Monthly Archives: May 2012

DIA media release

What if? Website Reminder:
ORFU – Otago Rugby Football Union
TTCF (Inc) – The Trusts Charitable Foundation (being wound up; established as a Charitable Trust by deed in July 1989)
TTCF Ltd – The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (set up and licensed on 11 June 2010)

Received yesterday.

[Begins]

Department of Internal Affairs
Media Release

25 May 2012

Sentenced for defrauding community of pokie grants

An Internal Affairs investigation uncovered a pokie machine rort that resulted in a significant loss of grant funding going to the community. The investigation revealed that numerous grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for South Auckland bowling clubs, were fraudulent.

From late 2006 to September 2009 Counties Manukau Bowls employed Noel Henry Gibbons, 79, of Manurewa, to apply for gaming machine grants.

Mr Gibbons implemented a scheme whereby constituent clubs or CMB itself would invest indirectly in purchasing pubs where pokie machines operated – so that in turn those clubs could benefit from grants of pokie machine proceeds.

Mr Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for “bowling green maintenance” – but some of the money was used illegally to repay loans for the purchase of pubs. This money should have been distributed to local community purposes as grants. Paying off loans is a commercial and illegal use of funding generated from pokie machines.

Mr Gibbons fabricated quotes and invoices from “green keeping contractors” to support grant applications and the provision of services. None of those named in the invoices as billing for a service knew anything of the work they were supposed to have done.

He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court today to six months’ community detention for obtaining $605,550 by deception and of using forged documents.

Judge Charles Blackie said Gibbons’ offending was a “very elaborate” scam and an “unlawful scheme”. The defendant knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application and this was at the expense of the community.

Judge Blackie emphasised the need to hold the defendant accountable and responsible, to deter others who might be inclined to “rip off” the system, and to provide for the community’s interests as the victims of this offending. He adopted a starting point of two years six months’ imprisonment but imposed a lenient sentence because of Gibbons’ guilty plea, advanced age and poor health.

Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations said organisations cannot expect that buying into pokie machine venues will ensure favourable treatment for grant applications.

“It’s illegal and the Department works to ensure that pokie money, which belongs to the community, is protected,” he said. “We want to ensure that community groups have fair access to gambling-generated funds and will take action over any attempts to capture funding flows that are detected.

“We are very pleased that our investigation has led to Mr Gibbons being held accountable for fraud, and for defrauding his community. A clear message to the gambling sector is this: where we come across deliberate and wilful attempts to take community funding we will take strong and decisive action to hold people accountable”.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642

[ends]

Read it at the Department of Internal Affairs website
Other DIA News, Press Releases & Consultation (Link)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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

SH88 realignment costs (injunction)

Mr Hall says the intersection and site access to and from his industrial yard since the realignment – and as they are proposed to operate when the traffic lights are turned on – will be unsafe.

### ODT Online Fri, 25 May 2012
Big costs sought over highway realignment
By Debbie Porteous
A Dunedin businessman is seeking significant costs from the Dunedin City Council after a protracted legal dispute over a highway realignment near Forsyth Barr Stadium. Doug Hall’s lawyer, John Farrow, yesterday confirmed a submission on costs was filed this week on behalf of Mr Hall’s company, Anzide Properties Ltd, to the High Court at Dunedin. Mr Hall and Mr Farrow declined to say how much was being sought in costs, but it is understood to be several hundred thousand dollars.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
19.4.12 DCC comments ahead of court action, why?
23.8.11 Stadium project tangles
21.7.10 SH88 realignment – update
7.7.10 Goodbye to great store buildings in Parry St
29.5.10 Stadium site purchases
21.4.10 SH88 realignment – update
31.3.2010 SH88 realignment
24.2.10 SH88 realignment: Are ratepayers buying the land twice?
20.11.09 Interesting. SH88 realignment.
2.9.09 SH88 realignment past stadium
27.8.09 $294.8m investment for Otago region

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

19 Comments

Filed under Stadiums

ORFU board announced

Does this cancel the defamation suit against the mayor of Dunedin, since everyone on the board is feeling competent now and the stars will shine as if from heaven?

### ODT Online Thu, 24 May 2012
New ORFU board unveiled
By Hayden Meikle
It has taken a lot longer than expected but a new-look Otago Rugby Football Union board has been unveiled. As revealed in the Otago Daily Times earlier this week, the board members are Doug Harvie, Keith Cooper, Simon Spark, Kelvin Collins, Andrew Rooney and John Faulks. Harvie will be chairman and Cooper will be deputy chairman. Rooney and Faulks survive from the previous board.

█ The recovery package involved the NZRU providing a long term loan for working capital of $500,000 and Dunedin City Council writing off debt of $480,000. In addition, costs have been cut and additional sponsorship arranged.

█ Almost $500,000 has been raised to allow the union to settle with creditors. A total of 156 non-profit organisations and other creditors who are all owed less than $5,000 will be paid in full. The remaining 24 creditors will be repaid the first $5,000 and half of what they are owed above that. The repayments are due to be made by the end of the month.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

New board for ORFU not formed, deadline shifts for bailout

### ODT Online Wed, 23 May 2012
Rugby: Wait for new ORFU board continues
By Steve Hepburn
The wait continues. The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union was not named yesterday as expected as negotiations drag on over an agreement between parties involved in the bail-out of the union. The union came to an agreement with its major creditors in March to stave off liquidation and that agreement was to be finalised by the middle of this month. But contracts were still being worked on by parties and had not been signed off by yesterday.
Read more

QUESTION In light of revelations about the ORFU’s unauthorised use of funds received from charitable trusts to solve its liquidity problems, and if the ORFU has been trading while insolvent, is the Dunedin City Council reconsidering its position in regards to the ORFU bailout package? It should, the Council owes ORFU nothing.

Related Posts:
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
22.5.12 Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions…
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

30 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

NZRU-appointed change manager talks

Grants for sport are a legitimate authorised purpose under the Gambling Act, but grants could not be used to pay for professional sport.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 May 2012
Grants meant for amateur rugby used to pay ORFU creditors
By Hamish McNeilly
Grants earmarked for the amateur rugby game were used by the Otago Rugby Football Union to pay creditors, New Zealand Rugby Union appointed change manager Jeremy Curragh has confirmed. He said yesterday all pokie grants received within the last financial year had been accounted for, with $65,000 to be returned to trusts as the money was not spent on its authorised purpose. In one example, a $25,000 grant from a local trust was supposed to have been paid to the Dunedin City Council for ground rentals for club and school matches, but was instead used by the union to pay other creditors.

Staff had applied for grants while the union was fighting off liquidation, as there always was the “intention they can avoid liquidation”.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz
Subject: The ORFU scandal and missing trust monies
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 09:14:36 +1200

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my email below dated Sunday 20th May 2012.

The front page news in today’s ODT now brings up further concerns.
1. It is reported that the ORFU misappropriated not just $25,000 from one trust but has now owned up to $65,000 missing from a number of trusts.
What are the names of these trusts and why has this not been reported? The ORFU is not being upfront in naming these trusts.
Has the ORFU put any pressure on these trusts to remain silent? This is public money missing and is incumbent on the ORFU to come clean and name these trusts.
Until these trusts are named there is no way the ORFU can be made accountable for any present repayments to those trusts.
Is there other money missing from other trusts not yet owned up to by the ORFU?
2. It is now clear that the ORFU were trading while insolvent – that is why they used the trust money for unauthorised purposes.
It is reported that ORFU staff applied for grants while the union was fighting off liquidation as there always was the “intention they can avoid liquidation”. This contradicts your following statement “However, no grant would have been banked or received if liquidation was an issue…..”
3. I note in today’s ODT report that the ORFU offer no apology to the club rugby for missing out on these monies. I note the ORFU in their arrogance offer no apology to the public for the misappropriation of this public money. The ORFU offer no remorse just your comment of “it has not been ideal the way Otago has treated the grants”. That is an understatement.
You are then quoted as saying: “There is nothing illegal other than (money didn’t go) where it should have.” This appears to be minimising the problem. Now we have been caught out we will pay it back. Sorry, Jeremy, this is not good enough. Please explain how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes.
The trust money was for amateur sport and they did not receive that money. It is illegal under the Gambling Act for trust money to be spent on professional sport.
4. As a Dunedin ratepayer, I am appalled at the ORFU hocking up their DVML $25,352 party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event, and then refusing to pay the bill. They then continue to hock up further bills around town. The sheer arrogance of these actions is reprehensible.

I have received a few calls from rugby supporters concerned about the financial irregularities apparent in the ORFU. These strong rugby supporters, one of which has been involved with club rugby for many years, have expressed their abhorrence of the actions of the ORFU.
I do expect a reply to my previous email as well as this one as it is a public issue.

I have blind copied other interested media.
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/210293/grants-meant-amateur-rugby-used-pay-orfu-creditors

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts:
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions went west?

The Otago Daily Times believes the two members from the old board will be Andrew Rooney and John Faulks.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 May 2012
2 ORFU members retained?
By Steve Hepburn
The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union is expected to be named today and is likely to include two faces from the old board. The six-member board was to have been named last Tuesday but legal issues and a short period to interview applicants and make appointments forced an extension.
Read more

[Eionland connections]

The six-member board?

● Andrew Rooney (Dunedin investment adviser, Forsyth Barr; Air Force Liaison Officer, Otago Region; former Engineering Officer, RNZAF; past chairman, Dunedin Rugby Football Club)

● John Faulks (Dunedin managing director S R M Realty Ltd – Southern Wide Real Estate; previously stock and station and banking industries; coached Otago junior age group teams)

● Simon Spark (Arrowtown self-employed contractor/linesman; co-owner of Dakins Waste Solutions Ltd; Arrowtown club president; news; Mr Nice Guy 2011)

● Keith Cooper (Dunedin chief executive, Silver Fern Farms)

● Doug Harvie (Dunedin chartered accountant, Harvie Green Wyatt)

● Kelvin Collins (Queenstown real estate agency owner, Harcourts; links with Wakatipu club)

Or simply ask ORFU change manager Jeremy Curragh about the trust monies that will need to be refunded as they weren’t spent on the authorised purpose; this “happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems”. He says “The money is not “missing” rather it was used to pay other creditors.” Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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