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

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport

10 responses to “DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names

  1. Years before the emergence of Operation Chestnut, investigators working for the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) had documented the scale and detail of white collar crime attaching to pokie trusts and licencing trusts operating across New Zealand. The DIA bosses and various Ministers of the Crown overseeing Gambling chose to ignore and cover up the multimillion-dollar criminal networks which DIA has a regulatory duty to expose and see prosecuted. The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) was politically neutered, as was the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) — all this happened long before Operation Chestnut began. So what can we expect from this latest multi-agency investigation of racing clubs and their ‘charitable’ funding sources? Merely, Operation Chestnut may come to court in 2014 putting token and convenient victims on the stand — token/sacrificial enough to let the big boys at New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT), their friends and like parties keep to business as usual, under the policing radar. And that, people, is your National-led (or Labour-led) government looking after its white-collar bully boys (some Asian…) very closely, to avoid jail cells and ‘personal’ financial hell.

    However, the game is not over at DIA… not everyone wants to work for or uphold a corrupt government department run by crooks. The birdies are starting to sing. The New Zealand public owes the honest investigators and reporters inside and outside DIA an aircraft carrier of extra vigilence and support. You know who to contact.

    • Russell Garbutt

      Elizabeth, the fact is that the DIA have been proven over a very long period of time to be incompetent, and I believe complicit in protecting those that have ripped off these pokie trusts to hide their own incompetence. But as you say, it extends by means of tendrils of complicity to many others as far up as the various Ministers who have had the portfolio of Internal Affairs. The current position whereby John Key is actively making law to benefit Sky City to put in more pokies is indicative of the lack of political will or honesty to do anything.

      I’ll go further.

      The politicians from all ends of the spectrum who have failed to deal with the widespread fraud that is endemic within the whole pokie industry are, in my view, every bit as bad as the lying, deceitful, scum that are growing fat on the vast amounts of money that is washing into the pockets of their very fine suits that they wear.

      But even worse are the incompetent and lying sods within all of the compliance agencies who have done all they can to do nothing. If I had a wish for 2014 apart from seeing all the 20 that caused the stadium to be built to be put into stocks in the Octagon until mid-winter’s day, and then taken out and sent to somewhere like Nauru for the rest of their natural lives along with Michael Swann, Kerry Harford and their ever-so-friendly lawyers operating their family trusts, it would be for them to be joined by all those fraudsters involved in the pokie frauds carried out by the ORFU, TTCF, the Centre for Excellence in Amateur Sport and all of their friendly lawyers and accountants. They know who they all are.

      Maybe 2014 will bring better things in the area of honesty. But I doubt it.

      • Russell, bureaucratic incompetence for long enough turns criminal while multimillion-dollar fortunes are skimmed.
        Was/is there acceptance of bribes and positions… turning blind eyes. Think Pike River, DOL Health & Safety, DIA management.

        Interestingly/depressingly, the editorial ‘right page’ of today’s ODT features the dribbling Bob Jones mouthing off about New Zealand’s lack of bribes and corruption; and Colin James on the same theme. Where have these people been? They’re capable of acute observation, as well as random and intelligent thought – but here seeming lazy, indulgent, troughing out on sickly sweet New Year pavlova-paradise ennui*, altogether oiling palms of the machine. The public not benefiting directly from the rorts and white collar crime will believe them, from their baches at Pauanui and caravans at Glendu… rustling their ‘Honours’ newpapers and spitting cherry stones.

        *Urban Dictionary – ennui
        A sense of apathy and lassitude brought about by either societal or personal stagnation. Akin to languor, but more closely tied to existentialism…

        Bob Jones
        Corrupt practices I have encountered
        [no link available]

        Colin James
        NZ in 2014: more resilient and attractive than we think
        [titled ‘Are we up to the next crisis?’ at ODT]

  2. Calvin Oaten

    Colin James seems almost sanguine over NZ’s place in the world today. As if 4 million people placed in the far reaches of the Pacific have any hope of influencing what may or may not be happening. What is really happening as we speak, is the playing out of the last stage of the US empire. These events never go quietly, but cause cataclysmic mayhem. Especially when it involves the two biggest economies on the planet, one having the biggest military machine in competition with the other which coincidently is its biggest creditor. The 2007/08 GFC was but a lead-up to the main event. This will be an extravaganza the likes of which has never been seen before. You can’t simply create 50 or 70 TRILLION DOLLARS (incomprehensible to most humans) of phantom money unbacked by collateral value without a day of reckoning to come. China for one will simply not allow it. If the dollar disappears as an accepted unit of currency, what then? it certainly bears thinking about. Meantime our conceited NZ masters believe that they can continue to manipulate and corrupt to their own benefit, regardless of the people’s welfare, indefinitely. Well, like all good things there is always a “Jubilee Year” when all reverts to the mean. You just don’t want to be there when it arrives.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “If the dollar disappears as an accepted unit of currency, what then?” asks Calvin. Have you noticed how dramatically the value of bitcoins has risen? Sure there’s an element of bubble, tulipomania and so on but I don’t think that’s the only reason. Bitcoins fluctuate because they’re not anchored to anything. On the other hand their numbers are limited so unless something goes rogue…. And unlike what happens in one country, this is a world-wide thing and not so easily manipulated without HUGE ructions, including shutdown of rogue services/exchanges. Put it this way, despite quite violent fluctuations in the “real” money value of bitcoins, are they more/less “real” than “phantom money unbacked by collateral value”?

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Hype, have you noticed how quickly the “bit coin” has lost value lately? It is a construct that the masses will have difficulty getting their heads around. A bit like the derivative business. Nowhere to hang the value to. What all these do point to is a loss in confidence in the government’s printed “IOUs” which “promise to pay the value of the face note”. That promise has been seen for what it is, inflation is the government’s friend, so watch for the next big round when those “trillions” have to be removed. I suspect once all is done and dusted, and the mayhem sorted then a base value, such as gold will be restored. It has worked before several times. There must be a measure of value else where are we?
    Back to the “bit coin”, its problem is it doesn’t exist, except in the ether or “cloud” of computer land. We saw recently the fellow who cleaned out his den and sent to the tip a hard drive he thought was junk. Turned out it held his record of $10 million in “bit coin” assets. Gone, “kaput”, no way of redeeming it. Gold in the sock doesn’t do that.

  4. There is a huge disconnect between which parts of the general public grasp the true scale and mechanism of the generation and administration of gaming funds in this country. Even despite recent debate around pale amendment of the gambling legislation.
    No-one has attempted to set out clearly and comprehensively the map (diagrammatically) of the ‘industry’ as it ‘works’ and who it ‘works against’, the quantification and qualification – in terms of the numbers of people and agencies involved, professional and voluntary, all sources of gaming funds, recipients and providers, intermediaries, the job market, the dependencies, the taxes, the abuses (black market…), policing methods, sanctions, investigations, prosecutions et al, and the dollar values surmised for each level of participation. Until New Zealanders have the broader picture plainly detailed (we have the IT…) they’ll wallow in their localised justifications for ‘charity and affordable amenity’ as they see it, because the true social and financial cost of the ugly model is papered over and obfuscated by everyone with fingers in the till. Can the collective brain see any alternatives to white collar crime for community glue?

  5. ODT has risen to $1.50 to buy from street boxes and shops. All that for greater thinness and no investigative journalism. The Press is $1.70.

    • From today’s ODT feature on Fisherman’s Bend (Lake Waitaki):
      “Facilities include boat harbours, absolution blocks and water supplies”
      Spell-checkers miss what a proof-reader would have caught.
      And more sniping at Lee Vandervis in last weekend’s “Spooks in Dunedin” feature:
      http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/286654/spiriting-out-spooks-dunedin
      “But the area today is haunted by a new, more prominent, spirit – a restless poltergeist that bangs and crashes its way through the corridors of this historic building [Municipal Chambers].
      “It’s known by many as ‘the Vandervis’.””
      Aren’t the Town Hall spooks in the Propaganda department.

      • THANKS Alistair :D – how on earth did we miss that (the old disingenuous counterspooks espionage trick) ???!!

        “Many may not know it, but Dunedin’s Municipal Chambers building occupies the site of the city’s first hospital (1851-66), and is said to be haunted by a friendly spirit.
        Like the ghost of Cumberland College, she is also described as the Grey Lady – a nurse who cared for the sick and the dying in the old hospital, and she is quite often accompanied by a beautiful perfume smell.”

        {Moderated. Something about perfume, managers, Green Island Landfill and a wet blanket. -Eds}

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