Internal Affairs is refusing to comment about whether a
previous investigation involving southern racing clubs is
linked to a joint agency investigation involving the Serious
In 2010, the Otago Daily Times reported Internal
Affairs was investigating the involvement of southern racing
clubs in an alleged ''money-go-round'' involving pokie
That investigation related to the ownership of several South
Auckland pokie venues, which were, in turn, allegedly aligned
with racing-friendly pokie trusts.
Late last month, Internal Affairs and the Serious Fraud
Office staff executed search warrants and seized computers as
part of an investigation into the alleged manipulation of
pokie grants. At least three trusts - the New Zealand
Community Trust (NZCT), Infinity Foundation and the Bluegrass
Trust - are being looked at as part of that joint agency
About 75 people are believed to have been interviewed
nationwide as part of the probe. Investigators are still in
the South talking to racing club representatives.
Racing Minister Nathan Guy has also been informed the
investigation is under way.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) chief executive Greg
Purcell said the organisation had not been contacted by
''If NZTR was contacted by either organisation it would fully
co-operate with any requests from either organisation,'' he
Internal Affairs has declined to comment on whether the
latest investigation was linked to the 2010 southern racing
clubs' investigation, or provide a current status of that
Since 2006, several southern racing clubs have recorded on
their annual reports an investment with ''Hagley Trustees No
10'', a trust account linked with a Christchurch-based
Annual reports for the Central Otago Racing Club, Beaumont
Racing Club, Tapanui Racing Club, Gore Racing Club, Southland
Racing Club and Riverton Racing Club show investments into
this trust account.
These ranged from a $5000 investment from the Beaumont Club,
in 2007, to an $85,664 investment from the Riverton Racing
Club in 2008. A source has told the ODT the funds were
used to finance two South Auckland bars aligned with racing
friendly pokie trusts and that grants then flowed back.
Former Internal Affairs gambling compliance director Mike
Hill told the ODT in August 2010 the department was
investigating southern clubs for alleged possible breaches of
the 2003 Gambling Act.