Tag Archives: Land Transfer Act 1952

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #14 : The Election and The End Game revisited

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 at 11:15 p.m.

Firstly, Ratepayers have a debt (yes another one, readers, but put the cudgels away, it doesn’t involve money illegally advanced by Delta) to Vaughan Elder, Cr Hilary Calvert and our What if? site for prising the official information about the August 1 2016 Council Meeting from the DCC. After an extended delay, some records were produced, but “technical difficulties” meant a full audio transcript was not available. How surprising. This is the Council equivalent of “The dog ate my homework, sir”, with the same level of credibility. But of course Mayor Cull will be able to say that he really wanted the transcript because, of course, he is FOR openness and transparency in Council, for the next fortnight anyway —because in response to the latest poll or subtle expression of displeasure from the ODT publishers, Mayor Cull is now a “transparency magnet”, you see.

While it would have been useful to see if any Councillors expressed even the most cursory concern about the deal, before voting to give away $13.2M to a shell company on the most favourable terms in commercial history, the key point is that Cr Lee Vandervis is the only candidate standing who sounded the alarm. He abstained from even voting on the proposal because the information put before Councillors was so pathetically incomplete that to even vote on it was giving the “proposal” more credibility than it deserved.

Departing from Matters Noble for a moment, your correspondent had from afar noticed a very clear divide on ‘the sound’ between sitting and new council candidates. To a man (and one woman) the sitting Councillors all sing the same song : everything is fine, everything is under control at the hands of your capable (sitting) Councillors and if these “whingers” would stop the “negativity” then everything would move from fine to fantastic on the DCC rate-o-meter. With the notable exception of the sniping between Mr Whiley and Mr Hawkins, there is clearly a little gentlemen’s agreement amongst incumbents not to say hard but truthful things about each other so that normal sycophant operation can resume after the election.

However, the other 32 council candidates are also singing a song that is mostly in unison, and that is that the present Council have failed the city in ways too numerous to count. Their description of the overall Council performance ranges from the mediocre to the abysmal.

With six new positions, in a normal election a candidate could probably spout vague but reassuring platitudes and have a good chance of joining the club. But this is not a normal election and the vast majority of new candidates aren’t being shy about what needs to change. A change is coming.

lee-vandervis-billboard-detail-1The point of all this : Your correspondent says that this is no time for the safety first status quo and if the best candidates only include one (Cr Vandervis) or even two then that is just fine. Vote accordingly. Mr Vandervis as Mayor can always run night classes over the first month in how to chair a subcommittee.

Your correspondent has for some time flayed the vast majority of Councillors in many posts for being slack jawed bystanders on the whole disgusting Delta Noble mess. Those Councillors who acquiesced and made like Silent Bob – which is all of them, except Cr Vandervis, do not merit re-election on a number of levels. Most odiferous of all is Cr Doug Hall, who is very well versed in subdivisions, and would never in fifty lifetimes commit his own money to a deal like this, but who refused to say anything. Sayonara, Doug Silent Bob Hall !!

However, some information from a little bird….
has come to light regarding the non-public section of the fateful August 1 Council meeting. This, along with other information made public at What if?, now means we have an accurate idea of why this turnip of a Delta deal was fertilised into life. (Sorry Vaughan, bested you again, but keep up the good work !).

It was a case of turnip councillors also being fertilised with you know what, but it was also a case of DCHL and DCC bureaucratic fascism, which is even more alarming.

Apparently, a senior representative at the meeting (can’t name names) lectured the Councillors for about 30 minutes that this Infinity deal was The Way, The Truth and will give Life to the half of the $25M DCC debt that the DCC had not written off. To extend the biblical analogy further, however, it would not be three days before the debt was resurrected, but EIGHT YEARS. (Good work on that in Friday’s ODT, Vaughan !!). This is rather a long time to go without financial oxygen, otherwise known as payment of interest, but at Delta (now enabled by the DCC) the unthinkable (the illegal construction of entire subdivisions, being had up for constructive fraud) is now commonplace.

What if? is led to understand that Councillors were lectured like school children, and questions were Not Tolerated by the Irascible Headmaster. They were to vote on the One True Option, and That Would Be That, and if they did not vote for the One True Option, the buyer of the Noble Subdivision would be lost.

Readers may recall that your correspondent did predict that this is precisely what would happen, a certain corporate person would pronounce that There Is No Alternative, regardless of the truth, and much of the statements by the Irascible Headmaster (not to be confused with The Fat Controller) are not true.

A malodorous other person also enabled this fertilisation, as a parting gift to fellow “managers” – and I use the term loosely.

For major decisions, DCC staff are meant to prepare a range of options so Council can debate which is best. Either they weren’t bothered or came under instruction to prepare one option only by minders at DCHL. The Council should remember it is DCHL’s superior, and (theoretically….) DCC’s senior executives should be monitoring the Council holding company and subsidiaries. Old habits (like saying yes) are troublesome things that become reflex actions.

Humour aside, what happened on August 1 and immediately following is simply anti-democratic and makes Councillors redundant rubber stamps for DCC staff. The amazing thing is that only two of the 15 elected complained about this obvious and basic sidelining of Councillors.

But even at that point Ratepayers could have possibly accepted a lack of proper process had a good option been presented. But the “Delta Deal” isn’t a good option. This is the most commercially one-sided deal seen in decades, and the level of excuses made by Crs Thomson and Cull, Delta CEO Cameron, and most of all Mr Crombie, should give Ratepayers pause. They protesteth too much. The cover has been in full swing. “This is the best we can do”, “there are no guarantees”, “it will take years…. but builders are lining up to buy the sections”.

the-fat-controller-thomas-the-tank-engine-2aIf The Fat Controller fitted one of his own conservative clients into this deal – a $13.2M second mortgage on a subdivision mired in legal action and half built illegally, at an interest rate of 7 per cent, he would doubtless be censured and taken to task by his professional body.

Something appears to be rotten in the State of Dunedin. Why is there indecent DCHL directorial haste to get this deal done ? Will Infinity Yaldhurst spend vast sums on marketing the sections via the ODT ? Will certain ex DCC operationals retire to Wanaka, coincidentally on an Infinity Subdivision ? Will Mr Crombie and Mr Frost become directors or shareholders of some Infinity venture, or their firms be remunerated in some generous way at Noble ?
Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel !…..

There is a way to stop this rot, to stop the sale to Infinity and bring the entire subdivision back under the control of the DCC. Council was not able to vote on the actual terms and conditions of the disgraceful $13.2M second mortgage at the August 1 meeting. This will be done by the new Council after the election. The solution is obvious. Don’t give the money to Infinity and the whole deal will fall over, then the DCC can appoint its own development manager and sell down the sections that are ready now, and start selling the commercial land, which is the real cash cow of the deal. Without a doubt Council would recover all of the $25M debt, and get interest on it as well. This amount would pay a great proportion of the South Dunedin flood control work……

This is too hard for your turnip DCHL directors, and involves a serious loss of face, but who cares about them ? With the right development manager the DCC can do it in house. There is one man in Dunedin who is available at the end of the year and has the necessary integrity and expertise to do it, and his name is Geoff Plunket, soon to be former CEO of Port Otago and Chalmers Property.


Related Posts and Comments:
22.9.16 DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA
18.9.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #13 : Councillors! How low can you Zhao ?
26.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed
24.8.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult under investigation
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered ion the public interest.

*Images: Lee Vandervis billboard detail by whatifdunedin | The Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA

Updated post
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 at 7:08 p.m.

On 1 August 2016 I lodged an official information request with DCC to obtain documents and audio file for the non-public meeting of Council held that day to decide Delta’s deal with “Infinity” (later, properly referred to as Infinity Yaldhurst Ltd. NOTE: Not the company called Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd. The information request was made subject to an extension. (In particular for more context, see Delta posts at What if? Dunedin from 1 August onwards – to access these use the term *delta* in the search box at right).

The information received from DCC is published here.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Minutes of Council meeting August 1
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 21:26:24 +0000
From: DCC Governance Support
To: Elizabeth Kerr

Dear Elizabeth,

Further to Kristy’s response below, please find attached a copy of the minutes of the meeting. These are now confirmed as correct.

DCC Governance Support

Attachment: Minutes Council 010816

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: FW: Please check LGOIMA response on Delta PE documents and audio file
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:48:01 +0000
From: Kristy Rusher
To: Elizabeth Kerr


In relation to your request for the information about the Council’s decision regarding the Delta & the Noble Subdivision, we now provide you with:

1. The audio recording and transcript of the non-public section of the 1 August council meeting where this transaction was considered. Please click on this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jcvhpn0w2a7v1n7/AADWTnaiJcP3R0YA-dZuuo1Ya?dl=0

2. A copy of reports presented as part of the non-public section of the August 1 council meeting where the Delta transaction was discussed.

3. The minutes of this part of the 1 August Council meeting are not yet included. That is because at yesterday’s meeting of the Council, an amendment was made to this section of the minutes. They will be provided to you in their amended form when the minutes of yesterday’s meeting become available.

The information you have requested is attached. Please note that due to the late conclusion of yesterday’s Council meeting we were unable to provide you with this response yesterday.

Audio Recording of Discussion at Council Meeting

There were some technical difficulties experienced with the recording of the meeting. Unfortunately this resulted in only the first part of the meeting up until the first adjournment being recorded. We have sought expert help to recover the rest of the recording but it is blank.

An independent party has also transcribed the audio file that is available and this transcript is attached. This provides details of each speaker and may help your listening of the file.

If you have any questions please contact me in the first instance.

Regards, Kristy

1. CNL20160801_1967_207_5.pdf
2. Transcript of Meeting 2016_08_01 np.pdf
3. Noble-Yaldhurst Village Update – 2016_08_01 final.pdf

27.9.16 Has DCC Delta stupidly bought into another Pegasus . . . . #notquite

Why has our Dunedin City Council decided to have anything to do with Infinity via council owned company Delta ? Which Infinity ? Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd ? Infinity Yaldhurst Ltd ? And who is Infinity Finance and Mortgage Ltd, of a bedroom at 12A Fovant St, Russley ? Is ‘Infinity’ a front for Gordon Stewart’s Noble Investments Ltd ? We delve…. Meanwhile, here’s Infinity’s slow-troubled-road Pegasus. Cont/

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Housing, Infrastructure, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #13 : Councillors! How low can you Zhao ?

Updated, this post was originally published on 29 Aug 2016.

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 15 September 2016 at 6:53 p.m.


Recently some diligent whatiffers (thank-you Mick, Calvin), have provided some very pertinent information that puts your intemperate correspondent well ahead of the chasing pack that is national media.

Delta’s financial “breakthrough” at the Noble Subdivision got an airing on National Radio “news” late last month. Strangely, there was no mention of the buyers’ troubled history that checkmated $101M into the big depository in the sky. Fortunately, online media Stuff (26.8.16) has better quality reporting than our erstwhile public servants (well chaps, it was the weekend after all) and had this epic fail firmly in their sights. Vaughan Elder at the ODT (27.8.16) also stepped up to the plate, hammering home the $101M Infinity fail. “Efforts to contact Infinity Yaldhurst were unsuccessful,” said Vaughan [before ODT updated the article]. No prizes for why…..Go Vaughan you good thing !

Tonight, readers, over a cup of Bell or two (put that Twining’s rubbish away – we’re not in Fendalton now !)….. we shall look at a likely funder at Noble (at third mortgage level, no less), and in doing so we shall arrive at the quiet suburban destination of 12a Fovant St, Russley; the poor man’s Fendalton, if you will. Once again, truth trumps fiction, and from this secure and modest address it is quite probable the highly insecure and very immodestly sized Noble Subdivision will receive finance.

Firstly, readers, it is important to understand what your complete turnips of Councillors could not, and that is : it is the holder of the first mortgage that basically drives the train in any development. When things go bad – often – the developer gets told to go sit in the corner and play with some knives while the first mortgage owners decide what is best for them, and them alone, and the size of the haircut for everyone else. Delta have just found this out the expensive way to their approximate overall loss of $25M. Delta now wholeheartedly agree with this theory because they happily spent $3.39M of ratepayer funds to buy 67.5% of a $1.75M first mortgage, which was an illegal transaction at that. Mr Crombie and Mr Cameron say that interest doesn’t count ….Turnips that need to be culled, you say : I hear you!

But the problem with first mortgage holders is that they are very often banks that don’t have a large appetite for risk, and they hate “mezzanine financing” with all the conservative passion they can muster. Mezzanine funding is what they call funding projects during their construction. If things go wrong of course at the construction stage (consider Noble), there is only a half-finished at best project…. worth precisely nothing, which tends to play havoc with the banks’ precious LTV (loan-to-value) guidelines.

Readers will remember this was precisely the scenario at Noble where the mortgagee sale was marketed on the basis that it was bare land, ie the $11.5M of half-finished work by Delta was deemed to be worth nothing. So while Delta trumpet that there is a bank as a first mortgagee involved, your correspondent surmises that given the project’s radioactive history, it is a very small first mortgage, that is nowhere near big enough to finance the completion of even the first stage of the subdivision.

This leads us to some very interesting territory. How to fund the construction ? A smallish bank first mortgage, Delta as second mortgagee. Even Grady Cameron and possibly even Mr McLauchlan comprehend that they would be sacked if they advanced more public funds to Noble on a second mortgage basis. Could the purchaser, Infinity Yaldhurst Ltd fund it ? We do not know this, because of the commercial stupidity of most of your Councillors : we understand it was explained to them fatty-cull-using-hula-hoop-cartoon-figure-via-123rf-comin words of almost one syllable at the Council meeting on 1 August that it was a VERY BAD THING to lend $13M-odd as a second mortgage, NOT KNOWING THE SPECIFICS OF THE OVERALL PROJECT FUNDING or the details of the “purchaser”, the shell company Infinity Yaldhurst, set up specifically for one project that has no assets and NO BACKING OR GUARANTEE from any other Infinity Group Company that managing director Paul Croft is involved in.

(Perhaps our walking photo opportunity that is the Mayor could advise us what sort of COLLATERAL SECURITY has been offered by Infinity Yaldhurst).

What is an impecunious property developer to do ? Readers, allow me to introduce to you…. Infinity Finance and Mortgage Ltd. This interestingly named company was incorporated on 17 March 2016. Your correspondent thinks that it provides a clue as to how the Noble Subdivision may be financed. Its sole director and shareholder is a fellow named Xiangqing ZHAO aka Xiang Qing ZHAO. The registered office of this apparent titan of finance is at 12a Fovant St, Russley, Christchurch. This is just a little more than a stone’s throw from the Noble Subdivision.

yaldhurst-village-and-12a-fovant-st[click to enlarge]

A quick peep at Google Street View shows that Fovant St is a street of well tended and modest homes. There is not a single commercial premises evident. Now 12a (with a little pool in the backyard) is not actually visible from the street, being blocked by a quite nicely proportioned brick and tile bungalow from early 1970s, approximate value $590,000.

12a-fovant-street-russley-christchurch-google-earth12a Fovant Street, Russley [Google Earth]

Mr Zhao’s previous commercial activities are also, ahem, somewhat idiosyncratic. Mr Zhao’s visible means of support includes his being the Shareholder of a pizza company, “X Pizza Ltd” and a company called “A-Team Company”.

So there is a suspicion that Dunedin City Councillors voted, at their meeting on 1 August, to lend $13M to a shell company, Infinity Yaldhurst, that may be receiving some form of finance from a company effectively controlled by an Asian, with a predilection for pizza, operating property investment companies and a finance company out of his bedroom – safely out of sight, down a driveway on a back section in Russley. It would be impossible to make this up. Gold Band at least had premises and statutory reporting requirements that it fulfilled. With Mr Zhao there is the very strong suspicion there will be a wall of opacity when things turn bad, and 12a will be sublet to Irish construction workers who have never heard of Mr Zhao and don’t know who receives their rent.

It is very significant our mendacious minders at Delta did not make any reference to precisely how the project would be funded on their breathless press release (26.8.16). Readers and ratepayers should be prepared for the fantastic fact that the Noble Subdivision is so troubled and radioactive it requires a THIRD mortgage (ie after the Bank, and after Delta) from an Asian “bedroom funder” several steps below a Microfinance company. Good grief, what next – crowd funding ?

One cannot escape the thought that perhaps the money that may be advanced does not belong to Mr Zhao, but he has some access to funds from Asia. We do know that a tsunami of cash from China in the last 12-18 months has washed through Australia, in particular the Gold Coast, and that cash has purchased an amazing amount of property there. It would be entirely unsurprising if Asian interests looked at this as a no-lose situation to park some funds. Plan A : Lend money to Infinity Yaldhurst at 25% plus (remember Delta were or are getting 22.5%). Plan B : If the project tips up yet again, buy out the first and second mortgage holders for about $16-20M, and create Christchurch’s first gated community dedicated to Asian peoples. Many of the sections are only 125 sq m, which would suit Asian immigrants, more than local residents.

The question readers, is how low – how low can our turnip Councillors Zhao ?


Incorporation Date: 09 Feb 2016
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016

Incorporation Date: 06 Dec 1999
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016

Incorporation Date: 17 Mar 2016
Address for service:
Infinity Finance and Mortgage Limited, 12a Fovant Street, Russley, Christchurch 8042

Related Posts and Comments:
26.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed
24.8.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult under investigation
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered ion the public interest.

*Images: 123rf.com – Fatty Cull using Hula Hoop, tweaked by whatifdunedin | Noble Subdivision close proximity to 12a Fovant St [Mick Field overlay]


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 26 Aug 2016 at 9:47 p.m.

Readers, you must allow your correspondent some iced cupcakes with his Choysa tonight, go on then, the ones with the cherry on top….your correspondent, with a modicum of luck was in fact 100% successful in the dire prediction that Infinity, of Wanaka, are indeed the purchasers of the Noble Subdivision. Our friends at Delta have issued a breathless press release explaining they are or have received $0.9m – yes $0.9M, from their friends at Infinity. The sky is blue, houses will be built, Delta’s financial fruit will follow. Fancy that !! Let us allow reality to intrude : This is the first, and only guaranteed payment that Delta will receive for the outstanding $25M+ debt they have incurred there. That’s not low hanging fruit, it’s been trampled underfoot and is not even worth stewing (over). Trampled underfoot also is the small matter of the outstanding interest. Would it be churlish to remind readers that Delta, of course, has written off about $12M in interest because it wanted to protect certain reputations more than it wanted to protect ratepayers ? Would it spoil Delta’s collective fist pump to remind them that $0.9M is no more than (and likely less than) 4% of the outstanding debt ? Yes I thought so. Delta as debt collectors ? = EpicFail.

Missing in Delta’s gushing remarks from Grady Cameron was any mention of the Constructive Fraud action. It seems that the hapless Mr Smillie has taken Delta down a dark cul-de-sac yet again this week. Mr Smillie has opposed Delta being joined to the constructive fraud action, with a mistaken understanding of High Court rule 4.56. However, that rule is not relevant and it is trumped by High Court Rules 4.1 and 4.3 which allow parties to be joined. Basically, the rules allow that a plaintiff can joinder anyone at any time, and the plaintiff caveator in this action is 100% unlikely to allow the central party to the constructive fraud action (yes, that is you Grady as CEO of Delta) to smile bashfully and say “can I go now?” after having undermined the interests of the neighbours on occasions too numerous to count at this point. Oh well Mr Smillie, another unpaid legal bill….

This is an important point because our Delta friends seem oblivious to the impending legal actions they are facing. Delta think that because the caveats were lifted, all is well, but that is still subject to a court of appeal hearing, and the way is open now for Delta to have another action brought against them by the neighbours. Delta and the DCC’s pockets are deeper than Gold Band’s, and they can’t go broke, so from the neighbours’ view, what’s not to like ?

Delta’s utter stupidity is revealed when the press release acknowledges that they have allowed a bank lender to take the first mortgage over the property, and have put themselves, yet again in the same weak position. As noted in the Delta —EpicFraud #10 post, Dunedin City Council just needed to show a scrap of acumen and take control of the subdivision. Now their fortunes are tied to an even weaker developer than Noble (how is that possible ?), who has managed to lose, much, much more money than Noble (truth stranger than fiction), and to cap it off, are in the same second mortgage position. This is not logical. But it is a windfall – for Infinity. Could there be a quid pro quo somewhere ?

Turnips all round. Readers, consider when voting, that Cr Lee Vandervis is the only surviving councillor (there were only ever two, Hilary RIP from Council) who grasps this major issue and has fought for the ratepayers. Cr Vandervis has never been one to accept Mr Crombie’s vague platitudes and was always wary of Mr McKenzie. Vandervis for Mayor.


From: Gary Johnson [Gary.Johnson @thinkdelta.co.nz]
Sent: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 at 4:21 p.m.

Message: Please find media release attached regarding a breakthrough on recovery of outstanding debt owed to Delta in relation to the Yaldhurst Village subdivision.

160826 Media Statement_Breakthrough on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

160826 Media Statement_Breakthrough on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

“With a new developer, new financing and removal of the caveats, the way is now clear for the Yaldhurst Village subdivision to restart….” Mr Grady (sic) said. –emphasis by whatifdunedin

### ODT Online Fri, 26 Aug 2016
Delta sells Christchurch subdivision
By Vaughan Elder
Delta has hailed the sale of a controversial Christchurch subdivision as a breakthrough in its efforts to recover $13.4 million in bad debt. The Dunedin City Council owned infrastructure company yesterday announced Wanaka-based developers Infinity Group purchased the Yaldhurst Village subdivision. […] The purchase means Delta has entered a new loan agreement with Infinity Yaldhurst Limited, to replace the existing $13.4 million debt owed to Delta by the original developer.
Read more [See tomorrow’s ODT]

Incorporation Date: 09 Feb 2016
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016

Ultimate holding company :
Incorporation Date: 06 Dec 1999
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016

Related Posts and Comments:
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult under investigation

Stonewood Homes New Zealand Ltd was placed in receivership on February 22, 2016, owing unsecured creditors $15M.

Jim Boult [Stacy Squires - stuff.co.nz] bw### ODT Online Tue, 23 Aug 2016
Investigation of mayoral candidate
By Mark Price
Queenstown mayoral candidate Jim Boult is to be investigated in relation to the collapse of Stonewood Homes New Zealand Ltd, something Mr Boult says he welcomes. Ernst and Young liquidator Rhys Cain said yesterday an investigation into the failed company would begin “in the next few days”. It would examine the workings of the company during the two years before its collapse, with a “specific focus” on its final six months. […] Mr Boult was a member of the board of the Christchurch building company for about a year and acted as executive chairman for a period. He stood down from the board on February 1, 2016, telling Mountain Scene later he had done so because he had been part of an attempt to buy Stonewood before receivers were called in and he considered he had a conflict of interest. […] Asked if he could rule out action against Mr Boult, Mr Cain said: “No”.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
11.3.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes and ancient Delta history

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Jim Boult by Stacy Squires

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Construction, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 7 Aug 2016 at 11:08 p.m.

Your correspondent was heartened to read Saturday’s ODT editorial. It was mostly on the money, apart from the fabrication that Delta pays a dividend most years, when it is well known that for many years it borrowed to provide dividends, and it will not pay a dividend for the next three years.

[screenshot]ODT Online 6.8.16 Editorial [odt.co.nz_time-transparency]

In its diplomatic way, the editorial conveyed the (accurate) impression that

Mayor Cull is a either a devious and unfaithful turnip or he is a blundering nincompoop. Given his disgusting complicity with DCHL Chair Crombie, last week, making simply absurd and risible statements as to why Delta CEO Cameron did not need to appear at the Council meeting and explain to Council how Delta, for the third time, had created a stinking financial mess, and done so under his approval to proceed at Noble in 2009, to build an illegal and unconsented subdivision. All Mayor Cull had to do to show some integrity and leadership was to insist to Delta and DCHL that Mr Cameron appear as per Councillors Vandervis and Calvert’s request. Ratepayers now know that he is unfit to be Mayor and has not a shred of any concern for the interests of Ratepayers but is simply part of the Dunedin establishment who protect each other. It is clear a great many Ratepayers have already come to this conclusion : As part of his mayoral campaign, Mayor Cull’s Facebook page invited feedback in recent weeks and it was so overwhelmed by negative and derisive comments – that he could not refute – that he simply stopped attempting to respond after two attempts. Readers should find the site – it may well have been taken down after the avalanche of negative feedback – and make THEIR views of Mr Cull known.

Named and shamed the four Delta Directors, Frow, McLauchlan, Kempton and Parton, and that they contributed to the history of “secrecy and limited transparency” of Delta, a culture that “continues to envelope a company which is effectively owned by ratepayers”. ODT readers did not have to join too many dots to see that the ODT is saying that these directors are not fit to be directors of a Ratepayer owned company and need to be sacked. This is very strong (and welcomed) from the ODT.
We should consider the curious case of Mr McLauchlan, who has had his nose in the Delta trough since 2007 : It was around that time that Mr McLauchlan gave accounting evidence to the High Court for Scenic Circle in a dispute, reported in the ODT, with the co-owner over the then –new Scenic Circle Dunedin City Hotel. Mr McLauchlan, as seems to be the pattern with Delta, tried to tell the Court that black was white, that effectively, debits were credits and vice versa. Unfortunately for Mr McLauchlan, the opposing side had a much more credible accounting witness, whose evidence was the complete opposite of Mr McLauchlan’s. Needless to say the Court much preferred the evidence of the opposing side, so it is a statement of fact that the Courts have found Mr McLauchlan to be an unreliable witness. One wonders if Delta knew this when they appointed him, or if it was part of the job description….

And then there was the other curious case of Mr McLauchlan’s short tenure as the “Crown Monitor” for the SDHB, where an outgoing board member publicly questioned if he had any utility at all, and what did he actually do for the approximate $30,000 a year he received for acting as the Crown Monitor. Mr McLauchlan then confirmed to the ODT he hadn’t actually done anything as Crown Monitor except attend the board meetings and make some phone calls to Wellington. He had not written any reports – at all.

The ODT did not dwell on CEO Grady Cameron. Your correspondent was wrong in his last post – Mr Cameron was not left to sweat it out in front of Council, but probably had so much dirt on the Directors and DCHL that they could not risk him appearing, and they conspired to put Mr Crombie in front of Council.

However, the true dirt tonight is the identity of ‘The Buyer'(?) of the Noble Subdivision : (ODT – feel free to pick this up and make any inquiry you want). It is of course truly unbelievable that Council would approve a loan of $13.4M to a buyer that they do not know, which shows that a wholesale cleanout of Councillors is necessary. More on that later. However, Councillors are not going to want to know the identity of the Buyer because they make the dismal NIL (Noble Investments Ltd), Tom Kain, Gordon Stewart, et al look like paragons of commercial acumen.

Your correspondent’s information is that the Buyer may be or very well includes Infinity (of Wanaka). A caveat, readers : We seek through the glass, darkly, and are not privy to the full machinations of Mr Crombie and his cronies. It will not be certain until this is confirmed publicly, but we do know that Delta, via Mr Murray Frost, have been working on this “arrangement” for months. Perhaps the ODT might like to make inquiries of Mr Paul Croft, General Manager and CFO of Infinity Investment Group Holdings….
Now at one level Infinity and Delta are birds of a very, very similar feather, and it is clear why they would seek to stick together : Like Delta, this will be Infinity’s third attempt at a Canterbury subdivision. Like Delta, the other two have been failures. Readers, hold those cups of Tiger Tea tight…. Infinity’s abysmal financial performance on those projects makes Delta look like seasoned and competent professionals !!!

The amazing truth that is stranger than fiction : Infinity have lost MUCH MUCH MORE than Delta on their two failed Canterbury projects…… IN EXCESS OF $100M. I can hear the teacups rattling now, readers, “Prove it CD, prove it !!” Elementary, my dear readers : Here is the link to the Stuff.co.nz story that appeared last year. It takes a special effort to lose $100M on one deal, but Infinity pulled it off. Perhaps Delta’s Mr Cameron and CFO Dixon, having had their subdivision trainer wheels on since 2009, are ready to move up to the big leagues at Infinity and lose serious amounts of someone else’s money.

It beggars belief that Mr Frost, who has been acting for Delta (but mostly Noble, it appears), would actively court Infinity as the Buyer, and place at risk $13.4M of Dunedin Ratepayers’ money with a company with this recent history; when there was a far safer option of Dunedin City Council taking control of the project, perhaps in concert with a developer that HAD NOT lost $100M on the same sort of project. Let us not forget either, the other $12M that Mr Crombie has “given up on” reported by the ODT last week, as though it were a trifle as light as air. If it were your money, Mr Crombie, I don’t think you would be quite so cavalier.
Readers should remember that essentially the deal is that the Buyer (Infinity ?) will pay around $2.7M to Gold Band Finance, and $1M to Delta (probably for consultant and court costs !) and NO OTHER MONEY CHANGES HANDS. If that is the best that Delta / Gold Band could do I will eat my tea cosy.
Bottom line : This deal smacks of cronyism.

And here is the interesting part : Murray Frost, Graham Crombie and Stuart McLauchlan are all well known to each other. We hope that there will be assurances that there will be NO INVOLVEMENT or REMUNERATION either directly or indirectly to these three, or any other Delta or DCHL personnel, on the Noble Subdivision.

Mr Crombie – as someone allegedly with an IQ greater than room temperature – how could you think this deal passes the smell test for a Ratepayer owned company ? What if? understands you conspired to conceal key information about this deal from Councillors. As the ODT infers, you are a pathetic guardian for the Ratepayers’ interests and you need to conduct that cost/benefit analysis we advised you to do months ago, and prepare the resignation letter – before a new mayor orders a “review” of the DCHL structure, which as we all know is code for : “Get rid of those incompetents, ASAP”.

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: Screenshot of ODT Online (detail) tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

LGOIMA requests to DCC from Colin Stokes #Delta #Noble #Yaldhurst

Received from Colin Stokes
Wed, 3 Aug 2016 at 12:30 p.m.

These emails are being circulated to national broadcast and print media today.

Colin Stokes, caveator and plaintiff, is one of the original landowners of the Noble Subdivision application (Yaldhurst, Christchurch).

In short, Delta, with its controlling interest at Noble, has joined with other parties, in the ongoing repeated attempt to defeat the known prior interests of Mr Stokes, Greg Smith, and others.

Those parties with Delta appear to have connived to form a new consortium to purchase and control the development, with ongoing cheap money from Dunedin Ratepayers to prop up their own private fortunes.

Life has never been so good for Mr Crombie, does he work for the likes of Justin Prain, Gordon Stewart, Murray Valentine, Murray Frost, Paul Croft
—Or us, poor little us who bleed.

Noble is like Sticky Pudding for fatsos.

Here are some straight shooting questions in public domain —for Transparency, that old so OLD concept not known to DCHL / Delta and the Noble / Gold Band bandits.

[Updated LGOIMA request]

From: Colin Stokes
Sent: Wednesday, 3 August 2016 12:27 p.m.
To: Sue Bidrose [DCC]
Subject: RE: LGOIMA: Noble Yaldhurst Subdivision Christchurch Delta DCC

Dear Dr Bidrose

Could I please amend my LGOIMA question number 4 below?

It was both Noble and Gold Band that enticed Delta to provide infrastructure and services at Delta’s cost on the promises of “agreements to have first-ranking first mortgages registered over the land.

Noble owned the land (it having been transferred to Noble by the neighbours for promises alone), and Gold Band held the thinly spread first mortgage over all 9 titles.
The enticement (recorded in their security sharing agreements):-
a. Noble agreed to give Delta “first-ranking first mortgages over the land” if Delta did the works at Dunedin ratepayers expense;
b. Gold Band agreed to swap priority of its first mortgage in favour of Delta over certain Lots if Delta did the works at Dunedin ratepayers expense;

c. Noble then reneged on providing the interests protected by the caveats that prevent Delta’s agreements to mortgage from being registered.
d. Gold Band (and Noble) (and with Deltas insistence apparently) then, under the guise of Gold Bands power of first mortgagee (despite its only 32.5% ownership of it), ran a mortgagee sale tender that lapsed Delta’s caveats protecting their agreements to mortgage used to entice the works.
Subordinate caveats, behind Deltas caveats, that protect the interests of [parties] associated with Nobles did not lapse in the tender documents; such as Southpac which is controlled by Nobles sole director Gordon Ralph Stewart.

So question 4 should correctly read:-

4 updated.
the total sum of “agreements to mortgage” given by Noble Investments Ltd (NIL) and Gold Band Finance Ltd to Delta to entice Delta to do work for them at Dunedin ratepayers costs?

Thanks and regards

[original LGOIMA request]

From: Colin Stokes [mailto:stokesy@xtra.co.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, 2 August 2016 11:07 p.m.
To: ‘Sue Bidrose’
Subject: LGOIMA: Noble Yaldhurst Subdivision Christchurch Delta DCC

Chief Executive Officer
Dr Sue Bidrose
Dunedin City Council (DCC)

LGOIMA: Noble Yaldhurst Subdivision Christchurch Delta DCC

I am one of dozens of resident owners in the above subdivision. We have prior interests from 2002 in the land that Delta has mortgages and shared mortgages and agreements to mortgages on.

I am also one of the residents that lodged caveats to protect these interests. I gave my caveators’ consent required of Delta to register its mortgage on the land. The consent was given on the clear condition and acceptance that the work Delta was securing with the mortgage included for the interests that the mortgagor/developer Noble owed us. Noble and Delta both agreed.

However we later discovered Noble and Delta had already designed a plan before they approached us whereby Delta was given the power (illegally under the Property Law Act) to instruct the first mortgagee Gold Band to do as Delta instructed in relation to defeating our caveats.

Noble and Delta then jointly constructed the works not including our provisions as agreed and making them impossible.

Delta later bought a 67.5% share of Gold Bands first mortgage (this too is illegal under the Property Law Act s84 – partial assignments are not permitted)

Delta then used Gold Band as planned to use their first mortgage position in Court to defeat our caveats to recover Delta’s subordinate debts.

We tried to redeem Gold Band and Delta’s shared first mortgage in 2014 but they refused us (we later found out that this was illegal under the Property Law Act as well – s102). We tried again recently but they illegally demanded double what it is worth and wouldn’t answer our request for information that we require to legitimately redeem it.

I understand they now propose to sell the land by way of mortgagee sale to defeat our caveat protection, despite that it’s illegal to do so given our prior interests and two refused requests to redeem the first mortgage.

I also understand from media statements and statements made in public Council meeting, that Delta are seeking to write off millions of dollars of debt in the subdivision ($25m debt due in Feb 2016) and are now only “chasing $13.3m”.

I have information that Noble gave Delta a mortgage (with our caveators’ consent), and agreements to mortgage subject only upon our caveats being defeated or removed, to a total of at least $22.7m. This seems peculiar that if Delta can have $22.7m in security that it would write off above $13.3m of what the law would require MUST go to ratepayers.

I am aware that DCC 100% own Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) and that DCHL 100% own Delta Utility Services Ltd; so under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA), in relation to the Noble Yaldhurst Subdivision Christchurch, please provide:-

1. the valuation’s for the mortgaged property that DCC is relying on in its proposal that Delta must lose multiple millions of dollars in debt due to Dunedin ratepayers (despite having “securities in the land that covers the debt” according to Delta media releases)?

2. the total debt due to Delta from the subdivision (actual debt including what Delta consider to be doubtful it can recover)?

3. the total debt secured on the land in mortgage? a/ share of first mortgage? and b/ second mortgage amount including interest?

4. the total sum of “agreements to mortgage” given by Noble Investments Ltd (NIL) to Delta to entice Delta to do work for them?
{See email above for new wording to 4. -Eds}

5. the tender documents and agreements that are, or have been, before DCC for their consideration including how those amounts are proposed to be distributed?

6. DCC’s responses to the people with caveated prior interests in the land who have presented and sought to present and discuss alternative proposals with the Council, including that of redemption and transfer?

7. correspondence and/or actions taken to contact and liaise with existing resident stakeholders with known prior interests in the land and in the development?

Kind regards
Colin Stokes
021 2200622

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Lee Vandervis on Delta + DCHL media release

What if? Dunedin notes:
Dunedin City Councillors have now lost control of DCHL, Delta, and all the other subsidiary companies. Now, your Dunedin City Council is manipulated and run to ground by DCHL chairman Graham Crombie.

Cr Richard Thomson and DCHL’s Graham Crombie should Resign immediately.

Read on.

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Tue, 2 Aug 2016 at 6:48 p.m.

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:01:53 +1200
To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Conversation: Yaldhurst
Subject: Re: Yaldhurst

The Mayor and DCHL have stood by and done nothing as DELTA did massive Noble subdivision work costing over $13 million through 2010 to 2013 without getting so much as a progress payment.
DELTA have already written off more than $11 million owed in interest payments and invested a further $3+ million in buying mortgage shares in the ill-fated subdivision in 2013, but this was disguised and Councillors [word deleted] by Chair Crombie and by Mayor Cull despite my specific questioning about the supposed ‘just a bad debt’.
The now $24+ million loss for which DELTA has only a 67% first mortgage as a lever, to get some millions owed paid, has resulted in a 6-years-too-late knee-jerk from DCHL and Mayor Cull to rid itself of the whole mess, the disgusting details of which I am not permitted to divulge because the deed was done in a public-excluded meeting, without being allowed to question the responsible DELTA CEO Cameron or to see the requested valuations and contracts.
Like the Jacks Point/Luggate DELTA subdivision $7-$9 million losses, the same DELTA, some of the same directors, same Project Management company and same DCHL ‘oversight’ have done over Dunedin ratepayers again, this time for even more millions than what resulted when they failed at Jacks Point/Luggate.



[What if? Dunedin : We said DCC could make Real money – now What if? hears that Mr Crombie told reporter Chris Morris that ‘no money is changing hands’. Very few people including most Councillors have any idea of what is truly happening, except that three accountants are writing or was that ‘deciding'(?) the deal, and then this rubbish release from Mr Crombie. OMG]

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery

This item was published on 02 Aug 2016

Dunedin City Holdings Limited (DCHL) and its company Delta Utility Services Limited (Delta) can now start to make progress towards recovering money associated with a Canterbury development.

The Dunedin City Council yesterday supported a recommendation from DCHL relating to the Yaldhurst Village subdivision. Delta has an outstanding debt of more than $13 million for infrastructure work it carried out for the development over four years.

Graham Crombie, DCHLDCHL Chairman Graham Crombie says the decision means Delta is authorised to enter a new loan agreement with a potential purchaser of the Yaldhurst subdivision, to replace the existing $13.4 million debt owed to Delta by Noble Investments Limited. Mr Crombie says, “We can now start to make some progress towards recovering this outstanding debt.”

The decision authorises Delta to refinance its outstanding debt with the potential new purchaser, on settlement of the purchaser’s offer to Gold Band Finance Ltd, the first mortgagee.

Gold Band Finance put the Yaldhurst subdivision to tender late last year in a mortgagee sale process. The mortgagee sale is still subject to conditions. When the mortgagee sale process is concluded, Delta will provide a further update on the outcome.

During 2009-2013, Delta provided infrastructure services for the Yaldhurst subdivision through its now closed civil construction business in Christchurch. Delta’s role was as a contractor providing infrastructure services to the developer, Noble Investments Limited. Recovery of the outstanding debt has been held up by a longstanding dispute between the developer and neighbouring properties that has delayed titles being issued for the subdivision.

Mr Crombie says Delta remains fully focused on recovering the outstanding debt owed by the original developer and has mortgage securities in place for the amount owing.

Note: The Dunedin City Council owns Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, which in turn owns seven subsidiary companies being:
● Aurora Energy Ltd
● Delta Utility Services Ltd
● City Forests Ltd
● Dunedin City Treasury Ltd
● Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd
● Dunedin Venues Limited
● Dunedin Venues Management Limited

and a 50% share in Dunedin International Airport Ltd.

Contact Chairman , Dunedin City Holdings Ltd on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman

Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD

Updated post
Mon, 1 Aug 2016 at 9:54 a.m.

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 at 9:50 p.m.

Readers and Councillors, there is a way out of the Noble Quagmire— but first, not before there is a wholesale clean out of the Delta senior management and directors, or those that have either created this toxic mess or allowed it to continue, which is all of them.

As time is tight, we will not dwell yet again on this topic…. but we will return.

After spending many months considering this toxic mess and the abysmal management and governance that is evident, your Correspondent has come to a conclusion that shocks even him, but desperate times call for if not desperate, then extreme lateral thinking :

After a clean out at Delta, we must hold our collective noses and Council must do the unthinkable and spend MORE ratepayer funds and BUY OUT GOLDBAND’S 32.50% SHARE OF THE FIRST MORTGAGE and take control of the ENTIRE SUBDIVISION.

Council need only to buy the $2.7M Gold Band First Mortgage to have complete control of the project. There of course remains the issue of the Neighbours and the ongoing court actions, but the Neighbours are very willing to work with Council (not Delta) and they have estimated that a solution to provide for their interests could cost around $2M.

The Neighbours have offered to meet with Councillors immediately, at any time to discuss and resolve the issue. The alternative is ongoing legal action with the Council in a very weak positon. Certainly, Crs Calvert and Vandervis, and other Councillors also share this position.

Here is the Outline Plan

1. DCC – (Preferably NOT Delta or DCHL) spends $2.7M to buy the remaining first mortgage. To be free of the toxic taint of the DCHL, ideally a separate Council Owned Company may need to be created. Tax issues may mean it has to stay within Delta but every effort should be made to avoid this. Once the $2.7M mortgage is bought there are no external interest costs, just some rates and insurances, which are minimal in the overall scale of things. Council then has time to make informed decisions. THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO AGREE TO BUY THE MORTGAGE AND STOP THE CURRENT MORTGAGEE SALE (which is possible with the agreement of the Neighbours under s102 of the Property Law Act).

2. BEFORE the remaining mortgage is bought, do a deal with the Neighbours to satisfy their interests which will cost around $2M, plus some amount for Neighbours’ costs – this might be around $500-600,000. The legal costs might grate but that is the cost of acting like a corporate criminal. This step provides certainty to Council there will be no more legal delays that have added years to the project.

3. The DCC appoint a directly employed project manager that is answerable directly to the DCC CEO, and set in place very clear KPIs and make a very large proportion of his/her remuneration subject to those KPIs. NOT a “Consultant” and DEFINITELY NOT Mr Mike Coburn or any other person associated with past or present Directors.

4. That project manager will have full visibility of absolutely all costs relating to the subdivision past and present, and will present full and detailed monthly reporting to Councillors and DCC Management and appear at all Council meetings. The project manager will have complete control over the Delta CEO on this matter.

5. Resolve with Christchurch City Council and Yaldhurst Community what is required to make a workable and safe subdivision.

6. Complete the work required to sell the first stages of the residential subdivisions – there are around 80 sections ready to go and if a deal was offered to a housing company like Mike Greer Homes that had demonstrated expertise and capacity to build cost effective homes, the deal would be done in a week. The remaining work would NOT be done by Delta but by a small efficient company. Above all, it is important that the work awarded by the DCC project manager is an open and transparent process and there are no links to Delta or DCHL Directors, past or present.

7. Councillors must understand the land will never be worth less than it is now – they must avoid Denham Shale-like stupidity that occurred at Luggate where land was sold for a fraction of the cost, only for the sections to be marketed several years later at prices that would have yielded Delta all of its funds spent there, interest and a profit besides. Council must learn from the mistakes past, not repeat them, otherwise there will be more Auditor-general and Ombudsman reports, and it won’t be good for Council.

8. Councillors must resist temptation to bow to the Delta / DCHL Directors recommendations to sell now – the overriding concern of these incompetents is to sweep this toxic mess under the carpet and hope that Ratepayers will buy the TINA line – there is no alternative, we just had to move on with another $10-20M loss….

9. The directors will be pushing hard for a quick sale and say in effect : “If you don’t accept this mortgagee offer there won’t be another as good” which is utter rubbish. There were several mortgagee offers, despite the property being marketed over the holiday break and with a lot of complexity in the sale document that wrote off large chunks of value. But the essential point is that the first sections that are almost ready and all or part of the commercial land is sold off separately, then Delta plus get MORE than what is currently available :

10. What is the ultimate value of the land ? Very quickly, there is over 35,000 m2 of commercial land, for a major commercial centre including retail anchors and specialty shopping that is already master planned with the main entrance road virtually complete. This excludes the main entrance road and shared parking circulation roads. Even in a fire sale this land is worth around $90-100 /m2. This alone is a value of $31M minimum, Councillors. Admittedly it will take time to sell down, but the upside is huge again – even industrial land in Christchurch is $250-300 /m2, and commercial zoning is worth more again. Completed, in an orderly sell down over time, 35,000 m2 at $300 /m2 is …. too big to contemplate !! The 80 completed sections would be worth around $9M nett after selling costs, and then there are 190 consented but undeveloped sections that your Correspondent says are worth around $9M also. These end value figures are why Noble are fighting so hard to regain control of the asset. Yes, there is some re-work and further costs, but they are small in relation to the total asset. The key is not to pass that value to some bottom feeding vulture at mortgagee sale that is likely to be NIL in disguise. NOTE : Your Correspondent has not calculated in detail the area of the commercial land.

11. The Delta Directors and Mr Crombie, Mr Dixon and Mr Cameron cannot be trusted. They have not ever given Councillors the full facts about a range of matters, have at best misled Mr McKenzie. Their willingness to simply close the door and accept a huge loss on this deal is plainly evident by the fact they wrote off in excess of $10M in their 2015 accounts. They just want to forget this mess ever existed, because it is Other People’s Money.

12. Councillors should consider 2 final facts : The only way that the $24M investment that ratepayers have made in this project to be protected and repaid is if Council finishes the project, even if just in part. With what has gone on, there must be full accountability and transparency which can only be achieved by full Council control. The other thing to remember is that Council has already set a precedent to bail out loss making Council enterprises : It’s called the stadium. Council agreed to reduce the rent by $1.85M per year. If Council takes an amount equal to around 18 months of Stadium rent subsidy to DVML, it can have control over the subdivision and very likely make back at least the $10-15M in interest costs that would pay for the Luggate and Jacks Point debacles !! Result !!

Go on Councillors, make a sensible and decision tomorrow and make us proud.

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 at 1:18 a.m.

Dear Readers

We must give plaudits to Vaughan Elder of the ODT for Saturday’s front page article on Delta’s court action over the Noble Subdivision. Readers should remember that the new CEO of the ODT Grant McKenzie, Mr Elder’s employer, stated in a Council Meeting in February that there was “no relationship” between Gold Band Finance and Delta, and continued to perpetrate that myth in Saturday’s newspaper : Mr McKenzie “stood by comments he made at the council meeting at February”. That is a classic piece of misdirection, in that most people will read it and construe that Mr McKenzie is saying his comments in February were true and accurate, but of course it does not say that —Mr McKenzie has thrown a lifeline to himself so that when the good ship Delta sinks, he can say that he “stood by” his comments in so far as what he knew or had been definitively confirmed to him at the time —or some other carefully concocted excuse that may or may not be true.

But readers, tonight we are not concerned with Mr McKenzie (you can go now Mr McKenzie, we know you read this site….), but the dismal and desperate Mr Grady Cameron. Saturday’s article was very telling in many respects :

Firstly, when Delta thought it had a chance of controlling the issue back in February, it issued a general press release via Gary Dixon and made contact with What if? to deal with alleged “misinformation” that was being perpetrated (mostly by your correspondent). Back then, Mr Graham Crombie, the DCHL chair, was also wheeled out to add gravitas and to try to stabilise the situation, which failed miserably, as your correspondent was happy to predict. See the earlier post Tea & Taxing Questions (6 Mar 2016). It was suggested in that post that Mr Crombie conduct a personal risk register cost/benefit analysis, for any Noble involvement. Mr Crombie has read the tea leaves, and neither him nor any other director are anywhere to be seen. Mr Cameron (Grady) is all on his own.


Let us examine the hole that Grady has dug for himself. Grady is quite clearly not really an earthmoving guy, and has obviously never read the early childhood earthmover’s bible written in 1939 by Virginia Lee Burton, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel : Four corners…neat and square…four walls straight down…We’ve dug so fast and we’ve dug so well that we’ve quite forgotten to leave a way out! —Yes readers, there is no way out, for Grady.

Over a Choysa (No sugar please, it’s late), let us examine some of his statements in Saturday’s ODT.

In a response emailed to the ODT, Mr Cameron disagreed

Well Grady, how about sending out a general press release or an email, as you did in February so that others like What if? who have been on your trail for months, can verify what you are saying is factual, and you are not merely trying to sidestep Mr Elder who is new to the issue.

“We remain fully focused on recovering the outstanding debt owed to Delta from the developer and have securities in place for the amount owing.”

That is a disgraceful misrepresentation of the truth, Grady Cameron, and you know it is. Your DCHL chair Mr Crombie confirmed that the amount owed in March including interest, was over $24M, and you have security for $13.3M. This is beyond doubt because the recent court documents show you were willing to allow Gold Band to sell the mortgage for $16M, which included your second mortgage interest of $5M. This meant after Gold Band was paid its –current– share of the 32.5% of the First Mortgage, Delta would receive $13M. Mr Crombie also confirms you are not telling the truth because he said in the ODT (23 Feb 2016) that Delta would have to write off millions, but not to worry, it was only interest and it was “horrendous”.

The mortgagee sale was being conducted by Gold Band Finance, not Delta, he said.

Grady, with this statement you are not fit to remain as CEO any longer. Your disdain for the collective intelligence of Ratepayers is clearly in the gutter. You –Delta!, dictate what Gold Band can and cannot do. See the earlier post #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision: Cameron, Crombie and McKenzie (24 Feb 2016). Grady, you spent $3.39M on a very likely illegal 67.50% share of the Gold Band first mortgage so you could dictate to Gold Band what they can and can’t do, and you have promised to pay all their costs, “legal or otherwise”. You have already dictated to Gold Band that they cannot sell the first mortgage to the other landowners, who offered to buy it. This is confirmed in Gold Band emails in court documents.

How about answering these questions Grady :

When purchasing the partial first mortgage amounts, what interest rate did Delta have to pay for the first mortgage amounts ?

Was it 22.50% compounding, or a figure close to that? If Delta has to pay 22.50% interest, why do you think it is appropriate for Ratepayers to receive no interest on the $13M approx. of core debt that has been outstanding for six years ?

It (Delta) had not been involved in any unethical behaviour

We could have hours of entertainment with this one, but gravitas and the impending council meeting this Monday mean we must play it straight.

Grady, that is another disgusting fabrication.

mike-mulligan-and-his-steam-shovel-illustrations [childrensbooksguide.com] 1

Did you allow the ENTIRE SUBDIVISION WORK COMPLETED BY DELTA AT THE NOBLE SUBDIVISION to be completed NOT to the CCC CONSENT DRAWINGS AND SPECS, but to radically different specifications, with roadways that were 8 METRES NARROWER than the CCC Consent Requirements ?

Did this continue for AT LEAST 18 MONTHS from late 2009 to mid 2011 ?

Is it normal for Delta to ignore the local authority consent conditions for projects and simply suit themselves and their clients ?

If not, how on earth could you consider it “ethical” on this project ?

Did Delta install stormwater systems at the subdivision that were undersized to cater for the neighbours’ land, but continue to assure them that their interests were being catered for ?

Do you consider that actively trying to defeat “known prior interests in the land”, that were specified very clearly in the sale and purchase agreements for the land that the subdivision was being built upon, ethical behaviour ?

Do you think that attempting to have your $5M second mortgage, that was registered after various caveats were registered, paid ahead of the caveated interests is ethical ?

Do you say the following -extracted from the post Epic Fraud #5 – Delta and the ghostly hand of Tom Kain (12 Jul 2016)- shows ethical behaviour ?

Mr Smillie (Delta’s lawyer) in an email of 11 February 2011 sets out step by step how the deception will work :

1. NIL granting a registered mortgage to Delta.
2. Philpott etc consenting to registration of the mortgage but the caveat remains in place ahead of Delta’s mortgage.
3. Gold Band agrees to Delta having 1st priority
4. Gold Band agrees to hold its 1st registered mortgage on lot 19 on trust for Delta (To allow sale / enforcement by Delta if necessary so as to avoid caveat issues

Mr Smillie concludes by stating “while not ideal that seems to be as close as we can get to a 1st registered mortgage position for Delta given the caveat issue”.

If you consider it ethical, what would it take for you to find there was unethical behaviour —murder ?

Are you willing to state categorically that you will resign if any of these allegations are true ?

tried several times to find a solution […] on the neighbouring land.

Grady, did any of these solutions involve actually working with the neighbours, or merely trying to deceive and cheat them of their prior known interests.

Provide email evidence of any assertion that you sought to satisfy their interests.

If you allegedly ‘tried to find a solution’ why was it necessary to go about a constructive fraud, designed by Mr Smillie, as noted above to defeat their caveats.

He denied Delta’s actions over Yaldhurst had been reckless.

Grady, if Delta has not been “reckless” then by your lights, Delta has acted with some degree of prudence.
Let us back the truck up here.
You, personally, approved Delta’s involvement in this subdivision, in 2009, with full knowledge of the following :

a) The land was in fact not even owned by the Developer NIL, but in a complicated buy-back scenario with a lot of obligations to the landowners.
b) Has a third (or fourth) tier finance company, Gold Band Finance, as first mortgagee (because the banks would not lend on it).
c) The first mortgage loan amount was only $1.75M, it was fully drawn down, and the finance company Gold Band had NO ABILITY to advance any further funds to pay for Delta’s work.
d) No other second mortgage funding was in place to allow Delta to be paid.
e) The Developer NIL had no capacity at all to make payments to Delta from its own resources.
f) The Developer and Owners, Apple Fields and NIL, were well known commercial hazards and aggressive litigants.
g) The subdivision has 33KV overhead powerlines running through it, and has limited market appeal.
h) Delta would not be paid until the most or all of the sections were sold and paid for, and the industry at the time would have forecast around a two-year sell down period.

In other words, you approved $11M of work, in a dodgy subdivision project, that had no chance of ANY meaningful repayment, for at least three to four years, on the absolute best case scenario, until the sections were sold.

Grady, if you consider this NOT to be reckless commercial behaviour for a Ratepayer owned company, you need to be sacked, now.


Readers, in conclusion, even in our children’s story, ‘Mike Mulligan’, there were consequences for non–performance. Grady, it looks as if the Delta Directors and DCHL have left you, and you are, indeed…. the weakest link, and expendable. Just like Mary-Anne, the steam shovel, along will come new management, just like the new diesel shovels, and electric shovels that made Mary-Anne redundant. There will be NO MORE WORK for you, and just like Mary-Anne, you will be GONE. “They left the canals, and the railroads, and the highways, and the airports, and the big cities, where no one wanted them any more….. and went away.”

Readers, if you have the patience, the best primer for the sorry saga is found in the first post Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud (5 Mar 2016).

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: [lessons in creative destruction, a shocked Mary-Anne] Illustrations from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), a book by Virginia Lee Burton – blog.acton.org | childrensbooksguide.com | blog.acton.org


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #9 : The Long & Winding Road…. Leads Back to Delta’s Door

Updated post – emails added below
Fri, 29 Jul 2016 at 2:20 p.m.

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 29 Jul 2016 at 2:01 a.m.

Dear Readers

It has been a week of action around the ill-fated Noble Subdivision. Fill the teapot and hang on to your hat…er, tea cosy.

The week started with what appeared to be a lucky break for Delta. Judge Osborne, inexplicably, and against the predictions of your correspondent, found in favour of Delta. (Actually Gold Band, but we all now know of course that Delta have a very special relationship with Gold Band that involves whips and chains of a sort, and even legal blindfolds —Delta most definitely wear the security sharing trousers). Judge Osborne will not allow a stay on the mortgagee sale, which allows the property to be sold ahead of the Court of Appeal case where the landowners will set out their case that Delta have engaged in constructive fraud.

Your correspondent will return to the many, many puzzling aspects of the decision in a future post, but first the breaking news :

Any comfort Mr Smillie, Mr Cameron, and the assorted Delta hangers on directors and executives may have felt will be very short lived as it turns out that this defeat is actually a Good Thing as far as the plaintiffs are concerned. It means that instead of pursuing a small finance company (with its strings being pulled by Delta), Delta and the DCC are now the primary target. Further, now that the losses to the landowners are crystallised if the sale proceeds, which is the avowed intention of Gold Band, the claims may well be much bigger.

The “legal” explanation is as follows…. It’s musical chairs – the last man/entity standing at the end of the day cops the lot.

A similar example that has cost councils large sums, including our DCC, are claims for leaky buildings : The vast majority of claims are against the local authorities who merely inspected the work, they did not build it or design it – but when the developer doesn’t exist, the architect and builders have “re-structured” to prevent claims, and the painter, plasterer and roofer have no money, then councils get landed with the claims. The QLDC have a never ending series of these sorts of claims and they mostly involve millions. (They have at least two on at present).

Tonight, all DCC Councillors received an email from the landowners explaining that yes, the DCC and Delta are going to be taken to Court for the constructive fraud, and giving several examples of the constructive fraud. They then set out the small matter of the approximate $14-17million loss that Delta have already advised the Council they expect to lose – and why this doesn’t have to be the case. There is pain from both sides of this financial double-edged sword – the expected loss, and the court action. However, far from being Noble-like aggressive litigants, the landowners have proposed that the DCC works with them to maximise their return.

The email is reproduced below.

The logic appears compelling – but what Councillors, other than Vandervis and Calvert, have the character and integrity to get to the bottom of the matter, and acknowledge that there have been some illegal acts committed at Noble by Delta and its agents. Perhaps Cr Peat could do something useful or even visible as his parting gift to the city, because his self-serving valedictory address in the ODT recently was the first time Dunedin Ratepayers had actually heard of him.

What Councillors have the intestinal fortitude to look the sorry band of Delta and DCHL Directors in the eye and say to them— “If any of the allegations in this email are true then you have no business or future with ANY DCC or associated entity and we expect your resignation in the morning ?”  

If your correspondent sounds disgruntled, he is : It is election season, and there are no votes to be had in this matter. Vague platitudes (the preferred modus operandi of many Councillors) are also of no help. Are our Councillors going to shrug off an attack of the turnips and do something ?

What price and what probability, is there for integrity here, readers ?

[click to enlarge]

Email from Colin Stokes [plaintiff] to DCC Thu, 28 July 2016 at 7.59 pm - copied

Attachment: 2016 07 28 s102 Stokes Smith Gold Band_Delta_DCC


Additional emails received today:

Emails from Colin Stokes [plaintiff] to DCC and others Fri, 29 July 2016 at 9.17 am - copied

Attachment: Fourth amended statement of claim joining GB and Delta

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta EpicFail #8 : Cr Calvert goes AWOL, 23 Questions for Mr McKenzie —Saddlebags !!

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 21 Jul 2016 at 1:11 a.m.

Readers, we must observe a minute’s silence for Councillor Calvert, who will be greatly missed. Councillor Calvert was one of few – very few – willing to shake off the soporific torpor afflicting so many of the elected representatives, ask penetrating questions, and not follow the herd. Some other Councillors think that simpering naivety is a fetching and winning look (and not just limited to one particular female councillor), but on the very few times your correspondent has been able to withstand viewing parts of a council meeting, he had a heaving feeling and it wasn’t stale milk in the Choysa.

Ms Calvert did make some missteps in her term, and the Court of Appeal judgement in relation to the James Queenstown Development undoubtedly might have affected her confidence to run, but this correspondent says, all is forgiven Hilary, the city needs you. A suggestion : Why not just go all out and stand for Mayor on the premise that you have done your time as Councillor and got treated like a mushroom by Mayor Cull et al, so you now know that to achieve reform in the city of Dunedin, you need to be at the top, and nothing else will do. That would be a powerful message and it would resonate with many. Please consider it. Readers, please post your support to show Cr Calvert there is a mayoral Calvert constituency – offers of assistance also appreciated !!

So the DCC has refused to answer Cr Calvert’s questions in relation to Delta. Instead, Mr McKenzie, “has been asked to contact” Cr Calvert. It is not recorded by the DCC if Mr McKenzie agreed to do this, or alternately, had been instructed to, ie couldn’t refuse to. Bureaucrats !!

But Mr McKenzie wants to hold a “workshop” with councillors on this issue. We can be so very very sure that without the efforts of What if? this workshop would never have seen the light of day. Your correspondent says this workshop is the first of the plaintive cries of ignorance and fast & furious duckshoving predicted in the EpicFail #6 post. What is not needed is some vague platitudes from the departing Mr McKenzie, who now has no stake or future in the DCC, but some evidence and history of the issue in writing, that can be considered by the people footing the bill, ie us. And there had better be something comprehensive and truthful – in writing, or the Ombudsman (who is already watching the DCC for its appalling LGOIMA performance on other matters) will be involved.

To this end, your ever helpful correspondent has prepared some additional questions for Mr McKenzie’s workshop in addition to Cr Calvert’s questions, that all ratepayers will be VERY interested to know the responses to. Councillors, feel free to pick and run with as many as you like. Goodness knows, even Mr Vaughan Elder of the ODT may want to pursue some : Breaking news is that the ODT is sick of being pummelled by What if? on this issue (and others) and has assigned Mr Elder to pursue the Delta / Noble story. Welcome to the party Mr Elder, good to have you aboard, unless you get captured by the DCHL / Delta party line that is, in which case you will receive no mercy from this correspondent.

Q_LOGOweb [twitter.com] 1Questions for Mr McKenzie (No, not you Graham, Grady and Delta directors…. but it’s coming….)

1. Do you agree that as DCC Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), you must answer all questions truthfully and disclose all material facts known in relation to issues you are reporting or advising on ?

2. When did you become aware of the partial assignment security sharing deeds with Gold Band Finance and Avanti Finance ?

3. Have you read the above documents ?

4. If you have read the documents, have you ever in your career seen a document with the same sort of provisions, and if not, did this create any alarm to you ?

5. If the document was not one you had ever experienced before, as the GCFO of the DCC, did you seek a further opinion on the legality or enforceability of the document ?

6. If you had read the document, why did you say that there is no relationship between Gold Band and Delta when this is demonstrably not true ?

7. If you had read the document, why did you say that the actions of Gold Band are “out of our control” when this is demonstrably not true ?

8. If you hadn’t read the document, how could you accurately say what sort of relationship there was between Gold Band and Delta ?

9. Did someone else advise you of this, and if so, who was it ?

10. Was pressure from the Mayor, Delta Management or Directors, or DCHL Directors brought to bear on you to say that there was no relationship between Delta and Gold Band ?

11. Do you consider the current court action, which is being paid for by Delta, a prudent use of ratepayer owned funds ?

12. How much has been spent on legal and staff costs on the current, ongoing court cases ?

13. If the document, ie partial security sharing deed that is the subject of the current court action is found by the Court to be illegal, do you think it is appropriate for the CEO and Directors who have allowed this happen and who were in place at the time the document was prepared, approved and signed, to remain in their positions ?

14. If the document is found to be illegal, what is your plan of action you will recommend to Delta/ DCHL/ DCC ?

15. If the document is found to be illegal, will you recommend to Delta/ DCHL/ DCC that legal action be taken against the law firm that prepared the agreement ?

16. Have you been advised in any way informally or formally, of any proposed Delta or DCC or DCHL involvement in the entity that is purchasing the land at the Noble Subdivision mortgagee sale ? And when were you made aware of it ?

17. If yes, precisely what information has been disclosed to Councillors ?

18. If nothing has been disclosed to councillors, why not ?

19. What amount of funding is proposed for this “involvement” and where will it come from ?

20. Is there any limit to further funds being committed to this proposal, if as often happens, budgets and timeframes are exceeded ?

21. As GCFO, do you think it is appropriate that Delta should have spent $3.39M on a questionable at best partial assignment when it’s five-year profit average is $2.6M ?

22. If you were the Delta CEO, would you have done this ?

23. Do you consider that the Management and Directors of Delta have acted ethically and within the law, and in a manner appropriate for a ratepayer owned company during your tenure at the DCC ?


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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

City Council not the healthy democracy we crave #Delta

We have lost more than one useful community-orientated local body politician to the bullying green sludge running this council. No one quitting the council table these last weeks has been exactly forthright about that, until now. Each has been raising points in common with Councillor Calvert, privately and publicly, in their own way.

Over the last 18 months in particular, Councillor Calvert has been on her game with work and enquiry, and yes, regrettably, only a small part of which can be shown via recorded council meetings; but that says more about Mayor Cull’s chairing and questionable efforts at maintaining political control – as Councillor Vandervis will attest.

Indeed, most of council politics presents behind scenes in non public, but also Covertly as ‘Politics’ has always done —except this time, the public beneficiaries of the fabrication and obfuscation are increasingly irate with not only the dangling Mayoral Chain but also his rather awful menagerie of toothy accomplices and mouldy sidekicks.

The lack of public faith in these numbskulls has brought on a seething concentration of ill will, exasperation and litigious-minded wrath such that Anything could happen, and may, before and after the October elections. Typically, for Dunedin, this goes somewhat understated. But it is real, not imagined. Presbyterian attendance to the cost of unbridled war is uppermost…. until the last ganglion strains and bursts.

Hilary CalvertWith the problems besetting South Dunedin caused by DCC and ORC lamebrains…. there has never been a more Simple time to gain a Strong Majority of sincere and principled elected representatives willing to work hard for the whole of Dunedin City. Cull is eroding public confidence. Walk right over the top of him and the greenies – for Our better future.

Last word: Hilary Calvert, please stand for the Mayoralty and the Council in the 2016 elections.

The big issues for ratepayers – cycleways, fraud, what council-owned companies were doing, and maintenance of mud-tanks – were “never on the agenda of council meetings until a rearguard action happens after the problems are identified by others”. –Cr Hilary Calvert

### ODT Online Wed, 20 Jul 2016
Disillusioned with council
By David Loughrey
Dunedin city councillor Hilary Calvert announced yesterday she will not stand in this year’s elections, but not before taking parting shots at some of her colleagues and Mayor Dave Cull. […] She said she was unable to make a difference in a council dominated by councillors “whose focus is on carrying out activities for the benefit of the planet and on advising central government on how they may go about their business, not ours. This preoccupation has been at the expense of the proper and transparent governance of the city.”
Read more


Wed, 20 Jul 2016 at 8:32 a.m.

The following was forwarded to me by a city councillor. I subsequently obtained Cr Calvert’s permission to publish.

—— Forwarded Message
From: [Dunedin City Council]
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2016 23:39:51 +0000
To: “Council 2013-2016 (Elected Members)”
Cc: [DCC Comms]
Subject: FW: Response to LGOIMA request attached

Dear Councillors,
For your information please find attached a response to a LGOIMA request made by Cr Calvert related to Delta and Gold Band.

[Dunedin City Council]

[attachment – click to enlarge]

02497816 DCC Letter reply to Calvert LGOIMA request 1.7.16

*Names removed by whatifdunedin

Note: Ask strong clear questions when using LGOIMA to access information held by the councils.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #7 : The Long & Winding Back Road

dirt road west at night [gettyimages.com]Delta, dirt road west at night….

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 17 Jul 2016 at 5:08 p.m.

Readers, tonight a post to keep things brewing, but please take that ridiculous tea cosy off your head, put it back on the teapot where it belongs – who do you think you are – Peter Tosh ? !

Firstly, Friday’s riddle and the background on the $3.39M; Mr Crombie proudly declaimed to Dunedin recently that by spending $3.39M of actual cash from Delta’s fast disappearing reserves to buy part of the Gold Band first mortgage, they will receive around $5.1M of the first mortgage debt, which means they THINK they have $1.7M of extra security for their very large core debt. This extra $1.7M is because Mr Crombie is ignoring the 22.50% interest on the $3.39M, ie there is no actual extra security, just Delta forgoing interest, which the other co-holders of the first mortgage are certainly not forgoing. Before we move on, readers should remember that Delta’s average annual profit over the last five years was just $2.6M, and so Mr Crombie and Co have just gambled the entire proceeds of more than an entire year’s profit on this venture, which is far from certain given the ongoing court cases about prior interest in the land. Readers may also want to bear in mind that Delta and the DCHL are in such terrible shape that they will not be paying a dividend to Council to defray rates rises over the next three years, a fact that Mayor Cull is desperate to hide from the public of Dunedin and thus far, the ODT are doing a very good job of assisting him in this endeavour.

In other words, the only beneficiaries of the $100M of work that Delta performed last year were the 70 Delta seat warmers who earned over $100,000 per year, and the Directors, who others, more unkind than your correspondent, have described as unrepentant troughers. Yes, readers, Delta is a corporate welfare scheme, providing a zero return to the ratepayers and is going to remain that way for the next two to three years. We know this because Ms Bidrose and Mr McKenzie explained that is why the city must retain Delta in their recent report on the DCHL companies, so it must be true.

Now as readers of Epic Fraud posts #3 – #6 will know, it is looking very (very) likely that DCHL, Delta and their lawyer Mr Smillie are going to get a comprehensive pasting in Court, the odds being they will be found to have not merely been a party to, but in fact have orchestrated a constructive fraud to ‘cheat a man of a known interest’ and openly flouted the provisions of the Property Law Act.

So what are the consequences of this ?

At the recent High Court hearing, Osborne J asked both Gold Band’s lawyer and the plaintiffs’ lawyer what it would mean if the first mortgage was unable to be partially assigned because the Property Law Act did not permit it.

Neither lawyer had an answer.

Subsequently, one set of lawyers has researched if there is any case law on the issue of partial assignments, and there apparently is not a one, which lends considerable weight to the argument that it is, as it says in the Act, not possible, ie illegal. Osborne J then said he would read up on the Property Law Act, and said that “maybe it meant that everything had to be wound back to before there were any partial assignments” or words to that effect.

Your correspondent would dearly love Mr Crombie (at a pinch, even Mr McKerracher would do) to explain what they think this will mean but, readers, you can guarantee a deathly silence, punctuated only by the sound of frenetic footsteps as there is a mad race to not be the one left standing, facing the inquisition following the court judgement.

Mr Smillie, Delta’s lawyer who cooked up the partial assignment, must be feeling a little anxious? (terrified?) at present. What a contrast to those heady days of early 2011, where it seemed he was on a tear, having schooled that old school crustacean Jim Keegan on the Property Law Act. He probably had a crack at actually walking on water that year, seemingly having pulled off the legal equivalent with the partial assignment. Alas, it appears to be a Febezzle, or “functionally equivalent bezzelment”, as defined by Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s cohort. This is where both parties feel wealthy, until the deception is revealed, but in fact it was Gold Band and Avanti doing the bezzeling, not the hapless Mr Smillie and Delta.

Here is what your correspondent thinks is the awful truth : If the first mortgage was “wound back” to pre April 2010, because Delta’s partial assignment was illegal, Delta may lose all of the $3.39M. It is no different than someone who has bought stolen goods and did not have the proof of ownership.

Grady, Graham, and Delta Directors, read this slowly and carefully – say the words out loud if it helps :

1. “An agreement for an illegal partnership will not be specifically enforced even though partly performed, nor can damages be recovered for a breach of it, and if the whole purpose of the partnership is illegal, the court will not recognise it, or enforce any right which the partners would otherwise have, especially when the parties have agreed to enter, as partners, into a transaction, which they knew to be illegal”

Let’s break this down for the Delta turnips :

a) Illegal partnership – check !
b) Partly performed – double check ! —Delta paid donated $3.39M to Gold Band and Avanti.
c) Damages not recoverable – check ! —Avanti and Gold Band get to keep the $3.39M.
d) Whole purpose illegal – check !
e) Knew it to be illegal – check ! (Tom Kain and Jim Keegan advised it couldn’t be done).

Readers, what are the chances of two small, opportunistic finance firms who are never likely to deal with Delta again, saying to Delta’s Directors:

“Well chaps, poor show, poor show indeed ! What about that Judge Osborne – a terrible time for him to have an attack of principles ! We shall not be sharing a drink with him at the Canterbury Club…. but don’t worry chaps, even though we don’t have to, and even though you or the courts can’t make us, and even though we have been put through the wringer first by NIL, then by the landowners, breached our trust deeds, had to pull our prospectus, and now been humiliated in court by your ineptitude, it’s all right, we will pay you back the $3.39m….

It should be enough to say it is Tom Kain’s favoured finance company we are discussing here.

We should also consider WWDD ? (What Would Delta Do – in that situation ?). Readers, I hardly need to tell you that Delta would have announced a record profit, up by $3.39M, and the CEO and Directors would have all recommended healthy increases to themselves in light of their exceptional performance.

The rustling of paper we hear is Grady, Graham and the Delta Directors editing their CVs to remove any mention of Delta (memo to DCC : complain to Institute of Directors about misleading and false advertising !) and writing the first draft of their resignations, “for personal and family reasons”, of course.

For Delta, the Noble Subdivision is no longer an intermodal multiple train wreck : it is a nuclear career conflagration that will consume all those involved with it.

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: gettyimages.com


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #6 : What do you mean, Property Law Act ?

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 at 12:56 a.m.

Tonight, readers, we shall examine whatever vestige of credibility is left of the Gold Band Delta defence.

Your correspondent is familiar with legal chicanery, and believes a telling indicator to the pathetically weak state of Gold Band’s submissions in opposition to the stay, and Gold Band’s defence to the allegations of fraud, is the reference to time bar arguments. That is, if a plaintiff has not responded within timeframes set down by the court, then, the other side says, that that material cannot be further considered.

Gold Band’s counsel are clearly the rightful heir of the Kain mantle, as they have made up some time bar rules where none actually exist…. perhaps hoping that no-one, including the Judge, would notice…. what next, forged affidavits ?!

At para 12.8 of the Respondent’s Submissions In Opposition To Stay Application, Gold Band’s counsel, Mr Vinnell, says “The Applicants have forfeited their right to pursue the appeal by not prosecuting it expeditiously.”, and in para 12.3 “The appeal has been deemed abandoned…that is the wording used by the Court in its Notice of Result…”. To which the plaintiffs’ lawyers respond in their Submissions…For The Applicants In Support of Application for Stay Of Execution at para 37, “It is incorrect to say that the applicants abandoned their appeal. The appeal was never withdrawn…The applicants always had the right to seek an extension within three months, which they have done.”

What this shows is that Gold Band’s counsel are clutching at whatever straws they can find, and Delta-like, will try anything to close the eyes of the court to the substantive legal issues. Time bar arguments are the province of the desperate, and desperation is the mood du jour at Delta, DCHL, et al.

However, as always, readers, there is more, and better, and we must try to find humour in the darkest of places, otherwise it would all be too much. Even a brew of Bell’s taken straight would not be enough to revive us….

Rasta_Homer_by_LightBeam [quotesgram.com] 1

Prepare a brew, corner a Rastafarian and reclaim a tea cosy, as you will need sustenance into the night while you contemplate the following :

Your correspondent has made much of the fact that Delta has been accused of constructive fraud in previous posts, and is firmly of the view that they have broken the law, not to mention being bereft of any sort of integrity and morality. However, perhaps we should not be surprised at this sort of behaviour from council owned organisations (CCOs).

Your correspondent has been advised that the Christchurch City Council has a policy of “no admission of wrong doing”, so their lawyers have to, shall we say, “say that black is white”. There was a situation at the Noble Subdivision where the CCC lawyers claimed that consent had been given for a road entrance, which was demonstrably untrue, and the plaintiffs made a LGOIMA request to the CCC to confirm that the landowners had not given this consent – or the lawyers admit that they had no authority to admit the error. (The plaintiffs were the ones who had not given consent, so there was no question as to the facts). The LGOIMA response confirmed that the lawyers did not have the authority to admit wrong doing, and continued to say “but there has been no error” as the policy required them to do. Shades of the South Dunedin 2015 floods – perhaps Opus should open up a legal division – Opus do a lot of work for local and central government (another way of saying this, is that the private sector doesn’t touch them with an overlength barge pole) so everything starts to fall into place….

However, the really, really dispiriting news is that we don’t need to adopt a position of moral outrage at Delta’s despicable manoeuvres to deny the landowners’ prior interests at Noble Subdivision under the mortgagee sale, covered under earlier #EpicFail posts. We can remain calm, safe in the knowledge that no outrage is necessary, as Delta have found more ways to break the law involving mere incompetence, instead of fraudulent intent.

No outrage can be possible for mere Delta incompetence. We are all so inured to it that any similar emotion would have been exhausted long before now.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers have made the case at para 29 that apart from the fact that the security sharing agreement was illegal, it is also prohibited by section 84 of the Property Law Act 2007, which states:

“The interest of a mortgagee under a mortgage over property may be assigned by an instrument that…c) states that the mortgagee assigns to the assignee all the amounts and all the benefits of any other obligations secured by the mortgage, and all rights, powers and remedies…and the whole of the mortgagee’s interest…”

And readers, if we turn to Mr Smillie’s Partial Assignment of Debt and Security Sharing Deed (the title is a clear breach of the act in itself !) security sharing agreement, what does it say ? in Clause 3.2 it states “Gold Band hereby assigns to Delta…part of its right, title and interest in the Facility and the Financing Documents”. Hmm…. let’s see, Property Law Act…. “all the amounts and interests”; Mr Smillie…. “part of its right, title and interest”.

As Sesame Street’s Big Bird would say, one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…. can you guess which one…. Before Osbourne J finishes his song ? (on July 29).

However, desperate times call for desperate logic, and rushing to fill the gaping void in Gold Band’s case with legal bluster, is Mr Vinnell. Mr Vinnell attempts some Steve Jobs-like reality distortion : he says at para 13.6(b)

“Despite its title [???!!!] this is probably not an assignment at all – but rather an agreement by the first mortgagee that it holds the mortgage on trust for other parties”. What a risible, ridiculous statement. If a document is titled “Partial Assignment of Debt and Security Sharing Deed”, then we are not left in the dark about its intent. Words mean what they say they mean, Robin.

How could this be possibly be held “in trust” when the “trustee” (Gold Band) is being dictated to by the “beneficiaries”, being Delta, and previously, Avanti. The very slender branch that Mr Vinnell clings to is section 97 of the Land Transfer Act 1952, which contemplates that the Transferee “holds the same as a trustee for any other person”. This is not a trust. We know it is a deed of assignment because that is the title that Mr Smillie gave to it.

But there’s more. The pièce de résistance of Mr Vinnell’s “arguments” – I use the term loosely – is when justifying the partial assignment, he backtracks and says

13.6(c) “Even if there was an assignment, Section 84 of the Property Law Act…doesn’t apply to create any restriction…This is very commonly done in the financial sector.”

Now, using the excuse that if it’s common practice in the “financial sector” then it must be OK (regardless of what the law says) has any sentient person falling about in paroxysms of cynical laughter.

Other “common practices” in finance companies, and the banks to some degree, that has led to New Zealand having a dramatically reduced finance sector, are recklessness, short termism, venality, greed, incompetence and a casual disregard for the law and commercial ethics. (Allied Farmers, Hanover, Provincial, Capital & Merchant, Dominion Finance, Equitable, and our very own St Kilda Finance, are but a few examples). These “common practices” led to an explosion in financial regulation post GFC (Global Financial Crisis).

Next readers, we shall consider what this may mean for Delta and the $3.39M they spent on this – soon to be judged illegal – partial purchase of the Gold Band first mortgage.

But first, this week’s bat riddle (s)

If Delta don’t own a mortgage anymore, but just an unsecured debt from Gold Band and Avanti – how can they have “improved their security position by $1.8M ? (Graham !!!)

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: quotesgram.com – Rasta Homer by LightBeam, tweaked by whatifdunedin


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