Tag Archives: ODT

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

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ODT feature : Streets of gold #Dunedin

In case you missed the ODT four-part series on Dunedin’s residential heritage in late December….. here it is, via Dave Cannan’s The Wash (Facebook).




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█ The four parts, abridged for quick reference and linked here below, had an excellent (research) information follow-up by Kim Dungey.

Some very approximate dates have been added care of Quality Value (QV), these are based on (limited) property records held by councils; as well as year dates for historical architects, where known.

Streets of Gold, a Summer Times series celebrating Dunedin’s rich architectural heritage. In collaboration with Heritage New Zealand researchers Heather Bauchop and Susan Irvine, with additional research by David Murray, archivist, Hocken Collections; and Alison Breese, archivist, Dunedin City Council.

### ODT Online Tue, 27 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: High St
High Street has an association with the medical profession dating back to the 1880s, when the Mornington cable car started running and some impressive new houses were built along its route.

CAVENDISH CHAMBERS, 211 High St.
The company behind the venture, Medical Buildings Ltd, was incorporated on March 1, 1926, and the shareholders all took professional rooms in the new property. The building was completed in 1927. Architect: Eric Miller (1896-1948).

236 HIGH ST
This prominent residence (QV: c.1900?) with a turret and projecting windows was designed in 1888 for Scottish-born Dr Frank Ogston. Ogston gained his medical degree in Aberdeen and emigrated to Dunedin in 1886 to take up a position as a lecturer in medical jurisprudence and hygiene at the University of Otago. Architect: Henry Hardy (1830-1908), and builder-developer.

238 HIGH ST
An Arts and Crafts-style design, the house (QV: c.1909?) is finished in roughcast with brick exposed on the ground floor sills. It was built for Dr D.E. Williams and his family as a private residence and doctor’s surgery and was home to the Williams family until the 1960s. Architect: Basil Hooper (1876-1960).

296 HIGH ST
Built in 1904, the Chalet Hospital (a private facility) was described as being “finished in coloured and tuck-pointed brickwork … the whole of the relief and ornament is carried out in bold cornices over the windows”. Architect: John Louis Salmond (1868-1950).

Read more + Photos

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### ODT Online Tue, 27 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: York Pl
York Place features two large homes once owned by members of the Speight family.

LARBERT VILLA – 371 York Pl
It is unclear exactly when the villa was built. Coppersmith Alexander Burt, of A and T Burt, married Janet Crawford in 1866 (they had a family of six sons and three daughters) and the couple were living in York Pl by July 1868 when Janet gave birth to a son at the house.

FORMER SPEIGHT RESIDENCE – 362 York Pl
Built for Jessie and Charles Speight after their marriage in 1898, the residence appears in the Dunedin City Council rates records in the 1899-1900 year. Architect: J.L. Salmond.

HAEATA – 273 York Pl
The residence of Charles and Jessie Speight from the time it was built in 1915, it remained in the Speight family until 1960. Bearing a strong resemblance to the Theomin family’s Olveston (built 1907, designed by Sir Ernest George). Architect: John Brown (1875-1923), a neighbour.

MRS TURNBULL’S GROCERY STORE – 324 York Pl
Known more than a century ago as Mrs Turnbull’s Grocery Store, this unusual wedge-shaped building began life as a home, stables and shop built for John and Janet Turnbull in 1875. In January 1875 tenders were invited for a two-storey dwelling and shop to be constructed of wood. Architect and Surveyor: E.J. Sanders [aka Saunders].

Read more + Photos

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### ODT Online Wed, 28 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: Highgate
Highgate has a fascinating and storied collection of prominent dwellings.

RENFREW HOUSE – 111 Highgate
Thought to have originated as a single-storey bluestone house with a central front door and double hung windows on each side. A second storey was later added. The exterior walls were built of double stone – more than 70cm thick – and the interior walls of double brick. With its wrought iron lacework, it has been described as one of the “finest examples of classic Victorian architecture in Dunedin”. Home of businessman Andrew McFarlane (1842-1904) and his wife Jane Wilson (1847-1920). By the 1890s, the family referred to their home as “Renfrew House”. Architect: credited to Nathaniel Wales (1832-1903), a neighbour.
 
KAWARAU – 204 Highgate
Designed in 1900 for dredging tycoon Alexander McGeorge, this grand residence reflects the fortunes made in Otago’s gold dredging boom of the late 1890s and early 20th century. Trained at Dunedin firm Cossens and Black, McGeorge (1868-1953) held a variety of significant engineering posts. The two-storeyed house is built of brick, has a slate roof, ornate decorative detailing, and features Tudor influences in the half timbering and veranda details. Architect: J.L. Salmond.

FORMER HUXTABLE RESIDENCE – 233 Highgate
This 1907 brick and tile residence designed for Anna and Alexander Huxtable, is a beautifully detailed example of an Edwardian villa, one with historic and architectural significance. Anna Huxtable was granted the land in 1907; a survey on May 15, 1907, indicates the foundations for the new dwelling were already in place at that date. (QV: c.1910?). Alexander Murray Huxtable described himself as both a commercial agent and patent medicine manufacturer. Architect: Edward Walden (1870-1944).

MELROSE – 384 Highgate
Likely designed for lawyer Arthur Nation (1852-1927) around 1876. In October that year, tenders were called for the construction of a “brick cottage” in the suburb of Melrose (a private subdivision in what is now known as Roslyn). However, Nation appears to have built more than a cottage: when his property was offered for sale in 1879 it was described as “a substantially-built and well-finished brick house”, its original features including hand-painted ceilings, timber joinery and stained glass. Architect: credited to John McGregor (1838-1911), and harbour engineer.

Read more + Photos

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### ODT Online Thu, 29 Dec 2016
Streets of gold: Royal Tce
Royal Terrace has a fascinating and storied collection of prominent dwellings.

DAISY BANK – 12 Royal Tce
Associated with the prominent Hudson family. An Italianate, two-storeyed symmetrical house with a large basement, “Daisy Bank” was built of concrete and wood, circa 1897. Architect: J.A. Burnside (1856-1920).

LINDEN – 22 Royal Tce
Built in the 1870s, a two-storied, two-bay Victorian residence of more than 15 rooms, with an exterior comprising plastered triple brick with quoins, foundations of Leith Valley andesite and a slate roof. Associated with the prominent Isaacs and Hudson families. Architect: Mason and Wales (likely Nathaniel Wales).

CLAVERTON – 30 Royal Tce
Associated with prominent local politician and businessman Richard H. Leary and one of New Zealand’s most prominent artistic families, the Hodgkins. Claverton was most likely built in 1877 by local politician and businessman Richard H. Leary (1840-95). Architect: likely Maxwell Bury (1825-1912).

ALYTH – 34 Royal Tce
Built in the 1870s by prominent businessman, community leader and one-time Dunedin mayor Keith Ramsay (1844-1906). Named Alyth after Ramsay’s birth place, the house was completed, at the latest, by March 1875. Architect: Robert Arthur Lawson (1833-1902).

Read more + Photos

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It doesn’t have to be a mansion located on the high streets….

crabapple-cottage-otago-peninsula-thecuriouskiwi-co-nzCrabapple Cottage, Otago Peninsula [thecuriouskiwi.co.nz]

Lastly, a THOROUGHLY USEFUL guide for those unfamiliar with historic heritage archives, technical sources and search methods.

### ODT Online Fri, 30 Dec 2016
What is your house hiding?
By Kim Dungey
Enjoyed this week’s Streets of Gold series, in which we have profiled various Dunedin houses of historic significance? Fancy playing detective and tracing the history of your home? … In recent years, Heritage New Zealand has run “how to research your home” workshops in Dunedin, Invercargill, Oamaru and Central Otago. The popular seminars have drawn together the sources it uses every day to tell the story of historic places. Archivists say some people want to restore their homes to their original states, are curious about former owners or simply want to know the age of their houses for insurance purposes. Others require archaeological assessments of pre-1901 properties or have reported seeing ghosts in their homes and wanted to work out who they might be. Interested homeowners have a wealth of resources at their fingertips….
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Dunedin, Education, Geography, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Housing, Inspiration, Media, Museums, New Zealand, Property, Public interest, Site, Tourism, What stadium

DCHL/Aurora/Delta ‘PR fashion statements’ fb DCC rates increases

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 11, 2016
Aurora Energy to implement review’s recommendations
A report on beleaguered Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora has called for a major shake-up to the way the companies are run.
[—Aurora had been guilty of placing too much emphasis on providing dividends to the council and keeping debt levels under control as opposed to investing in the network.]

Deloitte review report – Aurora Energy and Delta Utilities (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Review of Aurora Energy Limited/Delta Utility Services Limited – Network Safety Concerns.

What Shocks.

If the Otago Community has a BILLION OR SO DOLLARS WORTH of network replacements owed to it, but for the pleasure the Community must pay these sums Again —as well as having to meet the not insubstantial cost of new build facilities across the growth-focused districts of Central Otago— with the self-congratulatory psychology of the Companies and INDIVIDUALS running the Dangerous and Degraded Aurora/Delta power network, stringing along the bumbling Dunedin City Council as OVERLORD (meanwhile running its ‘static’ city)…….. exactly how does that affect DUNEDIN RATEPAYERS, do you think. [DCC steered by “SpongeBob” running the holding company; the mayor inane factotum to the GOBs.]

So yeah, if there’s no word yet (?) on how the INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE for constant rates increases (exceeding New Zealand’s rate of inflation) will be cleaned out financially themselves (along with their private trusts), with jail sentences to serve…….. Then you stand to be OUTRAGED by anything these knaves are saying.

We can’t call them liars.

But think about what these immoral money stealing mongrel-individuals are costing us. You are being robbed, mercilessly, repeatedly, over and over. Public funds through your rates have gone out both front and back doors in almost limitless fashion. The male mafia have been in your pockets doing what they like —across nefarious deals and rorts for “the past 25 to 30 years”.

You have been fully violated, the power network you rely on is completely stuffed. ‘They mongrels’ are not simply incompetent.

Personally, you bear the price; your extended family and descendants pay the price. ‘They mongrels’ each buy an expensive house or three in Queenstown Lakes, they live off the spoils, in style —while you and yours, your businesses and community run desperately out of hope for better times. Clearly, the Bad are being replaced by more of the Bad with unedifying track records.
Same, same again.

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 12, 2016
Delta whistleblower Richard Healey
Mayor Dave Cull said the whistleblower, Richard Healey, had been largely vindicated. The poles network was not as safe as it should be.

Newly-appointed chairman Steve Thompson [ex Deloitte head] said chief executive Grady Cameron would not be sacked as a result of the failings identified in the report, as he had confidence in his leadership. “I think he’s done a good job in difficult circumstances.”

### ODT Online Tue, 13 Dec 2016
Shake-up agreed for Delta, Aurora
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora are in for a major shake-up. The planned changes come as a result of recommendations included in a review by consultant Deloitte into Delta/Aurora network safety concerns, and in particular accusations Aurora dangerously mismanaged its electricity network and left thousands of poles to rot. The shake-up would involve having separate boards and chief executives for the two companies and introduce a more proactive approach to maintaining the network. After the review, commissioned by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, was released yesterday, Mayor Dave Cull said the changes could have a significant financial impact on the council, resulting in rates increases.

“I don’t believe it’s unsafe, but we just need to do more work on getting the infrastructure to a better level than it currently is.” –Steve Thompson

Mr Healey said he was satisfied for the most part with the report, but not with the response from Mr Cull, DCHL chairman Graham Crombie and Mr Thompson, who he said were all still trying to minimise the extent of the problem …. Mr Thompson’s claim the network was safe and his continued confidence in Mr Cameron were “mind-boggling”, Mr Healey said.
Read more

bill-english-stuff-co-nz-1Brief me, Paula.

—Without a Safe and Secure power supply for Otago, new Business Development, Tourism and Productivity are severely impacted, Prime Minister.

Who is responsible?
—Dunedin City Council, sir.

Agh, that lag Cull.
—He hasn’t mentioned climate change this time, sir.

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: stuff.co.nz – Richard Healey | Bill English PM

29 Comments

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Deloitte report released #Delta #Aurora

Updated post
Mon, 12 Dec 2016 at 11:56 p.m.

aurora-report [supplied by DCC]

Deloitte’s Steve Thompson – appointed to the Delta and Aurora Boards in 2015 – is to head two (new) separated (“armslength”) companies.

Grady’s future is between the lines.

2016-12-13-01-10-57

Monstrous understatement from our Mayor Cull:
“The poles network was not as safe as it should be.” ….LOL

Dear god, there appear to be a few capital raising issues to curtail the service delivery promised. Further, Dunedin City Council will receive the wrath of two other councils…. Let’s not be naive about the extent of problems with the DANGEROUS NETWORK. This is not a POLES ONLY exercise. And where, oops, have we seen Steve Thompson before, Deloitte and Otago Rugby governance. South Auckland pokie bars, ORFU, anyone ?

An inquiry into thousands of failing power poles has recommended major changes to the lines companies involved. Thousands of rotting power poles are due for replacement in Otago. (RNZ)

### radionz.co.nz 38 minutes ago
Rotting power pole whistleblower vindicated
By Ian Telfer, Otago-Southland Reporter
The Dunedin City Council-commissioned inquiry was one of three started in October after a whistleblower revealed almost 3000 power poles in Dunedin and Central Otago, managed by Aurora Energy and Delta, needed urgent replacement. Councillors debated Deloitte’s report, which covered the scale of the problem and management, for more than two hours. The report recommended health and safety upgrades and for Delta and Aurora’s board and management to split. Mayor Dave Cull said the whistleblower, Richard Healey, had been largely vindicated. Mr Healey accused the management of not understanding the scale of the problem and of not seeing just how dangerous it was. Deloitte found serious systematic problems in the network.
Read more

[Audio] Inquiry into failing power poles recommends big changes  (3′01″)
RNZ Checkpoint (12 Dec 2016)

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Deloitte report pending —Public Notice at ODT | Facebook entry

ODT 9.12.16 (page 20)

odt-9-12-16-public-notice-p20

Facebook: Richard Healey

richard-healey-facebook-9-12-16

Wed, 7 Dec 2016
ODT: Delta, Aurora report for release by Monday
A report on under-fire Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora is expected to be made public by Monday. Mayor Dave Cull said he hoped the report could be released before that day, following a non-public council discussion on the issue that lasted well over an hour yesterday. Dunedin City Holdings Ltd director Keith Cooper faced a grilling from councillors when he gave them a “progress report” on an investigation by consultant Deloitte into the companies. Cont/

Sat, 3 Dec 2016
ODT: Report discussion behind closed doors
Discussion of a Deloitte report on troubled council-owned companies Aurora and Delta on Tuesday will be behind closed doors, and it is uncertain when they will make it into the public arena. Mayor Dave Cull said the report was not finished yet, despite predictions of an early December completion date. It will be discussed by the Dunedin City Council on Tuesday in a non-public session. Mr Cull said the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd board got a progress report on the investigation yesterday. The board would pass on that report at the council meeting on Tuesday. The agenda for the meeting noted discussion of the report would be in a non-public section of the meeting as “the withholding of the information is necessary to protect information where the making available of the information would be likely unreasonably  to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information”. As well, the withholding of the information was necessary to enable the council to “carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities”. Cont/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Delta/Aurora : Nobody’s willing to call it after misrepresentations

### ODT Online Wed, 7 Dec 2016
Delta, Aurora report for release by Monday
By David Loughrey
A report on under-fire Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta and Aurora is expected to be made public by Monday.
Mayor Dave Cull said he hoped the report could be released before that day, following a non-public council discussion on the issue that lasted well over an hour yesterday. Dunedin City Holdings Ltd director Keith Cooper faced a grilling from councillors when he gave them a “progress report” on an investigation by consultant Deloitte into the companies.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

3 Comments

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Delta/Aurora : The Dirty Twist —EXTREME Misrepresentation by Delta, E tū union & staff reps

Received from Richard Healey
Friday, 2 December 2016 11:36 p.m.

Lies, damned lies and Delta

Today a media statement, produced by Delta senior management, representative staff and the E tū union representative, was released. It is important to stress at this point that I’ve been told that the vote to release was supported by a minority of the Delta workers present. I’m told that 15 hands went up in favour out of the hundred people present.

The decision to release was made by the E tū union organiser present. Are your alarm bells ringing yet? Mine are.

Here’s the bit most people will miss:

Delta senior management, representative staff and the E tū union representative have agreed a joint statement that reflects the belief of all concerned,

You will notice that it does not say that the meeting authorised the release – yet it claims that it reflects the belief of “all concerned”. I’ve had plenty of phone calls from “all concerned” and they have stated categorically that it does not reflect their beliefs, read on…..

Here’s the release:

2 December 2016

Media Release

Joint statement following meeting of Delta management, staff and E tū union

Yesterday, meetings were held with representatives of staff, senior management of Delta, and E tū, the union. Similar discussions are planned involving Central Otago-based staff.

Discussions were held concerning the condition of the Aurora Energy electricity network and how risks are being managed for staff, contractors and the public. All parties are in agreement that it is in everyone’s interests that we work together productively as Delta carries out a significant uplift in capital and maintenance work across the Aurora Energy networks in Dunedin and Central Otago.

Delta senior management, representative staff and the E tū union representative have agreed a joint statement that reflects the belief of all concerned, they commented:

“Firstly, that the Aurora Energy network needs significant asset renewal work and that the age and condition of existing assets presents a higher level of risk than would be preferred.

RJH: That statement sounds suspiciously like an admission that there is a REAL PROBLEM – not merely a problem of perception, as Grady Cameron has consistently maintained. Let us hear that admission from Grady himself, not from a union organiser masquerading as a PR consultant doing the softened story routine. Come on Grady…we are all waiting….

None of us can now change past decisions made over decades about maintenance and investment in the network.

RJH: Man up Grady. My view is simple, it is not credible for you to say that “None of us can now change past decisions made over decades” when you are the person who, for almost all of the last decade, has been key in making those frankly appalling decisions. I’m sure that it would be great for you to be able to brush your past actions under the carpet. Wake up mate, it’s not happening.

We can change the way we manage assets and have already started doing that, however it will take time to address all the issues. Staff and management are committed to working closely together to complete the upgrades with a high level of safety caution and with public safety foremost in our minds.

RJH: Really? You’ve started doing that? Let’s review how that program is going. Your program director just quit, your General Manager asset management just quit, I see an ad today for a new manager of strategic planning, hmmm…. Poles replaced by the “accelerated” program to date? Zero, zip, nada – and counting.

“Secondly, that the health and safety of Delta staff and the public who live around the Aurora network is the primary responsibility of the company, DCHL and the DCC who ultimately own the network.”

RJH: Ah ha, the people who received a detailed report on this problem in 2010, a report that listed harm to staff and the public as potential outcomes of doing nothing, yeah, I feel [there] is a credibility problem here, how about you??

“Thirdly, we would like the public to know that Delta workers are doing their best to continue security of electricity supply and public safety. There may be more periods of planned power outages as we undertake the network upgrades and ask the public to work patiently with us.

RJH: finally, something we can agree on.

“Fourthly, that members of Delta’s technical staff who have hands-on knowledge of reported faults and risks will be engaged in how the company describes events publicly to the extent that is reasonably possible given media constraints and in the knowledge that detailed investigations often take time.”

RJH: Wow, that’s a hard hitter, we will talk to staff, but you know how it is with media deadlines. And those reports can take sooooo looooong to write. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone has forgotten about the problem by the time we get around to reporting on it… in an email… to ourselves.

“Finally, Aurora Energy, and Delta staff, have agreed to work closely together on an enhanced public safety advertising campaign which will start in the near future. This will be about further informing the community about safety around electrical installations, particular hazards that we are working to resolve and general education about safety around the network.”

RJH: What? You’re going to tell people that high voltage lines on the ground really are a danger? Three cheers!!

For media enquiries, please contact:

● Mike Kirwood, Organiser, E tū, 027 591 0038

● Matt Ballard, General Manager Capability and Risk, Delta, 027 703 7044.

Here’s my view.

The majority who did NOT vote to release this statement have not been heard. Their voices are apparently worth nothing. Their voices are, in real terms, valued by Delta as much as their lives. And I think that is not a whole lot.

I believe that the management whom the minority of their colleagues are prepared to ‘work with’ have, for years, knowingly sent these guys to work on an unsafe network with no intent to make it safe…in fact their inaction made it less safe, day by day, year by year.

They have instructed these workers to not apply do not climb tags.

They have manipulated data, the Xivic debacle, on unsafe structures with the effect that the true number of unsafe structures was hidden.

They have failed to investigate asset failures appropriately and often not at all.

They have consistently denied their own workforce access to the information it needs to make decisions which truly are the difference between life and death, for workers and the unwitting public alike.

These same managers were simultaneously accepting awards for exceptional management performance!

Roger Steel must be spinning in his grave.

Shame on you all.

Finally, a word from Delta’s glorious leader at, believe it or not, zeroharm.org.nz on October 19th this year!!

grady-cameron-annual-report-2016-zeroharm-org-nzZeroHarm [click to enlarge]

Source: FB post

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

11 Comments

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