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The report, commissioned by Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose and produced by Sapere Research Group consulting director Toby Stevenson, outlined how the council-owned company had fared since a 2016 report revealed major under-investment in its network.
‘‘This network should never have got itself into the state it has but it did,’’ Mr Stevenson wrote.
‘‘There are still risks to public safety in parts of the network because rehabilitating the network will take some time.
‘‘The board, executive and staff of Aurora are working as hard as they can to get it right and are up to the task.’’
Dr Bidrose commissioned the report late last year to determine whether the council and Dunedin City Holdings Ltd could have confidence in the improvements being made by Aurora.
It followed strong criticism of the council-owned company after it revealed a three-year, $400million programme to tackle ageing electricity infrastructure in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown last November.
That would come with power price hikes of up to $500 a year for some customers.
The report considered the actions taken by the incoming Aurora board and executive from early 2018, and whether they addressed issues around its asset management and establishing a path to having a safe and future-proofed network.
Mr Stevenson said Aurora had ‘‘taken great pains to report completely and accurately’’ on the implementation of the recommendations of the 2016 Deloitte report.
The Deloitte report found there had been an under-investment on asset inspections, condition monitoring and maintenance over the previous 25 years and made 22 recommendations for improvement.
By 2017, 19 of those recommendations had been implemented and the remaining three were under way.
The current board and executive revisited some of the actions taken and had gone further, based on more up-to-date information on network asset condition gathered in 2018.
Mr Stevenson said the council could have confidence Aurora was working to reduce critical risks and was developing the culture required to deliver a safe and reliable network.
In terms of lines charges, Aurora had committed to complying with those recommendations and was preparing an application to the Commerce Commission for a customised price path.
That was a binding way of funding the level of investment required to make the network fully compliant.
‘‘Aurora has achieved a great deal of change already, but this is a big task and will take some time yet to complete.’’
Council finance committee chairman Cr Mike Lord said it was a ‘‘relief’’ to read the report.
‘‘It’s good for the people of Dunedin to be able to put these ongoing concerns to bed.’’