Typically, local government pays Audit New Zealand to audit and review annual financial statements. It’s a tame, tick-box sort of exercise. Audit NZ does a remarkably poor job and is certainly not in it to protect the Community from institutional or corporate misuse of public funds, or indeed from what amounts to perversion or defeat of the course of justice.
Audit NZ is paid handsomely to not see failures of tansparency and non-accountability — such that the enlightened Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (MRRA) has had Audit NZ sacked from providing audit services to Kaipara District Council.
In an opinion piece last week at Otago Daily Times, City ratepayers let down again, Russell Garbutt cleverly and succinctly summarised the depth of the problem with the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) investigation into Delta Utility Services Ltd. He also noted: “It may seem strange, but if a local government body goes feral, the body which investigates this and the one which provided audit services to that local body are both business units of the Auditor-General.”
Dunedin City Council (DCC) has ‘overseen’ the Auditor-General’s probe into property purchases at Luggate and Jacks Point by Delta Utility Services Ltd, which also involved the council’s holding company (DCHL). A more scandalous, politically slant and irresponsible report from a Government agency it would be difficult to imagine.
(Thank-you, Mayor Dave Cull and the individual Stuart McLaughlan.)
Criminally, the OAG’s Delta report is what passes for ‘honest and comprehensive’ investigation of fraud and corruption in New Zealand… such that the main Delta complainant, Cr Lee Vandervis of Dunedin City, who holds evidence obtained from over 350 emails, was NOT interviewed by the Auditor-General. Nor was his evidence examined.
The fact that for years Audit NZ has refrained from investigating or bringing attention to underhand dealings of the DCC and with respect to DCHL, Delta, Aurora, and Dunedin City Treasury Ltd (DCTL), to identify just some of the ‘group companies’ involved in financial mayhem with public funds, is fully SYMPTOMATIC.
And now we have DCC — and DCHL (again) — in relationship with Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, tied directly to Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) and The Highlanders through shared staff and facilities at the Stadium, and the facilities at Logan Park. Meaning that DCC continues to squander millions and millions of dollars of public funds each year, yet Audit NZ is nowhere to be seen under ‘the Roof’. Don’t mention the black hole, Carisbrook.
█ Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point. The Auditor-General’s Overview and Full Report are available at http://www.oag.govt.nz/reports/2014/delta
WHERE TO FROM HERE ???
In yesterday’s Business section of the Sunday Star-Times came inklings of hope that the tide of fraud and corruption created by local bodies and ‘their mates’ is up for possible scrutiny through a change of legislation. Greater public and professional awareness of fraud by local councils and their companies (as well as private trusts and other means used to launder public monies) is coming to bear.
[Message to ALL: Those of us working quietly away to expose Dunedin City Council and Otago Rugby will never give up in a month of Sundays.]
SST Business 30.3.14 (page D5)
NEWS: SFO has got into Mighty River Power and there are ‘reasons’ for non-disclosure of MRP fraud to the NZX…
A consultant says:
The following article goes on to cite other cases, one from last year mentions two men sentenced to prison and home detention following the payment of $849,000 in council funds for road and berm projects that were never completed.
█ Think DELTA, think AURORA, think DCC, think DCHL, think DCTL, think CWP, think CST (CSCT), think DVML…
█ Think of the individuals you know by name who fail to be prudent and conservative with Dunedin Ratepayer and Resident monies, whose actions (deliberate or otherwise) have been fraudulent and corrupt.
█ These entities and the individuals you know by name have been aided and abetted by Audit New Zealand, the Office of the Auditor-General, the Department of Internal Affairs, and indeed the Serious Fraud Office which doesn’t always show a clean pair of hands in assisting investigations by other Government agencies — if ‘supervised by’ mayors, local body politicians, local body employees, Members of Parliament, and Ministers of the Crown.
Welcome to the underbelly of New Zealand local government and the parties it pleases. STEAL from the poor to FATTEN the rich, by any means. Backed by Central Government.
SST Business 30.3.14 (pages D1 and D8) [click to enlarge]
*Links to articles not yet available at Stuff.co.nz.
Related Posts and Comments:
30.3.14 Paul Pope on local body annual plans
27.3.14 Jeff Dickie: Letter to the Auditor-General Lyn Provost
25.3.14 Delta blues . . . and Easy Rider
20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
14.3.14 Delta: Mayor ignores Cr Vandervis’ official complaint
22.3.14 DVML, ‘Money for jam…..fig jam’
19.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?
17.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner on ratepayers
For more, enter the terms *carisbrook*, *cst*, *cull*, *cycle*, *dcc*, *delta*, *dia*, *draft annual plan*, *dvml*, *farry*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *pokie rort*, *pokies*, and *stadium* in the search box at right.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr