Tag Archives: Bureaucrats

Cats —or, Infrastructure spending, Council debt, and Disenfranchisement of Ratepayers

Council cat squad checking rego fees [supplied]

After the great floods, the common affliction amongst leaders, “water on the brain”.

█ The ‘thinking’ – DCC cat control remit for LGNZ AGM

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At Twitter:

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“There may be issues with cats but they also serve a useful purpose in controlling pests. The cat population doubled to two at my place last year, and we have more tui and bellbirds around than ever, as well as visits by kereru and eastern rosellas and fantails and waxeyes. The cats occasionally catch a bird but most often it is a sparrow or a thrush. But it looks like the Dunedin council and some others are keen on requiring the herding of cats. They kept as quiet as they could on cats during the local body elections, and now mid term they try to foist it on the public. Devious.” –Pete George at YourNZ

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Councils will now lobby the government to finish its National Cat Management strategy.

### radionz.co.nz 6:05 pm on 25 July 2017
RNZ News
Councils seek greater powers to control cats
By Michael Cropp – Wellington Local Government Reporter
The country’s councils are calling on the government to give them extra powers to protect wildlife from cats including microchipping, de-sexing and registration. Local bodies have the power to control dogs and their behaviour, but they only have jurisdiction over cats when they become a health risk. While the remit presented by Dunedin City Council at the meeting acknowledged the companion role of animals, it noted cats are a danger to wildlife. […] The controversial remit scraped through with just 51 percent of the vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual general meeting.
….Auckland mayor Phil Goff said his council abstained from the vote because it was not sure what it would mean for the 500,000 cats in the country’s largest city. “We are in favour of practical measures to protect native birdlife …. We’re not in favour of bureaucratic measures that might involve millions of dollars of council time and energy but doesn’t achieve the objectives that we set out to achieve,” Mr Goff said.
Read more

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More about ‘LGNZ The Blight’:

Local Government New Zealand – Media Release
Local government to debate four remits and elect new President at AGM
News type: National news | Published: 21 July 2017
The local government sector will voted on four issues when it gathers for its annual AGM in Auckland on Tuesday 25 July. There is a focus on litter legislation, local government funding, cat management and health in this year’s remits. The AGM follows this year’s LGNZ Conference, when over 600 delegates from local government and its stakeholders, industry and community will gather in Auckland for the two day event [23-25 July]. The theme of this year’s conference is Creating pathways to 2050: Liveable spaces and loveable places. Remits are voted on in a secret ballot and if passed will become official policy and be actioned by Local Government New Zealand. Local government will also be voting for a new LGNZ President to replace Lawrence Yule, who steps down after nine years in the role.
….National legislation to manage cats
The third remit was proposed by Dunedin City Council and asks that LGNZ lobby the Government to take legislative action as a matter of urgency to develop national legislation includes provision for cost recovery for cat management.
Throughout New Zealand councils are tasked with trying to promote responsible cat ownership and reduce their environmental impact on wildlife, including native birds and geckos.  Yet, territorial authority’s powers for cats are for minimising the impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and regional councils’ powers are restricted to destruction of feral cats as pests.  The remit seeks the protection of our wildlife and native species by seeking regulatory powers for cat control, including cat identification, cat de-sexing and responsible cat ownership.
….The LGNZ AGM is open to members only. Following the meeting, LGNZ will advise of the outcomes of all votes.
Read more

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Cat rangers and collars with bells on are some of the ideas Dunedin City Council wants to lobby Government for.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated at 14:28, July 10 2017
Cat control: many Kiwi councils ready to lobby for national rules
By Libby Wilson
Councils around the country are looking to band together to rein in roaming moggies. Dunedin City Council has suggested its colleagues help it push the Government for national rules that could include cat rangers and shutting cats in overnight. Seven other councils around the country have given the idea, and its environmental focus, their backing ahead of a July vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting.
Read more

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‘Vacuum of cat management policy and services in Dunedin’, local submission says.

### nzherald.co.nz 29 Jun, 2017 7:02am
Dunedin council proposes registration of cats in New Zealand
A Dunedin proposal that could result in the registration of cats in New Zealand will be discussed nationally. The proposal from the Dunedin City Council, in consultation with seven other councils, will next month go to a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) vote. If it is successful, LGNZ would make it a policy, and begin lobbying the Government to have it made law. The proposal could see the Government called upon to develop legislation for cats similar to the Dog Control Act. It already has the support of the Otago Regional Council, one of 78 councils which will vote on the idea.
Read more

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### ODT Online Wed, 17 May 2017
DCC seeks support for cat control
The Dunedin City Council will seek support from other New Zealand councils to gain greater control of cat management. If additional support from councils was gained, a remit would ask Local Government New Zealand to call upon the Government to give councils statutory power to control cats. The DCC was researching a Wellington City Council bylaw on microchipping cats. However, the current bylaw could not be enforced by non-compliance fees. Cat management would focus on the control of wild cats.
Link

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S T O P ● P R E S S

At Facebook:

Related Posts and Comments:
26.7.17 RNZ Morning Report : Guyon Espiner sticks claws in Cat Cull & Curfews
25.7.17 To borrow from Stevie Smith : ‘the truth is I think he was already stuck’
22.7.17 Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)
21.7.17 Rainy Day reading —The Spinoff : Ministry of Transport fraud case
21.7.17 DCC ORC : Heavy rain warnings preparations #PublicNotice
1.7.17 LGNZ, don’t wish ‘his lordship’ on New Zealand #VoteRachelReese
3.6.17 ODT updates mayoral vehicle serious injury crash information
24.4.17 LGOIMA vehicle (DCC) : Hyundai Santa Fe (2016) written off Jan 2017
10.12.16 Oh christ ! [LGNZ bureaucratic dopefest]
21.7.15 Dunedin to host LGNZ 2016 conference —FFS TIME TO TAKE IT OUT
21.5.15 DCC and LGNZ, total losers
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
10.10.14 Cull consorts with losers at LGNZ
26.6.14 LGNZ #blaggardliars

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Baloney, Business, DCC, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Finance, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Travesty, What stadium

Council says “bag it” —we can help with that

Although, there’s no indication they like carbon monoxide (CO).
A useful part of the atmosphere in the circumstances.

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STICK ‘EDUCATION’ UP THE PROVERBIAL

At Facebook:

The Dunedin City Council is keen to “educate all users to ensure enjoyment of our reserves and beaches”.

### ODT Online Fri, 9 June 2017
New horse dung rule pleases, riles
By Shawn McAvinue
Horse droppings must be cleaned from Dunedin tracks by riders but they can remain on footpaths and roads, a new bylaw states. A community board head says the new rules are a “step in the right direction”, but a horseman reckons the bylaw is “ridiculous”. Dunedin City Council recreation and planning facilities manager…said under the recently adopted Reserves and Beaches Bylaw, horse owners were expected to remove horse droppings from  or near access tracks as a courtesy to other users. The bylaw allowed for enforcement, [they] said. […] Council transport group manager Richard Saunders said  under the council’s Roading Bylaw owners were not required to clean up if their horse left droppings on a public road or footpath. The council received few complaints about the issue, he said. […] Horseman Keith Roberts (69), of Berwick, said he had ridden around New Zealand four times on his horse Zara and had never picked up her droppings. The bylaw would not change his behaviour, he said. “Never.”
Read more

TIME TO CLEAN OUT THE STABLE

Related Posts and Comments:
● 30.5.17 The Boil Over : DCC and Freedom Camping, Reserves and Beaches bylaws
● 13.5.17 Condition of Warrington Domain screwed by DCC lack of enforcement #CampingControlBylaw23
● 9.4.17 DCC obfuscates : Open slather for freedom campers at Warrington
● 16.3.17 WE have the information, unreasonable delay providing it #LGOIMA
● 15.2.17 Warrington : DCC dictates loss of community’s grassed recreation reserve to freeloaders
8.2.17 Hands Off Enjoyment of OUR Beaches #DCC
● 6.2.17 Uncontrolled freedom camping at Warrington Domain this weekend —DCC ‘hell model’ [no enforcement]
● 1.2.17 “Fake news” from DCC boffins & Community Board re freedom camping at Warrington Domain #TheBlight
10.2.16 Dunedin freedom camping #DCC #enforcement
16.12.14 DCC: Freedom Camping issues
7.12.09 Coastal protection zones

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

ALL THESE THINGS BELONG ON BEACHES

Burt Munro Challenge [southlandexpress.co.nz]

[slohorsenews.net]

“We Shall Fight on the Beaches” –Winston Churchill, 4 June 1940

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Pike River realities surface . . .

At Twitter:

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Video at ODT Online:

The father of one of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster says the families have always believed the Government wasn’t telling the truth about mine safety.

Mon, 1 May 2017
ODT: Pike video shows men in mine after blast
The Government has long said high concentrations of methane inside the mine make it too risky to re-enter to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 blast, because the gas could explode. But footage leaked to Newshub yesterday showed two Mines Rescue workers inside the mine three months after the explosion, with no gloves, apparently relaxed as they fashioned a makeshift cover for a robot out of cardboard and tape. The robot is seen to be steaming or smoking well inside the mine, but the workers do not panic – and nothing explodes. Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was killed in the November 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine, said the newly leaked footage did not come as a surprise. Cont/

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At Twitter:

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nzherald.co.nz Uploaded on Nov 23, 2010
Raw video: Robot camera inside Pike River mine
First pictures from inside the Pike River mine which show the miner’s helmet and mine damage.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Published on Oct 21, 2013
Case Study: Pike River
View the full case study here:
http://www.zeroharm.org.nz/leadership/case-studies/pike-river/

Graeme Axford Published on Oct 31, 2014
Pike River families believe photos show bodies
Friday 31 Oct 2014 8:06 p.m.
It is understood that a decision from Solid Energy on whether it will allow recovery teams to re-enter the drift of the Pike River mine is imminent. The drift is not the mine itself, but the two-kilometre tunnel that leads to the mine.
Families of the victims are desperate for a mission to collect evidence and to see if there are any bodies in the drift.
They say if Solid Energy won’t do it, they will. They say they know there are bodies in the mine, and tonight, with their blessing and for the first time, we can show you their evidence. Dean Dunbar, the father of lost miner Joseph Dunbar, spoke with Campbell Live producer Kate McCallum. Watch the full interview with Dean Dunbar.

Division of Humanities, University of Otago Published on Jul 4, 2016
███ Pike River – How could this happen in this day and age?
Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’? Find out why the Pike River Families have fought so hard and for so long. Colin Smith is a law graduate from the University of Otago and is a partner with the Greymouth Law Firm Hannan & Seddon.

RNZ Published on Jan 23, 2017
Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it’s safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint
Pike River mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes the mine’s drift is safe to enter, and is willing to be among the first party that goes in.

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davedobbynmusic Published on Dec 15, 2014
Dave Dobbyn – This Love (Live Perfomance)
‘This Love’ by Dave Dobbyn with the Orpheus Choir of Wellington is a moving tribute to the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.
The piece was first performed at a concert attended by members of the miners’ bereaved families and was recorded by Radio NZ Concert. The choral arrangement is by Mark Dorrell. Also performing are Wellington Young Voices, Mark Vanilau (piano), Jo Barus (bass), Ross Burge (drums) and Chris Clark (cornet). With special thanks to TVNZ and Satellite Media – taken from the TVNZ documentary ‘Dreams Lie Deeper’.

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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DCC and LGNZ, total losers

TWO BLOG POSTS WORTH READING —AND DCC TWADDLE

Received.
‎Thu‎, ‎21‎ ‎May‎ ‎2015 at ‎8‎:‎25‎ ‎a.m.

### interest.co.nz May 20, 2015 – 12:53pm
Business
Inaugural extensive survey of over 3000 citizens and businesses scores New Zealand’s councils just 29 out of 100 on reputation
Posted by David Hargreaves
New Zealand’s local government has collectively scored just 29 out of 100 in terms of overall reputation in an inaugural, nationwide, comprehensive survey. The New Zealand Local Government Survey of close to 3000 citizens and businesses across New Zealand was conducted last year by research firm Colmar Brunton. Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said: “It is clear from this inaugural Survey that New Zealanders are seeking stronger leadership and performance than what they perceive us to currently provide. This gives us the mandate to lift the performance and perceptions of local government.” […] LGNZ says it and its membership councils are now embarking on “a significant programme of work to deliver improved performance and heighten the value that is delivered to communities by local governments across New Zealand”.
Read more + Comments

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‎Received.
Thu‎, ‎21‎ ‎May‎ ‎2015 at ‎12‎:‎56‎ ‎p.m. and 1:19 p.m.
█ Message: DCC’s spin and b…shit dovetails nicely with this survey.
█ Message: Time to look at the role and funding of the LGNZ – it’s the breeding ground for this crap!!

### whaleoil.co.nz May 21, 2015 at 10:00am
Unacknowledged time bomb: Our dissatisfaction with local government
By Cameron Slater (citing Patrick Smellie, Newstalk ZB)
“….The average score for performance, which covered factors such as value for money, financial management and ability to manage community affairs, came in at 28 per cent. Local leadership scores averaged 26 per cent.” […] I think LGNZ should consider this a wake-up call. Councils are seriously mismanaging funds – denying money for library services but setting up Maori boards and LGBT advisory panels against the wishes of the rate payers. […] There is an ill wind blowing. The people aren’t going take the sorts of squandering, minority pandering, empire building and excessive year-on-year rates rises much longer. Local government in New Zealand is seriously out of control, and the fact that less than a third of New Zealanders think they’re doing OK is a dreadful indictment.
Read more

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NOW, THE PUFF PIECE from nearest and dearest council bureaucrat-honkies WHO ARE SO CONTINUALLY AND RELIABLY DIVORCED FROM SUCCESS IN BUSINESS. Embarrassing. NO TRACK RECORD. FUTILE. DISTURBED. Lost a minimum of 152 fleet vehicles, blamed on one dead man.
Pssst, the mayor still admires and listens to Stuart McLauchlan of Delta, SCF, Rugby, UoO and other imprecise fame…….. ACE LEADERSHIP.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
DCC has Firm Focus on Helping Business

This item was published on 20 May 2015

Plenty of positive action is underway to help local businesses and promote economic development, the Dunedin City Council says.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) today released the results of its inaugural Local Government Survey, carried out from June to September last year, which asked the public and businesses about their perceptions of city, district and regional councils across New Zealand. This included a booster survey for Dunedin businesses.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “The national results show local government has an image problem in general. We need to do more to make the community aware of what we do. This includes highlighting the broad range of services we provide, from local roads, street lights and sportsgrounds to libraries, events funding, and kerbside rubbish and recycling collection. We also need to improve our overall performance at an operational and governance level.”

The LGNZ Dunedin business booster results showed Dunedin businesses were less satisfied with local government’s role in economic development and regulation compared with the national average, but a recently completed DCC survey gives a much more positive picture.

“The LGNZ survey was carried out last year and a lot has changed since then. We recently commissioned a business satisfaction survey to help us get a better idea of how the DCC is perceived and where we need to lift our game.” Mr Cull says it is important to recognise the LGNZ survey was about reputation, whereas the DCC business survey centred on satisfaction levels of businesses that had actually used DCC services. “They both matter, but they are different.”

Director Enterprise Dunedin John Christie says the online anonymous survey targeted businesses which have had direct contact with the DCC over the past year. The survey closed on 6 May. Preliminary high level results show that of the respondents, about half agreed the DCC provides an environment that is ‘business friendly’, a quarter were neutral and just under a quarter disagreed. Almost half the respondents also agree the DCC is effective.

DCC General Manager Services and Development Simon Pickford says the survey highlighted areas where the DCC needs to improve. “We already work closely with developers and large businesses to make the process as easy as we can, through initiatives such as the ‘red carpet’ project. However, we can do a lot more to help small and medium sized businesses. In general, they want to do it right and follow the rules, but we don’t make it as easy as we could and we are putting a lot of thought and resources into changing that. We want to make sure all businesses receive excellent advice and support and business friendly service from the DCC.”

Mr Christie says it is good to have some clear, current messages from Dunedin businesses and he thanked them for taking the time to respond to the survey. “We get both good and bad anecdotal feedback, but what we needed was more detailed information so we get an understanding of the service businesses are receiving and where we can do more. These survey results will help us identify and respond to specific issues.” The DCC intends to carry out a regular business satisfaction survey. Mr Christie says there are many Economic Development Strategy initiatives which are working well and getting real results for the city. These include work being done through Project China and Export Education, as well as Gigatown. Sexy Summer Jobs, Dunedin’s successful summer intern programme, has led to about 126 full and part time positions being created by businesses since the programme began in 2008. Enterprise Dunedin staff provide valuable input and assistance around cruise ship planning and hosting. They assist with major event promotion and brand development, which helps make the city a vibrant, attractive place in which to live, work, study and invest.

In the Regulatory Services area, which includes building consents and environmental health regulations, the DCC has a wide range of activities underway to help businesses expand and develop. Mr Pickford says, “We’re meeting developers and business people to get their views on how we can help. We’re working closely with Enterprise Dunedin, for example at the new business clinics, and we’re trying to have a closer liaison with relevant organisations such as Master Builders. Staff are working to produce a one stop shop guide for setting up a business in Dunedin. This will be available online and in hard copy. Staff are also introducing case management, which means individual staff will help business people and developers liaise with different departments. “We’re also streamlining regulatory processes where we can. This includes putting processes online where possible and, in time, we hope to have systems where people can log in and check what stage their building consent is at in the process, for example. The local government sector overall struggles to get recognition, particularly in the area of economic development. As well as our own business survey, our annual Residents’ Opinion Survey (ROS) results are more positive than the LGNZ survey results and recognise our work to retain existing businesses in Dunedin. It’s also important to see these results in a wider context. Our 2014 ROS results show more residents were satisfied with the DCC’s overall performance than in any year since 2003.”

The LGNZ Dunedin business booster survey had a random sample of 111 businesses. The DCC survey of businesses had 317 responses and the ROS achieves a sample of about 1200 residents.

The Local Government Survey is available at http://www.lgnz.co.nz. To see the results of the LGNZ Dunedin business booster and a Dunedin public booster visit http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/lgnz-survey. The high level DCC business survey results are available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/business-support/business-survey-report.

Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA regulates what? Not white collar crime, not with govt looking on!

This one’s for Sue Ingram, DIA.

Charity expert Michael Gousmett has labelled the failure to pursue the investigation a cop-out. “To brush it under the carpet, [Internal Affairs] is basically abdicating their responsibility,” Gousmett said. “They tend to pick on the low-hanging fruit and you would have to question what the real purpose of the regulator is.”

### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Sunday Dec 14, 2014
Glenn charity probe dumped
By Bevan Hurley – chief reporter
Internal Affairs has abandoned an investigation into alleged irregular payments for a thoroughbred racehorse made by Sir Owen Glenn’s charity. After being under investigation for 18 months, the Glenn Family Foundation Charitable Trust charity was voluntarily deregistered on December 1. The charities regulator launched an investigation after emails appeared to show payments from the Glenn Family Foundation to a bloodstock company and Sir Owen’s personal bank account.
The alleged irregular payments surfaced in an email from former trust chief executive Peter McGlashan to Sir Owen, in which he wrote “large international transfer payments you requested be made to Bloodstocks Ltd and to your account in Sydney”. McGlashan’s email stated the payments “are not typical” of a charitable trust and will “no doubt need explaining” when the charity’s accounts were being prepared.
Charities service general manager Lesa Kalapu defended the length of the investigation, and lack of a resolution, saying there had been delays because Sir Owen lived overseas. “Purely because of the scale, and the international aspect to it, there were delays.” She said there was a “fair level of co-operation”.
Sir Owen told the Herald on Sunday negative media coverage had forced him to leave New Zealand.
The Charities Service came under the Department of Internal Affairs in July 2012.
Read more

DIA Charities Services

DIA Gambling compliance investigations and audits

A lot has happened, a lot of investigation files have been deliberately buried.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has been deficient, dissembling and politically influenced to not pursue prosecution of innumerable persons — recognised pillars of society, professional trustees, lawyers and accountants amongst them — known to be involved in multimillion-dollar white collar crime.
A public disgrace, no less for the successive Ministers concerned.
But don’t worry, no-one is naïve in saying this.

A short reflection, by topics 2012 – 2014 . . . .

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5.8.14 Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust
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30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names
8.12.13 SFO budget slashed, how useful were they ?! #politicalinterference
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10.10.13 Whistleblowers’ message heard ??! #OtagoRacingClub #pokierorts
26.8.13 New Zealand rorts and sports —dependence on gambling and white collar crime
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
15.7.13 Leave Otago white collar criminals ALONE, and other unfairness
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
7.6.13 Peter Dunne, undone
28.5.13 Carisbrook: Auditor-General #fails Dunedin residents and ratepayers
31.3.13 DIA and Office of the Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
15.3.13 ORFU should be subject to full forensic investigation
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
11.2.13 Recognising whistleblowers
7.2.13 DIA not releasing report #ORFU #NZRU #pokierorts
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

30.12.12 Internal Affairs is a whole other planet #whitecollarcrime #DIArorts
18.11.12 Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup
26.10.12 Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – CULPABLE #pokierorts
3.10.12 DScene: Russell Garbutt seeks DIA file to Crown Law #pokierorts
15.9.12 Martin Legge responds to NZ Herald news
27.8.12 DIA’s political cover-up of TTCF and ORFU rorts
22.8.12 Martin Legge releases emails to Dunedin community #ORFU
15.8.12 Keeping ORFU sweet [email]
12.8.12 DIA reshuffle: new investigation teams, money laundering, criticism
28.7.12 Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA
24.7.14 Mention in NZ Herald dispatches: TTCF and friends ORFU
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA
● 26.6.12 Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing
5.6.12 The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill
● 4.6.12 Questions: ORFU and the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport
27.5.12 Again: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
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]
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black-tie dinner at stadium
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
23.3.12 ORFU position

● [3.3.10 Yep, Kereyn Smith thinks like ‘stadium boys’ – see more]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust

According to Barry Stewart on Channel 39 there’s a story in tomorrow’s ODT about: “A pokie trust established to fund the racing industry closed down.”

Why wait?

The Decision – Gambling Commission

Here’s the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) press release
(in which the devils at DIA, racing and pokie industry make Mike O’Brien the fall guy):

Pokie trust obtained licence by deception – Gambling Commission

5 August 2014

The Department of Internal Affairs has welcomed a decision by the Gambling Commission which has found that a Blenheim based gaming machine society, Bluegrass Holdings Limited, obtained its licence to operate pokie machines by deception and that a decision to cancel its Class 4 operator’s licence was warranted. The Commission’s decision, published today, 5 August 2014, comes after a two year protracted and complicated process between Bluegrass Holdings and the Department.

Internal Affairs’ Acting Director of Gambling Compliance, Raj Krishnan, says action was taken to cancel Bluegrass’s licence in July 2012 because of concerns about the suitability of Bluegrass’s operations including the actions of particular key individuals.

“Bluegrass’s deliberate and repeated efforts to deceive the Secretary were intolerable. There is no room for such behaviour in the gambling sector and we are pleased that those involved will now need to move on. We put a lot of effort into this case as we believe ensuring the integrity of the gambling sector is of great importance. Gaming machine societies exist to distribute funds for the community. Millions of dollars are involved and the utmost integrity is required,” says Mr Krishnan.

The Gambling Commission found that Bluegrass provided false and misleading information to Internal Affairs about its funding, those involved in the society and the role of Blenheim man Mike O’Brien in particular. Mike O’Brien is well-known in the harness racing community and is the son of Patrick O’Brien, former chairman of Harness Racing New Zealand and former chair of Bluegrass, which primarily provided grant money to the racing sector. The Commission says documentary evidence indicates Mike O’Brien “covertly exercised influence over the society’s grants and operation….” (Paragraph 66)

The Commission’s decision notes that the efforts to deceive the Department were repeated and took place from the time of Bluegrass’s initial application, through the investigation process and continued during the course of formal proceedings. The deceit stemmed from Bluegrass’s failure to advise the true source of funding to establish the society as well as the role of Mike O’Brien.

“It is unlikely that the Secretary [of Internal Affairs] would have granted the licence application if he had known either that the money had been advanced by Mike O’Brien or that its ultimate source was three racing clubs. The Appellant obtained its licence by providing materially false and misleading information to the Secretary.” (Paragraph 82)

The Commission also found there was evidence that Bluegrass was open to being influenced by its venue operators, contrary to the Gambling Act 2003 and it believed that allowing venue operators to exercise influence over grants was necessary to its survival. (Paragraph 65)

The Commission found the evidence of Bluegrass’s present chair, Blenheim electrician, Peter Gurr not to be sufficiently credible and compelling to remove the doubts as to Bluegrass’s suitability. The Commission says the nature of the deception means it is appropriate for Bluegrass’s licence to be cancelled to “deter other applicants from similar attempts in the future”.

“The circumstances of the case illustrate that detection of this sort of deception is difficult and it is important therefore that the consequences following detection are sufficiently serious to prevent the operation of licensing regime being undermined by the provision of false or misleading information for the advantage of applicants.” (Paragraph 89)

Mr Krishnan says: “This type of behaviour detracts from the good work of many others who distribute pokie grants for the benefit of the community. We’d encourage operators to take close note of this decision and let it serve as a benchmark as to what is expected from them. This type of deceptive conduct and efforts to mislead are also captured in investigations presently being conducted by Internal Affairs, the Serious Fraud Office and Police.”

Bluegrass Holdings Ltd owns 144 gaming machines (pokies) at eight pubs around New Zealand.

“Internal Affairs is currently assessing the behaviour of the people who are responsible for the gaming machines at those venues. We have a duty to the wider community to ensure that venue operators are ethical and uphold the law. Whether those pubs will be allowed to continue operating pokies will depend on whether we are satisfied that all the relevant criteria are met,” says Mr Krishnan.

In accordance with the Commission’s decision the licence cancellation will come into effect on 18 August 2014.

Questions and Answers

1. What happens on 18 August to the pokie machines owned by Bluegrass?
Once Bluegrass’s licence to operate is cancelled on 18 August all its machines are turned off. We’d expect the machines to be sold possibly to another gaming machine society. (See Q5 for further details)

2. Doesn’t this action mean less money will go into the community?
There is no evidence to suggest that overall gambling profits will decrease if the venues in question cease to offer gambling. Those who gamble at these venues are likely to simply gamble elsewhere if the venues lose their licences.

3. What happens to the money already collected from people gambling on the machines?
The Gambling Act (2003) specifies that once a society’s licence is cancelled the remaining net proceeds from its Class 4 gambling must be distributed to authorised purposes in the community within 20 working days, unless a further period is agreed to by the Secretary (for Internal Affairs). Internal Affairs will be working with Bluegrass to ensure the correct distribution takes place.

4. What happens to the organisations which received money from Bluegrass last year?
No organisations which have had their funding applications already accepted by Bluegrass should lose out. Bluegrass was set up to primarily distribute funds to the racing sector. There is nothing to stop the racing clubs (or other community organisations) that received funds from Bluegrass from applying for pokie grants from other gaming machine societies, which are the organisations responsible for distributing the proceeds from gaming machines to the community.

5. What happens to the eight pubs which have Bluegrass machines? Can they transfer to another society?
Yes they can, however this requires a fresh licence application to be made to the Department for each venue, and we will assess each application on a case by case basis. We will assess in detail both the behaviour of the venues and the history of compliance of the societies applying to take the venues on. We have a duty to the wider community to ensure that the operators in the gambling sector are ethical and uphold the law. Each time the Secretary (of Internal Affairs) makes an approval decision in respect of an application by a society to take on a new venue, he must be satisfied of both the venue’s ability and the society’s ability to operate in a compliant fashion. We will not grant a venue application until we have worked through the enquiries we need to make to be sure that these venues and societies are compliant in all respects. It should be noted a recent decision by the Gambling Commission emphasises that the onus is on the applicant society to satisfy Internal Affairs that the relevant criteria are met.

6. Does the action of DIA mean that those pubs will go under?
If a venue is compliant with the law and aligns with a compliant gaming machine society, then there is no reason why is should not continue to be able to operate pokie machines. We should point out that pubs host pokie machines voluntarily, and when they do, they are only able to recover the cost associated with hosting those machines, up to a limit. The Gambling Act did not intend for pubs to make profits from hosting pokie machines. Therefore, if these venues are dependent on the money from pokies for their survival something is wrong with the underlying viability of the venue

7. Does this action mean that those involved in Bluegrass will never be able to operate in the pokie sector again?
Yes, it is our intention to ensure the integrity of a sector which generates approximately $800 million per annum in turnover. Given the large amount of funding generated by gambling the highest levels of sector integrity are vital to make sure that the community doesn’t lose out on much needed grant money, and that those in the sector, who comply and do the right thing, aren’t undermined. Our recent actions demonstrate that we will detect unlawful and dishonest behaviour, and take whatever action necessary to reduce and eliminate non-compliance.

Media contact:
Sue Ingram, Communications
Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
Direct Dial: +64 4 494 0584 | Mobile: +64 27 541 4696

[ends]

DIA Link

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NZ journalism, Ean Higgins got it in one #knowwhatwethinkofGerry

Come back Ean Higgins, too true — ALL IS FORGIVEN !!!!!

Ean Higgins, 29 Miners Still Missing [zimbio.com]Journalist Ean Higgins of The Australian newspaper asks a question during a media briefing [zimbio.com]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:47 27/07/2014
Brownlee lashes ‘tosspot’ journalist
By Steve Kilgallon and Neil Reid
The Australian journalist who fled New Zealand after being labelled a “boorish tosspot” by National minister Gerry Brownlee for his insensitive approach to the Pike River mine disaster has declared it the finest moment of his career. Brownlee, however, has told the Sunday Star-Times that Ean Higgins remained a tosser, but had also proven himself a fantasist and an “obnoxious twerp”.
[…] Higgins’ self-congratulatory essay about his brief Pike River coverage was certainly inflammatory.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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