Stadium: Edgar’s $1m donation (private sector fundraising)

Received from Bev Butler
Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:31 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: Eion Edgar [Forsyth Barr]
CC: Carlotte Henle [Kensington Swan]; Ian Telfer [Radio NZ]; Wilma McCorkindale [Fairfax News]; Debbie Jamieson [Southland Times]
Subject: Has Sir Eion Edgar paid his $1 million donation?
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:30:19 +1200

Dear Sir Eion

You will recall the reports in The Mirror (10/7/13 – copied below) where you promised to honour your $1 million pledge initially reported in DScene (13/5/09).
As there had been no public reports of you having paid up I decided a few months ago to make an official request under LGOIMA to see if this money had been received. After repeated requests for the Dunedin City Council to respond to my request I have received no response. I thought before making a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman I would ask you directly if you have paid up. It is in the public interest that this pledge is honoured as it formed part of the push for the decision for the stadium to go ahead. You may also recall the report on the front page of the ODT (March 2007) where Mr Malcolm Farry announced “very excitedly” that he had a one million dollar donation for stadium construction with another two “in the wings”. This was also reported in the National Business Review.

I have prepared a sequence of events to help clarify the situation:

1. Mr Malcolm Farry announces three $1m donations for stadium construction in March 2007.
2. The Marketing Bureau, commissioned by Carisbrook Stadium Trust, tells Dunedin City Council in Dec 2007 that naming rights are worth over $10m.
3. ODT reports Sir Eion Edgar becomes trustee of CST in August 2008.
4. Edgar and Farry announce Forsyth Barr have signed a Heads of Agreement in Jan 2009 and it is reported in NBR that a “substantial cheque” has been signed.
5. Council documents of cashflow projections, peer reviewed by PwC in Feb 2009, show that the naming rights payments have changed from full payment up front to two years in advance – “front-end loading” is the term for this.
6. Edgar announces in DScene in May 2009 he is making a $1m donation to the stadium.
7. Nine changes, as revealed in LGOIMA response from DVML, are made to the Forsyth Barr naming rights agreement then the contract is signed on 2 August 2011…the day after stadium opens. One of the final changes is from yearly in arrears to monthly in arrears.
8. Forsyth Barr makes their first payment on 1 September 2011. They are paying monthly in arrears.
9. Edgar, through Forsyth Barr lawyer in Oct 2012, denies having stated that Forsyth Barr had written a “substantial cheque”. The NBR journalist distinctly remembers the “substantial cheque” comment being made. However, no correction sought from NBR at the time.
10. The naming rights contract is no more than $5m as revealed in 2013 through LGOIMA request to DVML.
11. Edgar claims his $1m donation is part of the naming rights corporate contract in The Mirror in July 2013. The $1m donation still unpaid. None of the other three $1m donations for construction have been paid.
12. Michael Sidey is paying $1 million as part of the Forsyth Barr naming rights. I think what is happening is “double-counting”. Announcing million dollar donations for construction then two of these donations form part of the corporate contract for naming rights. Either [the] two $1 million payments are donations and the naming rights is only $3m, or the naming rights is $5m and the two [$1 million] donations don’t exist. You can’t have it both ways. This “double-counting” trick is what happened in the STS High Court injunction case where they claimed the $15m grant from Central Government was to offset the private funding shortfall AND was also used to offset the increase in land costs. This “double-counting” trick was established in the Court of Appeal.

So, Sir Eion, have you paid the $1 million donation initially pledged for construction of the stadium? If you have paid $1 million as part of the Forsyth Barr naming rights then good on you. That’s between you and the corporate contract signed by Forsyth Barr. I’m sure Forsyth Barr are happy about that. What is of interest to the public is have you paid the $1 million donation pledged in DScene?

As Chairman/Trustee of a number of Charitable Trusts you will be aware of the definition of a donation as recorded on the Charities Commission website. It bears no similarity to a corporate contract. I have copied Charlotte Henley, Forsyth Barr’s lawyer, into this email so she can confirm this definition, in case you still have any doubts.

I hereby reserve all my rights.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Copied to other interest[ed] media and parties.

Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 page 1 (detail)
Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 page 2 (detail)

dscene-13-5-09-page-9-eion-edgar-c3### DScene 13 May 2009
The Insider: Big questions answered
Mr Generous isn’t slowing down

Winter Games NZ chairman Eion Edgar | Interviewed by Ryan Keen
COMMUNITY-MINDED Queenstown-based businessman Eion Edgar, who retired as New Zealand Olympic Committee president last week and left a $1 million donation, on his support for knighthoods, backing Blis and why he’s not slowing down.
#bookmark page 9 | DScene 13.5.09 page 9 (merge)

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
30.7.13 Stadium: Accountability, paper trail leads unavoidably to NEWS
18.7.13 ODT won’t touch Fairfax story
10.7.13 Stadium: Edgar will honour $1M personal pledge to project
3.7.13 [Pulled!] Call for Dunedin stadium cash
24.12.12 A Christmas Tale
7.6.12 Stadium: Forsyth Barr naming rights
6.7.09 Eion Edgar on ‘stadium haters’

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

27 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Queenstown Lakes, Site, Sport, Stadiums

27 responses to “Stadium: Edgar’s $1m donation (private sector fundraising)

  1. Russell Garbutt

    One only needs to look at the promises made by the key players in this on-going debacle to realise whether they can be relied on to tell the truth. The public advertisement that Farry published claiming all sorts of things about the stadium viability etc was nothing short of scandalous bullshit which has been proven to be just that – and the wretched DCC and ORC at the time are in my view, complicit in that deception. As to whether Edgar pays up? People get very rich by collecting money and not giving it away. Edgar has donated money for things in the past, but I would ask whether the act of giving is also in his case associated with receiving as well. The genuine philanthropists are in many cases anonymous with no attached strings. In this particular case, Edgar is complicit in the Farry news story about the “big cheque” – all published with much hype in the ODT and elsewhere. But now we know that no cheque was written and more than likely there was never an intention to write one. Isn’t that something more than deception? Doesn’t it remind you of the intentions of the ORFU over the black tie dinner?

  2. Supplied by Bev Butler. CST full page advert.

    odt may 31 2008-1 (PDF, 202.9 KB)

    [cleaned copy by whatifdunedin]
    odt may 31 2008-1 (pdf cleaned)

  3. That full page advertisement is so full of misleading statements and outright lies that it ought to be put back out before the public. They need to be reminded just how this vast ‘scam’ has been perpetrated by all – including elected council – individuals involved in foisting such a disaster onto the public. The statement that it would be built for the budget of $188m was guaranteed as that included contingencies is proven a lie. The statement that they had already received $15m of private funding is a blatantly fraudulent statement. But the most heinous statement of all is that it would debt free on completion. People responsible for much less have been put behind bars and that is where the principals of this disaster belong. Now that our present mayor and supporting councillors glibly state that we have it, so let’s get on and make it work by pouring untold additional citizens’ treasure into the project is another criminal tragedy unfolding. God alone knows how it will all end.

    • Mike

      Let’s not forget that “it will be profitable”, “the funding will be raised”, “it will cause economic growth south of the Waitaki”, “it will be truly multipurpose” (if that were true you would have hired someone to make sure the sound worked before you built it), “it will increase student numbers by 500”, “the stadium will be owned by the community” (at this point I think it owns us).

      And let’s not forget that the “CST is made up of people who lead businesses south of the Waitaki” it was formed in Kaiapoi, some members live in Christchurch.

      As Calvin points out time has shown us that that was all spin, little of it turned out to be true.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Well said, Calvin. Actually, the best approach might be to blow the bloody thing up. And this would be an act of self-defence rather than attack and an act of counter-terrorism, rather than the reverse. The terrorism has already been committed on Dunedin ratepayers in the building of it.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    And as so many of us pointed out BEFORE the decision to proceed was made, the vast majority of the claims made by Farry and all of his mates, were seen to be BS AT THAT TIME. If this was a private company making these claims in the form of a prospectus then the Directors would now be where they deserve – inside looking out. But because the hapless victims are ratepayers it seems that accountability – that word that so many in positions of governance hate – is simply not to be had. I’m sure that if Farry and his complicit 20 or so mates were to show up in the Octagon, they would not be welcomed with open arms.

    • Peter

      Russell. Those who believed the stadium build bullshit were either naive,or complicit/corrupt, or stupid or too gutless to speak out. Have I covered all possibilities?

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    No, Peter. There was also optimism, and (clearly naive NOW but much less so then) trust that the leaders, successful men in their own lives, had accurate information and had based the projections on it, the way any normal responsible honest person would do.

    • Peter

      Yes, Hype, optimism based on ignorance. A closer look at these so-called success stories would have raised the red alert.
      We see the danger of unrealistic optimism with other ‘build it and they will come’ scenarios. Ignore the business case and let’s be positive and make it work. Mmmmm. Will we ever learn?

    • Mike

      I think that for future generations of local body politicians to learn there need to be consequences, not just slaps on wrists but serious serious consequences, something that burns a line in the stand so deeply that future generations of politicians will know never to cross it

    • Russell Garbutt

      I would not include optimism as an excuse. I am “optimistic” that I can afford to buy a new car – but if I don’t have the money to do so, then reality kicks in if I’m wise, or the dealer simply tells me that I can’t have it unless I rock up with the money. I could get a loan, but the bank would not give me the loot if they could see that I didn’t earn enough to live and pay back the loan.

      What you need to do is to look at the Councillors of both the DCC and the ORC that decided to go ahead and “buy” the new stadium. Forget for a moment the arrogant bastards within rugby whose sense of self-entitlement was so great and may have swayed some of the idiots. I look at people like Neil Collins who voted for the stadium at every decision point. Was he “optimistic”? Most people would say no – his track record on Council was pathetic as reports indicate that he preferred to show up for lunches or snacks, push for debates to end as soon as they started, and was never familiar with Council papers. He confessed that he didn’t understand finances and took his lead from those that did. People like Syd Brown. So Collins didn’t fit into the optimistic category at all – he should never have been voted onto Council and was only there because he was in people’s ears all the time from his radio announcing – hardly a job that required honed financial or governance skills.

      Acklin? Need I say more?

      Guest? Enough said.

      Chin? Mostly asleep, but complicit in many of the deals.

      I could go on and on and include some of the devious complicit coots on the ORC, but I can’t see any of them earning the “optimistic” label.

      And what of Professor Sir David Skegg? Why, as an eminent researcher and an experienced Manager would he ever really believe that the stadium would bring up to a 1000 extra students to the University per year? I don’t believe that this was “optimism”. What was it?

      Overall, the thing with governance of local bodies is that there is absolutely no sense of reality that would be obvious if the money that was being spent was “their own” money. And the bigger the sums the less time spent on making decisions. Parkinson’s law dictates this quite clearly.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I didn’t mean those people, Russell, when I wrote of optimism. The ones I was thinking of were the yay! sayers in the community, the ones who believed that the ones you refer to had done their work honestly and come to the conclusions they presented to the public, of all the advantages we would gain, and the pittance it would cost us.

        I might have fallen for it too initially. What set my skeptic sensor into earsplitting beeping was the stuff about concerts. How could I forget the concerts, the performers that were coming to Dunedin, shows I dearly wanted to go to? My daily economies had barely started so I could afford the ticket, when another announcement would appear in the paper – so-and-so’s Dunedin show had been cancelled because there had been too few bookings. Dunedin people were admonished for our tendency to wait till the last minute before booking. Maybe that was the cause. The result was the same, the Regent couldn’t be filled to a point where it was worth the artists’ and promoters’ risk. So a stadium would miraculously attract bigger concerts?
        If that was a nonsense then what about the other claims?
        Critical faculties, once set in motion, saw that this project was not designed with whole cloth but with moth-eaten shredded lace curtains, being sold to us as if they were woven of gold and studded with diamonds.
        But even pointing out to some people the concert fallacy, that they too must surely have observed, did not dent their belief: they had become True Believers and there was hope in their hearts.

  6. Bev Butler

    Mike, I’m chasing the Edgar $1 million donation because it is unacceptable for anyone, regardless whether they are a self confessed philanthropist, to make public announcements of donations then not pay up.
    I have been told, but have not got confirmation, that this sort of behaviour is not the first time it’s happened. What I was told was that in the past some of our ‘pillars of the community’ publicly announced promises of donations to ‘help’ a particular project along, then never honoured that promise. This is morally dishonest. Someone else may be able to confirm this. The story I was told, and I acknowledge I have no concrete proof, is that those who promised donations to the Moana Pool upgrade, never ended up paying one cent. Maybe the media could follow this up. Would make an interesting story. Does anyone else know about this?

  7. Two interesting corollaries in today’s ODT. First, Jack Rutherford’s letter to the editor castigating Bev and the rest of us stadium opponents, for not accepting that it is here and get on with it. He of course is an old retired school teacher who has lived off the taxpayer all his life. Say no more. Second is Cr Hilary Calvert’s opinion piece on the secret operations of our so called open, transparent councillors. This is obviously a ‘mafia’ type of business with the pledge of silence being rigidly enforced. Not what the average citizen imagined I suspect. It explains really, how idiot things like the stadium grew legs, simply by feeding inaccurate information into the dopey ears, it in turn being taken as gospel and approved in the time-honoured manner. As she infers, if nothing changes then the stadium won’t be the last of reckless doings.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Dear oh dear, Hilary is on the other side of a chasm bigger than Skippers Canyon, from the cosy “team players”. Looks like she is confident that whatever she says, in public or behind the council closed doors, she’s prepared to stand by it, prepared to have all-comers examine it for signs of cronyism, gullibility and stupidity.
      Given what we have seen, prised out of the chamber of secrets by the crowbars of Bev and a few other really annoying nosy people on our behalf, those who support selective “transparency” have reason to fear examination of THEIR record for signs of cronyism, gullibility, stupidity and corruption.

  8. Peter

    We live with the simplistic types who believe that by just being positive all will turn out for the better. It’s a bit like faith in the power of prayer. A nice thought, but it is the power of the people who change the world. The power of people for bringing good as well as opposing evil.
    We have the evil among us who can be opposed by the good.

  9. Poor bastards indeed! Once again the ‘rugby gods’ are tithing the citizens to death. No-one seems to ask the NZRFU about its $60 million reserve fund. No, just roll over and worship like good little poodles.

  10. Elizabeth

    Queenstown investor and entrepreneur [Eion Edgar] said it was “simply a family reorganisation”.

    keep-calm-and-shuffle-everyday-30 [keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk]### ODT Online Sat, 11 Apr 2015
    Edgar company liquidated in ‘reorganisation’
    By David Williams
    A holding company of Forsyth Barr chairman Sir Eion Edgar with assets of $29 million has been liquidated. […] Gerard Boock, of Jackson Valentine, was appointed liquidator of Sinclair Long Term Holdings on April 1, following a special resolution by shareholders Sir Eion, Murray Valentine and Roger Macassey. The liquidator’s first report said Sinclair Long Term Holdings was solvent and able to pay its debts. Assets are listed as $29 million and there were no liabilities.
    Read more

    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/1041704

    http://www.insolvencywatch.co.nz/liquidation-notices/sinclair-long-term-holdings-limited/

    First Liquidators Report dated 2.4.15:
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/service/services/documents/05EA0DA700F6D394E59950486E51E180

    SLTH Ltd - Liquidators First Report 2.4.15 (1)

    *Image: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk – Keep calm and shuffle everyday 30

    • Mike

      Hmm – one of two things likely happened – either there was a falling out between the shareholders, or they refused to pay a debt even though they had the money and the person they owed had them wound up.

  11. Anonymous

    Voluntary liquidation is a thing.

  12. Elizabeth

    Differences between voluntary liquidation and Court ordered liquidation
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/learn-about/receivership-liquidation-administration/faq-5

    Liquidation
    Company liquidation can occur voluntarily or by court order where it has been established a company is unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

    A liquidator is appointed to:
    investigate the company’s financial affairs,
    establish causes of failure,
    investigate possible offences, and
    identify and sell assets for the benefit of creditors.

    Liquidation is immediate and serious. Trading companies are usually closed down. From the date of liquidation the liquidator takes custody and control of all the company’s unsecured assets and assists secured creditors where necessary. The assets are collected and sold for the benefit of the company’s creditors. When the liquidation is complete the company is struck off (removed from) the Register of Companies.
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/learn-about/closing-a-company/business-in-difficulty/liquidation/

  13. Elizabeth

    Two other (Edgar) companies to go down the gurgler recently:

    Sinclair Investments Ltd
    Edgar Buildings Ltd

    Sinclair Investments Ltd
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/144133

    Notice of Appointment of Liquidator and Notice to Creditors to Prove Debts or Claims dated 5.12.13:
    https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2013-al7913

    First Liquidators Report dated 6.12.13:
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/service/services/documents/B30630E570271F3AF920BEEBB872185B

    Final Liquidators Report dated 23.10.14:
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/service/services/documents/0437A2E410E14C624FB70BDAEEEDA8A6

    Notice of Intention to Remove Company From the Register dated 23.10.14:
    https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2014-ds6672

    Previous Company Names:
    Jac’s Hardware & Timber Ltd (11 Aug 1994)
    Jacs Hardware & Timber 1982 Ltd (11 Feb 1994)
    Rosebank Daveys Industries Ltd (23 Jul 1982)
    Rosebank Timber (1970) Ltd (18 Feb 1975)
    Clutha Timber Company Ltd (21 May 1970)

    Edgar Buildings Ltd
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/148893

    Public Notice of Appointment of Liquidator and Notice to Creditors to Prove Debts or Claims dated 4.11.13:
    https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2013-al7523

    First Liquidators Report dated 7.11.13:
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/service/services/documents/515307A5DB1D18190B32722133327BA1

    Final Liquidators Report dated 6.5.14:
    http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/service/services/documents/E5DDE3A1AFC847D006DB65B4ADBDC4E2

    Notice of Intention to Remove Company from the Register dated 6.5.14:
    https://www.gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2014-ds2838

  14. Elizabeth

    Previous comments re Edgar/Forsyth Barr:

    Credit SaILS (2012)

    Elizabeth – https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/proposed-hotel-41-wharf-st-learning-from-las-vegas/#comment-29750

    Peter – https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/stadium-dcc-runs-amok-with-750k-annual-subsidy-to-dvml/#comment-29876

    Elizabeth – https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/tartan-mafia/#comment-29906

    Elizabeth – https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/stadium-dcc-runs-amok-with-750k-annual-subsidy-to-dvml/#comment-33498

    Elizabeth – https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/stadium-forsyth-barr-naming-rights/#comment-36248

    Elizabeth – https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/stadium-forsyth-barr-naming-rights/#comment-43397

    BLIS Technologies Ltd

    Related Post and Comment:
    21.5.12 NZX Market Supervision inquiry

    NZX says it has spotted potential anomalous trading in Blis shares and among the traders was a company associated with Edgar. (ODT)

    “I needed a wee bit of extra cash at the time so I was happy to sell. It’s a free market – anyone can buy, anyone can sell. That’s what markets are for, aren’t they?” –Edgar (ODT)

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Bet I’ve guessed what this is about. He’s freeing up funds so he can make good on that $!M donation promise that just kinda slipped his mind for a wee while.

  16. Elizabeth

    HOLY SHIT he might learn how to be a philanthropist, at last.
    CROOK by another name.
    He promised a ONE MILLION DOLLAR DONATION to the stadium construction project at Dunedin and COMPLETELY RENEGED.
    TWICE.
    HE REFERS TO STADIUM HATERS (his words).
    NOT WORTH THE PAPER HE IS PRINTED ON.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Apr 2015
    Rich experience
    By Louise Scott
    Justin Rockefeller [USA] was guest speaker at a philanthropy event in Queenstown yesterday focusing on financial success and family. […] Hosted by Sir Eion Edgar, he was also joined by Australian businessman Allan English.
    Read more

    Bet the Smiths were at Eiontown for this occasion.

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