Delta/Aurora 'in good hands with advisers'

Grady Cameron.
Grady Cameron.
Aurora Energy chief executive Grady Cameron was told to keep his head up and ''not get too stressed'' as accusations mounted over rotten power poles.

The email exchange between Mr Cameron and an unnamed person from another lines company was one of a number of documents provided to the Otago Daily Times after a Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act request.

The short exchange on October 21 came only days after former Delta worker Richard Healey went public with his concerns, setting off a chain of events which culminated in multiple investigations and an accelerated plan to replace ageing poles.

The person, whose name and the company they work for was redacted, told Mr Cameron to ''keep your head up and do not get too stressed'', and offered to help.

''Give me a call if you need to talk it through or if you want info on the crisis PR people I have come to know very well.''

Mr Cameron replied saying: ''Yes a tough couple of days but you can relate to that!

''At this stage we're in good hands with advisers.''

Other emails released to the ODT included Mr Cameron accepting an offer of staff resources to help with pole replacement and him warning Dunedin City Holdings Limited chairman Graham Crombie health and safety concerns were going to be looked at on TV3 current affairs programme Story.

In the email, which was sent on the afternoon of October 21, hours before the story aired, he said: ''I responded that the concerns were already known and risk management in place with network investment programmes.

''We acknowledged there was a backlog of work but that we had increased resources to fix.

''I rejected the claim that shareholder [Dunedin City Council] demands were impacting safety outcomes.''

Delta, which manages Aurora's network and which Mr Cameron is also chief executive of, also released full copies of its 2016 and 2015 staff satisfaction surveys.

The full 2016 results included a much more detailed breakdown of performance than a summary previously leaked to the ODT.

Many of the largest areas of concern related to staff confidence and trust in management and the three worst performing areas compared with New Zealand averages were:

34% of staff thought senior management were honest and straightforward in their dealings with staff. (Which is 19 percentage points below average)

65% thought managers visibly demonstrated their commitment to keeping their staff safe. (-17%)

59% thought it was easy to understand how their work helped Delta achieve its business priorities. (-15%)

Cerno, which wrote the report, noted Dunedin staff involved in the hands-on task of managing Aurora's network were the least positive of Delta staff.

A Delta spokesman did not respond to specific questions about the survey results, instead reissuing a previous statement noting overall satisfaction had improved from 49% in 2014 to 52% this year.

It was making positive steps to improve staff engagement but recognised ''change takes time''.

''Some of the steps we've taken include improvements to our internal communication and employee recognition awards.''

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