An $85,000 payment made by the Otago Bowling Club to a
company of which its former president was a director, is
among more than a dozen transactions under investigation by
The club was put into liquidation in the High Court at
Dunedin on Monday as part of an investigation into the
distribution of proceeds from the sale of the club and ground
last year. The Registrar of Incorporated Societies initiated
the investigation after receiving a complaint about the sale
of the club last June.
The first report by liquidator Trevor Laing and Associates -
which was given to the Otago Daily Times - said the
club and grounds were sold for $350,898.77 in March 2011.
The report said the Registrar of Incorporated Societies had
''serious concerns'' about payments made from the proceeds of
the sale, including $85,000
to Southern Pearl Ltd, of which former club president Lester
Nash was a director until it was struck off the New Zealand
Companies Office Register last year.
The payment was made as a result of an ''undated and unsigned
agreement'' giving the company a 10-year licence to take
spring water from the club's grounds beginning in 2007. The
licence was surrendered at the time of sale and a payment was
made after a valuation of the remaining water rights.
The registrar also had concerns about individual payments of
$16,552 to 10 club members and the payment of a ''similar
amount'' to four club office bearers.
The report also said the registrar found there were ''serious
shortcomings'' in the administration of the club.
''Matters of concern identified include a lack of properly
kept records, such as minutes, leading to a conclusion that
important transactions of the society [club] may not have
been properly authorised,'' the report said.
Mr Laing said his first priority was to recover the money if
the transactions were made improperly.
He had the power to interview under oath club officers and
anyone connected with the club. He hoped for ''co-operation
in the first instance'', but could refer matters to the
police if he uncovered criminal activity.
Bowls New Zealand region six community development officer
Pete Thomson said earlier this week he was ''very confident''
the liquidator would get to the bottom of what occurred. It
was his understanding all proceeds from the sale were split
among club members, which was against the club's
''It's pretty black and white what should have happened.
''The constitution said all money should have been
distributed to a sporting body or back to the community,'' he
said. A former member of the club declined to comment when