Tag Archives: Pole replacement program

As predicted —Aurora Energy delivery stuffed on pole replacement

I T ● W A S ● N E V E R ● G O I N G ● T O ● H A P P E N

Aurora Energy board chair Steve Thompson should shuffle back under his rock.
DCHL chairman Graham Crombie, mowing lawns at Clyde, has nothing to say.
The largest risk to the Otago Community continues to be Aurora itself.

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Apr 2017
Aurora sets new date to ‘remove risk’
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora Energy has abandoned a target to have all condition-zero poles replaced by the end of this month, saying it was now on track to “remove the risk” of 2910 poles by the end of this year. […] An Aurora spokesman said it had abandoned its original plan to replace all 1181 condition-zero poles, which are the worst-rated poles on its network, by the end of this month.
“Our target is to remove the risk around 2910 priority poles by the end of the year and we are on track to achieve that. That’s the target we are working towards. The April target was an initial working target before detailed programme planning had been completed.” After being given more than two weeks to respond, the spokesman did not say how many new condition-one and zero poles had been discovered during its fast-track programme, saying: “We don’t have these figures to hand today”.
Read more

The article also says: “Aurora had stepped up customer service support and communication so its customers were informed when power needed to be cut.” As far as we know this support and communication has been seriously deficient in many instances.

█ Customers should check the Aurora website on outage days for cancellations.


At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.17 Why would DCC shaft its own company instead of investing in its change and development ?!
14.4.17 Dunedin homes face power blackout #Delta #Aurora
11.3.17 How Safe Are We/Our Businesses with the Corporate Disaster that’s Aurora, owned by DCC ? #reliability

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *grady*, *godfrey*, *poles*, *asset management plan*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *epicpolefail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


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

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

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


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. 


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. 


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


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

Delta’s Mumbai recruitment drive

Wed, 8 Feb 2017 at 9:17 p.m.

The answer to Delta’s accelerated delayed stalled pole replacement program.

delta-recruitment-drive[webpage screenshot]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Inspiration, Leading edge, 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 9 —The Curious Case of Godfrey Brosnan and Jarrod Stewart


Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Mon, 6 Feb 2017 at 8:27 p.m.

Dear readers, your correspondent was fascinated to learn of the appointment of Godfrey Brosnan as Aurora’s new saviour (Program Director for the Pole Replacement project), about a month ago, on 29 December 2016. One cannot escape the conclusion that the announcement was timed for maximum concealment. There was no shouting from the rooftops about the appointment of Mr Brosnan, but merely the witless Mr Cameron in full euphemism mode, stating that Mr Brosnan was “An experienced project manager with a background in complex capital works”. Grady, this is a waste of space, just like yourself. What precisely are the “complex capital works” that Mr Brosnan has experience of ? Are they power industry projects ? What does “experienced” mean ? The only experience that is relevant is power industry experience, and we can assume from your vague dissembling, that Mr Brosnan is a novice to the power industry.

Now Dunedin is a small town, and it is not hard to find someone who knows Mr Brosnan. The good news is that in a revolutionary new development, Delta and Aurora have employed someone with integrity to the executive tea room. (Hope you like madeira cake, Godfrey). The bad news is that Mr Brosnan is not experienced in the power industry. Mr Brosnan’s most recent role was involvement in a peripheral capacity on the $445M Christchurch Hospital Acute Services Building project. This building is right in the middle of construction, and will not be finished for at least 18 months, so there we have the first clue about Mr Brosnan : Why was he willing to leave a major project that was barely even half-way completed ? The answer is not that Mr Brosnan had a passion or the right experience to lead the pole replacement project, but merely wanted a job in Dunedin because his school-age family lives here. The position was sweetened no doubt, by the eye-watering amount of money on offer. Reputedly with incentives, the pole replacement director is up around Grady’s fantastical package of $600,000. Mr Brosnan’s lack of experience suits Delta and Aurora : he can be manipulated by being given a flood of fakery by the duplicitous remnants of the original executive team. Mr Godrey’s integrity compounds the profound problem of his lack of experience : People with integrity generally assume a similar level of integrity in their colleagues, which in the case of Delta/Aurora, is going to lead to a disastrous outcome, most likely for Mr Brosnan.

Richard Healey has recently outlined the enormity of the problem facing the pole replacement targets : It is madeira cake to margarine sandwiches that Mr Brosnan was not made aware of the full extent of the problems that are now his.

Readers, as you wash down the Tim Tams with a cup or two of Bell’s, I can hear you thinking – is this just the fevered imagination of CD at work again ? In the words of Walter Mondale, where’s the beef ?

Your correspondent offers as evidence the curious case of the short-lived previous pole replacement director, a Mr Jarrod Stewart. Mr Stewart, a lawyer by background, has achieved fame within Delta by appearing to achieve the impossible : three separate payouts by Delta in the space of a year. Let us count the ways :

1. Delta last year cancelled Mr Stewart’s two-year contract, which he was compensated for.

2. No sooner was the ink dry on that settlement then Delta realised that they did, after all, need Mr Stewart and offered him the position of Pole Replacement Program Director, with a contract package with incentives worth around $600,000.

3. Mr Stewart, not long after accepting the $3,000 per day position, then had misgivings that he might have been subject to a further flood of fakery from Mr Cameron and his cohorts. Mr Stewart then employed a colleague from the mining industry to do a risk analysis of the pole replacement programme and his liability as director of the programme. The risk analysis concluded that Mr Stewart should …, ahem … Get the hell out of there ! The “programme” (if such an ad hoc on-the-fly chaos can be called a programme), was destined to fail, likely with some serious safety consequences, and consequent liability to the head of the project, being of course Mr Stewart at that time. It is understood that Mr Stewart is seeking some form of compensation for misrepresentation that induced him to sign up.

delta-elt-kewalbagal4. Now readers, hold those cups tight : The following is not made up : After Mr Stewart made his dissatisfaction with the pole replacement project known, a Delta senior manager – an Indian gentleman called Mr Kewal Bagal, we understand – on instruction from the highest levels, no doubt – actually broke into Mr Stewart’s office to attempt to find incriminating evidence about Mr Stewart. Mr Stewart is now taking a personal grievance action seeking further damages for this latest act of extreme Delta stupidity.


We should be grateful to Mr Stewart that he went public with his concerns in December. Had Mr Stewart wanted to maximise his income and minimise his integrity, he could have emulated one Mr Derek Todd, a senior engineer in Asset Management, and a flawed accomplice of Mr Matt Ballard, the chief propagandist of Asset Management. Mr Todd was the one who told staff that “every extra dollar you spend is a dollar less for the Council”. Mr Todd was implicated in the revelations of deceptions and dishonesty perpetrated by Asset Management in October and November, and unsurprisingly, resigned late last year due to “ill–health”. However, Mr Todd has had an amazing Lazarus-like resurrection to full health over the Christmas break, and is now employed as a “consultant” to Delta at the simply unbelievable figures of between $4,000 – $6,000 per day. That is somewhere north of $1,000,000 per year. Your correspondent understands that the “arrangement” will only extend to March 31, and is for a maximum number of days. It has the look, the structure, and the smell of a hush money payment. Mr Todd likely has damaging information that Delta do not want to see the light of day. Delta also have no money to shut him up. Solution : employ him as a “consultant” in the pole replacement program and book the cost there.

It is hard to fathom how Delta and Aurora and their boards are permitted to stagger onwards by their owners. Aurora is the leper of the New Zealand lines industry. Your correspondent understands that it is not uncommon for no applications to be received for recent positions at Delta and Aurora. Mr Steve Thompson may spout about it being an exciting place to work but the industry has voted with its feet. Delta/Aurora is a place where careers are ended, not made.

One final nugget of information : We must hold our nose about Board chair Thompson’s shady past for a few months, as it is understood that he has been instructed to make life as difficult as possible for Grady Cameron, with the aim of having Grady resign prior to June. Mr Thompson is the enforcer, the Richard Loe of the boardroom. (A role he is familiar with and will relish). Welcome to the bottom of the ruck Grady…watch your eyes.



Note: Personnel profile according to Aurora Energy’s website:
Kewal Bagal
General Manager Energy and Communication
Kewal (BEE) joined Delta in November 2010. He is responsible for Delta’s delivery of infrastructure services to the energy and communications sectors, including electricity and gas distribution, transmission and generation, retailer services and next generation fibre optic networks. Kewal has experience in leading and managing infrastructure services businesses in both the telecommunications and energy sectors in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia with Transpower, Powermark, Alstom, Telecom and Downer. He leads a highly skilled team of 300 people. [Source: Aurora Energy – Delta ELT]

Related Post and Comments:
19.1.17 Jarrod Stewart is EXACTLY RIGHT [what would Steve Thompson know]

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: dishmaps.com – madeira


Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium