had been told almost 70 positions could be affected by the restructuring, which included people losing their job or their roles changing. He was also concerned Deloitte, which was appointed by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd to review Aurora and Delta, was not going to look at whether the state of power poles presented a safety risk to workers and the public. Poles were not mentioned in the review’s terms of reference and after speaking to a Deloitte staff member he got the impression the issue was not part of the review. He would still talk to Deloitte to highlight other safety problems with Aurora’s network but felt the review was flawed. “The primary question is not there.” He would continue to raise his concerns in the media until Mr Cull and others accepted his argument there was a serious safety issue.
Read more

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### ODT Online Fri, 11 Nov 2016
Delta/Aurora board query for DCHL
By David Loughrey
Three councillors are demanding an answer to what one says is the “big flashing light” question about Dunedin and Central Otago’s compromised power pole infrastructure. At the Dunedin City Council’s first meeting since councillors were sworn in last month they will vote on a notice of motion to ask council-owned holding company Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) to “urgently advise” whether it still has confidence in the board  of Delta and Aurora.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

20 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Delta goes for *cheapie Chinese steel poles in replacement

Delta has 1181 red-tagged power poles. The rest of the country has 321.

### Stuff.co.nz Thu, 10 Nov 2016 Last updated 12:29 PM
Under-fire Otago lines company has most of NZ’s red-tagged power poles
By Hamish McNeilly
An under-fire Otago lines company has more than three times as many dangerous power poles as the rest of the country combined. Delta came under scrutiny after former manager-turned-whistleblower Richard Healey said its power poles were dangerous. A survey of all 29 lines companies found Delta had 1181 poles rated condition 0, the lowest level. Other lines companies had different rating systems, but together had 321 “red-tagged” poles across four companies. […] Healey said since going public there had been a rush by lines companies to secure New Zealand-made concrete power poles, “but when Delta got in there the cupboard was bare”. Instead the company was forced to secure Chinese-manufactured power poles from an Australian supplier. Given concerns raised over Chinese steel Healey feared “rushing [those poles] into service may introduce a few problems they may not expect”. In a statement the company downplayed those concerns, but declined to reveal the origin of the poles.
Read more

power-steel-poles-china-diytrade-comSteel power poles – China

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At Facebook:

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Note to pole image (China) sourced from diytrade.com; this does not imply Delta is using diytrade.com for supply.

14 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 6 – Thick as a Brick

gary-larson-the-far-side-1-3-tweaked-by-whatifdunedin-pinimg-com

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 3 Nov 2016 at 10:59 p.m.

Thick as a brick
Shallow as a bird bath
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
A few sandwiches short of a picnic
Bought his doctorate online.

Come in Dr Parton….

Your correspondent was both entertained and aghast this morning when enjoying Choysa and a scone, he read Dr Parton, Aurora chair, dutifully parroting Grady Cameron’s lines in the ODT …. “aged network”, “our approach to its management is conservative”. Dr (Polly) Parton also said “it was “not appropriate” for him to respond to comments made by another chairman”. Your correspondent agrees it is not “appropriate”. It is essential to his credibility to do so, as Polly Parton is right – it is amazing that the chairman of a lines company, far away, has felt the need to make scathing comments about the lackadaisical approach to essential infrastructure he has found in the South, and called Aurora’s response “a lame excuse”. When did you last hear the CEO of a council make scathing comments about another ? —or one mayor disparage another in biting terms. It just isn’t done…. so now the attention of the entire lines industry, and the Commerce Commission is riveted upon Aurora as it has just been confirmed by the chair of Marlborough Lines, with no axe to grind, that Aurora’s mess and subsequent evasions are inexcusable.

Some other gems of the re-cycled obvious from Polly in the ODT were “Age … is one reason why we have marked so many poles for replacement” – how fascinating that the board and Mr Cameron only discovered these 40- to 60-year-old poles were aged and needed replacement around the time Mr Healey left three weeks ago.

Readers, while Aurora and Delta have an arrogant disregard for the interest of the consumers and ratepayers, they are very fearful of the Commerce Commission. And the Commerce Commission is under no illusions about the incompetence of Aurora. Not only did Aurora get warned for network failures this year, and are now ranked in the bottom 3 of the 29 lines companies for reliability, they were also warned about their lack of investment and incompetence in 2014 by the Commission.

On 26 June 2014 the Commission wrote to Aurora issuing them with a warning for non-compliance and raising concerns. They said:

“21. There are a number of concerns that we would particularly like to draw to Aurora’s attention … These concerns are:

21.1 Aurora’s vegetation control has been insufficient to prevent significant tree encroachment on lines, which has likely contributed to the frequency and duration of outages….”
Mr Cameron took great delight in waxing lyrical about the dedicated vegetation management unit Delta set up in 2015-16, and how Delta charged Aurora $4M for clearing 34km of lines. We now know it wasn’t anything to do with Mr Cameron, it was forced upon them by the Commerce Commission because they had neglected it for decades. In true Delta form, the cost of $130,000 per km is probably overstated by a factor of 5-10 dependent on difficulty.

“21.2 Aurora has had an increase in defective equipment incidents”.
Oh yes. Aurora’s own Asset Management Plan (AMP) spells out the failures, and impending ones, as noted in #EpicPowerFail 5. In relation to poles, Aurora reduced the number of poles it was going to replace in 2017-18, in its 2016-2026 plan, due to the mendacity of Matt Ballard, GM Capability & Risk. Reacting to public pressure and casting aside the long term plan due to a “perception problem”, without a funding plan in place is just giving the Commerce Commission all the evidence they need that the board isn’t in control and doesn’t know what it’s doing.

“21.3 There seems to be shortcomings in Aurora’s knowledge of its asset condition”.
….(Translated from bureaucratic-ese, this is : YOU ARE USELESS AND INCOMPETENT, and everything we have heard from Aurora recently confirms that this fault has become exponentially worse.

“21.4 Aurora’s reliance on its 6.6kV network as a back up to its aging 33kV cables in Dunedin could lead to major power outages.”

Ominously for the Directors, the Commission was clear about the consequences of further non-compliance, warning Aurora :

“Notwithstanding its 2013 and 2014 compliance, if Aurora fails to comply with the quality standards again, its 2012 non-compliance will be a relevant factor that may lead us towards a stronger enforcement response. Particularly relevant would be the extent to which concerns raised following Aurora’s 2012 non-compliance contributed to the second non-compliance.”

Here we are, four years later, and 3 of the 4 concerns are front and centre of the latest crisis. A lot of words have been written, meetings held, and plans begun, but the network has continued to decline. Unless the Commerce Commission has another spineless apologist like Rebstock of the Audit Office investigating, then the springs in the boardroom ejector seats are tightening.

Readers, we are all frustrated that Mr Cameron, Mr Ballard, and the directors have not a thread of integrity left among them, preferring eventual forcible removal (health problems anyone ?) to decency. But readers, how delicious will it be when they are kicked out, as that will almost certainly be the end of all of their directorial ambitions. Getting kicked out by the Government is the sort of thing that even the Institute of Directors would frown upon, despite overlooking a lot of other venality. As noted at What if?, the Government cannot afford to have tourists killed or suffering from power outages in their #1 tourist region in Central Otago, so it will not be open for Mr McLauchlan to go crawling to Minister Woodhouse, who doesn’t carry a lot of weight now in any case. McLauchlan’s other great fixer, fellow South Canterbury Finance trougher, Denham Shale, is now dead. Mr McLauchlan feeling the chilled air of exposure perhaps ? Perversely, we can be glad that Messrs Parton, Kempton, Thompson, McLauchlan and Frow are all….“thick as a brick”.

Final thought for the evening. If you were Grady Cameron and the board, and wanted to quickly replace 10,000 poles to “restore public confidence” then does buying steel poles from China that are made from less ductile steel (ie more brittle) sound like a good plan ? (Chinese steel is typically 20-25% ductile, whereas NZ seismic requirements generally require 32-34% ductility. It is near impossible to get Chinese steel at this ductility. A recent example is the problems with steel products imported from China by Steel & Tube). Yes readers, you heard it here first, not only did Mr Cameron fail to tell you where the $30M was coming from (they don’t know yet), he also neglected to mention they are buying steel poles from China. And remember, readers, not only did Mr Cameron describe this as “a good plan” on National Radio, but that he “was excited by it”. Truly…… “thick as a brick”.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
2.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset Management Plans does it take to get a Real One ?
1.11.16 Delta/Aurora/DCHL corporate whitewash #dangerousnetwork
31.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends
29.10.16 Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force
28.10.16 Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: pinimg.com – gary larson the far side, tweaked

11 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium