Tag Archives: Otago power network

Aurora/Delta new directors

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
New directors appointed for Aurora and Delta boards

This item was published on 03 Jul 2017

Dunedin City Holdings Limited (DCHL) has appointed three new directors within its group as part of changes to the Aurora Energy and Delta Utility Services companies which take effect from today, Monday, 3 July. DCHL Board chair Graham Crombie says that Margaret Devlin and Brenden Hall have been appointed to the Aurora Board, while Steven Grave has been appointed to the Delta Board.

“There was strong interest in these vacancies, with a total of 80 applications received from throughout New Zealand and overseas. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to appoint three talented and experienced people to these roles.”

Mr Crombie says the board appointments have been made as a result of DCHL implementing one of the key recommendations from a Deloitte review of the companies’ network maintenance processes late last year. Deloitte recommended that Aurora and Delta should have different board members with no commonality of directors. As previously announced, current board members Steve Thompson and Dave Frow remain on the Aurora board only, with Mr Thompson as chair. Brian Wood and Trevor Kempton will remain on the Delta board only, with Mr Wood as transition chair. “The changes will see the companies fully separate with Aurora being the asset owning and management company, while Delta will revert to a contracting company. The skills required in each company from a governance perspective are different,” he says. “However, it is important that some continuity is maintained within the governance structures. The decision was therefore made early on to have two of the current directors move to each new board.” DCHL expects to make an appointment to fill the one remaining director vacancy on the Delta Board, within the coming weeks.

Director fees totalling $220,500 for Aurora and $204,000 for Delta, as recommended by an independent review by the Institute of Directors were approved by DCHL and endorsed by the Council. These fees compare to the current total fees for the combined companies of $258,250.

Contact DCHL Chair on 034774000 | Mobile: 0274363882
DCC Link

Media release – New directors appointed for Aurora and Delta boards
(PDF, 54.1 KB)

The A/D directors forever joined at the hip think they can tough it out by collecting fees.

Both the non-retiring and the newbies appear grey around the gills, deadhead controlling and incapable of clean governance.

Larks, it appears Mr Crombie is staying on at DCHL. Not enough lawn mowing at Clyde to wobble his wattles.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

3 Comments

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Dunedin’s winter power bills —ODT calls for comment at Facebook

Read the many public comments received at the ODT Facebook page.
Are the higher bills because of the crisp weather ? Low levels of the hydro lakes ?
Or something more ‘sinister’ ?

What is the industry regulator, the Commerce Commission, saying.

Personal Aside:
I don’t heat my apartment – chosen because it’s constructed in brick, elevated, insulated, sunny and warm. Before you ask, I pay high market rent to live centrally. I’m a registered low user of power, receive 20% earlybird discounts, and enjoy guaranteed fixed rates on power charges for 12 months by agreement with my electricity supplier. Typically, my power use is constant across the seasons and the years (long-term renter at this address, 2003 to present). I can keep my power use low only because I have good health, lots of warm clothing and furnishings, and I stay active. I’m expecting huge price increases as Dunedin City Council owned Aurora Energy’s programmed neglect of the Otago power network really kicks in.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Commerce Commission, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Geography, Health, Health & Safety, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, People, Property, Public interest, Technology

D’oh [Mayor Cull can’t name all the successful manufacturers at #Dunedin]

Rather, Daaave promotes the SHONKY programmed spend on non-essential CBD tart-ups. Not reprioritising council budgets then, Daaave….. to solve the Superduper-Mystery of council-owned Aurora/Delta LOST OR MISPLACED FUNDS, WHERE DID THEY GO ? WHERE WERE THEY SPENT ? Hundreds of millions of dollars lost from Otago ratepayers and electricity users, Daaave…..
You are going to make them pay again.

ODT 25.2.17 (page 34) tweaked

odt-25-2-17-letter-to-the-editor-crick-p34-tr[click to enlarge]

Otago Manufacturers need a Safe and Secure supply of Electricity.
The Mayor of Dunedin is making sure this won’t happen.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 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.

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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.

13 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

Aurora Energy at ODT 24.2.17 follows #LGOIMA

Broad spectrum (?!) LGOIMA request from earlier this week and interim acknowledgement:

From: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Monday, 20 February 2017 7:24 PM
To: Grady Cameron
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Aurora Energy Ltd – Official Information Request (LGOIMA)

Attention Grady Cameron
Chief Executive, Aurora Energy Ltd

Dear Grady

How is Aurora Energy Ltd funding the $30million pole replacement programme you speak about – from capex (capital expenditure), opex (operational expenditure), a combination of the two? or by other means? (please state)

Will Aurora Energy Ltd attempt to raise line charges for Otago power consumers, to achieve the number of (dangerous) pole replacements required in the next 3-5 years – how soon will line charges increase and by how much given regulatory scrutiny by the Commerce Commission?*

Is Aurora Energy Ltd solvent at this time? Explain.

Please provide any financial detail(s) salient to these matters.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Kerr
Dunedin

*emphasis added 24.2.17

—————————————-

From: Grady Cameron
Sent: Wednesday, 22 February 2017 1:02 p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Aurora Energy Ltd – Official Information Request (LGOIMA)

Dear Elizabeth

Thank you for your enquiry. We acknowledge receipt of your official information request received by us on 21 February regarding Aurora Energy (our reference 0945).

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 21 March, 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.

Kind regards,
Glenda

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Received.
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 at 1:58 a.m.

[click to enlarge]

ODT 24.2.17 (page 4)

odt-24-2-17-aurora-planned-power-outages-p4

ODT 24.2.17 (page 5)

odt-24-2-17-aurora-energy-notification-of-electricity-delivery-prices-p5

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

2 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 10 : Grady Cameron : The Counterfeit Comet

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 at 12:15 a.m.

Dear Readers

Local cyberspace has run hot tonight with the news that Grady Cameron has finally taken Richard Healey’s advice and fallen on one of his many splintered power poles, tendering his resignation. But just like a funhouse hall of mirrors, nothing at Aurora/Delta is as it seems. Mr Cameron is leaving later not sooner. It should be sooner, much sooner, like now.

As pointed out several times by Jarrod Stewart and Richard Healey, Grady is entirely the wrong individual to “oversee the transition process, along with the accelerated pole programme now under way”, which was the vague treacle proffered by Gary Gyroscope Johnson and Mr Thompson as an excuse for Mr Cameron to cling on for another year.

What the somewhat dim Mr Thompson does not know is that most of Delta already know what provision for early termination is in Grady’s package, and it is….12 months’ salary. (Hard to keep anything secret at Delta these days, Mr Thompson!) Go on, refute that “unfounded speculation”, Mr Gyroscope!

Therefore Mr Thompson had the two terminally unattractive options of 1) Paying Grady $600,000 to do nothing or 2) Paying Grady $600,000 to hang around and pretend that his help is “appreciated”. Chairman Thompson knew he would be sacked if he agreed to pay Grady $600,000 to do nothing, because What if? Dunedin and many others would find out in short order, and it would be curtains for Mr Thompson – sooner rather than later. However, Mr Thompson has made an elementary error. When you sack someone, get them gone. This is not Personnel Management 101, it’s 001. Despite $600,000 being a lot of cash, it was still the right thing to do because Grady’s other great failure as CEO was to preside over the accelerated decline of the staff at Delta.

odt-16-2-17-cameron-not-seeking-new-role-p3-underlined

It is past the tipping point and on its way to collapse, and if Grady stays another year collapse it will. At this stage in your correspondent’s post, the Greek chorus begins, accompanied by the rattling cups of Choysa : Evidence, evidence, give us the factual evidence!

Very well readers, have the Gaviscon ready, here are some stomach turning informational nuggets to show the appalling state of the Delta engineering department, the essential core of the organisation. Desk executive types like Grady and Matt Ballard can come and go, but the engineers make the place run.

While Mr Gyroscope and Mr Thompson trumpeted the two new external appointments today, they failed to mention that there are 45 vacancies – yes 45, that is 4 lots of 10 plus 5, Steve, at Delta.

Your correspondent understands these are in the main technical positions that any reputable company will have trouble filling, let alone a basket case like Delta.

Very recently, a capable senior design engineer was asked by either Matt Ballard or Grady “What would it take to get you to stay?”, as they had been alerted that the engineer was about to vote with his feet. “Nothing could convince me to stay” was the response and the engineer who was in the prime of his career and had worked for Delta for 6-7 years, departed to the North Island.

Next fact: There are now fewer than 10 design engineers left at Delta. There will be one less tomorrow because another resigned today but hadn’t advised The Management.

Alarming fact : Your correspondent is advised that of those left, at least three already have plans in place to leave that are not negotiable.

Strange but true : A design engineer recently resigned. Mule-like, Mr Cameron and his cohorts “refused to acknowledge his resignation”. This would appear to be code for “we will pay you absolutely anything you want because we know we will get no applicants for your position”, much like the example above. We can conclude from the example with Derek Todd quoted in #EpicPowerFail 9 that the practical limit is a tripling in salary.

There’s more : After deducting out those engineers, there are others actively looking to leave also. We can know this with confidence as a Wellington power company advertised a position for a design engineer recently. The recruiter called a contact at Delta and asked “What the heck is going on down there – we have had 4 applications and 3 of them are from Delta !!”

Grady’s response to this is to hire engineers from around the world, and try and fill engineering positions with “Project Managers” (Godfrey Brosnan is just the latest example). This is not to denigrate those with overseas qualifications or from a different culture but as Richard Healey notes, this is a dangerous high risk industry and ‘culture’ is important. Experienced local engineers with institutional knowledge and memory are priceless – and absolutely essential. The legacy of Grady and successive incompetent boards is that Delta and Aurora, are very likely to be left with somewhere between very few and almost none.

Your correspondent is given to understand that there is a funereal level of staff morale. Many staff around all departments have the view that (Delta)Aurora is only a few more key resignations away from being unable to function as a lines company. Richard Healey may be able to comment further on this.

The common theme from departed staff is that they would not work any longer under the management regime.

Normally your correspondent likes to finish with what he fondly imagines to be a witty riposte, but after surveying the decayed remnants of Aurora, humour is not appropriate. 

Since 2009, Grady Cameron has blazed across our power line landscape like a counterfeit comet. Grady’s disastrous tenure has created a giant financial crater for the city that will have to be made good by ratepayers for around twenty years – most of a generation.  

While not solely responsible, he encouraged a culture of cynical disinterest in the long-term health of the company he was charged with protecting, to flourish.

There is no wit to be had here, but justifiable anger. 

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: ODT 16.2.17 Cameron will not seek new role page 3 detail tweaks by whatifdunedin

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Grader Cameron to step down as chief executive ● still on payroll

Frankly, until we see Grady Cameron up on charges in court as well . . . .
this is half-pie luke warm (PR managed) news mongering without ANY public accountability for the deliberate corporate degradation of Otago’s power network by Dunedin City Council, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd and the two council-owned companies Aurora Energy and Delta Utility Services.

As What if? noted about the dateline in previous posts care of DCC leaks:

OVERPAID Grady Cameron, chief executive of Aurora and Delta, announced today that he will step down from his position before 30 June this year.

However, we haven’t got rid of the award-winning burnt asset arsehole just yet.

● December’s Deloitte report recommended that Aurora (‘lines company and asset owner’) and Delta (‘civil engineering company and contractor’) be separated and governed by separate independent boards.

● Grady Cameron says he is not considering a new position with either company.

● Instead, Mr Cameron will take up an interim position to the end of this year, overseeing next developments for the entities.

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grady-cameron-delta-ceo-story-19-10-16-newshub-co-nzNewshub broke the story when whistleblower Richard Healey first went public on dangerous poles 19.10.16 [newshub.co.nz]

Deloitte review report – Aurora Energy and Delta Utilities (PDF, 1740 KB)
12 Dec 2016: Review of Aurora Energy Limited/Delta Utility Services Limited – Network Safety Concerns

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Media Release
Aurora Energy begins implementing recommendations of independent review

15 Feb 2017
Aurora Energy has begun the implementation of the organisational changes recommended by the independent review by its shareholder, Dunedin City Holdings Limited.
The first step is to transition to two standalone companies from the middle of the year.
Delta Utility Services and Aurora Energy Chair, Steve Thompson, says there have always been two organisations – Aurora Energy that owns the electricity network, and Delta that provides contracting services to Aurora Energy and other energy and environmental customers and employs the people who maintain the network.

“We about to begin the process of recruiting a new chief executive for Delta and aim to have that person in place by the middle of the year. As the Delta leadership team takes shape, we will provide further updates. We expect to appoint a permanent Aurora Energy chief executive in the latter part of the year.”

“The current chief executive, Grady Cameron, has advised me that he will not take up either of the new roles. He will remain in his existing role until 30 June 2017, after which he will be interim Aurora Energy chief executive until the end of the year.”

“The Board and I are particularly grateful that Grady has agreed to oversee the transition process along with the accelerated pole programme which is now underway,” says Mr Thompson.

A report by consulting firm Deloitte last year prepared for Dunedin City Holdings, made a number of recommendations, including separate board and management structures for Aurora Energy and Delta.

“Grady and his team have already started work on this process, and a number of senior management appointments have been made or are currently being finalised,” says Mr Thompson. The recent appointments establish the new management team and structure for Aurora Energy (see below for executive biographies).
Mr Cameron says the new structure will significantly change the leadership of the two businesses. “My focus now is on assisting the Board and the two organisations with the transition and delivering the pole programme before taking on another role.”

For media enquiries, please contact Gary Johnson on 021 224 2333.
Delta is the infrastructure specialist in energy and environmental services. www.thinkdelta.co.nz

Aurora Energy executive leadership team appointments

Warren Batchelor, General Manager Network Performance
(external appointment, starting 20 February)
Responsible for asset management strategy, planning and implementation; manages asset management, network engineering and design and programme delivery teams. Warren brings wide experience in the electricity distribution and manufacturing sectors with a strong focus on asset management, engineering and network operations. He was most recently managing the networks transformation programme for Vector, based in Auckland. Prior to that he has held senior management roles and carried out major change programmes with Aurora Energy (the state electricity provider in Tasmania) and Unison Networks, among others. He holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury.

Mark Corbitt, Chief Technology Officer
(external appointment, starting 20 February)
Responsible for information technology strategy and operations, network technology development for Aurora Energy, including the future implementation of its new asset management system. Mark brings deep experience in information and communications technology leadership to the organisation. He was most recently Chief Information Officer for Contact Energy based in Wellington. Prior to that he has held senior information and communications technology roles and undertaken significant projects with the Ministry of Justice, Housing New Zealand and Telecom NZ, among others.

John Campbell, General Manager Operations and Risk
(internal appointment)
Responsible for network operations and customer services, operation of network control centres, strategic risk management and network safety. John has been Operations Manager for the Aurora Energy network since 2015. Prior to that, John had more than 30 years’ experience in the electricity industry including engineering, operations and project management roles at national grid operator Transpower and network engineering and operations for Central Power (Manawatu).

Alec Findlater, General Manager Network Commercial
(internal appointment)
Responsible for network pricing, connection management, commercial development, customer solutions, regulatory affairs and resource management. Alec was most recently Commercial Manager for the Aurora Energy network. He has in excess of 30 years’ experience in electricity transmission and distribution, with senior roles encompassing design and engineering, contracting and commercial management.

[ends]

Aurora Energy Link

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

10 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Central Otago, Delta, Dunedin, Economics, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Stadiums, Technology, Travesty