Action by Delta decried

The former director of Aurora Energy's pole replacement programme alleges a senior executive illegally rummaged through his office.

Jarrod Stewart, who quit Delta in December over concerns its $30 million pole replacement programme would be dangerously mishandled, said that during his last week, Delta energy and communication general manager Kewal Bagal illegally cleared out his office.

He said Mr Bagal travelled from Dunedin to Cromwell to clear the office and did not tell him he was doing so, as required by both employment and common law.

''Even under New Zealand employment law you have got an option to be there or have a representative there when your [office] gets cleaned out.''

He also questioned Mr Bagal's intentions for clearing his office.

''Why would he drive three hours to Cromwell and clean my office out?''

When Mr Stewart went back to the office it was empty apart from some of his personal effects, which were left in a box.

''It concerned me greatly, because I don't know what's missing.''

He had spoken to a lawyer and planned to take out a personal grievance against Mr Bagal for his actions.

Mr Stewart also confirmed an online report he would be seeking compensation from Delta for expenses he incurred while in the role, but declined to go into detail about the issue.

Meanwhile, a leaked internal memo from Aurora's sister company, Delta, said it had delayed its restructuring programme because ''critical'' job vacancies had not been filled.

This comes amid claims people do not want to risk harming their reputation by working for the company.

Mr Stewart had heard Delta was struggling to fill positions and was not surprised at the leaked memo, which said the company's new structure would now be put in place in April instead of this month and only four of 11 vacant senior positions had been filled.

The inability to fill vacancies was not helped by the uncertainty over the future of chief executive Grady Cameron.

This put people off taking up the positions.

''How do you recruit your leadership team when it's so unstable at the top?''

He did not know why the Aurora and Delta board had not simply sacked Mr Cameron.

''When a major problem has been identified, how can a person that was in charge of the organisation continue to lead the organisation?''

The memo leaked to the Otago Daily Times, which was sent to staff on January 20, said restructuring had been delayed to allow for ''more of the critical new positions to be filled by the best possible candidates''.

Delta marketing and communications manager Gary Johnson said the company did not comment on matters related to employees as they were confidential.

He also did not respond to other questions, including about restructuring being delayed, saying ''we're not prepared to respond to anonymous speculation from social media''.

He confirmed that, as previously reported by the ODT, Mr Bagal was leaving the company after deciding to seek an external role.

He remained there while a ''transition of his responsibilities is put in place''.

Mr Bagal said any comment needed to come from Mr Johnson.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

Comments

Gee! Aurora Energy management is in a mess -- 'Tis about their owner's stepped in and sorted this mess out -- But maybe their owners don't know what to do?

How much more does the ratepayer have to endure before Delta are sorted out and sacked by someone of authority? When is our useless Mayor going to man up and do something about it, this company is owned by rate payers and people are getting fairly angered about the situation with good reason, it's called rate rises brought about by the acts of stupid people who should be locked up, enough is enough.

 

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