● 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
Updated post July 16, 2012 · 3:14 pm
ODT reporter Hamish McNeilly had a story published on Saturday (14 July), ‘$425,000 fee not recovered’. He said: “The Department of Internal Affairs was “unable” to recover more than $400,000 paid to a Queenstown-based pokies’ trustee. In his role as “executive trustee with special responsibilities” Murray Acklin was paid $425,254 by The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF), between April 2006 and March 2009. He later resigned from the position, on the advice of the department, but remains a trustee. Following an investigation the department suspended the trust’s licence for two days as its expenditure, including that paid to Mr Acklin, was “considered to be excessive and not reasonable or necessary to the gambling operation”. That suspension was increased to five days after the trust took an appeal to the Gambling Commission.” Read more
Submitted on 2012/07/15 at 12:01 pm
Re ODT article about Murray Acklin reported above re $425k
You’d be forgiven for thinking Acklin was responsible for raising $6.9 million for the community. Acklin did not raise one cent for the community but simply enticed the transfer of existing pokie bars over to TTCF so he and his fellow trustees could give most of it to racing and ORFU, that is what he was paid for.
Senior DIA Management held a meeting with TTCF Chairman, Malcolm McElrea of Balclutha in late 2009 following the results of a number of serious investigations into TTCF which included the unlawful payment of $1.2 million to a company associated with the Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts, the $425k payment to Mr Acklin and the promise of pokie grants and TAB upgrades to secure pubs. At that meeting DIA expressed a strong desire that Acklin resign his position as Trustee.
So here is the question for Mr Quivooy and DIA. Why, in June 2010, only weeks after the Gambling Commission decision and 8 months after the above meeting and without even attempting to recover any of the $425k or $1.2 million, was DIA able to “sufficiently satisfy” itself (in accordance with its statutory obligations – yes, that is the wording of the legislation – “satisfy”), that they should grant a new gaming operators licence to TTCF Ltd allowing the same trustees (including Mr Acklin) to all become Directors effectively permitting them to continue to grant millions to racing and ORFU???
Gaming industry whistleblower Martin Legge is a former detective and police prosecutor, TTCF contractor, and DIA senior inspector gaming compliance. He continues to expose the system and the players.
NZ Herald reporter David Fisher has his story published the same day, ‘Watchdog: Pokie checks not up to mark’, lobbing attack at the Department of Internal Affairs for incomplete sloppy work, seemingly carried out to avoid prosecutions. He says: “The public servant charged with regulating the gambling industry has described his department’s capacity and capability as not being fully up to the mark. In an email to an informant, Maarten Quivooy of the Department of Internal Affairs also wrote that “our practice isn’t always as sharp as we would want it to be”. The comments were made in letters to former Otago Sport chairman Russell Garbutt, who spent years raising concerns about grants from a gaming trust which took money from pokie machines in the North Island and paid it out in the South Island. The complaints appeared to go nowhere until eight weeks ago when the department said it shared his concerns but had run out of time to do anything about it.” Read more
Submitted on 2012/07/14 at 7:06 pm
Maarten Quivooy says DIA don’t have the capacity to regulate the gaming industry and blames it on the legislation. How can he blame the legislation when his department rarely tests it? How does he have the gall to say that they can’t do anything because the statute of limitations prevents action – when it is DIA’s own inaction that allows these crooked trusts to get off because DIA do absolutely nothing within the 2-year prosecutorial limit but not only that, they continue to re-licence them year in, year out. From my evidence from the last 5 years at least, the DIA senior management and past and present Internal Affairs Ministers have not only turned a blind eye to offences, but have interfered on behalf of pokie trusts who have lobbied them. Coal face inspectors (the ones who don’t kow-tow to their bosses) leave the DIA in frustration after doing thorough and enforceable investigations that get quashed. The silence of politicians other than the Greens and Flavell over the appalling state of the gaming sector is deafening. What Quivooy told Russell Garbutt is at odds with my own response from Quivooy that stated DIA “had conducted a robust and thorough enquiry” into my numerous complaints, many of which they now state publicly that they are “continuing to investigate, re-investigate, audit, re-audit” and I still haven’t been contacted! Thank goodness for the media. If Quivooy was a senior Police Officer and made that kind of admission to a member of the public or in the media, a national enquiry would be called for and the Police Complaints Authority would be all over him.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr