Aurora denies conflict of interest claims

Aurora Energy has rejected claims of a conflict of interest over the independent review of its electricity network following an investigation.

Former Delta employee Richard Healey, who resigned to blow the whistle on the state of Aurora’s power poles in late 2016, claimed earlier this week staff from WSP in Melbourne were working in the WSP Opus office in Dunedin.

WSP was conducting the independent review of Aurora’s electricity network, but WSP Opus’ Dunedin office was headed by business manager Derek Todd, formerly Delta’s asset management general manager.

Aurora spokesman Gary Johnson said at the time the claim would be checked, but rejected other suggestions the review lacked independence. Neither Mr Todd nor any other Dunedin staff were involved in the review, he said.

Yesterday, he said WSP had checked Mr Healey’s claim Australian staff were using the Dunedin office and found it was "untrue".

Only one Melbourne-based WSP staff member had visited Dunedin in the past two months, and he did not visit the WSP Opus office in Dunedin, Mr Johnson said.

Drone pilots were using the WSP Opus office in Dunedin, "but did not discuss the project with any person in the office".

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