Some random thoughts about Auckland’s IT debacle

The more I think about Auckland’s IT debacle the angrier I get.

Let’s put some perspective on?the?more than $1 billion spend.

Total amount blown by?the?Auckland Council on IT =?$1.24 billion. There is no revenue to the Council for that spend: it is gone, with more bills to continue. No profit either…just ongoing massive sunk costs.

In contrast the market capitalisation of a company like Xero is $2.03 billion, and they have revenue…$70.1 million in 2014 and $123.9 million in 2015.

New Zealand’s largest IT company is Datacom.

New Zealand head-quartered and owned information and technology organisation Datacom Group Ltd is pleased to report a strong year of progress and substantial lift in profit for the year ending 31 March 2014.

The total Group profit before tax totalled $64.7m compared to last year?s $50.9m, an increase of 27%.? Operating profit before gains on assets divested was in line with last year, with overall revenue up by 1.3% from $870m to $881m.

Datacom Group Chairman Craig Boyce says, ?We?re pleased to report an excellent performance.? Overall the Group maintained a 10-year compound annual growth rate of 12.5% for revenue and 11% for profit; this result demonstrates the sound strategic direction of the company and the long-term financial stability of the Datacom Group.?

[…] ?? Read more »

After days of skiting about his new big stories it all turns pear-shaped for Matt Nippert

Matt Nippert has been cock-a-hoop about his two big stories in today’s NZ Herald.

He’s been boasting on Twitter.

Firstly, about his story of Ella Yelich O’Connor buying her first house.

Nippert skite

And then about his story involving David Henderson, Rodney Hide, Xero and the Official Assignee.Nippert skite 2 Read more »

The apparently limitless powers of the Official Assignee do not extend to 3rd parties

At least not without the backing of a court. ? The NBR writes

The Official Assignee has a wide range of powers but not quite as wide as accounting firm Xero [NZX: XRO] has been suggesting.

NBR asked two lawyers about the rights and powers of the Official Assignee ? both were speaking about the provisions of the Insolvency Act 2006 generally, and not about any specific case ? and both have the same view.

Mike Whale, a lawyer at Lowndes Law and the editor with Justice Paul Heath of a book on insolvency, says the Official Assignee?s powers to request documents or to examine witnesses are indeed wide.

Mr Whale says it would be difficult to challenge any requirement to produce documents or be examined, unless it can be shown that the Official Assignee was exercising his or her powers unfairly, oppressively or vexatiously.

?The powers that the Official Assignee has been given in these circumstances are really designed to discover the truth of the circumstances connected with the affairs of a bankrupt, information about trading, dealings and so forth,? he says.

The Official Assignee can ask just about anybody just about anything, so long as it?s related to the property conduct or dealings of a bankrupt.

?There?s an obligation on virtually anyone to comply with the Official Assignee?s requests, if they have information or hold documents.?

However, that doesn?t give the Official Assignee free rein to go on fishing expeditions.

There has to be a direct cause for the OA to go for information. ?They can’t just, for example, request the password to a bank account of someone just to have a good look around. ? Read more »

Auckland mayoral candidate Crone has no National Party endorsement, and never will


I’m not filled with confidence with the launch of the latest candidate for Mayor of Auckland.

Victoria Crone has been spoken about for weeks yet on the day of her announcement?she sent out an email that MPs I’ve spoken to said was timed for 16:17 announcing that she would be making her announcement that she was standing for mayor at 16:00. Worse the email was sent from a gmail address. There is no branding, no website, and no domain name. It is real amateur hour stuff and if she is paying advisors she needs to seriously think about the advice she is getting.

On the plus side though, all credit to her resigning from her job to campaign full time. That is real skin in the?game. Will Phil Goff match that? Somehow I think not.

Auckland’s newest mayoral candidate is not a household name, but it’s likely she’ll be well known in business circles.

Victoria Crone, Xero’s New Zealand managing director, has announced she’ll run for Auckland Mayor next October as Len Brown steps aside. ? Read more »

Open letter to Xero’s Rod Drury

Dear Rod

I am your customer and have been for a long time.

I admire you for taking an idea and turning it into a large corporation. Now I am watching aghast as you surrender your values and integrity to preserve a corporate image. Instead of standing up for the little guy, you are sticking it to them. You stand with the State, not the citizen.

You promised both contractually and in many, many media statements to protect my privacy . Then, without telling me, you handed out my personal financial information to a State agency. And when I approached your company, after my suspicions were raised, your company simply lied to me.

Once I had established your company had released my private and personal financial information, you then stonewalled me. You never returned my calls or answered my simple, reasonable questions. It seems you are now so big you don’t have to care about a single customer. You have resorted to bully-boy tactics.

All I ever wanted to know was: ? Read more »

NZ’s VW? Questions over Xero remain unanswered

We’ve seen Rodney Hide explain how Xero gave personal data away?without notifying the person or requiring a legal request to do so. ?Then Xero?denied it – which is not very truthful. ?If they do it with someone, they can do it with you. ? The NBR revisits the case.



Read more »

Are your financial records safe with Xero? [UPDATED]

Rodney Hide explains that maybe your financial records won’t be safe with Xero after revealing that Xero has handed over financial records to the Official Assignee outside of the law.

Is this Xero’s VW moment?

Are your financial records safe with Xero [NZX:XRO]??Or would Xero do a Westpac and release them to state agents on simple request without warrant?

Xero CEO Rod Drury has always said safe.?He again reassured NBR readers in July that Xero never releases customers? financial records to state agents.

Mr Drury said Xero refers requests back to the customer for the information required.

?We are the custodians of our customers? data,? Mr Drury said.

But one customer knows different.?Last year Xero passed her company?s records to state agents, they had no warrant, Xero didn?t tell her, and, indeed, when she asked, Xero denied it.

Deputy Official Assignee Annemarie Foidl had asked Xero to supply the customer?s ?user name? and ?password? citing s171 of the Insolvency Act 2006.?It wasn?t just the records she wanted but access.?For a month.

We don?t know what then transpired but we do know Xero ?supplied [the Official Assignee] with a report showing the credits and debits of each account connected to the subscription.?

Xero didn?t tell the customer. ?? Read more »


Haters and Wreckers


Kim Dotcom and Rod Drury have been having a “conversation” about Xero. ? Kim Dotcom said the stock is totally overvalued, and it crashed by 20% since.

You’re so used to me railing against Kim Dotcom, I’m sure you’re no longer listening to me.

What strikes me is that this man just appears untouchable. Read more »

What should Rod Drury sledge back to Kim Dotcom?

Rod-Drury-Clipped-1Kim Dotcom has decided to attack one of New Zealand’s best entrepreneurs.

A war of words has erupted between Kim Dotcom and the founder of online accounting software firm Xero.

Speaking on TVNZ’s Q+A programme, Rod Drury said Internet Party leader Laila Harre knows nothing about technology and he wished Mr Dotcom would go away.

“At the beginning it was really cool to see someone like that come through but his manipulation of the media, so he’s very media savvy, understands that it’s a good story, that journalism’s cheap, I think it’s a big sideshow,” said Mr Drury.

Kim Dotcom then hit back with a string of?tweets, claiming Xero was over-valued and pointing out how many more users his own company has.

“CEO of totally overvalued NZ cloud ‘accounting’ company Xero (300k users) says: ‘I represent the Internet Generation. Kim Dotcom doesn’t’,” tweeted Kim Dotcom.

He then tweeted: “Could all my followers please become Xero customers NOW (great NZ cloud accounting) before their stock price crashes and I get blamed ;-).”

Basically he has sledged out Rod Drury saying he has a small cock.? Read more »

Rod Drury gives it to the pollies & tells Dotcom to “go away”


Message to politicians: Get out of the way!

Rod Drury has cut loose on the politicians and told them a few home truths about their meddling ways.

This election campaign needs more business leaders to stand up and serve politicians arses like what Rod Drury has done.

As the political heavyweights debated the future ICT roadmap for New Zealand last night, Rod Drury sat shaking his head in the crowd.

Taking the stage amidst the backdrop of Auckland?s evening sky, key political figures debated long into the night about the future of New Zealand?s ICT sector.

Chaired by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association, CEO Candace Kinser orchestrated discussion with technology representatives from National, Labour, the Green Party and the Internet MANA parties.

But as the opinions flowed and policies were outlined, Xero?s charismatic CEO reawakened a conversation which, in the eyes of the entrepreneur, drifted widely off the overriding issue.

?I find this really depressing but I?ll try to be positive about it,? he said, in his typically outspoken manner. ? Read more »