Daily Archives: March 15, 2013

ORFU should be subject to full forensic investigation

The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

In two words, pokie rorts.

### ODT Online Fri, 15 Mar 2013
ORFU back in black, but position still ‘fragile’
By Steve Hepburn
The Otago Rugby Football Union is back in the black – recording an operating profit of more than $200,000 – but has warned its financial position remains fragile. It is the first profit recorded by the union since 2005, but it says it is still spending too much on its ITM Cup team. The union, saddled with debts of more than $2 million, flirted with liquidation last year, and only stayed afloat through a rescue package and community support. A new board was appointed and will present its first annual report to the union’s annual meeting on Monday. The union’s financial results are subject to the approval of the clubs at the meeting.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

DCC —It took way too long

Received from Russell Garbutt
Fri, 15 March 2013 at 7:49 AM

Well, it seems to have taken a while to happen, but happen it nevertheless has. Until the full wording of the joint statement issued by Paul Orders and Athol Stephens can be studied a little more closely, one can only assume that Mr Stephens has left the Council’s employ in a manner rather similar to that when Jim Harland suddenly found a desire to cease being the DCC CEO on the election of a new Mayor.

While Mr Stephens is quoted as being proud of what he has achieved and rates his time with others in the DCC as being a time of “great progress in the city, that had left the city with a ‘magnificent collection of modern community assets”, others may care to describe his time over recent years in more critical terms. There is no doubt whatsoever that Mr Stephens has, in his role of Chief Financial Officer, fostered, encouraged, or stood by, when financial prudence simply flew out the window. The current level of debt alone is a measure of the financial performance of the City, and while Councillors have the final say in the governance of the City, Mr Stephens occupied a central, crucial role in setting out strategies that resulted in this astronomical growth in debt levels. I don’t think we have yet seen the full extent of the financial dealings that has been carried out behind the scenes. Money has been spent far faster than it has been earned and that money has had to come from somewhere. Whether it has been by the issuing of guaranteed bonds offered at extraordinary rates to still anonymous investors, or by dabbling in the murky, wide-boy areas of interest rate swap derivatives, all this activity has been overseen by Mr Stephens. He has also had a role in overseeing, by his previous membership of a number of Boards of City owned entities, the troubling and frankly stupid practice of borrowing to pay dividends.

It is also illuminating that once again Cr Syd Brown rises to offer the mandatory words of praise. Cr Brown was a major figure in the governance of the Council overseen by Mayor Chin, that was the body ultimately responsible for the financial stupidity that has resulted in “a magnificent collection of modern community assets”. While many would argue convincingly that most of that last Council – indeed most of the current Council – wouldn’t have a clue what was in the papers and reports that was set before them, a small few knew exactly what was happening. Indeed, as I’ve often said before, it took about 20 people in this City to determine to build the new rugby stadium against every indicator that it would be, and remain, a financial disaster, and against the wishes of the wider community. Mr Stephens was one of those 20, as was Cr Brown.

[ends]

### ODT Online Fri, 15 Mar 2013
Council head in quick exit
By Debbie Porteous
Dunedin City Council senior finance manager Athol Stephens has quit and will clear his desk today after the shock announcement yesterday of his departure.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Dunedin showcase (election year tripe): economic development strategy

First, the suits killed the city with a stadium and built up massive council debt. Now, they want your gold fillings —and your water.

The Dunedin Economic Development Strategy is a 10-year blueprint for increasing incomes and job opportunities for Dunedin residents. It was created from a partnership between the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Southland Employers Association, the Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago and Ngāi Tahu.

The Strategy was adopted in September last year, and it will be showcased at an invitation-only event this evening at Otago Settlers Museum.

The showcase provides an opportunity to update local businesses and other organisations on what has happened since the Strategy was adopted and how they can play a part.

Speakers at the showcase event will include Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce, MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year 2008 Dr Rebecca McLeod and DCC Chief Executive Paul Orders.

The Strategy sets out five themes: business vitality, alliances for innovation, a hub of skills and talent, linkages beyond our borders and a compelling destination.

Project teams are busy working on actions to support these themes. The work includes better support for exporting, Project Shanghai and further developing innovative and internationally-competitive industries and clusters.

Further details about the Strategy can be found at www.dunedineconomy.co.nz

Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy: key points

1. Dunedin aims to be one of the world’s great small cities, which attracts investment and new business, and where businesses thrive in a collaborative environment.

2. Strong business growth is needed to create a future for Dunedin’s economic development.

3. Sustainable long-term economic growth doesn’t rely on any one business – there are no easy answers to stimulating growth and employment; no-one else to do it for us but us.

4. Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy is a 10-year blueprint for increasing incomes and job opportunities for Dunedin people.

5. The vision for Dunedin’s economic future is a shared vision. The Strategy was developed in partnership between the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Southland Employers Association, the Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago and Ngāi Tahu.

6. Dunedin’s size, supportive business environment and the lifestyle it offers make it an ideal city to work, live and do business in.

7. Dunedin is a creative place that already fosters innovation, but needs to extend its creative capabilities.

8. The Strategy has got the ball rolling on economic development; after six months progress has been made on:
○ Identifying the challenges and opportunities for our city
○ Selecting the most likely drivers of growth
○ Developing actions to create opportunities from these drivers

9. The five Economic Development Strategy themes are:
○ Business vitality
○ Alliances for innovation
○ A hub of skills and talent
○ Linkages beyond our borders
○ A compelling destination

10. Dunedin has an effective and established network of support which businesses can use to build and expand skills and opportunities.

DCC Media Release

Related Post and Comments:
19.6.12 DRAFT Dunedin Economic Development Strategy

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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