Tag Archives: Complaint

DCC fails to meet LGOIMA request re ‘lost’ secure storage of CST files

The Dunedin City Council OWNS the Carisbrook Stadium Trust files, note.

Received from Bev Butler
Mon, 8 May 2017 at 1:40 p.m.

Subject: Complaint Dunedin City Council/storage of stadium documents

Message: Attached is the letter from the Ombudsman Office. I have sent a response to the Ombudsman letter.

[screenshot – click to enlarge]

● Download: 0_1-408161-3117439

Related Posts and Comments:
2.6.16 Official Information at Dunedin City : Bev Butler maintains pressure
10.7.15 Ombudsman complaint re DCC reply to LGOIMA requests #CSTfiles
9.7.15 DCC: Council-owned CST files whereabouts not declared
27.6.15 Ratepayer boxes #saga
20.6.15 DCC / CST document scramble #LGOIMA

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

23 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Business, CST, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Hot air, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, SFO, Sport, Stadiums, Travesty

Hilary Calvert complaint to Auditor-General #DCHL

DCHL chairman Graham Crombie rejected Ms Calvert’s allegation of “misleading” councillors during a two-and-a-half-hour discussion on the controversial $13million Delta refinancing last year. (ODT)

### ODT Online: Thu, 2 Feb 2017
Allegation councillors were misled
By Simon Hartley
A complaint filed to the auditor-general by former Dunedin city councillor Hilary Calvert claims “misleading” information was presented to councillors over the contentious Yaldhurst property development in Christchurch. Council-owned Delta became enmeshed in Yaldhurst when it made incremental loans to the initial developer for its infrastructure work, to the tune of more than $13 million from 2009-13. Ms Calvert, a Dunedin lawyer, sent a copy of her complaint to the Otago Daily Times yesterday.
Ms Calvert said in the August meeting DCHL recommended to all councillors they accept the proposal to refinance Delta’s debt, with a new loan agreement with Infinity Group. However, Ms Calvert claims it was not a loan agreement directly with Infinity Group, a successful multimillion-dollar Wanaka company, but a new “shell company”, Yaldhurst Infinity Ltd. Ms Calvert contends it was “misleading” of DCHL to provide details of Infinity Group and its proven track record, in order to have the loan approved to Yaldhurst Infinity Ltd, “which would never have been worthy of lending $13.4 million to”.
Read more

A March 2014 auditor-general inquiry into Delta over Luggate and Jacks Point was highly critical, noting the use of “artificial business structures to avoid public accountability” and a “lack of strategic and performance monitoring” of investments, among other findings. (ODT)

Note: Hilary Calvert is not complaining about the Council meeting held on Monday, 1 August 2016. Her complaint is with the reports received in that meeting pertaining to the decision sought from Council by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL).

****

Email received:

Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2017 11:46:31 +1300
From: Hilary Calvert
To: Elizabeth Kerr

Media release below.
Other papers attached

Dunedin City Council companies facing new accusation of misleading conduct  
 
Hilary Calvert, a former Dunedin City Councillor, has today forwarded a complaint to the Auditor General’s office concerning the wrong information provided by DCHL surrounding the loan of $13 million made by Delta Utility Services Ltd, to a company which purchased the failed Christchurch Yaldhurst development.
 
Ms Calvert complains that the information provided to the Dunedin City Council to encourage it to approve the loan included financial statements and benefits including that the proposed borrower ‘has an excellent track record’ and ‘already has a strong presence in Christchurch…’ whereas in reality the company which was to borrow the money turned out to be a newly formed company, likely formed with the specific intention of avoiding having the company with the ‘track record’ standing behind the debt.
 
‘There is something very wrong if the Audit Office were to think it OK for a Council owned company to get a Council to agree to a $13 million loan using the details of a reputable trading company in place of those of the insubstantial shell company which was actually borrowing the money.’ said Ms Calvert.
 
If such statements were in a prospectus, which is after all an invitation to the public to give over their money, there could well be implications of prison being bandied about. And Council money is public money, even if this report was not governed by the rules surrounding issuing a prospectus.
 
It was only by chance the Council meeting picked up from an aside that the loan would be to a new unproven company with no obvious assets.
 
When asked why the company described in the papers was not borrowing the money and doing the development themselves, The DCC was told that it was good practice to set up a different company. *
 
It may be good practice for a borrower to try it on, but it would not be good practice for a lender to accept. Any bank would demand a guarantee from the parent company, something which DCHL says is not in place with this loan.
 
To add insult to injury, DCHL is refusing to provide details of the loan under Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act so we still cannot know what deal has been actually made using Dunedin Ratepayers money.
 
The Audit Office is responsible for ensuring that public entities carry out their business with probity and financial prudence.
 
‘It is time to call enough for Council companies treating Council like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed manure.” said Ms Calvert.
 
*In fact a similar manoeuvre happened with the same company, Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd, concerning the Pegasus development, where some $80 million was lost without IIGHL having to stand behind the company formed there either.
 
Hilary Calvert

Attachments:
LGOIMA information release – DCHL to Council 1 August 2016
Request for examination 31.1.17

█ For more, enter the terms *dchl*, *crombie*, *grady*, *delta*, *infinity*, *yaldhurst*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

16 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Site, Travesty

Member of the public lays Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Cull

Received.
Fri, 18 Dec 2015 at 11:41 p.m.

From: Chris Staynes
Date: 18 December 2015 at 8:23:07 PM NZDT
To: Diane Yeldon
Cc: Sandy Graham, Sue Bidrose, Lee Vandervis
Subject: Code of conduct.

Dear Ms Yeldon,
I refer to your email to me on 17 December 2015 making a Code of Conduct complaint about Mayor Cull. I provide the following response.

The Code requires that any alleged breach involving the Mayor is reported to me in the first instance. In receiving the complaint as Deputy Mayor I then have to be satisfied that there are “reasonable grounds for believing that a provision of the Code has been breached”.

I have reviewed the Code and Standing Orders and have concluded that there are not reasonable grounds for thinking a provision has been breached and as such I will not be progressing the matter. I now outline my reasons for reaching this conclusion.

The Code of Conduct (section J2.2) requires that the Mayor is responsible for ensuring the orderly conduct of business as determined in standing orders. There is also a requirement that the community have their concerns listened to and deliberated on in accordance with the requirements of the Act (section J 3.3). Therefore, the principles of the code of conduct may apply to the conduct of speakers at a public forum.

Standing Orders (section F7) provides that the Chairperson has the discretion to decline to hear speakers at the Public Forum where the number of speakers exceeds the time allocation for the Public Forum.

On Friday afternoon, Ms Jordan was advised by the Mayor that given the size of the Council agenda to be considered at the meeting, the public forum was fully subscribed. He instructed that no further speakers were to be taken. At the time of that advice, you had not indicated you wished to speak.

You advised an interest in speaking by email on Sunday, 13 December 2016. You were telephoned and advised on Monday morning that the public forum was fully subscribed. You withdrew your request to speak at the public forum during this conversation. You subsequently arrived at the public forum requesting to speak. There was no additional speaking time for the public forum period (as all speakers had used their maximum time) and at the meeting the Mayor declined your request to speak.

It is not a breach of standing orders to decline the opportunity for a speaker to speak at a Public Forum, even though the request was made within time and standing orders provides for the opportunity to extend the Public Forum (section F2). It is not mandatory for the Chairperson to have a resolution of the meeting to extend public forum as the discretion sits with the Chairperson before the meeting commences to accept or decline speakers. As regards the prioritisation of public forum speakers for those talking to agenda items, the priority of speaking is set at the time the public forum content is confirmed.

For the reasons above, I have concluded that there has been no breach of the Council’s standing orders and that therefore no breach of the code of conduct has occurred in this case.

Agenda papers are available on the Council website on the Wednesday evening prior to the Council meeting (in this case on 9 December 2015) and I would encourage you to give earlier notice of your wish to speak to ensure that you do have an opportunity to speak to agenda items at future meetings.

I have copied the original recipients of your email in my response to you.

Regards,

Chris Staynes.

Sent from my iPad Pro

———————————————

Dear Ms Yeldon,
This email is to confirm that I have received your Code of Conduct complaint and I am considering the matters raised, once I have completed this I will get back in touch with you.

Regards,

Chris Staynes.

Sent from my iPad Pro

———————————————

On 17/12/2015, at 6:30 AM, Diane Yeldon wrote:

Dear Cr Staynes, I wish to make a Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Cull. At the last full meeting of the council (14th December, 2015), I had given notice to Pam Jordan (Governance) that I wished to speak at Public Forum. When she told me that the meeting was heavily booked I said I would withdraw because my topic (support for alternative transport modes) was not time dependent. Then at 9.00 am I attended the continuation of the adjourned previous council meeting and saw the agenda for the meeting of the 14th. It is a matter of record that I made an official information request about the Procurement Policy which was being developed by the Risk and Audit Subcommittee with virtually all meetings and all meeting content in non-public. Grace Ockwell responded by telling me that the proposed policy would be public when it went to a council meeting. So the morning of 14th Dec was my first chance to see this proposed policy (although I could have seen it a few days earlier when the agenda became public if I had known to look but Grace never told me WHICH meeting it would be going to).

So [I] asked Pam Jordan if I could speak at Public Forum to that agenda item because it was the only chance I could possibly get. What I wanted to ask the council was for the policy to be open to public submissions because the whole process had been totally non-transparent. There had been considerable public comment on Mr Epere with his criminal background getting a council contract after asking at a public forum (surely not in the first place an appropriate use of a council public forum to ask for personal advantage!). There had also been considerable public interest in the [Citifleet] fraud with the main question being, “Where is the independent oversight of in-house council activities to prevent fraud?”

There had been further public interest in the issue of the contracted out mudtank cleaning with the public revelation that the contracted service had no sucker truck in Dunedin so clearly could not have been doing the work all the time. Then there was further public comment from an arborist who [publicly] said that the tree felling at Logan Park cost the Council far too much. Then a local painter, Dean Kelly, publicly said he was unfairly deprived of council contracts because they always went to the ‘big guys’.

This last comment raises the issue of whether the council should prefer local contractors over outsider to the city to stimulate the local economy and, further break up contracts into smaller chunks so that smaller local businesses can get a look in (when times are hard, the odd council job may stop them from going under). Further to this, there was the Public Forum submission of Ms Annaliese de Groote who asked that the DCC have a policy of giving work opportunities to people with disabilities.

All of the above matters are in the public interest and warrant discussion by the community they affect.

Standing Orders require councillors to value participation and engagement in council matters from members of the public. Standing Orders also provide for setting aside 60 minutes of a council meeting for public forum speakers. If the 60 minutes is used up, then Standing Orders allow the meeting chair to put it to the meeting that public forum be extended. I was the only further speaker at that meeting (14th Dec). Mayor Cull knew I wanted to speak to the agenda item (17) of the Proposed Procurement Policy. He also knew it was the only possible opportunity I or any member of the public would be able to comment on it because it was not going to be open for public submissions and was going to be decided at that very meeting.

Other Public Forum speakers who were not speaking to an agenda item preceded me. I am sure if the question of whether public forum might be extended (only by five minutes) to allow me to speak to an agenda item had been put to the meeting that the meeting would have agreed.

So the conclusion I come to is that Mayor Cull does not value input and engagement from members of the public. He does not do what he can to promote it. And so by his actions towards me at the last council meeting he has not upheld the Council’s Code of Conduct.

I have read the procedure for Code of Conduct complaints in the Appendix to the Dunedin City Council’s Standing Orders and I await your further instructions on carrying out this process.

Sincerely
Diane Yeldon

Dunedin City Council – Standing Orders (PDF, 856 KB)
28 Oct 2015: The Standing Orders set out rules for the conduct meetings of the Dunedin City Council and includes the Code of Conduct for Elected Members, as adopted at the inaugural Council meeting Oct 2010.

Committee Structures and Delegations Manual (PDF, 557 KB)
21 Apr 2015: This document details the constitution of the Council, Committees and Subcommittees, and the delegations to the Chief Executive.

Tabled at the full Council meeting on Monday 14 December:
Report – Council – 14/12/2015 (PDF, 143.8 KB)
Procurement Policy (Proposed), December 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

21 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Name, Ombudsman, People, Politics

Jeff Dickie: Edinburgh tough, Dunedin (DUD)

Further to the contents of an email from Jeff Dickie last month, who was writing from a hotel on Orchard Road at the time:

Supplied. ODT 13.7.15 (page 6)

ODT 13.7.15 Letter to editor Dickie p6

****

INVOICE FRAUD AND MORE

TWO corrupt council officials and two businessmen who supplied them with cash and hospitality have been jailed with a warning they face “significant” sentences.

### HeraldScotland.com Wednesday 17 June 2015
Corrupt Edinburgh council officials face lengthy jail term
[…] Former local authority employees Charles Owenson and James Costello were treated to dances and drinks in lap dancing bars as valuable Edinburgh City Council contracts were secured through bribery. Ex-directors of Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) Kevin Balmer and Brendan Cantwell provided the rewards over the allocation of work for public buildings including schools, care homes and cemeteries.
Following their earlier guilty pleas a sheriff told them that he would continue their case until tomorrow for sentencing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to consider the information he had been given. But Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC told the four men: “Having regard to the gravity of the offences, it is clear to me the sentences will require to be custodial and require to be significant.” He remanded all of them in jail ahead of sentencing.
Owenson and Costello were provided with hospitality, including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds and meals out as well as cash, by Edinburgh-based construction firm ABC Ltd (Action Building Contracts). The contractors even submitted inflated invoices to the local authority for work carried out to cover the costs of the bribes they were paying council officials. Fiscal Keith O’Mahony earlier told the court: “In essence, the council was being charged for the cost of bribing its own officials.”
[…] Police began carrying out enquiries in 2010 as a result of complaints about the statutory notices system and were later informed that senior management had received “a whistleblower letter” alleging that Owenson was showing favouritism when allocating work to contractors. The Crown has raised proceedings to recover crime profits in the case.
Read more

█ 18.6.15 BBC News: Four jailed over Edinburgh City Council bribes

Shades of the ‘Screaming Orgasm cocktails’ saga following Dunedin City Council’s decision to build the stadium. That evening, the board members of Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust went out to celebrate, booking their drinks at Alibi Bar & Restaurant to the Ratepayers.
Of course, there have been masses of local big-ticket ‘corruptions’: the stadium land purchases (including for realignment of SH88); the Carisbrook ‘deal’ with Otago Rugby Football Union, and further ‘Otago Rugby’ deals with Dunedin Venues (DVML); the Delta subdivisions and service contracts (Jacks Point and Luggate, and more recently Noble Village); the unravelling Citifleet fraud and insurance scam (substantially greater than 152 fleet vehicles lost off the inventory, allied to ‘traffic’ in car parts, tyres, service contracts, and fluid cash); the Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment Project (via City Property) yet to be fully detailed; and field lights for Otago Cricket Association…….. et al.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, OAG, OCA, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Ombudsman complaint re DCC reply to LGOIMA requests #CSTfiles

Received from Bev Butler
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 at 11:25 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: complaint @ ombudsmen.parliament.nz
Subject: Ombudsman complaint: Whereabouts of secure storage facility?
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 11:19:53 +1200

{Address and phone number removed. -Eds}

Friday 10 July 2015

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to make a complaint about the Dunedin City Council’s reply to a recent LGOIMA request (copied below) where I ask the whereabouts of the secure storage facility and the date the DCC/CST documents were placed in the facility.
Please also refer to my email to Ombudsman Office dated 15 June 2015 where I express concern as to the safety of the DCC/CST documents.

In the DCC response it states:

“The location of the secure storage facility is withheld pursuant to s7(2)(b)(ii) of LGOIMA to avoid prejudicing the commercial position of the person who is subject of the information.”
This is not a valid reason to refuse the request because s7(2)(b)(ii) only provides protection for “the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information”. This could be a valid reason to refuse to provide some of the documents, but not a valid reason to refuse to provide the location of the documents.

The other reason for refusing to provide the location was: “pursuant to s7(2)(f)(ii) of LGOIMA to enable the effective conduct of public affairs by protecting officers and persons from improper pressure or harassment.”
This is invalid because there are no public affairs being conducted that would be affected by revealing the location of the documents. More importantly, this only applies to “members or officers or employees of any local authority”. Revealing where the documents are, will not create any “improper pressure or harassment” on Council staff or Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) members.

The DCC in their response to the date the documents were stored in the secure storage facility state:
“The CST are unable to confirm when the documents were shifted to the storage facility. The person who can confirm this is now resident in Australia. Attempts were made to contact her but she is hospitalised, recovering from a serious illness and was unable to provide the information. Your request is therefore technically declined pursuant to s17(g) of LGOIMA as the information requested is not held.”
The DCC confirmed this morning that the documents were moved with permission of the CST. Therefore, if the documents were moved with the permission of the CST then section 2(6) of LGOIMA applies because the CST are subject to LGOIMA given their special agency agreement with the DCC.

I request the Ombudsman Office investigate the above.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

{See previous post for chain of correspondence up to and including Ms Graham’s reply at Thu, 9 Jul 2015 21:42:53 +0000, provided in full with Ms Butler’s complaint to the Ombudsman. -Eds}

Related Posts and Comments:
9.7.15 DCC: Council-owned CST files whereabouts not declared
27.6.15 Ratepayer boxes #saga
20.6.15 DCC / CST document scramble #LGOIMA

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, Democracy, DVML, Economics, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Mayor of Dunedin issues apology

Remember this:

[Interviewed by 3News before the elections in October] Mr Cull says he’s quietly confident he’ll get another term in office, and isn’t worried about his eight rivals. “Six of them have no public office experience, and the other two that do have a pretty shonky record at public office experience. You know, extreme, nutty policies.”

Mayor Cull screenshot [3 News 7.10.13] 2[screenshot] Mayor Cull (3News 7.10.13) — read and view the item here.

——————–

Correspondence received from Lee Vandervis
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 7:47 p.m.
Subject: FW: Letter from the Mayor

On 17/02/14 5:44 PM, Vivienne Harvey wrote:

Regards

Vivienne

Vivienne Harvey
PA to the Chief Executive Officer
Dunedin City Council

Letter by Attachment (PDF, 24.3 KB): SC2200115514021715260[2]

——————–

On 17/02/2014, at 9:33 pm, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Re: Letter from the Mayor
Dear Mayor Cull,

Thank you for your apology which I appreciate and assume Cr. Calvert will appreciate also.
Looking forward to Cr. Calvert’s confirmation that we can all put this behind us.

Kind regards,
Lee

On 17/02/14 10:24 PM, Hilary Calvert wrote:

Looks like an apology to me.
Hasn’t offence got a ‘c’?

[ends]

Letter of Apology - Dave Cull 17.2.14 (1)

Related Post and Comments:
1.11.13 Council appointments (rumbles)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

32 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Name, People, Politics