The decision by Otago Bowling Club members to split the
proceeds of the sale of the club among themselves was an
''absolute disgrace'', the chairman of Bowls Dunedin says.
Richard Hambleton made the comments after a six-month report
by liquidator Trevor Laing and Associates concluded the
$350,000 gained from the sale was distributed among the 14
remaining members of the club.
This went against the club's constitution, which stated it
was to have been given to community interests. Mr Laing has
retrieved $115,864 from members but is still chasing the
Mr Hambleton said he was ''disgusted'' by what went on during
the folding-up of the club and believed members were ''well
aware'' splitting the proceeds among themselves was ''not the
correct thing to do''.
''They had their eyes wide open. They knew exactly what they
were doing. They knew what they were doing was not the
correct thing to do.''
It was ''astounding'' so many members went along with taking
the money. In doing so, they insulted the memory of
''hard-working'' previous members of the club.
''For a bunch to suddenly decide that they deserved [the
money] is an absolute disgrace.''
Mr Hambleton said he was glad the liquidator had got to the
bottom of what went on.
Former Otago Bowling Club president Lester Nash is standing
by his comments he was not aware taking the money was against
Bowls Dunedin had been aware of the sale of the club for at
least ''three or four months'' before it was sold and should
have given the club advice over the constitution, Mr Nash
The suggestion from Mr Hambleton that members' choosing to
take the money was an ''insult'' to previous members was ''a
load of rubbish''.
''We had on the closure committee two past presidents and we
had guys in the club that had been there 40, 50 years.''
Six other members contacted by the Otago Daily Times
declined to comment on the story or Mr Hambleton's comments.
Attempts to reach other members were unsuccessful.
Bowls NZ chief executive Kerry Clark said he was ''very
glad'' the issue had received publicity, as it sent a message
to other clubs.
People involved in clubs who suspected inappropriate activity
should raise their concerns with the authorities, other club
members or their sport's national body, Mr Clark said.
Detective Sergeant Brett Roberts said nothing had changed
since last year, when police decided there was nothing
criminal in the actions of Otago Bowling Club officials.
Police were not the ''controlling authority'' and the issue
was instead dealt with by the registrar of incorporated
After an investigation, the registrar sought for the club to
be placed into liquidation in February.