Tag Archives: Whistleblowing

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

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### 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

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### 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

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### 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.
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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

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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!

[pennlive.com]

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.

9 Comments

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

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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
Politics
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?”
….[break]
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…..
….[break]
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.”
….[break]
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.

[picdn.net]

10 Comments

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

29 Comments

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

REAL TIME
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)

36 Comments

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)
THERE IS NO BULLYING, NOPE

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

41 Comments

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

12 Comments

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

5 Comments

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