Tag Archives: Social Media

Delta #EpicPowerFail 6 – Thick as a Brick

gary-larson-the-far-side-1-3-tweaked-by-whatifdunedin-pinimg-com

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 3 Nov 2016 at 10:59 p.m.

Thick as a brick
Shallow as a bird bath
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
A few sandwiches short of a picnic
Bought his doctorate online.

Come in Dr Parton….

Your correspondent was both entertained and aghast this morning when enjoying Choysa and a scone, he read Dr Parton, Aurora chair, dutifully parroting Grady Cameron’s lines in the ODT …. “aged network”, “our approach to its management is conservative”. Dr (Polly) Parton also said “it was “not appropriate” for him to respond to comments made by another chairman”. Your correspondent agrees it is not “appropriate”. It is essential to his credibility to do so, as Polly Parton is right – it is amazing that the chairman of a lines company, far away, has felt the need to make scathing comments about the lackadaisical approach to essential infrastructure he has found in the South, and called Aurora’s response “a lame excuse”. When did you last hear the CEO of a council make scathing comments about another ? —or one mayor disparage another in biting terms. It just isn’t done…. so now the attention of the entire lines industry, and the Commerce Commission is riveted upon Aurora as it has just been confirmed by the chair of Marlborough Lines, with no axe to grind, that Aurora’s mess and subsequent evasions are inexcusable.

Some other gems of the re-cycled obvious from Polly in the ODT were “Age … is one reason why we have marked so many poles for replacement” – how fascinating that the board and Mr Cameron only discovered these 40- to 60-year-old poles were aged and needed replacement around the time Mr Healey left three weeks ago.

Readers, while Aurora and Delta have an arrogant disregard for the interest of the consumers and ratepayers, they are very fearful of the Commerce Commission. And the Commerce Commission is under no illusions about the incompetence of Aurora. Not only did Aurora get warned for network failures this year, and are now ranked in the bottom 3 of the 29 lines companies for reliability, they were also warned about their lack of investment and incompetence in 2014 by the Commission.

On 26 June 2014 the Commission wrote to Aurora issuing them with a warning for non-compliance and raising concerns. They said:

“21. There are a number of concerns that we would particularly like to draw to Aurora’s attention … These concerns are:

21.1 Aurora’s vegetation control has been insufficient to prevent significant tree encroachment on lines, which has likely contributed to the frequency and duration of outages….”
Mr Cameron took great delight in waxing lyrical about the dedicated vegetation management unit Delta set up in 2015-16, and how Delta charged Aurora $4M for clearing 34km of lines. We now know it wasn’t anything to do with Mr Cameron, it was forced upon them by the Commerce Commission because they had neglected it for decades. In true Delta form, the cost of $130,000 per km is probably overstated by a factor of 5-10 dependent on difficulty.

“21.2 Aurora has had an increase in defective equipment incidents”.
Oh yes. Aurora’s own Asset Management Plan (AMP) spells out the failures, and impending ones, as noted in #EpicPowerFail 5. In relation to poles, Aurora reduced the number of poles it was going to replace in 2017-18, in its 2016-2026 plan, due to the mendacity of Matt Ballard, GM Capability & Risk. Reacting to public pressure and casting aside the long term plan due to a “perception problem”, without a funding plan in place is just giving the Commerce Commission all the evidence they need that the board isn’t in control and doesn’t know what it’s doing.

“21.3 There seems to be shortcomings in Aurora’s knowledge of its asset condition”.
….(Translated from bureaucratic-ese, this is : YOU ARE USELESS AND INCOMPETENT, and everything we have heard from Aurora recently confirms that this fault has become exponentially worse.

“21.4 Aurora’s reliance on its 6.6kV network as a back up to its aging 33kV cables in Dunedin could lead to major power outages.”

Ominously for the Directors, the Commission was clear about the consequences of further non-compliance, warning Aurora :

“Notwithstanding its 2013 and 2014 compliance, if Aurora fails to comply with the quality standards again, its 2012 non-compliance will be a relevant factor that may lead us towards a stronger enforcement response. Particularly relevant would be the extent to which concerns raised following Aurora’s 2012 non-compliance contributed to the second non-compliance.”

Here we are, four years later, and 3 of the 4 concerns are front and centre of the latest crisis. A lot of words have been written, meetings held, and plans begun, but the network has continued to decline. Unless the Commerce Commission has another spineless apologist like Rebstock of the Audit Office investigating, then the springs in the boardroom ejector seats are tightening.

Readers, we are all frustrated that Mr Cameron, Mr Ballard, and the directors have not a thread of integrity left among them, preferring eventual forcible removal (health problems anyone ?) to decency. But readers, how delicious will it be when they are kicked out, as that will almost certainly be the end of all of their directorial ambitions. Getting kicked out by the Government is the sort of thing that even the Institute of Directors would frown upon, despite overlooking a lot of other venality. As noted at What if?, the Government cannot afford to have tourists killed or suffering from power outages in their #1 tourist region in Central Otago, so it will not be open for Mr McLauchlan to go crawling to Minister Woodhouse, who doesn’t carry a lot of weight now in any case. McLauchlan’s other great fixer, fellow South Canterbury Finance trougher, Denham Shale, is now dead. Mr McLauchlan feeling the chilled air of exposure perhaps ? Perversely, we can be glad that Messrs Parton, Kempton, Thompson, McLauchlan and Frow are all….“thick as a brick”.

Final thought for the evening. If you were Grady Cameron and the board, and wanted to quickly replace 10,000 poles to “restore public confidence” then does buying steel poles from China that are made from less ductile steel (ie more brittle) sound like a good plan ? (Chinese steel is typically 20-25% ductile, whereas NZ seismic requirements generally require 32-34% ductility. It is near impossible to get Chinese steel at this ductility. A recent example is the problems with steel products imported from China by Steel & Tube). Yes readers, you heard it here first, not only did Mr Cameron fail to tell you where the $30M was coming from (they don’t know yet), he also neglected to mention they are buying steel poles from China. And remember, readers, not only did Mr Cameron describe this as “a good plan” on National Radio, but that he “was excited by it”. Truly…… “thick as a brick”.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
2.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset Management Plans does it take to get a Real One ?
1.11.16 Delta/Aurora/DCHL corporate whitewash #dangerousnetwork
31.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends
29.10.16 Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force
28.10.16 Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: pinimg.com – gary larson the far side, tweaked

11 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset Management Plans does it take to get a Real One ?

rnz-logo-1Tue, 1 Nov 2016 7:50 a.m.
Morning Report with Guy Espiner Link
Hefty pricetag to replace Dunedin’s rotting power poles
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (duration 3′40″)
Dunedin and Central Otago power company Aurora Energy is to replace 3-thousand rotting power poles at a cost of 30-million dollars.

****

guyon-espiner-radionz-co-nz-grady-cameron-odt-co-nz-merge-1

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 1 Nov 2016 at 11:35 p.m.

Readers, your correspondent has nothing new to offer tonight —but just many examples of what we already knew : Delta/Aurora chief excutive Grady Cameron treats the facts with almost radioactive distaste, and is completely willing to say and do anything to save his own skin. Now, we have a “polemic” of evidence.
Rob Hamlin is correct – there is a massive coverup underway. Let us consider Mr Cameron’s cancerous comments on RNZ with Guyon Espiner today :

The new Aurora plan with an extra $26M was ‘nothing to do with Richard Healey’ ….The board already had a plan in place because “back in September I went to the board and advised them that I wasn’t happy with the progress of our current plan in terms of how fast we were getting through the replacement programme” …. and “the plan that was announced yesterday was the revised plan”.

Now there are several obvious problems here, and the first is Mr Cameron’s mealy-mouthed dissembling that “back in September” he went to the board. September was only 5 weeks ago, and, just 4-5 weeks or so before that, in April 2016, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Mr Cameron released Aurora’s long term Asset Management Plan (AMP), all 185 pages of it for the period 2016-2026. The specific purpose of this doorstop is to schedule “asset replacement”, and the plan of course specifically provides for pole replacement. Mr Cameron is asking us to believe that the very next week after the 10-year AMP was complete, he woke up and thought ‘Good grief ! We have completely messed up the asset management plan we have just had the board sign off, and which we have just spent months on ! We must re-do it immediately and add $20-30M to pole replacement ! That is Job #1 Today…. (after mid morning madeira cake and my daily PR strategy meeting). Readers, there are many at Delta who will confirm that Mr Cameron’s GM of Capability & Risk Matt Ballard, was instructing staff the exact opposite…. “that under no circumstances is the current $2.96M budget for pole replacement to be exceeded, for ANY reason, and GET USED TO IT”.

aurora-asset-management-plan-april-2016-march-2026-front-coverIn the fantastic event that there is any shred of truth to this rubbish from Mr Cameron, he needs to be sacked for incompetence, because he has just shown he is incapable of producing an asset management plan that is credible or even somewhat reliable. It is so bad that Mr Cameron could be accused of numeric dyslexia. How can a board comprised of accountants, to whom forecasts and numbers are religion, put up with this ? Is it because Mr Cameron has promised them Mutually Assured Destruction if he was removed? There is plenty of evidence and emails to show that far from wanting to resolve this, Mr Cameron and his enablers wanted to play the man and sweep this under the rug, an approach that continues to the present day.   

Your correspondent has received information that provides the translation code for Grady Cameron’s weasel worded dissembling “back in September I went to the board … not happy with the progress”. It is this : Mr Cameron advised the board ‘We employed incompetent staff who claimed they could “reinforce” poles for around $1200 each, to give a maximum 10-year extra life, but this $1,200 was a figure pulled from their own fevered imaginations and staff and contractors have told us to take a hike, it will cost around $3,000, which compares VERY unfavourably with the cost of a straightforward new pole with a 50-year life at around $5,000. Being the desperate incompetents we are, we had latched onto this half-baked and untested theory like a barnacle on a boat hull and assumed we could reinforce more than twice as many poles as we needed to replace over 10 years. (7290 reinforcements vs actually replacing just 3381 poles).’ (Readers, see Page 78 of the Aurora AMP). ‘If we do a half-baked reinforcement approach we have another budget problem of $13M, but if we put in all new poles we will have a blowout of around $28M (over and above the apples vs oranges $26M issue I deceived the board about earlier).’

Grady Cameron confidently stated to the nation that the plan unveiled yesterday “was the revised plan” (the board had approved)…. For about three seconds, and then when queried by Guyon Espiner incredulously “so nothing at all to do with Richard Healey ?”, Mr Cameron went into high range reverse and forward mode – at the same time. He responded “NO…. the plan that we’ve we put forward is a more aggressive plan now….” due to “a significant amount of public scrutiny”. Memo to Mr Cameron : The public scrutiny only started because Richard Healey broke ranks and blew the whistle, to the cost of his career.

Your correspondent thinks that Grady Cameron is also fevered and mainlining on dividends. If Mr Cameron was telling the truth, that he had concerns, and a plan that very coincidentally was the same as Richard Healey’s then why did he cancel the meeting with Richard Healey who wanted to discuss his concerns about the state of the network ? He should have been saluting a fellow soldier, not burying him…. Instead of refusing to meet with him, why did Mr Cameron discuss taking legal action against Richard Healey when Mr Healey was still an employee of Delta ? (Yes we know about this Mr Cameron, you have very few allies left within Delta —perhaps you should be looking next to you and channelling Shakespeare ….et tu, Matt Ballard?). Instead of cancelling the meeting, why did he not send an email to say, ‘Dear Richard, I have some fantastic news, all or most of your concerns are solved, we are going to be announcing a huge increase in pole spending of tens of millions of dollars immediately (just as soon as I can arrange the requisite saturation PR coverage that portrays me in the best possible light and take the focus off the Noble debacle). I would be delighted to meet with you for 3.5 minutes at 10.36am after mid-morning espresso and madeira cake to outline this to you. Your humble CEO, Grady.’  

homesafe-logo-thinkdelta-co-nz[thinkdelta.co.nz] 

It is often the little things that give the game away…. And try as they might, the PR minders can never control the interview process. Grady Cameron spent several minutes explaining to the country how this was just a misunderstanding and he had – before Richard Healey (!), realised what was wrong, and he and the board had a plan to fix the very things that Mr Healey was complaining about. Guyon Espiner asked near the end, “Do you thank Richard Healey for putting pressure on you for this ?” ie for helping Grady Cameron receive great exposure in the media to explain his hitherto secret new plan to the nation, very similar to Mr Healey’s, that all was well, the network was aged but safe, lots of poles were being replaced. Instead of “Come back Richard, my fellow safety conscious soldier in arms, all is forgiven,” we and the country heard his CEO mask slip and got the real, petulant Grady Cameron who snarled “No I don’t thank Richard Healey” —proving that this was all just a charade, and Mr Cameron and the board were ropeable that they had been exposed as ineffectual and incompetent guardians of the region’s electricity network.     

Continuing down the charade theme, consider this final thought for the evening, readers – Cameron, Crombie, and the board of accountants announced this plan WITHOUT ONE CLUE AS TO HOW IT IS TO BE FUNDED. This is sheer arrogance and disdain for power consumers and ratepayers – what other public expenditure of this level has ever been announced with no discussion about who or how it will be funded. The board of Delta and Aurora have proven yet again, how incompetent and derelict in their public duty they have become.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: radionz.co.nz – Guyon Espiner | odt.co.nz – Grady Cameron

27 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Delta/Aurora/DCHL corporate whitewash #dangerousnetwork

Updated post
Tue, 1 Nov 2016 at 3:30 p.m.

Anyone of sound mind will see that, as widely predicted, a vacuous tissue of lies and fabrication has flooded the media, with a SUDDEN dollop of RATES spend foretold – dished by the Ugly wide boys to the sound of chortles in repair from Our Enchained Melody (his worship).

ODT didn’t believe it either.

But those wheeling creatures.
Douglas Field starts in gently….

Satirical comment on the future of a Dunedin ‘owned’ utility company, and its imminent demise. Oct 31, 2016

****

Loss of “public confidence”…. [understatement]

In an interview, Mr Cull said he had no problem with spending an extra $26 million to fix a public perception issue.

### ODT Online Tue, 1 Nov 2016
$30.25m to replace poles
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora Energy has approved a $30.25 million programme to replace close to 3000 power poles but its chief executive is refusing to admit any fault over the way the network has been managed. Aurora Energy and Delta chief executive Grady Cameron […] said the claims that led to the loss of confidence – that lives were at risk from dangerous power poles and the two council-owned companies put profits ahead of health and safety – were wrong. He admitted no fault in his management, saying the network was ageing, but safe.
Read more

“My only wish is that he had taken the opportunity to come and speak to me directly, because I think if he had recognised the conversations that I was having with the board directly, he might have felt slightly different about what our plans were.” –Grady Cameron

Whistleblower Richard Healey was stunned by Mr Cameron’s response and questioned why Aurora would spend tens of millions of dollars to fix an issue which it said did not exist. “It’s utter rubbish,” Mr Healey said. […] He had tried to stay away from “personal” attacks, but was now willing to call on Mr Cameron to “man up” and resign.

T R U T H F U L ● R E A D I N G

Comments posted at this website the day after Story (TV3 Newshub 19.10.16) broke the news about Delta/Aurora’s dangerous poles:

Richard Healey
October 20, 2016 at 8:46 am
Thanks for the support, it’s been a difficult few years, but the last few weeks have been the worst. Here’s a clip from a post I made on Facebook to give my former colleagues some background. My primary concern in all of this has been to keep everyone safe. No more tragedies like the death of Roger Steel.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I appreciate the support but I really had no option. In the last six years I’ve seen live high voltage lines sit on the ground for two days in the grounds of a major tourist attraction – and another set alive 600mm off the ground inside a property where you can look over the fence and see a yard full of kids toys.
I’ve seen thousands of poles that could kill my work mates, and I’ve seen one of them die on one of those poles.
In the past 15 months I’ve watched as the number of those really dodgy structures has increased by more than 1000. The crunch came for me when I realised that probably 2000 of those poles should have been fitted with “warning, DO NOT CLIMB” tags – but they were missing.
Discovering those missing tags made my gut churn. In December 2010 Roger Steel, one of the world’s good buggers died after climbing a pole that was missing a red tag. Both the District Court and the Coroner cited the missing danger tag as a significant factor in Steelo’s death.
The obvious thing to do first was to put out a safety alert to Delta staff. I was told not to do that, my voice was seen as too negative and, in any case, it was the asset management team’s role to put out the alert. I was asked to get one of the other guys to request that an alert be sent out urgently.
I kept pushing for the alert to go out, at that stage I thought around 1000 poles were affected. Nothing happened. Finally, I got the opportunity to raise the issue in an operations meeting. I was told that the Network Operations Manager would write an alert. Scot Jefferries pointed out that I’d written one already but was ignored. He pointed out a second time that an alert had already been drafted. Eventually I was asked to send through my alert and informed that it would be used as the basis of the final release.
Here’s where it gets really disturbing, This is what I said in my Safety Alert:
“During a recent ICAM it became apparent that a large number of poles (probably less than 1000) have been tested and been found to be “Condition 1” – but no red tag has been applied to them”
This is what the alert that the company issued said:
“It was identified during a recent ICAM that some poles assessed as being defective may not have been Red tagged in accordance with Aurora procedures.”
“Have been found” turned into “may not” – “probably less than 1000” turned into “some poles”. The effect is pretty obvious, the guys were free to believe that a few poles might not have been tagged as opposed to a 1000-odd were definitely not tagged. I was pretty upset.
But it got worse, we sent crews out to apply the missing tags. Asset Management found out that we were doing that and told us to stop. They were creating a software tool to capture the data about what poles we were applying the tags to. We pointed out that we were capturing the poles and the tagging teams were logging all the data on a form which they signed. No problem you might think, the data can be loaded into the new software from the forms when it is eventually developed.
Problem, we were told to stop immediately and that we wouldn’t be paid for the work; when asked to put it in writing, they did!
Then it got worse. While out looking for a site to install some equipment I found a pole that the GIS (the system that holds all the information about the plant that makes up the network) said was Condition 5 (good for many decades) had a red tag on it. The red tag was legitimate, that pole was buggered.
It was then that I figured out that the data that the pole inspectors had gathered was being reassessed, after some software changes, and that the the condition ratings of hundreds of poles had been changed as a result. I wrote some notes. Here’s a sample (condition 0 means so bad you must replace it in 3 months, condition 6 is essentially a brand new pole):
“Pole 12680
This 72% degraded, 44 year old pole was Deuar tested on 19/06/2015, rated as condition 0 and red tagged. It also carries a remaining life assessment of 30 years. One week later it was reassessed and the rating went from 0 to 6. One month after that it was again reassessed and went from condition 6 to condition 1. Finally, on 19/08/2015 the condition assessment went from 1 to condition 6. ”
Those notes were taken to the CEO, he cancelled the meeting. I wrote to him, he has never replied, I quit, we are here today.

Richard Healey
October 20, 2016 at 8:57 am
I forgot to mention it, but on my last day at Delta two more poles fell down, both in Alexandra area. It looks to me like the company has failed to tag around two thousand poor condition poles, but the final number won’t be known until the end of the month. That’s the bad news, the good news is that crews are out there now nailing those tags to poles all over Dunedin and Central Otago.
My advice is this, if you’re dropping your kids off at school and notice the poles outside have suddenly sprouted red “do not climb” tags then ring Delta and ask about the condition of those poles and the risk they may pose to you and your kids. If a red tag suddenly appears on the pole outside your house, do the same thing.
Don’t be put off with a standard “the company takes your wellbeing very seriously” answer. Ask for specific information, when was the problem first identified, how long does Aurora have under the Electricity Safety regulations 2010, regulation 41 to replace the structure, what do I need to do to stay safe, what are the penalties that apply if Aurora fails in its primary duty of care?

Related Posts and Comments:
31.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends
29.10.16 Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force
28.10.16 Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

12 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Travesty, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends

from-grand-theft-otto-series-homer-danny-luvisi-pinterest-com-1

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 30 Oct 2016 at 9:09 p.m.

Readers, your correspondent has decided that the present Delta/Aurora situation has many similarities to a drug deal gone wrong.

Grady Cameron and Matt Ballard have a drug problem, and the drug concerned is dividends. They are being stood over by their directorial pimps, Stuart McLauchlan, Trevor Kempton, Ian Parton, David Frow and ex ORFU beat-up specialist Steve Thompson (who are also heavy users of the dividends concerned), to produce more, more, more, every year. Despite the intimidation from the pimps, and threats of financial violence (if you don’t meet the most important KPI being $9.5M of dividends, no salary increase for you !), they bought themselves some breathing space, for a year or two, but down at the street corner (where the poles are !), Messrs Cameron and Ballard stopped looking after the infrastructure that laid the golden eggs of revenue a long time ago and stiff-armed them instead. The result ? – the “network” concerned voted with their cross-arms and simply “fell away” ….but who are the pimps working for ? Who has the raging dividend habit ? Who is the junkie that like all junkies, will engage in lies, fraud, misrepresentation as grist to its mill to feed its dividend habit ? It is of course the atrophied and hollowed out financial wreck that is the Forsyth Barr Stadium, that has a 40-year $7.2M dividend drug habit that it needs and feeds on for survival. Who allows this habit to continue and feeds off it also ? Mayor Cull, the Pablo Escobar of Portobello Rd.

While on the subject of addictive behaviour, Vaughan Elder and Chris Morris will also soon have a drinking problem, because from Saturday every time they venture into a bar, they will be shouted a drink by all Dunedinites that live or walk by a rotten power pole (all of them). The Otago Daily Times (ODT) had a flood of coverage and it was excellent, including a precise summary of the recent dismal Delta and Aurora history. Book your flights to the national media awards now guys. Hopefully this is the virtuous circle in action – excellent coverage, more ODTs and advertising sold, more resources given to the story, more revelations, more ODTs sold. Your correspondent has been proven to be very wrong in his earlier #EpicPowerFail post. Far from being missing in action, after a late start they are all over the issue, and instead of making us sick they are making us proud. Go ODT !!

Today your correspondent was alarmed at the offhand comment made by Pablo Escobar’s DCHL sideman, Mr Crombie, when he said in response to being grilled by the ODT that “the financial effects of replacing thousands of poles could be managed by changes to the timing of Aurora’s planned capital programme”.

There are two very important questions that arise from this – 1) How much will the replacement of the poles cost, and 2) what items of Aurora’s capital programme can be deferred.

odt-30-10-16Dealing with 2) first, Mr Crombie must have been mainlining on dividends and as high as a kite when he said this. Either that or there was a forlorn attempt at some more quarter truths and a desperate hope that the long term Aurora Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 (AMP) might disappear from the Internet. Your correspondent, fortified with a LOT of Bells did some heavy lifting through the 185-page document and can report the following pearls from Aurora’s own AMP that show that Mr Crombie, like so many addicts, is delusional :

Firstly, in the space of one year from 2015 to 2016, the state of the network (without the recent revelations) was so knackered that even with the best attempts of Matt Ballard, the Delta ‘General Manager for Risk and Capability’, to minimise capex by various sleights of hand, including the famous algorithms outlined in #EpicPowerFail 3, the amount of capital spending required ballooned – in the space of a year – from $373M to $443M, an increase of $70M. (AMP, 7.1 Financial Forecasts). Incredibly, Mr Cameron and the Board indulged in misrepresentation by reporting to DCHL that the total 10-year capital spending increase was only $417M, not $443M, by the simple and dishonest expedient of comparing
two different 10-year periods. This piece of elementary financial alchemy clearly escaped Mr Crombie and the other DCHL directorial head nodders also.

Councillors, please remember that Mr Crombie is going to lecture you in a month or two that you Must Lend $13.2M as a second mortgage to a shell company, Infinity Yaldhurst, with no visible means of support, because There Is No Alternative. It is clear from the above he either cannot read an elementary spreadsheet, or considers an error of around $26M of ratepayer funds trifling and not worthy of comment or correction. Coincidentally, this is the amount of the Yaldhurst debt. Not coincidentally, Mr Crombie doesn’t think $13M of ratepayer funds written off at Yaldhurst is significant or comment-worthy either. Where do we find these people ? You have been warned, Councillors.

To justify this sudden $70M increase in spending, the asset management plan helpfully provided some explanations of the scope of the work, and why it was urgent, which is going to haunt Mr Crombie, hopefully all the way to resignation. On Page 160, Aurora explained that “half of the increase is associated with deferred zone substation expenditure for which there is no further opportunity for deferral”.

In the next five years (2020-2022), there is $29M allocated for rebuilding worn out substations in Dunedin (Andersons Bay, Neville St, Smith St, Willowbank) that cannot be deferred. The reason that the substations are not being rebuilt before 2020 is because the major 11kV / 3kV lines that serve the substations are in even worse shape than the very aged substations built in the 1950s and early 1960s. The cables are already failing and have to be replaced even before the substations. Page 156 of the AMP helpfully describes the problem, “These cables are very old … These cables are now at the end of their life as the bronze tapes [that act to retain the gas insulation] are corroded and failing.” Regarding the possibility of failure, the AMP is candid “….have had some gas leaks … Gas leaks are difficult to locate and expense to repair … requires the cable to be out of service for several days for repairs to be made”. In relation to another type of cable, PILC cable, the ever helpful AMP notes, “We have had a number of failures of the Kaikorai Valley cables” [due to the oil impregnated cables leaking, then drying out and failing].

If readers are in any doubt as to how much of a knife edge their power network is being run on, Page 62 (Asset Risks 4.5.3) will spill the Bells all over the sofa : “Perhaps the most significant risk of a catastrophic asset failure relates to our remaining 33kV gas filled cables.”

To conclude, readers, Mr Crombie is simply creating yet more mad hatter conditions at Delta/Aurora with the desperate and inaccurate statement, that tens of millions of unplanned expenditure (the actual cost will be the subject of the next post, out of time and tea tonight !) could be accommodated by simple funding re-arrangement. (Deck chairs on the Titanic, anyone ?). There are more distortions at Delta/Aurora than in a fairground hall of mirrors.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: pinterest.com – Danny LuVisi | Grand Theft Otto series, Homer

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Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force

graham-crombie-accountant-teara-govt-nz-source-odt-detail

Graham Crombie: Review starts Monday, preliminary findings not public by then as Mayor Dave Cull hoped….

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Crombie: heads could roll
By Vaughan Elder
Jobs could be on the line at Delta and Aurora after claims lives are at risk because of the two companies’ failure to replace dangerous power poles.
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) chairman Graham Crombie yesterday said there could be “consequences” for the board and management of the two council-owned companies if an independent review found their response to the power pole situation in Dunedin and Central Otago had been lacking. Mr Crombie was working through the final stages of appointing an independent party to review the claims yesterday, but was not ready to announce who that party would be because nothing had been signed.
Read more

OK. So Mr Crombie’s comments in the ODT today (joy oh joy for readers!) do help to force chief executive Grady Cameron and the Aurora/Delta Directors into an unholy corner for their multiple sins.

Understandably, they have turned media shy, no doubt while they consult their lawyers – Every Man for Himself now applies. Will they shop their fellow henchmen.

Watch and wait.

However, stupidly, Mr Crombie admits he was not shocked about the extent of the problem “because everybody knew that”….

WOW, Graham Crombie, chair of DCHL, knew there was a problem.

How soon did he know ?
But hey. Aurora’s asset management plan (AMP) is not a FIX. Mr Crombie is a little confused.

Best he trots out the reports to DCHL from Aurora/Delta which describe – ie quantify and qualify – the extent of the problem, received on his watch (!).
How long have DCHL/Mr Crombie known about VERY SIGNIFICANT non compliance with statutory Health and Safety requirements, and SCALE of risk and endangerment to company staff and the public.

How can any of this be A SURPRISE.
To a professional chairman-director of a council holding company.

Well, in surprising fashion, Mr Crombie states his advice ‘from Aurora and Delta had been the network was safe and he did not believe this was contradicted by Aurora’s asset management plan acknowledging thousands of compromised poles needed replacing’.

Further, ‘He thought the financial effects of replacing thousands of poles could be managed by changes to the timing of Aurora’s planned capital programme.’ Oh dear.

An EXTRAORDINARY statement, Mr Crombie.
As chairman of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL), you are responsible to Dunedin City Council (the Shareholder) for KNOWING AND ENSURING that all Council-controlled organisations (CCOs) are compliant —not, that they are LIABILITIES for every Ratepayer and Resident in the district, who it appears are repeatedly picking up the tab for true lack of governance and oversight by the vainglorious Dunedin Mayor and Councillors.

‘Gusty’ Mr Crombie, proverbially thus far, came down in the last rain shower. But he may yet be of public assistance to have the company chief executive and bunch of defunct directors SACKED.

****

[Black White] on the nearly 3000 dangerous poles now scattered across the network, John Walsh says: “That’s not evidence. That’s hearsay.”

Delta worker Graeme Jeffrey, in an email to Mayor Dave Cull and councillors, said the companies had “closed their eyes in the pursuit of maximising profit”.

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Dunedin Insight: Warned, in black and white
History of headaches for Delta
By Chris Morris
The warning was there in black and white. It came in an Otago Daily Times article, published in 1998, blowing the whistle on maintenance cuts across Dunedin and Central Otago’s electricity network. In it, former union delegate Ian Berry cautioned against the “never ending pursuit” of profit by Aurora’s predecessor, Dunedin Electricity Ltd. Unless the practice changed, the consequences for the network would be dire, he warned. […] But, far from rejecting the allegations, then-DEL chief executive John Walsh — later the man in charge of Delta — defended the cuts. […] Fast forward 19 years to the present, and former Delta worker Richard Healey has resigned to blow the whistle again — this time on the dangerous state of 2910 power poles across the network.
Read more

Key figures in Delta and Aurora’s history declined to comment this week, including former chairman Ray Polson, current chief executive Grady Cameron, and long-serving board member Stuart McLauchlan. The ODT asked repeatedly for an interview with Mr Cameron, but he pulled out on Thursday night, saying he had “nothing to add” beyond emailed responses.

rotten-power-pole-falls-and-cuts-power-dunedin-19-2-13-photo-by-tyler-christmas-via-odtRotten power pole falls and cuts power, Dunedin ODT
Photo: Tyler Christmas 19 Feb 2013

****

“The story really is how a culture can shift from ‘we are doing this to provide a safe service to the community’ to ‘Jesus, if I just keep my head down’.” –Richard Healey

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Informant, Delta poles apart
By Vaughan Elder
Giving up a 35-year career and a healthy pay cheque to blow the whistle was not easy for Dunedin man Richard Healey. But one tragic day loomed large in his decision. In lifting the lid on the serious danger from Aurora Energy’s “neglected and decaying” network, Mr Healey keeps going back to colleague Roger Steel’s death on December 9, 2010. Mr Steel was working on his own at  Millers Flat on a power pole when it toppled over. The fall of more than 20m left him with injuries a coroner said were “immediately and inevitably lethal”. […] Mr Steel’s death was followed in 2014 by an incident in which Vincent Moore suffered left leg fractures and a fractured lumbar vertebra falling from a pole while completing a service connection in Cardrona. […] Once again Delta pleaded guilty and was fined for health and safety breaches and once again Mr Healey said not enough changed at the company.
Read more

****

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Hoping husband did not die in vain
By Lynda van Kempen
Karyn Steel fears safety standards have not improved in almost six years since an untagged, dangerous power pole caused the death of her husband. Delta was fined $75,000 for failing to take all steps to ensure the safety of its employees when lineman Roger Steel (63) died after the concrete power pole he was working on near Millers Flat toppled over, in early December, 2010.
….Following the inquest finding, Delta chief executive Grady Cameron said the company had upgraded and enhanced its work practices “to make sure we never have another workmate in this position again”.
….[Mrs Steel’s] husband had spent 43 years as a maintenance worker on electricity lines and loved his job but talked to her about his concerns over a “lowering of safety standards” at his workplace. The comments by whistleblower Richard Healey echoed those concerns and she admired his bravery in speaking out.
Read more

****

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Oct 2016
Regions: Central Otago
Wait to hear pole advice
By Tracey Roxburgh
Delta has responded to an urgent request from the Queenstown Lakes District Council seeking assurance that residents and visitors in the tourist town will be safe in the wake of allegations the company had neglected to replace dangerous poles across the district. What Delta has advised the council, however, will not be made public until next week, after the council has had a chance to consider it. Maps showing dangerous poles in Central Otago and Queenstown-Lakes towns were leaked to the Otago Daily Times this week.
Read more

****

What should you do if there is a dangerous power pole near you?
Call Aurora Energy and ask for details about the condition of the pole/s and ask about its replacement plans.
Look out for movement over time, swaying in the wind, cracking, and the tension on the lines to your house increasing to the point where the barge board is damaged.
Contact Aurora immediately if you notice any of the above happening.
Consider not parking your car next to a damaged pole. 

█ Aurora Energy Ltd http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/
█ Delta Utility Services Ltd http://www.thinkdelta.co.nz/

Alternatively, contact Delta on 0800 433 582

ODT: Detailed map of dangerous poles at Dunedin
ODT: Dangerous power poles – Mosgiel
ODT: Dangerous power poles – Corstorphine and part of South Dunedin
ODT: Dangerous power poles – North Dunedin and Leith Valley
ODT: Detailed map of dangerous poles – Central Otago and Queenstown

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: teara.govt.nz [source: ODT] – graham crombie, accountant | irational.org – blue white umbrella skeleton, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch

Link received.
Fri, 28 Oct 2016 at 1:14 p.m.

censored-free-speech-sprottmoney-com

### zerohedge.com Oct 27, 2016 4:01 PM
Source: sprottmoney.com (blog)
The Establishment Has Rigged the System: It’s Time to Shake Things Up
By Nathan McDonald 
Is the entire system rigged? Can we trust any of it? Yes and no. Large parts of the current “modern” day system we find ourselves living in is undoubtedly rigged against the little man. This is by design – make no doubt about it – but you should not let it rule your life. Because as history has proven time and time again, the true power lies in the people – we just don’t typically know it. The establishment is once again learning this harsh lesson. People are “waking” up at a pace that I have NEVER before seen in my life. […] The MSM has proven itself to be a powerful weapon, but its control is slipping. The alternative media are rising and rising fast. We are becoming the main source of most people’s information, proving once again my point that the power rests in the masses, not the elites.
Read more

****

social-media-without-electricity-by-leunig-cathtatecards-com

****

Tonight at Channel 39 News, ODT deputy editor Craig Page tells us what’s in Saturday’s newspaper:

● More on the continuing investigation into the “Delta/Aurora saga”…. ‘neglect of repairs’ means “3000 dangerous poles in Dunedin” need to be replaced within 12 months.

[See Richard Healey’s latest comments on pole numbers at What if? Dunedin]

● DCHL chairman Graham Crombie offers “an explanation of sorts” and says there could be “consequences for Delta staff” down the track.

● Whistleblower Richard Healey “who broke the story at ODT”.

[TV3 first broke the news with Richard Healey at The Story (Newshub)]

● Chris Morris looks back at the history of Delta.

Mr Page says to expect “a lot more headlines out of it in the weeks to come”.

Related Posts and Comments:
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: sprottmoney.com – censored | cathtatecards.com – social mendia without electricity by Leunig

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Hong Sheng Chiong : Design Insights to preventable blindness —Smartphone retinal imaging

oDocs - slide3 [Oct 2015 idealog.co.nz]oDocs - smartphone_retinal_camera [Oct 2015 idealog.co.nz]oDocs - TEDx 22 May 2015 [idealog.co.nz]

Sun, 24 Apr 2016
ODT: App a real eye opener
An award-winning Dunedin junior doctor has produced a world-first smartphone app to help diagnose people who may have sight-threatening illnesses. Dr Hong Sheng Chiong’s medical company oDocs Eye Care has created an app-kit that performs a similar function to $50,000 worth of eye-examination equipment. Already, 200 units have been sold around the world and the open-source product downloaded by more than 2000 people in countries including the United States, Indonesia, Mexico, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria and Britain.

oDocs Eye Care will save the sight of millions by making affordable and accessible ophthalmic equipment.

“We care deeply about preventing blindness. We have committed to using half of our net profit toward saving sight in the regions where it is needed most. Its time to revolutionize eye health by building accurate equipment that is accessible and affordable. Visual impairment and blindness is a global problem, with 285 million people suffering with this disability around the world, 80% of these cases were preventable or treatable. It is unfortunate that a 90% of those cases are found in developing areas. Established in 2014 by Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong and Dr. Benjamin O’Keeffe, oDocs Eye Care (formerly OphthalmicDocs) is an innovative company in the field of portable eye care. With thousands of users, our social approach has inspired many others to join the initiative. You can contact us at info @odocs-tech.com or come have a coffee with us here at GridAKL, 101 Pakenham St West, Auckland, NZ.”

Website: http://www.odocs-tech.com/
About + Team: http://www.odocs-tech.com/about/
Facebook: ophthalmicdocs

oDocs - website image [odocs-tech.com]

[last year]

“We believe everyone deserves access to quality eye care. It’s supposed to be cheap, to help people in developing nations. So why would you put a label on it or mark up the price by 300-400%? Those things really make me sick.”
–Dr Hong Sheng Chiong

oDocs - Hong [globalwomensforumdubai.com] 1### idealog.co.nz 22 Oct 2015
One in the eye for blindness: the free app that thinks it’s an eye doctor
By Hannah Bartlett
A Kiwi eye specialist has invented a simple tool that turns a smartphone into a diagnostic tool – and now it has won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Innovators Awards. In early May, ophthalmologist Dr Hong Sheng Chiong released a cunning 3D printable gadget that turns a smartphone into a retinal camera for eye examinations. Twenty four hours later, he woke to 150 emails. Another three days, and there had been more than a thousand downloads of his adapter, the OphthalmicDocs Fundus. It hadn’t cost anyone (except him) a penny.
And that’s just how Hong likes it.
By day, Hong runs the eye clinic at Gisborne Hospital. But in his spare time, he is working towards a wider goal: giving doctors in the third world the tools to detect – and therefore treat – preventable blindness.
The OphthalmicDocs Fundus (OphthalmicDocs is the name of Hong’s company; fundus is a scientific name for the retina) is a 3D printable gadget; basically a small arm which holds a condensing lens at one end and attaches to the camera part of a smartphone at the other. It turns a mobile phone into a retinal camera, which can look into the back of the eye, the most difficult area to view. Combined with the OphthalmicDocs Eye App, free eye-testing software containing tests and imaging, the camera puts a portable eye clinic in the hands of a doctor.
Hong says even eye charts on the wall of a clinic can cost thousands of dollars, so he’s converted all the basic vision tests into a smartphone-friendly app format.
Hong believes he has built the first, free, open-source eye equipment in the world. And that’s just how he likes it too.
Read more

TEDx Talks Published on May 22, 2015
Fighting blindness with $20 and a smart phone | Hong Sheng Chiong | TEDxAuckland
How Hong has managed to fight blindness with 20$ and a smart phone and in the process is changing how we think and create medical equipment.
Dr Hong Sheng Chiong is currently an eye doctor in Gisborne hospital. He completed his clinical training in Ireland before he crossed over to New Zealand where he initially worked as a registrar in neurosurgery and general surgery before he stepped into the world of eye. His main interests are eye regenerative medicine, bioengineering and telemedicine. His exposure to third world medicine in Kenya, Nepal and Malaysia have given him the insight to the burden of preventable blindness. He believes the problem lies in the access to quality eye care. In 2014, he founded OphthalmicDocs, an R&D company that focuses on the development of ultra mobile and economical eye tests and diagnostics devices. He has invented several eye imaging adapters that can be used in conjunction with a mobile application to diagnose and monitor eye diseases. Fighting preventable blindness is his career’s primary mission.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organised by a local community.
Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images:
idealog.co.nz – slide 3 | smartphone retinal camera | TEDx 22 May 2015
odocs-tech.com – website image
globalwomensforumdubai.com – Hong Sheng Chiong

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