Tag Archives: ITM Cup

Rugby stadiums not filling #SkyTV

Eden Park [stuff.co.nz]Waitakere Stadium may replace Eden Park

“Still the historical home of Auckland rugby and provided we get cost-effective venue hire, we can make it work.” –Andy Dalton, Auckland Rugby

### nzherald.co.nz 5:00 AM Tuesday Jul 15, 2014
Auckland rugby looks at new home
By Campbell Burnes
The Auckland Rugby Union is looking at the possibility of shifting their ITM Cup home games away from Eden Park as paltry crowds hit them financially. Auckland Rugby has been an official tenant of Eden Park since 1925 and historically has always been associated with the ground and sporting success there. While nothing has been formally tabled, and all five home ITM games this year will take place at Eden Park, the Herald understands there is a growing feeling that a venue such as Waitakere’s Trusts Stadium would be more suitable from 2015 or 2016.
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FB Stadium [newstalkzb.co.nz]Stadium/Rugby propped by Dunedin ratepayer subsidy (direct and hidden)

“When you look back at this time last year when we were all crying into our soup…” –Roger Clark, Highlanders

### ODT Online Tue, 15 Jul 2014
Rugby: Real money to be made from hosting games
By Steve Hepburn
The Highlanders were due to arrive in Durban early this morning and begin preparing for their playoff match against the Sharks on Sunday morning. The side ended up sixth in the table after the final round of games in the weekend and will be on the road the entire time it is in the playoffs. Highlanders general manager Roger Clark said the franchise would make a little bit of money out of making the playoffs but the real benefits came to those that hosted the games. He was yet to finalise how much money the team would receive for making the playoffs but it was not significant, he said.
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█ See comments to this article at ODT Online by russandbev, QsRC, MikeStk and others.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: stuff.co.nz – Eden Park; newstalkzb.co.nz Forsyth Barr Stadium

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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

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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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

****

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

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Stadium crowd, Friday 19 October – how many?

Otago v Tasman (ITM Cup)

Received today.

Calvin Oaten says (via email):
“In Sat. ODT it credited the Friday night game crowd at 6780. These are a scan of the crowd by Jeremy. Can you see any more than about 2000?”

Rugby: Otago gets up to make final
http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/231255/rugby-otago-gets-make-final

Images [JPGs] supplied by Jeremy Belcher. Screenshot: What if?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Weak boys, Cull and Burden on rugby stadium

One year on from the All Blacks winning the World Cup at Eden Park, what is the state of rugby at the so-called “Stadium of Four Million”? APNZ reporters Patrick McKendry, Daniel Richardson and Matthew Backhouse investigate.

### nzherald.co.nz 4:16 PM Friday Oct 19, 2012
Sport
Rugby: What is the state of our game?
By Matthew Backhouse, Patrick McKendry, Daniel Richardson
Andrew Maddock will be at EcoLight Stadium in Pukekohe early today for Counties-Manukau’s biggest game of the season, an ITM Cup semifinal against Southland. The Counties Rugby Union chief executive will be at work about 8am for a game which kicks off at 2.05pm and which he expects will attract only 4000-5000 spectators. “It’s a little bit hard to know as it’s Labour Weekend,” he says. “That for us is a reasonable crowd because we’re a pretty small community.” When that match kicks off the All Blacks will be preparing for tonight’s Bledisloe Cup match against the Wallabies in Brisbane which will attract a full house of more than 50,000 to Suncorp Stadium and a worldwide audience of millions. Such is the divide in New Zealand rugby, a ravine growing by the year despite, or perhaps because of, the All Blacks’ success in the World Cup, which on Tuesday will be exactly 12 months ago.

Mr Cull says there was a great atmosphere during the tournament, but whether that justified the expenditure was another matter.

One year on from the Rugby World Cup, the tournament’s costly and sometimes controversial stadium projects have left a legacy of ongoing debt and questions over their future.[…]For NZRU chief executive Steve Tew, the World Cup’s legacy is a positive one, despite doubts remaining over Eden Park which had a massive overhaul before the tournament and now mostly sits empty apart from when the All Blacks play there.

“We’ve got a sound platform to build on going forward. Of course there are significant challenges ahead financially, but when I look to the future events that we’ve got coming up, the events calender is looking pretty robust.” -Darren Burden, DVML

Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium is struggling to attract the big events it needs to remain financially viable, while Auckland’s revamped Eden Park has been dragged into a review of the city’s stadiums as it looks to shake off $55 million in debt. Critics say the tournament failed to deliver on its promised financial returns and are questioning the long-terms gains of the $555m spent nationally on upgrading stadiums. – APNZ
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Darren Burden plays LGOIMA game like Davies #DVML #PsychoAnswer

DVML’s attempts to deceive ratepayers continues under Burden’s control. Mayor Dull is fully complicit.

### ODT Wed, 10 Oct 2012
Letters to the editor (page 8)
Concern over attendance of rugby games
Recent national news stories regarding widespread concern over the NZRU’s ITM Cup competition, which report that the number of spectators are down in significant numbers, along with reduced ratings on Sky TV for their coverage of these matches, lead to some financial concerns for Dunedin ratepayers.
Can Darren Burden, chief executive of DVML who runs and manages the stadium used for these professional rugby matches, confirm that:
1. The average attendance at these matches at the Forsyth Barr Stadium is in the region of 5000.
2. The average ticket price for these 5000 attendees is approximately $20.
3. The gross income from ticket sales is, therefore, approximately $100,000.
4. The NZRU returns approximately 10% of gate sales revenue to the venue operator.
5. The income to DVML from gate sales is, therefore, approximately $10,000.
6. The cost of opening the stadium for a professional rugby match is approximately $100,000.
7. These matches held at the stadium therefore lose approximately $90,000 each time they are held.
If Mr Burden disputes these figures, can he supply in detail his version of the above statements, as well as an accurate profit/loss statement for the ITM matches held at the stadium?

Russell Garbutt
Wakari

[Dunedin Venues chief executive Darren Burden replies: “The ITM Cup provides variety and entertainment to our event schedule and has value to the stadium beyond just financial. The cost of opening the stadium varies depending on the size of the event. However, it is nowhere near $100,000 for an ITM cup match, as suggested. The information requested by Mr Garbutt is complex. I invite him to contact Dunedin Venues directly and we’ll happily review his request for information.”]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Deloitte ‘State of the Unions’ report

Download Deloitte Rugby Union Sports Review 2012 (PDF, 682.12 KB)

Deloitte
Media Release

July 31, 2012

Community participation and support crucial to sustainability of Rugby Unions

Deloitte ‘State of the Unions’ report highlights decline in provincial rugby unions’ revenues

Community participation and support are crucial to the on-going viability of the country’s provincial rugby unions and the continued success of the nation’s favourite game at the highest levels, according to a Deloitte Sports Review released today.

The ‘State of the Unions’ Deloitte Sports Review examines the annual financial accounts over the last five years of the 14 semi-professional and amateur rugby unions competing in the ITM cup. It shows that collectively revenues are falling and reserves are being eroded, potentially threatening the future success of the game in New Zealand.

Revenue earned by the 14 rugby unions competing in the ITM Cup (excluding the professional rugby franchises competing in Super Rugby) dropped 11% from $77 million in 2010 to $68 million in 2011. This is 19% down on the $84 million earned five years ago.

On average, over two-thirds of total revenues in 2011 were from grants and sponsorships from the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), the corporate sector and others. The remaining revenue streams for the unions include match related revenues, retail sales, event management and other sundry incomes.

Of particular concern is the decline in match related revenues, which include gate takings and hospitality. This revenue has fallen 58% in the past five years from $21 million to $9 million, accounting for the lion’s share of the total $16 million decline in revenues.

However, Deloitte partner Grant Jarrold said there are signs unions are working harder to contain costs in a difficult environment and have made some progress in turning the financial picture around. Only five of the 14 ITM Cup unions posted profits in 2010 with this improving to nine unions in 2011 and the combined deficit falling from $2.3m to $630,000 over the same period.

Mr Jarrold added that the large corporate sponsorships and other grants that have filtered into the grass roots game in the past can no longer be relied upon in the current commercial climate.

“Now more than ever, the unions need to look for innovative ways to build community support and encourage increased attendance to reverse the worrying trend of declining match related revenues. Otherwise changes to the structure of the game in this country will become inevitable,” says Mr Jarrold.

He points to the fact that a relatively small increase of 500 spectators paying an average price of $20 per ticket at each of the regular season games of the ITM Cup would have eliminated the combined net deficit in 2011 with all other things being equal.

“The importance that our provincial rugby unions hold for the on-going success of our national team should not be forgotten as they are responsible for fostering the development of the game and its players throughout New Zealand,” Mr Jarrold concludes.

The full State of the Unions Deloitte Sports Review can be found at www.deloitte.com/nz/stateoftheunions.

For more information, contact:

Matt Huntington
Communications Manager
Deloitte
DDI: 04 470 3771
Mob: 021 812 210
email: mhuntington@deloitte.co.nz

www.deloitte.com/nz/about

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DCC gifts and hospitality

Paul Orders said he had planned an “overhaul” of rules for gifts and hospitality following his appointment earlier this year.

### ODT Online Sat, 19 Nov 2011
Council tougher on gifts
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council is cracking down on unsolicited gifts to its staff, after being showered with free rugby tickets, dinners and a $1000 donation for a night out in the past year. The move by council chief executive Paul Orders was confirmed this week as he released a copy of the council’s gift register following an Otago Daily Times request.
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• Staff would in future be required to register any gift worth more than $50 – lowering the existing threshold from $100 – and had also been issued with a new “standards of integrity and conduct” guideline.
• The way gifts were signed off by managers was also being tightened, and the gift register would be published on the council’s website each month, beginning next year.

Council community life general manager Graeme Hall said Highlanders and Otago rugby players were offered free use of Moana Pool in return for advertising at Carisbrook and free match tickets for council staff. That dated back more than a decade, but would cease now Carisbrook was to be sold, he said.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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