The investments of dozens of racing clubs are the subject of
a joint investigation between the Serious Fraud Office and
Internal Affairs over alleged pokie grant manipulations.
Late last month, both agencies executed search warrants and
seized computers as part of the investigation.
At least three pokie trusts - the New Zealand Community
Trust, Bluegrass Trust and Infinity Foundation - are being
investigated, inquiries also focusing on thoroughbred and
harness racing clubs across the country.
Racing Minister Nathan Guy said the investigation was an
operational matter for Internal Affairs.
This week investigators continued to interview Otago and
Southland racing club presidents, several of them confirming
the nature of those inquiries.
Apart from inquiries concerning pokie grant applications,
there had also been questions about investments by the clubs
which promised large returns.
Investigations were not limited to the South, and about 75
people were expected to be interviewed nationwide.
Both the Serious Fraud Office and Internal Affairs declined
to confirm details of the investigation, but issued the
following statement last month.
''The Department of Internal Affairs has responsibility to
ensure the integrity of the grants system in pokie machine
gambling,'' Internal Affairs gambling compliance director
Debbie Despard said.
''The wider community is disadvantaged if one group can gain
preferential access to grant funding from gambling
proceeds,'' she said.