Submitted on 2012/06/26 at 8:38 am
I don’t think that many people realise the significance of the material that Martin Legge has in his possession regarding the activities of the Otago Rugby Football Union, the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport and The Trusts Charitable Foundation.
People who have examined the Acklin budget published on this site may not realise the significance of this particular document, but suffice to say that setting up the machinery and entities so that the proceeds from pokie funds can find their way to activities involving professional sport are illegal. Amongst other things.
What is most significant to me is the unwillingness of DIA to actually do their job. While I have been assured personally by Mr Maarten Quivooy of DIA that they take their roles and responsibilities seriously, it is simply unbelievable that the DIA did not pursue what was, and still is, being offered up to them in terms of hard evidence of illegal activities. They are under no misapprehension of what my views of their investigations are.
The “new” evidence that I have offered to the DIA for the most part is evidence that either was in the public domain – eg the email trail involving Mr Curragh who admitted to using pokie funds generated for one purpose for other purposes – or was simple to obtain. One example of the latter is [from] one former employee of the ORFU who has clear evidence of how the Centre of Excellence and the ORFU conspired to ensure that the trail of pokie funds was obscured. That type of evidence was, as I say, simple to obtain and reporters also have knowledge of that evidence as an example.
Some questions need to be asked by everyone of the DIA as to whether they were “persuaded” not to pursue certain lines of enquiry. Is it true for example as has been reported, that a senior MP had an undue influence on whether the Department did their job? Others need to be asked about the lack of accountability within DIA for ineptness, unwillingness to pursue matters and apparent willingness to accept the pathetic responses of people who were intimately involved with rorts, fraud and other illegal activities. The DIA has stated on more than one occasion that the whole setup in Dunedin “smelled” and the parties “got away with it”.
I believe that the DIA even now should meet Mr Legge to explain why they failed to act in light of overwhelming evidence of illegality and I think that it would be extremely valuable if Mr Legge would post his evidence of how this particular scheme worked.
The DIA say that they now have a major investigation underway but cannot or will not let anyone know the subject of that investigation. Mr Legge has, in the past, been told that his evidence was so good that a slamdunk prosecution was imminent. What happened? Nothing.
I look forward to seeing a more widespread knowledge of how these people in our community did what they did.
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr