DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts

### Stuff Online Last updated 17:03 20/02/2013
Probe launched into pokie grants
By Michelle Robinson
Search warrants have been executed up and down the country as part of an investigation into pokie machine grant manipulation. Internal Affairs director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard said the investigation was significant, involving a number of agencies including the Serious Fraud Office. No details on the amount or search warrants or their location were made public.
NZ Community Trust [of Wellington] confirmed it has been contacted by the Department of Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office over alleged manipulation of gaming funds. The trust has issued a statement saying it does not believe it is the subject of the enquiry.
Read more


Department of Internal Affairs
20 February 2013

Pokie grants investigation

Internal Affairs confirmed today search warrants have been executed as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants. The operation also involved the Serious Fraud Office.

Debbie DespardDirector of Gambling Compliance, Debbie Despard, said this is a significant, joint-agency investigation.

“The Department of Internal Affairs has responsibility to ensure the integrity of the grants system in pokie machine gambling. The wider community is disadvantaged if one group can gain preferential access to grant funding from gambling proceeds. Where the Department finds serious, harmful, and deliberate non-compliance in the gambling sector we will hold people to account. Our ability to do this is enhanced by drawing on the specialist resources of the SFO.”

Information is still being gathered and the investigation is on-going. The Department will continue to assess any further information it receives in the wake of today’s action, Debbie Despard said.

In the meantime the Department will make no further comment on the current investigation.

Media Contact
Sue Ingram
Communications, Account Manager (Policy, Regulatory & Ethnic Affairs)
The Department of Internal Affairs, Te Tari Taiwhenua
Direct Dial: 04 494 0584 / Mobile: 027 541 4696
Email: sue.ingram@dia.govt.nz

DIA Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

119 responses to “DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts

  1. ### ODT Online Thu, 21 Feb 2013
    SFO, Internal Affairs investigating pokie grant trusts
    By Hamish McNeilly
    One of the country’s largest pokie grant funders is under investigation by Internal Affairs and the Serious Fraud Office. Yesterday, Internal Affairs confirmed search warrants had been issued as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged manipulation of pokie grants.
    The Otago Daily Times understands computers were seized as part of a raid. The investigation allegedly involves the New Zealand Community Trust [of Wellington] and the Bluegrass Trust [of Blenheim].
    Read more

    {Links to pokie trusts. -Eds}
    http://www.nzct.org.nz/ and http://www.bluegrasstrust.org.nz/

  2. Calvin Oaten

    Whoa!! The DIA is initiating, in conjunction with the SFO an investigation into the affairs of ‘pokies grants’. What??? The DIA? They have got to be joking. After a concerted programme of avoidance for years literally, it now claims to be the initiator. That in itself deserves an in-depth investigation. This is going to be a grand show to watch. The ramifications could be widespread, even in our own backyard.

    • Correct Calvin, it’s like the world is no longer flat. Interesting connections between the investigation and local rugby and racing, glancing or otherwise.

      • Link supplied.

        ### ODT Online Wed, 13 Oct 2010
        Stadium turf gets $605,556
        By Hamish McNeilly
        The Dunedin City Council has been granted more than $600,000 to buy an artificial turf system for Forsyth Barr Stadium, the largest poker machine grant given to a local body. New Zealand Community Trust chief executive Mike Knell confirmed the trust had granted $605,556 for the artificial turf system, following a request from the Dunedin City Council. “It is a legacy for the whole community,” he said. The grant will cover most of the cost of the GrassMaster System, which has been used at London’s Wembley Stadium. It will allow the turf to be used three times as often as normal turf, as the natural grass is reinforced by synthetic grass fibres injected into the pitch. Cr Syd Brown, who made the application to the trust on behalf of the city, said the stadium would be the first in New Zealand to use the system.
        Read more

  3. I don’t get why racing would be getting grants for a start.

  4. Mike

    Racing is apparently a ‘sport’ and needs pokie financing for its purses (that’s what the pokie money goes to).

    Really almost no-one goes to the races much any more – it’s only there for the purposes of sports betting – they ought to target the TAB directly and take a percentage there instead of other sorts of betting – but then we’re looking at a massive public subsidy for Sky’s casino too so I guess it’s standard operating practice.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    I don’t get the definition of sport to include watching other people – or animals – doing something. Why isn’t going to a play or concert “sport” if that’s the definition that justifies expenditure not for the small number of individuals who do the activities that people watch, but for the huge numbers of passively spectators, many of whom do not even leave their couch?

  6. Mike

    I agree – watching rugby or the races is not sport, it’s much the same thing as going to the movies.

  7. Russell Garbutt

    Let us make no mistake about this.

    Horse racing is a business in exactly the same way as professional rugby is a business. People that go to the races or go to a pro rugby match are participating in the entertainment sector.

    But, and here is the big but – horse racing is a huge consumer of the output of pokie machines (gambling) and uses that money for the prize money for the races. People don’t bother going to the races unless there is some BS spun round it like the Melbourne Cup, but they do frequent on-line or actual TAB outlets which operate on the same basis as the pokie machines – they never lose overall. The gamblers are the ones that do lose, and the industry relies on suckers in exactly the same way that the pokie industry relies on suckers at the local pub or even bigger suckers like Shonky Donkey JohnKey’s mates at SkyCity or down here at McLauchlan’s parlour called the Dunedin Casino.

    It is absolutely immoral and unethical for pokie fund proceeds to be used to promote further gambling on horses, but try and get ANY politician to change things. Not ONE MP that I know of is yelling about this matter despite it being the cause of untold hardship amongst those that think that they just might strike it rich if they keep gambling the benefit away.

    Locally, we don’t have to look very far amongst Councillors to find those that strongly support the racing business and they don’t do it by gambling. They do it by riding upon the backs of those that can least afford it.

    Just one final point. SkyCity and the Dunedin Casino return about 2% of their ill-gotten gains to the community. Really noble of them eh?

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    What a tactless question. Tut tut, Winston.

    • We believe the four pokie trusts involved in the SFO raid are NZCT, Bluegrass Trust, TTCF and Infinity Foundation. The DIA target is likely to be individuals rather than the all-powerful (white collar criminal) pokie trusts. This might indicate DIA management lacks credibility in the pursuit of serious fraud and organised crime related to gambling. Time will tell.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    I would be surprised if the SFO turns out to be as tolerant as the DIA have been over the misdemeanours of the various ‘Trusts’ over several years. It is these tolerances that have brought about the situations which have caught the attention of the SFO, albeit, aided and abetted by numerous concerned citizens. My guess is that there may well be a serious cauterization of the whole corrupted gambling industry. It will catch many a politician and business organisation with their figurative ‘pants down’.

    • MURKY, DIA fail. Deliberate fail ?

      ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:33 28/02/2013
      Judge clears O’Brien of trying to deceive Internal Affairs investigator
      By Kat Pickford – Marlborough Express
      The Department of Internal Affairs case against a Blenheim man with a long history in the horse racing industry has been quashed by a judge. Michael O’Brien appeared in the Blenheim District Court yesterday charged with making a false statement with intent to deceive. Judge Tony Zohrab ruled in favour of Mr O’Brien’s lawyer, Dean Russ, who said there was no case to answer because the alleged offending did not fit the criteria of the law Mr O’Brien had been charged under – section 242 of the Crimes Act. Outside court, Mr O’Brien did not wish to comment on the judge’s verdict, other than to say “it was expected”.
      Read more

      • Some media history:

        DIA to probe pokies link to racing
        Sunday Star Times (NZ, 7 July 2008)

        Millions of dollars of pokie money is flooding into the accounts of four small trotting clubs which don’t even have their own race-standard tracks. Steve Kilgallon and Tony Wall reveal why.
        In the financial accounts of the Kumeu District Trotting Club is an innocuous reference to a $1.3m “term deposit” with a company called Waitakere Finance. Similar investments are listed in the accounts of the Manukau, Franklin and Thames trotting clubs, which all race out of Auckland’s Alexandra Park.
        There is nothing to suggest what this really is: a scheme – unprecedented in its scale – to pump millions of dollars of poker machine money into harness racing through a complicated pub-buying venture. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has promised to investigate, saying the scheme may breach the spirit of the Gambling Act. Those involved deny the arrangement exists.
        Read more

  10. Between April 2010 and March 2012, Blenheim-based Bluegrass Trust granted almost half ($2.167 million) of its nationwide grants ($4.5 million) to Southern racing clubs, despite having no pokie venues in Otago or Southland.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Feb 2013
    Racing body under scrutiny
    By Hamish McNeilly
    Gallopsouth has become the latest organisation embroiled in a major pokies investigation, after its Dunedin office was visited by Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office staff yesterday. Last week, both agencies [DIA and SFO] confirmed search warrants were executed as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged manipulation of pokie grants.
    Read more

    • Hello DIA and SFO – Why take out an individual (‘somebody’, we all know who, is to be charged later today) when you can take out many trustees (fraudulent individuals by paper trail) associated with the various pokie trusts ? And the many beneficiaries (fraudulent individuals) of the rorts ?

      You better be going wider. One example (one individual) made does not exonerate the entire white collar multimillion-dollar industry here; it is organised crime. We expect results – and NAMES. Because, we have the NAMES, you have the NAMES. Get to it. Oh, and that individual, if he knows what’s good for him, will sing the NAMES too.

  11. ### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Wednesday Feb 27, 2013
    Pokies boss: Harm claim is over-hyped
    Comment follows report showing 45,000 people had problems with gambling.
    By David Fisher
    The gambling-charity boss overseeing pokies in pubs and bars has launched a blistering attack on the problem-gambling industry, saying it over-hypes a problem for machines that aren’t really addictive. Pub Charity chief executive Martin Cheer said the industry was unfairly tainted by problem gambling when the negative effects were relatively few. He said one in six adults played gaming machines each year. “As I have said in response to the people who parrot that gaming machines are designed to addict, clearly the designers are not doing a very good job.” He said addiction was an obsessive-compulsive disorder and could “develop over any activity, not just gambling”.
    Read more

    27.2.13 NZH: Priest jailed for spending church funds on pokies

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Were I cynical I would read this: “there was no case to answer because the alleged offending did not fit the criteria of the law Mr O’Brien had been charged under – section 242 of the Crimes Act” and muse quietly on how fortuitous it should be, were a person to be inadvertently charged under the wrong section or subsection, and how fortunate that the deeds could not be considered and an amendment made to the charge where the actions or omissions described clearly fitted within another section of the act. What would happen, I’d be wondering, if the spirit of justice were to prevail, not so that malefactors could be hounded until some cranny of the law be found to persecute them with – for this would be against the SPIRIT of justice which must surely be for the wellbeing of society from highest to lowest ranked – but that twinkle-toed dancers on the heads of pins be fitted with sturdy work boots and required to do an honest day’s work for a fair day’s pay.

  13. Russell Garbutt

    Ah, a cynic. Put another way, a little bit of theatre designed to allow lawyers to ply their trade and judges to demonstrate their ability to completely ignore the blindingly obvious while pursuing irrelevancies.

    Today it was reported that the authorities refuse to acknowledge their role in allowing a woman who was clearly mad to escape and kill another innocent woman. Warnings after warning were issued, and now all the authorities do is to offer condolences. Absolutely no accountability. There is no difference between the numerous Parole Board cases, this case I’ve just mentioned and the multitudinous examples round pokie rorts and frauds. Oh and DCC decisions. No accountability means that the behaviour continues.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    I don’t subscribe to the direct “backhander” theory. I see it more as a peer- and socially-connected form of interaction. Kind of like in another social stratum, Bill gives Jan a bucket of plums, she gives jam to Bill and Alice, Alice lends Bill’s son her ladder, the son mows Jan’s lawn……. and so on. Then they all gather on the lawn for Alice’s scones, Jan’s jam and Bill’s plum wine. Wanaka high-society or NEV community, it’s how people interact, just that the favours of more influential people are more “significant”.
    Now, suppose Bill and Jan have more plums, more jam than they and the neighbours can use so they start selling it, will they or won’t they find health and tax officials crawling all over them? That’s where the real difference lies.

    • Hype, the irrefutable evidence of the whistleblowers (some published here, more withheld for strategic reasons) is that backhanders/deals/buy-sell-‘n’-exchange/multi-faceted fraud… money laundering and corruption, have been perpetrated by persons who must’ve really thought they were being ‘back door’ (indirect!?)…. but their slim grasp of technology has laid them completely bare. Yep, for the plucking like plums – to kindly underline your rich analogy, of the providence funding we know as black market in New Zealand. Less murder, more mafia here.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    All the above lends credence to Chris Trotter’s column “Corruption exists by the shovel load”, reproduced here by Elizabeth. In this he outlines just how corrupt this ‘little ole country’ of ours really is. To me it is abundantly clear that the bureaucracy is equally complicit with the politicians and the judiciary in creating and perpetuating the slime.

    Take the point Trotter makes when he mentions Deputy Auditor General Phillipa Smith detailing an extraordinary series of highly irregular activities on the part of New Zealand politicians and civil servants, only to conclude that she has no “substantive” issues with the outcome of the “Skyline Conference Centre deal”. This, despite the proven actions of our Prime Minister meeting privately over dinner with the operator of the country’s largest casino. This leading to a change in the gaming laws in return for the said operator funding the convention centre. One can only surmise that these are the actions referred to by Ms Smith. One can also imagine Mr “Fixit” – Steven Joyce – heavying that hapless woman into producing the conclusion that she did.

    This is typical of the OAG’s office outcomes for almost all enquiries. This is supposed to be the people’s watchdog.

    It is odds on that the threatened revelations concerning the ‘Pokies’ corruptions under the auspices of the DIA will, once the SFO has done its ‘due diligence’, quietly melt away in the same manner. In a word, “CORRUPTION” writ large. At best there might be some poor fall guy way down the food chain who might incur the wrath of the ‘beast’.

    On the local front we have witnessed at first hand the evil reach of corrupt power, which bullied our poor hapless, barely literate, mayor and councillors of the time into approving the construction of the Stadium in the face of a huge majority of opposition from the people. Worse, the corrupt bureaucracy which didn’t have the ‘guts’ to point out the economic folly of the project, but rather, succumbed to the bullying of the corrupt manipulators. We all know who they are, and we also know that, as Chris Trotter points out, they will never be brought to account.

    We true-ly live in a sick society.

    • DIA is considering whether to appeal the Marlborough judgement. Let’s see what happens. Yesterday and today DIA has been leaking like a sieve. Sign of a department under poor management.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Funny how many smart people think emails, texts, all that “computer and mobile phones” stuff is private, and what’s more can be obliterated as easily as paper records can be thrown in the log-burner.
    One aspect of this strange naivety that boggles my mind is the people who get caught by online “love” and money scams – you’d think with all the stories about people who’ve been defrauded it would only be those with an IQ lower than their bath temperature who’d be taken in, but no.

  17. Sunday Star Times tomorrow runs an interesting story.

    • SST didn’t deliver. instead, hoohaa on an army suicide, and tributes to Hotere. Well and good. Something (typically) weird about the other pap SST shoves in its front section that could’ve been ditched for an investigative ‘field day’ (great political intrigue / worth millions) covered by Steve Kilgallon. And so we wait…………..

      • ### ODT Online Mon, 4 Mar 2013
        Status quo for pokies suggested in report
        By Debbie Porteous
        Dunedin City Council staff are again recommending the council sticks with the status quo on gaming venues and machines in the city, rather than adopting a sinking-lid policy. Since October 2001, the number of poker machine venues in Dunedin had declined from about 70 to just over 40 by November last year. During the same period, the number of machines, which peaked at more than 800 in 2005, declined from 700 to slightly more than 500. Spending had tended to fluctuate between $4.4 million and $5.6 million in the past five years regardless of the number of venues.
        In 2010, when Dunedin’s gambling and TAB venue policy was last reviewed, councillors stuck with the policy – no limits on venue and gambling machine numbers, but a ban on establishing them in residential or recreational areas unless they were for organised sporting purposes – despite having received 815 submissions overwhelmingly in favour of changing to a sinking-lid policy. […] A report from council liquor licensing and projects officer Kevin Mechen to the planning and environment committee meeting tomorrow said since the last review staff had monitored venue and gaming machine activity and researched problem gambling. The policy’s objectives to reduce the number of venues and gaming machines in the district were being achieved and the decline continued, which was why staff believed there was no reason to change the policy. […] Sticking with the status quo would have the advantage of being seen to be supportive of community groups dependent on grants from gaming societies.
        Read more

        ● Submissions on the policy would open on April 8 and close on May 6.

        Report – PEC – 05/03/2013 (PDF, 232.4 KB)
        Review of the Gambling and Tab Venue Policy

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 24 May 2013
          Submissions reveal gaming policy confusion
          By Debbie Porteous
          Some submitters on a new gaming machine policy for Dunedin may not have understood what was proposed. A significant number of the more than 600 people who made submissions said they disliked the city’s current policy and wanted to see it changed to a sinking lid policy on gaming machines. However, a sinking lid is actually proposed. Council projects officer Kevin Mechan said some pro forma submissions referred to the council proposing the status quo, which was incorrect.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Jun 2013
          Limit on pokies feared
          By Chris Morris
          Sports and community groups in Dunedin fear being left out of pocket if a push to cap the number of poker machines in the city is successful. However, supporters of the move warn the social harm caused by gambling addiction means change is needed, and some are calling for even tougher rules. The debate comes as a Dunedin City Council hearings subcommittee prepares to begin a three-day meeting on Wednesday, considering an amended “Gambling and TAB Venue Policy”. […] Dunedin’s pokies were found in higher concentrations in low income areas of the city – North and South Dunedin – and the city’s gamblers spent more than $4.7 million in them during the three months to December last year. That equated to $18 million in a year, the organisation noted.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Jun 2013
          Future of Dunedin pokies up for debate
          By Chris Morris
          Emotional pleas and cold, hard numbers dominated the first day of a public hearing that could change the rules for gambling in Dunedin. On one side were those who warned of the harm inflicted by pokies, which Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black said were costing Dunedin’s problem gamblers $20,000 a day. On the other side was the New Zealand Racing Board, which was responsible for the city’s TAB poker machine venues and argued it was doing all it could to control problem gambling. […] The council’s proposed change had prompted concern from sports and community groups, who worried their funding could be threatened, but none addressed the hearing yesterday.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 21 Jun 2013
          Pokie trusts plead their case to DCC
          By Chris Morris
          Two poker machine trusts together distributing more than $60 million a year to community groups – including in Dunedin – have urged the Dunedin City Council not to punish the industry for problem gambling. One appeal came from the New Zealand Community Trust, the second-largest poker machine-funded trust in the country, which yesterday warned amateur sport would at ”serious risk” without their support. The second came from Pub Charity, a poker machine-funded charitable trust, which warned if pokie funding dried up, councils and the Government could be left to pick up the tab.
          Read more

        • See http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/261844/pokie-trusts-plead-their-case-dcc

          Re New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT)

          Friday, 21 June 2013 6:48 p.m.

          This from Racecafe [Sheriff] in April this year. See NZCT name mentioned.

          Hodder’s words “too much involved” reinforced what xxxx 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.

        • Sheriff (website owner/moderator) at Racecafe is boiling/scalding hot, scroll down…

        • Without change, the question inevitably became about how prepared a place was to continue taking from low-income areas to give to what were often affluent community organisations. –Sara Epperson, Problem Gambling Foundation

          ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Jun 2013
          Fewer pokie machines a step closer
          By Debbie Porteous
          A sinking-lid policy on poker machines in South Dunedin has passed its first hurdle at the Dunedin City Council. The council’s gambling and TAB venue policy hearings subcommittee, which considered whether to impose a cap on the number of pokies in the city, has unanimously voted to recommend a sinking-lid in South Dunedin and a cap, set at the present number of machines, for the rest of the city.
          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz June 25, 2013 – 6:38pm
          Gambling recommendation met with mixed reaction
          A recommendation by the Dunedin City Council to have a sinking lid policy on gaming venues and machines has met with mixed reaction today. The number of venues and machines will decline over time, a move which is welcomed by those who help problem gamblers.

        • ### ch9.co.nz August 16, 2013 – 6:40pm
          Sinking lid plan due for final sign-off
          A plan for a sinking lid on the number of pokie machines in South Dunedin, and a cap on numbers in the rest of the city, is due for final sign-off on Monday.

        • ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 14/08/2013
          Pokie funds ‘unethical’
          By Danielle Street
          A leading researcher in gambling addiction says the country has developed an “unethical” dependence on pokie funds. Associate professor Peter Adams from the University of Auckland has worked in the fields of drug and alcohol research since the 1980s, with a particular focus on gambling addiction in the last decade. Dr Adams says in the early days New Zealanders had an innocuous relationship with gambling by dabbling in housie, racing bets and Golden Kiwi. The profits from those benign forms of gambling were used to fund community ventures. But things took a sour turn in the 1990s with the introduction of pokie machines, he says. “It’s a very potent form of gambling which is highly manipulatable. The expansion occurred very quickly in the 1990s and there was a 10-fold increase in consumption.”
          Read more

        • “The money is taken from the poor and redistributed to those who are not poor. I, in all consciousness, cannot ignore that. –Cr Richard Thomson

          ### ODT Online Tue, 20 Aug 2013
          Even tighter pokie rules?
          By Debbie Porteous
          New rules on poker machine numbers in Dunedin could be tightened even further. A sinking-lid policy in South Dunedin and a cap for the rest of the city were adopted by the council yesterday. However, a tougher sinking-lid policy could be introduced across the whole city following an impassioned speech from Cr Richard Thomson.
          Read more

          It’s OK Richard, it’s happening [redistributed wealth] with the council’s stadium spend too, or did you not notice?

          Pokies policy (via ODT)

          Present numbers
          South Dunedin: 12.9 poker machines per 1000 people aged over 15.
          Rest of city: 3.7 pokies per 1000 people aged over 15.
          National average: 5.2 pokies per 1000 people aged over 15.

          New rules
          South Dunedin: Sinking lid applies until there are a maximum of five venues with a total of 50 machines, at which time it becomes a cap. (At present, 12 venues and 168 machines in this area)
          Rest of the city: A cap of 30 venues and 362 machines (as at March 5, 2013).

        • Electioneering.

          ### ch9.co.nz August 20, 2013 – 6:56pm
          Pokie machine rules may see changes sooner than anticipated
          A Dunedin city councillor says the Government has a role in weaning amateur sports off what he describes as the “dirty” money they get from pokies. Councillor Richard Thomson made the comment today, following an impassioned speech at the council yesterday that may help result in further cuts to pokie numbers.

        • Comment at ODT Online:

          Rugby and racing
          Submitted by russandbev on Wed, 21/08/2013 – 2:52pm.

          Those that need pokie machines the most are the racing industry, which would fold up entirely if pokie money wasn’t propping them up, and professional rugby. Just have a look at what the ORFU was revealed to have taken out of their applications via The Trusts Charitable Foundation in the many ODT published reports over the years. Millions. Mainly from those that could afford it the least, going to those that already had much.

  18. Anonymous

    The Dunedin City Council staff don’t get to recommend dick. They can bugger off out of it, along with Kevin Mechen. It was the citizens of Dunedin who put their argument forward last time but disagreement was overturned for reasons that could not be justified.

    I now wonder which councillor is going to go into bat for the Stakeholders this time? Who is going to dismiss hundreds of submissions and put their political career on the line for this nasty wee business? Likely it’ll just be one of the cannon-fodder Stadium Councillors but here’s hoping it’s Syd Brown anyway. It’ll wipe that one out of council too.

    But there’s a little difference this time in the big politics. Will a particular Stakeholder want the status quo this time with a potential rival looking at the harbourside?

    Go on Syd. Front this one too.

  19. Rob Hamlin

    An interesting little historical article from The Guardian on our leaders and libel here:


    • That makes Twitter an interesting place.

        • ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Mar 2013
          Pokie probe widens
          By Hamish McNeilly
          The investments of dozens of racing clubs are the subject of a joint investigation between the Serious Fraud Office and Internal Affairs over alleged pokie grant manipulations. Late last month, both agencies executed search warrants and seized computers as part of the investigation. At least three pokie trusts – the New Zealand Community Trust, Bluegrass Trust and Infinity Foundation – are being investigated, inquiries also focusing on thoroughbred and harness racing clubs across the country. Racing Minister Nathan Guy said the investigation was an operational matter for Internal Affairs.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Thu, 7 Mar 2013
          Silence on racing inquiry links
          By Hamish McNeilly
          Internal Affairs is refusing to comment about whether a previous investigation involving southern racing clubs is linked to a joint agency investigation involving the Serious Fraud Office. […] Since 2006, several southern racing clubs have recorded on their annual reports an investment with “Hagley Trustees No 10”, a trust account linked with a Christchurch-based lawyer. Annual reports for the Central Otago Racing Club, Beaumont Racing Club, Tapanui Racing Club, Gore Racing Club, Southland Racing Club and Riverton Racing Club show investments into this trust account.
          Read more

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Rob, that saga has more than a faint resemblance to a certain event between two prominent sportspeople and our ‘Excellency, Mayor Dave Cull’. The difference being in this case it was the defendant who capitulated. Disgusting.

  21. Rob Hamlin

    The United States courts puts the onus of proof onto the plaintiff to prove that the allegation is false when dealing with a libel/slander case, which makes legal suppression by chequebook of inconvenient information and opinion based thereon much harder to achieve. Faced with inconvenient and noisy fiscal pigmies, the great and the good in the US have been trying to use courts in the UK to obtain judgments against people under their/our system where the onus is on the defendant to prove that they are false to a criminal standard without having any of the powers of discovery of the necessary documentation that criminal prosecutors possess – This makes proving what may be an ‘easy nick’ in a criminal court a hopeless task in most cases in a civil court in the UK, as it is here.

    The US great and the good then get enforcement of these UK rulings via the US court system. Until recently that is. In the last few weeks the US government has passed legislation that makes UK libel rulings unenforceable in the US on the basis that it clearly represents a foreign threat to free speech in the US – How wise they are. I do not know if NZ is also included in this legislation. If not, I suppose that the QC’s in this country may shortly be getting some work coming their way courtesy of the thin skins of America’s moguls.

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    Big ups to the US for that support of their free speech taonga.

    • The defamation suit(s) surrounding the Hanover entrails are / have been fairly interesting.

      Always like the little tie-up with Delta property acquisitions.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    I knew Laurie Bryant back in student days. Was I astonished to see him involved in something that involved being elegantly dressed and dodgy but OK if you carefully didn’t ask any questions? You could have knocked me down with a D11 CAT bulldozer.

  24. Anonymous

    ### Stuff Online Last updated 05:00 10/03/2013
    $30 million at centre of pokie probe
    By Steve Kilgallon
    A low-key Internal Affairs swoop last week has emerged as the biggest investigation into potential poker machine fraud with over $30 million in grants to the racing industry under the microscope. The Sunday Star-Times has learned that $30m in grants dating back to 2006, made by New Zealand Community Trust, Infinity and Bluegrass Trusts, are being examined by investigators. The focus of the inquiry is prominent Blenheim racing trainer and publican Mike O’Brien. Up to 50 Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office staff served more than 10 warrants over two days. O’Brien’s home, and a hotel room in which he was staying, were among addresses on which warrants were served last week. Internal Affairs are studying what relationship O’Brien may have to several racing clubs and pokie trusts.
    Read more

  25. Whippet

    Good one Anon. I see that man O’Brien who is being investigated, acted on behalf of Jokers. Watch out ORFU. They are getting closer.

    • Anonymous has linked to the story promised last Sunday.
      Steve Kilgallon says:

      “The Star-Times has seen evidence that O’Brien remained active in the licensed trade after the Metro Trust decision. We have seen an email showing O’Brien acting on behalf of the controversial Jokers’ chain of pubs in Auckland, from which a pokie trust, [The] Trusts Charitable Foundation, gave millions of poker machine money to South Island rugby and racing.
      Internal Affairs general manager Maarten Quivooy declined to comment on the progress of the investigation.”

      My emphasis. There’s another angle to the investigation not yet in public domain. Wait for that – it will show how diligent or not DIA has been with whistleblower evidence. Indeed, how prone DIA is to political sanitising. Was OAG misled, or did it fail to properly investigate. More to come.

      Don’t forget how the stadium turf was paid for…

      The Dunedin City Council has been granted more than $600,000 to buy an artificial turf system for Forsyth Barr Stadium, the largest poker machine grant given to a local body. New Zealand Community Trust chief executive Mike Knell confirmed the trust had granted $605,556 for the artificial turf system, following a request from the Dunedin City Council. “It is a legacy for the whole community,” he said. [ODT 13.10.10]

      • racecafe.co.nz, thread More good ‘press’ for racing
        The lizard of Queenstown is an easy one to put a name to.

        Sheriff – Posted Today, 11:30 AM
        So if the O’Briens are guilty of 30 million in pokie fraud for harness how much has Pinokienose been guilty of in dollar terms for our code?…..and how much is NZTR involved by virtue of turning a ‘blind eye’….and why has the RIU not intervened and charged these guys with bringing racing into disrepute given that we’ve all known about this for a long long time.

        I see Opie got fined $350 for adding a bit of entertainment value to the theatre of racing on Ruud Awakening yesterday…but the lizard of Queenstown would presumably have been at Otago, buried up to his scrawny neck in free food and liquor while the impotent RIU selectively do nothing about him or the real offenders of this industry.


        • racecafe publishes an email that What if? received a copy of recently (with names).
          The thread is O’Brien dodges a bullet

          Sheriff – Posted 01 March 2013 – 11:46 PM
          But not for long

          Subject: DIA v O’Brien
          Dear all
          You will have heard by now that Judge Zohrab yesterday ruled, at the conclusion of the informant’s case, that Mr Zohrab had no case to answer, as the offence created by s 242(1)(B) of the Crimes Act could not be committed in the way we said it had been (an oral statement in a voluntary interview with a DIA gambling inspector). This is obviously a disappointing result, and one with which we don’t agree.
          Before discussing the decision, I should make it clear that the Judge made no findings in relation to the falsity or otherwise of the statements – one way or the other. He was not required to, as the decision was on a pure point of statutory interpretation.
          Read more

        • Search engine terms spotted at What if? in the last 7 days (amongst many subjects):

          murray acklin
          dia sfo joint investigation grant
          what if dunedin murray acklin
          debbie despard
          michael o’brien nz dia inquiry
          how to manipulate pokies
          jokers manurewa
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          owner of jokers manurewa
          modus group ltd, new zealand
          nzct sfo
          murray acklin queenstown
          warwick hodder, nz
          murray acklin nz
          lindsay raki
          general comments on the article the inside man martin legge
          old boys rugby dunedin nz
          brent todd pokies scam
          silence on racing inquiry links site:dunedinstadium.wordpress.com

  26. Anonymous

    Be more interesting to see the range of IP addresses that those came from.

    • Couldn’t possibly comment.

      More search engine terms since the last:

      pokie rorts
      mike o’brien + dia
      mike o brien dia
      what are the sources of income at the wellington sevens

      Ever since pokie rorts became a topic here in relation to named pokie trusts, ORFU and DIA, we’ve hosted similar searches – frequently. Our networks tell us who is monitoring this site, a few insiders to thank.

      • This is cute (just to hand):
        New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) has the following board of trustees:

        Peter Dale, Chairman
        Alan Isaac, Trustee
        David Pilkington, Trustee
        Lesley Murdoch, Trustee
        Kerry Prendergast, Trustee

        NZCT is named in the SFO investigation of a $30 million pokie rort going on since 2006. Ex Wellington mayor, Kerry Prendergast, is a paid NZCT trustee (worth around $100k per annum). Her profile also mentions her position on the Advisory Board of the Auditor General. Such a prominent personality and a position with OAG must work well for NZCT – gives the public a perception of honesty and commitment to rigorous systems. With all those skills and integrity, I wonder if it was Kerry who blew the whistle about O’Brien’s longstanding arrangements with NZCT – I somehow doubt it !!!”


        Kerry Prendergast

        Kerry Prendergast was the mayor of Wellington for three terms until 2010 and prior to that she served as deputy mayor between 1995 and 2001. In addition to her career in local government, Kerry has a professional background in the health sector (as a registered nurse and midwife for 30 years).

        Kerry is the chairperson of several organisations and boards including the NZ International Festival of the Arts, the Environmental Protection Agency, Wellington Jazz Music Festival Trust and the New Zealand Tourism Board.

        Kerry is a director of Kirkcaldie & Stains and an advisory board member of both Victoria University of Wellington’s MBA programme and the Auditor General. She is patron of the SPCA, Skylight, Capital Vision Research Trust and the Tawa Male Voice Choir. Kerry is also a trustee of Motu and a member of Westpac Stadium, the Wellington Phoenix Football Club and Fish Head Magazine Advisory Board. She is a member of Central Zone Netball and has interests in the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Trust and Boulcott’s Farm Heritage Golf Club.

        In 2011 Kerry was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary and a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

        Oh dear, oh dear.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    ‘As tens of thousands of investors line up to become share owners with the Mighty River Power listing, assessing companies’ boards of directors is likely to become a popular pastime.
    But do popular – or at least high-profile – directors on company boards give an assurance to investors that their companies will be well-managed? And how exactly should retail investors assess corporate governance?
    John Hawkins, chairman of the Shareholder’s Association, is blunt when asked if a director’s public profile has any bearing on their competence as a director: “Absolutely not,” he said…..’
    ….continued – http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/8404428/Directors-require-skills-not-a-high-profile

  28. Russell Garbutt

    The Race Cafe site seems quite able to spell out in simple words exactly what has been going on with these rorts and criminal behaviour. One poster invoked a response from another along these lines:

    [Sheriff] Posted 07 March 2013 – 04:45 PM {see this thread -Eds}

    Ashoka I’m correcting you, you’re wrong…but that’s not unusual.

    As for the current SFO led inquiry….well let me tell you one more time and I’ll hope like xxxx you can comprehend it this time.

    The investigation is into a scheme known as capture and reward whereby racing clubs or a rugby union borrow money against their assets and invest it with a dodgy lawyer, or with the O’Briens through an intermediary, and Acklin is in there too, and then that money is used to buy a scungy pokie den masquerading as a bar in South Auckland, usually called the Jokers bar, and the proceeds of those 18 filthy pokies in that bar are channeled back to the club/union that made the loan used to buy the bar, on the basis that the lendor gets preferential grants that are disproportionate.

    In other words, and this is idiot speak just for you, “give me your money and I’ll give you it back as a pokie grant” (but I’ll keep plenty for myself along the way!!)

    It’s illegal, criminal, it’s fraud at the expense of the vulnerable of Sth Auckland Ashoka, got that?

    Of course when this poster talks of a Rugby Union, we know very well which one that is being talked about don’t we?

    • More at racecafe:

      Sheriff Posted 04 March 2013 – 03:00 PM

      I’m now told by me usual impeccable sources that Pinokienose has been visited at his home in Queenstown….however he is as we speak in Dunedin, driving the Mercedes, and that very same Mercedes is jam packed with cartons of files that have today allegedly been removed from the offices of Gallop South.

      I’ll leave you to speculate why numerous boxes of files are being removed from Gallop South today, and why most of them are travelling first class in the rorters Mercedes


      Sheriff Posted 06 March 2013 – 07:10 PM

      Just in case the DIA or SFO don’t know who they’re looking for :D :D

      Bruce if I take a picture from Crimewatch do I have to give them a credit?

      I should add that this picture didn’t come from Crimewatch, nor is it a Police ID picture, or a shot through the bars of a local prison….however……


  29. ### ODT Online Mon, 18 Mar 2013
    Racing clubs under scrutiny
    By Hamish McNeilly
    Dozens of racing clubs in the South have been ordered to hand over files as part of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into pokie grants; while the Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain confirms he is investigating options to “tighten up regulations” for the sector. The Otago Daily Times understands some clubs have until tomorrow to hand over files, including grant applications and minutes of meetings, to the SFO after it issued section 9 notices last week.
    Read more

  30. Serious Fraud Office are shoving Section 9 demands at everybody (“give us your files!!!”) — or you go to jail.

    This too at Race Cafe, that terribly upfront blog:


  31. Hype O'Thermia

    Do you think they’ve been reminded of the Serious part of their name?
    Second question – do you think they’ve heard of rugby?

  32. If it’s only plagorism then not to worry. When it gets to be plagiarism then it’s time to worry.

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    Wait till it turns bubonic. The fleas on the rats can’t be relied on to keep quiet forever.

  34. SFO seeks tough corruption penalties
    “You can carry out a corrupt act in the private sector, get charged, get found guilty and spend six or seven months’ home detention with your feet up on the sofa watching TV.”


  35. Hype O'Thermia

    I’m puzzled, again: “if pokie funding dried up, councils and the Government could be left to pick up the tab”. But if pokies weren’t taking so much money out of the individual members of the community compared with the amount they give back to selected recipients, wouldn’t there be less need for government to “pick up the tab” with extra grants to beneficiaries, fewer calls on food banks, more disposable income in the hands of individuals with which they could pay sports club fees? Wouldn’t people be free to support those things that are important to them, make donations, buy sausages at the sausage sizzles, buy raffle tickets, go to the fund-raising concert?

  36. Hype, you’re on to it. Think about the ‘begging’ institutions, what did they do before the authorities allowed ‘mass gambling as a ‘charitable’ revenue gatherer? That’s right, the organisations and sporting clubs relied on their own initiatives to finance their requirements. I well remember in my time in the North End Rowing Club flogging rugby score picks to all my grumpy work mates and anyone else I could buttonhole, running ‘housie evenings’ at the Oriental Pub etc. all to raise funds so the club could purchase and maintain its plant. A constant battle which was part of the ‘social glue’ in belonging. Nowadays you just put out the begging bowl and expect it to be filled. So we now have this ‘horrendous social monster’ unleashed in the name of charity, bleeding the very people who can least afford it. Disgusting!

  37. Russell Garbutt

    The philosophy of pokies is wrong – no doubt about it and every bit of research shows that the industry is fuelled by those least able to afford it. They do so from desperation.

    But the real wrong is connected to the fraudulent, dishonest and morally bankrupt people running some of these pokie trusts and those professional bodies creaming these ill-gotten funds. The likes of Harness Racing and the ORFU and their hangers-on, aided and abetted by willing and complicit Government compliance agencies are the real villains. Just how much did the ORFU or Harness Racing – so ably supported by the GOB’s of Qtown, Wanaka, Mosgiel – suck out of the pockets of the poor of South Auckland? Wherever there is money able to be dispersed there is crime. And we know that the DIA and their useless management are just watching it happen.

    • Russell, your word “desperation” is the key… if people, even so-called upstanding ones, see a food trough they invariably push to get the best feeding position for themselves – the weather, in particular, takes me back to my years of feeding out through winters, animal psychology… there’s sheep, and then there’s pigs – people I’m talking about – in New Zealand’s worsening muddy paddock.

  38. Russell; it’s an industry. Quite profitable as well. You would have read the Lion Foundation report published recently. Lauding itself over all the donations made to all and sundry. No mention of the fact that the payout was way less than 100% of revenue. As a genuine ‘charitable institution’ that is what should have happened. No mention of the expenses and whose pockets it was channeled into. No mention of the hardships caused to the donors who have been extorted in the false belief of rewards beyond their input. No mention of the ‘computer rigged’ machines which swallow the ‘punter’s’ money. No mention of the government’s connivance looking the other way. No mention of the horse racing industry’s sucking up of great amounts of the proceeds to foster that other great gambling scourge where the favoured leech off the poor people again via the street front TABs which also host the pokie machines. A seriously twisted system all round designed purely to take from the poor to give to the privileged. And when the DCC on the local front have a chance to stand up and make a statement, just watch them ‘wimp out’.

  39. Martin Legge

    Councils have been hijacked by the pokie industry and the DIA and politicians have all been complicit to it. When those pokie industry men and their lawyers roll up to council with the threat that if you cut the number of machines you will reduce the amount of money available for your community. Tell that to South Auckland Community who between 2005-2011 compliments of TTCF had nearly $7 million fleeced from their community to support southern racing and the ORFU. Amazes me how the word “community” is thrown about by the gambling industry in their hour of need.

    • Thanks Martin, let’s emphasise part of that for Dunedin City Council to better comprehend:

      Martin Legge says 21.6.13

    • More on The Trusts Community Foundation (formerly, The Trusts Charitable Foundation) – TTCF.

      ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 25/08/2013
      $97k pokie deal ‘naked greed’
      By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star-Times
      A controversial pokie trust paid out nearly $100,000 to a racing group to buy a small piece of racetrack from one of its own club members. The grant made to Gallop South – thoroughbred racing’s umbrella body for Southland and Otago – was then paid to the Oamaru Jockey Club to buy a section of the Oamaru racecourse.

      The move has been slammed by industry sources as “pure naked greed” and a “desperate way” to grab pokie funds.

      The $97,000 payment bought a section of the Oamaru race course, which hosts fewer than than 10 meetings a year, with Gallop South arguing the sale protected the future of racing after the club threatened to sell it for housing. The grant was made by The Trusts Community Foundation (formerly the Trusts Charitable Foundation), subject of several critical stories by the Sunday Star-Times, including its close relationships and multimillion-dollar grant funding of the racing industry. The Star-Times has learned a former Internal Affairs analyst, Dave Bermingham, studied the grant as part of work done to analyse TTCF’s pattern of making huge grants to racing. Bermingham confirmed he submitted a report to Internal Affairs about the grant before he left, but wouldn’t discuss the contents.

      The DIA said it had no record of any investigation into the grant and would not comment specifically, but said: “If there was a complaint about a particular grant, or an audit picks up an issue we will follow that up.”

      TTCF records show the grant was paid in November 2011 “towards the purchase of a piece of land known as ‘the Mile Shute’ at Oamaru Racecourse, belonging to the Oamaru Jockey Club Inc. Oamaru Jockey Club wish to sell this land and it is in the interest of all racing clubs in Otago and Southland that Gallop South Inc purchase this to preserve the future of racing at Oamaru Racecourse. It would be a disaster if it was sold to a non-racing interest”.

      One source close to TTCF said it was a clear case of racing interests “coming up with desperate ways to rort gaming funds with the tacit aproval of an ineffective regulator”.

      Gallop South general manager Malcolm Little said the Star-Times’ interest in the grant was “the last thing we need after the SFO”, referring to an ongoing Serious Fraud Office inquiry into racing grants called “Operation Chestnut”. He said the Oamaru club had said it no longer wanted the land, which was never put on the market. Little said Gallop South paid “current market value” and denied Oamaru held them to ransom. He understood the money had been used to pay down debt.
      Read more

      • How odd that DIA isn’t backing its former senior analyst, and that the file does not appear to exist. It’s like the notorious Bermuda triangle, or something. Hello, Maarten Quivooy. Hello, Debbie Despard. Hello Minister. (and the corrupt twisted trollops between and surrounding)

  40. Elizabeth, associates I think. Those people don’t have friends.

  41. Isn’t Peter Chin still on the Gambling Commission? It is a little earner after all. His ethics regarding the subject are purely incidental.

    • No, he isn’t. We’ve published previously the link to the Commission showing he’s not.

      The Gambling Commission is an independent statutory decision-making body established under the Gambling Act 2003. The Commission hears casino licensing applications, and appeals on licensing and enforcement decisions made by the Secretary of Internal Affairs in relation to gaming machines and other non-casino gambling activities. The Gambling Commission has the powers of a Commission of Inquiry.

      Gambling Commissioners

      Previous comment made in reply to Calvin:

      Submitted on 2012/03/13 at 9:54 pm

      I think Peter Chin’s term ended a few years ago. These are the members July 2011: “New appointments to Gambling Commission/Minister of Internal Affairs Nathan Guy has announced two new appointments to the Gambling Commission./Abigail Foote, a Christchurch lawyer brings legal expertise, governance and management experience to her role./Russell Bell, a chartered accountant from Wanganui has a strong background in risk management and auditing./These two appointments bring the Commission to its full complement of five members. They will join Chief Commissioner Graeme Reeves, and Commissioners Paul Stanley and Lisa Hansen…./The Commissioners’ terms are for three years.

      I wonder if Lisa Hansen is related to Judge John?

      {Link added. -Eds}

      • Slight problem . . .
        The Gambling Commission’s Graeme Reeeves is an old mate of the bent Peter Dunne et al.

        The New Zealand politician Graeme Reeves (born 1947), a member of the New Zealand National Party, represented Miramar in Parliament from 1990 to 1993, when Annette King of the New Zealand Labour Party won his seat.
        Reeves (who was formerly a solicitor) and five other one-term National MPs entered Parliament in a swing against Labour in the 1990 election. He failed to re-enter Parliament as a list candidate in the 1996 election. Since then, he has stood several times for the United Future New Zealand party. In the 2008 elections he filled the number 4 slot in the United Future list and stood as a United Future electorate candidate for Wairarapa.
        Reeves was appointed to the New Zealand Gambling Commission in June 2004. In December 2010 he was appointed as Chief Gambling Commissioner. He was reappointed as chair for a further three years in July 2012.

  42. Probably went to sleep and missed the business. Me, I mean, not Chin, although he could have as well with his track record.

  43. Mention of Peter Chin reminds me of arguably the greatest folly of his mayoralty and council indiscretions, was not the Stadium, it was not the Town Hall Redevelopment, it was not the Otago Settlers Museum upgrade, it was not the Chinese Garden.
    It was the very first thing he did upon assuming the office of Mayor. It was when he signed off the contract to give Trust Power full access to our water source and property at Mahinerangi to develop and use the water for the generation of electricity for sale to the market for a period of 999 years (subsequently revised by agreement with Trust Power) to 99 (NINETY NINE!!! years at a notional rental of $1 (ONE DOLLAR!!!) per year. A dopey con trick perpetrated on the ‘brains’ of Harland’s hierarchy who were sucked in by Trust Power. When challenged over his actions he said “Oops! I hadn’t read it!! That’s right, our Mayor a trained lawyer, hadn’t read a profound document before signing.
    That the city already owned a company ‘DELTA’, totally capable of carrying out the development work plus ‘Aurora’, equally capable of distributing the product which would have provided, never occurred to them. Over the 99 years, continuous annual revenue capable of covering the servicing requirements of the ‘humungous debt’ incurred in putting into place the aforementioned unsustainable projects was sacrificed. That is his legacy, writ loud and clear into the history books, now forgotten and the subsequent Mayor and his councillors are totally at a loss as to how to cope with it all. His ‘semester’ was the greatest cock up since Pearl Harbour.

  44. Martin Legge

    Worse still this grant was approved in 2011, at the very time TTCF were supposedly under serious investigation by both DIA and OAG !!!

    The Chairman of TTCF over this period was and remains Ross Clow of West Auckland, an ambitious politician who doesn’t mind using pokie cash for the big projects that he can pin his name and profile to. He has put himself up for election for the Auckland City Council according to the Labour blog site “The Standard”.

  45. Russell Garbutt

    It is surely more than a passing interest regarding the latest TTCF rort, and it is illuminating that the DIA are not investigating.

    Let us be straight about this.

    1 Having a lot – and I mean a big lot – of money available for access will always lead to the situation whereby those that are not really entitled to it will ensure that they can get their hands on it.

    2 Those that administer where the money goes will always be susceptible to the temptation that some of that money goes their way first.

    3 Those that are charged with ensuring that the whole industry abide by the rules have been proven over many years to be combinations of lazy, incompetent or involved in the rorts themselves. They have also been proven to be devious and incapable of telling the truth.

    4 The Minister in charge doesn’t want to know and is shielded by the truth by the very Department that has been proven to be full of incompetence and lies. But the Minister could do much more – he doesn’t want to show that he has been hoodwinked however.

    5 The Police seem totally incapable and unwilling to do anything despite having the necessary evidence dished up to them. But worse, they have sufficient conflicts within their own ranks not to want to rock the boat. We have seen countless examples of Police failing to act (witness the Burdett case), we have seen countless examples of them fitting evidence to people they want to convict (witness the Crewe murders), and a culture unwilling to rock the establishment. Remember that case where a young kid was fitted up for crashing into a Police car on the Earnscleugh Road near Alexandra? It took a dedicated member of the public to determine that the Police lied and continued to lie.

    6 The Independent Police Conduct Authority is nothing other than a joke. It is not independent and in recent days with regard to the Pora case, we have witnessed their refusal to even investigate matters that are serious and compelling. They are nothing other than a front for the established Police. They need to be disbanded forthwith and reconstituted by truly independent people.

    7 The Ministers of Police and Justice consistently hide behind the excuse of distancing themselves from operational matters whereby it has been shown in the past (Muldoon’s pardon of Thomas) that the politicians have the power to act.

    It seems that those pariahs amongst us who through fraud, deceit, and lies, want to access these vast millions of pokie funds, do so, and continue to do so, through the assistance of those very people who are charged with ensuring that this money is not used in this way. Wouldn’t it be lovely if for once, we had people in authority who were determined to ensure honesty and transparency prevailed?

  46. Russell and Martin, you are both, due to various reasons in possession of so much factual information about the DIA , Police and indeed, politicians that you have an all round view of the society we live in. From the PM (GCSB) down, it is riddled with graft, greed , corruption and false objectives. The whole society is/has been dumbed down to expect nothing and demand less. Fed a line of propaganda on a daily basis by the compliant news media we just look for the trivial on starting at breakfast. ‘Bread and Circuses’ are the opiate of the masses. Oh, by the way, does anybody know how the Otago rugby team got on in its match with Waikato on Friday night? I have looked and listened in vain to the news media and for the life of me I can’t find a thing about it. Of course being both blind and deaf helps. Is there a world out there?

  47. I suppose that the sports mania that our nation feeds on is largely why these ‘rorts’ can prosper. As long as the media is ‘full on’ to the ‘All Blacks’, ‘Super Fifteen’, ‘Yachting Fantasies’, ‘Netball,’ ‘Warriors’ and sometimes ‘Cricket’, we can simply ignore that, subject to the NSA’s confirmation of weapons of mass destruction in Syria, the USA is about to open another ‘war front’ in the Middle East. The NSA remember, is the outfit which our GCSB is associated with. I guess Mr Key and his ‘acolytes’ are just happy to see us all bedded down, fed and contented with our ‘large Flat Screens’ and with our Richie McCaw. Life is pretty sweet really. Woe betide anyone should be subjected to any in depth information about the real state of the world’s economy, let alone our own here on the DCC’s desk. That would be asking for some seriously professional investigative journalism. Ranfurly Shield or ‘real world stuff’ ? No contest.

  48. Russell you forget the most critical thing, if they aren’t scamming the money out of pokies etc then the government might have to actually pay it directly themselves. That wouldn’t do at all.

    • Russell Garbutt

      wirehunt, you raise a good point in that the people that are getting the bulk of the pokie funds are the so-called professionals. It wasn’t the Ravensbourne Under 12 rugby side that was fraudulently getting funds out of the poor of South Auckland, it was the professional rugby side that is Otago and of course the Highlanders. These professional businesses are run by, in the main, people who simply don’t understand the simple Accountancy 101 deal of money in, must equal or be greater than money out in order to survive. But at heart, they know that they are living beyond their means and so they will do ANYTHING to get their mitts round free pokie money to balance the books Including fraud, deceit, falsification of documents, failure to account. Added and abetted by the DIA etc etc etc etc.

      The truth is that they are all running bankrupt businesses fuelled by bankrupt morals – and the Government are encouraging it in many ways. But can you see Key suddenly saying that the Sky City deal is not a good one for New Zealanders? Not on your nelly. He is as much part of the problem as he is the solution.

      But until we ALL decide to do something about it – much the same way that TV3’s 3rd Degree have run the Pora case – nothing will happen.

  49. Martin Legge

    After reading the article in SST by Steve Kilgallon regarding the $97k grant to Oamaru Racing Club, I contacted Dave Bermingham directly. There must be someone else disturbed at what is going on within TTCF and the larger gambling industry. Bermingham is a good bloke, a damn good investigator and one of the reasons we agreed to become whistleblowers for DIA. He is extremely concerned about the actions of Debbie Despard and Maarten Quivooy in respect of the TTCF/ORFU/Jokers case, particularly now that DIA have engaged the SFO to target racing clubs and certain individuals, when they had information on TTCF’s activities in relation to racing and ORFU sitting on their desks. If anyone is ever prosecuted, things could get interesting for DIA !!!

    • Sunday Star-Times
      Auckland Rugby Union involved in pokies probe
      Last updated 05:00 08/09/2013
      By Liam Napier
      A major funder of New Zealand’s richest provincial union has been strongly criticised by the Department of Internal Affairs after an investigation into the use of gaming machine trust money. DIA officials have condemned the North & South Trust Limited’s practices in relation to millions of dollars in funding for the Auckland Rugby Union (ARU). The Trust is a not-for-profit organisation set-up to support amateur sport in New Zealand’s largest city by distributing the proceeds of pokie machine gambling to various organisations.
      Read more

      • So Quivooy is half-heartedly chasing the Auckland turkeys but not ORFU and the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport (along with ‘friends’ and ‘conflicts of interest’), despite the files that most clearly exist and can be accessed for full investigation, but which DIA, OAG and even SFO have developed a blind spot for, like someone drove a (pokie rort) stake through their eyes. Hello Peter Dunne, and Ministers. Parallel universes.

      • Elizabeth

        Last seven days, more searches at What if? for SFO, DIA and pokies (and related terms). How interesting. A little cluster. Timed around a happening we’re aware of. Say no more, but “Hai guys! …… (what you hoping for ?)”

        Piss Off.

  50. John P.Evans, council nominee

    Until we are able to successfully prosecute public servants for errant decisions, or at least have them moved on and an independent non public service body vetting their decisions there is no accountability for any decision made by pokie trusts, council employees, unqualified immigration heads, or engineers that proffer false qualifications. No potential punishment is a precursor to various forms of theft.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      John Evans, “successfully prosecute public servants for errant decisions, or at least have them moved on” – you’ve not been taking instruction from the Catholic church have you?

  51. John P. Evans. Our illustrious Mayor Dave Cull has frequently, over a diverse range of issues always stated that he did not want to re-litigate and/or seek to blame. Just think of these.
    1 Stadium.
    2 ORFU debts to DCC.
    3 St Clair sea wall.
    4 Of course the ORFU/Mayor defamation.
    That will do for starters. Think long and hard who you might be getting into bed with.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Calvin, as John P Evans put it “No potential punishment is a precursor to various forms of theft.” And isn’t that a splendid reason not to “re-litigate and/or seek to blame”? Without identifying the root/rort causes it’s all hunky-dory, no wucking forries mate, they can do it all again when the next gainful opportunity arises.

  52. Peter

    As far as I can see those who don’t want to pursue accountability are one, or more, of the following types of people:
    1. They are just uncomfortable in confronting those who have done wrong. It makes them feel ‘yucky’. They have ‘wet’ personalities generally.
    2. They don’t want the hassle of dealing with any fallout in terms of aggro from the people concerned, especially if they use the legal system to argue their case.
    3. They are Christians who take ‘turning the other cheek’ and ‘forgiveness’ to heart.
    4. They like to be seen as ‘positive’, not ‘negative’ people and the idea of ‘moving on’ is very appealing. And convenient. They think this will be enough and the culprits will have learnt their lesson and won’t do bad things ever again.
    5. They have their own dodgy baggage which they know can be used against them if push comes to shove.
    6. They think transparency is enough and don’t see that accountability goes hand in hand with transparency.
    7. They are actually on the same side of the fence as the miscreants and have to protect their mates.

  53. John P.Evans, council nominee

    I accept that no-one is responsible, but can anyone calculate who no-one is?

    Was it Property? Will we be advised? Will punitive action be taken against the embarrassment?
    Bring back the stocks!?

    At least determine that their right to their overpaid salaries has now ceased to have any validity.

    When we were told that if we paid peanuts we would get monkeys, is the converse true? Once decision making is less than simian quality are we not enitled to expect commensurate remuneration?

    John “good ‘evans”

    Calvin, I had hoped standing for council had no compulsory intimacy!

    If it does, it might explain previous actions of one or more of the candidates.

    I like to think of my candidacy as best summed up by Groucho Marx, any group that will have me I don’t want to join!

  54. Peter, You have just written Dave Cull’s résumé for his CV. He might need it for his next job interview.

  55. Peter

    Calvin. DC would not be the only one. I might add that what is common to all those, who do not seek accountability, is a thirst for justice. You even find them on the Left, those whom you would expect to be more interested in accountabilty in terms pursuing social justice. Many of them inhabit the ranks of the Labour Party.

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