22 Mar 2014

Delta directors criticised

8:46 pm on 22 March 2014

People who complained about a Dunedin council company that lost $6 million on risky property ventures say its directors must be held accountable.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost has criticised Delta's poor investments at Luggate and Jack's Point near Queenstown, and for blocking public scrutiny.

Ms Provost said Delta's board and managers focused too much on the likely profits and not on the risks.

A tax specialist advised Delta's board to get independent advice before investing, which they did not do.

One complainant, Russell Garbutt, says the council subsidiary had no right to make speculative land investments and the report should have done more than just name some of the directors responsible.

Mr Garbutt says it is not the directors who have been hurt but Dunedin's ratepayers.

Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis says it is outrageous directors can lose ratepayers millions of dollars and nothing will happen to them.

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull says all council boards have been overhauled and almost none of the directors remain.

One Delta director from the time, Mike Coburn, says the report is fair and not everything one does works out the way one wishes.