Tag Archives: Whistleblowing

Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case

The ever-deepening storm centred on the Joanne Harrison fraud case just became a hurricane. Yesterday’s State Services Commission investigation report is likely to trigger a new chain of events that could extend well beyond embattled Auditor General Martin Matthews, writes Peter Newport

### thespinoff.co.nz July 21, 2017
The Ministry of Transport fraud case: Why the rot goes deeper than Joanne Harrison
By Peter Newport | Contributing writer
The State Services Commission investigation, published yesterday, makes one thing very clear: Joanne Harrison influenced the exit of four fellow Ministry of Transport employees who tried to tell their bosses that she was a fraudster. She managed to hire friends and steal over $700,000 from the ministry despite numerous staff attempting to call attention to her actions. This all happened while she was reporting directly to then-chief executive Martin Matthews, who is now our auditor general – albeit on temporary leave. The Commission has now apologised and is offering compensation to those former staff members. Its report also highlights many other issues at the Ministry, arguing that the 17-year-old legislation that covers whistleblowers needs to be changed and improved.

A second investigation, into whether Martin Matthews is a suitable person to continue as auditor general, is due from Sir Maarten Wevers in the coming days. Matthews is currently constructing his response to the unpublished, but complete, Wevers investigation. He has been given until the end of this week to complete it.

The Harrison case has some similar dynamics to the Todd Barclay drama. It’s become less about the initial problem than how it was handled. Who told the truth and who tried to obscure or even bury the truth. The difference with the Harrison situation is that she is now in jail and the truth is coming out – fast.

The Spinoff has been looking at exactly who did what, and when. That job has been made easier by a new, recent MOT whistle-blower who has produced and provided to us a detailed timeline noting all the evidence, which we publish here, utilising material released by the Ministry of Transport and available to view here. The same whistle-blower has shared a bizarre insight into Martin Matthews’ statements during his time at the Ministry of Transport.

But first, a quick tour of the jigsaw puzzle of documents that reveal a picture of Martin Matthews being given not clues, or hints, but what appear to be multiple solid facts that highlighted Joanne Harrison as a Grade A con artist and thief.
Read more

Founded in 2014, The Spinoff is New Zealand’s fastest growing media startup, amassing a monthly New Zealand audience of over 500,000 in less than three years.
We’ve assembled a team of agenda-setting journalists and critics, working across text, audio and video to create a true 21st century media brand. In just two years, The Spinoff has been nominated for 24 Canon awards, winning six. Our growth has been driven by a creative editorial style and innovative business model, emphasising long-term relationships with like-minded brands and a close connection with a young, educated and urban audience. Duncan Greive won both NZ Marketing Magazine‘s Editor of the Year as well as the People’s Choice title for Editor and Media Visionary in their media issue, July 2017. The Spinoff also claimed the title for Digital Media Brand of the Year as well as the People’s Choice title for the same award.


Comment received from russandbev
2017/07/21 at 10:52 am

The recent revelations about what happened to the whistleblowers in the Ministry of Transport have, I’d suggest, application in Dunedin. Think of the parallels. In the MoT case a manipulative person with a barely-hidden track record of fraud and vindictiveness as well as a well developed sense of entitlement goes about systematically defrauding a government department of close on 3/4 million dollars. Not through some incredibly complex fraud, but one of simply creating business that didn’t exist and creating invoices from them for services that were never provided. Not exactly something that would take a lot to investigate.

Whistleblowers blow the alarm whistles to their managers and nothing happens and the further up the chain the questions were asked, the more dismissive the denials became. Meantime the fraudster moves against the whistleblowers. The Head of the Ministry moves on to even more wondrous things as Auditor General (is that ironic or is that ironic?) and the Minister dismisses all suggestions of wrong-doing. Even the Speaker of the House who employs the Auditor General doesn’t want to get involved.

Now found that the whistleblowers were entirely vindicated by their concerns and they get private and public apologies and a confidential settlement to, in part, recompense them for their treatment by both a fraudster and by management and governance failures. The Protected Disclosures Act [2000] is supposed to protect whistleblowers in BOTH public and private sectors.

Now, I don’t think anyone is suggesting fraud in the case of Aurora/Delta and that should be made plain. However look at the track record of these companies. A fearful record of stupid property speculation costing many many millions which is still going on thanks to Yaldhurst. A willingness to go along with borrowing to supply dividends to the DCHL and the DCC. Decades of ignoring maintenance on the Aurora network closely linked to the governance requirements to minimise costs, maximise profits and supply dividends to build vanity projects by the owners and now the spendup of northwards of 3/4 billion dollars on urgent maintenance bought about these years of neglect.

And then think of the years and layers of denials that these things happened over. When Richard Healey found he could no longer keep working in the company because of all that was being hidden, he gets vilified by EVERYONE that should have listened. EVERYONE is in denial including his past Managers who continued to receive their grossly inflated salaries and those in governance – many of whom refused to even sit down with him and discuss his concerns.

Am I the only one to see the parallels in how a Ministry or a City company deals with whistleblowers? I wonder if we will ever see similar end results in the case of Richard Healey?

{Link added. -Eds}

Reply from Elizabeth
2017/07/21 at 1:02 pm

Not involving Aurora:

Charges of Constructive Fraud have been brought, by joinder, against Delta Utility Services Ltd in the Christchurch High Court by the caveators (original property owners of the Noble Subdivision) at Yaldhurst. The case proceeds.


[decisionmaker.co.nz] formatted by whatifdunedin

Transparency International New Zealand

Related Posts and Comments:
19.7.17 Southern Police : Nothing changed since Tom Lewis wrote Coverups & Copouts
18.7.17 Delta | Infinity | CCC staff collude to defeat Yaldhurst residents (again)
23.5.17 Topical debates on Corruption in New Zealand
22.2.17 Some Councils/CCOs get cleanup from FRAUD and CORRUPTION #NotAll
9.12.16 Auckland corruption charges proved —ring any bells? #South
28.1.16 New Zealand local government T-shirt #haze #corruption
20.9.15 Corruption serious threat to New Zealand #CAANZ
14.9.15 Screening tonight: Paradigm Episode 2! Local Government Corruption in NZ #Sky #YouTube
23.7.15 Publicise: laudafinem.org
13.5.14 Stuff: Colin Espiner usefully defines Corruption

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Commerce Commission, Construction, Corruption, Crime, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, SFO, Transportation, Travesty, What stadium

City Property . . . .

### ODT Online Sat, 10 Jun 2017
Property boss quits
By Chris Morris
The man in charge of the Dunedin City Council’s multimillion-dollar property portfolio has quit following a review by independent auditor Deloitte. [A] Council spokesman ….yesterday confirmed city property manager Kevin Taylor resigned last week. [DCC] responding to Otago Daily Times questions by email, declined to say what Deloitte’s review had found, insisting the final report was “still being considered”. The development came three months after the ODT reported the department responsible for property worth hundreds of millions of dollars was being reviewed ….The role was expected to change in future, with a “specific focus” on community and civic properties ….Mr Taylor’s departure was the latest upheaval for the city property department, following the departure of former city property manager Robert Clark in 2014, and his assistant manager, Rhonda Abercrombie, the following year.
Read more


### ODT Online Fri, 10 Mar 2017
Council’s property department under review
By Chris Morris
The performance of the Dunedin City Council’s city property department is under the scrutiny of an independent auditor. It was confirmed yesterday Deloitte had been called in to examine the department responsible for property worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It is understood the review’s focus was on the department’s performance, and any suggestion of impropriety has been ruled out. Deloitte has been brought in to provide extra resources for the review, but city property manager Kevin Taylor has been replaced in the day-to-day running of the department.
Read more


### ODT Online Tue, 15 Sep 2015
Property manager quits DCC
By Chris Morris
Dunedin City Council manager Rhonda Abercrombie has resigned abruptly, but nobody is prepared to say why. Mrs Abercrombie, the council’s assistant city property manager, handed in her notice last week but was no longer working at the council’s Civic Centre building.
Read more


### ODT Online Tue, 29 Apr 2014
Quick exit for another DCC senior manager
By Debbie Porteous
Another senior manager is to have a quick exit from the Dunedin City Council after the announcement yesterday of his departure. Economic development and property group manager Robert Clark will clear his desk on Friday. He is returning to the commercial sector after six years with the council. Mr Clark’s withdrawal from the organisation comes after a proposal was circulated to staff last month in which his position was effectively disestablished, his responsibilities split between new positions to be created under a new council operating structure. The structure was developed by chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose in a review of the council’s property and economic development operations.
Read more

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Manager Economic Development and Property moving on

This item was published on 28 Apr 2014
The Dunedin City Council’s Group Manager Economic Development and Property Robert Clark is leaving the organisation after six years to return to the commercial sector. General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Tony Avery says Mr Clark’s last day at the DCC will be on Friday, although he will continue to do transitional consulting work in the coming months on some significant projects.
Read more


For some weeks, independently of today’s news, the Dunedin grapevine has been rattling (autumn leaves) with tales of the missing City Property reserves, worth millions.

WHAT, you say. Noooooo.

Let’s hope our elected representatives are onto it.
Historical, it appears.

Thus the shadow boxing about town: raising all the circular questions of who and how, historically.

New blood to a system is supposed to flush out nasties, this takes hard analysis of past annual reports and investments, and of ‘figures’ present and correct —or not. Anything strange or unseemly, a mere whiff of stray fur, should be swiftly signalled to the chief executive for immediate independent audit, especially if to do with a property division.

The age-old question for local government continues to be: if you’re not a business person, how do you smell rats in your balance sheets and upon whom do you rely for sound advice, internally and externally, for the health and solid whereabouts of your ratepayer funds and assets. Indeed, without this staunch critical oversight how on earth can a council operate or even run its companies.

And how do you screen applicants; and monitor job performance.
Without great gaping holes in the cheese and skirtings, People!


Related Post and Comments:
A selection only. Some comments or links to related posts under these post titles are very telling in the collective sense.
26.2.17 No news : Appointment of Group CFO
14.2.17 DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
9.9.16 Calvert on DCC, ‘We could have a much more democratic and transparent operation of council’
12.8.16 DCC trifecta : openness, transparency, accountability —All dead?
10.6.16 g’bye & ’ello [GCFO resigns]
3.12.15 DCC factory crew issues, ELT, CEO….
16.11.15 DCC operating deficit $1M worse than budget
6.11.15 DCC non compos mentis
8.9.15 DCC Citifleet: Council steered off SFO investigation
17.3.15 DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?
23.2.15 Wall Street Mall drops glazing panel to George Street
29.12.14 DCC gets QLDC talent…. the weft and warp deviously weaves
18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet
18.9.14 DCC considers sale of “149 properties”
15.9.14 Cull’s council spent the cash
11.9.14 DCTL: New treasury manager
8.9.14 Jim Harland and the stadium MESS
1.9.14 DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
22.8.14 DCC: Deloitte report referred to the police #Citifleet
31.7.14 DCC: Services and development #staffappointment
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . .
28.12.13 Sue Bidrose, DCC chief executive
18.11.13 DCC: New chief executive
24.9.13 DCC chief executive Paul Orders recommended for Cardiff
14.10.13 DCC: New chief financial officer
7.9.13 Stadium: $266 million, more or less?
2.8.13 DCC, Stadium —sorry picture
24.7.13 DCC / DCHL shake up !!!
4.7.13 Carisbrook: DCC losses
25.5.13 Paul Orders: Dunedin or Cardiff ???
11.5.13 Stadium: Truth, usual whitewash or prosecution ?
21.3.13 DCC: Opportunity created by Stephens’ departure
20.11.12 Dunedin City Council vs Anzide Properties decision: The road “has no legal basis”
31.10.12 Dunedin City Council – all reports posted, belatedly!
26.10.12 DCHL borrowed $23 million to bail DCC
22.8.12 Mr Orders, sir! About your staff expertise…
9.6.12 City Property to compete more obviously in the market (their excuse: PPP)
4.5.12 Who was it – Malcolm Farry? Peter Brown?…
9.11.11 Paul Orders for change!
17.9.11 Paul Orders starts Monday
19.5.11 Information received today
29.12.10 Jim Harland
29.10.10 DCC Chief Executive resigns – timing is everything!
16.8.10 Dunedin City Council security for borrowings
29.7.10 Dunedin social housing
12.6.10 DCC Media Release – CEO salary and performance
18.5.09 Mayor Peter Chin: ‘not about social housing’

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Health & Safety, Heritage, Housing, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Travesty

Topical debates on Corruption in New Zealand

At Twitter:

Other media items:
22.5.17 Can the Auditor-General be trusted to combat corruption?
21.2.17 NZH: Ex Ministry of Transport manager jailed for $726k fraud
26.8.16 Former Ministry of Transport fraudster denied bail


Read Bryce Edwards’ full opinion piece linked below, and the associated reference links.

It’s Worth Your While Dunedin
Because you know instances of this bigger story, and you know them well.

The following is an abridgement.

This website has bolded some words provided by Mr Edwards and the commentators he cites. Words that bloggers increasingly have a ‘steam problem’ to include in everyday use of the English language.

So much for district heating schemes, eh.

### NZ Herald 2:48 PM Tue May 23, 2017
Political Roundup: The unaccountability of elites
By Bryce Edwards
OPINION —How much accountability is there in New Zealand politics and public life? Not enough, it seems, going on recent controversies. Mistakes by those in authority can lead to disasters and misfortunes of various magnitudes. Yet a number of recent examples – ranging from the Pike River tragedy through to the Havelock North water contamination crisis – suggest that there is often a worrying lack of consequences or accountability for the authorities involved.
Following on from yesterday’s Political Roundup column about managers failing to prevent serious fraud in a government department (Can the Auditor-General be trusted to combat corruption?); an obvious question is whether New Zealand has a culture in which there’s a lack of accountability for elites who make serious mistakes.
This need for this question is further underlined by Peter Newport’s strongly argued opinion piece, Is fraudster Joanne Harrison’s old boss really fit to lead NZ’s top public watchdog? In this must-read piece published yesterday, Newport details all of the whistle-blowing attempts to alert Ministry of Transport managers to the crimes being committed in the government department, and how those whistle-blowers then lost their jobs, seemingly as a result. Reading Newport’s account, it seems that much of the fraud was entirely preventable. He asks: “Where was human resources? The Public Service Association? The police? The SFO? The auditor general? The chief executive? This all happened in a modern New Zealand government ministry. In the full light of day.”
He concludes that “the chief executive, and his successor, have consistently refused to properly investigate either what she got away with or the further systemic failings behind the scenes… It’s disgusting. Where does the buck stop and who gets the whistle-blowers their jobs back?”
Part of New Zealand’s democratic deficit relates to a lack of a culture of accountability in public life and governance. According to Karl du Fresne, “Accountability, the long-established principle that someone should be seen to take responsibility for serious mistakes, is frequently talked about but rarely practiced” – see his column, Accountability the price of keeping the system honest. He makes some important points about the apparent decline in standards of accountability in political and public life in New Zealand, pointing out that the end result, is “public confidence in ‘the system’ continues to be steadily eroded.” This is a major democratic problem, says du Fresne: “If no one ends up accepting personal responsibility and incurring a penalty, there’s little incentive to make sure it doesn’t happen again. […] Part of the problem is that “genuine political commentary and critical analysis in New Zealand has been eroded almost to the point of non-existence over the past few decades”. This is the view of Bob Gregory of the Victoria University of Wellington, who links the decline of accountability to the decline of public debate and information…..
So, does all of this lack of accountability mean that New Zealand is possibly more vulnerable to corruption than people assume? This is discussed by former parliamentary staffer Grant McLachlan in his opinion piece, NZ should raise the bar on corruption. McLachlan suggests that New Zealand isn’t well protected from corruption: “Our processes to deal with corruption are flawed. […] When a judge in our highest court doesn’t declare a conflict of interest, the Attorney-General shouldn’t offer the judge a golden handshake to save the taxpayer the cost of an inquiry. When a dodgy mine explodes killing 29, out-of-court payments should not influence the dropping of a prosecution. The Protected Disclosures Act was meant to protect good faith whistle-blowers when reporting ‘serious wrongdoing’. Poor internal processes, however, have resulted in witch-hunts and whitewashes.”
Finally, does the culture of misinformation and opaque politics play a part in limited accountability? Graham Adams thinks so, and says that there’s good reason for being appalled by the deception that comes out of government these days. He says “Kept in the dark and fed endless bullshit, it’s difficult for even engaged citizens to make sense of much in New Zealand’s public and political life” – see: Information underload: We’re all mushrooms now.
Read more

█ Bryce Edwards, until recently a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago, researches and critiques New Zealand politics, public policy, political parties, elections, and political communication. His PhD, completed in 2003, was on ‘Political Parties in New Zealand: A Study of Ideological and Organisational Transformation’. He is currently working on a book entitled ‘Who Runs New Zealand? An Anatomy of Power’. He is also on the board of directors for Transparency International New Zealand.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.



Filed under Business, Corruption, Democracy, Education, Finance, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Public interest, SFO, Travesty

Bully Regime? Speak Out #health

AntiBullyingSign [takepart.com] 1

“[There is] a sense of bullying from the highest level; that’s the executive leadership team and the group managers,” the source said. Dr Bidrose was “part of the problem”.

### ODT Online Tue, 14 Jun 2016
Claim no DCC bully culture
By Vaughan Elder
A senior Dunedin City Council manager has denied claims there is a culture of bullying at the highest levels of the organisation as details of restructuring emerge. […] This comes as a source, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Otago Daily Times morale remained poor at the council despite chief executive Sue Bidrose insisting otherwise at a staff meeting held at Dunedin City Library in recent weeks.
Read more

W O R K S A F E New Zealand
Bullying – Preventing and responding to workplace bullying
— filed under: Hazard – Psychosocial
This best practice guideline gives options and examples of how to prevent and respond to workplace bullying.

Bullying Guidelines Last updated 11 May 2016
Download: Bullying – Preventing and responding to workplace bullying
(PDF, 1.7 MB)

E M P L O Y M E N T New Zealand
Dealing with bullying
Bullying can mean many things. It can be offensive, intimidating, malicious, humiliating or insulting behaviour.
If you think you’re being bullied, keep a diary of the incidents of bullying behaviour and if it seems there is a pattern, let your employer know. It’s a good idea to follow up any discussion with a formal letter outlining what has been discussed and any proposed actions. This can provide you with valuable support if the problem continues.
Just because bullying doesn’t affect you directly, doesn’t mean that it’s ok. Be ready to help your workmates and encourage them to raise the issue with their employer. A little friendly support is often all that is needed to turn a situation around.

If you’re not comfortable approaching your employer, talk to either your Union or the health and safety officer where you work, and see if they can support you.

█ If you feel that discussions with your employer have failed, you can find out what you can do next by calling the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Contact Centre on 0800 20 90 20. This is a free service and is available to both employers and employees.

Visit the problems solving page for further information.
█ Read more at Employment NZ

SnowPatrolVEVO Uploaded on Dec 23, 2009
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars (2007 version)
Music video by Snow Patrol performing Chasing Cars. (C)2006 Polydor Ltd (UK)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: takepart.com – AntiBullyingSign


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Education, Health, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Public interest, Site

Santa Cull’s idea of standing orders 14.12.15 #xmasface

Santa Dave's xmas present to Cr Vandervis 14.12.15 Council meetingMr Cull to Cr Vandervis: “You, sir, are a liar. Now leave.” [screenshot]

Texts received from Lee Vandervis
Tue, 15 Dec 2015 at 7:48 a.m.

█ Message: Feel free to publicly contrast what I said to ODT reporter Chris Morris with what he said I said on today’s front page.

Lee, just checking – you planning on take big any action over the mayors comments today? Chris @ ODT

Not planning any action over Mayoral comments today because action over Mayor Cull previously defaming me as shonky’ finally got an unreserved apology from him but cost a lot of time and ratepayers money as did the farcical Code of Conduct sideshow. Shame that after all the evidence that I have provided especially what has been confirmed regarding my 2011 Citifleet allegations, that our new Procurement Policy still has not resulted in an independent Procurement manager position to oversee all individual managers’ contracting behaviour . Unfortunately my email programme died last Thursday and is still inoperative. Cheers Lee

Otago Daily Times Published on Dec 14, 2015
Councillor Lee Vandervis asked to leave a DCC meeting

Exchange erupts on discussion of DCC’s new procurement policy and ‘historical’ kickbacks.

### ODT Online Tue, 15 Dec 2015
Cull, Vandervis cross swords at council meeting (+ video)
By Chris Morris
A furious bust-up saw Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull call Cr Lee Vandervis a liar and order him to leave yesterday’s Dunedin City Council meeting. The extraordinary scene saw both men on their feet, their voices raised as they roared over the top of each other, before Cr Vandervis packed up in silence and left with a parting shot.
Read more

Report – Council – 14/12/2015 (PDF, 143.8 KB)
Procurement Policy (Proposed), December 2015

Related Posts and Comments:
14.12.15 Epere arrested
14.12.15 ORC, DCC – must be the season, minus goodwill, plus fear! and generous pay!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr (elf)


Filed under Business, Citifleet, Construction, CST, Cycle network, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, Ngai Tahu, NZRU, NZTA, OAG, OCA, Offshore drilling, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Police, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Resource management, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design

ORC, DCC – must be the season, minus goodwill, plus fear! and generous pay!

O me miserum, O Christmas Tree, WHYYYYY (Santa will look after us, won’t he)

xmas - charlie_brown_christmas [westword.com] 1

The survey showed staff were particularly unhappy about the council’s executive team of five directors and Mr Bodeker.

### ODT Online Mon, 14 Dec 2015
Unhappy at ORC, staff say
By Vaughan Elder
Otago Regional Council’s chief executive has denied there is a “culture of fear” in the organisation after top management were singled out for criticism in a staff survey. Peter Bodeker, who was appointed chief executive in 2012, made the comments after the “2015 Employee Survey”, which was answered by 123 staff (95%), was leaked to the Otago Daily Times.
Read more

Proposal in response to failed attempts at super councils in the North Island.

### ODT Online Fri, 11 Dec 2015
Councils may share services
By David Loughrey
A proposal to amalgamate some services of the six Otago councils is not a move to a super council, mayors say. […] Under the proposed system, local representation would stay as it is, but areas from payroll to IT, legal services, water, wastewater and roading services could be shared.

Steady stream of resignations and redundancies taking its toll.

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Dec 2015
‘Culture of fear’ at DCC
By Chris Morris
Morale within the Dunedin City Council is taking a hammering as criticism and upheaval fuel a “culture of fear”, staff say. The concerns come from past and present staff, who have told the Otago Daily Times about the impact of constant restructuring, stretched budgets and redundancies.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
3.12.15 DCC factory crew issues, ELT, CEO….

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: westword.com – Charlie Brown Christmas, re-coloured by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Citifleet, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, District Plan, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, ORC, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Transportation, Urban design, What stadium

DCC factory crew issues, ELT, CEO….

sue bidrose [whatifdunedin]Following Tony Avery’s departure, a “Ruthless” ‘direct, no-nonsense approach to changeover issues’. Sue Bidrose ‘appeared to lack leadership experience, which she said was “possibly” true’.

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Dec 2015
‘Culture of fear’ at DCC
By Chris Morris
Morale within the Dunedin City Council is taking a hammering as criticism and upheaval fuel a “culture of fear”, staff say. The concerns come from past and present staff, who have told the Otago Daily Times about the impact of constant restructuring, stretched budgets and redundancies.
Read more

So. Staff are at the mercy of the D’urbavilles. There’s a new CEO waiting in the wings if anybody wants to sign out.

Related Posts and Comments:
30.11.15 City council “justifiably proud of its fiscal discipline” —Cull…
19.11.15 DCC Proposed 2GP ridiculousness: formatting + plan content
● 16.11.15 DCC operating deficit $1M worse than budget
9.11.15 Citifleet investigation: Final police report 29.10.15
● 6.11.15 DCC non compos mentis
15.10.15 DCC Citifleet: Redactions redactions
● 18.9.15 DCC suddenly wakes up! *cough —after fleet car pointers…
8.9.15 DCC Citifleet: Council steered off SFO investigation
● 22.8.15 DCC cycleway$ now tied to more ‘urban de$ign’ $pend, after reha$h…
10.8.15 DCC AMAZE —oh, more fraud
4.7.15 DCC Citifleet, [a] Deloitte report leaked
25.6.15 DCC Citifleet COVERUP #screwy
9.6.15 City promotion: moral fibre
7.5.15 DCC staff numbers, trending down
● 24.4.15 DCC re Dr Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager
● 17.3.15 DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?
15.2.15 DCC reality check —‘CEO Bidrose confirms no Vandervis complaint…’
11.2.15 Dunedin Cycleways: Pet project staff, ‘entitlement’? #irony
● 27.10.15 DCC: South Dunedin flood | higher learning for chief executive
29.12.14 DCC gets QLDC talent…. the weft and warp deviously weaves
● 19.12.14 DCC: Limited Citifleet investigation about insurance
● 18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet
● 22.11.14 ODT puffery for stadium rousing ?
● 19.11.14 Forsyth Barr Stadium Review
● 3.9.14 Stuff: Dunedin council CEO won’t resign
28.8.19 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
26.8.14 DCC: Extraordinarily stupid appointment ~!!!
31.7.14 DCC: Services and development #staffappointment
● 1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . .
6.1.14 DCC: New Year revelation on staff bonuses
● 28.12.13 Sue Bidrose, DCC chief executive
● 18.11.13 DCC: New chief executive

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Sue Bidrose via Dunedin Television, tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Stadiums

DCC Citifleet: Police finishing final report

DCC logo (fraud) 2

### ODT Online Wed, 16 Sep 2015
Final Citifleet fraud report not finished
By Chris Morris
Dunedin police are still working to finalise a report into the $1.5 million Citifleet fraud, despite announcing in June no charges would be laid, it has been confirmed. The development came as it was confirmed an earlier police report into the Dunedin City Council’s long-running fraud was released to media despite internal concerns from senior police it was out of date, emails showed.
Read more

● The Department of Internal Affairs was keeping a close eye on the Dunedin City Council’s handling of the Citifleet fraud investigation, documents show. (ODT)

█ For more, enter the terms *citifleet*, *bachop*, *bidrose* or *vandervis* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, DIA, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, What stadium

DCC Citifleet: Council steered off SFO investigation

Link received.
Mon, 7 Sep 2015 at 9:47 p.m.

█ Message: Spot the difference – a Maori group gets the SFO while Dunedin Ratepayers get a lowly detective.

### NZ Herald Online 3:59 PM Monday Sep 7, 2015
Tertiary funding probe: SFO called in as centre agrees to pay back $7.5 million
By Steve Deane
A senior manager is dead and a Serious Fraud Office investigation has been launched following a probe into an agricultural college that uncovered millions of dollars of unjustified taxpayer funding.
The results of a Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) investigation into funding irregularities at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre were released this afternoon following investigations by the Herald.
Taratahi’s former chief executive, Dr Donovan Wearing, died suddenly in January – three months after the TEC confirmed it was undertaking a ‘targeted review’ of the organisation.
The Herald has been told Dr Wearing addressed staff at the sprawling campus just outside Masterton about the investigation on January 21. The 52-year-old father of six was later found in a critical condition in a shed on campus grounds. He was taken to Wellington Hospital where he died at 10.30pm.
Dr Wearing’s death has been referred to the coroner.
Read more

█ For more, enter the terms *citifleet*, *deloitte*, *vandervis*, *detectives* and *bidrose* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Police, Politics, Property, SFO, Site, What stadium

Cr Vandervis replies to local newspaper

Updated post Sun, 26 Apr 2015 at 2:44 p.m.

Meeting of the Dunedin City Council on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 at 1:00 PM, Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers

Agenda – Council – 28/04/2015 (PDF, 96.6 KB)

Report – Council – 28/04/2015 (PDF, 172.7 KB)
Conduct Committee Report to Council

Updated post Sat, 25 Apr 2015 at 3:00 a.m.

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎24‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎9‎:‎02‎ ‎p.m.
To: Chris Morris [ODT], Nicholas George S Smith [ODT]
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Follow-up questions

Dear Mr Morris,

There are serious DCC issues underpinning the Code of Conduct process.

DCC Bureaucracy has run many months of self-investigations costing quarter of a million dollars, which this Councillor has not been allowed to see the results of.

Unbelievable claims that the acknowledged $1.6++ million worth of fraud was all perpetrated by one man only, now dead.

Months of Police investigation leading nowhere, with no prosecutions because they only looked at missing vehicles and anticipated that all receivers had to say was they thought the dead man had authority to sell in the way he did. And they all did. This despite many assurances from CEO Bidrose to me from the beginning that there would be a full and wide investigation.

My requests to the Serious Fraud Office [including discussion of 3 year plus investigation of Landfill frauds by local Police] to do the job local Police are seem not to be up to. CEO Bidrose claims SFO had been asked to investigate but SFO have no knowledge of this when I ask them to investigate.

Police investigation only claimed to be widened by Police management after my exposing of their very narrow investigation. Still no prosecutions, or Police interest to date in my offered evidence of Citifleet maintenance contract fraud, credit card fraud etc.

Mayor Cull and CEO Bidrose saying that no public comment allowed while investigations ongoing, but commenting themselves that it was all down to just one man and that the public can have confidence in the living remainder of the DCC organisation.

Mayor Cull accepting non-confirming [devoid of any evidence] Conduct complaints against me.
Crs. Thomson and Staynes add tampered evidence to one of their complaints but not the other – both immediately accepted again by Mayor Cull.

Mayor Cull falsely claims it is within his authority to choose the membership of the Code of Conduct committee against me. Is defeated.
Mayor Cull chooses again, this time with majority Councillor rubber stamp.

CEO Bidrose fails to ensure proper meeting and Code of Conduct processes over many weeks, fails to read my related email, finally culminating in hallway loudness. My full apology should have been printed and still should.

Audit and Risk committee fails to address major DCC problem of contract fraud, identifying 17 types of fraud but not including contract or tender fraud which I have been complaining of repeatedly.
Audit and Risk chair refuses ultra vires to allow any discussion or debate on 40 page pivotal financial report confirmed agenda item which I had previously indicated in the meeting I wanted to speak to.
Cr. Calvert also wished to speak to it but the Chair abused her authority and shut it down. This along with a history of other A&R suppression was the cause of this loudness and my final exit from this committee.

These are all real issues with stories you should be interested in Mr Morris, but instead you bypass the reasons “Whatever the reasons for your frustration…” miss the important issues and ask 5 inane questions about my behaviour.
These are the actions of a gossip columnist, not a reporter.

Cr. Vandervis

{Draft text deleted at Cr Vandervis’s request. -Eds}

On 24/04/15 4:11 PM, “Chris Morris” wrote:


I’m following up on this morning’s story. I tried to include as much as I could of your comments, where they addressed the issues being raised in the conduct committee’s report, but I’d still far rather talk through it all point by point, in detail.

Failing that, can you respond to these specific questions about where to from here:

1. Whatever the reasons for your frustration, do you now accept that your behaviour (as reported by witnesses in the report) was bullying, aggressive and intimidating and included swearing (which you initially denied)?

2. If you do, what changes (if any) will you make to modify your behaviour, other than the previously mentioned plan to raise concerns with council staff only by email?

3. What is your reaction to the comments by Richard Thomson, who said your approach was counter-productive and your talents wasted?

4. What is your reaction to the comments by Cr Thomson and others suggesting a genuine apology might be the best way forward? Will you consider this, or do you plan to offer one at Tuesday’s meeting or at any other time, or do you maintain that you have already offered one?

5. Do you think your behaviour (as described in 1) is in any way appropriate for an elected public representative? If not, and given the limited sanctions available to the council, will you be considering your position, including whether or not you should resign?


—care of whatifdunedin

Richard Thomson Facebook - ODT 24.4.15 Cr Thomson on Cr Vandervis 1Mayor Cull on Cr Vandervis - ODT 24.4.15

ODT articles:
Penalty urged for Vandervis
Voting rights loss ‘punishing wrong people’

█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO

DCC re Dr Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager

From: Sandy Graham
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎24‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎4‎:‎16‎ ‎p.m.
To: Lee Vandervis
Cc: Sue Bidrose, Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: RE: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager

Dear Lee

Please find attached the information you have requested about the responsibilities of Dr Bidrose.
It took a few days to collate as I wanted to ensure accuracy.

The information will also be forwarded to all Councillors for their information.


[click to enlarge]

Sue Bidrose - timeline of managerial responsibilities 2010 - 2013 [screenshot]



From: Sandy Graham
Sent: Friday, 17 April 2015 8:45 p.m.
To: Lee Vandervis
Cc: Sandy Graham; Sue Bidrose; Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Re: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager

Dear Lee

I will get this information on my return to work on Monday.


Group Manager Corporate Services
Dunedin City Council


On 17/04/2015, at 4:12 pm, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Dear Sandy and Sue,

Thank you for correcting my overestimation of the time Sue was senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming DCC CEO.
I sincerely apologise for my inaccuracy.
To avoid future inaccuracy on my part, can you please clarify which departments Sue was in a managerial position over and for what periods in the years Sue was at the DCC prior to be coming our CEO.

Kind regards,

The overestimation was made in Cr Vandervis’s open letter found at the highlighted link below (15.4.15). -Eds

█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC severely FAILS councillor #naturaljustice #contempt

Updated post Sun, 26 Apr 2015 at 2:45 p.m.

Meeting of the Dunedin City Council on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 at 1:00 PM, Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers

Agenda – Council – 28/04/2015 (PDF, 96.6 KB)

Report – Council – 28/04/2015 (PDF, 172.7 KB)
Conduct Committee Report to Council

Received from Lee Vandervis
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 at 6:22 p.m.

█ Message: Your readers may be interested in this email exchange below.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:58:40 +1300
To: Sandy Graham
Cc: Stuart Anderson [University of Otago], Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins, Sue Bidrose
Conversation: Code of Conduct public announcement
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct public announcement

This does not answer my governance question Ms Graham, as to why I was not advised that this was coming out.
There has been nothing standard about any of this Code of Conduct process.
Cr. Lee Vandervis


On 23/04/15 11:48 AM, “Sandy Graham” wrote:

Dear Councillor

The report formed part of the public agenda that was delivered to all Councillors last night in advance of Tuesday’s meeting.

The media receive a copy of the agenda at the same time as per our standard process.



On 23/04/2015, at 10:34 am, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Code of Conduct public announcement
Dear [as in expensive] all,

I have been rung by media this morning wanting my comment on the outcome of the Code of Conduct claims against me.

Nobody has had the decency to inform me of what these outcomes might have been, despite the exceptionally long time the production of these outcomes has taken.

Can anyone advise me why the media seem to have this information well in advance of me, or is it just standard process for a show ‘trial’, in which I have not even been allowed to see 2/3 of the ‘evidence’.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

Received from Lee Vandervis
Thu‎, ‎23‎ ‎Apr‎ ‎2015 at ‎7:12‎ ‎p.m.

Re: Code of Conduct decision

I have sent my response to today’s Code of Conduct decision just sprung on me to you since I can not rely on ODT reporter Chris Morris to accurately present it.
Fortunately most interested parties read your blog anyway.

I am innocent of the Code of Conduct claim that I have misled the non-pubic Audit and Risk committee regarding the Citifleet fraud investigations.
The guilt lies with those DCC staff and some elected representatives who for years failed to act on my Citifleet fraud and other whistle-blowing allegations despite the DCC records evidence available to them. Some of this evidence has recently emerged in the Deloitte reports which I continue to seek.
If my allegations and evidence had been appropriately acted on, many matters of grave concern would have been dealt with when the record shows I raised them as early as 2011.
DCC staff refusal even now to let me see the full main unredacted Deloitte Citifleet Fraud report, or the Deloitte staff report, or the digitised relevant DCC records evidence, further increases my suspicion of a cover-up.
Questions regarding the role of new DCC CEO Bidrose as senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming CEO, and of what she knew of my allegations in the years prior are some of the many questions yet to be answered.

What has been shown is that the Police investigation was certainly very narrowed up until my complaint of this narrowing to CEO Bidrose and the Police investigating officer, some six months after the Citifleet manager’s sudden death. Subsequent claims by Area Commander Jason Guthrie that the investigation has been widened have not been supported by Police following up on the evidence I tried to interest them in: the Citifleet maintenance contract fraud, DCC credit card use fraud, etc. or by any convictions, or other widened investigation action that has been visible to me.

The two loudness claims, evidence of which I have not been allowed to see and therefore defend, both come back to the shutting down of the wider DCC contract fraud debate, and the resulting multiple abuses of Code of Conduct process to try and shut me down.

The four prescribed penalties suggested in the Code of Conduct report are:

1 -Censure
– the Mayor has already done this on pubic and non-public occasions.

2 -Request Apology
– I already apologised for loudness at the time

3 -Suspension of voting right only in Committees, not Council
– abuse of my representative function, but a wet bus ticket given my continuing right to debate

4 -Dismissal from positions of Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or deputy chairperson of a committee
– Mayor Cull already did this at the beginning of the triennium.

The Mayor’s recommended members of the Code of Conduct Committee have run an expensive Kangaroo Court with only my loss of two months committee voting rights to be recommended. It will be interesting to see if enough Councillors will vote for that.
It will also be interesting to see what the voting public think – do they want wide investigation and full disclosure or do they just prefer good news stories from the DCC.

Kind regards,
Cr. Vandervis

Received from Lee Vandervis
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 at 7:17 p.m.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:15:55 +1300
To: Chris Morris [ODT], Nicholas George S Smith [ODT]
Conversation: Code of conduct report
Subject: Re: Code of conduct report


I have sent my response to the What If site, as I can not rely on you to accurately present it.

I was out last night, and the first I heard of the Code of Conduct decision today was radio media wanting comment.



On 23/04/15 3:34 PM, “Chris Morris” [ODT] wrote:


I’ve sent you a text with a very basic outline of the key findings. Happy to hear from you at any time today or tonight for a detailed response once you’ve read the report in full. I understand it was hand-delivered to your house last night.



—— End of Forwarded Message

Related Posts and Comments:
15.4.15 Cr Lee Vandervis: Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee
18.3.15 Lee Vandervis releases emails #Citifleet investigation
17.3.15 DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?
13.3.15 Cr Lee Vandervis: LGOIMA…. Citifleet Investigation – Deloitte Report
26.2.15 DCC and the day(s) of Madness
23.2.15 Lee Vandervis on DCC Code of Conduct process #emails #naturaljustice
15.2.15 DCC…. ‘CEO Bidrose confirms no Vandervis complaint with a hug’
6.2.15 Cr Lee Vandervis apology
5.1.15 DCC: Chairman denies true and correct Council record
19.12.14 Vandervis: Deloitte and Police Citifleet investigations
19.12.14 DCC Citifleet by email . . . . woops! (another timeline proof)
18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet #whitewash
24.10.14 DCC Citifleet, more revelations….
21.10.14 DCC Citifleet, undetectable….
1.9.14 DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis
30.8.14 DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts….

█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO

Cr Lee Vandervis: Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee

Updated post Fri, 17 Apr 2015 at 6:45 p.m.
Correspondence from Lee Vandervis in reply to Sandy Graham and Sue Bidrose; and forwarded note to Code of Conduct Committee – entered below last update to post.

Updated post Fri, 17 Apr 2015 at 1:46 p.m.
Correction received by email from Sandy Graham, DCC General Manager Corporate Services entered below Open Letter.

Received Wed, 15 Apr 2015 at 11:24 a.m.

█ Message: I have forwarded this Open Letter to the DCC Code of Conduct Committee in an attempt to debunk the many misleading claims around the DCC Citifleet fraud investigations.
I am happy to provide supporting email evidence for anything stated below that your readers may find questionable.
Cr. Vandervis

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2015 22:48:00 +1300
To: John Bezett, David Benson-Pope, Stuart Anderson


Dear Sirs,

Three separate Code of Conduct issues have been raised against me this year following my Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Cull which Deputy Mayor Staynes decided, without giving his reasons to me, not to refer to you.
There has been an uncomfortable mix of assertions and facts in the limited evidence that has been presented regarding the claim that I misled over Citifleet investigations, which I would like you to consider.

Provable facts include my long mostly non-public attempts to clean out dysfunctional management at the DCC since I was first elected in 2004. Partial success keeps me going.
I never expected whistle blowing to be popular, but neither did I expect such personal attacks for my trouble on behalf of our ratepayers.

Regarding the Citifleet frauds, my records show my many 2011 complaints to senior DCC management of: inappropriate DCC vehicle disposal, Citifleet manager selling vehicles to himself, credit card fraud, vehicle maintenance tender fraud, and tyre fraud are all well documented.
What is equally clear is that nothing was done to seriously investigate these complaints which all turned out to have substance until almost 3 years later when the Citifleet manager’s ‘sudden death’ resulted in new CEO Sue Bidrose ordering the DCC accountants Deloittes to investigate.
Dr. Sue Bidrose had been the most senior manager in charge of Citifleet and many other DCC departments prior to becoming CEO. It is my view that whatever evidence she might have given is not only inadmissible in terms of process because I had not been advised in advance of her evidence or her intention to give evidence, but that Dr. Bidrose is compromised because of her years as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death.

In the month following the Citifleet manager’s sudden death I repeatedly urged CEO Bidrose and head of Governance Sandy Graham to resist the temptation to minimize the frauds’ fallout by narrowing the investigation or by blaming it all on the dead manager. Although later admitting that the initial request for investigation related mainly to missing vehicles, CEO Bidrose gave me assurances from the beginning that Deloittes and then later Police would conduct a wide investigation. This provably did not happen with the Police, and I have no evidence other than yet another management assurance that it has or will really happen.

CEO Bidrose also gave me assurances from the beginning of the investigations that if I could provide hard evidence of DCC staff stealing even one dollar she would ensure prosecutions followed. Unfortunately the DCC records evidence which I have sought to complete hard evidence cases against both DCC staff and those involved outside the DCC has been denied me by CEO Bidrose, despite my making LGOIMA requests for it last year, namely: both the full unredacted Deloittes report, the Deloittes staff report, and the digitised evidential files which Deloittes collated for their investigation.
In that month following the Citifleet manager’s death I became very concerned when CEO Bidrose did not achieve a proper Police investigation apparently ‘because Police lacked the resources’, and that only the accounting investigation by Deloittes was to take place. I was relieved that Deloittes’ investigator Kyle Cameron seemed to have a good grasp of the many Citifleet complaints that had been made to me during his detailed interview of me, and that subsequent to the Deloitte reports Police were to investigate fully after all.
My concerns about Police having a belated investigation three months later are recorded, as are my concerns that Police requested that no public statements be made about Citifleet while their belated investigation was in progress. This despite Mayoral and CEO public statements that the Citifleet frauds were all the work of one now dead man.

I have highlighted with evidence to the SFO and CEO Bidrose the extreme slowness of a previous Dunedin Police investigation into DCC Landfill frauds that took more than three years before one individual was finally prosecuted, and I have written to the Serious Fraud Office unsuccessfully urging them to have an outsider’s independent investigation into the Citifleet frauds because local Police seem unable to do the job. CEO Bidrose claimed that the SFO had been contacted re the Citifleet frauds, but curiously the SFO’s Sara Morris said to me that no request from the DCC to investigate had been received by the SFO prior to my request for them to investigate.

My worst fears for the hoped for DCC investigation were realised when the Police investigating officer Detective Mathew Preece interviewed me at my home six months after the Citifleet manager’s tragic death, in what he described as the last week of his investigation. Detective Preece said that the scope of his investigation was only the missing vehicles and that he had already interviewed all other people he intended to interview. He said that all those he interviewed regarding missing vehicles offered the defence that they thought the deceased Citifleet manager was authorised to dispose of the vehicles in the way that he did, and that subsequently there would be no prosecutions of anybody.
I told Detective Preece that I had received many Citifleet complaints for years regarding not only vehicle disposal but fraudulent Citifleet credit card use, tyre supply, fuel supply, and fraudulent Citifleet maintenance contracts and that I had a motor trade business owner and others prepared to give evidence on these issues.
That night I wrote the following email to CEO Bidrose, Head of Governance Sandy Graham and to Detective Preece voicing my concern at the very limited scope of the investigation, and the investigating officer’s understanding that he could not investigate anything else because he did not have any wider complaint from the DCC to act on.

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:57:31 +1300
To: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, “PREECE, Matthew”
Conversation: Police Citifleet Investigation
Subject: Police Citifleet Investigation

Dear Sue,

An hour and a half spent with Detective Matthew Preece and another Policeman called Regan has left me with deep concerns regarding the Police Citifleet investigation.
Mr Preece has informed me that the scope of his investigation has been limited by the complaint the DCC has made to the Police, and that this complaint only concerns missing or inappropriately sold DCC vehicles.

Mr Preece says that because Police have not had a complaint from you or the DCC regarding;
– fraudulent Citifleet tender processes,
– fraudulent Citifleet tyre supply contracts,
– fraudulent Citifleet maintenance contracts
– fraudulent use of DCC Citifleet vehicle fuel
– fraudulent DCC accounting of Citifleet credit cards and other payment methods used and Citifleet managerial oversight
– and fraudulent use and conversion of DCC Citifleet vehicles [eg the conversion of a DCC-owned vehicle by Mrs Bachop]

and that consequently none of these fraud areas is being investigated!

Mr Preece did say that if you as CEO were to request that he broaden his investigation to include these other areas and not just the missing cars, that he would broaden his enquiry to include them. He insisted that he would have to have a broadened complaint from you as CEO for this to happen, and implied that a complaint from me as a City Councillor would not be enough to act on.

I have highlighted to Preece and Regan the urgent need to use the Citifleet manager’s tragic death to investigate and prosecute all Citifleet fraud areas, as a failure to do so will result in the loss of an unprecedented opportunity to clean out the culture of entitlement at Citifleet and in other DCC departments.

Can you please with urgency broaden the DCC complaint to include the 6 areas of potential Citifleet fraud listed above, so that Mr Reece can broaden his enquiry to include them.

Can you please also now with urgency, forward to me all instructions to Deloitte regarding the Citifleet investigation as previously requested in my email of 26/10/14 as below.

Is it possible to meet with you at any time tomorrow at your convenience to learn whether you have broadened the DCC Police complaint or not?

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 18:23:41 +1300
To: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham
Conversation: LGOIMA requests
Subject: LGOIMA requests

Hi Sue,

Further to my verbal requests of a week or two ago please forward copies of all original correspondence and or other direction given to Deloittes in regard to their investigation of Citifleet.
I wish to have the original brief stating the terms of reference, the subsequent brief where the investigation needed to be extended, and any other direction written or otherwise given to Deloittes regarding the Citifleet investigation.

I am deeply disturbed by what I have seen in parts of the investigation conclusions appearing without covering page or any details identifying them as parts of the Deloitte findings in non-public parts of the Audit and Risk subcommittee meetings.

I note a severe slowing on responses to my recent LGOIMA requests, and hope this has been a temporary frustration.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

Subsequent email from Police Area Commander Guthrie claimed as follows:

From: GUTHRIE, Jason [mailto:Jason.Guthrie@police.govt.nz]
Sent: Saturday, 15 November 2014 10:48 a.m.
To: Sue Bidrose
Cc: COSTER, Andrew; INGLIS, Malcolm
Subject: RE: Investigation Update

Hi Sue.

I can confirm that DCC staff did not (and have not) in any way attempted to restrict, curtail, or limit the scope of the Police investigation stemming from the Deloitte report either at the 1 September meeting or at any other time.

At no stage has any undue influence been exerted by DCC staff on Police as to what should be investigated and what should not be investigated.

At the 1 September meeting it was agreed that the focus of the enquiry would be limited to activity around the 152 vehicles as this was considered to be the most likely aspect to potentially lead to a criminal prosecution.

To avoid any confusion, from the outset the Dunedin City Council has been clear in it’s desire that Police investigate matters arising from the Deloitte report independently, fully, and thoroughly as Police sees fit. The DCC has also been very clear in it’s desire that if any individual(s) are identified as being involved in criminal activity linked to the matters within the Deloitte report that those people be held accountable for that criminal activity.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

regards Jason.

Inspector Jason Guthrie
Area Commander | Dunedin Clutha Waitaki | New Zealand Police

Dunedin Central Police Station, 25 Great King St, Private Bag 1924, Dunedin, www. police.govt.nz
Safer Communities Together

Area Commander Guthrie’s response above says that “DCC staff did not (and have not) in any way attempted to restrict…the Police investigation”, but then goes on to say that …”it was agreed that the focus of the enquiry would be limited to activity around the 152 vehicles…”!

Commander Guthrie’s subsequent claim that the Police investigation would be widened has thus far failed to result in my being contacted to provide the further evidence I have already tried to give Detective Preece regarding credit card fraud, vehicle maintenance contract fraud etc. The lack of any prosecutions after so much time adds to my concern.
This seems to me to be another example of management claiming one thing but investigating officers doing another.

I am yet to be convinced either by Police taking an interest in my offered evidence or by any Citifleet related Police prosecutions that a serious Police investigation has really been effectively widened despite stated intention to widen, even at this now very late stage. I do not dispute Police management intentions, but see them as quite different to actual Police investigating actions, which seem to me to be more interested in sidelining me as a critic of their investigation than getting to the bottom of Citifleet fraud.

Regarding the two other loudness Code of Conduct claimed complaints, I do not recognise them and I remain far from content that CEO Bidrose and Cr McTavish at least have made ‘loudness’ statements to your Code of Conduct Committee [Cr. McTavish read hers] but not provided these statements to me in advance so that I could defend them. I see these loudness complaints as politically motivated attempts to ambush me outside of proper Code of Conduct process, and I do not accept that they can have any force.
The two staff that might have had reason to complain of my loudness, namely CEO Bidrose and Sandy Graham, have made no complaint and both have independently assured me that they did not make any complaint, CEO Bidrose with a hug, and Sandy Graham with an eye-roll.

I particularly resent the swearing allegation that no Councillor has admitted to claiming, despite Mayor Cull’s publicly repeatedly saying in the ODT that my swearing had been claimed by a Councillor. I note the irony that when Code of Conduct complaining Cr. Thomson left an earlier Audit and Risk meeting in a huff using the ‘F word’, that no complaint was forthcoming from anybody.

I take this opportunity to register my complaints regarding the running of this Conduct hearing.
1 – That the loudness complaints should never have been recognised as complying by the Committee for want of evidence.
2 – That I was not permitted to record the public part of the hearing in which I spoke, but that Media were allowed to take short-hand and thus given the opportunity to misquote me with impunity.
3 – That no reason was given when asked for, for not being able to record the pubic hearing.
4 – That parts of the hearing evidence were in public, but that apparently some evidence parts were non-public.
5 – that I have been given an extract only from your draft report, on grey paper marked confidential, ensuring that I can not as a result comment on it. The claim that “This is to ensure that the principles of natural justice and due process are observed.” is absurd, given that natural justice and due process have been absent throughout.

Looking forward to having this wasteful exercise in enmity drawn to a conclusion.
Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message


*Email addresses, phone numbers and web links removed. The company referred to above is “Deloitte”. The councillor surname is “MacTavish”. -Eds


From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎17‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎1‎:‎31‎ ‎p.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr [What if? Dunedin]
Subject: Correction

Dear Elizabeth

As discussed, I wish to correct a statement made by Cr Vandervis in his “Open letter to the Conduct Committee” which is published on your website.

The statement that the CEO Sue Bidrose had “years as the senior manager of Citifleet prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death” is incorrect. Sue had Regulatory Services (which included Citifleet, Building Control, Environmental Health, Parking Services) added to her General Manager portfolio for less than five months in 2013, immediately prior to being appointed CEO. This is clearly not “years” and needs correcting. Cr Vandervis’ assertions that Sue’s evidence to the Conduct Committee was therefore compromised is not supported by the facts.



Sandy Graham
Group Manager Corporate Services
Dunedin City Council

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎17‎ ‎April‎ ‎2015 ‎5‎:‎01‎ ‎p.m.
To: John Bezett, David Benson-Pope, Stuart Anderson
Subject: FW: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet

Dear Code of Conduct Committee,

Please accept my apology for ignorantly overstating the length of time Dr Bidrose was most senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming our CEO.
‘Years’ should read ‘5 months as the senior manager of Citifleet and then 6 months as CEO’ prior to the Citifleet manager’s sudden death.

Kind regards,
Cr Lee Vandervis

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:12:33 +1300
To: Sandy Graham, Sue Bidrose
Cc: Elizabeth Kerr [What if? Dunedin]
Conversation: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager
Subject: Overestimation of Dr. Bidrose’s time as most senior Citifleet Manager

Dear Sandy and Sue,

Thank you for correcting my overestimation of the time Sue was senior manager of Citifleet prior to becoming DCC CEO.
I sincerely apologise for my inaccuracy.
To avoid future inaccuracy on my part, can you please clarify which departments Sue was in a managerial position over and for what periods in the years Sue was at the DCC prior to be coming our CEO.

Kind regards,

—— End of Forwarded Message
—— End of Forwarded Message

█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Name, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics

Lee Vandervis releases emails #Citifleet investigation

Updated post Wed, 18 Mar 2015 at 4:53 p.m.

Site Admin
What if? Dunedin has received a total of 17 emails from Lee Vandervis, including two with email attachments. A further three emails have been withheld from publication due to privacy reasons, and which may be actionable.

The first batch of seven emails feature at this post, with the remaining ten emails (some repeats to different recipients as Mr Vandervis follows up with Kyle Cameron of Deloitte, responsible for the Citifleet investigation) to be added at Comments after being photographed and stitched back together to retain threads.

To be noted, this is part document proof of Cr Vandervis’ efforts from 2011 forward to elicit information on suspicion of fraud occurring at Citifleet. The emails show DCC Senior Management were aware of fraud allegations well prior to 2013/14, despite Council’s formal media statements to the contrary last year. They also support the obvious need that existed for a wider fraud investigation in regards to Council tendering processes, service contracts, traffic of car parts and tyres, staff credit card spending (by multiple available cards) and more – quite apart from disposal of at least 152 Council vehicles in the period 2003-2013, the set arbitrary window for investigation by Deloitte.

The DCC chief executive having taken a fraud complaint to Dunedin police was advised police had insufficient resources for follow up. There was then a three-month gap before police received the Deloitte investigation report commissioned by the Council. Three months is long amount of time to minimise and remove critical evidence within Council and about town. Dunedin City Council knows that. Deloitte knows that. Dunedin police know that. We can assume the Council’s insurers know that, yet they paid out $1 million in two instalments, for the ‘lost’ vehicles only [see DCC media release]. The three-month gap in itself is a suspicious if not criminal activity against Dunedin ratepayers and residents.

For more information at this website, enter the term *citifleet* in the search box at right.

Received from Lee Vandervis
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:19 a.m.

█ Message: I have had enquiries today from members of the public regarding my initial 2011 investigation of Citifleet complaints. For the public record, I am forwarding the related emails I have on record from that period, some of which you may find interesting enough to publish.

Batch #1 (six emails distinguished by blue subject lines and flags)

LV 16.8.11 at 17.37 pm FW Info needed to progress various issues (s2083)

LV 14.10.11 at 22.21 pm FW Info re Brent Bachop (s2084)

LV 8.11.11 at 22.56 pm FW Info re Brent Bachop (s2085 2086)

LV 10.11.11 at 11.40 am FW Turners Auctions problems encountered (s2147 2148)

Attachment 1
BB to BP 29.9.11 at 5.09 pm RE Ute (s2090 2091)

Attachment 2
BB to PB 29.9.11 at 5.10 pm RE Ute (s2092 2093)

LV 10.11.11 at 13.53 pm FW Turners Auctions problems encountered  (s2098 2099 2100) 1

LV 24.7.13 at 21.07 pm FW Electric Fold Up Bikes (s2101-2106)

LV 24.9.13 at 23.11 pm FW New electric bike (s2108 2109) 2

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO

DCC whistleblowing —what is open government ?

### ODT Online Tue, 17 Mar 2015
Council sets up whistleblower committee
By Eileen Goodwin
An internal audit policy adopted by the Dunedin City Council shifts responsibility to governance level, an “important change”, councillor Richard Thomson told a council meeting yesterday. […] Cr Lee Vandervis asked how easy it would be for the general public to tip off the council’s whistleblower, given he was “beginning to tire of the role, given recent events”.
Read more

█ Comments not allowed at ODT Online.

DCC logo (fraud) 2

It is completely ludicrous that our little Cr Thomson is today making public comment on DCC’s new Whistleblower Policy – given Cr Thomson as chair of DCC Finance Committee has had every opportunity to treat his colleague, Cr Vandervis, the Council’s most notoriously effective Whistleblower, with all fairness and due respect but has actively failed on that count, time and time again.

What is it with Cr Thomson, our import from Southern District Health Board and former Otago District Health Board. Doesn’t the Councillor see it as his mission to relieve Dunedin Ratepayers from the living hell of the nearly unsurpassable multimillion-dollar mountain of corruption and fraudulent activity perpetuated at the Council and through its CCOs. Whitewash is not removal, Councillor.

A quietly spoken SDHB informant tells me Susie Johnstone, a chartered accountant, was wheeled in by the Health Board after the Swann fraud, for mop up. Well, Detectives, who wheeled her in and what was the nature of the mop up?

Separately, following Cr Thomson’s uptake into local body politics, Ms Johnstone was recommended for the position of independent chair of the DCC Audit and Risk Subcommittee.

The ARS committee is now to deal with Whistleblowing (no surprises there). As we have already published in previous months, via intimations of the Draft Whistleblower Policy: the DCC contact for Whistleblowers has been a Balclutha woman, whether actively.

Connections regularly multiply. The timing of Council’s announcement of its new Whistleblower Policy is sheer craziness in light of yesterday’s illegitimate farce of a conduct hearing, held at the expense of the DCC Chief Whistleblower. A woman from Balclutha was a witness at the hearing….

Rule of Thumb for DCC Whistleblowers: use outside means.

Good to see Eileen Goodwin reporting on Council business.

### ODT Online Tue, 17 Mar 2015
Vandervis accused of ‘bullying’ behaviour
By Vaughan Elder
Dunedin City councillor Lee Vandervis’ aggression towards colleagues was slammed as unacceptable at a code of conduct hearing yesterday. The committee heard evidence relating to three complaints, two of which related to him behaving in an “aggressive” manner. […] The panel’s independent chairman, Prof Stuart Anderson, of the University of Otago’s faculty of law, noted the committee needed to look at Cr Vandervis’ intent and not whether he was correct.
Read more

█ Comments allowed at ODT Online.
How many comments will be lost and deleted?


### ODT Online Tue, 17 Mar 2015
Councillor apologises for ‘loudness’
By Vaughan Elder
[…] In an effort to not upset people, [Cr Lee Vandervis] would no longer go to the audit and risk subcommittee – where he was accused of being aggressive towards the independent chairwoman – and make his complaints to chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose by email rather than in person. These two steps would “more” importantly stop him from being the subject of further “political back-stabbing”, he said.
Read more

█ Comments not allowed at ODT Online.

Related Posts and Recent Comments:
13.3.15 Cr Lee Vandervis: LGOIMA request – Citifleet … Deloitte Report
23.2.15 Lee Vandervis on DCC Code of Conduct process #emails #naturaljustice
18.12.14 DCC: Deloitte report released on Citifleet #whitewash

● For more, enter the terms *vandervis* and *citifleet* in the search box at right.

Dunedin City Council – Standing Orders (PDF, 1019.0 KB)
The Standing Orders set out rules for the conduct meetings of the Dunedin City Council and includes the Code of Conduct for Elected Members, as adopted at the inaugural Council meeting Oct 2010.

DCC Committee Structures and Delegations Manual (PDF, 328.7 KB)
This document details the constitution of the Council, Committees and Subcommittees, and the delegations to the Chief Executive.

Deloitte Report – redacted copy (PDF, 3.8 MB)
Project Lewis – Investigation Report

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, What stadium

DVML: No harassment policy or complaints procedure II

Received from Bev Butler
Mon 21 Jul 2014 at 11:44 p.m.

Message: Just received the attached letter from Terry Davies, dated 17 July 2014.
There are still NO sexual harassment or complaints policies in place at DVML in spite of my letter to ODT at the end of last year alerting Sir John Hansen.
Sexual harassment has allegedly taken place, complaints were made against a senior manager of DVML and no action taken.
Why did Sir John Hansen not take this issue seriously enough to put these policies in place to protect the DVML staff?

DVML Sexual harrassment and complaints policies (PDF, 458 KB)

Terry Davies letter 17.7.14 DVML sexual harassment and complaints policies

Related Post and Comments:
20.12.13 DVML: No harassment policy or complaints procedure, really?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, DVML, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line

While the Star-Times has, over the past eight years, unveiled a string of questionable arrangements around pokie machines involving a number of gaming trusts, the department [Internal Affairs] has brought only a few major prosecutions.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 22/04/2012
The inside man
By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star Times
Martin Legge spent two decades as a cop in Levin, catching the crims and then, as police prosecutor, taking them to court. Now, he says, he wonders why. “I’m embarrassed that we used to run around chasing guys for $1000 they ripped off Social Welfare,” he says. “The big money is heading out the back door through softly regulated industries full of people in suits who should know better.” After leaving the police, Legge worked for a gaming machine trust which gave out poker machine grants. What he saw over the next decade shocked, disgusted and disillusioned him. He tried to brief his local MP, the gaming minister Nathan Guy, on the state of the industry. And then Internal Affairs, the industry watchdog, rang him up. Would he, it asked, become a whistleblower? Legge and his wife Liz hand-delivered two bulging ringbinders of documents to the department, packed with incriminating emails (some marked “delete this email forever”) to and from his colleagues at the Trusts Charitable Foundation. He also gave Internal Affairs a 9200-word statement. He was interviewed by an investigator who said he was confident of a result. Then he was told it was a “slamdunk”. In January 2011, the head of investigations told the Legges the case was “90 per cent complete” and he was contemplating seven serious charges against individuals and the trust. Legge waited, and waited. He wrote again to Guy, who rebuffed him, he contacted the auditor-general’s office, and pursued Internal Affairs until March [2012], when the department finally told him it was, pretty much, case closed. By then, Legge says wryly, relations were “strained”.

So why, when he supplied Internal Affairs with material on a string of questionable incidents that could have resulted in multiple prosecutions, has nothing happened?

In March, Dave Sayers [at Internal Affairs] finally wrote, essentially dismissing most of Legge’s key concerns and, in two cases, around Acklin’s behaviour and $5m of grants given to the Otago Rugby Union, said investigations continued, although allegations around those two incidents were now as much as six years old.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Economics, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Sport, Stadiums

Questions about landfill charges + DCC reveals contaminated sites

Updated 24.10.09 at 12:07 p.m.

### ODT Online Sat, 24 Oct 2009
ORC moves to clean up toxic home
By Chris Morris
The Otago Regional Council could move to clean up the site of a Dunedin toxic home. Council staff returned to the Selwyn St villa, in Northeast Valley, yesterday to take up to 17 new soil samples.
Read more


### ODT Online Fri, 16 Oct 2009
Contamination list outdated
By Chris Morris
Angry business owners have won a concession from the Otago Regional Council, which yesterday admitted its list of contaminated sites, made public earlier this week, was up to 10 years out of date.
Read more


### ODT Online Wed, 14 Oct 2009
Allegations of conflict rejected
By Simon Hartley
Allegations of a conflict of interest and unfair financial gain have been rejected by Dunedin City Council trading company Delta Utility Services, which has completed an internal investigation after concerns were raised by a staff member. Delta is an electricity services contractor and property developer. It also has water and wastewater maintenance contracts for numerous South Island councils.
Read more


### ODT Online Wed, 14 Oct 2009
DCC reveals contaminated hotspots
By Chris Morris
The dark histories of 30 properties in Dunedin contaminated by petrol spills, buried asbestos and industrial chemicals have been revealed by the Dunedin City Council. The city’s confirmed contamination hotspots were released to the Otago Daily Times this week, following a request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. The council is withholding details of another 194 sites.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Delta, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Site

Pedantry from our "very patient guy"

### ODT Online Fri, 22 May 2009
Chin awaits second attempt at apology
By Chris Morris

The silence appears to be deafening as Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin awaits a second attempt at an apology from city councillor Teresa Stevenson.
Read more


Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Politics, Stadiums