Barry Lichter

Dire picture painted by Auckland Trotting Club Auditor

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Claims of broken contracts and secrecy over land sales by the debt-laden harness racing Auckland Trotting Club have surfaced as former MP Gilbert Myles attempts to oust sitting president Rod Croon.

Myles and his supporters are railing against the ATC’s moves to sell off the Franklin Park training centre and a parcel of land fronting Green Lane Rd to help reduce the now $100 million loss it incurred building its 246 apartments at Alexandra Park.

The club’s plans are detailed in its long overdue annual report sent to members in which the 2021 accounts auditor reveals that as at July 31 the club’s liabilities exceeded its assets by $76.2 million.

The BDO Auckland auditor noted “a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the club’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Read the full story here:

https://harnesslink.com/new-zealand/dire-picture-painted-by-auckland-trotting-club-auditor/

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2 hours ago, arjay said:

So a failed investment,some heads will have to roll, very serious indeed. Cheers Barry

It's been tragic for a couple of years now , hanging by a thread but heads don't roll ,in fact Board members usually just get voted back in.

Few members speak out but the rest generally accept the situation ....though the true situation / figures haven't really been announced because of ongoing Court battles which also remain a mystery to most members.

Confidentiality the reason given for this ,plus some of the incompetent 'architects' of this are needed for crucial defence of the court litigation !

Heads need to be banged together in a 'brain storming' session to try and resuscitate Harness Racing at the venue , so some of past promises and dreams can be implemented to boost the now familiar field size of 6 x horse fields , and slow down the exodus of horses ,owners and young people from the industry as a career. Oh ....lets not forget the increase in Stake which in recent times has been the big promised carrot in the North.

Most hasn't happened....mainly smoke and mirrors ,sell off more land to keep the banks away  , hope the sad souls in district keep feeding the Pokie machines and more tenants front up to pay for retail space.

The Fresh Choice supermarket up and running , the apartments nice , a nice chioce of places to eat and the passing roads still among the busiest in Auckland. And busiest TAB in NZ !

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A fucking disaster waiting to happen…..a pet project of a previous CEO more interested in running a lifestyle village than a racing club…

Anyone who has worked at the Club in the past to build and improve it, would be horrified that it has come to this….

That last paragraph from the BDO Auditor is truly stunning, and reading this raises more questions…

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1710/S00839/annual-report-reveals-one-of-strongest-racing-clubs.htm

🙈

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They might be regretting this too Eljay……:rolleyes:

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1709/S00435/alexandra-park-a-finalist-in-westpac-business-awards.htm

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1611/S00607/alexandra-park-ceo-wins-inaugural-property-award.htm

Judging by this site they certainly kept the PR going…..always glowing reports of progress…..smoke and mirrors apparently.

As chief executive Ms Dowding has led the board’s strategic turn-around of the 126-year old iconic Auckland Trotting Club to put it on a more commercial footing, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and the survival of harness racing in the northern region.

Mmmm…..

 

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On 12/8/2021 at 12:14 PM, Ohokaman said:

They might be regretting this too Eljay……:rolleyes:

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1709/S00435/alexandra-park-a-finalist-in-westpac-business-awards.htm

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1611/S00607/alexandra-park-ceo-wins-inaugural-property-award.htm

Judging by this site they certainly kept the PR going…..always glowing reports of progress…..smoke and mirrors apparently.

As chief executive Ms Dowding has led the board’s strategic turn-around of the 126-year old iconic Auckland Trotting Club to put it on a more commercial footing, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and the survival of harness racing in the northern region.

Mmmm…..

 

Anyone know where Dominque Dowding is these days?

Did she ever receive any 'Kickbacks"?
Ditto others involved?

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6 minutes ago, We're Doomed said:

The ATC might have to start running housie every week.

A change of tact there WD....a bit of humour there !

You may not know , but the ATC did run a weekly DRAG bingo evening for a while lat year and I see it advertised again.

You never know the ATC may start advertising Harness as well.

But  with cash flow challenges and significant reduction in staff numbers could mean that a big ask !

Being kept afloat by escalating land values which give  seemingly strong equity position.

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59 minutes ago, We're Doomed said:

Might the ATC have to consider the NSW approach? Sell off their remaining asset, presumably pocket some money and set up a new track out in the countryside.

Some talk about it cos financially it would make sense and would extend Harness in the region ,particularly because the current Pukekohe asset is increasing in value by the day so add the two and  the $$$$ on paper very significant .

But to enhance Harness in the region and 'make it great again !' , they need Horses , and new  people getting involved particularly young trainers .

Currently the horse numbers are low and dropping alarmingly ...notwithstanding the prominent studs ......and established trainers getting older .

The club is losing meetings , fields are small , betting turnover is dropping ,staff are being slashed .......I'm not sure there is a plan to reverse these trends.

To run meetings you need horses ,trainers and betting....ATC sadly not enhancing their reputation among the NZ Harness scene .Stakes allocated ,cos of Group races , would appear to be higher than betting justifies ,so resentment grows if not seen to be pulling weight !

After years of promising increased stakes...this now stopped by Club

Also very few big  Harness hitters in City boundaries  really want to travel halfway to Cambridge for race night !

Melton and Menangle crowds minimal on occasions I been there !

My question is.......Does anyone care ?

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On 12/19/2021 at 11:19 PM, tasman man said:

 

My question is.......Does anyone care ?

Tasman, I think that's maybe a question nobody really wants to answer though, if we're honest, we probably know what the answer would be.

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On 12/19/2021 at 11:19 PM, tasman man said:

Some talk about it cos financially it would make sense and would extend Harness in the region ,particularly because the current Pukekohe asset is increasing in value by the day so add the two and  the $$$$ on paper very significant .

But to enhance Harness in the region and 'make it great again !' , they need Horses , and new  people getting involved particularly young trainers .

Currently the horse numbers are low and dropping alarmingly ...notwithstanding the prominent studs ......and established trainers getting older .

The club is losing meetings , fields are small , betting turnover is dropping ,staff are being slashed .......I'm not sure there is a plan to reverse these trends.

To run meetings you need horses ,trainers and betting....ATC sadly not enhancing their reputation among the NZ Harness scene .Stakes allocated ,cos of Group races , would appear to be higher than betting justifies ,so resentment grows if not seen to be pulling weight !

After years of promising increased stakes...this now stopped by Club

Also very few big  Harness hitters in City boundaries  really want to travel halfway to Cambridge for race night !

Melton and Menangle crowds minimal on occasions I been there !

My question is.......Does anyone care ?

I would have to say, finding suitable property at affordable price for new/young trainers etc  will be the biggest obstacle to increase horse numbers let alone stay at current levels.

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2 hours ago, Blue said:

Tasman, I think that's maybe a question nobody really wants to answer though, if we're honest, we probably know what the answer would be.

I ask this because members of the club were facing probably the most important  AGM meeting in the Clubs history.

Out of 580 members  only 175 voted in the Board member election for one position.

And even more concerning was only about 100 turned up !

Maybe only 2 under 30 , and few under 50 !

So ,does any one  really care ????

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2 hours ago, tasman man said:

I ask this because members of the club were facing probably the most important  AGM meeting in the Clubs history.

Out of 580 members  only 175 voted in the Board member election for one position.

And even more concerning was only about 100 turned up !

Maybe only 2 under 30 , and few under 50 !

So ,does any one  really care ????

Presuming everyone knew it was on TM…..and not all would live in Auckland now.

The membership has always been skewed to the older male and there used to be some cache to being a member….

and there was always a waiting list for someone to die…..:rolleyes:

Selling the advantages today wouldn’t be an easy job, and it’s a bloody shame we have got to this situation…..hard to imagine 10 - 20 years ago.

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On 12/8/2021 at 12:14 PM, Ohokaman said:

They might be regretting this too Eljay……:rolleyes:

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1709/S00435/alexandra-park-a-finalist-in-westpac-business-awards.htm

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1611/S00607/alexandra-park-ceo-wins-inaugural-property-award.htm

Judging by this site they certainly kept the PR going…..always glowing reports of progress…..smoke and mirrors apparently.

As chief executive Ms Dowding has led the board’s strategic turn-around of the 126-year old iconic Auckland Trotting Club to put it on a more commercial footing, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and the survival of harness racing in the northern region.

Mmmm…..

 

DD obviously knows jack crap about the history of Horse Racing and basics of Society cohesion.

How the heck did she ever get a job in our Racing industry?

Who were her Character References?

Who signed off her contract?

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On 12/23/2021 at 7:34 PM, tasman man said:

I ask this because members of the club were facing probably the most important  AGM meeting in the Clubs history.

Out of 580 members  only 175 voted in the Board member election for one position.

And even more concerning was only about 100 turned up !

Maybe only 2 under 30 , and few under 50 !

So ,does any one  really care ????

At least around 100 turned up, better than none or 1.

Was it the lack of choices available that lead to low voter counts?

Sounds a little like Local Board and Central Gvt elections where the wise person doesn'tt vote if they don't like the policies or persons standing.

 

Let's be real here, why would you vote for a person you don't really want in the job bc of the lack of choices?

It's time we all had the choice of voting for vote of No Confidence in any of the selections available in general terms.

Btw, internet voting sure has it's problems with Bots registering here there and everywhere, hence huge problems in the world we have on a daily basis.

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On 12/26/2021 at 4:45 PM, meomy said:

At least around 100 turned up, better than none or 1.

Was it the lack of choices available that lead to low voter counts?

Sounds a little like Local Board and Central Gvt elections where the wise person doesn'tt vote if they don't like the policies or persons standing.

 

Let's be real here, why would you vote for a person you don't really want in the job bc of the lack of choices?

It's time we all had the choice of voting for vote of No Confidence in any of the selections available in general terms.

Btw, internet voting sure has it's problems with Bots registering here there and everywhere, hence huge problems in the world we have on a daily basis.

Members basically 'own' the Club and AGM's are important as all members get a chance to vote on important matters and also choose the people they want to run the club , make the big decisions and decide on the strategic plan for the employees to work and take the Club into the future . Successfully.

If 0 or 1 showed up it would indicate a complete lack of enthusiasm in their own club and to be 'official' there needs to be enough folk there to meet the quorum requirements.

But a low turn out and little interest in elected positions indicates few really care or are too long in tooth to call for change and/or improvements .

So few contesting positions shows Board positions can be seen as a poisoned chalice , particularly when nowadays  it can carry heavy legal obligations.

Even though Board Directors receive some  $$ compensation ....would it be worth it  ?

ATC does have members who love their Club ,many have for 40 years or considerably more.

Its amazing they can attend AGM's and remain so quiet and compliant !

Folk like to have a lot of say on Club matters and decisions but don't speak at AGM's and others don't even become members but prefer to wax lyrical on Social media and in bars etc.

You meomy , have a lot of history, background  , advice etc for both ATC and ARC but appear not to be a member....I remember your long run of providing photos of Car park with potholes etc ...you were relentless. And I enjoy your history lessons !

My hairdresser says he could run these Clubs better and my shoeshine boy knew that you can't build apartments on the volcanic rock in Greenlane Rd.

Like us keyboard warriors they have known all this key stuff for over 40 years .

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13 hours ago, We're Doomed said:

Would the committee members of the club be legally liable for the losses, in much the same way as the Jenny Shiply case?

You probably know that a Board has very serious responsibilities to follow Governance good practise and make responsible decisions and protect their organisation's assets. 

It is usual to have some sort of personal liablity insurance.

Of course the decision to undertake the the risky buildng venture was presented to members who OK'd it.

Cases in Business that you refer to often arise when stakeholders/members claim some illegal or fraudulent activities...proving that this has knowingly  occured can be tricky.

In this case , the Board members were mainly folk involved in Harness and were on Board cos they were well liked participants in the Club and stepped up with good intentions.

The incompetence was ultimately directed toward a dominant Chairman who sadly passed away early in project and an employee who was / is the KEY person in the club surviving the Counter-sueing court cases by Contractors which if lost would put the Club in serious doubt !

It's mainly water under bridge now...rapidly rising land values have rescued the net asset [equity] position.

Little real animosity toward those at helm....be kind.

Maybe lessons learned !

The Club has an excellent asset ,just need more horses in North, more people in North betting  and a bit of love from the South Island dominant racing decision makers !

Onwards and upwards.

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On 7/6/2016 at 4:54 PM, ivanthegreat said:

As a passionate trotting fan I can't believe this is anything other than an urban land grab by property developers ( not that they are invisible ). After all where else could you find another development site in such a prime part of the city ?

By the time we realise we have been duped , those responsible will be long gone with their golden parachute's.

 

NOTE THE DATE

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