Request declined a year ago

Dunedin lobbyist Bev Butler says the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) declined to investigate controversial Delta land purchases when she approached it in August 2011.

Last Wednesday the OAG announced it would investigate the Delta land purchases after a request from Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

Butler said she asked for an OAG investigation a year ago, based on issues in Newtons Coachways (1993) Ltd statement of intent and annual reporting, an error in the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd annual report, and Dunedin stadium-related issues.

In a response to Butler the following month the OAG declined to look at matters raised by her.

Councillor Lee Vandervis had also conducted research into the Delta deals over the past two years, Butler said.

She was concerned Delta was now refusing to answer official requests because of the OAG investigation.

Butler had been making Local Government Information and Meeting Act (LGOIMA) requests to Delta chief executive Grady Cameron questioning aspects of the land purchases.

Some requests had been met, but last Friday Butler received a response from Delta declining her latest request on the grounds the OAG was investigating.

Butler believed the information requested as crucial to establishing what happened in the Jack's Point/Luggate land deals carried out by Delta in 2008 and 2009.

Delta released a statement last week which Cameron says welcomed "an independent review of the decision-making processes".

"Delta will be co-operating fully with the Office of the Auditor-General and will ensure any recommendations for improvement are adopted," Cameron said.

"Delta will not be making any further public comment until the inquiry has concluded and any findings are released."

The Southland Times