Tag Archives: Noble Investments Ltd

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.

Readers

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 ?

[ends]

● INFINITY YALDHURST LIMITED (5886102)
Incorporation Date: 09 Feb 2016
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/5886102

● INFINITY INVESTMENT GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED (1004601)
Incorporation Date: 06 Dec 1999
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/1004601

● INFINITY FINANCE AND MORTGAGE LIMITED (5920307)
Incorporation Date: 17 Mar 2016
Address for service:
Infinity Finance and Mortgage Limited, 12a Fovant Street, Russley, Christchurch 8042
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/5920307

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]

5 Comments

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 Yaldhurst : Local Opinion + Update from Caveators via NBR

ODT 1.9.16

2016-09-02 20.52.28

*Name correction: Graham Crombie.

Mr Crombie is the chairman of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL). Grady Cameron is Delta’s chief executive. -Eds

****

Sally Lindsay writes on the Delta fiasco at NBR today: ‘Christchurch development still entangled in litigation despite sale’ (pages 3 & 7).

“The sale is not deterring neighbours Colin Stokes and Gregory Smith from court action and Mr Stokes says Delta and Gold Band Finance have been joined to the proceedings originally launched against developer Noble Investments over a breach of contract. […] The litigants are claiming the value of 13 sections on their land had it been able to be subdivided. Mr Stokes says the sections would be conservatively valued at $200,000 each and the [action] also includes a claim for damages because of the holdups to their project, which they expected to launch in 2008. […] Mr Stokes is expecting the court case to be heard within the next year.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

4 Comments

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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.

[ends]

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]

● INFINITY YALDHURST LIMITED (5886102)
Incorporation Date: 09 Feb 2016
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/5886102

Ultimate holding company :
● INFINITY INVESTMENT GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED (1004601)
Incorporation Date: 06 Dec 1999
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/1004601

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.

13 Comments

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

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Mayor Cull IS NOT YOUR MAN #elections #steamingheaps : DCC, Delta, Aurora, DCHL, DCTL

ODT 19.8.16 (page 10)
– purple text overlay by whatifdunedin

ODT 19.8.16 Letters to editor Murray p10

Dave is Dave 2016 Delta pieces unite where they fall

### ODT Online Fri, 12 Aug 2016
‘Dangerous mess’ addressed, remedied after 2011 review
By Dave Cull
OPINION Claims that council-owned companies are out of control and lack transparency (ODT, 5.8.16 and the editorial 6.8.16) are sadly ill-informed, lack business understanding and worse, threaten the ratepayers’ asset value. […] Ratepayer-owned companies are more expertly governed and more comprehensively examined and reported on than ever before.
Read more

E X P E R T L Y ● G O V E R N E D

M O R E ● C O M P R E H E N S I V E L Y ● E X A M I N E D

E N T I R E L Y ● L A U G H A B L E

Related Post and Comments:
● 12.8.16 DCC trifecta : openness, transparency, accountability —All dead?

R E P E A T ● R E P E A T

Delta Utility Services Ltd (“Delta”) has been joined in a constructive fraud action brought by original Landowners/Caveators of the Noble Subdivision application at Yaldhurst, Christchurch.

Very substantial multimillion-dollar losses caused to Dunedin Ratepayers (on Mayor Cull’s shift) stem from Delta’s decision in 2009 to involve themselves in the illegal and unconsented subdivision. This all follows multimillion-dollar losses (about $14M) suffered by Ratepayers as a consequence of Delta’s involvement in the Luggate and Jacks Point subdivisions.

On Monday 1 August, we had absolute Confirmation that the city council is Not transparent —the Council blindly followed (without proper or worthy documentation; no diligence done by Councillors; no thoroughly independent legal advice to Council) the manipulations of Mr Crombie, DCHL chairman, assisted by the head of DCC Finance Committee, Cr Thomson, threading a ‘long’ story to seal a bad ‘Delta’ deal.

ODT reported (3.8.16): ‘Deal designed to help Delta’s bad debt woes’. This deal, “to help Delta recover a $13.4million bad debt from a stalled Christchurch subdivision”, unfortunately, fails to give DCC control over the whole Noble subdivision, which DCC could have secured for relatively little financial outlay (as Advised by What if? Dunedin in emails to all Councillors; and of course by the Caveators), resulting in generous profits in a longer time frame.

So the Old Boys have conspired once more to use Rates funds to line the pockets of those they would work with and protect, this time at Yaldhurst —Not named by DCHL/Delta : The Buyer of the subdivision. [which may include Delta types]

The ODT editorial (6.8.16) rightly states: “Delta has a history of secrecy and limited transparency, stretching back many years to the time it was a council department.”

As our correspondent Christchurch Driver says in a recent post (8.8.16): “Delta, for the third time, [has] created a stinking financial mess … Ratepayers now know that [Dave Cull] 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.”

█ 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: Dave Cull tweaked by whatifdunedin

15 Comments

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

DCC trifecta : openness, transparency, accountability —All dead?

Dave is Dave 2016 Delta pieces unite where they fall

Three words : O U T ● O F ● T I M E

### ODT Online Friday, 12 August 2016
DCC affirms transparency commitment
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council says it remains committed to transparency, despite a nearly year-long delay responding to an official information request. […] The comment came after council staff last week again delayed their response to an Otago Daily Times request for information relating to the former Carisbrook site. The ODT’s request dated back to September last year, and the council — like other local authorities — is required by law to respond as soon as possible within 20 working days. […] Last week, six weeks after the ODT again requested an update, council staff initially said no further action had been taken, and would not be taken now until after October’s elections.
Read more

One word : T I M E L Y

### ODT Online Fri, 12 Aug 2016
Departure reshuffle
The departure of the Dunedin City Council’s group chief financial officer, Grant McKenzie, has triggered a minor reshuffle within the organisation. […] Council financial controller Gavin Logie has … been named acting chief financial officer until Mr McKenzie’s replacement is named.
Read more

Three words : D E L T A ● A U R O R A ● D C H L

### ODT Online Fri, 12 Aug 2016
‘Dangerous mess’ addressed, remedied after 2011 review
By Dave Cull
OPINION Claims that council-owned companies are out of control and lack transparency (ODT, 5.8.16 and the editorial 6.8.16) are sadly ill-informed, lack business understanding and worse, threaten the ratepayers’ asset value. […] Ratepayer-owned companies are more expertly governed and more comprehensively examined and reported on than ever before.
Read more

*Delta Utility Services Ltd (“Delta”) has been joined in a constructive fraud action brought by original Landowners/Caveators of the Noble Subdivision application at Yaldhurst, Christchurch. Very substantial multimillion-dollar losses caused to Dunedin Ratepayers (on Mayor Cull’s shift) stem from Delta’s decision in 2009 to involve themselves in the illegal and unconsented subdivision. This all follows multimillion-dollar losses (about $14M) suffered by Ratepayers as a consequence of Delta’s involvement in the Luggate and Jacks Point subdivisions.

We know what ‘out of control’ means.

On Monday 1 August, we had absolute Confirmation that the city council is Not transparent —the Council blindly followed (without proper or worthy documentation; no diligence done by Councillors; no thoroughly independent legal advice to Council) the manipulations of Mr Crombie, DCHL chairman, assisted by the head of DCC Finance Committee, Cr Thomson, threading a ‘long’ story to seal a bad ‘Delta’ deal.

Bad for the Ratepayers.

ODT reported (3.8.16): ‘Deal designed to help Delta’s bad debt woes’. This deal, “to help Delta recover a $13.4million bad debt from a stalled Christchurch subdivision”, unfortunately, fails to give DCC control over the whole Noble subdivision, which DCC could have secured for relatively little financial outlay (as Advised by What if? Dunedin in emails to all Councillors; and by the Caveators), resulting in generous profits in a longer time frame.

So the Old Boys have conspired once more to use Rates funds to line the pockets of those they would work with and protect, this time at Yaldhurst —Not named by DCHL/Delta : The Buyer of the subdivision. [which may include Delta types]

As the ODT editorial (6.8.16) rightly states: “Delta has a history of secrecy and limited transparency, stretching back many years to the time it was a council department.”

We’re sure the Mayor and Cr Thomson are well up on that particular reading, in the privacy of their gentlemen’s armchairs.

As our correspondent Christchurch Driver says in a recent post (8.8.16): “Delta, for the third time, [has] created a stinking financial mess … Ratepayers now know that [Dave Cull] 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.”

Nothing changes at DCC, DCHL or Delta (except overt culpability!) —shortly, What if? Dunedin will deal to Aurora Energy, which has the same Chief Executive and Board of Directors as 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.

*Image: Dave Cull tweaked by whatifdunedin

12 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, 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

A)
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.

B)
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.

C)
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

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