Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA

Comment received.
Gaming industry whistleblower Martin Legge backgrounds comments in David Fisher’s article ‘MP keeps heat on pokie trusts‘ (NZ Herald 24.7.12).

Martin Legge
Submitted on 2012/07/25 at 10:33 am

The full article has TTCF Chairman, Ross Clow claiming the new TTCF structure has reduced costs. What he has failed to tell readers is that the former structure returned in excess of 50% to the community for many years. That was in the time before TTCF began paying $600k per annum to a private company (TTCF West Auckland Ltd), a company purposely set up by the Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts, and of which Mr Clow and Warren Flaunty were Directors.

Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts are TTCF’s biggest and most powerful pub operators and despite already receiving $$millions per annum for hosting TTCF pokie machines at those bars, they demanded more from TTCF. This company was simply a means by which the licensing trusts transferred a large proportion of its own commercial staff and office costs off the balance sheet of their liquor business on to the balance sheet of a pokie trust (TTCF) who would use community funds to make the payments. It made the bottom line of a liquor business look better than it was.

In 2006 DIA warned TTCF against the costs but TTCF went ahead and did it anyway. After waiting 2.5 years before acting, DIA launched a 6 month long investigation into TTCF and the outcome was that just as they had warned, the costs associated with the Company were not actual, reasonable or necessary, and simply a duplication of services and a means to mislead the West Auckland Community into believing the grants were all coming from the licensing trusts.
Read more

The Trusts Community (previously Charitable) Foundation “…faced questions over payments to the Otago Rugby Football Union. Lawyers at the sport’s central body, the NZ Rugby Union, handed over material to the DIA of information found while carrying out its recent financial rescue.”
-David Fisher, 24 July

Related Post:
24.7.12 Mention in NZ Herald dispatches: TTCF and friends ORFU

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport

13 responses to “Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA

  1. Elizabeth

    ### Sunday Star Times 05/08/2012 (page A6)
    Illness further delays theft trial
    By Steve Kilgallon
    A judge’s illness has halted the long-delayed trial of a former Maori All Black on 11 charges of theft totalling over $300,000. Lindsay Raki’s trial stalled on Tuesday, the latest delay in a four-year Internal Affairs investigation into his involvement in a South Auckland high school rugby academy. Internal Affairs launched an investigation into Raki in 2008 before handing the file to the Serious Fraud Office, which returned it to the DIA when it switched focus on finance companies. The DIA finally charged Raki last year with the theft of $309,216 of poker machine grants intended for the Manurewa High School Rugby Academy and Counties Manukau Youth Development Incorporated.
    {continues} *No link available, scanned

    ****

    ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 10:45 31/08/2008
    Rugby Heaven
    Rugby star in funds probe
    Another high-profile former sports star has been caught in an Internal Affairs investigation and the blowtorch is set to be applied to sporting bodies, which could see huge funding cuts. The Sunday Star-Times can reveal the department is investigating provincial rugby stalwart Lindsay Raki’s involvement in a potentially illegal arrangement involving $700,000 of pokie money. Raki runs a South Auckland rugby academy and large sums of money have been flowing through its accounts in an apparently illegal funding arrangement. A senior government official policing pokie money has told the Star-Times that several other sports are coming perilously close to breaching the Gaming Act, which could lead to prosecutions. Mike Hill, director of the Department of Internal Affairs’ gambling compliance unit, says he has advised gaming trusts to direct more funding away from professional sport toward “philanthropic” funding.[…] It’s a message that will leave Kiwi sports reeling. Many sporting bodies, such as rugby provinces and clubs, rely on pokie money for survival: it can account, on average, from anywhere between 24% and 50% of their income.
    Read more

    ****

    ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 00:22 31/08/2008
    Rugby Heaven
    Internal Affairs probes school academy’s funding
    Large sums of pokie money flowing into the accounts of a South Auckland high school’s rugby academy through an apparently illegal funding arrangement have been paid to two of the area’s biggest rugby names. The Department of Internal Affairs is investigating more than $700,000 of pokie grants to the Manurewa High School Rugby Academy, the majority of which went to former Maori All Black Lindsay Raki and ex-Counties Manukau NPC coach Andrew Talaimanu. The pair established the academy and are credited with turning around the lives of troubled teenagers in one of New Zealand’s most impoverished and crime-ridden areas. A Sunday Star-Times investigation has found that payments to the men, totalling more than $410,000 over the past two financial years, have coincided with a tenfold increase in the academy’s income through a questionable arrangement with poker machine trusts.
    Read more

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Rorts and rugby, rorts and rugby,
    Go together like a horse and buggy….

    O I do love a sing-a-long!

  3. Peter

    Thank God for having the Sunday Star Times.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Bob Jones:
    “[T]the morning’s newspaper included a 12-page supplement from the Lion Foundation, listing the winners of their past year’s $55 million distribution derived from pub poker machines.

    In its introduction, the word “charity” was bandied about. The Lion Foundation is a charity only in the eyes of the law but it most certainly is not by any dictionary definition.

    Taking money from zombies by stealth and paying it to worthy causes ain’t charity. A charitable donation is one given voluntarily by the payer, which I’m sure is not the case with the dead-beats pumping money into these machines. The amount taken now exceeds $1 billion annually.

    The Lion Foundation’s website contains the following guff about the host pubs: “The people at the heart of these venues are the venue owners and operators – local people who are proud of the contributions they make to their community.” What outrageous hogwash!”
    ………full article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bob-jones/news/article.cfm?a_id=250&objectid=10813887

    The comments are worth a look too e.g. ‘Owen’ writes “Hear, hear ! Are we able to determine the amount the Lion Foundation pockets on the way through?”
    Another for the list of questions unlikely to ever get a straight answer.

    • Elizabeth

      Well spotted, Hype! Marvellous. Forwarded the link to several.

      Mr John Key, ex futures trader, Minister of Tourism, now bookie for casino gambling in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and a small city near you, at its waterfront. No doubt a few trips back and forth between Dunners and Wellington, in suits, have been had to line it all up in recent months – when Farry’s quiet you have to worry.

      Need to keep our cameras trained on Neville St (Hillside), for signs of a Farry clean-up crew…
      Link to comment

  5. Martin Legge

    Bob Jones sees it for what it is – it’s not charity, it’s the gambling business.

    The average pokie bar owner with 18 pokie machines is paid between $150-$200 per machine per week. That’s approx $2700 – $3600 paid 52 weeks of the year – better than a string of rental properties without any capital outlay or risk. Whats more, in the fight to secure the pokie business at that bar, pokie trusts will pay for room upgrades, carpets, computers and backhanders, all of which go undetected by DIA.

    The above fixed payments weren’t enough for the likes of ORFU and Harness Racing. The real bonanza for them was in the illegal stuff – signing the Jokers Bars up with a pokie trust (TTCF) that was prepared to also give them the lions share of the grant money from the jokers bars in which they had an interest.

  6. amanda

    The clean up crew was there on the Sunday evening as I went by; so had one night of viewing time. Lol. Didn’t think it would last long, it was actually a very ‘on the money’ slogan. Both Farry and Key believe in supporting profit for a few, at the expense of massive debt for the majority. Just so long as the few includes them; Farry’s cousin made, what was it? $15 million after selling his stadium land to the negligent council?

    {Link added. -Eds}

  7. Mike

    More importantly I think that Farry’s folly is sucking millions of extra capital out of the local economy every year – headed for Aussie banks, and the Aussie retirement system – that’s money that’s not being invested in local businesses, or – the DCC’s cutting back on staff and its normal operations, so will the city companies who have to economise to feed the DVL interest bills – it’s all capital that’s lost to us for a few hours of rugby every year – and it’s capital that doesn’t find its way to those who might have invested in growing local business, depressing our economy – and part of why no-one’s snapped up Hillside as a going concern.

  8. ormk

    Exactly right. If the DCC had been investing in local infrastructure rather than Farry’s cousin then the Hilliside bid would’ve stood a better chance of being competitive.

    “Build it and they will come.”…… more like “Build it and they will have to move to Christchurch.”

    Do you know who was paying for the clean up crew Amanda? If it was the DCC then there are numerous bits of graffiti that don’t get cleaned up that quickly.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Photos of clean-up crew, if anyone is in the right place at the right time, might be -ah- enlightening.

  10. Anonymous

    Likely it was council funded. The clean up crew were called out on the weekend and there on a Sunday evening. Hillside management would have required sign off and the government would have resulted in bureaucracy. It happened too quickly so it reads like a GOB or one of their pets called in a favour. It would be interesting to know who issued the request for work and authorised payment. Could be revealing.

  11. Elizabeth

    There will be other graffiti to clean up before long, at which point cameras will catch the clean up. Meantime an OIA request or three to establish who loves that piece of trash.

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