New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts

● 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

### NZ Herald Online Tuesday 8 October 2013
Super City elections 2013: West’s ‘ugly’ culture has Tamihere fuming
By Steve Deane
Colourful talk radio host MP John Tamihere wants to change what he sees as liquor trusts’ unhealthy monopoly from the inside but they defend set-up as democracy in action, saying proportion of payouts to turnover is about to pick up.

[pub crawl ensues in West Auckland – see full article]
What we’ve just seen [on the crawl], he says, is an example of how West Auckland’s alcohol licensing trusts use their control of the region’s pubs to maximise gambling revenue through pokies. The gambling money, he says, is then used to peddle influence and spread pro-trust propaganda, which reinforces the position of the liquor trusts.

The West’s drinkers are suckers, says Tamihere. They pay over the odds for their booze at the trusts’ bottle stores, are forced to drink in dives and are subjected to banks of pokies when they do. “It’s an ugly drinking culture,” says Tamihere. “It sets up a false world where the leadership of the trusts can make out that we don’t have any drinking problems out West. That is because we migrate them into town or over on to the Shore. No right-minded youth or family will go out anywhere in the West because they are dives. The culture has been perverted by the way the trusts just want to monopolise pokies.” Tamihere wants to get elected so he can change things from the inside. But is change really necessary? Like many things involving the colourful talk radio host, the answer is not straightforward.

Two weeks later we take another tour, this time with Ross Clow, the long-serving president of the Portage Licensing Trust and chairman of The Trusts Community Foundation.

As well as rebutting Tamihere’s ugly drinking culture claims, Clow’s aim is to show where the money from the liquor trusts’ combined $100 million turnover is going. Money, it will surprise no one, is at the heart of this issue. TTCF’s accounts show it paid $10.57 million in pokie revenue to West Auckland causes last year. Clow stands firmly by the claim that 97 per cent of the cash raised out West is returned to the West. He should know. As president of the Portage trust he is responsible for making the recommendations to TTCF on how money raised in its venues should be spent. Given he is also chairman of TTCF, Clow could be accused of making recommendations to himself. He defends the system as a sound way of making sure the money goes to the right places and insists he recuses himself when TTCF votes on Portage’s recommendations.

Tamihere disputes figures surrounding the return of money to West Auckland, but says he won’t be able to prove his case until he gets access to the trusts’ full accounts. “If I have to go to the High Court to break it open I will,” he says. “There is something not right here. I know my community. There is nothing like that being spent out here.”

Then there is the question of who really distributes the money. For years statements issued by the liquor licensing trusts have indicated the money comes from them. It doesn’t. It comes from TTCF, which is a separate financial entity.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
10.10.13 Whistleblowers’ message heard ??! #OtagoRacingClub #pokierorts
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA

For more, enter terms such as *pokies*, *pokierorts*, *dia*, *sfo* or *ttcf* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Economics, Events, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, What stadium

11 responses to “New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts

  1. Received from Martin Legge.
    Friday, 11 October 2013 2:43 p.m.

    John Tamihere is spot on with his claims and if he needs the proof he should simply demand it from the DIA who sit on files and evidence that will prove his claims. For years DIA have turned a blind eye to the systemic misrepresentation and tactics used by Waitakere and Portage Licensing Trusts to fool “Westies” into believing that all that grant money came from the benevolent Licensing trusts!!!
    It was Labour leader and West Auckland MP, David Cunliffe, who had a hand in allowing the current licensing trust model to exist. In 2003 fellow Labour MP, George Hawkins, introduced the Gambling Act with a clear public mandate to clean up the industry. In doing so he deliberately excluded all forms of the hospitality industry from exercising any form of control or influence over the proceeds from pokie machines and that extended to Licensing trusts and their elected members. The West Auckland Trusts lobbied Cunliffe and he got the Act amended in 2005. His work ensured Licensing trusts could continue to claim the credit for money which was not theirs and the type of activity described by Tamihere continues.

  2. Southland Racing Club president Sean Bellew, whose club has not applied for pokie money for the past six years, said he understood how people would view giving grants from pokies to racing as “giving pork to pigs”.

    ### Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
    Pokies cash for racing raises ire
    By Collette Devlin – Southland Times
    Most New Zealand Community Trust grants in Southland were awarded to horse racing clubs, angering some of the community groups that were declined funding. The funding comes from the pokie machines at the Golden Age Tavern in Bluff and the Woodlands Tavern near Invercargill.
    The trust awarded a total of $263,500 in grants to organisations in the region for the financial year ended September 30. Of the total, $217,000 was divided between seven harness, trotting and racing clubs in Invercargill, Gore, Riverton, Roxburgh and Wyndham.
    The remaining $46,500 was split between nine community groups. Some of the organisations turned down for funding are based in Bluff, where some of the proceeds from gambling came from.
    Read more


    ### Last updated 11:30 10/12/2013
    Inquiry into pokie grants looks likely to hit home
    By Cathie Bell – Marlborough Express
    Marlborough people are believed to still be under investigation as part of a joint government agency operation into gaming machine grants. The Department of Internal Affairs confirmed this week that key individuals in Operation Chestnut had been interviewed as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants. The investigation is being carried out by the Serious Fraud Office, Organised Financial Crime Agency of NZ and the Department of Internal Affairs.
    Department director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard said the investigation was the largest investigation in the history of the gambling sector. “More than 100,000 documents are being examined and material is still being collated.” The investigation was not expected to finish until the first half next year, and after that, the “full range of prosecution and licensing sanction” would be considered. She said “key people of interest” had been identified and were interviewed this week and other interviews may follow.
    The Marlborough Express understands that group included some people from Marlborough, but a department spokeswoman would not comment on who and where the “key people of interest” were.
    In March, the Express reported that Marlborough gaming machine operator Bluegrass Trust was being investigated as part of the joint operation.
    Read more


    ### Last updated 13:29 09/12/2013
    Sallies under fire for snubbing pokie funds
    By Kris Dando – Dominion Post
    The Salvation Army’s decision not to accept money collected from pokie machines has come under fire from the chairwoman of Mana Community Grants Foundation.
    After a recent story about the pressure on food banks, Litea Ah Hoi asked on Facebook whether it came down to ”the moral high ground or hungry children?”
    Pam Waugh, the Salvation Army’s national secretary for social services and former director of Porirua Community Ministries, confirmed it stopped taking funding derived from gambling in 2008.
    Read more

    • Not sure that ODT’s purported leaked documents add anything to what we already know about Operation Chestnut targets. Yawn.

      Freeze on grants urged

      See also a comment made yesterday at another thread with mention of DIA, SFO and OFCANZ, and Operation Chestnut:

      • Mike

        I notice that the ODT very carefully didn’t mention anything to do with the ORFU’s part in the whole sorry story

        • Heck no, can’t muddy the name of ORFU and its fraudsters – especially not, when DCC via DVML is in the gun to buy Highlanders. The delicate balance must prevail for gravy-xmas.

      • Unpublished by ODT Online this morning… no hope of it surfacing!

        Submitted by ej kerr on Mon, 23/12/2013 – 9:52am.
        The question might be: why the institutional and bureaucratic silence on connections between racing and professional rugby in the south? The whistleblowers (including the people who have worked for DIA in the official capacity of whistleblower) have repeatedly linked both ‘industries’ to substantial pokie rorts and siphoning of ‘charitable’ funds from the gaming bars of Auckland, via questionable activities of pokie trusts, licensing trusts, private property trusts, and more. They’ve all been named at various sites online including names of individuals and their connections. Formal and undeniable evidence to support online and news media statements – as obtained and shared by the whistleblowers – has been cogently and decisively provided to DIA, SFO, OAG, Ombudsman, NZ Police, IPCA and others. No-one in authority appears to want to touch the multi-million dollar rorts perpetuated by our ‘king sport’ rugby, down here. It strongly appears investigation of racing clubs is the distraction to avoid real meat; this is politically driven… massaged by government for protection, the larger question.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Whew! ODT Online must have had a ‘road to Damascus event’. They published my comment unabridged wherein I mentioned the ORFU by name, no less, and further implied criminal intent. WOW!!!

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