Tag Archives: Cover-ups

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.

10 Comments

Filed under Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Education, Events, Geography, Health & Safety, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, Other, People, Perversion, Pics, Police, Politics, Public interest, Site, Technology, Travesty

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 . . . .

Related Posts and Comments:
27.11.14 Sport Otago’s Brimble and ORFU’s Kinley never give up —ugly paperwork exists boys !!
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
22.8.14 DCC: Deloitte report referred to the police #Citifleet
5.8.14 Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust
27.7.14 NZ journalism, Ean Higgins got it in one #knowwhatwethinkofGerry
13.7.14 Great quote: men
13.5.14 Stuff: Colin Espiner usefully defines Corruption
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG ● LynProvost
20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
19.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?
15.3.14 Mayoral DISGRACE: DCC won’t ask ORFU to repay $480K bailout
14.3.14 ORFU flush to pay creditors
20.2.14 National-led government rejects state sector reform
15.2.14 Corruption: US mirror to ministerial meddling in DIA business
3.2.14 DIA signed up Intralot amid concerns about bribery and corruption

31.12.13 Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]
30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names
8.12.13 SFO budget slashed, how useful were they ?! #politicalinterference
7.12.13 Corruption in NZ Sport: Where has John Key PM been hiding ???
15.10.13 NZRU, ORFU blasphemies etc
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
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

4 Comments

Filed under Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis

Following on from the previous post.
DCC has established an Investigation Steering Group (membership unknown).

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Mon, 1 Sep 2014 at 9:51 p.m.

[begins]

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:09 a.m.
To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Subject: Re: 8 x LGOIMA requests

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for responding so rapidly on the 8 questions.

To clarify, have the DCC asked for the SFO to investigate the Citifleet frauds and when, or has the SFO only been briefed indirectly by Deloittes as in answer 7?

Also, are your responses public or confidential?

Cheers,
Lee

——————————

From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2014 11:08:40 +1200
To: Lee Vandervis
Subject: RE: 8 x LGOIMA requests

Dear Lee

I have followed up your question of clarification about the SFO and can provide the following response:
Under the circumstances of a suspected fraud (as per the Citifleet situation at the beginning of the investigation), the normal course of events is that the SFO is informed of issues when they arise. Deloitte did this via a phone-call to the SFO on 12 June 2014, after a discussion with DCC staff at a meeting of the Investigation Steering Group. The steering group were fully aware of the fact that Deloitte was speaking with the SFO and were informed of the outcome of the call. The call to the SFO was us asking the SFO to consider an investigation.

The discussion on 12 June 2014 (which was with a case officer and with Nick Paterson, the GM Fraud and Corruption) summarised the facts and circumstances of the Citifleet issues and sought the view of the SFO.
It is then the SFO’s decision as to whether they commence their own investigation. This is based on the criteria set out on their website (copied below)

There are multiple victims (usually investors) of the suspected fraud

● The sum of money lost exceeds $2,000,000

● The alleged criminal transactions have significant legal or financial complexity beyond the resources of most other law enforcement agencies.

In the case of bribery or corruption matters, we focus on crimes involving public officials, which could undermine public confidence in the administration of laws

Based primarily on the fact that the main suspect was deceased and that the actions appeared to be those of one corrupt individual rather than fitting within the definition of bribery and corruption, the GM Fraud and Corruption decided that the best course of action was for Deloitte to complete its investigation and provide a copy of the report at the conclusion of its work. During the investigation and with permission from DCC, Deloitte provided an update on the investigation to SFO on 07 July 2014 via letter. A copy of the full report was provided on 21 August 2014. We have heard nothing back from the SFO to date.

As to confidentiality, these OIA replies are all able to be made public and as such they will be published on the website and I will be providing a copy of the information to all Councillors.

Regards
Sandy [Group Manager Corporate Services, DCC]
—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

Note: The auditors that Dunedin City Council has contracted to investigate fraud carry the name Deloitte New Zealand, or simply Deloitte. Link

Related Posts and Comments:
30.8.14 DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts…
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
27.8.14 DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens
26.8.14 DCC: Forensics for kids
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

24 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property

DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts and the record to be made public

Lee Vandervis + Dave Cull [photos via leevandervis.wordpress.com] BW (1)

The following correspondence is reproduced in the public interest.

Received from Lee Vandervis
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

Message: You may be interested in the following email trail, which I believe highlights a serious impediment to the cleansing process which is taking far too long at the DCC.
I am happy for you to publish.
Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

[begins]

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:36:35 +1200
To: Dave Cull
Cc: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Conversation: Recent events
Subject: Re: Recent events

Dear Mayor Cull.

Denial is not just a large river in Egypt.
You confirm the urgent need for facts and the record to be made public.

Regards,
Cr. Vandervis

——————————

On 29/08/14 2:41 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Lee,
I do not believe that many of your claims below are borne out by the record or the facts and stand by my comments.

Dave

Sent from my iPad

——————————

[conversion code deleted from body text, punctuation restored -Eds]

On 29/08/2014, at 11:16 AM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

Dear Mayor Cull,

I believe that you have been long aware of my efforts to have Mr Bachop’s and other DCC departments investigated for the kinds of inappropriateness currently evident in Citifleet.
In particular you now know having read the Deloitte report, [and I believe have long known] that I have been calling for and instigated my own investigations into Citifleet vehicle disposals and contracting arrangements since at least 2011. I have been responding politically, then and since, to many business and individual requests and questions from, for example Turner’s Auctions, regarding Citifleet. Answers to many of my questions have been denied or not forthcoming, and the public right to know has been consequently frustrated. Your public claim that CEO Orders began the current investigative and restructuring process [by starting with DCHL?!] does not align with information I have, or with information and requests for investigation that I made to CEO Orders many years ago.

My understanding is that the Police were not moved to investigate Citifleet when contacted by the DCC over 3 months ago, even when the evidence was so tragically overwhelming that Deloittes were contracted by CEO Bidrose [costing us $200,000] to investigate. I am not convinced that Police requests for a further unspecified number of months of ‘no public comment’ is in the public interest, and my discussion with the Crown Solicitor was also unconvincing on this point.
You say below that ‘the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to’, yet you have the right and have read the Deloitte Citifleet Investigation Report and made numerous public comments, and I have been denied seeing it even on a ‘grey papers’ basis and am being muzzled. Your ‘operational only’ claim is generally questionable and in this case fails on all counts.
We will never know all the facts, especially if the withholding of the Deloitte report and more public muzzling continues.
In one of your media statements you say that Council have agreed not to comment until the Police have completed their belated investigation, but this is not true. Councillors have not been given the opportunity to even discuss a further number of months of no comment on Citifleet, leave alone agreed not to comment. I have certainly not agreed and do not agree.

Thank you for acknowledging my long standing demands that DCC ‘heads should roll’. My long political experience is that timely public disclosure will be necessary to ensure that the appropriate heads are dispatched, and that an embedded DCC culture of self-entitlement across many departments is permanently erased.

Regards,
Cr. Vandervis

——————————

On 28/08/14 5:30 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Lee,
The investigation that the CEO has contracted Deloittes to conduct into Citifleet is an operational matter involving, among other things, employment and potentially criminal issues. From the outset the Police, Serious Fraud Office, and Dept of Internal Affairs have been kept informed.

The investigation and subsequent internal reviews were instigated within DCC.
However the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to, or responsibility for, interfering in or giving direction on, except as part of a whole of Council directive.

The investigation included the question of whether the problems uncovered at Citifleet had been the subject of previous allegations or questions, and if so, whether those had been responded to appropriately by management, including CEOs. Deloittes will report back on that.

The request not to release the report and the consequential request not to comment came not from the CEO (or me) but from Police and the Crown Prosecutor. Indeed both the CEO and I feel frustrated and disappointed as you do, that the report, which was completed only a week or so ago, must now sit under wraps for a further period.

However it is important that nothing jeopardises the ability of the CEO and police to hold people to account. You often demand that ‘heads should roll’
Your claims and demands, without knowledge of the investigation findings, could do just that: put the aims of the investigation to hold people accountable at risk.

I am not suggesting Councillors do not have the right to ask questions or make requests. What we do not have a right to do is step outside our governance roles, interfere with legitimate operational matters particularly without knowing all the facts, and unilaterally jeopardize Council and ratepayer interests. If we do we should be fully held to account for that.

Dave

Dave Cull
Mayor of Dunedin
—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

Note: The auditors that Dunedin City Council has contracted to investigate fraud carry the name Deloitte New Zealand, or simply Deloitte. Link

Related Post and Comments:
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
27.8.14 DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens
26.8.14 DCC: Forensics for kids
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: leevandervis.wordpress.com

23 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property

DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens

MILLIONS
ORFU / NZRU
CST
Stadium / DVML
Carisbrook
Delta
Citifleet
City Property
Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board
Other

The story today at ODT, Further DCC inquiries possible amid changes – with comments off – shows up the very worst of undemocratic processes and shonky leadership coming to light at Dunedin City Council.

“The Government had the power to replace an elected council with commissioners, or appoint managers alongside, or over the top of, a council’s existing management team. Dr Bidrose confirmed the council had been keeping DIA staff informed about the alleged Citifleet fraud, as well as the council’s reform process, but there were no signs an intervention was likely.”

Be pleased with today’s ODT editorial: Disturbing ‘we know best’ attitude

Meanwhile, take a look at this NZ Herald story:
Council votes to sue ex CEO for cost overruns
(see Comments to article, fascinating! suing of Audit NZ and OAG pending)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Highlanders, Media, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Queenstown Lakes, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

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

Related Posts and Comments:
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
31.3.13 DIA and Office of the Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
18.11.12 Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup
28.7.12 Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA

█ For more, enter the terms *dia*, *pokies*, *pokie trusts*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *gambling commission* and *ttcf* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Carisbrook, DCC, DVML, Economics, Geography, Highlanders, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport, Stadiums

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.

He called New Zealand “a small, meek and mild democracy” and said: “The New Zealand journalists didn’t ask any uncomfortable questions, being happy to accept whatever the police, the company and the miners’ rescue people told them . . . the Australian journalists, coming from a more robust tradition . . . did ask the tough questions”.

He describes the two groups of journalists dining separately in “the only good restaurant” in Greymouth and the Aussies deciding “we were really going to get stuck into the company and the authorities and show the Kiwis real journalism and workshopped a few really brutal questions”.
Read more

Related Posts and Comment:
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
7.6.13 Peter Dunne, undone
7.2.13 DIA not releasing report #ORFU #NZRU #pokierorts
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Events, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics