Oh, The Effort

2 Aug


This line in The West Wing has stuck in my mind.  The guy is talking about life and family.  Today, I am reminded of it when making an information request to council.

"It should be hard. I like that it's
hard."......"But it should be a little easier."

Some might remember the article that pointed out ICC did not own Rugby Park like we had all been led to believe.  The realisation, and ensuing article, was a direct result of me forwarding this email on to the Southland Times.  You will see the ICC blamed STL for running it too soon.  The lesson there is, don’t believe what the Mayor tells you.

“Mayor Tim Shadbolt confirmed an official announcement of the transfer of ownership was to be made on Monday.”

That announcement never came and the STL didn’t follow-up.

The five-page email that highlighted it and wasted time toing and froing gets me back to my West Wing quote….it should be a little easier.

I realised my error at the end of it all.  I shouldn’t have been so specific.  Initially, the specifics seemed appropriate.  I wanted finances that one would assume ICC would have had at some point.  You pay off someone’s $400K debt, you must have seen their books.   I, obviously, argued my point.  At this point, I also broadened my searched, ‘financial information relating to the SOST’.  I highlighted my broader request.

“I would like to reaffirm my request for ANY SOST finances and also request a copy of the “final audit papers” that were signed by ICC in the above-mentioned article.”

The response

“I can confirm that no final audit papers were signed by the ICC.

The newspaper reported early and Council expected the audit papers, but they were never delivered and so never signed.”

You will note that my broadened request has not been responded to at all.  Needless to say, today I followed up.

“Given the council have now publicly announced they have ownership of Rugby Park, I would like to reaffirm my request for the ‘final audit papers’ and/or any documents signed to complete the transfer from SOST to ICC.”

Here is the response

HI Kylie

Michelle has passed this onto me

The final documents referred to are the annual audits for SOST.

As these were managed by Rugby Southland, you could contact them for a copy as we do not have them.



Yes, I do feel like I am annoying.  I do feel as if it is a waste of time, theirs and mine.  I do not enjoy the rigmarole.  I am, however, also annoyed that it is so hard.  I do believe the information should be available.

It should not be forgotten that we have a) already been consulted regarding this b) bailed them out c) are doing deals with another organisation that includes professional sportspeople which have been bailed out in the past.  And still, years on, we don’t get to see the books.  How much does it cost to run?  Shall I take you at your word?

I wonder if ICC understand that information is deemed public UNLESS there is areason to withhold it?  I also wonder if it is normal to sign the ‘final audit papers’ and not retain a copy?  Is it  normal to hand out $400K and have no documents?  I will be following up on the lack of response on my broadened request but…it should be a little easier.

My response has relegated me to being a whiny annoyance with long-winded explanations (and I held back! lol)

I am sorry to go on but it is claimed, for whatever reason, that ICC ‘signed the final audit papers’.  Surely you retain a copy (or the right to hold a copy) of a document you signed?
My broadened search asked for the ‘final audit papers’ and/or any documents signed to complete the transfer from SOST to ICC.  My request asked
I would like to reaffirm my request for ANY SOST finances and also request a copy of the “final audit papers” that were signed by ICC in the above mentioned article. SEE BELOW
I, again, request
Can you state categorically that no staff or elected members have access to or copies of the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust’s financial information?  And that Invercargill City Council have given $400,000 or thereabouts to the trust without ever being supplied or having access to that information?
To simplify this for myself and the Ombudmen could you please specify what documents/letters etc were signed or lodged or sent to complete the transfer of ownership of Rugby Park and either supply them or give the LGOIMA reason for them being declined?
I would also like to state that when I refer to SOST it should also be assumed that means ‘or their agent’.  RS have no right or authority to SOST audit papers unless they are taking on the role for SOST (irrelevant of whether they were asked to or not).

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