Tag Archives: Council controlled companies

Hamilton Mayor has it right —DCC has lost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars

The misuse of public funds at Dunedin is far from being over……

Received Sun, 8 Jan 2017 at 5:21 p.m.

hcc

Questions mount over Hamilton City Council’s commercial nous. By comparison, how does Dunedin City Council stack up ?

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:03, Jan 6 2017
Business: Property
Hamilton City Council urged to stay away from property ‘gambling’
By Aaron Leaman
….Hamilton Mayor Andrew King said the city council has a poor record when it comes to commercial property deals. And he doesn’t want any more ratepayer money risked on commercial developments. Records obtained under the Official Information Act show the Hamilton City Council has taken a multimillion-dollar hit on a raft of property deals dating back to the mid-1990s. The council incurred heavy losses after selling properties at well below their purchase price.
….In 2017, city councillors will consider restoring the council’s property development company, Hamilton Properties Ltd, after an almost 20-year hiatus. Last term, the council voted to transfer the city’s municipal and domain endowment funds, valued about $52 million, to the council-controlled organisation. The decision can be overturned by the new council. Hamilton Properties Ltd was set up in 1989 and retired in 1998 after developing a host of commercial and community sites, including the BNZ building and Novotel Hamilton Tainui in the central city.
….King said the council should enable developers and investors to risk their money to build Hamilton. “We’ve got $50 million sitting in these funds and I think the proposal to give it to Hamilton Properties Ltd is very, very scary, in my opinion,” King said. “It’s not our job as councillors to risk ratepayers’ money and go into competition against others. The record clearly shows that we are way out of our depth. We’re not specialists in this field and anything council does seems to cost twice as much as what the specialists in the field can do it for.” King’s views, however, are at odds with senior council staff, who have defended the city’s investment nous.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Directorships and council-owned companies

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 10/03/2012
Business
So you want to be a director?
By Tom Pullar-Strecker
Harsh light of day: Finance company directors in court have provided a “wake-up call” to all board members, with some wondering if the work is worth it.
At the Institute of Directors’ offices in Featherston Street, 20 high-fliers have gathered for a day-long course that is designed to help prepare them to take a seat as a director at a boardroom table. Contrary to stereotypes, there is little grey hair, nine are female and none are in handcuffs. Their reasons for attending the course are similarly quite varied.

The institute has 5500 members and, among them, the median fee for a directorship is about $35,000, chief executive Ralph Chivers says. For positions on boards of companies with a turnover of more than $500 million a year, that rises to about $70,000. However, there are probably no more than 500-600 people sitting on boards of the top-100 listed and private companies and they are by and large people “at the top of their game”.

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### ODT Online Sun, 11 Mar 2012
Magazine
Keeping it all above board
By Mark Price
With Dunedin City Council-owned companies undergoing a restructuring, and question marks over who will fill more than a dozen directors’ seats, what is required of an effective company director.
J. Denham Shale was appointed by the council after the “Larsen review” delivered the council a list of recommendations to improve the running of its companies – city councillors being barred from the company boardrooms the most radical of them.

Shale’s arrival, along with that of deputy Bill Bayliss, of Queenstown, coincided with the resignation of some members of the old holding company board and the sacking of the others, including chairman and city councillor Paul Hudson. Shale and Bayliss are just the interim board – given 12 months to restructure the holding company and its subsidiaries. Recruiting new directors is part of that job.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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“Dunedin” – we introduce Transparency International UK

### newsinfo.inquirer.net 9:31am Wed, 15 June 2011
UK failing to address corruption—study
By Cassandra Vinograd – Associated Press
LONDON— Corruption is a much larger problem in Britain than acknowledged and key institutions are refusing to confront the problem, a global watchdog warned Wednesday. Transparency International UK called the findings of its two-year study into corruption in the UK a “corruption health-check” for the country — with a diagnosis of “growing threat, inadequate response”. The group said its research found that corruption is flourishing in some parts of the UK and there is “disturbing evidence” of denial in policy responses to the issue. “There is complacency and a lack of knowledge of the extent of corruption in key sectors and institutions,” according to the study.
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The findings show that the tentacles of organised crime increasingly extend to sectors such as prisons and sport where criminal activity and corruption are inextricably linked, affecting businesses, communities, the economy, and society’s most vulnerable groups.

### transparency.org.uk Wed, 15 June 2011
UK fails corruption health check
A report published today by Transparency International UK reveals that corruption is a much greater problem in the UK than recognised and that there is an inadequate response to its growing threat. More than half of the public believe that UK corruption is getting worse. The 3-volume report – the most extensive study into UK corruption ever undertaken – examines 23 sectors and concludes that key institutions are refusing to confront the problem.
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Corruption in the UK: Overview & Policy Recommendations (PDF, 790 KB)
TI-UK Executive Director, Chandrashekhar Krishnan, gives an overview of the findings from the three Corruption in the UK studies, and sets out TI-UK’s policy recommendations.

Corruption In The UK: Part One – National Opinion Survey (PDF, 647 KB)
Results and analysis of an opinion survey of 2,000 UK citizens’ experiences and perceptions of corruption.

Corruption in the UK: Part Two – Assessment of Key Sectors (PDF, 630 KB)
Part two covers the following sectors: Police, National Health Service (NHS), legal profession, prison service, social housing, procurement, sport, City of London, construction, local government and UK Border Agency.

Corruption in the UK: Part Three – NIS Study (PDF, 1 MB)
The NIS study covers the following sectors: Business, civil society, electoral management body, executive, judiciary, law enforcement, media, ombudsman, political parties, public sector and the supreme audit institution.

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Transparency International UK is a Chapter of the world’s leading non-governmental anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International (TI). With more than 90 Chapters worldwide, and an international secretariat in Berlin, TI has unparalleled global understanding and influence.

Transparency International UK
– raises awareness about corruption
– advocates legal and regulatory reform at national and international levels
– designs practical tools for institutions, individuals and companies wishing to combat corruption
– acts as a leading centre of anti-corruption expertise in the UK.

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.

http://www.transparency.org.uk/ @TransparencyUK
http://www.transparency.org/ @anticorruption

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Auckland super city subverts democracy…

Thanks James.

This is the cold word on “upright commercial pillars of society”.
See any similarities to the Dunedin crew? You do?
And you’re still keen on a super ward.
Think about it.

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### nzherald.co.nz 4:00 AM Friday Feb 12, 2010
Opinion: Brian Rudman on Auckland
Democracy kicked out the window
By Brian Rudman
If it wasn’t my money they were after, the sight of John Waller, the chairman of Bank of New Zealand, Hugh Burrett, the former chief executive of ASB Bank, and Greg Muir, former chairman of Hanover Finance, cap in hand together at the Auckland Town Hall, trying to touch up Mayor John Banks for a $40 million loan would be hugely amusing.
They’re members of the Eden Park Trust Board, and need the money urgently, because, in the words of banker Waller, “the banks won’t lend because the park can’t service it …” With not even their closest banker mates willing to float them a loan for old times’ sake, who are they now trying to shake down?

Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee is blunt. “Aucklanders have been bilked. Most of the powers of the present local government in Auckland will be devolved to unelected, unaccountable CCOs – no doubt to be stacked with the usual businessmen.”

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-Brian Rudman is a Herald columnist focussing on Auckland issues

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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