Tag Archives: Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

WE have the information, unreasonable delay providing it #LGOIMA

Contrary to DCC Bylaw 23 no camping restriction applied over summer

DCC’s delay in providing official information on freedom camping numbers (Which Is Available) appears to equate with what happened over LGOIMA requests lodged after the South Dunedin Flood of June 2015. Delay, derferment, and obfuscation occurred then as now. There is no reason to believe anything has changed internally, magnified by today’s ‘official response’.

[redacted screenshot – click to enlarge]

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DCC now has a laborious text response as first acknowledgement of the LGOIMA requests it receives. An associate has been working on improvements to the below on suggestion back to the system. The short information request is highlighted by whatifdunedin:

From: officialinformation @dcc.govt.nz
Sent: Monday, 13 March 2017 7:55 a.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Confirmation of receipt of LGOIMA request – 577864

Dear Elizabeth

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request dated 13 Mar 2017 7:55am

We support public access to official information. Our obligation under the Local Government Official Information Act 1987 (the Act) is to provide you the information requested as soon as reasonably practicable unless there is a good reason for withholding it.

We will process information requests as below:

1. We will let you know as soon as we can (and in any case within 20 working days) whether your request will be granted or declined, and if the request is declined why we have declined it.

1. In some cases it may be necessary for our decision to be made after 20 working days. When this occurs we will advise you the anticipated delivery date together with the reason why it is necessary to extend that time within the 20 working days.

1. If your request is complex or requires a large amount of collation and research, we may contact you with a view to either refining your request or discussing the possibility of charging for aspects of your request in line with the DCC charging policy.

1. If we decide to release the information, we aim to provide it at the same time as we give our decision. If this is not possible we will provide the information as soon as reasonably practicable.

If you need to contact us about your request, please email officialinformation@dcc.govt.nz or call 03 477 4000. Please quote reference number: 577864

The timeliness of our decisions and the reasons for them are reviewable by the Office of the Ombudsman. You can view the Ombudsman’s guidelines for the processing of information requests at http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or by calling freephone: 0800 802 602.

Yours sincerely,

Official Information Request Service

Below are the details of the request

Your request:

New information request – Warrington Domain

I have been informed that DCC recently ran a survey of the freedom campers at Warrington Domain, asking (in no particular order here):

1. where they were from
2. their age
3. how much they were spending
4. what activities they were doing in Dunedin, and
5. what type of vehicle they were in.

I’m told the survey ran for two weeks; and that it was conducted by Ashley Reid.

I request a full copy of the survey results (with names of campers redacted for privacy), to be received by email at earliest convenience.

I note hearings for the Proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw will be held this week. Prompt receipt of the survey information would be enabling. Thanks.

File attachment
No file uploaded

[ends]

*****

Points:

1. The Reserves and Beaches Bylaw review that had hearings this week did not include a review of freedom camping; freedom camping is specifically excluded from this bylaw review. The freedom camping bylaw review is heralded to take place in about a month’s time.

2. The point numbering error in the response of 13 March above is the DCC’s.

3. The running foot, or footer, italicised in red (“Dance like no one is watching; Email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.”) in the redacted screenshot above, has been raised with senior staff this afternoon and has since been sorted.

4. The LGOIMA response received today must be seen in light of a response to another request I made for information about Warrington Domain lodged on 22.1.17 [ref no. 570874]:

[excerpt; my underlining]

14. How many freedom campers have been staying at Warrington Domain nightly from 1 July 2016 to 15 January 2017? (please state number of vehicles; and number of individuals if known)

15. What is the average length of stay per vehicle at the Domain?

DCC response (28.2.17):

14) We do not perform a count of freedom campers at each site daily. An estimate may be available as a result of a recent survey that was conducted across camping sites within the city. Please advise if you wish to refine your request to include an estimate of numbers.

15) See the answer to question (14) above.

****

whatifdunedin’s ‘amateur’ response and translation:

WE have the information —WE are going to control it. Let’s play cat and mouse, if it turns out the information is ‘maybe’ awkward or not in OUR political favour [before a Bylaw review]. Besides, WE need processing time to [‘line up ducks’] before the information, analysed…… hits the iPads of elected representatives. Micromanaging is GOOD. Vive la DCC Operatives !!

Related Posts and Comments:
● 15.2.17 Warrington : DCC dictates loss of community’s grassed recreation reserve to freeloaders
8.2.17 Hands Off Enjoyment of OUR Beaches #DCC
● 6.2.17 Uncontrolled freedom camping at Warrington Domain this weekend —DCC ‘hell model’ [no enforcement]
● 1.2.17 “Fake news” from DCC boffins & Community Board re freedom camping at Warrington Domain #TheBlight
10.2.16 Dunedin freedom camping #DCC #enforcement
16.12.14 DCC: Freedom Camping issues
7.12.09 Coastal protection zones

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: warrington domain, cropped detail of supplied colour photograph taken 14.2.17

7 Comments

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No news : Appointment of Group CFO

dcc-private-briefing

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Consternation of Various Sorts

We note the Dunedin City Council’s very poor financial position generally, in face of the ‘explosive’ DCC-owned Aurora/Delta collapse of the Otago power network – notable for continuing poor governance and management, with contingent lack of transparency and accountability – affecting ratepayers and residents in three distinct council areas (DCC, CODC, QLDC); the city council’s snail-like attendance to infrastructure maintenance and upgrades including implementation of three waters strategy; the city council’s ongoing out-of-control stadium fiasco; and ALL The Council Debt / debt servicing costs etc etc – for the very low, ever passive and aging ratepayer base.
FANTASTIC TIMES.

How interesting then that DCC has – as yet – failed to appoint a new Group Chief Financial Officer following the resignation of Grant McKenzie last year (see announcement 11 June 2016 via ODT).

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Fri, 12 Aug 2016
ODT: Departure reshuffle
The departure of the Dunedin City Council’s group chief financial officer, Grant McKenzie, has triggered a minor reshuffle within the organisation. The rejig includes a temporary structure while Mr McKenzie’s replacement is recruited, but the council has also taken the opportunity to realign job titles and responsibilities for two of the council’s senior managers. […] Council financial controller Gavin Logie has also been named acting chief financial officer until Mr McKenzie’s replacement is named.

Sat, 11 Jun 2016
ODT: Sir Julian stands down, McKenzie appointed CEO
Sir Julian Smith, chairman and managing director of Allied Press, publisher of the Otago Daily Times, is stepping down from the day-to-day running of the company after nearly 40 years. Sir Julian (72), who will remain as chairman, told staff yesterday he has appointed Dunedin City Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie as the new Allied Press chief executive officer.

****

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
DCC Appoints Treasury Manager
This item was published on 10 Sep 2014
Richard Davey has been appointed to the new position of Dunedin City Council Treasury Manager. Mr Davey, who is originally from Dunedin, has had more than 21 years of banking experience in New Zealand and Australia. His experience centres on dealing with corporate treasuries and solving their risk management and funding issues. As Treasury Manager, Mr Davey will oversee Dunedin City Treasury Ltd – a DCC-owned company provides funding and financial services to other companies in the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd group. Mr Davey will report to Group Chief Financial Officer Grant McKenzie. Read more

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Group Chief Financial Officer Appointed
This item was published on 14 Oct 2013
The University of Otago’s Director of Financial Services, Grant McKenzie, has been appointed as the Dunedin City Council’s Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO). Announcing the appointment of Mr McKenzie to this newly-created role, DCC Chief Executive Paul Orders says, “Grant will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and will be instrumental in ensuring the effective and efficient management of DCC group finances.” […] The new position of Group Chief Financial Officer replaces the DCC’s Chief Financial Officer (currently a vacant post), with the role expanded to include the provision of financial advice and support to the Board of Dunedin City Holdings Limited (DCHL). The role will also create more cohesive financial management between the DCC and Dunedin City Holdings Limited. Twenty eight applications were received for the position, from New Zealand and overseas.
Read more

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It seems DCC has slumped and trailed until 27 February (20 working days) to respond formally to my request for official information – with no phone call received (see postscript).

Tomorrow Monday is D-Day. No notice of extension has been received.

HOW HARD IS IT REALLY TO ANSWER BASIC QUESTIONS—
20 working days ? Get real DCC.

OFFICIAL INFORMATION REQUEST

From: [DCC Governance Support]
Sent: Friday, 3 February 2017 11:31 a.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Acknowledgement of LGOIMA request

03-Feb-2017

Dear Ms Kerr,

Official information request for: APPOINTMENT OF GROUP CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Reference Number: 289707

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request dated 27-January-2017 for information regarding the APPOINTMENT OF GROUP CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER as follows:

1. When will the DCC appoint a Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO) to replace Grant McKenzie ? 2. For what reason(s) has this appointment been delayed ? 3. Have applicants for the position been short-listed ? 4. Is there anything thing else DCC wants to say about the appointment process ?

We received your request on 27-January-2017. We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 27-February-2017, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

Your request is being handled by [Governance Support]. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact [Governance Support] on 03 477 4000. If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into account.

Yours sincerely

[Governance Support]

P.S. I have also sent your questions to our chief executive Sue Bidrose, as she may wish to provide an answer to you directly by phone or email.

Governance Support Officer
Dunedin City Council

Related Post and Comments:
10.6.16 g’bye & ’ello

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

10 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, What stadium

DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Readers 

We are at an interesting time in our local history. Your correspondent like hundreds of others was busy cleaning up yesterday, after what NIWA described as a fairly standard thunderstorm where just 13.6mm of rain fell. 

Also like hundreds of others no doubt, the question in the mind of your correspondent as he dutifully mopped, was : What is the next public asset to be exposed as poorly run, badly maintained and starved of funds ? 

Never before have the executive few lied so comprehensively about the true state of so much degraded public asset. Never before has so much public asset been destroyed by the actions of those few, as Winston might have said. 

Economists your correspondent is familiar with would call this the “tragedy of the commons”. We await the “macro-prudential” responses from Central Government. With the stupefying level of underfunding for DCC drainage and other underground services identified by the Auditor-General, coupled with Aurora Energy’s $1B deferred maintenance and capital work, plus the existing DCC debt, there is around $3B that will need to be extracted from ratepayers and power consumers over the next 30 years (see the Dunedin City Council Infrastructure Strategy). Dunedin has achieved its dream as a world leading small city – of debt per ratepayer. Dunedin will be broke beyond comprehension with the policy of 3% annual rises. The 3% limit is a mirage. Rate rises will be much, much more. Not this year, but quite possibly before the next election; if this council does not address the looming crisis there is the increasing possibility of the removal of the council and appointment of a commissioner. 

It seems that every week brings some fresh disaster or new development that the DCC attempts to cover up. 

Yesterday was a small but telling episode. David Loughrey of the Otago Daily Times kindly confirmed what your correspondent mentioned some months ago, that the DCC had terminated the services of Logic FM because the company would not look the other way while the DCC wilfully failed to fix hundreds of obvious fire rating defects at two of their major assets. 

Mr Kevin Taylor wrote that the council [fired] Logic because the company had been “interpreting code compliance…..beyond that required by the law”. Logic publicly scoffed at this saying – correctly – that the code is “relatively black and white”. 

What actually happened is that as well as the uncompleted fire penetrations, there is a case of simple DCC incompetence, which was only hinted at by infrastructure networks general manager Ruth Stokes in the ODT article. Here are the facts : The Wall Street mall required daily inspections of certain of its building safety systems. The DCC did not want to pay outside consultants to do this work. Fair enough, said Logic, we will train your staff to inspect the systems and they will then sign off a daily inspection sheet, which Logic as the IQP (Independent Qualified Person) need to sight every month. 

wall-street-mall-interior-teamarchitects-co-nz[teamarchitects.co.nz]wall-street-mall-logo-1wall-street-mall-exterior-wallstreetmall-nz-1

Month after month, the monthly reports could not be signed off because no one had completed the daily sign-off sheets. There were offers of more training to the apparently mule-like staff responsible but City Property could not be bothered to do it properly —and thought they could get away with not doing these daily inspections by appointing another more compliant IQP in-house and seeking cover with a further fire report by Beca. 

It is very relevant that after sacking Logic FM, and commissioning the report from Beca, DCC refused to provide a copy of the Beca report to Logic. Logic had asked repeatedly for the report to see what the alleged areas of “over compliance” were. 

It is ‘madeira cake to margarine sandwiches’ that there were no areas of over compliance, and but for Elizabeth Kerr’s LGOIMA request and latterly, the ODT, City Property may well have gotten away with inaccuracies! 

As it is, your correspondent sees only static for Mr Taylor in the DCC crystal ball. He is merely the latest in a line of unlamented DCC property managers, including Robert “Hydraulic” Clark, and Dave McKenzie.

Ruth Stokes also needs to very careful about stepping into this mess – and dissembling to protect Mr Taylor. Stating that “things could have gone a bit better, but they’ve all been addressed” does not fool anyone. Mr Taylor may have have fantasised to Ms Stokes that “all” the fire rating faults were fixed but remember your correspondent advised there were hundreds of faults, not just a few faults in one single wall as has been pretended. There is no way all the faults have been fixed. 

This is what Richard Healey would describe as the Delta dishonest reduction defence…. no, not a 1000 dangerous poles without red tags, but perhaps there are just a few…. and now we learn on that fiasco, that the ‘new’ Delta plan, unannounced to the region’s mayors, is that they can be magically restored to full strength by yet another re-classification.

Chief executive Sue Bidrose started her tenure with a promise of greater transparency and openness (read “honesty”) that was sorely needed. There was some early progress, but the transparency project appears a priority no more.

With the financial storm clouds assembling over the DCC that the chief executive cannot fail to be aware of, some honesty about the actual costs the DCC faces over the next decade is needed. It ranges from the small – just how much will it take to fix Wall Street mall to the $1B existential Aurora problem. The CEO and her staff have been invisible on this critical issue, instead producing reports of risible fantasy such as last year’s effort that valued Delta at over $50M, and Aurora at over $200M. Facing up to an austere decade is the only way that Dr Bidrose and Councillors will avoid having their careers and reputations destroyed by the appointment of a commissioner. 

[ends]

Council Documents:
DCC Infrastructure Strategy
DCC Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25
Audit Opinion – Independent auditor’s report on Dunedin City Council’s 2015-25 Long‑Term Plan. Author: Ian Lothian, Audit New Zealand on behalf of the Auditor‑General, Dunedin NZ.

ODT Stories:
14.2.17 Councils, Aurora poles apart on ‘removing risk’ definition
13.2.17 Without warrants for years
11.2.17 Aurora affected by pole, staff shortages
8.2.17 Action by Delta decried
29.12.16 Director for $30m pole project
2.12.16 Resignation blow to pole work

Related Posts and Comments:
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
30.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 7 : Kyle Cameron —The Money or the Bag?

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *wall street mall*, *richard healey*, *steve thompson*, *dchl*, *epicfail*, *epicpowerfail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images by Parker Warburton Team Architects

17 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, LTP/AP, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Travesty, What stadium

Let the Ombudsman recommend for democracy at SDHB

As we know, the slippery triumverate – Kathy Grant, Richard Thomson and Graham Crombie – have had a lot to answer for at both the SDHB and DCC/DCHL. An unsavoury grouping, best dissolved. Unfortunately, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is not that bright.

### ODT Online Mon, 6 Feb 2017
SDHB restricts information access
By Eileen Goodwin
The Southern District Health Board is clamping down on information it has previously released without objection. Last week, the SDHB said it could no longer release commissioner Kathy Grant’s official correspondence unless the Otago Daily Times stated “specifically” which letters it is after. Previously, the board agreed to a general release of top-level inward and outward correspondence, subject to redactions to protect individual privacy. […] The ODT has also complained to the Office of the Ombudsman about the board’s response.
Read more

For more, enter the terms *sdhb*, *kathy grant* and *hospital* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

7 Comments

Filed under Business, Corruption, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Health, Media, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Travesty

Bev Butler queries invoices for Delta hospitality at Stadium #LGOIMA

Received.
Another repetitive chore for Mr Cameron while he remains in office.

From: Bev Butler
Sent: Wednesday, 14 December 2016 12:06 p.m.
To: Glenda McGowan [Delta]; Grady Cameron [Delta]
Subject: Fw: Urgent LGOIMA Request: Delta/Aurora dangerous power poles – reason for financial restraints/invoices further details

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Dear Ms McGowan and Mr Cameron

I wish to follow up further on some of the attached invoices.

The following was reported in the ODT (28/11/16):

“On the issue of the corporate suite, Mr Cameron said like any large business, “from time to time we host our customers to strengthen the working relationships”.

In the past financial year, Delta spent about $9000 on food and beverage hosting customers at the suite…….” 

In light of Mr Cameron’s comments in the ODT, there are a number of invoices on which I request further information as follows:

1. Carisbrook Stadium Trust Invoice PSF-26, dated 5 December 2009, 10 Lounge Club Memberships $40,000+gst. Please state the names of those who have access to the 10 Lounge Memberships paid for by Delta. I note on the Forsyth Barr Stadium website the following: “As a Member of Forsyth Barr Stadium you can attend any of our scheduled events and take in the view from your own designated premium seat in the Speight’s Stand (South).”

This is obviously 10 premium seats in the Speight’s Stand on top of the seating in the Delta corporate suite.

2. Invoice 1343, dated 29/06/2012, Highlanders vs Chiefs includes Beverage $711.30+gst and 20 3 course meals @ $67.00 = $1340+gst.

How many of these guests were:

(a) Delta management staff

(b) Other Delta staff

(c) Delta directors

(d) DCHL directors

(e) Mayor and/or councillors

(f) DCC executive management team

(g) DCC staff

(h) Carisbrook Stadium Trustees (CST trustees/rich listers have reputation for receiving ‘gifts’ of tickets/catered meals at the expense of the ratepayers)

(i) Delta clients

(j) other – please state

Please supply the names of those who attended. Continue reading

11 Comments

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Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta

——– Original message ——–
From: Bev Butler
Date: 27/10/2016 8:44 am (GMT+12:00)
To: Grady Cameron [Delta]
Cc: Sandy Graham [DCC], Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: URGENT LGOIMA request: DELTA stadium corporate box renewal

Thursday 27 October 2016

Dear Mr Cameron

The Forsyth Barr rugby stadium has now been open for over five years and as such the corporate boxes on a five year contract recently came up for renewal.
Given that Delta purchased a corporate box at $45,000 per annum, as outlined in your response below dated 1 July 2011, I request the following:
1. Has Delta renewed their corporate box contract for another five years?
2. If so, what is the new annual cost of Delta’s corporate box?
3. The name of those who made the decision to renew the corporate box contract.
4. A copy of all documents relating to the decision for Delta to renew their corporate box membership.

You have stated below:
“DELTA has a range of commercial sponsorship and advertising arrangements with organisations such as Otago Rugby Football Union, Alexandra Ice Skating Rink, ASB Otago Sports Awards and the arrangements are commercially sensitive between the parties.”

Given that you are claiming commercial sensitivity for declining to release the information re commercial sponsorship and advertising arrangements with the organisations mentioned above, I request the overall total amount Delta is paying in commercial sponsorships and advertising arrangements to the three organisations mentioned, namely the Otago Rugby Football Union, Alexandra Ice Skating Rink, ASB Otago Sports Awards.

Note that by releasing the total amount given to the three organisations, then the “commercial sensitivity” argument would not apply as none of the individual organisations would be able to be identified. A precedent has already been set with the Office of the Ombudsman in a previous complaint I made relating to stadium sponsorships.
The Ombudsman recommended release of the sponsorship information in totality so as not to interfere with the “commercial” arrangements.

I, therefore, expect full co-operation with this urgent request.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

———————————————

From: Grady Cameron [Delta]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 16:53:34 +1200
Subject: LGOIMA request: DELTA budgets and stadium spending

Dear Bev

Thank you for your enquiry. I refer your questions below and provide the following responses.

DELTA’s Chief Financial Officer is unchanged and is Mr Stephen Wilson.  The role of Chief Financial Officer is being advertised in advance of his planned retirement. The individual who approved the lounge membership application is no longer with DELTA and was not the Chief Financial Officer. As a point of clarification, the term “overzealous” that appeared in the Otago Daily Times report of 9 February was attributed to Mr David Davies and was not made by me.

1. DELTA has made approximately $50,000 of donations to outside organisations over the past three years linked to our Health & Safety related Charity Challenge. Organisations which benefited from these donations included, but were not limited, to:

Alexandra Scouts Group
Cancer Society
Otago SPCA
Otago Community Hospice
Make-A-Wish Foundation of NZ
St John Ambulance Service
Diabetes NZ Otago

In the past three years, DELTA employees have also participated in an annual Volunteers Day:

2011 – Salmon Hatchery spruce-up
2010 – Alexandra Kindergarten tidy-up
2009 – PACT House (Mosgiel) working bee

2. DELTA has a range of commercial sponsorship and advertising arrangements with organisations such as Otago Rugby Football Union, Alexandra Ice Skating Rink, ASB Otago Sports Awards and the arrangements are commercially sensitive between the parties.

3. a) No, DELTA has not spent or allocated any money, except for a corporate box at $45,000 per annum.
b) DELTA has successfully won and completed contracts for the Stadium project to the value of $4,039,267. These were secured under a [competitive] tender process operated by Hawkins Construction and Arrow International Limited. 
c) DELTA is not a party to the Guaranteed Maximum Price Contract for construction of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Accordingly, your question should be directed to Hawkins Construction or Arrow International Limited. DELTA does not hold any information in relation to the Guaranteed Maximum Price Contract.

4. DELTA’s budgets are contained in the Dunedin City Holdings Statements of Intents which were presented to the Dunedin City Council on 7 February 2011 and are publically available on the Dunedin City Council website at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/minutes_agenda/0006/166353/ma_fsd_r_dchl_2011_02_07.pdf . I have attached a copy for your information.

5. DELTA’s Annual Reports for the years ended 30 June 2010, 2009 and 2008 are publically (sic) available on the Dunedin City Council website at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/dunedin-city-holdings/delta-utility-services-ltd . I have attached copies of the Annual Reports as requested.

Delta Utility Services Ltd – Dunedin City Council

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz

Delta Utility Services Limited is a multi-utility service contractor providing a range of electrical and other services to local authority and private sector clients.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

7 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Finance, Geography, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Sport, Stadiums, Travesty

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.

[ends]

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

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