Cull and Vandervis at loggerheads again

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and councillor Lee Vandervis are at loggerheads again, this time over the Office of the Auditor-general's inquiry into land purchases by Delta.

Cr Vandervis contacted the Otago Daily Times on Sunday to confirm he had lodged a complaint with the Auditor-general's office over Delta's acquisitions at Jacks Point and Luggate.

However, Mr Cull said on Wednesday he was "a bit bemused" by Cr Vandervis' announcement.

That was because Mr Cull had been talking to the Auditor-general's office about a possible inquiry since early October, and had received confirmation an investigation would be launched late last month, he said.

Councillors - including Cr Vandervis - had also been briefed on the investigation late last month, once it was confirmed, he said.

Cr Vandervis' emailed complaint to the Auditor-general, copied to the ODT, showed it was sent only on November 8.

"I'm a bit bemused as to why he [Cr Vandervis] would make a complaint with the Auditor-general's office when he was aware that an investigation had been confirmed," Mr Cull said this week.

"I can't comment on the motivations of Cr Vandervis."

However, Mr Cull only publicly confirmed he was in "talks" with the Auditor-general's office when contacted by the ODT on Sunday, after Cr Vandervis announced his own complaint.

Cr Vandervis said he had been raising concerns about Delta's property purchases for "years", and Mr Cull had only acted "when his back was completely up against the wall".

"Better late than never, but this has been a very longstanding issue."




The obvious question

So here is the obvious question. Why did Vandervis after "years" of asking questions only make a complaint to the OAG after he had been confidentially briefed that the Mayor had laid a complaint. And if the Mayor only laid his complaint after "his back was up against the wall" then how far up the wall was Vandervis given he lodged his complaint after the Mayor? Could it be that this was just petty electioneering by Vandervis and a way to appear as if he was taking the lead when in reality he was only following.

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