Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money

Comment received.

Submitted on 2012/03/15 at 10:58 pm
My advice to creditors was, and is, file a statutory notice for all undisputed invoices. File it now. The ORFU has 15 days to pay in full, or face a compulsory winding-up order. Defined in Companies Act, no exceptions.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

108 responses to “Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money

  1. Elizabeth

    Union change manager Jeremy Curragh is reported as saying work would begin in the next couple of weeks, with accountancy firm WHK, to talk to the small creditors. He was unsure how much the creditors would get back.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Perhaps they have realised that one small creditor could bring the whole house of cards tumbling down. For first time in my life I’d be happy to have a bad debtor to pursue…….

  3. Mike

    If I were a small creditor I’d hang tough as you point out you’re now holding all the cards they have to pay you in full or you can bring all the rest down

    Anyone want to sell me their (small) debt?

    • Elizabeth

      As I said at the other thread:
      Creditors, don’t let the big boys – BNZ, NZFU and DCC – seal your fate of never getting paid by ORFU, they’re only out for themselves.
      Control your own destiny.

  4. Peter

    Jeremy Curragh says, ‘He was unsure how much the creditors would get back.’ Meaning: very little. A softening up for the final blow. These creditors should blow the whistle on who they are and better still protest publicly. They aren’t going to get paid, I bet. Silence is not the best course of action by hoping that if they are compliant now, they will be OK.
    By the way, what’s happened to Eion Edgar and Laurie Mains offer a week or so ago to put their hands in their pockets to help out? No further mention or, better still, ACTION. Maybe their kind offer to help is for the ORFU. Not the creditors. That would make sense.

  5. amanda kennedy

    What about the owner of the Otago Rugby Times? When will Julian Smith show his financial support of the game? He could surely spare a few million?

    • Elizabeth

      Although successful business people are often credited with being worth X million, via the Rich List, it’s highly unlikely they leave their stray money sitting around in low-interest bank accounts and term deposits waiting for a good cause to come along. Most ‘NZ rich’ aren’t that rich except on paper pronounced by others eg NBR. They’re successful because they put their assets and resources to use, tying them up for greater returns and with only a small percentage available – if any – for ‘risky’ entrepreneurial behaviour. I could be wrong ;)

      Clue: Private sector funding = ZERO = Private sector debt.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    I wonder if the creditors are going to be leaned on heavily to “persuade” them it’s in their best interests to gratefully accept whatever crumbs are graciously given them, if they want to keep on working in this town.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Back before the stadium had been 100% decided (except behind closed doors) I talked with a range of people including operators of small to medium sized businesses. Even those who were in opposition to it for all the reasons that have proven to be well-founded, were unwilling to take a public stance even having a Stop The Stadium sticker on their vehicle. Their reason: they feared the business consequences implicit in opposing a Tartan scheme. Not my interpretation. It’s what they plainly stated.

    • Elizabeth

      That’s quite correct, Hype. Which all goes to show how defensive business thinking in this town can get. Time has elapsed. The smaller creditors should now realise they have the public on side with their cause, including larger business people who have carefully avoided having anything to do with the Tawdry subset (Farry & Co) involved in the stadium. The creditors are in a powerful position and should exert their spines. I have no doubt they’ll get help to do so from fair-minded persons with pro bono professional advice at the ready.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    The public are on side but there are important people who choose which of the firms that have submitted quotes for a contract will get the work. There are people who are not on the side of anyone who opposes rugby’s god-given right to “free”dom. Or who by taking a stand against being ripped off, “ruin” our most important assets Otago Professional Rugby and the Fubar Stadium.

  9. not quite

    I wouldn’t be charging for the above advice, as what your comment is referring to is a Statutory Demand, under the Companies Act 1993, to payment or compromise within 15 working days, failing that the company is deemed unable to pay its debts and an order can be made by the high court on application from the creditor to place the company into liquidation.

    1. The invoice must be undisputed, a statutory demand is a very serious matter and an incorrect application could result in legal costs against the debtor in the amount of upwards $4000

    2. ORFU IS NOT A COMPANY AS DEFINED BY THE COMPANIES ACT it is an incorporated society under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, while Part 16 and 17 of the Companies Act apply to incoporated societies, they only apply in so far as concerns appointments of liquidators. A creditor can make an application under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 to have the society liquidated, but that is nowhere near a definitive as a statutory demand, and the court would have regard to many things such as the negotiations etc…. The advantage of a statutory demand on a company is it can be served and the debtor has 15 days to pay up, enter a compromise arrangement or apply to the court to set it aside, so it spurrs action, in the case of an incorporated society it would be an originating application that would be $1100 + just to file!

  10. Russell Garbutt

    Not quite you need to explain yourself a little more clearly. The ORFU have been “saved” from liquidation which is essentially the out card for not paying legitimate debts. If they have been saved from liquidation then they surely have not been saved from the liability of paying those debts which are easily proven. Not least of all the DCC debt, but let us say a catering debt of a few thousand dollars.

    The fact remains that the ORFU continued trading knowing that they couldn’t repay existing debt let alone future debt. They not only knew that, but continued to assure creditors to continue to providing services knowing that they couldn’t repay the ensuing debt.

    If that is not contrary to law, I’d be amazed to know why. Why should any creditor not pursue liquidation on these grounds?

  11. Lindsay

    Presumably any creditor who presented such a demand would be paid and the problem would go away. It is not as there is anything to liquidate if they were successful, so they are better to wait and see what transpires.
    The other side is, that just as many of those suppliers wouldn’t have wanted to show opposition to the stadium before as it could be bad for business with the ORFU, they wouldn’t want to risk missing out on future business with OR-FU2, especially with the backing they have now. Not like those pesky banks who always seem to want their money back.

    • Elizabeth

      Otago didn’t drift into this mess, they were led there by a conscious process of decision-making.

      ### 5:30 AM Sunday Mar 18, 2012
      Otago Rugby: Last of the big spenders
      By Gregor Paul
      The Otago Rugby union’s descent into financial failure has been well chronicled. Less understood is why Otago kept spending big money on players when their bank statement should have dictated otherwise. Even as the debts piled up and creditors were howling for payment, there is understood to have been talk around the Otago Rugby Union board last year they should be trying to lure Carl Hayman home from France.
      Read more

  12. Lindsay

    Mr Cull doesn’t sound too convincing. Seemed to be channelling his predecessor at times.
    As for the North-South match, I wouldn’t get too excited about that just yet. If the DCC are meeting all costs then obviously there is no venue hire fee but they get the gate takings. From that comes the costs of opening the venue, advertising, ticketing and presumably the airfares, accommodation, and catering for the players, management and whatever support staff are involved, also the cost of erecting the temporary seating if they feel it is warranted. It appears that the players will appear as part of the NZRPA’s contribution. Add in the fact that there will be none of the current All Black squad involved, and it is not quite as good as it sounds.

  13. Anonymous

    Cull’s dissembling is a disgrace. ORFU/Highlanders split was not “before his time”; he was on Council when the “agreement” was made.
    Prior problems at ORFU were triggered (amongst other things) by borrowing against a depreciating asset (Carisbrook).
    Now, the ORFU has no assets. The liabilities have been written off ($1.2M from BNZ, $480K from DCC), the $680K to creditors is under discussion. There’s a loan of $500K from NZRU, that’s about the only tangible “asset”, but that plus the $270K cost savings in player salaries only offset the expected $750K loss this year.
    Is there a new “working capital” arrangement with BNZ? How do past creditors get paid? How does this enterprise continue to trade?

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    Quick, the bucket:
    “The fact that everyone has mostly focussed on the important issue of saving Otago rugby and resisted the urge to engage in finger pointing has been a testament to Otago spirit,” said Dr Clark.

    • Elizabeth

      Wish I hadn’t read that, Hype. It’s far worse than the idiot tweet Curran sent on Wednesday after the bail-out decision, the one that Clark blindly retweeted. Curran is not getting back in. And Clark has some learning to do about the ‘stadium forces’ worsening the lot of his rate paying constituents, as well as the cumulative fraud perpetuated by rugby administrators. SIMPLETONS BOTH wtf.

  15. Peter

    The Labour Party reminds me of the position of The Church. An old institution that has lost its relevancy and soul. No wonder voters have drifted away from it-including people like myself who are centre left voters. Commentators rarely go to the Church for comment now on Social Issues. Soon Labour will be in the same boat with the Greens and New Zealand First increasingly taking up the cudgels against this vicious National Government.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    {Comment moved to relevant thread. -Eds}

  17. Phil

    I wouldn’t go stressing over the legal status of any of these creditors. Unlike the DCC, these are competent business operators who know exactly how much money they are owed.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    The Government is expected to announce details of its local government reforms today which aim to reduce rates increases and curb council debt.
    Prime Minister John Key said this morning the Government believed the 7 per cent average rates increase since 2003 was too much for the community to shoulder.

    {Moderated for length (copyright). See new post. -Eds}

  19. Peter

    Pleased that they are not listening to that idiot Dr Michael Reid – local government ‘advisor’. This is good move by National- some light beyond their other negative proposals. Will Labour support reform of local government? After all they are responsible for the mess, brought in 2002, with their ‘reforms’.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Revisited Deaker’s conversation with Dave Cull. No doubt, Dave Cull ‘Cocked up, cocked up on a chronic basis. Pretty reprehensible really.’. Why did he and council sign the city up to this deal with the ORFU? Forgiving $480,000 of citizens’ treasure to suck up to the ORFU when he/they don’t even know the full ramifications of that party’s financial situation. How bizarre to suggest they got a good deal in the circumstances. What circumstances? They don’t even know. Already they were alerted to the fact that there never was a valid contract to use the stadium between the ORFU/Highlanders and DVML/CST. How many other gremlins in the closet? Why they didn’t insist on a full disclosure of the ORFU and its various trusts being completed before talking, is a blot on their ability. Let’s just hope this whole thing falls over in the next couple of weeks lest we are locked into pouring more citizens’ treasure down the gurgler. What we have bought into is an arrangement with an organisation with no cash, a $500,000 mortgage with the NZRU and about to announce an operational deficit of $750,000. How the hell can the ORFU pay its way in the stadium starting from that position? I can see nothing but heartache in store. But how long will the DCC let it run this time? For sure, the ORFU has not in any way come clean on this, nor has it shown any contrition. Some serious naming and shaming, including incumbent councillors is in order if there is to be any end to this debacle. The people are entitled to know.

  21. Pedant

    I’m wondering how the ORFU was legally able to separate the Highlanders after a contract was signed for the two teams to play at the stadium?

  22. Peter

    How long will it take for the Greater Dunedin male councillors to finally get some balls and say no to the rugby fraternity that are ripping off this city? Now they are paying the price for bending with the wind, finding hopeless fix-it solutions for these people when they are not even prepared to help themselves. Time and again they have given in to the threats of the NZRFU and ORFU. These rugby alpha males are attuned to detecting weakness and exploiting it to the max.
    People expected more from Greater Dunedin. People are angry with the rugby bail-out. They know what a great deal it was for the ORFU, but not for the city as a whole.
    As an aside, a contact told us she went to a funeral the other day, after the bail-out was announced, and over half the funeral goers were talking angrily about how the city has been ripped off again by rugby interests. It seems not even a funeral can quell the anger!
    It’s time for Cull, Staynes and Thomson to man up, and stand up, for the city.

  23. Anonymous

    Campbell Live tonight on 3 has some details of which creditors are owed how much

    • Elizabeth

      ### Mon, 19 Mar 2012 7:00p.m.
      Campbell Live
      Great Southern Sizzle planned for Tuesday
      The BNZ, the NZRU and the Dunedin City Council have written off their debts with Otago Rugby, but smaller creditors are less able to take the hit.
      Read more + Video

      Tomorrow night Campbell Live is hosting the Great Southern Sizzle, live in Dunedin’s Octagon, to raise money for the creditors of the Otago Rugby Union – from 6:00 pm.

  24. anon2

    Gee should I make a sign and picket the DCC tomorrow, at 6-7, when Campbell Live are having their sausage sizzle in the Octagon?

  25. Anonymous

    Rugby: West Taieri juniors left out of pocket by ORFU crisis
    Fri, 2 Mar 2012

    West Taieri committee member David Bain said the club was owed $1800 by the union after agreeing to host an Otago, North Otago and Southland weight grade primary rugby tournament in August last year.

    The arrangement was for the club to provide lunches for teams and officials over the three-day tournament. The ORFU said the club could spend $300 per match to feed about 60 players and officials, making a total $1800 for the six matches.

  26. Anonymous

    (This page even informs the reader on how to pronounce the word ‘debt’ with its report on the DCC bailout of ORFU:

    {Unfortunately some inaccurate reporting in this item: eg “Dunedin has a new covered stadium for rugby which cost $198.3m. About half of that money came from ratepayers.” -Eds}

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    $300 per match for lunches for 60 people – $5 per person. Looks like there would be a lot of home cooking and a lot of people’s ingredients donated to make $1800 funding for the West Taieri juniors. I wonder how many of the juniors’ families are as well-off as the players & others on the payroll of professional rugby. Seems like a disproportionate amount of self-reliance and initiative has gone west by the time people rise to the dizzy heights of professional sport where they rapidly develop a culture of monstrous entitlement to bludge till it hurts (us).

  28. Anonymous

    The ORFU has taken advantage of rugby supporters’ loyalty and trust, down to the grassroots level that its foundation was meant to be based on. Parents are supporting an organisation that is taking from their children.

  29. anon2

    I think we should be telling TV3 that the rugby people should be paying their own way

  30. Anonymous

    From the Scottish Sunday Herald, with regard to the Glasgow Rangers tax debacle…
    “Remember that any banker who lends money to a business that is trading whilst insolvent – meaning, a business that is unable to pay its bills when they fall due – might be considered to be complicit in criminal acts.
    “Any director of a bank that kept insolvent companies – including football clubs – afloat in this way was recklessly putting shareholders and depositors’ money at risk.”

  31. Rob Hamlin

    I would tend to agree with the view that the ORFU should not be assisted by TV3, and bailed out by the general public. I would also be interested to acquire more details as to how the schools have become classed as creditors by the ORFU failing to pay for rugby team support expenses. Is this gaming money that has not been passed on? If this is so – then are the schools the creditors, or the gaming trusts?

    It’s hard to have a great deal of sympathy with either of these two classes of creditor. But the 180 plus creditor community is likely to contain a couple of real horror stories of small businesses compromised by good faith trading with an insolvent organisation. These national telethon kind of things can have considerable cash raising ability – $680,000 might not be an impossible goal. I suppose that you have to say that as these creditors have bugger all chance of seeing a cent on the dollar via the ORFU itself, then one can only wish Campbell and his crew all the best in their efforts.

    Campbell said that the aim was not only to pay these creditors off, but to restore goodwill towards Otago Rugby. It’s a maybe for the first objective, but he’s dreaming on the second. If the $680,000 is raised, then I sincerely hope that these creditors take their money, bless both Campbell and their good fortune and resolve to truly learn the lesson that the business you don’t get paid for is considerably worse than no business at all. Insolvent companies and insolvent associations are thus to be avoided as customers – or, if you simply must – traded with from the outset on a cash in advance basis only. For things like food, this means cleared payment before the food is prepared.

    The payment of a commercial business’ debts by third party charitable activity is unprecedented and could lead to legal ambiguities if the creditors persist in trading with the ORFU after Campbell has paid them off. The Companies Act allows liquidators to recover money that was paid out to creditors of the company that went into liquidation, if those payments were not typical of their normal business relationship. This allows money that was hurriedly paid out to ‘mates’ in the last few weeks/months of a company’s life to be recovered.

    This can also catch creditors who allow their terms of payment to be ‘stretched’ by customers who subsequently go into liquidation. Even if these suppliers tighten up their terms of trade to industry ‘norms’ before the collapse, the liquidator can seek to recover payments if they are atypical of that particular relationship. If Campbell (as a third party) pays their bills, then the established terms of trade for suppliers to the ORFU is for the ORFU not to pay these suppliers at all for goods and services rendered. If they continue to supply after this rescue deal goes through, but the ORFU does eventually fall over, this is a technicality that could come back to haunt them. This sounds like wild speculation, but it is worth remembering that we are moving into uncharted territory with this situation – in normal circumstances, the ORFU woud have bean dead and buried as a trading organisation years ago – instead this pseudo-corporate zombie still haunts the commercial community of this city.

    A couple of admin points: I wonder how Campbell Live got hold of the full list of ORFU creditors and the sums owed to each? This would be necessary for any kind of pro-rata payment to be made as they intend. I also wonder what will happen if the sum raised exceeds $680,000 – I do most sincerely hope that they don’t have the idea put into their heads of paying it to the ORFU or any other professional rugby orientated organisation. There is a difference between the victims and the perpetrators of any felony – and usually both are not funded at the same time.

  32. Peter

    Post your comments on the Campbell Live website. Read their conditions first. This ridiculous idea, which would go no way to paying 180 creditors their $687K (that’s a hell a lot of sausages!) comes across as no more than a populist PR stunt by Campbell Live to raise their ratings. No attempt by them to come to grips with what is happening with this bail-out. They are now challenged to do some proper investigative journalism. John Campbell seems to have drifted from his earlier commitment to dig up the crap that surfaces in public life. Such a long time since Corngate when Helen Clark called him a ‘little creep’ for catching her government out.

  33. Rob Hamlin

    It’s not the sausages Peter that will raise the money – it’s the mobile phone pledges. I would be inclined to wait and see what happens – it’s only 24 hours. You are right that even at 3 bucks a pledge, people have to point and click 200,000 times, but stranger things have happened – at least a mobile phone pledge does not come with the requirement to consume a disgusting offal tube with burnt onions and that fake bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth – so individuals may possibly decide do it more than once. Even if it dosn’t pay the creditors off entirely – it does complicate matters considerably if significant cash is raised. The ORFU gains either way – deserving fellows that they are. It would be really interesting to know where the idea came from. One hopes that Campbell Live are not going to be naive enough to give any cash raised to the ORFU to pay these creditors ‘directly’ – a bit like the pokie funds have done recently.

  34. Phil

    In the Forsyth Barr Stadium Venue Hire Agreement signed on 11 August 2009 between DCC and ORFU, it was noted that: “The Licensee is the holder of a management contract for the Highlanders Franchise which is owned by the NZRU. The Licensee will take all steps it can to ensure that it retains a management contract for the Highlanders Franchise or an equivalent professional rugby team on terms and conditions to ensure it complies with the provision of this Agreement”

    The contract became “void” if the Highlanders and the ORFU had split prior to the agreement being signed. In which case the ORFU have fraudulently misrepresented themselves and should be held legally accountable. If the Highlanders and the ORFU split after the date the agreement was signed then the ORFU simply became in breach of contract when they knowlingly broke the conditions of the agreement. And should have been forced to fix the problem without cost to the other party. DCC don’t get out of this squeeky clean either. They had a duty to mitigate, meaning that they should have been aware of what they signed and should have been jumping up and down the moment that the Highlanders and the ORFU split.

  35. Anonymous

    “The Licensee will take all steps it can to ensure…” is not binding if the split occurred afterwards. “We took all the steps we could, ” pleaded the Board, “but they left anyway”. This does show a lack of due diligence by the other party in not writing “The Licensee shall ensure…”

    However, if the split occurred beforehand, there is a problem. The ORFU AGM was 15 April 2009 and there was no Extraordinary meeting thereafter. We know the separation occurred in 2009. This news report indicates the restructuring happened in July 2009. The Venue Hire Agreement was signed in August 2009 and the clause “The Licensee is the holder of a management contract for the Highlanders Franchise which is owned by the NZRU” would therefore be void.

  36. Phil

    If that is the case (and the exact dates are difficult to track down), it would lead one to the conclusion that the ORFU knowingly and willingly offered a product which they didn’t possess ?

  37. Anonymous

    Something is not right here in 2010-2011.

    DCC announces Kereyn Smith as their nominated Director on the Board of the Highlanders Franchise in December 2009.
    She served for 1 year to 15 December 2010. However, the Board structure was to be regarded as transitional for 2 years. Who was the DCC-nominated Director who succeeded her?
    However, DCC cannot say that they were not aware of the separation. Lack of due diligence.
    The contract is not binding on Highlanders Franchise (see previous comment). Lack of due diligence.
    Who’s illegible signatures are on the venue hire agreement? Peter Chin as Mayor – one Councillor (i.e. NOT Harland) and for ORFU…?

    The contract was in default under clause 24.1 in 2010. That this was not pursued or even brought to the attention of Council also shows a lack of due diligence.

  38. Phil

    In order for a contract to be valid it must contain an exchange of value, genuine consent, and it must be lawful. I guess if the Highlanders were already split at the time of signing and the ORFU no longer held the marketing rights, then any agreement to supply the Highlanders would have been unlawful. DCC would have been within their rights to sue for a breach of good faith bargaining. But that would be way too many sausages for John Campbell. As you say, where was DCC’s due diligence, given that they had people sitting on the board.

  39. Anonymous

    News reports peg the actual separation from September 2010 onwards:

    Maybe Mr Meikle, who occasionally frequents these parts, could comment on his article.
    It would also have been firmly within Ms Smith’s time on the Highlanders Franchise board. This should have been red-flagged at the time, with reporting at EMT level from the representative on the Board.

  40. Peter

    Remember when Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains were elected onto the ORFU board and he spoke about the strengths and “credibility” of the members.
    “With the sort of board we have here, we are putting a group of people together who have some credibility, who know rugby, and hopefully know what it is going to take to get the Otago people back to Carisbrook,” Graham said.
    Mains (64) said he was excited about the strengths and diversity of the board, and the willingness to all work hard for the sake of Otago rugby.
    • ORFU – Board changes (ODT 6/3/10)
    In: Laurie Mains, Richard Bunton, Dave Callon, Andrew Rooney, Willis Paterson, one other to be appointed on March 8.
    Out: Ron Palenski (chairman, retired), Tony Chave (did not seek re-appointment, left for business reasons), Ross Laidlaw (left to be Highlanders chairman), Brent Rodger (voted out), Trevor Stark (did not seek re-election after two two-year terms), Steve Thompson (resigned because of business reasons).
    Remaining board members: Wayne Graham, John Walker, Adrian Read.
    • Highlanders – Board changes
    In: Ross Laidlaw (chairman), Kereyn Smith, Mike Eagle, Murray Acker.
    Out: Stuart McLauchlan (chairman, left because of business reasons), Angus Bradshaw (left because of business reasons), Gary Muir (replaced by Acker as Southland representative), Malcolm Farry (left as term expired and had conflict of interest with new stadium), Steve Thompson (left because of business reasons).
    Remaining members: Michael de Buyzer (North Otago), Adrian Read (Otago).

  41. Lindsay

    This whole sausage sizzle by Campbell Live puzzles me somewhat. On the face of it, it seems like a good idea to help out the little guys caught up in this mess, but as others have mentioned it raises some interesting questions such as: will creditors receiving some of the proceeds be waiving the right to claim in future from the OR-FU2, voluntarily or otherwise? Presumably the answer is yes otherwise they could end up getting paid twice. What happens to any surplus over and above the total owed? Is it going to the OR-FU2? If so, how clear is that going to be to anyone buying a sausage that instead of helping out local small businesses, they may end up donating to the people responsible.
    I would have thought the sensible thing to have done would have been to wait and see what plan the OR-FU2 arrived at in conjunction with all those wealthy benefactors who kept popping up a couple of weeks ago. Personally getting served a sausage by some grinning idiot in front of a camera, in between shots of teary-eyed ex All Blacks would put me off eating.
    I would like to see these people get paid, but that is the responsibility of those no-neck scroungers. I bet they can’t believe their luck.

    • Elizabeth

      Lindsay, the link to your comment, and the link to Rob’s comment were tweeted to Campbell Live tonight – worth a shot. They’ll ignore the tweets but others will read them. Added a couple of tweets asking if Campbell Live will seek a forensic audit / investigation of ORFU. Always worthwhile firing blank tweets…

  42. Peter

    Yes, Lindsay, it takes away the whole responsibility of the ORFU to face its debts to creditors. Once again, they are foisting another bail-out by people giving donations and the heat is taken off the ORFU.
    On 3News tonight John Key states, with its proposed local government reforms, that ‘public good’ would allow for a bail-out of the ORFU by the DCC. Is this a sign that the reforms are going to be a vague mishmash of good intentions without any real meat on the bones?

  43. Mike

    More importantly if there’s always some sugar daddy around to pick up the pieces for you you never learn to be responsible for yourself. There need to be real consequences to screwing up.

  44. Peter

    Campbell Live have ignored the posts Bev and I put on their website story last night. Bev has copied hers. Unfortunately, I did not do the same. Basically, I challenged the show to delve deeper, by investigating the ORFU, pointing out what they have done and failed to do.
    Conclusion? An embedded TV programme with its own agenda to cover up the real ORFU story and do a ra ra ra for the ‘poor old ORFU’- letting them off the hook, absolving them from any responsibility to do what is decent for sake of the creditors. Instead the people are bludgeoned – again- for more money to cover for rugby’s sins in this city.

  45. Amanda Kennedy

    I’ve just been there. I saw Tew standing around. Such a glorious experience being among such business geniuses and heroic, sturdy of leg sportsmen…

  46. Peter

    Viewing Campbell Live I felt sad seeing how good meaning people have been exploited to do all the sacrificing on behalf of a discredited outfit that doesn’t see any merit in helping the creditors itself. Instead it lets regular people stump up cash to salve its own conscience for doing nothing to help the creditors – on its own behalf.
    Campbell Live is essentially pimping for the ORFU/NZRFU.
    It will be interesting to see who are these two Otago businessmen, who are ‘promising’ to match dollar for dollar, for money raised, up to $100,000 each. I bet Eion Edgar is one of them. (Funny how his old firm, Forsyth Barr, is now only paying month by month for their naming rights to the stadium instead of front end loading as earlier agreed to.)

    • Elizabeth

      The other one might be Laurie babe’s company.

      Without many, if any ORFU board members in the Octagon tonight (brownie points for Tew turning up no matter what we think of him), it set me thinking it could’ve turned quite gladiatorial if the Board had showed up. The most gladiatorial thing we used to see in the Octagon was big guys doing Tug-of-war.

  47. Mike

    It’s interesting to note that despite all the tv3 rah rah the poll on tv3’s website is decidedly against the OR-FU bailout

  48. Lindsay

    That was twenty minutes of fairly nauseating television. If only they had dedicated that amount of time to analysis of the cause.

  49. Peter

    There didn’t seem to be that many there in the Octagon, but the ODT will probably inflate the numbers – or ignore it as it was not their ‘initiative’.

    Campbell was pretty OTT with the hype. It was funny when he interviewed Kees Meuws about ‘his’ art. Meuws twice mentioned it was a ‘collaboration’ with another artist, but that didn’t faze John, who continued to attribute the art to Meus alone. All part of the ‘good ol’ rugby boys’. They are marvellous and can do anything!
    Speight’s $25,000 will be from their advertising budget, not something extra. A good promo event for them to put Speights in ‘the good fulla’ category. All so transparent to anyone with a brain. For simpletons, they will be ever so grateful.

  50. Anonymous

    Still insolvent…as per comment above.
    Stick a fork in it, that will make the sausage sizzle.

  51. Calvin Oaten

    Let me get it straight. The “new ORFU” will owe $500,000 to the NZRU, it will inherit an operational deficit of $750,000 and it owes 180 small creditors $690,000. A total debt of $1.940million. And Mayor Dave Cull says we secured a deal that was good for the ratepayers.
    Dave, one of us is in “cloud cuckoo” land. Is it ‘thee or me’ or is it ‘we’?

  52. Hype O'Thermia

    Reminds me of the old joke –
    Dentist: The good news is your teeth are in excellent condition.
    Patient: What a relief!
    Dentist: Now the bad news – your gums will all have to come out.

    Not sure why I thought of that, must be the mind-bending effect of sustained exposure to industrial strength illogic, aka Tragic Footballsups, go round the back and ask for Dave.

  53. Peter

    The NZRFU/ORFU are so sincere in wanting to pay back the creditors that the former lends to the latter to the tune of $500,000. Yet these mongrels continue to wail for the creditors and ask US to support the creditors while, at the same time, giving them the two fingers.
    How is this particular $500k loan ‘good for the ratepayers’ for heaven’s sake?

  54. Mike

    Calvin: worse than that – they couldn’t pay the interest on their $2m debt at Carisbrook – now thanks to Farry they will have the equivalent of a $40m mortgage being taken off their income from games

  55. Calvin Oaten

    Mike: There is no doubt but that this is a terminal game. It is just a question of how long the necessary medical supplies will be available to run the life support service. My guess, as long as the financial institutions continue to lend money. Because, sure as hell there is no inclination to stop borrowing. Care to put a time on it?

  56. Russell Garbutt

    Didn’t hear this directly but is it true that Eion Edgar is wanting to set up a Charitable Trust for the ORFU so that it can build up capital to meet future inability to meet debt?

    Time for this nonsense to stop. Clearly the deal that has been “sort of” brokered is riddled with so many holes that Swiss Cheese would be jealous. No guarantee of NZRU matches, but “conditional” on what the NZRU can get out of it elsewhere, saving the ORFU from liquidation but seemingly the ORFU can choose to pay their players and staff instead of creditors which is both obnoxious and illegal, no idea by Council of what the costs of running the stadium to hold a charity match which, by the sounds of things, won’t have any All Blacks at.

    Equally clearly, TV3 failed in its ill-advised and stupid media prank to cojole anyone to raise money for an organisation’s debts. Also equally clear that Councillors have been receiving way more negative feedback than positive.

    So, what to do? As I, and others have been saying for ages, unless you know exactly what happened, when it happened, who made it happen and how much it cost, you won’t have any basis or solid grounding for future decisions. It will be up to ORFU members and the NZRU to hold an enquiry into their inept, crazy and stupid governance and management over the years, but it is up to the DCC and its ratepayers to hold such an enquiry into all allied matters – including the stadium build.

    How to make that happen? As a starter, every ratepayer should make their views known via the submission process (waste of time to get change, but good stats), someone should start a petition for an enquiry and that petition should be got up and going asap, and lastly everyone should ensure that as many of their neighbours, workmates, friends are made aware of what our Councils have done to us over the last decade.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes Russell it’s true about the charitable trust and Mr Edgar, heard him interviewed on RNZ Natonal just before 9am today.

  57. Hype O'Thermia

    Reason I posted the iPredict link in case anyone’s wondering is that it would be one way of raising interest in e.g. forensic audit, or ORFU continuing to trade while insolvent, or ?-however someone could phrase it suitably. Pressure from all directions is necessary, and getting people outside the “usual naysayers” (i.e. those vision-free types who were a pain in the bum for seeing this coming years ago) involved is vital.

  58. Mike

    It seems to me that Edgar has come to realise that the ORFU can’t be made to be profitable and it needs some other long term source of income other than the gate from rugby. I bet he’s also realised that holding the purse strings out of reach of the ORFU board is probably a canny idea.

  59. Anonymous

    Forensic audit into stadium costs “needs two more weeks”.
    “2 more weeks”; it’s the new “commercially sensitive”.
    Maybe they could ask them how to apply a solvency test…

    • Elizabeth

      ### Wednesday 21 March 2012
      Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
      08:54 Private funds to bail out Otago rugby union creditors
      Private donations are being used to pay back small businesses caught up in the financial crisis affecting the Otago Rugby Union. (3′21″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed


      ### Updated at 10:48 am today
      RNZ News
      Private funds to bail out Otago rugby union creditors
      Sir Eion Edgar, chairman of investment group Forsyth Barr, has confirmed he has donated money, but will not say how much. He and other businessmen also plan to match funds raised by a television programme dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000. Sir Eion is also behind the formation of a charitable trust which intends to develop a capital base outside the Otago Rugby Football Union to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth
      New Zealanders continue to flock to Australia, with annual departures accelerating to a record 53,000 last month.

      That’s like all of Dunedin’s ratepayers, maybe that’s the answer to the stadium. Just leave, and no-one gets hurt.

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous, where did you see or hear “two more weeks” ?

  60. Anonymous

    Radio news report this morning. Cull says they need the extra time to ensure that all questions are answered. Doesn’t cost any more as PWC are doing it fixed-price.

  61. Anonymous

    “the FIVE (some unconfirmed) bidders for the FOUR available Super 15 franchise licences ” (emphasis added).
    Repeat: 3 years of rugby does nothing to secure the future of the stadium.

    • Elizabeth

      Your point is well made, Anonymous.
      I do like Mr Chris Rattue, Herald columnist.

      The two paragraphs I like are:

      “So, not only will rugby continue to be run by the same people running it now, but this “privatisation” will involve scooping cash and energy out of the provincial arena and moving it into the NZRU’s grasp. In return, the unions will get Super 15 licences which will look lovely framed on a wall. The story so far, from what we can gather, might be termed raising bridging grants from junior partners in tough times.

      In return, the provinces will get four-fifths of stuff all, with the NZRU continuing to control everything that counts, particularly the player contracts. Worse still, you could argue the unions have been coerced into hiring something that belonged to them anyway when you consider the importance of old unions in forming the base of the professional era.”

      (my italics)

      • Elizabeth

        Eion Edgar is an embarrassment – just watched Campbell Live.

        Approx. $130,000 in total raised from sausage sizzle and text donations so far to pay out the INSOLVENT ORFU’s small creditors ($65,000 raised last night is being matched dollar for dollar by Edgar’s boys’ club)

        None of which removes the legal requirement on the ORFU Board to pay its outstanding debts.


        Eion Edgar, Laurie Mains and John Faulks, and Otago Country Rugby, are matching donations dollar for dollar.

        John Campbell is an embarrassment.
        He gives no consideration or analysis to the legal obligations of the ORFU to its Creditors.

        Edgar is “finalising” the set up of a “future charitable trust” for amateur rugby in Otago.

        Presumably this trust will be the charitable vehicle used in future to apply for pokie funds, for amateur rugby… I can see how TTCF might have recommendations put to it (to clean up its act, while allowing ORFU to waltz off into the sunset clauses scot-free) after the Class 4 Audit by DIA.


        We now suspect the ORFU has two private trusts. One trust appears to have property holdings totalling over $1 million (magic number…), the other… watch this space. None of which appear in the ORFU’s audited reports. There is also likely to be some valuable rugby memorabilia not appearing on the books. (as previously queried at What if?)

        What is ORFU’s actual position? We won’t know until there is a full investigation of ORFU. The bail-out deal is conditional for “two months” – a forensic audit needs to start asap.

  62. Hype O'Thermia

    Up to the usual standard of effectiveness then.
    I blame the Cancer Society. Slip slop slap. Too complicated for some people, who think it’s short for slipshod, sloppy and slap-happy.
    It is not about your dog taking you walkies in the midday sun: it’s the guiding principle of the DCC. As I said, much too complex a message.

  63. Lindsay

    Unless I missed something, the ODT only dedicated two sentences to John Campbell’s sausage sizzle.

  64. Mike

    Lindsay: I’m not surprised the ODT is keeping mum, they’re slightly conflicted here, given that they are likely to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of any bailout of debtors ….

  65. Amanda Kennedy

    The stadium dunderheads councillors and Greater Dunedin puppet councillors have done nothing but made it more likely that we will have to sell our assets to pay for Stadium Stakeholder’s debt. Don’t look to old Hudson, Brown and Bezett and mates to try very hard to stop our water being privatised. If the stakeholders want our water, Hudson and our weak Mayor will give it to them, after all, they bankrupted the city for them, what’s a few assets? They only benefit the non- stakeholder part of the citizenry, right?

    • Elizabeth

      Note this at Campbell Live, TV3 yesterday:

      ORFU fundraising details
      Tue, 20 Mar 2012 5:05p.m.
      Please note the new bank account details – apologies for any inconvenience
      We’re raising money for the 180 small creditors left out of pocket by the Otago Rugby Union. If you’d like to donate, use one of the following methods:

      – Come to the Octagon from 6pm
      – Donate $3 by texting Otago to 306
      – Westpac Account no 03-0675-0531096-00 with the account name “Jan and Eion Edgar Charitable Trust”
      – Bid on an auction [via TradeMe]

      (my italics)

  66. Amanda Kennedy

    Mr Mayor ? nobody is fooled by your fools logic that it is good for the city to give into the blackmail of a bunch of vicious incompetent twits. You blinked first. You are the weakest link.

  67. Amanda Kennedy

    Lindsay, that is of the awkward fact that hardly anyone turned up. Seriously. I am being very generous in saying there may have been 80 people there when I went. And quite a lot of them were of the big necked variety, and presumably on the team. The bagpipe band added to the numbers too. Sad.

  68. Amanda Kennedy

    According to Cr MacTavish, one third of our rates bill is spent on servicing debt. The ORFU, stakeholders, and most of the councillors could care less, of course. But I just think it is worth reminding folk that the city is heading for a bit of a dunking. Where will the stakeholders and ORFU big boys be when the proverbial hits the fan? Outa town. Gone. Leaving us to hold the (empty) bag. These people are not nice. There should be a lot of people complaining.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s hard to dream all this up. Cumulative times.

      • Elizabeth

        So I watched TV instead. Harry’s Law. Hmmm, out of context but nicely metaphorical.

        On social unrest.
        “When a government acts to betray the interests of its constituents civil disobedience is not just a right but a duty.”

        On football.
        “The President of the United States once called a White House summit to address the brutality of football. A professor from the University of Chicago called it “a boy-killing, man-mutilating, money-making, education-prostituting, gladiatorial sport”. The time was 1905. The President was Theodore Roosevelt.”

        [Roosevelt invited Yale’s Walter Camp – football’s legendary founding father – and coaches from Harvard and Princeton. “Football is on trial,” Roosevelt told them. “Because I believe in the game, I want to do all I can to save it.” Link]

  69. Lindsay

    Sausages sizzled mostly with the best of intentions I guess.
    Still, I can’t help wondering how many of those creditors had their names in that double page spread a few years ago supporting the stadium. If it had never been built, those idiots at the OR-FU could have continued borrowing against Carisbrook for another decade at least and everyone would still be getting paid.

  70. Calvin Oaten

    Did I read it right? You text your donation and it goes into the “Jan and Eion Edgar Charitable Trust”. Now if that is not a conflict of interest I don’t know what is. He immediately has control of both the money and the amount. He then magnanimously says he will match whatever he declares that is raised dollar for dollar. It may well be all above board and tickety boo, but boy does this have a smell. All that aside, by my calculations the public have to raise $172,500 and Eion, Laurie and Mr Faulks all chip in $172,500 each and ‘presto’ we have $690,000 and all creditors are satisfied. Except of course the ‘good ole boys’ at the DCC. It all sounds like something out of ‘Boys Own’ magazine. I wonder who gets the girl?

  71. Hype O'Thermia

    GIRL, Calvin? You mean curly-haired Davinia Cull, arriving with a merry smile to thank them for their jolly spunky effort and bearing a wicker basker containing a huge extra-figgy Figgy Duff with lashings of cream, and a whole bottle of ginger pop for each chap.

  72. Calvin Oaten

    What’s this with the ORFU and trusts (an oxymoron if ever there was one)? Haven’t they got enough problems with them already? It seems just a method of spreading the assets into as many pockets as possible, facilitating the means to hide facts and intentions, and at the same time keeping control in a very few hands. Why the need for what are ostensibly amateur social enhancing activities bodies to place their fate in the hands of people with control egos like we have seen in recent times beggars the imagination. Nothing has changed.

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