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DIA media release

What if? Website Reminder:
ORFU – Otago Rugby Football Union
TTCF (Inc) – The Trusts Charitable Foundation (being wound up; established as a Charitable Trust by deed in July 1989)
TTCF Ltd – The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (set up and licensed on 11 June 2010)

Received yesterday.

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Department of Internal Affairs
Media Release

25 May 2012

Sentenced for defrauding community of pokie grants

An Internal Affairs investigation uncovered a pokie machine rort that resulted in a significant loss of grant funding going to the community. The investigation revealed that numerous grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for South Auckland bowling clubs, were fraudulent.

From late 2006 to September 2009 Counties Manukau Bowls employed Noel Henry Gibbons, 79, of Manurewa, to apply for gaming machine grants.

Mr Gibbons implemented a scheme whereby constituent clubs or CMB itself would invest indirectly in purchasing pubs where pokie machines operated – so that in turn those clubs could benefit from grants of pokie machine proceeds.

Mr Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for “bowling green maintenance” – but some of the money was used illegally to repay loans for the purchase of pubs. This money should have been distributed to local community purposes as grants. Paying off loans is a commercial and illegal use of funding generated from pokie machines.

Mr Gibbons fabricated quotes and invoices from “green keeping contractors” to support grant applications and the provision of services. None of those named in the invoices as billing for a service knew anything of the work they were supposed to have done.

He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court today to six months’ community detention for obtaining $605,550 by deception and of using forged documents.

Judge Charles Blackie said Gibbons’ offending was a “very elaborate” scam and an “unlawful scheme”. The defendant knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application and this was at the expense of the community.

Judge Blackie emphasised the need to hold the defendant accountable and responsible, to deter others who might be inclined to “rip off” the system, and to provide for the community’s interests as the victims of this offending. He adopted a starting point of two years six months’ imprisonment but imposed a lenient sentence because of Gibbons’ guilty plea, advanced age and poor health.

Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations said organisations cannot expect that buying into pokie machine venues will ensure favourable treatment for grant applications.

“It’s illegal and the Department works to ensure that pokie money, which belongs to the community, is protected,” he said. “We want to ensure that community groups have fair access to gambling-generated funds and will take action over any attempts to capture funding flows that are detected.

“We are very pleased that our investigation has led to Mr Gibbons being held accountable for fraud, and for defrauding his community. A clear message to the gambling sector is this: where we come across deliberate and wilful attempts to take community funding we will take strong and decisive action to hold people accountable”.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642

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Read it at the Department of Internal Affairs website
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Facebook. The DCC has lost the plot.

Discussion Board Topic:
The selling of the stadium since 2006
Compiled by Justin Miller. {Page no longer available. – Eds}

Worth a read. Remind yourself of the weird and wonderful claims made by the stadium project makers, when they don’t have a PR company to control runaway tongues or egos.

[The Facebook page might have gone but listen to this: https://soundcloud.com/christopherkeogh/the-dcc-has-lost-the-plot%5D

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DScene: Carisbrook $7 million

### DScene 17-6-09 (page 1)
The price: $7m
Exclusive: Welcome to the House of Drain – financial drain, that is. D Scene can reveal Dunedin City Council has agreed to buy iconic sports ground Carisbrook for $7 million. The deal will bail out the debt-ridden Otago Rugby Football Union: p4-5

### DScene 17-6-09 (page 3)
Name your price
By Ryan Keen, editor
It’s fair to say the controversial new Awatea Street stadium just got $7 million dearer…[sparking] debate about whether the size of the rugby union’s debts – about $6 million – had anything to do with the price and if it’s a fair one.
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Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Otago Rugby Union boss is happy with Test night crowd and the $7 million deal done with council to sell the historic sports ground

Saving her best for last (page 4)
By Ryan Keen
It might [be] old, tired and on the way out but Carisbrook can still host a top night of Test rugby.
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What methodology was used to arrive at a $7 million purchase price…
Carisbrook price covers debts (page 5)
By Ryan Keen
D Scene, via official sources, can reveal the $7 million price tag for the iconic ground, its large nearby carparking areas on Neville St and associated Properties. The deal was signed off in February…but the price was always confidential. The deal is conditional on the $198 million Otago stadium going ahead.
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Where to now? (page 5)
By Ryan Keen and Michelle Sutton
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust is waiting to discuss Carisbrook’s future with Dunedin mayor Peter Chin.
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Otago Stadium: Government grant conditions pinned down
The $15m question (page 8)
By Michelle Sutton
Conditions attached to the Government’s $15million pledge to the controversial Otago Stadium will be pinned down this week…the final conditions are two weeks away.
Meanwhile, Otago Regional Co8uncil is seeking $12,000 to $12,500 from Basil Walker, of Queenstown, after his failed High Court bid.
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On the ball: Carisbrook pain starting to mount up
House of Horrors (page 22)
In recent years Carisbrook has been called “the House of Pain” because it is apparently such a difficult venue for opposing rugby teams.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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