Nicely Said Mr Editor

24 Oct

From yesterday’s paper

Cr Graham Lewis chooses to interpret the paucity of public feedback on the uncalled capital proposal to date as indicative of both apathy and contentment to trust the council. He often highlights the importance of just trusting experts – enough to raise the question of whether he is the ideal personality type to chair the council’s audit and risk committee.

Given the Audit and Risk Committee is non compliant with its own charter and Cr Lewis as chair knows that (check out the reply on ICC’s Facebook about the Charter).  According to Lewis, this Charter is current.  The Charter requires three councillors and an independent.  Our Mayor, incorrectly, at the inaugural meeting appointed the Audit and Risk Committee as a membership of five and appointed only elected members.  If Lewis knows it, why not correct it?

I was watching The Mentalist the other day and something said made sense.  An FBI was asking questions of ‘a homesteader’ and did not identify themselves beforehand.  The ‘homesteader’ pointed out they are required to by law and asked “how can you expect me to follow the laws of the land if you aren’t willing to?”

That is how I consider ICC…don’t tell me what to do unless you are doing what you are supposed to.

Here It Comes

23 Oct

Get ready for a rogering ratepayers!

In public excluded next week (unless councillors oppose it)

Outdoor Stadium 

Enable any local authority Section 7(2)(1)
holding the information to
carry on, without prejudice
or disadvantage,
negotiations (including
commercial and industrial

I suppose if it fails they could just go running to Holdco…they are allowed to lend to community facilities.  They might be out of favours at the bank by now though.

Guest Post

22 Oct

I have had some great phone calls, emails and discussions around the topic but find it increasingly difficult to sit down at the computer and put it all down.  A kind person has offered the following on the subject:

Reports in today’s paper fail to capture the full facts. It should have read Cllr Dennis, who stands to lose the better part of 50k per year in his role as one of the political appointed Holdco Directors, made the statement ‘Cllr Pottinger has a lot to say for himself’. Surely it is the role of all councillors to make sure their voice is heard and Pottinger should be applauded for trying to bring some integrity into the debate.
It is survival for some who have been stuck on the teat of the directorships for far too long and are now realising they need to fight to retain that spot.
Mr Shadbolt states ‘why would council want to mislead the public?’. Seriously?, he must understand as he looks around his merry band at council meetings and sees the welling of the tears as some see further opportunities to increase the 300+K per annum in directors fees they presently pocket.
Even the Mayor himself pockets 23K per annum for being a director of the airport company. That is one of the classic rorts. Four or five staff run by council for many years from Esk Street but now deemed important enough so the greedy people can latch on and drag off 100+K per annum in directors fees. Its a public abuse of power and should be investigated by the SFO. There is no need for the airport to be run as a company and if we the ratepayers own it let the present staff run it. Council still has oversight as they should but the savings are huge.
These people have no scruples when it comes to their own pockets. They will lie and bully to keep what they think is their rights and at last we have someone standing up to be heard.
If nothing is done these people will continue to find ways to extort money from the public and the whole Holdco debacle is about just that. Finding additional business opportunities so they can form additional companies which they can then become directors and continue to take your money.  Bastards.

Compliance Is Not Their Forte

19 Oct

Tuesday sees a committee meeting that has few similarities to the requirements of its founding documents.  The Governance Statement has this to say

The Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for reviewing audit and financial documentation.

Its objective is to ensure financial compliance. The role of the Committee is further outlined in its Charter adopted by Council on 6 March 2012.

Chair: Cr G D Lewis

Members: Cr N D Boniface
Cr L S Thomas
Cr D J Ludlow
Cr R L Abbott

Delegations: Nil

Frequency of meetings: Quarterly and as required

If Cr Lewis wants to be more than a once per quarter chair I suggest he step it up a little.  A good start would be reading your charter and complying.  Firstly I should point out that it was tabled on the 13 March 2012.

The charter claims

Composition and Tenure
The Committee shall consist of three Councillors and at least one independent
member of the public appointed by the Council. Ideally at least 2 members should
have experience in financial reporting, but overall the Committee should reflect a
mix of skills and experience. It is essential that at least one member of the
Committee has accounting or related financial management experience with an
understanding of accounting and auditing standards in a local government

Oops, where is our independent?  Three councillors and an independent…we get five councillors.  The whole document is a farce really.

Fiddling The Books

17 Oct

Media release from ICC……..

EIL withdraws major transaction request

16 October, 2014

The Board of Electricity Invercargill Limited (EIL) has withdrawn its request to Invercargill City Holdings Limited (ICHL) for approval to increase its joint venture interest in OtagoNet, the Chief Executive of Invercargill City Holdings Limited Dean Johnston said today.

The Chairman of EIL, Neil Boniface confirmed the EIL Board had yesterday withdrawn its request to ICHL.

In early September EIL together with The Power Company was successful in purchasing the 51% interest in the OtagoNet joint venture held by Marlborough Lines Limited. EIL initially took an additional 3% stake in the joint venture and had an option to increase its interest to 50%, which required Council’s major transaction approval and the issuance of further uncalled capital.

Council has been consulting on a proposal to issue an additional $100 million of uncalled capital to support the EIL purchase, if required, along with other investment opportunities in alternative energy sources and smart meters. Of this, $30 million is to support potential future investment opportunities such as alternative energy sources and smart meters, as outlined in the proposal document.  

Mr Johnston said the withdrawal of the EIL request meant that Council did not need to consider issuing the full $132 million of uncalled capital. However, it would still meet to consider issuing $32,350,000 of uncalled capital to support the current, approved activities of ICHL and would consider a decision on the $30 million when requested to do so by ICHL.

The Council will hear public submissions on the uncalled capital at an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Monday, October 20 at 4pm and reconvene on Tuesday morning to hear its last submitter.

Council would then hold another Extraordinary Council Meeting to consider its decision on Tuesday, October 21 at 10am, Mr Johnston said.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

17 Oct

Audit and Risk meeting at 8am on Tuesday morning.  Of the six members listed, one is a Holdco director, three are subsidiary directors, one will possibly be absent.  Lewis is the chair and the subject in public excluded is ‘Uncalled Capital’.  Can one person discuss a topic or make a recommendation?  Let alone ‘negotiate’.

Some other councillors better be going along to oversee how this works.  Would anyone like to knowingly endorse a recommendation that comes from that meeting?

UPDATE:  Here is the document Alan refers to.  Any easy game of ‘spot the difference’ with reality…who is the independent member?

Spot The Difference

16 Oct

From council’s meeting page

Tuesday @ 10

Tuesday @ 10

From the agenda

Monday @ 4

Monday @ 4

It is with great shame I admit that I did not put in a submission:-(

Meanwhile…who will declare a conflict of interest…?

directorsLoved Mrs New’s submission


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