Tag Archives: Harness racing

Queen’s Birthday honours to rogues #TTCF #ORFU #PokieRorts

Ron Turner, Wellington. Photo by Ross Giblin [stuff.co.nz] 1### Stuff.co.nz
Last updated 15:04, June 1 2015
Weekes triplets grandfather awarded Queen’s Service Medal for service to community
A Wellington community stalwart, who lost three grandchildren in the Qatar mall fire, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Rod Turner received the Queen’s Service Medal for service to the community, including a long career in the Army and dozens of volunteer organisations. The honour recognised “his leadership and selfless dedication to the community”. Turner spent 22 year in the military, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, before retiring and spending nine years as chief executive of the Children’s Health Camps.
Read more

The piece of skirt responsible for funding irregularities* around the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport [for Professional RUGBY] has claimed a QB Honour. Paperwork showing this fraud is held independently.

ODT: Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015
Members MNZM
Kereyn Maree Smith, Auckland, services to sports governance.

ODT 1.6.15 QB Honours Kereyn Smith (detail)

More at this ODT Link

● 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

RECEIVED COMMENTARY
Tue, 2 Jun 2015 at 7:45 p.m.

Awards all round for those associated with gambling, pokies, serious audit failings and the negative findings of the NZ Gambling Commission.

Sad as the circumstances are for Ron Turner, he was a TTCF Trustee who approved grants to the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport in the hope of gaining ORFU’s pokie business after the ORFU had purchased the South Auckland Jokers Bars for about $3 million and so were desperate to align themselves with a pokie trust that would agree to illegally approve all the profits from those bars back to the interests of the ORFU.

The DIA investigated these arrangements and deemed that ORFU had an interest/ownership in the bars and therefore could not receive any proceeds from those bars. Facing potential financial disaster it would appear Kereyn Smith and other cronies associated with the ORFU agreed to front a new trust to counter DIA action.

Ex employees of ORFU, have confirmed that their contracts and pay were suddenly transferred over from the ORFU to the Centre of Excellence. The COE trustees then submitted grant applications to TTCF applying for salaries and costs that had previously been with the ORFU and avoided DIA scrutiny.

According to sources and documents, the very first grant of $500k from TTCF was needed and used for ORFU to meet its financial obligations to complete the purchase of the Jokers Bars and Ms Smith signature appears as sign off for the accountability.

There are serious anomalies which required proper investigation but as we know neither the DIA, the Police, the SFO or this Government are interested in proper investigations. Far easier to hold an award ceremony!!

Another TTCF trustee, Warren Flaunty, NZ’s most elected man, was convicted of careless driving after causing the death of a young motor cyclist in West Auckland in 2010.

█ For more, enter the terms *pokies*, *pokie rorts*, *ttcf*, *orfu*, *dia* or *kereyn* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DIA, Geography, Highlanders, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, OAG, ORFU, People, Police, Politics, Property, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums

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

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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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Carisbrook: Auditor-General #fails Dunedin residents and ratepayers

Dunedin residents Bev Butler and Russell Garbutt each sought an inquiry into the Carisbrook deals.

(see my comment and other comments received)

### ODT Online Tue, 28 May 2013
No Carisbrook inquiry, auditor says
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council’s possible multimillion-dollar loss from the sale of Carisbrook does not warrant an investigation, the Office of the Auditor-general says.

”We do not regard the purchase and disposal as raising issues that relate to our Delta inquiry, which is focused on the property investment actions of a council subsidiary.”

OAG staff have confirmed that there will be no investigation of the council’s purchase, and pending sale, of Carisbrook properties, which could end up costing the council more than $4 million. That followed two separate requests received by the office in February, asking for the Carisbrook deal to be added to a wider OAG investigation of land purchases by council-owned company Delta. An OAG statement yesterday said the decision not to proceed came after reviewing council documents, which showed the issue ”does not warrant further inquiry”.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
15.2.13 Carisbrook: Call for OAG investigation into DCC / ORFU deals

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts

### Stuff Online Last updated 17:03 20/02/2013
Probe launched into pokie grants
By Michelle Robinson
Search warrants have been executed up and down the country as part of an investigation into pokie machine grant manipulation. Internal Affairs director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard said the investigation was significant, involving a number of agencies including the Serious Fraud Office. No details on the amount or search warrants or their location were made public.
NZ Community Trust [of Wellington] confirmed it has been contacted by the Department of Internal Affairs and Serious Fraud Office over alleged manipulation of gaming funds. The trust has issued a statement saying it does not believe it is the subject of the enquiry.
Read more

****

Department of Internal Affairs
MEDIA RELEASE
20 February 2013

Pokie grants investigation

Internal Affairs confirmed today search warrants have been executed as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged manipulation of gaming machine grants. The operation also involved the Serious Fraud Office.

Debbie DespardDirector of Gambling Compliance, Debbie Despard, said this is a significant, joint-agency investigation.

“The Department of Internal Affairs has responsibility to ensure the integrity of the grants system in pokie machine gambling. The wider community is disadvantaged if one group can gain preferential access to grant funding from gambling proceeds. Where the Department finds serious, harmful, and deliberate non-compliance in the gambling sector we will hold people to account. Our ability to do this is enhanced by drawing on the specialist resources of the SFO.”

Information is still being gathered and the investigation is on-going. The Department will continue to assess any further information it receives in the wake of today’s action, Debbie Despard said.

In the meantime the Department will make no further comment on the current investigation.

Media Contact
Sue Ingram
Communications, Account Manager (Policy, Regulatory & Ethnic Affairs)
The Department of Internal Affairs, Te Tari Taiwhenua
Direct Dial: 04 494 0584 / Mobile: 027 541 4696
Email: sue.ingram@dia.govt.nz

DIA Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup

Comment received from Martin Legge
Sunday, 18 November 2012 5:41 p.m.

In 2007, the National Party criticised the Labour Government following a damning report by the Office of the Auditor General into DIA’s regulation of the pokie industry. The boot has been on the other foot for four years, and yet do we hear calls from anyone in the Labour Party, particularly in Dunedin?

Press Release [2007]
Auditor-General slams Internal Affairs over gaming says National Party MP

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker must act now to address the criticisms of his department over its failure to effectively control the operation of non-casino gaming machines, says National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Sandra Goudie.

The Controller and Auditor-General, Kevin Brady, today released his report Department of Internal Affairs: Effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines.

The report shows the department’s policies and procedures do not comply with the Gambling Act 2003 and includes 17 recommendations for change.

“The department’s own ‘comprehensive licensing manual’ outlines policies and procedures that do not comply with the Act and shows licensing staff were issuing and renewing licenses without delegated authority.

“The report also found that the department’s audit checklist and manual were not consistent with the Act, and information was missing from the department’s risk profile rating of operators.

“This report shows a department clearly out of touch with its key role and clearly being ignored by the Minister.

“How could the Minister have let his department get into such a state where any old staff member can approve a licence?

“Its [sic] no wonder eyebrows have been raised over the department’s inability to get convictions of operators in breach of the Act.

“It is time Mr Barker gave his department some much needed ministerial direction.”

Audit Report from Kevin Brady
14 February 2007

Foreword
Department of Internal Affairs: Effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines.

I felt it timely to review the effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines because of the large amount of money placed in the machines (estimated by the Department of Internal Affairs at more than $8,500 million annually), the potential for the machines to cause harm in the form of problem gambling, the amount of funds from the machines going to clubs and the wider community, and a relatively new legislative framework covering gambling.

The Department of Internal Affairs administers controls on non-casino gaming machines. My review focused on three main areas of controls. These were the controls on licensing of non-casino gaming machine operators and venues, on operator and venue costs, and on the distribution and application of funds to the community including through grants.

I found that the Department of Internal Affairs has extensive policies and procedures for licensing and auditing of venues and operators, and a risk-based approach to compliance. However, there were areas of its policies, procedures, and practice that did not meet all of the requirements of the Gambling Act 2003. These included its procedure for renewing licences and for auditing. I also found that its licensing staff were issuing and renewing licences without the necessary delegated authority. The Department has committed to rectifying this issue, and had largely done so at the time this report was being finalised.

While the Department of Internal Affairs has committed to comprehensively monitoring the outcomes being achieved in the non-casino gaming machine industry, it is not yet doing this in a systematic or comprehensive manner. This limits the Department’s ability to demonstrate the results of its work and refine the way it works to achieve better outcomes.

I thank staff in the Department of Internal Affairs for their assistance, responsiveness, and co-operation during the audit. I also thank people in the industry who generously gave their time and views during the audit.

The Department has been very engaged in, and supportive of, the audit process. Its commitment to implementing the audit findings to make improvements is pleasing.

K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

[ends]

Recent Posts:
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF

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Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup

### Sunday Star-Times Sun, 11 Nov 2012
Pokie man stopped from rort inquiries
By Steve Kilgallon
A senior Internal Affairs investigator says he was prevented from probing pokie rorts by his own department because it did not have the confidence to prosecute major crimes. Dave Bermingham, an investigator and analyst who left the department in August, said Internal Affairs was incompetent and should be stripped of its role investigating gaming machine fraud. {continues}
*No weblink available. Full text reproduced at post.

Comment received from Martin Legge
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 11:37 a.m.

Tony Molloy QC had this to say about a Government Regulator after his enquiry into the collapse of the finance industry:

“The destruction of billions of dollars of ma and pa retail wealth, through finance company meltdowns was the inevitable consequences of at least three decades of unreadiness, unwillingness and inability of regulators, enforcers, courts, lawyers and accountants to fulfil their roles with integrity.”

The Commission of Enquiry into The Pike River Disaster had this to say about another Government Regulator, the Department of Labour:

“DOL’s compliance strategy did not require an assessment of Pike’s safety and operational information. The inspectors did not have a system, training or time to do so. When, at the hearings, they were shown examples of safety information obtained by the commission from Pike’s records, the inspectors were visibly dismayed. This was not a case of individual fault, but of departmental failure to resource, manage and adequately support a diminished mining inspectorate.

DOL’s main public accountability documents, the statements of intent and annual reports to Parliament, did not reveal any concern about DOL’s ability to administer the health and safety legislation. The statements of intent and the annual reports contained many high-level statements on outcomes and outputs but it was impossible to gain much insight into the performance of the mining inspectorate, or the health and safety inspectors as a whole. Measures used, such as the raw numbers of investigations carried out by the health and safety inspectorate, were not informative.

The gap between the high-level statements in those documents and the reality on the ground was remarkable.”

Maarten Quivooy was the NZ Safety Manager at the DOL over this period but left DOL to become DIA’s head of Gambling Compliance. When the Sunday Star-Times put the allegations of cover ups and closing down of investigations within the pokie industry which he now oversees he had this to say:

“They do their investigation work to the best of their ability and from their perspective it can seem like it goes into a black hole but it has had active and thorough scrutiny by senior management.”

His comments suggest that the “remarkable gap” between high level statements and reality is now opening up within DIA !!!

To comfort the public and Politicians, Quivooy is quick to claim their investigation into TTCF was reviewed by Office of the Auditor General. What he doesn’t tell the public is that in July 2009, over the same period that Bermingham and DIA investigators were conducting their investigations into TTCF, Audit NZ was conducting its own independent and statutory audit of TTCF, as a public entity. That audit also found serious issues involving expenditure but neither Audit NZ or its parent body (OAG) took action or followed up on the findings at the time. DIA and OAG only bounced into life when I appeared as a “whistleblower” in October 2010.

OAG have never given me a satisfactory explanation as to why they didn’t immediately act or follow up to protect millions of dollars of public money but their own failure to act might explain why OAG have been so willing to endorse the DIA investigation that I have labelled a whitewash and Bermingham recently describes as a cover up.

A case of two well- resourced government regulators sticking together to avoid embarrassment.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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