Tag Archives: Debt to ratepayers

ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?

Dave Goosselink Tweets 17.3.14[screenshot]

• Dave Goosselink — Dunedin face (and voice) for TV3 News & Sports
• Samuel Gilchrist — social media handler for The Highlanders @Highlanders

Retweets by @whatifdunedin and @SearleJamie
• Jamie Searle — Southland Times racing reporter

Correspondence received.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:58 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: Steve Tew [NZRU]; Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Murray Kirkness [ODT]; Steve Hepburn [ODT]; Rebecca Fox [ODT]; Ian Telfer [RNZ]
Subject: Black-tie dinner bill to be paid?
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:56:35 +1300

Wednesday 19th March 2014

Dear Steve

The following was posted on a local blogsite “What If Dunedin”.

“The conscience of the ORFU is totally absent. The normal procedure for staging an event such as the black-tie dinner is to budget all costs, set the entrance fees to cover those costs and establish a profit level. That is both normal and straightforward – some I’m sure, would say honest, business practice..

The way the ORFU operated was to set the costs, pay out the organiser – who just happened to be the wife of Laurie Mains – ignore the costs and bank the difference. Can anyone tell me that if this scenario happened with anyone else other than the dear old rugby-mad idiots on the Council involved, would this be tolerated? Not on your nelly. Can anyone tell me why this isn’t either theft or fraud?” *

What especially interests me about this post is the question posed as to whether theft or fraud is involved.
It feels like it to me but I’m not sure whether it would hold up in a court of law.
Maybe it could…maybe it couldn’t.
My limited understanding of the Crimes Act is that the hardest part to prove is intent.
In the case of the black-tie dinner, did the ORFU have any intent on paying the bill?
In my opinion, if they did they would have paid it when they received the money from the guests – because obviously it was the intent of the guests for their money to be paid for their evening out.
What do you think, Steve? I’d appreciate your view on this.

I noticed on twitter, media and rugby officials tweeting about this issue.
Strange how the Highlanders’ social media official, Samuel Gilchrist, refers to me as a ‘warmonger’ because I am asking for some honesty from the ORFU. The problem down here is that there is no decent leadership in rugby and hasn’t been for years.
We have Roger Clark as the current CEO of The Highlanders – he was the CEO of Southland Rugby Union at the time when they
they owed over $100,000 in booze. I fear that nothing much has changed.

I had hoped that with the new ORFU board that some leadership would be shown over the black-tie dinner scandal but, to date, that hasn’t happened. Change needs to come from the top so that people like Samuel Gilchrist understands that it is not okay to run off without paying your bills. He doesn’t seem to be able to figure this out for himself. I guess when things have been bad down here for so long those who can’t think for themselves look to the leaders for guidance which is lacking.

That is why I have turned to you, Steve, to finally show some leadership and right this wrong.

I hope I don’t have to continue to prod any deeper.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Previous letter to Steve Tew deleted, read it here

[ends]

*Link to source

Related Posts and Comments:
17.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner on ratepayers
14.3.14 ORFU flush to pay creditors

For more, enter the terms *orfu*, *dinner*, *jeremy curragh*, *bailout*, *martin legge*, *dia*, *pokies*, *jokers*, *ttcf*, or *pokie rorts* in the search box at left.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

6 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, DVML, Economics, Events, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

ORFU flush to pay creditors

When asked whether the union would consider repaying some creditors who lost money when the deal was agreed to save the union from liquidation, Union chairman Doug Harvie said that would not happen.

### ODT Online Fri, 14 Mar 2014
Profit pleases ORFU
By Steve Hepburn
The Otago Rugby Football Union has recorded a $406,800 profit, just over two years after it faced going out of business because of debts of more than $2 million.
The union now has reserves of more than $500,000, and is predicting a small profit for the coming year. […] In March 2012, the union was a few days away from going out of business, with debts of $2.2 million and creditors failing to come to agreement. But a rescue package was nailed down and the union traded its way out of difficulty, albeit with some concessions from creditors.
Read more

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Correspondence received.

From: Bev Butler
To: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:31:59 +1300

Friday 14th March 2014

Dear Doug

In today’s ODT the ORFU have reported a profit of $406,859 for the 2013 financial year and a profit of $134,656 for the 2012 financial year. Part of this so called profit is just pocketing of monies from unpaid bills.

As you are fully aware, the ORFU ran up a DVML bill of $25,352 for their black tie fund raiser at the stadium on 5th August 2011. This was for food, booze, soft drinks and cleaning.

Not only did the ORFU run off without paying this bill but the ORFU paid no venue hire for this brand new venue. Then to top it off the ORFU pocketed $52,000 from this fundraising event into their ‘pot’ which then is reported as profit for the 2012 financial year.

The fact that the ORFU then pressurised the Council to ‘write it off’ does not excuse the ORFU from the moral obligation to pay this bill.

I was quoted in the ODT as saying this was ‘obscene’. It is like booking a large restaurant, gorging yourselves on all their food and drink and hospitality then doing a runner.

It is ‘obscene’ and I expect this bill to be paid in full.

Laurie Mains, and his wife, Anne-Marie, refused to answer questions as to whether Anne-Marie was paid for her services in organising this event. I actually have no problem with her charging for her professional services. What I do have a problem with is that it is standard practice for professional event organisers to ensure all outstanding bills are paid before the ‘surplus’ is paid to the organisation. This did not happen. I don’t know whether Anne-Marie was paid $10,000, $12,000 or even more but whatever the amount the issue is that the other bills should have been paid first.

I fully expect this bill to be paid as the ORFU did actually have sufficient funds to pay this bill as evidenced by the reported profit of $134,656 for the 2012 financial year.

I also remind you that the $350 [sic] guests to this black-tie dinner paid $250 per ticket which would have been paid with the understanding that this would cover the costs. When a function such as this is organised, the ticket price is to cover the costs of the meal, venue hire, cleaning etc. Once the bills are paid, then any surplus is genuine ‘profit’ and the organisation then can legally pocket this ‘profit’.

The fact that the ORFU pocketed this money instead of paying their bill is unacceptable.

It is time the ORFU did the decent thing and pay this bill.

Yours sincerely

Bev Butler

——————————

From: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:16:32 +0000

You have your facts wrong Bev – ALL creditors of ORFU have been satisfied in full, in one way or another.

I will not be responding to any further correspondence on this matter.

D J Harvie
Partner

Harvie Green Wyatt
(P O Box 5740, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. Phone +64 3 4775005 or +64 21 2234169. Fax +64 3 4775447

——————————

From: Bev Butler
To: Doug Harvie [ORFU]
CC: Steve Hepburn [ODT]
Subject: RE: ORFU board responsible for paying the black tie dinner bill
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 09:43:19 +1300

Dear Doug

Saying that “ALL creditors have been satisfied in full, in one way or another” is not the same as saying that all creditors have been PAID in full.
I know it is uncomfortable for you to be reminded of this but it still does not excuse the ORFU from doing the decent thing and paying their obscene black-tie dinner given they already had the money but decided to pocket it instead.
How about showing some decency or goodwill towards those that bailed you out of your financial mess now that you are flush with $406,859 profit?

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

[ends]

For more, enter the terms *orfu*, *dinner*, *jeremy curragh*, *bailout*, *martin legge*, *dia*, *pokies*, *jokers*, *ttcf*, or *pokie rorts* in the search box at left.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

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DCC hedges on details of Carisbrook deal

UPDATING

DCC says sale price not included in the $198 million cost of the Otago stadium. Just how much is DCC prepared to spend of ratepayers’ money on the stadium project…

### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Carisbrook deal believed to be $7m
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council will be handed the keys to Carisbrook within weeks in a deal believed to be worth $7 million to the Otago Rugby Football Union.
Read more

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### Southland Times Last updated 05:00 18/06/2009
‘Brook price tag affected by debts
Rugby union bailed out

By Ryan Keen in Dunedin
Dunedin City Council’s boss admits Otago rugby’s multimillion-dollar debts were a factor in the price agreed for historic sports arena Carisbrook.
Read more

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### ODT Online Thu, 18/06/2009 – 6:59am.
Comment by house on Why does the DCC need to buy Carisbrook?
If there is a new stadium being built, then why does the council need to buy the existing one? Surely the ORFU should just hock it off, pay their debts and rent the new stadium? Could someone please remind me why the council is taking this step? I’m sure there is a logical and financially prudent reason… or maybe not, logic doesn’t seem to sit well with this lot.

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### ODT Online Thu, 18/06/2009 – 11:18am.
Comment by Max_Power on What the…
I am a stadium supporter… but this is just stupid. Council will bulldoze Carisbrook, then sell the land off for a couple of million to a private developer who will make millions. $7 million to buy, $3 million to bulldoze means that even if the land is sold off for $5 million there’s a $5 million loss. Why couldn’t it just go on the open market and the ORFU cop a loss and beg the NZRFU for the money? The idea of turning some of [it] into a sports ground is stupid. There are enough grounds within walking distance already that hardly ever get used. It’s time to stop spending money and get the stadium built. As a footnote, the DCC has always funded the ORFU. Key players in the amateur era were given cushy jobs at council to keep them in Dunedin.

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### ODT Online Thu, 18/06/2009 – 10:26am.
Comment by md on Our purchase of Carisbrook
Dear Editor, As a ratepayer, I would simply like to know what the logic is, that is, why does Chin think that his ratepayers want to own Carisbrook. Do we not have enough to contend with. Would you please ask him and maybe report on this aspect. Thank you.

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It’s not very likely that ‘prostadia’ and ‘antistadia’ people will be found to support DCC’s purchase of Carisbrook.

There is no shortage of industrial land in Dunedin (discussed in reports to stadium and harbourside plan changes last year).

DCC showing overt favouritism to the private business of ORFU (in all its financial failings) will rankle widely.

The councillor that called the Carisbrook purchase “cheap as chips” has the brains of a nematode.

I recall this phrase issuing from the mouth of a certain councillor once before. They shouldn’t be in local government. And they most certainly shouldn’t have responsibility for the (mis)use of ratepayer funds.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics, Stadiums