Stadium: a conversation

(tonight at What if?)

Ask Harlene: how well-developed is the university plan to acquire the stadium? As in “take it off your hands no trouble Guv” as opposed to buy it for book value. Just asking.

Ask the winkler Stuart McLauchlan.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, University of Otago

30 responses to “Stadium: a conversation

  1. RAY

    Is it possible that the government via Uni of Otago would buy the Stadium to placate some enemies and satisfy some friends like Eion Edgar?

  2. Ma Fia

    Stuart McLauchlan pops up everywhere in this city where major decisions are made. His positions and activities need to be plotted. He is very good at influencing people to his ways of operating. Watch.

  3. Pa Fia

    What part did McLauchlan play in the University’s sponsorship of the Highlanders?

  4. Why is it no-one can de-head the Dunedin snake? Why do people fall for his advice? Confidence tricks, ego. His past exploits for ORFU and DCC via DCHL alone, have brought extraordinary levels of debt to ratepayers, multimillion-dollar incapacity! And now he’s in the picture with our assets going out the backdoor in new and contrived ways. At the same time his role as Crown Monitor for SDHB is under the spotlight with, allegedly, another instance of substantial fraud having occurred on his watch. The Delta report from the OAG is due to Parliament this year in which he will likely be named. His role with South Canterbury Finance seems easily forgotten. We need to put more information into this picture of corporate deceit, an interim phrase for something serious. It’s like watching the Great Train Robbery go down.

  5. Pa Fia

    Was the University sponsorship of the Highlanders announced in the media before or after going to a full University Council meeting?

  6. “Today in History” ODT, “Dunedin city councillors voted 12 -1 in favour of plans to proceed with a $188 million roofed stadium in Awatea St and dump plans to upgrade the city’s iconic Carisbrook ground.”
    Question; who was it that voted against?

    • Ma Fia

      Calvin. Oh some horrible naysayer who happens to have been right.

    • Richard Walls was disturbed about the loss of Carisbrook for a good while but I don’t know if it was he who voted against. Minutes will show.

    • Whippet

      Calvin. At the final vote for the stadium to proceed or not (this is the vote that really counted). Two Councillors Butcher and Stevenson were the only ones to vote against the stadium. Some have tried to rewrite history to suit themselves, but the minutes of this decision can never be changed.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s something deep in the “respectable” psyche, keep up a good appearance. “Respectable” people don’t have family violence and drugs and alcoholism and child and elder abuse in their families, oh dear no.
    And when respectable people find “their own” have done something that’s out of order do they stand up and say, no, that’s not right, you’ll have to explain that you made a mistake. Of course not, they can’t let the mask of respectability slip.
    Respectable people have their bullies and the bullied, they just have different ways of dealing with it than the underclass. They don’t go out in public with a family-inflicted black eye or missing teeth.

    What’s this got to do with Elizabeth’s “Harlene and Stuey having beat the gun by heading to media first”?

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    There’s “respectability” and there’s people worthy of respect. Can be but aren’t always the same, know what I mean?

  9. Anonymous

    Ah the one I love is always:
    McLauchlan->Keenan->C Swann->T Scott

    • Ma Fia

      Is that the same T Scott who donated stage curtains for the Mayfair Theatre and got the ODT to publish his gift? Tacky and LC.

      • Who drives Stuart McLauchlan?

        Note Trevor D Scott has been generous to the University, and in turn the University has been generous to his ‘acumen’. He’s not just about “dusty stage curtains”, or is he?
        [a valued member of the University Council from 1991 to 2005]

        University of Otago Annual Report 2003: During the year, two “knowledge leader” Advancement projects were begun. Professor Rod McLeod joined the University as the first South Link Health Chair in Palliative Care and Professor Jim Mann became the first director of the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research and Education*. (page 15)

        Click to access otago000778.pdf

        *See Funding: The ENCDR was initially established in 2003 following a generous donation from the [Eion] Edgar family. A number of anonymous donors also contributed. These donations were matched by Government funding. In 2006, a donation from the Karitane Products Society (KPS) facilitated the establishment on a Senior Research Fellowship in Early Childhood Obesity. Other financial support is received through research grants. A 6-year programme grant is funded by the Health Research Council. Funding bodies of other research projects include Lottery Health Research, the National Heart Foundation, the Southern Trust, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, the Community Trust of Otago, and the University of Otago. The ENCDR Advisory Committee has Eion Edgar as its Chairman and Benefactor.

        University of Otago Annual Report 2002: Other initiatives already made possible by early donors are a Professorial Chair in Palliative Care, supported by South Link Health and the Otago Hospice… (page 11)
        A new stand-alone company, Otago Innovation Ltd, was formed to commercialise Otago intellectual property. The sole shareholder of the new company is University of Otago Holdings Ltd. The new company is chaired by University Council member Trevor Scott. (page 13) ]

    • [brief notes: Keenan, more – Trevor Scott is Stuart McLauchlan’s cousin; (2011 info via Pacific Edge) Chris Swann was the principal of T D Scott & Co. Ltd, a Dunedin-based accountancy and consulting firm for 10 years… business advisor in a number of industries including manufacturing, publishing, health, and biotechnology sectors…]

      Comments from another post:

      October 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      If you want to play 6 degrees of Michael Swann, that’s easy,

      cre8ive -> Roslyn Storage -> Trevor Scott -> Chris Swann -> Michael Swann
      or you can have
      cre8ive -> Roslyn Storage -> Trevor Scott -> Stuart McLauchlan -> Christine Keenan -> Chris Swann -> Michael Swann

      Oh look at that, two of the biggest convicted South Island fraudsters in one link.


      [reply] Elizabeth
      October 3, 2013 at 12:52 am

      Anonymous, on the button. Chocolate fish.

      Check directors and shareholders:

      Creative Advertising Ltd (150767)

      Roslyn Storage Ltd (2361529)


      October 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Philippa@cre8ive = Philippa Crick = [6.12.15 website expired]

  10. Tony Crick, Julian Smith and Dave Cull set up and recruited the original nucleus of ‘Greater Dunedin’. Who do you think has run Dave and GD’s advertising campaigns since?

  11. [chasing down names, in regards to the alleged fraud]

    Former health board head speaks out over funds dispute
    Former Southern District Health Board chief executive Brian Rousseau has spoken out about the South Link Health (SLH) dispute, providing a list of people he says knew about legal advice the row could involve fraud.
    Mr Rousseau said those aware of the possibility of fraud included then Crown monitor Stuart McLauchlan, senior managers in the Ministry of Health, including Mr Hundleby, South Link Health executive director Murray Tilyard and the chief executives and chairmen of South Island health boards.


    Health fund millions get murky
    Mr Ryall did not want it taken through the courts
    Photographed: Kevin Hague, Annette King, Stuart McLauchlan, Stan Roger, Brian Rosseau, Tony Ryall, Richard Thomson, Murray Tilyard.
    Who knew what and when? Questions are being asked since it was revealed recently the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) has known about the possibility of a health funds fraud for more than three years. The lid has been partly lifted, with allegations of political cover-up, bureaucratic stonewalling, and health board incompetence.
    South Link Health (SLH)*, the Dunedin-based independent practitioner association at the heart of the dispute, insists it has spent the money on approved programmes, and has no case to answer, either commercially or criminally. And the Ministry of Health maintains it did not know until this year the dispute might involve fraud, and has been trying to help the board resolve the matter through commercial negotiation.
    *SLH and associated entities are [known] for developing primary care IT tools. Since it was set up in 2010, subsidiary entity South Link Health Services has bought equity stakes or outright ownership of general practices, while SLH itself had more than 500 GP members.
    How events unfolded (via ODT)
    2003: South Link Health dispute arises over savings from historic pharmaceutical and laboratory contracts with the then Southern Regional Health Authority from 1995-96 to 2002-03.
    2010: After failed attempts at mediation, Southern District Health Board receives legal advice the row might involve fraud. The matter is passed to Ministry of Health.
    November 2013: Auditor-general alerts Health Minister Tony Ryall the dispute might involve fraud, after board member Richard Thomson alerted Auditor-general.
    February 2014: Southern DHB chairman Joe Butterfield tells health select committee legal advice in 2010 warned the dispute might involve fraud. The board engages forensic accountant.
    Now: Originally involved $5.3 million; with interest could be about $15 million.


    South Link Health Services
    South Link Health Services is committed to supporting the continuity of General Practice in New Zealand by forming active partnerships with existing practices to provide ongoing management, staffing and clinical support.
    South Link Health Services is a company wholly owned by the South Link Education Trust; it contracts to South Link Health to fulfil all its practice management functions.

    South Link Health (Inc)
    South Link Health Inc is a not for profit Independent Practitioner Association (IPA), with charitable status. From a foundation 11 in 1993, the current membership base is 501 General Practitioners, 386 Practice Nurses and 211 Practice Managers/Administrators – representing all areas of the South Island. Our main office is located in Dunedin, with a satellite office in Timaru.
    Services offered by South Link Health to Primary Health Organisations (PHOs)
    South Link Health offers support services to many South and North Island based PHOs covering over 850,000 enrolled patients. These services include Information Technology (including Capitation Based Funding register management), Finance, Education, Clinical Programmes management and support, and Consultancy and Expert Services.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    When I was at school we had toothbrush drill and fingernail inspections. How many clean hands would one find among the cast of leading characters – even the spear-carriers – in the long-running production of “Dunedin Does Elsinore”?

    Another memory exercise, how many clean hands were “written out” of the script? Leah McBey… like Coronation Street’s Mavis she left to do something else, wasn’t killed off. Mavis made one or two return visits or was visited by Rita, I wonder if Leah will turn up some day for a “cameo appearance” sharing her memories of the Old Days. That could be an interesting plot twist.

  13. Parliament Today
    Questions and Answers – February 19
    By Editor on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — 7:34 PM


    Health Sector—Fraud

    1. KEVIN HAGUE (Green) to the Minister of Health: Does he think fraud in the publicly funded health sector is serious and if so would he investigate any allegations of fraud if they were raised with him?

    Hon TONY RYALL (Minister of Health): Yes, and yes. In relation to the dispute between the Southern District Health Board and the Dunedin general practitioner organisation South Link Health, this matter has been under dispute for over a decade. It involves an argument over $5 million or $6 million of savings generated through laboratory and pharmaceutical contracts during the 1990s and whether there was an agreement on how those services would be reinvested back into health services. This has remained a complex dispute. The district health board has advised me that it has received advice that it is best to pursue this as a commercial matter, but it has also referred the issue to specialist forensic accountants to see whether any illegality was involved.

    Kevin Hague: When did the Minister first become aware of concerns that South Link Health may have misused public funds in excess of $5 million that were intended for patient services but were instead spent on other things without authorisation?

    Hon TONY RYALL: To the best of my recollection and the advice that I have received, I became aware of that issue in November 2013 as a result of a management letter from the Auditor- General. On the wider issue of the dispute, I have been aware of that for quite some time.

    Kevin Hague: Is the Minister quite sure that he was not made aware of it in 2010 and briefed on the legal advice that had been received by the Southern District Health Board that suggested there was the possibility of fraud?

    Hon TONY RYALL: I have no recollection of that, and we have got no record in our office of such a briefing.

    Kevin Hague: Is it not true that even though he knew that the Southern District Health Board had legal advice that fraud may have occurred, he as Minister personally discouraged the district health board from taking this allegation to police in 2010?

    Hon TONY RYALL: I do not have any recollection of being aware of it, so I cannot have actively discouraged the district health board. What I would have required, of course, would have been for the district health board to act on whatever advice it had. I am advised that that letter of November 2010 was not clear-cut. It actually says there could be elements of fraud or there could be elements of commercial dispute.

    Kevin Hague: Is it not true that even though the district health board had repeatedly asked for assistance from the Ministry of Health on this matter, beginning in December 2010, no ministry action was taken at all until it became clear that the Office of the Auditor-General was going to refer to potential fraud in its report on the Southern District Health Board in 2013?

    Hon TONY RYALL: That is not the information I have received. My understanding was that the matter was considered by the audit and compliance people at the Ministry of Health and that there were negotiations that I think the ministry was involved in trying to facilitate in 2011 but that did not go anywhere.

    Kevin Hague: What interactions did the Minister have with the Office of the Auditor-General over its management letter to the district health board in 2013, and what was he seeking?

    Hon TONY RYALL: When I received that management letter, I then asked for a meeting with the Office of the Auditor-General to discuss its concerns further and to get a better understanding of the information and concerns that it had. I was able to discuss those with the chair of the district health board, and, as he advised the Health Committee today, my strongest advice to him was that if it believed there was sufficient evidence of fraud, then it should refer that to the Serious Fraud Office.

    Kevin Hague: What dealings has he had with South Link Health since he was made aware of these allegations of potential fraud in 2010?

    Hon TONY RYALL: I have no recollection of being made aware of those, and there is no record of that. What I can say to the member is I have met South Link Health on a number of occasions, since it is a leading general practitioner organisation.

    Kevin Hague: Why, given that a massive question mark ought to have remained in his mind about a potential fraud, did he, in June 2012, describe the executive director of South Link Health, Professor Murray Tilyard, as having “great entrepreneurialism and innovation” and being a “prophet in his own land”?

    Hon TONY RYALL: The member can sort of cast as many aspersions as he likes and make allegations. When I became aware of the management letter on the issue of fraud, I met as soon as I could with the Auditor-General, and I have made it very clear to the chairman of the Southern District Health Board that if he believes there is sufficient evidence of fraud, then that must be referred quickly to the Serious Fraud Office. And, as the member will know from my earlier answer, it has been referred to forensic auditors for that very purpose.

    Kevin Hague: I seek leave to table a page from the New Zealand Doctor website. It is protected behind a paywall, so most members will not have access to it. It is entitled “South Link groups in growth phase”, and it refers to the Minister’s interaction, as in those quotes.

    Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that particular document that is not easily available to members. Is there any objection to that being tabled? There is none. It can be tabled. Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

    Hon Annette King: In this meeting with the Auditor-General, did he seek at any time to have any mention of the word “fraud” removed from the Audit Office report to the select committee?

    Hon TONY RYALL: It is not the responsibility of the Minister of Health to direct the Auditor- General in what they do. [Interruption] No, no, I have no recollection of asking them to remove the word “fraud”. The member can cast as many stones as she likes but, actually, she was the Minister at the time that most of this contract stuff was happening.

    Hon Annette King: Point of order, Mr Speaker—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I have a point of order, which I want to hear in silence.

    Hon Annette King: I seek leave to show that, in fact, this problem started in 1995-96—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! That is using the point of order system simply to continue a political debate. The member has got a question coming up shortly. She should use that opportunity, with supplementary questions, to continue the debate.

  14. Now – back to the University of Otago sponsoring the Highlanders and how far down the track we are of gifting the stadium to the university. Let’s highlight names:

    University of Otago Council Membership 2014
    The University Council is chaired by the Chancellor, Mr John Ward. In the absence of the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor, Mr Stuart McLauchlan, deputises.

    ● Appointed by the Minister of Education
    Mr Stephen J Higgs
    Ms Donna C Matahaere-Atariki
    Dr Royden J Somerville, QC
    Mr John F Ward
    ● Ex Officio
    The Vice-Chancellor – Professor Harlene Hayne
    ● Elected by the academic staff:
    Professor A Vicky Cameron
    Dr Craig J Marshall
    Associate Professor E (Liz) Slooten
    ● Elected by the Court of Convocation:
    Judge Edward O K (Oke) Blaikie
    Miss Lorraine P Isaacs
    Mr Michael JM Sidey
    ● Elected by the general staff
    Ms Margaret A Morgan
    ● Appointed after consultation with central organisation of employers
    Mr Stuart J McLauchlan
    ● Appointed after consultation with central organisation of workers
    Mr Roger H Tobin
    ● Elected by the students
    Mr Francisco B Hernandez
    Ms Ruby A Sycamore-Smith
    ● Appointed by the Dunedin City Council
    Mr David C Cull


    Last time I talked with someone high up at DCC I asked if Dave Cull was still under Stuart McLauchlan’s influence?… That person might have the size of SM, already. Time will tell.

  15. Elizabeth, your work here in presenting all of the background behind this latest possibility (probability) of fraud within our so-called Public Health System is to be applauded. I am struck by the constant regurgitation of the same names in all of this, as well as any number of mysterious happenings over time in our district. There seems to be tentacles of connection from as disparate as ‘Canterbury Finance’, DIA re ‘Pokies’ trust monies, the distinctly dodgy connections of the ORFU, the connection of one hirsute face in particular, whose trail seems everywhere and nowhere of responsibility right into our city council. Then, of course, let’s not mention the Swann Fraud case of $16 million. It all smacks of corruption to me. Then there is the ‘unmentionable’ chapter in the recent past that seemed to attract some of the same names that met regularly for their ‘jollies’ at the Parkside Hotel. These folk most certainly covered their ‘asses’ in the most provocative manner, and even though one stellar political career was a casualty, it resurfaced on our council. The name of the game seems to be, “let’s all see how many times we can put our hands into the ‘cookie jar’ without being caught”. Rules? There are none, except you must cover your ‘ass’, and don’t ‘grass’ your mates.

    • Calvin, as yet I don’t have access online to the stitching information between some entities. This will come, thus for the moment things look a bit random with my comments.

      It’s simply another wake up call.
      If you see a ‘big’ name on a governance board or in an advisory or monitoring role you should believe there’s something (financially or strategically) in it for augmentation of their personal and company fortunes at severe cost or risk to fair-minded ethical people who depend on them. In the ‘small-town’ microcosm of Otago, and indeed New Zealand, the incestuous rot and stench of corruption (where no-one believes in declaring real and perceived conflicts of interest) comes tied to grand opportunity for rorting and serious fraud.

      So now we see ‘the names’ looping (in no particular order here) between let’s call them ‘entities’ and ‘sectors’:

      Tertiary Education, Governance, Research, Corporate Holdings
      Professional Rugby
      Gaming Trusts
      Licensing Trusts
      Otago Community Trust
      Private ‘Charitable’ Trusts
      Property Trusts
      ‘Family Philanthropy’
      Stock Brokers
      Property Investment
      Property Development
      Stadium (CWP, CST, PDT, SG, DVML, DVL)
      Dunedin City Council
      Dunedin City Treasury
      Dunedin City Holdings
      Dunedin Airport
      Council and Community Assets
      District Plan Zoning
      Hospital and District Health Services
      Southern District Health Board
      Bio-tech Companies
      Rural Finance
      Media Publishing
      Politics/business-based Incorporated Societies
      Accounting Services
      Legal Services
      IT Services

      We can add more.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I cannot understand why a serious report of probable fraud elicits less action than the use of company credit cards for coffee at a local cafe. Is it more important to investigate and take action to stop misuse of a few dollars, than a few million?
        The coffee example that I know about was the DCC. I’d be surprised if it is not the same elsewhere, after all the Council has also been “see no evil” about stadium-associated large sums of money.

        A developer friend once said, if you owe the bank a hundred dollars you have a problem, if you owe them a million THEY have a problem. Can it be that by taking immediate action to investigate and call to account, when it’s large-scale fraud, would drag too many other people into the story of slack supervision, careless appointments of people because “we know him” then not asking awkward questions because that’s not what you say to a “friend”?

        And the more byzantine the spiderweb of “friendly” connections between a widespread set of people means that they are, some of them, to also have connections with the Minister (whoever it may be at the time) and the departments’ heads and senior managers.

        It is very hard to find an independent person in a high position in this country.

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