Tartan Mafia

Last year, the Otago Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 150th anniversary. The Chamber has commissioned a book to remind the province, and the rest of New Zealand, how important Otago has been to commerce in the country.

Tales of the Tartan Mafia: Celebrating 150 Years of Commerce in Otago, written by Clive Copeman, will be launched officially on Tuesday.

Chamber president Peter McIntyre said Otago had a rich history of business, with companies that had started in Dunedin going on to gain a national presence.

Chamber chief executive John Christie believed the book showed how strongly the chamber had advocated on behalf of its members and how its members had advocated on behalf of regional businesses.

### ODT Online Sat, 3 Mar 2012
In business of backing business
By Dene Mackenzie – Business Editor
One of the long-standing traditions in New Zealand business is using the term “Tartan Mafia” to denote any business person from Otago. As part of the Otago Chamber of Commerce celebrations of 150 years of commerce in Otago, president Peter McIntyre and chief executive John Christie urge all Otago residents to lend their support to a new wave of entrepreneurship in the region.

• The chamber remained frustrated the wishes of the majority were often overridden by the minority, [Mr McIntyre] said. When more than 80% of the population favoured a measure, it should not be stopped by a small minority. The minority should be listened to but not be able to stop the wishes of the majority.

• Over the years, the chamber has often had a testy relationship with the Dunedin City Council but Mr McIntyre was full of praise for the work being carried out by new chief executive Paul Orders.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, People, Politics

62 responses to “Tartan Mafia

  1. Peter

    This is a first where the Tartan Mafia has now become synonymous with ‘Otago business people’. This is not how most people see it. The term ‘Tartan Mafia’ is not a cute, affectionate nickname. It is used to describe that segment of the business community that stitches up financial deals for themselves to the exclusion of others in the same, and wider, community. ‘Tartan’ of course relates to our Scottish heritage and ‘Mafia’ has its own obvious connotations.
    Funny how this term has been co opted and changed to something more ‘positive’. It’s a bit like the ORFU suddenly becoming the ORU. An obvious artifice to signal ‘change’ where change has not occurred.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    I don’t think this will be any more successful than Coke and Cadburys changing their formula. Who doesn’t know what Mafia means? It’s not your average low-life petty burglar, it’s not the guys who get clever with their fists when they’ve been modifying their brain cell – we all know there’s a BIG difference.
    You can spin, and you can convince. Too much unconvincing spinning and you lose personal credibility. Someone should point this out to Clive Copeman.

  3. Anonymous

    Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie forecasts frantic shopping this week leading up to Christmas. I can’t really decide what is the funniest bit about his current squeaking or who put forward the story idea. But the Oddity happily obliged and went to town.

    So watch out for all those people who magically find those lost twenty and fifty dollar bills in their pockets and suddenly believe buying gifts is the next thing to surviving another week’s cost of living.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 18 Dec 2012
    Frantic shopping forecast
    Dunedin residents should brace for a frantic week ahead as an Otago Chamber of Commerce survey shows a significant number of people are yet to start their Christmas shopping.
    Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said the informal survey indicated only 12% of those surveyed had completed their Christmas shopping, while 10% had still to start, and the remainder still had shopping to do.
    ”I expect heavy trading on Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” Mr Christie said.

    Brace, brace, brace!

  4. Carol

    The Tartan Mafia doesn’t have to have control over Dunedin city. If we don’t like what they are doing pretend that they don’t exist and do our shopping in Auckland or elsewhere. One day they will wake up to the fact that we, not them are needed.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    But they’re not the people we deal with in everyday life. By not shopping in Dunedin we hurt people well down the ladder, the ordinary businessman not the ones who have control over so much of what goes on behind the scenes. The TM are linked through being on the same boards of directors, same committees, being directors of one another’s companies, being chairman of this and appointed to that, positions that are barely known about in public most of the time. They know what properties to buy and then, in the event that profit could accidentally slip past their grip, another of the cabal on the advisory group for XYZ recommends that this building, this piece of land, is the only suitable one for purchase with public funds for -wxy- purpose, and somehow the negotiation process ends up with it being sold at a whole lot more than any valuation would have predicted, prior to its becoming “indispensible” for the -wxy- project.
    They are out of the spotlight, except for their “good deeds” for which they receive the abject thanks of the community and glowing reports in the media. The personnel and their spiderweb of links, the difference between valuation of property and what they receive for it, negotiated by one of their own or a compliant would-be courtier hoping that if he is useful enough he will be permitted to join the inner circle, these background stories might never exist, for all we hear of them in the town’s media.
    But they come out here, bit by bit. Thank goodness for What If? Those who want to understand what’s going on at last have somewhere to read, and put together for themselves the contributions of many people so as to gradually come to an understanding of who’s up who in dear old Dunners.

  6. Anonymous

    Hype O’Thermia, thinking about their Great Jobs For Best Mates Scheme, if I’m reading the following bizarre statement correctly it looks like they have re-opened the perfect opportunity for Athol Stephens:

    ‘Under the title ”political savvy”, the description said applicants should demonstrate an ability to ”manoeuvre through complex political situations effectively and quietly”.’

    I’m not sure about politically savvy but the rest reads about right.

    As a side note, it’s another FUBAR story about how that whacked out health board has long since lost the plot too.

    SDHB seeks finance person with ‘savvy’
    By Eileen Goodwin on Wed, 19 Dec 2012

  7. chirpbird

    Hype O’Thermia, you are right and the links on charitable trusts in the lower South Island are at least as scary as the business cross-linking in boards of directors etc.

  8. MichaelA

    Not entirely related to the TM but just saw on a TV1 programme ‘Unsung Heroes’ a scene in which Maori Wardens were patrolling South Auckland carparks looking for abandoned children while their parents drank and played pokie machines. They found a 10 year old boy waiting in a car while his mother played pokie machines in one ‘Jokers’ bar. Could this be the same ORFU pocket liner of pokie rort infamy? If so, it speaks for itself.

    • Elizabeth

      MichaelA have emailed your comment by link to Martin Legge, although a few of us could fill you in. Martin was in touch today, so better if he explains.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Yep. It’s not like knitting, where you can pull a thread and the whole thing unravels, or weaving where you can pull the threads off one by one. The Tartan Mafia kilt is made of felt, fibres so entangles none can be picked out separately. As long as all stick together the fabric remains strong. On the other hand, if it blows off the clothesline into a drum of liquid manure it’ll all stink so badly nobody will fail to notice, no matter how many pretty posies they hold under their noses.

  10. Martin Legge

    Hi Michael – I’ll try and keep it simple

    In 2004/5 ORFU through a company, took a financial interest in 3 very high performing Auckland pokie bars knowns as the Jokers Bars. They paid two Auckland Businessmen about $3 million for the three bars. In 2006, ORFU sold off 50% of its stake to interests associated with Harness Racing.

    One of the bars (Jokers Manurewa) was situated in the centre of the South Auckland’s poor zone and the sole reason for taking a stake was to grab the lions share of the grant money that those bars generated (approx $3.5 million a year).

    Of course for this plan to work, both ORFU and Harness Racing needed a friendly pokie trust that was prepared to enter into dodgy arrangements and they found such a trust – The Trusts Charitable Foundation Inc (TTCF Inc) which has since remorphed itself into The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) now based in West Auckland.

    Upon taking 50% ownership, Mike O’Brien of Harness Racing presented to his friend Murray Acklin, a TTCF trustee/director, a budget of funds to be sucked out of Jokers for Harness Racing. From this, Acklin then created a further budget of how the Jokers money was to be split equally between ORFU and Racing. These arrangements remained in place until September 2011.

    ORFU’s Business Manager, Neville Frost and Russell Gray were the contacts between TTCF and ORFU and who knows what the ORFU board thought of their lucrative investment in pokies.

    DIA were given all evidence and documents in September 2010 but instead of acting immediately sat back and watched as the funds continued to be sucked out of South Auckland into the coffers of ORFU and Harness before ending in mid 2011.

    DIA now advise the case is old and any action futile. Meanwhile 4 of the 5 TTCF trustees/directors, all with high public profiles, refused interview and I doubt if DIA have bothered interviewing Neville Frost, his CEO at the time, Russell Gray, or any of the ORFU Board.

    If anyone has contacts in South Auckland with a social conscience then contact them. Their community lost out on about $7 Million of grants between 2004-2011, all at the expense of the greedy ORFU and Harness Racing.

  11. Rob Hamlin

    Hi Martin,

    Is it legal for a pokie trust to be a private limited company? I always thought that it was illegal for a recipient of money from trusts to be a plc until I came across the Excellence in Amateur Sport front down here – How wrong I was.

  12. Martin Legge

    The Gambling Act allows for four corporate societies (all referred to as pokie trusts) to own or operate gaming machines: incorporated societies, not for profit limited liability companies who exist solely to distribute funds for authorised purposes contained in the Gambling Act, Charitable Trusts registered under the Charities Act 1957 and working mens clubs.

    A charitable trust is restricted in that by law it can only give grants to “charitable purposes” whereas the other entities can give grants to “authorised purposes” a broader meaning as defined in the Gambling Act and includes horse racing, race stakes and a more liberal interpretation of sport.

    Many of the pokie trusts, including TTCF, were registered as charitable trusts and had grown accustomed to giving grants away to horse racing and sport in breach of their trust deed. DIA hadn’t bothered to seek clarification on the issue.

    The in 2009 a High Court decision (Travis case) clarified the issue once and for all – that grants to horse racing and serious sport were not considered “charitable purpose.” The decision sent pokie trusts (about 35 in total) that were registered as charities into a tail spin and it was followed by the threat of legal action by a prominent Christchurch Professor.

    TTCF immediately set up TTCF Limited and DIA issued the new entity with a separate Gambling licence. The 2 entities ran side by side until March 2012 when TTCF Inc ceased to exist having gradually transferred its business over to Ltd.

  13. Rob Hamlin

    Thank you Martin. God how depressing. Seems DIA is a bit of a ratchet. Acts a the speed of light in one direction, but at snail’s pace in the other. I presume\that the companies have to have shareholders. Can these shareholders legally be ‘rewarded’ in any way within the cost structures of the not for profit plc? Also, do these ‘not for profit’ companies have to register an audited set of accounts anywhere, or are the nature of their costs forever hidden as they are with other unlisted plc’s. I was assuming that TTCF Lrd. was 100% owned by TTCF Inc.. However, if TTCF Inc. no longer exists, who ‘owns’ TTCF Ltd? The companies register is down at the moment, so I cannot check myself.

  14. Martin Legge

    TTCF Inc trustees became both directors and shareholders of TTCF Ltd. As such they are all entitled to draw a salary/ wage and/or meeting fees and be reimbursed for costs. The accounts are not publicly available but DIA has access to them on an annual basis as part of its annual licensing function as all pokie trusts are required to demonstrate their financial viability and submit forecasts for the following year.

    DIA will not release the accounts on grounds it doesn’t hold the material and that such information is commercially sensitive. Quite bizarre considering that in the 2010 TTCF Gambling Commission decision, the commission reinforced the case that all pokie trusts exist to raise money for the community and not for commerical purposes.

    DIA may as well be working for the pokie trusts !!!

  15. Rob Hamlin
      It would thus appear that tihis ‘industry’ is completely out of control.
  16. Tracey

    Hi Martin. I see from your entry on the 19/12. You mention that in 2006, ORFU sold off 50% of its stake to interests associated with Harness racing. Did any of the Harness racing interests have Otago or Dunedin people involved, and if so, can they be named ?

  17. MichaelA

    Hi Martin, thanks for putting the pokie/jokers matter in context. I recall that several months ago Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell entered a private members bill to change the way funding was distributed. I believe he proposed local government distributing the money instead of the pokie trusts. It may work elsewhere but I doubt the DCC is trusted enough by Dunedin people at present. Still, assuming his bill would be some sort of remedy to the excesses of the pokie trusts and their various alter-egos should we place our hopes in his bill being drawn or is there something more immediate people can do?

  18. Martin Legge

    The opportunity for further public submissions is closed off and it is now before the Parliament’s Business Committee. Incidentally, I submitted a full written submission on the bill and asked to be heard in person before the committee.

    I never got the opportunity and I am not sure it was deliberate. I was told that if I travelled to Christchurch (at my own expense) when I reside in the North Island they could possibly slot me in. Meanwhile the CEO of the NZRU, Steve Tew, got a large time slot and plenty of media coverage presenting the case that rugby could not survive without pokies.

    Like horse racing we now have two NZ sporting icons, both awash with high paid players, rich horse trainers, sponsorship deals with the world’s biggest companies and an entourage of business analysts and yet they continue to convince NZ they deserve the biggest slice of the pokie pie from NZ poorest communities.

    Contact your MP and tell them what you think – if they won’t listen and you feel this is an important issue then vote for The Green Party at the next election, Denise Roach is the only one showing any concern about the corruption within DIA and Pokie trusts.

  19. Russell Garbutt

    Basically the regulatory authorities in this country are as inept and useless as the fraudsters are proficient. It is hard not to be drawn to the conclusion that some may be in the same position as the Customs in Australia – consorting with the crims to import drugs in return for a payoff. In my experience, the ones I’ve had experience with are worse than that because they profess concern.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    It all seems predicated on a conspiracy to deliberately circumvent the law in order to game the system for vast sums of money to be misdirected to professional sports, ie, rugby and racing. Now it is patently obvious that this could not happen without the connivance of a lot of people in positions of trust as managers of the governing dept, the DIA, and politicians. Martin has exposed enough of the machinations employed over a good number of years to extract many millions of dollars from these ‘charity funds’ and redirect them for their own purposes. It is being vigorously defended by the upper echelons of the dept for reasons one can only guess at. It is corrupt and the ‘Serious Fraud Office’ ought to be petitioned by the ones who have access to the trails of incriminating evidence. It is no good beating it up on sites like this as it goes nowhere. Positive steps should be initiated, get a response from the SFO, and see if it is positive. If so, well and good. If not, then the crooks win, end of story.

  21. Rob Hamlin

    “Basically the regulatory authorities in this country are as inept and useless as the fraudsters are proficient.”

    I’m not sure Russell. Looking at what Martin has said today, my take is that the system was set up from the outset to achieve the current outcomes (to ‘fail’ if you will) regardless of any relative proficiency/ineptness of the parties concerned.

    For example, pro Rugby can hardly be described as proficient when it comes to running a true commercial entity or developing a brand with any true equity = long term revenue generating capacity. Yet despite this, they seem to be able to consistently extract large amounts of revenue from this particular system over an extended period of time.

    According to the Company’s register, the four director/owners of TTCF Ltd are: Ross Ian CLOW (Waitakere), Warren William FLAUNTY (Henderson), Graeme Hugh MCAULEY (Tapanui), David Malcolm MCELREA (Milton). Anybody know anything about them?

    The company address is: 25 Trafford Street, Gore, 9710, New Zealand.

    The company’s objectives as laid out in its constitution are as follows:

    1.4 To distribute the net proceeds of all funds generated via class 4 gambling solely for authorised purposes of class 4 gambling as defined by the Gambling Act 2003, namely:
    1.4.1 A charitable purpose;
    1.4.2 A non-commercial purpose that is beneficial to the whole or a section of the community; and/or
    1.4.3 Promoting, controlling, and conducting race meetings under the Racing Act 2003, including the payment of stakes.

    It would be most interesting to see the ratios of disbursements under each of these three objectives. Note only 1.4.1 would be legal for a charitable entity. Martin, does a pokie plc have to report its levels/destinations of disbursements?

    You see my point Russell. If this setup is legal, and I presume that it is, what hope is there?

  22. Martin Legge

    Billionaire, Kim Dotcom spends his fortune paying the best lawyers to take on the Government and is now portrayed as some kind of folk hero. NZ Politicians mention the fact that the Dunedin Mongrel Mob have ripped off Whanau ora Trust for $20k and the Dunedin Police couldn’t act fast enough. In NZ, justice, law and order only prevails at the extremes and we have all become conditioned to it.

    • Whanau Ora and those responsible continue to weep crocodile tears by media. Merely, a government distraction from chasing massive white collar crime [DIA, OAG, SFO].

      ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Apr 2013
      Ministry claimed it had ‘value for money’
      By Hamish McNeilly
      The Maori development ministry, Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), claimed it was getting ”value for money” through its Whanau Ora funding of a Dunedin trust, which was later found to have been used by gang members to buy cannabis. This week, Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia released documents under the Official Information Act concerning the We Against Violence Trust.
      Read more

  23. Martin Legge

    Hi Tracey

    ORFU used a company registered as Roseburn Holdings Ltd (now liquidated) to purchase and own 3 Auckland bars known as Jokers bars. Its first directors were Lindsay John Brown and Steven John Grant, both of Dunedin.

    At the time the bars were purchased the pokie business at Jokers was with Lion Foundation, NZ’s largest pokie trust.

    ORFU’s intention was to buy the bars set up its own trust (Murrayfield trust) and thereby control all the grant money from those bars – ultimately back to ORFU interests.

    All was going well until Lion Foundation got wind of what was happening with 3 of their best bars and decided to take action. The filed an injunction and forced DIA to have a closer look than they would otherwise do. In fairness to Brown and Grant I was advised they felt uneasy about the structure and resigned from Roseburn.

    ORFU abandoned Murrayfield trust and instead put the venues which it was financially committed to purchasing with TTCF on the condition TTCF gave them all the grant funds. All highly illegal under gambling law but otherwise would have been a disaster for ORFU.

    Between 2005-2010 the directorship/ownership then passed through several sets of hands – Ricky Quirke and Mike Cates to Paul Max (Nelson) and then to Mike O’Brien but all the time Roseburn was controlled by Racing and ORFU interests ensuring they got the grant money with the complicity of the TTCF trustees/directors. Hope it helps.

  24. Hype O'Thermia

    Rob Hamlin writes “pro Rugby can hardly be described as proficient when it comes to running a true commercial entity or developing a brand with any true equity = long term revenue generating capacity. Yet despite this, they seem to be able to consistently extract large amounts of revenue from this particular system over an extended period of time.” I think he may have missed the point in assuming that achieving “long term revenue generating capacity” is anywhere on their agenda. If it happens along the way, hey- bonanza! A better return for effort comes from what they’ve done by constructing a high-efficiency siphon system to take money from high-dependency pokie player areas to high-demand professional sports. The best return for effort – within the a-social >> sociopathic business model this is both efficient and effective.

  25. Peter

    Marty. I think it would be a good idea to approach Denise Roach of the Green Party, update her, and work with her on putting political pressure on the Government to reform this corrupt industry. The Green Party is the only party that seems to have a real conscience and walk the talk over various issues. I don’t think Winston is your man here as I seem to remember he is a a bit of a racing industry enthusiast.
    Political pressure and the ability to use parliamentary privilege, as a safety valve for the full expose of this corruption, seems to be the strongest option. The interests are powerful, but ultimately the people, when filled with disgust, are even more powerful. (See the pressure on Hekia Parata as a good example. She will be forced to go.)

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Look Mum, clean hands:
    “$50 million-plus investment by electricity generation company Pioneer Generation – the deal will double staff numbers and is also likely to boost the coffers of the Central Lakes Trust……
    ……..The Central Lakes Trust is the sole shareholder in Pioneer, which pays an annual dividend to the trust……
    ……. It donates funds for projects within the former power board district and has given more than $58 million in grants.
    ”This deal is very good for the people of Central Otago, who are the beneficiaries of the trust,” trust chairman Sir Eion Edgar said.”

    • Elizabeth

      So well timed, immediately after being cleared of (Blis) insider trading too.
      Another brave day following the Forsyth Barr confession of guilt to the tune of $60m (Credit Sails). I suspect Eion told his minions: ‘Find me a happy story’.

      Hurrah to all crooks and frauds was it, can’t keep them down?

      But wait, Greg Marshall is a smart man:

      ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Dec 2012
      Credit Sails deal too late for some
      By Dene Mackenzie
      The $60 million resolution of the Credit Sails debacle had come too late for some investors, Wanaka finance professional Greg Marshall said yesterday. Mr Marshall, of Logic Fund Management, has spent three years chasing a resolution of the fund. Credit Sails were sophisticated debt securities marketed and sold to the New Zealand public in 2006 with the prospect of 8.5% interest income and capital protection.

      “It seems to be a stunning coincidence that the company that promoted and sold these preference shares is the same one who organised Credit Sails. We will be shortly reaching out to the SCF investors to commence a campaign for redress,” Mr Marshall said.

      Read more

      • ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 26/03/2013
        SCF failure costs taxpayers $805m
        By Emma Bailey
        The failure of South Canterbury Finance looks to have cost taxpayers $805 million. All assets have now been realised from the liquidated finance company, with $774.4m recovered, the latest report from receivers Kerryn Downey and William Black states. The receivership is expected to be completed by Sunday. After a failed recapitalisation bid, South Canterbury Finance (SCF) was placed in receivership in August 2010, owing $1.58 billion, which triggered a payout under the Crown deposit guarantee scheme, costing a net $805m. Five men face charges arising from the collapse of SCF and will appear in the High Court in Timaru in February next year for a trial likely to take 12-16 weeks.
        Read more

        ● The five SCF defendants – Edward Sullivan, Bob White, Lachie McLeod, Graeme Brown and Terry Hutton – face a total of 21 charges which were brought by the Serious Fraud Office in 2011.
        ● The Serious Fraud Office has previously confirmed former SCF chairman Allan Hubbard had remained a person of interest in the investigation until his death after a road accident on September 2, 2011.
        ● The Serious Fraud Office had also laid 50 fraud charges against Mr Hubbard relating to his private investment vehicles, Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting; despite the $millions the ORFU siphoned illegally from the ‘pokies charities funds’, that they still managed to spend themselves into insolvency. This tells me several things. First, the business model of ‘professional rugby’ is seriously flawed, and therefore must eventually fail. Secondly, the people administering the ORFU were/are inept, dishonest and fraudulent. Thirdly, that mayor Cull and majority council, aware of all this (one supposes) and yet still saw fit to provide support and funding from the ratepayers’ purse, are, by extension, just as inept, dishonest and fraudulent. This was exacerbated by the disgusting performance of mayor Cull in his creepy crawling back down to the two rugby ‘hoods’ who sued him for defamation. All in all, a demeaning business all round with no end in sight. Just what does it take to rid this city of the ‘rugby canker’?

  28. Peter

    Despite 13 being an unlucky number, I think 2013 will be a good year. The Tartan Mafia, and their hangers on, have now gone too far after years of success in siphoning off public money for private interests. Confidence brings arrogance, arrogance brings sloppiness in covering deceit, greed feeds on more greed,’mates’ screw ‘mates’, and the pack of cards collapses. A common story.
    The Forsyth Barr credit sales scandal-although it has brought misery to the investors – is a promising sign and eventually good should come of it.
    These people have created too many enemies and there are clever people out there gunning for them.

  29. Tracey

    Hi Martin. Thank you for the reply, I have found it most interesting, especially the name Lindsay J Brown as a director of Roseburn Holdings. I wonder if this is the same L J Brown who has a close association with the University? Does anybody out there know?

  30. amanda

    Excellent post Hype for Dec 18. Yes, good putting the ‘good works’ of the Great and the Good in context, part of how they get away with their control of the city’s fiscal future is through the smoke screen of their ‘good works’ ie Farry on the arts festival board.

  31. Calvin Oaten

    Tracey; yes, Lindsay Brown former Otago University Chancellor and senior partner in Deloittes Accountants. Thoroughly nice guy. Suspect he was misled during performing secretarial work for the ORFU. He pulled out when he became aware I would think. I know him professionally from a long way back and would trust him with my life.

  32. Martin Legge

    Deloittes were behind ORFU alright. Over the same time they also did a sigificant amount of work for TTCF and held regular meetings with TTCF trustee Murray Acklin. Pretty sure Deloittes also brokered the deal between ORFU and Harness Racing in 2006, which also involved Murray Acklin and Mike O’Brien and Southern Racing Clubs.

    Seems Mr Brown removed himself from the risk but not the reward!!!.

  33. Martin Legge

    There were obviously several Dunedin Businessmen who participated in the ORFU/Roseburn/Jokers arrangements and its obvious they do not wish to step up but in playing devil’s advocate – why should they?

    The legal (as opposed to moral) defence could be that ORFU did what they did because a pokie trust (TTCF) allowed them to do it. After all the legal liability and responsibility for upholding gambling laws lies squarely on the shoulders of the Trustees/Directors and management of TTCF. They are the Licensed Gambling Operator approved each year by DIA to own and operate pokie machines and distribute the profits. There is a very relevant and significant condition contained in TTCF’s Operators licence which states:

    “Funds are generally distributed to the community area in which they were raised. However, the foundation may, in its discretion, distribute funds generated from one area to another and may also apportion or distribute funds to national societies, agencies or causes. But not where grants would provide benefit to bodies or persons who have a financial interest (direct or indirect) in a venue operator or in a property in which the venue is located.”

    On that basis, all grants approved and paid to ORFU and Harness Racing from Jokers up to September 2011 appear to put TTCF in serious breach of the conditions of its licence. TTCF management were complicit to the arrangements and had a higher level of duty to say no.

    DIA were provided the evidence, the budgets, the emails and have also recently been supplied with the NZRU report which I am advised confirms the Roseburn arrangements. DIA’s response to all this – not enough evidence to prosecute, the matter is old and holding persons to account would be futile and we are withholding the NZRU report – all good positive stuff from a Government Regulator !!!

    By behaving in this manner, DIA may well find themselves in breach of their own statutory obligations and responsibilities to the Gambling Act given their exclusive and privileged role as the Licensing Authority.

  34. Carol

    Hi Calvin is that the same Lindsay John Brown who is a director of Awakino Station Ltd? If he is, I don’t know how you could have trusted him with your own life. Awakino Station is the company that had 1080 poison dropped all over Kurow hill and wanted 1080 to be dropped all over their neighbours property, my home. All my pets would have been dead now if Awakino Station had got away with not including my name in their application to Ecan for resource consent for this 1080 drop

  35. Calvin Oaten

    Hi Carol; he didn’t drop any 1080 on my place. Nonetheless, I doubt very much as a city dwelling director that he would know too much about the daily activities of rabbit control. As I said, I know him from way back, but to be honest I can’t recall ever discussing rabbits with him.

  36. Martin Legge

    Had your Mayor, Dave Cull, demanded an enquiry from the outset things would now be different. Not only would he have said “no” to the $400k but he would have had the evidence on which to make such statements about the ORFU Board. Instead he went off half cocked and Dunedin ratepayers picked up the cost.

    Cull is in good company. His Deputy, Syd Brown is close friends with TTCF Trustee, Murray Acklin, as I learned whilst working for TTCF. Acklin was the main driver of the Taieri Pony Club grant for $500k in 2010 and he arranged for Syd Brown to provide a letter of support for the grant which involved huge drainage to Wingatui grounds at a cost of $500k. From memory the grant came from the Jokers bar.

    Over the same period, TTCF were up before the Gambling Commission on a raft of serious issues. Acklin suggested to some within TTCF that an approach be made to the then Gambling Commissioner, Peter Chin, about the possibility of a large grant being made towards the stadium from TTCF. When I questioned how he could possibly do that, Acklin stated his friend Syd Brown would be happy to make the approach on TTCF’s behalf. I immediately poured cold water on the idea and thankfully it never happened.

    The reason TTCF and ORFU are not before the courts or the Gambling Commission is that they are well connected and DIA have been told to back off and instead make it go away and that’s exactly what they have done.

    We’ll just have to wait and see if such privilege and connections extend all the way to the Gambling Commission and the Ombudsman.

  37. Rob Hamlin

    Looking at Jonky’s rugger fawning, I think you can safely assume that it will Martin.

  38. Calvin Oaten

    Thank you Martin for that. It confirms the existence of corruption in and around our council. The question; was Dave Cull culpable in his handling of the dispute or was he duped? I prefer to think the latter but am not confidant it is the case. Regardless, this just has to be resolved one way or the other. If there is wrong doing it must be put out there in the public arena and as Martin says, it is up to the Ombudsman and/or the Serious Fraud Office to force the issue. It is abundantly clear that there is more than enough hard evidence to back up any actions. Until the issue is resolved and settled, the city councillors cannot continue to divert rate payers’ treasure towards these nefarious activities, nor will the stadium ever have the taint of corruption sorted. The sooner the better.

  39. Anon1

    21 December 2012

    Institute of Directors announces new President Elect
    Media Release

    The Institute of Directors (IoD) today announced an election had been held for the position of President and Vice-President of the Institute of Director’s National Council.

    Current Vice-President Stuart McLauchlan has been elected President and Council member Michael Stiassny, Vice-President. Both appointments will be confirmed and become effective at the IoD’s AGM in April 2013.

    Denham Shale, Current IoD President said “It is my pleasure to announce Stuart McLauchlan as our President Elect. Stuart is a highly experienced director and chairman who has been involved with the Otago Southland Branch committee for many years, currently as Chair. He is also currently Chairman of PHARMAC, UDC Finance Ltd, Scott Technology Ltd and Dunedin International Airport. His appointment is significant for the IoD as it is the first time that the role of President of the Institute of Directors has been held by someone from the Otago Southland branch in almost 20 years.”

    “I’m also pleased to announce Michael Stiassny as Vice-President Elect. Michael is a highly experienced businessman, director and chairman who is currently Chair of the Auckland branch of the IoD and of Vector Ltd. I’m sure that under Stuart and Michael’s guidance the IoD will continue to go from strength to strength.”
    Stuart and Michael will take up their new roles in April 2013.

  40. Hype O'Thermia

    Am I the only one with the old novelty song “I’m My Own Grandpa” by Homer and Jethro rapidly becoming an ear-worm?
    “…My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad
    And so became my uncle though it made me very sad
    For if he was my uncle, that also made him the brother
    Of the widow’s grown-up daughter who, of course, was my step-mother
    I’m my own grandpa…..”

  41. Hype O'Thermia

    Page 35 today’s ODT, a whole page signed Ian Tayor (sic) CEO, Animation Research Ltd :
    “An open letter to the Board of DVML
    On numerous occasions I have sought answers from you on the awarding of preferred supplier contract…….”

    • Elizabeth

      Should help newspaper sales on a slow Saturday. Will grab a copy and consider scanning excerpts. So, Ian Taylor really wants an answer, I wonder if he will be privileged to obtain one. And, since the newspaper deliberately got his name wrong ?

      • Elizabeth

        Ian Taylor could buy the whole Saturday edition, we have so many unanswered questions.

        Dunedin Venues Management Limited (DVML), 2298338
        Board of Directors:

        John Hansen (Rangiora) – chairman
        Peter Brown (Dunedin)
        Peter Hutchison (Dunedin)
        Jennifer Rolfe (Auckland)
        Peter Stubbs (Auckland)

        *The same board stands for Dunedin Venues Limited (DVL), 2512390.

  42. Carol

    You’re lucky that 1080 poison is not dropped in Pinehill Calvin. If it was you’d be the first to complain

  43. Hype O'Thermia

    He probably would.
    And being Calvin, he’d make sure he was making his complaint both to and about the persons/organisations responsible. That way he’d have a sporting chance of being taken seriously in the way people who express random anger in all directions so don’t.

  44. Anonymous

    Dear Sir – just give him a job at your paper, instead of treating your readers like stupid…

    ### ODT Online Thu, 30 May 2013
    Snow day confusion costly
    By Rosie Manins
    The temporary freezing of Dunedin’s economy in this week’s snowfall has cost the city ”upwards of $10 million”, Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie says.

    • John Christie lost more face for the COC with this one.
      ODT [read Allied Press] seems unable to get past asking flakes like COC and Tourism Dunedin to “commentate”.

      Are the ODT reporters so UNIMAGINATIVE and UNMOTIVATED TO SEEK FRESH COMMENT (yes) or is it the Editor’s DICTATE (yes) or Sir on the ELECTION WIND-UP (yes) – altogether, YES.

  45. Anonymous

    What do you expect from the self-anointed editor of the chamber’s high-gloss Otago Edge magazine? In the second edition, it appears someone has requested one of the young women on its front cover to pose with an old rancid meat bone. God only knows what was going through the man’s mind when he thought up that vision. The whole photo just looks uncomfortable but then the whole thing just seems weirdly out-of-touch anyway.

    I wonder if the COC’s members know where their hard-earned fees are being spent?

  46. Calvin Oaten

    Easy Anon; the OCC is a venerable institution loved by the ‘old boys’ who belong, and meet regularly, muttering ‘rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb’ until it is time for drinks, and then they all toddle off home. Mr John Christie is the CEO spokesman for the group who for some reason is looked upon by the media as the ‘fount ‘of all knowledge on all things. In fact, he is the one who is manipulated and controlled by events. When asked about the snow event, instead of simply saying, “it was a bit of a bugger” he had to pluck a number out of the air, and being a good simple man he said it ‘cost $10million’ a very round figure. This is no different than the other side of the coin when he proclaims ‘incredible ‘economic benefits’ accruing from such as cruise ship visits etc. It is a strange fact that no ordinary citizens appear to notice any of these effects within their own pockets. But hey! why knock a good illusion, and anyway it makes the news media’s job just so much easier when they can fill their pages with this ‘claptrap.’

  47. amanda

    Yes. Funny old ODT. Not one COC on the front page but two! Golly, the words of wisdom that falleth from their lips…..can’t wait to hear what these business geniuses pronounce on next. Meanwhile the sinkhole was on page four.

  48. Mike

    I just looked at their website – what do they do other than provide discount coupons to their members?

    In other news: Dunedin loses $10m/day due to snow, CoC buys snow plows, cleans streets, pays for them on first snow day

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