Tag Archives: Amateur rugby

Dunedin rugby’s manifest advantage, and ratepayer subsidy, Again

Received from Rob Hamlin
Fri, 17 Jun 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

[begins]

ODT article today:

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/387120/rugby-clubs-fear-viability

Response posting:

“Until quite recently I was the president of a major Otago sports club that has been operating since the 1870s. The club is located on Dunedin City Council recreational land.

The lease of this land very clearly stated that we were not permitted to hire out the facilities on this site for ANY commercial purposes. A breach led to immediate forfeiture of the lease. This was a condition that both this club, and others like it, adhered to.

It is adhered to because, penalties aside, this condition seems fair enough. The land upon which the club stands is leased for recreational purposes at what were, and are, well below the income that could be raised by the DCC for this publicly owned asset, had the land been zoned and leased for commercial purposes.

If anything the many rugby clubs in this town are even more privileged in terms of their subsidised occupation of public assets, as they have rooms that are on an even grander scale and sit in large and potentially very valuable areas of publicly owned land that are specifically contoured and laid out for rugby, and are maintained for this purpose at considerable public expense.

I am surprised that the DCC recreational leases for their facilities apparently do not contain similar blunt conditions to the one that my committee and I worked with. However, it is rugby, so perhaps I am not so surprised after all. Maybe the leases are rugby ‘specials’ or alternatively, the leases are the same and the apparently regular infringements are just winked at.

For rugby clubs to then maintain that they then have the ‘right’ to routinely operate these recreational facilities, that are largely provided and maintained by the the wider public, for their own commercial benefit, and thereby create a regular nuisance for said wider public within what are largely residential areas, speaks volumes for the ongoing and unreasonable sense of relative entitlement displayed by this small (and shrinking) subset of the community.

For those who become irritated by noise and other nuisances emanating from functions in nearby rugby venues, they may be well advised to acquire a copy of the DCC lease concerned to see if the club concerned are in breach of its terms, and what the penalties/remedies for any such breach are.”

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Rugby dying : Takers still gonna take

Rugby - Tom Scott, September 12. 2015 - Over the top 13618192 [Stuff.co.nz][Stuff.co.nz]

Received from Alex Brown
Wed, 1 June 2016 at 7:35 pm

It may be time for us to face the fact that we’re no longer who we think we are.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, May 31 2016
Cas Carter: If rugby’s just a sport, is NZ’s national identity at stake?
By Cas Carter
OPINION Our image as a hard core rugby loving nation is under threat. Last week rugby bosses launched a rescue strategy to revive the sport which is no longer number one in Auckland. Only 3 per cent there now play our national game and there are fears this trend could spread across the country. It’s been on the cards for a while. Increasing ethnic diversity in Auckland, concern over injury and a rising number of sporting options are all at play. But this isn’t just an issue for rugby. Our national identity is at stake.
Read more

Rugby - Tom Scott, October 31, 2015 13618192 [Stuff.co.nz][Stuff.co.nz]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Business, Corruption, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Highlanders, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Travesty

We know exactly where ORFU has been. It’s locked there. It’s not over.

“The analogy that I’ve been using is it is almost like we are starting from scratch.” -Kinley

There will be no starting from scratch until ORFU and related entities are fully investigated by forensic audit.

ORFU is currently implicated in a Department of Internal Affairs investigation for pokie fraud, tied to The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd and The Trusts Charitable Foundation (Inc).

### ODT Online Fri, 13 Jul 2012
Rugby: ORFU head ‘starting from scratch’
By Adrian Seconi
New Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley has a clear idea where he wants to lead the organisation. The ORFU board yesterday announced the 45-year-old would fill the role left vacant by Richard Reid. Officially, Kinley assumes the role on August 13 but he has already had his feet under the table for the past six weeks.

“We can’t forget about the history and we can learn from the past, but it is about moving forward.” -Kinley

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF

Comment received.

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2012/06/26 at 8:38 am

I don’t think that many people realise the significance of the material that Martin Legge has in his possession regarding the activities of the Otago Rugby Football Union, the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport and The Trusts Charitable Foundation.

People who have examined the Acklin budget published on this site may not realise the significance of this particular document, but suffice to say that setting up the machinery and entities so that the proceeds from pokie funds can find their way to activities involving professional sport are illegal. Amongst other things.

What is most significant to me is the unwillingness of DIA to actually do their job. While I have been assured personally by Mr Maarten Quivooy of DIA that they take their roles and responsibilities seriously, it is simply unbelievable that the DIA did not pursue what was, and still is, being offered up to them in terms of hard evidence of illegal activities. They are under no misapprehension of what my views of their investigations are.

The “new” evidence that I have offered to the DIA for the most part is evidence that either was in the public domain – eg the email trail involving Mr Curragh who admitted to using pokie funds generated for one purpose for other purposes – or was simple to obtain. One example of the latter is [from] one former employee of the ORFU who has clear evidence of how the Centre of Excellence and the ORFU conspired to ensure that the trail of pokie funds was obscured. That type of evidence was, as I say, simple to obtain and reporters also have knowledge of that evidence as an example.

Some questions need to be asked by everyone of the DIA as to whether they were “persuaded” not to pursue certain lines of enquiry. Is it true for example as has been reported, that a senior MP had an undue influence on whether the Department did their job? Others need to be asked about the lack of accountability within DIA for ineptness, unwillingness to pursue matters and apparent willingness to accept the pathetic responses of people who were intimately involved with rorts, fraud and other illegal activities. The DIA has stated on more than one occasion that the whole setup in Dunedin “smelled” and the parties “got away with it”.

I believe that the DIA even now should meet Mr Legge to explain why they failed to act in light of overwhelming evidence of illegality and I think that it would be extremely valuable if Mr Legge would post his evidence of how this particular scheme worked.

The DIA say that they now have a major investigation underway but cannot or will not let anyone know the subject of that investigation. Mr Legge has, in the past, been told that his evidence was so good that a slamdunk prosecution was imminent. What happened? Nothing.

I look forward to seeing a more widespread knowledge of how these people in our community did what they did.

Related Post:
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Connections: ORFU and local harness racing

Pokie Fraud:
Department of Internal Affairs Investigates New Information

Comment received.

Martin Legge
Submitted on 2012/06/21 at 10:07 am

What is going on within DIA? They fly Mr Garbutt to Wellington (at tax payer expense) for a visit and now they are considering fresh information. I am the person who blew the whistle on all of this, still hold all the correspondence relating to the ORFU deal and am aware of personnel that can verify the documents and what went on between TTCF, ORFU and The Centre of Excellence and yet I have not been spoken to – I only live one hour up the road from Mr Quivooy’s office!

Your readers may recall that SST and the ODT both referred to the handwritten budget supplied to me by TTCF trustee Murray Acklin that essentially divvied up every cent of pokie money from the South Auckland Jokers Bars to ORFU and Harness Racing (who had entered into a deal with ORFU). Mr Acklin told both SST and ODT “he doesn’t recall the budget document” – which begs the question of DIA – has he or the other trustees ever been shown this significant piece of evidence as part of DIA’s inquiry? I suspect not because there is one other thing that I do know and that will concern readers – 4 of the 5 TTCF trustees refused interviews with DIA into this and other serious matters back in 2010 and DIA have been satisfied with that ever since!

Funding office staff were required to work exclusively off that budget and there is a clear paper trail of it being met. All TTCF trustees were complicit to it and approved all the grants to ORFU and COE as they came in and even after 2006, TTCF Inc and Ltd continued to approve large grants to ORFU interests while ORFU still had a stake in the Jokers Bars. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Be aware Mr Garbutt, I was told 2 years ago that DIA were all over this and they were preparing matters to put before the Gambling Commission. None of that happened and no action was taken.

In fairness to Mr Quivooy he wasn’t in the job back then but he was given the opportunity to review the ORFU/TTCF investigation file in March of this year but he advised at that time the investigation and report were robust and he was satisfied with it. I suspect he has been ill advised and is in damage control as his recent comments and meeting with Mr Garbutt suggest that his previous sentiments were wrong.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Again: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz
Subject: The ORFU scandal, missing trust monies and reported fraudulent activities
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 21:39:11 +1200

Sunday 27th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my emails dated Sunday 20th May and Wednesday 23rd May 2012.
This is not a good look as I was expecting some reassurance from you, as the ORFU change manager, re perceived financial irregularities of ORFU.
To date, you have chosen not to name the trusts involved in the missing money, you have given no reassurance that the ORFU were not trading illegally while insolvent, you have offered no public apology to the amateur rugby clubs who have missed out on receiving the public money the ORFU applied for, you have offered no explanation how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes, you have offered no explanation why the ORFU did not pay their $25,352 DVML party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event then continuing to hock up other bills around town.

Now we have a report from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website and ODT that “an elderly man who ripped off pokies community grants to the tune of $605,550 has been sentenced to community detention”. Judge Charles Blackie called the case a “very elaborate scam”. There appear to be a number of similarities in this case and the ORFU case.

I will outline the similarities as follows:

1. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
The DIA found numerous fraudulent grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for south Auckland bowling clubs. Noel Henry Gibbons implemented a scheme in which constituent clubs or CMB would invest indirectly in hotels where poker machines operated so that, in turn, those clubs could benefit from grants of pokies proceeds.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
In the SST it was recently reported that the ORFU had invested in three South Auckland bars and were siphoning money over a few years to the tune of $5m.

2. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for bowling machine maintenance, using the money to illegally repay loans for the purchase of hotels.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
The ORFU have been spending monies from unnamed trusts for unauthorised purposes. This has occurred on many occasions and the money has gone ‘in the pot’.

3. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Judge Blackie said Gibbons knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application at the expense of the community.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
I do not have any information re false applications except that the ORFU continued to make applications to unnamed trusts and used this public money for unauthorised purposes.
The black-tie dinner also has similarities in that the ORFU deliberately ran off without paying their $25,352 DVML bill whilst pocketing $52,000 into their own pot.

Jeremy, you have not offered any assurances as outlined above and in my previous emails nor have you indicated whether you have reported the ORFU irregularities to the appropriate authorities.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts and Comments:
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA media release

What if? Website Reminder:
ORFU – Otago Rugby Football Union
TTCF (Inc) – The Trusts Charitable Foundation (being wound up; established as a Charitable Trust by deed in July 1989)
TTCF Ltd – The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (set up and licensed on 11 June 2010)

Received yesterday.

[Begins]

Department of Internal Affairs
Media Release

25 May 2012

Sentenced for defrauding community of pokie grants

An Internal Affairs investigation uncovered a pokie machine rort that resulted in a significant loss of grant funding going to the community. The investigation revealed that numerous grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for South Auckland bowling clubs, were fraudulent.

From late 2006 to September 2009 Counties Manukau Bowls employed Noel Henry Gibbons, 79, of Manurewa, to apply for gaming machine grants.

Mr Gibbons implemented a scheme whereby constituent clubs or CMB itself would invest indirectly in purchasing pubs where pokie machines operated – so that in turn those clubs could benefit from grants of pokie machine proceeds.

Mr Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for “bowling green maintenance” – but some of the money was used illegally to repay loans for the purchase of pubs. This money should have been distributed to local community purposes as grants. Paying off loans is a commercial and illegal use of funding generated from pokie machines.

Mr Gibbons fabricated quotes and invoices from “green keeping contractors” to support grant applications and the provision of services. None of those named in the invoices as billing for a service knew anything of the work they were supposed to have done.

He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court today to six months’ community detention for obtaining $605,550 by deception and of using forged documents.

Judge Charles Blackie said Gibbons’ offending was a “very elaborate” scam and an “unlawful scheme”. The defendant knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application and this was at the expense of the community.

Judge Blackie emphasised the need to hold the defendant accountable and responsible, to deter others who might be inclined to “rip off” the system, and to provide for the community’s interests as the victims of this offending. He adopted a starting point of two years six months’ imprisonment but imposed a lenient sentence because of Gibbons’ guilty plea, advanced age and poor health.

Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations said organisations cannot expect that buying into pokie machine venues will ensure favourable treatment for grant applications.

“It’s illegal and the Department works to ensure that pokie money, which belongs to the community, is protected,” he said. “We want to ensure that community groups have fair access to gambling-generated funds and will take action over any attempts to capture funding flows that are detected.

“We are very pleased that our investigation has led to Mr Gibbons being held accountable for fraud, and for defrauding his community. A clear message to the gambling sector is this: where we come across deliberate and wilful attempts to take community funding we will take strong and decisive action to hold people accountable”.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642

[ends]

Read it at the Department of Internal Affairs website
Other DIA News, Press Releases & Consultation (Link)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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