More Unitary Council Misinformation

Again Mayor Cull shuts down appropriate questions asked at the appropriate time.

Email received yesterday as below, again well outside the legally required date to answer a question under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, again no answer as to WHY this motion received low priority for over 2 years, and again another version of ‘NO copy of the draft Unitary Council report was SENT to the ORC’ – it now appears that DCC CEO Bidrose HAND DELIVERED the draft Unitary Council report herself to the ORC but it was NOT COMPLETELY VIEWED BY ORC CEO Bodeker!

The now suppressed draft Unitary Council report that I have belatedly been allowed to view runs to 14 pages and sets out all the procedural steps for the formation of a Unitary Council plus some sparse redacted staff comment.

From: Sandy Graham <Sandy.Graham@dcc.govt.nz>
Date: Thursday, 4 July 2019 at 5:06 PM
To: Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz>
Cc: Sue Bidrose <Sue.Bidrose@dcc.govt.nz>, “Council 2016-2019 (Elected Members)” <council.2016-2019@dcc.govt.nz>, Official Information <officialinformation@dcc.govt.nz>
Subject: RE: Urgently required answers to Unitary Council report related questions
Dear Lee
I refer to your e-mail of 27 May 2019 which is attached below and I apologise for the delay in responding. I have copied your questions and provided responses to each question using your original numbering.
The responses are as follows:
1, why have you still not said why this particular report received such low priority? Does your answer to 4 imply that this low prioritisation decision was the CEO’s? Why “was no date aimed for, for the report to go to Council.”? These remain pivotal and unanswered questions.
Questions 1 and 4 were answered at the Council meeting on 28 May 2019 and so in LGOIMA terms the information is now publicly available pursuant to section 17 (d) of LGOIMA. The link for the recording is below and discussion that provides the answer to your questions begins at 1.25.03 minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ46R_RZ36w&feature=youtu.be
4 does not answer the obvious question as to why the work was not done prior to August 2018. Please answer, as a more specified LGOIMA question, why this work was not done for 20 months prior to August 2018.
As advised in my response to question 1, there were other major projects which impacted on staff time, and after speaking to Committee Chairs in 2017, the report was scheduled for completion in 2018. Then the PGF work, requiring close collaboration with ORC, began.
8 – Was the draft version of the Unitary Council report viewed by, or sent to, anyone else other than senior DCC staff? Specifically was it viewed by, or sent to, the Mayor or any DCC Councillors?
No
9 interim equivocal answer not accepted by me, as a reliable source of information confirms that a copy of the draft Unitary Council report has been viewed by senior ORC staff.
10 Please confirm unequivocally whether or not the draft Unitary Council report was shown by DCC staff to ORC staff, whether officially through the proper channels, or unofficially without any DCC record of the transfer of information?
Questions 9 and 10
The report was never shown to any ORC staff member or elected member.
The DCC CEO and the ORC’s CEO of the time (Peter Bodeker) did discuss the Unitary Council process and his views on process. This was at a regular meeting between them, held on 30 March 2017. The former CEO of the ORC did not receive a copy of the draft report, although Dr Bidrose had an early draft of the “process of becoming a unitary authority” with her at that meeting among a selection of other papers. The draft report, which on 30 March 2017, was a high level outline focussed on process, was physically on the table during their discussion, along with a range of other papers. It was therefore technically shown to Mr Bodeker. However, he did not read the report although he did view the outline of what he referred to as “a table of contents”. Mr Bodeker has further confirmed that neither Dr Bidrose or any other staff member gave him or sent him a copy of the draft report. The current CEO of the ORC (Sarah Gardner) has also confirmed that she never saw or was sent a copy of the draft report.
I have cc’ed the reply to those recipients of your original email and to the LGOIMA team for noting the reply.
Regards
Sandy

On 27/05/2019, at 9:39 PM, Lee Vandervis <lee@vandervision.co.nz> wrote:
Thank you for your answers as below Sandy.
Regarding question
1, why have you still not said why this particular report received such low priority? Does your answer to 4 imply that this low prioritisation decision was the CEO’s? Why “was no date aimed for, for the report to go to Council.”? These remain pivotal and unanswered questions.
2 & 3 are answered by your attachment thank you
4 does not answer the obvious question as to why the work was not done prior to August 2018. Please answer, as a more specified LGOIMA question, why this work was not done for 20 months prior to August 2018. Your suggestion that “In August 2018 Councillors gave feedback agreeing to the work being done after the PGF (especially waterfront) work was completed “ is untrue in my case at least. I never gave feedback or agreed that the work be done after the PGF informally or otherwise. I did agree that the release of the report could be delayed at that time because of some suggested extreme ORC sensitivity while a Waterfront property deal was being negotiated.
This decision was in any event outside our proper decision-making framework. Having the CEO sidling up to individual Councillors over a cuppa suggesting the convenience of a delay in releasing the report in no way authorises staff to not do the work of duly confirmed resolution of Council.
5,6,&7 answers accepted
8 interim equivocal answer accepted, given time constraint, but an unequivocal answer is still sought under LGOIMA within LGOIMA time frames.
9 interim equivocal answer not accepted by me, as a reliable source of information confirms that a copy of the draft Unitary Council report has been viewed by senior ORC staff.
10 new LGOIMA request. Please confirm unequivocally whether or not the draft Unitary Council report was shown by DCC staff to ORC staff, whether officially through the proper channels, or unofficially without any DCC record of the transfer of information? I accept that this new LGOIMA request can only reasonably be actioned within normal LGOIMA 21 working day timeframes.
Looking forward to getting all the answers sought within 21 working days.
Kind regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

About Lee Vandervis

My name is Lee Vandervis and I was born in Balclutha 60 years ago to Dutch immigrant parents who ran a successful building contractor business. I have been passing Dad nails since I can remember and I learned to swing a hammer usefully early in life. My parents always pushed the values of thrift and a broad education. At Otago University I gained a BA in Philosophy before going to London for 5 years overseas experience, working in electronics manufacturing and rising to Production Manager of Midas Audio UK, building mixing consoles for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. I returned to Dunedin in 1981 to have a family and set up Vandervision Lighting Audio and Video, making it Dunedin’s largest lighting hire business, and restoring heritage buildings like Dundas st Church and 401 Moray Place along the way. I sold most of my business interests when first elected to the DCC in 2004. Dunedin City Councillor profile: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/councillors/cr-lee-vandervis
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