Tag Archives: Scams

Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA

Received from Lee Vandervis
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 at 10:06 p.m.

█ Message: I am chasing answers to many questions regarding the Noble subdivision. Two LGOIMA ‘answers’ appear below.
Cheers, Lee

—— Forwarded Message
From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 01:58:34 +0000
To: Lee Vandervis
Cc: Sue Bidrose [DCC], Graham Crombie [DCHL], Grant McKenzie [DCC]
Subject: Nobel Subdivision

Dear Lee

I refer to your request for information related to the Nobel Subdivision and respond as follows:

Q1. Can you please supply details and quantify the likely cost of the Delta/DCC exposure to the mortgagee sale of the Nobel Subdivision.
There is a very limited risk to Delta/DCC by way of mortgagee sale. There is however some financial exposure related to the subdivision and this was reflected in Delta’s Annual report for the 2014 financial year.

Q2. Can you please confirm the contractual details [preferably provide copies of the original and any subsequent contracts] that have led to our enormous exposure with the Nobel development.

All contractual details are withheld pursuant to section 7 (2)(h) of LGOIMA to protect the commercial position of Delta and further withheld pursuant section 7(2)(i) of LGOIMA to enable Delta without prejudice, to carry on negotiations.

When considering the request, the public interest was considered. This matter is currently before the Court in an effort to minimise any financial loss to the shareholder. We consider that protecting the legal position best meets the public interest at this time.

Given we have withheld information, you are entitled to a review of this decision by the Office of the Ombudsman.

I have cc’ed the original recipients of your request and the Acting CEO.


Sandy Graham
Group Manager Corporate Services
Dunedin City Council

—— End of Forwarded Message

Note: Noble has been incorrectly entered as ‘Nobel’ by Ms Graham and Cr Vandervis in this exchange. -Eds

Related Posts and Comments:
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II….

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning

Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?

Received from Lee Vandervis
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 at 10:37 p.m.

█ Message: Your readers may be interested in the claim in the following Press article that the heat has gone out of the Christchurch subdivision market with several other developments in trouble as well as Noble.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 28/03/2015
Source: The Press
Gloomy outlook for solar housing in Christchurch
Has liquidation ended development dream?
By Liz McDonald
Is the vision of Highfield Park over? Fast-tracked by the Government and bigger than Hagley Park, the planned north Christchurch subdivision would have had 2200 solar-powered homes. The High Court this week placed its developers, Highfield Park Ltd, in liquidation over unpaid bills from engineering firm Tonkin & Taylor.

The 260-hectare subdivision site is a piece of farmland between Redwood, Mairehau and Marshlands. Its 2013 rezoning for housing was hastened under Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee’s new land-use plan but development stalled last year as the company struggled to find funds. In the meantime, the company’s options to purchase land for the development expired. Highfield Park Ltd is co-owned by the project’s founder, Christchurch engineer Roy Hamilton, his business partner, Brian Thompson, plus other investors.

Hamilton could not be contacted for comment following the court decision but he has previously confirmed the company had returned all section buyers’ deposits after missing project deadlines. Any creditors have until May 12 to contact liquidators about money owed. Highfield Park was intended to be New Zealand’s first solar-powered community and would house 5000 residents, offering ready-built homes as well as sections priced between $160,000 and $240,000. The plan included parks and two commercial areas with shops and cafes. Ground testing has revealed the land was a mix of TC1, TC2 and TC3 land, and needed some remediation. The first section titles were to have been ready by the end of last year.

An experienced Christchurch land developer, speaking on condition of anonymity, doubted anyone else would adopt the project. “The heat’s gone out of the market and it’s not a good time to start launching a major subdivision.” The developer said the Highfield project had struggled without control of the land or sufficient financial backing. He estimated up to $1 million could have been ploughed into the project already.

The development is not the only big-scale subdivision to have hit hurdles. Progress on Groynes Park near Belfast has stalled and its developers have managed to ward off liquidation bids from creditors. The company has promised work will resume soon. Ravenswood, half an hour north of Christchurch, is being offered for sale by developer Infinity Investment Group, which says the project is too big for it.
Stuff Link

Related Posts and Comments:
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II….

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Town planning

Noble property subdivision —DELTA

Received from Lee Vandervis
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 at 7:26 p.m.

█ Message: I have received confirmation today that DELTA are not just in a bad debt situation plus $1.5 million invested with the stalled Noble subdivision, but that they have subsequently invested even more in the Noble development than I had indicated yesterday.
Further claims from my business contacts associated with the Noble Subdivision are as follows:

“You are correct that Delta bought $1.5 million of Gold Bands first mortgage (a couple of years back).
Delta also bought another $1.5 million of the first mortgage recently (off Avanti Finance who had previously bought this off Gold Band).

Delta (Dunedin ratepayers) also appear to be funding Gold Bands current High Court attempt to defeat [ ] caveats in a mortgagee sale. The sole purpose of this High Court action [ ] is so Delta as second mortgagor can profit at the expense of the private citizens prior interests.”

Below is a representative title for the Noble subdivision.
As you can see there is a mortgage on the titles which tells you which other titles are involved, and a myriad of caveats.
In short, DELTA have bought heavily into a stalled litigious mess, with far too many similarities to their Jacks Point/Luggate debacle.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

█ Email Attachment: Copy title re Noble Investments Ltd

Noble Subdivision representative title

18.3.15 ODT: Expects Delta to be paid ‘millions’

Related Posts and Comments:
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II….

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Town planning

Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”

Received from Lee Vandervis
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 at 2:48 p.m.

█ Message: It appears that ODT reporter Eileen Goodwin who so accurately broke the Noble subdivision story last week may not be allowed to continue to write on this follow-up as below. Consequently, I am forwarding the information as follows which I have received outside of DCC briefings to you in the hope that you may be able to help get public answers to questions raised that have traditionally been unavailable to this Councillor from the non-public DCC/DCHL.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:40:51 +1300
To: Eileen Goodwin [ODT], Nicholas George S Smith [ODT]
Conversation: Noble property subdivision and Jacks Point/Luggate debacles. Denials suggest that we have not learned.
Subject: Noble property subdivision and Jacks Point/Luggate debacles. Denials suggest that we have not learned.

Hi Eileen,

Thank you again for your accurate quoting and for grasping the nettle regarding the Delta/Noble subdivision debacle.
I still am unable to ascertain precisely how many millions are at risk via DELTA, but an old business acquaintance of mine who claims to have reasonable knowledge of the project has given me the following information on the basis of complete confidentiality. It seems quite possible given the development scale. Hopefully you will be able to confirm some of the following with your media resources.

“Delta exposure is close to $19 million, about $1.5 million of that was cash investment to buy a portion of the first mortgage. Discussions have been for Delta to invest another nearly $4 million in cash to try and secure the balance of the first mortgage and a share of road adjustments.”

This is the most specific estimate of potential losses that I have received, but it accords with some other less specific estimates.

Information from other business people that I know personally suggests that Mr Crombie’s 18/03/15 ODT statement that “the situation should not be compared with Delta’s costly failed property investment at Jack’s Point” is misleading.
Both ‘investments’ are enormously expensive property speculations with enormous amounts of Dunedin ratepayers’ cash being used to gamble on high-risk ventures.
Both are speculative residential property subdivisions about 4 hours travel from Dunedin.
Both subdivision projects have had the involvement of Peak Projects International as Project Managers as indicated on their website http://www.peakprojects.co.nz/proj_infra.aspx
Both projects appear to have had the pivotal involvement not just of DELTA and sole surviving DCHL/DELTA Director Stuart McLauchlan but also of ex-DELTA Director Mike Coburn, although Mike Coburn’s centrality to the Noble development as a consultant is just business hearsay at this stage.
Both projects appear to have involved high levels of misrepresentation to Councillors, and lack of planning and foresight by DELTA.

Since I was first elected in 2004 I have had an on-going stream of complaints and allegations of mismanagement within DELTA, and this stream has periodically swollen since CEO John Walsh was replaced by CEO Grady Cameron. Allegations of massively top-heavy DELTA management, wasteful purchases of; management vehicles, plant and equipment, and overvalued smaller businesses etc. have come to me from DELTA staff, relatives of staff, and other involved business owners and their employees.
When I made a LGOIMA request for DELTA salary levels several years ago and discovered that CEO Cameron was on $460,000+ p/a when our DCC Paul Orders was ‘only’ on $350,000 p/a I went to advise CEO Orders whose response was “Yor forkin jokin!” Like my 2011 complaints of Citifleet fraud however, he seems to have done nothing about this top heaviness.
I have also for many years been calling for a restructuring of DELTA in non-public with the aim of maximising ratepayer value for the sale of DELTA and associated AURORA businesses, but the needed restructuring has not happened. Instead the current proposal is to spend $139,000,000 on ‘infrastructure upgrades’ for Aurora, which I interpret to mean expensive catch-up on long deferred maintenance with many contracts going to DELTA.

My reasons for now going public include the poor result achieved for ratepayers for my mostly non-public efforts to expose the Jacks Point/Luggate DELTA debacle, and the unwillingness again of DCC/DCHL personnel to face facts and clean out those responsible for such awful ratepayer losses now threatened with the Noble subdivision.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis
—— End of Forwarded Message

█ 18.3.15 ODT: Expects Delta to be paid ‘millions’

Related Post and Comments:
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II….

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Town planning

DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

Updated post Wed, 18 Mar 2015 at 5:11 p.m.

What if? was quietly advised some weeks ago that another but lesser-sized example of the multimillion-dollar Jacks Point and Luggate shenanigans (read $9m loss to Dunedin ratepayers) by Delta is complicating the city council books.

We all know how deeply distressing the Jacks Point Luggate coverup by Dave Cull’s council was – assisted by the Auditor-general and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) – to the Ratepayers who erupted in disbelief on publication of the Delta investigation.

Delta has been involved in another failed subdivision (don’t scream) – the Noble Village Subdivision off Yaldhurst Road, Christchurch (google that) – see Noble Investments Ltd.

It’s on the public record that a bankruptcy is involved. Name: Gordon Ralph Stewart. Check out the New Zealand Companies register.

Old news – some of the flavour: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/8966113/Probe-into-subdivisions-roads

ODT are on the scent. See tomorrow’s newspaper. >> Go to Comment.

Grady Cameron (tweaked)

You know the huge salary that Delta’s so-called “go-getter” earns? We want a lot of that back. Back dated. Past due.

Related Post and Comments:
Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General (20.3.14)

█ AUDITOR-GENERAL’S OVERVIEW and FULL REPORT (Jacks Point Luggate) at http://www.oag.govt.nz/reports/2014/delta

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site

Stadium: Exploiting CST model for new Mosgiel Pool #GOBs

Men who swim [kpbs.org] 1Synchronised: Highlanders-to-be (sports star training at Mosgiel)

Unaccepted for publication at ODT Online today. Aww.
Hard to sell at Logan Park
Submitted by ej kerr on Wed, 16/07/2014 – 11:49am.
What a fine accommodation for professional rugby this aquatic scheme for the Taieri truly is. Shades of the model so well utilised by the earlier trust named after Carisbrook and headed by Malcolm Farry, still operating as a boon to Dunedin city ratepayers. In the months ahead let’s see how many times the new patron leaves out the word ‘Rugby’ (capital R) or the phrase ‘private property development costs on the City’ in favour of philanthropic zeal expressed for healthy retirement living and enhanced aged care facilities (hydrotherapy for aching rugby shoulders and thighs), sunshine and splash for young families – don’t forget schools! – as the Taieri’s high class soils get carved and private forests near Brighton assist the housing build. Yeah, don’t say there’s merely a saint in goggles amongst us, Lord be praised, it’s the second Dollar coming. An epiphany.

ODT article: Gerrard backing pool bid

Related Posts and Comments:
15.7.14 Stadium: Who is being protected?
15.7.14 Rugby stadiums not filling #SkyTV
13.7.14 Great quote: men
12.2.14 DCC: Growth v development contributions
10.2.14 University of Otago major sponsor for Highlanders
4.2.14 DCC: Mosgiel Pool, closed-door parallels with stadium project…
30.1.14 DCC broke → More PPPs to line private pockets and stuff ratepayers
20.1.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 [see this comment & ff]
16.11.13 Community board (Mosgiel-Taieri) clandestine meetings
2.4.13 Dunedin: Developers stoop to resource consents instead of…
25.1.12 Waipori Fund – inane thinkings from a councillor
19.5.10 DScene – Public libraries, Hillside Workshops, stadium, pools
12.4.10 High-performance training pool at stadium?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: kpbs.org – Men who swim

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Filed under Business, Carisbrook, COC (Otago), Construction, CST, DCC, Democracy, Design, DVML, Economics, Highlanders, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Stadium: Who is being protected?

Received from Russell Garbutt
15 July 2014 at 4:30 PM

What is an advertisement, and what content of an advertisement needs to be able to be verified?

Readers of the Otago Daily Times, and followers of the on-going stadium debate which shows no signs of lessening in its intensity may be intrigued to know just where the sensitivities of the ODT lie.

Let us look at some simple facts which cannot be in dispute.

The Carisbrook Stadium Trust which was acting as an agent of the Dunedin City Council, decided to publish a full page advertisement in the 31 May 2008 issue of the ODT. The advertisement was headed up “The Facts about the New Stadium”.

In this advertisement it was claimed that “The funding target establishes a debt free stadium. On this basis the business plan for the stadium shows that it makes a profit. Unlike nearly all other Council owned facilities it will not need annual funding support. This assessment has been confirmed by two of New Zealand’s leading accountancy firms”.

This is published and accessible and the wording of the advertisement cannot be interpreted in any other way as the heading refers to all that followed as “facts”.

The advertisement also claimed that the Trustees of the CST were “committed to delivering this stadium, under budget, on time and to achieve its financial, social and economic goals”.

Now of course some advertisements for wrinkle cream use all sorts of phrases like “clinical tests prove etc etc”. Many people are ready to pounce on claims that are unable to be substantiated, or are untruthful, or are misleading, or cannot be proven. In other words, the makers of the wrinkle cream need to be able to show that there were indeed “clinical tests”. The fact that the clinic may have been part of the company making the cream is sometimes understood, and in any case, the makers of the cream hardly ever claim that “totally independent clinical trials using double blind processes found what we are claiming is true”.

But this is not some pot of wrinkle cream.

The CST claimed a number of facts in their advertisement that they said were verified by two of New Zealand’s leading accountancy firms.

So, I submitted a very brief letter to the Editor of the ODT that simply asked this:

Dear Sir

In light of the continuing operating losses of the Awatea Street Rugby Stadium, and the on-going debt costs from its construction, it would be interesting to be informed of just who the two leading NZ accountancy firms were that confirmed the Carisbrook Stadium Trust’s claims published in the ODT in 2008 that the stadium would be built debt free and would return an annual operating profit. Maybe these two companies could now tell us how the reality differs so much from the published claims.

Yours sincerely

The ODT has informed me that my letter was noted but not selected for publication. This is newspaper speak for it’s been binned.

Why should this be?

Should the ODT not be interested in ensuring that an advertisement of a major size on a subject that had divided the City was not at all misleading in the same way that claims were made that may not be able to be substantiated, or could be shown to be unfactual?

Is the ODT particularly sensitive to the views of those that decided to publish this advertisement?

Had the ODT entered into any understanding or arrangement that the paper would support the stadium project which may have led to less than stringent standards of advertising being followed in this case?

But perhaps more telling is that to my knowledge, the ODT has not followed up on the obvious story of just who these two leading NZ accounting firms were that supported the claims of a debt free stadium and an annual operating profit. My point is that time and distance show us that these claims were so at odds with the claims made and published, that serious questions remain unanswered on just how the CST and these two companies got it so wrong.

Maybe another newspaper sees the story that the ODT doesn’t?


CST advert ODT 31.5.08 detail

odt may 31 2008-1 (pdf cleaned)

█ Legible copy: CST Advertisement, ODT 31 May 2008 (PDF, 200 KB)

Related Posts and Comments:
9.7.14 John Ward, no mention of stadium or CST trusteeship
23.5.14 Stadium | DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 ● Benson-Pope…
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
12.3.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: Financial statements year ended 30.6.13
8.3.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust subject to LGOIMA
24.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: ‘Facts about the new Stadium’ (31.5.08)
22.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust costs
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass… [stadium review]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, CST, Democracy, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design

DIA media release

What if? Website Reminder:
ORFU – Otago Rugby Football Union
TTCF (Inc) – The Trusts Charitable Foundation (being wound up; established as a Charitable Trust by deed in July 1989)
TTCF Ltd – The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (set up and licensed on 11 June 2010)

Received yesterday.


Department of Internal Affairs
Media Release

25 May 2012

Sentenced for defrauding community of pokie grants

An Internal Affairs investigation uncovered a pokie machine rort that resulted in a significant loss of grant funding going to the community. The investigation revealed that numerous grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for South Auckland bowling clubs, were fraudulent.

From late 2006 to September 2009 Counties Manukau Bowls employed Noel Henry Gibbons, 79, of Manurewa, to apply for gaming machine grants.

Mr Gibbons implemented a scheme whereby constituent clubs or CMB itself would invest indirectly in purchasing pubs where pokie machines operated – so that in turn those clubs could benefit from grants of pokie machine proceeds.

Mr Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for “bowling green maintenance” – but some of the money was used illegally to repay loans for the purchase of pubs. This money should have been distributed to local community purposes as grants. Paying off loans is a commercial and illegal use of funding generated from pokie machines.

Mr Gibbons fabricated quotes and invoices from “green keeping contractors” to support grant applications and the provision of services. None of those named in the invoices as billing for a service knew anything of the work they were supposed to have done.

He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court today to six months’ community detention for obtaining $605,550 by deception and of using forged documents.

Judge Charles Blackie said Gibbons’ offending was a “very elaborate” scam and an “unlawful scheme”. The defendant knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application and this was at the expense of the community.

Judge Blackie emphasised the need to hold the defendant accountable and responsible, to deter others who might be inclined to “rip off” the system, and to provide for the community’s interests as the victims of this offending. He adopted a starting point of two years six months’ imprisonment but imposed a lenient sentence because of Gibbons’ guilty plea, advanced age and poor health.

Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations said organisations cannot expect that buying into pokie machine venues will ensure favourable treatment for grant applications.

“It’s illegal and the Department works to ensure that pokie money, which belongs to the community, is protected,” he said. “We want to ensure that community groups have fair access to gambling-generated funds and will take action over any attempts to capture funding flows that are detected.

“We are very pleased that our investigation has led to Mr Gibbons being held accountable for fraud, and for defrauding his community. A clear message to the gambling sector is this: where we come across deliberate and wilful attempts to take community funding we will take strong and decisive action to hold people accountable”.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642


Read it at the Department of Internal Affairs website
Other DIA News, Press Releases & Consultation (Link)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums