Tag Archives: Insolvency

ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?

Dave Goosselink Tweets 17.3.14[screenshot]

• Dave Goosselink — Dunedin face (and voice) for TV3 News & Sports
• Samuel Gilchrist — social media handler for The Highlanders @Highlanders

Retweets by @whatifdunedin and @SearleJamie
• Jamie Searle — Southland Times racing reporter

Correspondence received.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:58 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: Steve Tew [NZRU]; Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Murray Kirkness [ODT]; Steve Hepburn [ODT]; Rebecca Fox [ODT]; Ian Telfer [RNZ]
Subject: Black-tie dinner bill to be paid?
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:56:35 +1300

Wednesday 19th March 2014

Dear Steve

The following was posted on a local blogsite “What If Dunedin”.

“The conscience of the ORFU is totally absent. The normal procedure for staging an event such as the black-tie dinner is to budget all costs, set the entrance fees to cover those costs and establish a profit level. That is both normal and straightforward – some I’m sure, would say honest, business practice..

The way the ORFU operated was to set the costs, pay out the organiser – who just happened to be the wife of Laurie Mains – ignore the costs and bank the difference. Can anyone tell me that if this scenario happened with anyone else other than the dear old rugby-mad idiots on the Council involved, would this be tolerated? Not on your nelly. Can anyone tell me why this isn’t either theft or fraud?” *

What especially interests me about this post is the question posed as to whether theft or fraud is involved.
It feels like it to me but I’m not sure whether it would hold up in a court of law.
Maybe it could…maybe it couldn’t.
My limited understanding of the Crimes Act is that the hardest part to prove is intent.
In the case of the black-tie dinner, did the ORFU have any intent on paying the bill?
In my opinion, if they did they would have paid it when they received the money from the guests – because obviously it was the intent of the guests for their money to be paid for their evening out.
What do you think, Steve? I’d appreciate your view on this.

I noticed on twitter, media and rugby officials tweeting about this issue.
Strange how the Highlanders’ social media official, Samuel Gilchrist, refers to me as a ‘warmonger’ because I am asking for some honesty from the ORFU. The problem down here is that there is no decent leadership in rugby and hasn’t been for years.
We have Roger Clark as the current CEO of The Highlanders – he was the CEO of Southland Rugby Union at the time when they
they owed over $100,000 in booze. I fear that nothing much has changed.

I had hoped that with the new ORFU board that some leadership would be shown over the black-tie dinner scandal but, to date, that hasn’t happened. Change needs to come from the top so that people like Samuel Gilchrist understands that it is not okay to run off without paying your bills. He doesn’t seem to be able to figure this out for himself. I guess when things have been bad down here for so long those who can’t think for themselves look to the leaders for guidance which is lacking.

That is why I have turned to you, Steve, to finally show some leadership and right this wrong.

I hope I don’t have to continue to prod any deeper.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Previous letter to Steve Tew deleted, read it here

[ends]

*Link to source

Related Posts and Comments:
17.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner on ratepayers
14.3.14 ORFU flush to pay creditors

For more, enter the terms *orfu*, *dinner*, *jeremy curragh*, *bailout*, *martin legge*, *dia*, *pokies*, *jokers*, *ttcf*, or *pokie rorts* in the search box at left.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

6 Comments

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ORFU flush to pay creditors

When asked whether the union would consider repaying some creditors who lost money when the deal was agreed to save the union from liquidation, Union chairman Doug Harvie said that would not happen.

### ODT Online Fri, 14 Mar 2014
Profit pleases ORFU
By Steve Hepburn
The Otago Rugby Football Union has recorded a $406,800 profit, just over two years after it faced going out of business because of debts of more than $2 million.
The union now has reserves of more than $500,000, and is predicting a small profit for the coming year. [...] In March 2012, the union was a few days away from going out of business, with debts of $2.2 million and creditors failing to come to agreement. But a rescue package was nailed down and the union traded its way out of difficulty, albeit with some concessions from creditors.
Read more

****

Correspondence received.

From: Bev Butler
To: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:31:59 +1300

Friday 14th March 2014

Dear Doug

In today’s ODT the ORFU have reported a profit of $406,859 for the 2013 financial year and a profit of $134,656 for the 2012 financial year. Part of this so called profit is just pocketing of monies from unpaid bills.

As you are fully aware, the ORFU ran up a DVML bill of $25,352 for their black tie fund raiser at the stadium on 5th August 2011. This was for food, booze, soft drinks and cleaning.

Not only did the ORFU run off without paying this bill but the ORFU paid no venue hire for this brand new venue. Then to top it off the ORFU pocketed $52,000 from this fundraising event into their ‘pot’ which then is reported as profit for the 2012 financial year.

The fact that the ORFU then pressurised the Council to ‘write it off’ does not excuse the ORFU from the moral obligation to pay this bill.

I was quoted in the ODT as saying this was ‘obscene’. It is like booking a large restaurant, gorging yourselves on all their food and drink and hospitality then doing a runner.

It is ‘obscene’ and I expect this bill to be paid in full.

Laurie Mains, and his wife, Anne-Marie, refused to answer questions as to whether Anne-Marie was paid for her services in organising this event. I actually have no problem with her charging for her professional services. What I do have a problem with is that it is standard practice for professional event organisers to ensure all outstanding bills are paid before the ‘surplus’ is paid to the organisation. This did not happen. I don’t know whether Anne-Marie was paid $10,000, $12,000 or even more but whatever the amount the issue is that the other bills should have been paid first.

I fully expect this bill to be paid as the ORFU did actually have sufficient funds to pay this bill as evidenced by the reported profit of $134,656 for the 2012 financial year.

I also remind you that the $350 [sic] guests to this black-tie dinner paid $250 per ticket which would have been paid with the understanding that this would cover the costs. When a function such as this is organised, the ticket price is to cover the costs of the meal, venue hire, cleaning etc. Once the bills are paid, then any surplus is genuine ‘profit’ and the organisation then can legally pocket this ‘profit’.

The fact that the ORFU pocketed this money instead of paying their bill is unacceptable.

It is time the ORFU did the decent thing and pay this bill.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

——————————

From: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:16:32 +0000

You have your facts wrong Bev – ALL creditors of ORFU have been satisfied in full, in one way or another.

I will not be responding to any further correspondence on this matter.

D J Harvie
Partner

Harvie Green Wyatt
(P O Box 5740, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. Phone +64 3 4775005 or +64 21 2234169. Fax +64 3 4775447

——————————

From: Bev Butler
To: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 09:43:19 +1300

Dear Doug

Saying that “ALL creditors have been satisfied in full, in one way or another” is not the same as saying that all creditors have been PAID in full.
I know it is uncomfortable for you to be reminded of this but it still does not excuse the ORFU from doing the decent thing and paying their obscene black-tie dinner given they already had the money but decided to pocket it instead.
How about showing some decency or goodwill towards those that bailed you out of your financial mess now that you are flush with $406,859 profit?

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

[ends]

For more, enter the terms *orfu*, *dinner*, *jeremy curragh*, *bailout*, *martin legge*, *dia*, *pokies*, *jokers*, *ttcf*, or *pokie rorts* in the search box at left.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

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Corruption in NZ Sport: Where has John Key PM been hiding ???

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

All-time classic lines from Dear John, Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism:

### NZ Herald Online 3:21 PM Thursday Dec 5, 2013
Allegations are ‘very, very serious’ – Key
By Dylan Cleaver
Prime Minister John Key said it would be “very, very serious” if match fixing allegations against three former New Zealand cricketers were proved true. “New Zealand is a country that sees itself as a very above-board, honest place both to do business and to play sport so it would be deeply concerning if this was factually correct.”
“New Zealanders expect sport to be played fairly and they expect sports men and women to perform – in a way which upholds the ethics of their sport and not to be doing it to make money in an underhand way.”
“It would be a very, very serious issue indeed if it is proved to be correct.”
NZH Link

Fairfax go further through Stuff, with McCully (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Sport and Recreation) doing a great line in used car sales:

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 15:06 05/12/2013
NZC won’t name trio in corruption investigation
By Matt Richens, Stacey Kirk and Fairfax Media
. . . CORRUPTION REPORT
The news comes within a week of the Government releasing a long-awaited report into corruption in New Zealand sport in which it asserted there was little for Kiwi sports fans to be concerned about. Sports Minister Murray McCully revealed few details of the nine-month investigation which was prompted by the scandal in Australia around doping and betting in sport. But McCully promised New Zealand would ramp up its fight against corruption in sport by implementing greater information-sharing among government and sporting bodies to stamp out potential match-fixing, doping and illegal activity. He added that a national match-fixing policy would also be established in 2014.
“The report found no evidence of widespread drug use or organised crime in New Zealand sport,” McCully said. “But it would be naive to think New Zealand is insulated from these problems. This is why we are taking pre-emptive steps to safeguard our athletes and clean sporting reputation.”
The report was instigated after the Australia Crime Commission earlier this year linked organised crime and banned substances to several Australian sporting codes including rugby league and Australian Rules football. But Sport New Zealand (SNZ) concluded there was little need for the Government, sporting or law-enforcement agencies to conduct a similar investigation in New Zealand.
Stuff Link

FACTSHEETS
Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport New Zealand assessment and report
New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-Fixing and Related Corruption

Note the assessment and report DO NOT extend to corruption, fraud and organised crime exercised in other ‘ways’ by New Zealand sporting entities to showcase, develop, and finance their activities in the bid to remain ‘solvent’
[by any means, it seems].

Enter the term *pokies* in the search box at right to find related posts and comments related to professional rugby, corruption, fraud, whistleblowing, and government departmental/political connections.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZRU, ORFU blasphemies etc

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

NZRU logo

### ODT Online Tue, 15 Oct 2013
ORFU report to stay confidential
By Hamish McNeilly
A confidential report following the financial collapse of the Otago Rugby Football Union is likely to remain confidential.
The Dunedin City Council agreed to write off a debt of more than $400,000 and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd a debt of $80,000 to help the union avoid liquidation in March last year.
The New Zealand Rugby Union, which lent the cash-strapped union $500,000, commissioned a report by Cascade Consulting to look at the union’s involvement with pokie grants.
The report was later supplied to the Department of Internal Affairs, which declined to release the documents on the grounds it ”would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information”.

”The department does not consider the withholding of the report on ORFU provided by NZRU would diminish public confidence in the department as a responsible regulator of the gambling sector and does not consider that these reasons for withholding the information are outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make the information available.” –DIA

The Otago Daily Times lodged a complaint with the office of the Ombudsman on July 25, 2012, asking for the release of the information.
Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem, in a provisional opinion released this week, said the department was entitled to withhold the information.
Read more

For more information at this site, enter terms such as *dia*, *sfo*, *oag*, *orfu*, *martin legge*, *ttcf*, *russell garbutt*, *pokies* or *pokierorts” in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

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Darren Burden plays LGOIMA game like Davies #DVML #PsychoAnswer

DVML’s attempts to deceive ratepayers continues under Burden’s control. Mayor Dull is fully complicit.

### ODT Wed, 10 Oct 2012
Letters to the editor (page 8)
Concern over attendance of rugby games
Recent national news stories regarding widespread concern over the NZRU’s ITM Cup competition, which report that the number of spectators are down in significant numbers, along with reduced ratings on Sky TV for their coverage of these matches, lead to some financial concerns for Dunedin ratepayers.
Can Darren Burden, chief executive of DVML who runs and manages the stadium used for these professional rugby matches, confirm that:
1. The average attendance at these matches at the Forsyth Barr Stadium is in the region of 5000.
2. The average ticket price for these 5000 attendees is approximately $20.
3. The gross income from ticket sales is, therefore, approximately $100,000.
4. The NZRU returns approximately 10% of gate sales revenue to the venue operator.
5. The income to DVML from gate sales is, therefore, approximately $10,000.
6. The cost of opening the stadium for a professional rugby match is approximately $100,000.
7. These matches held at the stadium therefore lose approximately $90,000 each time they are held.
If Mr Burden disputes these figures, can he supply in detail his version of the above statements, as well as an accurate profit/loss statement for the ITM matches held at the stadium?

Russell Garbutt
Wakari

[Dunedin Venues chief executive Darren Burden replies: "The ITM Cup provides variety and entertainment to our event schedule and has value to the stadium beyond just financial. The cost of opening the stadium varies depending on the size of the event. However, it is nowhere near $100,000 for an ITM cup match, as suggested. The information requested by Mr Garbutt is complex. I invite him to contact Dunedin Venues directly and we'll happily review his request for information."]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

30 Comments

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Apology requested from ORFU [email]

This after news the mayoral defamation suit has been settled out of court. So far, we know the action has cost ratepayers a minimum of $29,000 – it’s likely to cost all citizens far more, given everything that’s riding on ORFU not being investigated, and the relationship ORFU enjoys with Dunedin City Council and council-owned companies. You have Mayor Dave Cull to thank, in no small way.

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: laurie.mains@comlink.co.nz; wgraham.admiral@ljh.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; wilma.mc@dscene.co.nz; mike.houlahan@dscene.co.nz; shayes@tv3.co.nz; max.bania@tvnz.co.nz; krissymoreau@mediaworks.co.nz; dgoosselink@mediaworks.co.nz; morningreport@radionz.co.nz; reporters@press.co.nz; david.williams@press.co.nz; news@radionz.co.nz
Subject: Apology requested from ORFU
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2012 22:29:05 +1300

Sunday 30th November 2012 [sic]

Dear Laurie and Wayne

The black tie dinner DVML bill has still not been paid.
In the Mayor’s apology in yesterday’s ODT, the Mayor says he understands that Laurie and other ORFU Board members contributed personal funds to pay small creditors. The Mayor also says he doesn’t question the honesty or sincerity of either of you in this process.
But, what about the honesty and sincerity of paying your food, booze and cleaning bill for the black tie dinner?
I still expect this bill to be paid along with an apology for late payment.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

——————————————————————————–
From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: laurie.mains@comlink.co.nz; wgraham.admiral@ljh.co.nz
Subject: Defamation spoils
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:11:40 +1200

Tuesday 24th July 2012

Dear Laurie and Wayne

The black tie dinner DVML bill has still not been paid.
Thought I would email you again and ask Laurie if his wife, Anne Marie, intends paying back the $10,000+ she paid herself before paying all the other bills?
My understanding is that professional event organisers ALWAYS pay ALL the bills before handing over the ‘surplus’. Remember Jeremy Curragh stated that $52,000 went into the ‘pot’ but as we know some of the bills hadn’t been paid. Your mate, Ian Taylor, was obviously annoyed but as he has now quietened down, is it safe to assume he was paid off?

As for the defamation, if you get a nice wee tidy sum out of the ratepayers, what do you intend doing with it?
Will you pay the black tie dinner DVML bill then?
Or build another multi-million dollar house to make yourselves feel like you’ve really, really made it?
Maybe you could explain to me why you are suing Cull ie the city.
What did he say that was untrue? I read his comments and thought they were rather tame compared to what I think of the ORFU. As reported in the ODT I thought it was obscene the ORFU running off after their black tie dinner and not paying their bill for all the booze, food and cleaning. Still think that.

Spare a thought in your quieter moments, sitting in your multi-million dollar houses in Wanaka, for the little old ladies in South Dunedin who can’t afford to heat their homes in winter. Some of them go to bed during the day to keep warm. And you two still only see your glass as half full. Take another look. Your glasses are already bulging. Why do you want to take more money from the city, from the poor who barely have enough to keep themselves warm?

I hear your ‘feelings were hurt’ at the ORFU being referred to as ‘incompetent’.
Is it competent to run off without paying your bills?
Is it competent to put $52,000 in your own ‘pot’ and not pay those bills?
Is it competent to even call it a surplus when all the bills were not paid?
Is it competent to apply for grants from community trusts and then use that money for unauthorised purposes?
Is it competent to set up 3 pokies bars in South Auckland and siphon off the money ($6m) to ORFU?
Is it competent to run a business and spend more than you earn year after year after year?

Thought the following story just might reach your tenderloins if not your loins:

Poor pair give cash find to Brazil police (Link)
10:03 Tue Jul 10 2012AAP

A homeless Brazilian couple have found a garbage bag filled with money and promptly handed it to police.
Officials said the pair were out for a dawn stroll when they found a briefcase and a garbage bag filled with 20,000 reals ($A10,000).

They alerted police.

“When we arrived, the couple gave us the money. It might be the money stolen last week from a Japanese restaurant,” said military police spokesman Bruno dos Santos on Monday.

The pair “had the opportunity to flee with the money … What they did is commendable,” he said.
Jesus Silva Santos, the man who found the money, said he earned about 14 reals a day from collecting rubbish for recycling.

“My mother taught me never to steal,” he said.

[ends]

Related Posts:
24.7.12 Sweet nothings [email], yo Laurie and Wayne!
14.6.12 Silence on debt run up at ORFU black-tie dinner
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

2 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity

Sweet nothings [email], yo Laurie and Wayne!

Received.

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: laurie.mains@comlink.co.nz; wgraham.admiral@ljh.co.nz
Subject: Defamation spoils
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:11:40 +1200

Tuesday 24th July 2012

Dear Laurie and Wayne

The black tie dinner DVML bill has still not been paid.
Thought I would email you again and ask Laurie if his wife, Annemarie, intends paying back the $10,000+ she paid herself before paying all the other bills?
My understanding is that professional event organisers ALWAYS pay ALL the bills before handing over the ‘surplus’. Remember Jeremy Curragh stated that $52,000 went into the ‘pot’ but as we know some of the bills hadn’t been paid. Your mate, Ian Taylor, was obviously annoyed but as he has now quietened down, is it safe to assume he was paid off?

As for the defamation, if you get a nice wee tidy sum out of the ratepayers, what do you intend doing with it?
Will you pay the black tie dinner DVML bill then?
Or build another multi-million dollar house to make yourselves feel like you’ve really, really made it?
Maybe you could explain to me why you are suing Cull ie the city.
What did he say that was untrue? I read his comments and thought they were rather tame compared to what I think of the ORFU. As reported in the ODT I thought it was obscene the ORFU running off after their black tie dinner and not paying their bill for all the booze, food and cleaning. Still think that.

Spare a thought in your quieter moments, sitting in your multi-million dollar houses in Wanaka, for the little old ladies in South Dunedin who can’t afford to heat their homes in winter. Some of them go to bed during the day to keep warm. And you two still only see your glass as half full. Take another look. Your glasses are already bulging. Why do you want to take more money from the city, from the poor who barely have enough to keep themselves warm?

I hear your ‘feelings were hurt’ at the ORFU being referred to as ‘incompetent’.
Is it competent to run off without paying your bills?
Is it competent to put $52,000 in your own ‘pot’ and not pay those bills?
Is it competent to even call it a surplus when all the bills were not paid?
Is it competent to apply for grants from community trusts and then use that money for unauthorised purposes?
Is it competent to set up 3 pokies bars in South Auckland and siphon off the money ($6m) to ORFU?
Is it competent to run a business and spend more than you earn year after year after year?

Thought the following story just might reach your tenderloins if not your loins:

Poor pair give cash find to Brazil police (Link)
10:03 Tue Jul 10 2012AAP

A homeless Brazilian couple have found a garbage bag filled with money and promptly handed it to police.
Officials said the pair were out for a dawn stroll when they found a briefcase and a garbage bag filled with 20,000 reals ($A10,000).

They alerted police.

“When we arrived, the couple gave us the money. It might be the money stolen last week from a Japanese restaurant,” said military police spokesman Bruno dos Santos on Monday.

The pair “had the opportunity to flee with the money … What they did is commendable,” he said.
Jesus Silva Santos, the man who found the money, said he earned about 14 reals a day from collecting rubbish for recycling.

“My mother taught me never to steal,” he said.

Sincerely

Bev Butler

Ph 4776861

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

3 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Events, Fun, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity

ORFU board responsibility for black-tie dinner bill [emails]

No response received.

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: eion.edgar@forbar.co.nz; asread@xtra.co.nz; wgraham.admiral@ljh.co.nz; laurie.mains@comlink.co.nz; dickb@es.co.nz; dave.callon@sharenz.com; j.a.faulks@xtra.co.nz; ayrdene@farmside.co.nz; russell@cassidylaw.co.nz; abrooney@xtra.co.nz; john.hammer@nz.pwc.com
CC: chris.morris@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsibility for payment of black tie dinner bill
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:05:16 +1200

Dear Eion, Adrian, Wayne, Laurie, Dick, Dave, John, Willis, Russell, Andrew and John,

You still haven’t paid your bill.
So we have amongst you a combination of a self appointed philanthropist, a lawyer, an accountant, a broker, a farmer, a surgeon and a couple of suers.
Not a good look that those professionals amongst you adhere to such obscene behaviour. Is this how you advise your clients to behave in your respective businesses?
And more importantly is this how you do business?
Is there not one independent thinker amongst you?
Or do you act as one mob when the leader lowers the cone of silence?
I do expect this bill to be paid.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts:
14.6.12 Silence on debt run up at ORFU black-tie dinner
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

41 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Silence on debt run up at ORFU black-tie dinner

No response received.

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: eion.edgar@forbar.co.nz; asread@xtra.co.nz; wgraham.admiral@ljh.co.nz; laurie.mains@comlink.co.nz; dickb@es.co.nz; dave.callon@sharenz.com; j.a.faulks@xtra.co.nz; ayrdene@farmside.co.nz; russell@cassidylaw.co.nz; abrooney@xtra.co.nz; john.hammer@nz.pwc.com
CC: chris.morris@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz
Subject: ORFU board responsibility for payment of black tie dinner bill
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2012 10:35:57 +1200

Dear Eion, Adrian, Wayne, Laurie, Dick, Dave, John, Willis, Russell, Andrew and John

As you are all fully aware, the ORFU ran up a DVML bill of $25,352 for your black tie fund raiser at the stadium on 5th August 2011. This was for food, booze, soft drinks and cleaning.

Not only did the ORFU run off without paying this bill but the ORFU paid no venue hire for this brand new venue. Then to top it off the ORFU pocketed $52,000 from this fundraising event into their ‘pot’.

The fact that the ORFU then pressurised the Council to ‘write it off’ does not excuse any of you from the moral obligation to pay this bill.

I was quoted in the ODT as saying this was ‘obscene’. It is like booking a large restaurant, gorging yourselves on all their food and drink and hospitality then doing a runner.

It is ‘obscene’ and I expect this bill to be paid in full.

Eion, I am not asking you to be philanthropic, just support the paying of the bill like any decent person would.

Laurie, I noticed you and your wife, Anne-Marie, refuse to answer questions as to whether Anne-Marie was paid for her services in organising this event. I actually have no problem with her charging for her professional services. What I do have a problem with is that it is standard practice for professional event organisers to ensure all outstanding bills are paid before the ‘surplus’ is paid to the organisation. This did not happen. I don’t know whether Anne-Marie was paid $10,000, $12,000 or even more but whatever the amount the issue is that the other bills should have been paid first.

I fully expect this bill to be paid.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Again: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz
Subject: The ORFU scandal, missing trust monies and reported fraudulent activities
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 21:39:11 +1200

Sunday 27th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my emails dated Sunday 20th May and Wednesday 23rd May 2012.
This is not a good look as I was expecting some reassurance from you, as the ORFU change manager, re perceived financial irregularities of ORFU.
To date, you have chosen not to name the trusts involved in the missing money, you have given no reassurance that the ORFU were not trading illegally while insolvent, you have offered no public apology to the amateur rugby clubs who have missed out on receiving the public money the ORFU applied for, you have offered no explanation how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes, you have offered no explanation why the ORFU did not pay their $25,352 DVML party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event then continuing to hock up other bills around town.

Now we have a report from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website and ODT that “an elderly man who ripped off pokies community grants to the tune of $605,550 has been sentenced to community detention”. Judge Charles Blackie called the case a “very elaborate scam”. There appear to be a number of similarities in this case and the ORFU case.

I will outline the similarities as follows:

1. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
The DIA found numerous fraudulent grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for south Auckland bowling clubs. Noel Henry Gibbons implemented a scheme in which constituent clubs or CMB would invest indirectly in hotels where poker machines operated so that, in turn, those clubs could benefit from grants of pokies proceeds.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
In the SST it was recently reported that the ORFU had invested in three South Auckland bars and were siphoning money over a few years to the tune of $5m.

2. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for bowling machine maintenance, using the money to illegally repay loans for the purchase of hotels.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
The ORFU have been spending monies from unnamed trusts for unauthorised purposes. This has occurred on many occasions and the money has gone ‘in the pot’.

3. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Judge Blackie said Gibbons knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application at the expense of the community.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
I do not have any information re false applications except that the ORFU continued to make applications to unnamed trusts and used this public money for unauthorised purposes.
The black-tie dinner also has similarities in that the ORFU deliberately ran off without paying their $25,352 DVML bill whilst pocketing $52,000 into their own pot.

Jeremy, you have not offered any assurances as outlined above and in my previous emails nor have you indicated whether you have reported the ORFU irregularities to the appropriate authorities.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts and Comments:
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

15 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

New board for ORFU not formed, deadline shifts for bailout

### ODT Online Wed, 23 May 2012
Rugby: Wait for new ORFU board continues
By Steve Hepburn
The wait continues. The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union was not named yesterday as expected as negotiations drag on over an agreement between parties involved in the bail-out of the union. The union came to an agreement with its major creditors in March to stave off liquidation and that agreement was to be finalised by the middle of this month. But contracts were still being worked on by parties and had not been signed off by yesterday.
Read more

QUESTION In light of revelations about the ORFU’s unauthorised use of funds received from charitable trusts to solve its liquidity problems, and if the ORFU has been trading while insolvent, is the Dunedin City Council reconsidering its position in regards to the ORFU bailout package? It should, the Council owes ORFU nothing.

Related Posts:
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
22.5.12 Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions…
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

30 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

NZRU-appointed change manager talks

Grants for sport are a legitimate authorised purpose under the Gambling Act, but grants could not be used to pay for professional sport.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 May 2012
Grants meant for amateur rugby used to pay ORFU creditors
By Hamish McNeilly
Grants earmarked for the amateur rugby game were used by the Otago Rugby Football Union to pay creditors, New Zealand Rugby Union appointed change manager Jeremy Curragh has confirmed. He said yesterday all pokie grants received within the last financial year had been accounted for, with $65,000 to be returned to trusts as the money was not spent on its authorised purpose. In one example, a $25,000 grant from a local trust was supposed to have been paid to the Dunedin City Council for ground rentals for club and school matches, but was instead used by the union to pay other creditors.

Staff had applied for grants while the union was fighting off liquidation, as there always was the “intention they can avoid liquidation”.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz
Subject: The ORFU scandal and missing trust monies
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 09:14:36 +1200

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my email below dated Sunday 20th May 2012.

The front page news in today’s ODT now brings up further concerns.
1. It is reported that the ORFU misappropriated not just $25,000 from one trust but has now owned up to $65,000 missing from a number of trusts.
What are the names of these trusts and why has this not been reported? The ORFU is not being upfront in naming these trusts.
Has the ORFU put any pressure on these trusts to remain silent? This is public money missing and is incumbent on the ORFU to come clean and name these trusts.
Until these trusts are named there is no way the ORFU can be made accountable for any present repayments to those trusts.
Is there other money missing from other trusts not yet owned up to by the ORFU?
2. It is now clear that the ORFU were trading while insolvent – that is why they used the trust money for unauthorised purposes.
It is reported that ORFU staff applied for grants while the union was fighting off liquidation as there always was the “intention they can avoid liquidation”. This contradicts your following statement “However, no grant would have been banked or received if liquidation was an issue…..”
3. I note in today’s ODT report that the ORFU offer no apology to the club rugby for missing out on these monies. I note the ORFU in their arrogance offer no apology to the public for the misappropriation of this public money. The ORFU offer no remorse just your comment of “it has not been ideal the way Otago has treated the grants”. That is an understatement.
You are then quoted as saying: “There is nothing illegal other than (money didn’t go) where it should have.” This appears to be minimising the problem. Now we have been caught out we will pay it back. Sorry, Jeremy, this is not good enough. Please explain how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes.
The trust money was for amateur sport and they did not receive that money. It is illegal under the Gambling Act for trust money to be spent on professional sport.
4. As a Dunedin ratepayer, I am appalled at the ORFU hocking up their DVML $25,352 party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event, and then refusing to pay the bill. They then continue to hock up further bills around town. The sheer arrogance of these actions is reprehensible.

I have received a few calls from rugby supporters concerned about the financial irregularities apparent in the ORFU. These strong rugby supporters, one of which has been involved with club rugby for many years, have expressed their abhorrence of the actions of the ORFU.
I do expect a reply to my previous email as well as this one as it is a public issue.

I have blind copied other interested media.
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/210293/grants-meant-amateur-rugby-used-pay-orfu-creditors

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts:
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions went west?

The Otago Daily Times believes the two members from the old board will be Andrew Rooney and John Faulks.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 May 2012
2 ORFU members retained?
By Steve Hepburn
The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union is expected to be named today and is likely to include two faces from the old board. The six-member board was to have been named last Tuesday but legal issues and a short period to interview applicants and make appointments forced an extension.
Read more

[Eionland connections]

The six-member board?

● Andrew Rooney (Dunedin investment adviser, Forsyth Barr; Air Force Liaison Officer, Otago Region; former Engineering Officer, RNZAF; past chairman, Dunedin Rugby Football Club)

● John Faulks (Dunedin managing director S R M Realty Ltd – Southern Wide Real Estate; previously stock and station and banking industries; coached Otago junior age group teams)

● Simon Spark (Arrowtown self-employed contractor/linesman; co-owner of Dakins Waste Solutions Ltd; Arrowtown club president; news; Mr Nice Guy 2011)

● Keith Cooper (Dunedin chief executive, Silver Fern Farms)

● Doug Harvie (Dunedin chartered accountant, Harvie Green Wyatt)

● Kelvin Collins (Queenstown real estate agency owner, Harcourts; links with Wakatipu club)

Or simply ask ORFU change manager Jeremy Curragh about the trust monies that will need to be refunded as they weren’t spent on the authorised purpose; this “happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems”. He says “The money is not “missing” rather it was used to pay other creditors.” Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

21 Comments

Filed under Business, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity

Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: FW: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 08:47:34 +1200

Sunday 20th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

Thank you for your response dated Saturday 19th May 2012.

1. On what date did ORFU put a halt on its trading?
2. The fact that the ORFU were paying other creditors with the $25,000 public money from a trust appears to indicate that the ORFU may have been trading while insolvent.
Given that the ORFU were redirecting monies from a trust for purposes other than intended then was the ORFU trading while insolvent?
It is also clear that the trust still has not been refunded yet – though the issue is also that the money should never have been used for anything other than what it was intended. This is misappropriation of public money and, as the ORFU change manager, surely it is your responsibility to report this to the appropriate authorities.
3. You still have given no explanation as to why the ORFU put $52,000 ‘in the their pot’ from their Black-tie dinner (5th August 2011) without paying their $25,352 bill to DVML. Again this is public money and needs to be accounted for.
4. It is appropriate that this is addressed in the media as it is clear that the ORFU have no intention of publically[sic] holding themselves to account.
5. You still have not answered whether you as change manager having access to the ORFU books would support a forensic audit. If you have no concerns whatsoever then I would expect that you would say so.
6. Jeremy, I do appreciate that this growing ORFU scandal is not of your doing.
However, as change manager, you do have a responsibility to report any financial irregularities that have come to your attention to the appropriate authorities . Not doing so leaves you open to allegations of complicity in this scandal.
You have now become aware of the $25,000 public money misappropriated from a trust, the $25,352 public money also misappropriated from DVML and the $5m of pokie money siphoned from South Auckland pokie machines by ORFU. Has the ORFU opened their books completely to allow you to see money in their other trusts?
If not, I would advise you to not allow yourself to become their fall guy.
As I said in an earlier email truth is the safest option.
7. Jeremy, you say in this latest email that this spending of monies from the trust ‘did not get spent on the authorised purpose’. You then go on to say: “This has happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems”. This term ‘cashflow problems’ seems to indicate that the ORFU have indeed been trading while insolvent. I suggest that it was not a ‘cashflow problem’ but rather an ‘insolvency problem’ which needs to be reported. This has happened on a number of occasions and obviously over a period of time before the ORFU announced their intention to seek voluntary liquidation. So, how long has the ORFU been not spending monies from trusts on the authorised purpose? If the ORFU are so broke they should not be applying for money from trusts knowing that they will not be spending the trust money on the authorised purpose.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

From: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 19:25:35 +1200

Dear Bev

The $25,000 was spent on other creditors as has been explained in earlier reports. These monies will need to be refunded to the trust as they did not get spent on the authorised purpose.
This has happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems. All monies not spent as authorised will be refunded to the respective trust.
The money is not “missing” rather it was used to pay other creditors.
As has been widely publicised the ORFU put a halt on it’s trading as soon as it became aware of the seriousness of the financial situation.
If anyone has evidence that warrants a forensic audit then this should be passed to the relevant authorities. This is the appropriate channel rather than through the public domain.
I have cc’ed everyone on this e mail

Jeremy Curragh

Related Posts:
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Correspondence received.

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 09:38:07 +1200

Friday 18th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

Thank you for your response to my second email, dated Wednesday 16th May 2012, where you confirm the ORFU failed to pay the $25,000 to the DCC.
You have, however, not explained where the $25,000 went to. You admit it did not go to the DCC for ground rentals, as was intended by the unnamed trust, but no explanation is offered as to what happened to this public money. Even if, as you say the DCC has “written it off” it still does not explain where that money went to.
As change manager it is your responsibility to find this missing $25,000.
I note that you have not answered my request as to whether you would support a forensic audit of the ORFU to find this missing $25,000 along with other unanswered financial irregularities.
Especially given that you don’t seem to have found the missing $25,000, which amounts to an admission that it is missing, can you give any re-assurance that the ORFU were not trading while insolvent?

I note that you also have not responded to the queries I had in my email dated Thursday 17th May (copied below for your convenience) namely:
As change manager you have had access to the ORFU’s books so I repeat my request: Do you support a forensic audit of the ORFU? If not, why not? And, have you found the missing $25,000?
Why did the ORFU put $52,000 ‘in the pot’ and not pay their $25,352 bill to DVML for the Black-tie dinner?

I have blind copied this email to other interested media.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

——————————–

From: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 12:25:10 +1200

Thanks for your letter and apologies for the delay.
There have been no grants made by ORFU to fund any DVML costs.

The ORFU have received grants to pay for DCC ground rentals which maybe what you are referring to. This relates to ground rents which are used for club and school rugby games as well as club and school rugby trainings. This is for approximately $25,000 pa.

As per earlier media reports I can confirm this amount was not paid to the DCC and is included in the $400k written off by DCC.

I hope this clarifies the situation

Jeremy Curragh

——————————–

From: bev butler [mailto:bevkiwi@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 May 2012 11:15 a.m.
To: Jeremy Curragh
Cc: murray kirkness; craig page; chris morris; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: FW: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have not responded to my email below.
Where is the $25,000 paid from a trust to the ORFU?
It never reached DVML as was the intention.
This is public money and needs to be accounted for.

Would you as change manager support the call for a forensic audit of the ORFU given that now you have had many months to establish the financial situation?

I have copied this to the ODT as they first reported about this missing $25,000 and I have blind copied other interested media.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

Thursday 17 May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You still have not responded to my emails below.
It is now reported in today’s ODT(see below) that the “TTCF’s relationship with ORFU is alleged to have been behind the more than $5m in grants given to the cash-strapped union”.
Also in the report it states that the Office of the Auditor-General was keeping in touch with Internal Affairs over this issue.
Added to this is the previous report in the ODT(see below) that $25,000 granted by an unnamed trust to ORFU never reached the DCC.
And finally, the Office of the Ombudsman is investigating DVML’s part in the ORFU’S Black-tie dinner.
As change manager you have had access to the ORFU’s books so I repeat my request: Do you support a forensic audit of the ORFU? If not, why not? And, have you found the missing $25,000?
Why did the ORFU put $52,000 ‘in the pot’ and not pay their $25,352 bill to DVML for the Black-tie dinner?
I have found that if one sticks to the facts and the truth then one has nothing to fear. You have been appointed as a change manager to set things right and yet you are not responding on this issue. Why?

I have blind copied this to interested media.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

{The full text of the news story (ODT 17.5.12) is attached to the email, along with another news item (ODT 9.3.12) – we provide the weblinks here. -Eds}

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/209536/pokies-trust-under-scrutiny
http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/200707/orfu-queries-over-pokie-grants

——————————–

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
Subject: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 13:26:52 +1200

Sunday 13th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You may recall I met you in the public gallery at the DCC council bailout meeting back in March.
I asked you if you had been able to locate the $25,000 paid to the ORFU by a trust for the purposes of venue hire from DVML.
You said you hadn’t found it yet and were still looking into it.
My query is, have you now been able to locate it?
As a ratepayer it is actually money owing to me so I really do have a financial interest in your finding it.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

[ends]

Related Post and Comments:
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
17.4.12 ORFU still owes small creditors ($687,000), DCC ($480,000+), NZRU ($500,000) and BNZ ($1,200,000)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

ORFU still owes small creditors ($687,000), DCC ($480,000+), NZRU ($500,000) and BNZ ($1,200,000)

How will ORFU continue to trade? $400,000 in donations received doesn’t absolve the union of its obligations.

### ODT Online Tue, 17 Apr 2012
Rugby: New Otago board by end of May
By Steve Hepburn
A new board to run the Otago Rugby Football Union should be in place by the end of next month, with clubs to be consulted over a reworked constitution in the next couple of weeks. The union is also hoping to have raised about $400,000 to pay off its small creditors.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

93 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Ugly mug raised from Lakes retreat

Who is liable for this situation?

A letter to the editor by Russell Garbutt appears in the Otago Daily Times today, he asks [excerpts]:

• Who takes responsibility and accountability within council for ignoring the very specific warnings from a large number of ratepayers that the whole “private funding” model now described by Mayor Cull as “stupid” was exactly that?

• Finally, who takes responsibility and accountability within the DCC and the CST for not knowing that their close business partner, the ORFU, was insolvent and had been living on pokie funds and hope for many years?

Read the full letter here.

****

Stadium trust’s negotiations and contracts soundly based

Malcolm Farry, chairman of Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust endeavours to “clarify the issues” [excerpts]:

• At 4.54pm on Thursday, February 5, 2009, the CST signed a venue hire agreement with ORFU and the Highlanders.

• The negotiations had been a drawn out affair and the CST was forced to take a very tough, uncompromising position. The ORFU and Highlanders naturally resisted this position, so eventually, we engaged an accounting consultant to consider the position of all parties. He provided recommendations, a model for the future and a compromise as to the costs of the required seats.

• These proposals were accepted by all parties.

• Jim Harland, then chief executive of the Dunedin City Council, took over all future discussions and negotiations with the ORFU and Highlanders.

• The private sector fundraising was clearly stated to be based on the sale of membership seats and corporate suites, sponsorship and the sale of naming rights. This programme was first outlined at the first public presentation held at the Southern Cross Hotel on August 11, 2006. The CST has never moved from this position.

• The CST lost the role of operator, so it was never to apply its passion, expertise, local knowledge and commitment to the operation and management of the completed stadium. That role fell instead to the new company DVML.

• The CST has now completed what it was asked to do by the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council. Many people love the results, some continue to oppose. There is no doubt, however, that, after the passage of time, all will eventually unite as one in support for this remarkable addition to our city and region.

Read the full reply here.

What can we make of this, the full opinion piece? Mainly, we see an effort by Mr Farry to rewrite history, shift blame, and spice up the reader’s day with new information for further discovery, thrown in for worse effect. How interesting.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

15 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DVML, Economics, Media, ORC, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…

This post received today from Rob Hamlin was first submitted to the Otago Daily Times for publication at The Analyst blog. The newspaper’s suggested edits are shown in italics.

The conduct of the ORFU over the last couple of years has left a legacy of some 180 small creditors owed some 680,000 dollars. These traders now face a difficult situation, which the recent activities of various well placed worthies have done little to alleviate. These traders now have to make simultaneous decisions on two major matters rather than one. They have to decide whether to pursue their debts. But they also have to make up their minds whether they will continue to trade with the undead but still insolvent ORFU ‘zombie’ organisation that these worthies have rescued from an imminent, thoroughly justifiable and necessary corporate execution and autopsy process. It is most unusual for an organisation of this size, in such an apparently ruinous financial state and with such a poor track record of settling its debts over such an extended period of time to survive a crisis such as this. The fact that this is not a private limited company, but is an incorporated society takes us into completely new and unknown territory.

By a mixture of vague promises and third party support, the ORFU appears to have extricated itself from around three quarters of its multi-million dollar debt on consistent terms of a cash return of zero cents on the dollar. In all cases, except possibly the bank, they also seem to have secured agreements that trade, and presumably credit will continue to be furnished to the ORFU on established or even enhanced terms by these creditor organisations.

A pattern has thus been established and it would be a reasonable presumption on the part of any of the remaining creditors that similar terms in both of these areas will be sought from them on a case by case basis when contact with the ORFU is established by each individual creditor, as the ORFU clearly desires. No general creditor meetings have been called. Only a rather cheeky request via the media appears to have been issued inviting these creditors to get in touch with the ORFU’s accountants individually – presumably if and when they feel that they need to.

Some commentators on the ODT website have noted that I am a specialist in food marketing, and have invited me to consider the supply and demand of pies within the rugby stadia of this town. The food industry is a brutal one, in which not getting paid is an ever present danger, and I therefore spend a good deal of my time teaching and advising on such matters. Their suggestion is therefore an excellent one, and I will discuss the first of these two issues – debt recovery from the ORFU, not from the point of view of an academic, but what the hypothetical owner of ‘The Pied Piemaker™’ Ltd (get it?) might do if they were owed some $12,000 by the ORFU. Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Business, CST, DCC, Economics, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity

ORFU position

### ODT Online Fri, 23 Mar 2012
Opinion: Blog: The Analyst
ORFU bailout – the big sausage and mug wash-up
By Rob Hamlin
As the last sausage sizzles itself into silence, it is now possible to examine the merits, if any, of the ORFU rescue extravaganza. As soon as the ORFU started extending its own life just over two weeks ago, it was pretty easy to see that there was about as much chance of the ORFU actually falling off the back of the gravy train as there was of Kate Winslet falling off the back of the Titanic only thirty minutes into the film.

The ORFU’s fiscal position has not been significantly changed by this rescue. It is still insolvent. It still owes more than $680,000 to small creditors. Its ongoing annual deficit to this point is in excess of $600,000, and the only savings that have been identified (maybe) are less than $300,000 in players’ wages. A return to positive cash flow can thus not reasonably be even expected, let alone guaranteed without some major and as yet unannounced development.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DCC, Economics, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Stupidity

Does the insolvent ORFU deserve any more community support?

Where are Mr Farry and friends when you really need them? Dunedin City Council shouldn’t touch this one with a barge pole, but that sentiment is a little too late.

### ODT Online Fri, 17 Feb 2012
ORFU is teetering but no bail-out
By Steve Hepburn
The Otago Rugby Football Union is set to post a loss of “several hundred thousand dollars” and admits it cannot pay creditors. It is calling on the support of the community to get out of a “very serious position”, and says a bail-out from the national body is not an option.
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[partial clarification]
“Mr Graham confirmed that part of the $7 million received from the Dunedin City Council for the sale of Carisbrook went to pay a loan for houses owned by the union. The union had bought houses around Carisbrook years ago as ground expansion was proposed. It formed a trust to own the houses. When Carisbrook was sold in August 2009, $1 million of the sale price was diverted to the trust to pay off loans on the houses.” -ODT

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Related Posts and Comments:
15.2.12 Carisbrook sale
11.2.12 Where’s this going, ODT?
14.12.11 Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML, DCC…
2.12.11 DVML gets into bed with ORFU
13.10.11 MAD Classics #26 – You’re a crook or a businessman?
31.5.11 Controlled funding pies and the suit-wearers for professional sport

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

257 Comments

Filed under DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums