Tag Archives: Steve Thompson

As predicted —Aurora Energy delivery stuffed on pole replacement

I T ● W A S ● N E V E R ● G O I N G ● T O ● H A P P E N

Aurora Energy board chair Steve Thompson should shuffle back under his rock.
DCHL chairman Graham Crombie, mowing lawns at Clyde, has nothing to say.
The largest risk to the Otago Community continues to be Aurora itself.

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Apr 2017
Aurora sets new date to ‘remove risk’
By Vaughan Elder
Aurora Energy has abandoned a target to have all condition-zero poles replaced by the end of this month, saying it was now on track to “remove the risk” of 2910 poles by the end of this year. […] An Aurora spokesman said it had abandoned its original plan to replace all 1181 condition-zero poles, which are the worst-rated poles on its network, by the end of this month.
“Our target is to remove the risk around 2910 priority poles by the end of the year and we are on track to achieve that. That’s the target we are working towards. The April target was an initial working target before detailed programme planning had been completed.” After being given more than two weeks to respond, the spokesman did not say how many new condition-one and zero poles had been discovered during its fast-track programme, saying: “We don’t have these figures to hand today”.
Read more

The article also says: “Aurora had stepped up customer service support and communication so its customers were informed when power needed to be cut.” As far as we know this support and communication has been seriously deficient in many instances.

█ Customers should check the Aurora website on outage days for cancellations.
http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/outages/

****

At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.17 Why would DCC shaft its own company instead of investing in its change and development ?!
14.4.17 Dunedin homes face power blackout #Delta #Aurora
11.3.17 How Safe Are We/Our Businesses with the Corporate Disaster that’s Aurora, owned by DCC ? #reliability

█ For more, enter the terms *aurora*, *delta*, *grady*, *godfrey*, *poles*, *asset management plan*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *epicpolefail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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15 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Baloney, Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Electricity, Finance, Geography, Health & Safety, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Structural engineering, Technology, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Aurora Energy at ODT 24.2.17 follows #LGOIMA

Broad spectrum (?!) LGOIMA request from earlier this week and interim acknowledgement:

From: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Monday, 20 February 2017 7:24 PM
To: Grady Cameron
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Aurora Energy Ltd – Official Information Request (LGOIMA)

Attention Grady Cameron
Chief Executive, Aurora Energy Ltd

Dear Grady

How is Aurora Energy Ltd funding the $30million pole replacement programme you speak about – from capex (capital expenditure), opex (operational expenditure), a combination of the two? or by other means? (please state)

Will Aurora Energy Ltd attempt to raise line charges for Otago power consumers, to achieve the number of (dangerous) pole replacements required in the next 3-5 years – how soon will line charges increase and by how much given regulatory scrutiny by the Commerce Commission?*

Is Aurora Energy Ltd solvent at this time? Explain.

Please provide any financial detail(s) salient to these matters.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Kerr
Dunedin

*emphasis added 24.2.17

—————————————-

From: Grady Cameron
Sent: Wednesday, 22 February 2017 1:02 p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Aurora Energy Ltd – Official Information Request (LGOIMA)

Dear Elizabeth

Thank you for your enquiry. We acknowledge receipt of your official information request received by us on 21 February regarding Aurora Energy (our reference 0945).

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 21 March, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

Kind regards,
Glenda

****

Received.
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 at 1:58 a.m.

[click to enlarge]

ODT 24.2.17 (page 4)

odt-24-2-17-aurora-planned-power-outages-p4

ODT 24.2.17 (page 5)

odt-24-2-17-aurora-energy-notification-of-electricity-delivery-prices-p5

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Delta #EpicPowerFail 10 : Grady Cameron : The Counterfeit Comet

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 16 Feb 2017 at 12:15 a.m.

Dear Readers

Local cyberspace has run hot tonight with the news that Grady Cameron has finally taken Richard Healey’s advice and fallen on one of his many splintered power poles, tendering his resignation. But just like a funhouse hall of mirrors, nothing at Aurora/Delta is as it seems. Mr Cameron is leaving later not sooner. It should be sooner, much sooner, like now.

As pointed out several times by Jarrod Stewart and Richard Healey, Grady is entirely the wrong individual to “oversee the transition process, along with the accelerated pole programme now under way”, which was the vague treacle proffered by Gary Gyroscope Johnson and Mr Thompson as an excuse for Mr Cameron to cling on for another year.

What the somewhat dim Mr Thompson does not know is that most of Delta already know what provision for early termination is in Grady’s package, and it is….12 months’ salary. (Hard to keep anything secret at Delta these days, Mr Thompson!) Go on, refute that “unfounded speculation”, Mr Gyroscope!

Therefore Mr Thompson had the two terminally unattractive options of 1) Paying Grady $600,000 to do nothing or 2) Paying Grady $600,000 to hang around and pretend that his help is “appreciated”. Chairman Thompson knew he would be sacked if he agreed to pay Grady $600,000 to do nothing, because What if? Dunedin and many others would find out in short order, and it would be curtains for Mr Thompson – sooner rather than later. However, Mr Thompson has made an elementary error. When you sack someone, get them gone. This is not Personnel Management 101, it’s 001. Despite $600,000 being a lot of cash, it was still the right thing to do because Grady’s other great failure as CEO was to preside over the accelerated decline of the staff at Delta.

odt-16-2-17-cameron-not-seeking-new-role-p3-underlined

It is past the tipping point and on its way to collapse, and if Grady stays another year collapse it will. At this stage in your correspondent’s post, the Greek chorus begins, accompanied by the rattling cups of Choysa : Evidence, evidence, give us the factual evidence!

Very well readers, have the Gaviscon ready, here are some stomach turning informational nuggets to show the appalling state of the Delta engineering department, the essential core of the organisation. Desk executive types like Grady and Matt Ballard can come and go, but the engineers make the place run.

While Mr Gyroscope and Mr Thompson trumpeted the two new external appointments today, they failed to mention that there are 45 vacancies – yes 45, that is 4 lots of 10 plus 5, Steve, at Delta.

Your correspondent understands these are in the main technical positions that any reputable company will have trouble filling, let alone a basket case like Delta.

Very recently, a capable senior design engineer was asked by either Matt Ballard or Grady “What would it take to get you to stay?”, as they had been alerted that the engineer was about to vote with his feet. “Nothing could convince me to stay” was the response and the engineer who was in the prime of his career and had worked for Delta for 6-7 years, departed to the North Island.

Next fact: There are now fewer than 10 design engineers left at Delta. There will be one less tomorrow because another resigned today but hadn’t advised The Management.

Alarming fact : Your correspondent is advised that of those left, at least three already have plans in place to leave that are not negotiable.

Strange but true : A design engineer recently resigned. Mule-like, Mr Cameron and his cohorts “refused to acknowledge his resignation”. This would appear to be code for “we will pay you absolutely anything you want because we know we will get no applicants for your position”, much like the example above. We can conclude from the example with Derek Todd quoted in #EpicPowerFail 9 that the practical limit is a tripling in salary.

There’s more : After deducting out those engineers, there are others actively looking to leave also. We can know this with confidence as a Wellington power company advertised a position for a design engineer recently. The recruiter called a contact at Delta and asked “What the heck is going on down there – we have had 4 applications and 3 of them are from Delta !!”

Grady’s response to this is to hire engineers from around the world, and try and fill engineering positions with “Project Managers” (Godfrey Brosnan is just the latest example). This is not to denigrate those with overseas qualifications or from a different culture but as Richard Healey notes, this is a dangerous high risk industry and ‘culture’ is important. Experienced local engineers with institutional knowledge and memory are priceless – and absolutely essential. The legacy of Grady and successive incompetent boards is that Delta and Aurora, are very likely to be left with somewhere between very few and almost none.

Your correspondent is given to understand that there is a funereal level of staff morale. Many staff around all departments have the view that (Delta)Aurora is only a few more key resignations away from being unable to function as a lines company. Richard Healey may be able to comment further on this.

The common theme from departed staff is that they would not work any longer under the management regime.

Normally your correspondent likes to finish with what he fondly imagines to be a witty riposte, but after surveying the decayed remnants of Aurora, humour is not appropriate. 

Since 2009, Grady Cameron has blazed across our power line landscape like a counterfeit comet. Grady’s disastrous tenure has created a giant financial crater for the city that will have to be made good by ratepayers for around twenty years – most of a generation.  

While not solely responsible, he encouraged a culture of cynical disinterest in the long-term health of the company he was charged with protecting, to flourish.

There is no wit to be had here, but justifiable anger. 

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: ODT 16.2.17 Cameron will not seek new role page 3 detail tweaks by whatifdunedin

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Delta’s Mumbai recruitment drive

Received.
Wed, 8 Feb 2017 at 9:17 p.m.

The answer to Delta’s accelerated delayed stalled pole replacement program.

delta-recruitment-drive[webpage screenshot]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

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Delta #EpicPowerFail 9 —The Curious Case of Godfrey Brosnan and Jarrod Stewart

madeira-cake-dishmaps-com

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Mon, 6 Feb 2017 at 8:27 p.m.

Dear readers, your correspondent was fascinated to learn of the appointment of Godfrey Brosnan as Aurora’s new saviour (Program Director for the Pole Replacement project), about a month ago, on 29 December 2016. One cannot escape the conclusion that the announcement was timed for maximum concealment. There was no shouting from the rooftops about the appointment of Mr Brosnan, but merely the witless Mr Cameron in full euphemism mode, stating that Mr Brosnan was “An experienced project manager with a background in complex capital works”. Grady, this is a waste of space, just like yourself. What precisely are the “complex capital works” that Mr Brosnan has experience of ? Are they power industry projects ? What does “experienced” mean ? The only experience that is relevant is power industry experience, and we can assume from your vague dissembling, that Mr Brosnan is a novice to the power industry.

Now Dunedin is a small town, and it is not hard to find someone who knows Mr Brosnan. The good news is that in a revolutionary new development, Delta and Aurora have employed someone with integrity to the executive tea room. (Hope you like madeira cake, Godfrey). The bad news is that Mr Brosnan is not experienced in the power industry. Mr Brosnan’s most recent role was involvement in a peripheral capacity on the $445M Christchurch Hospital Acute Services Building project. This building is right in the middle of construction, and will not be finished for at least 18 months, so there we have the first clue about Mr Brosnan : Why was he willing to leave a major project that was barely even half-way completed ? The answer is not that Mr Brosnan had a passion or the right experience to lead the pole replacement project, but merely wanted a job in Dunedin because his school-age family lives here. The position was sweetened no doubt, by the eye-watering amount of money on offer. Reputedly with incentives, the pole replacement director is up around Grady’s fantastical package of $600,000. Mr Brosnan’s lack of experience suits Delta and Aurora : he can be manipulated by being given a flood of fakery by the duplicitous remnants of the original executive team. Mr Godrey’s integrity compounds the profound problem of his lack of experience : People with integrity generally assume a similar level of integrity in their colleagues, which in the case of Delta/Aurora, is going to lead to a disastrous outcome, most likely for Mr Brosnan.

Richard Healey has recently outlined the enormity of the problem facing the pole replacement targets : It is madeira cake to margarine sandwiches that Mr Brosnan was not made aware of the full extent of the problems that are now his.

Readers, as you wash down the Tim Tams with a cup or two of Bell’s, I can hear you thinking – is this just the fevered imagination of CD at work again ? In the words of Walter Mondale, where’s the beef ?

Your correspondent offers as evidence the curious case of the short-lived previous pole replacement director, a Mr Jarrod Stewart. Mr Stewart, a lawyer by background, has achieved fame within Delta by appearing to achieve the impossible : three separate payouts by Delta in the space of a year. Let us count the ways :

1. Delta last year cancelled Mr Stewart’s two-year contract, which he was compensated for.

2. No sooner was the ink dry on that settlement then Delta realised that they did, after all, need Mr Stewart and offered him the position of Pole Replacement Program Director, with a contract package with incentives worth around $600,000.

3. Mr Stewart, not long after accepting the $3,000 per day position, then had misgivings that he might have been subject to a further flood of fakery from Mr Cameron and his cohorts. Mr Stewart then employed a colleague from the mining industry to do a risk analysis of the pole replacement programme and his liability as director of the programme. The risk analysis concluded that Mr Stewart should …, ahem … Get the hell out of there ! The “programme” (if such an ad hoc on-the-fly chaos can be called a programme), was destined to fail, likely with some serious safety consequences, and consequent liability to the head of the project, being of course Mr Stewart at that time. It is understood that Mr Stewart is seeking some form of compensation for misrepresentation that induced him to sign up.

delta-elt-kewalbagal4. Now readers, hold those cups tight : The following is not made up : After Mr Stewart made his dissatisfaction with the pole replacement project known, a Delta senior manager – an Indian gentleman called Mr Kewal Bagal, we understand – on instruction from the highest levels, no doubt – actually broke into Mr Stewart’s office to attempt to find incriminating evidence about Mr Stewart. Mr Stewart is now taking a personal grievance action seeking further damages for this latest act of extreme Delta stupidity.

****

We should be grateful to Mr Stewart that he went public with his concerns in December. Had Mr Stewart wanted to maximise his income and minimise his integrity, he could have emulated one Mr Derek Todd, a senior engineer in Asset Management, and a flawed accomplice of Mr Matt Ballard, the chief propagandist of Asset Management. Mr Todd was the one who told staff that “every extra dollar you spend is a dollar less for the Council”. Mr Todd was implicated in the revelations of deceptions and dishonesty perpetrated by Asset Management in October and November, and unsurprisingly, resigned late last year due to “ill–health”. However, Mr Todd has had an amazing Lazarus-like resurrection to full health over the Christmas break, and is now employed as a “consultant” to Delta at the simply unbelievable figures of between $4,000 – $6,000 per day. That is somewhere north of $1,000,000 per year. Your correspondent understands that the “arrangement” will only extend to March 31, and is for a maximum number of days. It has the look, the structure, and the smell of a hush money payment. Mr Todd likely has damaging information that Delta do not want to see the light of day. Delta also have no money to shut him up. Solution : employ him as a “consultant” in the pole replacement program and book the cost there.

It is hard to fathom how Delta and Aurora and their boards are permitted to stagger onwards by their owners. Aurora is the leper of the New Zealand lines industry. Your correspondent understands that it is not uncommon for no applications to be received for recent positions at Delta and Aurora. Mr Steve Thompson may spout about it being an exciting place to work but the industry has voted with its feet. Delta/Aurora is a place where careers are ended, not made.

One final nugget of information : We must hold our nose about Board chair Thompson’s shady past for a few months, as it is understood that he has been instructed to make life as difficult as possible for Grady Cameron, with the aim of having Grady resign prior to June. Mr Thompson is the enforcer, the Richard Loe of the boardroom. (A role he is familiar with and will relish). Welcome to the bottom of the ruck Grady…watch your eyes.

[ends]

****

Note: Personnel profile according to Aurora Energy’s website:
Kewal Bagal
General Manager Energy and Communication
Kewal (BEE) joined Delta in November 2010. He is responsible for Delta’s delivery of infrastructure services to the energy and communications sectors, including electricity and gas distribution, transmission and generation, retailer services and next generation fibre optic networks. Kewal has experience in leading and managing infrastructure services businesses in both the telecommunications and energy sectors in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia with Transpower, Powermark, Alstom, Telecom and Downer. He leads a highly skilled team of 300 people. [Source: Aurora Energy – Delta ELT]

Related Post and Comments:
19.1.17 Jarrod Stewart is EXACTLY RIGHT [what would Steve Thompson know]

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: dishmaps.com – madeira

18 Comments

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Aurora with yet another headache

At Facebook:

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Note this particular meat from Richard Healey’s Facebook post:
[my emphasis]

“If you have a property where the lines were built before 2001, then Aurora owns everything up to the house. The only exceptions are where the lines have been brought up to standard and a letter has been sent to the property owner transferring ownership of the lines or a prior agreement is in place. That has almost never happened in Dunedin. If you think that you have been billed, and shouldn’t have been, write to Aurora. If you don’t get redress file a claim.
If you would like to read the appropriate legislation, look up the electricity act 1992 and search for the definition of “point of supply”.
What does that mean? It means that it’s probable that thousands of Dunedin residents have been charged for maintenance to lines and poles that they do not own.”

Electricity Act 1992
Reprint as at 18 October 2016
http://www.legislation.co.nz/act/public/1992/0122/latest/DLM281858.html

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Letter of opinion draws wide support, view not shared by deathly DCHL

ODT 9.1.16 (page 6)

odt-9-1-16-letters-to-editor-pillans-p6-1

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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