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New Zealand Charity Under Investigation

14 June 2004

NEW ZEALAND – As reported by the New Zealand Herald: "A charitable trust that has been pouring poker machine profits from the Nelson region into horse racing clubs is to be investigated.

"The Department of Internal Affairs' director of gaming censorship and regulation, Keith Manch, confirmed an investigation would be made into the Metro Charitable Trust next month after the completion of an unrelated audit this month.

"The Metro Trust is run by Blenheim horse trainer and race-day secretary Mike O'Brien.

"Figures show that more than half of the almost $942,000 granted to organisations by the trust in the year to September 2003 was given to trotting and harness-racing clubs.

"Nelson arts and rugby bodies raised concerns they would miss out on funding.

"…Under current rules, principal officers or key people associated with a trust are not to have 'any actual or potential conflict of interest between their own interests and the interests of the society'…"

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