Monthly Archives: July 2012

Deloitte ‘State of the Unions’ report

Download Deloitte Rugby Union Sports Review 2012 (PDF, 682.12 KB)

Deloitte
Media Release

July 31, 2012

Community participation and support crucial to sustainability of Rugby Unions

Deloitte ‘State of the Unions’ report highlights decline in provincial rugby unions’ revenues

Community participation and support are crucial to the on-going viability of the country’s provincial rugby unions and the continued success of the nation’s favourite game at the highest levels, according to a Deloitte Sports Review released today.

The ‘State of the Unions’ Deloitte Sports Review examines the annual financial accounts over the last five years of the 14 semi-professional and amateur rugby unions competing in the ITM cup. It shows that collectively revenues are falling and reserves are being eroded, potentially threatening the future success of the game in New Zealand.

Revenue earned by the 14 rugby unions competing in the ITM Cup (excluding the professional rugby franchises competing in Super Rugby) dropped 11% from $77 million in 2010 to $68 million in 2011. This is 19% down on the $84 million earned five years ago.

On average, over two-thirds of total revenues in 2011 were from grants and sponsorships from the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), the corporate sector and others. The remaining revenue streams for the unions include match related revenues, retail sales, event management and other sundry incomes.

Of particular concern is the decline in match related revenues, which include gate takings and hospitality. This revenue has fallen 58% in the past five years from $21 million to $9 million, accounting for the lion’s share of the total $16 million decline in revenues.

However, Deloitte partner Grant Jarrold said there are signs unions are working harder to contain costs in a difficult environment and have made some progress in turning the financial picture around. Only five of the 14 ITM Cup unions posted profits in 2010 with this improving to nine unions in 2011 and the combined deficit falling from $2.3m to $630,000 over the same period.

Mr Jarrold added that the large corporate sponsorships and other grants that have filtered into the grass roots game in the past can no longer be relied upon in the current commercial climate.

“Now more than ever, the unions need to look for innovative ways to build community support and encourage increased attendance to reverse the worrying trend of declining match related revenues. Otherwise changes to the structure of the game in this country will become inevitable,” says Mr Jarrold.

He points to the fact that a relatively small increase of 500 spectators paying an average price of $20 per ticket at each of the regular season games of the ITM Cup would have eliminated the combined net deficit in 2011 with all other things being equal.

“The importance that our provincial rugby unions hold for the on-going success of our national team should not be forgotten as they are responsible for fostering the development of the game and its players throughout New Zealand,” Mr Jarrold concludes.

The full State of the Unions Deloitte Sports Review can be found at www.deloitte.com/nz/stateoftheunions.

For more information, contact:

Matt Huntington
Communications Manager
Deloitte
DDI: 04 470 3771
Mob: 021 812 210
email: mhuntington@deloitte.co.nz

www.deloitte.com/nz/about

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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National Government puts champagne and stadium before shelter housing

A replacement stadium for the earthquake-damaged AMI Stadium in Phillipstown will be built on the old Turners & Growers site, on the edge of the CBD’s new eastern frame. It will be a covered stadium with natural turf and seating for 35,000 people. –The Press

Christchurch residents in the eastern suburbs are left to fend for themselves…

The first project to get underway is the river precinct along the Avon

### thepress.co.nz Last updated 18:03 30/07/2012
Bold plan for a new Christchurch
By Lois Cairns
Christchurch’s new city centre will be compact and low rise, with all key facilities and precincts corralled between the Avon River and a new green ‘frame’. The 100-day blueprint released by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) outlines a bold plan to significantly shrink the size of the CBD by designating two strips of land – one in the east of the city and one in the south – as open spaces. These spaces, along with the Avon River, which will be widened in stretches and developed into a riverside park, will serve to frame the new CBD, ensuring that all development is concentrated within a tight geographic area. Building heights in the city will be kept at a maximum of 28 metres, although exceptions may be made in some areas around the planned convention centre to accommodate hotel developments. The convention centre will occupy a prime site next to Victoria Square and will be big enough to allow the city to host three events simultaneously. It will stretch the entire block between Gloucester and Armagh streets and incorporate two new hotels.
Read more + Flyover and Interactive Map

At The Press…
Excerpt from comment made by Nicholas Lynch #8 06:34 pm Jul 30 2012
“The whole thing is a racket,” Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby recently observed. “Once again the politicos will expand their empire. Once again crony capitalism will enrich a handful of wired business operators. And once again Joe and Jane Taxpayer will pay through the nose. How many times must we see this movie before we finally shut it off?”

At Otago Daily Times…
Wider Earthquake Communities’ Action Network (WeCan) spokesman Mike Coleman said today marked further evidence of a “corporate recovery” while residents in the eastern city suburbs were being “left to flounder”. “They open up the champagne bottles for the CBD but there’s mere drips of water for the plebs in the suburbs.” APNZ (ODT Link)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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ORC on hazard risks and land use controls

### ODT Online Mon, 30 Jul 2012
Building ban in risk-prone areas
By Rebecca Fox
For the future safety of Otago communities, the building of homes and businesses in hazard-prone areas needs to be restricted, and in extreme cases banned, by councils, the Otago Regional Council says. A report to a recent council policy and submissions committee said earthquake, landslip, tsunami, flood and wind storm events all impacted on the ability to use land and could increase the risk in doing so. Communities either adapted or modified their use to deal with the risk, such as the flood protection scheme on the Taieri Plain, the report said.
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### ODT Online Mon, 30 Jul 2012
Quake could flood West Taieri
By Rebecca Fox
An earthquake could render the pump station and floodbanks which keep water off the West Taieri plain inoperable for a “prolonged period of time” and at risk of flooding from Lake Waipori. The area at risk includes Dunedin International Airport. There was also a “significant risk the whole Taieri could liquefy into one big soggy puddle”, Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said at a recent committee meeting. Based on observations following Canterbury’s September 2010 earthquake, the regional council believes lateral spreading and liquefaction would likely render the Waipori Pump Station inoperable, the Natural Hazards on the Taieri Plain report says.

The report, the result of concerns raised by the succession of flood events on the Taieri since 2006, brings together all the hazard risks faced on the plain and the interaction between flooding, earthquakes and landslips for the first time.

The report will be given to the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board and Dunedin City Council in coming weeks.
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Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

The newspaper had better start naming names.

### ODT Online Sat, 28 Jul 2012
Editorial: Poker machine proceeds
Hundreds of millions of coins rattle through poker machines in New Zealand pubs each year. A proportion of those coins pour back out of the pokies to be scooped up by punters delighted to receive an instant return on a risky investment. The rest tumble into the Government’s tax coffers and the vaults of gaming trusts which then get to decide how they are distributed.

It is no wonder that, when some industry figures allege endemic noncompliance and outright corruption in the pokie business, many are willing to listen. And while such sweeping statements inevitably tarnish honest operators, there has long been, at the very least, the whiff of questionable decision-making involving some trusts.

In the South, one trust had its licence suspended for five days after spending money on venue fit-outs for high-returning sites. In other cases, legislative roadblocks appear to have been simply driven around. There have been examples in the past of organisations that, having failed to set up their own pokie trust, have entered a relationship with an existing trust and got money that way.

Hearings on Mr Flavell’s Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill are slated to begin next month. Lawmakers will face strident views from camps on both sides. They clearly have some serious thinking to do.
Read more

Related Posts:
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA
24.7.12 Mention in NZ Herald dispatches: TTCF and friends ORFU [David Fisher]
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA
13.7.12 We know exactly where ORFU has been. It’s locked there. It’s not over.
26.6.12 Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF [Russell Garbutt]
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing [Martin Legge]
20.6.12 Mayor Cull leaves the planet [Russell Garbutt]
4.6.12 Questions: ORFU and the Centre for Excellence in Amateur Sport [Russell Garbutt]
26.5.12 DIA media release
22.5.12 Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions went west?
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line [Martin Legge / Steve Kilgallon]

Media Links:
14.7.12 NZ Herald Watchdog: Pokie checks not up to mark
25.6.12 Sunday Star Times Richard Boock (Sunday Star Times 24/6/12) on pokie funding of sport
20.6.12 D Scene – ORFU $480k debt deal stays #bookmark Register
2.6.12 ODT Determined to clean up sector
2.6.12 ODT Internal affairs to investigate ORFU, pokies
2.6.12 ODT MP’s query sees ‘all hell’ break loose
29.5.12 ODT Rugby: Financial troubleshooter warns job not over
23.5.12 ODT Grants meant for amateur rugby used to pay ORFU creditors
3.5.12 Sunday Star Times/Stuff Stadium plans met with scorn [‘Stadium builds under fire – sport’]
3.5.12 ODT Dinner profits went on day-to-day costs
1.5.12 ODT Small creditors get their money back from ORFU
23.4.12 The Standard Gaming industry whistleblower
22.4.12 Sunday Star Times/Stuff The inside man

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review

Official Information Act (OIA)
“At present, the Ombudsman was in charge of investigating complaints under the Act, but did not have any wider responsibilities. […] An information commissioner could be created, who would perform a similar role to the Privacy Commissioner or Human Rights Commissioner.”

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Review recommends broader scope for OIA
Source: NZ Herald
The Law Commission has recommended that all publicly funded agencies should be subject to official information requests, including courts, universities and boards of trustees. The commission has made more than 100 recommendations in “The Public’s Right to Know”, a review of the Official Information Act (OIA) which was tabled at Parliament yesterday. Lead commissioner for the report Prof John Burrows said main principles of the 30-year-old Act were sound, but it needed to be upgraded for the digital age.

“We think there’s a case now for saying if a body is receiving public funding and is performing a public function it should be accountable under the OIA.”

The review also recommended re-drafting some of the grounds for withholding information – such as “good government” and “commercial sensitivity” – which were unclear.

The Justice Ministry and Department of Internal Affairs would consider the recommendations, and were expected to act on them within six months.
Read more

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Cull’s council thinks $750,000 per annum to DVML represents good value?

INSULTING, IMMORAL, IMPRUDENT

We have watched the latest reports and statements of intent (SoI) flow to the council’s Finance, Strategy and Development committee meeting held yesterday, chaired by Cr Syd Brown.

Immoral profligate spending and corrupt practices continue under this council led by Mayor Dave Cull – there is no other take on the council’s rort involving the flow of ratepayer funding to Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML); which likely represents at least in part, a direct flow to Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) and Professional Rugby – since DVML and ORFU share staff, space, marketing, and more.

Nobody seriously believes DVML’s forecast losses have been reduced to $873,000 for the three years to June 2015. Obviously, more fudging.

Mayor Cull – treating the Dunedin Community this way is your political end. You’re a low piece of work, as is Lesser Dunedin (formerly Greater).

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Finance boost for stadium operating firm
By Chris Morris
The finances of the company running Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium look set to improve after cost-cutting and a cash injection from the Dunedin City Council. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd’s revised statement of intent – setting the company’s objectives for three years to June 2015 – were presented to councillors at yesterday’s finance, strategy and development committee meeting.

In May, when DVML revealed a $1.9 million loss for the first six months of the 2011-12 year, the company also projected losses totalling $3.3 million for the period. The revised document, accepted by councillors yesterday, now forecast losses in those years totalling $873,000.

The improvement also largely reflected the decision [during the council’s budget deliberations earlier this year] by councillors to contribute another $750,000 a year to the DVML budget, council finance and resources general manager Athol Stephens told yesterday’s meeting.
Read more

25 July 2012
DCC Finance, Strategy and Development committee meeting
(Link to Agenda and Reports)

Report – FSD – 25/07/2012 (PDF, 178.3 KB)
Funding Transfers to DVL by Calls on Capital

Report – FSD – 25/07/2012 (PDF, 712.5 KB)
Revised Statements of Intent for DVL and DVML

Comment at ODT Online.

Overall losses
Submitted by farsighted on Thu, 26/07/2012 – 9:32am.

DCC owns DVL and DVML. DVML pays DVL rental for the stadium. DVL pays DCC a dividend. DVL is budgeting a loss. DVML is budgeting a loss. DCC is injecting cash into DVML to make the losses look smaller.
But overall, the loss is still the same. This will continue until DVML can make an operating profit without cash injections. However, it is pretty clear, as many have said from the start, that it is not possible for DVML to make an operating profit – it has been set up to fail.
While we can’t relitigate the past (as dear Richard used to say), we can treat this as a marker for the future. The DCC is ill-equipped to operate CCOs and CCTOs and any attempt to create new structures or enterprises should be regarded with the utmost suspicion and concern.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Local government change: council rates, core services, efficiencies

The Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council in May confirmed they were considering the potential benefits of merging.

### ODT Online Wed, 25 Jul 2012
Editorial: The role of local government
Local and central government are set to go head to head when the issue of what councils would like and what they can afford to provide for their communities is debated as part of the Better Local Government law changes before Parliament. Prime Minister John Key has called for local authorities to cut spending to keep rates affordable and has said the Government would like to see more council mergers. Speaking at the Local Government New Zealand conference in Queenstown last week, Mr Key told delegates the job would not be an easy one. They faced high expectations – but “we all have to face up to making difficult choices”. That is correct, of course. Businesses and households make difficult choices every day. And decision-makers must realise increases in public spending often put pressure on those who can least afford it. There is no doubt council spending on big-budget projects, viewed by many as “non-core” council business, fuels frustration in communities.

One thing is certain: if local authorities are against changes to their structure, and communities remain as divided about such matters as whether ocean-side drives should be for pedestrians or vehicles (or even dog sleds and skiers), the regional debate about those issues – let alone rates, priorities and costs – will surely drown out the current discussions in Parliament.

Read more

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Dunedin City Council is over extended… the result of ten years of imprudent debt funding (core business and pet projects), and a lack of overall conservative management on behalf of residents and ratepayers. Cr Syd Brown claims the council’s debt – excluding its companies – stands at $217 million, following the transfer of stadium debt to Dunedin Venues Ltd. This is how your elected representatives and council staff operate, entirely through obfuscation and fudging of true debt levels and annual spending by the city council and its entities.

### ODT Online Wed, 25 Jul 2012
Costs will rise: mayor
By Chris Morris
Ratepayers across New Zealand – including those in Dunedin – could be left to foot the bill as local government reforms drive up the cost of borrowing for councils, it has been claimed. The warning came as Dunedin city councillors prepared to complete their response to the Better Local Government reforms at a Dunedin City Council finance, strategy and development committee meeting today. The reforms – unveiled in March – included plans to introduce new benchmarks to assess the financial performance of councils, as part of a push to control local government debt levels and limit rates increases. However, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the reforms “run the risk of doing exactly the opposite” by forcing up the council’s debt-servicing costs by $1 million a year.

Local Government Minister David Carter rejected the claims last night, saying “the exact opposite” could happen if new rules inspired greater confidence in council financial decision-making.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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