Tag Archives: NZ Community Trust

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:
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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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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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Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport