Golf

ATEED now funding tickets to exclusive golf tournaments

Len Brown’s council and subsidiaries are out of control, but none more so than ATEED which is facing several scandals at once.

Their plans to create mini embassies around the world has met with strong opposition but now it seems they are adding corporate welfare for rich golfers to their ambit.

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that Auckland Council’s economic development agency, ATEED, has gifted $50,000 of ratepayer money to the Remuera Golf Club for the Holden PGANZ Championship. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Auckland Council claims to have no money, but finds $50,000 spare to give a hand-out to Auckland’s richest golf club. They might label it ‘economic development’ but how is this a priority over roads, rail and housing?”

The Taxpayers’ Union was alerted to the funding through a Council social media competition offering ratepayers ten tickets to the event.

“The ten tickets are probably all ratepayers are ever going to see of the $50,000,” says Mr Williams.

In responding to questions put by the Taxpayers’ Union, ATEED, the Council’s economic development agency, has indicated that a project sharing agreement is in place whereby the Council receive 50% of any profits over and above $150,000 generated by the event.

“Officials are trying to have it both ways by claiming that the grant is not a hand-out to sport, rather an ‘investment’. When it flops, they’ll no doubt then call it a tourism expense.”

“If anyone really thinks this is a genuine investment that will make a good return to ratepayers, we’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

The documentation released by ATEED to the Taxpayers’ Union is available at taxpayers.org.nz

Read more »

Andrew Little admits to his role in Dirty Politics

In a rather silly article about John Key’s improved golfing prowess, Andrew Little has admitted to his role in Dirty Politics.

Labour leader Andrew Little, also a keen golfer, said Mr Key obviously had spare time on his hands.

Despite enjoying the game, Mr Little did not rate his own skills on the golf course – “I’m a hacker.”

Nice of him to admit he’s donkey deep in dirty politics. I wonder when the others will come clean?

But seriously, this article is a story how?

Is it the Herald’s attempt to say John Key is more concerned with his golf handicap than running the country?   Read more »

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Mark Grimshaw

Photo: Mark Grimshaw

“It’s Good to Touch The Green, Green Grass of Home.”

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Why is another rich man’s sport being funded by the government?

A privately held organisation is the latest corporate bludger to take government money.

Worse still is that they are increasing their bludging year on year.

The New Zealand Open has been given a major boost, with next year’s national golf championship securing increased government funding and live television coverage.

For the first time the New Zealand Open will be broadcast live in New Zealand and to overseas territories, including Australia and Japan.

And for the fifth straight year, the government has increased the amount of taxpayer funding going to the event.

At a press conference in Auckland today, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced a major events development fund investment of $700,000 a year for the 2015 and 2016 events and a one-off cash boost of $250,000 – to be matched by event promoter Sir Michael Hill – to ensure live broadcasting continues.   Read more »

Best golf shot ever

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Terry the Turtle makes golf almost watchable

Lydia Ko not happy with the tax payer troughing debate

Earlier this week it was revealed that Lydia Ko wanted even more of your hard earned taxes to further her professional career.

Joseph Romanos opines:

Sport New Zealand high performance chief Alex Baumann wrote to newspapers over the weekend, justifying a potential payout to Ko.

“We support athletes and teams from targeted sports who can win on the world’s toughest sporting stages,” he said.

“Lydia Ko meets our criteria and we’ll continue to work with New Zealand Golf to increase her chances of winning a medal in Rio.”

Baumann went on to explain that the application was lodged before Ko turned pro. But she turned pro last October, and the application hasn’t been withdrawn, so such an excuse is nonsense.

Ko knows she doesn’t need any financial support. That’s why she’s embarrassed. She declined nearly $1 million in prizemoney before she turned pro. It was obvious then money was never going to be a problem, and it hasn’t been since.

I guess the question is: why is Sport New Zealand so keen to give its (our) money away to someone who so obviously doesn’t need it?   Read more »

I might actually watch golf if it looked like this

Troughing of the Rich and Famous

rl

Question:  Why would a golf event that is attended by some of the wealthiest people require $1.5M in tax payer troughing dollars?

A golf tournament hosted by Sir Michael Hill at his private course near Queenstown has received more than $2 million from the taxpayer over the past three years despite consistently failing to meet performance targets attached to the funding.

This year’s New Zealand Open pro am – which featured wealthy business people and celebrities such as former Australian cricket captains Ricky Ponting and Allan Border playing alongside professional golfers and business heavyweights at Queenstown courses The Hills and Millbrook – received $900,000 from the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF).

Organisers have applied for another $1.5 million to bankroll next year’s event, with the additional $600,000 to be used to fund live television coverage.

It is a private course.  It is a private event.  Why are your tax dollars going to this at all?   Read more »

Lydia Ko can’t wean herself from the taxpayers’ trough

Olivia Wannan at Stuff reports

Golfer Lydia Ko is asking for more taxpayer support since turning pro than she received when she was an amateur.

The 16-year-old prodigy can now reap big financial rewards from professional tournaments, as well as millions in management contracts and endorsement deals.

She pocketed NZ$181,000 for winning the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters tournament in Taiwan last year and so far this year has collected more than $280,000 in winnings.

As an amateur, she received $115,000 from High Performance Sport NZ in 2012 and $185,000 last year, chief executive Alex Baumann said.

New Zealand Golf’s application for this year is for $208,000 to pay for her coaching, physiotherapy and mental skills training.

The total includes $115,000 to pay for transport and accommodation to tournaments for Ko and her mother.

NZ Golf chief executive Dean Murphy said that, despite Ko’s new professional status, the funding was still necessary, and the application was lodged while she was still an amateur.

“There will come a time when Lydia becomes self-sufficient.

“Currently that’s not the case …

So what?

If Ko is now a professional, who says she has to return a profit for the first few years in business?     Read more »