Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

That is the BEST message you can all put out there, right now.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under DCC, DVML, Economics, ORFU, People, Sport

16 responses to “Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Mar 2012
    Rugby: ORFU tried to gain pokies licence, documents show
    By Hamish McNeilly
    The troubled Otago Rugby Football Union attempted to set up its own trust to distribute pokie profits from Auckland-based bars to Carisbrook, it has been revealed. Documents obtained by the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act reveal the union was involved in an application to obtain a pokies licence in 2003, via the Murrayfield Sports Trust. The Department of Internal Affairs declined the application in late 2004 following concerns over the influence the union had over the trust, which was set up to distribute pokie funds.
    Read more

    See tomorrow’s ODT for more.

    Related Post and Comments:

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 2 Apr 2012
      Sports bodies addicted to pokie funds
      By Hamish McNeilly
      The involvement of the cash-strapped Otago Rugby Football Union in pokies has raised questions over the sustainability of the country’s sporting organisations. Hamish McNeilly reports. Chances are that a person who slots a $2 coin into the pokies will lose, but many others stand to win. And winners do not come much bigger than the country’s sporting organisations, which received $817 million in pokie grants in the six-year period from 2006 to 2011. Leading the way was the national sport of rugby with $142 million, followed by horse racing ($99 million) and football ($60 million).
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 4 Apr 2012
        Call to end shady pokie dealings
        By Hamish McNeilly
        Corrupt behaviour in the pokies sector was “all pervasive and pernicious”, a damning report from a former industry association head alleges. Released to the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act, the report recommends wholesale changes to prevent “endemic non-compliance” in the sector, which had a turnover of $856 million in 2010-11.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Strategic or light? Maybe careful, the jury’s still out with respect to ORFU and TTCF.

          ### ODT Online Thu, 5 Apr 2012
          Editorial: Flaws and benefits of pokies
          The notion that the future of sport in this country might rely on picking the pockets of people with gambling addictions sticks in the craw. But finding, then treading, the fine line between arguably exploiting the weaknesses of individuals who can least afford it, and providing for the huge social benefits of organised amateur sport, is no simple matter. ]

          Sports clubs and other charitable entities which genuinely qualify for support should continue to receive grants. Those that do not should be weeded out.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          The public deserves to know if a professional rugby union or related entity (ORFU/Highlanders) has accessed charitable funds (generated by pokies) to prop up its “business” – without passing those grants to the amateur code. We look forward to the findings of the current investigation by Department of Internal Affairs’ (DIA) which firstly, has The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF) in its sights.

          We hope the outcome isn’t restricted to a mild-mannered set of recommendations by the DIA to the TTCF, given the sizeable funds involved (the figures are provided at What if? via its own online search and in a later item of ODT news – see comment.

          To repeat:

          [ODT Link] “The ORFU did not itemise pokies grants in its financial statements, but listed grants along with sponsorship, royalties and donations. According to the Problem Gambling Foundation, pokies grants to the ORFU were $1,200,999 (2006), $1,386,459 (2007), $1,161,928 (2008), $736,038 (2009), $519,577 (2010) and $856,500 (2011).”

  2. Ro

    So-o-o-o shonky! Even if their aims were thwarted by Internal affairs!

  3. Russell Garbutt

    The ORFU have been using a number of means to derive income and I would suggest that today’s very pertinent ODT story has a lot more to be told. We have already learned about the ownership of the pubs to control where pokie grants go, we have learned about this mysterious Trust that seemed to own the Rugby Union houses, and we have learned about the involvement of The Trusts Charitable Fund which has, over a number of years been involved in funding for things which are, lets say, dodgy at best.

    I think it would be VERY interesting for a rugby person to compare what was coming in to the ORFU before professionalism when the books balanced, when Carisbrook was being maintained and when community or amateur rugby was being funded, and now when professionalism rules the roost. I suggest most strongly that money, supposedly being raised for the amateur code, ends up running pro rugby. I suggest that the ORFU have not been running all that transparent a business for a very long time. I wonder if the shredding machine will be one of their liquidated assets or does it still have a bit to do?

    • Elizabeth

      Sources say a lot will blow open shortly, next week (or sooner). Hold onto your hats, folks.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    Bet a few members of the Tartan Mafia are hard at work tonight trying very hard to contain things. Let us all hope that their efforts are all in vain and that they are finally exposed as what they all are – rapacious, greedy, self-centred plunderers of the public purse.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Yet another revealing story on the business of how the ORFU extracts money from the pokie business – but I feel far more is yet to be fully revealed as it becomes more apparent how it is possible for money to end up in professional rugby activities other than through the front door, As an example, while the ORFU may and has directly applied to various Trusts for large amounts of cash, it is also possible for organisations that seemingly have no connection with rugby to gain very large grants that actually end up being controlled by rugby.

    Despite many efforts to reveal these latter tactics, a seemingly lack of will by associated people to clarify exactly what was going on is very disappointing. Again a full enquiry into all aspects of DCC and its entities would show the heavy involvement by these entities in the ORFU business and the way that our money – as well as other monies – was spent in this shady opaque business that was the ORFU.

    {This story, to which Russell refers, has already been sunk from top of house billing at ODT Online, by news that ORFU needs another week… -Eds}

    ### ODT Online Fri, 9 Mar 2012
    ORFU: Queries over pokie grants
    By Hamish McNeilly
    Several hundred thousand dollars in pokie grants to the Otago Rugby Football Union for amateur rugby remain unaccounted for. Several trusts confirmed they stopped processing grant applications for the union following concerns over its financial viability and its tardiness in providing receipts for previous grants.
    Read more

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    DVML six-month report held for ‘advice’
    A document that may give the Dunedin public some idea of whether Forsyth Barr Stadium will pay for itself, or end up an annual drain on city finances, is being held for “formal advice”.

    I’ll bet it is. Advice to date: procrastinate till it hurts.

  7. Anonymous

    DVML will post a substantial loss in the 6 month report. It’s relatively easy to estimate that the 12-month loss to end 2012 will be on the order of $5M.

  8. Russell Garbutt

    And herein the ongoing cancerous problem that this last Council plunged us into. They were forecasting a profit of a few hundred thousand that would be used to pay off the bridging finance that covers the lack of “private funding”. So, as any sane and prudent person told the last Council, the forecasts were as usual wildly optimistic, but were we listened to? Did the OAG do their job properly?

    I didn’t use to be for shutting the doors on the stadium, but the more I look at it the more it makes economic sense. The annual operating losses simply outweigh any advantage whatsoever of running the stadium. No matter what Howard Research says to DVML.

  9. Peter

    I know there was the joke Trade Me entry for the sale of the stadium but, seriously,what would be the harm of actually putting it on the market? That way we can at least test its market value as opposed to its registered value of $225m. The stadium is new with no obvious maintenance problems – as yet. You never know with a bit of ‘clever’ marketing we could sell it as a steal, from the ratepayers’ point of view, and not for a song.
    If the stadium is that good according to its promoters, we’ll all be better off.
    Let’s not be naysayers, glass half empty people, but be positive instead. We do it better in the South. Don’t we?