Tag Archives: DCC ground rentals

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

15 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

New board for ORFU not formed, deadline shifts for bailout

### ODT Online Wed, 23 May 2012
Rugby: Wait for new ORFU board continues
By Steve Hepburn
The wait continues. The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union was not named yesterday as expected as negotiations drag on over an agreement between parties involved in the bail-out of the union. The union came to an agreement with its major creditors in March to stave off liquidation and that agreement was to be finalised by the middle of this month. But contracts were still being worked on by parties and had not been signed off by yesterday.
Read more

QUESTION In light of revelations about the ORFU’s unauthorised use of funds received from charitable trusts to solve its liquidity problems, and if the ORFU has been trading while insolvent, is the Dunedin City Council reconsidering its position in regards to the ORFU bailout package? It should, the Council owes ORFU nothing.

Related Posts:
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
22.5.12 Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions…
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

30 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

NZRU-appointed change manager talks

Grants for sport are a legitimate authorised purpose under the Gambling Act, but grants could not be used to pay for professional sport.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 May 2012
Grants meant for amateur rugby used to pay ORFU creditors
By Hamish McNeilly
Grants earmarked for the amateur rugby game were used by the Otago Rugby Football Union to pay creditors, New Zealand Rugby Union appointed change manager Jeremy Curragh has confirmed. He said yesterday all pokie grants received within the last financial year had been accounted for, with $65,000 to be returned to trusts as the money was not spent on its authorised purpose. In one example, a $25,000 grant from a local trust was supposed to have been paid to the Dunedin City Council for ground rentals for club and school matches, but was instead used by the union to pay other creditors.

Staff had applied for grants while the union was fighting off liquidation, as there always was the “intention they can avoid liquidation”.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Latest: 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 and missing trust monies
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 09:14:36 +1200

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my email below dated Sunday 20th May 2012.

The front page news in today’s ODT now brings up further concerns.
1. It is reported that the ORFU misappropriated not just $25,000 from one trust but has now owned up to $65,000 missing from a number of trusts.
What are the names of these trusts and why has this not been reported? The ORFU is not being upfront in naming these trusts.
Has the ORFU put any pressure on these trusts to remain silent? This is public money missing and is incumbent on the ORFU to come clean and name these trusts.
Until these trusts are named there is no way the ORFU can be made accountable for any present repayments to those trusts.
Is there other money missing from other trusts not yet owned up to by the ORFU?
2. It is now clear that the ORFU were trading while insolvent – that is why they used the trust money for unauthorised purposes.
It is reported that ORFU staff applied for grants while the union was fighting off liquidation as there always was the “intention they can avoid liquidation”. This contradicts your following statement “However, no grant would have been banked or received if liquidation was an issue…..”
3. I note in today’s ODT report that the ORFU offer no apology to the club rugby for missing out on these monies. I note the ORFU in their arrogance offer no apology to the public for the misappropriation of this public money. The ORFU offer no remorse just your comment of “it has not been ideal the way Otago has treated the grants”. That is an understatement.
You are then quoted as saying: “There is nothing illegal other than (money didn’t go) where it should have.” This appears to be minimising the problem. Now we have been caught out we will pay it back. Sorry, Jeremy, this is not good enough. Please explain how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes.
The trust money was for amateur sport and they did not receive that money. It is illegal under the Gambling Act for trust money to be spent on professional sport.
4. As a Dunedin ratepayer, I am appalled at the ORFU hocking up their DVML $25,352 party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event, and then refusing to pay the bill. They then continue to hock up further bills around town. The sheer arrogance of these actions is reprehensible.

I have received a few calls from rugby supporters concerned about the financial irregularities apparent in the ORFU. These strong rugby supporters, one of which has been involved with club rugby for many years, have expressed their abhorrence of the actions of the ORFU.
I do expect a reply to my previous email as well as this one as it is a public issue.

I have blind copied other interested media.
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/210293/grants-meant-amateur-rugby-used-pay-orfu-creditors

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts:
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: FW: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 08:47:34 +1200

Sunday 20th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

Thank you for your response dated Saturday 19th May 2012.

1. On what date did ORFU put a halt on its trading?
2. The fact that the ORFU were paying other creditors with the $25,000 public money from a trust appears to indicate that the ORFU may have been trading while insolvent.
Given that the ORFU were redirecting monies from a trust for purposes other than intended then was the ORFU trading while insolvent?
It is also clear that the trust still has not been refunded yet – though the issue is also that the money should never have been used for anything other than what it was intended. This is misappropriation of public money and, as the ORFU change manager, surely it is your responsibility to report this to the appropriate authorities.
3. You still have given no explanation as to why the ORFU put $52,000 ‘in the their pot’ from their Black-tie dinner (5th August 2011) without paying their $25,352 bill to DVML. Again this is public money and needs to be accounted for.
4. It is appropriate that this is addressed in the media as it is clear that the ORFU have no intention of publically[sic] holding themselves to account.
5. You still have not answered whether you as change manager having access to the ORFU books would support a forensic audit. If you have no concerns whatsoever then I would expect that you would say so.
6. Jeremy, I do appreciate that this growing ORFU scandal is not of your doing.
However, as change manager, you do have a responsibility to report any financial irregularities that have come to your attention to the appropriate authorities . Not doing so leaves you open to allegations of complicity in this scandal.
You have now become aware of the $25,000 public money misappropriated from a trust, the $25,352 public money also misappropriated from DVML and the $5m of pokie money siphoned from South Auckland pokie machines by ORFU. Has the ORFU opened their books completely to allow you to see money in their other trusts?
If not, I would advise you to not allow yourself to become their fall guy.
As I said in an earlier email truth is the safest option.
7. Jeremy, you say in this latest email that this spending of monies from the trust ‘did not get spent on the authorised purpose’. You then go on to say: “This has happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems”. This term ‘cashflow problems’ seems to indicate that the ORFU have indeed been trading while insolvent. I suggest that it was not a ‘cashflow problem’ but rather an ‘insolvency problem’ which needs to be reported. This has happened on a number of occasions and obviously over a period of time before the ORFU announced their intention to seek voluntary liquidation. So, how long has the ORFU been not spending monies from trusts on the authorised purpose? If the ORFU are so broke they should not be applying for money from trusts knowing that they will not be spending the trust money on the authorised purpose.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

From: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 19:25:35 +1200

Dear Bev

The $25,000 was spent on other creditors as has been explained in earlier reports. These monies will need to be refunded to the trust as they did not get spent on the authorised purpose.
This has happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems. All monies not spent as authorised will be refunded to the respective trust.
The money is not “missing” rather it was used to pay other creditors.
As has been widely publicised the ORFU put a halt on it’s trading as soon as it became aware of the seriousness of the financial situation.
If anyone has evidence that warrants a forensic audit then this should be passed to the relevant authorities. This is the appropriate channel rather than through the public domain.
I have cc’ed everyone on this e mail

Jeremy Curragh

Related Posts:
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

8 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

Correspondence received.

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 09:38:07 +1200

Friday 18th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

Thank you for your response to my second email, dated Wednesday 16th May 2012, where you confirm the ORFU failed to pay the $25,000 to the DCC.
You have, however, not explained where the $25,000 went to. You admit it did not go to the DCC for ground rentals, as was intended by the unnamed trust, but no explanation is offered as to what happened to this public money. Even if, as you say the DCC has “written it off” it still does not explain where that money went to.
As change manager it is your responsibility to find this missing $25,000.
I note that you have not answered my request as to whether you would support a forensic audit of the ORFU to find this missing $25,000 along with other unanswered financial irregularities.
Especially given that you don’t seem to have found the missing $25,000, which amounts to an admission that it is missing, can you give any re-assurance that the ORFU were not trading while insolvent?

I note that you also have not responded to the queries I had in my email dated Thursday 17th May (copied below for your convenience) namely:
As change manager you have had access to the ORFU’s books so I repeat my request: Do you support a forensic audit of the ORFU? If not, why not? And, have you found the missing $25,000?
Why did the ORFU put $52,000 ‘in the pot’ and not pay their $25,352 bill to DVML for the Black-tie dinner?

I have blind copied this email to other interested media.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

——————————–

From: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
CC: murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz; chris.morris@odt.co.nz; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: RE: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 12:25:10 +1200

Thanks for your letter and apologies for the delay.
There have been no grants made by ORFU to fund any DVML costs.

The ORFU have received grants to pay for DCC ground rentals which maybe what you are referring to. This relates to ground rents which are used for club and school rugby games as well as club and school rugby trainings. This is for approximately $25,000 pa.

As per earlier media reports I can confirm this amount was not paid to the DCC and is included in the $400k written off by DCC.

I hope this clarifies the situation

Jeremy Curragh

——————————–

From: bev butler [mailto:bevkiwi@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 May 2012 11:15 a.m.
To: Jeremy Curragh
Cc: murray kirkness; craig page; chris morris; hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz
Subject: FW: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have not responded to my email below.
Where is the $25,000 paid from a trust to the ORFU?
It never reached DVML as was the intention.
This is public money and needs to be accounted for.

Would you as change manager support the call for a forensic audit of the ORFU given that now you have had many months to establish the financial situation?

I have copied this to the ODT as they first reported about this missing $25,000 and I have blind copied other interested media.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

Thursday 17 May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You still have not responded to my emails below.
It is now reported in today’s ODT(see below) that the “TTCF’s relationship with ORFU is alleged to have been behind the more than $5m in grants given to the cash-strapped union”.
Also in the report it states that the Office of the Auditor-General was keeping in touch with Internal Affairs over this issue.
Added to this is the previous report in the ODT(see below) that $25,000 granted by an unnamed trust to ORFU never reached the DCC.
And finally, the Office of the Ombudsman is investigating DVML’s part in the ORFU’S Black-tie dinner.
As change manager you have had access to the ORFU’s books so I repeat my request: Do you support a forensic audit of the ORFU? If not, why not? And, have you found the missing $25,000?
Why did the ORFU put $52,000 ‘in the pot’ and not pay their $25,352 bill to DVML for the Black-tie dinner?
I have found that if one sticks to the facts and the truth then one has nothing to fear. You have been appointed as a change manager to set things right and yet you are not responding on this issue. Why?

I have blind copied this to interested media.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

{The full text of the news story (ODT 17.5.12) is attached to the email, along with another news item (ODT 9.3.12) – we provide the weblinks here. -Eds}

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/209536/pokies-trust-under-scrutiny
http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/200707/orfu-queries-over-pokie-grants

——————————–

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
Subject: ORFU $25,000 received from a trust for DVML
Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 13:26:52 +1200

Sunday 13th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You may recall I met you in the public gallery at the DCC council bailout meeting back in March.
I asked you if you had been able to locate the $25,000 paid to the ORFU by a trust for the purposes of venue hire from DVML.
You said you hadn’t found it yet and were still looking into it.
My query is, have you now been able to locate it?
As a ratepayer it is actually money owing to me so I really do have a financial interest in your finding it.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

[ends]

Related Post and Comments:
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
17.4.12 ORFU still owes small creditors ($687,000), DCC ($480,000+), NZRU ($500,000) and BNZ ($1,200,000)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums