Monthly Archives: December 2013

Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]

Received from Martin Legge.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:54 p.m.

The relaunch of “Operation Chestnut” is nothing more than an expensive distraction for the masses – making them believe that the DIA and its Minister, Chris Tremain, are doing a great job. No small coincidence the operation was announced (Jan 2013) contemporaneous with the Government announcement that they did not intend changing the current pokie model despite the systemic corruption and the ongoing rorts. If you don’t agree with me then consider this:

1. “Operation Chestnut” was started way back in 2008 and the investigator submitted his report to Senior Management in 2008-09. The same management includes Debbie Despard, who now fronts the relaunch of Operation Chestnut but note she failed to tell media that the operation started in 2008 and she has been sitting on the report for five years watching as tens of millions flowed to people to whom it should not have.

2. DIA’s primary statutory function requires they properly regulate all the entities which they are solely responsible for licencing and that includes the pokie trusts, their managment and also the owners/operators of pokie bars. Current gambling law puts a clear statutory obligation on the DIA that they must be satisfied with these entities before they can lawfully issue a gambling licence. The legal obligation was put in place to ensure they did their job and prevented harm, and ensured the grant distribution process was fair to all grant applicants. That obligation does not require the resources of the Serious Fraud Office or the standard of proof required in a criminal case, just a balance of probabilities. Under these circumstances the public could now rightly demand why all of the issues and recommendations identified in Bermingham’s report of 2009 were not immediately addressed first and foremost with the pokie trusts named and why now after five years the taxpayer is funding a relaunch or rehash of an operation which until now was ignored by DIA.

3. In 2010, during the four to five years of DIA inaction, DIA seek and receive documents and testimony from me and others that not only linked ORFU and Harness Racing (Mike O’Brien) to three South Auckland bars but of far greater significance was the fact that the evidence implicated the involvement of one of NZ’s biggest trusts, TTCF Inc, now TTCF Ltd, and how its trustees were complicit to such arrangements and were knowingly approving millions of dollars of grants to both ORFU and Racing between 2005 and 2011.

The DIA, OAG, and now the SFO have all given me different stories about why TTCF has been excluded from Operation Chestnut but it is blatantly obvious to me and others that to include O’Brien’s relationship with ORFU and those three Jokers bars would mean including TTCF. It would open up a can of worms with the Government because, as we know, TTCF trustees are very very well connected and they have politicians who will pick up the phone.

Quite frankly, as an ex Police Prosecutor and Detective Sergeant, I am appalled at this situation. Operation Chestnut has become nothing more than an exercise in regaining the public confidence in DIA, its Minister and the gambling sector by taking scalps that fall outside their primary responsibility. Evidence implicating the pokie trusts and their trustees is being ignored or suppressed to take the scalp of someone who essentially sits outside the industry. Mike O’Brien would not have been able to get one cent, let alone the $30 million that DIA/SFO allege has been gained, if it weren’t for the primary offenders, the persons with the ultimate public responsibility, that approved that money back to those interests. Their part in the offending is far more serious than anyone outside the industry.

Pokie trust boards are stacked with high profile well connected personalities all of whom receive a payment of around $50-100k per annum for the privilege. The NZCT board includes ex Wellington Mayor, Kerry Prendergast, who is also an advisor to the Auditor General. TTCF’s Chairman is Ross Clow who is now with Auckland City Council, and then there is Warren Flaunty, NZ’s most elected man. They are the ones who approved these grants and yet they are barely mentioned, quoted or identified by media, let alone interviewed by DIA or SFO.

Last but not least, another conscientious DIA investigator recently contacted me to advise that they saw the full NZRU report into the demise of the ORFU that was supplied to the DIA. They have confirmed that it contains considerable detail of ORFU’s ownership of the Jokers bars and their relationship with Mike O’Brien and TTCF. The report was provided to DIA simply because NZRU wanted to judge the risk of DIA legal action before pumping funds into ORFU. Little wonder DIA continue to withhold that report.

[ends]

Related Post and Comments:
30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names

ODT 23.12.13 Freeze on grants urged (page 1) 2

This time last week you might have read front-page news at ODT, a story by Hamish McNeilly, Freeze on grants urged (23.12.13) — “Leaked documents confirm the earlier involvement of southern racing clubs in what has become a major multi-agency investigation involving alleged pokie money-go-rounds.” Cont./

Yesterday (and previous days) interesting activity has displayed in our Site Stats —referrers include racechat.co.nz and racecafe.co.nz

View two comments posted in response, here and here.

Go to this thread at RaceCafe—
Some light reading – started by Sheriff, 27 Dec 2013.
Mentions of Operation Chestnut, and more – Sheriff has posted two file attachments. [based on this ODT could’ve had a ‘field day’, it decided not to]

The second attachment of 22 pages compiled by gambling inspector DM Bermingham (Christchurch) is available for download here.

Report into Racing Club Activities 222 (DOC, 159.5KB)

The following draft provides a useful checklist [via screenshot]:

DM Bermingham - Table of Contents (page 1) screenshot

To open the file attachments at RaceCafe you’ll need to register as a member.

For more on Pokie Rorts at this website, enter terms such as *pokies*, *pokierorts*, *whistleblower*, *dia*, *sfo*, *racing*, *martin legge*, *orfu*, *ttcf* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: ODT 23.12.13 – front page detail tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Botanic Garden: Ouroboros

Worm re-imaged EKlr IMG_4117

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Dec 2013
The worm has turned up
By Debbie Porteous
A giant glowing worm has appeared above ground at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. It is not a supernatural phenomenon, but the city’s latest piece of public art. The flexible worm, which can bend because it is constructed from thousands of pieces of interlocked and articulating marine-grade stainless steel, was installed over the past two days.
Read more

Worm 3b IMG_4401

Worm 2small IMG_4369

Worm 1a IMG_4386

Comment at ODT Online:

Worm and landscaping spend
Submitted by ej kerr on Mon, 23/12/2013 – 3:20pm.
Interesting as always to read your columnist Peter Entwisle’s opinions of the stainless Ouroboros at the Botanic Garden (Art Beat, 23.12.13), and the shoddy process adopted by the city council. This alien is planted in an exceptionally poor section of ‘landscaping’ – a meaningless affront of professionally laid and poorly envisioned hard paving, with a ‘playground’ landing pad. The effect of this cynical deadening forecourt on the tea kiosk with its umbrella-style roof is harsh and fully remiss, architecturally – a boffin job of worst kind. Even the ducks are electing to rest for the evening on nearby lawn – having left their excrement across the pavers. Not sure this metalwork is composting!

On Sunday afternoon I was photographing the wormy presence, it’s bluntly phallic at the supported ‘head’ end… when a local resident asked me what I think of the whole thing. Not a good thing to say. He wasn’t terribly impressed either – he said the project in total was worth about $150,000. For such a cruel mess.

Poor Wendy and … Attendants, they need rescue! The fairy tale plot is lost, crashed, abused.

Related Post and Comments:
15.7.13 Art in public places: Dunedin worms and wyrms #snakesinthegrass
20.5.13 Comment [ODT item and DCC report]

Worm Kiosk EKlr IMG_4179

Worm EKlr IMG_4164

Post and images by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design, What stadium

Clarke and Dawe —November/December 2013

Published 4 Dec 2013. ClarkeAndDawe.
Ensuring Certainty in The Seasonal Gift Delivery Business
“Declan Halls, Foreign Affairs Spokesman” Originally aired on ABC TV: 05/12/2013

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Published 27 Nov 2013. ClarkeAndDawe.
Live from the Adelaide Oval
“Wayne Interruption, Cricket commentator” Originally aired on ABC TV: 28/11/2013

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Published 20 Nov 2013. ClarkeandDawe.
Ministerial responsibility. Coming soon to Australia.
“Hugh Manrights, Mastermind contestant” Originally aired on ABC TV: 21/11/2013

ABCTV: For 25 years John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have broadcast a weekly interview in which prominent figures speak about matters of public importance. John pretends to be someone he isn’t pretending to be and Bryan behaves with grace under pressure. The interviews are broadcast on ABCTV on Thursday nights and are available online here, on mrjohnclarke.com and on YouTube. They are also available by prescription at selected retail outlets.

http://www.twitter.com/mrjohnclarke
http://www.facebook.com/ClarkeAndDawe

More Clarke and Dawe here:
17.11.13 Cull, MacTavish: (to borrow a phrase) “Have you fixed the debt crisis?”
9.11.13 Quiz on politics

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Sue Bidrose, DCC chief executive

Sue Bidrose 3 [dunedintv.co.nz] whatifdunedin

Channel 39 imagines that the city council’s finances have been “put in order” – proof the station isn’t investigative or breathing oxygen.

### dunedintv.co.nz December 24, 2013 – 2:05pm
Sue Bidrose
The Dunedin City Council had some turnover at the top late this year, after chief executive Paul Orders announced he was moving back to Wales after a two year stint. Orders’ time at the top was widely acknowledged as a period in which the council’s finances were put in order. The search to replace him resulted in a promotion from within.
Sue Bidrose took on the role in charge of more than 600 staff who run everything from rubbish collection to civil defence to economic development.
She came into the studio for a chat with chief reporter David Loughrey on subjects from motorbikes to stadiums to public service.
Video

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: dunedintv.co.nz – Sue Bidrose, screenshot (re-imaged by whatifdunedin)

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Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums, What stadium

Scary windows —Dunedin monsters (this week)

big-eyes-24 (1)Mike Wazowski (green) at Hayward’s Auction House; ‘red’ at University Book Shop (UBS) – children’s book cover detail, Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan.

A young monster named Michael “Mike” Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) appears in films by Disney/Pixar: Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Monsters University (2013). Mike dreams of being a scarer (a monster who enters the human world at night to scare children so their screams can be harvested for energy) when he grows up, after visiting Monsters Inc. — the city of Monstropolis’ most profitable and best-known scaring company — on a school field trip. Eleven years later, Mike is a first-year scare major at Monsters University, where he meets a large, blue, furry monster named James P. “Sulley” Sullivan.

Shaun Tan (born 1974) is an Australian illustrator and author of children’s books and speculative fiction cover artist. He won an Academy Award for The Lost Thing, a 2011 animated film adaptation of a 2000 picture book he wrote and illustrated. Tan’s work has been described as “at once banal and uncanny, familiar and strange, local and universal, reassuring and scary, intimate and remote, guttersnipe and sprezzatura. No rhetoric, no straining for effect. Never other than itself.” —Sydney Morning Herald
Rules of Summer (Lothian Children’s Books: October 2013)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Spliced image by whatifdunedin

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Otago Heritage Bus shines !!! —ORC holiday bus suspension, patchy city services reprehensible

Otago Heritage Bus(1) LL-194Image: Otago Heritage Bus Society Inc

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Dec 2013
Otago Heritage Bus Society counts its takings
By Rosie Manins
Gold coin donations for a novel Christmas bus service will help restoration projects by the Otago Heritage Bus Society. The society operated heritage buses on two routes through Dunedin yesterday when all other public bus services were suspended for Christmas.
Bus passengers were encouraged to bring their pet dogs along for the ride and give a donation to the society as their fare.
Society treasurer Jacqui Hellyer said the hill route, encompassing St Kilda, the Octagon, Halfway Bush and Brockville was especially popular.
Read more

Website: Otago Heritage Bus Society Inc
About the Society
Join the Society — Membership
Volunteers wanted — Drivers (P and/or HT endorsements), Conductors, Bus Valets, Automotive and Mechanical knowhow, Administration & Archiving, Hospitality & Frontline Experience

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### ODT Online Thu, 26 Dec 2013
Opinion
All we ask for is a decent bus service
By Lynley Hood
I live on the Corstorphine-Kew bus route. I know how bad the service is. But it took the latest provocation – the Otago Regional Council’s “Proposed Changes to the Bus Services” – to drive me from apathy, to research, to rage, to writing.
The Public Transport Management Act defines “transport disadvantaged” as “people whom the regional council has reasonable grounds to believe are the least able to get to basic community activities and services (for example, work, education, healthcare, welfare, and food shopping)”.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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