Tag Archives: Wellington

Pike River realities surface . . .

At Twitter:


Video at ODT Online:

The father of one of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster says the families have always believed the Government wasn’t telling the truth about mine safety.

Mon, 1 May 2017
ODT: Pike video shows men in mine after blast
The Government has long said high concentrations of methane inside the mine make it too risky to re-enter to retrieve the bodies of the 29 men killed in the November 2010 blast, because the gas could explode. But footage leaked to Newshub yesterday showed two Mines Rescue workers inside the mine three months after the explosion, with no gloves, apparently relaxed as they fashioned a makeshift cover for a robot out of cardboard and tape. The robot is seen to be steaming or smoking well inside the mine, but the workers do not panic – and nothing explodes. Bernie Monk, whose son Michael was killed in the November 2010 explosion in the West Coast coal mine, said the newly leaked footage did not come as a surprise. Cont/


At Twitter:


nzherald.co.nz Uploaded on Nov 23, 2010
Raw video: Robot camera inside Pike River mine
First pictures from inside the Pike River mine which show the miner’s helmet and mine damage.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Published on Oct 21, 2013
Case Study: Pike River
View the full case study here:

Graeme Axford Published on Oct 31, 2014
Pike River families believe photos show bodies
Friday 31 Oct 2014 8:06 p.m.
It is understood that a decision from Solid Energy on whether it will allow recovery teams to re-enter the drift of the Pike River mine is imminent. The drift is not the mine itself, but the two-kilometre tunnel that leads to the mine.
Families of the victims are desperate for a mission to collect evidence and to see if there are any bodies in the drift.
They say if Solid Energy won’t do it, they will. They say they know there are bodies in the mine, and tonight, with their blessing and for the first time, we can show you their evidence. Dean Dunbar, the father of lost miner Joseph Dunbar, spoke with Campbell Live producer Kate McCallum. Watch the full interview with Dean Dunbar.

Division of Humanities, University of Otago Published on Jul 4, 2016
███ Pike River – How could this happen in this day and age?
Colin Smith, Chairman on the Pike River Families Group Committee and the Pike River 29 Legacy Trust, talks about the Pike River disaster and asks ‘how could this happen in this day and age’? Find out why the Pike River Families have fought so hard and for so long. Colin Smith is a law graduate from the University of Otago and is a partner with the Greymouth Law Firm Hannan & Seddon.

RNZ Published on Jan 23, 2017
Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it’s safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint
Pike River mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes the mine’s drift is safe to enter, and is willing to be among the first party that goes in.


davedobbynmusic Published on Dec 15, 2014
Dave Dobbyn – This Love (Live Perfomance)
‘This Love’ by Dave Dobbyn with the Orpheus Choir of Wellington is a moving tribute to the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.
The piece was first performed at a concert attended by members of the miners’ bereaved families and was recorded by Radio NZ Concert. The choral arrangement is by Mark Dorrell. Also performing are Wellington Young Voices, Mark Vanilau (piano), Jo Barus (bass), Ross Burge (drums) and Chris Clark (cornet). With special thanks to TVNZ and Satellite Media – taken from the TVNZ documentary ‘Dreams Lie Deeper’.

Related Post and Comments:
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.



Filed under Corruption, Crime, Democracy, Education, Events, Geography, Health & Safety, Media, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, Other, People, Perversion, Pics, Police, Politics, Public interest, Site, Technology, Travesty

‘Quaking!’ Dark day$ and tide$ to come #Dunedin #Jun2015flood

Douglas Field Published on Jan 14, 2016
Noah Cull floating his boat
Dunedin’s mayor (Cull) persists with his obsession with global warming and catastrophic sea level rise as being in some way connected to the flooding event of June last year in Dunedin. This, even though local meteorologists dismiss it as nonsense.
In order to pay for the effects of the damage caused, he is now trying to link this to the truly catastrophic damage caused by the earthquake in Christchurch the cost of which is substantially underwritten by central government.
The sketch lampoons the mayor for trying to squeeze money from central government coffers on such patently baseless arguments.

█ For more information, enter the term *flood* in the search box at right.
A sister ark ‘construction’ has also been identified in satirical comments about the stadium.


But what of Noah’s contrariness towards rules of the district plan, lack of consultation over the build (see LTP and AP), and obvious parking demeanors incurred by the ark.

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 at 7:07 a.m.

█ Message: Worth noting that the council instructs officers that they must write 3 tickets per hour. How have we let councils construct such an unpopular and penal extra tax?

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 19:29, January 13 2016
Wellington City Council’s multimillion-dollar ticket haul
By Tom Hunt – The Dominion
Wellington drivers are being stung by millions of dollars in parking fines, and are 10 times less likely to have them waived than if they parked just 20 minutes away in Porirua. Official figures from Wellington City Council show the number of tickets it issued dropped to 141,341 in 2015, but that still put an extra $6.4 million in the council coffers. In 2012, when the council issued 262,627 tickets, it gathered almost $10.01m in revenue.

In May, it was revealed that the capital’s 32 wardens had been told they had to issue at least three tickets an hour. The council defended the “performance measure” and insisted it was not a quota.

The region’s councils were asked to supply figures showing how many tickets were issued, how much revenue this generated, and how many tickets they waived.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Climate change, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Fun, Geography, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Resource management, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

Don’t for Chrissakes play down effects of liquor barons #DUD

Harlene Hayne [otago.ac.nz 1]Did Harls jump on her media bandwagon over a wine or two after she watched Sunday TVNZ’s exposé on binge drinking at Dunedin (10 May).
The programme aired at 7:00 p.m. yesterday. The deadline for ODT’s Monday edition is 4:00 p.m. Sunday.
So did the Otago vice-chancellor see the programme before writing her opinion piece?
Well, not unless the ODT editor worked some sort of marvel of factory production.
Evidently, Harls conspired with the local newspaper to get her illuminatory thoughts in print today, of ALL DAYS. Chess as the television hoedown-showdown hits her university and the city council.

There is no doubt the footage was disturbing and there is no excuse for the kind of behaviour that was captured in those images. –Hayne

### ODT Online Mon, 11 May 2015
Alcohol law change overdue
By Harlene Hayne
OPINION The Sunday programme last night once again put the spotlight on the University of Otago for alcohol related harm. This time the focus was on the trouble that is caused by some rambunctious, messy and noisy students and other young people in North Dunedin and other parts of the community.
Read more


Dunedin is not alone.

DomPost 4.5.15 Editorial - student binging pA6

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:44, May 4 2015
Editorial: Student binging leaves a bad taste
Source: Dominion Post
OPINION Wellington is more of a student town than it used to be – thousands of tertiary students, attending various institutions, live here. They are a welcome economic boost for the city, and they also add to the life of the place: someone, for instance, has to fill up the city’s famously rich concentration of cafes and bars. By and large, Wellington has not had the trouble with students that some other cities have faced.

Most notoriously, Dunedin’s orientation weeks have often been drunken frenzies of flaming couches and showdowns with police. Wellington’s student body would be more happy with a “massive, street-wide wine and cheese evening”, one Otago wit quipped in 2012 after a particularly riotous Dunedin episode.

So it’s somewhat jarring to discover that, already this year, Victoria University has imposed total alcohol bans at four of its halls of residence after, in the case of the most recent one, excessive drinking, property damage and “overall unacceptable behaviour”. (Some bans have since been lifted).

That’s more than over-indulgence; it’s ugly, anti-social drinking that no-one needs as any kind of life highlight. There is a fine line to be walked here. Tertiary study is often associated with drinking, and some of that is just life – a product of young people leaving home, making decisions for themselves, and revelling in new freedoms. There is no point in being complete wowsers about this, any more than there is in adopting a puritan approach to drinking in New Zealand more generally. Alcohol can be a pleasure, an aide to camaraderie and relaxation. Yet, just as plainly, drinking can be dangerous and miserable – especially among the young. Consuming vast torrents of booze might seem like a game to beginners, but in fact it is hugely risky behaviour – for those who partake, for those who have some responsibility for them, and indeed for anyone they come into contact with.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
12.5.15 View Street, seen from Moray Place
11.5.15 Aftermath of Sunday TVNZ on ‘Party Central’
● 8.5.15 Sunday TVNZ #Dunedin —10 May TV1 at 7:00 pm
2.4.15 University rolls down, Harlene not the only problem….
28.3.15 University of Otago landscaping
22.3.15 University of Otago: More national and global publicity #HydeStreet
18.2.15 University of Otago: Toga Party 2015 #video
16.2.15 University of Otago can’t beat broadcast news and social media #image
8.5.14 Student Proof Carpet – New Zealand #video
15.2.14 University of Otago: Starter questions for Harlene

█ For more, enter the terms *university*, *harlene*, *alcohol*, *publicity*, *hyde*, *party*, *octagon mud*, *student*, or *blaikie* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: otago.ac.nz – Harlene Hayne (tweaked y whatifdunedin)


Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

Ian Athfield dies #architecture

Updated post Thu, 23 Jan 2014 at 5:28 p.m.
Public Memorial Service (1 February) details below.

Sir Ian Charles Athfield KNZM (15 July 1940 – 16 January 2015) was a New Zealand architect. He was born in Christchurch and graduated from the University of Auckland in 1963 with a Diploma of Architecture. That same year he joined Structon Group Architects, and he became a partner in 1965. In 1968 he was a principal partner in setting up Athfield Architects with Ian Dickson and Graeme John Boucher (Manson). Link to profile

Ian Athfield [nzherald.co.nz]Sir Ian had recently been made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to architecture. Photo: NZ Herald

Athfield made a knight (2014) | Wellingtonian Interview Q&A (2009)
Review of Athfield’s biography (2012)

Website: Athfield Architects | Google Images: Ian Athfield

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:51, January 16 2015
The Dominion Post
Renowned architect Sir Ian Athfield dies, aged 74
By Simon Bradwell and Tom Hunt
Renowned Wellington-based architect Sir Ian Athfield has died. He was 74.
Athfield Architects associate Rachel Griffiths said Sir Ian died in Wellington Hospital early this morning surrounded by family. His death was the result of “unexpected complications” during a procedure to treat his colon cancer.
“Ath had been dealing with cancer for some time with his usual stoicism and inappropriate humour,” Griffiths said. “There is … no-one else like Ath and we are devastated by his passing.” The Athfield family had asked for time to deal with their grief, she said. No date had been set for the funeral or memorial service at this stage.

A statement released this morning by the New Zealand Institute of Architects announced his death. “It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand’s finest architects, has passed away in Wellington,” it said. “Our deepest condolences go out to Ath’s family, friends and colleagues. There are few details to share at this stage, but we will notify members of any funeral or memorial service arrangements as soon as they arise.”

Athfield, who was knighted in the most recent New Year Honours for his work in architecture, won more than 60 awards for his work. In a professional career spanning half a century, his stamp was imprinted across Wellington, and with Roger Walker, he was probably New Zealand’s leading exponent of modernist architecture. His most well-known works included the City Library and its nikau palm columns, built as part of the Civic Square redevelopment in the 1980s, and his own sprawling Khandallah house. He also designed Jade Stadium in Christchurch, which was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.
Walker said he was “still in shock” on getting the news of Athfield’s death.
Read more

● 3 News: Kiwi architect Sir Ian Athfield dies [+ newsclip]
● New Zealand Herald: His designs offended and inspired: Architect Sir Ian Athfield dies [+ tweets with photos]
● ONE News: ‘Heavy hearts’ as renowned architect Sir Ian Athfield mourned
● Yahoo.com: ‘Rebellious’ architect Ian Athfield dies
● Wellington.scoop: Death of architect Ian Athfield
● NBR: Sir Ian Athfield, one of NZ’s most influential architects, has died

ODT 20.1.15 (page 21)

ODT 20.1.15 Ian Athfield - Death Notice p21

Death Notice – The Dominion Post [online]

█ Public Figure: Ian Athfield https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Athfield

Sir Ian Athfield – Public Memorial Service
The New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) have organised a public memorial service to celebrate the life and work of Sir Ian Athfield, to be held at 3pm, Sunday 1 February, in Civic Square, Wellington.
Details of the service are yet to be finalised, but it is envisaged that it will include eulogies from people who knew Ath well. The service will very much be a memorial to Ath the Architect, and many Members will wish to attend. https://www.nzia.co.nz/

archivesnz Published on May 5, 2013

Architect Athfield (1979)
New Zealand National Film Unit presents Architect Athfield (1979)
‘Architect Athfield’ examines the frustrations and achievements of one of New Zealand’s most lively and innovative architects. In 1975 Ian Athfield won an international competition directed towards providing housing for 140,000 squatters from the Tondo area in Manila. Ironically, Athfield had jumped to international prominence before any wide-ranging acceptance in his own country. This film examines Athfield’s practical philosophy of architecture, and culminates in his trip to the Philippines, where he hopes to make his prize-winning design a reality.

wclchannel Uploaded on Nov 30, 2011
Ian Athfield – Central Library architect

[YouTube] Julia Gatley’s interview with Sir Miles Warren and Ian Athfield on the 23rd of June 2012 at City Gallery Wellington.
Ian Athfield Interview 23 June 2012 Part 1 of 4 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Phil O’Brien Published on Apr 14, 2013
Ian Athfield at the 2009 Gold Awards

Related Posts and Comments:
24.4.13 Ian Athfield at Dunedin | Open Lecture Friday 26 April
3.3.13 RNZ Sunday Morning | Ideas: Re-imagining the Urban House
9.11.12 New Zealand Urban Design Awards
25.6.12 New Zealand Architects: Pete Bossley, and Ian and Clare Athfield
7.12.11 Ian Athfield on post-earthquake Christchurch #eqnz
19.9.11 NZIA members on Christchurch City Plan
13.7.08 Some thoughts

Samples from What if? Comments

### rnz.co.nz Sunday 11 August 2013
Arts on Sunday
1:43 New Arts Icon Ian Athfield
Ian Athfield on his new honour and he talks about this weekend’s forum on how architects and designers can help out following natural disasters.
Audio Ogg MP3 (6′59″)


### ODT Online Sat, 27 Apr 2013
‘Look at heritage differently,’ Athfield says
By John Gibb
Leading New Zealand architect Ian Athfield yesterday praised Dunedin’s wealth of heritage buildings but urged a rethink of aspects of the city’s one-way-street system. Mr Athfield, of Wellington, was in the city yesterday to give the annual New Zealand Historic Places Trust R.A. Lawson Lecture, as part of the Dunedin Heritage Festival. Addressing about 200 people at the University of Otago’s St David lecture theatre, he said “we have to look at heritage differently”. One-way street systems, in Dunedin and elsewhere, could sometimes separate important heritage buildings from their communities, and could make it difficult for people to approach such buildings on foot because of traffic volumes. Mr Athfield […] urged people to take a more flexible and holistic approach to heritage, treasuring the wider context of historic buildings, including their landscape settings, rather than seeing them only in isolation.
Read more


Athfield house [citygallery.org.nz - wellington]Photo: City Gallery Wellington

Aalto Books profiles Portrait of a House by Simon Devitt
Published by Balasoglou Books May 2013
Only 1,000 copies printed with 100 special edition copies that include one of five photographic prints. At 140 pages, a true collector’s item for those interested in New Zealand history, architecture, design and photography.
Portrait of a House (cover)Portrait of a House is a photo book by photographer Simon Devitt in collaboration with graphic designer Arch MacDonnell (Inhouse Design). This is Devitt’s first foray in the photo book genre. His book explores the Athfield House – the ‘village on the hill’ – an architectural experiment that Ian Athfield started in 1965 on the Khandallah hillside in Wellington, and which he is still altering and extending today.
The house is renowned in bohemian and academic circles for its many colourful dinner parties and occasions, and is infamous with neighbours past and present for the antics of its free-range livestock and frequent run-ins with Council. Roosters have been shot, construction shut down and architectural pilgrimages made.
This is an extraordinary story told through Devitt’s sensitive eye, blended with historic photographs, paintings and drawings from the Athfield archive. Clare Athfield’s contribution of her own recipes (dating from the 1960s until now) complements a selection of personal letters by family, friends, colleagues and clients which are insightful and often very funny – memories that make Simon’s photographs all the more potent in their beauty and silence.
The idea for the book came from Devitt’s admiration of Robin Morrison’s work and in particular Morrison’s 1978 photo book Images of a House about a William Gummer-designed house built in 1916. “A house is a pretty refined subject to make a book about,” explains Devitt. “It is not market driven, it is content driven and born out of passion. Life has happened there like in no other house, and the ‘living’ leaves its evidence, time has played out on its surface. There is a lot to be said about sitting still and how that looks. The Athfield house is a wonderful example of this. An accessible counterpoint to a largely asset based living that pervades New Zealand.”


### radionz.co.nz 3 March 2013
Radio New Zealand National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
Listen on 101 FM or online at radionz.co.nz

10:06 Ideas: Re-imagining the Urban House
Arguments for intensifying the density of housing tend to fall into two categories: Affordability and putting a halt to urban sprawl.
Ideas talks to two architects who advocate higher density housing not just for those reasons but because they believe, if done right, it will result in more liveable houses and communities.

Robert Dalziel, the co-author of A House in the City: Home Truths in Urban Architecture, has travelled the world looking at traditional models of high density housing and come to some interesting conclusions; and Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated architects, talks about the lessons he’s learnt from building his own house which now combines living quarters for 25 people with office space for another 40.
Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (49′59″)

“Get rid of those traffic engineers, which is another bloody thing, y’know, they’re singularly minded, quite stupid, y’know, they don’t think of anything else other than how long it takes to move a car from one space to another – that can’t happen in our cities in future.”

“The word “urban design” is now an abused profession – just like planning was in the sixties, y’know, and I said in the sixties if we knew as much about planning as we thought we knew about apartheid, we’d be demonstrating against planning, before we demonstrated against apartheid, because it is really really important. We had zoning at the time, absolutely ridiculous…”

Athfield House by Grant SheehanAthfield House, Wellington. Photo: Grant Sheehan


### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:46 23/03/2011
Architect Athfield not softening
Source: The Press
Architect Ian Athfield is refusing to back down from his ultimatum about Christchurch’s development. Today he defended his comments, saying it was “absolutely the best time ever” to have the debate about how the city would look in the future. He was backed by former Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore who said the city now had a “clean slate” that presented opportunities like never before. NZPA
Read more + Comments


### radionz.co.nz Monday, 07 March 2011 at 8:22
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
Architectural ambassador joins rebuild debate
The rebuilding of Christchurch is clearly an emotive issue. Wellington architect Ian Athfield and Christchurch planning and resource management consultant Dean Crystal join us to discuss the rebuild debate.
Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (6′22″)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZHPT, NZIA, People, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

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


Filed under Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

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


DIA Link

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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

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Events, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics