DCHL reviews release expected

Dave Cull
Dave Cull
The Dunedin City Council was giving little away yesterday after meeting behind closed doors to discuss Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL)'s annual $8 million dividend payment shortfall.

However, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull last night told the Otago Daily Times copies of two reviews examining DCHL's structure and performance were expected to be made public today.

The move comes after councillors discussed the two reviews -including one by independent reviewer and company director Warren Larsen - in the non-public part of yesterday's full council meeting.

The debate came after Mr Cull last month confirmed a projected $8 million shortfall in DCHL annual dividends beginning in 2012-13, which included a $5 million drop in payments to be received by the council each year.

Council staff had indicated before yesterday's meeting both reviews would be made public after the meeting, albeit with some sections blacked out because of concerns about privacy and commercial sensitivity.

That prompted debate at the beginning of the public part of yesterday's meeting, with Cr Lee Vandervis arguing discussion of the Larsen review should be moved into the meeting's public section because of the public interest in it.

Other councillors disagreed, with Cr Richard Thomson and Jinty MacTavish both saying they wanted more of the blacked-out sections reinstated into the versions to be made public.

To do that, both reports needed first to be discussed in their entirety in private, to determine exactly what could then be made public, Cr Thomson said.

Mr Cull, speaking afterwards, said councillors had agreed to make more of the report public as a result, with copies expected to be released later today.

He would not comment about any other decisions reached at yesterday's meeting, saying other details remained confidential, but would consider what else could be made public today.

He also declined to comment when asked what role Cr Paul Hudson - also the DCHL chairman - played at the meeting, as did Cr Hudson himself when contacted last night.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

 

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