Tag Archives: Risk

Cats —or, Infrastructure spending, Council debt, and Disenfranchisement of Ratepayers

Council cat squad checking rego fees [supplied]

After the great floods, the common affliction amongst leaders, “water on the brain”.

█ The ‘thinking’ – DCC cat control remit for LGNZ AGM

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At Twitter:

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“There may be issues with cats but they also serve a useful purpose in controlling pests. The cat population doubled to two at my place last year, and we have more tui and bellbirds around than ever, as well as visits by kereru and eastern rosellas and fantails and waxeyes. The cats occasionally catch a bird but most often it is a sparrow or a thrush. But it looks like the Dunedin council and some others are keen on requiring the herding of cats. They kept as quiet as they could on cats during the local body elections, and now mid term they try to foist it on the public. Devious.” –Pete George at YourNZ

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Councils will now lobby the government to finish its National Cat Management strategy.

### radionz.co.nz 6:05 pm on 25 July 2017
RNZ News
Councils seek greater powers to control cats
By Michael Cropp – Wellington Local Government Reporter
The country’s councils are calling on the government to give them extra powers to protect wildlife from cats including microchipping, de-sexing and registration. Local bodies have the power to control dogs and their behaviour, but they only have jurisdiction over cats when they become a health risk. While the remit presented by Dunedin City Council at the meeting acknowledged the companion role of animals, it noted cats are a danger to wildlife. […] The controversial remit scraped through with just 51 percent of the vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual general meeting.
….Auckland mayor Phil Goff said his council abstained from the vote because it was not sure what it would mean for the 500,000 cats in the country’s largest city. “We are in favour of practical measures to protect native birdlife …. We’re not in favour of bureaucratic measures that might involve millions of dollars of council time and energy but doesn’t achieve the objectives that we set out to achieve,” Mr Goff said.
Read more

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More about ‘LGNZ The Blight’:

Local Government New Zealand – Media Release
Local government to debate four remits and elect new President at AGM
News type: National news | Published: 21 July 2017
The local government sector will voted on four issues when it gathers for its annual AGM in Auckland on Tuesday 25 July. There is a focus on litter legislation, local government funding, cat management and health in this year’s remits. The AGM follows this year’s LGNZ Conference, when over 600 delegates from local government and its stakeholders, industry and community will gather in Auckland for the two day event [23-25 July]. The theme of this year’s conference is Creating pathways to 2050: Liveable spaces and loveable places. Remits are voted on in a secret ballot and if passed will become official policy and be actioned by Local Government New Zealand. Local government will also be voting for a new LGNZ President to replace Lawrence Yule, who steps down after nine years in the role.
….National legislation to manage cats
The third remit was proposed by Dunedin City Council and asks that LGNZ lobby the Government to take legislative action as a matter of urgency to develop national legislation includes provision for cost recovery for cat management.
Throughout New Zealand councils are tasked with trying to promote responsible cat ownership and reduce their environmental impact on wildlife, including native birds and geckos.  Yet, territorial authority’s powers for cats are for minimising the impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and regional councils’ powers are restricted to destruction of feral cats as pests.  The remit seeks the protection of our wildlife and native species by seeking regulatory powers for cat control, including cat identification, cat de-sexing and responsible cat ownership.
….The LGNZ AGM is open to members only. Following the meeting, LGNZ will advise of the outcomes of all votes.
Read more

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Cat rangers and collars with bells on are some of the ideas Dunedin City Council wants to lobby Government for.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated at 14:28, July 10 2017
Cat control: many Kiwi councils ready to lobby for national rules
By Libby Wilson
Councils around the country are looking to band together to rein in roaming moggies. Dunedin City Council has suggested its colleagues help it push the Government for national rules that could include cat rangers and shutting cats in overnight. Seven other councils around the country have given the idea, and its environmental focus, their backing ahead of a July vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting.
Read more

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‘Vacuum of cat management policy and services in Dunedin’, local submission says.

### nzherald.co.nz 29 Jun, 2017 7:02am
Dunedin council proposes registration of cats in New Zealand
A Dunedin proposal that could result in the registration of cats in New Zealand will be discussed nationally. The proposal from the Dunedin City Council, in consultation with seven other councils, will next month go to a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) vote. If it is successful, LGNZ would make it a policy, and begin lobbying the Government to have it made law. The proposal could see the Government called upon to develop legislation for cats similar to the Dog Control Act. It already has the support of the Otago Regional Council, one of 78 councils which will vote on the idea.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
DCC seeks support for cat control
The Dunedin City Council will seek support from other New Zealand councils to gain greater control of cat management. If additional support from councils was gained, a remit would ask Local Government New Zealand to call upon the Government to give councils statutory power to control cats. The DCC was researching a Wellington City Council bylaw on microchipping cats. However, the current bylaw could not be enforced by non-compliance fees. Cat management would focus on the control of wild cats.
Link

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S T O P ● P R E S S

At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
26.7.17 RNZ Morning Report : Guyon Espiner sticks claws in Cat Cull & Curfews
25.7.17 To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’
22.7.17 Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)
21.7.17 Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case
21.7.17 DCC ORC : Heavy rain warnings preparations #PublicNotice
1.7.17 LGNZ, don’t wish ‘his lordship’ on New Zealand #VoteRachelReese
3.6.17 ODT updates mayoral vehicle serious injury crash information
24.4.17 LGOIMA vehicle (DCC) : Hyundai Santa Fe (2016) written off Jan 2017
10.12.16 Oh christ ! [LGNZ bureaucratic dopefest]
21.7.15 Dunedin to host LGNZ 2016 conference —FFS TIME TO TAKE IT OUT
21.5.15 DCC and LGNZ, total losers
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
10.10.14 Cull consorts with losers at LGNZ
26.6.14 LGNZ #blaggardliars

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

24 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Business, DCC, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Travesty, What stadium

Tremain, thin comfort #pixels

Updated post – cartoon tweaked by whatifdunedin
Tue, 29 Mar 2017 at 6:40 p.m.

Garrick Tremain – 28 March 2017

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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Mar 2017
Defamation case against Little going ahead
Defamation proceedings against Labour Party leader Andrew Little by National Party donors and hoteliers Earl and Lani Hagaman will proceed. Mr Little publicly apologised yesterday after the Auditor-general found no link between a donation made by the couple and a hotel management contract.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

artistic license is: entirely at the artist’s discretion; intended to be tolerated by the viewer (cf “willing suspension of disbelief”); useful for filling in gaps, whether they be factual, compositional, historical or other gaps; used consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally or in tandem #

political satire is a significant part of satire that specialises in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly forbidden. political satire is usually distinguished from political protest or political dissent, as it does not necessarily carry an agenda nor seek to influence the political process. while occasionally it may, it more commonly aims simply to provide entertainment. by its very nature, it rarely offers a constructive view in itself; when it is used as part of protest or dissent, it tends to simply establish the error of matters rather than provide solutions. #

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NZ Economy —if you’re not Treasury

Either an interest rate hike or rising unemployment, together with falling migration, would spell “the end of the party”….
Due to the Reserve Bank putting restrictions on lending and other measures, the underlying economy was in good shape to withstand “a shock”. –Dominick Stephens, Westpac Chief Economist

### radionz.co.nz Fri, 10 June 2016
Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
The risks of rising household debt
9:08 AM. NZ household debt has reached half a trillion dollars. That’s $100,000 of housing and personal debt for every man, woman and child. Nine to Noon speaks to Westpac Chief Economist, Dominick Stephens and Massey University’s Dr Jeff Stangl about the risks that poses to the economy. Link
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (30′19″)

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### radionz.co.nz Sat, 11 Jun 2016 at 12:15 pm
RNZ News
Tough times coming as debt soars, warns economist
Record high household debt levels are not sustainable, warns a leading bank economist. At half a trillion dollars, housing and personal debt has hit 162 percent of the average household’s annual disposable income – higher than levels before the global financial crisis.
Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens told Nine to Noon the decline in dairy prices was hurting the regions, but the downturn following the end of the Canterbury rebuild would be more severe than most people were prepared for. The rebuild played a huge role in the “rock star economy” between 2012 and 2014, with the international reinsurance industry dropping $20 billion on New Zealand and the government pumping in another $10b. As that money dried up, some business owners could find their businesses were not as robust as they thought, Mr Stephens said. What was less certain was when the “borrow and spend” dynamic – fed by skyrocketing houseprices – would come to an end.
Read more

harrys_view 19 Jan 2016 Harry Harrison at South China Morning Post [scmp.com] 1Harry’s View 19 Jan 2016 [scmp.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

16 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Housing, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Public interest

Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore

infrastructure-development [openspaceconsult.com] tweakedby whatifdunedin 1

Academic Paper/Article via Academia.edu
December 24, 2015

Paradoxical Infrastructures: Ruin, Retrofit and Risk
Cymene Howe – Rice University, Anthropology, Faculty Member
Corresponding Author

Co-Authors: Cymene Howe, Jessica Lockrem, Hannah Appel, Edward Hackett, Dominic Boyer, Randal Hall, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Albert Pope, Akhil Gupta, Elizabeth Rodwell, Andrea Ballestero, Trevor Durbin, Farès el-Dahdah, Elizabeth Long, and Cyrus Mody

ABSTRACT
In recent years, a dramatic increase in the study of infrastructure has occurred in the social sciences and humanities, following upon foundational work in the physical sciences, architecture, planning, information science, and engineering. This article, authored by a multidisciplinary group of scholars, probes the generative potential of infrastructure at this historical juncture. Accounting for the conceptual and material capacities of infrastructure, the article argues for the importance of paradox in understanding infrastructure. Thematically the article is organized around three key points that speak to the study of infrastructure: ruin, retrofit, and risk. The first paradox of infrastructure, ruin, suggests that even as infrastructure is generative, it degenerates. A second paradox is found in retrofit, an apparent ontological oxymoron that attempts to bridge temporality from the present to the future and yet ultimately reveals that infrastructural solidity, in material and symbolic terms, is more apparent than actual. Finally, a third paradox of infrastructure, risk, demonstrates that while a key purpose of infrastructure is to mitigate risk, it also involves new risks as it comes to fruition. The article concludes with a series of suggestions and provocations to view the study of infrastructure in more contingent and paradoxical forms.

Introduction
Breakdowns and blackouts, pipeline politics, and new demands upon energy and resources have surfaced infrastructure in surprising ways, igniting conversation about social and material arrangements that are often left submerged, invisible, and assumed. In recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the study of infrastructure in the social sciences and humanities, following upon foundational work in the physical sciences, architecture, planning, information science, and engineering. While the popular imagination might recognize infrastructure as the mundane mechanisms within, beneath, and supporting the maintenance of quotidian life, many scholars have foregrounded the agency, performativity, and dynamism of infrastructure.

Infrastructure is not inert but rather infused with social meanings and reflective of larger priorities and attentions. To further engage these novel lines of inquiry, a group of scholars gathered at Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences for an extended roundtable discussion. We came from a variety of academic institutions and positions in the academy (ranging from senior scholars to PhD candidates), and our group reflected a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds (American studies, anthropology, architecture, history, science and technology studies, and sociology). Our objective was to break down some of the scaffolding that upholds disciplinary boundaries. To embrace a starkly infrastructural metaphor, we were interested in “bridgework”, not just to move from point A to point B, but to hold us in suspension for a time so that we might inspect the mechanisms that drive our intellectual work and scholarship.

Infrastructure, which epitomizes the conjunction of material forms, expertise, social priorities, cultural expectations, aesthetics, and economic investments, seemed to us to be the ideal rubric through which to enrich our thinking, as well as a social object that necessitates a multidisciplinary approach. A collaborative conversation would help us to disentangle theories, concepts, and methods from their usual paradigms, permitting them to “recombine” in novel ways (Hackett and Parker 2014, 12). Our conversation was animated, in part, by other “turns” in the humanities and social sciences, including new materialisms, posthumanisms, and ontological approaches. Walking through the dynamic scholarship on infrastructure that is being published in the human sciences, we were struck with the definitional capacity of the term itself. Infrastructure is material (roads, pipes, sewers, and grids); it is social (institutions, economic systems, and media forms); and it is philosophical (intellectual trajectories: dreamt up by human ingenuity and nailed down in concrete forms).

Infrastructure has a capaciousness and scope that makes it both an infinitely useful concept and a concept that is open to facile misinterpretation or to being encumbered by overuse.

Our purpose was not to produce yet another definition of infrastructure (although at the end of this essay we do offer a few potential classifications). Instead we gave our attention to questions such as “What is generative about thinking with and through infrastructures at this historical juncture?” And “How can the multiple and diverse understandings of infrastructure across the human sciences mutually inform and enhance one another?” Simply put, we wanted to unravel “why now?” and “where do we go from here?” Our hope was to work toward “explication” (Latour 1993; Sloterdijk 2009), knowing that infrastructure has moved from the background to the foreground, while remaining intent on questioning why that is so. This collective essay gathers the themes and insights that echoed throughour conversation. These issues were resonant points of return because they revealed the relational and ambiguous elements of infrastructure to produce contradictions and unevenly felt consequences in the lives and places they contact. We have codified these apparent paradoxes, broadly, into topical domains of ruins, retrofit, and risk.

To read this article and other academic papers subscribe to Academia.edu (Weekly Digest).

drawing [floodofideas.org.au][floodofideas.org.au]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image (top): openspaceconsult.com – infrastructure development [tweaked by whatifdunedin]

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DCC: Audit and risk subcommittee

Do you believe “anything” Audit New Zealand says after DCC decided to build the stadium with such a BAD business case? NOPE

[NZ Farce] Ratepayers needed to know they were getting as good a service as any other ratepayers would get from other councils. –Lothian

### ODT Online Wed, 28 May 2014
Financial stability still a risk, committee told
By Debbie Porteous
Financial sustainability, a new funding model for Forsyth Barr Stadium and detecting potential fraud might be its highest priorities risks, Audit NZ has suggested to the Dunedin City Council’s new audit and risk subcommittee. Complying with legislation was not such an issue for the council, but it should work on putting all its management policies and procedures into one document so there was broad understanding of everything happening in that area, Audit NZ audit director Ian Lothian said.
Read more

Audit and Risk Subcommittee:
Susie Johnstone, chairwoman (accountant)
Cr Richard Thomson
Cr Chris Staynes
Cr Hilary Calvert
Janet Copeland (employment law specialist)

● City councillors may attend all meetings of the subcommittee.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC, Dunedin City Treasury and 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

WHICH THREE BANKS, DCC ??????

Comments received.

Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 3:02 pm

As some of you may recall I have been very interested in DCTL and its large gains and losses on interest rate swaps. The following article http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/comcom-issue-proceedings-against-asb-194400510.html describes today’s announcement by the Commerce Commission to investigate ANZ, ASB and Westpac for mis-selling interest rate swaps to farmers – causing massive losses to these borrowers.

My interest has been further piqued by the arrangement between DCTL and three ‘independent’ banks called a ‘secured multi-option note facility’ within which these swaps are sold to DCTL by said ‘independent’ banks. The ‘secured’ as I have mentioned previously involves an ‘on call’ capital commitment by DCC to DCTL that has been deliberately put in place to circumvent Section 62 of the Local Government Act, which specifically prohibits council guarantees to trading companies. At $850 million of capital (which the DCC does not have), this amounts to some $17,000 for every ratepayer in this city – and you are liable for it.

As I have mentioned before, the very large annual fluctuations in gains and losses reported by the DCC due to interest and currency derivative exposure indicates that the DCC, via its $850 million guarantee to DCTL, is very deep indeed into this particular festering pile of poo.

I have lodged an LGOIMA request with the DCC for the identity of the three banks who are in the ‘secured variable rate note facility’ swap fest with DCTL. However, my unofficial sources indicate that the membership may be between 67% and 100% in common with the three banks mentioned in the ‘Stuff” report on large-scale interest rate swap mis-selling – Time will tell. But might be an idea to find the hammer and your piggy bank.

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Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 4:13 pm

Rob, I simply cannot understand the role of the OAG in all of this. The OAG provides auditing services to the Dunedin City Council and is supposedly the watchdog that ensures things are all tickety-boo in City Hall. But as we have already seen in the Kaipara case that the OAG now says that it is terrible that all of this borrowing took place, but that THEY ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE. Surely to goodness that they have seen the actions of the CFO of the DCC to subvent the point and purpose of Section 62 of the LGA. Equally puzzling is how they have not been warning of the ramifications of these infernal legalised Ponzi schemes as they have been described elsewhere.

I distinctly remember the sacked Athol Stephens explaining to me in his office that many of the financial dealings of the DCC were to avoid tax liabilities. Athol was both a Director of a Council Board and an employee of the Council as I recall at the time.

There is enough smell round this issue to warrant a lot of interest by the OAG and the mainstream media, but sadly it is just too plain in the case of the OAG that they really aren’t interested in pursuing anything that would show that they themselves have been slack and incompetent, nor are they interested in pursuing anything that involves them in any serious work.

In the case of the media, it’s all just too hard. TV simply isn’t capable and is more interested in turning news into entertainment, and the financial reporters in the papers can’t seem to get their heads round anything substantial.

A case of the fox inside the henhouse and another one on the outside, looking out for the farmer.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, DCTL, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

Commerce Commission moves on 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:17 17/12/2013
Banks taken to court over farm deals
By Rob Stock and Matt Rilkoff
In a war that has cost her a lifetime of work, former north Taranaki farmer Angela Potroz says she has finally won a battle.
The Commerce Commission announced today it intended to take ANZ, ASB and Westpac banks to court for “misrepresenting” sales of interest rate swap loans to rural customers.
Potroz and her husband John were some of the hundreds of farmers persuaded by The National Bank (now branded ANZ) to take the financial product in 2007 as a way to “beat” rising interest rates.
Nearly inexplicable to all but financial experts, the products were often sold to farmers as being fixed rate loans “with benefits”.
But when the global economy fell apart, interest rates on the swaps soared and fine print penalty clauses kicked in.
With the bank refusing to offer the Potrozes any relief and refinancing costs in the millions, the couple said they were doomed to fail.
In November 2012 they sold four sheep and beef farms valued at $18.85 million in 2010 for just $12.08m after the bank demanded their $11m swap be repaid in full.
Read more

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Media Release: Commerce Commission proposes to issue proceedings on interest rate swaps

17 December 2013

The Commerce Commission confirms that it has advised three major New Zealand banks, ANZ, ASB and Westpac, that it intends to issue legal proceedings over their sales of interest rate swap contracts to rural customers.
The Commission has advised the banks that in its view there is sufficient evidence that they may have breached sections 9, 11 and/ or 13 of the Fair Trading Act, and that it wishes to place the matter before the Court for its decision.
Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry says the Commission aims to file proceedings in March 2014.
“This has been a very extensive and complex investigation, but that phase of it is almost at an end. We have advised the banks of our views that swaps were misrepresented to rural customers. I expect to have more talks with the banks about these views, and about the different facts that might apply to each of them, over the coming months,” said Dr Berry.
“Because court proceedings are in prospect, the Commission will not be commenting further at this time.”
The Commission is also considering the conduct of other institutions that have sold interest rate swaps.
The Commission encourages affected swap customers to contact the Commission on 0800 943 600.

Background
Interest rate swaps are a financial derivative product that allows a borrower to manage the interest rate exposure on their borrowing.
Interest rate swaps were typically provided to large corporate and institutional customers, but from 2005 were offered by various banks to rural customers throughout New Zealand.
In August 2012 the Commission began enquiring into whether interest rate swaps were misleadingly marketed from 2005.
This matter relates to ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited (ANZ), ASB Bank Limited (ASB), and Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac New Zealand Limited (together, Westpac).

[Relates to: Fair Trading]
ComCom Link

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Interest Rate Swaps
17 December 2013: Proposed Legal Proceedings – Questions and Answers*

*Click on Question links for Answers

1. Which banks does the Commission intend to take court action against over the marketing and sale of interest rate swaps to rural customers (farmers)?
2. Background to investigation and decision to take court action
3. What does the Commission intend to do?
4. When is the Commission filing proceedings against the banks?
5. How much have farmers lost as a result of the alleged conduct?
6. My farming business purchased interest rate swaps. Do I need to do anything?
7. My farming business bought an interest rate swap or swaps from one of the named banks. Am I going to get compensation?
8. How long will it take for an outcome on the case?
9. My farming business purchased a swap from one of the banks identified by the Commission. I am in financial difficulty with the bank. How will these proceedings affect me and what should I do?
10. I have settled a complaint with one of the banks named over the sale of interest rate swaps? Can I still assist the Commission?
11. I am worried that if I help the Commission in its proceedings there may be repercussions against me or my business by the bank I deal with?
12. What about swaps sold by other banks?
13. My business purchased swaps but it is not involved in farming. Do you want to hear from me?

Documents
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation – Proposed Legal Proceedings Questions and Answers 17 December 2013 (PDF, 50 KB) Published on 17 December 2013
Notes for meeting with Damien O’Connor MP on Interest Rate Swaps Investigation 9 May 2013 (PDF, 41 KB) Published on 10 May 2013
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation Questions and Answers March 2013 (PDF, 88 KB) Published on 27 March 2013
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation Questionnaire March 2013 (PDF, 47 KB) Published on 10 May 2013

ComCom Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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