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The Board of Electricity Invercargill Limited (EIL) has withdrawn its request to Invercargill City Holdings Limited (ICHL) for approval to increase its joint venture interest in OtagoNet, the Chief Executive of Invercargill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The Chairman of EIL, Neil Boniface confirmed the EIL Board had yesterday withdrawn its request to ICHL.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

The Club

9 Oct

Open for submissions on whether it should be listed by Heritage NZ (previously Historic Places Trust).  Submissions close 24 October and include this

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

Basically the place may be (and is) in need of lots of work.  I understand the property has been offered to them (NZHPT) but they are only willing to hinder progress on the site, not assist.

This place is not currently a suitable candidate for the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund, administered by Heritage New Zealand because it is proposed as a Category 2 historic place.

If the top storey was on the ground floor I might think differently but the ground floor has very little remaining of its original features.  And remember what has changed since the Christchurch earthquakes…

UPDATE:  The ‘B side’ of the Club.  Recent photos from the back.


‘The Dog’ That We Call Otagonet

1 Oct

I’m a busy girl and I have started heaps of posts about the Holdco debacle that I have been unable to get finished.  One council watcher with a keen interest in electricity has highlighted the Otagonet Asset Management Plan (2014-2024) to me though.  Given the Holdco debacle has primarily come about because of Otagonet, this from page 8 should be highlighted: (underlining my emphasis)

It is salient that a significant proportion of OtagoNet‘s lines were built under the previous government requirements to construct uneconomic lines with the provision of Rural Electrical Reticulation Council subsidies. A number of these lines remain uneconomic yet need replacement.

Because OtagoNet does not have a dense urban network to offset the number of customers it services in the rural areas, it is inevitable the capital investment per customer will further increase relative to other networks.

The reality is the previous owners of the network deferred maintenance and capital expenditure and unfortunately the savings of the past now have to be funded to ensure the safety of the network and to maintain reliability of supply.

Remember to submit!  The Statement Of Intent claims they are ‘professional Directors’.  The evidence is just not there in my opinion.

Brave The Weather

24 Sep



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