The Fletchers Reserve bank conspiracy

June 20th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

An e-mail alleging some sort of conspiracy involving Fletchers, and the Reserve Bank has been circulating for a few weeks. I’ve received it multiple times.
The e-mail alleges the Government through the Reserve Bank is a shareholder in Fletchers and hence awarding contracts to itself. The situation is:

This anonymous email’s author has discovered the Reserve Bank’s custodial service and drawn the conclusion that the Reserve Bank, and hence the government, owns the shares held in it. In reality this is a nominee company through which local and international institutions hold shares in a range of companies, one of which is Fletcher Building. It is an absolutely standard structure, common worldwide, and which has been in place for over 20 years.

This link http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/payment/nzclear/ to the Reserve Bank website sets the NZClear system out in very simple terms.

In brief, NZClear is a real-time settlement system which members access from their premises. Each member has a security account on the system which records the securities “lodged with New Zealand Central Securities Depository Limited” (NZCSD), a custodian, fully owned by the RBNZ. NZCSD becomes the legal owner of the securities on the relevant register and holds securities on behalf of the member, the beneficial owner. The inventory of securities held in the depository currently stands at around NZD92 billion.

So it’s very clear, the government is not “the beneficial owner” of Fletcher Building shares or any other shares held under the NZClear system.

The e-mail also asks some questions. The responses to them are:

Q. Who appointed RCP (Resource Coordination Partnership Ltd) as Project Managers for the management of ‘critical buildings’ following the February 22nd earthquake?

Christchurch City Council appointed RCP to help project manage the demolition process.

Q . Who appointed Fletcher Building to manage the demolition works and then, reconstruction works?

Fletchers have not been appointed to any such role.

Q . Who called for the tenders for the demolition of the Grand Chancellor?

Originally the owner, then Civil Defence was working through the tender process. Since its establishment, CERA has been coordinating the tender process.

Q . Who was/is to be the Principle to the demolition Contract (i.e. the Payer)

CERA is the principal. However, all costs associated with the Grand Chancellor demolition will be recovered from the owner.

Q . Who assessed the Tenders for the Demolition of the Grand Chancellor?

Initially Civil Defence appointed engineers in association with the owner’s engineers. It then went to CERA appointed engineers in association with the owner’s engineers. A recommendation was then made to CERA and the owner before a final decision was made.

Q . Who has been awarded the Grand Chancellor job (at whatever price and/ or conditions)?

Fletcher Construction Company. The contract is worth in excess of $10 million – this was stated openly by the owner of the Hotel Grand Chancellor when the contract was awarded.

Q . Who has been blind-sided?

The tender process was, and is, an open tender process. It was done with all due care and with impartiality. The preferred contractor was awarded the contract based on the best deconstruction solution for the Grand Chancellor. The ultimate decision was the owner’s.

This public service announcement was brought to you by the letter N and the number 8.

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18 Responses to “The Fletchers Reserve bank conspiracy”

  1. Elaycee (4,064 comments) says:

    There is nothing quite like facts to debunk the bullshit.

    But no doubt it’ll still prompt some alternate versions / further conspiracy theories from the tin foil hat brigade.

    Cue: 3, 2, 1….

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  2. BeaB (1,945 comments) says:

    And of course in NZ we have plenty of big companies to do these big jobs. We are lucky we have firms like Fletchers and Isaacs in times like these.
    I can’t believe the crap Brownlee and the Govt are getting. Imagine the howls if they rushed in with a quick, incomplete decision and the insurers all pulled out and left us the taxpayers carrying the can. Or your house plummeted in value because the house next door is demolished.
    I rather like his unpolished manner – better than smooth spin and bullshit. And what better background – running a family business in construction, tech teacher, Christchurch native with damaged house etc etc.
    I have just heard Goff pathetically jumping on the ‘hurry up’ bandwagon. Has the 5-minute hamburger addled our brains?

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  3. cha (3,528 comments) says:

    Cue: 3, 2, 1…. ta da!

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  4. cha (3,528 comments) says:

    I can’t believe the crap Brownlee and the Govt are getting.

    Meanwhile, Japanese authorities fail, only 27,000 temporary housing units completed.

    The government has failed to achieve its stated goal of supplying 30,000 temporary housing units by the end of May for people displaced by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the infrastructure minister said Monday

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  5. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    Let me guess BeaB, your house has not been affected by the earthquake?

    ‘better than smooth spin and bullshit’, so it is that or ‘no information’? Are they the only 2 options? How about a timetable, why not start with ‘we will be releasing our decision on xyz date, if not before’.

    ‘And what better background – running a family business in construction, tech teacher, Christchurch native with damaged house etc etc.’ Shit I’d meet most of those criteria, in fact I’m better qualified than Brownlee, can I have the job?

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  6. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    “(g) The Christchurch City Council had a long and sorry history of standing in the road of the demolition of much of the old (gerry built) commercial stock, it considered “historic” – that clearly was not. This gross over listing of historic buildings meant that there were not sufficient resources available for the necessary and adequate seismic upgrades of “truly” historic buildings, such as Christchurch Cathedral, the Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and the Arts Centre.

    It degenerated pretty much in to a “power game”, with the drummed up active support of some of the “beautiful people” of Fendalton and Merivale, keen for commercial reasons to be seen as politically correct by the Council bureaucrats. This assisted in “smoothing the waters” for other developments requiring consent.”
    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/53947/opinion-hugh-pavletich-accuses-christchurch-city-council-blindness-blunders-and-chain-
    ……….
    wheels within wheels.

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  7. Auberon (816 comments) says:

    Pretty selective of you cha. Treasury has estimated the combined cost of the first two Canterbury earthquakes at around $15 billion – $20 billion. This is enormous by any international comparison.

    To put this in context, the cost is about 8 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP. By contrast, damage from the Kobe earthquake in Japan was just over 2 per cent of Japan’s GDP, Hurricane Katrina about 1 per cent of US GDP and the latest Japanese quake/tsunami disaster was about 3-5 per cent of Japan’s GDP.

    So the Canterbury earthquakes are considerably larger in their proportionate impact on New Zealand’s economy than any other large disaster around the world.

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  8. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    Where is Penny Dim when you need her?

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  9. flipper (3,268 comments) says:

    It is all BULLSHIT

    It is clear that Elvis, who was seen entering and leaving the ‘hive”, is responsible.
    Just Peters/Goffie (read his assertions in NZ Herald this afternoon…..rubbish!) CRAP.

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  10. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    If a tsunami had washed over the eastern suburbs there wouldn’t be much to discuss?

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  11. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to trace that email back to the source. Who would have the most to gain by smearing the current government and big business together? And why? I can think of a few groups. Of course, most likely answer is it is a fringe nutcase.

    YesWeDid:

    How about a timetable, why not start with ‘we will be releasing our decision on xyz date, if not before’.

    And what happens if the decision cannot be made by xyz date?

    This, to me, seems like a massive project by any measurement. The region is still unstable, there is new data coming through and I’d certainly not want to make a call to commit $20,000,000,000 and then have it torn down again a year from now.

    Yeah, I’m not in Christchurch. I have a few clients who are and I empathise. But as this is a financial burden that will be carried by all of NZ, I’d certainly want to be sure before just heading in.

    Let’s hope something happens as quickly as it possibly can though.

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  12. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    Yes we Did of course you can have the job you freeking muppet just put your name forward and on November 27th start work.
    Unless of course you can’t garner enough support which I think on the strength of your analysis here would be likely to say the least.
    In case you missed it we had more movement last Monday and many said it was greater movement than Feb 22nd, I know there was more displacement for us here.

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  13. BeaB (1,945 comments) says:

    YesWeDid But you are not a high ranked Cabinet Minister with the ear and confidence of the PM.

    I have family in dire straits and they say they would much rather wait while everyone gets the decisions right than rush in with something half-baked. They know, whatever the decisions, things are not going to change much for a long time and they are desperate, at their time of life, that they don’t lose too much of their investment in their house because the government feels pressured. In their 50′s, they won’t have time to make up their losses so they are relying on Gerry Brownlee to protect as much as he can for them without the media being so dangerously dumb..

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  14. Elaycee (4,064 comments) says:

    Manolo says: “Where is Penny Dim when you need her?”

    Whaaaaat? Wash your mouth out!

    Does your Mother know you talk like that?
    :)

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  15. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    Just look at the shrills leading the condemnation of the governments response to the greatest single economic disaster to confront this country.
    Mupetts and how far would they have to go to get a glove puppet among those whose homes, lives and livelyhoods have been devastated to front up and cry on a media that is increasingly adept at finding negativity and bad news amongst the mountain of good will, good intentions, genuine get up and go again citizens who are still fighting the odds.
    I have no wish to repair the damage to my castle as we are getting shocks bigger and bigger that are doing no additional damage because it is hard to destroy damage but it would not take much to undo fresh repairs. I have enough knowledge of that already amongst buildings damaged in Sept and repaired before Feb 22nd and or last Monday 13th June.

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  16. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    Keeping people out of the red zone was an example of government incompetence.

    Until 2:20pm on the 13th of June.

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  17. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    “All natural disasters uncover deeper problems than the event itself. In New Orleans, where I directed recovery in the 2005-2007 period, it was the city’s inability to face underlying socioeconomic inequities and economic failures.

    Japan’s recent natural disaster in March has put that nation, once the envy of the post-World War II world, under a new microscope. Most of us are aware of Japan’s fiscal nightmare of debt and the merry-go-round in the office of prime minister. But an even more sinister set of issues has reared its head. The alarming fact: Japan, without corrective action, is dying a slow natural death.”
    http://citiwire.net/post/2765/

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  18. Gahi (11 comments) says:

    Readers may be interested in seeing these before and after photos taking around Sendai, Japan, three months after the tsunami. http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/06/japan_three_months_after_the_q.html

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