Tag Archives: DIA

Sport Otago’s Brimble and ORFU’s Kinley never give up —ugly paperwork exists boys !!

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

### ODT Online Thu, 27 Nov 2014
Sport
Gambling: Gaming funds sport: Is the trade-off worth it?
By Adrian Seconi
Are sporting bodies turning a blind eye to problem gambling because of the estimated $120 million-$130 million gaming trusts provide each year? Reporter Adrian Seconi asks prominent administrators John Brimble and Richard Kinley their thoughts. It is an ethical minefield, but without the funding the gambling industry provides, many sporting organisations would collapse and sport would be out of reach for some families. Both Sport Otago chief executive John Brimble and Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley want to be very clear about that point.
Read more

TOMORROW: The TAB has its say.

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“It’s going to be fun. The NZ Racing Board is a $2 billion business that plays a vital role in the New Zealand economy by supporting the racing and sports industries. It is also the owner and operator of the TAB which is an exciting commercial enterprise and iconic New Zealand brand.”–John Allen.

### NZ Herald Online 3:57 PM Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Mfat chief executive John Allen moves to NZ Racing Board
–Herald Online / BusinessDesk
Foreign Affairs and Trade chief executive John Allen is resigning to take up the role of head of the NZ Racing Board. Mr Allen began as the Mfat head in in July 2009 and headed a controversial restructuring of the government department which was opposed by many staff and saw 49 ambassadors and heads of foreign missions co-sign a letter criticising the plan. […] Mr Allen’s departure was flagged by political newsletter Trans-Tasman, which said he planned to announce next Monday that he is leaving for a top post in the private sector.
This afternoon, the NZ Racing Board confirmed it had appointed Mr Allen as its new CEO.
Read more

For more, enter the terms *gambling*, *pokies*, *dia*, *rugby*, *racing* *rorts* *whistleblower*, *fraud*, *white collar crime* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Auckland Council report on pokie grant distribution

Auckland Council logo

### NZ Herald Online 5:51 PM Monday Aug 11, 2014
Poor losing out on pokie cash
By David Fisher
Money tipped into pokie machines in the poorest parts of Auckland doesn’t come back to those communities in gaming grants, new data shows. In contrast, the wealthiest areas gamble far less but take a disproportionate amount of money out of other areas. This has been greeted as proof of a long-stated but never-proven claim about pokies – that the poor get poorer but the rich get richer. The Auckland Council research is behind a challenge to government plans to ringfence 80 per cent of pokie grant distribution inside large regional areas. Instead, it wants a special system for distributing pokie grants inside Auckland which will allow the poorest areas to benefit from money gambled locally. […] Overall, the study found all of Auckland missed out to the benefit of the rest of New Zealand. The $214.6 million put into pokie machines would have made $61.6 million available for grants, on industry averages after expenses were taken out. Auckland got $35.2 million.
Read more

● David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland Council Regional Strategy and Policy Committee
07 August 2014

Gambling Working Party – new regulations for the distribution of class 4 (pokie) gambling grants to communities

File No.: CP2014/14759

Purpose
1. To report back on a gambling working party’s deliberations regarding new government regulations to control the distribution of grants from class 4 (commonly known as “pokie”) gambling, and present recommendations based on feedback from the working party.

Executive summary
2. The Minister of Internal Affairs has recently acquired the power to make new regulations specifying the amount of class 4 grants money that must be returned to the area from which it came, and to set out how areas will be identified and defined for that purpose
3. The Minister recently announced that regional council areas will be used as the areas into which grants must be distributed, and the rate of return to those areas will be 80%. New regulations implementing that decision are expected to be issued later this year.
4. A gambling working party, established by minute REG/2013/10, has reviewed information regarding class 4 gaming machine proceeds in Auckland, and the current rate of return of class 4 grant money by local board area.
5. The new regulations could increase the amount of grant money flowing to community and sport groups in Auckland as a whole, but there are significant inequities in the distribution of class 4 grants within the region that the Minister’s proposal would not overcome.
6. The working party has developed a proposal which would address those inequities by defining areas, within Auckland, for the return of class 4 gambling grants.

Recommendation/s
That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:
a) endorse the working party’s proposal to define areas within Auckland, as presented in the appended map, whereby a proportion of grants derived from the proceeds of class 4 gambling in those areas would be returned to them
b) endorse the option of advocating for a 90 percent return of grant money to the defined areas, instead of the 80 percent currently proposed by the Minister of Internal Affairs
c) endorse the option of advocating for a different rate of return to the area identified as CGI on the map (comprising the City Centre and Gulf Islands), of either 40 percent or 45 percent
d) delegate to the chair of the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee to write to the Minister of Internal Affairs advocating that the proposed regulations be amended in accordance with the committee’s response to recommendations (a) to (c) above
e) note that the grants data for Auckland will be published on a web portal
f) note that the findings of the working party will be reported to local boards.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC tightens policy + Auditor-general’s facetious comments

The city council’s Whistleblower policy, originally written by Athol Stephens (!!), has recently been updated.

The proposed change came as independent financial consultant Deloitte continued its investigation into an alleged $1 million fraud within the Dunedin City Council’s Citifleet department. (ODT)

### ODT Online Wed, 6 Aug 2014
Council aims to tighten policies
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council is moving to make it easier for whistle-blowers to speak out, but still has “a fair bit of work to do” to tighten other internal policies, senior managers say. The proposed change came as the council’s audit and risk subcommittee, meeting yesterday for just the second time, considered a schedule of 12 internal council policies it was now responsible for overseeing. The policies, ranging from risk management to staff travel and fraud prevention, were designed to promote good governance while protecting the organisation and its staff.
Read more

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Universally detested (except by a charming coterie of Wellington’s public servants, all living high off the pig’s back), Lyn Provost represents a fat salary-dollar value only. Fully complicit or was that comfortably incompetent, in not getting MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR RORTS and FRAUD stopped across the local authorities of New Zealand. She and her well-paid ‘academic’ staff ask: “Whatever is Crime?” —OHH! “New Zealand’s public sector boasted $240 billion worth of assets and managing them required continuous attention, she said.” (via ODT) …..What attention, steamed up spectacles??!!

Lyn Provost [liberation.typepad.com] 1 BWBugger off, Lyn [Photo: liberation.typepad.com]

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### ODT Online Wed, 6 Aug 2014
Praise for DCC’s new internal controls
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council’s move to tighten internal controls has been praised by the Office of the Auditor-general, even as the investigation into an alleged $1 million Citifleet fraud continues. The words of encouragement came from Auditor-general Lyn Provost as she addressed a meeting of the council’s new audit and risk subcommittee during a visit to Dunedin yesterday. But, despite the headlines and unanswered questions about why the alleged fraud was not detected, including by auditors, the word “Citifleet” was not uttered yesterday.
Read 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

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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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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Decisions . . .

Patriot Hawgrider (@dale42860) tweeted at 9:37 PM on Thu, Apr 24, 2014:
pic.twitter.com/Bs18b7LWHs

Organised crime (via Patriot Hawgrider @dale42860)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Privatising Highlanders involves DCC (ratepayer funds?)

Jeremy Curragh had been appointed by the NZRU to help co-ordinate the sale and would work with Highlanders and NZRU staff to go through the whole process.

Highlanders logo
### ODT Online Wed, 9 Apr 2014
Rugby: Curragh involved in privatising Highlanders
By Steve Hepburn
The man deeply involved in saving Otago rugby from liquidation a couple of years ago is now helping privatise the Highlanders. The wheels are slowly turning on the Highlanders’ move to private ownership although, as with the other four New Zealand franchises, the New Zealand Rugby Union will retain majority ownership. A local committee, headed by Otago Rugby Football Union chairman Doug Harvie, had also been formed and would provide local input into the process. Included on this committee were representatives from other interested parties such as other provincial unions and local authorities.
Read more

█ Remember Jeremy Curragh’s role in ORFU’s misuse of funds and accounting for the union’s black-tie dinner held at the Stadium ???

Related Posts and Comments:
10.2.14 University of Otago major sponsor for Highlanders
11.12.13 Highlanders “Buy Us” entertainment: Obnoxious, noxious PROFESSIONAL RUGBY —stay away DCC !!!
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]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
29.3.12 Dunedin City Council company sponsors Highlanders
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
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
23.3.12 ORFU position
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
14.12.11 Davies “in the middle of a conversation” – how to fudge DVML, DCC, ORFU and Highlanders
22.12.09 DCC appoints Highlanders’ Board representative [Kereyn Smith]
16.10.09 Highlanders news [Stuart McLauchlan]
1.7.09 NZRU swings governance of Highlanders
28.5.09 Highlanders board less Farry

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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