Tag Archives: “Serious conflicts of interest”

Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC

Whale Oil Beef Hooked logo### whaleoil.co.nz Fri, 31 Oct 2014 at 5:20pm
Why is there no law to rein in dodgy ratbag local body politicians?
By Cameron Slater
Former ARC Councillor Bill Burrill is not the first dodgy ratbag Councillor to trough from abuses of power to his own pecuniary advantage in recent years. A few years back in 2009 Council Watch was calling for a number of Councillors from the Canterbury Regional Council to be prosecuted and sacked from their positions after an investigation by the Auditor General Lyn Provost found that four individuals had broken the law by acting in conflict with their official role. Back then those Canterbury Councillors failed to declare a conflict on interest that [led] to a financial benefit for themselves by participating in discussion and voting on proposals before Council. Under investigation the Auditor General’s office chose not to prosecute stating that whilst the Councillors should have withdrawn as a matter of principle – they had each received and shared legal advice that they could participate. And here in lies the problem. The Auditor General and Office of the Ombudsmen publish clear guidelines for Councillors and council staff but the reality is that the law is erroneously filled with holes that are exploited and there is precious little oversight of Local Government leading to the Auditor General loathing to bother and the Courts uninterested.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Carisbrook: Cr Vandervis elaborates

Comment received. See previous post.

DScene’s article today seems to have missed most points.
Feel free to use any of this email.

Cheers,
Lee

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2013 12:26:37 +1300
To: Wilma McCorkindale , EditorDscene
Conversation: Carisbrook offers.
Subject: FW: Carisbrook offers.

Hi Wilma and Mike,

I have sent and resent this email as below, and still have no response.
The 15 questions I had of the original deficient and leading Carisbrook Property report have been deleted below because they quote extensively from a non-public report.
What has been made public is the original report claim by DCC staff that ratepayers would only lose $100,000 on the proposed deal. This appalling untruth was ‘corrected’ as a result of my questioning of the report in a new set of figures so that we now know that the deal will result in losses of many millions. Just how many millions remains to be seen, and also depends on whether all the costs associated with purchasing Carisbrook and bailing out the ORFU are included.
I sent Bev Butler’s summation of losses as reported to staff for comment [as below] but have had no response to that either.

Councillors have a history of making bad enough decisions without staff giving them false figures and misleading reports on which to make decisions.
Strong evidence of other agendas and insupportable spin in much of our paperwork [the attempted Crematorium sale, and the Citibus sale were memorable examples] worsen a climate of distrust at the DCC and make reading masses of paperwork an exhausting suspicion-laden process.
Significant staff re-structuring is necessary if we are to change what has been a too long established culture of the DCC bureaucratic tail wagging the elected dog.

Kind regards,
Lee

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:55:28 +1300
To: Mayor Cull
Cc: Paul Orders , Sue Bidrose , Sandy Graham
Conversation: Carisbrook offers.
Subject: Re: Carisbrook offers.

Resent 27/02/13.

On 22/02/13 2:33 PM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

Dear Dave,

My extreme disappointment in staff misrepresentation of the Carisbrook offers [see initial questions asked of original leading report below] continues with the daily dissemination of apparently motion 4 “That the CE be authorized to work with the purchaser on a suitable media statement.”

In particular, your statement reported in the DScene that “There are details in there but as far as I’m concerned its a sale” is not factual. At best this agreement is for an option on Carisbrook in favour of Calder Stewart.
An option is very far from a sale.
You go on to add that “Many sales of property have conditions and this one is no different from that”. In fact this option agreement is different from most sales of property in that the purchaser does not have to put up any money, has no obligations and effectively is given 4 months to carry out an on-sale process which ratepayers have already paid [City Property] in the first instance, and Colliers Realtors subsequently to undertake. The 4 month due diligence period with no cash or obligation on the part of the option-holder is very unusual, especially when I have subsequently been advised that Calder Stewart were recently chased for this deal and had not even got round to viewing the property prior. After so many years why the sudden rush?

I have posed many Carisbrook proposal questions, some of which remain unanswered.
In particular, I still do not know if Murrayfield St is part of the Calder Stewart option, despite twice asking Robert [Clark].
I have had no explanation for the nature of the $200,000 value accruing to ratepayers from a rapid 6 month demolition, especially given the years of sales process procrastination.
I do not know whether all Carisbrook holding costs have been fully detailed – eg costs of valuations [I believe there have now been 3 of these] marketing costs etc.
I am still waiting to see all the valuations which ratepayers have paid for, for Carisbrook.

To date I have refrained from correcting public misrepresentations of the Carisbrook offer process, but continuing misrepresentation not only deceives the public but makes me complicit in this deception.
In my opinion immediate public release of all related documents is now necessary, given that most of it has been leaked anyway.
If this is not to happen, I feel duty bound to ratepayers to make correcting public statements and to explain my apparent inaction regarding this unfortunate spawn of misrepresentation.

Looking forward to any suggestions you may have.

Kind regards,
Lee

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 13:06:17 +1300
To: Paul Orders , Sue Bidrose , Sandy Graham
Conversation: Carisbrook sale?
Subject: Carisbrook sale?

Hi Guys,

Have you all seen this on What If, and can you dispute any of the figures?

Cheers,
Lee

Bev Butler
February 20, 2013 at 8:43 am
The Mayor seems confused over the $2m loan.
Maybe the figures below may clear things up.
They are as close as I can get based on the information in the media – there may be some slight discrepancies give or take a few hundred thousand.

Costs to DCC ratepayers for ORFU loan and Carisbrook
$2m loan to ORFU
$7m purchase of Carisbrook
$860,000 debt servicing, rates, electricity
$480,000 ORFU rent that was never paid to DCC and DVML (includes unpaid bill for ORFU booze up)
$250,000 contamination cleanup of carpark
$60,000 undisclosed?
TOTAL: $10,650,000 cost/debt

Payments received to date
$2m loan repayment
$727,000 sale of half carpark
$692,000 sale of houses
TOTAL: $3,419,000

TOTAL LOSS TO DATE: $7,231,000

It has been reported that a conditional agreement exists for Calder Stewart to buy Carisbrook for $3.3m. It has also been reported that the DCC will be involved in the development and that more money will be required by DCC.
Until details of the conditional agreement are released the public will not know how much of the $3.3m the DCC will eventually receive.

The minimum loss on Carisbrook is already over $4m but potentially may end up over $7m!

Bev Butler
February 20, 2013 at 10:42 am
Four months ago (9/11/12 see link below) it was reported in the ODT that the sale of Carisbrook would cover the $7m+ debt. Robert Clark went further than this claiming they hoped to make a profit. Where things stand at the moment the council has lost over $7m on the ORFU ‘deal’ and depending on how much cash Calder Stewart comes up with the so-called ‘deal’ will not be reduced below a $4m loss. This is why Russell and I have approached the Auditor General’s Office. How can a $7m registered valuation result in a minimum $4m loss and potentially be higher than $7m?

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/233986/hopes-sale-carisbrook
Asked if he [Robert Clark] hoped the sale of Carisbrook, once complete, would cover whatever debt remained, Mr Clark said: “I’m looking to achieve more than that.”

—— End of Forwarded Message

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Carisbrook: Question obfuscating mayor and council #rugby

Carisbrook 3newsImage: 3news.co.nz

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### DScene 6 Mar 2013
Rant or rave – your say (page 7)
All sport, no balls
DScene (27/2/13) asks: ‘Who will be accountable for ratepayers stumping up $7m to buy Carisbrook when a documented valuation put the historic sports ground’s value at $2.5m?’
The simple answer, according to Mayor Dave Cull, is, ‘no one’.
Dave Cull has no concerns that the later, more upbeat valuation of $7m – designed to eliminate the ORFU’s debt and the burden of owning Carisbrook – was a commercial connivance done, on behalf of the ORFU, by the DCC. Isn’t it the job of the Mayor and his council to protect public money on behalf of all our citizens?
Isn’t it their job not to be cowered by a powerful cabal, protecting its own interests, above those of the whole city? Are we now hostages to threats of causing the financial ruin of Otago rugby, and the stadium, if we don’t provide an open cheque book, ad infinitum?
The council, despite having an observer on the ORFU, and having a continuing role in underwriting the financial future of the ORFU/ stadium, is still not privy to any ‘opening of the books’ by the ORFU, for public scrutiny, under the guise of ‘commercial sensitivity’. We pay up on trust.
It’s about time we all stood up to the council and demanded an end to this ongoing rort. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame for a deteriorating financial system that ultimately we all pay for through our rates.
I urge Dave Cull and his council to get some testicular fortitude and stand up for us.
Peter Attwooll, City Rise
#bookmark

### DScene 6 Mar 2013
Questions over Carisbrook (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis has demanded satisfaction regarding what he describes as repeatedly unanswered questions surrounding the sale of Carisbrook. Vandervis remains livid that figures in a Carisbrook property report to the last council meeting had to be rewritten at the eleventh hour because they were deficient. He said he still had questions around the figures and had submitted them to staff and mayor Dave Cull many times. ‘‘And I haven’t got answers to all of them yet.’’ On top of that Vandervis was concerned about statements Cull was making in the media about the sale of Carisbrook. Vandervis disagreed with some of the perceptions Cull was giving. Cull rejected the criticisms. Figures in the Carisbrook report had not been incorrect, rather incomplete, he said.
{continues} #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium