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

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

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

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

  1. Anonymous

    NZRU money is a grant, not a loan, so not owed.
    DCC debt is wiped, so no longer owed.
    BNZ debt transformed into sponsorship so no longer owed.
    ORFU still owes creditors $687,000 or thereabouts. But they have been in discussions with creditors via MWK so some of those debts may also have been written off. March 31st was IRD deadline for writing off bad debts and some creditors may have chosen to do so to meet tax obligations. Otherwise there is a $287K shortfall.

    How the ORFU will meet this year’s projected deficit is anyone’s guess. From the estimates, they would still be $250K short of that (the $500K NZRU grant will offset some of it).

    Follow the lady (and the money):
    – the ORFU now has $900K ($400K from donations and $500K from NZRU)
    – the ORFU currently owes $687K to creditors
    – at this point it is solvent, since their assets exceed liabilities
    – if trading continues as previous years, the ORFU would incur “administration expenses” of about $1.9 million; however this has now been moved into shared services with DVML and we don’t know how much that contract is worth
    – if the ORFU incurs more than $230K of expenses without further revenue, then it would become insolvent. If it manages to persuade creditors to write off bad debts, then it has a bit more wiggle room.

    If the projected deficit is $750K, then at some point during the year, the ORFU will again be technically insolvent. ($687K + $250K > $900K). It depends on the future timing of their income and spending.

    It’s unlikely that the ORFU will see any revenue from pokies grants.
    It’s not clear how much revenue they will see from gate receipts.
    If it is run as a very tight ship, then I expect that it will break even for the year. Their annual accounts will make interesting reading, come November.

  2. Elizabeth

    At this date all agreements and arrangements are not confirmed with regard to meeting outstanding debt.

    Click to access MEDIA_RELEASE_Long_term_plan_for_Otago_Rugby_Football_Union_agreed.pdf

    “One of the conditions of the loan we are giving to the union is that the ORFU constitution will have to be modernised. The current board will have to resign and new arrangements will be introduced to ensure governance is best practice.”

  3. Calvin Oaten

    ANON, I think you will find that the NZRU are providing a new “loan” of $500,000 to be paid back within five years. This plus the unsecured creditors $680,000 (which may or may not be reduced by $400,000 which the union are “hoping to have raised” ) and the yet to be disclosed deficit of some $750,000 for last years operation. This all adds up to $1.930ml. This is the starting point from the deal brokered between the ORFU and the DCC. Not a healthy patient for the DCC to get into bed with.I doubt the patient will even be able to pay for emptying the potty.

  4. Anonymous

    OK, the original $270K loan was converted to a grant; the new $500K is a loan over 5 years.
    North-South revenue goes to DVML; DVML is responsible for all costs for that match.
    Test match revenue (venue hire $100-120K in 2013 and 2014) cannot be counted in FY2012. One would expect that the loan repayments to NZRU would be deferred to being in 2013 at the earliest.
    Player salaries reduced by $290K, so the projected $750K is down to $460K

    so at the moment: $900K in assets
    $680K in current liabilities
    $460K in future liabilities plus whatever DVML charges for rent – $30K per game for small event? = $120K for the 4 home games plus whatever DVML charges for shared services (one could expect significant reduced costs as TicketDirect is handling all sales quite well) say $100K? = $680K in future liabilities
    Home game revenue – 5K @ $20/ticket = $100K/game = $400K future revenue
    comes to about $1.3M in both assets and liabilities.
    Very very tight.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    ANON, Don’t forget that the NZRU traditionally takes the gate money from tests, giving back a match fee to the host union to cover costs. Then there is the matter of the revenue pre paid for seats, corporate boxes etc being the much vaunted Private Funding? The NZRU will seek compensation for that I shouldn’t wonder, otherwise why would it put test matches here? A lot of very dubious possibilities for DVML to miss out on much needed revenue.
    The ORFU loses the PF equivalent on every match, as does the Highlanders, unless of course there is a secret deal arrived at which we will never be privy to. ANON, I think your assessment is way too generous towards the ORFU, but hey! you may be right. Not sure where you found the $900K in assets when I can only see $1.9ml in liabilities. The only assets I can see is the ownership of the ITM Cup franchise, dubious though that may be.

  6. Anonymous

    I’m counting the $400K of donations and the $500K NZRU loan as the only assets.
    On completion of the agreements and conditions, the $270K to NZRU, the $480K to DCC, the $1.2M to BNZ all go away. The $680K to creditors is under negotiation.
    I’ve included about $120K as the match fee for the 2013 and 2014 tests as per Phil’s assessment previously.
    Probably you can include $120K match fee for the Bledisloe Test in September, I forgot that.
    On balance I’d say $1.4M in current and future assets, $1.3M in current and future liabilities. The ORFU can tuck $100K away in reserves and maintain non-profit status, then repay the NZRU loan back over the subsequent 4 years.

    You are correct on the nature of Private Funding and that chicken has now come home to roost – income cant be counted twice and it doesn’t accrue to ORFU. It has been very enlightening to see the large gaps in the South Stand seating where the private funded boxes should be…

    • Elizabeth

      Clare Curran’s column in D Scene today is a shocker (page 6) – she laments the status of Otago women’s rugby at the hands of ORFU, wakes up to “years of mismanagement and bad decisions” at ORFU, and yet she’s the Labour MP for Dunedin South who champions the stadium, a slight disconnect.

      On the same page, letters from Calvin Oaten and Joe van Alphen demonstrate a lack confidence in the mayor.

      Register to read D Scene online at

  7. Anonymous

    We really need that forensic audit to follow the money trail…


    • Elizabeth

      Why the parties to the ORFU bailout didn’t demand a (forensic) audit of the local union before they offered respite packages is fairly damning of said parties. It’s not like DCC’s forensic audit via PWC can range too widely into ORFU’s business beyond stadium-related matters. We really need to know how far PWC got. This latest from the Herald shows us the way.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 20 Apr 2012
        Process to form board taking shape
        By Steve Hepburn
        The process to build a new board for the Otago Rugby Football Union continues to gather pace. A date has been set for a special general meeting of the union and prospective board members are now being asked to put their names forward. The union is going through a consultation process on its new constitution which it had to change as part of the agreement with backers to save the union from liquidation last month. The consultation should take place over the next 10 days and a special general meeting of the union will be held on May 1. This meeting will adopt the new constitution of the union.
        Read more

  8. Anonymous

    This website is undergoing scheduled maintenance.
    The site will be back online soon.
    Thank you for your patience.

    The ODT site has been off-line for some time this morning. Readers familiar with its council, stadium and rugby reporting will probably be unaffected by the lack of current information.

  9. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 23 Apr 2012
    Council to have say in ORFU
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council has been given a stake in the future of the Otago Rugby Football Union, and will use it to closely scrutinise candidates vying to be part of the next board, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. It was confirmed yesterday the council will have a say in the make-up of the new ORFU board, as part of a selection panel being assembled under a new constitution being drafted for the union.
    Read more

  10. Mike

    It’s worth remembering that the DCC had a representative on the ORFU board when things went bad – didn’t help us avoid losing hundreds of thousands of dollars

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    And they have representation on the Museum board too don’t they?
    Yeah, works brilliantly.

  12. Anonymous

    I suspect it is more than just protecting the interests and funding of professional rugby, but also enabling them to keep some of the current “faces” on the board (their We’ll Keep An Eye On Them Wink Wink Nudge Nudge Work Scheme). Otherwise it’ll just one of the usual bunch of directors this council is smitten for (their Perk Jobs For Mates Work Scheme). There’s wiggle room in Cull’s position for maintaining some of the board in the story and that means more bending over backwards for stakeholders based on recent history.

    There is so much dodgy business going on in this corrupt council I wonder if a real mafia is operating in this town and not just the Tartan Mafia trying to five mil up each other in the next Rich List.

  13. Peter

    I’ve heard that Outram School was owed $2000 and a prominent figure in the ORFU quickly wrote out a cheque for the school on the proviso they didn’t go to the media about being a creditor. In that way, of course,there was the implied threat that if they did….no cheque. Picking winners and losers in the creditor stakes is the name of the game. You can bet that those who miss out, by ‘being good’,will feel doubly cheated.

    • Elizabeth

      Revenue was down in gates, sponsorship and trust funding.

      ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Apr 2012
      Rugby: ORFU budgeting for small profit
      By Steve Hepburn
      The Otago Rugby Football Union is budgeting for a small profit this year and is keeping tabs on every penny. The union revealed yesterday its audited loss had been finalised for the 2011 year and was $862,216. That meant the negative equity for the union was at $2,250,653, which was an accumulation of the union’s losses over the past years.
      Read more

      ▪ The financial statements for last year will be presented to a special general meeting of the union on May 1.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    So the $750,000 deficit expected becomes $862,216. Wow! And I bet that doesn’t include the $680,000 of unsecured creditors nor the $480,000 forgiven by the DCC. Negative equity for the union is at $2,250,653. The professional game contributed more than 80% of the loss.
    Hasn’t the DCC done a beautiful job getting into bed with this lot? Comes complete with a dowery of $2,250,653 of family debt. Under the Joint Matrimonial Property act we are stuck with this one big time. Dave Cull should have known this was a shotgun job. He should have demanded a pregnancy test at least. Unless of course he knew that the DCC was the father. Oh well, let’s hope it produces some useful all blacks. Or is that being racist?

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, being as DCC isn’t exactly hot on opening books, I guess it (via Cull) was never going to demand a forensic audit of ORFU prior to considering any bailout agreement slapped on the table. Appearances!

      What a shallow mayor.

      Luckily, DCC is in court this week (Thursday) – let’s see what happens in the tea leaves.

  15. Russell Garbutt

    No matter which way you look at it, nor which figures are used, the ORFU have been a cot case for years, show no signs whatsoever of any change in their status, nor show any signs of accepting that they are essentially a private business totally reliant on donations and grants that the community at large is totally sick of.

    I thought it significant that the ORFU were lamenting the fact that their grants and donations were down – but HULLO! This entity, posing as goodness knows what has been dealing behind the scenes in all sorts of shennanigans with Trusts, pokie funds, pub ownership and the like and losing money faster than the DCC can bleed. God only knows why the rugby fraternity isn’t fronting up demanding answers from present and past governance and management. I can only assume that they are too thick or completely uninformed as to what has been going on in their own organisation. If someone outside has a pretty good idea of what has been going on, then why hasn’t the rugby fraternity any idea?

    The amateur code is breaking even so all the losses are due to the professional crowd, their hangers-on and acolytes. What a surprise that is.

  16. Rob Hamlin

    Now what is interesting is that the professional game contributed 80% of the loss, the amateur game contributed 0% of the loss, which leaves reponsibility for a loss of around 20% or $160,000 at the door of some unidentified third force in rugby. It’s a bit like dark matter in cosmic calculations = I blame the All Darks on the far side of the planet Tharg in the fourth dimension of the creative rugboidal accounting vortex.

  17. Mike

    Maybe the mysterious million dollar real estate trust is no longer funneling money now that the million dollars has disappeared

    mind you a million dollars would be real useful if one wanted to pay one’s creditors

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz April 24, 2012 – 5:52pm
      Extraordinary meeting to decide on observer role
      Fallout from the Otago Rugby Football Union’s financial collapse continues to colour the city’s political landscape. On Thursday, the city council will sit for an extraordinary meeting that should make sure it can keep a close eye on the sporting body in future.


        • Elizabeth

          I love this search engine term…

          “new zealand high performance rugby centre”

        • Elizabeth

          Hmmm, an update within the story at D Scene, ‘Council to consider role in rugby union’ (25.4.12, page 4):

          “A raft of small creditors remain to be paid by the ORFU. It is understood the smallest creditors are likely to be paid in full, while the ORFU is still negotiating with firms owed larger sums. With talks ongoing, ORFU change manager Jeremy Curragh did not want to make full comment, but did say the ORFU was still trying to contact some creditors, which was delaying the process.” #bookmark

        • Elizabeth

          I guess Otago Rugby Times will pick up this clammy news tomorrow morning. Ugh.

          ### ch9.co.nz April 26, 2012 – 5:52pm
          Observer to sit in on ORFU meetings
          A Dunedin City Council observer will sit in on all Otago Rugby Football Union meetings, following an extraordinary council meeting this afternoon. But the observer will not be a politician – instead a council staff member will take the role. A second ORFU-based council appointment yesterday re-ignited splits at the Municipal Chambers between pro and anti stadium councillors.

  18. Phil

    In other words…. Athol

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 27 Apr 2012
      Council observer for ORFU meetings
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council will have a permanent presence at future Otago Rugby Football Union board meetings, after councillors yesterday appointed an observer to help avoid any future “train-wrecks”. However, councillors also moved to de-politicise the appointment by agreeing the observer would be a council staff member selected by council chief executive Paul Orders. The suggestion came from Cr Kate Wilson, who also nominated deputy mayor Chris Staynes as the council’s representative on the selection panel being created to form the next ORFU board.

      Crs Bill Acklin, Paul Hudson and Lee Vandervis all voted against the appointments.

      Read more

  19. Mike

    Calvin – I hope you don’t mind me putting you forward for this position

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 27 Apr 2012
      Debt clarification sought
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council is to seek clarification over any liability for the Otago Rugby Football Union’s $1.2 million debt formerly owed to the Bank of New Zealand. […] some ratepayers had raised concerns “as recently as today” the council might still be liable for interest payments from the debt, as part of its agreement to underwrite ORFU debts for three years after the sale of Carisbrook.
      Read more

  20. Mike

    (Based purely on the lack of head injuries of course)

  21. Peter

    I second Calvin to go on the ORFU Board. That way we can be assured that we have no patsy council appointee, who becomes more loyal to the rugby heads on the new ORFU, instead of the ratepayers, and ends up not asking for or reporting fully on the ‘train wrecks’. It will be interesting to see if they appoint a strong minded and truly independent individual who doesn’t brook crap.

  22. Calvin Oaten

    Peter; I decline your nomination, on the grounds that it would be detrimental to my health to place myself in the presence of all those ‘dunderheads’.

  23. Peter

    Fair enough, Calvin. One does have to watch who one associates with, doesn’t one.

  24. Anonymous

    Now…if you were an up-and-coming executive, perhaps with a view to becoming a professional director, or just wanted to gain experience with governance, you could quite happily write to a Board and ask to become an observer at their meetings. You wouldn’t get voting rights, or the ability to vote or discuss items. You would be granted the ability to ask questions and would have access to Board papers. You might be asked to leave during discussion of sensitive or “in-committee” items.

    That’s what the DCC will get. No control over agenda or resolutions. Just the ability to sit in the room and listen and report back. and this protects ratepayer interests how, exactly?

  25. Russell Garbutt

    Put in a nutshell. The best possible thing to do for the DCC would be to distance itself as far as possible from anything other than purely commercial transactions with the ORFU or the Highlanders or any other sort of professional sport. This crap is just muddying the waters.

    If the ORFU want to hire the stadium then present them with an invoice payable one month before the hire date. Nothing more is needed.

  26. Peter

    The bottom line should be that any earnings/profit gained by the ORFU should go straight back to the DCC till their debt to us is wiped. Then we might believe they have undergone a true metamorphous into decent human beings.

  27. Phil

    Bill Acklin really is grasping here. Even for him. Opposing someone on the board of a rugby organisation because they had previously spoken out against a stadium project. Relevance ? That’s like objecting to someone being on a fruit growers board because they have spoken out against supermarkets. Seriously, Bill.

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    Too right Russell. If ONE party had a strong sense of direction & self-discipline it might work (but still be unnecessary complication) but look what it is: TWO headless chooks “making it – professional rugby + the stadium – work”. Don’t have to be Mystic Meg to see where this is going.

  29. Anonymous

    Some sneaky wee shite going down in the ODT today… seems the ORFU is threatening the mayor with legal action over comments he made about the bail-out. Why would THIS dodgy outfit be seeking legal action when it itself should have the legal boot firmly up its own arse?

    Answer: There’s a “potential six-figure claim” involved.

    So are we to assume the fat neck bastards at ORFU are thinking just another $50K down on the ratepayer tab and then the money tap will be turned on again? Personally I wish them best of luck, if they do seek legal action and the council gets caught up in an expensive legal wrangle then maybe the government finally replaces the council with a commissioner and the ORFU is rightfully shamed further in national media.

    Sure it complicates things a little but gone are the remaining Stadium Councillors, including Cr Syd Brown. No further support for professional rugby and ORFU and their beloved rugby stadium. I suspect that’s called shooting yourself in the foot?


  30. Hype O'Thermia

    Get this: ‘Cr Kate Wilson said uses for any surplus was “something we all want to turn our minds to” ‘ !
    Speed bumps that play animal sounds when you go over them, to help urban people stay connected with the rural way of life?

  31. Anonymous

    Save it for legal fees

  32. Russell Garbutt

    It is almost impossible to believe the crap from the ORFU and yet we shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. From my perspective, Cull’s comments about the ORFU were moderate, accurate and entirely justified. What else do you call an outfit that has proved itself to be incompetent, inept, sneaky and stupid? These individul twerps need to front up asap and the ideal thing to do would be for the ORFU and ALL of their associated little trusts and other entities to be forced into throwing open their books and actions to a full investigation. That way we will all see what caused their own auditors to be warning them against their own stupidity for years.

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    Got to admire people who take legal action over words that have “damaged” their reputations. It takes considerable courage along with confidence that there exists not a speck of cupidity, stupidity or grime, to risk opening one’s own reputation to public scrutiny.

  34. Anonymous

    There has been a lot of sneaky, under-handed business involving councils and professional rugby interests in this town, with an attitude to spending other peoples’ money reminiscent of Chin & Co. The combined resources behind ORFU now suggests they might have been cunning but not too smart. So this recent action makes me wonder: Who really came up with the idea to raid the mayor’s legal fund? Someone at ORFU? Or someone at DCC?

  35. Calvin Oaten

    Probably some smart lawyer with an eye to the main chance has picked out some of the dumber ORFU members (not difficult, except that they all are) and suggested for a ‘small fee’ he would aid and assist in claiming defamatory damages for them. Why not, the DCC is renowned as a soft touch?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 28 Apr 2012
      Mayor’s ORFU remarks draw legal threat
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has been threatened with legal action by members of the Otago Rugby Football Union board over comments he made after the bail-out of the union. Individual members of the board have contacted Mr Cull, seeking an apology and threatening legal action if he does not provide one, the Otago Daily Times has learned. That followed critical comments made by Mr Cull during an interview with Radio New Zealand the day after the council agreed to wipe the $480,000 owed to it and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd by the ORFU.
      Read more


      ### radionz.co.nz Thursday 15 March 2012
      Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
      08:15 Otago Rugby deal ‘good for taxpayers’ says Mayor
      Joining us is the Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull. (4′33″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed


      [on the 8:5 split vote on the ORFU bailout package]
      Cull: “I think it would be fair to say that there are a number of my councillors who simply cannot stomach dealing with the ORFU that has shown such bad faith, dishonesty and incompetence up til now, and they continue to have no faith in them.”

      [on Wayne Graham’s comment about the “best business brains” on the ORFU board]
      Cull: “The results of those business brains so-called would speak for themselves, wouldn’t they.”

      Truth hurts.
      Strong opinion? Defamatory?

      Or has ‘ORFU’ (by individuals…) taken umbridge at something else in the interview?

      • Elizabeth

        So which of these honkies is threatening legal action against the mayor?
        ORFU chairman Wayne Graham is reluctant to comment, saying he did not know “a lot about it”. [ODT]

        Staff List & Office Holders

        Office Holders
        President Sir Eion Edgar
        Vice President Adrian Read

        Board Of Directors
        Chairman Wayne Graham [knows not a lot…]
        Deputy Chairman Laurie Mains
        Director Richard Bunton
        Director Dave Callon
        Director John Faulks
        Director Willis Paterson
        Director Russell Cassidy [doesn’t want to comment personally…]
        Director Andrew Rooney
        Director John Hammer [not involved in any claim against the mayor]

        • Elizabeth

          Old news but pertinent (25.2.12)

          Hope the aggrieved extortionists aren’t wanting a place on the new ORFU Board. And what does the threat of legal action do to the bailout package really??? Did they wait until it was all signed up, heck no – because one of the conditions is a new board, and it’s not there yet….

          Oh yeah, what is Leadership?

          Hmmm, businessmen or crooks (cartoon).

        • Elizabeth

          The question that remains in so many honest people’s minds, inside and outside rugby, is WHEN will there be a forensic audit of ORFU ?

          Nothing like threatening the mayor to serve as a good reminder.
          Well done, individual ORFU board members!

  36. amanda Kennedy

    Yes, Calvin. Cull basically said loud and clear he will do what ever ORFU fat cats want when he handed over our ratefund to pay their debt. So obvious, why didn’t he figure it out? Most of us learn at primary school that you simply do not give into bullies; if you do they just take more and more.

  37. Anonymous

    The ORFU has shown another of its ugly faces. It wants more and its members believe they are entitled. We are seeing the true nature of a group who has had it too good, for too long and now blames everyone else for its failings. Their threat too comes at the cost of its dirty laundry being dragged out in court and NZRU will be having a little panic attack over the potential for blow-back.

    Dunedin City Council Mayor Dave Cull was oblidging before but must now take a stand and call closing time on professional rugby.

  38. Hype O'Thermia

    If anything Mayor Cull was understating the situation. They should be grateful he didn’t tell it 100% like it is.

  39. amanda Kennedy

    These men on the ORFU are sitting back as they bully us all into paying for their salaries, their debts and their stadium; in the name of rubgy? These individuals do not care one jot about rugby. They care about money.

  40. Hype O'Thermia

    I almost hope they’re too thick to withdraw their threat. Sure, defending it will cost, but the revelations that will emerge should put an end to all support for DCC keeping the ORFU being the primo charity recipient of rates funds. Best value on offer IMO.

  41. Hype O'Thermia

    Not knowing a lot is standard ORFU practice though, isn’t it?
    E.g. not knowing when you’re getting less income it’s a good plan to cut back on your spending…….
    Other examples abound.

  42. amanda Kennedy

    Thank you Elizabeth. Exactly what I wanted to know . The dear old ODT forgot to mention who the ORFU board member are that are accusing Cull. Funny that. This is important information. Which of these justified in putting the ORFU in debt?

  43. amanda Kennedy

    Right Hype. they need to put that on their new job advertisement for ORFU board membership “Must be thick as two short planks”.

  44. Hype O'Thermia

    Which isn’t? Decisions would have been put to the vote, yes? Oversight of decisions taken at a lower level would have been the job of the board, eh? What ARE their duties and responsibilities, ffs?

  45. amanda Kennedy

    We need to take careful note of these men; in case they try to slip onto some other board connected with the DCC and perform as they did on the ORFU.

  46. Hype O'Thermia

    ODT online readers’ opinions aren’t very kind. ORFU had better rustle up its buddies to redress the balance: “ORFU’s self-sacrificing best business brians [note: not a typo] do not deserve the arrogant remarks from Dunedin’s so-called Mayor and I support their court action for justice. These men have served Rugby like true heroes. It disgusts me to see them criticised so unfairly…. [blither blather]”.

    No no, ORFU supporters – don’t thank me, I’m only too glad to help you frame your outpourings of support. I like a good laugh.

  47. Mike

    We know that the bailout wasn’t settled the day it was announced – Cull in particular seemed to say not long after that it was contingent on them all resigning – I wonder if there’s still time for it all to unravel?

  48. Russell Garbutt

    The deal is conditional on a mile of things and I don’t see any real moves to meet those conditions. Best if the DCC simply forces the ORFU into liquidation – maybe it can recover our money from some Trusts that the ORFU have control over?

    • Elizabeth

      As noted previously by various at What if? there are (we believe) at least two private trusts that relate to ORFU but which do not show up in their annual audited reports.

      In terms of grants of charitable funds, TTCF had been giving large amounts to ORFU over previous years (2005 to 2010) which don’t seem to pass to assistance of the amateur code – despite claims by ORFU. Also noted here by Russell and various across the relevant threads. See post: DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line

      • Elizabeth

        Not sure why they can’t raise the rest of the $687,000. Maybe their private trusts have gone bung too.

        ### ODT Online Tue, 1 May 2012
        Small creditors to get their money back from ORFU
        By Steve Hepburn
        The Otago Rugby Football Union has raised $500,000 to pay back small creditors, saying it is due to a massive amount of generosity shown by people right around the country. Union change manager Jeremy Curragh said a few arrangements had to be completed with a couple of creditors but it was hoped to have that all finished up by May 20.

        Curragh said the union was proposing all non-profit organisations would receive all their money back, while businesses owed less than $5000 would also get all their money back. Those owed more than $5000 would get back $5000 and then 50c in the dollar of the remainder of the money owed.

        Read more


        ### ODT Online Tue, 1 May 2012
        No direct say for clubs on make-up of ORFU board
        By Steve Hepburn on Tue, 1 May 2012
        A new Otago Rugby Football Union board will have only six members, and clubs will have no direct say in who will serve on the board. The union is holding a special meeting tonight to vote in a new constitution for itself, as it tries to set up a framework to avoid the financial problems it has faced and acquire the skills it feels it needs to run a professional sporting organisation.
        Read more

        ODT files:
        ORFU financial report (PDF)
        ORFU draft constitution (PDF)

        • Elizabeth


          “The stage is now set for the ORFU to face the future with confidence.”
          -Steve Tew, NZRU

          ### D Scene 30 May 2012
          ORFU now due to pay small creditors (page 5)
          The cash-strapped Otago Rugby Football Union has announced a new board, and says it will pay its small creditors in full.[…]New ORFU board chairman Doug Harvie said almost $500,000 had been raised through public and corporate allow the union to settle with creditors. A total of 156 non-profit organisations and other creditors who were all owed less than $5000 would be paid in full, he said. The remaining 24 creditors will be repaid the first $5000 and half of what they are owed above that. The repayments are due to be made by the end of the month.
          {continues} #bookmark

          Note, part of D Scene’s editorial (page 7) #bookmark does a complete disservice to Dunedin ratepayers and residents – and to those local businesses who will NOT be paid in full. Editor Mike Houlahan says: “The hard work ahead sees the ORFU having to somehow put a credible ITM Cup team on the pitch – despite the mass defection of many of last year’s players as part of cost-cutting – and at the same time have that side attract enough paying customers to keep the books balanced.”

          SHAME on D Scene – you too are willing to turn a blind eye to the missing millions of dollars of charitable funds, misappropriated by ORFU – as reported by Steve Kilgallon at your big brother Fairfax newspaper Sunday Star Times no less. And, you’re quickly forgetting the way ORFU (via DCC) has rorted further millions and millions of dollars from Dunedin ratepayers and residents. Get a grip people. At this rate the magapaper circulation will sink below clay level. Don’t resort to platitudes. Don’t tell us your fight has completely gone and you’ve got comfortable squeezing the locals for nice little stories to slot between all the advertising. What’s happened, D Scene.

          Register to read D Scene online at

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 30 May 2012
          Funds sent to small creditors
          By Steve Hepburn
          It seemed a long shot about three months ago but the Otago Rugby Football Union paid back the vast majority of its small creditors yesterday. ORFU interim general manager Richard Kinley said funds had been sent out by the union yesterday to repay the small creditors the union owed money. Almost $500,000 has been raised by the union to allow settlement with small creditors. Kinley said all but a couple of creditors had been sent the money owed and those that had not yet been finalised were held up because of technical issues such as getting bank account numbers. All creditors had come to an agreement with the union.
          Read more

  49. Anonymous

    Hype, your premonition has come to fruition on ODT Online… I sometimes wonder if they seek enlightenment from their Stadium High Priests as it appears to take a day or three for followers to rally up a justification or two.

  50. Anonymous

    Far too much wiggle room in this: “at the discretion of the Board in the event that the Board considers it in the best interests of ORFU either generally or in respect of specific items under discussion or to be addressed in the course of ordinary or special business to be or being considered by the Board, the Board shall or may, as the case may be, permit an Observer or Observers to attend”.

    This should say SHALL, no exception.
    It should specifically mention a DCC/DVML Observer as a special case who SHALL attend ALL Board meetings.

  51. Mike

    I wrote a response to this and it was quietly abridged – what I really said was “If the board members are not individually responsible for their actions, and now the clubs that make up the union aren’t either it seems to me that what’s being created here is a ROGUE entity that answers to no-one”

    I also object to their abridgement the other day of my characterising rugby fans as “cheap-arse” to simply “cheap” – it really isn’t the same

  52. Anonymous

    Other interesting points…
    The new constitution attempts to give the ORFU the power to maintain the pitch at FBS and/or erect buildings at the new stadium.
    And it also clearly identifies the role of DCC/DVML as “funder/supporter”.
    There is very little here that represents a sea-change from the previous organization.

  53. Anonymous

    In the news today the ODT was ragging on doctors’ wages going over budget. Maybe the budget is set too low? Maybe they could do away with a bureaucrat or two? It’s frustrating reading about medical services been hit up in the media for restrained and reducing budgets while professional rugby does not. The RWC ran at a $40M loss nationally and cost Dunedin hundreds of thousands but was no big deal to politicians. I’d rather have well paid nurses and doctors than more meatheads fiddling ledgers.

    As for the ORFU, maybe there are lawyers playing with the wording but likely some pro bono advice from that guy who leads the organisation. Eion Edgar maintaining his name with the ORFU is as baffling as John Key continuing to support John Banks.

  54. Mike

    farsighted lives up to his name in the ODT thread, the ORFU made $770k from ticket sales last year, DVML is required to raise $4m for DVL off of this cash flow

    {ODT link -Eds}

  55. Calvin Oaten

    The ORFU’s new constitution seems almost as though they have forgotten already that the DCC/DVML deal saved their bacon.
    Have a look specifically at 7.3 (d) and 8, all clauses. It clearly shows that we (DCC/DVML) are to be prime funders, if that ceases to be, then “outsky”.

  56. Rob Hamlin

    Ah, but the real gem is 8.1.e:

    “If DCC/ DVML at any time cease to be a major funder/ supporter of ORFU
    then their right to nominate a Member of the Board Selection Panel shall
    cease and the Board Selection Panel shall continue to be made up of the
    other persons pursuant to Rule 8.1(d)”

    So by this we may take it that the right to have an input on the selection of the ORFU’s board has to be paid for on an ongoing as well as historical basis. We ain’t seen the end of the bills yet. When our man gets ejected, then that’s the day to break open the bubbly.

  57. Hype O'Thermia

    Wouldn’t it work both ways, so the nominated Member be able to exercise de facto veto of greedy/dumb extravagance by having the right to resign, thereby binding the DCC/DVML to withdraw major funding/support?

  58. Anonymous

    Eion Edgar looked a little tired on Campbell Live. Signs of a grandfather worrying about the behaviour of some very naughty grandchildren?

    We are also continuing to see the true nature of ORFU and its members with Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains taking legal action against Mayor Dave Cull over claims of defamation. None of the so-called public spirit we are often paying for to have represented back to us. Just boys who have been given a lot, blame everyone else and are still found wanting.

    Here we have a couple of children throwing the public glifts out of their stadium.

  59. Hype O'Thermia

    Well, that narrows the field. Messrs Graham and Mains would not be taking this action if they had not a strong record of having been out-voted on all the OTT extravagance, had known there was not enough money to pay for another dollar of spending. So they’re putting all the responsibility for what Mayor Cull outlined, onto the shoulders of the other Board members. Nice. Clarity is welcome for a change.

  60. Mike

    Hmmm abridged again apparently pointing out that the new ORFU constitution requires board members to have both honesty and integrity at all times and to act with regard to moral principle was too much for them – maybe they thought that to do so might imply that the current mob had not

  61. Ro

    Hype O – I love this: “Well, that narrows the field. Messrs Graham and Mains would not be taking this action if they had not a strong record of having been out-voted on all the OTT extravagance, had known there was not enough money to pay for another dollar of spending. So they’re putting all the responsibility for what Mayor Cull outlined, onto the shoulders of the other Board members. Nice. Clarity is welcome for a change.” Only Graham seems not to have chosen that route – instead he has said of himself exactly what he is suing the mayor for saying. It really is qed, isn’t?

  62. Hype O'Thermia

    “Bang – there goes the other foot. Bugger.”

  63. Amanda

    Wilma’s sad little opinion piece giving complete power to stakeholders and politicians to do as they please with no consequences was enough for me. People are waking up to how the media operates in Dunedin and its role in the fiscal nightmare we are in; it is interesting to note the media’s reluctance to hold stakeholders and politicians to account, and it is patently obvious in every article they feature which speaks of the stadium debt but forget to remind voters of those on council who voted for this debt. The media collusion is one of the big lessons in the whole stadium con.

  64. Anonymous

    DScene attitude changed around the same time the agreement to print Fairfax on the ODT’s presses happened?

  65. Hype O'Thermia

    According to my ever-watchful friend a retired newspaperman with nothing retired about his grip on what’s going on, the first editor was a man with plenty of experience and a generous set of balls. He was replaced by someone more timid, more suited to the nicely-nicely kind of community paper e.g. the Star. Wilma works for DScene. I’m sure her job was more fulfilling before not rocking the boat went up the priority list and digging deep into the layers of rot and rort went down it.

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