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


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

28 responses to “Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard

  1. Elizabeth

    Related comments from another thread:

    Calvin Oaten
    Submitted on 2012/07/28 at 10:20 am

    Submitted on 2012/07/28 at 8:38 am

  2. ormk

    DCC’s complaint that it receives grants and so cannot also disburse them is unhelpful. There is only a conflict of interest here because the DCC has been building commercial agendas for itself that go well beyond its local government role. Incompetent decisions and a continued lack of confidence from the community with widespread concerns over corruption make the DCC’s views irrelevant. They are a partisan organisation which has backed itself into a corner and they cannot have a useful input to national policy.

    The opinion piece above suggests that spending $600k on artificial turf from a pokie grant would’ve been difficult for the DCC under Flavell’s proposed bill. The simple answer to that is too damn right – it should’ve been impossible. That turf is purely for the benefit of a loss making professional game. Of course money spent on pokies in deprived South Auckland communities should be spent back in those communities. There are poor parts of Dunedin too, and poor families. Pokie profit here should be spent on things like grants for poorer children to do activities like visit Te Papa, go on organised tramping trips or participate in sports like sailing and horse riding. There are any number of projects that could potentially benefit the poorest of us and artificial turf at the stadium doesn’t even make the starting line.

    The DCC wouldn’t be in trouble selecting potential social projects if it had some good faith and prudence. An argument that basically follows the line, “we’re a corrupt bunch of weasels and so we need a more roundabout mechanism for getting our filthy fingers on profits made from the suffering of NZ’s poorest.” ….just doesn’t really wash.

    I hope that Flavell’s bill works out and that it will help to reduce social inequalities. I’d be interested in knowing the view of the Maori party on recovering pokie money that has already been swallowed by corrupt organisations. This money was made out of the exploitation (gambling) of a poor and vulnerable community. Legally a percentage (too small) should’ve benefited that community and not even that percentage has been met. I think the represents a failure to meet Treaty obligations.

  3. ormk

    Apologies for getting a little vitriolic there! It just makes me angry when we have a local government that under its own admission cannot fulfil social functions due to commercial conflicts of interest. It’s the worst of both worlds. Unfair on local businesses and unfair on those that believe in social good. Grrrrr!

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    No apology needed ormk, you said what needs to be said and said and said till there’s action, and you said it well.

  5. Anonymous

    The Editor’s job is available at The Press in Christchurch. This could be the perfect opportunity for Murray to leave behind all that he has contributed to here in Dunedin.

    Applications close Friday.


  6. Elizabeth

    ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 14:02 31/07/2012
    Financial fraud still around – Feeley
    By Matt Nippert
    The new $250 million case the Serious Fraud Office is investigating shows large-scale fraud has not ended with the wipeout of the finance company sector, outgoing SFO boss Adam Feeley says. Much of Feeley’s three-year tenure has been focused on prosecuting finance company directors, but he said the relative lack of remaining finance companies did not mean those seeking white-collar gains were inactive. “If you want to commit financial crimes, you now have to go somewhere else,” he told Business Day.
    Read more

    ● Feeley is quitting the SFO in three months to become the chief executive of the Queenstown Lakes District Council

  7. Calvin Oaten

    It’s ironic that we have here in Dunedin several simultaneous people moving events, both slow and fast moving going on. They range from the ever increasing debt loading of our citizens via the DCC and DCHL, together with the un-investigated Delta deals, the Stadium deals, the ORFU ‘pokies’ scandals, the Mayoral defamation disaster, and last, but not least, the abysmal performances of our recent mayors, elected councillors. and administrators. All this and not a hint of enquiry coming on our behalf from the Otago Daily Times. So much for freedom of speech and community newspapers. The people are certainly short changed big time in this fair city of ours. There is only a couple of glimpses of hope, new CEO Orders and Councillor Vandervis. Will they impact? Not with the assistance from our local news media they won’t.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    Speaking of ‘frauds,’ I see ‘old Rodders’ is hanging up his bib. He’s achieved all he wanted to, and now that the new communications set up is in place it is time to bow out. The biggest impact of his departure will be the drop in the DCC catering budget.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, you mention the catering budget but after “a council career spanning 21 years” imagine what he was collecting salary wise. Despite the money he still couldn’t manage to get City Talk delivered to our address in lower Pitt St after years of prompts in writing. I expected him to personally deliver a copy wrapped in a gold ribbon, before he retired. But no such luck. Good riddance, he singularly failed to have “the City” (DCC) talk honestly to the Dunedin Community. The joke’s on us, now he can spend all day eating cake with a healthy bank account. It bothers me that this rubbish is now classed in the ODT as “the latest in a series of senior staff to quit the council”; the problem of a bloated council stated right there if that’s the calibre of “senior” we’re labouring under. He’s probably a nice man, but… Not too soon.


  9. Anonymous

    Stadium Councillor and Parking Magnate Syd “You Love My Debt Long Time” Brown had a letter printed in the Oddity today. Rest assured good citizens this a man whose message the local media would never mangle with its abridges. The letter should be henceforth read to ensure your place in the world is well understood.

    • Elizabeth

      The BS continues from DCC… Keith Ellwood from Otago Community Trust is quite correct in his views. Different worlds. Should OCT allow itself to get tarnished by the continuation of pokie rorts with DCC undertones for RUGBY ? Absolutely not.

      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, who suggested the move, said a group such as the Otago Community Trust would be in the “perfect position” to distribute pokie funds in Dunedin.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 1 Aug 2012
      DCC wants to pass on pokie duties
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council wants to delegate responsibility for the future distribution of pokie funds to avoid a potentially costly conflict of interest, if the Government opts to hand the role to local authorities. The suggestion, in the council’s revised submission on the Gambling (Gambling Harm) Reduction Amendment Bill, aimed to protect the council’s access to funding worth $1.27 million in the past two years alone.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Yup, Sydney-Borrow-More-Brown’s little soap opera, sorry press release…

      (ODT, Letters to the editor, 1.8.12)
      City debt
      Your readers will be relieved to know that the local government reforms and the anticipated impact on loans as reported in your front-page story “Costs will rise: Mayor” (ODT, 25.7.12) will apply only to new borrowing, not existing debt.
      Cr Syd Brown

  10. Anonymous

    Oh thank god that existing debt is okay. Phew, eh?

  11. Lucky Son

    The way the Councillors are setting up Cull. We are soon to see. The next Mayor of Dunedin. Arise Sir Syd. Everything is going to plan.

  12. amanda

    The fiscal genious Syd Brown’s face is in the ORT today and seems that he is setting the scene for oil exploration to pay for his fiscal whoopsies, oh like economic lemons like the stadium that he supported. You may be right, old Syd may be the Big Man who stakeholders want to push through assets sales and oil drilling agendas. Cull is clearly a political lap dog, so no loss there. At least with Syd we won’t be tricked and we know exactly what we will get, a city sold unceremoniously down the river to pay for Syd’s mistakes.

  13. amanda

    Yes, and Cull does not have a strong Greater Dunedin behind him, all individuals with their own agendas, where as the stadium team have a nice close relationship and will back each other up, they have to, if one goes under they all do.

  14. Tomo

    Syd the great puppeteer. Pulled the strings on Peter, and now set to pull the rug from under Dave.

  15. Anonymous

    Tricksy one that. It Is difficult to believe Syd is lining up for the Mayoralty. Certainly with the powers being invested in local government this would excite him no end, probably more than horses and sub-divisions. But at the same time it would require an overarching PR campaign to fool the wider Dunedin voters, not just the gullible and horsey fraternity of Taieri.

    It will be interesting to see who the punters look to after this Mayor’s abysmal track record.

  16. tomo

    Just wait for it Anon. Peter was the fall guy for the stadium blunder. Dave has been sucked in to defend them, and when it’s all quietened down by the next election the PR campaign will step in, and slippery will be the next mayor by a photo finish.

  17. ormk

    Let’s make a campaign leaflet for the next election. If everyone on here delivers 1000 I think we’ll have a good impact.

  18. tomo's brother

    I see from Syd’s advert he has about 200 sections for sale. Going price about $159,000 = about $30 million. Not bad for rural land that was worth about $1 million before it was rezoned from rural to residential by council. Wasn’t he the Deputy Mayor at the time it was rezoned?

  19. Elizabeth

    There’s more than one way for old boys to take money off amateur sport and the kids in your community.

    “You [deprived] sporting youth of this area of significant funds, you cast doubt over the integrity of the entire Sevens with Altitude committee.”

    ### ODT Online Mon, 10 Sep 2012
    Former detective’s $64,000 fraud
    A founding member of the organising committee which hosts the annual Pub Charity New Zealand Sevens in Queenstown abused trust placed in him as he accumulated $64,000 through deception, Judge Michael Turner said in the Queenstown District Court today. Former New Zealand Police detective and real estate agent Richard Edgar Anderson (51), of Lake Hayes, was sentenced to 10 months home detention and ordered to pay $48,601 reparation within two years by Judge Turner.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      More, oh lookie… ex ORFU and NZRU development officer!

      ### ODT Online Tue, 11 Sep 2012
      Organiser’s action ‘reprehensible’
      By Tracey Roxburgh
      He was highly regarded within rugby circles, and in his former career as a real estate agent, he was trusted, respected and even admired. However, all of that changed earlier this year when Richard Edgar Anderson (51), a former police detective, admitted defrauding the Sevens with Altitude Committee, responsible for organising the annual Pub Charity Rugby Sevens tournament, which brings millions of dollars into Queenstown every January, and a group he had been involved in since its inception.

      Anderson began working with the Otago Rugby Football Union and New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) as a development officer and also secured the sevens tournament for Queenstown. He also coached the Arrowtown premier rugby team and was involved with Arrowtown junior rugby teams, continuing with the latter this season.

      Read more

  20. Russell Garbutt

    Not sure where to post this, but how many others noticed that the ODT chose – at least in the on-line version – not to publish any details of the recent decision by the Courts to refuse to continue name suppression for a Dunedin woman who had been convicted of a number of counts of fraud – from her mother and some Dunedin amateur bodies including a Surf Club?

    This despite the story being prominently run with picture of the fraudster and her name in the NZ Herald and on Stuff.

    I raised the issue with the ODT by way of a comment on another crime story but it simply didn’t appear. When you see this sort of decision taken by the ODT does it not raise questions of why this was not reported? It certainly raises the issue of if this happened for this person, then what happened or didn’t happen for others? I can think of a number of “prominent” Otago people whose deeds are ignored by the ODT including quite a few that now reside in dear old Queenstown. Can you?

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