Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds
Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sat, 27 Feb 2016 at 10:08 p.m. Last updated at 10:32 p.m.
Your correspondent would like to issue a warning to any Dunedin ratepayers venturing into this website : What you are about to read is hazardous to your stress levels. Please fortify yourselves with a nice cup of tea and a big saucer to catch the spills.
We return to the scene of the Christchurch Delta demise today to examine a few “timing and consent” issues.
These may appear to be innocuous words designed not to cause alarm, and indeed, Graham Crombie had assured Dunedin ratepayers more than once that the whole Noble Subdivision problem is merely one of “timing”.
It is now apparent that we cannot take at face value anything that is said by Mr Crombie in regard to Noble, and readers, yet again, not far below the surface, lies another tale of absolute Delta stupidity.
First a few facts to set the scene.
Noble Investments Ltd gained Christchurch City Council consent for 304 lots in May 2009. The subdivision had a small commercial area and a variety of lot sizes.
Crucially, the roads were designed to best practice with a 25m carriage way. The carriageways were separated by a median strip and it had recessed parking bays and cycle lanes. (No cycle lane jokes please!)
Delta started work in late 2009 on the site.
Then in December 2009 NIL (yes readers, NIL by name and NIL by value and many other measures !) applied for a variation to their consent.
This was no minor variation : the commercial area increased by over 200 per cent and the eventual analysis by Abley Transportation Consultants was that the main spine road would have more than double the original vehicle movements.
Readers, please hold your cups tightly :
Delta then ignored the original consented drawings and built the subdivision’s main roads and layout according to a completely NEW plan that had NOT BEEN CONSENTED to by the Christchurch City Council (CCC).
This was not for a day, a week or a month. Delta continued to build the main collector road THAT WAS 4 METRES NARROWER than the consented roadway for at least NINE MONTHS.
Linking back to yesterday’s post your correspondent surmises that the nuclear budget explosion must have happened in late 2009, and the variation being a desperate attempt to cheapen up the subdivision by making the roads narrower and the more commercial area was to pay for the stormwater work that Delta failed to budget for.
Let’s back the truck up here : Can anyone possibly imagine what the DCC would do to a Contractor that continued to work on unconsented work on a massive subdivision for a year in Dunedin ?
The DCC prosecutes landlords for adding an extra room to their student flats, not to mention trying to close down the Saddle Hill quarry which actually has some sort of consent.
In August 2010 neighbours complained to CCC that unauthorised work was occurring on the subdivision and things then got VERY messy. The CCC did issue a retrospective consent, but the Yaldhurst community and many CCC councillors are up in arms about the decision to grant retrospective consent. The Yaldhurst community are seeking a judicial review of the decision. The situation is still not resolved.
Oh, and by the way the December 2009 variation to the consent deleted a road connecting the neighbouring land that NIL had agreed to build, which is another reason why, five years on, the project is still mired in legal action.
Yep, Delta knew how to pick em ! Delta being Delta were too stupid to realise that if NIL were happy to clothesline the neighbour whose co-operation it needed, it would have no compunction doing the same to them.
But readers, that’s not all : there’s is more utter ineptitude :
The CCC got around to warning NIL at some point that any unconsented work was done at the Developer’s risk.
And the Developer, NIL, told CCC that it continued to work because ….., OF THE AVAILABILITY OF THE CONTRACTOR.
There is no way NIL could insist that Delta break the law and continue to work.
In other words, Delta continued to work on the site because it wanted to, because it was easier than finding other work. Another possibility is that Delta felt compelled to continue because it created the whole problem with its monumental stormwater mistake. However two acts of stupidity is still stupidity.
In an act of supreme hubris, it knew the work was unconsented but thumbed its nose at the CCC and did it anyway.
This, from a CCO.
Yes the Developer, NIL are the laughing stock of the industry and have no credibility. But Delta were their enablers. Delta were stupid enough to indulge them when any other contractor would have walked away in disgust.
Words have nearly failed this correspondent. (Apologies again for the caps – stress!)
So, let us return to the directors.
What did they know and when did they know it ?
Did they ever ask management the first and most basic question on a project, “Have you got consent ?”
or, each month, “are there any changes we should know about ?”
or “any changes to our risk profile ?”
Can they read a plan ?
Did they ever visit the site ?
Do they have any aptitude at all to keep tabs and rein in the management of a civil contracting firm?
This correspondent does not believe that the management of Delta, a Council Controlled Organisation, would have kept the Directors in the dark. They are bureaucrats, after all, and would be careful to pass on anything contentious.
On Luggate and Jacks Point, the Auditor-General actually commented that the board had been fully involved and Warren Larsen noted that more transparency and communication was required at the DCC companies.
In the troubled history of the directorial shortcomings of the DCC companies, this is a new low point.
Your correspondent, also, is incredulous that the ODT had never bothered to investigate any of the specific acts of stupidity at Noble.
The information is all public record. We can be grateful to What if? Dunedin that they have provided a forum for this issue.
The Noble Subdivision is an intermodal multiple train wreck.
Sun, 28 Feb 2016 10:27 pm
At the above post, your correspondent made two errors in regard to the reduced width of the main roads on a number of items :
The reduction in carriage way was from 19.5 m to 11.5 m, a reduction of 8 m, not 4 m….
The roads reduced in width was not the main collector road : It was both the main collector road AND the loop roads…. that is, the majority of the roading.
Related Posts and Comments:
● 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
Noble Village Subdivision, Yaldhurst Road – Site Plans Dec 2009
Source: CCC Archives – Proceedings (March 2012)