How long before we stop building roads and become Jetsons?

Once in a century there is a truly transformational technology that drives enormous social change. Could travel in the 3rd dimension be it?

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What would I have done differently as Mayor?

In response to many people asking me what I would have done differently at the outset given the STV votes necessary to be Mayor, my plan was to change many things.
First I would have awarded Councillor positions/subcommittees on merit/experience, and depending on Councillor preferences would have made either Cr. O’Malley or Cr. Hawkins my deputy because they are the most accomplished speakers with ability to chair meetings and would have brought a representative balance to Council.
I would have awarded equal payments to all Councillors to avoid the A-team/B-team self-interest issues, and disestablished the main Committees and Chairs positions as these are name-only pretensions. This would make all these Committee meetings full Council meetings, since they are not subcommittees and include all Councillors anyway.
Councillors are all elected equally to represent all of Dunedin, so should have an equally level playing field where the focus is on good decisions, rather than on personal advancement from mere Councillor to the empty title of Deputy Chair, to Chair where you get some real influence and now an extra $12,000+ per year, membership of important and sometimes even more lucrative subcommittees and the inner circle A-Team, then to Deputy Mayor and finally to the position that really matters – Mayor.
For example, as a fellow Councillor, Cr. Hawkins earned more that twice as much as I did last year [Cr Hawkins total remuneration from the DCC was $136,075 in the 2017/18 year], not because of more experience or RMA certification, but because he was one of Mayor Cull’s favourites, a chosen Chair and Commissioner.
The Mayoralty is all-important because all of the decisions above are the Mayor’s to make [even if some need rubber-stamping by Council], along with being the media spokesperson for Council, oversight of agenda preparation, conduit to the Chief Executive and staff, control of full Council meetings, control of a Mayoral fund, and automatic membership of University of Otago and Chamber of Commerce Committees,  etc.
The often-quoted claim that the Mayor has only one vote and needs the ‘teamwork’ of a majority of Councillors ‘to get things done’ is mistaken on many levels. To get good decisions that will get needed things done, the Mayor can ensure properly informed, balanced agendas and reasoned respectful debate, all of which are currently undermined by party politics, brown-nosing for positions and higher pay, unbalanced staff agendas, Groupthink and Codependency.
Poor Council decisions, pet projects, and wasteful spending have long been the result, so that Dunedin’s development continues to lag behind the New Zealand average on: Employment, Consumer spending, Tourism- visitor spend,
Guest nights, Car and Commercial vehicle registrations, Job seekers, Traffic flow, Residential and non-residential consents and Gross Domestic Product.
Dunedin has the educated people, natural Port, beautiful environment and historic infrastructure and land to do much better than the NZ average, and better Local Government is the key to realising this potential.


In conjunction with the CEO, I would have created a new staff position called ‘Chief of Staff’ who would liaise and communicate between staff and elected representatives to give elected representatives a closer understanding of staff information and processes, allowing relationships between elected members and staff to be better informed and mutual directions better achieved.
The physical raising of Mayor and Staff above the Councillors’ floor level in the Council Chamber is a minor but dis-empowering bit of psychology that I had intended to change by getting rid of the raised-floor sections for Staff, quitting the elevated Mayoral throne and sitting at the head of the Debating Chamber table at the same level as all other elected members.
I believe that with no greasy pole to climb and the elimination of Mayoral-created hierarchies amongst Councillors, that a focus on debate of issues rather than on personal Councillor advancement and earnings would be encouraged.

Many other DCC efficiency changes have long been needed in my opinion, and as Mayor I believe it would have been possible to introduce many of these quite quickly.
My hope looking forward, is that Dunedin will still be able to reach its long-delayed potential and embrace the changes needed.

The following email, including my suggested efficiency changes from 2006 and a more comprehensive up-to-date ‘102 Ways’ list from the Taxpayers Union are detailed below:

102_Ways

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Sunday, 29 July 2018 at 5:41 PM
To: Jordan Williams <Jordan@taxpayers.org.nz>
Subject: 102 Ways BRILLIANT!

Hi Jordan,

Imagine my joy in reading your 102 ways for Councils to save money, when the DCC has done only 1 of them!

As a first-term Councillor in 2006 I proposed a more modest but some similar 30 suggestions as follows:
TENTATIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR DCC 2006  RATES REDUCTIONS
PICK AND MIX THE OPTIONS FOR –5%.
                                 (Ratepayers will probably never notice the service difference)

1 – Restrict staff travel. Use 50% of budget saved, to fund IS video conferencing.
2 – Restrict consultant use. Use 50% of budget saved, to fund DCC Engineer & DCC Lawyer
3 – Restructure upper management. Promote only 4 best DCC managers to business-like 3 tier system
4 – Restructure middle management in favour of team leaders, rather than having both managers and leaders.
5 – Make management responsible for energy efficiency in respective areas.
6 – Reduce secretarial staff by 50% creating flexible secretary pool. Only CEO & Mayor to have own P.A.
7 – Reduce analyst staff by 50%, reducing number of surveys, reports, and data collections.
8 – Reduce Citifleet 15% from 230 to 200 vehicles, [sell old ones and promote car pooling].
9 – Institute bare-bones email tender process for all $2000+ expenditure, formal process for all $50,000+
10-Institute 5% preference for local business contractors. [reduce National travel costs + boost local economy]
11-Axe unproductive paperwork and PR; City Talk, Staff Zone, Fact Line, Surveys, Economic Impact Studies…
12-Build closer University relationships and get free surveys/studies done as projects by graduates.
13-Close graphics department. Close Bindery. Publish most items on-line.
14-Use 50% of Bindery budget saved to fund IS print shop, for reduced hard-copy printing requirements.
15-Wind up Transportation Strategy department. Use 50% of budget to subsidize integrating bus systems.
16-Close Economic Development Unit. Use 50% of budget to fund new Tourism Dunedin and business mentors.
17-Close Communications and Marketing dept. Use 50% of budget to contract Events and two Organizers
18-Lease extra two unused Civic centre floors [5&6]
19-Reduce Central Library staff levels by 10%. Rationalise to 3 floors. [Upper floors Town Hall breakout space].
20-Restrict City Property to maintenance/operations role. Avoid specialist property development and speculation.
21-Staged selloff of Property assets giving net return of < 7%, and retire debt with proceeds.
22-Contract out Solid Waste and Landfill operations with specific waste minimisation specifications.
23-Defer Transportation Strategy Strategic Corridor
24-Defer Moana Pool gym/office development
25-Defer Chinese Garden
26-Halt Dunedin Centre development. Upgrade existing Town Hall as is.
27-Reduce Settlers development to stage 1 [proper collection storage]
28-Restrict Harbourside development to access and facilitation role.
29-Promote regular grass-roots Rugby use and sponsorship of Carisbrook. Promote ‘Build the Brook’ Lottery
30-Sell naming rights for Logan Park development to ODT

Cr. Lee Vandervis
021-612340

47 Garfield Avenue
Roslyn
Dunedin 9010

 

 

 

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Dunedin North today

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7 months of frustrated information requests regarding DCC lines company Aurora issues finally now to be independently investigated. :-)

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: Tuesday, 22 October 2019 at 8:29 PM
To: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>, Aaron Hawkins <Aaron.Hawkins@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, “Keith Cooper (keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com)” <keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com>, Jemma Adamson <Jemma.adams@dcc.govt.nz>, “Council 2016-2019 (Elected Members)” <council.2016-2019@dcc.govt.nz>, Jules Radich <julesradich@xtra.co.nz>, Sophie Barker <Sophie@albatross.org.nz>
Subject: Re: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast and Pole replacement information. Information requests

 

Dear Sue and Dave,

As the email trail below records, I have for seven months been trying to get the original Report and associated Memos from our Council owned lines company Aurora written by the ex-Aurora Manager of the Accelerated Pole Replacement Program Godfrey Brosnan, which ex-Aurora’s Richard Healey assures me provides data, evaluation and comment on exceptionally poor productivity in the $60 million Accelerated Pole Replacement Program entirely at odds with the series of Pole Replacement information updates supplied at various intervals to Councillors over recent years.

In addition to not getting this information, even after repeated attempts and application to the Ombudsman, I have also not been able to get information on how Aurora intends to fund its on-going extraordinary deferred-maintenance-driven increasing renewals spending, given Aurora projections of declining interest costs as below, line 23 cost of financing.

The costs of pole replacement has gone from around $7,000 [already very high given largest pole material cost of well under $1,000] over several years to anything from $10,000 to $14,000 per pole, largely it seems as a result of having to import line-gangs from outside Dunedin and because of on-going preferred relationships with DELTA who used to get inflated contracts from Aurora prior to my push to get the companies separated/possibly sold, but years later still have preferred contractor status with now separate entity Aurora.

My disappointment at being denied Aurora Accelerated Pole Replacement information and evidence has been compounded by DCC lack of action despite my own evidence collection of the replacement of perfectly sound concrete and tanalised wooden power poles [see attached as stored at my farm] as alleged by Richard Healey, and detailed to Dave Tombs and many others at the DCC this year.
I have subsequently publicised evidence of this particular Aurora waste on my blog and on FaceBook and still nothing has been acknowledged by you, our CEO, or by staff.
I have failed to get the ODT interested in investigating the Accelerated Pole Replacement issues, with Sir Julian Smith being less than helpful.

DCC decades-long failure to control our Companies Aurora and DELTA continues despite the structural separation and management changes.
I have recently been told by a DELTA staff member that DELTA staff no longer have access the Aurora staff room, with its extraordinarily expensive near $11,000 coffee machine, indicating general management culture problems, in addition to the specific alleged waste of half of the costs of the $60 million Accelerated Pole Replacement Program.

What I believe is needed with urgency in addition to release of the Brosnan Accelerated Pole Replacement Reports and Memos, is a comprehensive truly independent investigation of Aurora and DELTA management and operations: contracting costs and productivity, with full disclosure to our Dunedin shareholders of past, current and future planned expenditure, costs, productivity, deferred maintenance, debt and any dividends.

Looking forward to hearing by return what you intend to do regarding our biggest asset/liability/threat to DCC economic sustainability.

Regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

From: Jemma Adamson <Jemma.Adams@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 25 July 2019 at 4:47 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: Dave Cull <Dave.Cull@dcc.govt.nz>, Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, “Keith Cooper (keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com)” <keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast and Pole replacement information. Information requests

 

Dear Cr Vandervis

DCHL is responding on behalf of Aurora Energy Limited to the information request contained in your email of 6 July 2019.

Pole replacement report information

You have re-requested information related to Aurora Energy’s Accelerated Pole Programme which you say was prepared by a named contractor who worked for the company in 2018. Our previous response to you dated 28 June 2019 refers.

Aurora Energy has previously set out its reasons, why it considers it to be inappropriate to release the requested material or any material that is provided in confidence and / or is likely prejudice the commercial position of Aurora Energy in conducting its business. This decision is consistent with the company’s published Information Disclosure Policy.

The company has previously advised that, last year Dave Frow, an experienced engineer and Director of Aurora Energy, was engaged by the Aurora Energy Board to conduct a review and investigation into various claims made around the company’s Accelerated Pole Programme. This review concluded that the various claims and assertions made were unfounded and not supported by evidence. The investigation report did acknowledge that there was some scope to make more general process improvements and these recommendations were made available to the Aurora Energy Management team.

Aurora Energy would like to extend again its previously signalled offer to meet with you to share further details of this investigation report, on a strictly confidential basis, if it would assist you to better understand the overall situation. If you want to take up an opportunity to see a fuller copy of the report on that basis, please confirm to me.

Aurora Energy has also again expressed to us its concern around potential privacy breaches and confidential information being released and asks that you please advise if you have in fact sighted any of the material to which you refer.

Coffee machine

The Company has previously provided you with a summary of the purchase and running costs of its staff coffee machine. You have requested copies of the original invoices and these are attached. We trust that the information provided closes this matter.

Kind regards
Jemma Adams

Jemma Adams

General Manager, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd

03 474 3866 | 021 055 3086 | jemma.adams@dcc.govt.nz

50 The Octagon, Dunedin | PO Box 5045, Dunedin 9054

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Saturday, 6 July 2019 2:43 p.m.
To: Jemma Adams <Jemma.Adams@dcc.govt.nz>; Steve Thompson <steve@stevethompson.co.nz>; Richard Fletcher <Richard.Fletcher@auroraenergy.co.nz>
Cc: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>; Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>; Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>; Keith Cooper (keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com) <keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com>; Council 2016-2019 (Elected Members) <council.2016-2019@oa.dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: Re: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast and Pole replacement information. Information requests

Dear Steve, Richard, and Jemma,

Your Information Disclosure Policy specifies that “Aurora Energy recognises that there is a positive correlation between effective and responsive stakeholder engagement and the high performance of its business.” Both are now in question.

You have for the second time as below, this time just within timeframe limits, refused to forward to me the requested information of assessments of your Accelerated Pole Replacement Programme by your ex- Accelerated Pole Replacement Programme Manager Godfrey Brosnan. You have instead sent me unrequested information from former Director David Frow.
Your claim that you can not send me the required information from Mr Brosnan because it might impact Mr Brosnan’s right to privacy does not convince.

Has David Frow no similar immunity to disclosure due to privacy? #1`

The privacy issue you claim appears to be an excuse to never forward any information from anyone in your organisation that you do not want to get out.

Have you asked your ex- Accelerated Pole Replacement Programme Manager Godfrey Brosnan for his permission to forward his requested Pole-Replacements Assessments Reports and Memos? #2
If he agrees to his Accelerated Pole Replacement Reports and Memos being forwarded, will you then forward them to me? #3

Effective stakeholder engagement is not possible when, as you have, failed to respond to information requests with any acknowledgment as per your publicly advertised Information Disclosure Policy, failed to respond within the 21 working days, and then on subsequent information re-request hid all requested information behind a catch-all privacy claim which makes a mockery of your Information Disclosure Policy.

Re your most expensive coffee machine, why have you not forwarded a copy of the original coffee machine invoice that I specifically requested? #4

Can you please forward this copy of original invoice by return, with urgency in the public interest? #5

Looking forward to receiving answers to #1#2#3#4 and to #5 by return as this invoice copy must be very easily forwarded.

Regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

 

From: Jemma Adamson <Jemma.Adams@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Friday, 28 June 2019 at 4:33 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: Dave Cull <Dave.Cull@dcc.govt.nz>, Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>, “Keith Cooper (keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com)” <keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast and Pole replacement information. Information requests

Dear Cr Vandervis

DCHL is responding on behalf of Aurora Energy Limited to the information request contained in your email of 31 May 2019.

As you know, Aurora Energy  is not subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA). It has, however adopted an Information Disclosure Policy (see here), which rests on a similar principle of transparency and adopts similar processes for the handling of information requests. Your request has been considered under this policy and we (DCHL) are providing this response on behalf of Aurora Energy.

Pole replacement report information

Your information request refers specifically to material which you understand was written, and provided to the company, by an individual whom you name.  Aurora Energy has expressed to us its concern around potential privacy breaches and confidential information being released. The company has asked you to please advise if you have in fact sighted the material you refer to.

Aurora Energy has sought advice on privacy considerations of responding to your request. The company has been advised that confirming (or otherwise) that the person you name did or did not submit the material described would be a breach of privacy. Therefore, while this response confirms that Aurora did receive material of a relevant nature, this response does not confirm that it was provided by the person you name (see Information Disclosure Policy Appendix 1 (x)).

Last year, an individual approached Aurora’s Chair seeking to provide material under the protections of the Protected Disclosures Act. The Chair considered that some of the pre-conditions under that Act did not apply and raised that with the informant. In the interests of transparency the informant was notified that the Board would proceed to investigate the matter as if a protected disclosure had been made.

Aurora Energy has decided to withhold the material that individual provided, for several reasons:

  • Under Clause 3.2 of the company’s Protected Disclosures Policy an informant is entitled to have their identity protected and Aurora Energy is satisfied that it is not possible to release the material to you without compromising that expectation.
  • Appendix 1(g)(i) of the Information Disclosure Policy also applies, as releasing material provided in confidence would be likely to prejudice the future supply of such information.
  • Separately, the nature of the material is such that the privacy interests of other individuals on Aurora’s staff would also be compromised by its release.

However, consistent with Aurora Energy’s commitment to transparency, the company wishes to provide you general information about the concerns which were raised and about how those concerns were addressed.

Please find attached an extract from the conclusion summary of the investigation report of those concerns (“Preliminary Report on Investigation into 2018 Pole Programme”), prepared on behalf of the Board by its former director Dave Frow.

The Report was considered by the Aurora Energy Board at its meeting of 29 August 2018.  The Board was satisfied that the report provided a good basis on which to determine matters and although the terms of Reference had allowed for the possibility of further work on the issues it was concluded that none was required. Accordingly although marked draft, and described as preliminary, this report was accepted by the Board as sufficient to conclude its investigations into the matters raised.

Aurora Energy trusts that the information set out above and in the attached extract from the relevant investigation conducted in 2018 appropriately addresses your inquiry.

Aurora Energy would also be willing to meet with you to share further details of the investigation report with you, on a strictly confidential basis, if it would assist you to better understand the overall situation.  This would necessarily be a redacted version of the report in order to protect the privacy of individuals including Aurora Energy staff. If you want to take up an opportunity to see a fuller copy of the report on that basis please confirm to me.

Coffee machine

Your email also requested information about Aurora Energy’s purchase of a staff coffee machine.

Aurora Energy’s Halsey Street office coffee machine was purchased in February 2018. The investment cost was $9,348 (excluding GST). Its monthly depreciation cost is $130 and the book value as at the end of April 2019 was $7,400. The ongoing monthly costs to operate are approximately $1,622 per month, which is made up of milk, coffee beans and chocolate powder. This equates to approximately 72c per staff member per day.

Aurora Energy are according priority to the day to day wellbeing of its 121 Halsey St staff, especially given the company’s current workload, and to making the company an attractive place to work. The company is actively seeking to recruit and retain top quality staff. Their office is in an industrial area, and includes the Control Room, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Aurora Energy disagree with the description of their management culture as “self-serving”.

I trust this information addresses your request.

Kind regards
Jemma Adams

 

Jemma Adams

General Manager, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd

03 474 3866 | 021 055 3086 | jemma.adams@dcc.govt.nz

50 The Octagon, Dunedin | PO Box 5045, Dunedin 9054

 

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Friday, 31 May 2019 5:26 p.m.
To: Richard Fletcher <Richard.Fletcher@auroraenergy.co.nz>; Steve Thompson <steve@stevethompson.co.nz>
Cc: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>; Keith Cooper (keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com) <keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com>; Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>; Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>; Jemma Adams <Jemma.Adams@dcc.govt.nz>; Richard Healey <rjh@netcasterz.com>; Richard Saunders <Richard.Saunders@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast and Pole replacement information. Information requests

Hi Richard and Steve,

I note I have yet to get an explanantion of why you did not comply with your own information response policy of acknowledging my request for information within 48 Hours, and not replying within 21 working days.

A belated response from Jemma Adams at DCHL has asked for more detail regarding the specific pole-replacement reports that I wish to see.

An ex-Aurora employee Richard Healey has confirmed that there was a report and memos detailing a fraught pole-replacement program written by your pole-replacement director Godfrey Brosnan, and that in it and in associated letters and memos he highlighted unacceptably low-productivity, replacement of many poles that still had useful life, poor planning, and unacceptably low production rates. I would like to see copies of these memos and reports, on a public information basis, or on a confidential to me basis if necessary.

Mr Healey also confirms that a self-serving culture in Aurora management is illustrated by the alleged purchase of an extraordinarily expensive coffee machine [$17,000+?], with extraordinary monthly running costs rumoured to be near 4 figures.

Can you please forward copies of the original purchase documentation showing how much was paid for Aurora’s most expensive coffee machine, along with copies of invoices detailing several months’ running costs for the machine.

Looking forward to rapid responses this time, in the public interest.

Cr. Lee Vandervis

From: Jemma Adamson <Jemma.Adams@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 3:08 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: Dave Cull <Dave.Cull@dcc.govt.nz>, Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, “Keith Cooper (keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com)” <keithcooper.littlebrook@gmail.com>, Dave Tombs <Dave.Tombs@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: RE: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast

 

Dear Cr Vandervis

Aurora Energy passed your email below to Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, as per the agreed protocol of channelling shareholder correspondence with DCHL group companies through the holdings company.  We apologise for the delay in responding to you.

 

Please find below information from Aurora Energy in response to your questions.

 

We have also received your email this morning in relation to the cable ducts under the bus hub. We will co-ordinate with Aurora Energy and hope to respond to you by close of business tomorrow.

Kind regards
Jemma

 

  1. Financial forecasts

What is your projected debt level projected to be over each of the coming 5 years?

Term debt forecasts for the three years ending 30 June 2022 were provided in the company’s draft 2020 Statement of Intent, and are re-stated below for ease of reference. As noted at the time, these forecasts were an emerging view and are subject to change again in the final document to be released by 30 June 2019.

 

  Year ending
30/06/2020
$000
Year ending
30/06/2021
$000
Year ending
30/06/2022
$000
Term borrowings 375,738 434,860 468,398

 

To make these forecasts work, what increases in line charges have been assumed in each of the coming 5 years?

A wide range of revenue and expenditure inputs go into Aurora’s debt forecasts. Line charge increases are an area of particular uncertainty, as they derive from the price path determined for Aurora Energy by the Commerce Commission. Later this year, the Commerce Commission will be resetting the default price path (DPP) for all regulated electricity distribution businesses, including Aurora Energy, and that will determine our maximum allowable line charge revenue from 1 April 2020.

 

Aurora Energy also plans to apply to the Commerce Commission for a customised price path (CPP) for the five years from 1 April 2021.  As part of this CPP application we will set out our proposed expenditure plans for the CPP period and the expected impact on the line charges consumers pay. The Commerce Commission, following consultation with consumers and independent verification, will then set Aurora Energy’s expenditure allowances and maximum allowable line charge revenue under the CPP.

Those two Commerce Commission determinations will allow Aurora Energy to forecast five year line charge increases with more certainty. Those forecasts will be made publicly available through the 2021 and 2022 Statement of Intents, and in the case of the CPP, as noted, will involve consultation with consumers as part of the process.

Please note that the cost of finance line (line 23) of our Schedule 11a Report on Forecast Capital Expenditure only reflects the finance costs we forecast to be capitalised (under Financial Reporting Standards) into the cost of network assets we construct.

  1. Pole programme

Aurora Energy regularly receives a range of advice and reports in relation to its fleet of power poles. Aurora has provided information in response to your questions below; they would require more detail in order to be able to identify a specific report.  Aurora believes the most relevant, and comprehensive, one in relation to your questions is WSP’s independent engineering review of the network published last November 2018. (WSP’s report is available in full on Aurora’s website here http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/about/independent-review/.)

WSP carried out an engineering and risk assessment across all major network asset fleets, including power poles. In its report, WSP estimated there were 1,397 poles that presented a high risk and required remediation out of a total of 54,049 poles on the Aurora Energy network (see page 73 of the report). Their expert assessment was based on data analysis and in-field inspections including sample testing and drone inspections.

In the context of your broader question, on the drivers and cost of pole replacement, you refer to your previous questions on the Butler St concrete poles, which Aurora replaced early last year. By way of background to this work, the initial driver for the work on Butler Street was a severely compromised red tagged wooden pole. On pre-inspection at site the contractor noted issues with an adjacent concrete structure which was also red tagged (ie: we are not permitted to change load on a red tagged pole if it is adjacent to a pole that is being replaced so this concrete pole also needed to be replaced at the same time). The pole testing information Aurora had available at the time also indicated that there were a number of other red tagged concrete poles on Butler Street and a decision was made to replace them as part of the same job. This was considered to be the prudent response both from a risk perspective and in order to minimise the frequency and duration of supply interruptions to customers.

Aurora Energy’s ongoing pole renewal programme continues to focus on reducing the backlog of poles in need of priority replacement or reinforcement. The forward pole programme is set out in the annual Asset Management Plan and is publicly available on our website here http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/disclosures/.

Aurora Energy’s urgent priorities are to address the backlog of red-tagged poles and test poles in high criticality areas and they are making steady progress. By the end of March 2019, Aurora had reduced the backlog of ~1000 red tagged poles (as reported in the 2018 Asset Management Plan as at 4 October 2018) to ~200. Given the age and asset health of the pole fleet, Aurora will continue to identify poles requiring replacement at an elevated rate over the next three years. The current total of red-tagged poles is ~500 including the ~200 poles already identified plus ~300 new discoveries from testing.

In relation to the costs of pole replacement, economies of scale are more easily achieved when building new sections of overhead lines. There are fewer opportunities for savings when replacing individual poles where the primary cost drivers are the complexity of the pole structure, network configuration and location.

Pole replacement costs can vary according to a range of factors, for example the complexity of the structure that is being replaced (e.g. in-line or tee-off pole, single or multiple circuits, low or high voltage), what network equipment it supports (e.g. fuses, switchgear), its location (e.g. ease of access, ground conditions), type of pole (e.g. steel, concrete or wooden) and size of pole (e.g. height, single or two-pole structure).

Jemma Adams

General Manager, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd

03 474 3866 | 021 055 3086 | jemma.adams@dcc.govt.nz

50 The Octagon, Dunedin | PO Box 5045, Dunedin 9054
Begin forwarded message:

From: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Date: 1 April 2019 at 9:21:05 PM NZDT
To: Richard Fletcher <Richard.Fletcher@auroraenergy.co.nz>, Steve Thompson <steve@stevethompson.co.nz>, Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Cc: “Council 2016-2019 (Elected Members)” <council.2016-2019@dcc.govt.nz>, Simon Drew <Simon.Drew@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: 2019 Expenditure on Assets Forecast

SCHEDULE 11a: REPORT ON FORECAST CAPITAL EXPENDITURE  
This schedule requires a breakdown of forecast expenditure on assets for the current disclosure year and a 10 year planning period. The forecasts should be consistent with the supporting information set out in the AMP. The forecast is to be expressed in both constant price and nominal dollar terms. Also required is a forecast of the value of commissioned assets (i.e., the value of RAB additions)
EDBs must provide explanatory comment on the difference between constant price and nominal dollar forecasts of expenditure on assets in Schedule 14a (Mandatory Explanatory Notes).
This information is not part of audited disclosure information.
sch ref  
7   Current Year CY CY+1 CY+2 CY+3 CY+4 CY+5 CY+6 CY+7 CY+8 CY+9 CY+10
8     for year ended 31 Mar 19 31 Mar 20 31 Mar 21 31 Mar 22 31 Mar 23 31 Mar 24 31 Mar 25 31 Mar 26 31 Mar 27 31 Mar 28 31 Mar 29
9   11a(i): Expenditure on Assets Forecast $000 (in nominal dollars)                    
10   Consumer connection 14,169 10,008 9,313 9,075 8,175 8,050 7,922 7,790 7,886 7,984 8,084
11   System growth 8,722 10,198 7,118 10,658 11,087 4,645 9,015 4,305 2,078 9,048 1,207
12   Asset replacement and renewal 42,255 51,885 55,616 54,830 51,376 46,921 45,702 39,266 44,230 36,923 32,686
13   Asset relocations 1,176 4,086 2,333 1,466 1,458 1,435 1,674 15,119 1,406 1,423 1,441
14   Reliability, safety and environment:
15   Quality of supply 528 521 213 653 218 116 117 118 120 121 123
16   Legislative and regulatory
17   Other reliability, safety and environment 251
18     Total reliability, safety and environment 528 521 464 653 218 116 117 118 120 121 123
19   Expenditure on network assets 66,849 76,697 74,843 76,682 72,313 61,166 64,429 66,599 55,720 55,499 43,542
20     Expenditure on non-network assets 5,233 4,971 4,904 5,928 5,422 6,059 5,982 4,970 4,713 4,763 4,615
21   Expenditure on assets 72,082 81,668 79,748 82,610 77,735 67,225 70,411 71,569 60,433 60,262 48,156
22    
23   plus   Cost of financing 1,420 1,520 1,374 795 146
24   less   Value of capital contributions 3,507 6,992 5,029 4,397 4,090 4,139 4,452 11,718 4,291 4,343 4,397
25   plus   Value of vested assets
26    
27   Capital expenditure forecast 69,994 76,195 76,092 79,008 73,791 63,086 65,959 59,851 56,143 55,919 43,759
28    
29     Assets commissioned 71,511 81,175 97,857 87,136 78,238 69,179 70,273 80,796 55,270 66,071 49,064

 

Hi Steve and Richard,

Looking at your projected cost of financing [line 23] which diminishes to nothing in March 2024, and given your continued substantial Capex spend [line 27] which does not decrease over this 5 year period, what is your projected debt level projected to be over each of the coming 5 years?
To make these forecasts work, what increases in line charges have been assumed in each of the coming 5 years?

 

I understand that you have had an internal report from a senior staff member that addresses the issues of replaced poles and how many actually needed replacing [remember my questions over the Butler st concrete poles which were all replaced] and what the costs of pole replacement have risen to despite hoped for economies of scale with so many being done.

Can you please forward a copy of this pole-replacement report?

Looking forward to prompt replies,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

 

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Limes in France – BBC= what we should do

NZTA’s extraordinary decision to reclassify Limes as not a motor vehicle when they are a vehicle with a motor defied explanation. They should have been classified as mo-ped and not allowed on footpaths, as they were prior to Lime’s request in 2018.

Getting Limes off the footpath is the solution to an NZTA-created problem in my view, and France has done it.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50189279

 

 

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Deputy Position offered by Mayor Hawkins -yeah right!

A DCC Deputy Chair position is a Councillor novice opportunity to sit in the Chair’s position in the unlikely event of the Chair being unavailable.
It carries no responsibility or opportunity to contribute in any meaningful way.
Deputy Chair is simply an empty title liberally handed out to give novice Councillors hope that they might be in a queue for real Mayoral promotion.

The Chairs under Mayor Cull have precooked Council agendas in influential ‘Chairs meetings’, and controlled Committee meetings, and get well paid for all this extra ‘work’.

I was Deputy Chair of Infrastructure Services many years ago when Andrew Noone was Chair, but was never allowed to attend a Chairs’ meeting.

A Chair of any of the main DCC Committees is therefore a real position of responsibility and influence, which neither Mayor Cull nor Hawkins has allowed me.
https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/no-leadership-role-vandervis
Mayor Hawkins claims to value diversity and inclusiveness, saying divergent views around the Council table is healthy. By excluding Dunedin’s highest polling Councillor from the inner circle of Chairs, Mayor Hawkins continues the hypocrisy of saying one thing, while doing its opposite.
 

 

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My new Position

To honour all those Dunedin citizens who have given me almost twice the votes of any other Councillor, I resolve to bring them regular website updates on what I see really happening at the DCC without misrepresentation or suppression by the Otago Daily Times.

Councillor Positions.

Mayor Hawkins has faltered in his first decisions as Mayor, unable to drive the new Council in any other direction than that long set by Mayor Cull, with similar $14,000+ rewards for his like-minded chairs, and double-up deputy chairs to ensure that everyone got something except Cr. Vandervis.
Mayor Hawkins’ claim to be “excited about the diversity of skills and talent the election has delivered, and all Councillors will have important roles to play under his leadership” clearly is not true of Dunedin’s most popular and experienced Councillor.


Mayor Hawkins has lost the potential to finally have Infrastructure Services overseen by somebody with long Council experience, technical understanding and highly successful business history, which does not bode well for Dunedin’s future drainage, electrical, building and transport infrastructure – traffic flows, parking, and vehicle electrification.

Mayor Hawkins’ preaching diversity and inclusion, while practicing ‘similar values’ and exclusion, marks the continuation of the dysfunctional Council that has already delivered a near BILLION$ debt, and panoramic deferred maintenance.
I am looking forward to remaining engaged with Dunedin’s public, receiving and responding to comments on both this site and on Facebook.


Mayor-elect advises Councillor appointments – DCC

Dunedin (Friday, 18 October 2019) – Dunedin Mayor-elect Aaron Hawkins says he’s excited about the diversity of skills and talent the election has delivered, and all Councillors will have important roles to play under his leadership.

Mr Hawkins today advised his appointments for Deputy Mayor and Committee Chairs for the new triennium.

He has appointed Cr Christine Garey as Deputy Mayor, while Crs Marie Laufiso (Community and Culture), Chris Staynes (Economic Development), Mike Lord (Finance and CCOs), Jim O’Malley (Infrastructure Services), and David Benson-Pope (Planning and Environment) will be the Standing Committee Chairs. Cr Andrew Whiley will be Chair of the Bylaws Subcommittee, and Cr Garey will be Chair of the Grants Subcommittee.

Mr Hawkins says all councillors were offered positions, whether as Committee chairs or deputy chairs.

“I’ve met individually with the councillors this week to discuss their hopes and aspirations for this term. Wherever possible, my appointments reflect those discussions and recognise councillors’ areas of interest.

“The election has delivered a diverse range of talent and skills around the Council table and my expectation is that all councillors, regardless of their appointments, will have much to contribute over the next three years,” he says.

Mr Hawkins says his expectations around the workloads and responsibilities of all councillors have been reflected in recommended changes to elected members’ remuneration.

If recommended changes are approved, the Deputy Mayor’s remuneration would be set at $90,790, Committee Chairs* $85,786 each, and Councillors $71,488 each. Increases on previous elected members’ remuneration are required due to an increase in the total pool determined by the Remuneration Authority. The Authority requires that the pool is fully committed.

The councillor appointments will be noted, and councillor remuneration confirmed, at the inaugural Council meeting on Friday, 25 October.

Chairs and Deputy Chairs for Committees of Council

Committee Chair Deputy Chair
Finance and CCOs Cr Mike Lord Cr Doug Hall
Community and Culture Cr Marie Laufiso Cr Christine Garey Cr Carmen Houlahan
Infrastructure Services Cr Jim O’Malley Cr Jules Radich
Planning and Environment Cr David Benson-Pope Cr Sophie Barker Cr Steve Walker
Economic Development Cr Chris Staynes Cr Andrew Whiley Cr Rachel Elder
Bylaws Subcommittee Cr Andrew Whiley  
Grants Subcommittee Cr Christine Garey  

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