ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?

Dave Goosselink Tweets 17.3.14[screenshot]

• Dave Goosselink — Dunedin face (and voice) for TV3 News & Sports
• Samuel Gilchrist — social media handler for The Highlanders @Highlanders

Retweets by @whatifdunedin and @SearleJamie
• Jamie Searle — Southland Times racing reporter

Correspondence received.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:58 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: Steve Tew [NZRU]; Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Murray Kirkness [ODT]; Steve Hepburn [ODT]; Rebecca Fox [ODT]; Ian Telfer [RNZ]
Subject: Black-tie dinner bill to be paid?
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:56:35 +1300

Wednesday 19th March 2014

Dear Steve

The following was posted on a local blogsite “What If Dunedin”.

“The conscience of the ORFU is totally absent. The normal procedure for staging an event such as the black-tie dinner is to budget all costs, set the entrance fees to cover those costs and establish a profit level. That is both normal and straightforward – some I’m sure, would say honest, business practice..

The way the ORFU operated was to set the costs, pay out the organiser – who just happened to be the wife of Laurie Mains – ignore the costs and bank the difference. Can anyone tell me that if this scenario happened with anyone else other than the dear old rugby-mad idiots on the Council involved, would this be tolerated? Not on your nelly. Can anyone tell me why this isn’t either theft or fraud?” *

What especially interests me about this post is the question posed as to whether theft or fraud is involved.
It feels like it to me but I’m not sure whether it would hold up in a court of law.
Maybe it could…maybe it couldn’t.
My limited understanding of the Crimes Act is that the hardest part to prove is intent.
In the case of the black-tie dinner, did the ORFU have any intent on paying the bill?
In my opinion, if they did they would have paid it when they received the money from the guests – because obviously it was the intent of the guests for their money to be paid for their evening out.
What do you think, Steve? I’d appreciate your view on this.

I noticed on twitter, media and rugby officials tweeting about this issue.
Strange how the Highlanders’ social media official, Samuel Gilchrist, refers to me as a ‘warmonger’ because I am asking for some honesty from the ORFU. The problem down here is that there is no decent leadership in rugby and hasn’t been for years.
We have Roger Clark as the current CEO of The Highlanders – he was the CEO of Southland Rugby Union at the time when they
they owed over $100,000 in booze. I fear that nothing much has changed.

I had hoped that with the new ORFU board that some leadership would be shown over the black-tie dinner scandal but, to date, that hasn’t happened. Change needs to come from the top so that people like Samuel Gilchrist understands that it is not okay to run off without paying your bills. He doesn’t seem to be able to figure this out for himself. I guess when things have been bad down here for so long those who can’t think for themselves look to the leaders for guidance which is lacking.

That is why I have turned to you, Steve, to finally show some leadership and right this wrong.

I hope I don’t have to continue to prod any deeper.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Previous letter to Steve Tew deleted, read it here

[ends]

*Link to source

Related Posts and Comments:
17.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner on ratepayers
14.3.14 ORFU flush to pay creditors

For more, enter the terms *orfu*, *dinner*, *jeremy curragh*, *bailout*, *martin legge*, *dia*, *pokies*, *jokers*, *ttcf*, or *pokie rorts* in the search box at left.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

6 Comments

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6 responses to “ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?

  1. Anonymous

    Samuel’s position is piss-poor. Let’s look at this a different way. What if something bad happened in your life? You approach the people who can help and they turn away from you. You approach the people in positions of influence and they do not seek accountability. You approach the people in positions of authority and they take no action. You approach ministers of government who smile and commiserate with you, only to be seen in photos alongside the very people that brought you so much grief. Then some people get involved because they genuinely care for your cause. And some of those people go further still, sacrificing their own time and resources to make a difference for you. Would you then call them names? I doubt it very much. While some people may not agree with another person’s views, attacking their effort is not productive and only leads to further suspicion.

    This situation has uncomfortable similarities with another poster who thought it normal to remove those from the city who spoke against their views. It is not a difficult to make the further connection with those who also thought it normal to round up people, pack them into carriages and send them on their way.

  2. Mrs Maynes

    This black tie dinner affair is theft. It is simple as that. Those who deny and stand aside are effectively partners in crime. It is simple as that.
    In time they’ll face consequences. It is simple as that.

  3. The unions had a combined deficit of $630,000 in 2011 and Tew had warned after the Otago bailout that unions had to begin living within their means.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Mar 2014
    Rugby: NZRU posts $2.9 million profit
    New Zealand rugby’s financial position improved in 2013 with the national body’s war chest {puke, -Eds} of cash reserves swelling to $63.7 million, while all 14 top-tier provinces returned to surplus after years of turmoil. The NZRU posted a NZ$2.9 million profit in 2013, down slightly from NZ$3.2m a year earlier, but on the back of increased disbursements to the country’s provinces and a boost in the contribution to the players’ collective agreement. Profit had been forecast at only $790,000, the NZRU said. Cash reserves also swelled by more than $13 million to $63.7m in the last financial year as they generated or extended lucrative sponsorship agreements.
    Read more

  4. $63.7 million in kitty and the miserable sods wouldn’t even bail the ORFU put of hock to the DCC/ratepayers. Why would any but braindead citizens support the professional rugby circus?

  5. Anonymous

    It must be difficult for professional rugby to find a sponsor company with morals so low it would actually improve the reputation of the sport.

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