Monthly Archives: April 2012

Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority

Comment received.

Russell Garbutt
2012/04/29 at 3:54 pm

Doesn’t it seem incredible that the DIA, when presented with an enquiry that on the surface appears to be more than dodgy, chooses to get a local investigator to phone one of the people involved, that investigator issues a warning to that person that things are being looked at for any future applications, chooses not to follow up with the appropriate people within the pokie fund – even when these people have what appears to be solid evidence that moves were made to obscure just who was really asking for grants. Did the DIA investigate with people like SPARC? Not to my knowledge. Seems to me that when anything is just a little bit too hard then the DIA run for the hills. Frankly, I can’t think of any work that the DIA have done in recent times that has really resulted in anything other than warning dodgy operations into becoming more covert.

*Sport New Zealand (Sport NZ) is the new name for the government organisation responsible for sport and recreation (formerly SPARC). -Eds

See today’s story at Sunday Star Times by senior writer Steve Kilgallon
Pokie Funds: Case closed without call to whistleblower

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Hocken Gallery

Hocken Gallery, Hocken Library 21 April – 18 August 2012
90 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin
Phone 03 479 8871
Open weekdays: 9am- 5pm, Tuesday: 9am – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 12 noon
www.library.otago.ac.nz/hocken

Find out more about this exhibition at
http://library.otago.ac.nz/hocken/exhibitions
Take a glimpse at what Hocken has been up to recently at
thehockenblog.blogspot.com
View thousands of paintings at http://digital.otago.ac.nz
Search 33,000 photographs and purchase prints online at
http://hockensnapshop.ac.nz

More about the exhibition at ODT Online
http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/arts/205957/call-running-tide

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZMG another drain, another dollar

Yesterday’s D Scene reports (page 4):

Dunedin City Council is being called upon to honour its commitment to underwrite the lossmaking Masters Games. The biennial veterans sports event was a huge success on the field: more than 6000 people took part in a total of 7203 events, and almost half were out-of-town visitors. However, the Masters Games was unable to secure a naming rights sponsor. It also lost one silver level sponsor and was unable to use the University Union as its Games Village. That caused the games to lose revenue of $153,364, a report to the DCC said. #bookmark

The council has an agreement to underwrite the games, and Thursday’s finance, strategy and development committee meeting will consider a minimum $25,000 ratepayer contribution.

Report – FSD – 26/04/2012 (PDF, 400.9 KB)
2012 New Zealand Masters Games – Manager’s Final Report

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line

While the Star-Times has, over the past eight years, unveiled a string of questionable arrangements around pokie machines involving a number of gaming trusts, the department [Internal Affairs] has brought only a few major prosecutions.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 22/04/2012
The inside man
By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star Times
Martin Legge spent two decades as a cop in Levin, catching the crims and then, as police prosecutor, taking them to court. Now, he says, he wonders why. “I’m embarrassed that we used to run around chasing guys for $1000 they ripped off Social Welfare,” he says. “The big money is heading out the back door through softly regulated industries full of people in suits who should know better.” After leaving the police, Legge worked for a gaming machine trust which gave out poker machine grants. What he saw over the next decade shocked, disgusted and disillusioned him. He tried to brief his local MP, the gaming minister Nathan Guy, on the state of the industry. And then Internal Affairs, the industry watchdog, rang him up. Would he, it asked, become a whistleblower? Legge and his wife Liz hand-delivered two bulging ringbinders of documents to the department, packed with incriminating emails (some marked “delete this email forever”) to and from his colleagues at the Trusts Charitable Foundation. He also gave Internal Affairs a 9200-word statement. He was interviewed by an investigator who said he was confident of a result. Then he was told it was a “slamdunk”. In January 2011, the head of investigations told the Legges the case was “90 per cent complete” and he was contemplating seven serious charges against individuals and the trust. Legge waited, and waited. He wrote again to Guy, who rebuffed him, he contacted the auditor-general’s office, and pursued Internal Affairs until March [2012], when the department finally told him it was, pretty much, case closed. By then, Legge says wryly, relations were “strained”.

So why, when he supplied Internal Affairs with material on a string of questionable incidents that could have resulted in multiple prosecutions, has nothing happened?

In March, Dave Sayers [at Internal Affairs] finally wrote, essentially dismissing most of Legge’s key concerns and, in two cases, around Acklin’s behaviour and $5m of grants given to the Otago Rugby Union, said investigations continued, although allegations around those two incidents were now as much as six years old.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Green Island recycling plant

### ODT Online Sat, 21 Apr 2012
Recycling facility formally opened
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s recycling culture has come a long way in a short time, helped by the city’s multimillion-dollar Green Island recycling plant, Mayor Dave Cull says. His comments came as Mr Cull formally opened the plant yesterday, nine months and thousands of tonnes of mixed recycling after the Materials Recovery Facility was first commissioned in June last year.

The recycling plant was part of a partnership between the council and several companies. The plant was built on Hall Bros land by another of owner Doug Hall’s companies, Anzide Properties. It was equipped by Carter Holt Harvey and operated by the company’s subsidiary, Fullcircle Recycling, which shared office space on site with EnviroWaste, which provided collection services for the council.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Auckland convention centre and 500 new gaming machines, or Hillside?

State-owned Asset Sale

“A Berl report showed that having the new KiwiRail rolling stock for Auckland built at Hillside would have added $250m to the economy, reduced the current account deficit by $122m and created 1270 jobs. Unfortunately, National insisted that KiwiRail only consider its narrow commercial interests and ignore the wider impacts of its decision.” -Metiria Turei

### ODT Online Thu, 19 Apr 2012
KiwiRail putting Hillside up for sale
By John Lewis
KiwiRail is seeking expressions of interest for the sale of Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops. The business will be advertised for sale as a going concern from early May, 2012 with a final decision due by the end of August, 2012. KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said the decision was made after analysing the financial impact of the reduction in construction and refurbishment forward work orders for Hillside Workshops.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC comments ahead of court action, why?

DCC admits mistake as case back to court
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/206000/dcc-admits-mistake-case-back-court

Local businessman Doug Hall obtained a High Court injunction in August last year, upset at the impact the highway realignment was having on access to his property on Anzac Ave. Mr Hall shall have his day in court which is the only proper place to settle matters of this import against the council’s historic actions.

DCC have been playing silly beggars to date; the council’s comments in the Otago Daily Times today are further proof. The council has accepted it erred by failing to notify Mr Hall, as an affected party, during the land designation process undertaken prior to the highway realignment’s construction.

“We said, when looking at it after a bit of a discussion, we should have involved him. We’ve said we’ll re-do the designation process.” -Tony Avery

The second designation will mean extra legal, planning and staff costs for the council, “although Messrs Hamilton and Avery could not say how much the council had spent to date on the dispute”.

‘Could not say’ or ‘would not say’?
What else isn’t Dunedin City Council saying.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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