Recognising whistleblowers

sfo-image_10.gif

### interest.co.nz
February 11, 2013 – 12:36pm
SFO eyeing rewards for whistleblowers similar to those now used in United States to catch Ponzi schemers, fraudsters
By Bernard Hickey
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has said it is in the early stages of considering whether to offer rewards, bounties and percentages of fines to whistleblowers providing evidence to detect serious frauds and the sorts of Ponzi schemes similar to the one run by Bernie Madoff. “There has been some early discussions,” SFO Acting CEO Simon McArley told a news conference before a seminar on Economic Crime in Auckland.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

46 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management

46 responses to “Recognising whistleblowers

  1. Martin Legge

    In January 2010, Debbie Despard, National Compliance Manager for DIA, issued similar rhetoric when she proudly announced a “Leniency and Cooperation Policy” designed to encourage industry insiders (people like me) to step up and help them.

    I know now it was a stunt – a feel good policy written by a bunch of lazy overpaid bureaucrats whose biggest file is their own CV. It’s the same sort of crap produced by Maarten Quivooy covering mining safety, prior to the Pike River tragedy, termed fanciful by the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the deaths.

    As NZ’s most powerful regulatory agency, I sincerely hope that the SFO seek constructive input from those who have already blown the whistle or will they listen to more of those policy people who serve us so well.

  2. Martin Legge

    On the subject of whistleblowers. Just took a call from someone else connected with DIA. Told me about yet another scam that DIA Management (Quivooy, Despard and Co) have been sitting on for 4 years and has been swept under their dirty carpet.

    It involves a North Island Pokie Trust and a bogus South Island Water Rescue club that received hundreds if not millions of dollars in grants which was spent on privately owned fast and powerful river jetboats all operating out of the South Island. Those that benefited were connected with several Christchurch Pokie Bars that of course had their pokies with this North Island pokie trust – why else?

    A reputable NZ Jetboating organisation complained to DIA years ago about the funds going to this group and when DIA made enquiries one of the principal suspects confessed and even went to extraordinary lengths to help them to implicate the co-offenders.

    Now, the above pokie trust is shortly to be taken over by a much larger Pokie Trust and will therefore no longer exist. DIA will breathe a sigh of relief because that’s the excuse they look for as to why they didn’t act sooner to recover the money, the boats and charge those responsible. I’m hoping for some paperwork on this one.

  3. Russell Garbutt

    Notice that if the DIA keep a complaint under wraps – or under investigation as they call it – they can then say that the statute of limitations applies and reluctantly they can no longer take any action. The absolute ideal way for these seat-warming, lazy, lax, incompetent people to operate. And no accountability. So if the jet boat thing has been going on for four years they are well clear.

    • So DIA ‘are not performing their role on receipt of information’… at what point are DIA/individuals of the DIA liable in a court of law? [aside, Chen Palmer are looking into how NZHPT, an Autonomous Crown Entity, operates under its legislation in relation to Christchurch Cathedral, very interesting]

  4. Martin Legge

    It goes higher than DIA. National have had 3 DIA Ministers in 3 years, Nathan Guy, Amy Adams and Chris Tremain; and not one of them has shown any fortitude or commitment to stop the white collar crime happening between pokie trusts and favoured applicant groups or demand perforomce and transparency from the Dept for which they are responsible.

    Peter Dunne can intervene into TTCF affairs supposedly for applicant groups of which he is the chairman and yet the DIA Minister, Nathan Guy advises whistleblowers or persons reporting rorts and corruption he can’t interfere because DIA are an independant agency.

    Further, last year, I was reliably informed that the Problem Gambling Foundation were told to refrain from media debate on pokies by Peter Dunne’s office as part of its contract negotiations with the Government to provide health services to problem gamblers. It’s one big shutdown.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Martin; that only leaves the SFO! Has it been approached, and if not, Why not? Surely there are truck loads of incriminating evidence to put before it for consideration. It seems that, with all the financial scandals of recent times that there is more inclination for these people to take actions. Just because the ‘higher echelons’ are trying to close it down is all the more reason to go for it. Nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

  6. Martin Legge

    Calvin, I am still waiting for proper disclosure of all material held by DIA so there can be no excuses or rabbits pulled out of a hat by Quivooy and his Managers. There is also a growing group of ex and current DIA who have expressed interest in assisting me with what they witnessed during this investigation particularly with regards to ORFU and the fake document supplied to DIA by TTCF trustees to cover up $1.2 million of unlawful expenditure paid to the interests of a pub owner.

    I did not become a whistleblower for any financial payment and that is where the SFO proposal may be wrong. Me and my staff did not like what was happening within TTCF as we knew it was illegal. DIA wanted our help so they sold us the whistleblower package – that our evidence would be taken seriously and persons and entities held to account. From the disclosure I’ve received to date particularly in relation to serious potential criminal offending by TTCF trustees, it was not.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    They’re proposing payment as if they weren’t able to function optimally for want of information. Sounds good, sounds credible – to people who haven’t been reading here or other online info. If they’ve been relying on the daily newspapers and TV they’ll believe the department’s story. Then when eventually matters come to light, oh dear, too late to take action on, statute of limitations … they’ll believe the DIA was doing its best.
    It’s best to waste time looking the other way till they could legitimately pop the naughty rorty stuff back under the carpet, leaving “everyone” smiling. Definition of “everyone” being, approximately, “our peer group and the people we enjoy being on the right side of, who don’t react nicely to being treated like ordinary everyday crooks.”

  8. Calvin Oaten

    Martin: thanks for that. It comforts me to know that sooner or later the day of reckoning will come. Of course the DIA folk are in no hurry to comply with disclosing all material. Understandable, I guess. ‘Turkeys would never vote for an early Xmas’, as they say. I guess the longer it goes on, the stronger the case builds.

    • Processing cases (of multimillion-dollar frauds) through the New Zealand courts system is one thing; I’m starting to think the scale of (sports related) rorts in New Zealand against “the Community” could conceivably extend a limb to international law, even despite the New Zealand Government being master of its own house. And given international stats now available on New Zealand’s rocket-speed disparity between rich and poor, child poverty, unaffordable housing, etc… while the sporty dudes get their power boats and drive the latest Range Rovers to rugby events and tournaments. A government’s failure to act through its agents to uphold natural justice… the levels of corruption present remind me of Fiji and the Solomon Islands, much harder to read due to Aotearoa’s ‘length’ and Key’s hobbitual man-like-you character plots.

      • Bowling, too! The denizens of Dunedin go deeper. Can’t wait to find out who helped themselves to the riches.

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/245420/liquidation-club-part-sale-probe

        • Dear ODT
          Why your heat on a screwy little bowling club (whistle-blown and pecuniary-interested), and yet no ‘serious concerns’ – and HOUNDING – over deep suspicions of fraud and corruption underpinning ORFU, DCC, Carisbrook and the fubar stadium project.
          Yours, IMMENSELY FRUSTRATED

          ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Feb 2013
          ‘Serious concerns’ over bowling club’s transactions
          By Vaughan Elder
          An $85,000 payment made by the Otago Bowling Club to a company of which its former president was a director, is among more than a dozen transactions under investigation by liquidators. The club was put into liquidation in the High Court at Dunedin on Monday as part of an investigation into the distribution of proceeds from the sale of the club and ground last year. The Registrar of Incorporated Societies initiated the investigation after receiving a complaint about the sale of the club last June. The first report by liquidator Trevor Laing and Associates – which was given to the Otago Daily Times – said the club and grounds were sold for $350,898.77 in March 2011. The report said the Registrar of Incorporated Societies had ”serious concerns” about payments made from the proceeds of the sale, including $85,000 to Southern Pearl Ltd, of which former club president Lester Nash was a director until it was struck off the New Zealand Companies Office Register last year.
          Read more

  9. amanda

    Any chance that Labour or the Greens will capitalise on the information that National just aren’t really all that into holding white collar criminals to account? While at the same time sticking the boot to beneficiaries. You would think they would find this information useful.

    • The rort lurgy spreads far and wide (friends of friends of friends in power), even Labour and the Greens don’t like disturbing world order too much. Although, Martin likely has a comprehensive answer.

  10. DCC and ALL the idiots running it.

    Now give me the money, and it should be serious money for each charge they cop. Sweet. I’ll be living the life of a councillor by the end of the month.

  11. (via Hamish McNeilly) Thanks for sharing, Martin Legge

    “Strong whistleblower laws and defamation laws are important governance and integrity issues – and we have neither of them.”

    ### Sydney Morning Herald April 5, 2013
    Shield laws leave whistleblowers, reporters on hook
    By Richard Ackland
    Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox says he has not got protection under NSW law, at least in relation to one aspect of his whistleblowing.
    It’s a bit academic because the police say they won’t take disciplinary proceedings against him. His airing of concerns about the paedophile activities of the clergy and the inert response by the police is far too heroically public for that to happen. This is not to say he hasn’t been or won’t be the subject of some underhand victimisation.
    For instance, it’s been alleged Fox’s bosses removed him as the lead investigator into the Catholic clergy in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
    NSW police believe in at least one instance Fox did not follow the prescribed routine under NSW’s Public Interest Disclosures Act, and so has been formally denied whistleblower protection.
    This is because in November last year, he went straight to the ABC’s Lateline with his allegations about the clergy and the failure of the police to investigate further and deeper, rather than first making his disclosure the subject of internal investigation.
    Since he wasn’t getting anywhere after making report after report on the need for more police work on what was happening inside the church, it’s understandable he would choose the option of ”sunshine as a disinfectant”.
    Read more

  12. Martin Legge

    The rhetoric issued by the SFO and other Government departments about the value of whistleblowers within New Zealand is absolute crap and here is why.

    The file into The Trusts Community Foundation’s (TTCF) relationship with ORFU and Mike O’Brien was provided to DIA by me in October 2010 at their request. From that day on, DIA never sought any further information or clarification about any of the content or detail contained in that file which is highly irregular in any thorough investigation.

    Unbeknown to me, the DIA received another complaint from Russell Garbutt about the role of the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport. He was concerned it was not a legitimate organisation and queried why such an organisation was receiving large sums of pokie money from TTCF.

    My experience was that it was an organisation specifically formed so that ORFU could receive money without it looking like ORFU was the direct benefactor of the money from Jokers bars, in which it had a financial interest and is all highly illegal.

    The first grant ever granted by TTCF to ORFU interests was a large grant for $500K paid to the Centre of Excellence. TTCF’s General Manager, Warwick Hodder, suggested it was necessary so that ORFU could complete the purchase of the Jokers Bars and asked that any reference to ORFU be deleted from the grant application in case it drew DIA’s attention. Everyone within TTCF knew the arrangements were illegal.

    Then in 2006 Warwick Hodder announced to the TTCF Board that Harness racing had taken a 50% share in Jokers (through Roseburn Holdings) with ORFU; and from that time Mike O’Brien’s name kept cropping up as being behind the ownership of Jokers. Our grants office received written budgets supplied by both Mike O’Brien (Harness racing) and Murray Acklin (TTCF trustee) as to how the money would be divided between racing and ORFU.

    I provided DIA with these budgets, emails and testimony of what I witnessed in 2006 and beyond that clearly demonstrated that TTCF met the wishes of rugby and racing between 2006-2011. All the money came from Jokers bars in South Auckland. The arrangements were illegal, unfair and not transparent and some of the trustees were nervous.

    After providing DIA with the info, I waited 18 months for them to investigate these serious matters but grew concerned they had not come back to me or my staff to expand or clarify any of the information, a situation that is now consistent with DIA losing the file. I voiced these concerns to OAG and DIA but at all times they seems unconcerned, as if they knew the result of this investigation before it started.

    In February 2013 OIA disclosure confirms the file was misplaced between December 2010 and August 2012 and therefore never investigated properly by the lead investigator. Was it a deliberate action or was it the work of a regulator tapped on the shoulder from above to make this go away ? I think the latter.

    Maarten Quivooy is a liar and he, (supported by) his supervisors and the Minister are making it up as they go. Those above him have all had ample warnings and opportunity to review this case but have opted not to do so. If they don’t like what I say then they can sue me.

    Maarten Quivooy claims he passed the file on to SFO. That’s another lie because I contacted SFO directly myself on 6 March 2013. SFO Head, Chris Mantell, confirmed he’d never heard of me or seen the evidence I’d been asked to provide. He seemed surprised by my contact and knowledge of the case and went so far as to say the SFO would issue me with a section 9 (request for information). That was 4 weeks ago and no such request has come. Another officer has also confirmed that he was part of the O’Brien investigation team prior to SFO becoming involved and he’d never seen my evidence. What is going here!!!

    Despite public perception, Mantell confirmed this is still a DIA investigation and Debbie Despard is in charge of the case. DIA’s continued control explains why Mantell has not rushed back to gather the evidence.

    This investigation is likely to be compromised because from where I and others sit, it is being deliberately steered away from linking ORFU and TTCF to Mike O’Brien and racing when the reality is those parties made the rorts possible at trust level.

    In 2010, DIA publicly advertised for whistleblowers and industry insiders to come forward and report wrongdoing in the guise of getting tough and issued a warning that working alongside the industry had been a failure.

    When faced with TTCF, New Zealand’s fifth largest gambling trust with considerable political contacts, DIA lost interest in a whistleblower. They’ve been conditioned and briefed by their masters to protect the industry in which they work, as opposed to doing what we all think they are supposed to be doing – that is, upholding the law and acting decisively in the public interest.

  13. What is going on here!!! We might all well ask. Martin has encapsulated the whole sordid catalogue of malfeasance of TTCF, ORFU and Harness Racing. Provided it all to DIA (who lost it) offered it to SFO (who lost interest) so the answer to the first question must only be a “cover up” from on high. In view of what has recently transpired with our own Prime Minister re ‘Hobbit’ ‘SkyCity’ ‘GCSB’ etc one can only come to the conclusion, “expedient corruption”. Sad really, when you think of it.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Martin Legge is absolutely correct in what he says. There is no doubt whatsoever that the DIA, the OAG, the SFO and the NZ Police have, over a number of years, been provided with hard evidence of widespread fraud and criminal behaviour carried out by those who seem to be impervious to accountability. While the DIA swoops with all its force on minor activities, the multimillion dollar frauds carried out by the Racing industry and professional rugby seem to have protection from on high. The DIA are central to this protection of fraud through their incompetency and I suggest complicity through lack of action and this directly leads to the office of the DIA actively disencouraging other bodies charged with upholding the law from taking action. Indeed I believe that the DIA have lied over a significant period of time in order to avoid being held to public ridicule. Their Ministers have been equally inept.

    The ORFU was directly involved in activities designed to subvert the laws of this land and they did so with the total knowledge of those running the organisation. These people have consistently refused to answer questions, but cynically allowed the organisation to rape ratepayer funds to bail themselves out from their illegal activities. The DCC and other public bodies went along with it because they were mainly stupid, but again serious questions need to be asked of those within the DCC who had strong vested interests.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s a tragi-comical experience, an experiment in mind-altering without the use of illegal substances, to pause a moment and contemplate the above reactions (above) to serious badness that affects innumerable NZers. Then shake your head vigorously and think about another threat to law and order – the DCC tenant who fed a few ducks.
    Sense of proportion?
    Tugging one’s forelock to the boss whatever exploitation and injustice you face at work, then going home and kicking the cat?
    Sick sick sick nation-wide and -deep kaupapa: “don’t rock important waka, instead throw writs at the kids paddling in the municipal water feature. That way it looks like we’re doing something.”

  16. Rob Hamlin

    The passage below seems to be relevant to this situation:

    “There is the story of a Rabbi who was on his way to the Chamber with hundreds of Women and Children, who prayed to God, and Said something to the effect: “God, if you are real, save my people from this horror.” Then, as the ‘shower’ doors closed on him and his people, he was hear [sic] to shout, “You are not a True God, you do not exist, it’s all been a lie!!” and then the doors closed, and the gas entered.” (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_people_know_when_they_were_sent_to_gas_chambers)

    This is a story about loss of faith, and haven’t we finally lost faith too? I, for one, used to believe that if only THEY were made aware of the situation, then THEY would do something about it. This drove my behaviour since I left University and realized that cronyism, nepotism, networking, corruption and dishonesty were all around me.

    As I consider myself to be an intelligent man, I am now aghast that it took me so long to connect the fact that those indulging in such practices around me were universally the ones that ‘got on’, and that THEY were people who had already ‘got on’ by whatever means. By a process of logic one can swiftly deduce that THEY had got on by exactly the means that you stoutly believed/assumed that THEY would crack down on when you made them aware of it.

    I preserved the illusion that THEY were somehow different against all the evidence for more than thirty years – Only in the last five years in all the environments within which I operate have I been forced to finally concede to myself that THEY, as I used to fondly believe in them, simply do not exist. We are alone.

    There is no doubt that it takes a shattering personal experience to destroy an individual’s faith in THEM. In my case it was the RNZ/Foobar/CSCT experience that did it. A loss of faith in this manner requires some very significant personal readjustments to be made. I suspect that both these and TTCF etc have done the same job to other contributors.

    However, these are individual losses of faith. To destroy the faith of the masses it requires a cataclysmic society shattering event with true misery to do the job. In the case of the Russian peasanty’s belief in the ultimate benignity of ‘Little Father Czar’ it took the hell of World War One to do so – but once the job was done, then there was some significant action!

    It will take something on a similar scale here, and unfortunately THEY know it.

  17. Welcome to the club Rob. It’s not incorporated, it has no office bearers, it doesn’t even have a capitation fee. It is not a registered charity (otherwise it could get funding via the DIA), it is just a large amorphous body of disillusioned, disconnected folk who think. Because they can.

  18. Martin Legge

    Extract from an email dated 10 August 2010 at 1.43pm:

    From: Warwick Hodder (TTCF’s General Manager) to Martin Legge Cc to Liz Legge

    “Re Racing Clubs – I don’t think that TTCF is too much involved with ownership issues like NZCT are through O’Brien. That is certainly the way the media has portrayed it so far although O’Brien is cock a hoop that “his” clubs are also in the clear. If Racing Clubs want to perjure themselves with their governing body, because that is who has placed the audit requirements on them, then surely that is an issue for them? I have told Murray that the sooner he gets out of racing and takes a low profile with TTCF the better – something that Alastair Sherriff perpetually rams home to me very chance he gets.”

    Hodder’s words “too much involved” reinforced what I already knew, that TTCF’s involvement was not on the scale of another large pokie trust, but still enough to be illegal. New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT), which is reported as being the subject of the current SFO/DIA investigation called “Operation Chestnut” and Mike O’Brien may be left wondering how in the light of this evidence, TTCF have not only dodged scrutiny but now have two agencies (DIA and OAG) prepared to cover for them. Regardless, Hodder’s words are accurate because at that time, O’Brien had reduced his exposure to TTCF but the fact is, Mike O’Brien and ORFU still had one bar left with TTCF, Jokers bar Manurewa, situated in poor area of South Auckland.

    This proves that the illegal arrangements put in place between TTCF, ORFU and Harness Racing in 2006 were still in place in late 2010 at the very time I became a whistleblower. Further proof is from obvious fact that the large grants continued to flow to the interests of those group until June 2011, meaning the rort was going on right under DIA noses.

    Over the same period, TTCF were being obstructive, had engaged two law firms, threatened to sue me, rallied their political support and most of the trustees who still remain on the TTCF board today refused interview. How bad does it have to get!!!

    Also consider the public statements and the official correspondence issued to myself, Bev Butler and Russell Garbutt advising of a raft of erroneous reasons why DIA could not act against TTCF, including the fact that it was historical (2006) or that TTCF had remorphed into a new legal entity creating difficulties holding anyone accountable.

    The truth is the new legal entity (TTCF Ltd) containing the same management and board as the old entity was licenced by DIA on June 6, 2010, over 2 months prior to Hodder’s email. Now you don’t only have my word for it – there is plenty more!!

    • The complete farce that is the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) through the auspices of the ODT editorial, wherein the evils of DCC finances, fraud and corruption (and involving ORFU year in year out) get lost in the bigger picture!

      Lyn Provost, the political FOOTBALL. The carpet layer of respectability. Cover-up agent to the local authorities.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 6 Apr 2013
      Editorial
      Sustainability – and accountability
      OPINION Local authorities will be in the public eye even more in 2013 than usual, with elections scheduled for later this year. And from the 2013 financial year, local authorities have new statutory disclosure requirements and there will be a new financial reporting framework. Auditor-general Lyn Provost expects this will mean more useful accountability information and more straightforward reporting requirements. Her office will work with local authorities to ensure they follow the new requirements appropriately. She also notes that although the new approach to financial reporting will not be a silver bullet, in her view the change is necessary and provides the best platform for financial reporting by public benefit entities, including local authorities, in the public sector.

      The findings by the Auditor-general will be a cause of surprise for some critics, as Ms Provost’s report is reasonably complimentary of the sector as a whole.

      Of interest was the part of the report relating to council-controlled organisations (CCOs).

      [Benign ‘ending’ care of the ODT editor] While capital expenditure is always needed, councils need to be aware of the burdens they sometimes place on their ratepayers by taking on more than they can fund within a given budget.

      Read more (and vomit)

  19. Note Lyn Provost repeats herself when she speaks of, “following the new requirements” and also, “although the new approach to financial reporting will not be a silver bullet”. This to me is another way of saying “what is in the past will stay there”. That would fit perfectly with Dave Cull’s philosophy.

  20. Rob Hamlin

    Lyn Provost is the Auditor-General. She will have had to work assiduously on ‘getting on’ in order to become so. We all now know what ‘getting on’ involves – So what else do you expect?

    • You know what we expect – a Public Service that works for Public Good and which is not Condescending. And which fosters its own Independence.

      Does that exist ? Get back to you on that.

      We know of skilled people getting a hard time at DIA by top management there.

      Lyn Provost and Nicola White at OAG have proven they’re not up to the job in the last 12 months, particularly. Witness their statements, letters and emails. Both women are morally bankrupt.

      We expect a Public Service that is motivated to achieve Fairness and Justice in the face of very significant white collar crime in this country.

  21. Rob Hamlin

    WHAT WAS THE ATTENDANCE?

    Last night McPravda carried a ‘rah-rah’ article announcing that thousands of people were ‘streaming’ towards the Foobar with ‘18,000 ‘expected.

    Had the 18,000 eventuated, I was expecting a great deal of crowing on the McPravda website’s home page about ‘Forsyth Barr Stadium Sells Out! (Paul Simon also attends)’.

    However, this was not the case. This morning, I stuffed up, and got up at 6.00 am, not 7.00 am. With an hour to kill, I logged onto McPravda.co.nz to see if any crowing was actually going on at the appropriate time of day.

    Nope. The Simon event was not mentioned on the McPravda home page. One had to go to the ‘Dunedin’ page and look below several older local stories to find the article: ‘Paul Simon Charms Dunedin Crowd’ at this URL: http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/music/252172/paul-simon-charms-dunedin-crowd.

    Now what was interesting was that I recall quite distinctly (as establishing their attendance claim was why I had logged on) was that well down in the article itself, the claim was made that the crowd ‘peaked’ at 18,000. So, they did it – or did they? When I relogged on at 1.20 this afternoon, the article was still there well, tucked away well down in Dunedin news, but the ‘peaked at 18,000’ claim no longer appeared to be there, although a couple of rather mixed review comments had come in.

    Strange – Innit??

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    The online comments are enthusiastic apart from one complaining that the lack of screens means Paul Simon was a dot in the distance. I expected an enthusiastic leading article about what a great concert it was – which according to comments it was – so wonder what the “fail” is this time that prevented triumphant shouting from leading the news.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth gets the chocolate fish.

  24. Robert Hamlin

    A little bit of crowing from McPravda to go with my early morning cornflakes this morning, but more of the justificatory than triumphalist type. 12,500 the attendance, rather than the 18,000 expected/hoped for /reported. I hope that they had a good time. If the underwrite was for 18,000 and say $130 a ticket then the liability for this one event would be in the order of $700,000, or about $15 per ratepayer, not including direct Foobar operating costs.

    • ### ODT Online Mon, 8 Apr 2013
      Simon, sound and stadium in sync for show
      By Debbie Porteous
      All those associated with Saturday night’s Paul Simon concert in Dunedin, including the star performer, have declared the event a success and agree Forsyth Barr Stadium seems to have found its form as a venue.

      Despite it being the biggest crowd on Simon’s Australasian tour – his concert at Auckland Vector Arena tonight had sold about 8000 tickets so far – the number of ticket sales in Dunedin was still a bit disappointing.

      Manolo Echave, promoter Chugg Entertainment’s New Zealand’s representative, said Simon and his band were on ”a real high” when they came off stage after playing their third encore.
      Read more

      ODT Slideshow: Paul Simon concert in Dunedin

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    At least for all that money it looks as if it was a good experience for most people, this time. I feel double – quadruple- ripped off when I have to pay and pay, yet hardly any of my ordinary fellow Dunedinites get any benefit when they go to events in the Great Fubar.

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    http://www.facebook.com/DunedinMayor?ref=ts&fref=ts
    Dave “Had good seats at the Paul Simon concert last night, but then discovered they had been sold to someone else as well. Then we were relocated to seats only 6 rows from the stage! …” Comments following are a mixture of ecstatic and growly.

    • Hilarious! (experience – of DVML – in the first person, eh Dave)

      The other thing is, by posting at his page we see his popularity meter rise as the (all approachable) people’s mayor. F*** that.

      • Ex-judge Hansen (chairman of DVML and DVL…) was his usual self at the stadium on Saturday night. He tried to get to places he had no accreditation for, trying that old trick of his, “Don’t you know who I am?”

        Ah! The hallmark claim to fame or was it, in his case, ‘infamy’.
        Bully boy? Upstanding citizen? We know what we think.

        • And back on topic, the upper canines of DCC sure as hell don’t recognise whistleblowers situated between DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta, ORFU, DIA, OAG, and the Ombudsmen. But we have some happy helpers back at the molars.

        • There’s always the international case study…

          ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Jul 2013
          Making examples of whistle-blowers
          By Gwynne Dyer
          OPINION Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US Central Intelligence Agency, has been trapped in the transit lounge of Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow for more than two weeks, while the United States Government strives mightily to get him back in its clutches. It even arranged for the plane flying Bolivian President Eve Morales home from Moscow to be diverted to Vienna and searched, mistakenly believing that Snowden was aboard.
          Former US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning is already in the US Government’s clutches.
          Having endured 1100 days of solitary confinement, he is now on trial for ”aiding the enemy” by passing a quarter-million US embassy messages, Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, detainee assessments from Guantanamo and videos of US attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq to the WikiLeaks website.
          These two American whistle-blowers have a lot in common. They are both young idealists who had access to the inner workings of the US ”security community”, and were appalled by what they learned. Their intentions were good, but their fate may be harsh. (Bradley faces life in prison without parole.) And there is one big difference between them.
          Bradley, the more naive of the two, was shocked by facts that more experienced observers take for granted: that governments, including the US Government, routinely lie to their citizens, their allies, and the world, and that armies at war, including the US army, sometimes commit terrible crimes.
          So he published a mountain of evidence that substantiated those lamentable truths. That greatly angered the US Government, and he will probably pay a heavy price for it. The US Government wants its secrets, especially the most shameful ones, to stay secret, and its extraordinary vindictiveness towards Manning is intended to deter others from blowing the whistle.
          Edward Snowden, on the other hand, has exposed something that even experienced observers did NOT take for granted: that the US Government has created a massive apparatus for discovering everybody else’s secrets.
          Read more

          • Gwynne Dyer is an independent London journalist.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    Eeew, tacky.

  28. Interesting little aside. The princess daughter of the king of Spain has been cited to appear at an inquiry into allegations that her husband had illegally taken huge funds from a charity. Sound familiar?

  29. Sorry Tim. As it turns out, NZ is riddled with accountability problems…
    SFO, DIA, OAG, NZ Police, Ombudsmen…
    Tainted, fraudulent, and very corrupt…
    Ultimately, bloody awful to whistleblowers operating the length of the country.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 22 Oct 2013
    Whistle-blower enjoys the quiet life in Henley
    By Vaughan Elder
    A retired United States Air Force officer is enjoying the quiet life in Henley, after receiving death threats for blowing the whistle on a multimillion-dollar scam. Lieutenant-colonel Tim Ferner (52), who shifted to Henley with his family two years ago, says he was ostracised by his superiors in the Air Force for uncovering a scam involving a United States defence contractor and the anti-terrorism think-tank for which he worked.
    Lt-col Ferner, one of few US military whistle-blowers, had so far received a total of about $US1.3 million for blowing the whistle on the scam and with three cases still outstanding that figure would probably climb.
    ”I was called into the office and told ‘you are coming up on retirement and I’m coming up on retirement and if we just look the other way on this we could each have a really lucrative contract or job [for a contractor]’.” He later received death threats. A similar lack of accountability would not be allowed to happen in New Zealand. ”There is no way it could happen here. Kiwis wouldn’t put up with it. They would be outraged,” he said.
    Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s