Tag Archives: Interest rate swaps

DCC: Residents’ Opinion Survey 2014

Remember last year’s DCC Comms spin on the ROS results?
Another farce this year, look at the Council’s headline.
[in case DCC won’t say it] “DEEP DISSATISFACTION WITH STADIUM BLOWOUTS AND THE CITY’S STALLED ECONOMY”

████ DCC: Public finance forum [invitation]
Tuesday 12 August 2014 at 5:30 – 7:30 pm | Venue to be confirmed

DCC mayor and councillors (2013-14) 1
Residents’ Opinion Surveys
These surveys measure residents’ satisfaction with the Council’s performance and with Council owned facilities. The output of the surveys enables the Council to assess the extent to which the Council has met its performance objectives.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Residents’ Satisfaction Still on the Up

This item was published on 28 Jul 2014

Residents’ satisfaction with the Dunedin City Council’s performance continues to rise. Results of the 2014 Residents’ Opinion Survey, released today, show 58% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the DCC’s overall performance. This is the highest level recorded since the question was first asked in its current form in 2003. The survey also shows significant increases in satisfaction with customer service (Customer Services Agency up nine percentage points to 88%), communication (FYI newsletter up seven points to 77%), the suitability of the roading network for cyclists (up seven points to 29%) and retention of businesses and jobs (up six points to 22%).

Acting General Manager Services and Development Nicola Pinfold says, “These substantial jumps in satisfaction are fantastic and reflect the organisation’s hard work and commitment.” Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “It’s great to see satisfaction with economic development and cycle facilities moving in the right direction. These are two key areas where the Council has been putting in a particular effort.”

Once again, satisfaction was highest with the Dunedin Botanic Garden, Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin Public Libraries and rubbish collection – with satisfaction scores of more than 90% in these areas. Decreases in satisfaction were noted with the Dunedin Ice Stadium (down 10 percentage points to 71%), stormwater services (down seven points to 59%), the look and feel of the South Dunedin retail area (down six points to 25%) and traffic flow at peak times (down six points to 47%).

Survey respondents identified encouraging economic development, reducing DCC spending, debt and rates, providing cycleways and improving the look and feel of the city as the top priorities for the DCC over the next 12 months. Mr Cull says, “The overall results are pleasing and show the DCC is increasingly responding to the needs of Dunedin residents. The information gathered through the survey will help the Council as we begin preparing our Long Term Plan for 2015-25.”

Of 4,500 residents randomly selected from the electoral roll and invited to complete the survey, 1,248 did so – a response rate of 27.7%. A further 705 residents independently chose to complete the survey online. The results of the ‘opt-in’ sample are analysed separately, but still provide the DCC with valuable feedback on how it can improve its services. The survey was carried out by independent research company Key Research of Tauranga. [We can’t possibly contract Dunedin companies because they might conduct honest research or sneak in survey questions DCC won’t approve for the results it doesn’t want, horror!]

www.dunedin.govt.nz/ros

Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 027 434 6917.

Related Posts and Comments:
27.6.13 State of the City —DCC or Dunedin? [2013 ROS here]
13.6.12 DCC: 2012 Residents’ Opinion Survey
25.4.11 Oh wait, you mean…. | 2011 Residents’ Opinion Survey
1.5.10 DCC: Residents’ Opinion Survey – complete it online
6.7.09 DCC 2009 Residents’ Opinion Survey

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Carisbrook, COC (Otago), Construction, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Geography, Highlanders, Hot air, Hotel, New Zealand, NZRU, NZTA, Offshore drilling, ORFU, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Queenstown Lakes, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design

DCC’s debt level — who do you believe?

Updated post 7.7.14

### ODT Sat, 5 July 2014 (page 34)
Opinion: Letters to the editor
Drastic action urged on DCC’s debt level
The recent Ratepayers Report on New Zealand councils’ relative financial performance makes for sobering reading for Dunedin’s 53,266 ratepayers. The Dunedin City Council’s debt per ratepayer of $15,093 is nearly the highest in New Zealand and is exceeded only by Auckland.
The DCC is amongst New Zealand’s worst-performing councils in terms of operating expenditure at $6885 per ratepayer, well ahead of the national average of $3175 per ratepayer. DCC employee expenditure per ratepayer is $1783, which is three times the national average.
It’s hard to believe Dunedin was once famous for thrift and living within its means. Mayor Cull and the new CEO Sue Bidrose must wake up and make some drastic cuts as soon as possible, given the DCC’s shocking performance compared to most other local authorities.
T. Stevens, Dunedin

[Dunedin City Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie replies: “The figures quoted by your correspondent are for the group position of councils and highlight the fact the Dunedin City Council has significant other assets (Aurora Energy Limited, Delta Limited, City Forest’s Limited and Taieri Gorge Railway Limited). The actual asset value for the group is in excess of $70,000 per ratepayer.
“For Dunedin, the average rates bill is $1750, which is the 13th-lowest of all the councils and reflects the benefits we receive from the wider DCC group.”]

I note Grant McKenzie leaves off mention of the stadium companies DVML and DVL, which are now part of DCHL, and the effect of their growing debt on the council’s overall position. And what of all misappropriation of funds and serious fraud at DCC, DVML and CST still to be revealed, you have to ask.

█ Ratepayers Report at http://www.ratepayersreport.co.nz/

Larry Mitchell’s opinion of DCC’s reply to T. Stevens would be interesting – further, it’s not like other councils don’t have their own companies or significant and strategic assets.

█ Then to blow everything out of Otago Harbour there’s DCC’s exposure to global markets through borrowing – see new comment by Rob Hamlin.

Related Post and Comments:
12.6.14 Fairfax Media [not ODT] initiative on Local Bodies

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: New audit and risk subcommittee a little too late !!

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Audit and Risk Subcommittee Appointment Made

This item was published on 26 Feb 2014

The Dunedin City Council has appointed the first of two independent members to its new Audit and Risk Subcommittee. Susie Johnstone, who is managing partner of accounting firm Shand Thomson, Balclutha, has been appointed by the Council as Subcommittee Chair.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says Mrs Johnstone has a great deal of experience leading audit and risk committees across a range of public sector entities. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Mrs Johnstone’s calibre on the Subcommittee. Her skills, attributes and knowledge will be of huge benefit to the Subcommittee’s work.”

Mrs Johnstone is Deputy Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Council and a director of REANNZ, which is responsible for the provision of an advanced high capacity internet service to the New Zealand research and education communities. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of its Governance Committee. She has also served on the boards of Tourism New Zealand, the Southland, Otago and Southern District Health Boards, the New Zealand Blood Service and the New Zealand Hockey Federation.

Mrs Johnstone says, “I am looking forward to working with Council and am supportive of their increasing focus on the governance aspects of audit and risk. These matters tend to fly below the radar until something doesn’t go so well so the Council is to be commended for taking the initiative in this area.”

The Audit and Risk Subcommittee has been set up to provide the Council with a degree of comfort that risk is being managed appropriately within the organisation. The Subcommittee’s responsibilities include risk management and internal control and it will oversee governance policies in areas such as conflict of interest, insurance, procurement, risk, fraud, and health and safety. It will also include oversight of the Annual Report.

The Subcommittee will report directly to the Council.

At this stage, the Subcommittee members are Mrs Johnstone, Cr Richard Thomson, Cr Hilary Calvert and Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes. The Council will shortly publicly advertise for a second independent member.

Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC, Dunedin City Treasury and 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

WHICH THREE BANKS, DCC ??????

Comments received.

Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 3:02 pm

As some of you may recall I have been very interested in DCTL and its large gains and losses on interest rate swaps. The following article http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/comcom-issue-proceedings-against-asb-194400510.html describes today’s announcement by the Commerce Commission to investigate ANZ, ASB and Westpac for mis-selling interest rate swaps to farmers – causing massive losses to these borrowers.

My interest has been further piqued by the arrangement between DCTL and three ‘independent’ banks called a ‘secured multi-option note facility’ within which these swaps are sold to DCTL by said ‘independent’ banks. The ‘secured’ as I have mentioned previously involves an ‘on call’ capital commitment by DCC to DCTL that has been deliberately put in place to circumvent Section 62 of the Local Government Act, which specifically prohibits council guarantees to trading companies. At $850 million of capital (which the DCC does not have), this amounts to some $17,000 for every ratepayer in this city – and you are liable for it.

As I have mentioned before, the very large annual fluctuations in gains and losses reported by the DCC due to interest and currency derivative exposure indicates that the DCC, via its $850 million guarantee to DCTL, is very deep indeed into this particular festering pile of poo.

I have lodged an LGOIMA request with the DCC for the identity of the three banks who are in the ‘secured variable rate note facility’ swap fest with DCTL. However, my unofficial sources indicate that the membership may be between 67% and 100% in common with the three banks mentioned in the ‘Stuff” report on large-scale interest rate swap mis-selling – Time will tell. But might be an idea to find the hammer and your piggy bank.

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Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 4:13 pm

Rob, I simply cannot understand the role of the OAG in all of this. The OAG provides auditing services to the Dunedin City Council and is supposedly the watchdog that ensures things are all tickety-boo in City Hall. But as we have already seen in the Kaipara case that the OAG now says that it is terrible that all of this borrowing took place, but that THEY ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE. Surely to goodness that they have seen the actions of the CFO of the DCC to subvent the point and purpose of Section 62 of the LGA. Equally puzzling is how they have not been warning of the ramifications of these infernal legalised Ponzi schemes as they have been described elsewhere.

I distinctly remember the sacked Athol Stephens explaining to me in his office that many of the financial dealings of the DCC were to avoid tax liabilities. Athol was both a Director of a Council Board and an employee of the Council as I recall at the time.

There is enough smell round this issue to warrant a lot of interest by the OAG and the mainstream media, but sadly it is just too plain in the case of the OAG that they really aren’t interested in pursuing anything that would show that they themselves have been slack and incompetent, nor are they interested in pursuing anything that involves them in any serious work.

In the case of the media, it’s all just too hard. TV simply isn’t capable and is more interested in turning news into entertainment, and the financial reporters in the papers can’t seem to get their heads round anything substantial.

A case of the fox inside the henhouse and another one on the outside, looking out for the farmer.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Commerce Commission moves on 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:17 17/12/2013
Banks taken to court over farm deals
By Rob Stock and Matt Rilkoff
In a war that has cost her a lifetime of work, former north Taranaki farmer Angela Potroz says she has finally won a battle.
The Commerce Commission announced today it intended to take ANZ, ASB and Westpac banks to court for “misrepresenting” sales of interest rate swap loans to rural customers.
Potroz and her husband John were some of the hundreds of farmers persuaded by The National Bank (now branded ANZ) to take the financial product in 2007 as a way to “beat” rising interest rates.
Nearly inexplicable to all but financial experts, the products were often sold to farmers as being fixed rate loans “with benefits”.
But when the global economy fell apart, interest rates on the swaps soared and fine print penalty clauses kicked in.
With the bank refusing to offer the Potrozes any relief and refinancing costs in the millions, the couple said they were doomed to fail.
In November 2012 they sold four sheep and beef farms valued at $18.85 million in 2010 for just $12.08m after the bank demanded their $11m swap be repaid in full.
Read more

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Media Release: Commerce Commission proposes to issue proceedings on interest rate swaps

17 December 2013

The Commerce Commission confirms that it has advised three major New Zealand banks, ANZ, ASB and Westpac, that it intends to issue legal proceedings over their sales of interest rate swap contracts to rural customers.
The Commission has advised the banks that in its view there is sufficient evidence that they may have breached sections 9, 11 and/ or 13 of the Fair Trading Act, and that it wishes to place the matter before the Court for its decision.
Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry says the Commission aims to file proceedings in March 2014.
“This has been a very extensive and complex investigation, but that phase of it is almost at an end. We have advised the banks of our views that swaps were misrepresented to rural customers. I expect to have more talks with the banks about these views, and about the different facts that might apply to each of them, over the coming months,” said Dr Berry.
“Because court proceedings are in prospect, the Commission will not be commenting further at this time.”
The Commission is also considering the conduct of other institutions that have sold interest rate swaps.
The Commission encourages affected swap customers to contact the Commission on 0800 943 600.

Background
Interest rate swaps are a financial derivative product that allows a borrower to manage the interest rate exposure on their borrowing.
Interest rate swaps were typically provided to large corporate and institutional customers, but from 2005 were offered by various banks to rural customers throughout New Zealand.
In August 2012 the Commission began enquiring into whether interest rate swaps were misleadingly marketed from 2005.
This matter relates to ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited (ANZ), ASB Bank Limited (ASB), and Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac New Zealand Limited (together, Westpac).

[Relates to: Fair Trading]
ComCom Link

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Interest Rate Swaps
17 December 2013: Proposed Legal Proceedings – Questions and Answers*

*Click on Question links for Answers

1. Which banks does the Commission intend to take court action against over the marketing and sale of interest rate swaps to rural customers (farmers)?
2. Background to investigation and decision to take court action
3. What does the Commission intend to do?
4. When is the Commission filing proceedings against the banks?
5. How much have farmers lost as a result of the alleged conduct?
6. My farming business purchased interest rate swaps. Do I need to do anything?
7. My farming business bought an interest rate swap or swaps from one of the named banks. Am I going to get compensation?
8. How long will it take for an outcome on the case?
9. My farming business purchased a swap from one of the banks identified by the Commission. I am in financial difficulty with the bank. How will these proceedings affect me and what should I do?
10. I have settled a complaint with one of the banks named over the sale of interest rate swaps? Can I still assist the Commission?
11. I am worried that if I help the Commission in its proceedings there may be repercussions against me or my business by the bank I deal with?
12. What about swaps sold by other banks?
13. My business purchased swaps but it is not involved in farming. Do you want to hear from me?

Documents
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation – Proposed Legal Proceedings Questions and Answers 17 December 2013 (PDF, 50 KB) Published on 17 December 2013
Notes for meeting with Damien O’Connor MP on Interest Rate Swaps Investigation 9 May 2013 (PDF, 41 KB) Published on 10 May 2013
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation Questions and Answers March 2013 (PDF, 88 KB) Published on 27 March 2013
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation Questionnaire March 2013 (PDF, 47 KB) Published on 10 May 2013

ComCom Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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