Roading Industry’s rotten underbelly, History repeats for Ryman Healthcare, National’s leadership leverage, Rating agencies’ embarrassment, Dodgy Dan rebrands, Land of bilk and money
In NBR Print today...
In NBR Print today...
In NBR Print today:
Karen Scherer reveals the roading industry’s rotten underbelly in a special NBR investigation.
The investigation has veteran engineers saying the bribery and corruption involving two Auckland Transport managers has only scraped the surface of the dirty dealings in the roading industry.
“Many cite the case of Blacktop boss Simon Everett, whose family-owned roading business collapsed in 2013, as an example of the consequences they could face if they speak out. ‘The general feeling in the industry is the big boys ganged up and took him out,” one person told NBR, because of Mr Everett’s refusal to take part in a “culture of backhanders.” And industry consolidation and procurement practices, it’s claimed, have made it increasingly tough for sub-contractors to compete.
In Shoeshine, Jenny Ruth says investors have sold down Ryman Healthcare in past housing market downturns – during the global financial crisis its stock more than halved. She writes that they’re doing it again on the assumption the housing market has peaked and in anticipation of changes in government policy.“Based on past performance, that would be a mistake – because the GFC actually turned out to be a great opportunity for the company.”
In Order Paper, political editor Rob Hosking argues Prime Minister Bill English will not try to be all things to all people like his predecessor; nor will he be everywhere. “His will be a low-key government. But his deputy, Paula Bennett does share John Key’s ability to get under opponents’ skin and provoke them to make mistakes.”
In Margin Call, Nevil Gibson says credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings will have to eat their humble pie, sooner or later. “They downgraded New Zealand in 2011 and, despite economic evidence, have refused to restore a triple-A rating.”
Remember Dan McEwan and the collapse of his property group, which cost investors millions? Calida Smylie reminds that Mr McEwan used investment seminars to entice his backers and offered securities without issuing a prospectus. “With the benefit of hindsight, it’s no surprise the promised returns failed to materialise. But what is surprising is that the former bankrupt is now seeking funders for new ventures – under an all-new name.”
Several deals, a court case and $35 million later, Auckland Council has not seen one cent from 9.4ha of Manukau land it once owned, Sally Lindsay writes. “The manoeuvres by the council and Counties Manukau Pacific Trust have left a sour taste in some councillors’ mouths amid accusations of cronyism and exorbitant profits.”
All this and more in today’s NBR print edition. Out now.