Sports comment: ORFU

Submitted on 2012/08/13 at 7:50 pm

A good bit of journalism in the odty on Saturday. Page 43. Sports comment by Brent Edwards.


Submitted on 2012/08/13 at 10:38 pm | In reply to Tomo.

Thanks Tomo – it’s pointed!


“So, dotted around Otago and elsewhere are men whose errors and egos brought the game in the province to its knees, their sins of commission or omission still tightly under wraps.”

“…Bates acted with honour and integrity. It’s a pity we couldn’t say the same about the men who presided over the biggest financial disaster in New Zealand provincial rugby.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Hot air, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Sport, Stadiums

10 responses to “Sports comment: ORFU

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Role model, role model, role model – sports “heroes” are hyped up and the special funding and handouts lavished upon them are justified by this ballyhoo despite the number who along with their courtiers end up in the spotlight for money fiddling and offences of violence, including to women and children, and then the excuses that get trotted out. Let me nominate Raelene Bates for Best Role Model. She stuffed up, which makes her a realistic model for any young person. But then, without hiding behind “no statement till a full investigation” and suchlike, she did the really valuable role-model thing: she promptly owned up and said how sorry she was.
    If she gets dumped [on] while those two shabby rugby “Big Men” go ahead with their plan to extract money from Dunedin on the pretext that Dave Cull was speaking less than the plain-as-a-pikestaff truth about the ORFU I hope John Key doesn’t stop at freezing funds for Olympic funds, I hope he ceases all funding of sports above social grade – after all that’s where the most-needed health-giving physical activity needs to be encouraged.
    And give Raelene Bates a job as a sports ambassador going round schools encouraging kids to behave with grace and honesty when they make mistakes, as they surely will, being human.

  2. Peter

    If anything, Raelene Bates has elevated her reputation by being upfront and honest. All credit to her.

  3. amanda

    Good point. We are supposed to respect and stand by as two Big Rugby Men take money out of the local economy to satisfy their sense of entitlement. If anyone wonders why rugby is going down the gurgler, you can look to these two heroes suing Ineffectual Cull for part of the explanation. What super great role models indeed. Corporate bludging? It’s all right here in Dunedin! Just as it is at the national and international levels.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting comments. It is equally interesting to note the connections with the dear old ORFU in these players. Raylene Bates used to work in admin with the ORFU before going to the Academy of Sport. Her boss there was Kereyn Smith who was the CEO and also a Director of The Centre of Excellence which was VERY VERY closely connected with the ORFU and their acquisition of pokie funds for ORFU business. Smith was the DCC appointee on the Board of the Highlanders, then left to be the boss lady of the NZ Olympic Committee and so became once more the boss of Raylene Bates when at the Games. I have no doubts at all that Bates made a genuine mistake or omission and has been hung out to dry by those above her in the food chain. Her record in amateur sport administration in athletics is long and of immense value – unlike others.

  5. Peter

    Does Smith still have her fingers in any sports pies down here?

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, the NZ Companies Office register shows the following:

      SMITH, Kereyn – NLNZ LIMITED (890182) – Ceased Director

      SMITH, Kereyn – BEACH NETBALL LIMITED (1188373) – Ceased Director

      SMITH, Kereyn Maree – CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR AMATEUR SPORT LIMITED (1574877) (Struck off) – Director

      SMITH, Kereyn Maree – HIGHLANDERS FRANCHISE LIMITED (1004981) – Ceased Director

      SMITH, Kereyn Maree – SHARC LIMITED (1217444) – Ceased Director

  6. amanda

    Absolutely, the burden should never have been on one person; the applications should have had several people checking, especially since it was so crucial that they be filled in correctly. Someone higher up the food chain is not being held accountable.

  7. Peter

    Nice word, ‘ceased’.

  8. Martin Legge

    Below is an email dated June 2005 between TTCF Inc’s General Manager, Warwick Hodder, and the TTCF Trustees. It is one of many documents I was asked to provide DIA along with my 30-page signed statement shortly before Politicians intervened for TTCF and the truth became inconvenient.

    Since then DIA have continued to give the public a list of reasons why they can’t act which include – the Gambling Act has a 2-year time frame for prosecution and TTCF Inc no longer exists as an entity.

    Firstly, there are no such time frames for taking historical matters to the Gambling Commission or cancelling and suspending a gaming licence.

    Secondly, DIA allowed TTCF Inc to remorph itself into TTCF Ltd and in doing so also allowed it to transfer all its pokie pubs which included Jokers Manurewa, the last remaining Jokers venue controlled by ORFU, over to the new entity TTCF Ltd.

    So even under TTCF Ltd the unlawful arrangements and a further $800,000 was fleeced from the poorest part of South Auckland into the ORFU. It only stopped when Jokers Manurewa was closed down for commercial reasons.

    So you see, DIA still have a 2-year window of opportunity in which to prosecute TTCF Ltd and until June 2013 to do it.

    From: Warwick Hodder []
    Sent: Tuesday, 28 June 2005 12:00 p.m.
    To: Doug Burt; John Wyeth; Murray Acklin; Roger Smaill; Ron Turner (Home); Ross Dallow; Tom Jones
    Cc: Modus Group
    Subject: JOKERS VENUES

    Dear All

    There have been some significant developments regarding the ownership of the Jokers venues, to the extent that those now in control have extensive racing (mainly harness) interests. All this has been done between ORFU and Harness so the Union has been in the loop. There are some risks for TTCF Trustees and Modus Group that need to be addressed and I guess if the frying pan gets too hot then we may have to be prepared to walk away from these venues. I do not think it has become quite that drastic but it would be unfair of me not to fully acquaint you of developments. For the time being the current Directors will remain in place but that will change in months to come when financial matters have all been officially dealt with. I am not party to exactly what these arrangements are but have been assured that the current Directors will sign a 3 year venue agreement and we will be officially notified of any changes when they happen and all appropriate forms and other paperwork will be submitted to us for actioning with DIA.

    The new owners intend to emulate what the racing codes are already doing in relation to the TAB funds i.e. submitting a quarterly schedule of grants to go to racing.

    Their expectation is that racing will receive $2.6m in a year. ORFU are still expecting up to $1m a year and there is supposedly going to be at least 20% available to the rest of the community, which I am guessing is approximately another $1m per year. Extrapolating these expectations out to a turnover figure, using a 45% return to A/P as a means of doing so, basically these venues need to be doing $10m a year, which is what they were doing when they first joined the fray. But things have changed slightly, partly due to a reduction in turnover at Commerce St because the new owners did not work the place as hard as previous management did.

    There are two issues that I am uncomfortable with and we need to deal with them sooner rather than later i.e.

    1. I am not sure that there will be enough money to make things work for all parties, especially the community

    2. The current authorised purpose statement is inadequate to cope with these sorts of initiatives

    I have asked their representative to meet with me again today to discuss some more realistic expectations. I suspect they have budgeted for Commerce where it used to be not where it is now. They have moved the operation to a 24 hr one again and so it will certainly improve but whether it meets their expectations is another matter.

    We need to probably discuss this whole matter in committee at the upcoming Board meeting.

    Warm regards

    Warwick Hodder

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Martin needs to be commended for his diligence in these matters. It all leaves one in no doubt but that there is an orchestrated cover up now over all these disclosures. Obviously, back in 2005 the people were much more relaxed about the propriety of their actions. I just hope that some of the people handling the fallout of these questionable activities are alerted. One who comes to mind is the DCC’s new CEO who definitely needs to be up to speed on the nefarious doings of the ORFU. Never more important than now that the DCC seems determined to embrace and finance the fortunes of this financially and morally bankrupt organisation.

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